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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

What's class D today (and what do I need)?
What's class D today (and what do I need)?
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Old 17th February 2010, 03:46 AM   #1
Markgm is offline Markgm  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: VT, USA
Default What's class D today (and what do I need)?

--------My story -----
I start with 2-channel background, and room setup and speakers, with leftover adcom 565/545 combo for midsection, and I hawked the rest (a few years ago). I used to have a real nice sounding Denon 2-channel integrated, around 50 pounds, and wanted to get back to that, with a remote for the volume, plus what advancements are going on today.

Lately, I have extensively auditioned a Marantz sr7002 7.1 receiver (100wpc x 7, $750) and an Arjen Helder modified Topping T-Amp (20wpc, $46). What an interesting time it has been. The Marantz has plenty of punch, and the modded Topping is small for my loads, but there is layering, texture and air with it on another level. I'm curious - is the Marantz a class D amp?

Ultimately, my tweeters are sensitive. The designer likes a bump in the high(ish) treble, give it that "live sound", always been a deal with him. Anyhow, I love this speaker, and sometimes, amps misbehaving in this part of the treble really glare at you. I have a recording, Jon Anderson "Angel" that emphasizes this the most. Some other high vocals do this, and there's a subtle high-toned aspect of violins (shrill) I think can be there. The 7002 will do this with this speaker, but not so much with my dad's speakers (Mirage bookshelves, and Norh 3.0s) - not like my speakers. The modded Topping gives me the sense that I can hear every sample on a compact disc - its all palpable. I like that, but alas, with my 87.5 dB 5-ohm loads (flat to 30 Hz), dynamic bass peaks over 90 dB on the meter just aren't happening without a little clip. Hee hee. But I still love it.

And the Adcom is doing allright in the meantime. We've gotten used to it here over the past year.

The extra speakers I've got are a pain in the ***, along with making 5.1 sound from 2-channel sources. Screw that. I'm going two-channel. The two main speakers fill the room sufficiently, considering the losses in clarity when morphing 2-channel into 5 channel, Imho.

-------------- Onward! ----

I tend to rate my needs at 130 wpc into 5 ohms. The speakers are good for 18dB/each over their 1-watt rating before compression, and if it's available, I don't mind using it. Well, its a 90-watt woofer with a 30-watt tweeter, so, I think could handle 350-watt peaks Ok. Handles compression at 2-3dB over the above stated, but I don't like the sound compressed, so, 21dB/each over would give a 3 dB crest, at 128 wpc.

For the sound that the modded Topping gives, I wouldn' t mind coming in 3 dB short either, for great sound at a great deal. Nowadays, I'll bet everything sounds better.

I came across mention of a more classic style amp, I believe, for $700 - the Outlaw RR2150 receiver. Are these class D, too? From what I've read, it would drive my speakers fully, and it has a remote. From what I've read, its not harsh or grainy, has great bass and dynamics, and they say 2-channel gear isn't available again until much higher price points (after it). It's rated 160 wpc into 4 ohms @ 0.03% THD. How does it compare to a Marantz AVR? I don't know.

I came across Virtue amps, but have not yet heard them, following reading around here and getting and listening to the Arjen Helder modded amp I now own. I was wondering about the Virtue one.2 w/130w PS ($510), and I was wondering how that would compare to the Outlaw RR2150? How would either compare to the SR7002, or the modded Topping?

I am in the market for 2-channel amplification with a remote volume control, and 2 (or more) inputs would be a plus. I have a TT to support, along with the standard DVD and computer input via the DVD but I am curious about what people here would/could say about modern-day offerings for me, such as in the price range of things mentioned above.

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