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The HLLY TAMP-90 : TA2022 tryout
The HLLY TAMP-90 : TA2022 tryout
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Old 20th March 2009, 02:00 PM   #1
Neomatth is offline Neomatth  France
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default The HLLY TAMP-90 : TA2022 tryout

Here is the last but one review about the HLLY amplifiers.
Sorry about the delay, i had a lot of work recently, but here it is !
So this review will be about the TAMP-90.

Built around the TA2022 chipset, this amplifier differs from the others Tripath chipsets by the power it delivers: 45 watts under 8 ohms against the 6 watts of the TAMP-10 or TAMP-20.
The TAMP-90 is much more massive than his younger brothers, but it remains small and easily movable because of his shoebox size.
Façade is made with brushed aluminium, the ON/OFF button lights in blue when the amplifier is functioning. A very nice blue, maybe a little too strong.
Not a big concern anyway.
The volume button is brushed too.
The back of the amplifier is uncluttered but nicely made with strong speaker connectors, much bigger than the ones of the TAMP-20 or TAMP-10.
Obviously this little buddy is designed to drive bigger speakers than the others amplifiers from the HLLY line.
The classical coaxial connectors and power supply cable input are also on the back.
The power supply is integrated to the amplifier, which differs from TAMP-10 and TAMP-20.
Amplifier is driving my Infinity Alpha 40 and my source is a Philip cd 723.
My listening room is 40m² big.

Here is some technical datas about the TA2022:

• 100W @ 4Ω, 1.0% THD+N
• 90W @ 4Ω, 0.1% THD+N
• 60W @ 8Ω, 0.1% THD+N
• 0.015% THD+N @ 70W 4Ω
• 0.015% THD+N @ 45W 8Ω
• 0.10% IHF-IM @ 25W 4Ω
• Dynamic Range = 102 dB
• Single ended outputs
• Linear voltage regulator for VN10 and V5 supply
• Dual sides components arrangement.
• Over-current protection
• Over-temperature protection
• (note1): Can be modified to operated in bridged mode and get more output power.
High Efficiency
92% @ 88W 8Ω
87% @ 125W 4Ω

First switch ON of the amplifier: I can clearly hear a little white noise in the tweeter.
It’s light, but it’s here. One meter away from the speakers, I don’t hear it anymore, but knowing it’s here will probably bother some people: for me, it’s not a big deal, but I must advise you against the use of this amplifier in a small room with high sensitivity speakers, it could become really annoying.
By luck, with the power it delivers, this amplifier is designed to be used in larger room.
Nevertheless, it’s powerful enough for my room.
Just remember that this amplifier should be used for speaker below 92db.
On my Klipsch RB2, I prefer to use the TAMP-20 which is quieter.

So let’s start the listenings with the album Low Estate from 16 horsepower.
It’s an acoustic recording with some fabulous track like the beautiful covers of Leonard Cohen, the Partisan.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

On this recording, double-bass sounds fine, with a subtle bass rendering, and the banjo offers a very natural sound, without twangy tune. David Eugene Edwards voice’s perfectly melts in the soundstage without being in the background or deadened.
TAMP-90 like his brother sounds great on acoustic musics, with a very smooth rendering, never forced, closer at this level from the TAMP-20 than the TAMP-10.
Globally, I would say that the TAMP-90 offers the same softness than the TAMP-20, but with a better rendering in the lower frequencies.
Main dynamic is not really more impressive than the one from the TAMP-20 – this latter being particularly good in this area- but the TAMP-90 offers more strength and a main volume which can go much further without distortions.

Next album, a classic from Bjork, Homogénic, brilliant recording, with a lot of strings and electronic sounds.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

On this recording, higher frequencies can fastly become a problem is the amplifier tends to major this part of the spectrum.
On the track Joga, sound goes high in the room, wide soundstage, great spatialization, sound is moving with ease and smoothness.
On the track Bachelorette, gifted with a loud rythm, everything is clear and the dynamic is very well marked until the final crescendo.
And what about the famous track All is full of love and its deep basses ?
Well, they sound better here than with my Kora 90 which renders a much more fattier sound. TAMP-10 and 20 sounded drier.
Again, TAMP-90 is going lower than TAMP-10 and 20.

After higher frequencies and strings, I put on the last recording from the metal band, Disturbed, the grandiloquent Indestructible.
Viking singings, dryness and rage are the best ways to describe this blacksmith band.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

On the track Enough, TAMP-90 follows the drums with rigidity and mastery, besides, it’s going lower than the TAMP-10 or TAMP-20.

