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Looking for a low cost good quality very small amp (Class D?) ...

Discussion in 'audio' started by beammeup, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    In the office I'm testing a pair of vintage MA-66's, on top of which I am currently using a Teac CR_L600 all in one receiver jobby.

    It works perfectly fine but to make the most of the MA-66's I am looking for something higher end on the cheap. I know that some Class D amps made it to a lofty status some time back and generally they are small - so is there something similar now - or does anyone have anything at their disposal?

    Small so that it can simply perch it on top of the speakers - and high quality sound so I can squeeze more out of some speakers while I have them on in the background (probably at lower volumes).

    I will probably use a Chromecast Audio (again tiny) as the front end to complete the package ... i.e.

    Chromecast Audio --> some sort of small amp --> MA-66's (for now).
     
  2. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

  3. IVELIN

    IVELIN pfm Member

    Smsl sa50
    I am using one for my home office. It is a tiny thing with one input. Hooked up to an old pair of technics and sounds good with Spotify.
     
    DeRoubaix likes this.
  4. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Thanks just had a look at that - I don't like that hefty attached power supply though - just trying to keep the amp small and tidy as a whole.

    SMSL SA50 - I trying to easily better my current Teac receiver - to get more than a half-decent sound out of it exploring the potential of the speakers hooked up to it - does this fit the bill in that respect? Otherwise I may as-well just keep the Teac. I'm looking for v.good in a small package yet stupidly affordable (I guess the Amptastic Mini would have been fine apart from that power block).
     
  5. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    Both the amps mentioned have external power supplies. Otherwise you get a much bigger box and its more expensive by an inflated margin as it can’t be bought so easily as a module.
     
  6. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    If you don’t find anyone that has compared anything to your Teac. I’ve a minty 3 month old SMSL SA50 boxed ( with PSU) for £35 posted. I’ve just scored a minty Amptastic to replace it as it’s fun to fiddle at this level and get boxes in the post without bankruptcy…. Go On! Yer worth it!
     
  7. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    Another possibilty is a Raspberry Pi with an amp hat such as the HiFi Berry one. I have one in my bedroom system and it's remarkably good. Moode on the Pi with airplay and Spotify, it's about as compact is you can get!
     
    Bolle and Darren like this.
  8. IVELIN

    IVELIN pfm Member

    Yep, both amps are with external PSUs.
    Cannot comment how different smsl is from the teac or the amptastic, however compared to full size amps is really good given its price.
    The chips in the 2 digital amps are different; amptastic is supposedly tripath ta2020 whereas the smsl is a tda7492. IIRC the tda7492 is used in tvsets.
    I've read that the tripath chip is lowere power and works best with high sensitivity speakers. The tda7492 is a bit more powerful also works nicely with my main speakers.
     
  9. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    You got any pics of your setup? Pi combo seems a good plan ... hoping the sound quality is excellent too
     
    Del monaco likes this.
  10. G.smith310

    G.smith310 pfm Member

    I had a loxjie a30 that was really impressive.

    So impressive that when I tested it on my main speakers (Proacs) I almost instantly moved it back to the office because I couldn’t believe that it could drive those speakers well and loud.

    I’m sure if I spent longer listening to it the real characteristics would come out and then used with vintage speakers for a long time. That combo worked well because they were rolled off so didn’t have any nasty top end stuff going on
     
  11. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    I had a pi with Justboom amp hat that also incorporated a Dac. With my vintage JPWs it was really impressive. That could be a route for you.
     
    Bolle likes this.
  12. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    Raspberry Pi with Justboom amp hat, JohnBlue JB3 speakers!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Bolle, Del monaco and Darren like this.
  13. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    Rega io and you're good to go :)
     
    ArtK likes this.
  14. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    I did have the Rega io in the back of my mind but I'm not looking to spend that much on this occasion just for the office - perhaps a used one - but I get the impression the io is a really really good amp. Perhaps another shoe-box classic.

    The justboom amp mentioned above (with a tidy case) is more the budget.
     
    windhoek likes this.
  15. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    I was just looking at the JustBoom YouTube video and it seems there are jumpers on the board which you can set to match your loudspeakers etc - however I can't find any specs on the MA-66 so I can't help myself there.

    Anyone on this board got any data on the MA-66 speakers?
     
    Bolle likes this.
  16. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    Seconded. Very good amp, I have one as a spare and if I blind tested it against my normal amp I would struggle to distinguish it I suspect. Don't assume it's not up to the job because it's cheap. It's well made, well designed, and sounds very good, provided it's not asked to drive very low impedances.

    https://hifireference.com/reviews/smsl-sa50-review/
     
  17. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Thanks - I'm trying to get specs on the Monitor Audio MA-66, Googling as best as I can. Best I can Google is a review on HFRR Nov 156-57 - so I need to find that mag.
     
  18. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Monitor Audio themselves have sent me the details - specs are:
    • Impedance: 8 ohms nominal
    • Max power: 100 watts
    • Min power: 15 watts
    • Sensitivity: 87 dB per watt
    Anyway this is what they look like in the office now:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    In among my own spread of equipment I’ve had for years I uncovered a Musical Fidelity V90 amp in which I have connected a chromecast audio - I’m now up and running
     
  20. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    That’s the one!
     

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