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Old 15th November 2006, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default Using Clas D amplifiers for Home Cinema Project ?


I'm new on this website. I'm a French audio enthusiast. I've some experiences in electronic DIY and I made some speakers in the past. So I need some advises concerning a new project.

I have in project to make by myself a Home-Cinema system (the audio part only). The room is not very large (about 20 sq meter)

Concerning the amplifier part of this system, I would like to use Class D amplifiers, because I wonder about the capabilities of a such class of amplifier. And I also believe that it's a good solution for a DIY project.

Nevertheless, I hesitate concerning the choice of the architecture of the audio system and concerning the choice of the amplifier modules.

1 - First of all, is Class D good enough for an audio enthusiast ?

Is Class D well adapted for every frequency channel (even for treble) ? Is the sound warm and well detailled ? Does it need some tweaks in order to improve sound quality ?

2 - What about the futur architecture of my audio system ?

2.1 : why not to use an active filter (dcx 2496 for exemple) and multi amp with one class D amplifier for each loudspeaker (inside the enclosure). But if I consider a 5.2 audio system it needs 12 loudspeakers and 12 amplifier modules. This solution is expensive and may be the result will not reach the level of the expense.

2.2 : May be a good solution could be to use active filter just for the 2 main speakers, and passive filters for the other speakers.

2.3 - Or why not to use a standard architecture with a 5.1 class D amplifier (6 modules) and passive filters for the speakers.

3 - What about the choice of class D amplifier modules

Depending on the previous architectures' solutions, what could be a good choice for amplifier modules (the need is not the same if I make an 5.1 amplifier or if I make active speakers, or if I mix active speakers and passive speakers) ?

I hope that my thread will inspire you some answers.

Best regards,
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Old 15th November 2006, 06:08 PM   #2
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Lots of questions. Many which have no one answer.

Short answer. Class D is good enough. Dynamic range is only a problem for home cinema and if you want THX specs. Some home cinema expert might have something to add here.

"Does it need some tweaks in order to improve sound quality ?"

Yes and no. Outside of the likes of Shindo and Kondo, I know of no commercial tube amp that wouldn't need to be tweaked or moded to meet my standards. That doesn't mean I wouldn't accept them as they are. I just wouldn't consider them optimized. But nor is anything else in my sound system.

Active crossovers and monitors look like a good idea.

Your speakers decide what modules you should get.
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Old 15th November 2006, 09:01 PM   #3
niiico is offline niiico  France
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Salut Philippe,

many questions, so much answers...

I don't know anything about multi-amplification, so I won't answer about this.

About the class D quality, yessss, it rocks! All over the bandwidth. Hum, to be honest, I can only speak about class-T (tripath modules) because I didn't listen to the other kind of class-D (UCD, Geminicore, etc.).

I think (a lot...) about a 5.0 completely standard amp based on the TK2050 tripath chip.

I've already build an AMP6 ( amp and the result is fabulous in HiFi, even more for the price.

I would have liked to finish to test the AMP4, but mine has a problem on one channel. I will have to debug it before to say if it's better than the amp6 or not.

I use it/test it also in my HC system for the main channels and it is very good (but maybe not powerful enough if I had a bigger room). I have an Atoll PR5.1 as preamp and the central and rear channels are drived by an Atoll AV500. I love the result.

You can get some details on my blog,

Niiico - Paris (ou presque) aussi
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Old 16th November 2006, 07:32 AM   #4
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Hello Niiico,

Thanks for your answers.

Yes you are right, there are too many questions on my post. It's because I'm at the beginning of my project and I have a lot of questions before starting. I propose to focus first on the sound quality of class D amplifier.

Regarding your answers and also phn's answer, class D seems to have a very good quality, all over the bandwidth. It was my first doubt but your answers reassure me.

But probably the level of sound quality is depending on the chip (TK2050 for exemple) and on the design of the amplifier itself. Particularely the clock sampling, the adaptation between the load and the output low pass filter, the quality of this filter, the DC power supply stages, etc ...

There are also a lot of differences in the cost of amplifier modules. For exemple, the AMPxx are very cheap comparing to the Geminicore modules. Is there really a difference in term of sound quality (except in term of output power) ?

I went to your blog, there are plenty of interesting details.


Philippe - Paris (ou presque aussi).
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Old 16th November 2006, 08:05 AM   #5
niiico is offline niiico  France
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Location: Earth, France
You're right about the prices.

But keep in mind that the Geminicore are already soldered and ready to be connected. The AMPxx amps come in kit. You may at least double the price to have it finished.

I don't know how sound the other class-D modules, but you may find some comparison threads in this forum (at least, I remember one comparing UCD180AD and AMP5).

And if you want to hear an AMP6 (and I hope an AMP4 in a few days!), it may be possible... I have one in a box ;-)

You may contact me : niiico at gmail dot com
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