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REALLY Inexpensive Amps:

 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3306
Registered: Oct-07
Does anyone have any experience with the Real lowest tier of amps? By this I mean the likes of the Dayton DTA-1 and the Lepai 2020, either of which can be had for <30$.
My need is to get a garage system together. Either of these amps would appear to 'better' the speakers I own, so I'm going for reliability.

Anyone with experience with both? At the <100$ level, which is more than I can afford, you can include some Tapping amps as well as some stuff from Pyle, which gets awful reviews. Some Pyle amps appear to be for the automotive market, which means they'll run off a 'car battery' power supply.
 

New member
Username: Sgibbs

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-16
that price range idk what type of good ya can get witht hat Id put my money on some jl audio or some rockford fosgate go brand to brand when u ur using amps n speakers idk im ex speaker addict not so much anymore mtx roxkford jl if ur talkin about home systems idk
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3307
Registered: Oct-07
Shawn, I can't exactly READ what you wrote, but the amps in question are ALL very low power. 10watts, maybe 15 or so. They are all based on the TRIPATH series of 'chip amps'. This means you don't need much OTHER circuitry. The Dayton uses cheap, spring loaded speaker wire connectors and a 3.5mm plug, like your iPod has for earbuds. An amp of this type can be built on a circuit board Maybe 3"x4" and using one of those wall-wart power plugs.
And, if I understand your post, some people DO beef about reliability. One guy who wrote me said he went thru 3 of 'em without a good one and another guy bought one which lasted OVER a year, which is fine.
Feelin' Lucky? That's what it's gonna come to.
I'll look and see if Rockford makes anything in my category. I don't need a big, car amp needing wire the size of a garden hose to power.
 

New member
Username: Joefaruqui

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-16
You need cheap amplifier as far as I came to know, right? I can't say perfectly that you'll get the amplifiers within your defined amount, but you can get cheaper than what you're getting now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3349
Registered: Oct-07
Yes, Joe. A garage system with some old box speakers doesn't, or Shouldn't require some massive expenditure. I'll send off for one of those T-Amps for 30$ and be done with it.
I just want some background music while whittling away at my latest wood project.

Since my iPod has a level control, I MIGHT be able to use car stuff, but that's gonna require a power supply or some kind of battery and a charger for when it's not being used.

I've made a couple passes at the local GoodWill type places with NO luck. 30 or 40 DVD players? Good. NO receivers or amps. Nothing that'd do me any good.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3358
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
i see you ref'd the MUSE amp in another thead. Nice choice for a 'chip' amp. That may be the garage solution I've been seeking.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18233
Registered: May-04
.

It's a pretty good amp if you're not peculiarly sensitive to the sound of chip amps. Match your speakers to your amp and you have a very inexpensive system with close to high end sound. Of course, what's to talk about when it comes to a garage system? Listen to the timbre and "woodiness" of the oboe and you'll lose a finger to the table saw.


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3359
Registered: Oct-07
Exactly. Not a 'critical' system. And the speakers? At least the box is sturdy and passes the 'rap' test.
All I want is 20->20k at 93db with 108db peaks. Not much, right? I've got the wall mounts for 'em and space reserved UP over the bench aiming DOWN.

Right now, I'm using a Tivoli #1 which is SUPER, but I want STEREO. This will be something constructive for my iPod touch to do.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3399
Registered: Oct-07
sent off for the Dayton DTA-1 a few days ago.
I will pre-mount speakers and run some zip cord to the amps intended space.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3403
Registered: Oct-07
now testing on the kitchen table. And it works well. I'll be putting it in its permanent home shortly, but I just wanted to HEAR it.
Nice. And using an iPod for a source? Good touch, and portable.
Amp can be run from 8xAA but I won't do that even for a test. Maybe later, I'll experiment with a gel cell battery but for now? The supplied Wall-Wart is fine.

I can improve on the AudioSource speakers I had lying around, too. I wouldn't be surprised if a pair of boxed car speakers would help. Something in the 40$ to 60$ per pair region for a 5 1/2" 2-way. I may drop by the local car audio place after the Holidays and give a listen.

