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3e audio TPA3255 260-2-29A Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier (kit):

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 5 1.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 54 20.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 197 76.4%

  • Total voters
    258

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the 3e audio 260-2-29A TPA3255 chip based stereo amplifier. It was sent to me by the company as a complete unit even though they only sell the amplifier modules.
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB review.jpg

As you see, it is a generic box which is something you can easily build yourself. I don't know what power supply is in there. Will fill in when I know. Cost is US $109 for the stereo amplifier module.

Back side of the reference design:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB complete amplifier review.jpg

The differentiation here is implementation of "PFFB" which stands for post-filter feedback design. Without this, the required output filter will interact with speaker load, varying the frequency response of the amplifier. High cost amplifiers from likes of Hypex and Purifi have this but budget amplifiers usually do not. I am told there are other optimizations to extract best performance out of this class D IC.

This testing is for the stereo module. I was also sent a mono amp which I will test soon. Mono review is out now: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?reviews/

3e audio TPA3255 Stereo Amplifier Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB measurement.png


Wow, I wasn't expect such good performance! Distortion is below threshold of hearing at nearly -120 dB. Noise performance then sets SINAD to 102 dB which easily lands the amplifier in our "Excellent" bucket:
Best class d stereo amplifier review.png


Zooming in:
Best class d stereo amplifier review zoomed.png


SNR is great for 16 bit content even at 5 watts and approaches state of the art at full power:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB SNR measurement.png


Frequency response shows the effect of PFFB:

3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB Frequency Response measurement.png


Multitone shows that distortion in low to mid-frequencies is great but there is some degradation at upper end of hearing range:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB Multitone measurement.png


This is reflected naturally in our 19+20 kHz test as well:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB 19 20 khz Intermoduation Distortion measure...png


Crosstalk is better than average:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB Crosstalk measurement.png


There is plenty of power on tap:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB power 4 ohm measurement.png


3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB Max and Peak power 4 ohm measurement.png

3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB power 8 ohm measurement.png


Notice the very low noise floor above competing with "big boys" of class D amplification there!

As noted, there is some weakness at higher frequencies:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB power 4 ohm vs frequency measurement.png


There is no standby switch so I had to fully power cycle the amp to get the on/off noise:
3e audio TPA3255 stereo amplifier kit class d PFFB power on off noise measurement.png


Conclusions
I am amazed and pleased to see how much performance is extracted out of the TPA3255 class D amplifier IC here. Clearly a good designer is at work here. Noise and distortion are kept at a minimum while producing lots of power. There is some increased distortion at higher frequencies but that is a small consideration in the context of this class of amplification.

I am happy to recommend the 3e audio TPA 3255 amplification kits and products.
------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
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Manufacturer Specifications for the Amp Core:

  • < 85uV Output Noise (AES17,A-weighted)
  • 260W @ 1% THD+N, 1kHz, 4Ω
  • 315W @ 10% THD+N, 1kHz, 4Ω
  • 111dBA dynamic range
  • THD+N < 0.01%, 0.3W – 200W, 4Ω
  • 90% Efficient Class-D Operation (4 Ω)
  • Fully differential layout design for lowest noise and distortion
  • Very Compact size(105mm*90mm*38.5mm – L*W*H)
  • Additional power ON/OFF reset circuit for Pop noise suppression
  • BTL configuration only for best audio performance
  • AUX Power Supply Output(12V/0.2A) for DSP Pre Amplifier
  • Single supply voltage range 24V~51V(UVP:24V)
 
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Thank you very much Amir for this test) Many of us were impatiently awaiting this review. I wanted to be the first to post lol : but I failed lol
For those who followed the original thread, you will find additional information below. The measurements that had already been done are consistent with those that were shared by Amir. I think we didn't have too much doubt about the performance of this module)

Original Thread :


I will soon share a new project based on the Dual Mono 3E Audio 480-1-29A modules for those interested ) The Mono module should perform a little better normally.

