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Sumoh Tiny Amp S30 sound
: What to feed the newcomer? A class D amp should handle defter fare from the get and I kicked off with Franck Black & the New Catholics and a live-to-2-track number called "Dog gone" by this ex-Pixies front man with sparkling guitar intro, the cracked but fat pipes of the Black ("I’m on my way – I feel so dog gone…"), drum fills and a juicy solid bass. The Sumoh acquitted itself solidly, immediately suggesting that this type of music was favored with plenty of beer gut down low, relatively good pressure and gratifying clarity. Not bad.

Time to raise the bar with "I don’t wanna go there" from the Dinosaur JR’s Farm album. Past 04’18" there’s an ultra-brash Zappa-esque melée, J. Mascit steps on all available effects mines with both feet, goes roller skating on the wahwah pedal and bends the guitar like a contortionist. More than one amp caves in with this full frontal attack and serves up sonic gruel but the Sumoh maintained its posture, hit the mark like a pro and separated the dovetailed guitar tracks cleanly as though with a louse comb.

Ditto the new Element of Crime. "I always think of you in the end" is raw, melancholy but never teary or muddy. Good diction and drive were wedded to proper and even higher SPLs. How about etheric numbers? The enormously spacious but dynamic "Desire" from Talk Talk’s epic Spirit of Eden testament quickly determines whether an amp properly resolves the full dynamic bandwidth from tender to brutal.

Here results were mixed. During the subdued intro of the first minute which is made up almost exclusively of strings, organ pedals and faded guitars I lacked the usual "room info" and subtlety which makes the tune. An A/B comparison with Yarland’s FV34CIII valve machine off the analog outs of the Squeeze demonstrated clearly how the Sumoh grasps for breath when it comes to airness, fluffiness and aroma. On the other hand, one has to admit unexpected power and juice when the sudden percussion explosion at 04’34" hits full throttle.

How ‘bout classical to be comprehensive? I immediately went for the big guns, Shostakovitch’s Piano Concerto N°.2 Op. 102, "Andante". If the first note doesn’t inflict tears, your heart is made of stone and the Sumoh certainly offered a hankie made of paper alas. It played precise, clear and clear but somewhat coolly. Let’s put it this way. If you major on Rock, Pop, Indie and Jazz and need a clever add-on for the Squeeze, the Sumoh will serve you well. Its output power for the living room is plenty. Hardcore ‘philes chasing the outer limits of the soundstage better look elsewhere however.

Conclusion: Music over the local area network can be clean fun. Today’s kit is easy to install and operate even for beginners. Given its price, the Sumoh amp is a clever adjunct for the Squeezebox and other variable digital sources.

Sound and output power are in order for the money, both machines are styled to work together and the internalized DC feed off the Sumoh minimizes cable spaghetti to turn this proposition into a nicely purist solution which also looks tidy.

The Sumoh TinyAmp S30 is characterized by:
• Nicely pressurized, articulate and fast bass.
• Neutral mids with forward highs which mellow a bit after a few days.
• Ruthlessly exposing source limits by way of insufficient bit rates with MP3 or AAC codecs.
• On modern rocky fare, being properly centered, potent and pleasantly open and endowing the proceedings with a certain kind of gleam like a polished Harley-Davidson rather than Enfield or Yamaha.
• Demerits for emotiveness and sophistication on softer and classical fare. Acoustic and chamber music are not ideal mates for this amp.
• The imaginary stage being properly plotted but not very grand. Particularly with spacious music, the musicians somehow step on each other’s toes.

Facts Sumoh:
Domestic distribution: Higoto GmbH
Concept: Class-D power DAC
Dimensions and weight: 15.3 x 15.3 x 3.8cm, 920g
Output power: 17/30wpc into 8/4Ω
Input: 1 x digital coax
Outputs: Banana speaker terminals only
Other: Switchable 5/9V DC feed for Logitech Squeezebox Classic or Duet

Facts RipNAS:
Concept: Server/ripper
Storage: 2x 500GB mirrored
Drive: Teac SlotLoad CD/DVD
Audio encoder: FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, MP3
Music Services: SqueezeCenter (Logitech), SMB/CIFS (Sonos etc.), iTunes DAAP (Apple), UPnP/DLNA
Dimensions & weight: 24 x 25 x 8.9cm WxDxH, 5kg
Socketry: 4 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, UPnP/DLNA
Trim: Silver/white or black
Other: 2GB RAM, self noise 16-19 dBA, meta-data providers AMG, GD3, MusicBrainz, freedB

Facts Squeezebox Classic:
Concept: Network player with DAC
Compatibility: WAV, WMA, MP3, MP2, AIFF, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, PCM, Apple Lossless
Socketry: 3.5mm headphone, RCA analog out, RCA/Toslink digital out
Network: WLAN 802.11g and Ethernet
Trim: Black
Other: Remote, sample rate 44.1/48kHz, 24-bit Burr-Brown DAC

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