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I was working on getting a portable mp3 player rig that has good sound beyond most small speakers. Well, actually just the amp and speakers as I already have a nokia n900. The n900 is a great little machine about 1.5x the width and thickness of an itouch but has a larger screen and slide out keyboard and since it runs on linux it's OPEN !! Meaning I don't have to deal with iTunes.

Anyways, this search had me try the typical $50 computer 2.1 set up .. while good, not great, it sounded ok a little too much muddled base(great deal at $50), no clarity with a fair amount of distortion. So I took it back to fry's electronics and started to look on the web for what others have done.

If I was going to get something I wanted something better, clearer for about the same price ... or better value if I was spending more.

I found an audio amp with decent specs:

  • 15wrms x 2 channels for 30wrms .. same or better than the desktop sound boxes.
  • lowish distortion: 10 watts RMS into 4 ohms @ 0.1% THD .. yeah 15wrms shows 10%, so I won't crank it up.
  • 3 hour batter run time with average use. stated 88% efficiency.
  • comes with a 12v dc wall wart.

This was now getting interesting ... hadn't thought about portable, but interesting. Hmmm ... something I could move around the house / yard / forest / football pre game parking lot bbq / etc /. Yeah right, really probably nothing more than sitting in my shop, but you got to plan ahead ...

With a possible amp selection, I now needed speakers ... 2.1 is nice .. but I started looking at what others had done for their mp3's.

So I looked at rolling my own speakers and came across a thread started by 'zygadr' on

that lead me down the path of a 2.0 system powered by a 30wrms tclass amp that runs on 12vdc, 8xAA batteries.

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Page last modified on September 22, 2009