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Topping TP22 TK2050 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier 30WPC
Topping TP22 TK2050 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier 30WPC
Price: $88.00
14 used & new from $79.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Synergizes well with tube preamps., July 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I won't review the amp in detail, that's been done before. I do agree that this is an outstanding value. I will add that this amp synergizes really well will the "Little Bear P5" preamp, also sold on Amazon. I use Mullard/RTC 5654 tubes on the Little Bear, and when used as a preamp to the Topping, it added a whole new dimension to the sound. The sound is much more fluid, more transparent, and most importantly notes decay much more naturally. I did an A/B comparison with my Yaquin MC-10 (also running custom tubes) and yes - the Topping TP22/Little Bear combo sounds better:)

My setup:
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD -> Little Bear P5 - > Topping TP22 -> Monitor Audio M2.

Note that the Mullard/RTC 5654 tubes I use on the Little Bear sound very warm and musical and I chose the tubes for exactly that purpose. I'm pretty sure that the Topping would benefit from almost any tube preamp, depending on what tubes are used.


Nobsound® NS-02G Perfect Hood 1969 Gold Pure Class A finished Power AMP Amplifier
Nobsound® NS-02G Perfect Hood 1969 Gold Pure Class A finished Power AMP Amplifier
Offered by DoukAudio
Price: $279.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Linsley Hood Amplifier done right., June 25, 2016
I bought this amp from this seller at another outlet, not Amazon. Nevertheless, since I still don't see any reviews for this unit, I'll write up my impressions.

What we have here is an amplifier based on the 'John Linsley Hood Amplifier' design, originally published in 1969, this model being based on the updated 1996 design. The Hood amp is a classic "Class A" amplifier, and it's famous for its very simple design, and comparatively sophisticated sound. I've had this unit for a year, and it's become one of my favorite amplifiers. The sound is somewhat warm and deeply satisfying, I guess 'tubish' would be a good term to describe the sound; this amp has none of the 'glare' so often found with many other SS amps.
The soundstage is wide and deep, and everything sounds silky smooth. While the amp doesn't particularly excel in any one area, everything sounds 'just right', and that's no small achievement.

I run this amp with a pair of Wavecrest HVL-1's, on 8 ohm. I have no idea if the amp will tolerate any impedance lower than 6 ohm, but my guess is no - it runs hotter than the sun, even when I use the relatively sensitive, higher-impedance Wavecrests. In fact, it gets so hot that I have two spot coolers running every time I use the amp, blowing air over the cooling fins on each side. This amp needs plenty of cooling, and it's definitely not an amp you want to locate within enclosed spaces without proper airflow. No, the spot coolers aren't strictly necessary - the amp has some great heat-sinks built in, but since I had the extra coolers I might as well use them.

The 10 W output per channel is plenty, *if* you can pair this amp with a relatively sensitive pair of speakers - something like 85db+ should do the trick, but 90db+ would be even better. Sensitive, bright speakers like most speakers from Polk or Klipsch should do very well with this amplifier since it's somewhat warm in terms of tonal coloration. Note that 'warm' is somewhat subjective here - compared to some of my mosfet based amps, like my Adcom GFA555, the highs on this hood-amp sound much more rolled off, hence I would describe the sound as 'warm'. That's just fine with me though, since there's some source material I can't even listen to on mosfet based amps.

I run this amp in a dedicated listening environment, where it quickly replaced a Rega Brio-R. IMO this Hood amp sounds better than the Brio-R, the sound being more open and natural. Needless to say, I would have not bought the Rega Brio if I would have known that this amp is better, especially since it costs only 1/3'rd of the money the Rega costs. The Rega's been assigned to desktop-duty, which is a task this hood amp probably wouldn't excel at, due to the fact that it gets very hot; it's like having a small furnace pointed directly at you.

The build quality is pretty darn good, which is helped by the fact that the Hood amp is designed to be very simple. So far this unit has performed flawlessly. Be aware though that this unit has no protection circuitry whatsoever: If you handle this thing improperly, you absolutely can and will kill yourself; same as any class A amp, handling and operation of this unit requires caution. Just be careful, keep it in a place with proper airflow, keep it firmly out of the reach of children or pets, and you should be just fine.

