Thrax Libra - A Statement Preamplifier and A Game Changer

Cala

Member
May 2, 2018
16
17
8
Paris
anamightysound.com
Dear Gian60,

Ana Mighty Sound is quite close to Thrax and we have had the chance to do a few times world premieres of Thrax products like the Libra 300B preamp in last November 2019 Paris Haute-Fidélité show or the brand new Lyra SE which have an upcoming review in December issue of French hifi magazine Haute-Fidélité.

I have been playing personally (meaning at home in my home system) the Lyra SE vs the previous Lyra. I have also presented the Lyra SE to some of my customers using Lyra speakers. If the Lyra is an excellent speaker, the Lyra SE is one big step further even though Thrax says it is just an upgrade. It is clearly much

Main evolution is not to be found in the cabinet design which is absolutely the same with the same fantastic proprietary horn design.... Speakers are new SEAS magnesium speakers coated with graphene which is a substantial improvement.

Like for the previous Lyra the crossover of the bass unit is 3rd order with a coil under the capacitor to provide extra steep peack at the breakup of the magnesium cone. It is like a notch filter.The tweeter is now working in current mode seeing a very high impedance and the signal passes only through a single V-Cap CuTf.

As with previous version the impedance is quite linear apart from the bass resonance, no tonal shift with tube amps just a bit of extra bass :)
Phase is very well controlled as well so an easy load altogether making it a as universal speaker as possible.

The difference is above all in the crossover where the tweeter sees very high impedance this has been further liveried in the higher frequencies. This prevents interference from woofer back electrometric force... sounds familiar for Thrax equipment as it is the same idea which is partially behind the development of the Libra 300B preamp : preventing woofer back emf by the use of bi-amplification, or the Basus + Lyra (active bass subwoofer controlling the Lyra) speakers.

This new crossover topology also allows very low intermodulation and compression making it sound live and super natural (clear sound).

Soundwise ? If the previous model has a very precise sweet point, with the SE : the sweet point is much much wider and it induces an even better soundstage. Timbre are even more natural and the bass is more homogeneous and seems to be even more extended. If with the Lyra the bass reproduction was more brutal, with SE it is like more coherent waves, more nuanced. This is certainly linked to the additional clarity gained in the 1k to 3kHz range which improves : spatialization, tone but also bass perception and provides a stress free performance very similar (if not identical) to a large horn system.

I had numerous talks with my customers and friends about the Lyra vs the Lyra SE. Some prefer the previous version and says it has some spice, something not really polite, while the Lyra SE produces something more usual for the HiFi landscape that makes it more instantaneously lovable.

The Lyra SE is more than 10 years of work from the original Lyra speakers. It just another level and I could not go back to the previous models. I use Thrax speakers every day not only for demonstration purposes but also for testing our catridges, step-ups and phono stages under the brand Sculpture A, but also our repair or tuning work for cartridges under Ana Mighty Sound. The new Lyra SE just give me even more feedback on our work and it is always an amazement to listen to them.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: dcc

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
2,182
1,287
258
Many thanks for clear explanation.

I love stand 2 way speaker and i was in love from first time i listen from my friend Italian distributor and i think together with TAD CR1 are the 2 best 2 way stand speaker,sound is very natural and transparent with incredible bass for his size
Really a best buy
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cala

RdW

Well-Known Member
Apr 8, 2018
38
8
75
Netherlands
Many thanks for clear explanation.

I love stand 2 way speaker and i was in love from first time i listen from my friend Italian distributor and i think together with TAD CR1 are the 2 best 2 way stand speaker,sound is very natural and transparent with incredible bass for his size
Really a best buy
Copy that. I own TAD CR1 MkII and would not even think to let them go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gian60 and Cala

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,849
694
658
Wow a big congratulations! What a great story! Look forward to reading more about it when the Thrax Libra arrives!
 

dcc

VIP/Donor
Nov 4, 2012
378
267
450
Continental Europe
I received my Thrax Libra preamplifier more than two weeks ago and all I can say is that the impressions I had when I tested it in early October got fully confirmed.

For the first few days, I had both units in the main rack. As the TAD player had to go back in the rack, the power supply has been moved quite away from the rack in an hidden place underneath a small bench I use for storing the music software I bring in the listening room. The power supply sits on a Daiza Platform that I got from Emile and Flyer has supplied me with a 3 meters Signal Projects Hydra power cable. Two 5 meters long humbilical cables are connecting the power supply to the main unit. The Daiza platform does the job and there is a tangible improvement.





I have fine tuned the settings. The input gains have been aligned so the five different sources are about the same level. The output gains have been adjusted so I can passively biamp my system with the Krell Evolution One mono blocks and the Tenor Audio 175S stereo amp. I am having the best of both worlds: the sheer grunt of the Krell for the bass and the voluptuous sound of the hybrid OTL fo the mids and the treble.