But for now? Great News:
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18323
Registered: May-04
.

http://www.parts-express.com/cat/bookshelf-speakers/99

I don't think you can even buy a PE kit speaker that's better for less. One vendor was using the 6.5" PE speakers as demos for his "dirt cheap audio" system at a local show a few years ago. Sounded purty good for a system that sold for under $400.

With an old laptop and one of the USB DAC's you could probably knock that price down by at least 1/3 if not more.


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3404
Registered: Oct-07
The PE B652 was even favorably reviewed in Stereophile.
For the price which is now 29$, you can't hardly miss.
Also available 'bundled' with the t-amp I bought.

If you are sending someone off-to-college? A great way to go, cheap and nearly 'disposible'.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3410
Registered: Oct-07
The TIVOLI will be repurposed as a Kitchen or Bedroom table radio. The only hangup is that we live in a BAD RECEPTION area and I won't be able to move my home-made ANTENNA to a 'civilized' room.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18347
Registered: May-04
.

You listen to FM?

Only two station here in Dallas that aren't programmed play lists and compressed all to sh!t for car radios. Both those stations are available on line.

FM is a wasteland in Texas. I haven't powered up my Mac tube tuner in ages.


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3411
Registered: Oct-07
I live between 2 or 3 (depends how you count it) 'markets', one of which is the Los Angeles market. Since I'm on the fringe of everything, I only get a few from up north, 1 or 2 from Riverside and more from South to San Diego.

Lots of FM, and Yes, programmed AND compressed is the new 'norm'. When I worked at an FM Station in about '66 or '67, part of the output was a 'Level Devil'. The Station? WHFH, look it up.
SOME original programming as well as broadcasts of school football and basketball games.

You think FM is messed up? Try SHORTWAVE. Most VOA (Voice of America) gear was sold to Religious broadcasters in Kentucky. BBC and others are mere shadows of the heyday when you could get any of half a dozen national broadcasters on 3 or 4 frequencies each, and even during the day. Radio RSA? (Radio South Africa) is gone, or I haven't heard it in a decade. Japan? Germany? France? Radio Netherlands? Even RAdio Moscow is gone as is an old favorite, Radio Havana. A decade plus ago, I even logged Vietnam, in ENGLISH at just before sunrise. They talked trade agreements and general news. HCJB from Quito Ecuador is gone and so are all my other favorites.
But If you want to hear reruns of Gene Scott? Got you covered. Look HIM up, too. He owned the 'Jesus Saves' building in LA, had IRS problems AND smoked big stogies while having a horse racing problem. He spoke 5 or 6 languages and was a Bible Expert who gave a whole series of lectures about The Great Pyramid symbology. He passed about a decade ago, at nearly 80 years. His daughter continues the work.

Again, the Tivoli is use currently for 'background' music in the garage and not critical.

Given what I typically see as 'internet radio' I'd think FM had better sound. Or potentially better, anyway. Low Bitrate MP3 doesn't impress me and I'd rather listen to FM.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18348
Registered: May-04
.

On line FM isn't great in the sense a McIntosh MR-78 or a Marantz 10B with a good outdoor antenna could truly be great. FM was the best source available when a local station with quality gear broadcast a live event.

The local "classical channel" had broadcast live DSO performances for decades. Truly excellent sound. Particularly in the days of DG and their 100 microphone classical recordings. Budgets and contracts put an end to those broadcasts years ago.

NPR (good sound on air or on line) still does the "Prairie Home Companion" show live and I've often suggested to newbies they tune in and hear what live music can sound like and consider why recorded music doesn't sound like that. I doubt any of them ever did. They were listening to Metallica and such so I guess it didn't really matter.

Listening to the local community funded channel and the college channel gives you better than low bit rate on line and no commercials. The rest is garbage.


I didn't want to hear originals of Gene Scott.

My preference was Brother Al who broadcast out of a 20 X 15 shack on the edge of a cornfield in Southern Illinois at noon every weekday. He probably had a full 250 watts of broadcast power. In college Mike Maxwell and I would head to one of our cars to have a brown bag lunch and listen to Brother Al.

He did the whole schmear!

His "Jesus tears" captured in small bottle which he has personally held (how the he!! else could he get his own tears in that tiny f'ing bottle?!) for a $ donation.

