Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Uber Bargain $33 TA2024 Balanced Amp
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Uber Bargain $33 TA2024 Balanced Amp

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I mentioned this little balanced speaker amp in the "speaker amp for headphones" thread but this amp is such a great high output headphone amp I thought it deserved its own thread.


I picked up an $18 Stellar Labs desktop amp today from MCM Electronics. It's a Tripath TA2024 Class T based desktop amp rated at 15 watts into 4 ohms for both channels. I'm powering it with a 3 amp rated 12 volt power supply ($15 from MCM Electronics) but it can run off 8 internal AA batteries for portable operation too. The TA2024 chip amp has unbalanced (single-ended 1/8" TRS jack) input but uses true push-pull amplification with balanced output (see schematic below--note the unbalanced, common ground input is a chip level design).




It easily powers my hard-to-drive modified Fostex T50RP cans. Max volume for me comes at 10 to 11 o'clock on the Stellar Labs amp so it's not being pushed at high volume and it's dead freakin' silent at max volume. I A/B'd it against my Schiit Mjolnir using my HE-500 and T50RP cans and it stands up pretty well--no schiit, it really does. The TA2024 has a little more bass and the highs are a little less bright than the Mjolnir but both of these are really a slight improvement for the HE-500 if you ask me. Seriously, this little $18 to $35 amp punches way, way above its weight. Listen to it with an open mind (or a blind A/B test) and you'll freak out. I know it's crazy cheap but if you're on a severe budget and want to try balanced headphone operation or you just need a another amp give it a try, you won't be sorry.


Note you cannot use a headphone adapter with common ground such as an adapter with a female TRS socket. The speaker-to-headphone adapter must have four wires and separate L- and R- wires.

Edited by robrob - 11/25/13 at 5:46am
post #2 of 6
Why is the T50RP hard to drive?

The efficiency spec must be B.S?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have a pair with the basic modifications which make them less sensitive and they take much more power than my HE-500s and K240 Studios.

post #4 of 6

Looks interesting. It's a shame that it requires a balanced cable, that brings the price up quite a bit for those of us without one. However, if I do decide to build to buy a balanced cable I may try this little guy.


These may also be a good speaker amp to try.

post #5 of 6

Wait, according to the specs this amp is only rated down to 60Hz?

post #6 of 6

I'm intrigued by the tripath chip as a balanced headphone amp and willing to try out just for grins.   I'm willing to go DIY route or pre-assembled and not looking to buy the cheapest possible.   So with that it mind what would you recommend?  I see a number of DIY modules at HIFIMEDIY with "higher end" components so what would be ideal for driving HE-500 for example?  Again not looking to buy more expensive option just being clear that I'd spend a bit more for "optimal" configuration.




For reference I have HE-500's in the mail and Grado 325/Maverick A1+D2 on my desk but having great fun with Stoner Acoustics UD120 so more of a side project just to see what can be done on the cheap :o2smile:

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Uber Bargain $33 TA2024 Balanced Amp