Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chinese Mini Amp Invasion! Kinter, Lepai and More

Mini Amps Galore! 3 Models from Kinter, 3 from Lepai and 1 from TeLi

If you spend anytime on eBay looking at car audio amplifiers, then you've surely come across some of the amps I'm going to talk about here. Lepai and Kinter are just a few of the brands you'll see quite often. Some of these mini amps are small enough to fit in your pocket and promise 500 to 700W of power. So why spend several hundred dollars on a fancy name brand amplifier when you can pick up most of these for under $20 US shipped? In the near future, I'll test each amp for RMS Watt output and with some reference speakers and we may soon see why.

After receiving and testing my first mini amp, the Lepai LP-2020A+, I decided it may be interesting to pick up a few more of these mini amps and have a shootout! Here are the models I've obtained thus far:

Lepai Amps:

  • LP-2020A+ - my first mini amp, rated at 550W MAX (20W RMS) output. Tripath design, TA-2020, 2-channel, RCA/3.5mm input, bass/treble/bypass, large volume knob w/ blue LED backlight. 4-8 ohm compatible, 9-13.2V 4A power requirement (per box, amp says 12V 2A?). S/N ratio >80dB
  • LP-V3 - "This amp is use BOSE power IC" (my favorite amp quote). Rated at 700W MAX (25W RMS) output, identical in size to the LP-2020A+ (so why the 700W rating?). 2 channel, RCA/3.5mm input, bass/treble/bypass, large volume knob w/ blue LED backlight. 2-8 ohm compatible, 9-14.4V 5A power requirement (per box, amp says 12V 2A also). S/N ratio >80dB
  • LP-168HA - 2.1 (3 channel) design with ratings of 40x2 and 68x1 watts. Has separate volume for bass, built-in x-over, bass/treble/volume (all same size). RCA/3.5mm inputs, USB port, spring-loaded speaker terminals for Front L/R and Sub. 14.4v 5A power requirement.
Kinter Amps:
  • MA-150 - the smallest amp in the group, rated at 500W MAX. BTL desigh, filter for L/Off/H (x-over?), RCA L/R inputs, speaker/power connections by molex-style plug w/ attached wires. 12v 0.5A power requirement
  • MA-170 - Similar design to the Lepai LP-2020A+, but smaller. BTL design, 2-channel. Large volume knob, bass/treble adjustments, sprint-loaded speaker terminals, RCA L/R inputs. 9-14.4V DC power requirement, no Amperage specified. Rated at 100W PMPO or 4W x2 RMS, S/N ratio >70dB
  • MA-200 - largest amp in the group. 4-channel design using 2x TDA7377 IC's, rated at 41W x4 channels RMS at 1kHz. Has equal size knobs for treble/bass/volume. Includes display for function display; AUX or FM. Includes input for USB and SD/MMC card. 12V 5A power requirement.
TeLi Amp:
  • A6 - identical in size to the Kinter MA-170. 2 channel, BTL design, RCA/3.5mm inputs, bass/treble range +/- 15dB. 8-15V DC power requirement (no amperage mentioned)

See the latest Spreadsheet below with specs comparison or download it if you prefer:

Stay tuned for upcoming tests of each mini amp and we'll see which one (if any) you should buy. Check out the video overview of each amp below. Make sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay updated of my latest videos. You can also follow me on Twitter @oldschoolstereo.



Big 'Ol Stack of Mini Amps!

Kinter MA-150 in Orion HCCA Red


ryobie1 said...

This is a great! I almost bought the 168HA. Now I'm glad I didn't.
Have you seen the DIY amps new to ebay?
TDA2030A 2.1 18Wx2 36Wx1 sub. I got one and kept +++ the AC current on a 3lb heatsink till it over heated and shut down. It was shocking the power it had. (was driving a stillwater 10 to reasonable) Would love to see some bench testing on theese.
I've seen several "DIY" China models comming in about the same cost as the lepai but raw with no case.
TDA7297,TDA2030,STA540,TDA7294 to name a few. Check em out if you have time.

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