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Old 2nd October 2006, 02:15 AM   #1
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Default Class D Kits Compare well against traditional linear amps?

In the pass I have worked with people on class D technology at very low frequencies (below 30Hz). At that time I never thought it could get good to the point to get good enough for audio use. Now it seems actually becomming very popular, probably due to the size/power ratio and size/sound quality ratio.

I'm opening this thread to inspire people to post their own experience listening to class D amps and how they conmpare against well known quality products or kits not using Class D technology.

Not having heard any class D stuff before, I talked with a friend that had a slim amp that runs cool at over 100W/ channel that sounded quite good. I will be going back to see what brand and model it is.

If you want to post in this thread, please observe the following:

1. You personally own or have unlimited access to both Class D and linear amps.

2. You can audibly hear the difference of absolute polarity on your system.

3. You ocasionally listen to live unamplified music and are familiar with how live intruments sound without amplification.

4. You have some knowledge about micing techniques and how it effects the recorded sound.

5. No personall attacks on the comparison methods other people use, but exchange of ideas is encouraged. (I have seen too many threads start out good, but turn into attack and defend thread)
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Old 2nd October 2006, 02:24 AM   #2
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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To kick this thread off.

My first experience with Class D technology was listening to a class D USB dongle rated at 1W. The speaker that I used at the time was not very accurate, but the sound was pleasing, and there was no harsh sound I was expecting. After commenting that the bass seemed to be a bit lacking probably due to the little thin wired output coils, the next version that came out seemed to have eliminated the coils or resorted to SMD coils. But the bass was improved.

My second experience, not positive whether it was a class D or not even though this friend mentioned it to be a class D but was not sure either. This amp, supposedly made in Germany, also sounded smooth with good resolution probably around $2000 USD.

These two experiences lead me to become interested in Class D amps.
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Old 2nd October 2006, 02:37 AM   #3
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Sonic Impact T-amp.

Need I say more?
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Old 2nd October 2006, 02:45 AM   #4
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spasticteapot

Sonic Impact T-amp.

Need I say more?
What linear amp did you compare it with?
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Old 2nd October 2006, 03:20 AM   #5
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Default Re: Class D Kits Compare well agaisnt traditional linear amps?

Quote:
Originally posted by soongsc
If you want to post in this thread, please observe the following...
That's a pretty discriminating statement, and I would bet that most of the people (including myself) who visit the class d forum would not be able to post based on that...

Regardless, I have made my own amps based on Tripath's TA2021B chip and Monolithic Power's MP7720 chip. Both are class d designs but the MP7720 is a self oscillating design while the Tripath is an oscillator based design. I started threads on both of them if need more info (the TA2021B amp was dubbed the Ref-T and the MP7720 amp was dubbed D10.1).

Both amps I've made sounded better than the Sony, Onkyo, and Yamaha receivers I had previously listened to. Both amps also had much less power, and I don't need much because my speakers are sensitive and I listen nearfield.

A number of people also have kits of the D10.1 and will hopefully post listening impressions once they get them built.

A question for you soongsc - are you talking about any class d kit or module or are you looking for ones with a specific topology or output power level?
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Old 2nd October 2006, 04:01 AM   #6
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Default Re: Re: Class D Kits Compare well agaisnt traditional linear amps?

Quote:
Originally posted by BWRX


That's a pretty discriminating statement, and I would bet that most of the people (including myself) who visit the class d forum would not be able to post based on that...

Regardless, I have made my own amps based on Tripath's TA2021B chip and Monolithic Power's MP7720 chip. Both are class d designs but the MP7720 is a self oscillating design while the Tripath is an oscillator based design. I started threads on both of them if need more info (the TA2021B amp was dubbed the Ref-T and the MP7720 amp was dubbed D10.1).

Both amps I've made sounded better than the Sony, Onkyo, and Yamaha receivers I had previously listened to. Both amps also had much less power, and I don't need much because my speakers are sensitive and I listen nearfield.

A number of people also have kits of the D10.1 and will hopefully post listening impressions once they get them built.

A question for you soongsc - are you talking about any class d kit or module or are you looking for ones with a specific topology or output power level?
I just wanted to get a feeling on Class D regardless of topology. To understand really how good they are. When different people talk about how good something is, technically, it's best to know what kind of reference they are comparing to, the observations are intended to understand just that and nothing more. Of course, the better linear amps people compare with, the more valuable the information is.

Lots of people just go though general impressions and not specific to a specific CD and the quality they notice. In my future listenings, I will post specific CD's and specific notice in detail such as the instruments, image, space impression, absolute polarity difference in sound. We already have too much in the meda that just post vague impressions just so that they can get advertisement, I certainly hope forums like this one does not become only and advertising place, but a place where people can know more detail about sound and products good or weak points.

Right now my own reference is a Hafler XL-280 made from a kit. While not expesive, it's performance is still hard to beat in terms of fidelity. It has served as a great reference when teaking speaker drivers because each time there is an improvement in the driver, the amp does reveal correctly the expected change in fidelity. I also have other not small brand name products, but since they have not established a reputation over time, it is not realy good to use as reference.

You have mentioned the Sony, Onkyo, and Yamaha, these are well known brands and many people are familiar with the type of sound they produce. Thanks for posting.
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Old 2nd October 2006, 07:37 AM   #7
beppe61 is offline beppe61  Italy
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Here you can find interesting and valuable opinion on UcD classD modules:

Hypex amps, what about the sound?

post 9

I have listened the same system. Very very good.

Regards,

beppe
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Old 2nd October 2006, 09:14 AM   #8
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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I have had many different solid state amplifiers over the years, some you may have heard of, some not, Audiolab, Rotel, Musical Fidelity Class A transistor amp, Valve amplifiers with EL84's etc etc.

I have modded several S.I amps with the Tripath 2024 and I have a Tripath 2020 based amp. I do not know in what they are "better" than the other amps I have owned or if they are just "different". However to my ears they do a lot of things right and the things they don't do right, I don't notice.

When I first heard an un-modded S.I i thought there was something unique about the sound that I liked.

I listen to a modded S.I all the time now. Sound quality is a very subjective matter and not everbody likes the sound. £ for£ or $ for $ I don't think much comes close in sound quality, but maybe I have cloth ears ?!
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Old 2nd October 2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
I just wanted to get a feeling on Class D regardless of topology. To understand really how good they are. When different people talk about how good something is, technically, it's best to know what kind of reference they are comparing to, the observations are intended to understand just that and nothing more. Of course, the better linear amps people compare with, the more valuable the information is.
You're trying to extract too fine a resolution from a very subjective experience.

Only a professional reviewer would go to such an extent to convince, but look at the spew they put forth.

The fact is so many people find _the better D amps_ to be good enough to do away with whatever they had before can be used a weighting factor that it has in fact arrived, but that's not to ever imply they all have attained such performance.

You want to compare regardless of topology? If that's all you go by, class D will be in the stoneage for you for a looooooooong time, because there aren't that many out there that belong in the upper class. You could likely count them on one hand, after which all the others will drag them down and class a/b would still rule the roost. Look at car audio for instance, where D technology is at least a decade behind and still really for sub use only.

I think if you really want to get a feel for class D, you just have to try it, even if it means building your own from scratch.
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Old 2nd October 2006, 09:57 AM   #10
djQUAN is offline djQUAN  Philippines
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Quote:
Look at car audio for instance, where D technology is at least a decade behind and still really for sub use only.
there are new high end car amps that are using full range class D designs so hopefully, things will change.
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