This page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below
Trafomatic needs little introduction to our readers. Reviews of their Experience One and Experience Reference monos have made all necessary introductions already. But to recap, Trafomatic is in the transformer manufacturing business, supplying from small to truly colossal units to medical, military and other industry sectors. Trafomatic also supplies OEM audio transformers. To showcase those in optimized platforms, Trafomatic men Sasa and Misha then decided to launch their own tube audio electronics. Presto, the birth of Trafomatic Audio, a subsidiary to Trafomatic the transformer firm.

After a steady stream of high-value integrateds (2A3 and 300B), a headphone amp, a tube preamp, a push/pull tube amp and three transformer-coupled AC power blocks, the above parallel single-ended 300B monos with twin tube rectifiers and interstage transformers showed Trafomatic's higher aspirations and know-how. These amps perform at least on par with the award-winning Wyetech Lab Sapphire monos to prove that world-class audio does from Serbia come.

Hannes Frick of WLM Loudspeakers in Austria noticed these developments as well. Presently, Sasa and Misha are hard at work finalizing a prototype tube amplifier for him. How, if and when this turns into a production item is between Trafomatic and WLM and Hannes' reaction to sonics, cosmetics and pricing. It's mentioned only to demonstrate how Trafomatic is flexing its muscle also behind the scenes, in what audio and related parlance refers to as OEM.

Like Alex at Raal Ribbon, S&M -- abbreviatory pun intended -- rely not on lasers or punches but water jets to generate the precision metal chassis cut-outs that are required for tube sockets, switches and transformer windows.

Below is the finished panel for an Experience One after the above water jet passes have done their business.

As the review chronicled, the interstage transformer of the Reference monos posed special challenges but persistence in prototyping -- and trusting their ears over just test bench measurements -- won out.

Some see dead people. Sasa sees transformers. He is one of those rare guys who sees transformer windings and how they will impact sonics in his head. That has nothing to do with being psychic and all with solid experience.

Neither Sasa nor Misha are pushy or self-advancingly forthcoming on anything. When I asked Sasa for some people pix so readers could develop a feel for the "men behind the machines", he dutifully dispatched one of his beautiful wife and son. Va bene. I shall chase down the boys with my own camera for the obligatory designer mug shots.

Or as Sasa put it after I requested some verbology on their background: "The text you must write, sorry but I just don't know how." I jokingly replied that was no problem. Expecting me to design a working amplifier, never mind a good-sounding one, would be a problem of gargantuan proportions however. We all have our talents. Hopefully our chosen profession allows them to shine. From personal experience with their creations, I dare say that Trafomatic men S&M have found the perfect outlet for their gifts. That, far more than money and fame, is always where true satisfaction is to be found. Of course money and fame are nothing to be sneezed at. That's why I particularly enjoy opportunities to present our readers with informal stories on interesting audio people with products of merit. If deserved, the money and fame parts will follow on their own accord. My satisfaction then derives from having played a small part in that. Thus the circle closes and a new one spirals out...

No sooner said (literally, the following e-mail arrived after the last period above) that I heard from Piotr Bednarski in Poland: "
I am the distributor of Trafomatic products In Poland. I must say my country is still suffering from the lack of interest in valve amps. If there is interest in A, most of the people prefer B or DIY products. And they mock any distributor/dealer's offering at prices higher than 25% above the cost of parts inside the gear. So I have a regular day job. Hifi distribution is my hobby. I started by getting ART Loudspeakers (Emotion Signature) to the Warsaw Show last year. It was a success in terms of appraisal and sound but not commercially. So I started looking for partnering gear and got in touch with Sasa. His Experience Two arrived very quickly. It is a good amp but still not fully the match of the ART Emotion potential. It fits well with the lower models of ART from Scotland though.

"It is not easy to sell a SET here at all. I started with the Japanese Tri brand (parts made in China). This brought me some business, on the push-pull amps though. UK-based Art Audio being most expensive of these allowed me to generate some second-hand business. Now I am talking to Sasa about the presentation of Trafomatic at the audio show in Warsaw, 8-9 November. I think I will have to get the Elegance and Line One to do it. Having read your review of the Experience Reference, I feel tempted to get the monos to show them as well. I fully realize this is stupid business wise unless it turns out to be a perfect product. Then people will notice irrespective of price."

There you go. Fame and fortunes in audio. Not! That this doesn't stop people like Sasa Cokic and Milorad Despotovic and Piotr Bednarski -- or any of the other participants in this RoadTour Serbia or their colleagues from around the globe -- is part of the special allure high-end hifi holds to those who are genetically miswired to pursue these fields despite all the contrary evidence as to the nuttiness of it all.