Little class D monoblock is ridiculously good...

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Well just for a laugh and to see what all the fuss was about (and partly inspired by Gray's little mono-block 'mod' on his Kefs...) I bought two of these little Aiyima 3001 class D mono-blocks for £74.99 each. (I know...cheap as chips!)


They use the same TI TDA 3255 chip as the well regarded Aiyima A07 stereo amp which Amir on the ASR website has raved about. Technical measurements are off the chart for that amp and it seems very well made. They come with a nicely made separate 'laptop' type power supply.
I am using these in PBTL mode (parallel bridged tied load) and ignoring the 300watts into 4 ohm at 10% THD marketing BS .... I reckon I should get 140 watts or so of clean power out of each. 🤞
I have never tried mono-blocks before in my systems so was interested to see if I could detect the improved imaging, dynamics and sound staging that conventional wisdom says should follow.
So I wired them up to my Dentons which need a bit of juice for their 4 ohm mid bass driver....
Well out of the box I was impressed with the clean and powerful presentation....after 4 or 5 hours I was ... to use a technical term 'gobsmacked'!
All the usual HiFi clichés apply......'hearing details I hadn't heard before'..... rock solid imaging.....controlled and 'textured' bass lines...etc.
They sound much better than my 10 watts per channel class A power amp and dare I speak sacrilege....as good as or better than my Quad Elite power amp!

This really is quality sound for peanuts..... I think I am permanently spoiled now...once you have had mono-blocks...you cannot go back! 😣8FD75642-D34F-4E24-931E-B77E7C56D758.png
 
Well just for a laugh and to see what all the fuss was about (and partly inspired by Gray's little mono-block 'mod' on his Kefs...) I bought two of these little Aiyima 3001 class D mono-blocks for £74.99 each. (I know...cheap as chips!)


They use the same TI TDA 3255 chip as the well regarded Aiyima A07 stereo amp which Amir on the ASR website has raved about. Technical measurements are off the chart for that amp and it seems very well made. They come with a nicely made separate 'laptop' type power supply.
I am using these in PBTL mode (parallel bridged tied load) and ignoring the 300watts into 4 ohm at 10% THD marketing BS .... I reckon I should get 140 watts or so of clean power out of each. 🤞
I have never tried mono-blocks before in my systems so was interested to see if I could detect the improved imaging, dynamics and sound staging that conventional wisdom says should follow.
So I wired them up to my Dentons which need a bit of juice for their 4 ohm mid bass driver....
Well out of the box I was impressed with the clean and powerful presentation....after 4 or 5 hours I was ... to use a technical term 'gobsmacked'!
All the usual HiFi clichés apply......'hearing details I hadn't heard before'..... rock solid imaging.....controlled and 'textured' bass lines...etc.
They sound much better than my 10 watts per channel class A power amp and dare I speak sacrilege....as good as or better than my Quad Elite power amp!

This really is quality sound for peanuts..... I think I am permanently spoiled now...once you have had mono-blocks...you cannot go back! 😣View attachment 3560
Are they monoblocks? They seem to have a volume control.
My definition of monoblock is obviously different to yours.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Are they monoblocks? They seem to have a volume control.
My definition of monoblock is obviously different to yours.
Yes they have do have a volume/gain control but each is only a single channel amp. Perhaps not the conventional idea of a mono-block. You can switch between a full frequency output on a bridged single channel or a subwoofer amp with low pass filter.
 
Yes they have do have a volume/gain control but each is only a single channel amp. Perhaps not the conventional idea of a mono-block. You can switch between a full frequency output on a bridged single channel or a subwoofer amp with low pass filter.
Odd, but whatever works.
So where is the preamp? Is there an inbuilt preamp, they are listed as mono power amps but I have never seen one with a volume control.
Confused, can you explain your set-up as to how / where you attach your sources?
 
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So you have to turn up two volume controls and get them both spot on? And while you’re not in the listening position? Best find an elastic band…

Maybe when the novelty has worn off, revisit the Quad and then see what you think. I don’t know about the current Quads, but Quads of 6 years ago or so never really tried to compete with other amplifiers at frequency extremes, they concentrated on what seemed an elevated midrange, producing a smoother, warmer sound. Comparing Quad amps directly to more neutral Class D amplifiers will obviously highlight this. But then, you could’ve picked almost any amplifier to do this.

Quads were/are also very good at driving demanding loads. I once drove a pair of KEF Reference 201/2 hard for quite some time, causing the amp to get quite toasty, although the casework of the power amp also acts as a heat sink. I don’t think a Class D amplifier would’ve fared as well, and it certainly wouldn‘t have been as good a match to the ultra-revealing Reference at the time.

