audiophile heresy: my $105 system... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-23-2006, 02:43 PM
got the last piece of the all-battery powered system today when the Sonic Impact T-amp arrived from partsexpress - roughly $40 with shipping. I haven't stopped giggling. I took a chance on the Insignia 6.5" speakers at BestBuy when they were on sale for $34.99. It turned out not to be a risk at all. They were in my main system for no more than 30 mins. and won't be going back, but I needed a pair of speakers for an old integrated amp. Then I began to think of other uses for them. They're 8ohm w/90dB sensitivity so they must be pretty easy to drive.

I was playing with the idea of a battery powered system for when we have extended power outtages in our area due to bad weather. I was aware of the SI T-amp, but didn't take it too seriously until I got the Insignias. As always, I got ahead of myself and snagged a nos optimus portable cdp w/line out on Ebay - just under $30 including shipping. Now that I had 2 pieces of the puzzle, I had to commit to the T-amp.

First of all, I had my doubts that it would even drive the speakers to audible levels. Let's just say that when cranked to the 11:00 positition and beyond this little thing let's you hear everything - bass, treble and especially midrange. The bass is a little soft compared to the old Sansui integrated that had the Insignias first. But it's a pleasant softness rather than a "something's missing" softness. The midrange may be emphasized just a tad but it's lush. Vocals, even those from tired old barroom brawlers like Waylon Jennings, sound smooth. The highs are sweet without any harshness in the treble and the air - like the reverb on Buck Owens's vocal intro to Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms (I know, I put on the first thing I could grab) - is abundant. To put things in perspective I'll say that I've only listened to this track in my car, but I've never heard the reverberation so strongly. I only suspected it was there (heard it faintly I guess) when listening to my car system.

This is just too much fun! Now all I need is time to play.

Resident Loser
08-24-2006, 03:57 AM
...goes to prove, you don't need to spend huge amounts of money or add an addition to your house to enjoy the hobby...Better than 90% of the performance levels achieved by a full-blown, b@!!$-to-the-wall SOTA rig can be had for incredibly small amounts of cash.

I have an old (when SONY was SONY) three C-cell multi-band portable with a one watt output and auxl.'s connected to a Realistic speaker (equally as old)'s not gonna' knock down walls, but used in a near-field scenario and within it's limits, it provides clean and balanced (if mono) sound...

jimHJJ(...and after all, it's the music that matters...)

08-25-2006, 07:08 PM
I have a the Sonic Impact Super T, which is a tweaked out version of the SI 5066 (the one you have). There is a website that has thread upon thread dedicated to tweaking your little amp into doing amazing things. Most importantly, the first focus was to improve the bass output. Then later on upgrade things like input jacks, speaker binding posts, etc. Hell, most guys just put the tiny circuit card (about the size of a credit card) into a larger case to facilitate a better volume knob, larger input capacitors (power supply), RCA jacks, the whole nine yards. Me? I'm lazy, so when I saw the Super T on Ebay for $100, I jumped on it. It basically has all the tweaks I mentioned before. In fact, here's some links discussing the amps.

Your amp:

and the Super T:

I'm a DIY speaker builder and I've been using the Super T for a few months now. I never ever was 'gear' oriented person at all, dismissing isopods and antistatic mats and $100 signal cables. And like some here I thought all SS amps were vertually the same, never heard a difference from one to another, except in power output. I can't tell you how hard it is to design a speaker, only to have it sound like crap, cuz of crappy power. (I've since ditched the so-called 50wpc Kenwood receiver I was using).

The T-amps are a whole other world. The Sonic Impacts are rated at 15 watts per channel, at 10% distortion. They are more realistically rated only 6 watts rms per channel into 8 ohms at .01% distortion. Sounds pathetic, but they have dynamic that you wouldn't believe unless you heard it yourself. The midrange is superb, while the treble can be a tad strident on some material. They sound great with my DIY speakers, since by design, my speakers are very efficient. The more efficient the speaker, the better this amp sounds. And it can handle a 4 ohm load pretty easily. Yours will sound even better with a 12v to 13v/ 3 amp power supply. With an adequate input signal, my Super T nearly reaches output levels that compete with my 100wpc main amp (when running it off of my main pre-amp). So go ahead, hook it into your main rig. I dare ya.

08-26-2006, 04:44 AM
Thanks, 3-LB. Great reference material!