2 Channel Audio Source AMP100 Review

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dayton es65wThe Audio Source AMP100 is an awesome little amplifier if you looking for low cost amps to go along with your preamp processor such as the Outlaw 970. The Audio Soure AMP100 features 2 channels rated at 50 watts RMS on an 8ohm load , 60 watts RMS on a 4ohm load and a nice 160 watts RMS bridged into 1 channel mono all with great sound quality. This is more than enough power for your surrounds and will work great for a center channel. This amp can also be used as a sub amp if you are powering a small to medium sub.

Audio Source Amp100 Vs Dayton APA150

Though it pushes out 15watts less per channel, the Audio Source is comparable to the Dayton APA150. The form factor is ideal for rack mounting where the Dayton APA150 is more compact and can be placed side to side on the same shelf or rack. Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of the AMP100 is that it is 4ohm stable so you can power just about any DIY speaker you can build. This is a great feature because most home theater receivers are only rated at 8 ohms.

Overall, either the Amp100 or Dayton APA150 would make a fine amp. The power difference is really negligible this just boils down to whether you need to rack mount the amp or simply shelf mount such as home theater applications. I myself have 3 APA150s side by side on shelf for my home theater and they fit perfectly fine. I would have a hard time finding space for 3 Amp100s in my application.

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Conclusion

The Audio Source Amp100 is an excellent amplifier for the DIY speaker builder in that it can run just about any DIY speaker system you can come up with. It’s also an excellent amplifier for use with a separate preamp processor in home theater applications provided you have the space for 3 or maybe even 4 of these guys. It’s robust enough for most most HT applications and you really can’t go wrong with the price. The only downside of course, is that you would need 3 or 4 Amp100s to power your entire HT system. Considering the price, this is a small sacrifice to the 7 channel units that can cost at least twice as much. So my final conclusion is to go for this amp for rack mounting or go for the Dayton APA150 where space limitations are a factor. You can’t go wrong with either one and the price is right on both!

Specs

-50 watts RMS per channel @ 8ohm
-60 watts RMS per channel @ 4ohm
-Bridgeable outputs for 150 watts RMS total power @ 8ohms
-2 stereo inputs with automatic priority override
-A, B, or A+B speaker selector switches
-5-way binding posts
-Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
-Dimensions: 16-1/2″ W x 2-7/8″ H x 9-1/4″ D
-Rack mountable

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Dayton PM105 Universal Projector Mount Review

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The Good

Dayton Universal Projector MountThe Dayton PM105 Universal Projector mount is an attractive and affordable mount that fits most projectors. At first glance, this projector mount as with all Dayton products that I have tried to date features high quality construction and offers both swiveling, tilt and yaw capabilities. Another cool feature is the separately available extension which works great on high vaulted ceilings or if you have an obstruction in the projection path. Installation is a breeze and  can be installed utilizing just one ceiling joist for bolting. It’s easiest to mount the base, followed by the projector attachment. It took me less than 30 minutes to have it up and running.

The Bad

There is much to like about this projector (especially the price). That being said, it does have 1 critical issue – and that is that once adjusted, the adjustments cannot be locked into place. While this makes adjusting it quite easy, after a while gravity works its magic and depending on your projector’s center of gravity, the mount will tend to self center. This causes your projector to get out of alignment with the screen. With my projector, it tended to point down and tilt so the image which would cause the image to be off center on the screen.  By the way, none of the screws in the picture are actually used for the adjustment as the whole thing adjusts on the ball joint you see where the downpipe attaches to the mount part. Another thing that causes it to get out of alignment is heavy bass if you have a good subwoofer. Because of this flaw, I cannot recommend this projector to most people because the lack of locking capabilities will drive you mad every time you have to readjust it. This was really disappointing because I really liked the quality and looks. In the end, I had to get a more expensive Sanus Unit so I would recommend you skip this mount and look into some of the Sanus units offered by Parts Express.

