Comparing Budget Class T and Class D amps

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
@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
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.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
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. :)
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
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. :)
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
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. :)
 

opa1

Moderator
Staff member
Ordered the Allo Volt+ D based on the positive comments by @rogerfederer @inthewoods @sachu888 @Martin G @StevenZ and others.

This is what I ordered:

https://www.allo.com/sparky-amp.html

View attachment 11073

When it arrives, I will put it into the mix and see how it measures up. :)

What power supply have those of you using the Volt+ D found to sound the best?

These little amps are an absolute blast to listen to and compare. :)
I've read that the 19vdc switching PS works the best with the Volt+D. You can also get the capacitance multiplier. https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/capacitance-multiplier.html
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator

rogerfederer

Junior Member
So far I've just used the stock power supply. Tried to buy adapter so could use an astron, but bought wrong size and abandoned the effort.
There is a huge thread on AK and I think most volt users are using the stock power brick.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
So far I've just used the stock power supply. Tried to buy adapter so could use an astron, but bought wrong size and abandoned the effort.
There is a huge thread on AK and I think most volt users are using the stock power brick.
I am very interested by the specs on the Capacitance Doubler which states that it can take up to a 30vdc input.

I have a 28vdc Astron which makes a big difference with the TPA3250 amp. Think I'll contact Allo and find out if it's safe to use the additional 9vdc and won't harm the Volt+ D amp.

Fun, fun, fun. :)
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Also grabbed an Indeed TDA7498E Mark II amp.

Screenshot_20190227_123632.jpg

Anyone have any experience with the TDA7498E amps? Seems to be some positive 'buzz' on the 'Net.

In any event, the more the merrier. :)
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Found a Tekpower Linear power supply that is variable from 0 vdc - 30 vdc at 0 amps - 5 amps. :)

Hoping this will run a variety of these little amps better than their stock switching power supply bricks. :)
 
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