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Wondering about purchasing a hybrid amplifier

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#1
I recently discovered a hybrid amplifier called thda 500t v.2 made by a company called Taga Harmony costing about 315 dollars for that money it has a lot of features but i wonder if it just might be a bit to good to be true... i have never tried tubes before and thought it might be fun to hear what they sound like i already own a good " serious" amplifier the Aune x7s i mean i dont even know if the tube is connected to anything it might not be :rolleyes:


unnamed.jpg



Here is what it says on their website


"Pure Class A, single ended design with no negative feedback for the best sound performance and highest power. "
"Discrete MOSFET output and 12AX7 vacuum tube to provide the best mix of power and an analogue tube-like sound. "
Googling 12AX7 gives you an wikipedia article here is a quick summary

" 12AX7 (also known as ECC83) is a vacuum tube that is a miniature dual triode - 6AV6 with high voltage gain. It was developed around 1946 by RCA engineers in Camden, New Jersey, under developmental number A-4522. It was released for public sale under the 12AX7 identifier on September 15, 1947. The 12AX7 was originally intended as replacement for the 6SL7 family of dual-triode amplifier tubes for audio applications. As a popular choice for guitar tube amplifiers, its ongoing use in such equipment makes it one of the few small-signal vacuum tubes in continuous production since it was introduced. "

"Audiophile-grade Wima coupling and Rubycon power supply capacitors to offer high reliability and great sound. "
This made me roll my eyes a little bit :rolleyes:

"3.5V stereo preamplifier output allows to connect an external power amp or powered speakers. "
Why 3.5V why not 2V?

"Removable IEC type power cord gives an option to upgrade the system with a premium audiophile power cable in any time. "
Yeah i dont understand why a company would write this if they want you to take them seriously its actually kinda upsetting


"24bit/192kHz high-resolution, asynchronous USB-DAC [true high-speed audio processor SA9123 DAC AKM AK4430 chip "
So i would prob never use the dac but googling i find that the audio processor belongs to a company that nobody has ever heard off funny enough the dac chip is the same used in the chromecast but the article is from 2014 so hard to say if they still use it
https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/3nujiw https://www.akm.com/content/dam/doc.../audio-dac/ak4430et/ak4430et-en-datasheet.pdf

It aint particularly high performance THD+N: -91dB Dynamic Range: 104dB but for a tube amplifer i guess its good enough?

I also looked around to see if it was easy to find replacement tubes and i found a website in my country i think its the same tube?
https://www.bax-shop.se/forstarkarror/sovtek-12ax7-lps-rorforforstarkare

" The Sovtek 12AX7 LPS tube can be comfortably installed in preamplifiers made by Fender to Marshall, Vox to Mesa and everything in between. Fit one of these and you not only get a high-grade Russian-made tube with a longer life-span, but you'll also hear your amp purr in appreciation. "

Last thing i found on Tag harmony's website is about the hybrid technology

" TAGA Harmony amplifiers use vacuum tubes in the preamp section and transistors in the power stage. This results in tube, soft and analog-like sound character and at the same time high dynamics and power provided by transistors, which is usually a weak point of pure tube designs. "

Here are the specifications


Power output / impedance2 x 500mW @ 100ohm

If it was into 300ohm it be easier for me to judge i assume they use a 100ohm impedance to get higher power numbers?

Analog inputsAUX
Input sensitivity: 750mV

Aint that kinda low? i googled and found this " Input sensitivity is the maximum voltage strength of an input signal that an amplifier can handle and still produce unclipped full output. "

But aint most outputs 2 volts? :rolleyes:


Total Harmonic Distortions<0.1% @ 100ohm (1kHz, 300mW)
Signal/Noise ratio88dB

Not great but maybe understandable when its using tubes?

When looking at the manual its clear that you have to babysit this amplifier it might turn some people off

" Break-In Your TAGA Harmony amplifier sounds great immediately after it is taken out of the carton but as all tube/hybrid amplifiers, this amplifier requires a “break-in” period to reach its full sonic capabilities. During the “break-in” period it is recommended to operate the amplifier at moderate volume levels. The first level of the “break-in” is reached after approximately 10 hours of play. The optimal level of the “break-in” is reached after approximately 40 to 60 hours of play. It is recommended to avoid one-time short periods of operation unless the amplifier reaches the first “break-in” level. When the amplifier is turned on, it should operate for around 4-6 hours. Turn off procedure Make sure to turn off the amplifier first when powering down your system. Note! If the amplifier was turned off even for a short period of time, you should wait at least 2 minutes before turning it back on. Do not turn it ON then OFF and then ON again in quick succession. Follow this procedure each time you turn your amplifier OFF / ON. This precaution will minimize the stress (high voltages) on internal components. "

Anyone here have any comments or suggestions if this is a good purchasing decision?


