The power supply, that is.
In an ideal situation I'd want an oversized chassis with an oversized transformer taking up maybe 1/4 of the space, the power supply 1/4, digital and analogue stages 1/4 each - just rough estimates, ideally and in real life the analogue stage will be closer to half, digital less than 1/4 and power supply in between. Assuming DAC only - if plus receiver and control and other stuff like reclocking and PLL the digital part easily becomes the biggest.
But that's for DAC of course. For simple amp with only analogue stages, half pre half power, or a little pre full power, anything. Still I'd want an oversized chassis with a badass transformer and lots of capacitors.
But what if one doesn't have the luxury of a large casing - just a small or tiny one.
Just enough to fit a small transformer.
Would you rather use half the space for a small transformer and enjoy the benefit of a beefier, lower-impedance power-source that requires less capacitors to work well, or use a wall-wart with the entire space in the casing for more and better parts?
One thing I do know for sure, is that I can't choose - I already have one of those small China amps. With the transformer inside. And on the other hand, the Lepai T-amp is wall-wart-powered.
An external power supply via a good power brick would be the best choice. But at $40 for a good one, the cost doesn't add up to the benefits, if you're using or building something that needs to care about this problem.
No picture of my Chinese class-AB amp though, I'm not at home right now. Here's a picture of the Lepai:
It's pretty sexy considering its price and size
W A R N I N G !
W A R N I N G !
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