T+A SD/SDV/PDT 3100 HV
T+A, the hi-end specialist audio experts, announced three additions to its flagship HV Series. Two new reference-class D/A Converters - SD 3100 HV DAC/streamer and SDV 3100 HV DAC, streamer and analog volume control - along with a range-topping CD/SACD transport - PDT 3100 HV.
T+A stands for Theory and Application in audio technology. The Herford-based family enterprise has developed many ground-breaking concepts and technologies based on this philosophy and established the company successfully in the market for many years. T+A has been involved in intensive research and development in the field of digital signal processing since the 1990s, with amazing results including the quadruple converter for PCM signal processing and the proprietary T+A True 1-bit converter for DSD signals, which continue to delight music lovers and the specialist press alike all over the world. With its clear focus on perfection in sound, Theory and Application is also the epitome of the company's constant aspiration to challenge and optimize existing concepts. With the support of the Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy - founded on a resolution passed by the German Bundestag (lower house) - the T+A engineers have developed entirely new HV models with an architecture and data rates unique in the world. The SD 3100 HV D/A converter with streamer converts PCM signals at a maximum of 32-bit resolution and 768 kHz, while the True 1-bit converter achieves an incredible DSD 1024 (49.2 MHz). The net result of all this is even greater detail, transparency, and dynamism in the music, giving audiophile enthusiasts and many others the first opportunity to celebrate the maximum possible upsampling, and the reproduction of their music collection at the highest level.
The all-new SD 3100 HV is the most powerful and innovative D/A converter that T+A has developed to date, having painstakingly improved the existing converters, and at the same time developed a completely new UAC3 USB receiver capable of transferring very high sample rates up to PCM32 768 and native DSD1024. The phenomenal qualities of this converter can be exploited by all external sources as well as the device's high-quality integral digital sources - the T+A High-Res streaming client with direct access to selected music services, the FM, FM-HD and DAB+ tuner with its excellent sound, and the high-quality AptX Bluetooth streaming module. Roon Ready certification is in preparation. For the reproduction of SACD or CD, users can connect the PDT 3100 HV CD/SACD Transport - a separate reference disc mechanism of the very highest quality (see below). This is connected to the SD 3100 HV via a newly developed data bus - IPA Link - which offers an ultra-high resolution. A high-performance analog headphone amplifier rounds off the extensive feature list. For those wanting more control, T+A has also introduced the SDV 3100 HV, which features relay-controlled volume control and one analog input, making it the ideal pre-amplifier in a complete High-End system. As one would expect, it is the perfect match when combined with the output stages of the T+A HV series. In keeping with the T+A philosophy, both models are fitted with two separate mains sections for the analog and digital sections, each of which features its own power supply.
A purist CD/SACD disc transport, the PDT 3100 HV was developed with the sole purpose of sampling SACD and CD discs and is equipped with a completely new decoder/drive mechanism which reads and decodes discs without error and to the highest standard of quality. The top-loader mechanism allows discs to be inserted with no risk of damage; they are retained by an anti-resonance puck. The data (PCM) acquired from the CD are passed to the optical, co-axial and BNC S/P-DIF outputs, and also the professional AES-EBU socket which allows the connection of converters or recorders. However, the PDT 3100 HV also features a further output of significantly higher quality which is unique to T+A; this output enables the device to interact with the new T+A reference DACs - the SDV 3100 HV and SD 3100 HV. The two DACS are identical with the exception of the pre-amplifier section and provide a means of converting PCM at up to 32-bit resolution and 768 kHz, and an incredible DSD 1024 (49.2 MHz). The high-res IPA Link is capable of high-speed data transfer up into the Gigahertz range. It is a proprietary connection that passes PCM and DSD data with bit-precision, together with an extremely accurate clock. Data is not transferred in the form of packets; instead, the system passes a constant bitstream of unmodified raw data. This permits the reproduction of DSD signals from an SACD at ultra-high resolution.
The selection and processing of materials is another area in which T+A allows no compromises. The casework of all HV models consists exclusively of solid aluminum components, some of which are machined from a solid billet; this ensures perfect electromagnetic shielding. No ferromagnetic components of any kind are included, in order to eliminate magnetically-induced distortion, which has a marked adverse effect on sound quality. The mechanism of the PDT 3100 HV is housed in a heavy sub-chassis machined from solid metal, which provides complete shielding and isolation. The mechanical construction is sophisticated in the extreme - all case components are made of solid aluminum and are produced to the closest tolerances using precision machines. All new HV models are supplied in robust flight cases and will be available from selected T+A dealers. The SD 3100 HV will be priced €23,400, the SDV 3100 HV - €24,900, PDT 3100 HV - €14,900. Info and photos by T+A.