T amps are overhyped

matteos

[H]ard|Gawd
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There I said it. I keep reading posts about how good they sound.. So I bought one that I didn't even really need... a Topping TP21.

It sound thin, reedy, underpowered and no better than a mid range AVR. I won't be recommending one again to anybody. Sure for the price and the size it's not bad, but in terms of absolute sound quality it does not deliver. I've been living with it in a computer setup for about 6 weeks, ran it in my main rig for a while too.
 

bexamous

[H]ard|Gawd
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Just throw out whatever PSU it came with, get some 12-14.4v laptop power supply, and then don't go past maybe 1/3 on volume on Tamp and sound IMO is great. This is not really specific to any Tamp, just in general.

I've got a nice Virtue One that was good out of the box, but then in bedroom I got a $20 one off Amazon and I just replaced the PSU and its nearly as good.
 

matteos

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Yeah I tried it with that, I have an older laptop PSU.. Though the one that comes with the Dayton isn't bad like the one that comes with the Lepai. It just sounds digitally and thin like a cheap AVR does.

Shame because they look cool and they're so small.
 

450

Fully [H]
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I'm not too into T-Amps. I do like digital receivers though. (Panasonic SA-XR55, Sony S-Master)
 

LeninGHOLA

Vladimir Hayt
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I spent some time with 2 of the Dayton T amps, and they were decent. You get what you pay for. The HK integrated amps are quite a bit better, but usually go for 2-2.5x the cost.
 

rudy

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There I said it. I keep reading posts about how good they sound.. So I bought one that I didn't even really need... a Topping TP21.

It sound thin, reedy, underpowered and no better than a mid range AVR. I won't be recommending one again to anybody. Sure for the price and the size it's not bad, but in terms of absolute sound quality it does not deliver. I've been living with it in a computer setup for about 6 weeks, ran it in my main rig for a while too.

A T amp and a good one should be decent, but I don't think anyone ever said a T-amp was suppose to crush an AVR, most people use a T-AMP because they don't want to spend $300 or so on an AVR. The amp and electronics in an AVR should be as good or better than a T-amp. The comparison most people are making is getting speakers with built in amps or all in one setups to a T-amp and a better pair of passive speakers. In this case the T-amp should give you more flexibility in price to get speakers you want instead of being chained to the high profit margins of good powered speakers or buying shitty powered speakers.
 

atarione

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Mar 17, 2011
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what speakers did you try to drive with the t-amp and how big was the room?

the power supply that comes with the topping is probably decent .. however the power supplies that come for the lepai's are garbage...anything 4A or better is probably not holding the t-amp back.

but trying to drive low sensitivity speakers or fill a fairly big room may not show the t-amp in their best light.. or really cranking them as distortions increases w/ volume on t-amps.


I like my SMSL SA-S3 i have it hooked up to a pair of Optimus PRO-X44AV speakers

http://support.radioshack.com/support_audio/doc53/53086.htm and have had it running with a assortment of speakers in the past (JBL L1, B&W V202, Polk RTi4, NHT SuperZero's , tried it out w/ my Monitor Audio Silver S1s) it has always sound nice (sort of warm I guess) something like a old tube amp almost really.... but i have always been using it nearfield and a fairly moderate/low volumes...

too ea their own certainly....for the small footprint and tiny power consumption (mine uses about 4watts running at normal listening levels), I think they are quite good....I do however prefer my vintage amps and receivers to be sure...
 

matteos

[H]ard|Gawd
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Tried it with a couple of sets of speakers. One set of floorstanders that are 89db and then a 2.1 set with 86db efficient speakers and a 10" 150w sub.

I guess it had enough juice if not to crank it.. But the SQ doesn't compare to a real power amp.

It makes sense if you are going for a budget option like the Lepai in a PC setup, but if you are dropping more than $100 it doesn't.. A used power amp for $100-$200 makes so much more sense in terms of SQ.

I don't hate it, I really like the size and the aesthetics of it... But I am going to sell it I think.
I guess my point is that I think there's a lot of info out there that a cheap Tamp and a set of inexpensive bookshelves like the Pioneer BS-SP or a set of Polks makes an inexpensive audiophile setup.. And in a way it does, especially for a computer setup and it's probably a lot better than 90% if PC speakers... But... It really doesn't come at all close to a real set of anything. In my opinion.
 

atarione

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fair enough... i am a/b's my T-amp : SMSL SA-S3 (w/ PRO-X44AV) vs Kenwood KR-V106R (100WPC) (w/ Monitor Audio Silver S1's)

honestly the little t-amp and optimus speakers are putting up a surprisingly good showing vs the 100WPC kenwood and MA Silver speakers .... don't get me wrong the Silvers are BETTER but the t-amp isn't being embarrassed in the comparison to my ears here (office == small bedroom size about 10x12 say room size.)


I will say that t-amp you bought isn't my favorite the Topping TP20MKII is actually much better.. my smsl is using the same chip TA2021 as your TP21..but I think the smsl sounds better .. however in general the TA2020 seem to get mentioned as the best sounding.. (the TP20MKII is TA2020 based).

i think how a t-amp sounds can have a lot to do with how it is implemented in a given design.... I have never though the TP21 was that well implemented.... i have heard it a couple times and have always believed my SMSL beats it hands down.
 
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