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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2012
I bought this amplifier to power some speakers for my PC. It works fantastically well... so well, that I have ordered two more for connecting to other things.

This amplifier is absolutely jaw-dropping with the tone controls disabled. It sounds better than many expensive HiFi amplifiers that are 10x the price, and that is no joke. I've even compared it to the Arcam Delta series amp I have, and it is just as well balanced... but only if the tone controls are off.

If you turn on the tone controls, it turns to a muddy mush. The tone controls are very poor - mismatched components that simply need replacing. Google modifications for this amp, and you'll find a host of tweaks available showing how to replace components and get the tons controls sounding superb however - not something I plan to do as I'll just leave them off. Most of the modifications are easy if you have basic soldering skills.

I just could not believe I got such a great sounding amp for so little money. Just be warned though, it's 10 watts per channel, not 20 watts.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2012
I've had a pair of old Celestion Ditton 15 speakers hanging around for ages (gifted from a friend). So I decided to try this little amp to see if it gave any type of acceptable sound. The reviews were very good so I was quietly hoping.
This little thing has exceeded all expectations. Within 10 minutes of it arriving in the post it was wired up and pumping out great sound. It lets you defeat the tone controls - which is great, so I've got crystal clear music, (with plenty of bass), filling up the house. Maybe I'm just very lucky with the pairing of speakers and amp, but this is a really extraordinary result. Bargain of the year for me!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2013
People buy these amplifiers for a variety of applications so I scanned the reviews with considerable interest; each person has a different story to tell and I'm no exception.
I have a pair of veteran, redundant, bi-wired Matsushita speaker units originally purchased in Japan. These are modified 6-ohm, 3-way items formerly used for handling up to 260 watts RMS (170 LF, 90 HF) from a now-defunct homemade bi-amplifier. The speakers are in hefty enclosures - hardly what you would call 'bookshelf' quality...
So, what to do with these vintage speakers? Have some fun with them, I thought when I saw the Lepai TA2020 amplifier. Obviously, I dumped the nasty 2amp PSU that came with it and replaced it with a decent 4.16 regulated power supply. Ignoring the Matsushita bass drivers for the moment, I hooked up the amp to just the mids and tweeters. Signal source was a battered Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. Some surprise! The harmonics were exceptionally clean and, sure enough, there was some bass in there too. Distortion didn't occur until the volume went WAY up - the little amp only clipped when I seriously wrung its neck. Fortunately, the Galaxy S3's music player has some good customising options for bass, treble,etc. which meant that much input could be controlled from the phone.
Many reviewers have mentioned the Lepai's poor onboard bass and treble filters. I strongly dispute that: I ran it with bass and treble fully wound up, which gave the sound much more punch - very ably assisted by the phone's music player controls.
Okay,so reviewers praise the Lepai's loudness. Yes-yes, loud is good but if you truly want to rattle your neighbour's dentures you need to inject what I'd call 'proper' bass in there too. So...with the Matsushita bass drivers still unconnected, I bought a second Lepai TA2020 and added another 4.16 amp PSU (Ebay, a fiver) and lined in a homemade external switched crossover between the Galaxy and the amps.
This isn't the place to go tediously deep into crossovers and active bi-amping, but you'll need to bone up on the subject if you want max performance. Anyone thinking of using two amplifiers shouldn't be beguiled by the easy option of 'Fool's Bi-amping' (Google that and you'll see what I mean) because you're not going to achieve much for your extra expenditure. The trick is to get your peripheral hardware sorted first and then optimise your signal pathways and speaker sensitivity parameters.
The bass produced by the double amp setup is remarkable. It won't bring the ceiling plaster down (I have a Thorens quad system elsewhere in the property that has actually done that - I kid you not) but very heavy electrofunk played though the Lepais WILL set the glassware chattering and the dog running for the door with no hint of distortion when both units are running at 80%. The fact that a smartphone and two itsy-bitsy stereo amps can achieve that, is all down to logical circuitry and the workhorse Tripath chips - plus,of course, some very accomodating vintage speakers. BTW if I ever feel the need to play sweet'n'pure music I simply switch the bass drivers out.
I'm puzzled by various reviewers references to overheating, humming, hissing,banging, and what-have-you because both of my 2020s run stone cold and create no extraneous 'offstage' noises. I suspect that some gross hardware mismatching and/or signal impediment is going on out there in Amazon world.
Other folk, hilariously, are moaning about the blue led lights. Blimey,do leave off - what do you want at 25 quid a pop?
IMO these Chinese cuties are tremendous fun to have around and represent exceptional value-for-money. There's absolutely no need to turn into a manic supertwerp - overclocking with different capacitors, etc. - because if you make operational life as smooth as possible for these amplifiers they'll repay you with some quality wattage.
A word about the suppliers: I ordered one amp from Barsoom.eu and the other from SainStore. It turns out that both of them were actually sent from SainStore. However, service was very quick so no complaints.

