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Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Audio Amplifier Reivew

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Lepy LP-2020A stereo "digital" audio amplifier. I purchased it back in January of this year on prompting of the membership to measure ultra-budget priced amplifiers. When I say ultra-budget I mean it: the LP-2020A costs just US $24.39 including Prime shipping from Amazon! I could sell you an empty case for that price and stay in business. The economics boggle the mind.

The LP-2020A is cheap looking of course although I have seen worse from some high-end audio companies:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Audio Review.jpg

The controls feel fine. There is a bright LED ring light around the volume control which can be annoying for some people.

I measured the unit with tone control butt set to Direct (defeated). In listening tests I played with the controls and found them surprisingly useful and not overdone.

The back of the unit and power supply look like this:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier back panel and power supply Audio Review.jpg

There are many versions of these amps so I wanted you all to see which supply mine came with.

There are dual inputs but no way to select between them.

Amplifier Audio Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard of 4 ohm load with 1 kHz tone at 5 watts:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Audio Measurements.png


Which the one channel was not so much worse than the other. I tested the unit with 8 ohm load and both were the same. So one channel doesn't like low impedance loads. As it is, the ranking is low but not the worse we have seen:
Best Budget Audio Amplifiers.png


Remarkable though to see some branded audio/video receivers right next to it!

Frequency response shows strangeness in one channel yet again:
Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Frequency Response Audio Measurements.png


32-tone test signal to resemble "music" shows what we already know:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Multitone Audio Measurements.png


Crosstalk was unusually high:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Crosstalk Audio Measurements.png


Probably still not an audible concern but we are getting dangerously close to analog FM radio performance and such (30 dB?).

Noise performance is not bad actually:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier SNR Audio Measurements.png


Frequency versus level and and distortion graph is a mess because each channel acts differently:
Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital AmplifierTHD vs Level vs Frequency Audio Measurements.png


So let's look at our usual 1 kHz response with 8 and 4 ohm loads:

Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Power into 8 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier Power into 4 ohm Audio Measurements.png


We are far from stated "20 watts" rating with either load. And what is there comes with a lack of accuracy as seen by the messy shape of the graph. The SMSL SA100 which I reviewed recently outperforms it easily on power and predictability.

Finally here is 19+20 kHz intermodulation test:
Lepy LP-2020A Stereo Digital Amplifier 19+20 IMD Audio Measurements.png


Amplifier Listening Test
I connected the Lepy LP-2020A to my Sonus Faber Concertino bookshelf speaker. At modest volume the sound was good. We had bass and decent enough dynamics to be usable. Turn it up close to end though and distortion sets in quickly. In this regard, the SMSL SA100 is much, much better.

I paused the source (topping DX3 Pro DAC) and turned the volume to max but could not hear any hiss or buzz demonstrating the correctness of our signal to noise ratio test. Of course, a much more sensitive speaker may show otherwise.

Conclusions
There is nothing horrifically broken in Lepy LP-2020A. It is hard to imagine doing much better given the price that it aimed for. I understand there is another version with the proper TI Tripath amplifier. If so, that may be a better buy as I have heard it produces more power which was the main issue here.

I think I am going to use the LP-2020A for my electronics bench. Often when troubleshooting the audio path, you need to amplify what is there with an amp you don't mind blowing. :) And the LP-2020A fits that bill fine.

Online reviews show that when used with small more efficient speakers it sounds OK. Then again there are a lot of reports of reliability issues.

Anyway, you don't need me to tell you whether this is recommended or not. The data and value proposition is there for you to examine.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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amirm

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#3
Thank you for posting 19+20kHz test ;)
My pleasure. Speaking of that, I am not happy with how I am testing it. I started running it at full power and have continued the same. That makes comparisons between amps difficult then since they are all at different power levels. Should we be running it at 5 watt instead?
 

pma

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#4
Should we be running it at 5 watt instead?
I think it is a good idea and probably more realistic scenario.

From the measurement you posted here above we can see that odd harmonics (skirts, 3rd, 5th ..) prevail and the difference tone (2nd harmonic) is much lower, this is not in accordance with your 1kHz/5W plot. Yes it might indicate SR issues at high swing high frequencies.
 

Cahudson42

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#6
Thanks for the review, Amirm!
I've been using this version:
Lepy LP-V9S Hi-Fi Stereo Power Digital Amplifier with USB SD DVD CD FM MP3 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L8O8WK2/

I bought for $24 back in 2017 with a more recent pair of Dayton B652 ($30) in lieu of a 'soundbar' for our Summer camp tv. Fed with one of those $15 toslink to RCA DACs. Works fine for that duty...
 

pjug

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#7
I wonder if the older models (branded Lepai 2020A) with the Tripath 2020 are any better. I am pretty sure the Lepy ones use something else.
 

amirm

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#10
Hasn't the standard for any kind of 'low' power test been 1 watt for many years?

Certainly all the manuals I've ever seen always cite full power bandwidth and THD and power bandwidth / THD at 1 watt.

So why not use 1 watt?
Because it was a bad standard. :) Decades back, we didn't have a lot of power to play with so 1 watt made sense. That is not the case today. If I measure THD+N at 1 watt, it will almost always just be the +N, i.e. noise level. By going up to 5 watt I am getting a useful measure of both.

Also, the trend in speakers is lower efficiency. Smaller enclosures sell better these days resulting in efficiency loss that goes with it. Hence, you need more power to drive them.

BTW, you can get the 1 watt number from THD+N vs power graphs anyway.
 
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#12
Personally I'm glad to see this tested because it's fairly popular on sites that lean toward extreme budget-oriented gear. Maybe these results will convince some folks to save a few more bucks for something that performs a bit better.
 

audio_tony

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#13
Personally I'm glad to see this tested because it's fairly popular on sites that lean toward extreme budget-oriented gear. Maybe these results will convince some folks to save a few more bucks for something that performs a bit better.
Interesting that you say that - but yet there are many forums awash with comments about how good these are etc. - they are a very popular device.

Of course I realise not everyone buys them for their fidelity - however there are many who claim they sound good with a decent source and speakers.
 

Tks

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#18
I don't get it.. The front face of the device looks pretty great?

Our capabilities, technology, and utilization of resources sure has proliferated the idea of ephemeralization. Its unbelievable at what cost something can be made today. Now imagine we had better/more efficient forms of economics..
 
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#19
second-harmonic distortion higher than third, low output power, high crosstalk... wow this must be an extremely pricey tube amp, with the Audiophile Musical® quality!
oh no, wait...
 

LTig

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#20
For $24 inc. shipping it appears to work and whilst hardly a great product it has the saving grace of being cheap. For the price I don't think there's any reason to complain about this.
I second that with one exception: power is not as specced. That's my only complain.
 
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