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#382147 - 08/26/12 03:49 PM Suggestions for a small stereo amp?
wschwartz Offline
buff

Registered: 12/29/02
Posts: 56
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

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#382148 - 08/26/12 03:54 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17739
Loc: NoVA
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).
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#382154 - 08/26/12 07:29 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
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.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#382157 - 08/26/12 10:04 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: tomtuttle]
SBrown Offline
aficionado

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 812
Loc: Victoria,BC
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!
_________________________
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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#382161 - 08/26/12 10:43 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: tomtuttle]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
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/
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#382162 - 08/27/12 12:16 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
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.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#382186 - 08/27/12 11:33 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: pmbuko]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4787
Loc: western canada
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.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#382200 - 08/27/12 01:39 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: chesseroo]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
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.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#382216 - 08/27/12 07:08 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
solarrdadd Offline
local

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 276
Loc: Alexandria, VA
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.
_________________________
SonySXRD55"
OnkyoPR-SC5507P pre-amp
Emotiva XPA-5,UPA-2amps,
14 Speakers, All Axiom
Oppo 105D&93

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#382221 - 08/27/12 09:48 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
AdrianD Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 85
Loc: Maple, Ontario
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.
_________________________
M80 v3, 2 x Emotiva UPA-1 Monoblocks, XPA-5, UMC-1 PrePro
Pro-Ject RPM Genie, Carver C2 Phono Preamp

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#382226 - 08/27/12 10:45 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: AdrianD]
solarrdadd Offline
local

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 276
Loc: Alexandria, VA
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
_________________________
SonySXRD55"
OnkyoPR-SC5507P pre-amp
Emotiva XPA-5,UPA-2amps,
14 Speakers, All Axiom
Oppo 105D&93

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#382248 - 08/28/12 07:42 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: solarrdadd]
AdrianD Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 85
Loc: Maple, Ontario
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.
_________________________
M80 v3, 2 x Emotiva UPA-1 Monoblocks, XPA-5, UMC-1 PrePro
Pro-Ject RPM Genie, Carver C2 Phono Preamp

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#382254 - 08/28/12 08:59 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: AdrianD]
solarrdadd Offline
local

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 276
Loc: Alexandria, VA
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
_________________________
SonySXRD55"
OnkyoPR-SC5507P pre-amp
Emotiva XPA-5,UPA-2amps,
14 Speakers, All Axiom
Oppo 105D&93

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#382286 - 08/28/12 04:46 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
wschwartz Offline
buff

Registered: 12/29/02
Posts: 56
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.

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#382290 - 08/28/12 06:08 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Excellent choice. I look forward to reading your ongoing experiences.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#382292 - 08/28/12 09:31 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10359
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.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#382293 - 08/28/12 10:27 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: JohnK]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
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
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#382294 - 08/28/12 10:30 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17739
Loc: NoVA
Ooh, shiny.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#382297 - 08/29/12 06:17 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
wschwartz Offline
buff

Registered: 12/29/02
Posts: 56
That's what I thought, too.

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#382745 - 09/11/12 08:55 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
wschwartz Offline
buff

Registered: 12/29/02
Posts: 56
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.


Edited by wschwartz (09/11/12 09:30 PM)

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#382856 - 09/15/12 12:18 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: pmbuko]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
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.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#382928 - 09/18/12 06:10 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: pmbuko]
a401classic Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
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.
_________________________
Scott

My HT

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#382930 - 09/18/12 11:14 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: a401classic]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
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.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#382934 - 09/19/12 08:26 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6730
Loc: PEI, Canada
Captain Jean Luc Picard would not be happy. "Disengage!" does not have the same ring to it.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#382936 - 09/19/12 08:39 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: Murph]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
If he were really French, he would have pronounced it ehn-GAZH.



Also, this dog is wearing a backpack, so your argument is invalid.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#382941 - 09/19/12 08:57 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6730
Loc: PEI, Canada
Oh ya?

_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#382943 - 09/19/12 09:56 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
CatBrat Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5796
Loc: Some random location


Wait! I think I smell it too.

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#382950 - 09/19/12 10:33 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: CatBrat]
a401classic Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1168
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Wait, is it cookies ?
_________________________
Scott

My HT

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#382951 - 09/19/12 10:40 AM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6380
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Cookies? ME LOVE COOKIES!!!!!

_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#382986 - 09/19/12 05:35 PM Re: Suggestions for a small stereo amp? [Re: wschwartz]
BuddTX Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 23
Loc: Houston, TX
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

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