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Class D amplification?

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

  1. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Six pack of stout, and a stick of sensi

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm definitely digging it, it's soundstage is even bigger than I previously had commented on. Time will tell if it's here for a good time or a long time!
    interesting side note; well, to me anyways, but about a year ago I blew an output stage in the rega by being clumsy with the speaker wires. I took it to a local guy to fix, and he did a good job. But a few months later, it developed a split second squeal when I powered it on in the right channel. As I leave it powered up all the time, I wasn't too concerned as everything seemed to sound fine. When I bought my Dynaudio speakers, I was having some issues getting the imaging and sweet spot locked, everything seemed slightly shifted to the left. I thought maybe it was the positioning in the room or something, never crossed my mind that maybe that right channel in the amp was weak. But now with a different amp in place, both channels are obviously playing at the same levels again.
     
    Khorn, SirMarc and timind like this.
  2. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Glad the amp is working out for you. Whether it actually replaces the Rega is up in the air I understand. When you say the PSA lacks some of the "musicality" of the Rega, although I've never heard your Brio, I understand the comment. It's happened to me before. How I know it's a problem is when I realize I'm not excited to sit down for a listen the way I should be.
     
  3. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    Nice! That's one of the things I like most about the M700's, and to a slightly lesser degree the S300. The soundstage is gigantic! It was already wide with the X18's, but when I upgraded to to X44's, it almost blew my mind! It's not only wider now, but also tall. Very cool

    As to the Brio issues, if you're anything like me, that doubt in the back of your mind is a killer. It's the main reason I sold all my vintage gear, except my Thorens turntable of course lol, and went with new gear
     
    Khorn likes this.
  4. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Six pack of stout, and a stick of sensi

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yep you nailed it, it has to be engaging before all else for me. It will just take some time with the PSA to tell, have to get past the honeymoon stage! One thing for sure tho, whether this is a keeper or not, I won't shy away from class d in the future.
     
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  5. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Six pack of stout, and a stick of sensi

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Ya it will definitely be in my mind now. I'm going to hook it back up beside the PSA at some point to compare and confirm that there is indeed an issue. I won't spend anymore on the Brio to fix tho, I'll throw it on the tv upstairs or something the way it is.
    Sorry to the OP for kinda hijacking the thread! It kinda ties in tho!
     
    SirMarc likes this.
  6. luiscardoso88

    luiscardoso88 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lisbon
    Thank you so much for finding these tests! Finally, some scientific testing instead of placebos! Off to some great reading! Cheers!
     
    Mike70 likes this.
  7. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    Would appreciate any feedback of experiences with higher powered class D amplification and highly sensitive speakers. How much do you “hear” or “not hear” the amps signature as related to other conventional classes. I’m starting to seriously consider investigating class D amplification in the near future.
     
  8. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    Oddly enough, I've played around with this a bit. Running DeVore 0/96 speakers, I've used Bel Canto REF600m, E1X Stereo.. Both were actually surprisingly good with the DeVores.
    I'm trying to remember, but a couple years back, pretty sure I played around with PS Audio M700s and DeVores as well. Just don't remember exactly how that combo sounded.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  9. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Six pack of stout, and a stick of sensi

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I wanted to actually not like this new (to me) PS Audio amp. I like Rega, I was going to be happy with the Brio. The Brio is one of the great bargains in audio. The PSA was just an experiment to see how the extra power would drive the Dynaudios. Besides, class d sucks according to so many.
    Not.
    I spent half a day on Thursday comparing the two amps. Everything about the PSA is at least marginally better (width of soundstage very similar) to exponentially better. Clearer more defined instruments, more attack and decay, more accurate brass instruments. A more even sound across the soundstage. Overall a more clean, clear and concise sound without ever losing its smooth nature. I listened for almost 12 hours that day and not a hint of fatigue.
    I was actually surprised when I started to A/B them how much warmth the class d gave me; not as much as the Brio, but in the case of the Brio, it made it sound slower and thicker. Possibly the biggest thing I noticed with the extra power was while playing Coldplay - Ghost Stories (ya, I know, Coldplay :hide:) and the bass was actually resonating in my chest and chair. And that's with no sub running.
    I'm really impressed with this amp so far, it has been a worthwhile and fruitful experiment. Of course, it's still early stages, but at this point, it will be the Brio finding a new home.
     
    timind, ranch 22b, Mike70 and 3 others like this.
  10. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    Nice!
     
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  11. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    If there is/was one word that I associated with class D until recently its COLD. I don’t know if that was warranted or not but that’s what entered my mind. Now I’m hearing enough good things that dispel these inhibitions to the point of serious consideration of class D on my part.
     
