Sonic Impact T-Amp Amplifiers

T-Amp

  • 15 watt
  • "Class T" switching amplifier technology
  • Portable
  • Battery or AC powered

  • User Reviews (17)

    Showing 1-10 of 17  
    trisweb   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 24, 2009]

    This is a classic these days, and at $30 or whatever I paid for it, certainly worth it. I got it a while back as an amp to use on my desk with small bookshelfs, and to this day it's still performing well for that task, even through several speaker upgrades. It even served as my primary amp for ADS L520's for a week or so while I sourced a good receiver/amp for the living room. Ended up with a Yamaha HTR-5960, which is no slouch and has a great sound, but I still think I lost something when I took away the T-amp.

    It's perfect for a desk/bedroom system. Currently have it powering a pair of Cambridge M50's that sound pretty decent in this setup. I don't think I'd trust it to a larger task, though it can pump out the volume on these small speakers when you want it! Always surprises me to this day how pure and crisp the amp sounds, and with decent imaging and a depth of soundstage you wouldn't expect from such a tiny plastic toy. Definitely don't pass it up if you find one, especially at its original price!

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    alvinio   AudioPhile [Aug 06, 2007]
    Strength:

    clarity
    very good high frequency
    good soundstage
    very cheap!!!!
    can compete with high end amps at an serain volume level

    Weakness:

    crapy build quality (plastic)
    crapy speaker outputs
    not much bass
    lack of power

    after reading several good reviews on this little amp i decided to give it a try,
    so when this little cheap amp arived i tested it with different setups (tannoy,von sweikert speakers,marantz cd 67 se, nad, denon cd players,and high end cables,
    i think this little amp performs the best with small bookshelf speakers, damm this little amp has a clear sound!!!!,soundstage is good not superb, power i good (with booshelfs) on sertain volume levels it can conpete with very expensive amps but when you play to hard the quality goos down and it sounds like crap, the little amp is still in active duty on my pc with wideband bookshelves and performs outstanding here.

    Similar Products Used: super t-amp
    tube amplifiers
    quad amplifiers
    avi amplifiers
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    bob   AudioPhile [Jun 01, 2007]
    Strength:

    IT WORKED
    And sounds very cool

    Weakness:

    volume if you need it

    This plastic thing makes my Rogers LS7s rock
    Should not do that
    But it does
    Not the easiest speakers to drive.
    I have also replaced the original Celetion tweeters with North Creek tweeters
    much more musical

    Customer Service

    N/A at this piont

    Similar Products Used: Quad 2, Marantz, Sony
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    eden   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 13, 2007]
    Strength:

    Cheap,clean sound

    Weakness:

    distorts,doesn't get you close to the music,plastic,for tiny girls fingers to use.

    Hey ho,yet another completly over hyped product!!!Jeez if this thing cost 100USD it would have passed under the bridge unnoticed,the thing in it's favor is the price,end of story,it's no giant killer folks,don't fall for the hype,it sounds OK,its sterile,no emotion,cold,distorts,plastic,tacky.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Cole Tamminen   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2007]
    Strength:

    clarity, clarity, clarity. simplicity. funky-factor.

    oh: and cost!

    Weakness:

    can't be mono'd. A true bummer. Otherwise, buy two of these and be done!

    not a heavy-lifter.

    Many reviewers suggest that normal household batteries or normal household AC adapters are insufficient to make this sound its best. Possibly true, although a generic adapter is worth trying.

    I tested this funky little thing out for a week in my home, including a couple of multi-hour listening periods, and I just wanted to report in with the items I mated it with, thinking that at this point in the T-amp's history the experience might be unusual.

    Long story short: I only had a week's window of opp. to fiddle with this. I didn't get it burned in or anything, but after I returned it, I DID go out and buy one of my own.

    First I took the little thing up to my step-son's room and hooked it up to the re-edged 30 year-old EPI 70C speakers he's using. I used a Philips Expanium personal cd/mp3 player as a source. Not a high-end system by any means, of course. I mostly wanted to see how loud it would go with the EPIs, which have a minimal cross-over and which I thought would be an easy 8ohm load. They were! The T-Amp easily goes loud enuogh for a bedroom system, even for those afternoons where no one else is home and Boy Wonder wants to Crank It.

    I can't rate the precision and staging very well because nothing in the bedroom is really set up for optimal listening. But the detail was easily discernable, and the bookshelf EPIs put out as much bass as i think they are capable of. The combination was an odd but highly functional one, Based on this I can recommend the T-Amp as a great bedroom/dorm room amp, especially with efficient speakers.

    Then we took the T-Amp to the living room and presented it with a different task. I uncabled the Magnepan MMGs from my Khartago amp, added new plugs to the amp-end of the monster cable, and plugged the MMGs into the T-Amp. Then I connected my Linn Kolektor into the T-Amp's single input. So we had a Linn preamp as a source and 4ohm MMGs as speakers. I was not certain the T-amp would like this. But 4 hours later, as I listened to Diana Krall lick her lips in my living room, I was pretty darn amazed.

