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Thread: Tron Convergence, with Firebottle modifications.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,781
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Tron Convergence, with Firebottle modifications.

    Seeing as I currently have no FB-OTP (while some mods are carried out),Alan has loaned me his Tron Convergence.

    Here are my thoughts from an extensive day of listening.

    Tron review,

    Build & Looks

    The case has plastic sides, front & back and Aluminium top and base. At this price point i would like to see a solid metal construction throughout. It's also HUGE which is........irrelevant if you have room for it!

    The front is very nicely badged and the power switch has illumination which gives it a nice look and feel. Standard rubber feet are screwed in to the case.

    Overall, apart from the plastic, I like the construction. Its weighty and sold looks imposing and eye catching on my shelf. Nice!

    Sound

    The first thing that springs to mind as i drop the needle on Noels Gallagher's High Flying Birds is how dark it sounds. The bottom end feels a bit overpowering. I adjust my speakers to Increase mids and treble via the controls on the rear panel and it sounds instantly better. So, half way into "If i had a gun" and i'm loving the channel separation and clarity. This is a very clean sounding phono stage. Treble i feel is a little rolled off and its starting to distract me. I put Eric Clapton's Unplugged album on and play "Running On Faith" This is a great track to check for detail. In the song a metal bottleneck is used and in the right system the "zing" it creates as it slides is apparent and yes, we have it and it sounds very metallic which is excellent. Guitar sounds very good with attack and decay mimicking the natural sound of a note but i still think the tone is off a little, a bit too heavy. The noise floor is extremely low and i've got as near to silence as i've heard in between tracks.

    Next, Stevie Ray Vaughn Tin Pan Alley. This track has lots of atmosphere and i'm getting it in spades through the Tron. Bass line is sweet and full. It feels "fat" too which is excellent. The Toms are very nicely replicated too. The soundstage is excellent and it really gives a sense of depth and is very 3D. Holographic isn't a word i've understood in terms of audio equipment, until now. Its actually becoming better as i listen to it, either its warming up or i am becoming more tuned in to its presentation.

    Next, Yello The Race. WOW! Those drums sound insanely good and the racing car that flies by from left to right is incredibly realistic. The depth of the singers vocals really shines through and there's a wonderful "rhaspy" quality. Again, its very clean and dynamic, subtle and engaging. Cymbals also sound very accurate, the contact of the drumstick on the metal is audible which is again a very good sign.

    Next, The Beatles Martha My Dear. Ah! The brass section has arrived and boy has it! Beautifully recreated and presented by the Tron. I am surprised at the realism of the brass. Vocals are very credible too. Quickly were on to "I'm so tired" and there's a lovely crunch to the guitars sound. Its almost grungy but that's how it was supposed to sound. "Blackbird" starts and again i'm feeling it's a little flat or dark sounding. The shimmer of the acoustic is missing slightly and McCartneys Gibson sounds a bit like an Epiphone, Good but not the real thing. Strings, Brass and Drums have sounded magnificent so far.

    So, overall i am impressed by what i am hearing. I should point out that this version has been slightly modified by Alan @ Firebottle.

    When i heard this Tron at Alans (pre-mod) I was underwhelmed by its performance. It sounded flat, dull and a bit lifeless. Sure, it had great clarity, soundstage, imaging and depth but it just didn't sparkle. As the listening session wore on, the Tron improved greatly but it never fully got away from sounding compressed. Post modification, it's not a different animal but it has opened up the sound somewhat. There's a bit of freedom on the notes, decay is better, attack is better and it doesn't feel as restricted as it did. Previously i felt a bit like i would if i'd bought a Ferrari that has been limited to 50mph. It's frustrating because you KNOW it can do more.

    Build wise, its solid. A well designed unit that feels substantial but not quite premier. That's down to the plastic. One bit i love is the power button. Its beautiful and feels like quality. A bit of research pointed me to Maplin for a similar, if not the same switch for 9! I'm going to get a couple for future projects. The badge is well done too. The markings on the rear are disappearing though but i suspect that's down to it being 3rd hand.

    Sound wise. It's solid again, but not quite premier. I also think it colours the sound. I personally prefer a transparent sound. I want to hear the record as it was made. The Tron has a voice of its own and some will love that. Tron's suggested sales figures would certainly suggest so, but i'm a purist. I want the guitar to ring and i want to hear the fret buzz. I want violins to sound harsh on the high notes. When my Daughter plays her Violin, it has a definite edge to the notes which i haven't heard here. I like the Tron, but not enough for the price. The receipt in the box says 1045.

    It's a good phono stage in its stock form and if you're in the market its worth an audition. I prefer the modded version but be aware, any mods will nullify your 2 year warranty.

