Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Durham, NC, USA
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Hammer28, thanks for the comments and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to reps on this topic.
My understanding is that yes, the Class D (or T or whatever a particular maker may call it) amps are not technically truly digital, but that they do approximate a digital behaviour due to the fast switching and can interface more directly to a digital input.
Also, on the sound quality concerns I'm also aware that these amps have for a long time been used strictly as sub amps because of what you said, but that seems to no longer be the case. As I mentioned in my first post, Sony, JVC and Panasonic make pretty well regarded home theater receivers that use digital amps. In fact I have one sitting right next to me, a Sony DA3000ES, and while I use it mainly for playing MP3s from my PC, I also have an Onkyo SACD/DVD-A player hooked up to it and there doesn't seem to be an issue with an obviously noticeable spurious frequency. The sound may not be quite audiophile high end, but it's pretty darn good and I don't notice any obvious noise or distortions that would be allegedly introduced by a digital amp.
And to be honest, and I don't mean this in an argumentative way or anything, but I just have a hard time buying the spurious frequency thing as a problem in the car. With all the road and other noise in the car environment, it makes no sense that it would be a worse problem in a car head unit than in a HT receiver.
It just seems like there is a ton of upside to this design that is directly applicable to the mobile environment, and it surprises me to see it in several HT units but not car units.
HT: Sony VPL-HW55ES, Screen Innovations 110" motorized Black Diamond, Samsung PN51F8500, Mirage OMD-28/OMD-C2, Revel W873 x 4 surrounds, Revel C763L x 4 heights, Hsu VTF-15 x 2, Anthem AVM-60, NHT Power5 / Marantz MM8003, Denon DBT-1713UD, DirecTV HR-34 Genie
2 channel: Martin Logan Summit X, Krell S550i, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, Oppo BDP-105D, Mac Mini with JRiver Media Center