Worth it to spend a bit more?

stonebear

Standard Member
Hi, I play music through my computer, I have an Asus Xonar DX soundcard and Q-Acoustic 2010's....I am currently using an old cheapo Pioneer A-107 that sounds bad unless I hit the loudness button and then whack the treble right up and the bass all the way down, then it actually sounds pretty good. I tried a cheap T2020 amp from Ebay which didn't impress me at all, maybe a more expensive one would be much better? My speakers aren't really sensitive enough for a tripath anyway, from what I have read.

I was thinking of going for an A1 mk3 from Ebay but really I could stretch to £100.

I am not really much of an audiophile, lol, but I do wonder if I would be able to tell the difference. I don't expect anyone to be psychic and be able to tell me if I could or not but, if you were going for a £100 amp, what would it be and would it be a big difference over the A1 mk3 to you?
 
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Dazzor

Well-known Member
Not heard the CA amp but I suspect you could do better for your upper budget.

Here's a couple to consider..

Marantz PM66SE KI Apologies as this one has an asking price of £135.....Still, you could make an offer;) This sale has nothing to do with me whatsoever, just passing on info.

If you can find a Rotel RA-04 for your budget you'd be doing well IMO. One was up recently for £85, which IMO was a steal.

Just some ideas really...Hopefully more experienced members will chip-in too.
 

Ben Jammin

Active Member
That's a decent choice i think. I'd be surprised if you didn't notice an improvement, your soundcard/speakers are good.

If you wanted new you could consider the following, though it is a bit less powerful, it shouldn't matter.

Cambridge Audio TOPAZ AM1 Black | Stereo Amplifier | Richer Sounds

Properly good amps start at £300ish new in my opinion. I don't know much about second hand.

edit - Dazzor suggestion of a Rotel is probably vastly superiour, actually. I am noob.
 

stonebear

Standard Member
Thanks for giving me a couple to look out for Dazzor and @ Ben I wonder if that new Topaz sounds as good as the old A1 mk3?
 

stonebear

Standard Member
The Cambridge Audio Azur 340A SE and NAD c315bee are bioth discontinued now I think but were around £180 new so I might get one of those for £100 on Ebay.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
I'd be upgrading the speakers myself. You get more change from speaker changes than messing about with Amps, Castles being driven by my Mini T2020 amp are sublime sounding (so are £900 Diapason Emeras).
 

stonebear

Standard Member
I'd be upgrading the speakers myself. You get more change from speaker changes than messing about with Amps, Castles being driven by my Mini T2020 amp are sublime sounding (so are £900 Diapason Emeras).
The T-amp I tried cost £12.50 including shipping from Hong-Kong so I would not be at all surprised if a better T-amp would have sounded better, lol.

I am sticking with my 2010's and getting a better amp, the A107 is not exactly Pioneers best effort.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
The T-amp I tried cost £12.50 including shipping from Hong-Kong so I would not be at all surprised if a better T-amp would have sounded better, lol.

I am sticking with my 2010's and getting a better amp, the A107 is not exactly Pioneers best effort.
By all means do what you want old chap, just giving you a different slant to what you are looking to achieve. Actually the A107 aint to shabby in the £100-150 amp sector, I personally feel that a change of speakers gets more bangs per buck. Yep, sounds like we have differing T amps, mine was a £60 Mini-T 2020 with UK guarantee, postage etc. Actually easily comparable to any sub £500 amp I have heard (with senstive speakers of course)
 

stonebear

Standard Member
By all means do what you want old chap, just giving you a different slant to what you are looking to achieve. Actually the A107 aint to shabby in the £100-150 amp sector, I personally feel that a change of speakers gets more bangs per buck. Yep, sounds like we have differing T amps, mine was a £60 Mini-T 2020 with UK guarantee, postage etc. Actually easily comparable to any sub £500 amp I have heard (with senstive speakers of course)

Is it that £60 one from Ebay that you have? It wouldn't be any good with my speakers then?
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Your speakers to me seem to be harder load for a Mini-T amp I have no idea how it would sound it may be usable, but 6 ohms nominal to me is pushing the envelope for a T class amp TBH, 8 ohm speaker are what I'd suggest too, also note the sensitivity ratings of the 2 speakers below, ideally a an Amp like a Mini-T 2020 20W will have a harder time achieving the same volume when running your Qs instead of the Castles for example. The Diapasons are 8ohm noms as well, I'll find the specifications of the Dyn Conts and you'll see why those would struggle to get driven by 20W. They drop to 3ohm and are a 4ohm nominal load, notoriously hard to drive (by an amp).

And yes old chap £60 one off Ebay from a UK seller. Chinese made though.

Your speakers specs:

Enclosure type: 2-way reflex
Bass Unit: 100mm
Treble Unit: 25mm
Frequency Response: 68Hz - 22kHz
Nominal Impedance: 6Ω
Minimum Impedance: 4Ω
Sensitivity: 86dB
Recommended Power: 15 - 75w
Crossover Frequency: 2.8kHz
Dimensions H/D/W mm: 234.5 x 203 x 150
Weight: 3.5kg

Model: Castle Clifton loudspeakers
Type: Two-way, bass reflex
Frequency range: 65Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance: 8 ohm (nominal)
Amplifier requirement: 15-70 watts

Dynaudio Contour 1.3 Mk.II loudspeaker Specifications

DescriptionTwo-way, stand-mounted, reflex-loaded loudspeaker.
Drive-units: magnetically shielded, 1.1" (28mm), soft-dome tweeter, magnetically shielded, 6.7" (170mm), magnesium silicate polymer-cone woofer.
Crossover frequency: 2.6kHz.
Crossover slopes: first-order, 6dB/octave.
Frequency response: 40Hz-24kHz, ±3dB.
Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83V/m. Impedance: 4 ohms nominal, 3.5 ohms minimum.
Recommended power: 65W minimum in large rooms, 25W minimum in small rooms.
Long-term power handling: >150W (IEC).
Dimensions: 15" (380mm) H by 8" (204mm) W by 11.5" (280mm) D. Internal cabinet volume: 12 liters. Weight: 19.6 lbs (9kg) each.
 
