HiRez Balanced Taga


In our view the HiRez Balanced Taga is a very significant piece of hi-fi equipment. It is, in essence, a combination of the HiRez Taga mains distribution block, and the much larger Aletheia balanced mains conditioners. It is built into an extended Taga distribution block case, and contains the same custom-wound balanced transformer as used in the Aletheia PSUs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABalanced HiRez Taga measures 525mm x 132mm x 120mm, weight approx 9Kg

Like the Aletheias, it has 2 ‘bypassed’ outputs for power amplifiers, and 4 balanced outputs for source components. The main difference between the two units is that the HiRez Balanced Taga has a single acoustic/RFI module on the output side of the balanced transformer, (so it’s common to the feed to all four balanced sockets), whereas the Aletheia has four separate modules, one for each balanced socket feed. So the Aletheia PSU’s provide some individual isolation for each source component that is using a balanced output, whereas the HiRez Balanced Taga does not.

But this cost and size compromise does not reduce the performance by much. Indeed, the HiRez Balanced Taga is, in our view, the best value for money mains product in the entire range! This is because the key issue is that it delivers the massive benefit of the balanced operation. With the same custom-wound transformer that’s used in the Aletheia PSUs, the benefit of common-mode noise rejection in the supply to your source components is profound. Moving up to balanced mains operation to source components in a high-end system is a major step-change in our view. Indeed the step is so significant that arguably real high-end performance is not achieved without it.

Architecture

Like all Vertex AQ products, the internal architecture of the HiRez Balanced Taga is a vital element of its performance. It’s a system-of-systems designed to reduce the effects of incoming and outgoing vibration and RFI, to provide good quality mains to the components it feeds, and to act as a drain from the components that actually takes away distortion from the components it is feeding.


As the mains comes into the unit it is first conditioned by a module containing a HiRez Jaya shunt filter. Note that this filter is not in series with the main input wiring – it is in effect siphoning-off RFI noise. The filter circuit is also built onto its own acoustic absorption labyrinth to keep microphonic effects in the filter very low.

Then the feed splits and the lines to the direct outputs pass through an acoustic absorption module before arriving at the two bypass sockets. The mains is also fed to the balanced transformer input wiring. The transformer is wound to the ratio of 1:1 and the output winding has a centre tap which is connected to ground. This then makes the ‘top and bottom’ of the output winding produce a 180 degree out of phase voltage that is exactly half of the input voltage. So for example, in Europe this would give 115V on the live and neutral, in antiphase, which has the same overall power effect of 230V.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAendplate showing input IEC, fuses and additional Earth binding post

Configuration

You will have seen that the HiRez Balanced Taga has only four sockets that supply the balanced power. The other two sockets have direct unbalanced mains, although this is still conditioned to the same extent as you would get in the non-balanced ‘HiRez Taga’ and these sockets you use for power amps where there will be a reasonable power demand. The four balanced outputs are then used to supply your source components – and they are limited to a maximum combined load of 300W, which should be plenty. It may seem that this is a bit of an unwanted compromise, that your power amplification cannot benefit from the balanced supply, bu there is actually an unseen problem here, which actually turns the issue on its head! If you try and pull the high current demand for amplification through the balanced transformer (no matter what it’s size), the quality of the transformer output goes down and your source components suffer as a result. We have found that the 4 balanced/two bypassed configuration is the best all-round option for performance.

Real High-End Performance

Quite simply in our view, moving to balanced mains for your source components is a vital step towards high-end performance. The HiRez balanced Taga brings into sharp relief the effects of intermodulation distortion – when they are suddenly and so effectively removed that is!

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