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Old 16th September 2006, 01:28 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Default SI nightmare

I was upgrading the input caps in one and almost got it. One channel had a buzz in it and when I went to double check the work, I lost the pad to connect the cap too.

I was going to swallow my pride and just order the super t amp. Then I went to the bedroom to turn on a 100% never opened one month old SI t amp and it's dead. All it does is make some poping noises out of it.

What gives? Is quality really that bad on them? I broke one on my own, but the other just stopped working on it's own.

I'm having a lousy night.

Be carefull modding your t-amps. One slip and it's all over. Or, they might just stop working on you all togeather. I'm going to see if I can get the untouched one replaced under warranty.
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Old 16th September 2006, 01:34 AM   #2
Davet is offline Davet  United States
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Location: Reston, Virginia (surburb of Wash, DC)
Default Pad Recovery

If the lost pad is for the tank cap C10 you can just track the PCB circuit and make an attachment near the tripath chip.

As to the faulty Si I don't know what to tell you. With some luck there will be someone that can help you.
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Old 16th September 2006, 02:05 AM   #3
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks for the tip. Something else happened and I'm not sure what. I had one channel working perfecly and now the whole thing is dead.

I think I just killed it. What I'm more upset about is that the stock SI amp failed. I was getting ready to just order the super t amp, but now I question the quality of the SI. I know that a few can be DOA, but mine (after looking at the recipt) is acualy only about three weeks old.

Anyone buy a DOA super t amp, or had one fail early on them? I know quality of them is better, but is it good enough?
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Old 16th September 2006, 06:19 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2006
Originally posted by gvr4ever
Anyone buy a DOA super t amp, or had one fail early on them? I know quality of them is better, but is it good enough? [/B]
Since the price is substantially more for Super T, I'm hoping their QC is better for that line of amps. I own a Super T and the fit and finish is very good, and it sounds superb.

If you're not very good with a smoldering iron, you may want to go this route. I'm not slagging you or anything; I knew I'd have smoked a couple of these things myself and after adding up the cost of all the upgrades and accessories, the Super T was a slam dunk.

FWIW: I paid $80.00US for mine, from E-bay.
(insert clever anecdote here)
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Old 16th September 2006, 02:37 PM   #5
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If its an input cap pad that you have lost then just bridge the connection and do the stealth mod, it's a lot easier than trying to attach an off-board cap.

Don't give up, look on the positive side, it can't get any worse if it's already dead!
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Old 16th September 2006, 03:14 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
A little update.

I called up parts express this morning to get a RA# on the busted SI amp and they are going to let me return two power supplies. It turns out that they made a mistake on what power supply is compatable with the SI amp. PN 120-1135 13.5 VCD 1700mA adapter was suppost to be in spec with the SI, but I was told it could power spike. I guess that's what happened with the amp I didn't touch. Not sure. It worked for about three weeks and now all it does is make some popping noises when I turn it on.

Either way, I'm going to get a little over $70 in credit and I'm just going to spend a little more and get the super t amp.

While I had one channel working with upgraded input caps, it sounded amazing. In fact, at the moment, I have a 80s Sansui brick that is rated at 130 watts RMS and the t-amp for a short moment (while working), the SI sounded better.

I can't wait to get the super t amp hooked up to my SACD player. I'll just leave the CD player on repeat and leave the house for the 100 hour break in. It will be my main amp untill I get a 41hz amp6 kit.

I don't want to discurage anyone from modding a SI amp. I'm just new to this micro stuff. It was my first attempt and I came really close to doing the job right. At the same time tho, after finding and buying the correct power supply, taking the time to get parts in and work on the SI amp and still having the stock speaker connectors and mini adapter input, plastic case..... I think it might acually just be worth it to start with the super t amp in the first place. It's $139 new, comes with a power supply, a nice case, and the internals are all upgraded compared to it's baby brother.. You could go to best buy and get a starter POS amp for that and it would sound like crap.

My main comlaint about the baby SI amp, is that it doesn't just come with a power adapter. Too many people are breaking them with the wrong power supply and even after doing my homework, I still bought the wrong power supply(acording to a partsexpress technition). Parts express was really cool about letting me return a busted t amp and two power supplies that I have no use for. Partsexpress rocks!!!!
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Old 17th September 2006, 01:58 PM   #7
keps is offline keps  Philippines
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I also had the same problem when upgrading the input caps.
One pad went off, So I ended up with one channel working.

I just stopped working on it co'z I might kill the whole thing.

After a week, nothing to do, I totally diconnected everything and traced the board, very tiny path that I found and started soldering carefully from that area and was able to make it all work again, but it now has a wayward looking jumper, but still sounds great.
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Old 17th September 2006, 11:33 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
It is amazing what such a cheap amp can do if you get the job done right. For me, I only had a 40 watt gun and it was too hot. I knew it, but I tried using it anyway.

I am going to get this before I attempt anything else.

The parts are so small. Also, I still gotta bash build quality a little. My t-amp board acually had a burn mark on it from the factory.

Here is a pic of the SI t-amp board.

Here is the super t amp.

Also, if you want to practice, sells practice kits to warm up before working on the real thing. I'm going to attempt the amp6. I'm sure with the right work station, I could get it.

I will probably go back and mess around with that one amp later on. I don't think I killed it for good, but I just need to walk away from it for awhile.
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Old 18th September 2006, 10:03 PM   #9
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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I bought 3 t-amps from thinkgeek. One for my brother, one for a friend and one for me. And as I am a very experienced hobby electronic I just had to modify the cute little thing for me and the friend.

Did the "stealth" mod on both, pre heated the board to 65 degree celsius(very helpful to get the soldering done real quick which saves the delicate components) Both worked like a dream!

None of these amps are still alive today (purchased january 2006!).
One amp I f****d up myself experimenting just to much on it( wanted to know how much it could handle), so I thought "my own fault...".

The friend's amp just quit like that, while he was listening to it (he uses a nicad battery 10.8 volt (measures just over 12 volts-no load) and 8 ohm speakers. This one allready made me scratch the back of my head.

My brothers version (he didn't want it modded 'cause he uses it on his mediocre compu-speakers anyway) passed away a few days ago....The outsourcing to China seems to do the quality no good of these amps!
(God*******,********,**,*****,*******,***!!)javasc ript:smilie('')

In june I bought a 4x 100watt (4x 50watts contunious with acceptable distortion) amp from autocostruire (Italy) and think much higher of the overall quality of this amp. It's indeed more expensive but if you are considering buying a super t-amp, consider this amp first! I really tortured this amp(shorts between speaker cables, shorts to the housing(ground) connected electrostatic loudspeakers(with a minimum load of 1 ohm!) and haven't managed to wreck it yet! And most of all it sounds(now after 350 listening hours) like a dream!
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Old 18th September 2006, 10:17 PM   #10
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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Or maybe-by the way- the TA2024 chip is inferior, afterall they didn't make the TA2021B chip(with the same interior configuration) with a different heat-slug for nothing?

If you're interested in a mini-amp I think the amps are the affordable and probably more rugged ones(that is if you're well capable of soldering it together yourself).

They have a new amp with the TA2021B chip with a footprint that measures only 2x5cm!(that's smaller than an average lighter!).
And a version that measures the same as a SI amp (board) with a rectifier bridge on board, so you only need a simple transformer!

Many sources on the net find this amp sounding better than a super t-amp and it delivers slightly more power!
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