Temple Audio mono-blocks

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JLM

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Temple Audio mono-blocks
« on: 5 Jun 2017, 09:27 pm »
My system goals:

Old fart listening (varieties of jazz, classical – mostly small ensemble, and classic pop) at “reasonable” sound pressure levels.  Trying to recreate the original performance in a near-field setup.  Believe that bass is foundational, but not a basshead.  Quickly fatigue from hyped sonic effects.  Find that pin-point imaging adds “natural” level of detail (don’t want hyper detail forced down my throat).  Obviously tone and midrange performance is paramount.  Have been into audio for 40+ years so have tried many things but am setting in my ways and a “speaker guy”, the incentive to upgrade is due to several ACers suggesting that my speakers “deserved” better ancillaries.


Why I choose these:

Bought these by word of mouth (in fact not much available online) but thought they were inexpensive enough to give a try. 


Description:

They’re very well made (like a solid aluminum jewelry box), very small (5 inches by 6 inches by 1.75 inches), and very light weight.  The slightly oversized front panel includes a small power push button and a small red LED with “MONOBLOCK” engraved into the plate.  The matching back panel includes quality two 5-way binding posts, XLR input, and a 2.1 mm power jack.  Top, sides, and bottom are also matching and includes 4 rubber feet.

Stated specifications are a bit wonky, but seem to indicate 100 watts with a 50k ohms impedance.  They each come with a quality board non-linear power supply, so an after-market linear or DIY 24-volt battery power supplies could be substituted.  I’ve heard that the power supply upgrades can help but have been advised not to bother since I already have a near ideal power situation already.  No problems with impedance matching but they are relatively big compared to my other gear.

My cost was $723 USD, factory direct from Cheshire England, shipping included via PayPal.  The only glitch was in communications.  Once informational communication is initiated the interested party is supposed to use the same ID number, but it didn’t seem to work.  And after the order was placed it took two follow-up emails and 15 days to get to get the shipment tracking information which made for some anxiety.  BTW it took 19 days from ordering to receipt.  Here’s the website:  http://templeaudio.net/monoblock.html


Background:

Associated gear – MacBook Air > Straightwire 10ft USB > DSPeaker (DAC, preamp, DSP) > Best-Tronics 3ft XLR cable (new) > Temple Audio mono-blocks > Scott Endler 7ft custom speaker cable > Brines Acoustics M18-F200 speakers (Fostex F200A drivers were EnABL’d by Bud Purvine) and paralleled via 7ft Monoprice 15ga speaker wire with cap and Dayton Audio DC28FS-8 tweeter on floor behind speaker facing up in a “Late Ceiling Splash” concept (refer to Audio Kinesis child-circle for more information)

Music used – all CD’s ripped to iTunes, typical audiophile and classic jazz pieces, some classical (mostly small ensemble), other audiophile standards, and a few “guilty pleasures” (including non-audiophile material)

Etc. – room is a well insulated drywalled 8ft x 13ft x 21ft man cave (front is audio, back is my office) with carpet/pad over concrete, setup is modified Cardas near-field, the house has its own transformer, newer house/appliances, all 20 amp/12 gauge circuits, dedicated audio circuits with cryo’d hospital grade receptacles and separate grounding, have six GIK 244 absorption panels that frankly work much better outside of this near ideally shaped room


Impressions:

These are replacing Channel Island Audio D-100 mono-blocks (their original class D amps) that have beefy power supplies and are rated at 100 watts into 8 ohms.  The D-100’s are chunky and roughly 5 times the size/weight of the Temple Audio mono-blocks.  The Temples are less sensitive than the D-100’s but it’s not a factor for my speakers/room/tastes.  After initial warm-up, they already matched the D-100’s in sound quality.  After 18 hours, they were revealing more detail and somewhat improved soundstaging.  After 24 hours they are noticeably more dynamic and increased/more solid bass.  After roughly 100 hours dynamics and transparency further improved.  As expected they are a couple of steps up from the older D-100’s.  Note that the D-100’s had RCA (single ended) inputs, so the comparison also included a necessary cable change. 
 

P.S. 

John Clayton from Temple just informed me that some orders went out with 15 volt power supplies versus the intended 24 volt units and sure enough mine were the 15 volt version (works fine, just limiting ultimate output to roughly 40 watts which hasn’t been a problem for me with 90 dB/w/m 8 ohm, 25-20,000 Hz speakers).  So they will be sending out the correct units.

« Last Edit: 26 Jun 2017, 11:35 am by JLM »

StevenZ

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #1 on: 12 Jun 2017, 07:30 pm »
Well written review.  I wish more people would take note of this company.  I think they'd find that for the price of admission you're entering into a land that would typically cost you a lot more.  Along with that, I'd say these amps are damn good and not just for the money. 

srb

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #2 on: 12 Jun 2017, 08:19 pm »
The information I see on the Temple Audio website calls them 70W amplifiers, limited by the standard 24V/3A power supply.  Apparently the amplifier itself is capable of a maximum of 100W and would require a 32V/3A power supply (or 32V/3.125A ?) to reach that output.

