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SMSL A100 Review (Stereo Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 31 18.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 96 57.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 39 23.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 1.2%

  • Total voters
    168
D

Deleted member 46664

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Why is this amp discontinued tho? I've seen this amp being around for like 1 month and then it's already gone

Something to consider ... When you move the power supply inside the casing, like this amp, you have to get UL, CSA, CE and other approvals for line operated devices. But when you use an external supply, the amplifier no longer needs these approvals... the supply does. So you can purchase a pre-approved brick and only worry about the amplifier.

I'm guessing it didn't make the needed approvals.
 
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Distortion on the other hand rises with frequency. I like to see perfection but we don't have such an example below $350 currently
What about Aiyima 07 (tpa3255) that is under $100? How far is this one from perfection in distortion area?

Thank you for fun to read reviews!
Alex
 

Glitch

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Nice case and probably the elevated high frequency distortion isn't very audible if Amir recommends it but the Aiyima 07 remains the <$100 champ.

SMSL A100 + a pair of Pioneer SP-C22 standing upwards = perfect gift to relatives and friends so you don't have to be tortured with crappy sound when you go to their house?
 
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Thanks Amir!

Is it fair to assume that the distortion would not change with the USB input rather than the analog input? I was thinking of using this on a desktop with the USB input.
 

Kachda

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My Hypex amp has gone kaput so might make sense to get something like this while it (hopefully) gets repaired.
 

Glitch

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Keened

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I'm surprised there's any difference at all from the Loxjie A30, though I guess there you could test with digital input.


This is one of the most surprising things I've ever read on this forum.
He shouldn't since it's not within the USB spec and can theoretically damage something. All A-A connections that I know of are strictly proprietary.
 

RHO

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I was looking at this one but couldn't find a review. Luckily I checked the site before ordering.
I went with the Aiyima A07 and 36V/6A supply for my temporary desk setup.
 

DSJR

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I'm sorry about any confusion I caused as regards crossover distortion. I wasn't remotely suggesting that this little amp suffered from this, but that back in the day when THD figures were supposedly so low (at one frequency and power level), crossover effects were very real on some popular products at lower levels. The distortion spread on this little amp rises to a still (once) low level at high frequencies and all I wanted to know is what an amp with crossover effects would look like on a modern distortion display such as Amir uses (3rd/fifth order artefacts? I don't know).

Anyway, great that this baby will be hopefully back on stream in a couple of weeks. The main UK competition is the Amptastic Mini One which has no real output but people rave about it (it's popular predecessor shouted and screamed its way into any speaker of mid 80's sensitivity and anything above whisper volumes to me). Anyone with one of these willing to submit it to proper third party testing here?

 

CedarX

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… the class B notion of a crossover notch simply does not apply here.
Apologies for my ignorant question… If I’m not mistaken, the MA12070 chip is using Infineon multi-level switching technology with (?) 4 amp in a bridge configuration. Would slight differences in the characteristics of all these (integrated) switching transistors result in distortion? Different effect, but same root causes a crossover distortion in an AB amp?
 
D

Deleted member 46664

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Apologies for my ignorant question… If I’m not mistaken, the MA12070 chip is using Infineon multi-level switching technology with (?) 4 amp in a bridge configuration. Would slight differences in the characteristics of all these (integrated) switching transistors result in distortion? Different effect, but same root causes a crossover distortion in an AB amp?
They might ... but one would hope that before producing a chip, that cannot be modified, they might have thought of that.

Crossover distortion happens in class B amps and broken class AB amps when the output transistors, crossing 0 volts output are both off at the same time. This would actually be above the power rail and below ground ... so not the same thing at all.
 

Murkas

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What about the internal USB DAC? Anyone that can comment on its performance?
 

Saponetto

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Why is this amp discontinued tho? I've seen this amp being around for like 1 month and then it's already gone
You're right... Audiophonics site gives an availability within one month, or less.
Maybe my colleagues will still be able to place any orders.
 

dr0ss

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Is it fair to assume that the distortion would not change with the USB input rather than the analog input? I was thinking of using this on a desktop with the USB input.
If you look at his review of the Loxjie A30, which is based on the same amplification architecture, performance was substantially improved using the digital input. In that case he apparently had the appropriate cables.
 

dr0ss

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He shouldn't since it's not within the USB spec and can theoretically damage something. All A-A connections that I know of are strictly proprietary.
What do you mean here? USB-A input for DACs is common, so you use an A-A cable to connect one to your computer. Do you have reason to believe that the SMSL is unusually out of spec?
 

Ajax

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I'm wondering why you would buy such a low powered mediocre amp, when there are so many excellent alternatives available for just a little more money. There is a sweet spot for good quality budget audio but it is not as low as $100.

e.g. Topping PA5 puts out close to 50W into 8 ohms and received a rave review from Amir. It costs US$350, so for another $250 you get reasonable power output with excellent performance.

When you consider the crazy cost of some "name" amplifiers, $350 is inexpensive for a quality amp, especially if you take a long term view and amortise it over say 10 years or longer. Sometimes paying a little more for quality just makes sense.


Just add a Wiim Mini (or chrome cast) streamer and a Topping E30 DAC and you have a SOTA front end that will produce an audibly transparent signal and enough power to make any decent bookshelf speaker sound good. All for little more than US$500.

Enjoy your weekend,

Ajax
 
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