Syntacts Amps

Syntacts Amplifiers

The Syntacts amplifier is a purpose built, 8-channel amplifier designed for driving vibrotactors from audio sources. The amp uses eight fully differential, Class AB TI-TPA6211A1-Q1 power amplifiers for low-noise operation. Two variants are available: one with an AES-59 DB25 input, great for connecting to high-end devices like the MOTU 24Ao; and one with four 3.5 mm phone inputs, perfect for use with generic audio output or surround sound cards. Both require a 5V power supply and output amplified signal through a universal 2x8 0.1” pitch header. The amp will drive loads greater than 3 ohms, and we have successfully tested it with a variety of LRAs and voice coil actuators.

Syntacts Cases

CAD/EDA files, bill of materials, and documentation for both variants can be found below. The files have been formatted so that you can upload or send them directly to your favorite board house. Need a recommendation? We have used US-based manufacturers such as Sunstone Circuits for basic PCB printing, and both Sierra Circuits and Screaming Circuits for turn-key printing and assembly with great results. More economical options are available from Chinese manufacturers such as PCBWay.

All designs are licensed under the TAPR Open Hardware License. Feel free to modify and/or redistribute the board designs within the confines of the license, but understand that we are not liable for any damage or harm the amplifier may cause to you or your equipment. It is your responsibility to safely integrate the amplifier with your projects.

Version v1.2 v3.1
Channels 8 8
Input AES-59 DB25 3.5 mm TRS (4)
Output 2x8 0.1” Pitch Header 2x8 0.1” Pitch Header
Dimensions 2.375” x 3.5” x 0.54” 2.375” x 3.5” x 0.43”
3D Model syntacts_amp_v1.2.step syntacts_amp_v3.1.step
Manual syntacts_amp_v1.2.pdf syntacts_amp_v3.1.pdf
Case N/A
Kit N/A syntacts_kit_v3.x.pdf
License TAPR Open Hardware License TAPR Open Hardware License

Tactile Displays

Below you fill find simple tactile displays that you can create or learn from as you get started with Syntacts. You may modify the designs however you like.

Display Syntacts Array Syntacts Bracelet
Description High density 2D tactile array Tactile bracelet with integrated tensioner
Actuators 24x 10mm LRAs 8x 10mm LRAs
License TAPR Open Hardware License TAPR Open Hardware License
Designer Brandon Cambio Roderico Garcia


The following table lists actuators that have been tested and are known to run well on the Syntacts amplifier. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you discover that the amplifier runs an actuator not listed here, please let us know by submitting an Issue on GitHub.

Manufacturer Part Number Type
Mplus 1040W LRA
Jinlong Machinery & Electronics G1040001D LRA
Jinlong Machinery & Electronics LV061228B-L65-A LRA
Engineering Acoustics, Inc. C2 Voice Coil
Engineering Acoustics, Inc. C3 Voice Coil
Nanoport TacHammer-Carlton Voice Coil

Audio Interfaces

We have tested the following audio interfaces with Syntacts. As above, this is not an exhaustive list and in general Syntacts will work with virtually any audio interface on the market.

On Windows, you may want to look for audio devices that implement the ASIO driver protocol. ASIO drivers typically provide lower latency performance than standard Windows driver protocols (i.e. MME, WASAPI, DirectSound, and WDM-KS). High-end or professional-grade audio devices usually do a better job at implementing the ASIO standard for ultra-low latency performance.

Manufacturer Product Name Interface Max Channels ASIO Driver Approx. Cost
MOTU 24Ao USB 24 Excellent $1000
MOTU UltraLite Mk4 USB 12 Excellent $600
ASUS Xonar U7 MKII USB 8 Good $90
StarTech 7.1 USB External Adapter USB 8 N/A $50
ASUS Xonar AE PCIe 8 Good $80
Soundblaster SB Audigy RX7.1 PCIe 8 Ok $50