Comparing Budget Class T and Class D amps

#1
@mhardy6647 's post regarding the $6 Kinter KA170 from Parts Express has prompted me to compare and post my findings on the inexpensive Class T and Class D amps currently in residence.

The participants:

*Kinter K2020A Class T (~$30 from Amazon) with Pyramid PS9KX linear power supply (~$45 from Amazon)
*Topping TP60 Class T (~$200 from Parts Express)
*NFJ&FX Audio TPA3250 with Astron LS10A linear power supply

I'm also still considering getting one of the $6 Kinter MA170 amps from PE to throw into the mix.

After extensive listening over the weekend to the Living Room reference system, I swapped out the exceptional KingKo KA101 PP EL84 amp for the Topping TP60 and let it warm up all day yesterday. Even then, the Topping had not completely opened up so I will defer further critical listening until tonight or tomorrow evening.

From what I read, it appears that the $30 Kinter K2020A+ Limited Edition Original Tripath TA2020-020 Class-T amp I got from Amazon uses the same TA2020 chipset used in the Topping TP60 so I will make sure to give it comparable warm up time.

More to follow. :)
 

StevenZ

Active Member
#2
Very cool comparison. I've been dying to get my hands on an Allo Volt+ D with their capacitance multiplier. However, both times I tried to order I was left hanging for weeks until I had to cancel (both times) due to non-shipment. It's supposed to be really darn good.
 
#3
Very cool comparison. I've been dying to get my hands on an Allo Volt+ D with their capacitance multiplier. However, both times I tried to order I was left hanging for weeks until I had to cancel (both times) due to non-shipment. It's supposed to be really darn good.
Not familiar with the Allo Volt+ D. Will have to research. :)
 
#4
One additional note: I am using the Schiit Saga as the preamp with all of the amps.

The Saga is certainly Doorway priced. :)

Remote volume control is nice. ;)

To my ears, things seem to sound better with the Saga in the system. :)
 
#7
So as the Topping TP60 has gotten thoroughly warmed up, it has (as expected from when I used it previously) really opened up and gotten back to sounding wonderful.

I think having the Saga in there really benefits the whole sonic presentation.

So how does it sound? :)

Nice and smooth, top to bottom. Good bass. Very listenable on a wide variety of music. Decent detail.

The TP60 sins are those of omission. It lacks that last degree of dimensionality and detail.

Does it displace the KingKo KA-101? No. The KingKo is a very special amp which, combined with the Schiit Saga as preamp, really shines on the Tangent RS2 and beckons me to listen to more music. Dimensionality and detail (without any hint of hardness) in spades.

But the KingKo is 4X the coat of the TP60. Not a fair comparison.

Could I live with the TP60? Absolutely. It remains the best "off the shelf" inexpensive amp I've had in the Living Room system to date. For $200, the TP60 is an absolute steal. For $350 more, add the Schiit Saga and you have a really good pre/power amp cimbo for $550 total that will hold it's own against a lot of higher priced gear.

Just my opinion. :)
 
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