morphine wrote:While we're on this topic, are there any 5.1 and/or 75-100W version of these "T-Amps"? Because currently I'm using an old Sony receiver + bookshelf speakers, but the receiver is huge, and there really aren't many small ones. This leads me to think that I'd be much better off with a much simpler "5.1 amplifier and little else" device, if such a thing existed...
I'm pretty sure no one makes a 75W (into 8 ohms) T-amp, or a multichannel one. One company, Virtue Audio
, came close. They're a small American company that do mostly internet direct sales. They started selling their own T-amp designs about 4-5 years ago. With upgraded power supplies, their amps would push over 40W per channel into 8 ohms and close to 90 watts per channel into 4 ohms. I think most big brands rate their power output at 6 ohms these days - which would peg the Virtue amps at around 60 watts per channel at max output. They use a dual mono-bridge design, with proprietary cooling for the dual T-amp chips - basically heat sinks with heat pipes that are connected to the aluminum enclosures (sort of like those new small form factor aluminum HTPC cases that have processor heat sinks with heat pipes connected to the walls of the case).
The Virtue Audio amps, however, weren't cheap, starting at around $300-$350, with their flagship models coming in around as much as $900. They are currently in the middle of a product line overhaul/redesign and are not selling any amps at the moment. The new models, at least some, are purportedly designed to deliver more power, but no firm details yet.
I own Virtue amps and they are really quite something. You get the smooth yet articulate T-amp sound with hardly any of the power output compromises. Output with a decent power supply is plenty for all but the most demanding speakers unless you are trying to fill up a very large room or listen at 100 decibels or more.