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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon January 15, 2012
The Dayton Audio 30W amplifier is small portable amplifier that is rated at 30W @ 15W per channel. The true output is closer to 9W/channel at 0.04% total distortion. For those who are not familiar with power settings on amplifiers - what does that mean... it means that you are able to power a nice set of book-shelf speakers and completely fill the room with sound.

I bought the Dayton Amplifier to power some surface transducer speakers - mainly as a way to play around and build some speakers (See an example in the video portion of the review). While my speaker experiment was not overly successful I can still say that it was not because of the amp. The Dayton Audio 30W amp delivers impressive sound out of a small (portable package).

One thing to consider, since this amplifier accepts aux inputs as the source you can use the Dayton Amplifier and a pair of bookshelf speakers and get sound that is superior to most ipod docks - at a fraction of the cost.

A few notes

- The Dayton Amplifier can use 8 AA batteries allowing it to provide power without being tethered to a wall outlet.

- Will only accept an aux. input - the only way to use standard RCA inputs (or any other type of input) is to use a splitter or Aux-to-RCA connection.

- The blue light on the front is bright and a little annoying.

- Two channels - each accepting thin gauge speaker wire

- Dial on the front for volume control

Final Verdict - I am impressed with the Dayton Audio 30W amplifier. It can serve many purposes, but it certainly can make an impressive power source for a ipod speaker system. Definitely recommended.

4 1/2 Stars
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on January 13, 2014
I used this amp with the Micca MB42x bookshelf speakers. My intent was to put together a cheap, portable setup that I could use both on my desk at home, and to carry with me in the car/camping on trips. I'm using Velcro to hook the different parts together for travel and portability.

This amp provided both battery and wall power. I was debating between this and the lepai 2020a+ and decided that having the built in battery compartment was easier than wiring up my own... It wouldn't be overly hard to do, but frankly, I'm lazy, and I won't be the only user.

The only reason why I'm not giving it 5 stars is that it starts clipping (with the MB42X speakers) at around half volume. I've tried 5amp 12 volt adapters, and frankly this unit just won't drive those speakers at more than 1/2 -2/3 volume without clipping. That being said, the sound quality is good to great, and 1/2 to 2/3 volume is plenty loud for my intended use.

I'm very happy with my setup, and its met my intended purpose very well for ~$100 dollars. I'm not going to go on some crazy audiophile recommendation here. It this amp + the MB42X speakers sound as good if not slightly better than most portable setups in the 150-250 price range that I have heard.

It would also be nice if they came out with a sub $50 amp at 20watts with built in quality bluetooth (yes I know it hurts quality, but so does sitting speakers on a tailgate of a truck in the woods.

Update:

This broke after about 3 months, just horrible sound and no volume. Contacted Dayton for support and a warranty repair (1 year warranty) and while I could reach them they said I had to make the warranty claim thru Amazon. I told them Amazon doesn't offer warranty repairs, only returns, and the return window had expired 1 month after the product purchase.

Eventually reached out to Amazon and their great CS group (thanks Joseph) allowed me to return it as defective even though it was past the return window and refunded me since Dayton couldn't seem to process a warranty claim (Dayton makes the product, its their 1 year warranty why should Amazon be accountable? and why isn't Dayton honoring it warranty).
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VINE VOICEon July 27, 2009
I have been a "hi-fi-natic" for over fifty years. And over the years I have owned - and still own - a number of top-quality amplifiers, both integrated and separate.

I had a pair of Pinnacle PAS 28 ported (dual ports) 2-way Speakers (Frequency Response: 30-21000 Hz +/- 3 dB; SPL: 92 dB 1 Watt, 1kHz, 1 Meter) which were not being used (speakers do tend to accumulate); they are of excellent quality and I bought this unit to use with them (as you can see they are quite efficient and they offer superb sound quality as well) and also see just how good a T-amp is.

Let me state that I am amazed - and you will be too. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it is my opinion that a prospective purchaser can safely ignore any negative comments made in other reviews of this Dayton DTA-1 Class T Digital Amplifier 15 WPC, especially about build-quality - with only one minor exception: the batteries are a bit tricky to insert and remove; the spring connections could have been of better quality and somewhat more recessed. Otherwise the build-quality is fine.

