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Sagacious
124
Jan 29, 2016
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Looks like the SMSL Sa-160 is the 3rd version from Smsl of the TD7498 class D amp chip design. The previous being the the SA-98 and the SA-98E with the the current version on TD7498e . It seems to come with the Higher output 36v 5.7 amp power supply and It also has an upgraded 8200uf 50v cap. The design seems to even include a socketed 5532dd op amp which can be upgraded easily. That being said, it looks like a possible improvement over the Lepai 7498e with bluetooth(didn't use BT). I personally had a Lepai 2020 and then 7498e running on JM Labs Cobalt 8" bookshelves. The Lepai 7498e impressed me so much that I have disdain for all my Yamaha (7 different model receivers) and a couple Denons. I even have a crown XLS 1000 and My favorite was the 7498e D-amp as long as not driven too hard. Granted its distortion at high volumes seemed more harmonic and harder to tell. The biggest issue I encountered was the Lepai 7498e stopped working when plugged in to a Schiit Fulla one day. (known issue with the Lepai 7498e all of sudden failing and running warm) Only the second amp failure I have had in over 10 years. So I did not to opt to rebuy the Lepai despite its sound signature. At $78 shipped I am going to gamble one more time on this 7498e chip and hope SMSL got it right. Btw I was turned on to the Lepai 7498e via a Stereophile review and it also making the best of their budget list. I personally agree with the results reviewed by them. As long as you mind expectations and use this for up to TRUE 10-25 watts rms w/headroom [(+10 to 12db power) 97-100db spl Great for nearfield monitoring)] I found the 7498e chip to have a very detailed yet suprisingly smooth midrange/treble and a clean and tight controlled bass signature. I also might get a Sparkolabs SS3602 Dual op amp to replace the 5532dd. It has same pin compatibility. Granted the 5532dd is a fairly low noise op-amp with moderate gain and likely quite fine. (swapping op-amps doesn't always improve performance depending on circuit design) The Sparkolabs has amazing specs by using BJT's externally. It looks like there is enough room within the Case to fit the SS3602. Hopefully Massdrop won't cancel My order this time!
Jan 29, 2016
Yakov
1412
Jan 29, 2016
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TL;DR
Jan 29, 2016
Sagacious
124
Jan 29, 2016
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Sorry it was too much for you to read Yakov. Next time I post, I will seek your venerable approval first. Oops was that too long? Maybe I should just say TR;LL?
Jan 29, 2016
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