Class-D Integrated Amplifiers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by riddlemay, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    Sorry, no experience with tubes => Class D . . .

    I have Focal 1038be powered with a Yamaha P7000s, 750W x 2, 20Hz-20kHz. The "pre" is a Yamaha RX-A1050 AVR. Source is a Yamaha BD-A1040 universal player. CD/Blu ray/SACD all sound great, never run out of power. The pro amp's fans have never come on.

    I've wondered what, if any, improvement I might hear with PS Audio's Stellar M700 monoblock power amplifier ($2998/pair); I paid $599 for the Yamaha.
  2. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    I'd bet thousands of dollars in cash and prizes that even if you heard a difference, it wouldn't be $2,399 worth of difference.
    4xoddic and timind like this.
  3. Kostas

    Kostas Forum Resident

    Depends, there are people who hear significant differences. I hear a slight difference or nothing when I change amps, especially non tube amps. Even when I had a tube amp it wasn't the vintage type with a mellow warm sound, I heard nothing. On the other hand, I hear a different sound when I change speakers, that's why I believe the amp should be chosen after the speakers and chosen for it's driving capabilities. Speaker designers know their job, take a relatively good active speaker and you'll see monoblocks of hundreds of watts inside to drive each one of the drivers. On the other hand you have audiophiles who say 3 or 50 watts are enough because the X amp has quality and driving capabilities. There are still people who think Class D amps are new, digital, harsh sounding etc
    4xoddic likes this.
  4. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    Sound advice, coming out of PS Audio's Colorado. I seem to recall a deal where PS Audio would pay retail for your trade-in, provided it was sent in prior to the expiration of their trial period. My hearing aided ears would likely be the only comparison on the web of any difference. :D

    The Yamaha P7000s was selected due to Polk Audio forum feedback on improvement to the RTi-A9s with ever-increasing power (up to 350 WPC); why stop there, with Class D available? It transformed the RTi-A9s for 2-channel music, vs the Pioneer SC-07's ICE amps 140 WPC => fatigue.

    Googling on the Focal 1038be cautioned they were discriminating to match with amplifiers. IMHO the Yamaha is a great match.
  5. heathen

    heathen Forum Resident

    And I own the M700s!
    4xoddic likes this.
  6. SteveKr

    SteveKr Active Member

    Glasgow, Scotland
    I had one of these and found it sounded better with a beefy linear power supply rather than the switch mode one I had.
    enfield likes this.
  7. Silverwolf

    Silverwolf Well-Known Member

    Check out one these:

    The Temple Audio Bantam One Website

    I have a much cheaper ‘Gold’ with just one input. Drives my Dynadio speakers very well, it’s the size of 2 cigarette packets. Replaced my middle of the range Cambridge Audio amp within minutes of hearing it.
    The Bantam One is basically 2 ‘Golds’ as monoblocks, with high quality linear power supplies, plus loads more power, and inputs, all in one box. Not heard one, but would very much like too...
    SteveKr likes this.
  8. Hudo

    Hudo Well-Known Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    thank for recommendations, i'll check this VTL. But Crown power amp is really cheap, so in your experience getting good preamp is more important that power amp?
    I really want tube preamp to get that special sound, so Nord integrated, or any other integrated just can't give that ...
    Similar with @4xoddic Yamaha P7000s power amp; really cheap compared to 1028/1038Be speakers.
    Would Hypex or PSAudio be that much better?
    Yamaha and Crown are in 500$ range, Nord/Apollon are 1000-2000$, and then Mola Mola, Bel Canto, ... are in 5,000-20,000$ range!

    Hypex should be more warm and smooth compared to ICEPower, but still not sure how big the is difference between NC500ML and NC500 modules, where NC500 is almost 2x more expensive than NC500ML (900€ for 2x NC500ML monoblocks compared to 1600€ for stereo NC500).
  9. siebrand

    siebrand Forum Resident

  10. Kostas

    Kostas Forum Resident

    As I said above I don't hear much difference between amplifiers, I don't mind how it costs if it does the job. Hypex have better measurements than the Crown, they would be my choice if I could afford them. On the other hand, when you have the preamp of your choice you can order a Crown from a store like Thomann and check it out at home for a month. The Crown is lightweight, you won't pay much to return it if you don't like it and you'll have your money back.

    Try asking Hypex, Apollon and Nord about the differences in their modules. I would go for the higher power I could afford, watts are useful, you never know how much power your next speakers will need. A Hypex based amp can really be the last amp you'll need.

    Finally, the PS Audio amp is 50 watts/8 ohms, if you meant the Sprout. It's not an amp I would consider if I wanted serious driving capabilities.
    Shiver likes this.
  11. Shiver

    Shiver Forum Resident

    The main difference in the Nord Ncore modules as I understand it are the non-'MP' ones use additional input buffers to enhance/tailor the sound.

