SMSL HV-50 Amplifier, anyone?

Does anyone know anything about the SMSL HV-50 amplifier?

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SMSL HV-50

I’m asking, but I think I already know the answer: No, no one knows anything about the SMSL HV-50 audio amplifier, or if they do, they aren’t talking (not in english, anyway). I found a recent reddit thread asking about it, but no one knew much, and I haven’t found much else.

What I do know are some basic details:

  • 50W per channel (stereo)
  • RCA inputs
  • 5-way binding posts for outputs.
  • Based on the TDA7492 Class D Amplifier IC from ST Microelectronics.
  • Aluminum case.

The TDA7492 chip is used in a lot of compact, inexpensive audio amps made by various Chinese manufacturers and sold under various names on Amazon, Ebay, AliExpress, etc.

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SMSL SA-50

It is also used in the older, almost identically specced 50 Watt/channel SMSL SA-50 amplifier, pictured above. The chip and specs aren’t the only thing the two have in common. As you can see, the case is the same. The only outward difference is slightly different markings and detailing.

The insides are a different story. Both use the same TDA7492 amplifier chip, but as you can see, the PCB and components are quite different.

Last night I noticed that one seller was offering the HV-50 for just $35 with free shipping, so I ordered one. At that price, it was a no-brainer. I’d have easily spent $25 and several hours getting one of the cheap TPA3116 boards I’ve ordered mounted in a suitable case.

I’ll follow up with a new post in a few weeks, once I have the HV-50 in-hand.

 

8 thoughts on “SMSL HV-50 Amplifier, anyone?

  1. Disclaimer: I don’t know either of these amps, but from the pictures it looks like the HV-50 is built cheaper too. It has a smaller heatsink, and uses much cheaper ceramic caps on the input side and at the output LC filter. You will notice that the more expensive SA-50 has no ceramic caps in sight, and uses only film caps everywhere. This is because ceramic caps are non-linear and are known to have capacitance changes due to the voltage applied, and piezo effects, such as ringing and singing and can even pickup sounds in the environment. The result is that the ceramic caps will add non-harmonic distortion to the output. The TDA7492 is already 1% distortion up to 40W, and 10% at 50W, so any additional distortion added by the ceramic caps is not going to help. (above 1% distortion, it starts to become audible to most people). So the real test is, can the difference be heard, i.e. HV-50 ceramic vs SA-50 film. It would be nice for someone to do an A/B test side by side 🙂

    • Yeah, the HV definitely looks to be a cost-reduced design. I doubt the heatsink is much of an issue, they don’t seem to run very warm anyway.

      I don’t have a SA-50, or any other TDA7492 based amps, to A/B test with. I did hook it up along side a TPA3116 board (with generic, orange, Chinese) film caps, with each handling a channel, and both sounded similar across a range of output levels. I can run the HV-50 into my ~8ohm speakers at uncomfortable volume levels without obvious (to me) distortion. I’ve got some power resistors on order so I can do some distortion sweeps under controlled conditions.

      A SA-50 might end up on top, but this thing could be a good value at 60% of the price of an SA-50.

  2. Hi there!

    Very good idea to review this one.
    I’m eager to hear what you think about this HV-50 and how does it compare with the SA-50 (even if we already know the SA-50 will beat it for sure).

    As well, I just ordered a Breeze audio (with cheap TPA3116) on Aliexpress, and plan to get a SA-50 on the next months too.

    Would be nice to know how close you think the HV-50 is compare to SA-50, and if it is (or not) more like the quality of a boosted TPA3116.

    Cheers

    • I don’t have an SA-50 to compare it to, but I plan on doing some objective tests once I get some components I need.

    • Hey there, thanks for checking back. I got the power resistors I needed, but by the time they arrived, I was focused on other projects. I still haven’t done objective tests on the HV-50, and not sure when I might get to it.

      I’ll say though that to my ears it is great for my use with some bookshelf speakers on my desk. The RCA jacks are little problematic with some machined RCA plugs (no problem with the cheap stamped ones), but I think the SA-50 probably uses the same cheap component.

      I’m actually using an ~$13 TDA7498 board as my main desktop amp now.

  3. Pingback: H&V HV-50 TDA7892 50W/channel Class D Amplifier Teardown | Tech Obsessed

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