Cheap, but quite good.

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pre65
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#1 Cheap, but quite good.

Post by pre65 »

From "various" on Thursday.

I got a cheap regulated PSU from China (Ebay), took 2 months to get here but dirt cheap. Just finished soldering it all together.

Going to use it to power an equally cheap chip amp that sounds very good on 12v DC from my bench supply but will run on a range up to 24v.

So, with my cheap pre/buffer as well I'll have a good system for very few beer tokens. :D

The inexpensive toroid I'm using cost more than the Pre,PSU and chip amp put together. :shock:
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pre65
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#2 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by pre65 »

I finished off the chip amp (TPA3116) power supply last night. I tested it at 20v into a 47R resistor and everything seemed OK, so it's now wired to the chip.

Playing it in the system now, and I am impressed with the sound. :D

The cheapo pre/buffer is still my favourite pre and all together they just gell.

I'm putting all further amp projects on hold for the time being.

I'd like someone else to hear what it's like, just to see if my ears really are reliable. :wink:
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. John Lennon

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#3 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by IslandPink »

Good effort. Have you tried any other chip amps , is this 3116 reckoned to be one of the better ones nowadays ?
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pre65
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#4 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by pre65 »

IslandPink wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:18 pm Good effort. Have you tried any other chip amps , is this 3116 reckoned to be one of the better ones nowadays ?
The last chip amp I tried properly was a 20WPC Tripath, but from vague and distant memory it was not up to much.

I do have some others somewhere, but no memory of the quality. :?

The one I have is this,

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50Wx2-Finish ... 1438.l2649

but their are many, many other versions on Ebay.
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ed
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#5 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by ed »

I've got something like 4 or 5 3116 amps floating about. They were all the rage 3 or 4 years ago and the thread on diyaudio is now immense. All the different flavour boards that were on ebay sounded different and it seems to be the biggest differentiator is the output filtering as all the boards had a different set of chokes.....

I have one that I put together myself based on the TI app note and if memory serves Nick stuck it on a breakout board for me before I bought my rework station.

For my money they're the bargain of the century for sq and at the moment I have one running in my main system since I discovered my F6 can't run electrostatics.

I beleive Steve Shiels has one or two as well and as far as I remember he likes them as well.

The earlier ones which I'm referring to were 50 watts but I think the newer ones are 100w and the 3118 which is also later is a bit more trixy for diy because it has the heat pad underneath instead of on top.
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#6 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by simon »

There's rakes of them on ebay for nowt! 2.1 amp including a case for £10.99. How can that be?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TPA3116D2-50 ... SwZQRYfzlU

Bluetooth is a new one on me though. Does the signal transfer okay? Or is it dependant on the Bluetooth sender? Sending source signal from one side of the room to the amps and speakers on the other without cables appeals though - anyone tried it or know what's needed?
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#7 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by ed »

One thing I have learned with these 3116 and 3118 class D amps is beware of the turn on/turn off thump.....

if your using ready built check for a mute switch and if diying then my advise is use the mute pin.

to avoid careless forgetfullness I leave mine on all the time now....

or design a circuit to buffer the power supply and automate the mute...
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#8 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by pre65 »

ed wrote: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:55 am One thing I have learned with these 3116 and 3118 class D amps is beware of the turn on/turn off thump.....

if your using ready built check for a mute switch and if diying then my advise is use the mute pin.

to avoid careless forgetfullness I leave mine on all the time now....

or design a circuit to buffer the power supply and automate the mute...
I'm aware of it, but on my ready built one it's not too bad.

I'm thinking of boxing in my lash up, so - BBP or blue acrylic ? I favour blue acrylic as I have a small sheet here and some proper bonding liquid.
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#9 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by jack »

simon wrote: Bluetooth is a new one on me though. Does the signal transfer okay? Or is it dependant on the Bluetooth sender? Sending source signal from one side of the room to the amps and speakers on the other without cables appeals though - anyone tried it or know what's needed?
I use portable Bluetooth 4 speakers from Anker when I'm in the desert or in the beach -
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01MTB55WH


Amazingly, for a tiny speaker they sound great and are water and sand proof, plus it runs for 24 hours on a single charge (Anker are better known for power packs). 2 x 6W and surprisingly good bass.

I use my phone with Spotify, YouTube or just stored music to send to it. Works brilliantly.

Bluetooth 4 is great.
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#10 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by simon »

It's a whole new world!

Looking at the different class D chips and devotees it's almost a hobby in itself.
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#11 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by ed »

when I heard my first 3116 I thought my ears were playing up.

I'm not sure if this is a reliable yardstick but the 3116 thread on diyaudio is now 10,300 posts long. I reckon this probably represents a good few followers and I'm pretty sure they can't all be wrong.

and this is the cheaper end of the class D world...
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#12 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by Ali Tait »

I remember those modules Steve Sheils brought to an Owston. £2.99 I The I they were, he ran them with a drill battery. Sounded pretty good.
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andrew Ivimey
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#13 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Crikey!!! that's ridiculously cheap.

A couple of years back I bought whatever was at the very fore front of digital amplifier technology from Hong Kong and under a tenner.

It brought a smile to my face - it worked! Not that bad but after a time, or a few times anyway I dropkicked the module into the recycling skip because after all, it was a bit grey,grim and grainy and I needed a 'not that good really' amp module like someone who needed an STI.

But have things moved on? With sub bass amp and blue tooth and all for a very long wait and about thirty quid. I'd be tempted if ....

A good few more years ago there was a bargain chip amp doing the rounds and I can't remember what it was. It was not digital,I rather liked it,I think it had a split voltage power supply and the version I settled down to had a valve buffer front end. I still have the makings somewhere but retired it for an Aleph 3 from Mr Pass which sounded relatively amazingly good but frightened me by getting hot enough to melt to Alaskan permafrost....from Bedford.
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#14 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by simon »

Mooching round the Class D forum on DIYA the impression I've got, rightly or wrongly, is that almost regardless of chips people that have tried these cheap amps from China are blown away by what they've got for a few quid. Sure, some have issues like turn on and turn off thumps, but what do you expect for so little outlay?

But, if these cheap boards get you 90% of the way there for a tenner (plus PS) the next 9% might cost 1000+%. And that's the rub for us nutters, sorry, audiophiles.
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#15 Re: Cheap, but quite good.

Post by andrew Ivimey »

Nicely put Simon. No one ever said it would be easy eh! So then, how much do we enjoy messing about in the last 9%?

I'm lissnin to Tosca right now. Puccini has always got brilliant tunes up his sleeves. Consider for example the little tune he wrote for the footie world cup a few years ago. Tosca is just so very much better!
Philosophers have only interpreted the world - the point, however, is to change it. No it isn't ... maybe we should leave it alone for a while.
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