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Dayton Audio DTA-Pro Stereo Amplifier Review

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Dayton Audio DTA-Pro Stereo Amplifier with Bluetooth input. It was purchased new by a member and drop shipped to me. The DAT-Pro costs US $142 from Parts Express.

The DAT-Pro comes in similar packaging to countless other budget audio products but one:

Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux stereo review.jpg

Do you see it? Volume control is on the left meaning if you are right handed, it can block the level display.

You have good set of inputs available:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Back Panel Connectors stere...jpg

Sadly the analog input is relegated to 3.5 mm jack rather than RCAs.

There is good bit of heft to the unit despite its small size which was nice when I connected my heavy speaker cables to it.

The external switching power supply is massive and provides 4 amps at 24 volts.

In use the DTA-Pro gets a bit warm but nothing of concern.

Amplifier Audio Measurements
I started my measurements using the Aux analog input:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux Audio Measurements.png


The distortion numbers in the form of SINAD are quite disappointing especially in one channel. As I let the unit get warmer, the good channel gained another 6 dB but the bad channel only went up one. Third harmonic distortion is the problem here.

Thinking there may be some analog to digital conversion going on, I also tested the Coax S/PDIF input:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Coax Audio Measurements.png


Not much improvement indicating the amplifier is the problem, not the front end. So for the rest of the tests, I used the analog input.

As is, the DTA-Pro lands close to the bottom of our amplifier rankings based on distortion and noise:
Best Audio Bluetooth Amplifiers.png


Off-topic quiz: how many amplifiers would you guess I have measured as reflected in the above graph?

Answer: 61 amplifiers! Optically it doesn't look like there are than many items there are. So to finish third from the bottom is not a good position to be.

There are a bunch of EQ settings, none of which are documented. There is also a loudness button on the remote that by default was on. As was EQ mode 1:

Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux  Frequency Response  Au...png


Best to rest the EQ to 0 and turn off loudness when first evaluating this amplifier.

There is a "Direct" button on the remote which has no documentation to explain what it is. I thought it was a tone defeat but it was not. It did seem to lower the noise floor post the maximum cut off of the amplifier but that was it. Speaking of that, there is a sharp cut off indicating some kind of anti-aliasing filter.

Signal to noise ratio is nothing to write home about:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux SNR Audio Measurements.png


I was surprised that channel crosstalk (one channel bleeding into the other) was almost flat:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux Crosstalk Audio Measure...png


Usually it slopes up as stray capacitance between channels couples the two. Here, there seems to be some other forcing function that is frequency independent (in a bad way). As such, the $25 Lepy LP-2020A outperforms it.

32-tone test simulating "music" shows increasing distortion with frequency as expected:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux Multitone Audio Measure...png


Power into 4 ohm load almost matched the 50 watt/channel rating:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux Power into 4 ohm Audio ...png


And here is 8 ohm measurement:
Dayton Audio DTA-PRO 100W Class D Bluetooth Amplifier with USB DAC Aux Power into 8 ohm Audio ...png


So we have a bit more power than the SMSL SA100.

Conclusions
The measurements are pretty bad here landing the DTA-Pro almost at the bottom of every graph. Among dirt cheap amps though, it has a bit more power but that comes at a much higher cost than SMSL SA100 which costs half as much at US $73. The SMSL does not have digital inputs though so maybe some of this extra premium can be attributed to that.

Personally I would spend more to get better quality but you are free to choose otherwise. Given the bargain price here, I am not going to pass judgement on the Dayton Audio DTA-Pro. You have the data to decide on your own.

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As always, questions, comments, corrections, etc. are welcome.

Besides the panthers, we also have a couple of dogs. They have gotten jealous that they are not in my product review pictures so want to go to modeling school to qualify. I checked out the cost for that and it runs into thousands of dollars. I appreciate donations to cover the cost of their schooling using : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

mmicko

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During the reviews like this, I'm still thinking, if similar priced active monitors are better choice or not
 

Blumlein 88

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I think it deserved a headless panther. This is the kind of product in this day and age no one should make at any price. The performance is too abysmal.
 

Soniclife

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This might be a stupid question, but it's something I've seen on several products, including this one, but how come the single tone distortion on the dashboard is so much worse than the 32 tone test?
On the single tone test the 3rd is 45db below the fundamental, but on the multitone they are all 70db below.
 

Blumlein 88

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This might be a stupid question, but it's something I've seen on several products, including this one, but how come the single tone distortion on the dashboard is so much worse than the 32 tone test?
On the single tone test the 3rd is 45db below the fundamental, but on the multitone they are all 70db below.

Most likely because the level for each tone in the 32 tone test is much lower than the single tone test. Each tone is 30 db lower than the single tone at maximum would be. I think Amir just resets the scale so each tone is showing 0 db in the 32 tone test. Chances are if the single tone were lowered 30 db it too would show much lower distortion.
 

pma

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Most likely because the level for each tone in the 32 tone test is much lower than the single tone test. Each tone is 30 db lower than the single tone at maximum would be. I think Amir just resets the scale so each tone is showing 0 db in the 32 tone test. Chances are if the single tone were lowered 30 db it too would show much lower distortion.

That's it. And for the same reason the multitone is not very tough test to some devices. Yes it is a tough test to junk products. Depends. That's why we have to perform very wide set of tests, wide set of test signals.
 

Soniclife

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Which suggests that in cases like this, with music, the performance won't be anything like as bad as the single tone suggests, and the problems will be less likely to be audible.
 

Berwhale

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Jimster480

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I think it deserved a headless panther. This is the kind of product in this day and age no one should make at any price. The performance is too abysmal.
I agree, the performance is really close to the bottom.
Its overall pretty atrocious lol
 

restorer-john

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What were they thinking with that volume control location?

Just market it to left handed people.

Dayton Audio LH-Pro - Finally, an amplifier designed for all you left handed people out there. No more scissors that don't fit, spiral bound notebooks you can't use and whiteboard pens that smear as you write. The amplifier you can actually see the display while you operate it!
 

KR500

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Left hander here , I use my right hand for potentiometer opration though .
This looks like a poor design choice for sure
 

Tks

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Great little package with lovely set of inputs.

The only problem, that performance tho... It's just wayyy too bad.
 

dorirod

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For this performance, if price is the main draw, you might as well go with SMSL AD18 which is cheaper, more features, and slightly better performing.
 
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I wish I would have read this before I bought this amp. On first listen it sound really bad.
All the preset EQ settings are garbage. Activating the EQ with all settings flat changes the sound a lot.
The amp seems strained and unnatural.
 
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