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Dayton Audio DTA-100a vs. Toppings TP21? Help!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

This will my first good set up to be used at my desk for music, movies and some games. I originally thought about getting the audioengine A2 due to the size, however while searching for prices I noticed that a website had the Audioengine p4 passive speakers for 60$ dollars putting them at the same price as the A2s.  So I figured i could get those and one of the amps listed above to power them. I'm liking this set up as I imagine it can provide more flexibility in the future. Was leaning towards the Toppings TP 21 since I hear it has better quality of sound for the speakers and the added headphone amp. 


Suggestions are very much so welcome to other products! 

I live in Canada and don't have much experience on the topic, most of all my songs are in lossless and currently have the grado sr60 headphones


Thanks, I'm new here :)

post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 20

I have no experience with the topping, but the Dayton sounds very good.  The sound doesn't sound very colored or distorted until you start to turn the volume knob past 12 o'clock, then massive treble spike and distortion.



post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

But that would be fairly loud since its 50wpc. What would be your opinion on the audioengine A5 found them lightly used 3month old ones bargained down to $260. Like in terms which one either the amp and bookshelf vs the A5 do you think is better?

post #5 of 20

The audio a2's are just bad speakers I thought they sounded horrible alot of mid bass and nothing else, the a5's are better but for $260 you could still do much better, the p4's for $60 sound like a good buy just get them and an amp you could get a more powerful amp http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-APA150-Power-Amplifier/dp/B000VKXLBO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1326897335&sr=8-3 , and this will still cost less than the a5's.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply, I think you miss understood the Audioengine p4 were 200$, 60$ off, so after tax and shipping around 220$. I checked my local kijiji listing and there was a pair of PSB Alpha B1 for 150$ and a Polk RTi A1 for 140$. I might have a chance to get the PSB as someone already inquired about them, but certainly could get the Polks. In terms of speakers and deals what do you think is the best, and I think I might just stay with the small t-amp.


post #7 of 20

PSB is one of the kings of entry level budget speakers.  Although it looks as though the Polk is the better deal here.  If you mange to get a pair of PSB image speakers for around 150-200, I wouldn't pass that up.  Their bass extension is such that if you sit near a corner of a room where bass can sometimes naturally spike by +3-5db, then they start to sound like they have a subwoofer integrated.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yeah sorry wrong speaker, the polks were the lower end RTi-6. I was gonna hold out for the PSBs, but still unsure on what t-amp to pair them with, don't need too much power just for room music and movies, and maybe turn them up on weeks for some fun. But these would be my first serious speakers and I'm excited but not sure I want to go all out just yet

post #9 of 20

The Dayton DTA-100a stinks.  Quality control with that product is atrocious.  Most Dayton products are great, but not in this case.  There were so many problems with the DTA-100, P-E had to scrap it and try to revise it.  It does not seem the new DTA-100a fixes everything.  I am still reading about unequal L-R volume levels and in one Amazon review, a freaking fire hazard.  I have read nothing but good things about Topping amps, though I would not expect anything special on the headphone out on the TP21.


Assuming $200 is your total budget and $100 or so goes to a power amplifier, here are a few $100 options:


Sony SS-B3000

BIC DV62si

Any Polk speakers in the price range (the real entry-level budget king)


The first two are relatively common, so there is a decent chance you can find a shop in Canada that carries them.  You can probably get away without feeling you need a subwoofer with them.  

post #10 of 20

Analog volume pots will always have some degree of channel inbalance, also you don't know how the users treat these amps the 1 that burst into flames, might have been driving speakers of too high or low impendance or used on the wrong mains voltage or something.

post #11 of 20

Well I have read the imbalance is distractingly off.  The teardown pics on the original DTA-100 was a joke at diyaudio.

post #12 of 20

Channel imbalance was reportedly a huge issue with the original DTA-100, but I get a near perfect center image out of the DTA-100a on my PSBs.  There's little imbalance to be heard.


The first DTA-100a I got had a very bad hissing problem, so I returned it for a new one.  This second one has been good on me for its average usage of 8 hours per day.  

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replys, I found a seller on ebay that I can get the topping for about $70. The speakers fancypantoloons listed all, minus polks are all up around 200$ since they'd all have to be imported. And so any other suggestions?

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

And this is a little off topic, but what pros or cons do adding banana plugs or the like to an amp and the speaker do to benefit. I have always just connected speaker wire directly to the components.

post #15 of 20

There is not any difference in sound with using banana plugs vs bare wire.  It is just for convenience.

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