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 Post subject: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:59 pm 
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Background: I'm spending more time sitting at my PC with a variety of audio/video playing in the background (Hulu, Netflix streaming, my music library, NPR podcasts, Pandora and radio streaming, etc) while I work on other things. Using a pair of cheapish 2.1 powered PC speakers via mobo line out finally reached the threshold of not-good-enough. I’m not an audiophile and my days of buying overpriced audio gear are well behind me. However, I do enjoy listening to music and have an appreciation for decent quality sound. So, I set a target of $200-300 and went looking for an amp/speaker combo to use in this ~11' x 14' room.

Speaker and amp 'wants':

Passive Speakers: Powered speakers like AudioEngine and others don't fit my use. I need a handy volume knob as well as the easy ability to plug in headphones/mute speakers. Also, I find I cannot listen to near field audio at moderate volumes and everything sounds pretty crappy at low volumes at the moment. So, no desktop speakers. I ended up with Polk Audio Monitor 40's ($130/pr delivered) and a pair of speaker stands for $45*. I was leaning toward the Polk 30's, but the 40's went on sale and I was hoping the bass response for the 40's would be good enough for my study to keep me from getting interested in a subwoofer at a later date :D

Amp: I want something small with volume control I can set on the desk. In an ideal world it would also have mic/headphone jack...but not necessary - headset is for Skype and can run that via the PC case jacks. Crossover/support for a powered sub might be interesting, but also something I can probably do via the mobo audio. An on/off switch to kill idle power would be handy. But, I can deal with a wall wart. It doesn't need to be headbanging loud, but needs to sound great at low and moderate levels. Finally, it has to be low power. I make a point of always decreasing my power footprint with every upgrade. After a few months of searching/reading I settled on the Dayton DTA-100 ($100).

DTA-100 features:
The DTA-100 uses Tripath's 2050 IC. It claims to have 50W x2 max output into 8 Ohms and negligible distortion at 30W into the same load. It's a small form factor (great for my desktop), has an on/off switch, headphone jack, and a Line In jack on the front if you want to plug in your iPod. The power brick plugs in back along with RCA Line In and 2 pairs of speaker banana jacks. Dayton provides the banana plugs as well as a short stereo mini male to mini male patch cord, a stereo mini male to stereo RCA plug adapter cable, and a mini jack to ¼"

<the rest of this post disappeared sometime in the last few months....I didn't have a backup, so the short version is: Very clear, full sound. Can easily fill a large room. Works great with high efficiency bookshelf speakers, too. >

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Last edited by CA_Steve on Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:29 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Powered speakers ... don’t fit my use. I need a handy volume knob as well as the easy ability to plug in headphones/mute speakers.

I would definitely go with powered speakers. Powered speakers give better value because they are the technically correct way to make speakers. Unfortunately a lot of them don't use class D amps and the noise floor can be audible, so you have to be careful.
Quote:
I ended up with Polk Audio Monitor 40’s[/url] ($130/pr delivered) and a pair of speaker stands for $45*. I was leaning toward the Polk 30's, but the 40's went on sale and I was hoping the bass response for the 40's would be good enough for my study to keep me from getting interested in a subwoofer at a later date :D

It doesn't matter the amp, you can't get good sound out of passive speakers at this price. For future reference $300 can get you a decent pair of powered speakers, e.g. Rokit 5.
Quote:
In an ideal world it would also have mic/headphone jack...but not necessary - headset is for Skype and can run that via the PC case jacks. Crossover/support for a powered sub might be interesting, but also something I can probably do via the mobo audio.

That doesn't include extra accessories like sound card, preamp if necessary. That will set you back another $200-300.
Quote:
An on/off switch to kill idle power would be handy. But, I can deal with a wall wart.

Class D amps often have next to no idle power consumption.
Quote:
For grins, I plugged in a set of Radioshack $20 earbuds that I use with my iPod. The amp had notable hiss at all volumes and really bad Pop on turn on/off. Freq response was good. It might be an impedance matching problem as the Plantronics headset has zero hiss.

Speaker amps and headphone amps are different things. Run headphones from a soundcard headphone out and that should be fine. You can get ok headphones for $30-40, e.g. Koss PortaPro.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:02 am 
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I think maybe you missed the point of my review. I had a set of features I wanted and this combination of amp+ speakers met that set quite well. Since the amp is new to the market, I thought I'd provide a review of it.

Powered speakers may fit your needs - they didn't for mine.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:09 am 
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Sounds like an excellent fit, given your specific desires. Glad it's working out for you!

Have been considering buying a couple of these myself - how does it handle music with heavy bass at high volumes? (Rap, techno?) If you could bring yourself to try it, I'd be most appreciative :-) I have speakers comparable to your Polk SDA-1s, and am worried about its ability to drive those nice 12" woofers!

