T+A PDT/SDV 3100 HV SACD Transport/DAC Page 2

There's an isolating sub-chassis that houses the entire drive and optical assembly, which has separate 'pick-ups' for SACD and CD, and a magnetic puck of cool loveliness that holds the CD or SACD on its spindle. There's also a wonderful piece of belt and braces engineering revealed if you fail to use the puck or otherwise misload the disc: on the rear panel there's a 'manual tray opener', so you can wind the disc-loader open. In case of emergency…

1219ta.remOtherwise the connection provision here is pretty standard: optical, coaxial (on BNC and RCA) and AES/EBU digital outputs, all of which you can ignore if using the PDT 3100 HV with its partnering DAC, in favour of the IPA Link between the two. There's also a network port here, but this is for control only, and the transport also duplicates the DAC's H-Link remote control connections, allowing single-handset operation of these two, and indeed any other of T+A's HV-range models you may have in your system.

sqnote Fuzzy Logic
This is a pretty uncompromising digital system, rather in the manner of the dCS Rossini duo [HFN Sep '19], but for all its advanced engineering – and price! – it proves simple to use, with one little foible. This is the fact that the dedicated input for the transport isn't accessed via the DAC's usual input menu, but is selected via a button marked 'disc' on the remote control. Logical when you discover it but, given the multifunction nature of the remote, not the first one I would have considered to select a DAC input.

Sweet Dreams
That done – and a few other operational 'learning processes' mastered – it rapidly became clear that what's on offer from this imposing two-box player is a sound of great substance, warmth and maturity. OK, at times it may not offer the very last word in sheer bite and impact, but there's nothing remotely mechanical or – to make a sweeping generalisation – 'digital' about the sound here. Instead, the big, rich presentation that's so typical of the brand is very much to the forefront.

Indeed, as I said of the company's MP 3100 HV digital media player [HFN Sep '17] and PA 3100 HV integrated amp [HFN May '17], the pay-off is a rewardingly full and involving sound that's never short on sweetness. More raw material, such as Atlanta Rhythm Section's live Are You Ready! set [BGO BGOCD1052], can sound a tad too polite, yet this doesn't this rob the music of its enjoyment. Rather, the PDT/SDV 3100 HV paints remarkably vivid pictures of a performance in a way that ensures the music never fails to grab the attention. Moreover it does so with sufficient smoothness to ensure things don't ever become brash or aggressive.


Unsurprisingly, there's not a massive range of material available to push the limits of the T+A SDV 3100 HV, but with violinist Ning Feng's Virtuosismo album [Channel Classics CCS 40719] stepping up through the DSD resolutions available, from 64 all the way to 512, the opening up of acoustic space in the recording was clear to hear. Indeed, the gains were far from subtle, the process also affording increasing insights into the minutiae of the soloist's playing, not to mention the glorious tone of his 1721 Stradivari violin.

Tight And Clean
Coming back down to earth with some more traditional material and Christopher Jacobson's recently released recording of the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony [Pentatone PTC 5186638], the fabulous richness of the T+A duo was deployed to striking effect. The orchestra was tightly focused and fabulously detailed, and when the solo instrument erupted into action – most noticeably at the opening of the final movement – it did so with an almighty roar of power. The effect was nothing short of thrilling, and thanks to the sense of presence – the recorded space delivered in generous measure – few would argue against the drama with which the music was presented.

Whether playing CD, SACD or file-based formats, the T+A PDT/SDV 3100 HV also gives a detailed and intricate view of the likes of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon [EMI 582 1362]. And it's no slouch when it comes to pumping out the low stuff, the set being delivered with no shortage of weight and power. Roger Waters' bass sounded gutsy, tight and clean while Nick Mason's drums possessed real get up and go.

Like all T+A HV products we've tested in recent years, there's as much to admire about its sound as there is in the slick implementation of its technology. Enjoy!

Hi-Fi News Verdict
Towering in every sense, this T+A digital pairing is both a massive engineering achievement and a fabulously refined way to bring together the two worlds of physical media and file-based/streaming music. It's as future-proofed as you might hope for, and while not exactly red in tooth and claw, it transcends mere sonic fireworks by reproducing the most bombastic musical events with unmistakable style.

T+A elektroakustik GmbH & Co.
KG, Germany
Supplied by: Kog Audio, UK
01353 721089