On this kind of track, additional power is obvious: impacts are louder and the bassline is way more noticeable.
Even on a loud track like this one, TAMP-90 is never overwhelmed.
It never gets hot, either.
Façade, last track of the record, gives birth to an impressive wall of sound.
TAMP-90 drives the Alpha 40 pretty well.

After that, I give a try to my favourite recording to test lower frequencies, the track 2 of the Himalaya soundtrack.
I immediately feel that the TAMP-90 goes deeper thant the TAMP-10 or TAMP-20.
Sound takes place in the whole room, and the soundstage is wider than the TAMP-10 or TAMP-20.

Next record, a nice LP from Chris Garneau, Music for Tourists, a delicate acoustic recording.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Not really demanding, this recording is mainly about piano and voice, not he most easy sounds to reproduce.
The whole thing sounds just great, breathings can be heard despite the white noise, and tunes sound with a great fidelity.

When the voice goes up, the amplifier follow, without harshness.
Then, you forget the analyse to just listen how great this recording sounds.
And when the LP is over, you just realise that you’ve passed one hour without any technical considerations: everything was just in its right place.


By discovering the TAMP-90, I feared that the additional power would destroy the subtle rendering of the Tripath chipset.
It’s nothing like that.
By gaining power, TAMP-90 gets stronger in the lower frequencies without damaging the great qualities of the Tripath chipset in the trebles.
The weak Sound/noise report can be annoying, and that’s a data that need to be considered if you plan to buy one.
The amplifier is well built and there’s nothing to criticize about the way it’s made. Seems solid.

This HLLY line of amplifier TAMP-10-20-90 is interesting: it will be difficult to specifically advise a model, it’s a very complementary line of amplifiers and choice will highly depend of your source, room, and speakers.
You will say: “ Sure, but it’s always like that…”
Of course.
In this case, we are not talking about a “type amplifier“which -because of the selling price- would have been improved or amputated: they are three different amplifiers with proper qualities.
These tripath amps are great but my personal favourite is the TAMP-20 which offer a fabulous sound on my Klipsch RB2. ( 92db)

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The whole HLLY amplifiers line can be found on EBAY ( http://stores.shop.ebay.fr/FM-TRANSM...__W0QQ_armrsZ1 ) or on their website ( http://www.hllyelectronics.com/ )

Thank you for reading me, and sorry about the spelling errors i unavoidably commited.

If you have questions, just ask.
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Old 21st March 2009, 03:29 AM   #2
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Melb
At last the T-90 reviews, thanks for taking time to write the reviews.

It seems that it is "in general" that low powered amps sound better than high powered ones, this axiom is applicable to valve and solid state amps as well. There will some out there who will disagree with me.
BTW great sounding high powered amps are generally very expensive beyond the reach of most audiophiles.

Hence currently I am using electronic x-over driving the drivers with 3 separate low powered amp except for the bass amp. The mid-range using Chipamp(LM3875) and tweeter using TA2024. I try to use only efficient drivers more than 90dB. The higher the effciency the better, say >95dB. Using TA2020 is really suffcient, scale of sound it will generate is sufficient for most home use.

Also, using low powered amps is GOOD for the ENIRONMENT.

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Old 25th March 2009, 12:27 PM   #3
livinit73 is offline livinit73  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Gday there,
I'm new here but have something to say about this amp. I picked one up online quite cheap from the supplier through fleabay as i was a little curious, i have to say that i am a bit dissapointed. While the sound is quite satisfactory and i am sure it would open up alot more over a break in period there is one problem i can't get passed.

The hiss/white noise that comes out of this amp is way too loud. Mind you the speakers are only 89db sensitivity, so not overly sensitive It is distracting especially on quiet passages of music.

i tried a number of things, different power cables, different rca cables, even a seperate power socket to no luck.

It doesnt matter if the volume is all the way up or down, there is still the same amount of hiss.

I wanted to use this as a part of a triwire set up as i have tripath 2024 amps and am amazed by its sound.

Any suggestions?????????
Hear the difference
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Old 4th January 2010, 10:23 AM   #4
baMarek is offline baMarek  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
I have just bought this amp on ebay and straight away I have a big problem with it. For some reason I cannot move the volume knob up or down. It looks like the over-current protection turns on way too quickly. With some small 6Ohm speakers this problem develops when the volume is higher than say 11 o'clock. When I attached my Quad ESL 57 it is impossible to move the volume faster than 0.5mm per second regardless of the knob's position.

Has anyone faced a similar issue? Is there any way to fix it?
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Old 4th January 2010, 07:48 PM   #5
baMarek is offline baMarek  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
No issues anymore. The input signal was too strong.
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Old 18th January 2010, 01:32 AM   #6
julcat is offline julcat  Mexico
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Bmaker does your amp have the noise issue reported by livinit??
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