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of any other person.

    **UPDATE**

    The Tron is going back to Alan @Firebottle tomorrow and I feel compelled to say a few final words

    The Tron is a better unit than I original assessed. Over the few days ive had it here, its gotten a lot better which leads me to believe it needs some hours on it to burn in/run in/open up etc.

    The amount of joy I felt today when the string section suddenly came alive on a Simon & Garfunkel gave me goosebumps. It was phenomenal. The midrange has a sweet point it never reached before and the bass was precise. The best part is the TONE improved. Where I felt it was quite dark previously, it now sounded better balanced in the neutral part of the scale. Although not entirely in with both feet. More like it had it's toes in the water.

    Overall, I think I'll miss this phono stage a little bit. If money was no object, id have one in a flash.

    Last edited by Bigman80; 11-05-2017 at 23:13. Reason: Update
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Decca Gold > Jolida JD9 MKII (Telefunken Valves) & Wizard MM Valve Phonostage (Telsa Valves)> Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Wakefield west yorkshire

    Posts: 1,032
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    Seeing as I currently have no FB-OTP (while some mods are carried out),Alan kindly has loaned me his Tron Convergence.

    Over the next few days or so, ill give it a good thrashing and write my findings down. So hopefully we will end up with a review somewhere on here.



    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Forgive my ignorance,what is it?
    cambridge audio azur 651w power amp, novafidelity x40 music server/pre/dac, wharfedale diamond 10.1[suprisingly good]
    , van damme blue series interconnects, van damme studio blue 4mm speaker cable, klotz mc 5000 ,klotz silver hybrid, thanks Brian, fisual hollywood optical cable,, pioneer bdp170, akg k 550

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,781
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieoftheday View Post
    Forgive my ignorance,what is it?
    Haha, is a phono stage. I should've said really 🤔

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Decca Gold > Jolida JD9 MKII (Telefunken Valves) & Wizard MM Valve Phonostage (Telsa Valves)> Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,943
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    And where should discussions about phono stages have been posted? Clue: not here!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,781
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    And where should discussions about phono stages have been posted? Clue: not here!

    Marco.
    Oops, sorry Marco. Where should it be?

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Decca Gold > Jolida JD9 MKII (Telefunken Valves) & Wizard MM Valve Phonostage (Telsa Valves)> Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,943
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    I'll leave you to have a think about that.... Read the titles of all the rooms, and if you get it right, you'll get a packet of Smarties!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Wakefield west yorkshire

    Posts: 1,032
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I'll leave you to have a think about that.... Read the titles of all the rooms and if you get it right, you'll get a packet of Smarties!

    Marco.
    Ooh ooh analogue art
    cambridge audio azur 651w power amp, novafidelity x40 music server/pre/dac, wharfedale diamond 10.1[suprisingly good]
    , van damme blue series interconnects, van damme studio blue 4mm speaker cable, klotz mc 5000 ,klotz silver hybrid, thanks Brian, fisual hollywood optical cable,, pioneer bdp170, akg k 550

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: souf east for work

    Posts: 633
    I'm paul.

    Default

    There's always one who can't wait to get in and I was going to give him a prize if he got it right.......a pair of used socks.
    Last edited by paulf-2007; 10-05-2017 at 18:23.
    Sony STR 6055 Denon DP80 Stax UA-70 Shure Ultra 500 Zu omen

    Office system, DIY CSS fullrange speakers with aurum cantus G2 ribbons Najda dsp as dac Akai AM-U02 Jvc QL-A51 direct drive turntable
    SAE1000LT leema sub

    Garage system another Sony receiver, cassette deck and full range drivers in free air


    System components are subject to change without warning and at the discretion of the owner.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Wakefield west yorkshire

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    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulf-2007 View Post
    There's always Obie who can't wait to get in and I was going to give him a prize if he got it right.......a pair of used socks.
    I want the smarties
    cambridge audio azur 651w power amp, novafidelity x40 music server/pre/dac, wharfedale diamond 10.1[suprisingly good]
    , van damme blue series interconnects, van damme studio blue 4mm speaker cable, klotz mc 5000 ,klotz silver hybrid, thanks Brian, fisual hollywood optical cable,, pioneer bdp170, akg k 550

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieoftheday View Post
    I want the smarties
    Nah. You get the used chewing gum mate!
    Mr. Tact!

    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are ruled out. All that remain are lies and foolishness"


    Gear: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/one scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/two hefty Japanese DD TT's/hefty Japanese BD TT/smaller Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. One CD transport/3 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. One MD deck. One tuner. Two TVC pre-amps/two valve pre-amps/solid state pre-amp/passive pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

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