Latest Class D Budget Amp - Douk Audio ST-01 Pro

Snade

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This review triggered my interest in this little, budget amp:



They measured the output at 55 watts into 4 ohms. I remembered I had some Elac Uni-Fi UB5 speakers (4 ohms) stored away - never really liked them in past setups.

So when Amazon recently offered the Douk Audio ST-01 Pro amp at $110 for prime days, I ordered the amp. I like to experiment with budget setups.

So this is my setup:

Amazon Prime Music / MacBook Pro laptop > Schiit Bifrost DAC > Douk Audio amp > Elac UB5 speakers / Polk PSW10 Subwoofer

Some impressions:
It sounds very good. Plenty of power for the UB5 speakers in my 12 x 12 loft space listening room. The sound is clear and the high-end is not harsh. The UB5 speakers image well with this amp. I don't think it is the ultimate amp killer, but it sounds surprisingly good.

The amp is very, very small and looks like a toy. But it is a real amp. The setup is very easy. The quality of the fit and finish (like speaker hook ups in back) are cheap-ish (as you would expect).

Conclusion: totally fun amp to play around with. I'll keep it with this setup for a few months and then try something else.

Cheers, Snade

Some photos of my loft space in my home in Florida.

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Nice setup. Sometimes less is more. The Douk Audio amp works well.
 
Snade, it's nice to see you posting here on HH, my old friend!!!

I just watched the video in the link you posted and am intrigued. Unfortunately I recently purchased a $25 Parts Express Dayton mini BT amp and have another PE Dayton BT amp that drives my outdoor Klipsch speakers for my cooking patio. So, with my original Sonic Impact Super T-Amp and these two mini PE amps one would think that I'm all set in the small amp department. But it's worse as I'm running my Schiit Saga (with tube buffer) and Pass ACA Mini amp on my desk and think that's a great combo running my Elac 2.0 Debuts on my garage desktop.

However, it appears I can't resist these small stereo amps and have had good luck with how they all sound. But that lil' Douk is calling my name.
 
Snade, it's nice to see you posting here on HH, my old friend!!!

I just watched the video in the link you posted and am intrigued. Unfortunately I recently purchased a $25 Parts Express Dayton mini BT amp and have another PE Dayton BT amp that drives my outdoor Klipsch speakers for my cooking patio. So, with my original Sonic Impact Super T-Amp and these two mini PE amps one would think that I'm all set in the small amp department. But it's worse as I'm running my Schiit Saga (with tube buffer) and Pass ACA Mini amp on my desk and think that's a great combo running my Elac 2.0 Debuts on my garage desktop.

However, it appears I can't resist these small stereo amps and have had good luck with how they all sound. But that lil' Douk is calling my name.
Hi Bob, The Douk seems like a big improvement over these older Class D amps. And it includes bluetooth and a line out. I use the bluetooth to deliver better sound from my TV and the line out to connect to a sub. As you know, the UB5 speakers are great, but don't go very low. There are a lot of interesting small and low-cost subs out there. It's all fun.

I was listening to WFMT in Chicago this morning and Douk / Bifrost DAC / UB5 / budget Polk sub setup sounded really good at moderate to loud-ish volumes.

Your bud,

Mark
 
Update: I went back to the original stock tubes. They sound much better.

The tubes below are not an improvement, IMO. (Sept 17, 2023)





Testing some new tubes in the Douk - found these on Ebay. So far I really like the sound, and I'm still impressed with this tiny amp.

It continues to drive the UB5 speakers very well.

Cheers, Snade
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How much improvement/change with the new tubes?

Not sure yet, but I like what I hear so far. I'll let you know after they break-in a little.

I am no tube expert, but I did some research on the label on these tubes of "marche". There is a history of companies in the Marche region of Italy building radios and musical instruments using vacuum tubes. These may be related to that history.

Cheers,

Snade
 
How much improvement/change with the new tubes?

I went back to the stock tubes that came with the Douk Audio. They sound better.

I ordered a replacement to upgrade the power supply. Report on that later.

Snade
 
I recently upgraded the power supply on this Douk Audio ST-01 Pro with this (photo below).

Some things I read on the internets suggested it would lower distortion at higher volumes. Recently tested that when wifey was out shopping and this amp seemed to like it. I did not see any smoke. (smile)

Note, I am not an electrical engineer and any electrical upgrade suggested by me may be a mistake and blow up your amp. (smile)

Output of stock power supply: 24V and 4.5A

Output of new power supply: 32V and 5A

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