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Anyone compared high end Class D power amps?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Thetiminator, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    How about some of the First Watt amps, yeah, I know, not Class D.
  2. Ginger

    Ginger pfm Member

    I was lent a Wyred4sound integrated and it was pretty awful - the bass was just so hefty as to be unnatural to my ears. I was then persuaded to borrow a pair of their monoblocs and wasn’t expecting anything. My amps at the time were Avondaled Naim 135’s that I thought were pretty good . The Wyreds are of a different order to my ears. I’ve been to the wigwam show twice and heard loads of lovely systems , but nothing that’s made me even consider my amps are bettered.
  3. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    I got a Quad Artera power amp - just fab. Same sense of quiet effortlessness as the Nord but that touch more warmth, and meat on the bone as such. Especially helps at lower volumes.

    Actually wondering whether to try some lower power options to see if makes more of the sensitive speakers etc, just curious. Looking at First Watt clones...
  4. Shadders

    Shadders pfm Member

    I see multiple comments that class D is transparent. Is the transparency an illusion.

    Class D does emit a lot of high frequency noise, and perhaps the transparency is the effect of the high frequency noise on the loudspeaker drivers and crossover. Maybe the low THD amplifiers as referred to above (Neurochrome) which exceed class D performance and are stated to be warm, are perceived to be warm due to the fact that they do not emit any high frequency noise.

  5. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Ah yes, crossed messages as such (not that you were saying it to me...). They look really promising.
  6. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Hi Tim
    Class D just works better in my system as a rule because the amps are on up to 12 hours a day every day and with 105db noise is a vital factor, class d amps are (generally) deathly quiet....
    I was shocked at some of the highly regarded valve amp contenders....sounded like there were bowls of rice crispies stuffed down the horns :rolleyes:
  7. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    Sure, I get it. I guess the First Watt was where my mind went straightway once you mentioned the speaker and specs. I personally haven’t played with many class D designs, Bel Canto, Primare-which I like a lot, and a friend has a pair of Red Dragon monos that are really good too.
  8. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    These little Temple Audios have been a revelation, they are truly wonderful little things and only around the size of a paperback book.
    SQ wise I’d say they’d give my Boulder 1060 I had a run for their money, very similar sounding.
    I’m not desperate to change and could happily live with them permanently, but thought I may as well try something higher up the Class D ladder in case their was more to be had....
  9. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

  10. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke pfm Member

    Using pascals in the 8c’s, ncore in subs, Avalon’s & 3 different sets of standmounts recently I can’t say I’ve ever felt a lack of bass.

    Or any level of noise that’s higher than the previous class a/b’s, generally seems lower, efficient and silent
  11. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    I realised a while ago that if I moved to efficient speakers I could save thousands on amps. In that context the Temple Bantam One with a Khozmo passive pre is the best amplification I’ve had, all for less than the cost of a Naim Hi-Cap.
  12. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    If Tripath is Class D- when system rotation mode l run my tweaked Virtue Audio Sensation M901 external PSU with Audionote ANK/ LX and Impulse H6 to good effect.:)
  13. Yomanze

    Yomanze pfm Member

    And exactly why some engineers tune a bit of warmth in. Usually by keeping odd harmonics down and tuning the even ones. Funny how these designers feel like they need to add it, for more listening enjoyment.

    Interestingly LFD has moved to class D after years of tuning, but very expensive. Supposed to be jaw-dropping though.
  14. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Exactly what I found Alex....
  15. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I’m very happy with Class D amps. I’ve been using Chapter Audio power amps with their massive power supplies and before that Id never heard amps get louder without any change in character or sense of strain like these. Also have an ice power edge1200as2 which has remarkable LF capability. You can now get Krell style slam on a beer budget! Luxury brands like Jeff Rolland and others appear to use proprietary boards from B&O and others slipped into beautiful enclosures with prices to match the brand image. Jeff Rowland also use transformer coupled inputs routinely.
    The best implementation to my ears, though strictly speaking not simple Class D, is Devialet. I can’t quite match their sheer resolution using good quality preamps/dacs and other Class D power amps.
  16. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Are some of you here of the opinion that Class D (or the likes) is now perhaps as capable as A, A/B, valves etc - irrespective of price?

    I heard somewhere that the switching noise in class D could be an issue.
    Tarzan and Canton like this.
  17. steveinspain

    steveinspain pfm Member

    Alex - I have no amp experience outside of a Naim 250 and now an Avondale'd 250 with the upgraded NCC220 boards. Do you have any idea how the Bantam One compares ?
    Like you, I'd only want the power amp part, which I assume drops the price a bit and could be of interest (not that I have any complaints about the NCC220, just curious..)
  18. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Damping factors over about 40 are irrelevant. Any and all differences due to damping factor are in the range of DF's from say 1 to 30.
    There is no intrinsic difference in noise between different amplifier classes. It is all down to implementation.
    Julf likes this.
  19. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

    I was told that the Canford Compact power amps were really good, sadly it looks like they have now been discontinued. No idea what tech was inside them. There's one on eBay right now for £80, but you'll need 2.

    I heard a couple of DIY Hypex amps in my old Shahinian Obelisk based system and for me they were both too dry /analytical. They seemed to lack any sort of organic flow. I preferred a KSA-50, Bedini 100/100 & a JVC Z1010TN to them.
  20. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends


    Some of the first-generation ones had issues because of low switching frequencies. Not an issue with modern designs.

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