TPA 3116 vs the tripaths

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by Poultrygeist, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    The new chip developed by T.I. is said the be the same as in the highly regarded TBI Millennia. Given the buzz on other forums curiosity got the better of me so I shelled out the $15 this plug and play board sells for on ebay. After a two weeks wait this tiny board arrived from China. The amp in the picture is probably 4 times larger than the real life lilliputian.


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  2. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    I had a decor box from Tuesday Morning which the amp fit in with room to spare. I don't like power bricks hanging off the rear of chip amps so I mounted it inside. When I fired up the flea amp I was surprised at how much power it had. It's rated at 50 watts which is unrealistic but it's more powerful than the Dayton with it's 24V PS. Here it's driving a pair of Fostex Tektons from a highly modded SCPH 5501. I didn't expect to be so impressed but I was. :thmbsp:


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  3. sideways2

    sideways2 Where the heck is S'toon?

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    More! More!!

    I was eyeing the same...for giggles :D
     
  4. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    After building it I still had no idea about a top. I finally had a piece of plexi cut to fit at Lowes. Sprayed it black and then used some gold L brackets to hold it in place. Not exactly steam punk but maybe a tad industrial? Definitely not agrarian. :D


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  5. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    The Lineup

    From right to left: Dayton DTA100, Topping TP21, TPA 3116, 3 tube preamp, Sure TK2050/Meanwell with PS One ridding piggy back. The speakers on each side are everyone's favorite, Pioneer BS22's.


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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  6. ramzilla

    ramzilla Active Member

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    I have the same here for a month, I keep procrastinating how I want to mount it. Just need to get it hooked up and then worry about making it look pretty.

    Be sure to let us know how it compares to your stable of amps that you have now. Would love to know your impression?
    thanx
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014

     

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  7. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Here are some brief impressions of TPA 3116 vs the line up of t-amps. I used the Pioneer BS22 speakers and the modded PSI which is a very affordable system that punches above it's weight class. The $50 preamp added some nice tube warmth and gain to the mix. The Lepai would have been in the line up but I gave it to a friend who thinks it hung the moon. :D

    The Topping's low power gave it a disadvantage with the Pioneers. Unlike the others it would not play very loud even at 3/4 volume. Hank Crawford's sax came off shrill and the bass was lacking and ill defined compared to the 3116.

    The Dayton produced more bass than the Topping but what it made, was not as smooth or defined. Highs were ragged compared to the 3116. I found the Dayton more fatiguing than the other amps. The tone of the Topping seemed richer than the Dayton and with more efficient speakers it may have finished higher.

    I expected the Sure TK2050 with it's larger fan cooled board and huge Meanwell PS to out muscle the others but that was not the case. The 3116 with it's wimpy lap top 12V PS was ever bit it's equal and perhaps a tad more. The Sure bested the Dayton and Topping with it's usable power. The Sure's bass was good but not quite up to that of 3116. Hank Crawford's sax again sounded shrill compared to the smoother 3116.

    While Michael Carvin's trumpet sounded brilliant on the 3116, it leaned towards bright on the Sure and Topping and all the way to piercing with the Dayton.

    Ranking the amps in order of over all performance worst to best: Dayton, Topping, Sure and 3116. The Dayton, Topping and Sure/Meanwell all cost around $100 at the time of purchase yet the $15 3116 IMO is the clear winner.

    I know the Pioneer BS22's get much love on AK and on AC but let me say there's something to be said for the lowly Dayton B652 that sells for less than half the price. Compared to the Pioneers the Daytons have cardboard thin cabinets yet they are so nimble and quick on their feet. The Pioneer is a 5 series BMW while the Dayton is a Mazda 3. One is more solid sounding but the other puts air under each note ( OB like? ). I have both and love them both.

    We should be thankful we live in the age of incredibly affordable high fidelity.
     
  8. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

  9. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    For some who may not have thought of this, you might consider one case, housing both the 3 tube preamp and TPA 3161. You'd have one serious amp for under $75 that would run with the big boys. For fear of offending owners I won't mention any of the thousand dollar amps it would humble. And even though I'm a southerner I'm not whistling Dixie. :thmbsp:

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  10. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    For anyone who might be buying a TPA 3116 board I'd also get the 35 cm audio cable with RCAs. It plugs right into the board so there's no soldering. I happened to buy my board and cable from doublehorse 8878 ( no affiliation ).
     
  11. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    You can also buy the 2.1 TPA 3116 completed in case version for around $50. It has a sub connection.


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  12. opa1

    opa1 Tenacious Subscriber

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    I have mine built. What amp ps are you using? Mine is running on a 12vdc 1kma wallwart. I'm thinking of getting a more robust PS like 24v 5a. The TPA does have power and good bass.

    MK
    .
     
  13. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    opa1,

    I'm using a 12v lap top brick ps. I think it's less than 5a. I read on the AC thread that some can't tell much difference between the 12v and 24v. One thing for sure is it's got plenty of power for my speakers. Are you using yours with the 3 tube preamp?
     
  14. opa1

    opa1 Tenacious Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Few pics.

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  15. opa1

    opa1 Tenacious Subscriber

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    I'm using it direct from my CD or phono pre. I'll get a brick with more amps. Might try the tube pre too.

    MK
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  16. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Very nice. I like the cigar box and bet it smells good :smoke:
     

     

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  17. sideways2

    sideways2 Where the heck is S'toon?

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    Excellent comparison...thanks!!!

    Do you think there will be any improvements with more play time on that 3116??

    As for some of the other designs...I've noticed that one you mentioned but I found that the "Bass" adjustment was for the sub output not for the entire system...

    There is one though that is 2.0 with tone controls...
     
  18. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    I went with the plain jane 2.0 without tone controls which I don't need. I believe there are a couple of options on the bay: one with tone controls and one with the sub output. It's easy to get them confused.

    I also have the $9 3110 from P.E. but I'm having so much fun with it's bigger brother that I can't get motivated to give it a try.
     
  19. sideways2

    sideways2 Where the heck is S'toon?

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
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    Awesome!!

    K...need to get this straight...it has the smoothness and transparency of a Class A amp with some tube euphoria thrown in for good measure...did I get that right ?? :)
     
  20. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Close enough.
     

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