François from Ana Mighty Sound generously lent me a series of Elpispndora XLR interconnect cables for testing. Those cables are so convincing that I swapped all my Argento Flow interconnects. They provide a much better balance and synergy. The Argento Flows have moved into the secondary system where they still shine



The sonics have dramatically improved on all accounts. At the time of the testing, I only used my analog rig (turntable and my two reel to reel decks). When I connected the TAD D600 player into the mix, I could not believe that my CD/SACD player was so good. The same happened when I connected the Weiss DAC 501/Aurender music server combo for high rez files playing and streaming.



I provide further update on my system’s thread.
 
Last edited:

Vienna

VIP/Donor
Oct 14, 2018
555
638
195
45
Lat: 37.907962N Long:023.714655E
I am very glad my friend Denis. It looks like that Santa came earlier to you!
Francois wrote me that you have taken all his Elpispandora demo cables !!!
 

dcc

VIP/Donor
Nov 4, 2012
378
267
450
Continental Europe
Indeed. François was gracious for leaving me his demo cables until I receive the set I ordered. He also arranged for getting a XLR version of the Red Miracle II which until now was only available with RCA plugs. I found these cables so good that I ordered a second pair. I also chose a pair of XLR Daphné Light cables for connecting the CD player to the preamp.
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
1,238
242
320
Beautiful System there!--do you find it a plus to cover the radiator with a blanket ;) ?

BruceD
 

Hieukm

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2016
266
80
113
I think you can further the performance by upgrading the umbilical cables. Also i saw the entreq boxes that you have. Have you tried to connect those to the libra?

Whats the improve that the Elpispandora have over the Argento if you dont mind? I also have Thrax and Argento. My guess that i would improve the treble region?
 

dcc

VIP/Donor
Nov 4, 2012
378
267
450
Continental Europe
I think you can further the performance by upgrading the umbilical cables. Also i saw the entreq boxes that you have. Have you tried to connect those to the libra?

Whats the improve that the Elpispandora have over the Argento if you dont mind? I also have Thrax and Argento. My guess that i would improve the treble region?
Because of the setup with the power supply away from the main tack, Thrax got me specially made to order 5 meters long umbilical cables. Getting the additional length came at a price of a very good pair of interconnect cables so I am not planning to change anything on that front for the time being.

There is indeed a dedicated Entreq box for the preamp and it has been connected since the start.

I had Argento Flow cables between:
- The Krell mono blocks and the preamp
- The Phono stage and the preamp
- The CD/SACD player and the preamp

The improvement is a more solid bass which is very obvious with the power amps that are solely dedicated to the bass.

I also found that the mid and the treble are more balanced with more « meat ».

Don’t get me wrong, the Argento are superb cables.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Hieukm

Hieukm

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2016
266
80
113
Because of the setup with the power supply away from the main tack, Thrax got me specially made to order 5 meters long umbilical cables. Getting the additional length came at a price of a very good pair of interconnect cables so I am not planning to change anything on that front for the time being.

There is indeed a dedicated Entreq box for the preamp and it has been connected since the start.

I had Argento Flow cables between:
- The Krell mono blocks and the preamp
- The Phono stage and the preamp
- The CD/SACD player and the preamp

The improvement is a more solid bass which is very obvious with the power amps that are solely dedicated to the bass.

I also found that the mid and the treble are more balanced with more « meat ».

Don’t get me wrong, the Argento are superb cables.
Thank you for your reply. I am also using Argento FMR EE power cables but at source only. This cable dont excel at power amp application. How is your sound stage and tone improve with the thrax libra?
 

dcc

VIP/Donor
Nov 4, 2012
378
267
450
Continental Europe
Thank you for your reply. I am also using Argento FMR EE power cables but at source only. This cable dont excel at power amp application. How is your sound stage and tone improve with the thrax libra?
The the sound stage and the tone have dramatically improved be it with single amplification or with passive bi-amplification. There is a better layering/depth with much more details (stuff that I did not spot before).

Quite interestingly, I am also using Argento Flow power cables. Contrary to you, I found them working better with the Krell mono power amps whereas I had better results with other cables for the sources.
 
Last edited:

Geert1962

Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2014
14
3
210
Interesting indeed. I had an conversation with a local dealer who compared the Dionysos V3 with preamps like Dan' D'agostino Progression and Soulution 325. This Dionysos might outperform the two competitors in terms of transparency and soundstage.

Any feedback views on on the ground loop ?
I've listened to all three preamps (Dan, Soulution and Thrax). For me the best in transparency, soundstage, the level of clarity and authority is the Thrax.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing