• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping PA3s Review (Desktop Amplifier)

Lorenzo78

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
0
Which Sure TA2024? According to Sure's AS32157 datasheet with a 12V psu it has 20dB gain and needs 662mV to reach its rated 15W into 4R at 10% distortion.
Sure TA2024 AA-AS32157, yes.
I made a test with a pink noise signal (left and right channel), and at 3 meters from each speaker I can get a SPL of 69 dB with the ta2024 (measured with JBLTools, and merely 60 dB with the PA3s. Volume maxed (amp and win)
 

somebodyelse

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
2,760
Likes
2,086
Either one of the amps isn't behaving according to spec or it's human error - says a human that's made plenty of daft errors over the years. I'd double check signal levels at input and output of each amp to be sure which is misbehaving. A sine wave somewhere round 50Hz to 60Hz and a multimeter reading AC volts should do the trick - it's hard to know how high a frequency the AC readings will be accurate at, but they should always be good around mains frequency.
 

Lorenzo78

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
0
Thank you for the advice.
I played through the E30 DAC a 50 hz audio sample and I measured 0,42 V AC on each output channel.
I tried another DAC, a Cambridge DAC magic 100, the output with this 50 hz audio sample is slightly higher, at 0,46 V AC.

Then I measured the max V output on the PA3s : 2,5 V AC.
I measured the max V output on the ta2024, I obtain 5 V AC. Then I tried another ta2024 (from another company).. with same result, 5 V AC.

Maybe my PA3s is not ok...
 

TurtlePaul

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
283
Likes
415
The gain of the TA2024 is configurable. I wouldn't be surprised if your units had 25-26 dB gain, which is pretty common and would be in line with your voltage measurements. When you run you E30 full tilt with a 0 dB test signal, you are able to measure 2 volts?
 

Lorenzo78

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
0
The gain of the TA2024 is configurable. I wouldn't be surprised if your units had 25-26 dB gain, which is pretty common and would be in line with your voltage measurements. When you run you E30 full tilt with a 0 dB test signal, you are able to measure 2 volts?
no, I only found some audio samples @ -14dB
 

TurtlePaul

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
283
Likes
415
no, I only found some audio samples @ -14dB
Then the 0.42V is about right and your E30 is working.

What audio player are you using on your PC? Something with volume normalization may help bring the level up. In the past I have used Foobar2000 with ReplayGain and use Spotify with volume normalization.

Of course, it would be ideal if this amp had a more normal 25-29 dB gain so this wouldnt be required.
 

Lorenzo78

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
0
Then the 0.42V is about right and your E30 is working.

What audio player are you using on your PC? Something with volume normalization may help bring the level up. In the past I have used Foobar2000 with ReplayGain and use Spotify with volume normalization.

Of course, it would be ideal if this amp had a more normal 25-29 dB gain so this wouldnt be required.
Thank you Paul. I use Foobar2000, and sometimes VLC. I will give ReplayGain a try ;-)
 

Billy Budapest

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
1,250
Likes
1,759
Great that the power brick is UL listed and contains the correct EU and US regulatory markings!
 

mmdd

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2022
Messages
1
Likes
0
Hello,
I am looking for a desktop audio solution and want the minimum power consumption when the amplifier is idle.
So far I have used my Av Yamaha RX but it consumes 60W without sound and I am looking at more efficient options.
What do you consume without sound or at low volume?
It would be paired with kef Q150 and for now with a cheap FX-AUDIO DAC-X6 dac.
What dac do you recommend with subwoofer output? Thanks!!
 

Smitty2k1

Active Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
164
Likes
117
Would the PA3s be a better amp for my front L/R than the built in amp in my Marantz NR1509 AVR? I want to keep the AVR for center channel, bass management/sub out, and phono input, but want better power for my front L/R. Or do I need to step up to the Topping PA5 to be better than the Marantz?

 

respice finem

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
1,359
Likes
2,406
Would the PA3s be a better amp for my front L/R than the built in amp in my Marantz NR1509 AVR? I want to keep the AVR for center channel, bass management/sub out, and phono input, but want better power for my front L/R. Or do I need to step up to the Topping PA5 to be better than the Marantz?

I got the 1608, but it doesn't really matter for answering the question.
I don't think you would profit, really. To "audibly double" the maximum volume, you actually need 10 times more power - here's an explanation:
What may help more: sit closer to the speakers, or buy more efficient speakers.
 

