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  • Current 2.1 amps

    I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered recently, but I'm curious what 2.1 amplifiers are currently available to DIYers right now? I know PE limits linking to other vendors, but maybe no direct links, but if you could just describe where you might buy certain ones. I know these sorts of things come and go over the years, so I'm trying to get an idea of what's available right now at different price points and form factors.
    Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
    Twitter: @undefinition1

  • #2
    aliexpressdotcom - Search for 2.1 amplifier board
    Don't worry, if your parachute fails, you have the rest of your life to fix it.

    If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally ASTOUND ourselves - Thomas A. Edison

    Some people collect stamps, Imelda Marcos collected shoes. I collect speakers.:D

    Comment


    • #3
      I know how to search. Plus, that place is sort of a grey market (and an easy way to get a thread shut down, I found out last year). I was curious about ones people had actually used or heard themselves.
      Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

      Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
      Twitter: @undefinition1

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
        ...I'm curious what 2.1 amplifiers are currently available to DIYers right now? ...
        ​I think you might want to add some qualifiers to "2.1 amplifiers". It looks like most of the amps advertised as 2.1 are limited in that the crossover is either fixed or very low slope or both, and the ".1" lacks the features we expect in a subwoofer amp--like boost and rumble filters with published values. Do you really want to consider these "short-cut" boards? ...and why?...that is, what is the intended application?
        Free Passive Speaker Designer Lite (PSD-Lite) -- http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe

        Comment


        • #5
          Follow up...

          ​I couldn't find Wogg's post before. His contention is that the 2.1 amp boards have a "fatal flaw" with the shallow crossover slope on the surrounds, and tyger23 had a very long thread devoted to solving the same problem, except he used 4-pole crossovers. Both Wogg and Ty provide high impedance buffers that ensure the response is good down to around 20Hz. So I'm curious why you are interested in these boards that some others have rejected.

          BTW, that DSP-based 2.1 plate amp that I described, which can also be used as a stereo 3-way amp, started out as a follow-on to Tyger's design.
          Free Passive Speaker Designer Lite (PSD-Lite) -- http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe

          Comment


          • #6
            Sadly this is the only product I have found. There's nothing wrong with it and I am about to purchase it for my PC speakers. The crossover is not adjustable and is 150hz (I want 80hz). I assume distortion is not as good as Dayton's new KAB 2.0 amplifier boards. On the bright side with a potentiometer there is the option to adjust sub-woofer volume.

            https://www.parts-express.com/21-hi-...8-vdc--320-608

            Comment


            • #7

              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
              I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered recently, but I'm curious what 2.1 amplifiers are currently available to DIYers right now? I know PE limits linking to other vendors, but maybe no direct links, but if you could just describe where you might buy certain ones. I know these sorts of things come and go over the years, so I'm trying to get an idea of what's available right now at different price points and form factors.
              Originally posted by thekorvers View Post
              aliexpressdotcom - Search for 2.1 amplifier board
              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
              I know how to search. Plus, that place is sort of a grey market (and an easy way to get a thread shut down, I found out last year). I was curious about ones people had actually used or heard themselves.
              You did not ask for "ones people had actually used". You did ask for "what 2.1 amplifiers are currently available to DIYers right now" (Your own words). They have a large selection of what is "available right now", whether you choose to deal in this grey market or not. So as far as I am concerned I answered your question exactly as posed. I was only trying to help. And you are welcome!
              Don't worry, if your parachute fails, you have the rest of your life to fix it.

              If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally ASTOUND ourselves - Thomas A. Edison

              Some people collect stamps, Imelda Marcos collected shoes. I collect speakers.:D

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Krillin View Post
                Sadly this is the only product I have found. There's nothing wrong with it and I am about to purchase it for my PC speakers. The crossover is not adjustable and is 150hz (I want 80hz). I assume distortion is not as good as Dayton's new KAB 2.0 amplifier boards. On the bright side with a potentiometer there is the option to adjust sub-woofer volume.

                https://www.parts-express.com/21-hi-...8-vdc--320-608
                No high pass = poop.

                It's also quite possible that I have a higher than normal aversion to the lack of high pass in 2.1 board designs, I'm weird like that I suppose. In this case though it seems like a high pass would be extra useful for such a low power setup.
                Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                Wogg Music

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been buying and testing some of the 2.1 chip amps available on E bay. My goal has been to find one that has good performance for an economical desktop or soundbar alternative system for cash strapped friends. I have tried the Lepai LP-168 H and it is a low powered, mediocre sound quality, option which will work just "OK" in a system with a relatively sensitive woofer like the Dayton audio ND 105 in a 7L box.
                  The components and sound quality of the Chinese chip amps varies considerably, but I have found one which has very good sound quality in both the "sub" and satellites. It also has enough power to generate a clean 90db from a Voxel or 85db from Wolf's 6" micro woofer. Every one of the 6 I have bought which looks EXACTLY like the attached picture has come in a nice, sealed electronics envelope labled Sanwu. I have bought these from 3 different vendors and have gotten the same board with the same components each time. Like most of the 2.1 chip amps, this one is based on the TI- 3116 D2 chip, but it has good enough quality supporting circuitry to put out an honest, clean 40 WPCx2 +80x1.
                  I have gotten 4 other boards which look similar (but not identical) and claim identical specs to the Sanwu version, but none of them comes close to the Sanwu in power or sound quality. The ones that look identical to the one pictured are getting a bit scarcer as the popularity of bluetooth chip amps increases, but the Sanwus are still available from several vendors which can be found in a search for" 2.1 3116 D2 amp" on the big auction site.
                  BTW, while the crossover frequency adjust control appears to have a gradual slope, it does function well enough to be useful.

