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Old 6th August 2013, 09:22 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by rhing View Post
I must have 70-80 hours on this amp, and the sound quality is still changing--all for the better. The hot highs are cooling off and the midrange detail is coming through nicely.
I can confirm that. The difference before-later is enourmous, even yet after 10 hrs
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Old 6th August 2013, 09:36 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by avidyarthy View Post
Try mating your T amp with JBL Control One speakers.
I think there are much more better speaker partners for smaller T-amps. I made best experiences with stands and bigger chassis. Of course above a certain sesitivity.

For smaller speakers there are always bigger amps recommended with more ability and control the membran.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 01:43 AM   #33
rhing is offline rhing  United States
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Default Taking the SMSL SA-S1 to another level

I've been enjoying my SMSL SA-S1 TA2020 T-amp for almost five months, and I recently decided to try a different power supply. For my Sonic Impact 5065 Gen 2 TA2024 amp, I had purchased a PowerOne MAP110-S148 110W switching power supply and stuck in about seven 2,200uF/50V Panasonic FM low ESR electrolytic caps in the second stage filter. This power supply served me well when I used it with my Sonic Impact 5065 Gen 2 T-amp, and with my Arjen Helder TA2020 MkIII T-amp; however, I never could get over some low level noise and distortion when I drove both amps hard. I finally got around to pulling it out and soldering on a Switchcraft 2.1mm ID x 5.5mm OD DC power connector to the twisted pair of 19AWG Kimber TCSS hook-up wire that I use for the DC power cable. I turned the adjustable output pot to bring the output voltage to 13.4VDC. The results were immediately noticeable:
  • Deeper soundstage with a more three dimensional image
  • Frequency extension at both ends of the spectrum
  • The treble had better definition with greater air
  • The bass was stronger, tighter and more balanced with the mids and highs
  • The tone and timbre of vocals and instruments were more natural and warmer
If I didn't know any better, this was the closest I've heard a T-amp mimic a tube amp. Keep in mind, I had also evaluated a Virtue Audio Two T-amp with a stepped attenuator. My Klipsch Forte II's sound great with this little $55 gem.

2013-10-12 10.06.38.jpg

I was so impressed, I told my buddy across the country about it since he bought one of these T-amps too. He purchased a Mean Well RS-100-12 SMPS and wired up a similar DC power cable. He can verify the vast improvements that a higher quality -- ~13.5VDC and 6A -- SMPS can make with this amp.

Now I wonder what a decent regulated linear supply with 13.8VDC and 5A would do with this little amp. Has anyone tried such a power supply like the Astron or Pyramid regulated linear supplies typically used for CB radios?
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Old 23rd October 2013, 01:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhing View Post
I've been enjoying my SMSL SA-S1 TA2020 T-amp for almost five months, and I recently decided to try a different power supply. For my Sonic Impact 5065 Gen 2 TA2024 amp, I had purchased a PowerOne MAP110-S148 110W switching power supply and stuck in about seven 2,200uF/50V Panasonic FM low ESR electrolytic caps in the second stage filter. This power supply served me well when I used it with my Sonic Impact 5065 Gen 2 T-amp, and with my Arjen Helder TA2020 MkIII T-amp; however, I never could get over some low level noise and distortion when I drove both amps hard. I finally got around to pulling it out and soldering on a Switchcraft 2.1mm ID x 5.5mm OD DC power connector to the twisted pair of 19AWG Kimber TCSS hook-up wire that I use for the DC power cable. I turned the adjustable output pot to bring the output voltage to 13.4VDC. The results were immediately noticeable:
  • Deeper soundstage with a more three dimensional image
  • Frequency extension at both ends of the spectrum
  • The treble had better definition with greater air
  • The bass was stronger, tighter and more balanced with the mids and highs
  • The tone and timbre of vocals and instruments were more natural and warmer
If I didn't know any better, this was the closest I've heard a T-amp mimic a tube amp. Keep in mind, I had also evaluated a Virtue Audio Two T-amp with a stepped attenuator. My Klipsch Forte II's sound great with this little $55 gem.

