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Simple Class-D Amp *With Remote* Wanted- No DAC, No Tone, No Bluetooth

Mark S.

Active Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
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124
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Location
Somerset, England
Desktop / mini-amp footprint, to use with an SMSL SU-1 DAC.

Maybe TPA3116/3118 or equivalent (minimum a c. 'real' 25 - 30W per channel, up to maybe 50+50W).

Don't really need or want a display, but the presence of one wouldn't be deal-breaker.

Is there such a thing made by any of the usual suspects, Fosi Audio, SMSL, Topping et al? I've spent many an hour trawling for one over the last few months with no joy so far.

ETA >> that's an oops, wrong forum - should have been in Audio!Audio!Audio! > Amplifiers etc' - can admin move it, or delete it and I can repost there?
 
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Desktop / mini-amp footprint, to use with an SMSL SU-1 DAC.

Maybe TPA3116/3118 or equivalent
SMSL Amps
 
SMSL Amps
DA-1 has no remote.
A50 has Bluetooth, which OP doesn't want.

But the DA-6 has a remote, plus no Bluetooth. I believe that's what OP is looking for.
 
SMSL Amps
Looks decent, but no remote. I actually already have a couple of 2015-vintage SMSL SA-36A's (also TPA3118). Pretty much the kind of form-factor and spec I'm after.

 
DA-1 has no remote.
A50 has Bluetooth, which OP doesn't want.

But the DA-6 has a remote, plus no Bluetooth. I believe that's what OP is looking for.
That's getting close (the SMSL DA6), but still too many bells and whistles for my liking, too much to go wrong and I wonder if the sound-processor chip is completely defeated when it's not being used.

Reviews on Amazon aren't encouraging;

https://www.amazon.com/S-M-S-L-Amplifier-Resolution-Remote-Control/dp/B0B48KFC33#customerReviews
 
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If you can live with BT being included in the unit, but no need to use (you wouldn't even need to attach the little antenna), the SMSL AO100 is a nice little unit. I use mine in my dining room system and have a tape deck and CD deck beneath it. I do use the BT to stream music from my iPhone. It has a display you can set to blank after a second or two. Nice little intuitive remote with it. Internal power supply so no power brick. Not super powerful but with the Infineon chip, can get to about 40-45 wpc at 8 ohms. Has some nice digital tone controls and an electronic volume control chip/control so there's 0 analog pot noise. And it's cheap!

So it just has two inputs, line and bluetooth, I just swap the RCA cables for the tape and CD deck as needed, easy peasy.

There is also a sub out but I have not used it.
 
If you can live with BT being included in the unit, but no need to use (you wouldn't even need to attach the little antenna), the SMSL AO100 is a nice little unit. I use mine in my dining room system and have a tape deck and CD deck beneath it. I do use the BT to stream music from my iPhone. It has a display you can set to blank after a second or two. Nice little intuitive remote with it. Internal power supply so no power brick. Not super powerful but with the Infineon chip, can get to about 40-45 wpc at 8 ohms. Has some nice digital tone controls and an electronic volume control chip/control so there's 0 analog pot noise. And it's cheap!

So it just has two inputs, line and bluetooth, I just swap the RCA cables for the tape and CD deck as needed, easy peasy.

There is also a sub out but I have not used it.
Might be candidate. Input selection will be via the SMSL SU-1 DAC (optical or USB) so a single analogue input (and no digital) is fine.

All I'm aiming for is a very simple, robust, always-on system that will do 'audiophile' from my PC library (via USB) but which I can switch to optical in from the TV/monitor, which mandates a remote for volume for the amp.

I've wrestled with getting my PC (which has a remote) to stream video/movies flawlessly (via Kodi et al) but it's always clunky and there are frame-rate mis-match issues with the fixed GPU refresh rate which is something I can't un-see having worked in media/post, so I use a Roku streamer.
 
AO100's Infineon chip seems a little under-powered (well behind TPA3116/3118) and I've seen some criticism of it's implementation and sound overall in the AO100 compared to other cheap minis/desktops. But it also seems to be pretty much unavailable so that might be moot.

Now looking at some of the more expensive SMSL models - with all those features I'd pay for but never use, but apart from that they start getting ungainly compared to what I'd like - the little SU-1 DAC is now a known quantity for me, it's sat discretely, powered on 24/7 since early June, sounds great and I'd like to keep it.

Right now I'm back to using an old Indeed Labs TA2020 (also tiny) which has among the best 'imaging', 'space' and sound-staging I've ever had at home - I can vividly remember playing Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden soon after installing it and being amazed and thrilled, and it still creates that 'magic' occasionally (at calm, late-night listening levels) - I'd be sad to lose that and would really like something at least close, but with a good deal more power than it's tiny 10+10W/8Ω ETA>> probably nearer 8+8W actually (and with a remote of course).
 
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Desktop / mini-amp footprint, to use with an SMSL SU-1 DAC.

Maybe TPA3116/3118 or equivalent (minimum a c. 'real' 25 - 30W per channel, up to maybe 50+50W).

Don't really need or want a display, but the presence of one wouldn't be deal-breaker.

Is there such a thing made by any of the usual suspects, Fosi Audio, SMSL, Topping et al? I've spent many an hour trawling for one over the last few months with no joy so far.

ETA >> that's an oops, wrong forum - should have been in Audio!Audio!Audio! > Amplifiers etc' - can admin move it, or delete it and I can repost there?

This SMSL DA-6 cost me $49 shipped on sale. Very clean-sounding Infineon amplifier chip and a nice little remote as you can see.

