Description

While many an audiophile would poo-poo an office system and consider it an afterthought, this is ironically where I do most of my undisturbed and best listening.  Most work spaces are not friendly to good sound, but the Trenner & Friedl RA loudspeakers save the day due to their unique ability to be placed in tight spaces.  Linked to the Trafomatic 300B integrated, they spit out a dynamic, uncompressed and transparent but utterly holistic and musical soundscape that keeps me listening.  The title of this system is an homage to Don Draper and Madmen and my distant past and current resonance with all things vintage and in particularl "midmod."  The credenza and the Letterman tryptic is pure 70s and puts my brain in a good place as does the vintage aesthetics of the speakers and tubed gear.

A vey special thank you to two of my favorite dealer/distributors in audio:  Bob Clark of Profundo Audio (https://profundoaudio.com) and Fred Crane of Prana Audio (https://pranadistribution.com).  They are both well balanced and true renaissance men who have restored my joy in high end audio.  Thank you!
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Room Details

Dimensions: 19’ × 15’  Medium
Ceiling: 10’


Components Toggle details

    • Trennel & Friedl RA loudspeaker

    Stunning floor stander out of Austria with an artisanal grade wood working and finish (7-layer lacquer) with a mid-mod aesthetic.  Ideal (and I mean ideal) for placement in awkward living spaces and can be placed as close as 4 inches from the back or side walls.  It is engineered around "golden ratio" principles.  Internal damping is achieved by Austrian sheep's wool as a natural alternative.   It is a coaxial design with a 12 inch paper cones impregnated with six-layer Italian balsamic oil lacquer finish along with a machined aluminum high frequency compression driver horn machined in house. Crossover components include Mundorf oil/silver caps and foil coils, and MOX resisters, along with  Cardas wiring and binding posts.  The Ra is an uber efficient 9=5dB at 8 Ω and is valve friendly.

    As for the sound, it is fast, dynamic and open while being delicate, cohesive and superbly musical.  Bob Clarke at Profundo described them as having great "insight into the music" and this is a very apt description.  I love them!

    https://www.trenner-friedl.com/index.php?menu=product&sprache=en&second=ra

    • Trafomatic Audio Experience Two MK II Integrated Amplifier
    Exquisite 300B integrated out of Serbia.  Single ended, 8W DHT with no global feedback.  The designer, Sasa Cokic, is a transformer guru and designs and winds his own in-house.  The amp's fabrication quality is superb as are the parts used.  The sound is all that one would expect from a SET 300B affair:  purity of tone, musicality and great soundstaging but with a speed, quietness and control that is surprising (hint:  its all in those mammoth transformers).

    https://www.trafomaticaudio.com/products/experience-two-mk-ii/?portfolioCats=13
    • LaRosita Die Loreley
    French wireless streamer/dac designed by Dan Bellity.  I owned the original Zardoz back i 2008 and always loved Dan's house sound: of fatigue free digital and functional simplicity.  All I need upstream is my office computer (IMAC), 6 TB WD NAS and an iPhone with the Remote app.  Perfect for the office setting (or the home).

    https://www.larosita.fr/en-la-rosita-die-loreley
    • BPT Balance Power Technologies BP-10.5
    Well made isolation transformer to provide quiet power in a noisy office setting.  Its built like a tank.
    • Cerious Technologies Low current, high current and PC optimized power cords
    Fabulous and affordable power cords.  Very quiet and organic sounding (to my ear).  

    http://www.cerioustechnologies.com/#products
    • AcousticBBQ Wire ICs and SW
    Designed and built by my good friend Bill Dion and based on the great sounding DCA16GA tinned, copper Duelund wire in a cotton and oil dialectricum.  This wire was created by Duelund in an effort to recreate the organic and musical sound of WE wire of yore, and they have succeeded. 

    http://duelundaudio.com/cable/
    • Kemp Elektroniks QA Plug
    A quantum resonance woo-woo tweak that seems to add spaciousness to the soundscape.

    https://highend-electronics.com/products/kemp-quantum-approach-plug
    • Kemp Elektroniks SR Plug
    Schumann resonance generator.  More woo-woo from Kemp but again I "think" i hear good fruit....


    • Sophia Electric Blue tubes (274B rectifier; paired 6SN7s)
    New offering from Sophia Electric which harkens in part to the WE tubes of yore.  Fantastic sounding tubes.  Removes the need to chase vintage rectifiers and 6SN7s.

