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doogyscoot 11th August 2008 06:54 PM

T-amps such as SI Sure, Charlize etc... in context of "traditional" solid state?
Hey, I'm quite new to the T-amp thing, late on the wagon I know, but I fear I am being converted. Just out of interest though.
If you were asked to compare on a price level what you would expect to spend on a solid state "conventional" amp such as those produced by NAD, Marantz, Cambridge audio etc, where would you say we sit?
I know this requires a lot of generalisation so please save yourself the bother of telling me that it's not as simple as making general equivalents due to the various factors. But say a complete newcomer to T-amps was to ask how much he'd have to spend to get comparable performance from an off the shelf model from the likes of the aforementioned to one of the above T-amps with a good PSU and the usual cap mods etc, what would you say? Obviously assuming he doesn't require a lot of power.
I'll start the betting at about 300 ($600) ;)

Nuuk 11th August 2008 07:13 PM

Assessing the quality of hi-fi according to what it costs is meaningless!

If you fancy a T-Amp, buy one and then compare it to what else you have heard and you will have your own answer, for what it is worth. ;)

Puffin 11th August 2008 07:36 PM

You can love a 30 T-Amp and you can love a 5,000 valve amp. It's horses for courses and how much you feel you are justified in spending to get the sound you want.

doogyscoot 11th August 2008 08:31 PM

Hahaa... I knew all I'd end up with was that response... no offense intended of course, I am fully aware that one man's diamond is another's horsesh%t and I'm not trying to debate subjectivity based views on what is good versus the objective approach (I have my views on that one but this isn't the place to rake through all that crap as has been done over and over). That's not what I was asking for.
I don't seek a subjective opinion, more possibly a technical one. Surely it is fair to say that if we are looking at quality certain traits/capabilities, call them what you will, are generally more desirable and others less so. "Clarity", "Soundstage", "Detail", "Distortion" ad infinitum... the list could get long but you get my point. I'm not talking about subtle harmonic distortions and colourations, more the big issues.
So... to try again, say T-amps had never been introduced, maybe even exclude all chip amps from the equation. What would you have expected to pay for an amp that worked to such a standard as the better tripath designs had you had a listen and not been told the price?
If nothing else it gives you a chance to provide a financial opinion on T-amps and their worth :xeye:

Oh, by the way, this is not actually to convince me, I have a 1st Gen SI T-amp already and several other Tripath boards ordered from overseas. I'm quite willing to put money where my curiosity is. I was trying to make a value comparison for a friend considering the purchase of a premodified Tripath 2024 based amp versus the conventional ones. He's buying from ebay and doesn't have the opportunity to test.

Regards, Doug.

doogyscoot 11th August 2008 08:38 PM


Originally posted by Nuuk
Assessing the quality of hi-fi according to what it costs is meaningless!

Forgot to say... I agree, more or less, but making a cost/value (as distinct from value for money) comparison is not, it is a fundamental part of the design and marketing stage of any product defining the end price and to a large degree whether it will be successful. I find the T-amp to be an interesting thing to look at as in conventional terms it seems to provide high functional value for very low cost. I am looking to estimate the magnitude by which it would be undercutting conventionally competitive products, at least functionally.

Puffin 11th August 2008 08:45 PM

I would agree that the performance vs cost aspect of the postage stamp sized 2024 amps is very impressive. However it is impossible to draw any analogies to any amps other than those made with 2024 chips.

You might think it outperforms a Krell or other mega amp, if that is the case then you have save yourself a whole load of cash.

doogyscoot 11th August 2008 09:05 PM


Originally posted by Puffin
However it is impossible to draw any analogies to any amps other than those made with 2024 chips.

I'm afraid I have to completely disagree, that's your opinion and I in no way seek to make you change i, but I could give you a dozen analogies in this situation, Take a ferrari 430 and a Nissan Skyline, the ferrari costs over three times as much but with the same driver and conditions will do exactly the same lap time round a track. One is 4 wheel drive, the other is rear, one has 2 seats the other 4, one is very light, the other pretty hefty, based around very different engines, one turbo, the other not, totally different style and probably drive very differently. However it is still entirely possible to make comparisons of functional capability given the huge differences between them - i.e. Braking distance 1/4 mile times, 0-60 times, turning circle, top speed, torque output.
Basically they perform very differently but it is still entirely possible to draw comparisons which relate to the cost/value balance.

If you don't agree that's absolutely fine, I'll just give you another tediously long and detailed anology
:smash: ;)

Puffin 11th August 2008 10:13 PM

I suspect that I am pushing a closed door, but the point you make IMO only reinforces my point. One car is a supercar and the other a production line muscle car. They both go fast, so how do you draw a comparison?

doogyscoot 11th August 2008 10:50 PM

Not at all, I welcome any well put argument. From your post I think you are saying that you can't compare a supercar and a production sports car as they both go fast?

If this is what you are asking my response would be "in many ways" mainly and most relevantly by comparing their technically measurable specifications and performance and comparing to see how they differ and what effects this might have.
The only thing you can't do is say they are the same in any respect other than their capability to submit a similar laptime (analogous to the overall performance) while the nuances in handling and feel of either may be preferable based on a subjective view (analogous to the subtle differences between two good amplifiers).

However while there are these subtle differences may swing a buyer either way the net result of the actual measurable performance differences is essentially the same.

As a result the Skyline in comparison represents high value/low cost to the ferrari's high cost/high value. The question is now why would you pay the extra? If you gave someone looking for performance an opportunity to do a blind comparison between the two without any idea what either car was (though I accept this is impossible in the case of a car) then asked them to compare and estimate the cost of each I dare say the estimates would come out pretty similar. Hence cost is relevant and entirely comparable though it may not be what you expect.

Within the above blurb there are lots of comparisons which can be made..... The point was that ACTUAL performance can be compared as it is an objective area where good and bad are defined, subtle differences can't because they are in a subjective area where each person has their own preference.

Anyway.. this all seems a little irrelevant now, I'm only hoping to make you understand where I'm coming from.

I'll leave it at that.
Good night and thanks for the discourse.;)

fredex 12th August 2008 01:10 AM


Originally posted by doogyscoot
Hey, I'm quite new to the T-amp thing, late on the wagon I know, but I fear I am being converted. ................
I have been converted. I was building - listening to tube amps for years, heard some hype about the Sonic Impact amps from tube people and ordered one out of curiousity (cheap). I had horns and SE at the time. After fixing their bass roll-off I was hooked. I then ordered some UCD 180 AD s. Initially less exciting in the treble but more correct I think.
The reason they sound better than tubes IMHO is their "load invariant" behaviour, they are neutral into any speaker. Some would say their lack of bloom is sterile sounding.
They sound better than bi-polar SS as the sound of the output devices is gone (slight grain ) you are probably just listening to the sound of a small inductor and cap. Mosfets do grain free treble well like tubes but seem to me to lack guts in the midrange this could be as the bass seems soft and overblown compared to bi-polar amps which do bass really well. No offence to other amp owners as this is just my own opinion. If they can get the distortion down further they may sound better but it may just be guilding the lily.

So my opinion is excellent value for money.

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