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.
T4 Amplifier with TK2050 chipset (TC2000 AND STA516b)
TK2050 is the chipset with TC2000/TC2001 controller and the TP2050/STA505 output stage chip. The STA516b is a higher performance, higher output substitute for the STA505 output chip. It’s capable of handling a higher power supply voltage, it’s better at low impedances and gives a higher watt output. All this while keeping the great sound signature of the TK2050 that mainly comes from the controller TC2000/TC2001.
The T4 use the STA516a in a full bridge, non-paralleled configuration. This non-paralleled configuration is suitable for speakers in the 8 ohm range. We recommend the similar T3S amplifier (full bridge, paralleled) configuration for 4 ohm speakers. The T4 can be used with 4 ohm speakers, but output will be lower. For 6 ohm speakers you can use either this T4 or the T3S amp.
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 amp has Jantzen Cross Cap 2.2uf input caps.
There is no volume control on this amp, it is a power amp that will require either a preamp or a external volume potmeter to control the volume.
The T4 is similar in design to the T1 amp. The difference is the output stage chips and that it can take a higher voltage power supply and provides higher watt output.
Power supply requirement
For AC power it needs a dual AC: AC34V-0-34V (within the range from 30-34V is ok).
- 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
- 180W+180W output @8ohm
- Speaker protection: DC/error and power on delay, power down immediately off (when transformer powered)
- Power down interface to switch or controller: It can be remotely switched off from compatible preamp or controller
- Gain: 25x
- Input sensitivity for full power 1.5V
- High-level design and good parts used.
- PCB size: 100*160mm
- Inputs: 2.54mm connectors for signal, 7.62mm connector for power supply
- Outputs: 7.62mm connectors
- Power supply: Dual AC; AC34V-0-34V (30 – 34 is ok) or single DC 36 – 48V. Will draw max 8.5A @ 48VDC. If using 4 ohm speakers recommened PSU is AC28V-0-28V or single DC 39V.