But it is the sound that counts and, in my opinion, the sound this unit produces is absolutely first-rate. Some people have complained about a perceived lack of bass but take my word for it - it's there and in abundance should the music require it. (I listen almost exclusively to classical music.) Plus the sound is the same on AC or batteries at least for the four hours I ran mine the other day on (NiMH rechargeable) battery power. (Just as I had inserted the batteries to try the amp out that way, our power went out! It stayed out from 7:30 PM to about 11:30 PM - but because I had this amp as well as a battery-operated CD player, I enjoyed fine music all through the night, albeit in the dark!)

This unit is so small that it will fit in an ordinary pants pocket. If used with good-sounding (most important) and efficient (at least 87 dB [1 Watt, 1 kHz, 1 Meter] speakers), one will have a fabulous sound system - at a very low price (depending, of course, on just how much the speakers cost - really, this amplifier deserves the very best, again in my opinion!).

I also tried it with an old pair of Realistic Minimus 20 (Cat. 40-256); the sound quality was adequate as would be expected from these speakers. The speakers are the limiting factor in the overall sound quality obtained; of course a good source is also necessary but I am using mine with an Insignia NS-P4112 Portable CD Player ($19.95 at Best Buy; that's about as cheap as you can get!) and it sounds really fine. I have played a number of CDs and SACDs (the CD layer only of course) on this player and through this system - and the overall sound quality produced has to be heard to be believed. I also tried the amp with my MP3 player and, as expected, the sound quality was fine.

I would really like to try this amplifier with my Klipschorns (which, I believe, are the most efficient speakers ever produced - 105dB @ 1watt/1meter - but the speaker cable I use is too thick to fit in the Dayton DTA-1 Amplifier's connectors and at this stage of my life I am not about to move the 175-pound (each) Klipschorns to change the cable! I do know that this little amp would drive the Klipschorns to ear-splitting levels; setting the volume control to about 2:00 produces extremely loud sound in my room with my Pinnacles, too loud for me to endure for more than a few minutes (1:00 is about right for me).

The price, $44.80, is positively astounding. This kind of money for this kind of sound quality would have been inconceivable even just ten years ago.

Buy one. You'll never regret the purchase.

==================================================================================================================================

Update: December 24, 2009

I just received a pair of Dayton B652 6-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair and these speakers, in conjunction with this amplifier, are what I shall now be using as my sound system in our bedroom. These speakers are FAR better than the Radio Shack ones; those have now been consigned back to their place in my basement. These Dayton speakers are also much smaller than the Pinnacles, which are too large for use in our bedroom.

The music source is now this Stanton S.300 Tabletop CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, a superb CD/MP3 player which is far better than those 'cheapies' I had been using. The new combination (Stanton player, Dayton amp and speakers) is really fine and the total low price is irresistible. I now own TWO of these extremely efficient and great sounding amplifiers (I also own the Dayton Audio DTA-100a Class-T Digital Amplifier 50 WPC which is just as good-sounding) and I give it my highest recommendation, for its sound quality, for its construction quality, and especially for its ability to be run from batteries.
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on February 22, 2016
Look...this thing is a gadget not an audiophile grade amp. It can run off AA batteries for goodness sake. But what other amp can run off AA batteries??? That's pretty cool. Power is respectable and was MORE than expecting for it's size and the fact that it can run off batteries. It is a bugger to get AAs in and out but still not a real big issue as some describe. I mean, don't try to put the batteries in while on your unicycle. Power knob if peskily recessed but not a deal breaker. Only accepts tiny speaker wire - think 18 ga and 16 ga if you're patient. The 3.5mm input is the worst part. It doesn't feel durable and I get crackles if twisting the wire around. Tried another cable just to be sure and same issue. Not awful, just not a sign of HQ. Still for a versatile project amp I think it's JUST worth the price.
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on June 2, 2011
Five "stars" for the clarity/fidelity of the audio playback. Zero "stars" for the AA battery compartments. Each of the 2 compartments holds 4 AA batteries. The first battery goes into a compartment effortlessly. When you try inserting the second battery, however, you risk breaking an interfering battery terminal spring (the one for the battery space above where this 2nd battery goes). An unbelievable/terrible/childish design blunder. The problem could have been easily avoided by internally wiring the battery terminals differently, and thus using non-interfering battery orientations.
If you always use this amp with the provided wall wart (ac/dc converter): no problem. If you do have to use battery power: get an 8 AA battery holder, some wires, an appropriate DC plug, and wire your own external 12V source to plug into the back of this amp. Again, the audio performance is excellent.
BTW: the advertised 15W/channel rating is for 4 ohm speakers. If you use 8 ohm speakers, the power output will be reduced by a factor of two (to approximately 7W/chn... which is still a lot..... I needed perhaps only 2W/chn to play some music to a 50 person dinner party at a restaurant: loud, clear, faithful).
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on June 29, 2016
Pros: driving a pair of KEF Eggs this little amp sounds pretty darned awesome at its price point. What does "awesome" mean? It means that given an mp3 or streaming audio file, this amp delivers good volume and a sound that is open, bright, transparent. A bit thin and a bit "digital" compared to the $150 Monoprice 113194 which I also own, A-B compared to (BTW - Monoprice also delivers great sound at its price point). Driving the KEFs, mp3 audio no less satisfying than from a late 1980s Yamaha integrated amp I also own and A-B tested against (a $300 rig that was considered "entry audiophile" in its day). Now that's saying something given that the Dayton costs less than two week's of lattes.

