Test Report: T + A DVD Receiver

The world’s most demanding mountain bears no name, but a shortcut. Also T + A special wants to dare with the K2: beauty, strength and audiophile values in one maximum compressed body.

Mount Everest is a redneck – compared with the K2. The omniscient Web encyclopedia Wikipedia tells us: the K2 in the Himalayas is the second highest mountain in the world at 8611 metres – “he is among mountaineers as far more challenging than Mount Everest, not even as the most difficult of all 14 eight-thousanders”. We may be sure: T + A-boss Siegfried Amft was aware of the mythical reputation of K2. If he is so baptizing his freshman with the same abbreviation, it is nothing less than an extreme ascent at the risk of death.

What is the real K2 so dangerous? Not everyone who had climbed the Summit, found in the Valley also alive again. The all-in one boy from Eastern Westphalia is just as dangerous: who experienced it, could for all time the concept of the audiophile components renounce. So downright crash. In a world where no mountains are piled on the top. Why the living room with a DVD player, a CD player, with five stages, a tuner and a multi channel preamplifier blighting? Why do multi-channel and stereo in separate cages? Not least: in the stage of development of K2 M the new T + A brings a potent, integrated network player with – modest 500 euro supplement at a basic price of 3000 euros.

AUDIO was world’s first touch just this K2 M and hear. Exclusive has us T + A the new all under a hood artist to test downside. An honor, a pleasure – but also a clever provocation. Maybe we not more emotionally without prejudice to come down off that mountain into the Valley of the famous high end.

The danger is great. When unpacking, one must falling design, perfect processing of K2. So build engineers with German roots. Purified, no button too much, no button, you do without. “Beauty is the omission of waste”, whispered the great Michelangelo once.

A gigantic diversity precludes this fine sparse on the back. In fact, one must assume that the shape of K2 by just this back wall was given before the technician had to accommodate all connections on the. Particularly dominant are five large speaker terminals. Houses a complete fleet of power amplifiers for 5.1 home theater sound so the K2? Theoretically yes, practically no.

Now it will be conceptually exciting: while, for example, the K6 in the T + A-catalog clearly sold as a home theater strategist, is created the K2 for another world. T + A sees him as a switching and power station for the modern living room. In the five speakers have nothing more to do. The trend is ticking against rear boxes. The K2 dedicates his five amplifiers so. Three channels use a stereo front plus Center. All room effects are virtually his casts. The remaining two power amplifiers use a second listening room on request. Or, even more tempting for the stereo-group: speaker terminals A and B are combined to the bi-Amping.

The very, very deep message of K2: multi channel is on the decline, DSP, digital signal processing, solves many problems, and stereo is the measure of all things. What are but still no answers in the larger Theater: picture or sound? T + A not discussed about this silly either-or, but finds the upscale hybrid. Of course a State-of-the-art graphic converter with 1080 p upscaling will be installed, of course behind the DVD drive are saturated audio signals by Wolfson chip at 24-bit / 192 kHz. This corresponds to the Premium thoughtsanken of the company and is relatively easy to implement for T + A – you must open “only” the casket of companies and purchase the corresponding chips in the global technology Bazaar. That is far more expensive, but also authentic T + A-in-house development in dealing with the signal and his force treatment. T + A transplanted in the K2 the in-house “power plant” – concept. The switching power amplifiers from the E-series is compressed here. The official promise: “large, performance-hungry speaker” may be connected to itself “the sound of space is no problem”.

This is not twice the AUDIO team. After a brief run with Floorstanding speakers to 4000 euro and a more manageable housing-cubic displacement ratio we access to the-

must cover and slide two KEF reference 207 in the listening space, full height, the real spine and amplifiers-breaker, 20000 euro hard. We heard so many power amps on these speakers just in bass precision wallow – K2 sportiv, almost maddeningly casual takes the challenges. You can hear just not the arbitrariness of a dense upper bass, but real punch in the depth.

That this power of an all-in one housing, works like a charm. The man at first listen doesn’t understand, not as a technician, not as a tester, not as a buyer. Here you would like to indulge in a myth like the massif of the K2. But research and hook up is better: T + A brings the force of five performance drivers, switching amplifiers with double-MOSFET transistors, backed by a powerful power supply (the ultimate pound on the 12 kilo liveweight of K2). Pure power is impressive, but only part of a team. A signal management developed by T + A takes over the second part. So the new owner can adapt also defined the gathered power amplifier power to the position of speaker.

Three base options can be selected: for free-standing speakers, speakers on the wall or in a corner of the room. What can while not completely hide hyper problematic areas, but represents a simple, good means for solution-oriented buyer: I want to transform my living room, nor buy new speakers – the K2 to get the most out of the situation and bring yet audiophile honesty. When it comes to this point, so we say with all our listening experience: better than the new K2 succeed any comparable product on the world market. An honest, powerful, sinniger, potential Super seller.

He awakens also the play instinct with his possibilities. We want to see of course his bi amped power. Knit two more speaker wires through the room, remove the bridges on the speakers and look at the display of K2: the new T + A “look” around, he recognizes per load, that a second is pair of speakers connected, only now he offers in his menu “LS B” as option. Very clever resolved – also in the emotional tightrope walk, in which a buyer is not restricted, but taken yet gentle on the hand.

Clear Tip: The owner should explore the bi-Amping option for his listening room. That supports the destitute manufacturer of loudspeaker cables on one, but especially the K2 in its precision sets out again – not in the bass, but in the fine details of the mid-range/high-frequency. Just Leonard Cohen has documented again impressively, found their way out of the monastery in the world in a live recording from London (DVD Review: 5/09). In the bi-Amping connection, the bass voice of the old master (74 rich years of life) receives much more information, the metal behind the gentle. Who reaches exactly the depth of the mixing, you will also notice that the live atmosphere, the cheers of the fans at pace, gaining spatial precision.

The may deepest surprise: T + A fights against its own image. Sometime in the early 1990s the misconception must have been, that the sound of the physics-driven company radiate a certain barrenness, an elegant coolness. Even so, a myth, with questionable basis. Actually outing of K2 as “warm”, almost strange harmonic sound producer. In case of doubt he domesticated information too harsh; the elegant upper bass, the deep middle are the measure on the K2 builds his sound ideal. Charm before sharpness.