Spotlight: Sonic Impact T-Amp Madness!!!

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by Josh Ray on July 22 '05


What?!? You've never heard of the Sonic Impact T-Amp? Well, for those who aren't familiar with the T-Amp phenom, this Spotlight is for you. Priced at $30 or so, the SI is a tiny little battery powered amp pumping out a massive 6 watts. Made for cheapo speakers, the Sonic Impact wasn't born to be a contender. But for some reason beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals, the SI T-amp sounds amazingly good.

Don't believe me? Check out the next page for all the goods on the deal of the century and how you too can get involved in the T-amp revolution.

So why does anyone in high-end audio give a damn? Is it possible for $30 to really sound impressive at all? Yes, folks, this $30 Napoleon competes with $1500 SETs and other tube amps. Seriously. At least, it gets damn close and, with a number of mods, can play with the big dogs. Check out these reviews of the stock T-Amp from real, bonifided journalists if you don't believe a word I say (which is understandable):

Stereo Time Review
6Moons Review
TNT Audio Review

For $30 don't expect 5-way binding posts, silver cabling or anything fancy. The magic is in the Tripath TA 2024 chip (hence the T-amp or class-T rating). If you know anything about audiophiles then you know they have way too much time on their hands and can't leave a product well-enough alone. Check out these sites for reboxing, modifying and otherwise totally Frankensteining your little T-amp:

Modifying T-Amp
TNT Guide to Reboxing
DIYForums on SI Mods [THE place for SI mods]

 Ampbox Image Frt1Z

If you aren't down with too much tweaking, kits like the AmpBox and the wildly funky Mauna Kea are for you. Just buy the package and, after a couple hours with a steady hand, you'll have a glorious new amp.

AmpBox Kit [pictured above]
Mauna Kea Kit [pictured below]

 Sonic Images Amprear

If you aren't down with the soldering iron, Red Wine audio provides a whole slew of options and upgrades to fit your digital amp fix. Prices start at $499 for a Red Wine Clari-T integrated and go up to a tricked out Lotus at $1200. Yeah, big money (relative to $30) but big sound. Check out our post on the Red Wine Lotus (pictured below) and go to Red Wine Home for all the details and a list of their gushing reviews.

  Sitebuilder Images Lotus Rear Angle-401X215-1
For 30 bucks you'd be crazy NOT to dip your little piggies into T-amp waters. Of course, if your only speakers are power-hungry ogres then forget it. But if you've been living on 50, even 100, watts, then you may be surprised what these little guys can do. Viva amps!


How does class-T digital amplifier technology compare - in terms of sound quality and physical component similarity - to the proprietary technology in NuForce Digital Amplifiers? Are you guys sure NuForce amps aren't just cleverly disguised/modified Tripath T-Class amps?
Has anybody out there built an amp using Tripath's TA0105A 500 Watt Amplifier Drivers? Can you imagine what kind of amp system you could build using these chips!? I think someone should build a suitable subwoofer amp for the Eminent Tech TRW-17 Sub-woofer!!