    So what I learned was that a T-Amp Will push MMGs to comfortable listening levels in a small- to medium-sized living room. It won't do head-banger volume, but it will go loud enough to hear all over a small home, no worries. I had no issues with clipping that I could notice, but i Did hear what I'll call 'breathing,' which manifested in the overall SPL fluctuating gently up and down, after about 2 or 2-1/2 hours heavy listening. This only happened for a period of 30 seconds, during a Crowded House CD. I'm guessing it was a self-protection circuit or a voltage issue (all listening done with a 12v wall-wart adapter, not batteries) which caused this, but I can't say with certainty.

    The T-Amp IS very detailed. I did not find this fatiguing. I think that in high-end detail it is a very good match for these small maggies or other speakers with similar "high resolution." The apparent stage was easily as wide and as deep as my 110wpc Odyssey Khartago can make it, although the Khartago certainly delivers more V, and more Bass as well.

    I did not ever remove the active preamp -- the Kolektor -- from the setup mostly becuase I was too lazy to fiddle with the cabling, but I'd like to understand better how it affected these results. I've read where others have said a pre does not affect the amp's output, but I have to believe that in this particualr setup the pre-amp's gain stage is helping the t-amp with its heavy lifting.

    Always more to learn!

    At any rate -- i thought these two tests might contain some useful information or inspiration.

    Customer Service

    n/a

    Similar Products Used: none 'similar'!

    I've used a variety of box-house name brand amps and recievers over the years -- yamaha, pioneer, technics, scott and then Adcom. I currently use a Khartago
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    3-LockBox   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 06, 2006]
    Strength:

    Better looking, better speaker termination, better bass performance, RCA inputs, AC adapter/power supply included, power cord for hooking direct to a battery included, speaker and signal input cables included.

    Weakness:

    Chassis is un-necessarily big, but does leave plenty of room for modifications.
    Signal and speaker cable is included, but they're very cheap and warrant immediate upgrading.
    At this price, it loses the gee-wiz factor of the cheaper SI 5066.
    No onboard battery compartment.

    This is the Super-T version of the SI 5066. The manufacturors of the $39.99 T-amp basically have been reading DIY websites and taking note, because the Super-T has most of the upgrades found on most T-amp improvement lists. A larger, brushed aluminum chassis, RCA inputs (versus the mini-jacks), banana-jack/lug posts for the speaker terminals (versus the cheesey push clips), a larger, better 'feeling' volume control knob, as well as most of the circuitry improvements (too large a list to go into here).

    First off, let me advise you that there is a definate break-in period for this amp. Out of the box, the bass is downright anemic. Bass is improved over time, but it isn't going to bowl you over, so you still need to mate this amp with efficient speakers for in-room listening, however, I'm using this amp mostly for near-feild listening with a pair of excellent 8-ohm Optimus aluminum cased bookshelf speakers (closeout from a few years ago) w/ the 4"woofers and 3/4 inch dome tweeter.

    This amp is very clean and detailed. No, it won't win any SPL or bass contests, but paired with the right speakers, it blows the doors off of many a bookshelf systems on the market. And that's using portable sources or a computer hook-up.

    But is this souped-up Super-T worth the extra $100.00?...hhmmm...I'm still ambivalent about that. I only paid $100.00 on E-bay and I've seen other go for as low as $80.00. People are buying these things obviously with unrealistic expectations and then getting rid of them. Their loss. I think that the folks at SI need to offer this amp with some of the same features some after market companies are offering with their T's. Such as volume controlled RCA outputs for a bi-amping or a powered subwoofer. The chassis this thing comes in is un-necessarily big, so adding outputs should be no big deal. I'd also wager that the volume control pot is the same as the cheaper 5066 - why? This should have been improved along with the rest of the circuitry. If these issues were to be addressed and the power supply upgraded from 12v to 13v, then yes, it'd be well worth the $140.00 price tag. At least with the oversized chassis, there is room for modifications.

    Customer Service

    Haven't needed it yet.

    Similar Products Used: computer speakers
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    kaogren   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 29, 2006]
    Strength:

    What can I say?... I replace a medium level Rotel pre-amp and two $150 (ebay) Marantz 125 watt/channel mono block THX amps for the T-Amp. WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT!

    Weakness:

    So light, plugging in the cables tips the amp.
    Hard to brag to your freinds that you only spent $29.00!

    Originally this reveiw was for my Klipsch Refence RF3II speakers. After the review, I realized they were really a glowing reference for the T-Amp, so I am copying it here as well.

    ________________________________________________

    I have had my Klipsch RF3II for two years. I really liked them for the depth of the sound stage they brought to my music.

    I have been running them with a medium level Rotel pre-amp and (two) Marantz MA-500, 125 watt, mono block, THX rated amps.

    I loved the clarity, but I was always trying ways to reduce the high end beaming from the horn tweeters. Nothing I did helped much. Then I had an epiphany. I bought at $29.00 “Sonic Impact” T-Amp.

    This little sucker is an integrated, 10 watt/channel (in 8 ohm) integrated amplifier. It can even be battery powered with (8) AA batteries. (I am now running it with a 3 Amp 12 volt power supply.)