Best Home Theater Speaker System Packages with Sub Under $200

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I am all about building your own speakers, but I understand not every one can or wants to do that. So where do you find the best Home Theater package for not a whole lot of money? I could tell you to run down to your local Best Buy and pick one up, but to be honest, that is the worst and last place your should ever buy one. To put it bluntly, they have the best selection of over priced junk ever! Unless you have $400 to plunk down on an overpriced system, then the place to go is Parts Express. They have 3 great Home Theater Speaker systems ranging from $218-$168. Ordinarily, when you systems at this low price, you would expect to get tiny little plastic speakers and a weak no bass having subwoofer. That is not the case with the Dayton Systems from Parts Express since their smallest system comes with an 8″ sub and the largest with a 12″. Check out these systems:

Small

Dayton 5.1 Home Theater Package with 8″ Powered Subwoofer

This complete package is great for those looking for a home theater speaker package for a small room yet want powerful bass. Ordinarily, with home theater packages costing this much, you would expect to get a wimpy 6 1/2″ sub, not so with this Dayton system. The 8″ powered sub gives you 80 watts of power. The satellites provide full and realistic sound from stylish enclosures.

Specifications:

Surrounds: 3-3/4” woofers and 5/8” polycarbonate ferrofluid cooled tweeteers
Center Channel: Two 3-3/4” woofers and 5/8” polycarbonate ferrofluid cooled tweeter

Power handling: 50 watts RMS/80 watts max
Frequency response: 100-20,000
Subwoofer Power handling: 80 watts RMS/120 watts max
Impedance: 8 ohms

Price with Free Shipping: $168.46

Click Here for More information on this HT package

 

Medium

Dayton 5.1 Home Theater Package with 10″ Powered Subwoofer

This system has all the same features as the system above except that it comes with a 10″ for some added kick. Perfect for those wanting Home theater quality in small to medium listening areas but still want loud and low bass. You will not find a better system at this price ANYWHERE, at least not one that comes with a 10″ sub with this much power.

Specifications:

Surrounds: 3-3/4” woofers and 5/8” polycarbonate ferrofluid cooled tweeteers
Center Channel: Two 3-3/4” woofers and 5/8” polycarbonate ferrofluid cooled tweeter
Power handling: 50 watts RMS/80 watts max
Subwoofer Frequency response: 30-180hz
Subwoofer Power handling: 80 watts RMS/120 watts max
Impedance: 8 ohms

Price with Free Shipping: $196.46

Click Here for More information on this HT package

 

Large

Dayton 5.1 Home Theater Package with 12″ Powered Subwoofer

This system has all the same features as the system above except that it comes with a 12″ for extreme bass. This one is great for those that want to FEEL their movies or those that have a large listening area. Again, you will not find a comparable system with a woofer of this quality for less than 2X as much..

Specifications:

Surrounds: 3-3/4” woofers and 5/8” polycarbonate ferrofluid cooled tweeteers
Center Channel: Two 3-3/4” woofers and 5/8” polycarbonate ferrofluid cooled tweeter
Power handling: 50 watts RMS/80 watts max
Subwoofer Frequency response: 30-180hz
Subwoofer Power handling: 150 watts RMS/175 watts max
Impedance: 8 ohms

Click Here for More information on this HT package

10″ DIY Budget Subwoofer Enclosure- Dayton ST255-8 10″ Series II Woofer

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Download the Plans

Description

This project is an easy to build and not very expensive 10″ Subwoofer enclosure designed for those seeking a compact sub with solid bass. The basis for this project is the Dayton ST255-8 10″ Series II Woofer which is both heavy duty and economical. The enclosure is a ported design with solid bass down to 40hz which is plenty for those that want some solid bass reinforcement in either music or home theater applications.

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Dayton Series 2 10″ Woofer Specifications

The Dayton Series II 10″ is a Heavy Duty woofer that features a natural sounding paper cones that is chemically treated for a long and durable life. The surround is made of rubber so it does not deteriorate over time like other inexpensive woofers. This driver also features a heavy magnet structure, vented pole piece, bumped backplate, and large voice coil. These all combine to provide excellent power handling , high efficiency and low distortion rates. The best thing I like about it is that it is Made in the good ‘ol U.S.A.

-Power handling: 250 watts RMS/350 watts max

-Frequency response: 35-3,000 Hz

-Dimensions: Overall Diameter: 10″, Cutout Diameter: 9″, Mounting Depth: 4-3/4″, Magnet Diameter: 6-1/8″, Magnet Height: 1-1/2″

Click Here to visit Parts Express for full specs

Dayton SA100 100W Subwoofer Amplifier Specifications

The Dayton SA100 100W Subwoofer Amplifier is a compact yet powerful amplifier which is perfect for this design. This amp features a small chassis yet provides 100 watts which is more than enough to power the Dayton woofer. It also features a 40-180hz variable crossover so you can tune it to integrate seamlessly into your existing set up. Other features include:

-Auto On/Off switch , large surface area heatsink and short circuit protection.

-75 watts RMS @ 8 ohms, 100 watts RMS @ 4 ohms

-Gold plated RCA inputs

-Variable crossover 40-180hz

Click Here to visit Parts Express for full specs

Enclosure Design

The enclosure is a down firing vented 1.5 cubic foot design. It uses 4 1 1/2″ ports tuned to about 40Hz. Dimensions were kept small so that it could be used in compact spaces, it measures approximately 16″x16″x16″. One of the great things about DIY is that you can play around with the dimensions and port sizing for lower tuning and lower bass without having to spend extra money. So if you wanted more output at 35hz region you could increase the volume of the enclosure to 2.00 cubic feet by simply making it 2″ taller than the plans specify and keeping the ports the same length. In any case, the choice is up to you, I personally like deeper bass so I would go with the 2.00 cubic foot version.

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Dayton HPSA500 500 Watt Home Theater Subwoofer Amplifier Review

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If you are looking for a quality subwoofer plate amplifier for your next home theater subwoofer project, the Dayton HPS500 may be just what you may be looking for. This amplifier delivers 273 watts RMS @ 8 ohms and 540 watts RMS @ 4 ohms so it has enough for just about any 12″ and 15″ sub. Features include a variable 30 – 200 Hz, 24 dB/octave cross over , full parametric Bass EQ, high power class AB output stage, soft clip circuitry and auto on/off to name a few. While Dayton also offers a 1000 watt model, I feel this is the best compromise between price and power.

Click Here for Additional Information on this Amplifier

Build Quality

Dayton is known for putting out some great priced high quality products, the HPSA500 is no different. The face of the amp features a quality nicely labeled control panel with high quality knobs, RCA inputs and power switch. Unlike cheaper plate units, this amp has a very nice weight to it. The back of the amplifier features a black plastic protective cover that protects the amplifier’s internals. Removing the cover reveals a heavy duty power supply and excellent quality circuit boards. The output speaker wires are heavy duty with silicone jackets. Every thing about this amplifier screams quality there is not a single characteristic that I can point out as being “cheap”.

Click Here for Additional Information on this Amplifier

Specs

The specs on this amplifier are pretty nice considering it’s relatively low price tag for an amplifier delivering over 500 watts. In addition to a 24 db/octave variable crossover and parametric EQ, the amplifier has some convenient features like auto on/off, master on/off switch and L/R/LFE inputs. I should not that I did not find much use for the the parametric EQ which allows you to adjust specific frequencies in the playback spectrum. I personally don’t see much use for it in the range this amplifier is expected to operate in. Never the less, its a nice little feature that some may find useful.

-High power class AB output stage
-Patented tracking downconverter power supply
-Full parametric bass EQ
-Phase reversal switch
-Advanced soft clip circuitry
-Toroidal power supply transformer
-Auto On/Off
-Power output: 273 watts RMS @ 8 ohms, 540 watts RMS @ 4 ohms
-S/N ratio: 98 dB (A weighted)
-Crossover: 30 – 200 Hz, 24 dB/octave
-Dimensions: 11-15/16″ W x 11-15/16″ H x 5-1/4″ D

Click Here for Additional Information on this Amplifier

Setup and Installation

Installation on this amp is pretty basic, as is usually the case with most subwoofer amplifiers. Simply cut your opening , connect + and – leads, screw it in and you’re done. I used mine on my own enclosure design which had the amplifier location and size in mind. You should be aware that this is a good size unit so installing it in an existing retail enclosure may be a challenge as they usually tend to be compact, undersized and use small amplifiers. This will definitely not fit anything less than a 12″ retail sub enclosure. Click Here for exact Amplifier measurements.

Setup is a breeze, simply set your crossover at your desired level, usually picking a frequency that slightly overlaps your front main speaker’s frequency range. On my receiver, I can fine tune my main’s crossover frequency so I can set the subwoofer amplifier’s frequency rather easily. If you are not sure, then 100hz cross over frequency is a good place to start, then fine tune from there. As mentioned previously, I found the parametric EQ to be of little use to me, not because it doesn’t work but simply because I don’t see a need for it. Luckily, the EQ is defeatable to that is where I left it.

Sound Quality and Performance

The sound quality of the Dayton HPS500 is quite impressive. My HPS500 is being used to power a 4 ohm Dayton Reference 15″ sub in a ported enclosure tuned to 18hz. My amplifier is primarily used to power the low end of my home theater. It has absolutely no trouble delivering sub 20hz wall rattling bass without so much as breaking a sweat all the while still maintaining excellent clarity. I was previously using a weaker off brand amp to power a 12 and it would heat up quite a bit, this one is still very cool to the touch after pounding out bass for 2 or 3 consecutive movies. Music is delivered with the same clarity and depth. It should be noted that mine did heat up a lot more when playing music vs home theater mode. To prevent overheating, I highly recommend adjusting the amps gain a few notches down when playing music. My Sony receiver seems to up the bass output when in 2 channel mode vs home theater mode. All in all sound quality and performance is top notch.

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Overall Impressions

Overall, this amp is nothing short of perfect for 12″ and 15″ home theater or music subwoofer applications. It’s built great, has plenty of power and the sound quality is awesome. About the only downside for some may be in sizing it to an existing retail enclosure as this is definitely not your run of the mill “Best Buy” unit . Then again, if you have a small retail sub, then this is probably too much power and would be better suited with some of Dayton’s smaller offerings from Parts Express. Other than the unnecessary Prametric EQ, I have absolutely no complaints with this unit. Best of all, the amp is very affordable! If you are in the market for an affordable high power subwoofer amplifier, then this is it. Did I mention Parts Express has a 1 year no questions asked replacement warranty on it!

Dayton APA150 150W Power 2 Channel Home Theater/Audio Amplifier Review

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The Dayton APA150 is a compact yet robust 150W 2 channel 4 ohm stable amplifier that works great as either a stereo amplifier for your 2 way set up OR as a component amplifier in a home theater set up where a separate preamp is used. This amp is robust enough that it can be bridged to power a small subwoofer. In any case, this amp makes for an excellent unit and cannot be beat at only $158.00.

Build Quality

Like all Dayton products I have used, this thing is built very nicely. It has a quality anodized black aluminum face with a bright blue led, a sturdy volume/gain knob and a solid push button power switch. Despite its small size, this amplifier feels like a BRICK it is so heavy. The back of the amplifer feature dual terminals that accept either bare wire or banana jacks as well as dual RCA inputs for your source. It also has a master on/off button which allows for the amplifier to either be turned on/off manually or an auto feature that senses the signal from your source. All in all, this is a very high quality unit that is built very nicely for the low price.

Click Here for Additional Information on this Amplifier

Specs

The specs on this amplifier and quite nice and more than suitable to serve as a subwoofer amplifier, component amplifier in a multiple amplifier system or a standalone amp in a simple 2 channel set up. This little amp features 75 Watts RMS X 2 Channels @4ohm or it can be bridged into 150 Watts RMS X 1 channel 8 ohms. This amp also features a defeatable electronic 50-150 Hz low-pass(18 dB/octave) crossover that can be used when powering a subwoofer.

-2 x 75 watts RMS power @ 4 ohms
-1 x 150 watts RMS bridged mono @ 8 ohms
-Toroidal power supply
-Class A/B design
-Adjustable 50-150 Hz low pass crossover
-Adjustable Volume/Gain control
-Gold-plated 5-way binding posts that accept up to 8 AWG wire
-auto-on/off, silent turn-off
-Signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 100 dB
-Dimensions: 5-1/2″ H x 6″ W x 11-1/2″ D

Click Here for Additional Information on this Amplifier

Setup and Installation

Set up and installation is a breeze with this amplifier. Simply connect your speakers to the binding posts, connect the RCA cables to your source, set your crossover if you are using to power a sub, select auto or manual on/off and plug it in. Once you have the amp running just set your volume/gain at the desired level. I have 3 of these as I am using them as a component amps in a multi amp home theater being fed by a preamp. After playing around with it, I set the volume/gain at a little over half way and had no other adjustments to make other than defeating the XOver. All in all, very easy and basic setup/install.

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Sound Quality and Performance

My main reason for using these little amps is because I wanted 4 ohm stable units to power my DIY speakers. Compared to my previous Sony receiver, these amps simply blow it away. With my previous receiver that was not 4 ohm stable, I simply could not turn the volume very high without clipping. These amps have no such issues. In addition, the sound is crisp and clear where my previous Sony unit would break up on the center channel during loud scenes. The 75 watts per channel are more than enough to power my large 2 way mains and center. You simply are not going to find anything at your local Best Buy that will compare to these at this low price. All in all, I am extremely happy with the sound and performance from these amps. Best of all, they did not cost me a fortune.

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