Steve

JLM

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jun 2017, 12:36 am »
Yes, thank you Steve for pointing that out.  My review was feeling wordy so I didn't go into further explanation.  OTOH the difference between 70 and 100 watts is 2 dB of gain, so a bit of a quibble.

mresseguie

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jun 2017, 03:27 pm »
JLM,

I somehow missed this until you referenced it in another thread - dunno why...:scratch:

Thank you for the review. It seems they're nicely filling your needs and are an improvement over your old amps.

Michael

JLM

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #5 on: 26 Jun 2017, 10:54 pm »
Update:

New wall warts received, but 20 volt versus the specified 24 volt.   :nono:  This is really more of a frustration than a major issue as the 15 volt power supplies provided 44 watts (enough for my taste/room), a 20 volt will provide 58 watts (another 2 dB of headroom), and a 24 volt would offer 70 watts (just 1 dB additional headroom).  Note that my speakers are rated at 27 watts continuous and 80 watts peak (all wattages mentioned are based on 8 ohm impedance). 

And they were received without power cords (the 15 volt supplies used C7 connectors, these use IEC), so after just thinning out my cable herd a couple of weeks ago had to order another pair.   :duh:

The IEC power cords just arrived today so I'll start breaking the new power supplies in, but have noticed further improvements in clarity with the mono-blocks connected to the 15 volt wall warts.
« Last Edit: 29 Jun 2017, 11:40 am by JLM »

gnostalgick

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #6 on: 27 Jun 2017, 12:41 pm »
I purchased a pair off StevenZ a couple months back after (accidentally frying my Dayens during some too hasty speaker cable swapping :duh:).  My choice was based on nothing more than that they were the least expense British amp (to match my ProAcs & Croft pre) available at that time.  I assumed they'd be only be stopgap measure, as I waited for a repair, or collected funds for a 'real' amp, but I was immediately taken in by their performance.

I had previously demoed the NuPrime STA-9 but their 'warm' ended up being a bass-heavy thump boom thump (in my room, with speakers some would consider a bit too large for the space); I found I was only turning on music when I left for work, in hopes they'd break-in while I was gone...:(
Odds are the ST-10 would have been wonderful--at 2.5x the price.

I've written elsewhere that the Dayens were almost/maybe as good as a 4K Linn.  The Temples maybe have a little bit less air/sparkle, but I feel are overall more resolving & balanced.  Bass is far more present & defined, but not inappropriately overwhelming.  I'd still like to hear a nice Class A amp in my system, but simply out of curiosity, not out of a feeling there's a weak link that needs to be upgraded.

Well, actually, I did upgrade the power supplies after finding a great deal on 30v linear supplies (previously used with Virtue Amps) but I can't say there's much audible difference between the two (if pressed I'd say a more forward soundstage, but if pressed further I'd say its probably all in my mind).

Anyways, I still have the 24v power supplies (with non-IEC cords); PM me with your address & I can send them out if you'd like.

Kirk



Wind Chaser

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #7 on: 27 Jun 2017, 01:15 pm »
I purchased a pair off StevenZ a couple months back after (accidentally frying my Dayens during some too hasty speaker cable swapping :duh:).

Which Dayens?  :scratch:

Did you accidentally short the amp or was it something else?  :(

Also, which ProAcs do you have?



gnostalgick

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #8 on: 27 Jun 2017, 09:52 pm »
I have the Dayens Monoblocks (one of which at least still functions perfectly).

I'm 99% sure it was my fault, as a day or two before I was comparing speaker wires (entry level Wireworld vs Anti-cables).  When I noticed there was only sound from one channel, I discovered one binding post had not been tightened, but rather the sheer stiffness of the Anti-cable had been holding it in place. :o

I have the ProAc Studio 148, which is a floorstanding 2 1/2 way.  Absolutely love them.

JLM

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jun 2017, 11:43 am »
I have the Dayens Monoblocks (one of which at least still functions perfectly).

I'm 99% sure it was my fault, as a day or two before I was comparing speaker wires (entry level Wireworld vs Anti-cables).  When I noticed there was only sound from one channel, I discovered one binding post had not been tightened, but rather the sheer stiffness of the Anti-cable had been holding it in place. :o

I have the ProAc Studio 148, which is a floorstanding 2 1/2 way.  Absolutely love them.

Yep, another reason to go with banana (tightenable recommended) plugs versus bare wire or spades.  All the fancy wire in the world is funny until someone gets poked in the eye or an amp blows. 

