iPod Tripath Amplifiers

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AudioPhreak

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Hello All,

I've been a lurker here for a while and it struck me that most people are still unaware of the great Tripath amplifiers that are available out there like the Trends, Kingrex, Redwine, and Little Dot's.

Tripath based amplifiers are switching amps. This chipset is incorporated into LCD TVs from Samsung, Sharp and several others. It's used because it sounds good, doesn't require expensive low-pass filtering, and is extremely efficient (~90%), which means it produces less heat and doesn't require a bulky heat sink.

A couple years ago, the Sonic Impact T-Amp was introduced to the world by TNT Audio: http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/t-amp_e.html

This review made Tripath famous and soon after, Chinese manufacturers started releasing super cheap high quality amps like the Trends TA-10.1. People compare this $149 amp (which I own personally) to $6000 Jolida amplifiers (seriously)

I am a little perplexed why these little wonders are not more popular with the Ipod crowd. The general perception is that the Fatman Tube amp is the best solution for Ipod Hi-fi: http://www.fat-man.co.uk/docs/product/itube_1.htm

But why are people gobbling up Fatman at a $1000 msrp when you could could have something sound outrageously better for a fraction of the price? No doubt that the Fatman is a good looking unit, but the sound is most important isnt it?

This is sounding a little bit like a public service announcement, so I will cut to the chase. If you have an Ipod or CD transport, or are into PC audio and want the best possible sound reproduction, check this amps out! I listen to mine and wonder why these units are not featured on CNN!?? Maybe because there are too many hi-fi dealers out enjoying massive margins on very expensive amps...think about it - which would you rather sell if you were a dealer? A $150 or a $6000 amp and a 40% margin? That's why these little amps are NOT on the cover of Sterephile mag and $20k speakers are!!!

For your information, read the following reviews:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/trends/ta10.html
http://www.stereotimes.com/amp031407.shtml
http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/bo06/david.html
http://www.stereomojo.com/SHOOTOUT2007INTEGRATEDS.htm

In N.America, I am aware of the following 3 dealers:

http://www.obadimports.com - Great site. Carries all of the Tripath amps I am aware of and recently expanded into the USA.

http://www.hifilogic.com

http://www.audiomajus.com - has some nice mod kits

Good reading!
 

luvitloud

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Good post, Audiophreak.

I did some more research and discovered on redflagdeals.com that there is a 10% off coupon code active at obadimports.com that's good until July 1. The code is "summer"

I'm seriously looking at their Kingrex T20 amp there - looks sweet!

- dave
 

bobb-mini

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AudioPhreak said:
I am a little perplexed why these little wonders are not more popular with the Ipod crowd.
'Cuz the crowd knows the iPod's preamp/D-A section is not audiophile quality to begin with. People buying Fatman go for warm sound/looks?
 

bobb-mini

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Wow, after glancing the links, they make this sound like a Benz for $500 or a Mark Livingston for mere $300. Hmmm..... Sure look out of place alongside those snazzy high end gears.
 

Bunny_Jones

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had to chime in here:

I used a Fatman for a number of months before reading that 6moons review on Trends TA-10...I had to buy one because they are so crazy cheap and everyone raves about them on www.diyaudio.com. I hafta tell you, the Trends TA-10, is so above and beyond the Fatman it's sick! It is seriously amazing sounding. I agree with the first poster here that this little amp (and every other Tripath amp) is a secret because resellers barely make any money off them. Any of these Tripath amps must be totally worrisome to the high end audio retailer. That TNT review kind of started an underground revolution in audio and it wont be long until someone repackages these amps and sells them for 100x the price...

FYI - this new Tripath amp is also creating some serious buzz: http://www.obadimports.com/catalog/item/4377302/4700556.htm

It has a little more power than the Trends amp, I am seriously considering buying one and using the Trends at the cabin.

These little amps bring hi-fi to the (adventurous) masses!
 

EdT

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bobb-mini said:
'Cuz the crowd knows the iPod's preamp/D-A section is not audiophile quality to begin with. People buying Fatman go for warm sound/looks?
Actually, Vinne Rossi at Red Wine audio sells a modifed iMod with a Wolfden DAC: http://redwineaudio.com/iMod.html

Now you can have a audiophile quality iTransport

The T-Amp is the best thing since sliced bread and brought me back into hifi ! :) The TA-10 will lift you off your seat into a new dimension of euphoria ....this is the real deal !

They already have T-Amps costing 40x more, the ever mighty BelCanto Evo or Red Wine Audio's Signature 30 at 20x !
 
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