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TPA3116D2 Amp
TPA3116D2 Amp
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Old 23rd October 2013, 05:02 PM   #521
wushuliu is offline wushuliu  United States
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Originally Posted by rsavas View Post


I do get a chuckle about talking about a cheap Class "D" amp and $1000-7000 speakers. Some how it just does not seem to be a fair comparison for the class "D" amp. But in the end it sound just fine to me.

My speakers are diy but would certainly be worth ~$2000 retail and these TPAs are as good as any amp I've tried with them including SimpleSE and Onix SP3 tube amps, IR2092, Tripaths, Pioneer chip amp receiver (Geddes), and various solid states.

I've mentioned the $10 PE TPA3110 at other audiophile forums but can't get anyone to try them. These chips are so cheap that I think people just refuse to take them seriously or just think they are going to be like Tripaths. It's only by random luck that the TBI Millenia amp (TPA3100) has become an audiophile darling - it was available for 4 years before anyone noticed. Now people are comparing it to four and five figure amps, including Ncore. The slick enclosure goes a long way I imagine.

Does anyone think the Yuan Jin boards can be improved upon (aside from component modding)? These amps are so good I'd like a bona fide high quality board, provided there's room for improvement.

Last edited by wushuliu; 23rd October 2013 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 05:20 PM   #522
paulab is offline paulab
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Originally Posted by xrk971 View Post
Try looping your speaker cables a couple of times through a ferrite donut EMI suppressor as close to the amp output as possible. Also, does your class D amp employ the EMI snubber circuit as recommended by TI?

Shielding a cable is a very tricky thing to do properly - if you have a small gap or leak (as you will after the cables between the speaker banana posts and leading to the drivers themselves inside the cabinet), it will do no good.

Would the snubber circuit be the four smd caps directly adjacent to the output terminals and I imagine connected with them?


Otherwise I'm not too up on the schematic of this Sure Electroncs 2X8 watt TPA3110 board sold by Parts Express.


Thanks for the suggestion of looping through ferrite donuts.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 05:41 PM   #523
radiosmuck is offline radiosmuck  Canada
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Pls explain, as I am confused by this statement.

I do get a chuckle about talking about a cheap Class "D" amp and $1000-7000 speakers. Some how it just does not seem to be a fair comparison for the class "D" amp. But in the end it sound just fine to me.


I have purchased a number of D amps over the last year or so, 6 I believe, and they all radiate RF interference to a greater or lesser degree. I have tried ferrite beads on the speaker wire, replaced the switching psu with a linear, even tried a mains isolating transformer.
My speakers are 3 sided, designed to fit in the room corners, so I cannot shorten the wires.
My best sonic results, to my ears anyway, is a pisswilly little TDA7297 costing $6 including postage from China, unbelievable. I purchased it originally to put inside one of a pair of RS Minimus 7 speakers and just for giggles I connected it to my Tannoys. I love, I get no rf interference and it beats the pants off a McIntosh SS intergrated amp it replaced.
I did mention this on the Tannoy Forum but it was not discussed. I guess if you have invested a wad on tube gear.........
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Old 23rd October 2013, 08:04 PM   #524
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post
I've mentioned the $10 PE TPA3110 at other audiophile forums but can't get anyone to try them. These chips are so cheap that I think people just refuse to take them seriously or just think they are going to be like Tripaths.
I recently tried the $10 Sure TPA3110D2 and I agree it sounds unbelievable - for the size and the price. I like the screw terminals and option for hard soldering line inputs and speaker outputs. I think it sounds almost as good as the 3116 just lower power. If you drive it with 19v and use 4 ohm speakers the distortion is even lower and power higher. I bought some Panasonic 470uF power caps to upgrade but haven't had time yet as they sound so good stock.