In conclusion I'd like to say that this is a very good amp, which punches far above it's priceclass. If you want to experience the 'Hood' sound, this would be a good point to start. This amp is probably not suited for day-to-day use as your main system, or even a desktop system - but it's perfect for a dedicated small space where you can take some time and relax to this amp's wonderful smooth sound.


Arctic Alpine M1 Passive Cooling Fan ACALP00005A, Black
Arctic Alpine M1 Passive Cooling Fan ACALP00005A, Black
Offered by Hot Deals 4 Less
Price: $9.99
6 used & new from $9.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected., May 18, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great product, keeps my Athlon 5350 running cool in a Thermaltake V21 ITX case. Absolutely no issue during installation, the cooler is well thought out and well engineered. You need to pay attention to the dimensions of your motherboard, some motherboards may not allow this cooler to fit without covering one of the DIMM slots. In my case I used an MSI AM1 board and the cooler fit with room to spare. The Thermaltake V21 is a good match for the board and cooler, the vents at the front and rear provide plenty of airflow to conduct air through the fins of the cooler.

Next, I'll try the Arctic Alpine 11 cooler for Intel based procs:)


Topping TP60 Tripath TA2022 50WPC (80WPC 4 Ohm) Mini Amplifier
Topping TP60 Tripath TA2022 50WPC (80WPC 4 Ohm) Mini Amplifier
Offered by Sanatop
Price: $219.99
7 used & new from $219.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated., October 14, 2015
I collect Amplifiers - the Topping TP60 was on my list for a long time, and I finally got around to ordering one. Bottom line: I won't be keeping it. In comparison to other amplifiers in this price-class the TP-60 falls woefully short. The TP-60 did sound nice but really failed to impress by showing a complete lack of any dynamics and resolving very little detail. The soundstage was somewhat wide, but very, very shallow. This amp really lacks power, 2 x 80W @ 4ohm seems to be a great exaggeration.

In terms of bang for buck there are much better options;I will list a few that I actually own or have owned, each one of these amps being better than the TP-60:

Qinpu A-6000 MKII, Qinpu A3 - both these amps come with tube pre-amplifier stages, and feature true tube sound on a budget.
SMSL A-50, SA-60, SA-98E: All of these Amps beat the pants of the TP-60, the SA-98E being my favorite.
Emotiva Mini-x a-100: Really solid amp with great build quality, lots of dynamic headroom to spare.

While the build quality on the TP-60 is very good, I think the TP-60 is an overrated product, especially given the price.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2015 8:55 PM PST


Topping TP-60 TP60 2*80W High Power Class-T AMP TA2022 Stereo Power Amplifier
Topping TP-60 TP60 2*80W High Power Class-T AMP TA2022 Stereo Power Amplifier
Offered by Sanatop
Price: $219.99
55 used & new from $165.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, October 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I collect Amplifiers - the Topping TP60 was on my list for a long time, and I finally got around to ordering one. Bottom line: I won't be keeping it. In comparison to other amplifiers in this priceclass the TP-60 falls woefully short. The TP-60 did sound nice but really failed to impress with a lack of dynamics and detail. The soundstage was wide, but very shallow. This amp lacks power, 2 x 80W @ 4ohm seems to be a great exaggeration.

In terms of bang for buck there are much better options;I will list a few that I actually own or have owned, each one of these amps being better than the TP-60:

Qinpu A-6000 MKII, Qinpu A3 - both these amps come with tube pre-amplifier stages, and feature true tube sound on a budget.
SMSL A-50, SA-60, SA-98E: All of these Amps beat the pants of the TP-60, the SA-98E being my favorite.
Emotiva Mini-x a-100: Really solid amp with great build quality, lots of dynamic headroom to spare.

While the build quality on the TP-60 is very good, I think the TP-60 is an overrated product, especially given the price.


Little bear P5-1 BLUE tube valve puffer Preamp Preamplifier amplifier ver1.2
Little bear P5-1 BLUE tube valve puffer Preamp Preamplifier amplifier ver1.2
Offered by DoukAudio
Price: $49.00
2 used & new from $49.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performance, September 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Some people reported problems with the power supply included on earlier versions of this unit. Mine came with a 12V/1A and it runs completely clean; no background noise of any kind, and plenty of power to drive the tubes.