"Jesus Tears" on a stained handkerchief for a $$ donation.

His "handwritten Jesus books" for a $$$ donation.

All the BS crap you would expect and he would always remind his listeners, "When you send in your 'love donation', make sure you make the check out to 'Brother Al', that's 'A'-'L'."

Mike and I would say "A"-"L" with him and laaaaaaaugh!

We wondered just who was listening to Brother Al who couldn't quite spell "Al". Maybe they were messing up and making the check out to "Bubba Al" but that didn't make sense either. Not making sense was the best part of Brother Al's show. It was Theatre of the Absurd on weak AM every day at 12. We chose our class schedules around Brother Al.

I don't think Al had any pretensions to speaking to a football field full of his "fans".


My all time favorite though is Ernest Angley, who is still going strong at 95 (and wearing the same 55 year old wig apparently); https://www.google.com/search?q=mcintosh+mr78&rlz=1CAACAJ_enUS705US705&oq=mcinto sh+mr78&aqs=chrome..69i57.5216j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=ernest+angley

He would always begin his Saturday night show (repeated on Sunday morning for all those sinners who were out drinkin' and sinnin' on Saturday) with, "And a BIG HELLO is Jesus name." His Southern drawl was as thick and as ludicrous as a high school production of a Tennessee Williams play.

Angley came on right after Saturday night "Wrestling from the Sportatorium". So we could smoke a bit, drink a bit and watch the Von Erichs wrestle with the FreeBirds and then watch Ernest wrestle with keeping his wig on straight.

Those were the days.



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3412
Registered: Oct-07
Those were the 'good old days', eh? Can't make stuff like that up. And political correctness has really hurt the religion/entertainment industry HARD.
Even Chicago's Moody Bible Institute is vastly changed. I sat thru a taping of a show 45+ years ago. GONE.
Now? Check the website!

My favorite on the MEXICAN CHANNELS was always Walter Mercado. He did an ASTROLOGY SHOW and was amazing in the levels of BS spewed. Great stuff. I think he was ousted during contract negotiations!

I see your Von Erichs and RAISE you a Haystacks Calhoun.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3413
Registered: Oct-07
Getting back to SW for just a sec.
We had a MAJOR powerfail in the southland a couple years ago. RFI was down to ZERO.
Even THAT didnt' help much and I stayed up to about 0300 listening for some good stuff.
Best was on the good-old AM dial where my SONY ICF2010 easily picked up a station EVERY 10khz.
But nothing very interesting and the international bands were crap.

I was woken up about 0430 or so by all the LIGHTS turning back on and with it came all the RFI i could ever wish for.

The good news from the powerfail? Everybody met in the street and we all had a good chat and played cards until after dark. 12 hours+ of relative quiet.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18351
Registered: May-04
.

"I see your Von Erichs and RAISE you a Haystacks Calhoun."


Not even close!


Calhoun was a circus act.

He had nothing like The Iron Claw as a draw.

I remember him from the early '60's in St. Louis and Wrestling at The Chase. He may have even been a tag team match with Fritz who, at that time, wore a pickelhaub and goose stepped around the ring as the worst of the worst in the ring. He was the equal to Dick the Bruiser in St. Louis. Hated, simply hated.

It was a bit of a surprise to hit Dallas and find he was a local hero known for wrestling clean. His boys were just starting in the ring about the time I moved here. There has never been a combination I known of like the Von Erich Family. They were adored and the girls lined up for miles to get a kiss from them as they entered the ring.

Thing is, they are Greek Tragedy on display. Kerry looked like Dionysus and he and his brothers were on top of the world for a few years.

Fritz had already lost one son in '59 when the six year old was electrocuted and subsequently died laying face down in a small puddle. Fritz was on the road at the time.

The boys, Kevin, David, Kerry and eventually Mike, all high school star athletes, quickly worked their way to the top of the heap on professional wrestling thanks to Fritz' ownership of the SouthWestern conference and their striking looks and performances. Fritz saw Vince McMahon as an upstart.

As soon as they were on top, they began to crumble. David died while on tour in Japan. Kerry had troubles with the law and began taking pain relievers which would eventually lead to his suicide. Thousands turned out for their funerals.