Wind Chaser

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #10 on: 29 Jun 2017, 01:56 pm »
+1

sfox7076

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #11 on: 29 Jun 2017, 02:21 pm »
Yeah, it is a good thing amps have fuses.  Shorts can make silicon chips explode quick.  Magic smoke is no fun.  Tube amps have the opposite problem.  They can be fine in a short, but provide no load and poof, your transformer can blow. 

Sonico

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #12 on: 20 Oct 2017, 12:33 am »
Great that I found this thread!
I am seriously considering buying a pair of Temple monoblocks, but there's too little information/reviews about them.
My only experience with class D was many years ago- I used a Tripath from Dayton Audio for some time until I got hooked on a huge and gorgeous class A tube amplifier. The Tripath wasn't bad at all, but also not comparable to real good HiFi gear.
Now there are ICE, Hypex, Pascal, etc, and some proprietary designs like this Temple Audio brand and another one from the States, Class D Audio.
I'm a bit puzzled because I don't know how they sound, but I'm willing to take a shot at these monoblocks.
JLM, are you still happy with yours? Did you compare with other amplifiers?
What's your advise?

JLM

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #13 on: 20 Oct 2017, 01:43 am »
Sonico

Yes, my impressions haven't changed.  However thanks to gnostalgick I now have 15, 20, and 24 volt non-linear power supplies.  Honestly I have not discerned any sound quality differences. 

If using non-linear (switching) power supplies in separate enclosures bothers you or 70 watts per channel is not enough for you look elsewhere.  Likewise you should obviously expect this to be way different than a Class A tube amp.

Read my review for comparison to the original Channel Island Audio D-100 mono-blocks.  The only other amp I've had in here lately has been a Prima Luna Premium Dialogue Integrated which with the right tubes could sound slightly better than the CIA mono-blocks.

Wind Chaser

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #14 on: 20 Oct 2017, 01:49 am »
Class D has come a loooooooooooong way in the past few years. I was seriously considering the Temple mono-blocks but I scored a *really good deal* on some made in America mono-blocks by The Digital Amplifier Company. Apparently you can too...

http://www.cherryamp.com/demosdeals

Lots of great reviews, both by professionals and customers under the feedback tab.



Sonico

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #15 on: 20 Oct 2017, 06:20 am »
JLM,
Thank you for your opinion.
I'm expecting these amplifiers from class D to sound different from my tubes class A, of course. And that's what I'm looking for, something different.

Wind Chaser,
Thank you for the link. I didn't know the cherries were on sale :) Now that's another brand to consider. How happy are you with your Maraschino and did you compare it to other brands? Why did you choose this?

Wind Chaser

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #16 on: 20 Oct 2017, 04:32 pm »
Wind Chaser,
Thank you for the link. I didn't know the cherries were on sale :) Now that's another brand to consider. How happy are you with your Maraschino and did you compare it to other brands? Why did you choose this?

How happy am I with them? Well it would be nice to plug them in and get them up and running but I'm still waiting for my DAC to arrive.

I chose Class D for a few reasons. First, tubes are not the end all be all. I had a very highly regarded SET amp that, as fabulous as it was, it was a very poor match for the speakers I settled on. Unlike SET amps (which epitomize everything great about tube amps) Class D is far more stable and consistent with loads that will makes a SET puke and sound like it's broken. So what use is a *great* tube amp that doesn't work or play well with most speakers on the market?

Second, with Class D being so efficient you leave it on 24/7. This means it's always ready roll; no warm up time required. This is very useful for those very quick listening sessions where you only have a few minutes to enjoy some music  because your so busy. Sometimes I just want hear a tune or two before going to bed after a long day. A lot of conventional gear requires more time to warm up than I have to listen.

I chose Maraschinos because of what some others (with decades of experience) had to say about them relative to many other far more expensive options. I also like the idea of having mono-blocks close to the speakers.

JLM

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #17 on: 21 Oct 2017, 11:23 am »
Please gentlemen, don't hijack this review any further.  Because moderator could move it to who knows where and it could become lost.

Sonico

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Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #18 on: 22 Oct 2017, 12:31 am »
 :thumb:
Thank you for the review and comments. I think I'll follow your path and will post my own review sometime.

brj

Re: Temple Audio mono-blocks
« Reply #19 on: 22 Oct 2017, 11:10 pm »
Comparisons to other gear are actually welcomed, but please make sure that that's what you're actually posting.  Simply advocating another piece of gear without having heard the unit being reviewed and thus being able to make a direct comparison does not significantly add to the value of the review that is the subject of the thread.

Also, it is helpful to mention the associated gear when making comparative statements so that others can interpret comments relative to their own system.  (Listing speakers is especially important for amps, given the non-linear load they present to amps.)

Thank you.



JLM - well written review!