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The amps accept unbalanced RCA as well as balanced XLRs. A nice switch makes the choice. Other details are hidden inside. Construction is by hand without printed circuit boards. Everything is hard-wired point to point in a very neat way. Components are chosen with great care such as Koa resistors and Toichi capacitors. The tube sockets are nice ceramic and gold specimens that accommodate easy tube swaps, being neither too tight nor loose.

Time to connect. At first we ran the monos with the TRV-CD4SE CD player, a 24/192kHz upsampling machine with a Sony mechanism and a single Russian ElectroHarmonix 6922EH in the output buffer. The conversion from digital to analog takes place with a TI 1792 chip. Just as the amplifiers, this machine is coated in beautiful red lacquer. The sober front includes only the most necessary control functions. More extended access is on the remote which includes matching red lacquer elements.

From our collection of interconnects, we took out a Nanotec G.S. #201 nano3 because it too is a Japanese product and priced to suit the Tri components. As speaker cable we followed suit with Nanotec's Music Strada G.S. #79 nano 3 in a bi-wired configuration. Power cords were Crystal Cable.

After switching on the TRV-M300SEs, they produced a slight hum over the speakers which disappeared in only a few seconds. The Tri 300B tubes literally come to live with their very own specific mechanical stretching sounds. After 20 minutes they gave the impression of having settled in and being at ease. With our ear close to the horns, there was only a very minor hiss Four inches away from the horn the hiss was inaudible. There are not that many amplifiers that can control hiss and or hum this well when a merciless 107dB sensitive horn is watching.

The drawer of the CD player opened and closed smoothly, with the LCD display in a soft blue presenting the well-known Sony format. With no preamp in the chain, the volume controls on the monoblocks had to hardly rise above zero for the music to commence. Twenty watts on a highly sensitive horn system can cause a lot of ear damage when let go.

The first impressions of Dulce Pontes El Corazon tiene tres Puertas were of calmness and space. The big acoustic venue of this live recording was truly transported into our room. To use audiophile lingo for the combination of TRV-CD4SE and TRV-M300SEs, the lowest frequencies were rendered close to being thin and lean. The midrange excelled with detail and transparency while the top registers were silky sweet as only a 300B will manage. The entire perspective was somewhat distant and laid back but without losing the image of space. Through the silky highs and transparent midrange, that special information proved excellent. Details were clear and harmonic and the urge to go along with the rhythm demonstrated good timing. Large dynamic differences were reduced in scale but small substructures were reproduced without trouble

To say it differently, the combination missed the whoa! factor but sounded very pleasant and musical. Small ensembles, vocalists and acoustic jazz sounded very good. Jazzrock, live rock and crossover music with lots of synthesized bass however was less opportune for this combination.

Time to test the merits of the integrated TRV-A300SE. With its 11.5 kilos for a 37cm deep, 19cm high and 22cm wide amplifier, you cannot call it a lightweight. Beside the round mains switch, the fascia adds to the volume control an input selector for three line-level inputs. Under the easily removed 'hamster cage' we find 4 tubes, a 6SN7 double triode as input/driver and a 300B for the output, per channel. This makes the single-ended amplifier 8 watts strong. The 6SN7 doubles for preamplification duties. All tubes are marked with the Tri logo, their pins penetrating the chromed top plate. Behind the tubes a single red-lacquer housing contains the transformers. A nice aesthetic detail are the dark red wooden cheeks. As for the monoblocks, Yamazaki-San made his choice from available Koa and Toichi parts, with all components hard-wired and ceramic/gold-contact tube sockets.

At the back one finds the power inlet with fuse and now 'merely' 4- and 8-ohm taps. On the far left are three pairs of RCA inputs. The 16-ohm output and balanced inputs are exclusive to the monos but the integrated amplifier as a whole also makes a solid and well attended impression. Connection protocol duplicated the monoblocks, including the mechanical crinkly sounds of two power triodes expanding during warm-up. When the first CD spun up in the TRV-CD4SE and the volume had reached a pleasant level, we inspected the quality of this configuration.