  12. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    jusbe, Khorn and Noel Patterson like this.
  13. Noel Patterson

    Noel Patterson Six pack of stout, and a stick of sensi

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That's exactly what I associated with class d as well, and as I was browsing/shopping a different amp to try, avoided class d options. But when I came across this PS Audio at a really decent price, and remembered @SirMarc had been using it with his Dynaudios and really liked it, thought I'd try. I read as much as I could online about it, and although there wasn't much info, what I did read all suggested a slightly warm sound; not at all what I was expecting. I also read reviews of some other PS Audio amps, and while knowing they would all sound different, also knew that there is usually enough similarities to piece together a rough idea of their house sound.
    Again, this is all through somewhat pedestrian stuff that I have, and both my dac and phono stage are Rega, so perhaps that adds some warmth too. What I hear in my room with my associated gear may be a completely different experience than what someone else hears. I've so far heard enough to seriously consider continuing up the PS Audio path as upgrades present themselves.
     
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  14. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thanks, Quite enlightening in depth review.
     
  15. fish

    fish Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I almost bought the Model 30. I bought the PM-KI Ruby instead.
    The LAST thing these amps are is Cold, right?

    The NuForce Ref 9SE I listen for a while was also not cold. Maybe analytical and extended but cold? No. If anything it was more so class-a sounding.

    Its about implementation, not the format itself. Ive heard More COLD A/B Amps than anything else honestly. No Soul.
     
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  16. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thanks Really sounds encouraging.
     
  17. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    Another aspect of class D amplifiers ... they sound better through balanced inputs? I see some opinions on this.

    Schiit saga+ seems to be spot on in price / performance ratio, but if you need a balanced project to get the best from the amplifier, well ... very little options under 1k (and I don't believe in fancy expensive electronics to have a good stereo).

    But, with balanced inputs you have much gain (normally +3dB) and psychoacoustics says "louder it's better". So, i think this is an interesting aspect, class D sounds better balanced? And, if your answer is yes, better or only louder?
     
    Khorn likes this.
  18. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thanks, questions to think about. If decent sound isn’t affordable to most music lovers it’s almost a crime. You shouldn’t have to take out a mortgage just to enjoy good music and in reality you don’t have to. Class D should be helping make that possible.
     
    Bill Mac, Mike-48 and Mike70 like this.
  19. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    Totally agree. More eficiency means less heat, less chassis, less dissipation ... less transformer ... cheap construction.

    It's like electric vs combustion motor. A new era.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  20. johnvb

    johnvb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Virginia Beach Va.
    I've been using a pair of W4S M-amps for over three years now, driven via balanced outputs from the companion M-Pre. Bought with the upgrade binding posts. Used them originally to drive KEF LS 50s, now an old pair of Paradigm Studio 60 v3s. Worked fine for both, I found to keep all cabling shielded and amps separated as possible. When they were first purchased, I replaced the stock shielded PS cord with a longer unshielded one, that effected the sound in a negative way. Now using longer diy shielded cords and cables, Mogami twisted pair cabling inside a flex split loom, covered with Rattlesnake techflex. Biamping into the Studio 60s, with Oval 9 jumper cables for the low end, diy silver litz for the high end. Great product.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    macster, timind, Mike70 and 4 others like this.
  21. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I believe the available Class D modules operate as balanced circuits, so using a single-ended input involves conversion. Good transformers for this purpose being expensive, I imagine (don't know as a fact!) that conversion involves active or passive circuitry that does not improve the signal. Certainly, not the S/N ratio.

    As to louder, I'd hope that anyone saying "A is better than B" has first done level-matching with a test recording and SPL meter or measurement program. If not, their conclusions are dubious at best, nonsense at worst. I know from experience that it's easy to be fooled by level differences.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    jusbe, Mike70, Bill Mac and 1 other person like this.
  22. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I really like that cable housing, looks like rattlesnakes! :righton::righton:
     
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  23. Khorn

    Khorn Senior Member Thread Starter

    It’s great to see the effort you put in payed off.
     
  24. johnvb

    johnvb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Virginia Beach Va.
    "I really like that cable housing, looks like rattlesnakes! :righton:"
    That keeps the dear wife out of the listening room. :D

    Correction, actually I'm just bi-wiring, one (mono) amp per speaker. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    Ilusndweller likes this.
  25. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    The Brio doesn't have the power that the Dynaudio speakers demand. I have a pair of small Dynaudio speakers at the house with an old Brio 3 and the result is the same. Roy would joke about the Brio only having 49wpc, saying that if you wanted a 50wpc amp that you'd have to buy someone else's. It has a warm and detailed sound, perfect for dynamic and clear speakers but not enough for tougher loads and lower efficient speakers such as the Dynaudio which presents a bit of both. The Rogue Audio Spinx is a better mate there with it's 100wpc of class D output, driven by a vacuum tube preamp section. Now you would be fine with a Rega Elicit-R, but not with the Brio or Io as they don't have the power on tap for those speakers.
    -Bill
     
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