Our Modified Lepai amp: Latest development
Over the course of our involvement with the Lepai amplifier we have been impressed with the improvement in the manufacturer's quality control. In one of the first units we received the outputs for the two channels were completely reversed. However recent units are mostly flawless.
There was also a lot of noise in the tone controls for which we developed a mod. Although we still install the mod, noise from the tone controls is pretty much gone now.
Surprisingly, the amplifier has been very reliable. So while there has been a lot of banter about the quality of the amplifier on the web, it seems mostly to refer to the early units.
The little amplifier is pretty amazing to begin with; so we have concentrated on improving the sonic performance and the usability of the amplifier.
Our latest mod includes an improved Baltic white birch plywood cabinet, with all edges rounded, that is sealed against any possible formaldehyde off-gassing and painted with several coats of a water-based nontoxic clear paint.
(Formaldehyde, a carcinogen, is still used in most manufactured boards, especially those used to make loudspeakers. And most paints and adhesives used in consumer electronics are toxic. Your exposure is not massive, but it is something to think about if you are using these products daily, up close. Ported speakers are a double whammy because you are exposed to off-gassing from outside as well as inside.)
Over the course of our involvement with the amp we have experimented with different power supplies and moved from the 2 AMP power supply to a 3.5 and, most recently, to a 5 AMP power supply. Moving to more powerful power supplies has increased the bass, especially bass definition, soundstage definition, and the loudness of the amplifier. The midrange remain pristine, especially considering the price.
We feel the sound and appearance of the amplifier cannot be beat for the price.
Modifying the amp is fun but it is not a profit center for us. While it may not be obvious to consumers, mainly because of the small size of the amp, modifying it is tedious and time consuming work.
However, we are quite pleased with the results of our modification and the word from our customers is that they also are quite pleased. Our modified amplifier has received two very strong reviews from Positive Feedback which we encourage prospective buyers to read.