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TPA 3116 vs the tripaths

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by Poultrygeist, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,150
    Location:
    Angel Station, Alabama
    Is there something more basic version?
     

     

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  2. airbus

    airbus Member

    Messages:
    88
    Not aware of one. I've never used the subwoofer out or the tone controls. The bluetooth works fine, but it has a thump of its own when you switch back to the rca inputs. I imagine all the other stuff compromises the sound some, but it's not that obvious.
     
  3. Ytheleus1212

    Ytheleus1212 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    UK
    I hate to see a hanging question.
    I played with one like this, you should be able to find a couple of them less expensive if you look around:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC12-24v...=item4423f63624:g:JswAAOSwhilbXubZ:rk:41:pf:0

    This specific board has its own crossover dial, and it worked well when I tried it.
    Realistically expect <60W per board at 24V, without distortion setting in,
    But they work well, TPA3116 make for decent low power sub amps. This board convinced me that subs are compulsory rather than optional..
    You could still use an external crossover if you turn the crossover dials up to maximum.
    Alernatively you can use a standard 3116 board but you want one that can be set to mono by bridging the two channels (called BTL or bridge tied load).
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  4. Adam N.

    Adam N. Trying to keep it simple. Subscriber

    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Northampton, MA

    Thanks for this. I have an external xover. A rolls SX45 I think. It may be something I toy around with. Good to know someone else has done it.
     
  5. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    So you think I made the right choice going with the FX502 with the 3250 over the Volt+D 3118? Is the 3255 that you have better than the FX502? I need to STOP reading this thread! LOL
     
  6. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,150
    Location:
    Angel Station, Alabama
    I think you will be OK, I have both but have not critically compared them. I do estheticelly prefer the direct simplicity of the Volt+D, tho the ergonomics of the FX is very nice.
     

     

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  7. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Guess I will know this weekend.
     
    Pio1980 likes this.
  8. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    New amp.
     

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  9. hifix

    hifix Active Member

    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    Groovy Tunes HQ
    Looking foward to the results of the amp comparo.
     
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  10. airbus

    airbus Member

    Messages:
    88
    I think taste, system matching, and power supplies can affect the results a lot.
    My speakers are just scanspeak based 6.5" 2 ways and I don't use a pre-amp, just a hifimediy DAC with a volume control. Files are on a USB hard drive. My
    system is in a small office/bedroom maybe 12x11.

    Best for rock and roll and high energy music with lots of bass or music that requires a fair amount of speed. YJhifi tpa 3255.
    Best for folk, small jazz group, small group or solo classical Volt +D fwiw, it's really good with this sort of material and its most of my listening.
    Both amps are very clear. My take is that the Volt + does very well with detail, harmony, etc. The TPA 3255 is definitely more dynamic and maybe not
    quite as refined.
    For symphonic music, I'd say each has its virtues.

    Third place in all categories except for small classical FX 502 with the TPA 3250.

    Third place for small classical Volt + (the board only version)

    The Volts sound best with a 19 volt linear power supply. I found a variable regulated 10 amp supply on E-bay.
    A lot of people say the 3255 will sound best with 48 volts. I haven't had a power supply that goes beyond 30.
     
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  11. HiFiJeff

    HiFiJeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    So you thought the Volt+D outperforms the FX502 in all categories except small classical?
     

     

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  12. airbus

    airbus Member

    Messages:
    88
    Actually, I think the Volt +D sounds better than the FX502 in virtually all forms of music. The TPA 3250 is more dynamic, but because FX used relatively cheap parts, they sent it out with a 24 volt power supply and some people have suggested that some of the parts aren't rated for more voltage than that. As a result, it kind of takes away the 3250's clearest advantage vs the TPA 311X-based amps. It's still a little more dynamic and plays louder, but not enough to make up for the Volt+D's other advantages.
    My take with small classical is that the FX502 is slightly bright (cheaper parts maybe?) compared to the Volt +D and not as articulate with the subtler stuff, as in is it the high part of the cello or the low part of the viola. The Volt +D gives this sensation that you're hearing "into" the music instead of just listening to it. I was saying that the Volt+ is better at the small classical than the FX502.
     
