Diamond 10.2 with Lepai TA2020 amp - Impressive

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by BlueWizard, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    This may not be worth much to some, but I was very impressed. If the person making the videos to follow can be trusted, he has a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 with a tiny Lepia TA2020 amp.

    Here are the videos. The camera doesn't record really low frequencies, and even though he is using bass heavy music, he is keeping the volume at a reasonable level to reduce distortion.

    Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 - Bass response #1



    Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 - Bass response #2



    I have to say, that despite the certain lack of quality in YouTube videos, this amp and speaker combination sounds amazingly good.

    I don't know this person at all, though his YouTube channel says he lives in Finland.

    And I confess it is odd that he has £200 speakers driven by a £50 amp, but you can't argue with the results.

    Again, this is purely FIY.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  2. sergiup

    sergiup
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    I bought and meant to review a TK2050-based amp in late June but I'm still to get around to it.

    They're quite good for the money to be honest, and their diminutive size makes them ideal for a small system. So far it's been working well, I'll try to sit down and use it with my main speakers for a better comparison.
     
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Looking forward to hearing that review. I know these are amazing little amps for the money, but that said, they are not that powerful or that expensive. But, you have to admit they sound impressive in the video. I think the key to keeping them sounding good, it to make sure you stay within their working range.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  4. lagittaja

    lagittaja
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    Hi. Nice to see my videos linked here :D
    Unfortunately I don't have any solid proof I have those speakers with that amp but here's a link to a picture of my amp
    lagittaja's album “Default” — Photo 63 of 126
    And a picture showing my speakers, and this picture shows my old Pioneer VSX-519 A/V receiver that I used before I got the Lepai.
    http://www.overclock.net/gallery/image/view/album/140101/id/732465/sort/display_order

    For some reasons, I don't seem to have ANY picture that shows both my Lepai and Wharfe's. I'm in the process of moving in couple of weeks so all my crap has been packed so don't have access to it right now.

    And to respond to your question posted in the video, I paid 285€ for the speaker pair from www.hifikulma.fi with free shipping to my door step.
    And the Lepai amp I bought from China and it cost me something like 45€ including PSU but you can get it for ~18€ without PSU. Including shipping of course..
    And to comment on the quality of the video, I had the volume past my usual listening volume so it was a bit loud and even I was surprised by the microphone quality of my Galaxy Note.

    Also if someone wonders, the Lepai is hell of a lot better than that chunky Pioneer.
    Before: I used Gene-Z motherboard optical out to Pioneer and the Pioneer handled D/A conversion.
    Now: I use Gene-Z motherboard analog out straight to Lepai. And it still is MUCH better, that's right, ~45€ amp bests a receiver that cost me ~330€.
    Bass is deeper and the speakers all around improved. I'm happy with it.

    Unfortunately I will be replacing the Lepai. I'm moving and I want to connect a lot more stuff to my speakers so a return back to A/V receivers is required even though how reluctant it is for me to admit.

    The Lepai is such a wonderful amp.
    And it can be so, SO, SO much more with simple modding, just a short list of mods I had planned out:
    1) replace biggest capacitor on pcb to higher quality and bigger size (16V, at least 4700uF)
    2) make anti-pop circuit
    3) replace psu to lower ripple one
    4) replace sound output inductors
    5) replace ALL capacitors to higher quality
    In that order from more important to less important.
    1) =bass response will improve, amp will have more juice for the lows
    2) =soft on/off -> doesn't pop when turned on/off
    3) =sound quality on Tripath chip based amps is highly dependent on PSU quality
    4) =general improvement in sound, can't really describe it
    5) =looks better, ???, profit. Would you like to have bad capacitors on your precious motherboard/power supply or amplifier for that matter?

    With those improvements, that would cost like maybe 15€ for caps/inductors and maybe 15-20€ for a quality psu, the Lepai would be in a whole another level.

    Cheers.

    Edit.
    Also, this amp has WAAAAAYY more power than you would need with normal average Joe speakers. Check Youtube for video "Little amp, big speakers". The reason the amp cuts sound on that video is because of that dinky psu that came with it, a 2A 12V, the protection on the amp kicks in. Mine came with 5A 12V so yeah. Most of the Lepai's in the 45€ range come with a 5A psu, only the cheapest ones with psu included come with some crappy psu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  5. bluedroog

    bluedroog
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    This is my experience Steve. There is a slight misconception(I'd imagine mainly by those who haven't tried them for themselves) that theseamps don't go loud, with 90db speakers plus they go plenty loud, the problem isthey start to distort. For most normal listening levels they do just fine withthe appropriate speakers.

