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Do you want chips with that sub? Yes.


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In my continuing  adventures with my ever evolving "System 3" I've landed on a spot I feel good about.

Who would have thought a small sub and a cheap class d chip amp would pair up so well with some antique Heresys.

I've been listening with a critical ear for about four weeks now and I've got to tell you it's enough to give this dedicated "tube-guy" reason to think.

I think I just go lucky with the synergy 'cause I put this combo together just for grins and giggles. I still prefer my tube setups but this rivals them and considering the low cost of everything I'm more than a little amazed. Anyone else running anything similar?

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I think many of us have experimented with or experienced systems like this... I do enjoy them and they do sound good, but it's always with the caveat... 'for the money'.

 

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The Aiyima punches way above it's weight but bear in mind it only weighs 65 dollars. It does sound better than the other SS amps I've recently paired with those Heresys including a Pioneer SX-780 receiver, a Cambridge Audio AXA25,  and an AudioSource Amp One.

 

It has remarkable clarity and detail while not being too bright or brittle and still retains dynamic range even at lower volumes.  Quite frankly, I was totally surprised. 

The TI TPA3255 chip used in this little thing is $4.50 in quantity. Unbelievable.

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My Heresy's benefited from a 10" 50 watt sub. I don't play a extreme levels though and I don't play electronic music. Old rock and jazz do well with it though, and the subwoofer is very helpful when watching televised auto racing.

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Well the Aiyima went back to Amazon. It was a wonderful sounding little amp however it didn't really integrate all that well with the other components. It was difficult to control the volume.

 

In order for my Volumio based streamer to pass bit perfect audio the volume control must be set to 100% in the Volumio software resulting in the DAC sending a really hot signal to the amp.

The volume knob on the amp had very little usable range, you could only turn it about 30 degrees or so, not a good situation. Controlling the volume on the sub was also a pain because the output for the sub on the Aiyima is not a true sub out it's actually a line out unaffected by the volume knob so if you changed the volume of the amp the sub volume stayed the same.

 

Enter the Sabaj A10a amp which solves both problems. It uses an NJW1194 digital volume control chip which compensates for the high input level and gives me a full useful range of -60db to 0 and the sub out works with the volume control as it should so the sub stays balanced with the speakers. I can now comfortably adjust the volume using the remote so I don't have to touch anything. Now to evaluate how it all sounds, my initial impressions are favorable. We shall see or should I say hear.    

 

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