Will I regret moving from Bryston to class D? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

***
1. Am I crazy for considering these options?

In some respects yes, in others no. I wouldn't replace a solidly-built Bryston amp in my room with a cheesy-looking Crown XLS DriveCore or Peavey IPR, unless the amp was hidden out of view.

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2. These amps are just as powerful as my Bryston. Will I be disappointed or pleased with the sound quality?

Probably indifferent, as there probably won't be any material differences.
HOWEVER, one thing to consider is that with most of these new budget class D amps, there's no headroom beyond the power spec. (The IPR-series designer pointed that out somewhere.) So, to be conservative you should probably look to a class D unit with at least 3dB more specified "continuous" power than your current Bryston. (Also, when comparing IPR to iNuke, consider that the actual equivalents are IPR1600 to NU3000, and IPR3000 to NU6000.)

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3. How loud are the cooling fans?

Speaking to the IPR 3000, as that's the only budget class D amp I've had in my system, too loud to have it in the listening room. Even after I swapped the fan for a much quieter Noctua unit, it was audible on startup and during quiet passages.

I do have another Class D pro amp (Electrovoice CPS 8.5, 8 channels of 500W/4Ω each) that's much quieter. However, it's also made in Germany, and costs 3k USD plus or minus a bit.

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4. Does the DSP stuff matter to me since I'm running simple stereo?

Maybe.

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Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

I'm not sure I want to weigh in on the amp debate but could we at least safely assume the difference between them will be very small. The Crown 1000 and 1500 seem to have different SN ratios but I'm wondering if that's because one really has a lower noise floor

Yes. The 1000 has a higher noise floor. Something about the main chip handling a codec on the 1000 that the higher models use a separate chip to do. Whether that matters in a given system...no idea.

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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Q1) YES! Those are public address system amplifiers; not suitable for home stereo; terrible sound quality.
Q2) Unless your ears were severely damaged in the artillery corps, you will find the decrease in audio quality completely unacceptable! On a scale of 1 to 10, you will be going from an 8 to a 2.

Ill-informed at best, willfully misleading at worse. (Do you sell so-called high end audio gear, perchance?)

Have you actually heard one of these amps, or are you just making idiot assumptions?

Even people who imagine differences in amps have good things to say about them. Here's a subjective review from someone a little more thoughtful and open-minded.

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Originally Posted by chasw98 View Post

***I used the [IPR 1600] for a while in my bedroom system that uses a pair of Dayton 3 way floorstanding speakers with dual 8 inch woofers, 5 1/2" mid, and Seas H1212 tweeters. Over the years I have used many different amps in the bedroom (usually cast offs from the main system) such as Onkyo receivers, Bryston 3B-ST, Hafler DH-220 modified, and currently a Harmon Kardon AV receiver. I heard a much cleaner upper mid range/high range than I have heard with any other of the mentioned units. I find it very hard to admit that the Peavey IPR-1600 sounded really good as a full range amplifier because my own built in prejudices formed over many years of using pro gear and home audio gear still tell me quite loudly that "PEAVEY IS NOT A HIGH FIDELITY AMPLIFIER". But my ears told me that I could hear more detail that was cleaner and more open than the other amplifiers. It has been quite hard to get over built in prejudices vs. what I heard.


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post #32 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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commsysman,

The objective is to not have to do anything to turn the amp on. When I tell iTunes to start playing I want the amp on. If I decide to fall asleep with an album playing I don't want to feel bad that I left the amp on all night. If at the end of an album I forget to turn the amp off I don't want to worry about it. Anything that isn't automatic puts me in my current boat. Currently the amp is at the bottom of the rack and between the speakers. It's not hard to turn it off if I walk over to the rack. Heck in the winter I don't feel bad about it since all that heat is making the living room warmer

Still, the idea is to increase convenience while also reducing energy waste.

DS-21,
I completely get the issue with seeing the amps! The Bryston is very clean and conservative looking. Something like the Peavey would have to be hidden. Even the Crown is objectionable and thus would be out of sight.

I hadn't thought about the extra overhead. Currently I'm leaning towards the Crown amps vs Peavey and Behringer. Enough people seem to say the Behringer is good but they don't like the company. I can't see any reason to prefer it to the others. The Peavey seems like a good option if you don't mind the lights. My preamp has balanced outputs so I could use it. I would have to get the correct speaker connectors. The Crown's look the best to me. They aren't as garish as the others. They work with conventional speaker wires and banana plugs and they have RCA and balanced inputs. I did read the warning about the RCA needing more voltage than most home stuff can do. That's fine, I still have the balanced connections.

Back to the overhead comment. I suspect I wouldn't need the extra overhead of the XLS 1500 vs 1000 since I really don't know that I use all the power of my current amp. However, for an extra $100 it's also delivering a lower noise floor which I think I would appreciate. So I really think right now it looks like the XLS 1500 might be a good choice. The next step would be figuring out how much idle power the system draws. I saw the Peavey pulls ~40W at idle. Better than 200+ but hardly the, I never knew it was on, level I would really like.

