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On Location: Transparent Audio

Audio Advisors goes on location to: Transparent Audio

My name is Elliot Goldman, a retail advisor and self-proclaimed audiophile. I had the opportunity to go to Maine this week for training at the Transparent Audio facility in Saco.  I want to say that they have an amazing facility. There are over 10000 parts stored there for the production of their cables, wires and power products. It is super clean and extremely well organized; so much so that is almost hard to believe people actually work there. In case you have never been in the Portland area it is really a beautiful and hip small city right on the coastline. There are tons of restaurants, shops, galleries and bars. It is extremely clean and the folks are very friendly. If you like lobster you are certainly in the right place since they catch them every day and serve them that same evening.

I spent one full day at the Saco facility and I got a chance to hear almost every product they produce in their state of the art listening room. The room is built with recording studio technology and truly is a reference tool.  They have a wide selection of highly regarded equipment which they use to test the cables and make sure they are properly tuned for the specific gear that the clients might own.  They have done research to measure the cables and equipment to make sure that each level of cables is tuned as precisely as possible to match and work with the components expected to be used at that price point.

They truly leave no stone unturned in their quest for perfection. The connectors are made for them so they precisely fit each cable width to prevent and vibration or twisting. They even have connectors made precisely for each type of cable since a digital cable for example has to be terminated in a different manner than an audio cable.  One of the most unbelievable examples of their attention to detail is that they have not one reference room but two!  They have a second identical room with the same equipment at the owner’s home so that the two lead designers can work independently and then compare their findings. This is a serious investment and something I have never seen in all my years in the audio business.

It is quite an experience to hear audio set up in a virtually perfect environment. Almost every audio room is a compromise and very few people are willing or able to make the commitment to have a dedicated purpose-built audio listening room. Having the chance to hear such a room truly was a wonderful experience.  It gives the listener the chance to hear every last bit of detail and nuance in a recording. If you listen to live acoustic recordings you can, for the most part, hear the entire concert as it was played and recorded including the hall, audience and the acoustics of the original room. It is time travel at its best. You are transported to the time and place of the original performance and feel like you really are there! Transparent has a collection of master original recordings that they use as reference material and it is simply amazing.

I was impressed with the attention to detail that is followed in every step of the design, testing and building of every product.  I’m not an engineer, but as I said earlier, they have covered every detail and left no stone unturned in the process of making some seriously great products.

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