Cons: Well, all that A-B testing put some wear on the really very flimsy speaker wire connectors at the rear. And one broke. No fixing it. Had to cut away plastic, and solder the speaker wire on to the lead. And: after about a year of sitting in a window location where there is afternoon sun...the plastic case has a bad case of leprosy. As others have noted, that blue light is way annoying (but nothing a bit of black electrical tape can't fix). Operation on 8 AA battery power? I don't think so - this churns through them in about 20 hours of use, and the case design is not going to be friendly to that kind of replacement action.
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on March 22, 2014
Bought to to power some pioneer bs-21 for my garage. I've been doing a lot of reading of t amps and searching through amazon/best buy and other electronics. I didn't want the cheapest t amp option and this is was about 10$ more and black. It's light runs cool. Easy to use and hook up. I use my iphone and play pandora/spotify through it. It drives the speakers loud enough for my liking and fills the garage with good sound while I toy around. I can't compare the sound to anything else since this is my first t amp/speaker setup. So far a good buy for me. I was going to get a topping amp but since this was going in the garage I decided to cut some cost.
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on December 24, 2013
For years I have read the reviews about some of these extremely low priced Chinese integrated T amplifiers running
on Class D circuitry and wondered how good they could really be for such little money.

After purchasing this amp and a Lepai 2020A for about $50 the pair, I am astounded at how good these amplifiers
sound.

I am using them with a 25 year old pair of Linn Kan I bookshelf speakers, which are not particularly efficient (85 DB @ 1 watt efficiency), yet the midrange is quite good with both of these little paperweight-conversation piece- amplifiers.

Where they are lacking is in the bass. However, with a more efficient bookshelf speaker with a small woofer and
rating of 90 DB or better at 1 watt, I am sure that the bass response in these amplifiers would be more significant.

As it is, both the Lepai 2020A and the Dayton DTA-1 are so good for what they are, that I doubt that you will find
a better integrated amplifier at their respective prices, regardless of how long you shop for an affordable mini amplifier.

I have a number of high end audio amplifiers (both solid state and vacuum tube), which can better the Lepai 20/20A or the Dayton DTA-1. However, these amps cost in the thousands of dollars, and the sonic differences, while noticeable,
do not justify the fact that these amplifiers are 40 - 50 times the price.

The fact is that these little T Class amplifiers offer near audiophile quality for the price of a few pizzas.

If they last longer than a year or two, they must be considered an even more extraordinary value than they already are.

My only concern is that with the economy in the United States being what it is, why are we not building components
like these and enhancing our own economy instead of another country's?

Highly recommended!
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on June 9, 2016
So I bought this to connect to my old Boston acoustics cr8 book shelf speakers to my computer and I'm impressed this cheap like amp rocks. This is a way better option then buying computer speaker that is if you have speakers laying around. I set my asus audio eq pretty heavy on the bass and set all my internal volumes to 100% and listen to bass heavy music and watch some trailers you know how YouTube sucks you in but anyway I found that it distorts around 75% on the units volume control which was louder than I need it to be. Over all if I want really loud music in going with my house receiver but this thing turns my computer it a second option and a great one at that will recommend to anyone who wants a cheap good sounding way to upgrade there computer audio.
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on August 11, 2014
If you searched for this specifically, you know what it is. If you found this by accident, just buy it. The Sonic Impact (this is a very nice, higher-quality clone) T-Amp is legendary. These amps can make music that many amps in the <1000 range cannot touch. Silences are completely black, instruments clear, and voices are beautiful. Get some reasonably high-effeciency speakers and let them sing.
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