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Richie B 13th January 2011 08:39 PM

Review of Connexelectronic TA-3020 v3b audio amplifier
Finished running in the amp for 100 hours, so I thought I'd really test it out! My music taste is varied, and here are my findings using a great recording of Delibe's Lakme (a tough test!):

1> The amp sounds "harsh." This is compared to my previous setup which used 2x Maplin 150W mosfet modules (Class AB) with upgraded mosfets.
2> The low frequencies, maybe <100Hz are outstanding.
3> The low to mid frequencies are comparable. (100Hz - 800Hz.)
4> The mid-range frequencies are inferior. (800Hz - 2KHz.)
5> The mid to high frequencies (2KHz - 6KHz) are terrible; there is a horrible colouration and it made my ears hurt.
6> The high frequencies are marginally better (6KHz - 16KHz.)

For the amount of money I spent on this stereo module (and one other that still does not work,) I would suggest spending it on a well engineered class AB stereo module. I am very disappointed.

I like my music: A LOT. Please don't skimp on the output stage like I did to save money. At the end of the day, you will save time AND money AND your ears by purchasing an amp module with some pedigree.


julcat 14th January 2011 12:49 AM

Very interesting review, the connex T-3020 looks attractive to me but after reading your thoughts about it, i think im gonna go for a F5 build.

TheDealer 16th January 2011 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by data_lore (Post 2432154)

For the amount of money I spent on this stereo module (and one other that still does not work,) I would suggest spending it on a well engineered class AB stereo module. I am very disappointed.

I can understand your frustration. Why the work ? My suggestion is either a finished Hlly T 300 (TA3020) or the T 90 (TA2022). Don't change to class AB - you will regret it ...;)
Or take the hifimediy T2 board (cheap, powerful and smooth). Here you invest less work and stress than in connexelectronic modules.

If you want to buy a "classic" then go for a used Musical Fidelity A1. This is pure class A and a well known giant killer if not combined with current hungry speakers.

nigelwright7557 16th January 2011 05:45 PM

I have built class ab and class d (irs2092) and found them to be similar in sound.
Both clear with a good bandwidth.

v-bro 16th January 2011 10:17 PM

I have posted about my suspicions of the modules here a long time ago and I wasn't too positive then. I was hammered by some of the crowds here and very misunderstood. Okay, maybe I was a little negative...

In the mean time I have had a couple of them on my desk, sent to me by unhappy customers wanting to just get rid of them.

I have even tried to modify the first one sent to me to try to make something proper out of it, but soon I saw it would never be a great performer.

Still I wouldn't just bluntly discard any class T amplifier. There are many that sound fan-tas-tic! I have a big pile of amplifiers here at hand, two Passlabs X150.5, a Mark Levinson No.29, three Briston 4B, a Van Medevoort MAtube, a Quad 405 mk2, an Audio Research D-100B, two John van der Sluys hybrid monoblocks and a whole bunch more....

In the past years I have tested the IRAUDAMP7, UCD180 and 400, also the HG version, the Connex TA3020 modules....

Of all amps I still love the AR D-100B very much, but there are lots of Class T amps that come close, some are at least on par with it.

I am not trying to say they are the greatest amps in the world, and it's just subjective. I do however am very convinced by now the Connex modules I had on my desk were not great quality, and I didn't like the sound of them either.

There are a few Tripath reference boards that are still available and DO sound very good, despite the fact that they are not state of the art designs. Like the TK2350 reference board.

I personally love the TK2050/2150/2350 a lot! They all feature the TC2000/2001/2002 modulator, which I think of as the best modulator Tripath has made.... Yet there are very bad specimen available with these chips too, beware of incredibly low priced boards!

I do also miss a piece of rather crucial information in this thread, what speakers were connected to it??

luka 17th January 2011 05:46 AM

amp can only be as good as the setup it, that means speakers, position of them, room acoustics,...

v-bro 17th January 2011 07:09 AM


Originally Posted by luka (Post 2436125)
amp can only be as good as the setup it, that means speakers, position of them, room acoustics,...

That's a bit nonsense if you put it that way. Off course the speakers, room acoustics etc. have the most influence, but if an amplifier sucks it will never become good, not even with the best speakers.

Often when T-amps sound harsh the problem is that the load is not well matched to the output filter. This is one slight down side of any class D amplifier with an output filter. The chance of a rise, or even a fall in higher frequencies can occur. Even non linear behaviour in the midrange can occur as a side effect. That's why I mainly use these amps for active speakers with well matched parts or make sure the amp is well matched to the intended load.

luka 17th January 2011 07:32 AM

but why harsh... as far as I know, people don't like amp that have too low output impedance and say that it doesn't sound good, but when they have amp with damping of say 30 or less, the are most happy...

What makes amp harsh, how do you measure that... I mean, this amps, at least from tripath are linear a lot, whole audio spectrum... but yet again, they as "you" say are harsh, how come?

v-bro 17th January 2011 09:14 AM

That's indeed hard to say why, from a distance we can only guess. I know for a FACT that Tripath amps are only linear when the load matches the configuration of the output filter well. Usually amps sound harsh when the frequency spectrum is somehow not linear. It can also sound dull for the same reason though....

luka 17th January 2011 09:21 AM

and based on that, listening to same setup, I could come out on totaly other side... and since no 2 tests are the same, its hard to say what is what, ain't it... granted if 100 people don't like on 100 systems, there is a big chance that something really wrong

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