Tripath class-T amps are known for their great, smooth sound, often compared to that of a tube amplifier. The Tripath company filed a patent in 1996 however the company soon went out of business. Thankfully there are still chips available so we can produce these wonderful sounding Tripath amps.
They made several different chipsets from the simpler TA2020 to the TK2050. Not all of them sound equally awesome though. We have chosen to use only the TK2050 in all our amp designs, as it’s the best sounding one in our opinion.
T1 Amplifier with TK2050 chipset
TK2050 is the chipset made up of the TC2000/TC2001 controller and the TP2050/STA505 output stage chip. The STA510A is a higher performance, higher output substitute for the STA505. It’s capable of handling a higher power supply voltage, it’s better at low impedances and also provides a higher watt output while keeping the great sound signature of the TK2050 that mainly comes from the controller TC2000/TC2001.
The T1 use the STA510a in a full bridge, non-paralleled configuration. This non-paralleled configuration is suitable for speakers in the 8 ohm range. We recommend the similar T2 amp with a full bridge, paralleled configuration for 4 ohm speakers. The T1 can be used with 4 ohm speakers, but output will be lower.
The input capacitors are very important for the sound quality of this kind of amps as it’s one of the few parts that the audio signal flows through. This T1 amp has Jantzen input caps (Jantzen Cross Caps 2.2uf). Note: The picture does not show the Jantzen caps
This version also has the famous ALPS blue volume potmeter installed. There is a different version without the volume pot if you don’t need it.
Power supply requirement
The board can only take a DC power supply, no AC! Accepted DC range is 24V – 39V. We recommend the SMPS300RS 38V 230V version or 115V version.
- Important to know about Tripath amps: Ground on the two channels can not be connected together
- It is ok to only connect 1 speaker and leave the other channel unconnected if desired
- This amp can not be bridged for higher mono output
- Output: 2*100W@8ohm, 2*50W@4ohm
- Power input: DC 24V-39V (only DC!)
- TC2000/TC2001 controller and one STA510a power stage chip.
- On/off relay, preventing “pop” sound in speakers during on/off
- Input impedance: 50K
- ALPS “blue” volume potmeter
- Input sensitivity for full power: 1.5V rms
- Dimensions: 128x81x38mm
- PCB thickness 2mm
- Comes fully assembled, as pictured.
- All caps and parts are well known brands
- Big fanless heatsink.
I compared the T1 to an elderly Yamaha A1 and a few other t-amps. The A1 was particularly interesting since it is a massive device from the 1980’s (or slightly earlier), which was very expensive at the time. It sounds perfectly good in isolation, but the T1 somehow just sounds rather dramatically better. This is a bit annoying, because it means I keep having to run my outfit through a patchwork circuit board and power supply, which is a lot less impressive to look at than the A1. However I’m probably stuck with it since the other t-amps aren’t quite as good as the T1 either – and they also come in boxes.
So, rating: stellar.
wired into a smsl 32 volt smps feeding ipl s3 transmission line speakers with a sensitivity of about 88
words cannot say just how good this amp is but i will try
timing is amazing like naim without the bite
mid range is fantastically lucid and to die for
bass is large and very tight with a very large open sound stage
i was a bit concerned that power would be a problem but have not been able to turn volume past 12 o’clock in a 5 by 7 meter room
even at first switch when on i could hear no harshness or fatigue and it has only got better with more play
i used to dream of owning amps that sounded like this but could never afford the price tag
you could box this amp and sell it for 10x the price and it would still be a bargain
this is truly the golden age of hifi
No problems setting this up with 38v smps and everything worked at the first go. Feeding the amp with the Sabre DAC 2 which is powered by the aux out on smps. Output to a pair of restored 25th Aniversary Advents (recapped – refoamed) Sonically satisfying as is but putting a good tube buffer in the chain really brings it to life. You can’t beat the return of investment for what you get out of it. Going all valve SE high end with super efficient speakers would surely be better but would cost a small fortune. I’m getting old though and my ears don’t work as good as they used to and this setup works just fine for me. Only reason I’m not giving 5 stars is the wattage rating really doesn’t live up to output… which I expected. My old Marantz 30W put out about the same volume. Otherwise a fantastic kit that won’t break the bank.