4_max.jpg


I found a french article that did a teardown https://www.on-mag.fr/index.php/top...-et-un-convertisseur-hi-res-pour-un-prix-mini

Translated using google here is what they say

"Under the hood of the Taga Harmony THDA-500T, there is only one general printed circuit and a daughter card which accommodates the conversion section of the asynchronous USB port. Taga Harmony, as with a number of its electronics, has bet on the mix of tubes and transistors. Like other manufacturers, his choice fell on a 12AX7 (ECC83) lamp with a fairly high gain and a warm sound. It serves as an input stage or drivers before the audio signals reach the power section proper. On the latter, we find a simple but proven diagram with a double of 4 Mosfet Vishay IRF610 transistors
operating in Class A.

the power supply of the device starts from a toroidal transformer whose characteristics we have not managed to know. The voltages are filtered and rectified by a quality Rubycon capacitor bank. Ditto for the Wima coupling capacitors with which the Taga THDA-500T is fitted. Nothing but good components, like the Alps potentiometer on the signal path. "

Taga-Harmony_7.jpg



Taga-Harmony_8.jpg
 
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OP
Aubergine
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Thread Starter #2
I found another hybrid amplifier from the same company for 380 dollars they have discounted it because they have made a version 3 that costs 545 dollars

difference between this one and the one in the first post is that this one can also power speakers as well its also a lot prettier it also has two tubes instead of just one

The version 3 version of this amp only increases the power output according to the specs it also has lower signal to noise by 10 db so saving 165 dollars seems like a great deal


it comes with tubes inferior to what comes with the hybrid headphone amp in my first post according to taga but can be replaced with the same tubes the hybrid headphone amp uses


wzmacniacz-sluchawkowy-hybrydowy-taga-harmony-hta-700b-v2.jpg


https://www.tagaharmony.com/en/products/3655/home-electronics/product/536/hta-700b-v-2
for posterity here is V 3 https://www.tagaharmony.com/en/product/9039/hta-700b-v-3

Specs for version 2

DesignHybrid amplifier
Class A/B

power output / impedance2 x 45W 4ohm
2 x 26W 8ohm

DA converterUSB-DAC Asynchronous 24bit / 192kHz
Cirrus Logic CM6631A+CS4344 chip

https://www.cirrus.com/products/cs4344-45-48/


Dynamic Range (dB)105THD+N (dB)-90

Wireless connectivityBluetooth® v4.0

Headphone outputImpedance: 32 - 320ohm
Output power: 1W, 160ohm

Total Harmonic Distortions ≤0.1%
Signal/Noise ratio =>88dB

Teardown

https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/wzmacniacze-stereo/2846-hta-700b-v2

" HTA-700B is a hybrid amplifier with voltage stage, based on tubes, and semiconductor power amplifiers. Each channel uses a single 6N2 triode, it can be replaced with a lamp from the SE version (12AX7B).

Power amplifiers are TDA7296 integrated circuits (one per channel). The digital section is managed by the Cmedia CM6631A input interface (theoretically accepts even 32/192 kHz signals), the D / A converter is Cirrus Logic CS4344, whose resolution reaches "only" 24 bits. "

https://www.st.com/resource/en/datasheet/tda7296.pdf

12ax7b is the chinese version of the 12ax7

TAGA-Harmony-HTA-700B-v.2-Silver-5.jpg
 
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Jimbob54

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When you say no one has ever heard of AKM, there is sarcasm there?

Also, was there a question in either post? The devices look similar to some of the XDUO stuff reviewed on here and elsewhere
 
OP
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When you say no one has ever heard of AKM, there is sarcasm there?

Also, was there a question in either post? The devices look similar to some of the XDUO stuff reviewed on here and elsewhere
Well like i wrote in the beginning of my first post " is it to good to be true" which one should i buy if i mostly just listen to headphones? do they look decent? Also i didn't mean the dac i meant the audio processor SA9123 Savitech i can understand that the wording might be confusing but that is what it says on their website
 
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Jimbob54

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Well like i wrote in the beginning of my first post " is it to good to be true" which one should i buy if i mostly just listen to headphones? do they look decent? Also i didn't mean the dac i meant the audio processor SA9123 Savitech i can understand that the wording might be confusing but that is what it says on their website
Got you. Mu limited experience of tubes is a Little Dot 1+ hybrid (retired) and a cheap tube buffer into my THX789.

