Suggestions for a small stereo amp?

Posted by: wschwartz

Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/26/12 03:49 PM

I need to replace a small stereo amplifier to power two M3's on the desk in my small home office (10' x 11' with an open doorway to the hall).

My trusty, quirky little Creek finally died, sadly. I have an extra full size HK AV receiver, but it's way too big for the space.

Since the power needs are quite modest, and space is at a premium, I'm wondering if one of the mini amps (e.g., Pyle, Lepai) would suffice. I don't know anything about their sound quality.

Anyone with ideas or experience?

Thanks.

Bill
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/26/12 03:54 PM

Have you looked at the Dayton APA150? My former boss had one for a short period that I think he liked it well enough (he was a serial amp buyer).
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/26/12 07:29 PM

People seem to like the Topping amps from PE. I got a Lepai for my wife's computer system and it has been fine. I think Emotiva has a new, modest, little amp.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/26/12 10:04 PM

If you have an extra receiver, then why not try that. You may like what you hear and why spend more money on what you don't need.

In my books, there is no receiver....too big!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/26/12 10:43 PM

Is this the one, Tom?

http://www.amazon.com/LP-2020A-Lepai-Tripath-Class-T-Amplifier/dp/B0049P6OTI/

I'm in the market for a cheap amp for my basement system. (OMG I have a basement!). It will be used to amplify my 6-CD changer's singnal and feed my Axiom M22 on-walls. I might want to step up to a Topping, though:

http://www.amazon.com/Topping-TP20-MK2-TA2020-Digital-Amplifier/dp/B005F5U86G/
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/27/12 12:16 AM

I was mistaken. I ended up with something like the Muse TA2020 you can find on eBay. I don't push it, but it has worked flawlessly for quite a while.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/27/12 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: pmbuko

(OMG I have a basement!).

Did you move again???

I use a small H/K 380i receiver in my office. Powers the speakers just fine.
Rated for 30W /ch, but i wouldn't say it is super small, about the size of a small briefcase.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/27/12 01:39 PM

I'll probably look at craigslist for something used and decent. Before buying new. Gotta keep those working circuits out of the junkyard. smile

EDIT: I'm still in VA, just a bit further west where I've got room to breathe -- 13 mostly wooded acres. I can mow the clear around the house in about an hour.
Posted by: solarrdadd

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/27/12 07:08 PM

i currently use this amp in my office from Emotiva it's their mini-X and it's got some nice juice. i am currently driving a pair of paradigm performance series 3SE speakers with this amp and the 3SE's have 8" woofers and this little amp can power the hell out of them! it's sort of an intergrated amp as it's got a volume control built into it. also it's got a 12v trigger in & out as well as RCA source input and RCA source output (nice to go to a sub). i currently have a USB DAC connected to a RCA selector switch from my PC for my hi-rez FLAC and from there to the amp. i also have an RCA/3/8mm cable connected to the other side of that selector switch so i can connect my iPhone4, iPad2 or a visitors MP3 player. it really works out nice too. great price. here is a picture of the setup in my office.




above is a picture of the selector switch left is the DAC input, center is output to the amp and right is the RCA to 3/8mm cable

if i can power those old vintage paradigm's with serious power (those woofers are cranking when no one is on my floor and i can turn it up) they will drive those incredibly efficent M3's something wonderful.

best of luck with whatever you decide to go with. please keep us posted.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/27/12 09:48 PM

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/a100
I heard good thing about this little guy; it may still be too big for your purpose.
Posted by: solarrdadd

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/27/12 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: AdrianD
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/a100
I heard good thing about this little guy; it may still be too big for your purpose.


