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Is moving from Aiyima A07 to SMSL AO200 or SMSL A300 worth doing?

jdub99

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Apologies if this has been addressed in a different thread (though I couldn’t find one on ASR)

Current office setup is: Mac(USB) -> Topping E30 DAC (E30 II arriving soon) -> Acurus RL-11 preamp -> MiniDSP 2x4HD -> Aiyima A07 -> Dynaudio Focus 110 pair (4 ohm speakers) & an active sub (M-Audio BX10S right now)

I’m thinking of moving from the Aiyima A07 amp to either an SMSL AO200 or an SMSL A300.

(I’ve also been considering the MiniDSP FLEX with balanced 6.35mm TRS outputs fwiw - but 2x4HD with RCA-outs is working fine for now.)

I do not use, nor need, either BT or USB on the power amp - I just need it for the power amp function.

Can anyone offer up any thoughts/considerations on Aiyima A07 vs SMSL AO200/A300?
And also whether the AO200 or the A300 would be the better amp choice?
Also, does the AO200/A300 always have it’s internal DSP in the audio path and what might be the internal bitrate/bitdepth used (if that matters wrt playing 192KHz from the Mac into the E30/E30-II)?

Thanks,
jdub99
 

TonyJZX

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if you have an a07 then maybe perhaps look into a better psu? its been proven the unit can get up to 120w with a $75 psu.

To me the A0200 seems to be not worth many people's use cases given it has a nice preamp and BT and it has balanced in but who is gonna use that stuff? price is getting up there too... you can buy quite a few A07s for the money.

The A300 is a powerhouse and its ace card is that its a contained unit with no ext. psu. It has more power than the 200 but whether that makes a difference to many remains to be seen. Price is a lot lower too.
 

Joe Smith

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I am too weighing future SMSL amp upgrades versus a Hypex build from Buckeye or even a Schiit Vidar 2...I don't really need that much power now for anything, but would if I move things around in my main downstairs system. For me, for the use case you describe, I'd want to get a "pure" class D amp and not have any other inputs or preamp functions integrated. For more of a long-term use amp. But then again, having used many mini-amps over the past decade, the A07 is the best by far IMO.

The A07 is surprisingly powerful but I enjoy using it with the 32v/5a power supply with an older preamp feeding it. I worry about the people who are using power supplies that push it right up to the top of the capacitor values on the board. The amp will probably take that for a while, but I have to believe that with a budget product like this and a non-ventilated case, it will shorten the life of the amp. The way I'm using it now, though, I don't need more than 45wpc for 8 ohms. The little SMSL AO100 I'm using in the dining room only does about 35wpc for 8 ohms but it is perfect for that size of room.
 
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jdub99

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The A07 (32V 5A) driving Focus 110s works pretty well (and miniDSP 2x4HD can adjust things quite a bit), but I think the 110s did sound somewhat better when I swapped in an XLS1500 power amp (but alas the XLS1500 is too big for my intended area).

I’m drawn to the idea of using a power amp with an internal PSU (can ditch the external power brick). There are more than a few of these available from different makers, but either some of the review measurements were meh or I just can’t find any measurement reviews of them.

* SMSL: SA400 / DA-9 / AO200 / A300
* Emotiva: BasX A2m
* Niles: SI-2100 (looks interesting - is large but only 1U tall so would fit ok under the R11 preamp - though no measurement reviews that I can find)


And there are surely many other internal-PSU amp options as well. At some point I’ll prob just need to order a couple and be ok with returning whatever doesn’t work out.
 

dthomasturner

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I have an AO7 and an A300. I have had an AO200 but subsequently returned it. The A07 is excellent at the price, however the AO200 and A300 have much better clarity across the spectrum. The AO200 has balanced inputs, better build quality, a nicer display and better interface but it is not as powerful as the A300 by far. The A300 has two analogue, RCA inputs, which is nice if you have a need for two sources (DAC and a turntable). It can also be bridged to mono and has some integrated bass management. I thought the AO200 sounded a little less balanced across the spectrum and could sound a little forced at times. I think the A300 is a bit more neutral and the extra power gives it better bass control on less sensitive speakers. As I said though, they are both cleaner sounding amps than the AO7 when compared directly. I had no trouble identifying either of them against the AO7 in level matched, blind testing. For me the A300 ended up being the better value (I got mine for $165 US) and for that money, i think that it is well worth it. That being said, I still have and enjoy the A07 in my kitchen system paired with a Schiit Modi 3+ and a Wiim mini streamer.
 