The provided Chinese 6J1 tubes are pretty darn terrible, even after breaking them in they sounded thin and nasal, especially in the midrange. I replaced them with a couple of GE 56554W and now it sounds like a proper tubeamp: A wonderful warm, lush midrange, and beatifully smooth highs.

This amplifier is well worth the money, and with the proper tubes it performs far beyond its price-class.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2016 1:50 PM PDT


Topping TP41 TA2021 T-AMP + Headphone Mini Amplifier 25WPC
Topping TP41 TA2021 T-AMP + Headphone Mini Amplifier 25WPC
Offered by Parts Express
Price: $159.99
2 used & new from $131.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Overachiever, September 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
BACKGROUND:

I've had a several tripath based t-amps over the years, all of them based on the TK2050 tripath chip. While the TK2050 based amps are certainly loud and put out more wattage than the 'older' tripath chips, I've never been happy with the sound: The bass sounds exaggerated and muddy, highs are somewhat 'screechy'; the midrange though is just perfect, which is the TK2050's one redeeming feature.

This time around I decided I wanted an amp based on on the '2020' series, the 2020 series consisting of the 2020, the 2021, the 2022 and 2024 tripath chips. All chips in the series are basically the same chip, with slight differences in the circuit design. The 2020/21/22/24 series is considered the most 'musical' of the tripath chips, and highly regarded by budget-audiophiles. I like the rich, warm sound of tube amplifiers, and some tripath amps sound very much like tube amplifiers, but at a fraction of the cost, and without the added complexity of having to deal with tubes.
Another thing I wanted is a built-in, toroidal power supply, not an external power brick like the ones that come with most tripath amps. The TP41 has such a power supply, which is hard to find in tripath based amps.

SETUP:

I have this amp hooked up the following way: PC optical output -> SMSL SD793-II DAC -> Topping TP41 -> Monitor Audio M-2 speakers. It took me a while to select a matching pair of speakers: The TP41 absolutely requires low-impedance, high sensitivity speakers to perform adequately!

Be very careful how you match the amplifier, any old 8 ohm set of speakers just won't do. I will deduct one star from the TP41 for not being advertised correctly; it only achieves 25 watts output per channel on 4 ohm speakers; using 8 ohm speakers, which most people do, it will only output 13.5 watts per channel. Once again let me emphasize that this amp will not drive just any speaker, in order to perform at it's best, the TP41 needs carefully matched speakers. If you have only 8 ohm speakers, and you want to listen at higher volumes, you probably want a TK2050 based amp, with sufficient output power.

OPERATION:

Right after I hooked it up, the amp sounded thin and somewhat 'nasal'. Interestingly, when I played some high-quality FLAC input, I wasn't able to turn the volume knob past 75% without there being some rather harsh and persistent clipping. Under normal circumstances I would have been extremely disappointed, but - having owned tripath amps before - I know that these amps do indeed need some time to 'burn-in'. I won't get into the whole debate about the pro's and con's of 'burn-in', suffice it to say that some audio equipment will sound different after a period of operation, and the tripath amps definitely belong in that category. So I fired up some 'pink noise', set it to repeat, turned the volume to 50%, and let it play for about 14 hours.

Once I returned, there was a night and day difference; and yes - mean 'night-and-day'. First of all, using the very same FLAC as input, I was able to turn the volume all the way to 100%, without any clipping whatsoever. Starting at about 95% of total volume, there was plenty of distortion, which is normal for a 2020 based tripath amp, but that ultimately didn't matter, since it was already uncomfortably loud past 75% anyway.

Finally, how does the TP41 actually sound? In one word: Wonderful! A rich, lush midrange, beautiful, somewhat rolled-off highs, and lots of tight and precise bass. Yes, it does sound a lot like my Qinpu a-6000 mkii tube amp - the Quinpu being better in the midrange, but the TP41 having a much better, tight and precise bass.

Conclusion:

If you want:
- A amp with a 'smooth', 'tubish' sound, that sounds warm and very musical,
- an amp without the glare of the higher wattage tripath amps based on the TK2050 chip,
- an amp with multiple inputs,
- an amp with a built in headphone jack,
- an amp for a nearfield listening environment, and you don't care for extreme volume levels,

... this amp is for you.

