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Which amp to drive modded Apple Pro Speakers?
Which amp to drive modded Apple Pro Speakers?
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Old 22nd February 2010, 06:02 PM   #1
doobya is offline doobya  Netherlands
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Default Which amp to drive modded Apple Pro Speakers?


I am looking for a good-sounding, small & inexpensive amp to drive a pair of Apple Pro Speakers, which I have just acquired 2nd hand and am planning to rewire with standard connectors. The goal is to have decent/good sound to listen to music while at the computer. I already have an active sub hooked up (unfortunately it doesn't have amplified outputs for me to use).

I have read enough raving reviews of T-class amps that I have been looking in that direction however I'm a bit lost as to which chip/power I actually need. If I understand right, the Pro Speakers are each 10W RMS and 4 ohms (I have the later generation with white/gray rubber around the aluminum center).

Here are my ideal requirements:
- Output power & impedance matching Pro Speakers (or a bit more in case I want to upgrade them or add e.g. tweeters)
- adjustable EQ would be nice, but not necessary (I read these speakers needed some EQ'ing)
- Volume pot would be nice
- 2x CINCH line in
- 5V USB power would be nice (seems convenient, but I don't know if USB power is "clean" or "silent" enough for this). Alternatively, using power from one of the Firewire ports on my Macbook Pro might work (again, no idea if this is suitable). Otherwise, an external PS will do.
- GREAT sound! (I would like the amp to NOT be the weakest link in the setup, so that it won't be the first thing I need to upgrade if I want better sound quality).

I have a little experience with soldering and such, but I'd rather not start from scratch nor a kit. A little modding to an inexpensive eBay amp is fine, but something inexpensive and (gasp!) ready-to-use is also good.

I have spotted a few inexpensive amps on ebay using the TA2020 chip. Would this be good enough? I also saw other models with the TA2024, a bit more expensive even though it's less powerful...

This guy has a similar question about the 2020 amps, so I'm monitoring his thread, but I'd also like to know if the 2020 is a good choicet! Which TA2020 amp? Topping TP20, Amp-03, or Lepai LP-2020

If there are sources to find such an amp in Europe, to avoid waiting weeks for a shipment from Hong Kong to arrive, that would be nice, too.

I hope you can point me in the right direction. Thank you!
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Old 22nd February 2010, 06:10 PM   #2
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Victoria, BC, NA, Sol III
Which amp to drive modded Apple Pro Speakers?
1st, which Apple Pro speakers did you get -- the "Crystal Spheres"? (there was more than one called that)

You won't get enuff juice from the computers ports to adequately power an amplifier.

I use a small sonic impact amp with one of my sets of Crystal spheres, it works fine and satisfies your needs. That it rolls off in the bottom is a no care because the speakers don't go that low.

PE now sells that under their Dayton house-brand, as well as a semi-kit version. The SI variation comes with a wall wart and can be powered with 8 AA batteries.

community sites t-linespeakers.org, frugal-horn.com, frugal-phile.com ........ commercial site planet10-HiFi
p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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Old 22nd February 2010, 06:31 PM   #3
doobya is offline doobya  Netherlands
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Join Date: Feb 2010
The Pro Speakers I have are about 10cm (3.9 inches) in diameter (drivers are 5,5cm or 2.1 inches across) and look like this:

I forgot to mention I am using a USB sound card with Line outputs (sound blaster something) - I don't think there's an amp inside, though, but I do think they have "true" hi-fi line out level, so more than e.g. an ipod's output.

Still, having the option to hook up both an ipod and line input would be nice.

I need to check if Dayton ships to Europe. I noticed they use the 2024 chip in their T amp. Still, their amp has jack input (and I assume Line/Cinch is a bit better in sound quality) and seems aimed at hooking up ipods.

What about those ebay amps?
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