The former suffered terribly from noise/ interference, the latter doesnt do much at all to the sound. Absent of measurements and reviews you'd trust I would avoid. Especially if you are happy with the Aune
 
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Thread Starter #6
Got you. Mu limited experience of tubes is a Little Dot 1+ hybrid (retired) and a cheap tube buffer into my THX789.

The former suffered terribly from noise/ interference, the latter doesnt do much at all to the sound. Absent of measurements and reviews you'd trust I would avoid. Especially if you are happy with the Aune
That's the curse with audio though you're never truly satisfied ;)
 

ZolaIII

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#8
Try with Loxjie P20 as a hybrid amp only for 100$ and trow in some good GE or Ei tubes and you are good to go if you really want that. You can pair it with great DAC as SMSL M300 MKII (250$) & still stay in the same price category.
 

SIY

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#9
Gimmick. Tubes bring nothing to the table here. Nice to see that the French reviewers are just as clueless as American and British ones. :D
 

Wombat

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#10
OP. Just go ahead and buy it, You know you want to. You just won't get the re-assurance you desire, here. However, it seems to tick your boxes. You can always sell it on.
 
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OP. Just go ahead and buy it, You know you want to. You just won't get the re-assurance you desire, here. However, it seems to tick your boxes. You can always sell it on.
I didn't make this thread in a quest to be assured about tubes making an audible difference.. be that whether that is a positive or negative difference and i have no idea were you got that idea from because its in none of my posts :)
 
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Gimmick. Tubes bring nothing to the table here. Nice to see that the French reviewers are just as clueless as American and British ones. :D
Usually i dont really take anyone's word on what something sounds like therefore i simply posted the part were they did a teardown and described what was in it that was the part i found interesting anyway
 

ZolaIII

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SIY

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I didn't make this thread in a quest to be assured about tubes making an audible difference.. be that whether that is a positive or negative difference and i have no idea were you got that idea from because its in none of my posts :)
The audible differences, assuming any, won't be because of the tubes, but because of the design. You can use solid state (or even better, DSP) and get whatever arbitrary distortion and frequency response errors you want. The use of a tube for this application is more of a fashion statement than anything else.
 

Wombat

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OP. Do you really think that anyone here is familiar with that low count product and can advise you? Worth a try I guess. Your detailed OPs made me think you were very keen on it.
 
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OP. Do you really think that anyone here is familiar with that low count product and can advise you? Worth a try I guess. Your detailed OPs made me think you were very keen on it.
You are answering your own question the reason i wrote such a detailed post is because i wanted you to be familiar because i didn't think most people on here knew about the product and i felt it was important to give as much information as possible to the people here.. people that knows a lot more about this stuff than i do

So they.. you.. could give me an honest opinion about it be that to comment on its specifications or its build quality
 
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The audible differences, assuming any, won't be because of the tubes, but because of the design. You can use solid state (or even better, DSP) and get whatever arbitrary distortion and frequency response errors you want. The use of a tube for this application is more of a fashion statement than anything else.
Does class A matter in a headphone amplifier? I know my Aune x7s is class A but only up to a certain point i think it says on massdrops website i believe it was 235 mw
 

SIY

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So they.. you.. could give me an honest opinion about it be that to comment on its specifications or its build quality
Specs are the usual badly written sort. Nothing significant you can tell from them.
 

Jimbob54

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You are answering your own question the reason i wrote such a detailed post is because i wanted you to be familiar because i didn't think most people on here knew about the product and i felt it was important to give as much information as possible to the people here.. people that knows a lot more about this stuff than i do

So they.. you.. could give me an honest opinion about it be that to comment on its specifications or its build quality
You'll plug it in, press play and you will get music out. I think what people are trying to say is that a question of "should I buy X?" will always be met with, "if you want to" . No amount of specs or info will enable anyone to tell you whether something is to your tastes or not.

If it hasnt been measured here or elsewhere, its a pretty obscure brand etc so you are unlikely to get "I have one and its great" . And what use would one user's opinion be to you anyway?

As I said earlier, buying something at that price on a whim , absent of measurements or reviews you trust, is unlikley to end well. Unless there is a cast iron no quibble money back guarantee, I'd pass.
 
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