Does the 2024 have magic the 2021b doesn't?
After listening a lot to both Tripath chips in the following configurations
- T-amp (unmodded and modded)
- 2024 evaluation board
- 2021b evaluation board
- amp3 (2021b)
I've reached some sort of a conclusion that overall I find the 2021
based configurations better sounding when I listen to it analysing.
It's got better depth in the soundstage, also a more overall
balanced, richer sound I think.
I don't experience the same 'magic' listening experience I have
when I listen to the 2024 config. (When I started out with the
t-amp) I've got the feeling that's mainly because of the very
strong,sizzling highs and mids this chip produces. (some find this too
shrill or harsh).
I feel this gives the extra clarity and transparity which I just keep
missing listening to the 2021b based setups, no matter how much I
try to convince myself they do sound overall 'better'. Sometime I
also think the 2024 being more efficient and more dynamic, but that
could be my imagination.
Anyone else with the same experience?
It gets kinda annoying, bacause I can't really enjoy listening
anymore, always having the feeling I'm missing something crucial.
(As I fried all my 2024's, I'm considering buying a new evaluation
board. The last one I killed with reversed polarity (how stupid can
one be) and my input modded t-amp just died last week for no
appearant reason, killing 1 channel all of a sudden while listening...)
Your impressions of the T-amp and Amp3 are very consistent with mine, except that "better depth in the soundstage, also a more overall
balanced, richer sound" are precisely qualities I like, and so I enjoy the Amp3 a lot :) .
I too was impressed by the T-amps clarity and pace. However, now that my Amp3 has a good power supply and has burned in, there is no comparison -- my modded T-amp sounds thin and the bass feel fast, but has no depth. The speakers I use have fairly flat response to 30+ Hz, and they reveal the weaknesses of the T-amp very clearly. Using the same supply (eg. SLA for both), the Amp3 seems to have much more than 3dB additional headroom more than the T-amp.
The TA2024 was a little harsh on some music in my system and the soundstage seemed a bit flat. I always felt the TA2024 was outstanding with clarity and detail, but I had problem with the tone being a little thin.
My amp 3 is only 72 hours old (burning-in continuously) and I have listened only sparsely this week, but I feel it's tone is better and less fatiguing. The highs are a little attenuated compared to the TA2024, but that's a good thing in my case. Also, the imaging is deeper. The bass is probably the best quality I've heard in my room. I haven't determined at this point if the amp 3 compromises any of the "magical" details and air that the TA2024 provides. The tamed highs may give that initial perception. I used the same input caps and battery on both amps, BTW.
I suppose whether you opt for the amp 3 or TA2024 depends upon the speakers you employ. Single-drivers may sound better with the amp 3's fuller sound while conventional multi-way speakers may be great with the other. You know how these things are, time will tell which amp becomes the true favorite. As of now the amp 3 gets my nod.
P.S. I had the TA2024 board at a gathering of audionuts and was impressed by two things:
(1) How good it sounded on acoustic material compared to some great tube amps; and
(2) How the highs sounded a bit out of balance (exaggerated) on some recorded material (it's not a forgiving creature and demands a really great source and recorded material).
Thanks to you both for your replies. Sure looks like we are on the same path here.
@ mb : I think we agree on the quality of the amp3 board. I'll probably start missing it's deeper soundstage once I start listening to to the 2024 again (haven't got one right now).
But what is your experience when you compare the highs with the 2024? This is exactly the area why I keep longing for the 2024.
Interesting points you have, and very similar to my experiences. The 2024 seem to have an equally wide soundstage, but not as deep as the 2021. When you refer to the thinness you probably refer to the lower frequencies.
I'm very interested in your final opinion and if the overall better sound of the 2021 makes you forget the not easily equalled chill factor of the 2024. It's especially with the acoustic material (where the attention is drawn even more for just the sound of the individual instruments where it seems the advantages the 2021's better soundstage etc seem less important than the very defined and sharp sound of the 2024 I fell in love with.
In general: what psu's are you both using with the amp3? I'm using a 13,8 V on it, which seems a little to low (bought this for the 2024 boards). What influence could this be on the performance of the 2021 board? Just in the power department or could other area's be affected too?
Maybe a bi-amp solution of a 2024 for the highs and 2021 for the mids/lows could be the solution (but not a very practical one I'm afraid :D)
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