We should expect this for the Mono board : (let's now wait the other ASR review)

1701942334404.png
 
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Nice test and results.

What about reactive loads test?
 
What about reactive loads test?
My loadbox has a bug that won't work when the negative speaker terminal is above ground so I usually don't run that test on this class of amplification. When I test the mono, I maybe able to do it there.
 
About 170 euro in Europe for the stereo module,so at about 300 euro for a finished one all included?



Not bad at all,thanks Amir!

Yep ) I paid about 350€ for my "ready t use" (DIY) one. (from Audiophonics)
In this performance/price ratio, it has little competition )
I shared all the details in the original thread for those who want to follow it)

PS : Besides, I'm selling it anyway because I'm leaning towards a dual Mono project


1701942634506.png
 
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About 170 euro in Europe for the stereo module,so at about 300 euro for a finished one all included?

View attachment 332212

Not bad at all,thanks Amir!
135 for me, is this the legit 3eaudio store?


Screenshot_2023-12-07-10-44-32-06_57e717c094f371a1dada6567a1123b99.jpg

Anyways, final price will be indeed in the 300ish. Did they mention if the PSU they used in this dut is the LOF350-20B48 (48V / 7.3Ac@ 350W) they recommend or the 550 version they said they use to test or something else?

Thanks Amir for the review!
 
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135 for me, is this the legit 3eaudio store?
That makes sense,there's taxes and import fees in Europe but on the other hand you get a legit warranty and ease to return if things go south.
 
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135 for me, is this the legit 3eaudio store?


View attachment 332219

Anyways, final price will be indeed in the 300ish. Did they mention if the PSU they used in this fit is the LOF350-20B48 (48V / 7.3Ac@ 350W) they recommend?

Thanks Amir for the review!

Yes it is, there is only one unique Store from Aliexpress for the 3E Audio module.
You will be able to save around 25% by going through Aliexpress but at the sacrifice of the guarantee and with the fear (for the EU) of having a tax of 20% during importation relating to the new European regulations

Personally I order everything from Audiophonics to get the "solid" warranty and the possibility of returning the goods within a month if ever dissatisfied)
Concerning the PSU, for having participated in several DIY projects around the TPA 325X. I can recommend these 3 models:



 
I paid about 350€ for my "ready t use" one. (from Audiophonics)
I only see the amp module on Audiophonics (169€)

That looks good, but 350€ is the price of a NC122MP based stereo amp.
What's the benefit then ?

EDIT:
OK, more details in this thread, thanks
And some clean power is the benefit.
You know, one always want more :)
 
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This is stellar performance, especially for a TPA3255 based chip amp. Great to see PFFB being utilized, clearly in addition with excellent design in the module. We are living in good times for HiFi, thanks for the results @amirm.


JSmith
 
I only see the amp module on Audiophonics (169€)

That looks good, but 350€ is the price of a NC122MP based stereo amp.
What's the benefit then ?
The 122MP can generally be found from €399 in Europe.
It is therefore less interesting in the end, taking into account the overall performances


NC122MP Measurements

1701943737424.png

1701943763517.png


 
I only see the amp module on Audiophonics (169€)

That looks good, but 350€ is the price of a NC122MP based stereo amp.
What's the benefit then ?
This one looks like having double the power comparing Amir's results against Hypex's ones:

Power (4Ω): 2 x 125W (1 x 200W in BTL)
Power (8Ω): 2 x 75W (1 x 250W in BTL)

But yes,Hypex is a long tested choice,so...
 
Amazing - great to see what PFFB can do for the TPA3255 - will be interesting to see what Fosi Audio ( and Aiyima ) if they can engineer a similar solution for their next generation of class d amplifiers
 
I only see the amp module on Audiophonics (169€)

That looks good, but 350€ is the price of a NC122MP based stereo amp.
What's the benefit then ?

By "ready to use" I mean by purchasing all the elements from Audiophonics then assembling them myself):)
 
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