Everyone should have at least a couple of these on hand for DIY projects. Pair this with a 99dB pro audio driver and it is unbelievably loud and clean.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 08:53 PM   #525
KJA 2013 is offline KJA 2013  United States
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Originally Posted by xrk971 View Post
I recently tried the $10 Sure TPA3110D2 and I agree it sounds unbelievable - for the size and the price. I like the screw terminals and option for hard soldering line inputs and speaker outputs. I think it sounds almost as good as the 3116 just lower power. If you drive it with 19v and use 4 ohm speakers the distortion is even lower and power higher. I bought some Panasonic 470uF power caps to upgrade but haven't had time yet as they sound so good stock.

Everyone should have at least a couple of these on hand for DIY projects. Pair this with a 99dB pro audio driver and it is unbelievably loud and clean.
I have one of them now and I hope to give it a good listen in the next few days.
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Old 24th October 2013, 03:06 AM   #526
Tubelab_com is offline Tubelab_com  United States
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these TPAs are as good as any amp I've tried with them including SimpleSE
This reminds me of a currently running Toyota commercial on American TV where other cars are compared to the Camry...."it's as good as a Camry"

Obviously I have a bias to my old friend the SSE which has been connected into my studio/lab system for almost 8 years. The system has evolved over time, and dozens of amps have come and gone, but SSE number 1 (the first one ever made) has remained. I have a Technics turntable that I bought new in 1978, a Toshiba DVD player that also plays CD's, and a Haswell based PC that is a media center, recording studio, and DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and a small Samson mixer to tie it all together and provide inputs for guitars and mics.

The Yamaha studio monitors have been here for 10+ years. There is a cheap Polk powered subwoofer (10 inch 50 watts) behind the computer monitor on the left pointed backwards at the corner of the room. This is done primarily to avoid rattling the monitor to death and the cheap sub seems to sound better this way. Loud EDM will cause the sub to distort before the SSE. The Yamahas die at about 80 Hz, so the sub is set to go from 100 Hz down to "32 Hz". I am in the process of rearranging the studio/lab so the FH3 horn speakers are not present here yet, nor are the DIY "loudboxes" that I use for playing guitar.

I use a mediocre laptop for a mobile DAW, along with a Lepai 2020 T amp and the pair of loudboxes all run from a boat battery. Two weeks ago I had this system set up at an outdoor ham radio show connected to a Roland keyboard. I have plans to build a portable DJ/DAW "boombox" that runs on battery power for these situations. A friend from work came by and told me that he had several TI evaluation boards that I could play with so I went to see him. I got to test a TI 3116 board, and saw it make big power in the lab at work, but didn't hear it. I had to give that one back, but I did get a 3100 board to take home.

It is exactly the same as the board shown in post #1 of this thread where it is also compared to the SSE:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/class...***-d-amp.html

So what should I do????? Well I think I should compare it to the SSE!

I disconnected the SSE and wired the TI 3100 board in its place leaving everything else the same. I had to flip the "phase" switch on the sub to make it work. I tried powering the board from a Sorensen bench power supply that can be adjusted from 0 to 25 volts and will put out up to 5 amps. I also tried the 19 volt laptop brick from the mediocre HP laptop rated for 3.5 amps.

The SSE runs triode wired KT88's for about 8 WPC. It weighs about 20 pounds and draws about 120 watts to make 16 watts of audio. It burns those 120 watts all the time, even when no music is playing. The TI board makes more power if you turn up the B+ voltage. I liked it best with the power supply maxed at 25 volts. It idles at less than a watt of power consumption, and consumes about 10% more power than it puts out. The SSE measures at about 1% distortion at 5 watts. The TI board measures 0.11%.

Listening tests at low volume levels didn't reveal a clear winner. The amps sounded quite similar, with an edge to the 3100 in the dynamics, and an edge to the SSE in detail and realism. When the volume was cranked the 3100 was quite obvious when it clipped. The SSE is subtle. You can see the clipping on the scope before you can hear it. Even though the 3100 has more than twice the power of the SSE, they both become too distorted to listen to at about the same acoustical level. For most music, I would chose the SSE, for EDM, techno, and some loud rock, the chip amp might be a batter choice.