Smitty2k1

Active Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
164
Likes
117
I got the 1608, but it doesn't really matter for answering the question.
I don't think you would profit, really. To "audibly double" the maximum volume, you actually need 10 times more power - here's an explanation:
I was thinking better/cleaner/less distorted power not necessarily more power.
 

respice finem

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
1,359
Likes
2,406
OK, but even then, not much, I'm afraid. You will understand why after reading the link. And, if you have audible distortion, the culprit are almost always the speakers, or amp clipping, which you can rather exclude with the Marantz' protection. An average solid-state amp should have well below 1% THD before clipping, while "stressed" speakers will produce 10-15 times more. Which front speakers are you driving with your Marantz?
 

Laughing Rabbit

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
11
Likes
6
Location
Greenville, South Carolina
Would the PA3s be a better amp for my front L/R than the built in amp in my Marantz NR1509 AVR? I want to keep the AVR for center channel, bass management/sub out, and phono input, but want better power for my front L/R. Or do I need to step up to the Topping PA5 to be better than the Marantz?

In the 'for what its worth' dept: For fun, I hooked it up to my Focal Aria 936 K2s (8-ohm, 92 db sensitivity. rated for 50-300W)), and it drove them to power my 20x25x11 listening room to 76dB SPL at 3-4m away. Above that, it cut off. It powers my ML Motion 12s (4-ohm, 92 dB sensitivity) in my bedroom TV system to very adequate levels, and I'm pleased by the transparency and huge bass capability (for its size). It also powered my Polk Signature S20 bookshelves in my office VERY well--to higher than average listening levels. If you want a rocking out SPL I'd get something with more power. I'm confident it could drive most reasonably sensitive bookshelves to 85 dB SPL in most sm-med rooms. At no time has it exhibited any noticeable distortion. You might find this little calculator helpful. https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/tools/calculators#amp_power_required
 

Zek

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
937
Likes
1,330
I was thinking better/cleaner/less distorted power ...
Do you hear any distortion in the sound now?
If you can't hear, how will you know that the other amplifier has less distortion?
It is better to improve the speakers because they are always the weakest link in the chain.
 

Smitty2k1

Active Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
164
Likes
117
OK, but even then, not much, I'm afraid. You will understand why after reading the link. And, if you have audible distortion, the culprit are almost the speakers. An average solid-state amp should have well below 1% THD before clipping, while "stressed" speakers will produce 10-15 times more. Which front speakers are you driving with your Marantz?
Currently auditioning a pair of Elac Debut Reference DBR62 and a pair of Alexis Sound Rebecca (precursor to the Philharmonic monitors designed by Dennis Murphy). Also considering an active vs passive desktop setup down the line, which the PA3s could do double duty on if it's "not worth it" to use as a power amp out of the Marantz pre-out
 

respice finem

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
1,359
Likes
2,406
I don't know these speakers, sorry... But as said, unless the amp is broken, it's IMHO probably not the amp.
 

Laughing Rabbit

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
11
Likes
6
Location
Greenville, South Carolina
Hello,
I am looking for a desktop audio solution and want the minimum power consumption when the amplifier is idle.
So far I have used my Av Yamaha RX but it consumes 60W without sound and I am looking at more efficient options.
What do you consume without sound or at low volume?
It would be paired with kef Q150 and for now with a cheap FX-AUDIO DAC-X6 dac.
What dac do you recommend with subwoofer output? Thanks!!
I used my PC based Soundblaster AE-7 with included "Command" DSP software, and it enables configuring a great 2.1 system driving my Topping PA3s, with Polk S20 Signature bookshelves and Infinity sub. Very nice chipset, and I can't hear any veiling or low-level distortion. Great little office system.
 

Witterings

Active Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
131
Likes
63
Has anyone compared this to either the SMSL AO 200 or DA9 ... be really interested to hear your thoughts if you have especially on the output / power.
 

Toku

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
1,652
Likes
1,659
Location
Japan
Has anyone compared this to either the SMSL AO 200 or DA9 ... be really interested to hear your thoughts if you have especially on the output / power.
I have purchased and compared the AO200 with the DA-9, PA3s, PA5, A20a, A8. However, DA-9, A20a, and A8 are not currently used due to technical problems with their products.
The AO200, DA-9, and A20a have preset EQs and tone controls, but without them I wouldn't feel any audible difference with the PA3. The IC chip used is the same and the actual output power does not change.
The choice of PA3s depends on whether you need preset EQ and tone control. I use the AO200 most often on my system.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom