Originally Posted by daveDerek
another contender of that ilk would be the little dot 3+.
larry, dunno if you've addressed this but how'd you hook up the k1ks to the big joe?
I have a short 'pigtail' that I plug my K1000s XLR connector into. The pigtail ends in 4 wires (L+, L-, R+, R-), to which I connected male banana plugs. Then it is simply a matter of plugging the male banana plugs into the proper female banana jacks on the Big Joe.
Believe me when I say that both the Big Joe and the TA-10.1 are contenders, even when compared to the more expensive amps like the Aleph 3.
You may need to tune the Big Joe to your tastes with Opamp rolling. I personally prefer a warmer and fatter sounding Opamp. So some Opamp experimentation may be required before you get Big Joe to sound 'just right' with the K1000s. For whatever it may be worth, at low to moderate listening volumes (which are the volumes I listen to music at, I never 'crank it'), I couldn't hear a big enough of a difference in sound quality between Joe and the Aleph 3 to justify keeping the Aleph 3. Some may scoff at that statement, but I am just reporting things as I heard them when I compared Joe to the Aleph 3. Big Joe also works great as a power amp, in the event you want to add tube flavoring to your K1000s with a tube pre-amp. I hate, hate, HATE the location of the on/off switch on the Big Joe. But this is a small price to pay, and an issue I am willing to deal with to get such great sound out of my K1000s for such little dough, in such a small (and cool to the touch) amplifier. The Aleph 3 would scald your hand if you touched it for more than 4 or 5 seconds, and it also raised the temperature in the room by a couple of degrees.
I need to spend a little more time with the Trends TA-10.1, but so far I am equally impressed with its performance. With the TA-10.1, I got the best results when using resistors wired across the output terminals (due to the fact that the TA-10.1 is a Tripath based amp). I forget the values of the resistors I am using, but I will update this post with their values when I get a chance. Without the resistors, the TA-10.1 can sound a bit shrill with some recordings. One beef I have with the TA-10.1 is that there is a channel imbalance at lower volumes (not uncommon with a lot of amplifiers), but it seems that I have to turn the volume up a little bit further than I think I should have to in order to get past the channel imbalance. I know that the TA-10.1 has a couple of pots that I believe will allow me to adjust the imbalance a little bit, but I haven't gotten around to trying that out yet. Like the Big Joe, you can also use the TA-10.1 as a power amp.
At this point in the experiment, I am slightly favoring Joe a bit more, due to the fact that you can opamp roll, the channel imbalance goes away at much lower volume setting, and Joe is not a Tripath based amp, so there is no need to use the resistors as I did with the TA-10.1.
I haven't used Big Joe to drive a full sized set of loudspeakers yet, but I did try with the Trends TA10.1, and the results were spectacular.
I want to spend some more time with both of the amps, but in the end I may very well end up keeping both of them - they are that good.