Any experience with Class D amps and impressions?

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by kurtgo, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. kurtgo

    kurtgo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Am looking hard at PS Audio's M700 monoblocks and then I saw some amps by ClassDAudio for way cheaper. Seems like the same products are developing for class D amps like A/B has. Some cheaper and better, some cheaper and not so good - some more expensive and real good and some expensive and just ok.

    I bought a little Lepai 100watt class D amp and was greatly surprised by what it could do. On 4 ohm speakers.

    Authority and musicality are what I am looking for in an amp. Looking to drive some Genesis 5.2 speakers. Presently am using Bob Carver VTA-180 tube monoblocks or a Parasound 3500. But, the class D amps are really pulling me to try them. Just don't want to take a big step backwards nor go through the expense of learning as I buy scenario.

    Smaller and cooler is what attracts me so I can reduce my systems footprint.

    Thoughts/Experiences?
     

     

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  2. hnash53

    hnash53 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You'll likely get a variety of responses. I built a Class D amp... pretty easy to do. Although I no longer have it, I was satisfied with the sound.

    Building one from a kit was fun... and it had a lot of power for not much $.

    Hope others will chime in soon with their impressions.
     
  3. 59volvo

    59volvo Well-Known Member

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  4. kurtgo

    kurtgo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I probably should have qualified my question better. Looking for higher output and as high quality as can reasonably get. I only read a few pages of the over 300 pages in that thread and those seemed to be more geared towards the smaller output class d amps and small, less demanding speakers. I keep coming back to the comment made "but the individual purchases add up over time to the point that a 'high end' unit could have been purchased." In their context, then I'm more specifically asking about the "high end" unit's performance. I am not a DIY person when it comes to stereo equipment.
     
  5. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If I were spending $3000 for a power amp I wouldn’t choose Class D. I had a Bel Canto amp and I wasn’t impressed. I still hear that etched sound on the high frequencies. I know others that think Class D is just as good. I am not in that camp. I would look at the Parasound A21 amp instead. It has plenty of power, sounds good and it is in your price range.
     
  6. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Does Class D Audio offer a trial period?
     
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  7. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Lunatic Member

    The older amps from Class D Audio have been surpassed by the newer chip boards from Texas Instruments: the TPA family and their, cheaper than yesterday's lunch, Chinese clones.
     
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  8. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I've played with a couple of these, they offer tremendous value and loads of economic audio fun.
     
  9. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    As for high end, The new ICE modules are being reported by owners as perhaps the best in class D.

    The big one, 1200as, outputs 800 watts per at 8ohms, 1200 at 4ohms.

    Manufacturers I'm aware of are

    Minerva
    Nord
    Apollon.

    I believe Minerva provides an amp with a high quality case for $1400 or so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  10. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Nord also builds with the Hypex Ncore and maybe UcD modules. You can also get some of the Hypex modules, power supplies, and amp kits directly from the Hypex Shop.

    My direct experience with Class D is only with some of the inexpensive, low power chip boards and a couple low to intermediate grade, albeit powerful, pro amps. Oh, I have one of the Panasonic SA-XR55 "digital" receivers too.

    Were I going to spend more to give it a go, probably would be the NC400s from Hypex store or maybe the Hypex variants assembled by Nord that have different input stage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  11. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    A word of caution, advances in power amp performance are most likely in this category. Most others are settled technology, David Berning excepted.
     
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  12. Mojo Warrior

    Mojo Warrior Reality Star

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    I have Class D integrated amplifiers from Peachtree (ICE modules), Crown XLS, Topping and SMSL. The sound is fantastic. Maybe some of the earlier models were not as good as the new generation. I have used (and still do) many highly regarded Class A/B power amplifiers for over 45 years. They sounded great, too. But not better than the current generation of Class D. Many direct-to-consumer companies have return policies if you are not satisfied with their product.

    Some people will swear that their 30-40 year old equipment is "the best". I would take those opinions with a "grain of salt". There are many professional reviews of Class D amplifiers. Do some research and listen for yourself. Anonymous proclamations have no relevance to what your own ears prefer.

    Peachtree has a product that may interest you: decco125 SKY
    30 day satisfaction guarantee
    Bluetooth streaming
    Phono inputs
    Smaller footprint
    Built-in DAC
    120W RMS/channel at 8 ohms, super stable and more power at 4 ohms

    https://www.peachtreeaudio.com/decco125-sky-amplifier-with-dac.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  13. Spence

    Spence Member

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    I have a Mivera Purepower amp on order. I'd put it at the top of the list right now. I believe it's 600 watts @ 8 ohms.

    Edited spelling check - thanks opnly bafld!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  14. opnly bafld

    opnly bafld AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Mivera Audio?
     
  15. Decibel_116

    Decibel_116 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you don't mind a 19" rack mount style amp, I have seen good reviews of the Crown Drivecore series Class D amps. The XLS-1502 falls within your budget and has gobs of power. I had the earlier model (XLS-1500) for a while driving a set of Thiel CS3.5 speakers. Sounded good to me.
     
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  16. opnly bafld

    opnly bafld AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    2 more companies to look at:
    Digital Amplifier Company (Cherry Amp)
    NuPrime Audio
     
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  17. kurtgo

    kurtgo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. I intend to look at all of these. I agree that this class of amps will probably be developing/innovating for awhile. I am probably going to have to call Class D Audio to see if they have return policy if not satisfied.

    Keep'm coming. Sometimes the chase is just as fun.
     
  18. Rick Vestal

    Rick Vestal Have a nice day and duck!

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    I've always been a proponent of Class D. Rowland here and there was someone else, (don't remember his username,) that really liked his Bel Cantos (Cubdog perhaps?)
     
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  19. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    I think there is (or perhaps was) a couple members running Channel Islands class D amps.
     
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  20. prighello

    prighello Super Member

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    I've had ice, nuforce, hypex, and class d audio amps. I still have the class d audio sds-470c. I really liked the class d audio and icepower amps the best. Still prefer class ab though.
     

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