Two cheap mini-amps tested: Pyle vs Topping

Pyle puts their own name on many products, some better than others. For example, the Pyle PHE7AB headphone amp/dac is a rebadged FIIO E07, which is quite decent but often much more expensive than the Pyle.

Another +1 for the Lepai LP2020. I’ve being using one in my little kitchen system for about 6 months and it’s become my favourite place in the house for music listening.

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A year ago I spent a couple of days looking at all the options in these new single-chip amps. Trouble with those el-cheapo boxes is that they come with a questionable, wall-wart power supply. That may be okay if you only want to listen with 5w per channel.

For those willing to invest in (or who already own) a decent regulated 13.8vdc supply, I’d recommend the Boss CX-150 (a brick made for a car) for about $30. 50w RMS per channel, very clean and sounds great even in big, quality speakers. (Don’t miss the decades-old Technics transistor amp I replaced with it.) An RF-busy city is no problem for it. Made to handle 2-ohm speakers, so 4 is easy.

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There’s a reason that the Lepai is the cult classic and NOT the Pyle. The Lepai is truly awesome, sadly you chose the wrong one.

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@nixiebunny: Been looking to make a class D amp myself - is your design available?

Pyling on the Topping.

Have to add to the Lepai accoladia. Been using a 2020A as a second zone amp for a year now, through a pair of small speakers; and even with the dial turned fairly low it’s plenty powerful enough to push a clean sound into a kitchen. I don’t doubt the Topping is superior, but ‘a little more expensive’ and ‘three and a half times the price’ (on Amazon UK) aren’t what I’d call synonymous.

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I’m not sure I ever want to use 20 amp speakers in any system I build.

Well, unless it run a gas/oil mix and has a folded horn.

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I have a Bifrost and Lyr I use often. Love them.

My amplifier board is on my Bike Boom Box web page.

Exactly. I have two mini amps by Lepai, and I am pleased with both of them. They’re not power drivers, but the tone on the smaller unit is really pleasant when coupled with my iPad and outputting to a couple KLH 2-way bookshelf units.

I wouldn’t assume the Lepai is the same quality as the Pyle, sounds like the Pyle is a pile.

And at pretty close to 0K for the low impedance, liquid Helium might serve.

WATT dammit. 20 watt.

That’s what I get for not proofreading.

I figured, but just couldn’t… resist.

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It’s OK.
You probably wouldn’t have made the mistake if you weren’t hadn’t gotten insulate at ohm.

I had a very similar experience with a Pyle car stereo.

It was worse than useless.

I use a audiosource amp-100 with Klipsch bookshelves.

I’m another Lapai 2020A owner, good little amp for a great price. Paired with a couple used Pioneer bookshelf speakers (10$), I couldn’t be happier with my 30$ sound system that fills most rooms I’ve had it in.

I assumed the Lepai was the cult classic because it’s one I first read about on BoingBoing.

Rob, I have the Lepai one and love it. I used it (with a $20 DAC from Monoprice) to connect speakers to my Apple TV box. I get no buzzing or feedback. I think you should look at it closer if you decided to compare again.

Also, PYLE has a really crappy reputation among online reviewers and comments on sites like Woot. Every time PYLE stuff comes up for sale, a bunch of people go off about how their stuff is Garbage. So it wouldn’t surprise me to find that the PYLE amp is much crappier than the Lepai, even if they look very similar.