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Sonic Impact T-Amp

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Mr Cat, May 5, 2005.

  1. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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  2. cwick

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    I brought a couple recently. Not too sure they live up to the hype (how could they ?), but they are damn good for the price. Plan is to stick one in a nice box and use it in the PC system (spare one needed to cope with inevitable breakage when I attempt the transplant).

    Definitely worth a punt given the price. Would be interested if anyone can suggest some high sensitivity bookshelf speakers to match it - it struggles a little with my current Epos ELS3's.
     
  3. Flimber

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    They have already been talked about on here a couple of times...
     
  4. RobsterD

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    Well I've been messing around with one of these for awhile with a laptop,Maudio
    Transit USB card and some Mission 760's,cat5 speaker cable,PSU is a Russ Andrews PowerPak 2,source is streamed WAV via a Belkin PreN wireless access point.
    The experiment was to get decent sound in my kitchen,but this cheap setup hasn't left my lounge,I have not had the guts to use my B&W 9NT's
    It really surpises me that something so cheap could really sound so good,I've spent more on the mains cable that feeds this thing not to mention the PSU which again cost twice as much as the amp.
    OK I've got about £140 of stuff feeding this thing but it really does sing....... :thumbsup:
    Well worth a punt IMO its bloody great .
     
  5. CambshireGordon

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    Across "the pond" there are several sites (like avforums) running details of, and progress by enthusiastic modders helping each other get the best from their Sonic Impact model T and/or Teac AL700P. I do not see similar activity amongst us Brits - Where are the GB counterparts? Do we exist?
    Ok, the SI may be low cost but where is the GB spirit of curiosity to see just what can be got from this little amp?
    Earlier this month, in Germany, I heard the Sonic Impact coupled with serious HIFI separates; it was fed from a 47 Lab Shigaraki CD Transporter, playing into Dynaudio Countour S1.4's. The only 'upgrade' to the SI, a separate and well filtered mains supply (in place of the batteries). The sound was stunnning -
    when you remember the price and build of this little amplifier. My curiosity arroused, I have now ordered one from the States - (well four actually to get them to deliver!).

    I have no electronic engineering background, but I did build several valve amps and other bits of equipment way back in the '60's when a teenager. Now retired, I am looking forward to modding and experimenting with the litttle SI amp. My intentions are to re-house it, run it from a re-chargeable SLA battery and to upgrade some of the other components.
    Are there any others on this site doing the same? what has been your experiences and what have you done?
     
  6. avanzato

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    Check out 41hz they have kit T-amps that'll be cheaper and easier to build from scratch than mod a sonic impact amp. I've ordered a couple of amp 3 kits from them but haven't had time to put them together yet.
    I did have a Sonic impact amp but it went on eBay a week later as IMO it wasn't anywhere near as good as the hype suggested and they're cheap because the build quality is cheap. I ran the SI amp off batteries first but it made some horrible sounds when the power ran down so switched to a 2amp regulated supply and it was OK from then on. Mine wasn't opened or modded but you can see the board through the cooling slots and it's tiny, I can see why so many get broken when they are being modded. I hope you get on OK with yours.
     
  7. RobsterD

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    I've re-housed and hot-rodded a Si and its pretty impressive.Will post some pics and details



    "I did have a Sonic impact amp but it went on eBay a week later as IMO it wasn't anywhere near as good as the hype suggested and they're cheap because the build quality is cheap"

    Have to totally disagree the SQ is as good as 6Moons and TNT describe,as regards to build quality it wasn't really aimed at the HiFi fraternity but as a cheap amp for MP3's etc so for £30 what do you expect. ;)
    Rob
     
  8. CambshireGordon

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    Mat
    Yes, I did consider the route you are suggesting, but I am a bit fearful of handling the tiny surface mount components - eyesight ok with glasses but not as good as it was! Of course the SI board is also tiny, so maybe I will need magnifiers!
    I find it interesting, reading the posts about the SI on this side and the other side of the Atlantic. I may be generalising, but 'over there' they seem much more enthusiastic about it than we do in Uk and Europe for some reason. Can anyone explain?
    Did you run-in your SI's? Reports suggest that a minimum of 100 to 150 hours is needed before the begin to sing.
    Reading the experiences of others, certainly the SI's need to be run from a decent power supply, (not the AA batteries) and preferably from SLA's to eliminate dirty mains. This is to be the first mod on my adgenda
    I am keeping an open mind, but I was sufficiently impressed with what I heard in Germany, - and that was an unmoddified SI - maybe the other components were shinning through. Still I am looking forward to experimenting and having a go at modding the SI's.
     
  9. eviljohn2

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    I hadn't come across this before but it looks like it could be just what I'm after to put in the top of my full-tower PC case to run some speakers. :)
     
  10. CambshireGordon

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    You could indeed and it would be very good - but in my humble opinion, it is capable of a lot more; particularly when modded.
     
