On the topic of solid state, what about Class D?

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by JeffYoung, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    It also shines for bass drive duties. Dirt cheap watts and supreme control via low output impedance.
     
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  2. GTABeancounter

    GTABeancounter Friend

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    My $0.02 on this is that the class D amp in my SVS PB-1000 along with excellent DSP are key factors in this sub punching well above it's weight in terms of price. On the other hand, my limited experience with 2 channel audio via class D amplification (zone 2 on my anthem mrx720 (home gym) and a grace digital GDI-IRMS (combo streamer & class D amp by the pool)) are less favorable.

    The class D amps are good in those applications but there is something "dry" about those higher frequencies that would preclude me from going class D in a dedicated set up. I haven't heard any higher end 2 channel class D set-ups though.
     
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  3. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  4. Hekeli

    Hekeli Facebook Friend

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    Just ordered a 2 x Modulus86 from Rouge, seems like a nice company from the communication I had. Looking forward to comparing it with my Lyngdorf..

    They use Tom's input boards for the Hypex/Pascal stuff too..
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  5. JeffYoung

    JeffYoung Friend

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    Odd that they chose a name so close to Rogue Audio in the States.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I'm kinda intrigued by the Powersoft modules myself, mostly since they are a big player in the pro market.

    Maybe they just like the colour red?
     
  7. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    The guy who I worked with on my subs did recommend sticking a Powersoft plateamp in them, but it was a bit too expensive for me and had DSP which can only be programmed from a Powersoft special programmer board. Don't expect the modules to be cheap. They did show very good THD performance under stress, however Hypex UCD modules performed better at lower power.
     
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I was expecting the powersoft amps to be expensive, but it's actually on the cheaper end of Rouge's offerings.

    The Ncore stuff is supposed to be much better than the UcD, but you're paying through the nose for that too.
     
  9. strangecargo

    strangecargo Acquaintance

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    I recently had an experience with the NC400 DIY kits that has changed my opinion of them a bit. I recently built a pair of DIY speakers from these kits. The NC400s, driving these 8Ω speakers, were able to pull off microdynamics, soundstage, and overall performance that seems way more in line with their measurements (and reputation), which makes me wonder if my previous "meh" experience with them could be caused by the NC400s having issues providing enough current to drive both pairs of 4Ω speakers that normally live in my apartment. This would also explain why the NC400s drove the Amati Futuras particularly poorly, as they have kind of difficult phase/impedance curves.

    I should say that I still preferred the AHB2 over the NC400s when driving the DIY speakers, though.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  10. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    I saw your post on reddit where you mentioned this.. it's weird because the ncores are rated to be good at 4 or 2 ohms.. maybe you used too thin hookup wire!
     
  11. murphythecat

    murphythecat Self Imposed Exile

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    as I am cheap when it comes to SS amps, Ive tried a couple low cost "chip" amps: Gainclone LM3875, Topping TP20, breeze tpa3116, Volt+ tpa3118 boards, Vista spark, art0.de with linear psu (TA2021B)

    A gainclone lm3875 imo are insane value for money. ive also talked to Thorsten Loesch who recommends some modifications that raise the performance of the lm3875: inverting mode, with buffer, regulated powersupplies. this will be my next project.

    All my comparison are made of course with amps SPL matched.

    The Volt+ boards, the "new" tpa3118/3116 chip are imo quite a deal in audio as well. Discrete SS is only "slightly" better and actually worse in other way. the Topping tp 20 and Volt+ are very similar in sound but the Volt+ is more refined, more powerful and much less distortion when pushed. the Volt+ from what Ive seen is the best measuring boards out there and one of the best implementation of the TPA3118 chip. highly recommended for a secondary system and honestly I could live with this amp in my main system.

