The representative for the Triphazer products of Tritium Electronics was as enthusiastic as I’ve ever heard anyone in the audio field. I’ve been communicating with manufacturer reps for a long time and I can’t remember anyone more gung-ho about their products. As the conversation “progressed” I eventually found out less and less about the product and became more confused than enlightened. I never discovered how the product works or functions. You may find out by contacting them directly and the product is sold with a 90-day money back guarantee. Neither was I able to discern exactly what the Triphazers do, but the literature describes them as passive analog processors.
At first I was under the impression that the units would be inserted at the outputs of my signal sources, both phono and CD. In the end, I realized that the units being shipped to me were designed to be used at the inputs of my speakers. That way, “all the errors and flaws preceding the speaker would be repaired and non-linearities in the waveforms transformed into their original shapes”. That’s a mighty tall order for any audio product and particularly one so small (about 4-1/4” L, 2-1/2” W and 2-1/4” H) plus a dual banana plug input/output connection at each end. The units did not have a power supply and I considered that surprising. I was supplied very short lengths of wire with dual banana plugs to connect my speakers with the Triphazer units. Unexpectedly, there were no directional markings on the units. A phone call verified that the units are not directional. It was not possible to open the sealed cases of the units without destroying them. I was seriously tempted to do so and discover what combination of capacitors, resistors, inductors , etceteras were residing within, but resisted the urge and made no attempt.
This paragraph is directly quoted from Triphazer literature. “All components and cables have inherent flaws and nonlinearites. Amplifiers, preamps in the record and playback chain all contribute to very small distortions that are sometimes called SKEW distortion. Because all designs have limits to them Triphazers have been designed to repair these nonlinearities, we are transforming the waveform back into the original shape or condition that it was in when it left the studio mic or concert hall microphones. YOU NOW GET 100% Studio sound from any Recording! We recommend 50 to 200 hours for preliminary break-in. But we have other technology’s that can speed up the break-in time.”
Yes, I know there are errors, but I’m repeating the literature exactly. I wish they had let me know how to speed up the break-in time! I was told that there would be three phases to the break-in period. Phase 1 – I would hear a slight improvement during the first 5 to 10 hours. Phase 2 – the following 20 to 40 hours would actually cause deterioration in sound quality (compared to my original non-Triphazered reproduction). Phase 3 - starting by 50 hours total usage, would be a gradual and continuing, ad infinitum improvement. Furthermore, it was emphasized that I must play the system loudly all during the break-in time. This was a problem in my home because of a basically open floor plan for the main rooms of my home.
Most of the time I deliberately was not positioned in my usual favorite chair listening carefully. At two to three hour intervals I sat down and listened attentively for just a very few minutes. It was my way of trying to make certain the resulting sound did become “my norm or standard” while the Triphazers were breaking-in. I used a moderately priced DVD/CD player, whose sound I’m very familiar with, as the main listening source; very little vinyl got involved in evaluations. The convenience of CD’s definitely made the job a bit easier, particularly the repeat button. Eventually the very extended break-in period had to come to a halt. The procedure had become disruptive to my home’s semi-orderly routine. Unlike editor Steve, I do not have a basement room in which I can turn an audio system "loose" and not annoy myself. Also, a pair of very interesting components had arrived that were going to demand my serious attention.
So you ask, what happened with my engagement with the Triphazers? Certainly one claim they make is accurate, “sit anywhere you like”. However, that does not translate as a “larger sweet spot” with my system and in my usual listening room. There is one situation where I believe the Triphazers have a chance to help a sound system. Take a very moderately priced home-theater system with thin or bright sounding electronics and speakers with poor dispersion of mid and high frequencies (beaming). Add the Triphazers and I think that system’s problems would be noticeably ameliorated.
It’s no fun and personally truly disheartening to write a product review with negative implications. It’s doubly so when the company’s rep seems so gung-ho about his product. It would be so much better if the product could just speak for itself. I explained my system to them and they said fine, the Triphazers should work excellently, as always. My BEL Mark III monoblocks, feeding my sublimely potent Genesis V speakers with their integral eight subwoofers, were used as usual. Each Triphazer affected the sound in the same way. That tends to rule out a random flaw. Maybe the company will report finding a design error in my pair or that several hours additional time would have rejuvenated them. When I had put around a hundred hours of break-in time into the Triphazers, Dr. Jim Murata, an audiophile friend stopped by my home. He’s very familiar with the sound of my system and he took my listening seat.
“What have you done to your system?” he inquired with a negative inflection. Within a minute I got up and removed the Triphazers from the speakers’ inputs. I instantly heard the improvement, even with my back turned to the speakers while returning to my seat. At the same time Jim exclaimed, “ah, the music is back!” What more can I say? Well, a few things at least. Repeating the company’s prediction briefly as:
Phase 1 – slight improvement in sound quality,
Phase 2 – deterioration
Phase 3 – a gradual improvement over a long period of time.
Let’s put it this way; my samples skipped phase 1 and never left phase 2. I have trouble giving numbers to various aspects of audio quality as per our rating system. Unfortunately, this time all categories were negatively impacted to varying extents. However, one category was numerically easy to rate. I must give the Triphazers imaging a zero. Translated, that means nonexistent. Enough said, finis.