Case for Helder's TA2020 MKIII Amp Module - Page 4 - diyAudio
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Old 11th September 2010, 09:09 PM   #31
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: DC Area
Glad to see you all's MKIII, very very nice and well done. Kickngas you are an artist with the shrink tubing and Bokchoi very modern, clean, and not novice work at all.

I did some cleaning up to mine today since I had some AC bleed and dissimilar signal to both channels. I had a spare Alps pot that was better quality and shifted the signal wiring away from the AC supply and lines. Matching knobs are now installed.

Would love to hear your impressions on dynamics since you both used the switching power supply.

The supplemental 12,000 uF power capacitor seems to make a big difference in reserve power as the unit plays a good after power off. It was a snap installation since I had the DC power supply line to spare with the unit being AC powered and on-board rectified.

The Clipping LED is handy because the unit clips before you can hear it and if your get too happy with the volume coupled with inefficient speakers. Not a problem with the speakers you see in the picture and they are about 100 dB efficient. However, with my Fried speakers, they can make the amp clip.

I find the unit has a very nice mid section, highs are clean, bass is OK. Unusually clean and detailed sound.

Thanks for sharing your pics, keep them coming.
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Old 11th September 2010, 11:02 PM   #32
bokchoi is offline bokchoi  Canada
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Join Date: Jun 2009
I'm not really one to comment on dynamics as I'm still quite new to the audio world; my last amp was a Lepai LP-2020 to which I did all kinds of terrible modifications, but didn't really understand the operation of.

The switching PSU I used is a 12v 3.5A, purchased from Arjen along with the MKIII board; I think Kickngas used a 12v 5A model which may be available from Arjen as well. Looking back, I'm happy I chose the smaller size as I was able to find a housing that could fit it neatly. I was originally a bit concerned that placing the PSU inside the same housing as the board could cause undesirable effects, but seeing your implementations have helped me lay those fears to rest.

In my estimation and after a few hours of listening, I would say my version of the MKIII does sound better than the LP-2020 after modification, but how I can't say exactly how; I suppose I would say the clarity has been the biggest improvement, but I'm otherwise really not experienced enough to describe it. I suspect I will be able to better describe the sound quality after a few more days and after the unit has had a little bit of break-in time, if this board lends itself to that kind of change.

Thanks again for your compliments; I still have much to learn, but I am already looking forward to many new audio DIY projects in the future.
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Old 12th September 2010, 10:03 AM   #33
DimZ is offline DimZ  Greece
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enough room left for a buffer ...
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Old 20th October 2010, 04:11 PM   #34
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: DC Area
OK, we all had some time to listen by now. I am totally impressed with what Arjen's TA2020 can do.
Bass is very good with my large 16 ohm speakers. Mids are clean, highs shine nicely, though on lesser recordings there is a bit of sizzle at the top end. Imaging and speed are incredible. Placement of instruments is very precise. Three dimmensional echoes are most fascinating. There are room echoes on stuff that I never heard before and were probably not heard by the recording engineers, neat stuff. It is a great reference amp since nothing gets past it. Only weakness I find is mid-tone slam, but this is probably due to the low wattage output and the large size of my speakers. Can't wait to build the next one with a tube buffer in the front.

Now let's hear your impressions of the Helder TA2020.
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Old 21st October 2010, 05:37 AM   #35
audi0 is offline audi0  Australia
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Mine has probably been running for about 3-4 hours a day in my study for the last 6 months, the caps are probably well burn't in by now! I'm very happy with the sound.
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Old 14th November 2010, 01:42 AM   #36
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: DC Area
Here is the third MKIII finished today. Not broken in but sounds very good. That big Sangamo cap was just sitting around, so I threw it in since I had the room because the tube buffer was too tall.

So now I have a new tube buffer to spare, if interested PM me, will ship out of the USA.
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