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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

Topping TP-20 Mk2 or SMSL SA-S1?
Topping TP-20 Mk2 or SMSL SA-S1?
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Old 14th February 2011, 04:53 AM   #1
kin0kin is offline kin0kin  Canada
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Markham, ON
Default Topping TP-20 Mk2 or SMSL SA-S1?

I'd like to pick up a T amp. Can't decide which one of these two should I pick:

TOPPING TP20 MK2 MKII T Amp TA2020 Amplifier & 12V5A PS on eBay.ca (item 250733967120 end time 27-Feb-11 13:00:57 EST)


SMSL SA-S1 TA2020 High-grade HIFI Digital Amplifier B on eBay.ca (item 110631055213 end time 03-Mar-11 09:00:12 EST)

IMO the SMSL seems to be better built, but I couldn't find any reviews on it. However, the topping tp-20 seems to be rather popular here.
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Old 14th February 2011, 11:41 PM   #2
Davet is offline Davet  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Reston, Virginia (surburb of Wash, DC)
Default Advice on T-Amp

I own a Topping and I am satisfied with it. However, note the fine print. The topping does not include the power supply(PS). Therefore, you will have to either supply your own PS or purchase one.

The features on the SA-S1 read superlative to me. I would go for the SA-S1 just because of the modest upgrades and the inclusion of the PS. The SA-S1 just looks like more value for your money.
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Old 15th February 2011, 04:13 AM   #3
kin0kin is offline kin0kin  Canada
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The TP20 mk2 is about $70 shipped with adapter. The SMSL is about $65. Price isn't an issue. Looking at the PCB, the SMSL already came with the elna pioneer reservoir cap. It doesn't look like topping has it. Though, the TP21 has similar reservoir as the SMSL SA-S1/SA-S3. However, the topping seems to have more coupling caps or whatever the caps around the inductors are. I can't decide which to go for, I have a ton of caps at home that I can add to the amp with little issue should I go with the TP20.
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Old 25th February 2011, 09:38 PM   #4
osssyvan is offline osssyvan  Finland
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Join Date: Dec 2010
If you look closely you can see that the pictures in that SA-S1 has a slight problem. The first picture has different component amounts than the ones later on.
I think the first picture is actually SA-S3:
Find SMSL Hi-quality SA-S3 TA2021B HIFI Digital Amplifier S on eBay International Market, with worldwide deals on items in all your top categories

If I understood more about amps and electronics I could say something more constructive . Atleast the S1 and S3 use different tripath chips.

Also I have topping tp-20 mark 2 and I am quite happy with it. Not the best one to judge as I it is the only tripath amp I've heard. But those SMSL S1 and S3 amps look improved from the times I bought my topping. And that is not too long ago. I think I could found only SMSL SA-36 or something which didn't look as good back then. And if aesthetics matter then you should notice that S1 is very short which atleast looks better to me than the few centimeters taller tp-20

Last edited by osssyvan; 25th February 2011 at 09:40 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 6th February 2012, 04:39 PM   #5
MrKTrout is offline MrKTrout  United States
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Location: Pasadena, California
Default Topping TP20 MK2

I did a lot of research regarding T-amps and ended up choosing Topping over the others. Topping makes some nice gear. I have owned the Topping TP21 and Topping D2 DAC; the quality was wonderful and the units never had a problem. I just purchased the Topping TP20 MK2 because my research shows the TA2020 chip as having better reviews on dynamic sound quality. With the TP20 MK2 version, Topping upgraded the resistors and caps along with silver wire and speaker protection circuit over their earlier version. The sound is amazing; my TP20 MK2 is connected to a pair of Merrill full range drivers in custom built bass reflex cabinets and anyone who listens to them it thinks I have a sub woofer connected. I don't have a demo video of my Topping TP20 MK2 ready yet, but I still have a video on youtube of my Topping TP21 running a pair of custom 2-way speakers built by Fritz Heiler: Topping TP21 T-Amp Stereo System - YouTube

I am powering the Topping TP20 MK2 with a 12V SLA battery.
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