I'm seriously considering buying a few more of these amps.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2013
The first thing to say is that this amplifier does its job very well. It amplifies the input signal admirably. Four stars for that.

There are a few negative things about it, all of which could easily be rectified (and none of which relate to the core functionality):
-- The power supply cable provided is much too short (about 80cm) and is a US-style unit with a travel adapter stuck on it. Not a quality solution. The power supply unit has been added by the importer and problems with it are not Lepai's fault.
-- The power socket on the amp is cheap and wobbly, I expect to need to repair it at some point.
-- The volume knob is surrounded by a bright blue LED ring which looks very tacky when lit. I will need to open up the unit to cut the power supply to the LED to stop it.
-- I chose this unit for the old-school, no-nonsense appearance. The front panel is indeed no-nonsense (blue LED ring excepted) but the top of the unit has tacky writing on it (as pictured on Amazon). This would be better on the underside, so it would be hidden when mounted onto a surface.
-- the bass and treble variation controls are un-necessary additions and dilute the minimalism. You can turn off the bass/treble variation function but of course the knobs remain on the front panel. What I'd really like is an on/off switch and a volume knob only. That would be cool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2015
EDIT: The brand and model number shown above is wrong. My review is actually of the better Lepai LP-2020A+ amplifier, which uses a better version of the Tripath chip.

I got this amp to use with my PC to drive a pair of large Hi-Fi speakers. It's main advantage for me is that 12v power input, which I can use to power it off the PC instead of its own PSU so that it switches on and off with the PC.

At lowish volumes the sound is very good indeed. Bass is tight, decent mids and sparkling, clear treble. Turn up the volume to "loudish" and the sound is soon ruined. This isn't your normal clipping that you'd get with any amplifier either. While the bass and mids remain fine, the treble completely smears out, sounding a complete mess, with the effect getting worse as the volume is increased. Turning up the treble control and / or playing modern all-digital recordings which feature lots of sharp, sparkling treble makes this happen a whole lot sooner, too. The effect is so awful that it's completely unlistenable like this.

This is caused by an effect called slew rate limiting and is a hallmark of very cheap amplifiers, which this is. It's just about acceptable for the £35 I paid for it, even a little bit less maybe, but no more. The problem might be relieved when I connect it to the better, higher current PC power supply, but I doubt it.

Also, when turning the volume up quite high, the relay tends to trip for a couple of seconds or so, cutting off the sound. I've never seen this behaviour in any other amplifier before and is another demerit.

I think this is why Tripath, the company which invented this class-T technology, went bust and you don't see this technology in any more expensive, quality amplifiers. In fact, other cheap amplifiers using more traditional technology will have this problem to a much lesser extent.

On the plus side, it's very small, doesn't weigh much (no heavy heatsink) it's cute looking, is unobtrusive and is finished quite nicely, plus has a handy tone defeat button. Also, it generates very little heat, so can be squeezed into any small space you have handy, such as my PC case.

I'll be keeping my amplifier, but I'm not happy about this problem and will be looking to replace it eventually with something better.