WoW AdrianD, WTH, shocked did you even look at what i posted 2+ hrs before you. glad to see we had the same idea though! laugh
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 07:42 AM

Originally Posted By: solarrdadd
WoW AdrianD, WTH, shocked did you even look at what i posted 2+ hrs before you. glad to see we had the same idea though! laugh


I somehow managed to see the picture of the DAC; I apologise.
Posted by: solarrdadd

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 08:59 AM

Originally Posted By: AdrianD
Originally Posted By: solarrdadd
WoW AdrianD, WTH, shocked did you even look at what i posted 2+ hrs before you. glad to see we had the same idea though! laugh


I somehow managed to see the picture of the DAC; I apologise.


no problem buddy, just yankin' your chain! i'm in my office listening to music with that amp & DAC right now....NICE! wink
Posted by: wschwartz

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 04:46 PM

Thanks for all the ideas!

I think I'll go with this one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005F5U86G/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A2LM6ZPY06LT1N

Sounds perfect for an always-on desktop amp with its tiny footprint, cool running, and low power consumption.

From what I can tell, the sound quality should be excellent, as with any well designed modern amp, and power should be more than sufficient for the small space and intended use.

I'm hesitant to go with one of much cheaper (too cheap?) digital amps using the same chip, and anything bigger would be overkill.

I'll report back once I have it in service.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 06:08 PM

Excellent choice. I look forward to reading your ongoing experiences.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 09:31 PM

Bill, I looked at the Amazon link, and in my view the comments from the reviewer who'd actually compared it with the Lepai easily won the argument.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 10:27 PM

John,

I just bought the Lepai. Should be more than adequate for a basement shop system. As long as I don't try to compete with the saws. smile
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/28/12 10:30 PM

Ooh, shiny.
Posted by: wschwartz

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 08/29/12 06:17 AM

That's what I thought, too.
Posted by: wschwartz

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/11/12 08:55 PM

Just a quick report on the Topping after setting it up.

It sounds absolutely fantastic. Other than the low power output (not an issue in my small space), I can't subjectively discern any sonic compromise with this tiny unit.

Even without a sub, the Topping + M3's sitting on my desk sound just great fed by my Mac. I suspect I'm getting some good bass reinforcement from the wall right behind the M3's. I'm sure a small sub would help, but I'm not feeling the lack at the moment for this kind of listening.

The unit seems to have excellent build quality. Very simple, no controls other than power on and volume.

Absurdly cool running. Perfect for an always-on desktop system (provides all sound from the Mac).

It's seems preternatural to get such great sound from such a ridiculously tiny and simple device.

I suspect that if they wanted to Axiom could enter this space of tiny, high quality digital amps in some way at a better price point, perhaps integrated into more of a system. But even if they don't, Topping has it covered quite well.

Recommended.

Thanks for all the input.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/15/12 12:18 AM

The little Lepai amp arrived today. It's a solid little box and it does the job admirably, filling my unfinished basement with clear tunes. I set it up with my M22 on-walls and Onkyo 6-cd changer. I only temporarily set up the M22s. I'll play with their placement a bit and then I'll need to figure out the best way of attaching them to the cinder block... I'll probably use masonry nails to put up some speaker-sized pieces of plywood, then screw the brackets into those.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/18/12 06:10 PM

I use that amp to power an old set of Cambridge Soundworks "sub"/sat speakers on my desk at work and feed mp3's to it from my laptop. Works very well and I'm happy with the sound. I run it straight up with no tone control.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/18/12 11:14 PM

Yeah, I played with the tone controls a bit but like the sound better with them disengaged. Even when set to neutral position, engaging them alters the sound.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 08:26 AM

Captain Jean Luc Picard would not be happy. "Disengage!" does not have the same ring to it.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 08:39 AM

If he were really French, he would have pronounced it ehn-GAZH.



Also, this dog is wearing a backpack, so your argument is invalid.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 08:57 AM

Oh ya?

Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 09:56 AM



Wait! I think I smell it too.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 10:33 AM

Wait, is it cookies ?
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 10:40 AM

Cookies? ME LOVE COOKIES!!!!!

Posted by: BuddTX

Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? - 09/19/12 05:35 PM

Do not have this, but it has some good reviews, and is nicely priced:
Dayton Audio DTA-1 Class T Digital AC/DC Mini Amplifier 15 WPC