Design and build Quality
Out of the box, I was surprised to see how well the xDuoo TA-10 was built. Everything fits perfectly, no gaps, no misplaced input/output holes and they neatly hide the screws onto the back panel or the lower panel.
The xDuoo TA-10 looks like one continuous piece of aluminium, nicely painted in matte black. You really have to come up close to see the tricks: the big rectangular block at the back, hiding the capacitors, is not a different part of the chassis. Yet, the blend is so tight that you won’t be able to put a piece of paper between the two parts, that’s great craftsmanship for sure.
In my opinion, the xDuoo TA-10 looks and feels outstanding, I saw pictures where the amp was black/violet-tinted, but in real life it’s just pure black all over. The matte finish of the paint magnifies the soft touch of the anodized aluminum, compared to classic brushed aluminum, it really makes a difference.
It’s a small amp, almost half the size of what I expected when I received the box. Sure, xDuoo says its footprint is the same as an A5 paper, but knowing and seeing are two completely different things. The xDuoo TA-10 is 14.8cm wide, 21cm long and 10cm tall, feet included, so you should not have any issue to find a place for it, on you desktop.
On top of the xDuoo TA-10, you have the vacuum tube port. Working as a preamplifier, this 12AU7 tube is surrounded by four vent-holes and, if you want, can be protected by a small magnetic arch. I don’t know if it’s really effective, but I find it pretty cool and above all, non intrusive. I owned a few sets of Primaluna amplifiers back in the day and the tubes were covered by a massive metal cover – safety should not mean it has to be ugly.
On the front panel from left to right you get:
- a 4-pin XLR balanced headphone output
- a 6.35mm TRS headphone output
- a clickable scroll-wheel
- 7 LED and a double-digit LCD-Screen
Those outputs clearly scream : “Use me with big cans”. The 4-Pin XLR is good news for me, as I still own a set of Audeze and Sennheiser cables for my headphones. If you were looking for 2.5mm or 4.4mm jack, you’re good to buy some adaptors, unless you want to stick to the 6.35mm jack.
To change the input, all you have to do is click the all-purpose wheel. The corresponding LED will be lit accordingly, simple as that.
On the back panel, from left to right you have :
- a Type-A USB Port, the only digital input available
- a coaxial/optical SPDIF output
- a RCA line out
- two RCA line line-in, to bypass the DAC
The xDuoo TA-10 only got one digital input, the USB Type-A port. I would have prefer a type-C but maybe desktop amp will stick ad-vitam eternam to Type-A port ? Who knows… The SPDIF output is a combo Coaxial/mini-Toslink port, clever as this gives you twice the choice with only one port.
Last but not least, the analog I/O was not forgotten. You have an RCA input, to connect a source of your choice, be it a DAC, a CD Player, or a DAP. The line-out also is a double cinch port instead of a jack, so you can connect it to the amp of your choice.
Inside the box
The xDuoo TA-10 bundle is very simplistic:
- 1x USB Type-A Cable
- 1x Power cord
- some papers and a CD driver
And that’s it…
Long gone are the days where amps were literally overflowing with accessories, today if there is a USB cable, that’s already something. Also, remember to specify in which country you intend to use this amp, I ended up with a UK power plug. This doesn’t cost much, unless you’re into audiophile power plugs, but it’s always unpleasant to discover you don’t have the right plug straight of the box.
The review continues on Page Three, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.