There’s a new boss in town
The original Tundra Mono, released in 2013, was developed from our stereo power amplifier Tundra and shared many of its qualities. Tundra Mono has only one channel and is therefore more powerful, but the main difference is that sound quality is even higher. Regardless of whether you play quiet or loud, the music becomes more alive and engaging to listen to.
Three important details make the single channel Tundra Mono better than Tundra:
1. The twin power supplies are of the same type as in Tundra, but in Tundra Mono they only have one channel to drive. This makes them run smoother and all the circuits of the amplifier gets cleaner voltages to work with.
2. The drive stage that controls the output is five times as powerful. This makes Tundra Mono less bothered with how much current the loudspeaker needs. And being less bothered with the amount of work required at each moment means that Tundra Mono delivers the emotions of the music more convincingly.
3. The cooling of important components has been improved. This makes Tundra Mono more stable when the music goes from silent to loud.
Every Tundra Mono is individually fine tuned. This requires measurements and evaluation with music. Only when it performs as well as our reference it will be packed and shipped to the customer.
Tundra Mono 2 was released in February 2015. It was a completely reworked version, with the following improvements:
· The aluminium cooling block was replaced with two pieces of copper, with a total weight of 1.2 kg. This was the most important part of the upgrade, as it cut the variations in temperature (caused by the music you are playing) in half in all critical areas. Less temperature variation means a more stable foundation for the music.
· The output transistors were clamped between the two pieces of copper with a torque-optimised spring loaded mechanism. This keeps the pressure constant regardless of variations in temperature.
· A new Thermal Interface Material (TIM) between electronic components and cooling blocks was used. Thermal resistance through these interfaces became one fourth of what it used to be. When heat moves fast, the music (in particular the bass) sounds Rock Solid.
· Apart from two new components and a new internal ground connection, the rear plate received a unique Status Port and Trim knob. With this, you can compensate for variations in performance due to temperature and ventilation where the amplifier is positioned (e.g. on an open table versus in a closed cupboard). The trimming also counteracts long term drift (over many years). The trimming procedure is very simple and with each pair of Tundra Mono 2 and 3, a calibrated instrument and instructions were supplied.
Tundra Mono 2.2 Tarandus was released in November 2016.
Tundra Mono 3 was introduced in April 2023 at the Axpona HiFi show in Schaumburg, USA. It is a completely redesigned model with improved musicality and a more refined, lifelike and dynamic sound.
Tundra Mono 3 has new output transistors with twice the current rating and new phase-change Thermal Interface Material that couples them to the massive copper heat sink. The printed circuit board is of the highest quality we’ve found and the same type that we use in SINGularity and Källa. Eight new shielded high power precision inductors are used in the regulation and a new ultra high precision capacitor type is used in the feedback loop. The twin power supplies have been improved and the precision torqued chassis ground has new and better sounding parts.
If you think I used the word ‘precision’ many times in the above description, it’s because with Tundra Mono 3 we have pushed the limits of what we consider high precision further than we’ve ever done in an amplifier before. As an example, all the resistors on the main board have been purchased in quantities of many thousands, individually pre-measured and selected into groups with an accuracy of between 0.1 and 0.003%, and finally each resistor and all of their interactive combinations have been evaluated by ear, with music, on the Tundra Mono circuit board, until we found the most musical combination. This procedure alone took more than half a year to complete. Likewise, all the output transistors are individually pre-measured during high current operation on a cooling rig and selected into 40 groups. This makes each pair of Tundra Mono 3 perform at its optimal peak.
Sagatun Mono and Tundra Mono were reviewed by Alan Sircom in the UK magazine HiFi+ in the 2017 July issue. Read his praise of their musicality here.