Audio Downsizing (without compromise and without remorse)…

Neodio’s TMA (The Minimalist Amplifier)

By Roy Gregory

There are some companies that it’s always worth keeping an eye on. One of them is Neodio, which has just announced the launch of a fascinating new product, one that looks to the future (while arguably also looking to the past). On the surface the new amplifier, dubbed TMA (The Minimalist Amplifier) is deeply reminiscent of the budget-esoteric designs of yesteryear, a simple box with nothing but a volume control and source select (and – shock horror! – no remote control). But as so often in audio and with Neodio in particular, things ain’t quite what they seem and there’s a lot more here – physically and conceptually – than meets the eye.

Designer Stéphane Even was determined to take the notion of sustainability seriously. He wanted to create a capable product with a long, fully serviceable life-span. To do that he went back to first principles, the very essence of what an amplifier is designed to do and the simplest possible way to execute that. The circuit itself has been honed and refined across three-years of development. Along the way, everything except basic functionality was discarded, but at the same time, mechanical design, circuit topological and component selection were entirely performance orientated. Or to put it another way, the simplest possible circuit combined with the best possible components and mechanical design.

It’s an approach that has led to some surprising details, like a welded chassis with a 6mm PMMA rear panel, a construction that ads rigidity and self-damping while reducing electrical coupling between channels and inputs. The circuit might be simple but it is also ultra wide bandwidth, while the 80W/Channel output is fed from a 300VA transformer via multiple stages of rectification and some serious capacitance. Peak current capability is 16A and the driver stages enjoy their own, dedicated, shunt-regulated power supply. High quality and generously specified components are used throughout, including Vishay capacitors, with all major parts and sub-assemblies sourced in France or Spain. The circuit board uses classical components and widely spaced tracks to aid serviceability and Neodio are confident that an experienced technician working 30-years from now would have no problem repairing the unit – even without a schematic. It’s a confidence that is embodied in the 10-year guarantee they offer to original owners.

Auditioning an early prototype demonstrated a remarkably natural, musical, lucid and uncluttered sound – the sort of performance more usually associated with serious high-end systems and one that many a high-end integrated would envy. It’s all the more remarkable given the retail price of €4,590 (including tax) and the fact that TMA retains Neodio’s beautiful and classy styling.

This looks like a seriously interesting initiative in an industry where ecological sensibilities are almost non-existent. We’ll be reviewing a unit as soon as one becomes available, but in the meantime, you can learn more about this product and Neodio’s Blue Project at