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stonebear

Standard Member
Thanks CJ.

What with just getting the 2010's recently, I am pretty much married to them. If I had known about T-amps before buying speakers then things probably would have been different.
 

drummerman

Active Member
Hi, I play music through my computer, I have an Asus Xonar DX soundcard and Q-Acoustic 2010's....I am currently using an old cheapo Pioneer A-107 that sounds bad unless I hit the loudness button and then whack the treble right up and the bass all the way down, then it actually sounds pretty good. I tried a cheap T2020 amp from Ebay which didn't impress me at all, maybe a more expensive one would be much better? My speakers aren't really sensitive enough for a tripath anyway, from what I have read.

I was thinking of going for an A1 mk3 from Ebay but really I could stretch to £100.

I am not really much of an audiophile, lol, but I do wonder if I would be able to tell the difference. I don't expect anyone to be psychic and be able to tell me if I could or not but, if you were going for a £100 amp, what would it be and would it be a big difference over the A1 mk3 to you?
Loads of talk on here about amplifiers not making much difference or any at all (!). Personally, not the experience I've had and I have had years of it but each to their own. Whether a £100 amplifier will be an improvement and give you what you want, not sure but for that money I'd source something like a Denon which drive most speakers to decent volumes and being reasonably neutral and reliable to boot. Probably something like a PMA-355UK will be a better choice than certain newer models.

DENON UK | PMA-355UK

They are used in a lot of commercial installations such as HMV. Alternatively, the previously mentioned Marantz KI is a decent amplifier too (I still got mine though it's rarely used these days). Watch out for failing right or left channels, a fairly common occurance and reason why some are sold!
 
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Ben Jammin

Active Member
Sorry, never heard of it. New to this game. If you're buying an amp for less than £100 i seriously woudln't worry about what we or anybody else think of it. Unless you get a super bargain it's going to do the job but not much more.
 

stonebear

Standard Member
Sorry, never heard of it. New to this game. If you're buying an amp for less than £100 i seriously woudln't worry about what we or anybody else think of it. Unless you get a super bargain it's going to do the job but not much more.
I am looking to buy second-hand though, so they sold for more like £200-£300 new and they are not all going to be the same are they?
 

Ben Jammin

Active Member
True.. but there will be less reviews around :) But yeah i guess with some luck somebody will know something. The Rotel RA-04 would be great if you can get one.
 

stonebear

Standard Member
Your speakers to me seem to be harder load for a Mini-T amp I have no idea how it would sound it may be usable, but 6 ohms nominal to me is pushing the envelope for a T class amp TBH, 8 ohm speaker are what I’d suggest too, also note the sensitivity ratings of the 2 speakers below, ideally a an Amp like a Mini-T 2020 20W will have a harder time achieving the same volume when running your Qs instead of the Castles for example. The Diapasons are 8ohm noms as well, I'll find the specifications of the Dyn Conts and you'll see why those would struggle to get driven by 20W. They drop to 3ohm and are a 4ohm nominal load, notoriously hard to drive (by an amp).

And yes old chap £60 one off Ebay from a UK seller. Chinese made though.

Your speakers specs:

Enclosure type: 2-way reflex
Bass Unit: 100mm
Treble Unit: 25mm
Frequency Response: 68Hz - 22kHz
Nominal Impedance: 6Ω
Minimum Impedance: 4Ω
Sensitivity: 86dB
Recommended Power: 15 - 75w
Crossover Frequency: 2.8kHz
Dimensions H/D/W mm: 234.5 x 203 x 150
Weight: 3.5kg

Model: Castle Clifton loudspeakers
Type: Two-way, bass reflex
Frequency range: 65Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance: 8 ohm (nominal)
Amplifier requirement: 15-70 watts

Dynaudio Contour 1.3 Mk.II loudspeaker Specifications

DescriptionTwo-way, stand-mounted, reflex-loaded loudspeaker.
Drive-units: magnetically shielded, 1.1" (28mm), soft-dome tweeter, magnetically shielded, 6.7" (170mm), magnesium silicate polymer-cone woofer.
Crossover frequency: 2.6kHz.
Crossover slopes: first-order, 6dB/octave.
Frequency response: 40Hz-24kHz, ±3dB.
Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83V/m. Impedance: 4 ohms nominal, 3.5 ohms minimum.
Recommended power: 65W minimum in large rooms, 25W minimum in small rooms.
Long-term power handling: >150W (IEC).
Dimensions: 15" (380mm) H by 8" (204mm) W by 11.5" (280mm) D. Internal cabinet volume: 12 liters. Weight: 19.6 lbs (9kg) each.

Looking at hose specs I notice the Castles are 88dB sensitivity and I had previously read somewhere that was not high enough...but because they are 8 ohms they are OK, have I got that right?
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
88db or 89db - 8ohm designs to me are perfectly viable for these little T-amps, in fact mines goes to painful levels with the little Castles to my ears. Albeit used in a small room.
 

stonebear

Standard Member
I went for the Ebay T-amp (T-class audio) in the end cos my Pioneer lost a channel and I couldn't be bothered trying to decide on a replacement. It sounds much better than the cheap Ebay T-amp from Hong-Kong. It is loud enough for my needs too.
 
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