Fritz pushed Mike into the family business to replace David but it was never the same since David was a star and much bigger than Mike. Mike eventually began his troubles with the law and pills and he too committed suicide.

That left Chris; "Chris had always wanted to wrestle, and now the family needed it. But his chances were never realistic. He had built up his body with weight lifting and growth hormones, but he couldn't grow taller, and his bones were brittle from his asthma medicine. He worked a few matches, but, according to Kevin, after Chris broke his elbow on a throwaway move, a doctor told him that his body would not hold up in the ring. Chris realized he would always be remembered as the Von Erich who couldn't wrestle. In September 1991 he shot himself in the head."; http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/six-brothers/

The wrestling business, which he had once ruled, slipped from Fritz's hands and eventually McMahon and the WWE became professional wrestling for a new generation of fans. So much so, most people don't know the Von Erich story.

Calhoun was, IMO, just a big guy who let everything that made him "big", cause his destruction. In comparison, that happens almost daily in this world.

The story of the Von Erichs is straight out of Euripedes.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18353
Registered: May-04
.

Thanks for that.

Geeez! I wish Brain paid attention to this kinda crap.



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3414
Registered: Oct-07
I don't know from the Iron Claw, but Calhoun DID have an impressive horseshoe he wore around his neck.
The Von ERichs have a terrible story, I agree. Never knew about all the suicides but I DO know that pro wrestlers have about 80% the lifespan of their peers NOT 'in the business'. Take your pick, but most fatalities have to do with drugs and associated lifestyle and simply beating their body to death. Just look thru the list of former wrestlers and you'll see how early they pass.

If you'd care for a very good fictionalized account of wrestling, check out the Mickey Rourke movie 'The Wrestler'. Good reviews and a very good movie. Rourke is PERFECTLY cast.

Did you ever see 'Ed Wood'? Johnny Depp is terrific in the title role but the wrestling connection is George 'The Animal' Steele who was a HIGH SCHOOL teacher in real life. He played Tor Johnson, a Sweedish profesional wrestler who appeared in a couple Ed Wood movies. Steele did the 'dumb act' maybe better than any in the history of the 'sport'. And he survives into old age.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3416
Registered: Oct-07
Installed and working fine.

For the $$? How could I miss. Amp puts out plenty of power for my need and seems reasonably happy with the speakers I already had.
Potential upgrade would be replacing the wall-wart with a gel cell battery of 12v. Get a battery tender for low current charging and it'll always be ready to go. And maintain some 'portability'.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3417
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
To keep the caps good, at least the PS Electrolytics, I'd fire-up the MR-78 on some kind of regular schedule.
Maybe monthly for 10 to 15 minutes per run.
I feel so bad for REALLY good gear which sits gathering dust.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18362
Registered: May-04
.

I have no idea how the 78 was treated prior to my acquisition. The guy who sold it to me just walked into the store one day and said he wanted to sell it. He had enough proof he was the owner that I didn't think it was hot. But this was during the recession of the late '80's to early '90's and there were a lot of people needing cash. He claimed he hadn't been using the tuner and it wasn't as important to him as cash. Likely it has sat more than not.

This is another 50 year old component. "Firing up" the tuner every now and again is probably just as destructive as allowing it to sit.

Despite the mojo some people believe was built into caps 50 years ago, there are far better quality caps today. I wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone buying this tuner they need to have a tech go through it completely before they assume it is reliable. IMO it would be foolish to just think parts go on forever.

Most likely though, I'll just sell this to one of the shops selling vintage and capable of ensuring its performance. I am not interested in going through the process of selling this myself.

'Sides, I don't use the tuner because there is no decent FM in Dallas. The 78's value is likely on the decline as FM becomes a forgotten format. Apparently, FM may not even exist in the future.

Otherwise, the 78 is stock OEM parts as best I can tell. Take off the bottom plate and there are no suspicious solder joints that would even suggest a repair has ever taken place. Panlok cabinet, good chrome and McIntosh branded tubes and all. Most buyers will look at the outside and set their price on that.


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New member
Username: Rorence

美国

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-17
After reading the whole post, we can learn how to fix the same trouble with you in easy way. It can save more time for our daily life.
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