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Anyone compared high end Class D power amps?

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

  1. brumjam

    brumjam pfm Member

    I’ve got a First Watt VFET (SIT), a First Watt F6 and a Neurochrome 86 amp.

    The Neurochrome is barely audible in my unscientific ‘ear to driver with no music playing’ test. Both First Watt designs emit more noise which isn’t an issue with my Berkeley’s, but I suspect it will be with the OP’s speakers. I’d be tempted to try the Neurochrome, especially given it only costs about £400 inc case (for the 86 version).
    hifinutt likes this.
  2. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I can't think of any low powered class A amps other than the Sugden A21 which are both quiet enough and commercially available anyway....

    I suspect a Hiraga Le Monstre would sound stunning in this setting but it's DIY only... as are pretty much all the contenders..

    I can of course build such things for those interested... and even a super low noise PSU that would be needed here... but it's the usual problem of you can't hear it till it's built.
  3. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Exactly. I don’t want to go down the kit direction, like you say you can’t hear it until it’s done. Also if you ever need to sell it they’re virtually worthless.

    I’m decided on sticking with Class D, and unfortunately for a couple of reasons it has to be monoblocks.

    Just trying to create a short list of a couple of amps to try so as not to waste too much dealers/my time and money on shipping stuff back and forth.

    If anyone has any views/experience of Class D monos that would be great.
    I’m thinking of trying Bel Canto, Nuprime and Wyred 4 Sound so far....
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  4. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    All good ideas. I’d also do what I did and speak to John at Temple Audio about your hopes and expectations. You might save a lot of money you could spend differently.
  5. Shadders

    Shadders pfm Member

    Why do you want to compare high end class D systems ?.

    You could ask Temple Audio if they could modify your existing amplifier to change the output filter which may provide the warmth you are looking for. Or try Nord amplifiers - which use Hypex modules with interchangeable discrete op-amps on the front end which will provide a degree of "sound" character.

    If you examine high end, they use Hypex modules anyway - so are paying for the privilege of owning high end, no performance improvement over other cheaper offerings.

    hifinutt likes this.
  6. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Ah well when I do this sort of thing as a one off I start from scratch... no kit.. unless a customer puts cheapness beyond all else.
    Often point to point hand wired in the manner of high end valve kit.. but solid state...
  7. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Well I did say to John at the time of buying if there were any upgrades that could be done, but he said no. Do you think there are things he can do then?

    Again I’m not in the slightest bit unhappy with the Temples...i suppose it’s just the itchy feet syndrome wondering if there is better out there....
  8. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    i am a great fan of bel canto but they have gone stratospheric in prices !!! i would be looking at NORD first , they seem to have a huge fan club
    Shadders likes this.
  9. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    With my ear to the drivers and volume pot at my usual listening level there is no noise at from my Yams, Neurochrome mod86p bridged and BPBP pre-amp. I have to go way past my usual listening level before I can hear the feint rustle of electronic white noise from my speakers.

    Both pre and power amps are c -120db thd+ noise, apparently good engineering is more important than mega bucks bling for good performance.
  10. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    LM3886 are very quiet yes. No audible noise at all from my Spendors even with ear against drivers.
  11. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Coherent gave a pair of Ref 1000’s that they have modded up for sale, very reasonable money too...were these maybe yours at one time? Thinking they might be worth a try?
  12. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    Maybe not upgrades exactly but as Shadders says, tailoring to your exact requirements. He did it for me but I am ineffably charming.
    steveinspain likes this.
  13. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    3886. I'm rocking lm4780, 2 chips per mono chassis, parallel and bridged. I've been thinking about adding an extra sets of speaker posts and a switch to go between bridged mode and a dual output mode. See if theres any benefit, I'd split one chip for bass and other for mid/treble. Loose a bit of power but double impedance limit.
  14. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Lol yeh we weren’t getting that :p
    brumjam likes this.
  15. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    yes i wondered that , the chap i sold them too wrote this in november so its quite possible

    "My power amps were Bel Canto Ref 1000s with modifications by Coherent Systems driven directly from the Dax Decade.

    I really wanted the Devialet to work. A beautiful, multi functional, one box solution. However, I found myself spending more and more time fiddling with the system (supports, cables, speaker positioning) trying to get the system to sound great.

    After a year, I had to admit that the AS Dax Decade + Bel Cantos Ref 1000s combination sounded better to me.

    I've had 2 AS Dax Decades over the last 14 years. Initially a single ended model with the Blackgate upgrades and then a balanced version, which had a slightly lower noise floor than the single ended version, so I changed to that model.

    After the Devialet experience, I never thought I would move on from the Dax Decade. But, the Novafidelity sounded better in a straight shoot out with the Sonos + Dax v Sonos + Novafidelity. Moving further on, the Novafidelity with inbuilt streamer sounded better than the Sonos + Novafildelity.

    However, being cautious, I asked for an extended home trial. After about a week of swapping back and forth, I placed an order for the Novafildelity."
  16. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

  17. Thetiminator

    Thetiminator Painfully virile

    Cheers HFN

    How did you rate your Ref 1000’s? You seem to have some pretty tasty amps in your time....
    hifinutt likes this.
  18. Dan K

    Dan K pfm Member

  19. htm_1968

    htm_1968 pfm Member

    I've had great results with Gato amps. These monos are excellent:

    They are wildly over budget new, but do show up on the second hand market reasonably regularly and often well within the OP's budget.
  20. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

    I compared the Bel-Canto ACI-600 to a Vitus Ri100, Macintosh MA9000, Mark Levinson ML585, and Audionet DNA 2.0, the ACI-600 was the most expensive yet the least convincing sounding.

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