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What is the BEST amp below $200? and $150

bunkbail

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#22
For some reason.. those Yamaha receiver is not available here in Malaysia. Cheapest yamaha I can get online is $350+. Out of the budget as of now coz I still need DAC.

Besides, I will be using a PC. Would that be ok with Yamaha?
Forget about Allo then, they have pretty expensive shipping to Malaysia. I was about to buy their Digione Player but had to hold off my intention for now as I'm looking for alternatives.

How about Loxjie A10 then? It is based on TPA3116 and has pretty good sound quality IMO. I bought mine from Shopee and received within 2 weeks. But note that it has pretty high gain (32dB if I'm not mistaken) so you might hear some hiss if you have very high sensitivity speakers.
 
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Thread Starter #24
My Topping DX7s DAC is great and reliable, but I had two Topping PA3's die within a year - and from here warranty and returns are a pain - it is inconvenient and expensive to ship stuff back to the U.S. from Panama.

I am now using an Aiyima A04 TPA3251 as my battery and portable and backup stereo ChiFi mini-amp. $50 at Amazon.

View attachment 63630


Wow..this is cheap... how was it so far? Decent sound for the price?

Why did your PA3 died that fast ? Are you listening to heavy/loud music everyday ?
 
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Thread Starter #25
Forget about Allo then, they have pretty expensive shipping to Malaysia. I was about to buy their Digione Player but had to hold off my intention for now as I'm looking for alternatives.

How about Loxjie A10 then? It is based on TPA3116 and has pretty good sound quality IMO. I bought mine from Shopee and received within 2 weeks. But note that it has pretty high gain (32dB if I'm not mistaken) so you might hear some hiss if you have very high sensitivity speakers.

Interesting product. How's the sound quality?
 

sejarzo

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#27
TPAxxxx are the product numbers of various Texas Instruments amp chips. I am unsure what that particular prefix means, as some of the TPA chips are Class AB and some are Class D.
 

Xulonn

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#28
Wow..this is cheap... how was it so far? Decent sound for the price?

Why did your PA3 died that fast ? Are you listening to heavy/loud music everyday ?
It doesn't take a lot of power to fill a small room when bass is limited by speaker size, and the Toppping, Aiyima and I.AM.D. ChiFi mini-amps have all performed well.

And I have no idea what happened with the two Topping PA3's a s far as them dying - no smoke, no noise - they just stopped working. I use surge protection, but mains voltage is a bit high here - typically 25-27vac with lots of sags and surges. But I use surge protection - and other electronics have not failed. Topping PA3's do not have a reputation for failure, so perhaps I was just unlucky. But I wasn't ready to test the "3rd time's a charm" meme.
 
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BillG

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#29
the Toppping, Aiyima and I.AM.D. ChiFi mini-amps have all performed well.
I happen to be using an I.AM.D V200BT currently for a desktop/bedroom system, and it does indeed perform well:

IMG_20200516_175755-01.jpeg

The V200 is actually rather popular over at diyAudio.com as they like to modify them, although I've not found the need to do so with mine. Someone there actually did a performance analysis of it, along with a few other inexpensive amps from Aliexpress - I've no idea about the equipment and parameters used for their analysis:
comparaison.png
 
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#30
I'll second Eetu's recommendation to save a bit more and get into a better piece of equipment. That being said..
If you can find a good inexpensive stereo receiver or amp on the used market (be careful with the old stuff, 40 year old electrolytic capacitors are often way out of spec, leaky, high ESR etc.. But if you find something for less than $100, you can then pick up something like the Schiit Modi 3 or Topping D10 for $100 and have an excellent sounding combination that fits your budget.
For example, for a friend of mine who has an Onkyo TX-910 receiver, I recommended a Schiit Modi 3. They just received it yesterday and have it connected to one of the receiver's line-ins. The sound from the modest system (driving a pair of BIC DV62si speakers) is impressive.
 
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#31
Here's what I've searched so far.. any thoughts?


AMPLIFIER


1. Topping PA3

Product Link

Youtube review



2. SMSL AD18


Product Link

Youtube Review


I just read a review somewhere in the forum the terms and graphs is too technical for me. hehe.
Youtube reviews like these are only good to review features of a unit. Listening tests are subjective. Neither of them actually used any testing equipment to measure performance, S/N ratio, etc.
 
