Poppulse T-AMP180

zingo
zingo AudiophilePosts: 11,255
edited March 2014 in Electronics
Just found this interested new amp from PopPulse and it looks like a lot of power and features for a Tripath based integrated amp.

Fully balanced amplification from a pair of TRIPATH TA2022
Boot delay, the overcurrent, undervoltage or overvoltage, overheating protection function
All-aluminum chassis, 8MM thick aluminum panel
Remote control volume, line input selection.
OP National Semiconductor LM49720
ALPS Quadruple motor controlled potentiometer
Two pairs unbalanced RCA stereo line input, one pair XLR balanced stereo line input
RMS power output: stereo 2 x 120W/8Ω (0.1% THD+N)
stereo 2 x 180W/4Ω (0.1% THD+N)
stereo 2 x 90W/8Ω (0.015% THD+N)
stereo 2 x 140W/4Ω (0.015% THD+N)
Total Harmonic Distorsion : 0.05% (1 KHz)
Dynamic Range:102db, Noise level : 92dB
Frequency response : 15-30 KHz (-1db)
Input Sensitivity : 280mV
Dimension: L: 41.2 cm, W: 34 cm, H: 17.7 cm Weight: 8kg

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Post edited by zingo on

Comments

  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    I've been chatting with the manufacturer and am thinking of trying out this amp; I've owned a few different Tripath based amps in the past and a well designed one sounds very good. Besides the high power output which makes it interesting, the design is a true balanced input/output using a pair of Tripath TA2022 modules; since each Tripath module has two channels. I know it's an unknown quantity, although PopPulse has a decent history for a HK based company, but I've been successful more than I been bit in the past when buying unknown equipment...

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  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,353
    edited February 2014
    Just curious what the cost on this baby?
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    Just curious what the cost on this baby?

    Good question... Currently he does not have a US distributor, but the French distributor has it listed at $500. It's not cheap for a Tripath based amp which usually are under $200, but it does have a remote control, plus the balanced circuitry giving it twice the power, and appears to be very well made from the pictures.
  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,552
    edited February 2014
    Looks like a very solid build. Nice sized transformer as well.
    Depending on the ultimate US cost, might be a solid option for a workshop/garage integrated...
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    I'm currently seeing what price+shipping I can get... :D

    Having owned Tripath, Hypex, ICEpower, and ClassD Audio, Tripath has some of my favorite sound quality even though it historically has low power output. They seem to offer a warmer class-D sound, and even sound good with horns from my experience.
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    Anyone have experience with the Tripath TA2022?
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    I just confirmed purchase with the manfacturer, and he'll send out the unit by Wednesday after two days of burn-in. I'm very interested to see the build quality and performance, as both look good from the website. There are a few similar looking kits floating around ebay that use a pair of TA2022 chips bridged, but this amp is claimed to be a unique design, and completely stable for 4 ohm nominal speakers.
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    I just got the tracking number for the amp and it left Hong Kong tomorrow (2/20/14)!
  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,552
    edited February 2014
    It's on now...gonna get a full on Jake style beat down! :lol:
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    I received the amp yesterday, and it was very well packed with foam and a double box, which resulted in zero damage. I didn't spend much time with it last night, but it's the largest (16"x13"x7"), heaviest (almost 20lbs), and most well built Tripath based amp I've ever owned or seen. After hooking it up, it has fairly low tweeter hiss (which may decrease with burn-in), runs just slightly warm to the touch of the aluminum chassis, and has flawless remote control functions with nice looking white LED status lights; input switching, mute, and ALPS volume control in small increments. The power switch is a hard toggle on the back, and so my assumption is that the unit is intended to be left on 24/7 which I will be doing. I don't currently have a balanced source which I could test the XLR inputs, but I should seek one out as it seems to have a balanced topology front to back. I also will be testing the internal toggles which bypass the 12dB gain for the preamp section. The amp introduces no ground loops, hum, or buzz, and initial sound quality seems to be very clean and clear.

    More testing to come tonight...
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 7,658
    edited February 2014
    Hello,
    The March issue of AudioXpress magazine tested the Tripath TA2024 and the Lepai TA2020+ along with a sidebar article about the Tripath company itself.
    Cheers, Ken
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 24,404
    edited February 2014
    I owned a PopPulse DAC for awhile. Nicely built and generally a pretty good performer. At it's price point I found several others I personally liked better.

    Enjoy

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | updated SDA 1C | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,353
    edited February 2014
    Price????
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    The March issue of AudioXpress magazine tested the Tripath TA2024 and the Lepai TA2020+ along with a sidebar article about the Tripath company itself.

    Thanks Ken. That would be an interesting read as the Tripath chips are all over the map for power output and sound quality. Like any technology, the better designed ones with good implementation seem to be a very good example of class-D, while the $10 ones are aren't good, but amazing for what they are and the price.
    Price????

    This is where it gets sticky... I'm not going to share the price out of respect since he doesn't currently have a US distributor, and I don't know how much I'm paying compares to other direct buyers, or if he had a distributor. His French distributor has it listed at $500 on their site, and I paid under that including shipping direct from the company. I do have a few questions for Wu their rep, and I'll ask him about the price for a US buyer, and if that is set and published.
  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,353
    edited February 2014
    zingo wrote: »
    This is where it gets sticky... I'm not going to share the price out of respect since he doesn't currently have a US distributor, and I don't know how much I'm paying compares to other direct buyers, or if he had a distributor. His French distributor has it listed at $500 on their site, and I paid under that including shipping direct from the company. I do have a few questions for Wu their rep, and I'll ask him about the price for a US buyer, and if that is set and published.

    Thats a good enough ballpark for me, but if they are OK with a more accurate dollar amount that would be cool as well. If not it at least lets me know what range its in. Thanks!
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    The US retail price of the T-AMP180 directly from Pop Pulse is $495. My initial impressions of the sound quality is dynamic, detailed, and very neutral. There is a slight tweeter hiss with no playback, but it is not audible from my couch. This may decrease with burn-in, but any of the listening I'm currently doing is with only a few hours on the amp. I took the top off and it smells like brand-new components, so I'm sure some changes will occur. The components used look excellent, build quality is good (except for a thin top to the chassis which is my only dislike of the unit so far), and the functionality is flawless whether by hand or remote control; even programmed into my Harmony.

    I got to try the 12dB preamp switches last night and they do cut out the preamp gain; one for each channel. I need to ask whether this means the front end runs passive, or simply without gain, but it's an interesting feature. It would allow you to have been control over more sensitive speakers, and possibly operate them past the initial imbalance of most pots. I toggled the switches back and forth a few times and adjusted the volume according each time, but didn't notice a major difference with just one song.

    With 4Ω speakers, power output is claimed at 180W (0.1% THD+N) and 140W (0.015% THD+N) with both channels driven, and I bet you could get over 200wpc before clipping. I wouldn't consider it a "high current amp" only given that power increases 70% when you half an 8Ω load, but it still makes good power from a very healthy sized transformer and linear power supply. It even has a start-up mute feature which must be necessary, as there is a sizable current draw on my Tripp-Lite when I turn the amp on. I turned on the amp this morning before I left for work, and will listen to it tonight, as well as see how warm the chassis is.

    The initial sound isn't as warm as other Tripath based amps I've owned (not a bad thing), but this integrated amplifier is on a distant relative of any other Tripath amp on the market. This is the successful utilization of chip based, class-D technology, into a stereo component that looks, sounds, and functions like a much more expensive or less efficient design; and without all the unmarked and questionable components usually associate with far-east electronics.

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  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    I'm impressed by the transformer in this amplifier, as I've not seen one this large in another Tripath based design, let alone another commercial class-D amp; no SMPS here!

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  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited February 2014
    zingo wrote: »
    I got to try the 12dB preamp switches last night and they do cut out the preamp gain; one for each channel. I need to ask whether this means the front end runs passive, or simply without gain, but it's an interesting feature. It would allow you to have been control over more sensitive speakers, and possibly operate them past the initial imbalance of most pots. I toggled the switches back and forth a few times and adjusted the volume according each time, but didn't notice a major difference with just one song.

    After a few more exchanges with Wu at Pop Pulse, the toggle switches do bypass the active section of the preamp, leaving only the input selector and potentiometer in the signal path. This obviously lowers the gain by 12db and could be less noisy, but also could result in decreased dynamics depending on source; like any passive preamp. It's a very neat feature that I'll have to play around with more this weekend.
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited March 2014
    After leaving the T-AMP180 on all day, the aluminum chassis was warm to the touch, and the internal heat sink was hot. I floated this question to Wu, and he said that is normal. The better news is that the amp can be left on 24/7, so I'll be doing that from now on to keep the components in optimum operating range; plus my power center blinks when I turn the amp on, so that'll save a little ware. A class-D amp that can sip power (compared to A/B anyway), yet is designed to run hot seems like a good combo.

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    After another week or so of burn-in, I'll compare the amp to a class A/B amp with similar power.
  • avirutdk
    avirutdk Posts: 1
    @zingo

    I find myself in the position to choose if poppulse T180 is good for the buy, it seemed your review ended here and i can't find any.

    What the sonic character is like? I am currently listening to Roksan Kandy K2 with a pair of Tannoy DC6 bookshelf. Should the buy considered as an upgrade ?(or at least comparable)
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    It's a nice, neutral to bright sounding amp, so I would be careful matching it with other bright equipment; especially bright speakers. It's a funny Tripath amp in that it has a bit of power, but should be used more like a traditional A/B amp, then like a low powered amp with horns, etc.

    Why do you want to change from the MOSFET based Roksan? These two amps will have a very different sound.
  • I know this is a really old thread, but I am just discovering these older class-d amplifiers, and I am hoping that someone in the thread might still have one of these around that they might want to sell. Let me know ! Thanks everyone ...