If you want:
- An amp that drives your speakers to volume levels that will fill a large-size room, and/or drives your speakers to extremely loud volume levels,
- an amp that will work with just any speaker, particularly those with an impedance higher than 6 ohm and low sensitivity,

... this amp is not for you. Look for alternatives, such as the Topping TP-60, or the SMSL SA50.

PROS:

- Excellent build quality.
- 2 RCA inputs.
- Built in, high quality Toroidal power supply.
- Built-in headphone output.
- Warm, lush 'tubish' sound.

CONS:

- Won't work well with any speaker; I'd suggest speakers of 6 ohm impedance maximum, and at minimum 87db sensitivity.
- Lots of distortion above 95% of volume, especially with speakers of higher than 4 ohm impedance.
- Low output volume on high impedance speakers.


Cambridge Audio S30 Speakers, Dark Oak (Pair)
Cambridge Audio S30 Speakers, Dark Oak (Pair)

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real bargain, June 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own several pairs of bookshelf speakers from HSU, Polk, Pioneer, Wharfedale, Monitor Audio, Behringer and Ascend Acoustics. These Cambridge S30's are my new favourites. Frankly, I have no clue as to how the engineers from Cambridge Audio managed to create sound so huge from speakers this small.

Testing the S30's I popped in Brendan Perry's 'Ark', which is very well recorded, and quickly reveals obvious and not so obvious weaknesses on any speaker it's played on. What emerged from these diminutive speakers completely surprised me, the sound seems to be omni-present and floats almost seamlessly throughout the room; these speakers have wide 'sweet spot', making off-axis listening a pleasure rather than a pain. The soundstage is absolutely HUGE, trouncing every other bookshelf pair I own with the exception of the HSU-MKII's, which in terms of staging and imaging are the best I've ever heard. As far as tonal characteristics are concerned, I would describe the sound emitted from the S30's as very slightly warm in tonal coloration, and in terms of tonal dynamics as lively and engaging, and slightly 'forward'. Imaging is spot-on, I can pinpoint every instrument with total precision, and I can't recall when I had so much fun simply listening to music from a pair of bookshelf speakers.

Highs and mids are beautifully refined, and roll off just right, without appearing bright and fatiguing. Oh and by the way, when I say refined, I really mean *refined* - hearing these little speakers perform has given me listening pleasure far beyond what I expected; the music coming through these speakers is so realistic, lively and vivid, it puts many of my more expensive speakers to shame.

Bass is shockingly good - punchy and competent by any standard, but especially given the small driver size - and - never - boomy. Comparing it with my other bookshelf speakers, only my Wharfedale 10.1's and Monitor Audio M2's perform a bit better in terms of a rounded and competent bass, but not by much. Needless to say, if you want bass below 55Hz, a subwoofer is a must with these speakers.

To sum it all up, I would say that despite the obvious shortcomings that come with speakers in this price- and size-class, what makes these speakers so special is that they are so incredibly vivid and engaging in their presentation. There are many other speakers that try to achieve similar presence and realism, but fail - the Polk RTI's for example, which achieve an inferior 'vividness' by emphasizing certain frequency bands. Which is not to say that the Polk RTI's are bad speakers, yet they have nothing on the S30's.
In fact, I've got several pairs of speakers that *should* be much better than the s30's, at least judging by price and size, and to be fair some of them do better in certain, isolated areas, but as far as their performance as a whole is concerned, these other speakers are strangely inferior.

Here's a list of A/B comparisons to some of my other speakers, please take into account that a) these comparisons are completely subjective, b) based on my taste only, and c) this doesn't mean that any of these speakers are 'better' or 'worse', they're just different. When I use the term 'better', I really mean more suited to my personal taste.

S30's vs HSU-MKII:
While the HSUs are project a somewhat larger soundstage, the S30's trounce them with sheer realism and vividness. Compared to the S30's the HSUs are not as engaging. While the HSUs are definitely lively, the S30's simply sound better, and more balanced. This is a very close contest though, and for home-theater use I would still prefer the HSUs for their phenomenal imaging and staging abilities.

S30's vs Monitor Audio M2:
Compared to the S30's the M2's sound almost sterile, and somewhat lifeless. On the other hand, that's exactly what monitor speakers are supposed to do - reproduce whatever recording is played on them without any discernible tonal coloration. I do prefer the S30's over the M2's for listening though, simply because they 'draw me into the music' more.

