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  1. #1
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    Class D Replacement for Dynaco ST-120 ??

    Years ago I purchased four Dyanco A50 speakers, two PAT-4 pre-amps, and two DyancoST-120 amps. I used them with two speakers stacked on a side for years until one of the ST-120s died. Rather than fix it I purchased an NAD C355BEE (thanks to the excellent recommendations here) around 2008 and since it had a preamp and could drive all four speakers it left me with some spare equipment. I had a pair of A-35 speakers so I moved the remaining ST-120 and one PAT-4 into my den as a secondary stereo system and for what it is, it has worked well since then.

    Recently that second Dyanco 120 is beginning to fail (very noisy) and I am now completely out of 120s so I would like purchase a replacement amp for the den setup. I have not been keeping up with technology and when I went to look for what is now available I found a lot of Class D amplifiers that I do not recall seeing before and for not too much money, i.e. $50 to $100. I have been happy with the 120 so ďas good asĒ is all I am looking for. I do not need something like the NAD. As I said, it is not my main listening system so I do not need a big increase in performance to be happy and I would just as soon keep the PAT-4 so I do no want another preamp/amp combo.

    The bottom line is would these inexpensive class D amps be suitable and do you have any recommendations? The claims for some of them do not seem very realistic and I think one even seemed to deliver more power than what it took in which would be a good trick.




  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I have a Parts Express Dayton DTA-100a digital integrated amp and it sounds great. I paid $59 on sale. There is a newer version, the DTA-120a with 10 wpc more power. I believe it is rated at 60wpc but in reality it is about 30wpc. You can use 4 to 8 ohm speakers with it but the distortion goes up with 4 ohm speakers. You can use a preamp with it if you want. It responds well to a good source. As long as your speakers have a reasonable sensitivity, say 89 or above and are not too difficult to drive you will be good. I drive a pair of Monitor Audio S1 bookshelfs, 6 ohm and 89db The little amp sounds awesome when I hook it up to my son's Maverick Audio Tube Magic Preamp/DAC. It sounds great by itself though.


    Dayton Audio DTA-120 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier 60 WPC

    Another cheap digital amp to consider is the TPA3116 that every one on the AudioCirlces forum is raving about.

    tpa3116 | eBay



    Also consider the Topping tp60 tripath amp.


    topping tp60 | eBay
    Last edited by blackraven; 06-10-2014 at 10:16 PM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
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    Thanks for taking the time to reply with your suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    I have a Parts Express Dayton DTA-100a digital integrated amp and it sounds great. I paid $59 on sale. There is a newer version, the DTA-120a with 10 wpc more power. I believe it is rated at 60wpc but in reality it is about 30wpc. You can use 4 to 8 ohm speakers with it but the distortion goes up with 4 ohm speakers. You can use a preamp with it if you want. It responds well to a good source. As long as your speakers have a reasonable sensitivity, say 89 or above and are not too difficult to drive you will be good. I drive a pair of Monitor Audio S1 bookshelfs, 6 ohm and 89db The little amp sounds awesome when I hook it up to my son's Maverick Audio Tube Magic Preamp/DAC. It sounds great by itself though.


    Dayton Audio DTA-120 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier 60 WPC
    The DTA-120 has much better reviews than the 100 and 100a so it is certainly worth considering. I did however see one review that said there is some hiss generated when it is in the quiescent state with no input signal. Has anyone here that owns one experienced this?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Another cheap digital amp to consider is the TPA3116 that every one on the AudioCirlces forum is raving about.

    tpa3116 | eBay
    The TPA-3116 has a lot of real good reviews, at least the 2.0 version does. The 2.1 version seems to have taken up step back however based on the comments I have read and I really do not want the tone controls etc. A straight through two channel amp with a flat response is what I am looking for. I would certainly consider the 2.0 version but unfortunately the only kit I see for the 2.0 version is from Yuan Jing Electronics for $88 with $48 for shipping. The $88 is certainly reasonable since it saves buying all the extra things you need individually if you just purchase a board, but the $48 shipping charge seems very unreasonable. Does anyone know of another source for a kit or even a finished unit that comes without the power supply? I found a lot of different options for the 2.1 version but not the 2.0 version.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Also consider the Topping tp60 tripath amp.


    topping tp60 | eBay

    From what I have read the Tripath based amps are not as good for audio as the TPA-3116 based units. Between that and the fact that it is twice the price of the other two options I thank I will remove that particular amp from consideration. I know the DTA-120 is based on Tripath technology as well but at least the price is right and the reviews are mostly very good.


    Anyone else have a candidate amp?

  4. #4
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I have had no issues with hiss from my DTA-100a. It is an awsome little amp that responds well to a good signal source. I actually prefer the sound of it over my Parasound A21 amp in some respects (air and transparency).

    Also, consider a Class D Audio amp from here-

    Home page

    I have a Class D Audio CDA-254 that I use with a Tube preamp with my MMG's and it sounds great. They are not for a bright sounding system though.

    Also consider one of the Hlly T amps-

    Tripath AmplifierAC,Audio Amplifier,Hifi Amplifier,Tube Amplifier,Amplifier,Hlly Audio, Hlly Electronics
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  5. #5
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    I have looked at all the suggestions in your two posts and have decided I would try removing all the boards and transformer from the Dynaco 120 case and replace them with the TPA3116 V2 (not 2.1) board you mentioned. I think there will even be enough room in the shell after the new board is in to mount the old laptop charger I have to power it. As an added bonus I can use the existing 120's connectors and jacks to connect the board to the outside world. If it doesn't work out, I will only be out the $16 I am paying for the board. It is worth taking a flyer just to see how it sounds. I can always go with one of the more expensive options you suggested later on if needed Thanks for your suggestions.

  6. #6
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    For anyone that might read this thread in the future, I recently finished gutting the Dynaco 120 and installing a TPA3116 V2 using all the existing connectors including chopping the plug off of the laptop power supply and connecting it to the existing power switch. Everything easily fit in the 120 case and if you donít lift it, it still appears to be a 120 when it is all buttoned up.

    In regards to the sound, I am very pleased with the results. Is it is good as my NAD C355BEE? I donít think so but to my ears it is close, and although I cannot now do a direct comparison to the Dynaco 120, I think it might even better than that unit when it was working based on my memory. Where it really shines however is when you consider the ratio of price versus performance for TPA3116. I feel I certainly got a lot for each dollar I spent on TPA3116.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaco_user View Post
    For anyone that might read this thread in the future, I recently finished gutting the Dynaco 120 and installing a TPA3116 V2 using all the existing connectors including chopping the plug off of the laptop power supply and connecting it to the existing power switch. Everything easily fit in the 120 case and if you donít lift it, it still appears to be a 120 when it is all buttoned up.

    In regards to the sound, I am very pleased with the results. Is it is good as my NAD C355BEE? I donít think so but to my ears it is close, and although I cannot now do a direct comparison to the Dynaco 120, I think it might even better than that unit when it was working based on my memory. Where it really shines however is when you consider the ratio of price versus performance for TPA3116. I feel I certainly got a lot for each dollar I spent on TPA3116.
    Congradulations on your successful DIY effort.

    I don't doubt the TPA3116 represents an amazing value. Speaking personally, for the effort you put into it, I would have gone for a higher powered Tripath- or IRS2092-based amp: more expensive but all 'round better.

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