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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

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Old 10th April 2011, 07:35 PM   #1
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Default flea powered Class D

For reasons of my own I prefer low powered amps and have been playing with Class AB and Class A. Now I'm curious about Class D because it appears to have evolved to an advanced stage. Unfortunately it also appears very DIY unfriendly. I see most people buy ready built modules. These modules offer very large power outputs for their size. And as I started off saying, I don't need high power.

So I am curious - are there technical benefits to low power if using Class D ?
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Old 10th April 2011, 07:55 PM   #2
teamacc is offline teamacc  Netherlands
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You could take a look at this: 1pcs,2x3 watt class-D amp for batt powered applications | eBay
2x3w in a very small package
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Old 10th April 2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
For reasons of my own
Loosely translates to the essence of DIY
Class D appears DIY unfriendly because it uses small form factor surface mount parts. Most people aren't equipped to deal with those builds. And I've yet to hear a DIYer brag about his homemade multilayer PCBs.
I've seen the Sure modules that are rated for 2W/channel. There must be other makes in that low single-digit range. I don't really know of any technical benefits. You mean compared to higher power D, don't you?
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Old 10th April 2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bigun View Post

I see most people buy ready built modules.
Class D can be fussy about pcb layout and decoupling.
Some people get caught out with the inductor, a simple power inductor will just get hot.

It took me a couple of revisions of pcb before I got one working despite followin the datasheet and aplication notes.

Much less hassle to just buy one.
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Old 11th April 2011, 12:40 AM   #5
Eva is offline Eva  Spain
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Class-D is not yet DIY friendly because the amount of electronics knowledge involved is one order of magnitude higher than for linear amplifiers.

If discrete class-D even becomes DIY friendly, then we could say that species evolution has gone one step further
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Old 11th April 2011, 12:57 AM   #6
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigun View Post
So I am curious - are there technical benefits to low power if using Class D ?
one could be battery powered
41hz have a few that works with single 12V rails

question is, will the be any power in such a thing
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Old 11th April 2011, 03:11 AM   #7
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Wow, battery powered low power amp only a few $, now that just makes me suspicious that it won't sound good. Anybody heard one ?

I like low power because I use reasonably sensitive speakers and like to keep my hearing intact for a few more years. For my own Class A (tube) and Class AB (SS) DIY projects I've noticed a number of benefits of designing for lower power - you can more easily justify the simplicity of Class A for starters.

I'm attracted to Class D because technically I see it offering several benefits but I wonder if some of the compromises that are encountered in the design process mean that better sound quality can be achieved if lower power is accepted ?
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Old 11th April 2011, 06:00 AM   #8
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If power consumption is not a concern, then I think Class-A is the better option for sound quality at low power. And that's coming from a Class-D fanatic.
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Old 11th April 2011, 12:56 PM   #9
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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so, no technical benefits to be gained with Class D if designed for low power - it's a technology without a lot of scaling challenges ?
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:09 AM   #10
hoka is offline hoka  Netherlands
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the very best amplifier I have is a Charlize, it's a 12 volt powered class-D amp.
at the loudest volumes it only draws about 3 amps so that makes it less then 2x18 watts.
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