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  • Amp recommendations?

    Hi guys,

    I have an old Technics receiver that I'd been using as a temporary amp for my computer speakers. The right channel on it is going out (volume is now a good -20dB compared to the left, and it's scratchy on treble). Previously I had a partially damaged Yamaha receiver there that crapped out. (Aside) And a backup server that the motherboard died on. There's lots of electrical issues in my neighborhood, and I just purchased my 3rd UPS to finish covering all the sensitive electronics.

    Anyway, currently the computer set up is stereo, but I plan on shuffling things around in the future. The amp will drive the computer bookshelf speakers (currently Lineup F4s, might want to build Speedsters or Carreras in the future), but will be shuffled upstairs to power surrounds in the future when I go separates. The computer will get the hand-me-down receiver then. So...

    I need a budget stereo amp that can (ideally) drive a 4 Ohm load with low distortion. I'd been looking at some of the T Amps, but they seem to have high distortion, so I think it'll get screwy if I try to put some power through them later. So, this is an unbudgeted purchase because the backup amp is dying. And I just had to buy parts to fix the backup server. Otherwise, I would just go get an Emotiva A-100 for $250 and call it good. Is there a similar quality option that I can find quickly for maybe half that price?

  • #2
    Not sure what you mean by T-amp. If you mean Tripath amps, those definitely won't keep up and have been succeeded by much better chips. If you need 50w or less, any TPA3116 based-amp should do you good (they are related to Tripath in anyway). Pretty sure PE has some different models. They take impedance as low as 3ohms.

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    • #3
      There are incredible deals on used amps and/or recievers. I just picked up a Marantz 5.1 receiver 105w/ch for $90 for a friend who bought one of my speaker
      projects. You can find some nice deals if you look, good luck Mike

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      • #4
        Audiosource! Listen to it first than,,,,,,, do tyger’s mods to it and be happy!

        Good luck, Mark

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        • #5
          Yea, I know, you guys are going to hang me on this one, but I still like the sound of the dta120. No, it's not perfect, far from it, but to my old ears, it just sounds good. It probably only has 30 - 40 real watts, the volume control isn't linear at low volumes, and the bass is a bit much ... but it has good control of that bass. It's also small so it takes up little room on the computer desk.
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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          • #6
            My vote would go to the SMSL Q5 pro. Built in USB dac, optical digital out and sub out and remote control. I used it in my Helium Sound bar project and have been happy with output and quality.
            Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

            Argon | Helium | Lithium | LithMTM | Hafnium
            Mercury | Matrix | Shrubbery

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            • #7
              +1 On the Marantz. I have a 6006, but the smaller 1500 - 1600 series are slim and still have that Marantz smoothness. They rate.their power to a distortion mark that's really low so the power is typically under rated. The newer ones have wireless capability.

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              • #8
                Hands down, I think the Emotiva A-100 is a great way to go if you want new.
                If you're OK with something a little bigger, you could check out a used Adcom GFA-535 II (60w/ch @ 8Ω, 100W/ch @ 4Ω), which you can get for under $200 shipped at that one auction site. You might even find a GFA-545 II for about $250 shipped if you shop around a bit.

                IMO, that Emotiva A-100 is about the best bang for buck around. It competes in SQ with a lot of amps, besting Parasound, ATI, Outlaw, and certainly blows away any receiver I have ever heard (Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Onkyo, Samsung <eyeroll>, Pioneer, and others). The A-100 packs a surprising punch and is very clean 50W/ch. Unless you need power (e.g. subwoofer or monkey coffins at party volumes), the A-100 is the best I've heard up to double or 3x it's price. The old XPA-200 or UPA-2 is the next step up, IMO. Unfortunately, they don't have an equivalent to that anymore (the new A300 in power rating is similar, but the amp modules are notably different between XPA-200/UPA-2 and A-300, which is basically the old UPA-200).
                SEC DIY 2014 Speaker Show is on! *November 8th*
                Wanna win a set of Newform Research R30 ribbons?!?!
                SEC DIY 2014 Thread

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                • #9
                  I dug through the good thrift store this weekend and picked up a late 80s vintage Onkyo TX-860 for $35. Apparently it'll drive a 4-Ohm load. How'd I do? Does it beat a cheap class D mini amp?

                  I had decided that if I was going to spend non-pocket change money, I wanted to spend the money on an Emotiva. But it's not in the budget for the moment with Christmas and all of its expenses.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by scardeal View Post
                    I dug through the good thrift store this weekend and picked up a late 80s vintage Onkyo TX-860 for $35. Apparently it'll drive a 4-Ohm load. How'd I do? Does it beat a cheap class D mini amp?

                    I had decided that if I was going to spend non-pocket change money, I wanted to spend the money on an Emotiva. But it's not in the budget for the moment with Christmas and all of its expenses.

                    you did well.
                    craigk

                    " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scardeal View Post
                      I dug through the good thrift store this weekend and picked up a late 80s vintage Onkyo TX-860 for $35. Apparently it'll drive a 4-Ohm load. How'd I do?..
                      Pretty good
                      ( I just took 2 Receivers to the local Recycling Center - too far for y'all however )

                      "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                      "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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                      • #12
                        In case you're interested in trying to resurrect the Technics, I had the same problem with my 300A. It was the balance pot. Worked it back and forth several times and the weak channel came back. Still need to do that from time to time.

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                        • #13
                          1108, Thanks for the tip. I might see if I can get it working again just as a backup for the time being. When you had that, was it just low volume or was there scratchiness being introduced?

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                          • #14
                            Yes there was scratchiness, low volume and sometimes no volume.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 1108 View Post
                              Yes there was scratchiness, low volume and sometimes no volume.
                              Spray into the controls (pots/sliders) with Deoxit (PE sells a brand). That clears up the issue after a little working back and forth.

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