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Class D amplification?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Khorn, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    I thought Class D amplification was supposed to be sort of a saviour insofar as providing powerful amplification in a smaller, lighter more cost effective package? What’s going on here? Seems to me that good Class D amps are starting to cost as much as small cars! We’re the cost savings related to Class D just a myth or does good amplification cost good money no matter what operating class is implemented. At the higher end there doesn’t seem to be much cost effectiveness over conventional topology. I hope I’m wrong.
  2. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    There are expensive Class D amps. You need to look beyond its module. There’s the chassis (milled from aluminium blocks), the op amp, the connectors, the wiring, the brand etc.

    It all adds up to the manufacturer’s cost, which is then multiplied at a certain number of times to come to the RRP or what the manufacture feel it can’t fetch as a premium product.
    Khorn and RhodesSupremacy like this.
  3. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for the reply.
    I don’t quite understand. Are you saying that “with all else being equal” a 200 wpc class D amp should be about the same price as a 200W pure class A type amp?
    I was under there were cost savings when implementing class D. I must have got it wrong.
  4. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    I’m no pro but if you are talking $/w then yeah Class D can be much cheaper.

    But again it depends on what components are being used and what the manufacturer wants to price it.
    E.Baba and Khorn like this.
  5. MC Rag

    MC Rag Forum Resident

  6. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Northern CA
    Yes, you 'got it wrong'. The savings are on your Chiropractic and electricity bills.
  7. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Andy Saunders, Khorn and MC Rag like this.
  8. Silverwolf

    Silverwolf Occasional Esoteric Freak

    Hi, I can only comment from the budget end. I have a Temple Audio Gold D amp. It is very basic, has one analogue input, and maxes out at 25 watts, running off 15 volts. It’s the size of 2 cigarette packs. It replaced a Cambridge Audio 640 amp, which of course went louder, but every aspect of the little Temple Audio amp is better - detail, soundstage and bass. And it’s driving Dynaudio standmounts rated at a slightly difficult 86db and 4 ohms. In my small listening space the amp sounds fantastic with a well mastered CD at around 2-3pm on the volume dial. I’ve always been curious about one of these, much more power, 2 monoblocks in a case, both with linear power supplies built in: The Temple Audio Bantam One Website
    Swann36, Khorn and unclefred like this.
  9. MC Rag

    MC Rag Forum Resident

    Yes, they take off the shelf cases then modify them in-house to save on cost. I've not heard one but would like to, particularly alongside some of the higher priced class D amps to see if there really is much difference.
    Khorn and tIANcI like this.
  10. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Victoria, B.C.
    It seems a lot of amplifier manufacturers are using Hypex NCore modules. Both pro audio and consumer audio. So on paper, they should all sound very similar, and it's just down to who's got the better looking case.

    MC Rag and Khorn like this.
  11. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    i've read a few very positive reports on the Bantams and other Temple audio products.
    Khorn likes this.
  12. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    I’m a glutton for punishment.
    Bingo Bongo and Mike from NYC like this.
  13. Silverwolf

    Silverwolf Occasional Esoteric Freak

    Yeah, I came to them fairly early on. Various forums in the UK were at the time raving about Chinese T Amps which by all accounts sounded very good for pennies really. The first Temple Audio was a T amp (I had one) but they improved every aspect of it with the Gold (which isn’t a tripath chip), then did Monoblocks which I’ve not heard, then the Bantam One. They’ve since started making very high quality linear power supplies, which are now inside their Bantam One mark 2. The owner John is a nice guy to deal with as well. It’s a shame they’re not more known on this site, but I guess they’re not ‘audiophile’ enough for people to try them.
    Khorn and unclefred like this.
  14. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Actual best class D amplification comes from the original Hypex genius, Bruno Putzeys but now with the Purifi brand.

    1ET400A - PURIFI
    rischa and Khorn like this.
  15. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    The sound actually varies considerably depending on the input buffer and op amps used by the manf. although there are some manf. doing as you said and just using the module as is but that varies too whether it's Hypex, Iceedge, Purifi or Pascal modules.
    RockAddict and Khorn like this.
  16. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    I find that the new Class D amps sound very close to an AB. It’s got that slight warmth now.
    RockAddict and Khorn like this.
  17. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Essex UK
    Pound for pound Class D offer the best value.

    Cheap..Good sounding..Compact in size

    I personally use Class D in my smaller system...Class D can compete with other classes in most areas.Although i do find the bass to be on the lean side.Mids and HF accurate and sweet
    Not for rockers or bass freaks
    Whay and Khorn like this.
  18. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Syracuse NY
    I always thought the main goals behind class D amplification was power saving and less heat and a secondary consideration was potential cost savings. You can get some prett my amazing sounding, not too expensive class D amps but I still think overall you get what you pay for. The current Marantz Amps are the best Class D I’ve heard.
    wings, Bingo Bongo and Khorn like this.
  19. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Portland, Oregon
    My impression agrees with @russk and @Cliff -- the savings are mostly in weight and power usage. And because many Class D amps use switch-mode power supplies, there is a savings in cost and weight of a huge transformer and filter capacitors to match.

    As @tIANcI said, too, price is not always set as a multiple of the bill-of-materials cost. Not for luxury goods.

    The casework for a Jeff Roland or D'Agostino unit must be a large part of the cost. Of course, it is then marked up several times, yet the fancy casework offers pride of ownership for many. (And look at the gorgeous metalwork offered by Boulder and dCS.) With the mushrooming number of billionaires worldwide (and perhaps less free cash available to the middle class), more and more of the hifi industry has dedicated itself to producing Veblen goods.

    To quote Wikipedia:
    Even Bryston has been raising prices relentlessly and doesn't seem to have suffered as a result.

    Yet, as @MC Rag said, some small firms (Nord in the UK, Apollon in Slovenia, Audiophonics in France, and others) are offering moderately priced Class D amps with audiophile aspirations. It is in part the lower weight of Class D circuitry that makes shipping those around the world more practical.

    And I doubt that NAD would be able to offer anything comparable (in sound quality, features, and cost) to its M33 without using Class D modules.

    I predict that soon, we'll be seeing entrepreneurs offering linear power supplies to add on to such amps. I plan to buy one shortly after "investing" in a $3000 power cord.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
    Khorn, kaikki on aivan jees and russk like this.
  20. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    I love my Marantz KI Ruby amp, it replaced a Nelson Pass, nuff said!

    Will be trying a Mola Mola in the new year!

    Love Class D and proud to say it!
    wings, jusbe, mikeburns and 5 others like this.
  21. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    That’s encouraging.
    klockwerk likes this.
  22. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    Yesterday I purchased Class D monoblocks - waiting for them to be shipped. Wyred4 sound mAmp - given the sale on them it was hard to pass up. I liked Wyred4 Sound's room at the California Audio Show 2019 and given they are having a pretty big sale I decided to take the class D plunge.

    Price is for each not a pair.

    FWIW - made in the USA

  23. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    Congrats. How long do you think you’ll have to run them to get a good handle on the sound? Very interested in your opinion.
  24. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Surely many people will be interested :)

    And DavidR says something really strong ... replacing a Pass with class D.
    RhodesSupremacy and Khorn like this.
  25. ChrisR2060

    ChrisR2060 Forum Resident

    Charlotte, NC
    I recently tried the parasound integrated 200 -not a bad choice at the price point- and finally acquired the PS Audio stellar gain cell + S300, and I have no regret! Sounds really good, plenty of power, powerfull bass and great imaging and detail.
    THe sound of class D depends greatly on the pre-amp; that's where the investment goes.

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