Thanks to all for the information!
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post #33 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 11:11 AM
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There are several Class D amps out there specifically made for the home music/theater market. Wyred 4 Less is just one. I'm suprised that no one has mentioned any of these. I have not heard one myself, so I can't make judgement here. But seems worth looking at. I have limited space and heat is a problem, so I hope to have one soon.
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post #34 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 11:52 AM
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@lurking2:

Getting back to the possibility of switching the AC power on and off: there are power strips available which can be connected to the network and turned on and off by a computer. You did mention that you leave the computer on almost all of the time. Typical prices are about $100. A Web search for "ip controlled power strip" will locate many.

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post #35 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

@lurking2:

Getting back to the possibility of switching the AC power on and off: there are power strips available which can be connected to the network and turned on and off by a computer. You did mention that you leave the computer on almost all of the time. Typical prices are about $100. A Web search for "ip controlled power strip" will locate many.

Interesting... do you know what triggers them? More importantly, can I get iTunes to trigger them? If so that would be a nice alternative.
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post #36 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JAR5197 View Post

There are several Class D amps out there specifically made for the home music/theater market. Wyred 4 Less is just one. I'm suprised that no one has mentioned any of these. I have not heard one myself, so I can't make judgement here. But seems worth looking at. I have limited space and heat is a problem, so I hope to have one soon.

Is that Wyred 4 Less? I found Wyred 4 Sound. They look cool but I'm not sure I want to pay that much to "save" money.
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post #37 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

Interesting... do you know what triggers them? More importantly, can I get iTunes to trigger them? If so that would be a nice alternative.

Sorry: I don't have any personal experience with them or iTunes, so I don't know if it can do the necessary. Many are controlled using their built-in Web pages and timers. See for example, http://www.ambery.com/reposw.html
which seems to list for $115.

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post #38 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Sorry: I don't have any personal experience with them or iTunes, so I don't know if it can do the necessary. Many are controlled using their built-in Web pages and timers. See for example, http://www.ambery.com/reposw.html
which seems to list for $115.

I'm not sure that will work for this job but I knew nothing about that sort of product and I can easily see good applications for this system. Thanks for the link!
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post #39 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 01:58 PM
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I'm not. You made the statement to the OP that the amps should sound the same. Just wondering if you cou provide some basis or background for your recommendation. I suggested he give them both a listen.

They should sound the same, because it's a well-understood, relatively cheap to produce technology, so virtually all modern amps from reputable manufacturers are designed and manufactured to be perfectly flat and transparent within the limits of human hearing, when operated within their limits.

There is no room left for magic, and blind test after blind test confirm this.
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post #40 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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They should sound the same, because it's a well-understood, relatively cheap to produce technology, so virtually all modern amps from reputable manufacturers are designed and manufactured to be perfectly flat and transparent within the limits of human hearing, when operated within their limits.

There is no room left for magic, and blind test after blind test confirm this.

Does this apply to noise floors and power? I tend to believe the all sound the same argument but we also know that not all sound the same in part because of power limits and noise levels. While I have been surprised just how far a Lepai 8watt (claims 20) can push my NHTs the amp clearly isn't as quite as my Bryston. I can assume that a high power amp would cost more due to needing a bigger power supply. But what's the secret to a low noise floor. In theory everyone should want that but as a previous poster said only a few seem to really deliver.
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post #41 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

Does this apply to noise floors and power? I tend to believe the all sound the same argument but we also know that not all sound the same in part because of power limits and noise levels. While I have been surprised just how far a Lepai 8watt (claims 20) can push my NHTs the amp clearly isn't as quite as my Bryston. I can assume that a high power amp would cost more due to needing a bigger power supply. But what's the secret to a low noise floor. In theory everyone should want that but as a previous poster said only a few seem to really deliver.

Sure. Hiss and hum can be handled differently by different manufacturers, but as long as you are close to the -90 to -100dB range, it should not be audible under normal conditions (it may be, if you go and stick your ear to the speaker, but most don't listen to music this way).
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post #43 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The smart strip was suggested. I'm just not sure which component of mine could be used to control it. The PT Audio looks nice but $4k+ is out of my budget. For that price I could leave my stuff on for 15 years
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post #44 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 05:05 PM
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Hello,
Given that the 2.9 just like the 3.3 is a fairly inefficient and difficult to drive Speaker, I would think long and hard before replacing the 4B-ST with anything less powerful.

To me, it is not about a Class D or any other Amplifier Topology which employs a Switching Power Supply, it is about finding one that is as stable into low impedances and being able to handle difficult Capacitive Phase Angles. If nothing else, I would audition a energy efficient Amplifier prior to selling your 4B-ST.
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post #45 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,
Given that the 2.9 just like the 3.3 is a fairly inefficient and difficult to drive Speaker, I would think long and hard before replacing the 4B-ST with anything less powerful.

