Originally Posted by ZinMe
Can anyone elucidate the benefits of digital amplification vs. analog? I have to say, the A-9555 is at the top of my list right now.
Digital amplifiers are much more efficient than traditional analog amplifiers. They are much lighter, generate much less heat, and because of the technology, they are generally smaller than their comparable analog counterparts. The sound quality is improved because all processing and amplification is done in the digital domain. This eliminates the digital to analog conversion necessary prior to processing and amplification when an input device, such as a DVD/CD player, is connected digitally to an analog amplifier. With a digital amplifier and a digitally connected device, the only digital to analog conversion necessary occurs directly at the speaker output terminals. This results in much cleaner output than can be achieved with comparably priced analog amplifiers.
Beware of amplifiers that are advertised as digital amplifiers that lack a digital input. This ONKYO amplifier is one such device. It has no digital input, only analog, and therefore it is NOT a true digital amplifier. It is simply a Class "D" amplifier.
With a "digital" amplifier that has no digital input, the signal from a DVD/CD player, for example, that is connected via an analog connection has already gone through processing and a digital to analog conversion in the DVD/CD player in order for it to output an analog signal. Then, at the "digital" amplifier, this analog signal must go through an analog to digital conversion before the amplifier's "digital" amps can amplify it. And finally there is the final digital to analog conversion before the signal can be output to the speakers.
Even with a conventional analog amplifier, the signal from a DVD/CD player that is connected via an analog connection only goes through processing and the single digital to analog conversion that is necessary at the DVD/CD player.
Buyer beware. Do your homework. All of this info is out there on the web. Many manufacturers sell amplifiers that they advertise as "digital" yet they only have analog inputs. These manufacturers are, basically, if you want to get right down to it, misleading consumers. Unless a "digital" amplifier has digital input(s), it's not truly digital and is simply a Class "D" amplifier. This is not to say that these products are not decent amplifiers, but unless the input signal is digital and remains digital throughout the processing and amplification stage, the amplifier is not truly a digital amplifier.