LM3886 chip amp vs Purifi/Niali class D

I'm thinking of a new DIY build and like the look of the neurochrome modulus-86 and the reward of building it.

However for a similar price and minor assembly (less interesting to me) the Hypex Niali 500 as well as purifi have good reviews and performance.

Is this just a class AB vs Class D taste question, would I even hear a difference at this level and is there a shelf life/longevity benefit over AB vs D.

Its for a small listening space and easy to drive speakers

Thanks in advance.
 
Nilai and Purifi are extreme low distortion and clean amps that are still musical. How the Modulus is i can't tell, but very few class AB amps get that level of those type class D amps on neutrality and low distortion. The question is if that matters to you.
 
Neurochrome.com
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I still prefer Class AB over Class D. I'm not sure what it is, but I find Class D - even the ones by Purifi/Hypex - to have a bit of harshness that I don't care for. Then again, I can easily be accused of bias, but it seems I'm not the only one who has that impression.

That said, if Class D is what you're after Purifi is the best game in town and the 1ET400A is incredible bang for the buck. Two of those and a Hypex SMPS1200A400 work very well together. I offer a nice chassis for that combination: https://neurochrome.com/collections/connectors-parts/products/purifi-chassis

Tom
 
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"I find Class D - even the ones by Purifi/Hypex - to have a bit of harshness"

I think this is big part of the reason GaN amps have been popular more recently, sounding a bit softer. Tons of people have tried traditional class D by now, but many are thinking they sound great except for almost subliminal feeling of coolness/harshness. I have Hypex, GaN, Modulus, as well as AB (and tubes) sitting in my room, and I think the better of them all sound "good enough," with all having far better cost/performance ratio than say 10 years ago, a boon for audiophlles for sure..
 
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I used to think the same and was a big critic of class D, but I think Ncore and decendents (Ncore X, Nilai and Purifi) are exceptions on that harshness actually. I do own tube, class A, class AB (transistor), cheap class D (3116 based) and Ncore amps and each got it's sound, but only the 3116 chipamp sounds a bit harsh. The Ncore is as neutral as can be, gain on a wire. And it's even the old Ncore, not the Nilai or the Ncore or Purifi yet. Tubes and Class A are heavy coloured (but the right colour), the class AB is fairly neutral, but not like NCore. I did install a few Purifi amps for people and know them well, and altough they do measure better, the original NCore is already that good, that it does not matter anymore. I think it's bias that people still don't like them (or they want coloured amps like tubes or class A).

Btw, i also think the LM3886 can be used in great amps. I heared a few gainclone designs that were great, and on the neurochrome reputation, i'm rather sure that his designs are also great (altough i did not hear it yet). But class D does not have to be harsh anymore.
 
Thanks for the insights. The Niali has a 5 year /20,000 hour warranty, I'm wondering if there is some longevity that might swing it towards these chip based amps. I'm assuming at this level it would be hard to hear a difference also? I'm more interested in the enjoyment (challenge) of building it. The class D are more plug and play.
 
just build normal class AB with linear supply and have fun with life.

numerous topology have been perfected, the use spans over 60 years
of well refined low distortion designs.

If you want distortion just pick a ancient high distortion AB design
over bias it for no reason and call it class A.

Power supplys are expensive so using a class D makes the excuses
to use switch mode a bad good idea.
Or its more common to do active multi ways with DSP.
So digital frontend is easier excuse to use Class D.
Just more common now because its cheaper to make.
And the abundance of well known modules or products
to put together a DSP with amplifier quickly
 
music soothes the savage beast
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The advantage of Class A is no (or low) crossover distortion. But there are ways to push the distortion in Class AB designs far below audible so I don't personally see any technical benefit of Class A designs. They make good space heaters though... :)

Tom
Yes, negative feedback. Result is sterile fatiguing sound. I found amplifiers with least amount of feedback more musical.
 
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If musical means a bit of harmonic distortion, then you don't need class D, that is true. And negative feedback is used to reduce that, so that's maybe why you don't like it. But Class A, tubes and older topologies of class AB without or with little negative feedback are pure from technical point of view inferior and less clean because of that. So the question is what is your definition of a good amp.

Btw, i also like a healthy dose of harmonic distortion, so i got tubes, class A and transisstor class AB in my collection. But i don't mind clean (real clean then) class D amps also in the right setup.
 
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IMO accuracy is not a fallacy. 'Better than' is the fallacy in an entertainment system. It's all preferences. using meaningless words like 'muscial' just covers up the fact it's a personal choice and only valid for the one listener in their system.
 
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I have a perfectly/reasonably good class AB amp :) It was an Akitika kit that I enjoyed making so much that I was looking for another one for a different room.
Given the recent reviews of Class D from the likes of Purifi and Niali which are self assembly kits this was interesting.

However, its not the same as soldering all the pieces together :) Given that my speakers, dac and pramp aren't top of the range, I'm wondering if I would even hear the difference between a good AB amp and a class D.

I'm not sure there is an answer so I'm wondering which is the most fun.

Bruno
 
I really love Elvee’s circlophone it’s a warm class AB and it’s economical to build no fancy transistors needed - have a look.

It is very stable amp and I am running a pair of TIP3055. I have used 2SC5200N and it worked just right till the moment it was my mistake which lead to a short in the ccs and some other place due to flying probe so ignore that post of mine.

I am waiting for NJW21194 to be in stock

https://www.diyaudio.com/community/threads/my-little-cheap-circlophone-c.189599/
 
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