Trio A-100 Ice Powered Amplifier
Special $995 offer from Mr-Cable...Purchase the Trio A-100 and get a free upgraded power cord. Email for details.
In theory, power amplifiers are simple
devices: they convert the 60Hz power from our AC wall socket to a musical signal
capable of driving a loudspeaker. They range in price and performance from less
than $20 and sounding awful to over $20,000 and sounding glorious.
Think of a power amplifier as the funnel where everything in your system passes through before your loudspeakers: itís a critical path.
PS Audioís acclaimed G Series of power and control amplifiers set new standards for both performance and price using a relatively new technology that runs cool and sounds great. But not everyone can afford the G Series and so the engineers at PS have worked to bring this same cool running, great sounding technology to our customers at a far more affordable price than the G Series.
Introducing the Trio A-100 power amplifier, one of three upcoming high-end low cost audio products from PS. Trios provide the essentials for a high-end system but do so with fewer bells and whistles than their more expensive counterparts and most importantly, with almost no loss of performance.
The A-100 is a stereo power amplifier, perfect for nearly every loudspeaker and system. The Trio produces up to 150 watts per channel into 8 Ohms and as high as 300 watts per channel into 4 Ohms maximum output (100 into 8 and 200 into 4 with less than 0.1% THD+N and IM).
And, at just $995 for the stereo amplifier, this is a killer product.
Why you want the Trio A-100 in your system
First off, this is one of the better sounding power amplifiers available today. Reminiscent of our classic Stereophile Class A rated HCA-2 power amplifier we built a few years ago, the A-100 is sweet, warm and extremely musical. Just put it in the system, let it burn in overnight and you'll be amazed at how great everything sounds. And, after a couple of weeks of playing, the A-100 just sings.
This amp is not much more expensive than a great set of interconnects and a power cord, yet it can bring musical pleasure to anyones system. This is a real no-brainer: you can bi-amp, single amp, use it as your main system amplification, or your secondary system, the A-100 rocks!
So, what's the deal with the power rating?
We understand there may be a little confusion with this amp's power rating. So let's cover the basics and then to the explanation.
The output power rating of an amplifier is dependant on a couple of factors: loudspeaker impedance and distortion.
Impedance is an important issue in a loudspeaker power amp relationship. This is because the loudspeaker impedance is variable with the music. In other words, the fixed rating from your loudspeaker manufacturer is referenced to a single tone or frequency. For example, if your loudspeaker manufacturer rates your speakers at 8 Ohms, that rating may go as high as 30 Ohms and as low as 2 to 3 Ohms depending on the frequency.
Why is this important? We need to make sure the power amplifier produces your music the same - regardless of the speaker's impedance. Lower impedances require more power and higher impedances require less power. Make sure the amplifier you choose can deliver twice the 8 Ohm power into 4 Ohms for best performance. The Trio A-100 does exactly that.
Distortion is the second factor used in rating an amplifier. Typically, amps are power rated at their advertised distortion. So, in the case of the Trio, its rated distortion is 0.1% at 100 or 200 watts output, depending on the speaker's impedance.
But many amplifiers have a large dynamic output capability that exceeds their rated wattage and such is the case of the A-100. Dynamic power is really important to music because it allows quick transients to come through without any restrictions. Here's the rub: at the Trio's top dynamic power of 150 watts rms into 8 Ohms and 300 watts into 4 Ohms, the distortion has increased signicantly (as high as 10%) for that short period of time. While the distortion figures are quite high for these transients, comparable with many tube power amp dynamic distortion figures, the audible effects of this distortion are hard for the ear to pick up because they are so short.
Bottom line, we're rating the Trio at the higher wattage because, for musical purposes, that's just what it does.
Rock solid and cool running
The Trio A-100 is based on the same technology found in our G Series of power amplifiers: ICE analog power switching. These amps are dual mono, completely independent channels running at 90% efficiency, with true balanced performance in either RCA single ended or XLR balanced mode.
The amplifier modules are balanced designs, both input and output, but they do have two basic design elements associated with them that need to be addressed: low input impedance and a potentially compromised single ended performance.
Why high input impedance is preferred
The input impedance of a power amplifier is an important issue, particularly if you are using a tube product to feed it (or if your solid state design is not a low impedance output drive). No tube preamp should be asked to drive an input impedance of less than 30K, but the ICE modules' native input impedance is only 10K. This is undesirable for a tube product, causing poor bass performance and phase shift at audible frequencies.
The Trio uses a special, transparent input circuit that raises the impedance to 50K for single ended RCA inputs and 100K for balanced XLR inputs. Tubes and solid state preamps alike LOVE this amplifier. Before making any kind of purchasing decision on a new amp, check the manufacturerís rated specifications first. Make sure the input impedance is at least 30K, higher is better.
True balanced performance regardless of input
The second problem is connecting the Trio to a single ended preamp through an RCA connection. This is because the internal amplifier module is designed to be run only in balanced (XLR) for best performance.
To solve this problem, PS Engineers designed an acoustically transparent input stage to feed the internal module in balanced mode regardless of how you drive it.
So, regardless of how you feed the Trioís input, balanced or single ended, it will always operate the internal module in fully balanced mode. This provides the best performance, lowest noise possible and is only available from PS.
Ready for bi-amping
Donít you just hate it when you have to use multiple interconnects or Y cables to bi-amp your system? Well, fret no more.
The Trio power amplifier is ready to be bi-amped right out of the box. A clever switch on the rear of the Trio selects either stereo or bi-amp operation. This allows you to run one output cable from your preamplifier to the Trio and feed both the left and right channels inside the amplifier with the same signal.
One cable, two channels, ready to go.
And with the affordability of the Trio amplifier, itís easy to bi-amp and take that next step in performance levels that bi-amplification provides.
Bi-amping, especially vertical bi-amping, is a great performance boost, regardless of what you currently have for a power amplifier. By separating the high and low frequencies for each channel, you can assign one channel for the bass and another for the highs of each speaker. And, since each channel of the Trio has its own regulated power supply thatís completely independent of the other channel, one will never affect the other channel for great imaging.
Place two side-by-side
The small footprint of the Trio is perfect for either powering an entire system with just one, or for placing two side-by-side and for horizontal or vertical bi-amp operation.
Performance has never been better
The Trio is a killer little amplifier with enough power to drive almost any pair of loudspeakers to their full potential. Great imaging, dual mono, sweet and open midrange and top end with authoritative bass, the Trio A-100 is the value of the decade at just $995.
No compromise necessary.
The Trio line
And, coming shortly, the Trio P-200 preamplifier (August) and the Trio I-100 integrated amplifier (September).
The A-100 is perfect as a stand alone power amplifier, as a bi-amp pair or as the basis of an affordable high end audio or video system. For the dedicated phono system, all you need is a GCPH and a Trio and you have everything you need to make stunning audio.
At this price, three Trios makes make a wonderful surround setup for far less than other solutions.
Special intro offer
Order the new Trio A-100 and get a free power cord from Mr-Cable.
This is your chance to get hooked up with an incredible product at and incredible value. Donít hesitate to order on while this offer is still valid.