Attachment 378303

I was so impressed, I told my buddy across the country about it since he bought one of these T-amps too. He purchased a Mean Well RS-100-12 SMPS and wired up a similar DC power cable. He can verify the vast improvements that a higher quality -- ~13.5VDC and 6A -- SMPS can make with this amp.

Now I wonder what a decent regulated linear supply with 13.8VDC and 5A would do with this little amp. Has anyone tried such a power supply like the Astron or Pyramid regulated linear supplies typically used for CB radios?
Hi,
have you tried FM radio with your SMSL SA-S1? The RF interference produced by the one I have just kills fm reception.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 02:03 PM   #35
rhing is offline rhing  United States
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I understand that air core inductors do not effectively filter RF interference produced in the T-amp circuitry. I don't listen to AM/FM radio, except when I am driving, so it is not an issue for me. In the meantime, I am enjoying the SMSL amp, which has produced the best sound quality of any T-amp I've owned.

Ultimately, I do prefer the sound of tube gear. My main system consists of a restored Kenwood PC-400U belt/idler drive turntable (similar to Thorens TD-124) with a Talisman Alchemist 2B MC cartridge, an Audio Research PH5 phono stage, an Audio Research LS7 line stage and an original Dynakit Stereo 35 that I restored and modified with Dave Gillespie's EFB and power supply module. The SMSL T-amp gives me 90% to 95% of the performance of my tube amp system for less than $100 including the upgraded SMPS, especially when it runs with my PH5 phono stage. I would consider this T-amp an incredible audio bargain.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 02:15 PM   #36
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Having lived with a wonderful modded Dynaco 35 that is about the highest praise I have ever heard for any T amp!
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Old 23rd October 2013, 03:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Octavia View Post
Having lived with a wonderful modded Dynaco 35 that is about the highest praise I have ever heard for any T amp!
The T-amp doesn't have the bloom and sweet EL84 tonality, but it does produce warm tone on its own. I love my Stereo 35 and I have a couple Dynaco SCA-35 amps as transformer donors to build a couple Stereo 35 clones. Shannon Parks just came out with his ST-35 boards with accommodations for adding EFB.


Compared to my vintage Sony TA-3060 and heavily modded Adcom GFA-535 SS amps, the SMSL beats them hands-down. Both SS amps have a warm and smooth presentation, but the SMSL has better separation and it reproduces the soundstage in greater size. Keep in mind I am using 98dB sensitive Klipsch Forte IIs, which match up well with the lower powered T-amps. I think speaker pairing is a key to getting the most out of a T-amp.


Going back to the issue of RFI, Michael Mardis developed a shielding mod using Copper foil for the Trends TA-10.1 T-amp for attenuating some of the RFI radiating from the stock air core inductors in the output filter. I haven't had a need to do something similar with the SMSL SA-S1, but it is an option for reducing RFI.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 06:05 PM   #38
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I urge you to try a TDA7297, $6 shipping included. Connected to my old Tannoys it sounds wonderful, better, to my ears, than SMSL-S1.
I cannot compare my Quad II outfit, it's been 30 years since I had them connected, I have forgotten. The 7297 sounds better than the McIntosh ss amp it replaced.
I gave up with tubes, I was always sniffing the air for burning (grin)
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Old 25th October 2013, 01:20 PM   #39
rhing is offline rhing  United States
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Originally Posted by radiosmuck View Post
I urge you to try a TDA7297, $6 shipping included. Connected to my old Tannoys it sounds wonderful, better, to my ears, than SMSL-S1.
I cannot compare my Quad II outfit, it's been 30 years since I had them connected, I have forgotten. The 7297 sounds better than the McIntosh ss amp it replaced.
I gave up with tubes, I was always sniffing the air for burning (grin)
Is there any particular TDA7297 amp module to purchase?
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Old 25th October 2013, 02:04 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by rhing View Post
Is there any particular TDA7297 amp module to purchase?
They are all the same, except one now has a disc type gain which had not been introduced when I purchased mine.
AliExpress and Ebay are both good.
An old friend and music lover is dropping in today, I'm going to amaze him!
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