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fatbattery 8th November 2012 12:54 PM

Are T amps just over hyped Distorting noise boxes? Or am I doing it wrong?
I though that grab your attention. I have been excited about them .With mainly the To2020 running on a large 12 volt sla. And at a time they have even replaced my tube amp in my main system when I ran out of output tubes. Playing a 94db 8 ohm speaker was fine.

Anyway I am trying to get some going for my mother. With very disappointing results. On close listening they really seem to distort heavily right through there power range increasing to supa heavy after 6 watts. Also I tried some basic vintage 2 ways. One 8 inch and a horn tweeter 15ohm. OMG they where terrible. I am guessing that possibly they are incapable of driving high impedance speakers. And indoors at my mums I have fe103's in needles and again they just cant turn up to even moderate levels with distorting to at least 2 percent of odd harmonic sporadic maybe distortion. What am I doing wrong??? I am not using the sla out there. She wont have them. I using a new meanwell indoors well over spec ed.

I will build a tube amp for the old girl out doors but inside I need a sleek SS solution. Have I hit the limits of D tech? Will going for bigger chip and higher voltages just give me more of the same? Or should I go for a chip amp or class A amp like a hirarga kit. I have built 2 chip amps before. One was awful . The one a built with out compromise and the second I threw together in a hurry was quiet good. Go figure. But neither had the glimpse of tube like magic the T amps have given me a taste of. I have a joey Roth driving Techinics SB-F2 speakers on my computer U tube system that sounds dam fine but only until you turn it up a bit. Maybe the little chips are just good low impedance 2 watt amps?

powerflux 8th November 2012 01:27 PM

those old tripaths don't sound too good, no. i can't understand why people are so delerious about them either. they are very picky about the impedance of the speaker.

try a decent switching amplifier such as the ones from hypex before you've lost hope for class D. they are marvelous.

Bare 8th November 2012 05:26 PM

Strange.. I've found the Ta 2020 to be a pretty good Amp.
Driving even wee 4 ohm speakers to vintage 12 inchers (11.5 ohms, measured) with surprisingly good results.. certainly as good as with their 'regular' amps.
No.. not the best amps ever, but as good as or often better than 'at least' 80% of the old amps out there.
Quality Control however, from these Cheap Chinee made amp boards (as opposed to the Genuine Tripath Chips) is 'as usual': ABYSMAL.
One sounds Great! while another/brother unit sounds awful.
Is this the same module that worked well for you ? or another unit ?
Try your own 'previously working' unit in Mum's setup?
Beyond that? there may be something basic, being seriously wrong, at Mum's house.

cotdt 8th November 2012 05:48 PM

They are overhyped. I guess because they were cheap. The 100W versions, with better parts, sound much much better. That said, for low power use I would still prefer a tube or Class A solid state amp.

Pano 8th November 2012 06:02 PM

They are over-hyped, but TA2020 is still a great amp, if built into a good supporting circuit. It really does rival very good tube amps. Not as good, but certainly in the same neighborhood.

As Bare says, not all implementations are the same. There is a plethora of bad, cheap amps out there using the Tripath chips. I do wonder where all those Tripath chips are coming from, since they've been out of business for years.

theAnonymous1 8th November 2012 06:03 PM

I started in DIY almost 8 years ago first modding Sonic Impact "T-Amps" and then building 41hz Tripath kits. I've never experienced what you describe. I think they sound just as good as any other chipamp in the same power range.

Yes, they sound bad when played into clipping (expected). Maybe you are just too used to the clipping characteristics of tube amps?

And the comment about the load impedance can apply to any pre-filter feedback class-d amps, so it's not a shortcoming specific only to Tripath.

Redshift187 9th November 2012 04:29 AM

The TA2020 is good into 4 ohms. The stock LP-2020A+ is not so good into 8 ohms because with the lower power, people need to turn the volume knob up, and with the op-amp in the volume section, the distortion rises really fast above half on the volume control. If you are driving full range speakers with a TA2020, you need a higher current power supply than many of them come with.

On the other hand, LM3886 based amps do better with 8 ohm speakers. Mine sounds harsh into 4 ohm speakers. Both types of amps do better with efficient speakers.

radiosmuck 9th November 2012 01:22 PM

I'm driving a pair if 15 inch 15 ohm vintage Tannoys with an SMSL 2020 amp and they sound just wonderful.
I swapped out my original Lepai for visual reasons, plus the SMSL is suppposed to have better components.
You are so right about speaker efficiency.

sofaspud 9th November 2012 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by cotdt (
[...]That said, for low power use I would still prefer a tube or Class A solid state amp.

I'm sure a big crowd would agree with you, but you won't find those for twenty bucks. And poorly implemented they can sound as bad as your T-amp.

Bill poster 10th November 2012 12:14 AM

anyone tried this one?
Class D amplifier module Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog

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