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Product of the Year 2017

Hey guys,

It is time for the usual vote of the best products carried by AE in 2017.  Best is a subjective term.  The general definition here is those products that shocked you the most.  I will tell you my choices after all of you finished voting.  


  • It is always a difficult call.  Because every single item is damn good. 
    And I have no chance to audition every single item. 
    I only know those whom I owned.  My vote is always biased.  I haven't listened to Thales Statement arm, no chance because they were all sold. 

    My votes only represent those I had at least a chance to listen to.  Given such context, my votes are:

    1. Trinity golden reference preamp - because this is the end game in pre-amplification, no solid state traces, no tube traces, a complete window into the recording.  The performance of it at Theatre 2 with 300 plus people already proven what it can do.

    2. Troy ELITE - no brainer.  Redefines the silence of silence of silence. 

    3. Robert Koda Takumi MC ONE phono - very direct sound probably due to the original RIAA curve reconstructed by Robert  

    Let's see how mine compares to you guys.
  • As good as the Wadax Atlantis DAC is, it is the Trinity Golden Reference Preamplifier which conveys the reality of a performance like never before.

    So for the product of the year it has to be THE TRINITY GOLDEN REFERENCE PREAMPLIFIER.

  • Thank you for VR pointing out my vote is biased with respect to the stuff I owned and I had at least listened before.  I could not vote those I don't have and I have never listened before.

    First comes to my mind is:

    1.Trinity Golden Reference system as evidenced by the breathtaking experiences at Theatre 2.  Later on, in particular, the preamp, which I had listened in another full trinity system comprised of the current media PC, DAC and power amp.  Just the preamp is golden reference.  It has the transparency of WE300B type of airy treble but in fact it is not because precision is definitively higher.  Can't tell any traces of solid state achieved NOT by thickening of mid range of smoothening of the highs.  Transient responses are unheard of in my audio journey.  This is the end game in preamplification unless one is looking for particular type of signature sound.  No brainer.

    2. Troy ELITE, no need to say anything more. 

    3. The JMF full system (I don't own it.  I only listened to it a few time at Master Chik's place.  A system for music, if that is one'g goal, end game so to speak.  Not about Hi Fi sensation usually for many including me.  But I have to say it is very high level of execution.
  • For me, the choice is also quite easy.

    1. Trinity Golden Reference preamp/phono - for the same reason you guys mentioned.  Theatre 2 experiences at HK Convention Centre in August proved everything.  110db sensitivity horn speakers without noise at all, the beautiful voices never experienced before at this hall by record producers and artists themselves say it all.

    2. The Wadax Atlatnis transport/DAC system - no brainer for for me who dose not like to deal with computer or anything resemble computer.  And I have tremendous collection of SACD, and it sounds out of this world from this system.

    3. Troy Elite for obvious reason.  Lincoln is using two at home since Jul.  And many heard the ABAB demo in AE show last year.

    4. Trinity AC Conditioner is also in my list - end game in AC conditioning. I am waiting mine for delivery next year.  AE is cooperating with a record company to do a vinyl with Trinity AC conditioner cleaning up all the AC noises.

  • My vote principle more from breakthrough in technology and the shock factor with equal weighting.  Shock means beyond my expectation.  My expectation is formed by my own experiences of the brand and my conversation of the designer.

    1.   Thales Statement by Micha Huber.  This is a real breakthrough in analog science.  The jump of simplicity 2 to the Statement is no brainer.

    2. Trinity Golden reference preamp. I need not to explain as a few hundred people back there in Aug knew what it is capable of.

    3. Robert's Takumi MC One phono stage - I admire his new venture into the reconstruction of the RIAA curve using his patent pending methodology.  The result is very direct sound, unique equalisation musical experience.

    Miguel, I would have vote for Troy Elite but the long delivery of the Elite is putting me off.  
  • My vote goes to Thales Statement as it is a breakthrough in my analog system. The change it makes outweighs all other components in my system. The smoothness and accuracy of music rendering immediately jumps to a level I never heard of before in any other systems. The high density and neutralness in music cannot be achieved without this arm. Without this element, no matter how high other aspects a system can achieve, I think it is still missing somthing. This uniqueness puts it at the top of my list immediately. 
  • My vote
    1) Trinity Golden Reference - what I heard at the AE show left me speechless. 
    2) Wadax Atlantis - The Digital playback is without compare!
  • 1. Thales Statement arm for its technical mastery upbringing analog experience to uncharted area.

    2. Robert Koda Takumi MC ONE phono - original work on RIAA curve brings me a very "DIRECT ANALOG" sound that is unique.

    3. Trinity Golden Reference Pre/Phono for obvious reasons given the flamboyant performance at theatre 2 at HK Convention Center with a few hundred people.
  • My vote will be
    1. Thales Statement arm,
    It is a very unique existence of it owns. we can compare so many arm with each others on sound and performance, but Thales Statement provide something that is not exist before in the market. Hard to explain, need to go and experience yourself.

    2. Robert Koda Takumi MC one phono,
    Among all the phono i listened before, this is one of the best.
  • Things on my radar will be:

    1.  Thales Statement Arm
    The mechanics, complications and precision which effortlessly depicts the music is second to none.

    2.  Troy Elite
    Needs no introduction.  Want one but not the waiting list yet..

    Merry Christmas gentlemen..  And have a great new year ahead.


  • My vote goes to Troy Elite!
  • My vote will be,
    1.Troy Elite. Upgraded from Original Troy to Elite. Can't live without the Troy Elite in my system. Took the Elite off my system for 5 minutes and the sound collapse.

    2. Wadax Atlantis best Transport and DAC.

  • 我的選擇是:

    一. Thales Statement arm
    二. Troy Elite
    三. Trinity Golden Preamp 

  • I would vote for the Atlantis Transport.  There should be very little value to transports. If you want convenience and high quality playback, you go for the server. If you want the ultimate playback, you go for vinyl (or master tapes). But the Wadax Transport is so good that I found myself playing disc after disc. Very ironic, but a game changer for CDs after more than 3 decades!
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