delighted to have discovered more sonically superb music tools, courtesy
of the TRON Seven phono stages. We first heard about
Allaerts, then more news came in from Hongkong and the rest of
We have tried
and heard many phono stages - which we consider to be the most critical
aspect of an analogue system, one that can be a serious sonic bottleneck
if not chosen correctly - and we are pleased to note that the TRON
Seven phono stage is a true reference against these others,
irregardless of price.
And we are just talking about the standard
version of the TRON Seven, not the
TRON Seven Reference
version yet :).
unlike many others which have built their reputation more through
advertisements. The TRON Seven came to us through respected
manufacturer and user references, and it surely did not disappoint.
Seven is a revelation. A tube (valve) phono stage, we
were pleased at its sonic neutrality - no syrupy, artificial tube warmth
and cloying sound, but instead a natural sound where instrumental and
vocal tonality are well-preserved. Drums, high hats, bass are
delivered with splendid articulation and detail, no rounding off of
leading edges. Micro and macrodynamics are rendered with ease.
It reminds us
of the outstanding
Audio Note Japan quality, simply music from tubes without any of
the unnatural colourations. This is high-fidelity at its best.
Being on the side of natural tonality, what separates it then from a
good neutral solid-state phono stage ? The TRON Seven phono
stage simply brings forth the qualities in tubes that solid-state
have a hard time matching. Examples are bigger and wider
soundstage, with easily heard layers and layers of soundstage depth,
fabulous air and detail, without bordering on merely white noise.
The TRON Seven
Reference phono stage version has much better quality and
better sounding parts fitted in. This gives a much more natural
and organic sound, and even more refinement.
Seven Phono is a new design with many unique design
features. Like all Tron products it relies on the vacuum tube
for providing amplification.
I am not going to extol the virtues
of this method of amplification over solid state but I have
found it to produce the most natural presentation of recorded
music. I guess that's why all the top musicians still use valve
amps for recording and why recording engineers still use
valve/tube microphones when recording.
have kept the stages in the Seven to an absolute minimum and
have selected valves/tubes that are easily obtainable,
giving the potential owner the option of using his or her
The Seven can come set up either for moving
magnet or moving coil cartridges.
output stage is a very low impedance high current design, which
enables it to be used with any pre-amp designs, whether a low
impedance solid state design or even a transformer type volume
Ultimately the proof is in the listening."
Graham Tricker, maker and designer
quality aluminium chassis finished in black.
The Seven phono stage option has 2 levels of low output MC gain:
• Normal Gain - for cartridges with an output
of 0.2mV to 0.7mV (60 to 65db)
• High Gain - for cartridges with an output of
0.1mV to 0.2mV (approx. 70db)
• Highest Gain - for ultra low gain cartridges
Jan Allaerts MC2 Finish or Formula 1
cartridges (approx. 80db)
Gain version covers 95% of today's MC cartridges. Either of
the above options can be specified at the manufacturing/ordering stage.
The TRON Seven
phono stage comes with one input as standard. A
dual input version is also available on order and slightly
additional cost. This way, an owner of two tonearms, or two
turntables, can switch between 2 phono inputs. The switch sits
between the 2 sets of silver RCA's and just toggles left for the 1st input and
right to switch to the 2nd input. Only for low output MCs.
TRON Seven phono stage may be upgraded to the TRON Seven
Reference phono stage by simply paying the difference in retail price, plus
4. Tubes (Valves)
2 x 12AX7 as standard signal tubes, 1 x 12AU7
- The 2 x 12AX7 may be
substituted for 2 x 5751 for 30% less gain
- The 2 x 12AX7 may be
substituted for 2 x 12AY7 for -10db gain
The TRON Seven phono stage AC couples the cartridge
to the phono stage. In other words there is no harmful resistor
sitting across the coils of the cartridge which heavily influences
the sound of the cartridge.
Instead the cartridge delivers it full performance
straight into the 1st stage of the Seven. Evan other manufacturer users
will confirm it makes no difference to the sound if the loading is
changed on the Seven. There are no internal settings to adjust or
to set. It is just simply plug it in and switch it on.
With a turntable
An extra 4mm earth socket can be fitted on the rear
of the Seven (Syren also). A lead wire can then be plugged or
attached into the bearing of a turntable, if possible. This then
connects to the new earth terminal on the Seven and earths the
turntable's bearing. This makes an audible improvement which is clearly
heard. Also it lowers the record surface noise plus it reduces the
clicks and pops from static on the record.
In Graham's own words - "It's just another thing we
can do to push the boundaries back a bit further."
Such dedication is commendable.