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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

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Old 28th September 2013, 05:41 PM   #1
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Default Dare I try?

I have listened to only three class-d amps and did not care for either. A Pioneer AVR and an older "prestige" brand amp. The first two were an IcePower and I am not sure about the Rotel, but it has been suggested it is. I have seen some praise of Tripath, but I don't want to play with old obsolete designs. I figure progress has been made, and from the reading which sounds reasonable, the same care in power supply and construction will make or break any design, just like it does in linear analog or the National chip amps.

Hypex has impressive commentary, and their white papers did not send me running for the exit. Their newest n-amp modules are not cheap though. IcePower seems to have a following, but was I hearing poor implementations?

So, if I were to dabble here again, any thoughts on where to start? I am most used to Parasound HCA amps and my modified Haflers. Very flat, very wide band. I would be looking at fairly low power as the chassis and transformers I have on hand are not monsters.
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Old 29th September 2013, 07:43 PM   #2
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Hmmm. With no positive reinforcement, looks like maybe I should hold off. Plenty of other projects n the wings.
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Old 29th September 2013, 08:05 PM   #3
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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Wise choice .. waiting/patience is often undervalued :-)
Tripath is a long dead end imo. Also V unlikely that any genuine Tripath chips still exist.
Hypex has pedigree. But the pricings are such that there's little incentive to move away from traditional.. proven..:-) designs
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Old 30th September 2013, 02:55 AM   #4
DcibeL is offline DcibeL  Canada
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You don't have to go to ncore to get good sound from Hypex. I am happy listening to the basic UcD180ST with modified input stage. It is the amp by which all other amplifiers are judged.

Cheaper alternative would be a good IRS2092 board such as L15D, L20D, and the Connexelectronic boards. I have built a full 5 channel amplifier using L15D-pro modules and the sound from it is just excellent.
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Old 30th September 2013, 03:27 PM   #5
von Ah is offline von Ah  United States
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Pano has recommended the Profusion ALC-series amps multiple times as an alternative to Hypex for load-independent performance. I may go this route in the near future with a re-purposing of an old Toshiba power amp chassis I have (it has lighted meters ).
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Not dirt cheap, like many of the others, but not as expensive as Hypex. Not much DIY, though, as they are very plug-and-play.
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Old 30th September 2013, 06:56 PM   #6
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Among the Class D amps I have listened to - ICEPower, Tripath TK2050 based, and Hypex UcD 180HG, the Hypex amp has the best sound. But also the most expensive among the three mentioned here.

The 41Hz Truepath amp or the Tristan variant of that is highly rated too.
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Old 30th September 2013, 08:46 PM   #7
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Originally Posted by DcibeL View Post
You don't have to go to ncore to get good sound from Hypex. I am happy listening to the basic UcD180ST with modified input stage. It is the amp by which all other amplifiers are judged.

Cheaper alternative would be a good IRS2092 board such as L15D, L20D, and the Connexelectronic boards. I have built a full 5 channel amplifier using L15D-pro modules and the sound from it is just excellent.
Is that modified input documented here somewhere?
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Old 30th September 2013, 08:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
Hmmm. With no positive reinforcement, looks like maybe I should hold off. Plenty of other projects n the wings.
Hm, you're not trying very hard. Were you hoping people would flock to woo you? There are threads on IR2092 and TPA-based amps right below this. People keep bringing up Icepower and hypex and tripath but the field has broadened widely since then as evidenced by the threads here.

Classdaudio.com amps like CDA and SDS series and TPA-based amps like the TBI Millenia have a large following on audiophiles forums with many (and I do mean many) comparisons to 4 and 5 figure amps, including tubes. Class D has come a long way.
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Old 4th October 2013, 03:37 AM   #9
DcibeL is offline DcibeL  Canada
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Is that modified input documented here somewhere?
If you search around you'll find many people modifying the input stage on these amps. All I did was replace the op-amp with an LM4562 and replace the coupling caps with polypropylene type.
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Old 4th October 2013, 09:46 AM   #10
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post
Hm, you're not trying very hard. Were you hoping people would flock to woo you? There are threads on IR2092 and TPA-based amps right below this. People keep bringing up Icepower and hypex and tripath but the field has broadened widely since then as evidenced by the threads here.

Classdaudio.com amps like CDA and SDS series and TPA-based amps like the TBI Millenia have a large following on audiophiles forums with many (and I do mean many) comparisons to 4 and 5 figure amps, including tubes. Class D has come a long way.
A few new products to look at. Much thanks. A bit thin on specs but I'll do a bit more reading.

I am sure there are lots of comparisons. Many by the same people who believe in $400 PCM coax cables or "audio grade" electrical outlets. I also grant even I have heard 5 figure amps I would not give $50 for as they sound like garbage.
As I said, I do expect progress to have been made beyond the chips that are OBE. Just the implementations I have heard I did not like. It took about 20 years to get develop analog amps after suitable transistors were invented. I am not a tube fan. I prefer low distortion. Been there. Done that. ICE,Tri and Hy are brought up because they are the ones we see in the market. I have no doubt a lot of good stuff is out there, just not widely available.
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