1705442967135.jpeg
 
This SMSL DA-6 cost me $49 shipped on sale. Very clean-sounding Infineon amplifier chip and a nice little remote as you can see.

View attachment 342434
Hmmm, have looked at the specs and reviews, seems to be
This SMSL DA-6 cost me $49 shipped on sale. Very clean-sounding Infineon amplifier chip and a nice little remote as you can see.

View attachment 342434
Not sure what happened yesterday, may have forgotten to finish replying (it was kinda late and probably had dozens of browser tabs open);

that's the kind of thing I want but it has not much more power than even the l'il TA2020 according to Amirm's measurements ...

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-da-6-stereo-amplifier-review.35576/

... 13+13W / 8Ω, and I'd be surprised if it sounds as good as the Indeed or the old SMSL TPA3118's (c. 30+30W / 8Ω on 24V) for that matter, so no go.

ETA >> more context - using Roth Oli RA1's which are 6Ω and (IIRC) only 82dB/W (!!), Ok with a flea-power amp most of the time but ....
 
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If you can dedicate a power outlet, aren't there devices at reasonable price that give you remote control over it? The power plug goes into a box that plugs into the outlet, and a remote communicates with the box.
 
It would appear that for all the ingenuity of SMSL, Fosi Audio et al that no such thing exists as a stripped-down, high-quality stereo 'mini-amp' (**) with a remote (for which I'd happily pay £100-150).


I'll probably have to go for something in the £200+ range, with a much bigger form-factor/footprint than I want and with various "features" I'll never use (already mentioned - bluetooth, DAC, tone, sound-processing, blah blah) and a little display that will fail after a year or two.

Meh.

(**) ETA >> I suppose that what I'm describing/wishing for is actually an 'integrated stereo amplifier', and I'm thus revealing my age!
 
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If you can dedicate a power outlet, aren't there devices at reasonable price that give you remote control over it? The power plug goes into a box that plugs into the outlet, and a remote communicates with the box.
Yes, there are plenty of wi-fi enabled plugs now (I use one for turning an amp/WiiM on and off) but OP also wants volume control which is not solved by a smart outlet.
 
It would appear that for all the ingenuity of SMSL, Fosi Audio et al that no such thing exists as a stripped-down, high-quality stereo 'mini-amp' (**) with a remote (for which I'd happily pay £100-150).


I'll probably have to go for something in the £200+ range, with a much bigger form-factor/footprint than I want and with various "features" I'll never use (already mentioned - bluetooth, DAC, tone, sound-processing, blah blah) and a little display that will fail after a year or two.

Meh.

(**) ETA >> I suppose that what I'm describing/wishing for is actually an 'integrated stereo amplifier', and I'm thus revealing my age!
No harm in wanting an "integrated amp and nothing but"...I myself am looking at buying a Yamaha A-S501 later this year, but what I'd really like is for Fosi or Aiyima to make a simple preamp like the Schiit Saga S, similar features, but lower cost, that could be paired with a pure stereo amp (no v/c) or monoblocks (with no v/c). I'd rather buy a simple Class D integrated or components, but I may have to settle for Class AB again to get the feature set I need for one of my areas where I use a variety of sources (including phono).
 
ETA >> more context - using Roth Oli RA1's which are 6Ω and (IIRC) only 82dB/W (!!), Ok with a flea-power amp most of the time but ....

Didn't know we were talking about 82db speakers - I don't think 30 watts are going to cut it for you, I'd start with the Fosi VA3 and go up from there, or maybe get two of those to run as monoblocks with those speakers.
 
I can find line level volume controls online with i/r remote, for two channel. $40 (US) for the first one I saw. If you want to add a remote to something you already have, that's an option. Never used one, but I figured they had to exist.

Adds another box, but a 3 box stack is pretty compact with these types of components.
 
Just pulled the trigger on a used Denon PMA-60 (for £250, a bit more than I wanted to spooge, but the name gives me some relative peace-of-mind in terms of reliability/longevity). Should be c.35-40WPC in to the Roth's 6 ohms

https://www.denon.com/en-gb/product/archive-amplifiers/pma60/137204.html

- their PMA-30/50/60 range actually fit the bill quite nicely. In fact, if its DAC (via USB) were to perform OK it would do everything I want entirely on its own, but I'll stick with the SMSL SU-1 (for music from my PC library) for the time being. ETA >> or maybe not - reading up a bit more (including the test/discussion of the preceding PMA-50 here on ASR) the Denon does A-to-D conversion on the line-in which makes using the SU-1 pointless, just another conversion step added to the chain (along with more noise). So not what I wanted after all, it's actually a true 'digital amplifier' and you effectively can't use a DAC of your choice. Oh well.

ETA >> Forgot to mention - something that persuaded me to get the Denon is that AC-in is 2-pin so the amp has an isolated PSU which I've found stops noise via USB (from PC) being injected, most of the Chinese mini/D-amps require bricks which are almost always earthed.
 
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Didn't know we were talking about 82db speakers - I don't think 30 watts are going to cut it for you, I'd start with the Fosi VA3 and go up from there, or maybe get two of those to run as monoblocks with those speakers.
Well, I'm listening either point-blank/near-field or about 8 feet/2.5M away with both the speakers and my head close to respective walls, and actually even my Indeed TA2020 flea-amp (maybe 14+14W 6 ohm) has done OK with the Roths, at least with modern hyper-compressed material (for which no headroom to speak of is needed) or movies - if I want to head-bang the Beyer DT770's come out.
 
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