If it hadn't been for this dealbreaker problem, I'd have given it 4 or 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2015
I was very pleasantly surprised by this Lepai amp. I have paired this with Wharfedale 121 speakers (highly recommended - grabbed them for £119), and have been streaming music from Spotify from my phone using a logitech bluetooth adapter (using "viper4android" as a system-wide EQ - very powerful by the way) and it sounds great. No hint of mushiness for me, especially with the Tone setting switched off. It even sounded good before EQing, with a low noise floor, crisp highs and clear mids. No harshness, nice and clean. All the frequency range is preserved by this amp all the way down to the deepest sub bass rumble. As far as I can tell it doesn't colour the sound in any particular way. In my case I did feel the need to boost the bass a bit, and the EQ took care of this nicely (I use EQ with all my audio equipment to get just the right amount of bass, so this isn't a point against the Lepai). I recommend using a good software EQ over the Tone controls on the actual amp, as they don't offer much precision. After setting everything up to my liking, it all sounds very dynamic without sounding forced or muddy. Impressed!

I have fairly high-end headphones and this set up easily compares to them in terms of clarity. The Lepai may not 'look' as classy as some if the higher end receivers, but to my ears it's certainly not lacking in the sound department, even if it's missing some of the bells and whistles. As someone who was looking for an amp to "get the job done" without either having to spend a fortune or having to sacrifice sound quality, this definitely delivers. Having said that I haven't been able to directly compare it to a high end receiver / amp as I don't currently own one, so I can't comment on if there's any discernible improvement in clarity to be had. Nevertheless, if you're on a budget and want to spend most of that money on quality speakers, I would easily recommend trying this amp before splashing out on something more fancy. In my case I am very satisfied with the results and I saved a lot of money, and have no immediate desire to upgrade to something more expensive. Give it a go!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2015
There isnt much that leaves me speechless but the first time I heard the sound from this tiny little box my jaw hit the floor.I've owned many items of hi -fi over the years and nothing previously has given me the "wow" factor like thís little amp did .Connected to wharfdale 9.0 speakers and playing music streamed from you tube on my phone began to make me question the thousands of pounds spent on "audiophile" equipment ín the past.For sheer pleasure per pound this beats it all. As many people have mentioned though bin the supplied power unit and use a 3/5 amp unit and sensitive 8ohm speakers if you want decent volume,my wharfdales are 6ohm 87 db m and altough went loud without distortion needed the volume set at 3/4 before they started to kick in .
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2013
I have now bought 3 of these for use with Apple airport express stations for wireless multi-room music at an extremely low price. They take the signal from the Airport (or any other source) and power the speakers.

Main points.
1. Tiny. Stereo amplifiers are many many times bigger. This easily hides behind the speaker in question or behind a decorative item, etc.
2. Cheap. but not cheap sounding. In fact very good. I have these connected to £300 bookshelf speakers, and £500 floor standing speakers, and they sound good. Yes a proper stereo amplifier at 300-400 hundred will sound better (I have directly compared them), but the difference is not huge.
WARNING. DO NOT ENGAGE THE TONE CONTROLS - this will completely ruin the sound quality.
3. Simple. No remote, no multiple inputs. In my set-up, it means I just control everything from my iphone.

I cannot recommend these more strongly. Amazon tells me I have bought 127 items in the last 6 months - this is the one I would rate the highest for everyone else's benefit and for value for money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2013
I purchased this amp to power my outdoor Bose speakers which are hard wired for my 'garden room'. In the past I've run them from an old mini Hi Fi system fixed up in my shed which was OK until some thief decided to break in an nick it! I wanted something small and inexpensive but powerful enough to power the speakers fed from an iPod/iPad/iPhone. This amp ticked every box. Over the recent warm bank holiday weekend it has provided crystal clear sounds (and at powerful levels) for 8 hours a day. No distortion at all with filters off and no heating problems whatsoever.

A first class purchase!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2012
I bought this amplifier to power some spare B&W speakers for a small home studio. This is an excellent product. It's metal construction feels durable and it's sound output is more than adequate. The product itself has an LED light around the main volume knob (color blue) so that you can tell it is powered. It also has tone adjustment (treble and bass) which can be bypassed altogether using the "tone/direct" knob. Very useful for a home studio situation. I was originally doubtful of what I would receive (given the very low price), but in the end, it was certainly a bargain! Highly recommended!
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