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So, what are recommendable amps below 200$?

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#82
Maybe you can open a marketplace where people can bid and buy all equipment you have bought? (Or let someone else do it ;))
That's actually a great idea. Although the poor-testing stuff probably won't get snapped up very quickly. :)
 

GGroch

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#83
Sony's official specs page rates it as 100wpc - at 1kHz, 1% distortion. Yikes.
It's interesting what specs manufacturers believe will help them sell product these days. In the 1980s those distortion numbers would be seen as horrible. BUT, the STRH190 owners manual provides additional information:
Minimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.09%) 90 W + 90 W

So 90 watts both channels driven at .09% RMS, not bad. I believe .03% is Amir's measurement standard, but .09% is probably not audible on music, if it is accurate.

BUT, the Sony webpage marketing folks chose the 100w spec even though it is 10 times more distorted. Because everyone needs 100 watts, right? It probably looks better on the Bestbuy tag.

Its not too surprising these value priced components are advertised this way, what surprises me more is the number of higher end components that are too.

Example:
PSAudio Sprout 100 ($599)...
4 Ohms: 100 watts per channel, both channels driven (no distortion spec or frequency range given) and
THD Speaker Output: <0.01% -1W, 1KHz into 4Ω... (at 1 watt 1KHz? that certainly reflects how I listen to music)
 
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#84
It's interesting what specs manufacturers believe will help them sell product these days. In the 1980s those distortion numbers would be seen as horrible. BUT, the STRH190 owners manual provides additional information:
Minimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.09%) 90 W + 90 W

So 90 watts both channels driven at .09% RMS, not bad. I believe .03% is Amir's measurement standard, but .09% is probably not audible on music, if it is accurate.

BUT, the Sony webpage marketing folks chose the 100w spec even though it is 10 times more distorted. Because everyone needs 100 watts, right? It probably looks better on the Bestbuy tag.

Its not too surprising these value priced components are advertised this way, what surprises me more is the number of higher end components that are too.

Example:
PSAudio Sprout 100 ($599)...
4 Ohms: 100 watts per channel, both channels driven (no distortion spec given) and
THD Speaker Output: <0.01% -1W, 1KHz into 4Ω... (at 1 watt 1KHz? that certainly reflects how I listen to music)
Great points - and thanks for that more detailed dive into the specs!

RE the Sprout, I am in no way, shape, or form surprised that that's how PS Audio communicates them - I'm quite skeptical of everything Paul McGowan says. The company clearly makes a lot of high-quality gear, but I remain totally unconvinced that they offer good value for the money. They're not quite at Audioquest levels for me (a company I consider to have an unacceptably high hype-to-value ratio), but they're not far off either. All IMHO of course.

At any rate, I guess what I'm curious about with regard to Amir possibly testing more traditional component-style amps is this: If inexpensive class A/B amps cannot exceed (or even meet) the specs of the better low(ish) cost Class D desktop amps, then where is the price range at which component amps (whether Class A/B or D) do outperform the value desktop amps - specifically, how much do you have to spend to get at least CD-quality, 90+dB SINAD, reliably low THD, and so on - all with a bit more power than the 25-50wpc one typically can expect from a desktop amp?

Related to this, unless I am mistaken, it seems that one cannot simply buy a pre-assembled Hypex NCore-based amp and be confident it will perform as well as the best homemade amp(s) Amir has measured - in terms of SINAD, ultrasonic filtering, quality of power supply and power-noise isolation, and so on. If we knew of a couple such amps, then the purchasing decision would be easy, assuming those amps were not super-expensive.
 

Xulonn

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#85
Sony's official specs page rates it as 100wpc - at 1kHz, 1% distortion. Yikes.
This seems to be one of the new "standards" - and it is a travesty now that major audio manufacturers who were previously well regarded for their reasonably honest ratings are stepping into the gutter of misleading specifications.

My personal "desirable" minimum standard for rational evaluation and comparison is watts per channel, 20Hz-20KHz, both channels driven, 0.1% distortion, but I am o.k. with the 0.2% distortion limit used by B&O for their ICEpower modules.

The ICEpower 200ASC+200AS amp kit that will be delivered to me soon (I hope) has the following manufacturer's specs. I am inclined to believe that it will deliver the equivalent power of an old-fashioned 100wpc SS amplifier. I consider that to be one hell of a bargain for $320. I would drop shop it to Amir for evaluation if it were an assembled unit - and not a kit with components from two sources (one in China and the other in the U.S.) that I will receive and assemble here at my remote expat living location in the mountains of Western Panama.

200ASC Specs.jpg
 
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#86
In terms of pre-built units, I came across the Nord units. They seem to have Hypex 500 and 502-based systems, as well as an ICEPower based system. They're not super-cheap, but they do have options starting at around $650US, and a number of midline options from about $900US to $1400US.

Hope it's okay to post a link: https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/products

Anyone have any experience with them?
 
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#87
In terms of pre-built units, I came across the Nord units. They seem to have Hypex 500 and 502-based systems, as well as an ICEPower based system. They're not super-cheap, but they do have options starting at around $650US, and a number of midline options from about $900US to $1400US.

Hope it's okay to post a link: https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/products

Anyone have any experience with them?
I don't, but maybe your post would get more answers in the $500 USD amp thread and not in the $200 USD thread.
 

amirm

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#89
In terms of pre-built units, I came across the Nord units. They seem to have Hypex 500 and 502-based systems, as well as an ICEPower based system. They're not super-cheap, but they do have options starting at around $650US, and a number of midline options from about $900US to $1400US.

Hope it's okay to post a link: https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/products

Anyone have any experience with them?
No, but I should be getting one to review soon.
 

daftcombo

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#91
A problem with some amplifiers is noise in the speakers (call it "white noise" or "hum"), especially audible from the tweeter.

I had to return a FX-Audio D802C Pro and a Alientek D8 because of that. It could be heard 4 meters away on a 90dB sensivity broadband speaker. That noise was audible when the "AUX" input was selected all the time ; and with all digital inputs once music started (on introductions for instance). It does not increase with volume. It is the same at 01/100 and at 40/100 (didn't try higher).
With the SMSL AD18, there is no such noise audible 1 meter away already. That's why I kept it.

Is there a possibility to see that kind of noise in the measurements?
 

Willem

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#93
I have not heard amplifier noise for ages, but admittedly this is using good amplifiers (Quad 405-2, Quad 606-2 and Yamaha P2500s) and inefficient speakers (83 dB for the desktop systems and about 82 dB for the main system).
On the AUX input, you may have an aux input that is too sensitive. An inline attenuator might cure this. As for the digital inputs, this noise may be from the source material.
 

daftcombo

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#94
I have not heard amplifier noise for ages, but admittedly this is using good amplifiers (Quad 405-2, Quad 606-2 and Yamaha P2500s) and inefficient speakers (83 dB for the desktop systems and about 82 dB for the main system).
On the AUX input, you may have an aux input that is too sensitive. An inline attenuator might cure this. As for the digital inputs, this noise may be from the source material.
I tried lots of tracks, from various sources (CD player, DAC with optical out, USB from laptop, Bluetooth from Android). All the same issue.

When I sent back the units to Audiophonics one after the other, they agreed that both had anormally high noise level. I asked them to check the AD18, to see if the problem was there too, before sending it to me as an exchange item.

I think that the issue is more prone to happen with Class D with cheap components. Won't make a rule of it though.
 
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#95
A problem with some amplifiers is noise in the speakers (call it "white noise" or "hum"), especially audible from the tweeter.

I had to return a FX-Audio D802C Pro and a Alientek D8 because of that. It could be heard 4 meters away on a 90dB sensivity broadband speaker. That noise was audible when the "AUX" input was selected all the time ; and with all digital inputs once music started (on introductions for instance). It does not increase with volume. It is the same at 01/100 and at 40/100 (didn't try higher).
With the SMSL AD18, there is no such noise audible 1 meter away already. That's why I kept it.

Is there a possibility to see that kind of noise in the measurements?
I've experienced this noise with Class A/B amps too.
 

daftcombo

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#96
I've experienced this noise with Class A/B amps too.
An easy measurement would be to put a mic 1m away from the right (or left) speaker and see what's the noise floor on a perfectly empty track.
And repeat with each and every amp to compare.
 

GioF71

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#97
Hello, I have recently bought a Nord Acoustics NC502MP SE and I am happy, it is definitely better than my previous PopPulse T150, a TA2022 amp




In terms of pre-built units, I came across the Nord units. They seem to have Hypex 500 and 502-based systems, as well as an ICEPower based system. They're not super-cheap, but they do have options starting at around $650US, and a number of midline options from about $900US to $1400US.

Hope it's okay to post a link: https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/products

Anyone have any experience with them?
 
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#98
They also have the FA122 plate amp which uses the same ncore module, costs less and includes a DSP and DAC. It's still >$200 though, so we're in the wrong thread.
you're definitely right but since we were talking about hypex modules, by the way they also sell cheaper hypex boards but i have no clue on their qualities.

regarding noise amp i can safely assure that cheap amplifiers, mostly chi-fi class D units like smsl, topping, fx-audio, etc., have this kind of issue. that's mostly a problem you will notice in a desktop setup with nearfield speakers, but in some cases you can find it even on wider setups.
this is often related to gain settings being quite high so the amp will sound louder since this kind of products are focusing more on power than detail.
another user gave me evidence of what i'm talking about when he posted a video where he shows his breeze amplifier modified with a lower gain. this customization brought less power but it lowered noise and distortion
 

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