TRIPOINT TROY ELITE NG (Silver finish)
Audio Review by Dr. Ned
For a long time, I felt I had a very revealing audio system with a very low noise floor. Larry Diaz of High-End Palace in Coral Gables, FL was urging me for a while to explore the EMI/RFI passive filtration grounding components Miguel Alvarez of Tripoint Audio had developed. Finally, I moved forward to explore Miguel’s offerings. My first exploration was with the Troy Elite to be followed by the Troy Elite NG. What has resulted from this exploration has been revelatory and transformational. My current system is advanced and constitutes the following components:
· Aurender W20SE
· dCs Vivaldi DAC
· dCs Vivaldi Clock
· Benchmark LA4 preamplifier
· Pass Labs XA160.8 monoblock amplifiers
· Tripoint Audio Troy Elite NG with Signature Silver SE grounding cables
· Acoustic Zen Crescendo II speakers
· REL SE212 sub-bass system (pair)
· Acoustic Zen Absolute Silver interconnects and speaker cables
· Shunyata Research power systems and power cables
· Shunyata Research Sigma 75 Word Clock cables (clock to Aurender and DAC)
· Audioquest Wild dual AES/EBU digital cables (Aurender to DAC)
· Dedicated Room (14’ x 29.75’ x 10’) with 6 dedicated 20-amp outlets
The Tripoint Troy Elite NG is a stunning looking compact rectangular box (14.25’ W x 10” D x 5.75” H) supported by three massive 3” solid brass spikes. Don’t let the compact size of the box fool you, it weighs a substantial 160 lbs! This exceeds the 125 lb weight of each Pass Labs XA160.8 amplifier (the Troy Elite NG’s volume is only 18% of that of each amplifier). Once positioned, I doubt it will be moved often, if at all.
The Troy Elite NG has 4 ground core modules, each with over-sized copper binding posts on the back of the component designed to achieve the highest level of EMI/RFI filtration of all Tripoint Audio’s series of grounding components. My initial lengthy experience with the Troy Elite and later with the Troy Elite NG confirmed there is a distinct improvement in EMI/RFI filtration with the later. A massive and very heavy wall cable is plugged into an outlet and attached to one of the binding posts. This is a passive grounding system, so this cable is used to only establish a ground from an outlet to the Troy Elite NG. Signature Silver grounding cables are being used in my system. These go from the other remaining binding posts in the back of the Troy Elite NG to unused input or output ports, chassis screws, or ground screws on the source components.
In my system, the wall cable is plugged into the same outlet shared with my front-end components and is attached to one of the 4 module binding posts. Signature Silver cables from the Aurender, Clock, and DAC (connected to unused BNC ports) share another module binding post on the Troy Elite NG. Cables from the preamplifier (connected to an unused RCA port) and from each amplifier (spade connector the dedicated amplifier ground connection) share another module binding post. The 4th module binding post shares cables from unused RCA ports from each subwoofer.
As I mentioned previously, I considered I had a very revealing audio system with a very low noise floor. Was I ever wrong! The first thing, the Tripoint components do not add anything to editorialize the sound. What they offer is what I will call life and air. They open up the soundstage providing life-like imaging, crafting music to become vivid and alive. It is like transporting the audio system into the original recording venue. Dynamics are enhanced and less constrained. Dynamics are more detailed. Timing and rhythm of music is enriched. Ambient cues are uncannily liberated to open up an expansive and immersive soundstage. Vocals take on improved pitch definition and inflection. Low level definition is enhanced and outstanding. Fundamentally, fine grain or haze inherent in audio systems is lifted providing crystalline clarity to music.
Flying Carpet by Quadro Neuvo & Cairo Steps (Flying Carpet 44.1/16) is a densely orchestrated song with many unique instruments. With the Troy components inserted into my audio system, all of the instruments seemed to float on a cushion of air with each seemingly to have endless decay of notes. There is freedom from previously unrealized minor congestion now with no blurring of instruments whether played loud or soft. All instruments simply now arise from their own sense of space with rich overtones. Mr. Somewhere by This Mortal Coil (Blood 96/24) demonstrated absolute purity to vocals. Low background drum beats become clearly delineated with a cushion of air around each beat. The cello exhibits beautiful resonances and timbre not appreciated previously. New York by St. Vincent (Mass Education Tidal HiFi) is a simple piece with piano and vocal. There is now absolute purity to the voice which seemingly floats in space. All is rendered with absolute beauty against a stark black background with no grain. Finally, Sunset by The xx (Coexist 44.1/16) has clear delineation of vocals. There is vast depth and width with a black background to the soundstage. Low frequencies have enhanced definition and depth.
I just shared a few of my listening notes regarding a wide spectrum of songs I auditioned for this review. Many of my notes mention that whole songs now take on a subtile beauty with an organic quality. Subtile details previously audible, but somewhat buried, now have clarity. The difference between the Troy Elite and the Troy Elite NG are not subtle. The Troy Elite is a tremendous component offering a clear view into music. The Troy Elite NG simply offers a clearer view (as it should for the price difference).
The Tripoint EMI/RFI passive filtration grounding components are not inexpensive. What they do so well is to transform an already excellent audio system to a level of performance that could never be achieved by simply upgrading to increasingly more expensive source components or speakers. These Tripoint components are in a league of their own and will pull the finest performance out of a music system. One listen, you will never go back. Now when I hear audio systems, the music invariably loses that special magic that the Tripoint components bring to the game. The Troy Elite NG is a limited-edition piece. Although no one would be disappointed with the Troy Elite (as I was not), the Troy Elite NG elevates that magic to another level. The Troy elite NG is to stay in my system. Exceptionally and exceedingly recommended!