Friday, May 25, 2007

Round 5: Major Build Part 2: Tru Technology Billet Series B2110 Amplifier

I was ready to drive home after my latest round of ICE upgrades when my bro Eric Lim turned up at Golden to let me audition his Tru Technology Billet amps. After a short audition I was left relatively speechless. Per my short ICE experience these amps come closest to equalling the sound quality of a decent home amp setup. The speed, control and dynamic range is simply breathtaking. Unbelievably the treble was clear and precise while being grain and harshness free. The soundstaging was also improved. All this from an amp! Funny one guy actually wrote a thesis that all amps sounds the same...

The Tru Technology Billet series amplifiers are the latest midrange amps in Tru's range. The highest being the mega expensive Copper range while the lowest range is the Steel series. The Billet series amp is also upgradable with removable "Plug n Play" preamp cards. There is also a preamp bypass feature. My recommendation is to immediately go for the preamp bypass switch and have the preamp turned off. The sound quality really went up a notch especially in terms of clarity and separation. Make sure your HU's pre-out is at least 5V though. I've heard of good review on the preamps upgrades (especially the Burr Brown pre-amp upgrade) but have not audition so cannot comment if these are better than with the preamp turned off. The upgrades are not cheap mind you! The upgrade cost bout 1K. There is a long list of features for the Billet series amps in Tru's web page. Needless to say these amps are designed to keep you happy for a long long time unless you're crazy or poisoned enough aspire towards megabuck 5 figure dollar amps.

I decided to go for the Billet B2110 2-channel amp for simplicity sake. Although the quoted power output is 110W RMS at 4ohms impedance, the real measure output is closer to 150W RMS. These amps also feature a 1000W power supply. This means that nothing will faze them unless you're an SPL junkie. You can get these amps from Audio Creations (look for Mike or Victor) in the Klang Valley or Unker Yeoh at my favourite ICE shop - Golden in Penang. Pix of amp below. Someone went and set the ISO setting on my Olympus camera to max hence the noisy lousy picture quality.

Love the look of these amps. The industrial styling and blue led lighting reminds me of Krell amps without the excessiveness. The size is a bit different from the Steg QmosII 105.4X amp I was now junking so the amp rack had to be modified. This means I now couldn't drive home so had to leave my car at Unker's again. Uncle David took about a week plus to fab everything. Pix of revised amp rack and lower board. The 2 big round holes on the centre of the board are for the cooling fans as the Billet amp feature 2 such fans at the bottom of the amp casing. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation as this amp can really run hot especially with the pre-amp turned off. Having said that I have not had any thermal issues despite blasting at relatively loud levels for hours.

Pix of Billet B2110 amp installed. Looks very contemporary with the more Beng looking Steg K Competition amp.

Closeup of the Billet amp installed.

I also decided to replace the thin perspex amp rack "window" panels with much thicker machined items. Pix of the new acryllic panels below. Blardy lovely but also blardy expensive. Heavy too unfortunately. What price aesthetics and IASCA competition winning build quality? Home audio setup behind is my Bro's megabuck Proceed range.
Pix below of the acryllic cover panels installed. The panels are fastened to the amp rack front cover panel via countersunk stainless steel bolts. I love blue lights!
Cover for Rockford Fosgate fused distribution box. I know this is an old school fuse distribution box but I could not find a better looking fuse distribution box.
The whole assembly! Sub looks a bit small! :)

Trunk floorboard looks stock eh?

Lift the centre panel out and walah! Full access to spare tyre, jack and toolkit. Which reminds me I need to pump air into the spare tyre. Unker's build quality is top notch.

6 months down the road and I'm still very happy with this amp as I have not been susceptible to upgrade poisoning (yet). If you buy the Tru Billet amp be prepared for a long long run in time. These amps only really start to sound their best after 3-4 months of running-in. Also be careful with the gain settings. Settings that are too high will result in brightness. Get the settings right and the treble and midrange is silky smooth without losing clarity. Very European sounding amp from a US manufacturer.


Anonymous said...

Whoa...stim stim!

Really hope got chance to sample the whole lot soon.

Andrew Saw said...

Come to Penangla Bro..

Anonymous said...

Let me find enough dough!..
I wanna be there when ur shiny glory new shag pad is ready..kaka..

Andrew Saw said...

Shag pad ready in Sept hopefully :P