About us

Our speciality is vacuum tube (valve) amplifiers for listening to music. In the old days before Spotify, before everyone had bluetooth headphones, before CDs were even available, there were two traditional ways to listen to music: Tape, or Vinyl…

Go further back still, and the only way of getting those sounds out was through the use of vacuum tubes in the amplifier.

These traditional, legacy technologies all have something in common: they were Analogue technologies. And so we embody this in our name: ATRAD, or Analogue TRADitional.

ATR also happens to be the initials of our founder, embodied in our name: ATR Audio Designs.

We are driven by a passion for music with excellent sound reproduction, a deep respect for the technology of the past, and a very simple objective: to make each project better than the previous.

While our services are targeted toward those who enjoy the traditional approach to listening to music (sitting in an easy chair, between two speakers, coffee or glass of wine in one hand, album notes in the other) we do not pretend to be audiophiles. Or rather, what “audiophile” has come to mean.

Instead, we have an entirely pragmatic, engineering-based development and testing approach to our amplifiers. No sorcery, made-up buzzwords, or electronic homeopathy  at hyper-inflated prices here! There’s enough snake-oil in the audiophile world, it doesn’t need any more!

Instead, we concentrate our efforts on those areas that will have a measurable effect on the sound quality and reliability. In other words, our costs reflect sound engineering principles, with zero added cost on anything “premium” that adds no measurable improvement.

The best way to approach this philosophy is “Listen and you’ll see”

You can read more about our approach in the Philosophy page.

If you want one of our amplifiers, it’s very important to realise that we are a hobby enterprise, not a commercial business. This is important, because it means our minimum turnaround time from order to delivery is two months.

Several reasons for this:

  • our designer and chief engineer has a 9-to-5 job which also involves occasional travel…  construction has to fit around this
  • the more expensive components like transformers are ordered for each project and these have a lead-time as they come from overseas and are usually made-to-order.

Like the cheese ad says: Good things take time!

If you’re interested in tube amps, please feel free to explore our site and get in touch