Here's the lowdown, my Dayton DTA100-a died a couple days ago. It was the driving force for my PC's 2.1 audio solution for almost 2 years. I have $100-200 max to find a solution. I need your help.
I have a pair of Pioneer SP-BS21's that have been amazing, and I plan to keep using and enjoying them: http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS21-LR-80-Watts-2-Way-Speakers/dp/B004MEWZE4
I have a Dayton Sub-100: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-633.
I was using hi-level from the DTA to the sub as I didn't want to try the sub's hi crossover for full-range speakers nor necessarily always have the sub going. It has a 275hz 12db for the RCA outputs. Sometimes I like to tune my Pioneers for full range, cut the lowest bass down and just use them..keeps the wife happy and the neighbors from calling me in (again...), link: http://www.parts-express.com/pdf/300-633m.pdf. I also plan to keep this, as it's solid for my needs aside from the pass-thru crossover BS.
I have a FiiO E9 HP: http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E9-Desktop-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B004M172FY/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1382814801&sr=1-1&keywords=FiiO+E9, that I've used for a long time now, it's been a very good unit, very dependable, cool-running and plenty of power for my D2000, HARX700's, XB500's and variety of earbuds, most notably my iron buds.
My source is my analogue output on my Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1 PCI-e from my PC, all stock on the opamps. I've owned this card since 2009 and honestly it's been a champ, the drivers are solid for Windows 7 and 8 and 8.1 for me thus far...hoping I'll have success in Ubuntu 13.10 soon too. This I plan to keep.
Well now with my amp dead, my 2.1 setup is noiseless...and that sucks! I'm kid and wife-free for the afternoon! I have no tunes! Well I am using the Logitech X-230 I gave her...and those still impress me at how good they sound for a small, cheap, old 2.1 PC speaker setup....but they pale to my Pioneers.
I started researching Class T/D amps, and my budget...which as a college student, parent, etc...I could do $100 realistically. $200 at most if I can replace the E9 as well.
Do I NEED to replace the E9? No...but if I go with a receiver that has a good headphone output, then why would I need to keep it? I do like the thought of small amps thought, and I only need a couple of inputs and outputs in all honesty. But I would also like to simplify things as well...I have a huge wiring mess that I'd love to clean up behind my desk. And if I can simplify my desk audio solution I am game. My sound card's HP amp is pretty damn good too, even from the FP connection of my PC...but it's really nice to have a volume knob and more power when I want it.
I started looking to just replace my speaker amp...but I would like to have a dedicated subwoofer output. I don't like the hi-level option. As I stated earlier, if I used the RCA pass-thru on the sub-100, it would have a 275HZ/12db crossover to my speaker amp...and honestly I only run my sub on rare occasion. It's nice to have when I want it, but I don't want my audio system to depend on it and I don't want it modifying my signal. Is that a legitimate concern?
Hardware I'm looking at:
Sherwood RX4109 - http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4109-Stereo-Receiver-Black/dp/B000MBUSD6/ref=pd_sim_e_8 - It's a beast and I'd have to put a monitor on it to make it fit on my desk. Hence why I went with smaller dedicated amps a couple years ago. Also how is the headphone output on this? The 4105 is $10 cheaper and an option too.
A friend over at TechPowerUp! recommended the Emotiva a100: http://shop.emotiva.com/products/a100
Another friend suggested I just go with this: https://www.springwateraudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=51#.UmvxRPmshcb
I considered a Lepai 2020+, but I see so many hit and miss reviews and it's lower power. I want to have some good power for those times when I can crank it up. I may grab one at $20 anyways just to have something until I decide what to do. But I am posting here in the hopes I can get some assistance as I'm going different directions now.
EDIT Addition to the list: The Maverick A1...how would it suit my needs? http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_a1/hardware_a1
Should I just replace my small Class-T amp with another one?
Should I get a receiver and replace both my amps?
Should I get an AB amp?
Should I wire through my Sub to simplify things even though I use it less often than my speakers and HP's?
I'm looking for good options in the 100-200 range please. I am researching as I type this, and there's just soooo many opinions and more questions and many threads that never show resolution out there on the web. I have always appreciated the support and response from the Head-Fi community so I ask you guys once again for help! I am leaning towards the receiver option, maybe the route I should've went 2 years ago. But will it be safe to put my 23" Dell IPS monitor on? Also if I can find a smaller amp like this TEAC for $200: http://www.amazon.com/Teac-AH01-B-Amplifier-Digital-Converter/dp/B006I6FXDY/ref=prid-20&qid=1382739449&sr=8-13&keywords=teac, then it'd fit under my Staples monitor stand: http://www.staples.com/Staples-Standard-Steel-Monitor-Riser/product_643687?cid=PS:GooglePLAs:643687&KPID=643687&srccode=cii_17588969&cpncode=33-187205033-2, I have one for each monitor on my dual workstation desk/bench. One contains the keyboard/mouse for the secondary PC I'm working on..my main monitor has my Dayton and FiiO amps, and a usb HDD under it.
What I seek: I want clean sound, that can go decently loud on both speakers and headphones. If it's not worth it to replace the E9, it would be nice to keep everything on the desk and accessable...which would mean for me finding a smaller speaker amp solution that will work well for my needs. But maybe I need some education on what it is I really need...which is also why I'm asking for help here on Head-Fi. Thanks for your time!
Edited by Kursah - 10/26/13 at 12:33pm