xDuoo TA-20, the disappointment

I watched the video Zeos posted about the xDuoo TA-10 and thought to my self, i want a tube amp, i have wanted one for ages.

So then I went online and bought the TA-20, figured it would be great, also it is balanced with two tubes.

I have now received it and tried it out, I have not used it for that long as of writing this (3-4 hours) but I am at the point where i want to throw it at the wall!

I feed the thing with balanced audio from my SMSL SU-8 (I ordered it along with the xDuoo amp) but the problem is that I get a constant humming and hissing sound from the amp, does not matter if I trie balanced or unbalanced source.

I have also tried to feed my other amp (Schiit Jotunheim) with audio from my new SMSL SU-8 DAC and that works like a charm, total silence while I do not play any music.

The headphones I have tried are the Sennheiser HD 800S.

So here comes the question, is this hissing and humming sound from the xDuoo TA-20 amp normal!? Is it supposed to be like this!?

Yours truly
Thomas

That sucks. Is it a 50hz or 60hz power source buzz? It may be due to mains hum or if at 120hz a ground loop issue.

Quick test is to disconnect all sources expect for power and see if it persists. If yes, then it probably needs an isolator; else, it may be defective or a tube may need to be replaced (e.g. buzz is affected by volume changes without a source).

do tube ants need any time to burn in? I do know they need time to warm up before you’re supposed to use them. now I know nothing about tube amps…but perhaps check to see if the tubes are full seated and locked in?

lastly, did you use your Googlefu to see if anyone reported this issue and what they did to resolve it?

I live in Norway, here we have 230volt 50hz AC.

The hum and hiss is present with or without a source and increase when I turn the volume up.

I can try to move the dac and amp away from my computer desk area and see if it is better when I do not use power strip.

Thanks for the quick answer :smiley:

Also, how do I check if the tubes are not seated? Can I just pull them out?

tubes are a consumable and need to be changed as they do wear out. that’s one of the neat things about tube amps is you can try different tubes to see how it affects your sound and lets you tweak for what is more suitable to your ears.

you should check the manual on how they are changed. for some reason I think they click in like flourescent tubes, have two pins that you insert and then twist to lock into place.

also, you could consider getting a power filter or connect everything through a UPS, where you’re getting a clean pure or artificial sine wave to feed the equipment. :slight_smile:

You’d have to check the manual to see how to release the tube guard, but you can pull the tubes out and reseat them.

Remember to let the tubes cool off prior to handling them and unplugging is recommended.

After installing the tubes, do let the unit heat up and see if it made a difference. If not, then you may have to brave the tech support.

Thanks for the replies people!
I will see if the problem is either the tubes or the power supply, hopefully it is something simple!

But if anyone else have any info I should know about tube-amps or tips to the hissing, please tell me :slight_smile:

if you have any audio shops around you, see if they’ll let you bring it in and try out on one of their systems that use power filtering…or if you have a UPS, plug it into the plugs that provide power back up and see what happens.

This is interesting, I tried the power sockets in the kitchen, there the power is also grounded, and all of the hissing and noise went away! The amp went from zero to hero by just changing the power source!

So guess I am not disappointed by the amp then… :stuck_out_tongue: I need to get a cleaner supply of power for the amp!

Also it got a lot louder when I used it in the kitchen!

4 Likes

Hello again Marzipan,
I do not have a UPS but after looking online I found this --> https://www.komplett.no/product/925451/datautstyr/pc-tilbehoer/ups-overspenningsvern/overspenningsvern/bluewalker-powerwalker-avr-2000siv#

Do you think this would work?

It’s really odd to me there’d be such a huge difference from outlet to another. During your initial test, was a ground connection not available? That voltage regulator could fix your issue. But I think a power conditioner would be more appropriate and cheaper.

One problem solved, another one emerges.

Now I have a problem with whenever I play something that are more bass heavy I hear a crackling sound from the amp, any ideas?

Hello Thomas,

I’m not sure how much that unit is…but you will want to get a UPS that has support for the wattage ALL your equipment would use when at maximum capacity. So tally that up and then look from there. Also, I’m not familiar with that brand, but the ones I sell (my job is selling business technology) the most are from Tripp Lite, Cyberpower (not the PC), APC or Eaton. if possible, you want one with a pure sine wave…but not PFC. PFC generally means it will have 24 hour active cooling that’s noisy as heck.

also, is it the amp that’s crackling? or your headphones that are crackling?

In my office where I have my computer and entertainment setup there are no grounded power outlets, but in my kitchen the electrical network is grounded.

Also 559,- norwegian kroner is about $65 USD.

And the products I find when searching for “power conditioner” cost A LOT more than that :stuck_out_tongue:

The amp, i am going back and forth between my HD800S and my HD650, and both crackle :confused:

and that’s when you’re on good power as well?

LOL I assumed that price was in Euros. Maybe “Power conditioner” isn’t correct term for online retailers? Here’s one for less than $100. Of course that’s US amazon however.
https://www.amazon.com/Furman-Power-Conditioner-Silver-PST-6/dp/B0009GI65Q
But I’m not sure is the lack of a ground connection poses a problem for this type of device or not.

Yeah 559 euros would have been expensive! hehe
Only Furman products I find are 120 volt and with US sockets, seems like I need to take a chance with the one I found. :slight_smile:

Yes, but here are some additional information:
-Crackling sound is only on the right.
-Only crackles through 4pin XLR (Single ended TRS are crackle free)

This amp is confusing AF… :rofl:

I can not make more replies, it tells my account is too new to make this many replies… :rofl:

But what i were about to say in my reply is:
I am going to get two new 3pin male to female XLR cables in a day or two (they are on their way in the mail)

559,- NOK is not expensive :stuck_out_tongue: it is about $65 USD.

Norwegian retailers:
komplett.no
elkjop.no
power.no
jula.no


Good luck :stuck_out_tongue:
And thanks alot for the help!

sounds like a defective cable.

don’t be in a rush to buy a UPS at that crazy price. that’s seriously small business territory for a server and overkill for your needs. can you share some names of big online resellers you buy from? I’m happy to sniff around and see what I can match up compared to the stuff I know here. :slight_smile: