Any full digital amp project(s) that may rival NAD C390DD? - diyAudio
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Old 29th May 2013, 03:36 AM   #1
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Default Any full digital amp project(s) that may rival NAD C390DD?

Hello,
New to this board. Please point me to the highest performing Digital Amp project(s) that might rival a NAD C390DD or Lyngdorf amp; those that output PWM. Thank you
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Old 29th May 2013, 08:49 AM   #2
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Hypex UcD ands Anaview/Abletec(sold on profusion). I'm yet to hear a class d that beat these in sound quality.
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Old 29th May 2013, 09:04 AM   #3
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By digital do you mean digitally controlled PWM? Because that excludes almost every class d out there including Hypex and Abletec.

I have only heard TACT/Lyngdorf and Texas Instruments based digital controlled PWM amplifiers
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Old 29th May 2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Yes, sorry for the confusion. I'm referring to a full digital amp with, say, a USB input (external HD with music library) that does not have traditional D/A conversion but rather converts PCM to PWM. Basically, a one-box solution. The NAD uses the Zetex chip while others use some TI chips. I believe Hifimediy is an example. I'm hoping to be pointed to the best implementations (4 layer board, ground, power supply, etc) all covered well. Thanks
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Old 29th May 2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Hifimediy DDX320 is not TI but Appogee DDX technology - now under the ST brand.

To the DIY'er there is very few boards out there. TI have some evaluation boards

Speaker Amplifier and Modulator - Mid/High-Power Amplifier - TAS5631B - TI.com
, and then there is a low power amp from MiniDSP, and the DDX from hifimediy. Panasonic have some surround amps, that sound very good, and some claim that they can be modded (better PSU) to sound very close to Lyngdorf.

The Panasonic range of amps is around 100 US$ used, so not much too lose trying those. I have a SA-XR55 and a MiniAMP from MiniDSP and have listend a lot to TACT Millenium Mk. III

Last edited by Kjeldsen; 29th May 2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 29th May 2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Kjeldsen, thank you for your feedback. It sounds like you have experimented in this area and have heard an excellent TacT amp for comparison.

Would I be correct in deducting from your post that, of the MiniAmp, Sony and HifimeDiy, that perhaps the Sony is the best platform to tweak?

Are you using smps or linear supplies? I've read that Core Audio Technology in California (direct sales via Audiogon) is using linear supplies. But there is very little info on all of these devices.

I had a chance to demo the NAD C390DD as I was asked to purchase by a friend and then forward onto Europe. I was pretty impressed. Very neutral. If there was a weakness it was vocals compared to my 300B based system. Yet, I don't need the features of the NAD, and am hopeful that the quality should be approachable at 10% of the price by DIY'g.
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Old 30th May 2013, 04:12 AM   #7
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I forgot to mention that my speakers are 95dB. Low power is OK
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Old 30th May 2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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Maybe you should try this one

| SUMOH | True digital amplifiers

My experience is that the Tact by far is the best amplifier I have ever heard. The equibit technology developed by Tact is now owned by Texas Instruments. The digitally controlled PWM amplifiers I have heard do not present you with full bodied vocals. They do sound a bit thin. But, they also are very revealing and have a very relaxed way of presenting complex recorded material. That's what I love with the full digital amps. NXP8950th based analogue PWM amps, have more of the richness in vocals as I know from class A and tubes. I have a couple of those to, and are quite fond of them.

The Panasonic (not Sony) SA-XR50 or 55 do sound very good unmodded - just dont push them, then they will sound horrible, and only use digital input. Analogue input on these amps are not good (AD conversion lack in quality).

I know one i Denmark who made a linear supply for the SA-XR55, and he was impressed how close the sound quality got to Tact.

The MiniAMP from MiniDSP is eather 4x10 watt in 4 ohm or 2x20 watt in 8 ohm (here the loads absolutely needs to be 8 ohmŽand no less than 6 ohm).

Last edited by Kjeldsen; 30th May 2013 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 1st June 2013, 08:57 AM   #9
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I havn't listened the NAD amp.

Though I listened to the NAD M51 (also DDFA ) + a class D amp at a friends place.
That combination sounded awesome.


I do run a tweaked DDX320 for quite some time ( which left my TP Buffalo plus Class-D amp behind)


I've done some tweaking on the DDX320 FDA. (You'll find an FDA article on my blog and discussions in the HifiMeDiy vendor forum.)

Without that tweaking it the DDX is IMO an average performer.
You probably are better of buying one of those 200-300 FDAs.

With my tweaks the DDX is IMO a great sounding device and pricewise
a steal. My mods didn't cost much. At a total of 150 $ (includes the LiPoFe batteries) a DAC incl. amp at this quality is hard to beat.



CSR with DDFA seems to offer a developments/evaluation board soon ( there's another thread over rhere @DIYA). That might be interesting.

NAD will also launch a new product line in July. Those FDAs will be called D7050 D3020. They come with USB input - DLNA/UPNP and wireless (7050) as well as bluetooth APX.
I'd say that these devices are gonna be very interesting. Keep the fingers crossed that they managed to built in even better soundquality then their older devices.
I'd be very tempted to try the big one.

Last edited by soundcheck; 1st June 2013 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 1st June 2013, 05:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Without that tweaking it the DDX is IMO an average performer.
You probably are better of buying one of those 200-300 FDAs.
I read your blog and HiFiMeDIY appears to be incorporating user feedback into their new releases. Maybe they will keep revising and improving? Your observation that this rivals an M51 + Amp is encouraging. However, the slightly more expensive FDAs don't seem to review favorably against the NAD C390DD, which is the quality I'm shooting for. See this review:

CLASS D INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER SHOOTOUT 2012

I've been reading Bruno Putzeys white papers in the last few days, and he is generally pretty critical of these digital amp designs (PCM => PWM). However, I did come across his February '12 post:

Quote:
I have some serious plans to dive into a PWM based DAC, consisting of a modulator like the one described in http://www.hypex.nl/docs/papers/AES120BP.pdf and using a FIR type DAC for improved HF jitter tolerance.
I cannot decipher if he is talking about building a Power Dac, or just plans to use some of the electronic principles to improve traditional D/A conversion...this latter concept is addressed in some of his whitepapers. Anyone know about these developments?

Ultimately, whether it is FDA or otherwise, I'm seeking a high quality one-box solution for lifestyle reasons (space, young kids, etc.).
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