Bleib

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I replaced my 07 at the computer for A300 because I'm tired of channel imbalances. It wasn't too bad but you could notice it from time to time.
If purchased, make sure to dim down the screen as much as possible because otherwise the noise from it is actually leaked into the audio.

A300 is not Topping PA5 clean:ish.
 
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jdub99

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Thanks for the replies. A300 does sound promising. Prob the better choice (vs AO200) for the Focus 110s (4 ohm / 85dB). Wonder if/when the A300 will go on sale again ($150 vs $200). I've also been looking into the idea of a pre-built Hypex power amp (NC252MP), but it's almost triple the cost of an A300.
 

bineverlast

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I recently have tried Aiyima A07, Aiyima A300, Aoshida A7, SMSL AO200, SMSL A300.
The SMSLs are just bad, blame it on the ma12070 chip inside them. While having a lot of detail and clarity, they lack dynamic and power. I really dont like their thin sound. SMSL's build quality and features are way superior though (if that's more important than sound)
Aoshida A7 is not flat, it has a ~ shaped sound. Good for EDM, annoying for everything else, very fatiguing to listen to for a long time.
Aiyima A300 is the best sounding amp musically. Good performance across the spectrum. Its engaging and punchy sound is the stuff that makes you move. However, it has bad SNR, even audible static noise at idle. Big no no.
Keeping the Aiyima A07 until there is a significant upgrade. It has problem above 10khz, generally dull and noisy, but I think i can live with it for now.
 

Bleib

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I've not noticed any lack of power with A300, I've compared it to Topping PA5 and even Denon 3600 AVR which is very powerful in 2 channel mode.
Also with bigger floorstanders, so not just the current bookshelf speakers.

2x A300 should really be able to tame just about any speaker
 

jdg78

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I have both the SMSL A300 and Aiyima A07. I honestly wouldn't say there's a huge difference between them in terms of sound quality - both are very clean and smooth with a good amount of detail and punch. It comes down more to features - with the SMSL you get the ability to add 2 different input sources, a subwoofer out, a remote control, some different EQ filters, and a digital display. If any of those are useful to you, I would go with the SMSL. If not, the Aiyima A07 should do you fine, unless you have slightly harder to drive speakers which might benefit from the extra power of the SMSL.

Either way, both offer tremendous value in my opinion - I think you'd have to spend substantially more before getting any real noticeable improvement in performance.

I use the A300 to power the 2 main Focal floor standing speakers in my living room. I have one set of inputs hooked up to the pre-outs of my AV receiver for movie playback, and the other input attached to a standalone DAC for music playback, which works really well.

In fact, the only criticism I have with the A300 is that the digital display has been rendered in an extremely garish electric blue color that sticks out like a sore thumb in my system. Wish they could have just rendered the display with something more neutral, or a least a less offensive color of blue, but this is a very minor quibble.
 

melvinjames

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The SMSLs are just bad, blame it on the ma12070 chip inside them. While having a lot of detail and clarity, they lack dynamic and power.
In your opinion. Mine would differ. FWIW I'm using a DO100 > balanced ic's > AO200 > Mark & Daniel Ruby. The speakers are an inefficient bookshelf (82.5dB/2.83V/1m, 3-6 ohm impedance dipping down to 2). Manufacturer recommends using a high-current amp, 100 wpc minimum. No lack of power or dynamics driving these with the AO200 with music or video.
 

longma

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I have Aiyima 07 and SMSL A300 2022. I could not agree more with what dthomastuner said above. The A300 is cleaner and better. The Aiyima sounds "fuller" and enjoyable. I definitely like the sound and the clearliness of A300. I also like the 2 inputs: one input for the front speakers for home theater; the other one for pure music stereo. The A300 has sub out. It is handy if u want a 2.1 ( i try that with primus 162 or jbl 530 with jbl 550 sub).

My modest music systems are.
Oppo 205 or Onkyo 7555 as source -> A300 or 07 -> Infinity Primus 362, 162 or JBL 530.