To me, it is not about a Class D or any other Amplifier Topology which employs a Switching Power Supply, it is about finding one that is as stable into low impedances and being able to handle difficult Capacitive Phase Angles. If nothing else, I would audition a energy efficient Amplifier prior to selling your 4B-ST.
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You may be right. I don't listen that loud that often but it's sometimes hard to judge just how much power was needed for that one passage. Still, I think you are right about trying before committing.
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post #46 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 06:30 PM
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You may be right. I don't listen that loud that often but it's sometimes hard to judge just how much power was needed for that one passage. Still, I think you are right about trying before committing.

At 87dB sensitivity, I don't see why even the smallest Crown XLS Drivecore amp would break a sweat driving the NHT 2.9s.

The sound quality will be the same, but you have to figure out if it's worth replacing the Bryston (and yes, the Crowns are cheezy-looking).

As to DSP, yes, you may very well get a significant benefit from using Room EQ. I got Sherwood R-972 recently, because it comes with Trinnov's room EQ.

I found Trinnov to improve dramatically my multi-channel set up (considerably better than Auddyssey XT). But Trinnov also noticeably tightened the sound in my living room, where I have a Stereo set up.

In both locations I have subs with built-in EQ, and in both instances Trinnov made a significant improvement in my otherwise difficult rooms (lots of glass and hard surfaces).

So, yes, based on my experience, I'd recommend a good DSP even for stereo.
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post #47 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Ryan. Is room compensation what this DSP does? I just assumed it was to allow a digital cross over. The Crown XLS 1000 and 1500 both have it but the base Peavey didn't. I'm kind of old school in assuming I want as little as possible in my signal path but I also have some control's background. I understand that when done correctly, you should in theory get a better response with such a system. Anyway, I guess I need to look at the manuals.
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post #48 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 08:00 PM
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The 4B-ST is a workhorse amp, well-known for its reliability and durability. I think you should keep it period, but as others said certainly keep it until after you get the new amps. And a decent stereo amp is always handy to have around for HT use. Of course I'm biased:

I kept my 4B-ST, though I just recently disconnected it (bedroom system) for the same main reason as you, its 80W (in my case) idle draw in conjunction with massively increased electricity rates locally. Though I did tend to listen quite loud with that system, the power draw was still ~80W. (So it wasn't nearly as loud as it could have been!)

It sounds like what you want has more to do with convenience than any problem with the amp itself. Which might point to an RF switch (there are many, with a key fob) or to a switch that operates over a network (there are some). As you or someone else mentioned, all this "switch" needs to do is control an AC adapter that puts out a 4B-ST trigger voltage (I've done this before I had a pre-pro with triggers).

Not a big deal. I'd say the best direction to think is not lower idle power (40W vs 100W in your case), but complete power disconnection or at least the standby state (~4W for 4B-ST here).
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post #49 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks cfraser,
I'm pretty sure my amp draws about 200W but I think I like your idea of just getting a remote controlled switch to control the 12V trigger on the amp. It's not quite ideal because it doesn't auto shut off. However, I have the parts sitting around the house already. I'll take a look this weekend but that will probably be my answer. Thanks for all the help!
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post #50 of 52 Old 04-28-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

Thanks Ryan. Is room compensation what this DSP does? I just assumed it was to allow a digital cross over. The Crown XLS 1000 and 1500 both have it but the base Peavey didn't. I'm kind of old school in assuming I want as little as possible in my signal path but I also have some control's background. I understand that when done correctly, you should in theory get a better response with such a system. Anyway, I guess I need to look at the manuals.

Yeah, it's a bit more complex than that -- take a look here for what Trinnov does, or here for what ARC does, or here for Auddyssey.

I didn't think room EQ would do much for stereo, but Trinnov produced a clear improvement in my case (rather large and reflective room).

Your mileage may vary, of course.
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post #51 of 52 Old 04-28-2012, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Yeah, it's a bit more complex than that -- take a look here for what Trinnov does, or here for what ARC does, or here for Auddyssey.

I didn't think room EQ would do much for stereo, but Trinnov produced a clear improvement in my case (rather large and reflective room).

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Thanks. That was the kind of thing I expected from a DSP room compensation system. However, it looks to me like the Crown DSP is just for basic stuff like pass filters and the like. It doesn't appear to offer room compensation.
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post #52 of 52 Old 04-29-2012, 10:49 AM
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Thanks. That was the kind of thing I expected from a DSP room compensation system. However, it looks to me like the Crown DSP is just for basic stuff like pass filters and the like. It doesn't appear to offer room compensation.

Correct.

I misread your initial post and assumed you were wondering about full-blown room EQ.
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