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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

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Old 23rd August 2006, 04:40 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Default Who likes the sonic t amp?

I acually just bought two of them and I've had one of them burning in and it is starting to smooth out.

Some of the reviews are unrealistic as to how good it sounds. I got one for our bed room and one for my gym as I had speakers, but runnnig speaker wire from the main amp in the house would have cost just as much if not more then the just buying t-amps and a power supply. So after doing some homework, and reading unbelivable reviews, I took a chance and got them.

Anyway, I acually really like the way it sounds. At first it was too bright and it didn't have enough bass, but even with it's sound out of the box, it could beat your cheap best buy amp in quality, so I was happy to acually hear music comming out of them that didn't suck when I first plugged them up. I didn't get screwed in some scam or something. With the unbelivable review from 6moons.com to many happy customers from Amazon. It only got a few bad reviews. One was from someone who bought a used one off of ebay and it arived broken (not sure why he is giving a review on a place he didn't buy it from) and a few other complaints are that it doesn't have bass and treble knobs and what not. They should have known that before they bought it. It's clear as day. Almost everyone who bought one from Amazon.com is happy. I got mine from partsexpress. They don't seem to have a review section.

Anyway, I wanted to hear some opinions for you guys.

How do you like it, and what speakers are you running them with. Do you think the reviews are too good for how it really sounds? It's been years since I've heard a tube or seperates, but for me, I'm hearing crisp trebble details and mid range that I havn't heard in a long time. The bass seems like it's a little weak, but then when a real bass hit comes along on a track, it is strong. It's kind of hard to discribe.

I think it is insain how much sound the little thing can put out, but what can it truly be compared too? It puts out a totally different sound then my Onkyo stereo amp, or my Yamaha 5.1 amp. In some ways it's way better. It seems to have a much stronger range. I listen to my amps with the knobs north and have been for years, so I'm used to trying to make my music sound as flat and natural as possible. The t-amps at the moment, seems to be a little too strong in the mid range. I have not had a 300 hour burn in either. I hope they smooth out more. They seem to be a bit bright sounding at the moment, but that bright sound brings out things in music that is usually in the background. That's a good thing, but at the same time, well, I can't think of any other words at the moment then too bright. Just a little. I hope it smooths out with more burn in time.

Anyway, please add your personal reviews as I would like to hear from you guys, and please add what type of speakers you are running and try and discribe how it sounds to you compared to a $200-300 or more amp.
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Old 23rd August 2006, 06:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Ahh, how these little things draw you in!

You will find a few days of burn in does open up the sound a lot, but stock, out-of-the-box this will always be somewhat bass-shy.

But this is a DIY site, so we're going to recommend you get your hands dirty. With ten bucks worth of parts and an hour or so of time, you can make it sound much better by replacing the coupling and reservoir capacitors.

With a scrounded box and a new set of input jacks and binding posts, probably a new pot as well, you can take another leap in looks and functionality. For a few more bucks a good power supply or lead-acid battery are much better than the AA battery setup (although the SI AC supply sounds just fine).

So, you see where this is going. This has been a first step into the world of DIY hi-end audio, for many of us with a imited amount of money and skill (although there are some real whizzes involved as well). Check out the Sonic Impact Modifications thread to get the details, as they have been flogged pretty thoroughly there and elsewhere.

As for comparisons, I'll leave that to others. Bang for the buck, it's awful hard to beat.

Me, I got started with them as an amp for a killer boombox, and I also have one powering an old set of RtR bookshelf speakers. One generally agreed upon sweet spot seems to be with highly efficient single driver speakers. There's a lot about them on these forums, too.

Bon voyage!

--Buckapound
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Old 23rd August 2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
I got this power supply for them. http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...umber=120-1135

From reading the reviews, I never really intended on using batteries with them. Finding them was like tripping over a rock. I was at partsexpress.com looking for cheap amps to power speakers that at one time all ran off of one amp in a apartment. The t amps kept showing up in searches, but I didn't understand what they were. I finally googled them and the rest is history. We moved in to a huge house and I had speakers in rooms where I wanted them and no power. Big house = can't go out and just buy amp$.

The t-amp solved all my problems. Didn't break the bank, and the WAF meter didn't drop.

Beyond that, they are just crazy. I read up a little on how they work. It sounds like the little chip cycles on and off thousands of times a second for heat control and thats what gives them the class A amp simulation sound. If I'm understanding it right anyway.
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Old 23rd August 2006, 09:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
I'm not an expert, but I think I can explain it in very simple terms.

An audio signal, in a normal amplifier, would be followed up and down proportionately by transistors turning partially on and off. In a class D (Class T is just chipmaker Tripath's proprietary name for it) amplifier, the signal is instead converted into a series of short bursts of full-on or off power. The louder the audio signal the more time proportionately at full on, the quieter, the more time off. This slicing and dicing happens at much higher frequency than the audio signal and by allowing transistors only two states, cures a number of ills of conventional amplification. Filtering out the inaudibly high frequencies restores this chopped-up waveform back to something very closely resembling the original waveform.

As in all things, there's a lot more to it than this, but thats the basic idea.

--Buckapound
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Old 23rd August 2006, 09:50 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2006
Default Well, I ain't got no regular T

I have the Super T, and from what I've heard from other reviews, the improvement is marginal for the money. However, given the amount of money people round these here parts are shelling out for upgrade mods and new chassis, the Super T is a bargin at $139.00us . But I got mine on E-bay for 100 bucks.

I found that this little amp needs some break in, something I never really believed in until I bought this amp ('break in', that is). But it's performance belies its size and power rating. I use it primarily on my homebrew Bipole FR Ratshack 1354s in .75 cu.ft box with forward firing 8" PR. I get all the bass I want, but its the mid-range that startlingly good at times. Enough to make me want to play a lot of CDs I haven't played in a while, just to hear nuances.

I was originally only interested in this for its portability, using an MP3 player as a source, but when I hooked into my main rig, it played nearly as loud and even more dynamically than my so-called 100 watt home amp. Seems signal strength is everything with the success of this amp, But I'm afraid many are only going to use this in conjunction with portable playback devices and never fully appreciate what its capable of doing.

Right now I'm discovering some synergy twix my Super T and a Durabrand DUR1700 portable DVD player; I've been using this combo as a bookshelf system in my bedroom (along with my bipoles). The DVD player has considerably strong line out signal than any other portable device I've owned and the Super T likes this, and so do I; much better dynamics with a strong input signal.

Hell, when I can afford it, I'm getting another one.
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Old 24th August 2006, 07:15 AM   #6
Daveis is offline Daveis  United States
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Des Moines, IA
Compared battery powered Sonic Impact t-amp to Aleph30 head-to-head.

Sonic Impact has a nice sound, but almost unreal dissection of the music. Very dark, quiet background.

Aleph is musical,smooth with a bit of overly warm second harmonic fluff.

Hard to say which I like better. I ultimately got rid of the t-amp because of the low power.

Within it's power limits, the t-amp's are very good. They make wonderful tweeter amps in a biamp situation.
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