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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

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Old 11th February 2007, 04:37 PM   #1
EdT is offline EdT  Canada
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Default T-Amps vs GainClones

Anyone done a camparision between the two types of chip amps ?

Good and bad points between the two ? difference in quality of sound etc...

I am totally unfamilar with GainClones.
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Old 11th February 2007, 04:42 PM   #2
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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I"m working on it

Having "dabbled" in the low power Tripath stuff I recently got the itch to make an amp of my own design based on the LM3875. The PCBs are in my hands, I'm just waiting on parts.

My initial impression of the LM3875 is a good one but I only have one channel so it's not possible to give a fair evaluation.
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Old 11th February 2007, 06:11 PM   #3
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There are many others on this forum with far more experience than I, but for what it's worth these are my observations.

(FYI I have built two Peter Daniels-esque gainclones and several class-t amps)

The class-t amps are superb for the money (both modified sonic impacts and the 41Hz Amp6 basic). They all sound very clean and open in the midrange, with a tight controlled bass. To my ears, these amps can sound a bit edgy with a slightly forced upper-mid and hf. Careful input coupling cap choice (black gate N and PIO seem to work well) will soften this edginess and warm up the overall sound.

Gainclones are the better amp, to my ears. They don't reach out and grab your attention like a class-t (less forced upper-mid & hf) but are far cleaner top to bottom.

Both gainclones I have built cost significantly more than the class-t amps I have tried, so please take my comments in context. Probably the most relevant comparison would be a gainclone with a ucd180, which I haven't done.
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Old 12th February 2007, 05:23 PM   #4
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I built both the GC (kit from BrianGT) and AMP6 (from 41Hz) with regular components, overkill trafos and ample attention to wiring, grounding etc. I think the AMP6 really shines with efficient, filter-less fullrange drivers, especially when they are hornloaded (as in my Buschhorns with Fostex FE108ES-II). The GC just cannot match the clarity and finer details while both have good and controlled midbass punch. When coupled to a good quality two-way monitor (the 86db/w/m Hatt III from humblehomemadehifi.com) with quality cross-over components the AMP6 loses the sparkle and just seems to lack the energy to drive the XO and less eficient speaker with enough grunt. Here the GC takes the edge and drives much more effortlessly. Mind, I'm not talking loud volumes here, just easy listening without even coming close to clipping in either amp. So, my preliminary verdict: for efficient fullrangers the AMP6 (and probably many other T-amps out there such as the Trend TA10, Charlize etcetc) is king and betters the GC. When the load becomes increasingly tougher, the advantages quickly disappear. Then use your gainclone and you will probably agree that it is a more versatile amp.
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