LvPin LP-838 Amplifier

Shawn E. Crapo By Shawn E. Crapo, 17th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Technology>Home Audio

A short review of an absolutely cheap amplifier I bought for $12 from eBay.


I had previously had my PC sound system hooked up to a very expensive SONY shelf top system that pushed 270 watts of pure, super bass power. It is probably the best stereo I have ever owned. The speakers are 24" tall, with a horn tweeter and two 6 inch wide range woofers.

However, one day while cleaning up my desk area, I knocked over a cup of coffee and it fell right onto the top of the receiver unit, effectively frying it beyond repair. Now, though the receiver was blown, I was still left with an awesome pair of SONY speakers.

Searching for a Replacement

The next day, I began a frantic search for a simple receiver unit to replace the SONY. It would have to be something capable of pushing these awesome speakers. I was unable to find anything within my price range, and buying another SONY was definitely out of the question.

Then, I happened to run across what was advertised as a motorcycle/car/home audio amplifier. It was a simple amp, capable of being powered with a 12 volt AC adapter. It had what I needed; 200 watts, RCA inputs, two speaker connections, and a simple 2=band bass/treble active EQ. It was an unknown brand called LvPin and was only $12. This was not a special price, it was the seller's standard price on eBay as a "Buy it Now."

I Bought It.

I promptly bought the cheap thing, hoping at least it was would power my speakers. Any special audio features would be taken care of with my computer's sound card. This would be a temporary buy until I could afford a name brand receiver.

When the unit arrived, I saw that it was tiny. It would, technically, fit in a 5.25" drive bay if grounded properly. It was made of aluminum and plastic, and I really didn't expect much.

However, after hooking it up to my PC and the awesome SONY speakers, I was absolutely dumbfounded as to how good it sounded. The treble was crisp and clear, the bass was thumping, and it stayed within a good operating temperature. There was very little distortion, and the best part was that it was capable of pushing these huge speakers.

I Just Had To...

Being the curious person I am, I decided to open it up to see what king of circuit it contained. As I suspected, it was nothing more than a single stereo amplifier chip, with an old fashioned 1448 op amp chip acting as the left and right preamp, and a simple two band active band pass circuit for the treble and bass.

This circuit looks like it came directly out of a Forrest Mims electronics circuit notebook available at Radio Shack. The circuit is incredibly simple.

Very Satisfied

Despite its low cost, this little power amp boasts some pretty kick ass bass, a good interface, and even a subwoofer connector (which you really don't need.) I am very satisfied and will probably just keep it as is.

My only complaint is the blindingly bright blue LED that works as a bass indicator.

I would recommend it over a cheap PC sound system. It definitely puts out all the bass and power that I need.


Amplifiers, Audio, Car Audio, Cheap Amps, Electronics

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author avatar Shawn E. Crapo
Author of The Dragon Chronicles series of epic fantasy novels.

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author avatar Chris Carleton
4th Nov 2014 (#)

I agree this little sucker can jam. I paid $22 on eBay. Worth every penny.

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author avatar Cliff McTainshaw
20th Feb 2015 (#)

200 Watts. Impossible. Have a look at the power socket on the back, it is labelled as 12 Volts and 2 amps. The formula for calculating Power is:
Power = Voltage x Current
= 12V x 2A
= 24 Watts
Only 176 Watts short of the advertised power.
If it runs your 270 watt speakers, then they must use the same misleading Power figures.
I'm not saying they won't sound OK, just that figures quoted on these type of Amplifiers are incorrect and misleading. Lots of people seem to equate high power with better sound. which is incorrect.

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author avatar Zzyzx Wolfe
16th Oct 2016 (#)

Well, looking it up on eBay, I see a lot of sellers quoting 200W, but on the unit itself, it seems to tend to say 20W RMS, which I'm inclined to believe is pretty accurate. Everyone likes to put peak power on things these days, even the big, name brands.

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author avatar Sam B.
30th Aug 2019 (#)

I understand the watts equation. I bought this little amp. to basically use as a tv sound bar along with my two large 30 year old Curtis Mathes 100 watt component stereo speakers; 10 inch woofers. It works beautifully and very loud.

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