    the sound signature of "decent" class D amps are: very holographic, fast, clear, seem to accentuate the HF but not in a bad way and detailed with very well controlled bass. their culprit is the bass cannot touch good discrete SS such as my Sony 707ES, voices and midrange seem also a bit flat and lack some magic/emotion/details vs my Sony 707ES. this may the biggest culprit of the class d, its that it lacks that utmost texture/tonality but honestly, im impressed by the Volt+ for what they cost. My sony in the bass seem to have a sub attached to my speakers the sony seem to go much deeper. Class D is Not as holographic as tube amps and some ambience information is lacking. My DHT 6b4g PP DIY amps is quite a few step better understandably.

    anyways, my recommendation is for anyone to try a LM3875 or the higher powered TPA chip which the Volt+ is well regarded. I will try to get my hand on the new Rega Brio 2017 to compare with those low powered amps.

    anyone compared rega brio 2017 to a well performing TPA3116/3118? Im also interested to try in my system Hypex ncore and see how they compare to low powered class d
     
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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  12. murphythecat

    murphythecat Self Imposed Exile

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    well, i installed a TKD pot in my lm3875 gainclone.
    the gainclone eats alive my Volt+, topping tp20 or art0 class d. the gainclone sounds more real, more detailed, more natural. bass is much improved. the Sony 707 and the gainclone are very close to each other, the gainclone more detailed, the sony slightly more bass and "feel", but the gainclone I find perhaps more to my taste with my british speakers. with a less polite speaker, the sony may be prefered

    my class d amps are not in the same league of the gainclone or my Sony.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  13. Peter

    Peter Rando

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    Class D is good for sub woofers, full stop. Class D can also work if you really really need a lot of watts but don;t have that much cash. If you want a refined midrange and treble look elsewhere.

    The rules of Class D.

    Rule 1. Don't pay much for it. (Don't pay big bucks for a class D amp in a fancy case from a manufacturer with a fancy name, unless of course that is the kind of thing you like.)

    Rule 2. Use it for bass.
     
  14. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    While I'm not outright disagreeing with you, I think you are making unfair generalizations. There's a lot of crappy class D out there, and yeah there's a lot of cheap implementations shoved into fancy cases... but the same can literally be said for class A/B amps as well. It's just that you can cheat with A/B amps and make them big and beefy and people will think it's better simply due to weight.

    There are good class D amps out there, and certainly a few that are quite beefy in their own right.
     
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  15. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Disagree with your conclusioin. There is good and bad with anything. I have owned and heard crappy class D and wonderful class d. I am, though, classing some Tripath amps in the same category as most folks lump all digital amps together. I have used and really liked some Tripath amps that just outperformed some AB amps and especially in the critical midrange and treble.

    As with anything you cannot just throw a sticker on something because you have found a few or many bad actors. To do so is a bit too simplistic.
     
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  16. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    I use a Topping TP-20 amp with the AKG K1000 from time to time and it sounds just fine. So much so that Class D this is more or less the standard recommendation to amp the K1000 on the cheap. 300B SET or really good Class A sounds better though.
     
  17. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I recommend a Topping amp for anyone looking for a hundred buck amp for the HE-6 (though we wacky few are becoming a rarer breed these days). Heck, make it a $120 and it'll have a dac and remote, powers my speakers just fine, and is literally the size of a hardcover book.

    Now as for class D on subs, well, where else are you going to find a kilowatt amp that won't fry your circuit breaker or turn your cabinet into an oven? The nature of speakers has changed with the availability of cheaper power. And even then, the likes of Hypex or Pascal or Abletec or Powersoft of Lab Gruppen or MC2 are a significant leap beyond a honky little integrated chip that you treat like an oversized opamp.
     
  18. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Hey I resemble that remark on the little chip amp. I use one on my tv, makes "some" of the overpriced AV receivers sold at buy more sound like caca!
     
  19. Crashem

    Crashem Rando

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    Thought I would mention this since didn’t see it elsewhere:

    https://purifi-audio.com/eigentakt/

    new class d amp module released late last year. Another Bruno (UCD, hypex) designed amp module. Starting to see guys come out with amps based on it.

    so anyone heard one? Curious about comparison vs hypex nc400, nc1200
     

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