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Old 15th December 2004, 11:28 PM   #1
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Talking Best Sounding Class D Amp

Hi All,

I'm just new in this forum and especially class D amp. After going through many threads, I think that it is a time to start a new experience.

I want to try some high power class D amp for my diy project but most of the thread I read is about technical discussion. There is very few information about the sound quality. I get confuse because I do not know exactly which amp should I start with my project. The problem is there are too many amps in different brand and varieties, range from Ucd(w & w/o AD8260), Lc audio and ICE.

I use Magnepan 1.6 in my system and it always hungry for power. Although I fed my monster with SS 500w/4 ohm amp, it is never enough. The impedance of magnepan is very low at 4 ohm and I love tube sound. But all my tubes cannot drive magnepan.

Can anyone help recommend me? Thanks you in advance

Kittikun
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Old 16th December 2004, 05:21 PM   #2
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Default Class D amps

Personally I am very happy with both ICE Power and the UcD amplifiers, both the 180 and the 400.

The ICE Power amps drive 4 ohms fine. They also have a version of the 500A, called the 500AC that is supposed to be 2 ohm stable. However, I have not had a chance to try the samples they sent me into a sub 4 ohm load.

The UcD180 operated fine into 4 ohms for me as well. However, again, I am unsure about sub 4 ohm loads.

However, if the amp chokes on the Maggies, note that the Maggies are almost purely resistive and do not go crazy as much as conventional speakers if you have to put in a bit of series resistance to keep the power amp stable.
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Old 17th December 2004, 02:45 AM   #3
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Default Series Resistor to the Speaker

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your recommendation.

The problem when I use SS amp with Maggie is the bass is very thin. When I use a PP 75 W tube amp(Mcintosh MC 75) with Maggie through the 4 ohm output, the bass is much better but it's still lack of the body.

If I were to put, let's say 4 ohm resistor in series to Maggie whether it has any adverse effect to both amp and Maggie. I think that the sound pressure will drop a bit for 3 db. Anyway, I will try your idea.

Can you please tell me where I can find the ICE Power? Thanks.

Kittikun
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Old 17th December 2004, 06:03 AM   #4
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Well, you can't. They are for OEM use only. I know of guys who have used commercially produced amps using ICEpower on current hog speakers. They seem to be pleased. I don't consider Maggies to be current hogs, as compared to something like Apogees.

You would probably be better off trying the UcD modules......easily obtainable, and probably more DIY-friendly in terms of implementation.

Jocko
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Old 17th December 2004, 05:02 PM   #5
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Default ICE Power

Yes Jocko you are correct. ICE Power modules are only available on an OEM basis. I'm a bit spoiled being the chief electronics engineer for one of those OEMs. I get evaluation samples of all the ICE products as soon as they are available. I can count about half a dozen within little more than arms reach.

But I have heard of some people getting their hands on some. However Jan Peter ot Hypex sent me samples of the UcD180 and UcD400 his company makes. I have to admit that the performance was very good and to tell you the truth, the iCE power people should worry about the Hypex products. As well, the UcD modules are quite a bit easier to use to replace Class AB amplifiers, specially in the power supply as the UcDs use a conventional bi-polar power supply while the ICE use a single supply but need auxiliary ±12V supplies to work.

Also, ICE modules are H bridge and the output floats at half the supply voltage, making them unsuitable for anything other than powered speakers.

Finally, the UcD modules are actually available to the small quantity buyer.

Therefore, I think that if a DIYer wants a good class D amplifier, or for than matter, any kind of amplifier, that they can actually buy, it is hard to do better than the value offered by the UcD modules. No, they are not quite at the level of things like Mark Levenson but considering the price difference, the value offered is spectacular.
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Old 17th December 2004, 07:09 PM   #6
davey1 is offline davey1  United Kingdom
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Default High performance Class D & DSP

Hi all,

Just found this site and thought I'd get your take on my position....

I formed a company with some of my former collegues last year and we specialise in class D / switch mode PSU / DSP and networking. We've combined these technologies and produced a range of power modules - pretty similar to B&O's IcePower but with higher power, onboard DSP with PC control and packaged in a slightly more complete format.

We've been pretty successful to date and supply a number of high end loudspeaker manufacturers. We've also had a number of enquiries from relatively small outfits / individuals but I haven't identified a sensible sales model to supply these two ends of the market.

So, that's my dilemma - I would like to be able to supply the DIY community but in such a way as it doesn't compromise the work we've done with our major customers - what do you think?

BTW, I've not mentioned the company name - I'm not trying to sell anything!
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Old 17th December 2004, 07:48 PM   #7
Steven is offline Steven  Netherlands
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Default Re: ICE Power

Quote:
Originally posted by dmfraser
As well, the UcD modules are quite a bit easier to use to replace Class AB amplifiers, specially in the power supply as the UcDs use a conventional bi-polar power supply while the ICE use a single supply but need auxiliary ±12V supplies to work.

Also, ICE modules are H bridge and the output floats at half the supply voltage, making them unsuitable for anything other than powered speakers.
My company also uses the B&O ICE modules, both the bigger 500W version for 2 Ohm load and the smaller one for higher impedances. They drive transformers for a 70V/100V output for Public Address use.
For us this single supply is convenient as we also have to deliver full power from a charged 48V battery for emergency situations. We combine them with a SMPS that delivers normally 58V from the mains and also the small +/- 12V supplies. Battery kicks in via a diode if the mains disappears.

Steven
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Old 18th December 2004, 12:02 AM   #8
km is offline km
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hi.

"Can you please tell me where I can find the ICE Power? Thanks."

i can give you a hint where you can buy some

email me if you need more info.

rgds - k madsen - www.cadaudio.dk
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Old 18th December 2004, 01:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: High performance Class D & DSP

Quote:
Originally posted by davey1
Hi all,

...

So, that's my dilemma - I would like to be able to supply the DIY community but in such a way as it doesn't compromise the work we've done with our major customers - what do you think?


So it seems you don’t consider DYI as a major market. :-)
DIY is no threat to your major customers. Your major customers can buy in volume and at lower prices. Think of it in terms of growing the market. The DIY are not in the same market as your major customers, one’s not loosing sales to the other.

Other modules are becoming popular and "standard" in the DIY market so jump in soon ...
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Old 18th December 2004, 09:04 AM   #10
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Hi,

Raintalk:
Quote:
The DIY are not in the same market as your major customers, one’s not loosing sales to the other.
Nice point.

davey1, hi, pretty slick "not trying to sell anything" lol


So, the Xpod huh.

I'd agree with Raintalk, the two are different markets, and as such, have different needs.

It sounds like apart from the smps, it comes with a built in audio card.

The odd DIY're might like an option for a DSP, most won't want to pay the extra $ for it when all they are interested is the amp, or SMPS.

Would the amp itself be better without the added noise and power consumption of the DSP?

Looks like this is your competition:

http://pro-audio.powersoft.it/page.p...195&id_page=39

Modular can be a good thing.

Xpod sounds alot like Ipod too... that could become a problem for you, I'd come up with a more original name for an original product, before they sue you over it.

Regards,
chris
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