S30's vs Pioneer SP-BS41-LR 2:
The Pioneers shine with deeper more engaging bass, however the mids and highs on the S30's simply outshine the Pioneers. Very close call though, the Pioneers are excellent speakers that really shine in almost any situation. For people looking for Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's and not being able to find them, buy the Pioneers, which sound very similar to the Wharfedales.

S30's vs Wharfedale Diamond 10.1:
This is somewhat closer, the Wharfedales have better bass and are beautifully rounded, the S30's have an edge due to their engaging vividness. Overall though the Wharfedales are the better, more sophisticated speaker. At very high volumes the S30's will begin to show some strain, even though they don't loose control - the Wharfedales though remain beautifully composed and unconstrained at higher volume levels.

S30's vs Behringer Truth 2030p:
Again no contest, the Behringers, which sound similar to the Monitor Audio M2's, appear sterile and lifeless compared to the S30's.

S30's vs Polk RTI A1:
Where the S30's present a clear, vivid and realistic sound, the Polk's sound artificial, simple as that. There is such a thing as the 'Polk Sound' and a lot of people like it very much, I'm just not one of them. I would encourage any budding audiophile to give the Polk RTI A1/A3 series a listen and make his or her own judgement, Polk speakers are very easy to find in most big-box electronic stores, and they are well worth the money.

S30's vs Ascend Acoustics CBM-170se:
The Ascends, while reaching higher and deeper, can not touch the S30's in terms of presentation; they sound similar to the Behringers and Monitor Audio M2's.

Bottom Line:
Every once in a while some clever, ingenious company will come up with a clever, ingenious product that far exceeds its monetary value; this is definitely one of those products. If you're looking for some exceptional bookshelf speakers, you found them.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2013 12:08 PM PDT


Panasonic VIERA TC-L32U3 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV
Panasonic VIERA TC-L32U3 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great TV and Yeah - it absolutely works with a PC, April 30, 2011
This TV hooked up to my PC's HDMI port without problems, and produces a crystal-clear, sharp picture. For people complaining about 'halos' around screen fonts etc., turn down the 'sharpness' setting in the picture settings. If you have overscan issues and the edges of the screen appear cut off, switch to 'HDMI2' mode in the settings and your screen will display properly.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2012 9:54 AM PDT


Pioneer SP-BS41-LR 130 Watt RMS 2-Way Speakers (Pair) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Pioneer SP-BS41-LR 130 Watt RMS 2-Way Speakers (Pair) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entry Level Audiophile Speakers, March 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Having read the good reviews on these speakers on this and other sites, I decided to order a pair. For me, these speakers had one distinct purpose - to replace a pair of much-loved Wharfedale Diamonds 10.1's in my garage before the Phoenix Summer Heat cooks 'em to death.
Well, having hooked these speakers up and after a 36 hour break-in period I can say that they far exceed my expectations: These speakers are very neutral, transparent, and just the right bit laid-back, but still with a good amount of 'sparkle'.

High's are somewhat rolled off, but that suits me just fine because they're not fatiguing. There's plenty of enjoyable, sparkling high's coming from the soft dome tweeters.
Mids are crystal clear, if somewhat 'nasal' in the upper mid range, maybe a crossover at 3200Hz instead of 2500Hz would have been produced a fuller midband? Not sure, and it's not a big deal, mids sound great overall and I'm nitpicking here.
Bass is pretty darn phenomenal for a speaker this size, and has to be heard to be believed - very well done.

All in all these Pioneers sound very much like the Wharfedale's they're replacing, but at roughly one third the cost. I do hope the Pioneers will survive the summer heat in my garage, that will be the ultimate test:)

One thing to consider is that all that bass response comes at a price: Reduced speaker sensitivity and impedance, which means you need some good electronics to drive these speakers to sound their best.

Bottom line - I think Pioneer has a winner here, sure - there are certainly better speakers out there, but not at this or twice the price of these. I'm not really a big fan of anything Pioneer, but any company that makes speakers like these at this price point deserves my enthusiastic praise, since they up the competition by bringing the latest audiophile technology and design to a much broader market.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2015 9:46 AM PDT


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