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Power Amp for Solstice

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  • Power Amp for Solstice

    I'm currently looking at purchasing a good power amp for the Solstice speaker kit I have built. I've seen a review where someone preferred the Emotiva xpa2 which would fall within my budget of 1500 or less.

    For those of you who have experience with these speakers I would appreciate your suggestions on which amp sounds best with the Solstices. I am currently using a cambridge CXN as a preamp/DAC.

    Thanks!

    Cam

  • #2
    Today I might start with Rouge Audio. I see a lot of Emotiva gear for sale all over the place. What does that mean? Parasound might be something else Id check out.

    Me? Id go Vintage. A used B&K st 140. Or step up to the Sonata Series. Even Hafler if rebuilt properly.

    Good luck, Mark

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    • #3
      I'm really happy with my Wyred4Sound ST500 MK-II.
      Paul

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      • #4
        What are you interested in? Tube? SS? Class D?

        What about continuing your diy experience by building an amp from modules here at PE or a place like class d audio?

        Otherwise, personally like finding good deals on used gear on places like us audio mart. Good way to save some cash on decent gear.
        Projects:

        Breezy Monitors: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...reezy-monitors
        transcenD: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...5035-transcend
        Summits: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...75-The-Summits
        References: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-My-References
        Vintage Style 2-way: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-vintage-2-way

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        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions. I'm leaning towards SS. I would consider DIY amps but I would have to do a lot of research on that first. Building amps does seem like a lot of fun though. I just need to get an amp fairly soon.

          I'll look into the amps suggested. I've heard good things about Parasound. Pretty much looking for an amp that pairs well with the Solstice. So many options.

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          • #6
            I'm a big fan of the TPA-series of class-D amps from Texas Instruments. In particular, I'm using the tpa3251 to power my Solstice speakers. While these are technically DIY amps, they are faster/easier to assemble than the Solstice speaker kit. You buy an amp board, a power supply, and a case. Wire the IEC mains socket to the power supply; wire the power supply to the amp board; wire inputs (RCA/XLR) and outputs (speaker binding posts) to the amp board and you're done.

            For the amp board, I have two recommendations (I have one of each): 3e-audio, you can buy their amps from ebay, and an eval board direct from Texas Instruments. With the TI eval board, the price is $150, but if you use the promo code "HIGHPOWERAUDIO", it's good for 50% off. With the coupon code, the prices of the two boards are within $5 of each other. I have a slight preference for the 3e-audio board only because it's physically smaller.

            For a power supply, 3e-audio makes a companion 36V power supply. I don't have it, but I see no reason why it wouldn't be good. Another solid option is a Meanwell LRS-350-36, as is the Connex SMPS300RS.

            If you want more power, the tpa3255 is essentially the same as the 3251, but you can feed it 48v.

            How big is the room in which you have your Solstice speakers? Mine are in my office, which is about 10x11x9. I have way more potential volume than I'd ever need with the 3251. In fact, I actually downsized the power supply: my 3e-audio 3251 is running off a Meanwell EPP-200-27 (27V), and the TI Eval board running off a Meanwell EPP-200-24 (24V). I recently put a Kill-a-Watt AC power meter on the 3e-audio amp, and turned the volume up to uncomfortable levels. The watt meter said I was only pulling 4 watts! That's Class-D efficiency for you.

            Hope that helps!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dynamo View Post
              What are you interested in? Tube? SS? Class D?

              What about continuing your diy experience by building an amp from modules here at PE or a place like class d audio?

              Otherwise, personally like finding good deals on used gear on places like us audio mart. Good way to save some cash on decent gear.
              Class D Audio for simple well reviewed amp kits. My first one took 2 days, second one about 4 hours to build, not counting paint drying time. His kit packages are a toroid, power supply PCB, and amp PCB. He has finished ones too.

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              • #8
                Class D Audio or Hypex will do nicely.

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                • #9
                  Personal preference here, but I used to have Class D Audio amps, and have replaced them with the TI TPA stuff (as mentioned above). I previously had two of the SDS-470 amps, one with the simple transformer+rectifier board, and another with a Connex SMPS800RE power supply. Nothing wrong with them, except that they were way too powerful for my needs (to be fair, that is their highest-powered version). They are based on the IRS2092 chip from International Rectifier. There are dozens of designs that use this chip, some good, many mediocre. The chip itself is getting old, and is generally outclassed spec-wise by newer class D chips. The Class D Audio "CDA" series is a simpler implementation, looks fairly similar to the IR reference design. If you want to do DIY, there are much cheaper options that should offer comparable performance. The SDS series is a more sophisticated design that basically adds an THAT1201 (IIRC) input buffer. Based on Internet hearsay, I think impedance matching with upstream components is one of the biggest issues people have with IRS2092 designs (which is likely what prompted the SDS line). For more hands-on IRS2092 DIY designs, I haven't used any of the following but they have generally good reputations: SystemD LiteAmp and the IRS2092 amps from ConnexElectronic.

                  I replaced my SDS-470 amp with a pair of tpa3116-based mono boards. I couldn't hear any sound difference. I'm now replacing tpa311x amps with the newer tpa325x amps, for a slight but noticeable improvement in sound quality.

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                  • #10
                    Very interesting. Maybe I will go the DIY route. Sounds like you can get a lot of amp for the money. To answer your question DIYnewbie my room is fairly large. It's pretty much a kitchen, living room and dining room all in one. I'll keep researching the amps mentioned above and DIY it.

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                    • #11
                      I think I will go with this kit, SDS_250C AUDIO AMPLIFIER. Power seems to match up well with the Solstices. Not to mention the price is amazing.

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                      • #12
                        I like my crown xls1500. Sounds great, has lots of power and for me it has pulled double duty as a bass amp.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by camneel83 View Post
                          I think I will go with this kit, SDS_250C AUDIO AMPLIFIER. Power seems to match up well with the Solstices. Not to mention the price is amazing.
                          $600 is amazing? tpa3255 board for $90, lrs-350-48 psu $40, aluminum case professionally drilled $150, wires/jacks/etcs $50 comes out to $330. Assemble yourself and save nearly 50% off the Class D Audio price. Or, heck, I'll assemble such an amp for you for $170, you still save $100 off the Class D Audio price.

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                          • #14
                            How about the Yamaha A-S501 or it's bigger siblings 701 or 801? They look like pretty decent class AB amps with standard power supplies and some modern features.

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                            • #15
                              That XLS 1502 does look interesting killa. Especially at $350 with no assembly required. Does the sound quality of a pro amp hold up well to consumer amps?

                              When I get home from my trip I will continue to look into your setup DIYnewbie.

                              Would the integrated yamaha be necessary considering I currently have the CXN for a preamp/DAC?

                              Sorry for all the annoying questions. Just trying to get a handle on all this stuff.

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