What is the BEST Class D, TPA, TDA chip amp available?

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by HiFiJeff, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Super Member

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    So I have been reading so many different threads and reviews on so many different chip amps. And the more I read the more the waters are getting murky for me. I just want to my hands on the best unit out there that is plug and play ready and reasonably priced. I am enjoying the FX 502S PRO but after reading a members post about how he likes the Allo Volt+D made me wonder more. Maybe I should just go with that since I like the single chip version Allo Volt+. I don't know. Just wanted some opinions.
    Thanks.
     

     

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  2. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I like the Volt+D a lot for it's clean uncolored dynamic musical involvement, and can recommend it as a good value from Volumio.
    The power brick is a separate purchase and determines actual power capability.
     
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  3. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Get a TI EVM, breadboard with your choice of power supply (linear is recommended) and have at it. Dirt cheap.
     
  4. cipriano

    cipriano Active Member

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    Dayton DTA-1
     
  5. grantly

    grantly AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I haven't mentioned it much on any of the forums, but I love my Nuprime STA-6 class D amp. It's not nearly as cheap as some of the TDA and TPA offerings, but it's excellent and has a lot of power. The sound is most definitely colored, and more on the laid-back side of neutral. I can listen to it for hours on my speakers with horns.

    I also love the Volt+D, which I also have. It has somewhat different sound signature, and the imaging is probably a little stronger on the Volt+D.
     
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  6. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Super Member

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    Can you elaborate? Because I am very interested in what people with the Volt+d and Volt+ think of other amps. I know how much I like my Volt+ so it gives me a solid foundation to go off of others opinions who also own that amp. So when you say somewhat different sound signature with The Volt+d compared to the STA6. What do you mean? Do you like one over the other. And if so is it by a wide margin?
     

     

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  7. grantly

    grantly AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'll do my best here to explain the sonic differences (at least from my experience).

    I use the STA-6 in my main living room system, but that's not necessarily because I think the STA-6 is so much better than the Volt+D. It is better suited for that particular room, though. The STA-6 has a somewhat laid back presentation while still having a great bass. I use big waveguide speakers in my living room, and that combined with the fact that my big open living room/kitchen area has a lot of hard surfaces (lots of big windows, hardwood floors, kitchen countertops, etc.), makes it necessary for me to pair my speakers with an amp that is not too forward in the treble and upper midrange. The STA-6 is great for that purpose. I had used it for awhile in my upstairs media room, which has big couches, thick carpet with a thick pad underneath, and not many straight/hard corners, and the STA-6 sounds almost boring and lifeless in that room. In my livelier (sound wise) living room, however, it sounds amazing.

    The Volt+D, on the other hand, has slightly better imaging and separation of instruments than the STA-6. I'd also say the sound is just a touch livelier than the STA-6, especially in the high frequencies, but it is by no means a "bright" amp. It still works fairly well in my main living room system when I've used it. The main and most immediately obvious difference is that it's lacking the bass slam that the STA-6 has. The bass is there, but it's not nearly as powerful.

    All in all, I have found that STA-6 sounds like what most people who aren't really into tube amps think a tube amp sounds like: Laid back with a warm sound signature. I will say, though, that the bass is better than most tube amps I've heard.
    However, the Volt+D sounds eerily similar to some low-powered tube amps I've heard, including a Magnavox console tube amp I used to have. Voices and midrange sound really, really good on the Volt+D. The high frequencies also have some good sparkle without being too intense.

    I hope that helps a little.
     
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  8. seikosha

    seikosha Member

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    I've got a Volt+D and Nuprime STA-9. I'd pretty much echo much of what grantly said with one exception.

    In my system, the STA-9 images better, and has a wider soundstage. Overall, I'm actually sort of lukewarm on the Volt+D but that said, I've only got about 5 hours on it. I've also got a Pass Amp Camp that I feel outperforms both the Nuprime and the Volt+D but it's a Class A amp, not a Class D.
     
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  9. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    Location:
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    I have an LM3886 chip based integrated from Arcam, the A19 and a class-d amp from NuPrime, the IDA-16.

    They are both great amps. I've found both amps to be balanced from treble to bass with good tone and dynamics. Good luck in your search.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  10. 45rpmspinner

    45rpmspinner AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Although a "chip", LM3886 based amps are Class A/B......
     
  11. sonci

    sonci Well-Known Member

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  12. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I believe the math vs the specs, the advertised ratings are real world over-optimistic.
     
  13. sonci

    sonci Well-Known Member

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    It's certainly better than the subjective mumbo jumbo..

    I think these amplifiers are good at a certain price, but unless you're using smth serious like a Hypex Ncore etc, then you are better with an entry level Nad or Denon, of course IME..
    maybe the best would be something like the Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier, developed by THX, but I'm not quiet sure if it fits class D.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  14. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

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    Really? "All" ?

    Sorta like all SS amps sound the same...
     
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  15. drew_t

    drew_t AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It seemed obvious that there was something wrong with the FXAudio unit he tested, just from how he described having to turn it off and on repeatedly. I would like to see him test one of the TI evaluation boards.
     
  16. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

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    I'm sure of the ones tested they did not test well. Why :dunno:
     

     

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  17. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  18. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    If SET owners believed in measurements they wouldn't own SET amps.

    I'm fortunate to have HE speakers which means my TPA's never approach distortion levels.
     
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  19. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Super Member

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    Do you like Class A amps over D?
     
  20. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Super Member

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    Looking at an amp from Audio By Van Alstine that operates in Class A mode during normal listening and switches to Class A/B when being driven hard. Since my ZU's are 97db efficient, I doubt that I would ever be pushing that amp hard. AVA makes some legitimate stuff.
     

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