                  Best,
                  ​Jay

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by neildavis View Post

                    ​I think you might want to add some qualifiers to "2.1 amplifiers". It looks like most of the amps advertised as 2.1 are limited in that the crossover is either fixed or very low slope or both, and the ".1" lacks the features we expect in a subwoofer amp--like boost and rumble filters with published values. Do you really want to consider these "short-cut" boards? ...and why?...that is, what is the intended application?
                    Valid question, Neil. I guess to be more specific, I'm looking more for things are are cheap and easy, and hopefully easy to mount in (or on) a speaker and/or subwoofer. Sound quality needs to be "good enough." Your stuff is several steps up in quality and functionality from what I'm looking for at the moment.
                    Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                    Twitter: @undefinition1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Drjay View Post
                      I have been buying and testing some of the 2.1 chip amps available on E bay. My goal has been to find one that has good performance for an economical desktop or soundbar alternative system for cash strapped friends. I have tried the Lepai LP-168 H and it is a low powered, mediocre sound quality, option which will work just "OK" in a system with a relatively sensitive woofer like the Dayton audio ND 105 in a 7L box.
                      The components and sound quality of the Chinese chip amps varies considerably, but I have found one which has very good sound quality in both the "sub" and satellites. It also has enough power to generate a clean 90db from a Voxel or 85db from Wolf's 6" micro woofer. Every one of the 6 I have bought which looks EXACTLY like the attached picture has come in a nice, sealed electronics envelope labled Sanwu. I have bought these from 3 different vendors and have gotten the same board with the same components each time. Like most of the 2.1 chip amps, this one is based on the TI- 3116 D2 chip, but it has good enough quality supporting circuitry to put out an honest, clean 40 WPCx2 +80x1.
                      I have gotten 4 other boards which look similar (but not identical) and claim identical specs to the Sanwu version, but none of them comes close to the Sanwu in power or sound quality. The ones that look identical to the one pictured are getting a bit scarcer as the popularity of bluetooth chip amps increases, but the Sanwus are still available from several vendors which can be found in a search for" 2.1 3116 D2 amp" on the big auction site.
                      BTW, while the crossover frequency adjust control appears to have a gradual slope, it does function well enough to be useful.

                      Best,
                      ​Jay
                      This is an excellent post. Just the kind of details I was looking for. Thank you VERY, VERY much.
                      Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                      Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                      Twitter: @undefinition1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm noticing a brand called Nobsound. Anyone have experience with them?
                        Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                        Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                        Twitter: @undefinition1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Drjay View Post
                          I have been buying and testing some of the 2.1 chip amps available on E bay. My goal has been to find one that has good performance for an economical desktop or soundbar alternative system for cash strapped friends. I have tried the Lepai LP-168 H and it is a low powered, mediocre sound quality, option which will work just "OK" in a system with a relatively sensitive woofer like the Dayton audio ND 105 in a 7L box.
                          The components and sound quality of the Chinese chip amps varies considerably, but I have found one which has very good sound quality in both the "sub" and satellites. It also has enough power to generate a clean 90db from a Voxel or 85db from Wolf's 6" micro woofer. Every one of the 6 I have bought which looks EXACTLY like the attached picture has come in a nice, sealed electronics envelope labled Sanwu. I have bought these from 3 different vendors and have gotten the same board with the same components each time. Like most of the 2.1 chip amps, this one is based on the TI- 3116 D2 chip, but it has good enough quality supporting circuitry to put out an honest, clean 40 WPCx2 +80x1.
                          I have gotten 4 other boards which look similar (but not identical) and claim identical specs to the Sanwu version, but none of them comes close to the Sanwu in power or sound quality. The ones that look identical to the one pictured are getting a bit scarcer as the popularity of bluetooth chip amps increases, but the Sanwus are still available from several vendors which can be found in a search for" 2.1 3116 D2 amp" on the big auction site.
                          BTW, while the crossover frequency adjust control appears to have a gradual slope, it does function well enough to be useful.

                          Best,
                          ​Jay
                          Drjay,

                          What is the part number for the voltage regulator just to the right of the 4 100v can caps?

                          I have a =Sanwu board that looks similar except it is bright red and uses the TPA3118. Therefore, lacks the heat sinks using the boards ground plane for heat dissipation. On my board, the voltage regulator is 5 V and is used to power the op amps. This limits the signal amplitude from input through the woofer filters before heading to the power amp chips and causes problems/limits the woofer channel relative to the L-R channels.

                          I have to get back to analyzing that board (likely this winter) to see if i can replace that 5 V regulator with a 9 V or 12 V version. But i suspect they used 5 V to also drive the TPA311X chip's TTL level control pins.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Paul, I tested one that LOOKS identical to the one in the fancy gold cased Nobsound shown on Amazon. It was better than the Lepai 168H, but not nearly as clean sounding as the Sanwu version.
                            Mike , I can't see anything at all on the part itself that you are asking about, but the board has C52 printed on it right beside the part. Hope that helps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you do a search for "st350" on that Chinese market site, there is a 2.1 board using the STA350 chip. The STA350 is an updated version of the STA326 amp that is used in a couple of the Topping and FX-audio amps. The chip can be used as 2.0 or 2.1, and it has enough digital biquads to provide a steep crossover if you like. The board is in the $30 range, and it includes an LCD display, SPDIF and analog inputs, digital tone controls, volume control and IR remote. A while back I was tempted to buy one of the boards to play with, because I have software to control the STA326-series of amps. I never got around to trying one, but I think it might work well for your application.
                              Free Passive Speaker Designer Lite (PSD-Lite) -- http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe

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