Comments 17

222222&text=ag
Owner
Hey Arthur.  Long time no talk.  Yeah, the RA fits the bill in terms of aesthetics, cohesive driver implementation, and high efficiency dynamics which I know you are a fan of....

agear

222222&text=ab
It's interesting to see what you ended up with.  I'd love to hear it!

aball

222222&text=ag
Owner
Well, I rolled in some Sophia Electric Blue tubes, a matches pair of 6SN7s and a 274B rectifier.  Wooweeee!  What an upgrade,  The Russian tubes sounded whitish and threadbare by comparison.  Full, organic and well for lack a better word, "vintage" sounding with all the desirable elements that that word evokes.  I am planning on getting the matching 300Bs in the not too distant future.

agear

222222&text=jo
AG, thanks for taking the time to answer.

joejoe

222222&text=ag
Owner
Hey Joe.  Thanks for chiming in.  The bass is very good.  My distance from the back wall is around 12 inches or so.  The RA is a BIG speaker but disappears with surprising ease.  Due to this room being untreated with concrete floor and lots of windows, things can get a tad wooly when I really blast it (100+ dB) but that is not my normal listening level.  I would give Bob at Profundo a shout as he is very shrewd about setup and also honest to a fault regarding speaker selection.  The Arts are fantastic too but ask Bob.

agear

222222&text=jo
AG, thanks for answering. Been thinking about T&F Ra , while my first thoughts were the Arts, but at 85 db at 4 ohms compared to the Ra's 95 at 8 ohms, would be an easier load to drive. Not that I listen to concert level sounds, but a little juice now and then is OK. In the floor standing models kind of like the Osiris (88 db 8 ohms), but little worry they might be to big for my room, which looks a little bigger then yours.  Plus you have your Ra's backed up to your wall. Do you find the bass boomy? I have about 8 maybe up to 16 inches to play with hoping that will be enough. Anyway thanks, I like your system. Happy listening.

joejoe

222222&text=ag
Owner
Hey joejoe.  Good question.  I presume you are asking about the speakers?  I did own the Pharaohs from T+F in another rig and traded those back in to Bob since we moved and had little space (I now have the Sun bookshelves there).  I also move into a new office and figured out that I could use a T+F floor stander there.  I had had the RAs on the brain for quite a while and was one of my dream speakers so I jumped at the chance.

There are a limited number of dealers for T+F nationally....I think NYC and S.Cal.  There was no one in Charlotte NC.

agear

222222&text=jo
Nice looking system. Did you hear these before purchase? If so, where? Also did you consider other models? Thanks.

joejoe

222222&text=ag
Owner
Hi there lightningbefore.  In the first two images, the door is located to the immediate left just out of the frame.

agear

222222&text=li
Where's the door? Do folks teleport in there?

lightningbefore

222222&text=ag
Owner
mjcmt, thank you very much.  Call me shallow, but esthetics do matter to me and play a role in altering my mood and priming me for good listening.  The speakers in particular make it all possible in such a inhospitable space.

agear

222222&text=mj
Esthetically pleasing system with nice out-of-the-mainstream equipment choices.

mjcmt

222222&text=la
222222&text=ag
Owner
Jond, thank you for the kind remarks as well.  I do not know why but MCM pieces and aesthetics is like a mood altering substance for me.  I think part of that may have to do with flushing found memories of my childhood and a kindler, gentler past.  My wife and I have furnished a lot of our house with MCM that we have source hither and tither.  My office actually has some chrome ball lamps from the 60s we found in a LA flea market.  

That is a good question about Tidal and Qobuz.  I do not honestly know the answer.  I have been a big fan of the Apple ecosystem for some time and love its simplicity with the Remote App/Itunes interfaces.  I can ask Dan the designer.  I am sure there is a way to integrate them.  In a recent iteration of my home rig (which I will also be posting soon), I used a streamer/Roon End point/DAC but ending up converting back to La Rosita of the sake of one box simplicity.

agear

222222&text=ag
Owner
Hey Bill.  Thank you for the kind remarks.  I am very much enamored with the TF house sound.  The RAs combine two things I dig:  high efficiency dynamics and concentric driver/single driver topology which spits out an organic and "time aligned" sound.  Add tubes and boom.  Add to that their ability for close quarters placement (and the MCM aesthetic) in an office setting, and I could not have asked for a more perfect speaker for the circumstances.  In fact, I am not sure what other speaker I could have used.  Thank you for the great wire BTW.  Adds to the organic quality of it all!

agear

Center
Nice looking system and space Andrew! I hope to hear those speakers someday as I find the company’s designs so very interesting. I am sitting here just imagining how your rig sounds. Beautiful tone and intimacy with a dab of warmth thrown in for your work environment.  Nicely done!

grannyring

222222&text=jo
Super cool well thought out system and gorgeous office decor! Love the MCM feel and I bet it sounds amazing. I was looking at those LaRosita streamers the one thing I couldn't figure out do they do streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz?

jond

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