    I've a MP power amp (252w) and it's fab. Smooth, clean, effortless power.
  12. Hudo

    Hudo Well-Known Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    I meant PS Audio S300 or S700, with 140 and 350W @8ohm. They use Icepower modules.

    Apollon guy told me he recommends Hypex for Focal, since Ice doesn't do well if speaker drops below 4ohm, and focals lowest point is 3.5ohm for example (ice 1200as rates 2.7ohm min and nc500 has no problems with 2ohm, per specs).
    Interestingly, I sent the same question to Nord and they recommended Ice based amps :/
  13. kmurp

    kmurp Active Member

    Upstate NY
  14. Kostas

    Kostas Forum Resident

    I have no experience with either of them, I have read several reviews & opinions online and by instinct my first choice would be Hypex, second ICE. Email Hypex directly with the specs of your speakers, they will recommend the appropriate modules.
  15. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    A Google search for: Hypex Apollon Nord "Yamaha" => About 6,680 results


    The P7000s & P5000s are digital, the lower-powered P2500S & P3500S models in that line are not, & weigh more. I've not checked the newer Yamaha PX series digital power amps.

    AFAIK, Yamaha is using their own "module" in their digital pro amps. Yamaha touts EEE (Energy Efficient Engine) technology reduces power consumption and heat generation without sacrificing output power or sound quality. When power requirements are reduced, the P7000S uses a highly efficient current buffer to switch input power on and off as needed. As power requirements increase, an independently responding auxiliary power line supplies additional power without compromising output.

    Most audio threads re: Yamaha P7000S/P5000S will be about driving subwoofers for Home Theater. They will handle 2 Ohm loads . . . which covers the Focal 1038/1028 Be lowest point. I've taken some flak ~ Yamaha "house sound." I've had Yamaha amps since 1972, CA600 integrated & several AVRs. I've always thought they sounded "natural," as advertised. The P7000S sounded no different between the Pioneer SC-07 & Yamaha RX-A1050 AVRs when used as pre-amps. I would anticipate that any TUBE pre-amp you chose to use, that sound should transmit thru the Yamaha intact.

    I used a QSC-GX7 (700 WPC) prior to the Yamaha. The variable fans could be heard across the room during quiet passages. There are plenty of threads re: swapping out noisy fans on pro amps. I saw none on Yamaha pro amp fans; most owners have never had them come on. There is a youtube of a P7000s internals, w/complaints that caps are rated to 85 degrees (F or C,?); discussion of used non-working P7000S on ebay => reliability concerns; but rarely an actual owner having any disappointment.

    The only disadvantage I can come up with on the P7000S => it required RCA->XLR cables or adapters (I'm using cheap ones) & NO REMOTE. I leave the amp on 24/7; it really generates very little heat.

    May I suggest the possibility of "renting" a digital Yamaha pro amp from a musical instrument shop; + RCA->XLR adapters/cables. Or buying, with easy return. Use the pre-outs from any integrated/pre-amp/AVR & witness the results.
  16. SWD

    SWD Active Member

    New York
    Peachtree sounds like the perfect answer to the original question.
  17. E.Baba

    E.Baba Forum Resident

    I'm seeing a number of comments that a tube preamp goes well with a D class.

    I'm finding my D class could do with 'calming down' on the higher or energetic frequencies. Great clarity and bass control though.

    Rouge Sphinx would seem like a decent idea but a bit harder to get hold of here.

    Since I've got a D class already I'll work on adding tubes to the system.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  18. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Austin, Texas
    FWIW the Rogue Sphinx, although it does have tubes in its preamp, does not have a tube sound. Some find it a bit edgy. Like any component it benefits from being in a system that plays well with it. My Pendragons seem like very well balanced slightly warm sounding speakers, and my TT, a VN150 is also on the more lush end. The cartridge, a 2m bronze, is probably on the more clinical end. Put it all together and it works. I am guessing that adding a tube preamp may work for you, but don’t forget there are other ways to fine tune your overall sound characteristics like phono preamps, cartridges, etc. So even though I like mine, I don’t think being unable to locate a Sphinx should be a big deal.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  19. E.Baba

    E.Baba Forum Resident

    Thanks for your comments on the Sphinx.
    I have a Pro-Ject Tube Box phono with Siemens ECC83 tubes. They were set up to go with a tube amp. Maybe not the best match for the D class so I have old Mullards and Brimar on the way.

    I'm also looking at a Maverick TubeMagic which could act as a dac/Preamp tube buffer.

    Meantime I threw an old SS preamp in there. Interesting but not the answer.
  20. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    This video came up in my Youtube suggestions. Seemed fitting here.
    heathen likes this.
  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Don't go to all that trouble, just add a tube buffer. No a cheap piece of junk but a decently built one. It will tame down the sound going into the class "D" circuit's.
    E.Baba likes this.
  22. jeffsab

    jeffsab Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Why is he wearing a raincoat?
    displayname likes this.

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