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Old 8th November 2006, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default I hope nobody takes this the wrong way...

I hope nobody takes this the wrong way because I am genuinely curious.

I first heard a T-amp in the Griffin Power-Mate - a 10 w/ch amp. I was amazed. It was so different than what I was used to - wide - crisp - and precise. I loved it. Even at 10 watts. Cost me all of $USD80 (probably cheaper - I don't remember). I put it through my 1970 EPI 100's. It was amazing.

Then I built a UcD and the love affair was all over - the Hypex module slapped the T-amp down so hard it wasn't funny.

Now, I am flat and green when it comes to amp design - I'm simply a kit builder - nothing more. I don't know much at all.

But why do people still rave about the T-amps when they are nowhere close to Bruno's amps?

Is it simply price? I mean I understand the T's are cheap - really cheap. But once you build up a whole device the UcD bang-for-the-buck is priceless.

Like I said up-front - I have no agenda here - just curious. Why spend the money and time when you can absolutely deck (read : totally destroy) the Tripath scene for so little money and effort?

Why mess around with an amp that can be powered by flashlight batteries when the real thing is so easy to get and build?

Can you really stack a T-Amp up against a UcD and get a fair fight?

Is there something I've missed? I hope you all understand my question as it is meant. If there is something to learn here I'm open to it...

Regards,
Tom
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Old 8th November 2006, 04:13 AM   #2
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default observations..

It is unlikely that anyone will take your comments in a poor light. I just finished a 41 Hz amp 6 Basic last night...haven't let it break in. ..so my observations are very limited..

I suspect though , that the UCD modules may infact be an overall better "all-round" design-- not that I'm an expert.

But they use a non-Tripath chip and so the comparisons are not really head to head anyways. And the price differential is about 6X's when you consider the price of the recommended power supply. Obviously the power output is not nearly the same (and hence my "better allround design" comment).

My initial thoughts in the 41 Hz amp are beyond what I expected. With a couple of minor tweaks (parts upgrades) I think the little Amp6 will be something wuite remarkable. It already is, but say put a nice little enclosure around it, use a swich with a delay on it,to turn it on, make/buy a/reuse a nice little case, and add some decent RCA jacks, a good quality volume control and a 3 way stereo selector...and..... a very nice little intergrated.

I'm using a 2.7 amp 3 volt power supply I paid USD $7 for to run. ..

check out : www.affordableaudio.org if you get a chance and am looking for some easy reading..
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Old 8th November 2006, 04:57 AM   #3
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Default I would love to build tube gear...

I would love to build tube gear, hardly cheap, but amazingly seductive!

If I had my 'druthers I'd rather be building big SET's. But, I don't have the expertise. Next best thing (my father built tube amps when I was a kid that I have never forgotten) is the UcD's.

Maybe this winter I will diligently try to electrocute myself building tube amps - but there is so much more to learn than assembling genius devices like the UcD's.

There is a threshold in DIY that one has to cross - one that I have miles to go befiore I even approach. I am currently reading the Navy Tube Manual (posted here somewhere) so that when I die I'll know what killed me.

I'm told willingness is everything...

Regards,
Tom
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Old 8th November 2006, 05:52 AM   #4
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default the 41Hz amp6Basic is a T-amp.

no tubes. Workin on somethhing for my brother witrh a local tube builder..
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Old 8th November 2006, 06:20 AM   #5
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From what I hear, the UCD's are amazing amplifiers.

Some of us, however, don't have $1,000 speakers to go with them.
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Old 8th November 2006, 06:23 AM   #6
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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That's hardly fair, now is it?
Would you go out and buy a 5 watt $80 tube amp, with all the compromises that entails, then compare it to a much more powerful solid state amp module - and declare "I don't know why people rave about tube amps, these solid state amps are so much better!" Seems kinda silly, doesn't it?

The love affair with T-amps does have a lot to do with price, of course.

Have not heard the Griffin, but if it's like the "little plastic wonder" the Sonic Impact, then it doesn't show you what the Tripath chips can really do. I started with the Sonic Impact and quickly went beyond. It's all in the implementation. Even 2 different amps based on the same Tripath chip can sound different, if the power supply, input caps or output filters are different. They will sound similar, but not the same.

I've built a lot of T-Amps and they seem to respond well to good implementation. There is a lot of magic there to be uncovered. I'm sure the same is true of the UCD modules.

If you don't need the power, and many of us don't - the T-Amps are a very good solution. And of course there are higher power T-Amps. There have been threads on this forum comparing the 2 technologies. Given equal power and care in building, there doesn't seem to be a clear winner. They're both good.
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Old 8th November 2006, 06:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac
That's hardly fair, now is it?
Would you go out and buy a 5 watt $80 tube amp, with all the compromises that entails, then compare it to a much more powerful solid state amp module - and declare "I don't know why people rave about tube amps, these solid state amps are so much better!" Seems kinda silly, doesn't it?
To an extent, that's what a Tripath module is - an inexpensive amp with compromises.

The Tripath modules, from what I have read, are not quite in the same category as the UCDs in terms of quality. However, they're very, very good, and much less expensive - an Amp2 kit from 41hz is only 82$, and is capable of 300 watts per channel, but can do a whopping 600 watts per channel with a few modifications. Hypex UCD180's start at 90$/channel.
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Old 8th November 2006, 07:10 AM   #8
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I agree with Pano, you can't really compare a low power "T-Amp" with a UcD. The power level available with the UcD is going to make it the winner every time; no matter how unbiased you try to be.

I think if you really want to compare the two you will have to try an amp based on chips like the TK2350 or TA2022.
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Old 8th November 2006, 08:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by theAnonymous1
I agree with Pano, you can't really compare a low power "T-Amp" with a UcD. The power level available with the UcD is going to make it the winner every time; no matter how unbiased you try to be.

I think if you really want to compare the two you will have to try an amp based on chips like the TK2350 or TA2022.

If I put 180 watts through the speakers I'm building, I'd launch the cones across the room.
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Old 8th November 2006, 08:53 AM   #10
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spasticteapot
To an extent, that's what a Tripath module is - an inexpensive amp with compromises.
ALL amps have compromises. And just because the Tripath chips are cheap doesn't make them bad. I don't know what compromises were made on the Tripath chips, but they seem to be pretty good ones. Or maybe just lucky.

What I meant by implementation is that it may be easy to slap a chip amp on a PCB and add a few parts, but it's a lot harder to get it sounding great. Board layout, filter design, and most important - power supply , all make a difference. A lot of those things are hard to do really well in a $80 retail price amp. Know what I mean?

In this UCD vs Tripath race there has been no clear SQ winner. Both are good.
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