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Commensurate with its pricing, Thrax ships their kit in bullet-proof nicely hinged wooden crates with wooden carrying handles and beveled edges. Removing locking strips via six Philips-head screws each opens them to reveal securely foam-lined innards and the gear protected by a plastic sleeve. If all audio gear traveled in such invincible style, UPS and FedEx would have to denounce their evil twins Oops and FedUp.
Removal of four bolts which also secure the machined aluminum footers gains access to the stereo units' insides. First up is Maximinus with its earlier 24/192 ABC/PBC Edel USB module facing up whilst MSB's large mother board is turned face down to show us its back.
Due to the forthcoming release of MSB's DSD-over-USB firmware update, Thrax for production has transitioned to MSB's own 32/384 USB solution. That makes the red Swiss board shown optional. It's also limited to 24/192 but does have the advantage of running its own clocks to not require subsequent reclocking off the board.
Dionysus shows its balance control engaged with a 5-step offset, its tape output selected and input 1 engaged with 0° absolute polarity. Below are the innards with both seemingly very hard-to-reach tube locations marked.
Russian military oil-filled capacitors and various coupling and attenuating transformers show in more detail next.
The lovely remote aluminum wand is from Bent Audio. In two-button guise it was recently adopted by Red Wine Audio's Renaissance gear. It also shows up on Steve McCormack's passive/active VRE-1c preamp with which Dionysus would seem to share much conceptual thinking except for its valves.
For the massive Heros enclosure, Thrax decided to install some bottom vents which are cleverly concealed by the ribbed construction. The single 5687 voltage-gain triode sticks out the back for easy replacement. The frontal switch moves from standby red to power green in a few seconds. The master mains switch is on the back at the power inlet next to the luxurious Furutech binding posts.
Here are the three rear-panel switches mentioned earlier.
As it should, the Heros inners show off its minimalist two-stage architecture like a badge of honor. The center section is occupied by the quite massive toroidal power and output transformers and one lone power transistor each mounts directly to the side rails within the final chamber.