    I have a Mini-T from Amptastic which I bought from curiosityand for the money it's very good. It's not without its negatives but very good.It can be a little fatiguing and doesn't have quite the authority of largeramps but for an office / bedroom / kitchen system on a budget in a neat package it is a really good option
     
  6. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Thanks for that reply, very informative.

    These amps, and similar, are discussed in the forum frequently, and those who have this type of amp really rave about them, but this is the first clear quality video I've found of the small amp driving some decent speakers.

    Can we assume the bass is better in person than in the video? What bass that was there was clear enough, but didn't seem to go exceptionally deep.

    Still excellent quality videos. There are far too many on YouTube that play massively loud and try to see how far they can make their bass drivers jump, resulting in painful and pointless distortion.

    As to my comment about 'taking you at your word' regarding the amp. That wasn't a slam against you. It is just that the video sounded so good, it is hard to believe it was such a tiny amp. Though, to be sure, I do believe it.

    Thanks again.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  7. lagittaja

    lagittaja
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    Oh yes, it definitely is much better when you hear it in person.
    The microphone of my Galaxy Note doesn't record the lows almost at all.
    I also have a subwoofer, an Audio Pro Sub B1.20, it's an 8" active sub with "ace-bass bass reflex" (whatever that is..) and something like 80w amp or somewhere around that mark. <- I don't need it. The Wharfe's give me all the bass I want and mind you, I do like bass :rotfl: I listen to all kinds of music so quite hard to describe it but uhm 'Pendulum ft. In Flames - Self vs Self' sounds amazing (the lows) and 'Caspa & Rusko - Rock Bottom' also sounds just wonderful. Rock is also good, songs from Volbeat and Disturbed and Metallica and so on get that authority they need, the punch and precise drums.
    ^See, I'm not really good at describing stuff but I hope you understand :laugh:

    Thank you. And yes, many time when I see similar videos I just want to cry when I hear the audio of the videos and how hard they torment their speakers..
    And while not trying to generalize things, most of the people who comment on such videos think that bass needs to distort like that. Like user 'barevids' at Youtube had such a problem when he bought a new camera, the new camera handled the lows much better so people thought that his audio systems were not putting that much bass out when infact the audio system of the person who commented was not up to playing that low bass.
    And then there is the another extreme, meade916, most of the time just puts a text in his videos with a huge font saying THE BASS DOES NOT DISTORT IT'S THE CAMERA MICROPHONE NOT KEEPING UP WITH THE 18" SUBWOOFERS
    LOL

    And yeah, I didn't get offended by that. I just somehow wished to give some kind of proof that I am the maker of that video and not some random peep :D
     
  8. push

    push
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    That little amp looks very cool. Do you have the links to where you bought it from?
     
  9. sergiup

    sergiup
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    Fleabay, just search for "lepai ta2020" and you'll find a few.

    edit: my TK2050 came with a 20V / 3A PSU (so in theory 60W), I'm curious whether a more capable PSU will make a difference, or whether it has some sort of current protection which would interfere with that anyway..
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Normally capacitors are rated at twice the working voltage. So, for a 12v power supply, you would use 24v minimum capacitors. A 16v Cap on a 12v circuit doesn't give you much safety margin. Still at those low voltages 16v is probably workable.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  11. sergiup

    sergiup
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    Okay, finally got around to a bit of testing. I tried to put up a video - apologies for the sideways look and poor quality etc, it was recorded with an Xperia X10i. I have to say that at least power-wise, I'm quite impressed by what this little thing can do. I could've gone even louder, but I like my speakers too much and it was honestly becoming uncomfortable for my ears.

    All rears bridged so it's driving everything. No audible distorsion, 91dB at my seating position (about 2 metres away from each speaker). Source was my Galaxy SII, so not that high quality anyway.

    Keep in mind that the camera can in no way keep up with the cone, so excursion was probably twice as much most of the time (except for the few times when it's slow enough for the camera to capture it).

    XTZ 99.36 on Topping TP-22
     
  12. lagittaja

    lagittaja
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    I got bored so here's a video. And excuse me for the room, temporary living situation but it is what it is.
    Still rocking that Lepai. Got the Wharfe's on top of Norstone Stylum 2's.
    Echoes like no freaking other and vibrations in this dump are hideous. Already got some sorbothane spheres coming and yes will be doing some acoustic treatment, have to at least get rid of first reflections and so on.

    Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 - Bass response #3


    If you wish to see the amp you can see it behind the X0 controller on the table.

    Song list:
    Meeka Kates - Closure
    Ed Sheeran - I See Fire (Kygo Remix)
    Recorded using: HTC One (M7)
    Source: PC w/ Asus Xonar DX (no fancy sound modes used, doh)
    Amplifier: Lepai LP-2020A+ w/ 12V5A PSU
     

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