For now, I am going to leave the 3100 in place, because I have two different YuanJing 3116 boards waiting for a suitable power supply. They will get tested next.

There is no contest for a battery powered portable "BoomStation." Some sort of chip amp will get used. So far I like what I hear with these little chips.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Setup_2a.jpg (197.5 KB, 940 views)
File Type: jpg Setup_1a.jpg (195.6 KB, 927 views)
File Type: jpg SSEa.jpg (220.1 KB, 930 views)
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Old 24th October 2013, 05:18 AM   #527
wushuliu is offline wushuliu  United States
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Originally Posted by tubelab.com View Post
So far I like what I hear with these little chips.
That's why I made sure to say as good as, not 'better'! I miss my SSE and at some point look forward to building another one. That was a great amp. Thanks for doing the comparison and sharing your thoughts.
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Old 24th October 2013, 11:48 AM   #528
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Good review George and thanks for being objective even in subjective tests.
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Old 24th October 2013, 01:38 PM   #529
Tubelab_com is offline Tubelab_com  United States
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I ran out of time last night, but I was going to say that the 3100 board sounds much better, and distorts less when fed by the linear power supply, even when it is set to the 19.2 volts that the laptop brick puts out.

The laptop brick has hard current limiting, and possibly foldback, so that when you ask it for over 3.2 amps even for a millisecond, its voltage output drops. The recovery time once the overload is removed can be 10's of milliseconds. Most SMPS's do this by design to protect themselves. The big old linear supply has a fat capacitor across it's output, so for short intervals it can put out even more than it's 5 amp rating.

I have a MeanWell 156 watt unit on order for the 3116 boards. The 3116 board can put out 200 watts, so it will need at least 225 watts to operate at full power. This can be acomplished by putting a large cap across it's output, since you don't need full power continuously. Some SMPS's will refuse to start up into a large cap. Some experimentation will be needed.

The "BoomStation" that I want to build will never need this much power when used on battery power, or with its internal speakers, but it will be capable of playing through external speakers on AC power, hence the need for small efficient audio amps.

Quote:
George and thanks for being objective even in subjective tests.
I always tell it like I see it. I will always have my SSE in the system, but I can switch in other amps rather easilly, and its always good to have another weapon in your arsenal. I made several chip amps in the late 90's since the National Semiconductor sales rep was always giving me free chips. I wasn't too keen on these since I could blow them up by playing my guitar through them. I fixed several Peavey amps with blown chips too. It's too soon to tell how the TI chips can eat overdriven guitar, but I did get some TAS5630 chips for a BIG amp.
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Old 24th October 2013, 01:39 PM   #530
rsavas is offline rsavas  Canada
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Pls explain, as I am confused by this statement.

Quote:
I do get a chuckle about talking about a cheap Class "D" amp and $1000-7000 speakers. Some how it just does not seem to be a fair comparison for the class "D" amp. But in the end it sound just fine to me.

radiosmuck
What I mean is some/most? people who own $1000-7000 speakers do not consider a class "D amp worthy of driving their expensive speakers.
As a case in point, as wushuliu has stated
Quote:
I've mentioned the $10 PE TPA3110 at other audiophile forums but can't get anyone to try them.
I call them audiophile snob's. Like a kid that won't eat something and has never even tasted it.
I do like the comparison of a class "A" tube amp with a class "D" amp. I wonder what Nelson Pass has to say about Class "D" amps? People have to learn to put their biases aside and look at things objectively. Akin to thinking with your head and not your heart.
I hope I have clarified my point.

Tubelab.com, your feedback is great information to read about testing of these TI parts. I have not done the extensive testing that you are doing so it valuable info for me.
I am skeptical of powering my TPA3100D2 design using a switch-mode supply, but since the premise of using class "D" is for efficiency gains, it does make sense to use one. I will try using my HP laptop brick and see how it performs with the amp itself and the tuner etc to see if it makes any differences that I can determine.

Cheers
Rick

Last edited by rsavas; 24th October 2013 at 01:50 PM.
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