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Thread Starter #32
Someone is selling me "Onkyo A-9010 " for $200. Is this a good amp? Worth it for the price ?
 

taisho

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#33
Someone is selling me "Onkyo A-9010 " for $200. Is this a good amp? Worth it for the price ?
No.
https://www.intl.onkyo.com/downloads/manuals/pdf/a-9010_manual_en.pdf

43dB SINAD for 1kHz, 4Ohm @ rated power. Will be better at lower power but how much? 10dB? 15? Still bad.

If with the advice already given you are still completely undecided and likely to buy something based on subjective recommendations, then just get the Aiyima 3251 + 32V 5A AC/DC adapter. It isn't any known brand and the quality is cheap but at least it's based on well-performing technology (for the cost), unlike some old used stuff that never measured well and might have worsened over time. If it doesn't meet your expectations for some reason, at least it's not $200 wasted on an ice age audio device.
 
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Thread Starter #34
No.
https://www.intl.onkyo.com/downloads/manuals/pdf/a-9010_manual_en.pdf

43dB SINAD for 1kHz, 4Ohm @ rated power. Will be better at lower power but how much? 10dB? 15? Still bad.

If with the advice already given you are still completely undecided and likely to buy something based on subjective recommendations, then just get the Aiyima 3251 + 32V 5A AC/DC adapter. It isn't any known brand and the quality is cheap but at least it's based on well-performing technology (for the cost), unlike some old used stuff that never measured well and might have worsened over time. If it doesn't meet your expectations for some reason, at least it's not $200 wasted on an ice age audio device.
Agree....

1. Aiyima 3251
2. Topping PA3
3 Cambridge Audio TOPAZ AM10 Integrated Amplifier (might consider due to availability and price)
 
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taisho

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#35
Those recommended are good but not readily available in my area. Not even on the list of items from China ship to Malaysia. If I ever found one... x2 the price in amazon.
Wow, that's unexpected. One would think that with how relatively close to China Malaysia is, getting items from Chinese sellers on AliExpress or eBay would be super-easy and cheap.
 

Willem

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#37
The OP mentioned that he will use a computer as a source so he needs a usb dac. I have been quite happy with the Behringer uca 202 in secundary and legacy systems. Alternatively for streaming there is also the CCA with both analogue and optical output. The inbuilt DAC is good enough and widens the options for an amp.
 
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#38
Yeah but in this thread they're asking about a dedicated amp and that he prefers a separate dac and amp.

At a budget price point for a separate dac there are plenty of options in the "ok" range but they would probably be comparable to the line out from a computer anyway. It looks like most of the well-performing solutions under $70 or so are for headphone out only. For the next step up a Topping D10 or E30 would be pretty much all you need.
 

Willem

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#39
That 25 dollar Behringer usb dac is not perfect but clearly better both in terms of measurements and audibly than motherboard dacs, particularly on laptops (most macbooks excepted). With it you can use any cheap and cheerful integrated amp with analogue inputs.
Since dacs are relatively good he needs to spend as much as possible of the budget on the amp.
A dirt cheap usb dac with volume control may be even better. Add a Behringer A800 and he is done.
 
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#40
That 25 dollar Behringer usb dac is not perfect but clearly better both in terms of measurements and audibly than motherboard dacs, particularly on laptops (most macbooks excepted). With it you can use any cheap and cheerful integrated amp with analogue inputs.
Since dacs are relatively good he needs to spend as much as possible of the budget on the amp.
A dirt cheap usb dac with volume control may be even better. Add a Behringer A800 and he is done.
Actually, most Macbooks have pretty rough audio as compared to the likes of Thinkpad and even some (emphasis on SOME) HP notebooks. On the noisy side due to lack of filter capacitors in effort to save board space. A good DAC is essential for critical listening. The circuit is pretty much straight off-the-shelf generic. Fine for casual music listening but not much more.

But then, if you are listening on lightweight headphones on, say, an airplane, any onboard audio will be fine. I have seen pictures of a few people with the clutter made up of their laptop, an external battery pack, a DAC and a headphone amplifier on a flight. Just silly.
 
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