Lepai/Lvpin Tripath Amplifer
I had been looking for an amplifier for the workshop for a while and read about these small and cheap amplifiers on the DIYAudio forum [link to diy audio posts]. The posts suggested that although cheaply made the amps sound great and are very easy to mod. So order placed and £19.99 later it arrived. My new version can badged as Lvpin, the new name for Lepai (apparently meaning “dependable product” in Mandarin”). I ordered one without a PSU, I happened to have an external hard drive PSU offering 12v DC 2 Amps output so I hooked that up first to check how this budget amp would fare.
So next, I wanting to test the amp, so I connected everything up and queued up some music. The little amp sounded good. It does however look like a £20 amp, the aluminium case is fine and very compact but the screws on the case look to be made from butter as
they seem to be a little rounded. I have read that Lepai use second hand parts to construct so perhaps they are second hand screws (the amp appeared to be box fresh). Anyhow this is not really an issue the screws can be replaced if so desired. The spring clip speaker terminals are cheap, and upon removing the amp from the box and checking the clips which needed to be released prior to first use and in doing so one of the springs jumped out. So then followed a few minutes trying to find the spring and then refitting it. But I bought it for the sound quality not the case.
There are better build T amps available to buy if this is an issue. Being a unit without ventilation holes (as the amp isa digital chip it is very efficient and as such creates very little heat) which makes it a good choice for a workshop where it will be exposed to lots of sawdust.
Then needing the external HDD PSU back, I ordered a PSU rated at 5 amps – online discussion seem to concur that a better quality PSU will improve the sound quality. So £31.97 later I the amp was sorted.
I pared the amp with an old Sony FM tuner that has been in a box for a couple of years and this is working great.
I spent a lot of time looking for suitable speakers for the t amp, they needed to be easy to drive and cheap but still with a good sound. After scouring the online ads. I happened to see missions 731i speakers for sale, perfect for workshop duties – if anything a little too good. They do sound really quite good. Post with specs here: Link
I made some speakers brackets up for these – Link