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Review and Measurements of Amazon Link Amp

daftcombo

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#21
Not only it has a mic, but also a webcam with X-ray to see under your skirt.

Seriously, do you think Amazon would take the risk to put a microphone without telling it?
 

BillG

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#22
This raises a consideration about testing. Every Google/Amazon/Sonos/Play-Fi device I have used downloads one or more firmware updates during initial online setup. In the case of my Paradigm PW-Amp, there were two firmware updates through the Play-Fi app, and at least 1 through the Arc Room Correction app. It is certainly possible that some of these updates impact measured performance. It is probably good practice to connect to the internet and go through the initial online setup before performance tests on these smart amps.
The Klipsch PowerGate, another Play-Fi device, I purchased recently also had a firmware update waiting for it when I was doing the initial set-up; I installed it almost immediately and had none of the problems reported on Amazon and Klipsch's own forum with it afterwards. Therefore, I agree with you that it's best practice for these network enabled devices... :cool:
 
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#25
Ah - didn't spot that. The link amp is on the UK site as pre-order for 9th May, and a link on that took me to the US site... But not the amp version.
The what hifi review is for the link amp.
May well still be worth posting some of Amir's findings on the Link review page though - the DAC performance is likely similar.

Curious. I have an amazon.com account but the search for "echo link amp" returns no results. I change my location to Arizona and it finds it, and says it's in stock, and I can have it by wednesday. But the "review" button still says it's not released!
Sigh!!
 
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JJB70

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#26
Seriously, do you think Amazon would take the risk to put a microphone without telling it?
I dunno, I distinctly remember being told "trust us, do you really think we would be that stupid" when challenging some unusual emissions test results by an engine builder. Turned out that some automotive engine makers would indeed be that stupid.
 
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#27
Let's deal with the most important test: power output versus distortion and noise:
@amirm, the poor channel's distortion seems very different between the graph with Topping & NuFroce ( :D ) and that with Sonos & Hypex. Is the channel inconsistent? Possibly defective in manufacture, not design?
 
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#28
...the preposterous notion a company of this caliber would botch the software side of the UX...
If you mean that it's silly that they don't do better, I agree. Absolutely. If you mean that a bad UX is inconsistent with Amazon's other products, not so much.
 

garbulky

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#29
I am surprised this got a recommendation! Nice thorough review. The hum without a speaker load connected is a significant issue as some people may use it as a dac (like I would) and that feature renders it broken for me. Not to mention the SNR varies and it can't muster a line level signal without being connected to speakers, literally shutting down. I get that there is a dac only version of this but sometimes youi'll spend the extra to get the amp stage "just in case".
 

amirm

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#31
@amirm, the poor channel's distortion seems very different between the graph with Topping & NuFroce ( :D ) and that with Sonos & Hypex. Is the channel inconsistent? Possibly defective in manufacture, not design?
I have seen this before where one amp is closer to the power supply and hence gets better share of current So I don't think anything is broken.
 

amirm

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#32
The hum without a speaker load connected is a significant issue as some people may use it as a dac (like I would) and that feature renders it broken for me.
The amp will go into protection and click away if you turn up the volume as a DAC. So you have two reasons not to use it as a DAC. :)
 

GGroch

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#33
The amp will go into protection and click away if you turn up the volume as a DAC...... :)
In the brief Echo Link/App help section they indicate the audio out jacks on the Amp are to connect to an AV receiver or powered speakers. That's of much less value if you have to keep the powered speaker outputs on as well. I wonder if the line outs shut down if a headphone is connected (I assume the speaker outs would shut down).

The help section indicates the app allows you to adjust the amp in terms of L/R balance, Bass,Mid, Treble tone controls, sub crossover adjust, and line input level adjust (with choices of 1.3Vrms and 1.9Vrms.) Could this impact the line outputs as well?

It is interesting Amazon is not accepting reviews yet, perhaps it is in a secret beta stage and some of the oddities will be worked out.
 

garbulky

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#34
The amp will go into protection and click away if you turn up the volume as a DAC. So you have two reasons not to use it as a DAC. :)
That makes those RCA outputs much less useful then if you can't mute the amp section.
 

amirm

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#38
I didn't realize that would change things. Any idea of the mechanism that would do this?
The path to the power supply would have higher impedance resulting in less power available to the amplifier. The amp with the shorter path will have lower impedance and will grab more of its share of current.
 

anmpr1

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#39
They SAY it doesn't have a microphone. I bet Amazon engineers could fit a lot of sensors into the suspiciously unlabeled "headphone jack" on the front.
If the volume control turns too far to the right, Amazon will ban it. So you better get it while you can.
 

anmpr1

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#40
I see a lot of software products that just don't work properly. There's lots of flaws in Amazon stuff.
I bought some of the Amazon Basic Cables (I think that's what they are called) for interconnects. Seem to be decent construction/good value.
 
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