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Ah, not much of a rap/techno fan. I do have some Michael Franti and Spearhead, so I played "Rock the Nation". Bass was full and undistorted at high volumes. Enough for the bass to vibrate through my feet and the treble to hurt my ears, not enough bass to push the air in/out of my lungs :D

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:53 am 
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An unpleasant update: Do NOT buy this amp.

It turns out the amp has a design flaw causing one channel to intermittantly work. There have been lots of returns to the vendor, Parts Express. They are currently going through a redesign (which is why the current availability date keeps pushing out). I hope that problem gets fixed, as the amp really was sweet when it worked.

However, I am dismayed by the sequence of events that took place at Parts Express between the time I needed to return the broken amp and now. I waited and lived with the intermittant as the new stock wasn't in place, yet. Then, after a few months of watching the stock dates push out, I decided to just return it. The process started out great. The customer service rep told me about the known design problem, provided free return shipping, and I expected a credit on my Visa.

A few weeks later, I received a shipping notice from PE. Perplexed over how they were shipping me a new unit when they are out of stock, I called them. It turns out their incoming inspection guy plugged in the amp and it worked for him. So he had it shipped back to me. I told customer service it was unacceptable: provide me with an RMA number and a shipping label because I was going to just slap the new label on the box when it arrived and return it w/o opening. He provided the RMA number, label, and asked for my Visa # so they could credit my account.

Three weeks pass after shipping the unit to PE. No credit on my Visa. Another call to PE. Customer service guy says they didn't have my Visa on file and since 45 days had passed since purchase, they put a credit on my account with them. I explained that I had provided my Visa number as part of the RMA process and no mention was made of a 45 day limit. Some light profanity on my part ensued.

10 minutes on hold. He said they'd make an exception in my case and provide the credit to Visa.

Bleh. Back to looking for a small form factor amp.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:16 am 
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I'm looking for a very similar type of thing at the moment...
Have you come across any of these:
http://techgage.com/article/nuforce_ico ... speakers/2
http://www.avrev.com/home-theater-news/ ... ifier.html
http://www.istereos.co.uk/product_info. ... cts_id=314

My requirement is different in that I want to improve the awful sound coming from a 22" TV I've just bought for our kitchen. As usual I have got completely bogged down with lots of options, none of which seems to tick all the boxes - quality, price, size, front volume control, second input jack for laptop, passes WAF etc. etc.
Added to which, it's very hard to go and listen to stuff these days so one relies on reviews to a large extent.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:25 am 
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If the 10Wx2 claim doesn't scare you, there's the excellent Scythe Kama Bay Amp Kro on sale for a ridiculous price. Comes with everything you need to get started and mount it as a standalone unit or inside an ATX case. I use it paired with two very compact Audica CS-S1 speakers, gives the right amount of noise for my room without breaking the bank and barely taking any space, though larger and more efficient speakers are in order to get the best out of this little marvel. Also, the integrated headphone amp is of very, very good quality, and at 50mW it can power some seriously large drivers with ease.

An easier but less versatile and "audiophile" alternative are the Creative Gigaworks T20 (or T40) II. If you only need a pair of speakers without the extra gizmos, they're almost unbeatable for the space they take!

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:41 am 
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Thanks for the new suggestions. I have a pair of Polk 40 monitors. So, just looking for a nice amp to pair with them. Small form factor, desktop (not a PC bay), high efficiency/low power use (so, Class D), decent sound quality. Headphone jack a plus.

I had avoided the Scythe stuff in the past as I came across negative reviews/feedback (primarily poor noise isolation/PSU filtering/PSU interference with wireless components). Do you hear any hiss or other noise, or see any of these issues, Parappaman? If the PSU brick is a big RFI emitter, I really don't want it near my router and cell phone femtocell :D

I did come across a review on the SDA-1100 and also the SDA-1000. The latter is compared to the Trends TA10.1 and the NuForce Icon. Looking at the Scythe's website, it looks like all of their amps are based on the same Yamaha IC.

For $50, it might be worth ordering/trying out/returning if it's crap. Or the Kama Bay 2000 for $60 ( a review in googlish). Too bad the latter is not for sale in the US.

Judge - the NuForce Icon is nice, but $200 + banana post adapters. The Audio Engine is a class A/B design and $200. The KingRex is well over $200 with the PSU. If this were my primary audio set up, I'd consider some of these $200+ Class D solutions.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:18 am 
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Steve, how do you like your Polk's? I've been looking at the Polk 30's (because they fit on my shelf and the 40's don't)
BTW- Polk 40 are $180 on Amazon US site and £298 ($480) in the UK! :shock: and that's kind of why I was suggesting $200+ amps.

