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Old 3rd January 2015, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default A good commercial class d under $100

Hi All,

We're selling our home and stuff needs to be packed in order to show the house, including my music workstation (88 key electronic piano, hafler amp and preamp, klipsch speakers, etc) I need something to get me by in the meantime. I bought a Sonic Impact T-Amp some time ago and it's fine but I was wondering if there is a commercially available amp for under $100 that is "the NEW exciting thing". All I need is one pair of stereo ins (from a computer) and enough power to drive a pair of fairly efficient polk audio bookshelf speakers (I think that 20w per channel would be more than enough). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 3rd January 2015, 06:12 PM   #2
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For digital sources the HiFimeDIY UD80 and UD20 are not far from beeing a non-plus-ultra in this price range I think
They are true digital PWM amplifiers with no analog-digital conversion before the actual amplification
Almost all Class D's are (digital mp3 etc-PWM-)analog-PWM-digital-PWM-analog while these are straight digital-PWM-analog which is theoretically more lossless and more "original"... I doubt you can hear a massive difference between any other good Class-D but it's technically simply awesome

But there are dozens of good to very good amps by Wosong, Sure, SMSL, Muse,.... in that price range, though unfortunatley noone ever compared all or at least of them as far as I know

Are you looking exclusivly for cased amps or also for modules?

Last edited by ForenSeil; 3rd January 2015 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 3rd January 2015, 10:36 PM   #3
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Thanks ForenSeil,

You know a lot more about this stuff than I do. I was looking at the SMSL SA-50 but the HiFimeDIY line sounds pretty interesting. I have an M-Audio delta 44 sound card which has it's own dac:

4 x 4 24-bit/96kHz full-duplex audio interface
Software configurable for +4dBu and -10dBV signal levels

so I'm assuming that I don't need an external dac (well, I'm starting to realize how little I know about this). Right now I'm looking for a cased unit but I'd also be interested in recommendations for modules because I plan on working on a couple of projects as soon as we move and get settled.

Thanks again!
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Old 4th January 2015, 07:03 PM   #4
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SMSL SA-60 - it uses the TI TPA3116 IC which is regarded by many as far superior to Tripath tech.
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Old 4th January 2015, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undefinedza View Post
SMSL SA-60 - it uses the TI TPA3116 IC which is regarded by many as far superior to Tripath tech.
TPA3116 chip is high class aswell but definitely not "far superior" compared to Tripath TK2050 chips in general.
At least I don't know ANY comercial available TPA3116 module which sounds better than the TK2050 (Tripath) from HiFimeDIY

And I know TPA3116 modules which sound slightly inferior to Lepai 2020A+ (Which uses Tripath TP2020 but worst surrounding parts - maybe the worst TP2020 amp available - and TP2020 is known to be inferior in terms of audioquality towards TK2050)
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Old 6th January 2015, 06:28 PM   #6
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The last time I got my hands dirty with an electronics project was about 45 years ago with a heathkit shortwave radio, so please forgive my ignorance as I'm just now trying to come out of the dark ages. I mentioned in my second post of this thread that I have an m-audio delta 44 connected to the computer and in my old fashioned way of thinking I thought that I would connect the 1/4" outs (with some adaptors) to the inputs of the amp. I see that the HiFimeDIY UD80 has usb input only. I assume that this bypasses the audio card completely so that the quality of my audio card would not matter. Is this true? Their website says that it supports linux which is what I use. And, secondly, most of these units don't have headphone output. Would it be possible to build a box with a simple switch to go between a headphone jack and the speaker jacks, or is that a lame idea?

Thanks
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Old 6th January 2015, 11:59 PM   #7
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Many amps have built in headphone out and speaker out. The SMSL SA60 for example with TPA3116 has it. That unit has a rotary encoder volume that resets to zero on power cycle. Many people don't like that feature. The SMSL 36A pro uses the similar non heatsinked TPA3118 which is good for 25watts with standard pot volume control. That model is simpler and many report it to sound very nice stock. The Sure TPA3116D2 is also reported to sound very nice in stock form. Most amps if upgraded with Panasonic OSCON's can really be improved for $5 more.
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Old 7th January 2015, 09:55 PM   #8
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Hi xrk971,

Thanks for the reply. The SMSL SA60 claims to have a "headphone jack" but I believe that it's just a 3.5 mm input.

"Support 2 inputs, RCA input jack and 3.5mm headphone jack input. Flexible and easy to connect a variety of the latest audio equipment, computers, cell phones, players, etc"

and no sign at all of a headphone jack on the The SMSL 36A. I couldn't find the Sure TPA3116D2 on amazon or on shure's website but they did have this:
Sure Electronics' webstore 2 X 50Watt Class D Audio Amplifier - TDA7492
any thoughts?
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Old 8th January 2015, 02:08 AM   #9
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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My mistake. Try the topping.
Topping TP21 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier with Headphone 25 WPC:Amazon:Industrial & Scientific
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Old 8th January 2015, 03:57 AM   #10
erik777 is offline erik777  United States
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I have a tk 2050 and the 3116. The 3116 i find is more dynamic, transparent and in many cases more tonally balanced than the 2050.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForenSeil View Post
TPA3116 chip is high class aswell but definitely not "far superior" compared to Tripath TK2050 chips in general.
At least I don't know ANY comercial available TPA3116 module which sounds better than the TK2050 (Tripath) from HiFimeDIY

And I know TPA3116 modules which sound slightly inferior to Lepai 2020A+ (Which uses Tripath TP2020 but worst surrounding parts - maybe the worst TP2020 amp available - and TP2020 is known to be inferior in terms of audioquality towards TK2050)
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