• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Amp/DAC/Streamer - Value Priced

TC500

New Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
1
Hello,
I am a new member looking for some advice. Have a DIY new pair of HIVI/Swans 2.2A speakers and now need a small system to power them (sub $750 - less is best). The room size is about 20 feet square. I will be mostly wifi streaming music, using Bluetooth or connecting a USB SSD with Flac files. Some ideas I have been looking at:
  1. Bluesound POWERNODE
  2. Yamaha R-N60
  3. Arylic S50 Pro
  4. Rotel a11 Tribute
  5. New SMSL DA-9 with Allo Boss 2
Any winners here or should I be looking at something else?
 

GGroch

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
814
Likes
1,486
Location
Denver, Colorado
Hi TC500, Welcome! I hope you enjoy your visits here.

I can report from experience that a cousin of one of your combos works very well with the Swans. I started a brief thread in the DIY forum here on my 2.2a experience. I am very happy with the speakers and have used them with several amps.

My subjective view is that the quality of the amp makes a significant difference with the 2.2as; more so than with most speakers. They did very well with a couple of vintage high power high current amps, but I was not as pleased with most of the smaller amps I have tried. The two exceptions are a DIY 3e Audio based TPA3255 amp, and the new Sabaj A20a, which is I believe identical except for some minor features to the SMSL DA-9. Both of these amps subjectively provided the control/slam/detail that I heard when they were driven by an old NAD 2600A. But, the noise floor was a lot lower. I think they both maximize the potential of the 2.2a where other amps did not. I have not heard the others on your list, but a brief google makes me skeptical as to whether they will match the SMSL DA-9 or Sabaj. I think this difference is audible. The EQ curve options built into the Sabaj (I think the DA-9 has the same curves) work well with the 2.2as, particularly when you want a bit warmer sound.

My most recent source is an Allo Boss2, which I have used directly with the Sabaj, and also through a Nobsound NS-08P Pro passive preamp. The Allo and Boss work great together. I find nothing to dispute Amir's test report of the Boss 2. I use the Nobsound to provide additional source inputs and it works great as well. If the Boss2 has the functions you need, I would be skeptical if any of your other listed choices sound better...and a bit surprised if they sounded every bit as good.
 

mononoaware

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
751
Likes
529
OP
T

TC500

New Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
1
Hi TC500, Welcome! I hope you enjoy your visits here.

I can report from experience that a cousin of one of your combos works very well with the Swans. I started a brief thread in the DIY forum here on my 2.2a experience. I am very happy with the speakers and have used them with several amps.

My subjective view is that the quality of the amp makes a significant difference with the 2.2as; more so than with most speakers. They did very well with a couple of vintage high power high current amps, but I was not as pleased with most of the smaller amps I have tried. The two exceptions are a DIY 3e Audio based TPA3255 amp, and the new Sabaj A20a, which is I believe identical except for some minor features to the SMSL DA-9. Both of these amps subjectively provided the control/slam/detail that I heard when they were driven by an old NAD 2600A. But, the noise floor was a lot lower. I think they both maximize the potential of the 2.2a where other amps did not. I have not heard the others on your list, but a brief google makes me skeptical as to whether they will match the SMSL DA-9 or Sabaj. I think this difference is audible. The EQ curve options built into the Sabaj (I think the DA-9 has the same curves) work well with the 2.2as, particularly when you want a bit warmer sound.

My most recent source is an Allo Boss2, which I have used directly with the Sabaj, and also through a Nobsound NS-08P Pro passive preamp. The Allo and Boss work great together. I find nothing to dispute Amir's test report of the Boss 2. I use the Nobsound to provide additional source inputs and it works great as well. If the Boss2 has the functions you need, I would be skeptical if any of your other listed choices sound better...and a bit surprised if they sounded every bit as good.

Thanks for the great advice. I will check out the Sabaj A20a. Sounds like they might have to dig out my old David Hafler DH-200. BTW, your thread on the DIY for the 2.2a was great! thanks
 

mononoaware

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
751
Likes
529
Looks good. Just wondering if it will have the power required for these speakers.

Please conduct your own calculations.
And remember to take into account the amount of distortion with power measurements from WXA-50 specifications.
 

GGroch

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
814
Likes
1,486
Location
Denver, Colorado
The DA-9 thread links to a subjective Youtube review by iiWi which at the 17min mark compares it to the WXA-50. Its just one guys opinion but he owns and likes both. While he hears a difference in sound, he also points out that the WXA-50 has many more features than the DA-9 that can outweigh the difference in sound if you need those features.

I am surprised no one has measured the DA-9/A20a yet, I feel more comfortable making recommendations with more than my ears and prejudices guiding me.
 
Top Bottom