You could take a look at this if you haven't already...


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:59 am 
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Thanks for the Topping link. I'll look into it. I will say that the Tripath 2050 implentation on the Dayton amp combined with my Monitor 40's sounded great. I mounted the 40's on stands so the tweeter is ear level and they are 5+ ft away from me. I wanted to get more of a room imaged sound than near field (on my desk). The big diff between the 30's and 40's is the additional 5.25" driver and a lower freq response.

The 40's go on sale at Newegg all the time, so the upgrade cost between the 30's and 40's was really small. I think I paid $130-140. That's an outrageous price in the UK. Better off buying locally grown. Or, it might be less expensive to get the 30's and then a sub if you want/need more bass. Or, you could go the self-powered path with M-Audio or similar.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:16 am 
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I had the basic T-Amp, it was rubbish compared to the Scythe SDA-1100 I have now. I know all the other implementations of the Tripath chip should be much better than the original one, but I would bet this little thing will sound great to your ears too.
That SDA-2000 looks to me just a hyped SDA-1100, I don't think they are sonically different, unless you use it with the USB connection, then it's all up to the integrated DAC, if it's any better than your audio card, it might sound better.
The included PSU is not bad really, when I tried putting it inside my case and powering it with the uncluded molex adapter everything went haywire. Output power went much up, but so did the noise/crackling, and that with a very high quality PSU (Antec Signature 850W) known for its low electrical ripple and noise. I guess it was the rest of the equipment that interfered, you won't have any trouble if you use it as a standalone unit, just use decent power leads as the ones included are rather ridiculous (signal leads are short but good enough). Give it a shot, you won't regret it! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:58 am 
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Yeah, $55 shipped to my door is hard to pass up for a Scythe tryout. I'm only out ~$20-25 for shipping/restocking fee if it doesn't pass the listening test. Placed the order. :D

Are the speaker outputs binding post/banana plug combos?

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:22 am 
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Yep, and of very good quality for the price, very large and gold plated.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:21 pm 
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I received the Scythe amp on Friday and hooked it up to my Polk SDA's and an iPod for the source for some burn-in time. First impression: nice amp for $55. Doesn't have the "OMG" sound quality of the DTA, but still decent sound for the $'s. I'll do a mini-review next week (after it's had 3-4 days of burn-in).

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:08 am 
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Hi Steve,
you amp was the DTA-100, do you think the DTA-100a is the new revision with the channel issue worked out? Have you tried the DTA-100a?

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:33 am 
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I'd *hope* the 100a is a completely revised/fixed 100, but I don't know. I stopped tracking Dayton after I bought my Scythe Kama Kro 1100.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:48 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
I'd *hope* the 100a is a completely revised/fixed 100, but I don't know. I stopped tracking Dayton after I bought my Scythe Kama Kro 1100.


Thanks for your reply. Where did you get the Kama Kro 1100 from?


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:44 am 
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http://www.platinummicro.com/ - a firm in S. CA. I found them via Amazon.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:15 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
http://www.platinummicro.com/ - a firm in S. CA. I found them via Amazon.


Thanks Steve. I ordered the DTA-100a to try out and see how it is. If it's a fail will go for the Scythe.


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Best of luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:59 pm 
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Got the Dayton amp today and testing it out.
It does sound nice but, slight channel imbalance at low level and the dreaded pop when turning it on or off :(


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Update: Bad news. Right channel is not working any more, sending this back...bad luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:44 am 
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That's what happens if you don't trust the internet. It recommended you the Scythe, but you didn't pay any attention to it. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:57 am 
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It's a shame they can't get the Dayton design right as it's a great sounding amp.

The Scythe continues to work well - absolutely no pop/hiss - including when I pull the headphone jack out/pop it in.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:04 am 
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Have you considered assembing your own Tripath amp? Amp board, PSU, case and some cables for around $150 would be a fun project. Check out the T1 here http://hifimediy.com/?page_id=18&category=1 .


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:46 am 
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Parappaman wrote:
That's what happens if you don't trust the internet. It recommended you the Scythe, but you didn't pay any attention to it. :mrgreen:

hehe yeah, should have listened, but since PE offers no hassle returns I thought I would try the Dayton out. Will try the Scythe.


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:27 am 
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Unfortunately the Scythe amp is discontinued, email from PlatinumMicro:
Hello,
Thank you for shopping with us. Unfortunately this item is out of stock.
The item is End Of Life. Discontinued.
Your order has been cancelled.
Full Refund.


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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:39 am 
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It looks like other etailers have it. Just do a google search.

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 Post subject: Re: Dayton DTA-100 Class D Amplifier
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:44 pm 
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I will try this one out seems to be the new replacement.
PlatM
PerfPC


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