Xduoo TA-20 Full Balanced Tube Amp ( Roundup Review)

xDuoo TA-20 is a full balanced headphone amp, you can find all the reviews here. 

The latest tube amp series of xDuoo include, 

If you would like to check the price of this full balanced tube amp

Article Review 

Head-fi Review 

Externally is very similar to the TA-10, with two 12AU7 tubes instead of one and a slightly different colour. I don’t know if this colour change is intentional or if it depends on the batch of the anodising process.
 
The finishing gives a sensation of good quality, elegant and my only complain is that it’s very prone to finger prints. Nothing really important as I like a lot its design, though this is a very subjective matter.
 
A big transformer in the back, two tubes in the front and a big volume knob that also makes the function as a source selector.
xDuoo TA-20-1

(Image Credit: DeBilbao on Head-fi)

An image speaks by itself better than me…
xDuoo TA-20-2
(Image Credit: DeBilbao on Head-fi)
 
There’s not only a cleaner signal; you also get a volume increase and it’s being said that you also get greater dynamics. Comparing it to the single ended output, I choose the balanced. It’s not a big difference, but it’s noticeable enough to appreciate an improvement.
 
The TA-20 design makes that each stereo channel is treated separately, in separate circuits with an output tube for each one. That what makes the difference with the TA-10.
 
Regarding sound and comparing both units performing with the included 12AU7 tubes, I’ve equaled the volume level (65 steps in the TA-10 vs 60 in the TA-20) and i’ve found out that the TA-20 has not only more “slam”, but also more control and detail, with better instrument separation.
 
It seems thet my beloved Sennheiser HD 650 has no end and they improve as you get better amplification.
 
And the sound can be improved even more by changing the tubes. I’m looking for a pair of NOS Mullard tubes as in my TA-10, but I will be testing also other tubes to see how the sound changes.
 

Porta.fi Review 

Sound

I have used the following equipment for listening purposes.

  • Yulong DA10 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP as SAC
  • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as a source
  • Audirvana+ as a player
  • Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000 and others as portable players
  • Hi-Res recordings in Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)

Usually when we speak about tubes people think about milder presentation, emphasized warmth and enhanced macrodetails. The xDuoo product gives it all with its own character, gives its color but does it skilfully.

TA-20 is responding well to tube rolling and this alone makes the product stand out of non-expensive Chinese products that usually have tube just for visual effect. I have tried couple of Sylvania tubes that I have for a long time and they made highs go up a bit. Now I plan to buy a carefully chosen pair of Mullards, but it is another story. For now I’d like to underline that I describe sound with stock tubes (don’t know who the manufacturer is).

xduoo-ta-20

(Image Credit: Porta.fi)

Traditionally for tube devices, TA-20 needs a minute or two to become fully operational.

The bass is slightly accentuated but this accent is done via additional weight. They have good resolution but are of course somewhat smoothed to create this additional weight and to sound springy. The bass goes to maximum depth and, what is important, it is well controlled there — the power of the device gives its influence. Lows have good textures and play all the instrument nuances with quality. Attacks and decays have slightly increased length and this gives bass additional weight and warmth.

The mids are presented in a similar manner, they are very organic and emotional, have good resolution without accent on micro details. The amp does its best in showing macro details and emotions and plays lively while not drawing recording problems to the top. Mids also have additional weight that often (but not always) is good for vocals and instruments. The soundstage is above average in width and even more in depth. Such soundstage may seem unusual at first but you get used to it.

Thephonograph Review 

Design

The housing of the amp has very clean looks with an unibody styled design and seamless borders. The front panel also holds a 2-digit volume screen with blue-colored lights.

The form factor of the main housing has the classic brick-alike shape with protruding tubes and a squared-block sitting on the back of the unit.

The xDuoo TA-20 has the exact same footprint and aesthetics of the xDuoo TA-10. In fact, both models belong to the same series of amplificators (TA) being the xDuoo TA-10 the more affordable option of the two while the xDuoo TA-20 stands as the flagship exclusively amp model.