    Gone was the iterating beaming that I was getting from the horn teeters. I have never owned a tube amp (but I was about to make the investment), but what the reviews of the T-Amp say, it is very “tube like”.

    I have dumped my relatively expensive Rotel pre-amp and my Marantz amps and now am a much more of a happy camper.

    It plays on my Klipsch as loud as I can stand it for any reasonable time, with the clarity that I hadn’t heard before.

    So if you have these speakers and you have the problem I have had, invest $29.00 in this joke of a box and I bet you will be as please I am.

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/t-amp_e.html

    Similar Products Used: Rotel
    Denon
    Marantz
    Def-Tech
    Klipsch
    Sansui AU9500

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    EP Sato   Audio Enthusiast [May 24, 2006]
    Strength:

    None.

    Weakness:

    This system is all weaknesses. The sound quality distorts with the volume at the half way point, and the system can not handle the type of speakers the "manual" claims it can handle.

    It took less than four tries for the system to completely short itself out. The company offers NO WARRANTY and includes no contact information or technical support. This is not a product for anybody.

    Total Garbage. My system shorted out the first time I tried it, and the company has some of the worst customer service in the field. An awful waste of money at any price, I recommend consumers avoid this trash like the plague.

    Customer Service

    AWFUL. The manual included with the item includes a one page mini pamphlet, which lists the company's bare bones websites. Several attempts have been made to reach their customer service department, NONE of which have been returned.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    1
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    BoseSpeakersSucks   Audio Enthusiast [May 19, 2006]
    Strength:

    Control of drivers, 3-D stage (depth, height, and layering placement of multiple sounds), clarity (no one part over-shadowing another), cheap, light (easy to move), and accurate.

    Weakness:

    Spring-clip wire connectors, power connector, source input connector, battery compartment (horribly designed), availibility (can only find it online and usually not in stock), cheap build feel, power limit, non-bridable, and hi pass cross-over would be nice (to filter out having to replicate bass).

    This is a great amp and I highly recommend it, in small rooms or near field this amp can drive most speakers easily but a sub will add to the experience. I use two of these (one for the computer with intentions to get two more, one for the bedroom) with one set driving Nht SuperZeroes nearfield (with Northcreek mods) for my computer and Bics (with a SVS sub) in the bedroom. This amp smokes my prior amps (adcom 535 and audiosource amp1) and will accomplish all the audiophile superlatives too boot.

    If there is anyone at Sonic Impact reading this a few suggestions, come out with a quality DAC since this thing is really an integrated amp, come out with a multisource switcher so we can switch various sources to it, 5/7 channel model for those us who would like this for our computer, and mount for RV's would be nice.

    Those of us in the USA who need a cheap power supply to push it, go to Vidsonix's website, then click on their link to their old website, Contractor's corner link, and order VX-TRN25 AC Power Adaptor (110vac to 12v dc 2.5a, whooping $12.95) dirt cheap (I bought multiple and they only charged me one shipping fee). Thought I'd help another audio enthusiast out.

    Customer Service

    Emailed them about the newer model which they replied back that would be availible in December but did not state where to get it, they should have gave at least a vendor or two.

    Similar Products Used: For the price none. I have listened to many of the high dollar amps (Bryston, Krell, Proceed, Earthquake, EAD, etc), mid (ATI, Anthem, Parasound, Outlaw, Odyssey, Audiosource Amp3, Sunfire, etc), and low (Adcom 535, Yamaha, Denon, Audiosource amp1, Amc 2100, Carver, etc) nearfield this will either compete with most of them. Not warm as tubes but imho more honest.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Jan55   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 25, 2006]
    Strength:

    Smooth, detailed and harmonically rich sound. Good imaging and wide sound stage.

    Weakness:

    Low power. Its It outputs around 5 watts before it goes into heavy distortion, but the power is plenty for my setup.

    I bought the T-Amp after reading about it on Six-Moons and other online audio equipment review sites. I use the amp with a pair of Fostex BK-16 high efficiency (94+db) horn speakers that I built from a kit (from Madisound.com). The amp works beautifully. It has a smooth richness thats hard to describe, but I enjoy very much. Not as much bass as my Jolida tube amp or my other basic 100 watt receiver, but the sound is plenty loud, rich and detailed, and I can listen to it for hours.

    For my system I use a basic DVD player with digital output to a Benchmark DAC1 (Stereophile magazine Class-A rated) digital to analog converter. The converter stereo output is connnected to the T-Amp. I use a Parts Express Pyramid 12 volt power supply in place of the batteries or T-amp adapter. I loved this amp so much that I bought its big brother Super-T amp ($139) for my main rig and use the T-amp for a second system using a set of small Yamaha surround speakers. I have also used it with my larger 3-way floor stand speakers with the sonic impact wired to for the top end and using a standard amp for the bass. This works well. You could also use it with small speaker and use a powered sub-woofer to cover the bass. I didn't find much difference between the regular T-Amp and the Super T-Amp in terms of sound quality, but it has better speaker and input connectors. I would highly recommend it for use with small speakers, or high efficiency speakers (90+db).

    Customer Service

    Have not had any problems to date.

    Similar Products Used: Jolida JD302b tube amp.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 17  

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