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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

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Old 23rd January 2012, 11:26 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Default Class-d for dummies?

Hi Guys,

I am new around here, so please be gentle with me ;-)

I am considering building a new class-d power amp to feature in a high quality hifi (Wilson Benesch speakers, Benchmark DAC1-HDR plus other stuff).

I can solder, drill holes and am competent at mechanical things, but I have really little clue about electronics nor most of the jargon. So I am nervous about spending maybe 1,000 on parts (amp modules, psu's cabinetry etc) and then find I really don't know how to put it together or worse, break it by doing it wrong.

Can anyone recommend any "idiot's guides" or places where I can get some of the basic info needed? I have looked on Amazon etc but not found anything that fits the bill.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 12:12 PM   #2
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Location: Carlisle, England
Most kits come with wiring diagrams.
However class d can be a bit touchy. Keep wiring short and use a star ground.

I would recommend a ready built class d module rather than build your own as class d is a minefield for new comer.
Murton-Pike Systems PCBCAD51 pcb design software.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 02:33 PM   #3
Dimonis is offline Dimonis  Russian Federation
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Location: RF 33 Vladimir
How about this -
Think it'l suite you well.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 02:34 PM   #4
MX48 is offline MX48  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2010
I started the same as you plus I am old so I can't learn new tricks.

Putting together boards and power supply or transformer/power supply is pretty straight forward if you get the components for example from Class D Audio or HifimeDIY (I am sure there are others). I got mine from and had no trouble at all. I have now built 2 amps, one 6-channel and one 4-channel (that one is actually bridged to 2-channel for subs now).

As long as you follow the wiring hookup you won't have any trouble. And if you are uncertain you can post a picture here and members can tell you if it is correct before you power it up.

Depending on the enclosure it shouldn't cost anywhere near 1000 of whatever units those were (Pounds or Euros?). Unless you are building more than 2 channels or go for more expensive amps such as Hypex.

Hope this helps.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Thanks for the helpful and encouraging comments guys. I think I will give it a go.

I want to build a really top end product, so I am considering using the new Hypex NC400 amplifier modules and two SMPS600 switch mode power supplies.

Sadly, even without any expenditure on cabinetry, switches, terminal or cabling, this comes in at 1080 Euros. You can see why I don't want to make any blunders!

Both of these modules are out of stock at the moment, so I have a few days to plan the project and do some background reading. No doubt I will be back on here later asking for tips and help if I get stuck.


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Old 24th January 2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2011
After years of trying different amps and being disappointed I decided that the best approach is to find out what sound you like, then look for something that will give you that. Buying more expensive will not necessarily give you the sound you want.
I found that the clear midrange, open soundstage, and tight bass of the Sure TK2050 is some of the best sound I have ever heard period. The highs are too hot, but this is a good thing. Just put a series capacitor and resistor (zobel) across the speaker leads then decrease the resistor for less highs, or increase it for more highs (for Sure's TK2050 try C=0.47uF and R=10 ohms). This is ridiculously easy. I bought clip leads from Radio Shack to connect everything together so I could make quick changes.
Or you could remove the output filter and zobel and design your own for your speakers and get the most out of the amplifier.I bought the Sure 4x TK2050 board, plus power supply for $107 with shipping. The four outputs lets you tweak one set and compare to the other set. It is hard to get cheaper than that and it will let you know if you want something different.
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