Differently than on the xDuoo TA-10, the xDuoo TA-20 is equipped with dual tubes, which you can easily see at plain sight.

The all-black metal build with a pearled finish and small white fonts merge flawlessly with the 2-digit front screen (blue color light), resulting in a gorgeously clean and classy looking amp.

Moreover, the dual tube design with the protective cages add up to the premium feel of the device.

The xDuoo TA-20 might not be the smallest amp on the market but is still smaller than most power tube amps on the market – the dimensions of the xDuoo TA-20 are: 23 cm x 12 cm x 10.5 cm and it’s weight is roughly 1.55 kilograms.

The top of the device also has the slots for the protective cages that comes bundled with the unit – the cages has the exact same magnetic design as on the TA-10.

xDuoo-TA-20-22

Nosolohd ( Spanish) 

Externamente es muy similar al TA-10, con dos válvulas 12AU7 en lugar de una y un color ligeramente distinto en el anodizado. Desconozco si es intencionado y todas las unidades del TA-20 salen con ese color o es que el proceso de adonizado es un tanto irregular. El acabado es bueno, elegante y el único pero es que es amigo de las huellas de los dedos. Nada importante, y el diseño – algo subjetivo – a mi me convence mucho, con el transformador detrás, las válvulas delante y un control de volumen que hace las veces de selector de fuente.

xDuoo TA-20-1

Las conexiones balanceadas se utilizan habitualmente en instalaciones profesionales y con cables largos, y su diseño está concebido para evitar las interferencias por ruido, haciendo que la señal viaje por duplicado por cada canal, invertidas en fase en origen y vueltas a invertir a la salida, con lo cual el posible ruido desaparece.

xDuoo TA-20-2

No sólo se consigue una mayor limpieza de la señal, sino que también hay un aumento de volumen y se dice que se consigue una mayor dinámica. Comparándolo con la salida single-ended, me quedo con la balanceada. No es mucha la diferencia, pero sí que aprecio una ligera mejoría.

En el caso del TA-20, cada uno de los dos canales estéreo se trata de forma separada y tiene sus circuitos independientes, con su válvula de previo en la salida. Eso es lo que marca la diferencia con el TA-10.

En cuanto al sonido y con las mismas válvulas de serie, he igualado volúmenes (65 pasos en el TA-10 equivalen más o menos a 60 en el TA-20) y el del TA-20 no solo es mucho más contundente que el del TA-10, sino que también es más controlado y detallado, con una mejor separación de instrumentos. Mis Sennheiser HD 650 siguen creciendo con cada paso adelante que doy en amplificación.

Muzostajnia (Polish)

xDuoo TA-20 trafił do mnie już jakiś czas temu, ale ciągle się ociągałem z tekstem, ponieważ… po prostu nie potrafiłem się do tego zabrać. Ale BigMaras był wyrozumiały i nie popędzał ze zwrotem, więc wykorzystałem okazję by się nim nacieszyć 

ta20-2
ta20-3

(Image Credit: muzostajnia) 

Cóż to właściwie jest? Hybrydowy wzmacniacz słuchawkowy mogący pracować w torze w pełni zbalansowanym. Mamy więc dużą moc na wyjściu (2000mW) dzięki tranzystorom, a także możliwość manipulowania dźwiękiem za pomocą lamp (typ 12AU7) w sekcji przedwzmacniacza. Za taką przyjemność trzeba wydać 1.299 złotych, czyli wcale nie taki duży pieniądz. Wśród tańszych zbalansowanych hybryd możemy z Chin sprowadzić na własną rękę LOXJIE P20, ewentualnie wyszukać coś z jeszcze głębszej egzotyki o niewymawialnej nazwie. Coś na polskim rynku? iFi iCan Pro za niespełna 10 tysięcy złotych?

Youtube Review 

English 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbi5XVjhyLw ( Who doesn’t know Z-review)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-J2DdaiO0&t=25s ( Have questions about xDuoo TA-20, leave a comment at Porta.fi channel, he is active in replying everyone’s questions)
 
Russian