The struggles of buying a 'mini' amp - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-20-2017, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The struggles of buying a 'mini' amp

Hey all, I need some small amp guidance on powering a couple Boston Acoustics A40 speakers over wifi out in my shop. I finally got a computer hooked up out there where I can stream music from the house reliably and had dug out a old 2.1 Sony set for testing.
Was supposed to be easy, just buy a mini amp and I'm good to go.
Not so.
I am not a audiophile, but like anyone else here, I like good sound and am keen on clarity. The A40s will work just fine since I like to work to music thats on the lighter side with clarity through mid/upper range. Lotsa light strings and female vocals.
So heres were I had to break down and ask......

So, in research, I read that the Lapei Tripath 2020+ should be a good fit for a 40-50 dollar set of speakers. Found one on ebay that I thought was with one of the original Tripath chips. I have reluctantly come to terms with buying chinese in cases like this, but I drew the line when I noticed that 'Impedence' was spelled 'Imdence' on the case.
Lepy brand is obviously out of the same house since the same can be found on their case as well.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FZKA28Y..._t2_B071FJF4FF

While I was on Amazon I looked at the alternates on cheap mini amps.
'Sperkers' ?? Cmon really?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MU2JH4I..._t3_B071FJF4FF

So I give up on going real cheap and was curious is anyone has a recommendation for me now? I'm trying to keep things under 100.00 now and the only other amp that I'm aware of is the Dayton DTA-120

I'm really out of the loop of modern stuff, and am about ready to drag my old Pioneer receiver out of the attic and try and make that work.
Or maybe thats not a bad idea either?

Like I said, I'd really appreciate some coaching on a small amp coming out of a computer. My preferences are to be specific, about 40-50wpc stereo, decent quality, and the only real deal killer would be misspelled english, which is ironically usually right below a QC badge.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-20-2017, 02:43 PM
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I'd get that old receiver out of the attic. Why not? No money spent unless it doesn't work - and it should work fine, depending on what it is. You'll probably need an external DAC unless the old Pioneer has one built in.

Yamaha CX-A5000 - VTA ST-120 (6550 output tubes) - Salk Song Towers - Oppo 103
Vinyl Room: Emotiva PT-100 - Acurus A100 amp - Acoustic Research AR-2ax - Marantz TT42 - Oppo 103
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-21-2017, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I may just have to stand down and do that, just to get back in the loop while I re-educate myself on the 'modern' wifi/bluetooth/dac era. And to boot, I understand that what I'm after is bottom fishing for the most part, which about triples the size of the mine field.

As is obvious by now, other than putting a HT room together for the family years ago, I've pretty much crawled under a rock after my last purchase of AV equipment.
In timeline perspective, that was a Oppo 83 when they first came out (which I still love btw)

On a revelation, I was listening to Leon Redbone last night and it occurred to me that I could just bring my old Parasound amp out there. I could about heat the little workroom this winter with that dam thing, and as a bonus provide the power to the bookshelfs.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-21-2017, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExToker View Post
I could just bring my old Parasound amp out there. I could about heat the little workroom this winter with that dam thing, and as a bonus provide the power to the bookshelfs.
I know you comment was a little quip, but if the heat the amp puts off is a concern (for the life of the amp) and causing a heat issue for other components....this little item is fantastic (and relatively cheap) for taking care of receiver and amp heat issues:

AC Infinity Aircom Series T8 and T9 Component Cooling Fans Hands-On

I have one that sits on top of my Denon receiver and keeps it cool.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-21-2017, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rboster View Post
I know you comment was a little quip,
Actually not so much a quip, just a ongoing concern disguised as a quip. I have the amp sitting in a built in open wall cabinet whereas the bottom where is sits is vented inside the wall underneath. The amp can draw the cool air in from a large cavity below, and with the heatsink fins oriented horizontally, it pulls the air straight through out the top. It wasnt as noticeable when I had my Klipsch Fortes originally, but switching to Polk Lsi's really puts a load on. The top of the amp is warm to pushing hot even at idle.
Reading of the Onkyo stories of toasted HDMI boards brought my concern more to the forefront recently.

So thanks for your timely suggestion on my 'quip'. I appreciate that as its something I will seriously look in to..
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-23-2017, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post
I'd get that old receiver out of the attic. Why not? No money spent unless it doesn't work - and it should work fine, depending on what it is. You'll probably need an external DAC unless the old Pioneer has one built in.
Well, I'm struggling on a real slippery (financial) slope backwards now after plugging in the Pioneer (SX-636). The warm fuzzies that I got from that 25wpc powerhouse stereo was kinda cool. This thing was a high school graduation gift to myself in 1975 and now I'm wondering, if I like the sound so well today, what I really missed if I was able to afford better Pioneers, or the Marantz that I really wanted.

I'm not sure how to hook the receiver up to the streaming wifi out in the shop yet, or if I'm going to be disappointed with any tonal loss, but after a good cleaning it has earned its place to at least try. What a waste of 20 years leaving it sit.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-23-2017, 04:02 PM
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You may as well put that old Pioneer to use - it's resale value isn't going to net you enough money to buy something more modern. If it doesn't work out there are plenty of newer AVRs with wireless built in that will make it easier to stream music. Check out Accessories4Less.com. They sell refurbished receivers from Yamaha Onkyo/Integra Denon Marantz and a few others. You should be able to find an AVR for $200 that would work.

Yamaha CX-A5000 - VTA ST-120 (6550 output tubes) - Salk Song Towers - Oppo 103
Vinyl Room: Emotiva PT-100 - Acurus A100 amp - Acoustic Research AR-2ax - Marantz TT42 - Oppo 103
Twas a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the decency to write and thank her ~ WC Fields
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-23-2017, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Check out Accessories4Less.com.
Wow, Thanks for that!
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