atelier 13 audio
TRAFOMATIC HEAD 2
When it comes to hi-end components, Eastern Europe is often good at offering something really exotic : cool turntables, lavishly appointed tube amps. Or very exclusive headphone amplifiers ...
"The Trafomatic Head 2 belongs to this Clan"
TEST & TECHNIK
by ALEXANDER ROSE | 2019
MADE IN SERBIA
The Head 2 is a Class-A Push Pull circuit design . This is the second headphone amplifier in the Trafomatic Audio product range, introduced after the very successful Experience Head One. In the Trafomatic Headphone Amplifier range, it sits in between the $2K Experience Head One and the $15K Primavera flagship model.
With 3dB of feedback and 100% tube amplification, the Head 2's power delivery is 2W into 50 Ohms . Its 6H30p and 6922 tubes have been carefully selected based on their long established reputations for sonic virtue.
Power Supply and Output Stage
The ‘overspecified’ power supply features very robust multi-stage high-voltage filtering for superior low-frequency performance.
A proprietary output stage with high quality C core output transformers accommodates a wide range of headphone impedance from 25-600 Ohms. This allows the Head 2 to drive a very wide range of headphones with ease and with no sacrifice to fidelity. Conveniently, it is also the ideal head amp for "shared listening sessions".
The Preamplifier Stage
The Head 2 is perhaps unique in that it also offers an exceptionally great tube preamplifier stage capable of driving all power amplifiers, even those with a very low input impedance. This stage is definitely not an "afterthought" feature, but stands on its own merits as a very high quality Tube Line Pre.
The Head 2 features uncompromising build quality and technical design throughout. Much time and care have been given to the aesthetic design of this piece. As such, it truly represents a rare "timeless design" built to last a lifetime and to deliver an unmatched sonic experience.
TRAFOMATIC HEAD 2 SPECIFICATION
Class of Operation
PUSH PULL Class A
1x 6N30P and 1x ECC88 per channel
230V/50Hz- 115V/60Hz selectable
Headphone Output Impedance
25 – 50 - 100 – 300 and 600 ohms
Output Impedance - Preamplifier Stage
RCA output – 6 ohms, XLR output– 25 ohms
Headphone Output (Maximum)
2W into 50 ohms
Neutrik 4 pins balanced connector + ¼” connector
XLR + RCA
0.5Veff – Input impedance: 47 Kohm
Headphone and Line Out / 10Hz (-1dB) and 80KHz (-3dB)
400 x 310 x 100 mm
Price $ 3,200. See our 20% Stock Rotation Offer here
Reviewer Consensus that stands the test of Time
Since its introduction in 2008 ... 12 years ago !! ... the Head 2 had been notorious for garnering unwavering accolades for its technical and musical performance, its build quality, and to the all-critical price- to-performance ratio.
In 2021, it remains one of the most sought after and respected Headphone Amplifiers in a fiercely competitive market. If there is one Head Amp that deserves being called a Time-less Classic, the Head 2 is the one.
JUNE 28, 2018
"The Trafomatic Head 2 comes highly recommended. If Mr. Headphoneer were to own only one amp for all his cans, he might very well end up with the Head 2. If he did “rewards”, it would certainly have gotten one"
by DUBSTEP GIRL | November 22, 2015
"Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the Trafomatic Head 2 and was sad to see it go as it is one of the better tube amplifiers that I have heard in a long time. At $3000, the Head 2 can hold its own against many TOTL tube amplifiers and is able to drive just about any headphone out there including the HE-6.
The pre-amplifier has tons of gain and would be a great addition to any system. With true-to-life dynamics, sparkly treble, and all the awesome qualities of the 6922 tube, I simply cannot recommend this amplifier enough"
by JANINE ELLIOT | MARCH 21, 2017
On looks alone this headphone amp should be one that you take for a drive. £2350 might seem a lot of money but if, for example, you are spending around £2600 on a balanced HE1000 then you really do need to have a good amplifier.
Saša used a HE1000 himself when designing the Head 2, and whilst I tried a number of different headphones in this review (including others not mentioned above) this amplifier never left me wanting more power. Nor did I find any type of headphone, whatever load, that wasn’t able to harmonise with this beauty.
The Head 2 was quick, full frequency and with an excellent noise floor, offering a very dynamic performance with excellent 3-dimentional sound.
AT A GLANCE
Build Quality : Excellent looks and materials. Valves screened in their own section of the body. Beautiful finish to the paint work
Sound Quality : Dynamic and wide response. Low distortion and very quiet amplifier. Plenty of power in reserve for those inefficient planar headphones
Value for Money : At £2350 this is a headphone amplifier for those who want the very best, and the fact that it can be a preamplifier as well makes it even better value for money
by ALEXANDER ROSE | DECEMBER, 2018
If the price is not too high for you, you should definitely listen to the Head 2. But be careful: the longer you listen to this headphone amplifier, the greater the chance that you will no longer want to give it up.
The sound is extremely free-flowing, very musical, but also fast and powerful.
Lastly...and this is a real Bonus ! ... the Trafomatic Head 2 can also be used as a fantastic preamp stage and offers both symmetrical and asymmetrical source inputs.
Price / Performance Rating : Outstanding
Enjoy The Music
by MATEJ ISAK | JULY , 2014
It was pleasure to get such a positive impression with the Trafomatic Audio HEAD 2.
This is the product done right, is priced right and performs right. Saša Čokić thinks out of the box and without restrictions. The HEAD 2 clearly transcribes his feelings regarding the music. Passion, emotions and love for music dictates the choices, which clearly sum up in the great result.
It is not hard to recommend the Trafomatic HEAD 2 as both a stand out high performance headphone amplifier and a top flight line preamplifier. I'm now looking forward in discovering more creational creations from this Serbian boutique high-end audio manufacture. If any other big high-end branded company would deliver such a product, you could expect it to cost closer to $10,000 or more. Here is an example of a great vacuum tube preamp and headphone amp that offers high-end performance, yet at real world prices.
At this price, I can't help coming back to the Head 2's Preamp stage.
This is an additional feature that should be advertised as at least "half of the HEAD 2". This truly is a dedicated tube line preamplifier. With 26 dB of the gain and an output impedance of 6 Ohms (RCA) and 25 Ohms (XLR) this preamplifier is ready to drive all power amplifiers. This includes those with a very low input impedance.
The HEAD 2’s preamplifier stage is a contemporary tube preamp. This means, that you can forget easily about the archaic tube-colored sound and expect what a latest valve based high-end preamplifiers can offer : a linear performance, that rivals and stands along with the even most upper echelon solid state preamps.
The unit is fast, open and sublime with a powerful impact. It holds nothing back and can stand up proudly with the other tube preamps with ease. This is pure musical preamplifier without any traces of descriptors such as "slow, reserved or unmusical". It opens up the world of music in a very interesting and highly potent package