Timbre Technology TT-1 D/A processor Jonathan Scull's System

Sidebar 1: Jonathan Scull's System

I consider it my stunning good fortune to have auditioned the Timbre Technology TT-1 DAC with three Totally Drop-Your-Sox transports: the Forsell Air Bearing, the C.E.C. TL 1 Belt-Drive Gold Robbie the Robot (well, it looks like a Japanese robot to us), and the "Champagne Wishes, Caviar Dreams" Esoteric/TEAC VRDS P2S, $7k the pop. In many ways, the Tale of the Timbre was also the Tale of Three Transports. One of the more amusing pranks I've enjoyed playing on acquaintances, both audiophile and otherwise, has been to play a CD on one of these benchmark transports, then flip it into one or another of them, and watch my friends' jaws drop. (A rubber pad under the front of the listening chair would've worked just swell.) The Timbre revealed enormous differences in presentation.

But do divine the subtext here: The only reason each of these transports, using a variety of quite different-sounding outputs, were so well differentiated from one another was because the Timbre Technology TT-1 DAC had the resolving power to reveal these differences. In fact, the Timbre resolved so well that changes in footers under the various transports, from the big-threaded Goldmunds to the Shun Mook Super Passive Diamond Resonators, were also easy to quantify. Moreover, what the transport and its attendant footers were themselves mounted on could be heard to make a difference! In any case, consider the Forsell Air-Bearing CD Transport to be the Transport of Record for this review.

Preamps included the debonair Jadis JP 80 MC seated on Harmonix RF-66 Tuning Feet, equipped with Ensemble TubeSox and a bright-green XLO power cord with the ground lifted. The Gryphon XT MC preamp also saw service during the test period, as did a Mark Levinson No.26S. However, for most of the review period, the Timbre was hooked, via all-XLO Signature, to the line-stage of the burly "I-Seen-It-In-CinemaScope" All-American CAT SL-1 Signature, seated on Shun Mook Super Passive Diamond Resonators, powered by a TARA Labs Affinity solid-core power cord.

Interconnects and speaker cables were my reference XLO Signature, tri-wired for the big Avalon Ascent loudspeakers. Digital cables were a melange of XLO, Purist, Mapleshade, Pure Logic, and AudioQuest OptiLink Pro 2. I also used AudioQuest's hot new balanced Diamond x3 cable composed of three silver conductors with Teflon spacers to create an air dielectric, and another generic balanced cable supplied by Timbre. In addition to the power cords mentioned above, I used a Grace on the Forsell and a combination of Marigo, MAS, T&G, and Cardas on the other transports and processors.

Amplification was handled by both a stereo Gryphon DM-100, and, for most of the test period, the big, gorgeous, Jadis JA 200s on their sand-filled Bright Star stands. The 200s were accessorized with Ensemble TubeSox on the inputs and drivers, and Marigo 4mm VTS dots on the bottom plate of each 6550, powered by another pair of the TARA Labs cords.—Jonathan Scull

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Timbre Technology
Company no longer in existence (2019)
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mmole's picture

I read it while sitting in my ribbon chair.

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