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Published on July 15th, 2012 | by Kira


Dayton: Great Things Come In Small Packages

I am a girl who lives by her mu­sic. It is rare to find me with­out my iPod or near a com­put­er not play­ing Pan­do­ra. I am that girl who has a bounce in her step as she dances down the street. As one may as­sume, on top of just want­ing mu­sic, I care about my qual­i­ty of mu­sic. Since we have quite a few de­cent head­phones and speak­ers around to test, I’ve been lucky to get some se­ri­ous cans from brands like Sennheis­er and bey­er­dy­nam­ic and Gra­do that have re­al­ly im­proved the qual­i­ty.

The Day­ton Au­dio DTA-100a Class-T Dig­i­tal Amp has helped even fur­ther. It is not bat­tery pow­ered, so it isn’t much as­sis­tance on the go (maybe an im­prove­ment for the next up­grade), but it is small enough to take with me if I have a pair of de­cent small speak­ers as well. This is handy for my pho­tog­ra­phy work. If I want to keep my stereo set up at my stu­dio I can, but if I want to take it on lo­ca­tion it is not a big deal. The amp is so small it can eas­i­ly fit in a purse or even a big pock­et. And the mat­te black fin­ish is sleek and fits well with most any sys­tem or on any desk­top.

I am very hap­py with the qual­i­ty of the sound that comes from the Day­ton DTA-100a, but it should be not­ed that the amp on­ly reach­es 60 watts (30 for each speak­er), any­thing above this will give you some dis­tor­tion. A child could do the set up, all the ba­sic wires. In ad­di­tion to speak­ers, you can plug in 1/4″ head­phones, which is how we end­ed up do­ing a lot of lis­ten­ing. The amp can be a part of most stereo set ups, or just play mu­sic off a phone or iPod (which is most­ly how I use it). The on­ly an­noy­ance is how bright the blue light in the front is. It can be a lit­tle dis­tract­ing in a dark room, and it didn’t seem to be ad­justable or dimmable.

This might not be the best amp for more se­ri­ous speak­er se­tups- and some­times, you’re best off find­ing a pre­set pair, like the CEn­trance set we checked out a bit ago. We’ve been do­ing a fair bit of au­dio test­ing of sev­er­al head­phones in the re­cent trio, and this amp can warm up the sound a bit, but prob­a­bly isn’t worth it un­less you’re deal­ing with speak­ers or mon­i­tor-qual­i­ty head­phones over the $200-250 range (in gen­er­al, it’s best to spend more on the head­phones or speak­ers and save mon­ey for an amp when the man­u­fac­tur­er rec­om­mends it). Al­so, those look­ing to spend a bit more and get porta­bil­i­ty should check out the Voy­ager, which sac­ri­fices a bit of qual­i­ty/pow­er for bat­tery pow­er.

This is one of those times that you can get a great item that’s a sol­id val­ue. For on­ly $89, the Day­ton Au­dio DTA-100a Class-T Dig­i­tal Amp is the per­fect ad­di­tion to your stereo. One of the least ex­pen­sive amps that we’ve tried, it doesn’t quite of­fer the warmth of a tube amp, but does make a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment at a rea­son­able price.

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About the Author

Former neuroscientist, and now fashion photographer, Kira is a perfect fit for TrulyNet. She has a great understanding of what is hot, loves the new geeky toys, and has the academic background to be opinionated on it. Kira is well traveled, has lived in Australia and Canada for school. Loves the outdoors, biking, all types of art, and is completely obsessed with fashion and photographing it. She presently can be found in New York City at an art event, art gallery, museum, science talk, one of the NYC parks, a vegetarian friendly restaurant, a comic book store, or out getting bubble tea. She is a little obsessed with bubble tea.

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