Hello there, and welcome back to The Neighborhood. We’re looking a small speaker amplifier today that packs a big punch, despite its small size and price. Let’s get inToit!
The Fosi Audio TB10D is an ultra-compact 2-channel amplifier in a black, anodized metal chassis with an external switching power supply. It has a diminutive red power indicator on the front, a simple power switch, a volume pot, and a treble and bass tone controls. The rear of the unit is where the power supply plugs in along with RCA inputs for your source and speaker level outputs to hook up passive speakers via speaker wire. The binding posts appear to only accept banana plugs, but despite their small size, they can accept bare wire. There is also not a separate subwoofer out, which I would always like to see in any amplifier like this. So, if you want to connect a subwoofer as well, you’ll have to do so with speaker wire if your subwoofer can accommodate this.
Fosi Audio that claims that the TB10D has a maximum power output of 600W. While I think this is most certainly an over-estimation, it is a rather powerful class D amplifier for its small size, and I put it through its paces, running some pretty inefficient speakers off it (power rating is actually 300W per channel, and it takes an upgraded power supply to achieve this rather than the one that comes in the box [see Fosi Audio Website for specifications]) .
In the course of my evaluation, I tested the TB10D with a number of speakers, including a set of Thiel CS 1.2’s which are 6 Ohm 87 dB, a set of Gershman Acoustics Studio II’s which also 6 Ohm and 87 dB, a set of Cessaro Mini Wagners with a Definitive Technology’s Super Cube II Subwoofer, of which the Cessaros are 4 ohm and 83 dB, and a set of Wolf Van Lagna Sons which are only 8 Ohm and 94 dB. With the Thiels, I used a Topping D30 as a DAC. With the Cessaros and Studio II’s, a Konus Audio Digitale 2000. And with the Wolf’s I used a Gold Note 425 Valore Plus turntable. And in all cases, the Fosi Audio TB10D performed rather well for its amplifier class and small price.
If you're interested in Wolf Von Lagna, Konus Audio, and Gershman Acoustics, check it out at Gestalt Audio Design: https://gestalt.audio/
As a solid state, class D amp it’s a bit bright leaning, lean in its character, and perhaps somewhat deficient in the low-end, but the inclusion of tone controls is a godsend. In almost all cases, I ended up turning the treble almost all the way down, but I almost always adjusted the bass. This smoothed out the presentation, and made things less brittle, less dull, and less attacking to the ear. Even so, I was surprised by the decently immersive and somewhat holographic nature of the soundstage that this amplifier could throw. Separation was above average, and the space between notes was surprising. Transients were a bit overly quick at times to resolve, but pianos and other instrumentation had a nice naturalistic attack. Listening on my Gershman Acoustics Studio II’s with the Konus Digitale 2000 as the source, my jaw dropped at what this the TB10D was capable of on the track Zanarkland by Nobuo Uematsu, off the “A New World” album. Even so, the Konus was doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, as the same track with an iFi IOne Nano as the source sounded thinner and more brittle. I normally find the IOne to be a stellar DAC for the price too, so it occurred to me that the TB10D needs a more musical source to provide the kind of complete sound that my ears crave. I also found this to be the case in my system with the Thiel CS 1.2 loud speakers, as the musical nature of the Topping D30 was a nice match for the TB10D in this system, and I was able to thoroughly rock out to the whole 72 Seasons album by Metallica. Which is their newest record by the way… With the bass tone control turned up a bit, there was a sufficient amount of guttural force behind the guitars
But make no mistake, this is a class D amp with a class D sound. Depending on its surrounding system, it’s both surprising how well it performs and disappointing on occasion that it doesn’t perform better without the right source chain and tone control adjustments at play. I watched another review of this thing prior to agreeing to accept this product for my own review, and that reviewer claimed that the TB10D replaced their AV receiver to power their favorite speakers, and while I understand how this could be possible, it’s not something I am going to recommend to everyone. You see, while it does sound better than a majority of the low-cost receivers, it’s not going to best a well implemented one like my Onkyo TX RZ-900 for example. I also wish that Fosi Audio would have chosen to include a separate subwoofer out on this amplifier, as its omission from the rear panel of the TB10D was disappointing to say the least. I’m never using low level inputs with my Def Tech subwoofer at my desk with my Mini Wagners, as it’s kind of a pain-in-the-arse. With that said, the TB10D definitely has the power advantage over something like the Q5 Pro from SMSL, even though it has a separate subwoofer out.
Even so, at the time of this review, the TB10D is $80 dollars with an additional $20 dollar off coupon available on Amazon. For that price, this thing actually is a steal, and will be a good stop gap in a primary system or perhaps a permanent amplifier in a secondary system where critical listening is not the primary focus. Or, perhaps when a small amplifier footprint is what’s needed? Links to the TB10D, Konus Digitale DAC, and other products will be provided in the description below along with other Neighborhood access locations including Twitter, Instagram, www.intoitreviews.com, the channel’s patreon, and its discord. I’d really appreciate it if you make sure you’ve subscribed and liked the video before you head out, and if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment, as I love to interact. And with that, I’m out… for now…
Purchase link: https://www.fosiaudio.com/product/2-channel-amplifier/tb10d/
$15 off code: TB10DP15YTB