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  13. airbus

    airbus Member

    Messages:
    88
    fwiw the TPA 3255 sounds better to me than the FX502.
     
  14. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,150
    Location:
    Angel Station, Alabama
    I think the FX has a voltage converter chip in it's power input section.
    Otherwise, agree abut the Volt+D and enjoyment immersion.
     
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  15. 45rpmspinner

    45rpmspinner AK Subscriber Subscriber

    From 8 months ago....

    "Yatsushiro said: ↑
    at 24v the 3250 is only just waking up; with 32v I think you'll find the warmth that you're lacking..."

    I replied somewhat later:
    "This turns out to be very good advice.
    Imo, using a 32V ps with the TPA 3250 EV module improves over-all tonal balance.
    Bass is fuller. The occasional touch of harshness has seemingly disappeared. No hint of being overly bright.
    As Yatsushiro suggested, it's mellowed-out in the way I'd hoped it eventually would."

    Imo, it's unfortunate that the FX502 can't handle higher voltage.
     
    Ytheleus1212 likes this.
  16. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    wouldn't it only take a couple of cap replacements to make the fx502 capable of using higher voltage power supplies?
     

     

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  17. 45rpmspinner

    45rpmspinner AK Subscriber Subscriber

    It's been awhile since I looked at the innards of the FX502, but as I recall there are a couple of 24V regulators on the board.

    Edit: is "regulators" the right word?
    I'm having a serious senior moment.
    You know, those thingies that will pass maybe 10-15% more than their rated voltage before shutting down the circuit?
    More like "voltage limiters".

    Edit again...I got it. Voltage relays....not voltage regulators.
    Sorry about that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018 at 8:46 PM
  18. airbus

    airbus Member

    Messages:
    88
    I imagine the FX502 can be modded to safely handle higher voltages. imo once you start going there, you might as well start with something like one of the 3e audio boards. They're easier to work on, better laid out, etc. Once you track down a 48 volt power supply, take the thing out of its case, disconnect the board, etc. with the FX502 or any of the completely assembled amps as step one, do the modifications on a fairly fragile circuit board as step two, then put it all back together as step three (the box is very small and you have to have parts that still fit the box), you'll likely spend more time and money than you would starting with a higher quality alternative.
     
    Ytheleus1212 likes this.
  19. wushuliu

    wushuliu Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    985
    I've read multiple posts across different forums of folks who love tubes and yet adore the TPA amps. It's been a while since I had tube amps (including DIY) but the TPA sonic quality is, to my memory, very similar. And I have never had any issues with the high frequencies unlike the dark ages of the Tripath amps - yuck.

    These amps are so good stock that an addicted modder like myself just can't summon the energy to mess with it (I have a 3eaudio 3251). That said, there is a growing number of folks who are realizing the opamps in the signal path impact the sound, and that there are substantial improvements possible with some power supply tweaks (not a surprise, power supplies are always a safe bet for improvement as the Volt+D has shown). Increasing the capacitance of the large supply caps has potential, and that's a pretty easy tweak to do since you can just solder caps in parallel underneath to test.
     
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  20. wushuliu

    wushuliu Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    985
    Just so it's clear, the reason the 3116 can't push the Overnight Sensations is because of the 8ohm impedance of the speakers. TPA amps are unusually awesome in that the lower the speaker impedance the better they perform. I am currently powering an MTM with 4ohm woofers in parallel (!!!) and a 4ohm tweeter, so a low of 2.4ohms with a cheap $60 Nobsound/Douk TPA-based based amp. Sensitivity is ~90db.

    2.4ohms. That's nuts. That's something you typically only come across in $$$$ Stereophile components because you'd need an amp that costs as much as your house to power it. Too bad the diy speaker crowd hasn't really caught on to the possibilities of these amps. There's no reason now to be tied to making 8ohm friendly speakers or fretting over 4ohms with these amps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018 at 12:06 AM
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