  11. RobsterD

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    Hi
    This is my effort,the volume pot is an Alps 50k ,internal wiring 1mm silver and speaker posts and phonos by Audionote bought from The HiFi Collective
     

    Attached Files:

  12. CambshireGordon

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    Rob
    That is a neat, professional piece of work, thanks for sharing it. I hope that I too can achieve the same level of professionalism.
    What are you using for power supply? Have you gone so far as to be using a sealed lead acid (SLA) battery? I am thinking of using a YUSSA with suitable trickle charger (available from Maplin), so that listening will done 'off-mains'.
     
  13. FeisalK

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  14. CambshireGordon

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  15. FeisalK

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    there was one guy on Audiocircle who'd used the styrofoam packing the T-Amp came in for his casing... ;D
     
  16. avanzato

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    I'm not too keen on those SMD's but then I decided modding the stock amp involved just as much SMD (un)soldering so it seemed fiddly either way.
    It's a bit ironic isn' it that the guys who go for the reference board route import them from a place in Kent. Yet the SI amps that started it all still don't seem to be for sale anywhere in the UK.
    Mine had about 20hrs on it when I passed it on to the new owner. I didn't notice any change in that time, the less than impressive bass was the real let down for me. I'm not saying the amps sound rubbish but for me they weren't 'magical' which is what I was expencting from the enthusiasts 'hype'.
     
  17. CambshireGordon

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    I have been giving further thought to my upcoming experimentation with / mods to the SI. I know that the L/R negative (-) speaker binding posts are not tied to ground or each other and that they MUST be kept separate. Does anyone know if this applies also to the inputs?
    - I am now considering using two SI's (i.e. four channels) to give more watts into my speakers (bi-amping?). I propose using one SI for left channel duty, the other for right channel.
    - I have a B&W PASSIVE sub woofer (i.e. without amplifiers) used to supplement my Quad ESL63 electrostatics. My present amplifier L/S outputs feed into the Sub from which separate left and right L/S feeds are taken to the ESL's. I have confirmed that the L/S negatives are not grounded to each other in this set-up. This arrangement suits me; I am not a bass freak but do require a balanced sound and a bit more bass than the ESL's alone provide. I find that the sub gives just the necessary "weight" to the lower register. (And yes I know the ESL's need WATTS to drive them, but I like to experiment!) :suicide:
    - I may even by some horns!. :D
    - As part of my modifying / rebuild programme, I am thinking of using one of the SI's for Left-hand duty by taking one of its outputs direct to the Left ESL and the other output to the sub-woofer. A similar arrangement for the Right- hand side. The existing connections from the sub-woofer to the ESL's would of course, be removed.
    I would drive the modded SI's with a pre-amp (model yet to be decided), but would maintain volume controls (replaced) on the SI channels feeding the sub for balance control between ESL's and sub.
    - Clearly then the left-hand output from the pre-amp will need to feed both input sockets on the left-hand SI, so the left grounds (and signal) will be common at the input ends. Similar for the right-hand channel.

    So my question is "is it permissible to have common grounds and common signals at the input end of the SI?" From TRIPATH's application/test circuit for the TA2024 IC it would appear that pins 5, 8 and 17 are used as the common analog ground which act as (common) ground for each input, so I am hoping it will be ok.

    All help / suggestions gratefully received!
     
  18. FeisalK

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  19. RobsterD

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    Hi
    I'm running at the mo the amp into Mission 760's the amp does struggle with my B&W 9NT's,been messing with a Yuasa 12V/7AH SLA and a RA powerpak2 and I cant really here any diff which must be good as the RA unit must be a ref,sources have been my laptop/Maudio Transit and a Squeezebox via wireless WAV.
    CambshireGordon
    It will struggle to drive the Quads,I seemed to lose "depth" when I tried my B&W 9NT's.I think we're getting a little optimistic with what the SI can do.If you're gonna run two SI's my understanding is that you will only use one channel from each amp.
    The I/P hard wired does share a "ground" to the input teminals.


    My analogue setup is a Roksan Xerxes,Tabriz Zi,ATOC9,EAR 834P(Mullards) into an Audio Innovations 500 will swap out the AI and post results but I think the Si will prefer a digital i/p,tho it will be interesting having a play :)
     
  20. CambshireGordon

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    Thanks Rob for your latest post - I agree that it's a bit optimistic for me to think seriously that the little SI could be capable of driving my Quad ESL's !
    - I was (still am?) about to buy a new amp - maybe a 300B - but then Hi-Fi World, June 2005 "went digital" with a review of the TACT SDA2175 and of course the little Sonic Impact T-Amp. As Lucio Cadeddu concluded, "This [the SI] is something everyone should own or at least audition at least once in [a] lifetime.".
    - My curiosity has been whetted; the BIG new amp purchase is on-hold whilst I "audition" the SI's.
    - Who knows? Will I end up with modded SI's, (possibly underpowered) a TACT SDA2175 (possibly overpowered) or a 300B (arrh :smashin: )
    - Or maybe the ELS's will get replaced with some Lowther horns :nono: My ears will be my judge!
     
  21. CambshireGordon

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    Just collected my Sonic Impact's (x4) from ParcelForce. For anyone interested, I ordered from Parts Express (www.parts-express.com) on the the 3rd June and they arrived 13th.
    Now, let the modding fun begin!
     

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