Pixel6 -> BlueDento BT receiver -> A300 -> Infinity Primus. This setup is good, very closed to listening from the same CD with the Oppo 205 source. It is more convenient, for i don't have to change the CDs.
 

omszz

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I have both the SMSL A300 and Aiyima A07. I honestly wouldn't say there's a huge difference between them in terms of sound quality - both are very clean and smooth with a good amount of detail and punch. It comes down more to features - with the SMSL you get the ability to add 2 different input sources, a subwoofer out, a remote control, some different EQ filters, and a digital display. If any of those are useful to you, I would go with the SMSL. If not, the Aiyima A07 should do you fine, unless you have slightly harder to drive speakers which might benefit from the extra power of the SMSL.

Either way, both offer tremendous value in my opinion - I think you'd have to spend substantially more before getting any real noticeable improvement in performance.

I use the A300 to power the 2 main Focal floor standing speakers in my living room. I have one set of inputs hooked up to the pre-outs of my AV receiver for movie playback, and the other input attached to a standalone DAC for music playback, which works really well.

In fact, the only criticism I have with the A300 is that the digital display has been rendered in an extremely garish electric blue color that sticks out like a sore thumb in my system. Wish they could have just rendered the display with something more neutral, or a least a less offensive color of blue, but this is a very minor quibble.
+1 on the blue - its about the worse blue color for a digital display I've ever seen -- just looks bad and readability is horrible.
 

jasonRF

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- snip -

I do not use, nor need, either BT or USB on the power amp - I just need it for the power amp function.

Can anyone offer up any thoughts/considerations on Aiyima A07 vs SMSL AO200/A300?
And also whether the AO200 or the A300 would be the better amp choice?
Also, does the AO200/A300 always have it’s internal DSP in the audio path and what might be the internal bitrate/bitdepth used (if that matters wrt playing 192KHz from the Mac into the E30/E30-II)?

Thanks,
jdub99
I do not know if the upgrade makes sense. However, I do not believe there is DSP in the AO200 that I bought recently. At least when it comes to the tone controls and EQ settings, I made some measurements and it looks like the tone controls are simply what the analog NJW1194 preamp chip has built-in. Even the EQ settings, such as SDB, are just selections from the bass and treble tone controls.

If you use the 'direct' mode it should bypass the tone controls and just use volume control portion of the njw1194 as well as the Infineon amp.
jason

by the way, the measurements (and probably not enough words!) are at
When I compare my treble and bass plots to the njw1194 datasheet they look the same to me.
 

T&T

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Reading did anyone tried the 07 with opa1656 or sparkos labs opamps, because that will make a huge difference in sound. This comparison as is from the manufacturer?
 

Guddu

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I have recently got AO200, bought it to replace A07 pro primarily because of nicer look and remote (and EQ). It surely is a step up.
 

zeluxao

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I recently have tried Aiyima A07, Aiyima A300, Aoshida A7, SMSL AO200, SMSL A300.
The SMSLs are just bad, blame it on the ma12070 chip inside them. While having a lot of detail and clarity, they lack dynamic and power. I really dont like their thin sound. SMSL's build quality and features are way superior though (if that's more important than sound)
Aoshida A7 is not flat, it has a ~ shaped sound. Good for EDM, annoying for everything else, very fatiguing to listen to for a long time.
Aiyima A300 is the best sounding amp musically. Good performance across the spectrum. Its engaging and punchy sound is the stuff that makes you move. However, it has bad SNR, even audible static noise at idle. Big no no.
Keeping the Aiyima A07 until there is a significant upgrade. It has problem above 10khz, generally dull and noisy, but I think i can live with it for now.
The a300 actually has an upgraded chip vs the ao200. The MA5332MS.

 

phoenixdogfan

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I use an A07 to power my center channel (KEF HTC 3001 SE) and it works well. I use a Purifi Eval 1 to power my LS 50 Meta L-R combination, and the older Kef Center powered by the Aiyima does not sound out of place, so it's all good. Can't speak to channel imbalance (which should be rectifiable if you have some channel specific gain control anywhere in your chain), but everything else seems just fine.
 

Svensson

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@jdub99 what did you go with in the end?
FWIW, I'd suggest AO300 as you'll get the advantage of the power hike. You won't need EQ, as you're using MiniDSP.
I am curious, does your system, whatever you went with, sound better with the preamp in the chain or using the E30 (I or II) in preamp mode?
 

Bleib

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I've had A07, A300 and currently Topping MX3s and I absolutely prefer the latter.
 
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