I see you’re using Dynaudio. Modern Dynaudio tend to be slightly on the warm side, and with a Quad driving them, I can see why you prefer the Class D amps. Againk any other neutral sounding amp will have given you that satisfaction - you’re just extra excited because of the cost.

I notice one of the reviews left on Amazon says that an independent review measured a max of 52w into 8ohms - true?
 

treesey

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May 18, 2015
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So I'm guessing they have one input each? So is the plan to get an AV preamp, and have one of these for each output?

Isn't that what manufacturers have been doing with receivers for the past five? years, but all in one box? I mean nine or so class D amps included?
 
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Gray

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I can fully understand the scepticism around cheap things - not least from some of those that have spent more on cables 🤪

If you've tried some and don't like them....at least you've given them a chance 👍
I just wish such good value had been around when I first started buying hi-fi.
If, as people say, class D lacks added warmth, that could be why I quite like it 🤔 - low cost and efficiency is a handy bonus.
My little £20 boxes look as cheap as they are and I've had to rectify some QC problems, but when you pay a few more quid, some of it even looks nice.
I'd like to see Hi-fi Choice doing its old style blind listening panel on mini Vs multi-thousand pound amps - I know which should win.....but I wouldn't wanna bet on it.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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So you have to turn up two volume controls and get them both spot on? And while you’re not in the listening position? Best find an elastic band…

Maybe when the novelty has worn off, revisit the Quad and then see what you think. I don’t know about the current Quads, but Quads of 6 years ago or so never really tried to compete with other amplifiers at frequency extremes, they concentrated on what seemed an elevated midrange, producing a smoother, warmer sound. Comparing Quad amps directly to more neutral Class D amplifiers will obviously highlight this. But then, you could’ve picked almost any amplifier to do this.

Quads were/are also very good at driving demanding loads. I once drove a pair of KEF Reference 201/2 hard for quite some time, causing the amp to get quite toasty, although the casework of the power amp also acts as a heat sink. I don’t think a Class D amplifier would’ve fared as well, and it certainly wouldn‘t have been as good a match to the ultra-revealing Reference at the time.

I see you’re using Dynaudio. Modern Dynaudio tend to be slightly on the warm side, and with a Quad driving them, I can see why you prefer the Class D amps. Againk any other neutral sounding amp will have given you that satisfaction - you’re just extra excited because of the cost.

I notice one of the reviews left on Amazon says that an independent review measured a max of 52w into 8ohms - true?
Once I have set the individual volume controls to get the channel balance right I don't have to touch them again 🙂 I can control volume with my DAC or my room correction device as a preamp.
 
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Tinman1952

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So I'm guessing they have one input each? So is the plan to get an AV preamp, and have one of these for each output?

Isn't that what manufacturers have been doing with receivers for the past five? years, but all in one box? I mean nine or so class D amps included?
Strictly two channel only...I wouldn't dream of using an AV receiver as just a preamp......
 

Tinman1952

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Maybe when the novelty has worn off, revisit the Quad and then see what you think.
Yes unfortunately my Quad has had to go off to Huntingdon for repair as it went BANG and wouldn't power on....😣 They are quoting 6 to 8 weeks backlog until they can service it. Part of the reason I thought I would try these to 'tide me over'. 👍
 

treesey

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May 18, 2015
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Strictly two channel only...I wouldn't dream of using an AV receiver as just a preamp......
But you are using a DAC and a room correction device... normally found in AV devices? I'm just wondering if you have a cunning plan, or is it really just using what you have to make-do until the Quad is mended?
 

Tinman1952

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But you are using a DAC and a room correction device... normally found in AV devices? I'm just wondering if you have a cunning plan, or is it really just using what you have to make-do until the Quad is mended?
Time will tell.... I do wish I had a cunning plan though.......😉
 

Tinman1952

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No.
It is a integrated mono amp.
Take 2 and you have stereo.
You can also see it as a powered speaker with external amplification :devilish:
Nice 🙂
I know it is semantics but personally I wouldn't call it an integrated just because it has a volume/gain control. It has only one input and therefore no means of switching between different sources like a 'proper' preamp.
 
Nice 🙂
I know it is semantics but personally I wouldn't call it an integrated just because it has a volume/gain control. It has only one input and therefore no means of switching between different sources like a 'proper' preamp.
if it has a volume control it's integrated however many inputs it has.
A monoblock power amp has no means of adjusting volume and no source inputs
 

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