That means the Sonic Impact has almost exactly the same amount of power as the superb $800 Almarro A-205A EL-84 single-ended pentode vacuum tube integrated amplifier I reviewed here at 6moons not many moons back. So what you have here -- and I am abstracting things a bit of course -- is a low priced and low powered single-ended digital amplifier that can be used with efficient loudspeakers of the kind favored by the direct-heated single-ended triode (SET) crowd.

The Sonic Impact has a compact plastic chassis more related to a plastic model car than to the usual thick-as-bank-vault fascias typical of the High End audio scene. The Sonic impact has a single 1/8" input stereo jack of the kind used on portable CD players and Apple iPods. If you want to use it with a typical high-end CD player or phono stage that uses RCAs, you'll need an interconnect with an 1/8th inch single stereo plug that terminates into two RCA connectors. Keeping with the spirit of a $39 component review, I picked up a Gold Series # 42-2483 6-foot interconnect at Radio Shack for the princely sum of $8. The Sonic Impact has two spring-loaded speaker cable provisions per side that will only accept bare speaker wire as 6moons reader David Dye correctly pointed out. I tried inserting one of the prongs of my Nirvana speaker cables' spade connectors into the binding post so I could get an idea of what the Sonic Impact would sound like with high-quality cables. I ended up breaking the plastic spring-loading lever. Be warned that you need to stick with bare wire. I wish I'd read David's letter before I did what he said not to do.

Budget System Impressions - It plays music, dude!
I first focused on the T-amp as it is intended to be used - as stand-alone integrated amplifier. I paired it with the Omega Super 3 loudspeakers and recommended matching Skylan Stands that I have in for review. At $549 and $200 respectively, these are remarkable products in their own right about which I'll have more to say in their forthcoming review. The Super 3 is a small stand-mounted loudspeaker with a single Fostex 4.5" driver rated at 93dB/8-ohms.Its response is reasonably flat to 63Hz beyond which it starts to roll off until it is about 13dB down at 31.5Hz, with nada below that. The aforementioned Gold Series interconnect from Radio Shack was connected to my inexpensive Toshiba SD-3109 DVD video player (now discontinued, sold originally for less than $400). For the reasons already stated, the speaker cable used was the inexpensive connecting wire that came in the box with the T-amp.

My inexpensive Philips television graced the center of a Billy Bags rack and I watched a slew of X-Files Collector's Edition DVDs to break in the Lilliputian Sonic Impact and Omega Super 3s together. I accidentally fell asleep while watching the X-Files only to wake up finding that those damned extraterrestrials had installed another one of their tracking devices up my nose. With an Exacto knife and a pair of tweezers, I was able to remove the chip and get on with the review. It looked suspiciously like a miniature Tripath chip.

The DVD video performance of the Toshiba combined with the huge soundstage of the T-amp and the detailed and direct presentation of the Super 3s made for a tremendously engaging experience. I had a ball with this combo watching DVDs and have to confess that I enjoyed it more than many of the high-dollar home theatre rigs I've been exposed to - at a minuscule fraction of their price. Knowing that the whole system cost less than one pair of the Nirvana interconnects which I favor in my big system really gave me pause. It made the Sonic Impact/Super 3 combo an instant killer recommendation for those who can appreciate their rather remarkable performance without being - er, intimidated by the friendly price: An audio everyman's victory for sure!