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Looking for am amp up to about £150/$. Sabaj, SMSL & Loxjie look promosing.

funkytwig

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So from reading around the SMSL A100 seems a good bet but have come across a lot of other options but could not find full reviews of them here so wondered if the A100 was what people recommend. I will be using them with Q Acoustic 3020i speakers. A lot of the time I will be using a computer to play music and playing from my phone seems a nice idea so Bluetooth and a DAC would be good and having a sub out is also a benefit (although I know there are ways around this). But if it's better to get an amp without this and add later not having them is not a show stopper. However, if having it will not affect the quality of the amp it would be nice. Could always add a better one later.

I was also looking at the Sabaj A10a, SMSL SA300, and even the SMSL AD13. The other promising option was the Loxjie A30.

I've read the SMSL SA300 DAC and BT are not great. Is the Loxjie A30 significantly better?

So out of these, and possibly others at a similar price point, what would people recommend.
 

dominikz

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Hello and welcome!

In this budget you may also be interested in the new SMSL A300 (note this is different model than the older SA300):
It hasn't been measured independently so performance isn't confirmed yet, but on paper the specs and features looks pretty good!

If you need an all-in-one with a solid headphone amplifier built-in (and can stretch the budget), the Topping MX5 looks like a good option too - no sub-out, though!

Personally I haven't used either so have no practical experience to share :)
Good luck in your search!
 
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funkytwig

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Thanks, not come across that. Was looking at SA300. Can't find a lot of info on it, guess cos it's new, but looks like there is no bass/treble control (and no remote I think). Did find https://hifigo.com/products/smsl-a300. But https://www.smsl-audio.com/ seems to be down.

Wondering how A300 compares to the A100, SA300, and A12 in their range, and specifically the Loxjie A30 and Sabaj A10a. People also mention the Aiyima A07 with upgraded opamps and 32v power supply.

Lots to think about. I don't mind no BT/DAC if the core is significantly better. Also as I said SW out is not a show stopper. I generally find its better to get stripped down stuff than add to it (i.e. add a BT/DAC).

EDIT, found https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/284838094977?. £195. And it does have a remote so guess it does have bass/treble. Question is does it keep the settings when you power down?
 
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dominikz

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Thanks, not come across that. Was looking at SA300. Can't find a lot of info on it, guess cos it's new, but looks like there is no bass/treble control (and no remote I think). Did find https://hifigo.com/products/smsl-a300. But https://www.smsl-audio.com/ seems to be down.
Looking at the manual, SMSL A300 seems to have both a remote and EQ/tone controls:
1654781740537.png

Wondering how it compares to the A100, SA300, and A12 in their range, and specifically the Loxjie A30 and Sabaj A10a. People also mention the Aiyima A07 with upgraded opamps and 32v power supply.
Well the main difference I see is that the A300 should be more powerful than most of the others you listed and has a pretty comprehensive feature set (including a 50Hz high-pass for the main outputs, which could be useful if you plan to add a sub). Sound-wise I doubt there would be much difference between the amps (maybe noise level with very sensitive speakers - for that we'd need measurements of all contenders) - I'd personally mainly choose based on power, features, price and form-factor. :)

Lots to think about. I don't mind no BT/DAC if the core is significantly better. Also as I said SW out is not a show stopper. I generally find its better to get stripped down stuff than add to it (i.e. add a BT/DAC).
Note that all of these amps will lack a crucial feature for good sound quality - room correction EQ.

If you plan to only run audio from a PC you can do this with a measurement mic+REW+EAPO. However if you plan to connect other sources (e.g. TV or turntable) you will not be able to do room EQ without additional boxes.
Unfortunately there are not a lot of low-priced options with built-in room EQ functionality today :confused:
 
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funkytwig

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Thanks, everybody. From looking around the core of all the amps I mentioned are probably fairly similar. But the DAT/BT, on the ones with it built-in do differ, but apart from people saying they are not great on the SMSL SA300 which is a real shame as I was definitely leaning towards it. This may be people comparing it to external DAT boxes, which I'm not surprised is better. So the Sabaj A10a may be a goer but not fully reviewed here.

EDIT ended up getting the SA300. Can always upgrade DAT later.
 
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Graham849

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Congratulations on your purchase. I am curious as to whether you investigated the AO200 and if so what made you choose SA300. g
 
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