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AV Logistics: very small, mains powered, audio output plus amplified speakers

Sep 13 2011 | 2:24 pm


I installed a sound sculpture earlier this year, all went well and it was up for about two months. Now it’s going to be put up for five days in a different place and there are completely different constraints e.g. it’s a listed billing so no drilling.

Before I had laptop running max, three stereo amps and six speakers mounted with bits of wood and stuff. Now I’ve got zero space and I think I need to remove the laptop, find something like a file based sound player, and use very small speakers with built in amps so it can all balance within the 8 or so inches of beam cavity already existing in the space.

Can anyone recommend:

– very small mains powered audio playback
– very small and powered speakers
– a completely different solution

Sep 13 2011 | 2:51 pm

For a sound installation (still running outdoor since june 2009), I used 36 of those amplifiers:

and 18 sansa clip mp3 players:

with 5V power suppplies:

(in some cases, I rather use this:

Not really a plug&play solution, not sure it’s worth all the work for 5 days!


Sep 13 2011 | 3:45 pm

This shop might have some solutions for you:
I haven’t used the amps long term, but I have some of the 15 watt amps, and they are pretty good.

Sep 13 2011 | 4:12 pm

I find it’s sometimes more compact to have a little stack of amplifiers and small passive speakers, though it might not be what you’re looking for aesthetically. Nevertheless, for small amplifiers, have a look at "T amps" (amplifiers based on a particular amplifier chipped manufactured by Tripath): <>. They are super cheap, small and sound amazing (rival amplifiers 10x the price).

Speakers are a much more diverse world that I don’t know a lot about. We use KEF satellite speakers and considered some from JBL, but I haven’t researched this domain in awhile.

Sep 14 2011 | 10:16 pm

Massive thanks for the responses, I will investigate.

Sep 15 2011 | 5:49 pm

@morgan – that ebay shop I pointed to are all Tripath-chip based. Good quality, hackable, and cheap. The sure electronics ones are pretty good, but the one I had was clearly not as good a mfg. quality as the ones I got from Arjenhelder. I used one of the sure electronics outdoors for a couple years, but it got fried somehow, either due to weather or overcharging from the solar charger. It was great while it lasted :)

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