SMSL SA-98e Amp Power-Supply Advice

So I have a small desktop setup, but before I bought this setup I had purchased an SMSL SA-98e amplifier to push whatever speakers I bought.
Currently, the SA-98e has seen maybe 16-ish hours of play due to the fact that the power supply died on me within a week. Off the top of my head I believe it takes something like 24V at 7-9A, which is pretty difficult to find on any trustworthy sites.
Recently, as in yesterday, I saw a charger naming the amplifier in particular on Amazon for $45 (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078MQQK9D/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_1ZPIFbTX2VGTH). Decided to give my old one a go for no reason beyond paranoia. Miraculously it worked and then promptly ceased to work exactly as before. I opened the case but didn’t see any obviously bad soldering or parts out of place (no expert here). And to clarify the unit itself seems to work just fine and very well, just can’t power the darn thing.

So my question is, should I bite the bullet and buy this $45 power supply? Has anyone else experienced a failure like this? If so how did you fix it? This thing has been collecting dust on a shelf for nearly two years and this blip of life has made me determined to fix it one way or another. If anyone knows of a more reliable or trustworthy power supply than linked above I’d appreciate a recommendation.

So in kind of the same boat as you. No idea where to get reliable power supplies for electronics. Amazon seems like a mine field for most things.

Do you have the power brick on hand?
If so, there should be a label that says what the output is:
image

Yes, but:

  • Make sure the barrel jack is the correct size
  • Make sure it is the same polarity. Make sure they are identical (when the plus points at the center, your replacement should do the same) There is a symbol like this:

    There may be a symbol like that near the barrel jack on the amplifier itself.

Looking at pictures of the device, it looks like 32V (earlier versions) to 36V (current version) 4.5A (Center Positive)


Reliable PSU makers:

  • TDK Lambda
  • Honeywell
  • Meanwell
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So I did misremember the output, it’s 36V 5.7A, and the exact symbol you sent is there, which I think tells me all I need to know about requirements for the power brick.

You mentioned some brands below, are these often sold on Amazon or will I need to look at more specialty sites for those items? When just searching it up the only ones I find are the one linked or those power supplies that come with no wires or any plastic enclosure. Hoping to not need that kind of solution to be honest.

Really appreciate the in-depth and helpful reply, I’ve added two pictures here in case there’s anything useful to glean from them.


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Honestly, I would check electronics retailers (Mauser, Digikey, etc.) first.

Open-Frame would not be ideal, I agree.

A quick search bought up three supplies (neither is cheap):
Meanwell GST220A36 would set you back $82
ETA-USA MTE200-36SX $143
TDK-Lambda TDM250PW360D $210

Looking at prices, I would try the amazon find you did earlier.

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I lean towards what @MazeFrame said:

It is the least expensive option, plus you can return it through the end of January if it turns out that the power supply is not the issue. I am hoping that it is just the power brick, it could be a cold solder joint or a component that is failing after heating up.

Also; You can get a new SA-98e for $115.00 on Amazon, only a little more than the replacement supply and half as expensive as a couple of the others listed. Might not make sense to spend more on a replacement power supply than for what you could get a new unit for.

Edit:
The link I sent was for a Black one and they show one left but for the same price they have the Silver version showing as being in stock on November 6th

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This is what bugs me the most.
If it was 30V or below, you could get by with a better bench PSU (which are also cheaper than $100).
36V and 48V are more medical and industrial ranges which in turn makes the PSUs for it more expensive (because regulations and so on)

Yeah, I saw a guy selling the full unit on eBay for $60 including the power supply. Unfortunately someone else snagged it an hour before I went to buy it. Real shame.

I ended up buying the Amazon one, hoping that it works out. Probably gonna come back to this thread and update on how it works in case someone else finds value in that feedback. I hope so, because $80 - $100 to power a $115 amp is pretty close to not worth it. I’ll also review it on Amazon in case others run across it.

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if you have not bought a new PSU yet. and you live in the continental US. I have a SMSL SA-98e I could sell you. I will need to check and make sure I have all the parts for it and a box to ship in.

I ended up buying the Amazon one. Plan on updating how it works here since nobody else seemed to know about this option.

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Amazon supply arrived yesterday. Definitely feels better than the one shipped with my amp, well as much as a cheap black enclosure can.


It is lower wattage than the one mine came with, but it does seem to push it just fine.

Only problem, and it unfortunately seems to be a decent issue, is that the barrel jack is of slightly different size.


So, the connection is somewhat iffy due to the looseness. Inside diameter is the real problem, but maybe worth note is that the outside diameter is ever so slightly smaller too, so overall it’s a bit wiggly. Wires on the original say 18awg and the new is 16awg.

My only question now, is since the supply seems otherwise good to go, how should I address this barrel jack thing? Should I just splice the old jack onto the new wire? The difference in wire size gives me pause, but the old one had both higher voltage and amperage. If not this course of action, any ideas? I could maybe crack open the enclosures and resolder the entire wire, but that seems riskier. Open to any suggestions.

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The lower the AWG, the higher the wire size.

As the case is probably ultrasonically welded and potted (= filled with epoxy resin), I doubt you will have much success doing this.

Could do that. Alternatively you could measure the dimmensions of new one and get a fitting barrel socket to make an adapter cable by reusing part of the old cable and the old jack.

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The new one is lower voltage and lower amperage. I’m sure it will work but you’re going to run out of steam if you push it.

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Good catch! I completly missed that.

According to the website the amp will do 160W into 4Ω from 32V input.
Combine that with the 85% efficency claim and you got 30W of heat in the amplifier.
Assuming the thing is not suicidal, it should thermal throttle before the PSU starts sweating.

What do you mean by running out of steam? If the old wire claims higher voltage and amperage is there meaningful concern about whether the old wire can handle output from the new supply?