Originally Posted by Gates
What I meant is that since you've tested the SC-68 from both an external amp and directly through the internal amps, did you find a difference in sound quality for Home Theater use (highs, mid, panning, imaging, etc).
missed your question, I guess
differences...not a lot & pretty subtle. certainly not with imaging, soundstage depth. when I first got the Ice amp'd SC-09, I did some a/b listening to the Innersound amp I have. surprisingly, I thought the bass was just a wee bit "better" with the amp over class D Ice amps, and the highs just a wee bit clearer with the class D amps. kind of opposite what most people expect comparing class D to class a/b amp. it's been going on 5 years now since I did that comparison. I decided to leave the amp for the fronts and let the SC-09 do the rest because I already owned it and it was quite a bit more powerful than even the "mighty" SC-09
any difference I heard back then was from max power & current ability. I have Magnepan speakers, not efficient, 4 ohm nominal, and they come alive the more power you feed them. it's almost like the proverbial lifting a veil, but in this case, not with clarity but with dynamics. going to 600 watts @ 4 ohms made percussive attacks, transients more noticeable, I could even tell a difference with piano notes (classical). hitting a piano key was sharper, more distinct and quicker with a 600 w amp.
all that said, I did do a comparison with percussive attacks in several tracks in Brothers In Arms with the SC-68 powering everything, incl my power-hungry fronts, & with my subs turned off. and it held its own, even turned up. but all this is very very subtle & not night & day differences that one can easily pickup on, unless you really listened intently. IMO, you would not hear a night & day difference between majority of amps & then your speakers would have to be demanding ones to drive
the class D amps in the SC-68 get high praise from a number of sources for powerful dynamics & ability to reproduce transient peaks without strain, deliver nice bass and clarity. class D amps generally aren't considered the ultimate best for "air", or quite equal in reproducing the most intricate, innermost detail in the highs in certain music, according to some "audiophiles". I've read audiophile posts that claim class D amps can sound "dry" whatever that means
but to my ears, I have no complaints with the clarity in both the Ice amp & the new design. I have same depth & imaging no matter which amp I have used...those qualities are the characteristics of the speaker design & the room they're in.
with class D amp designs, there is a gradual rise in distortion as freq rises past 10khz, but until the amp goes into clipping, it is still well below audibility, no different than most amps.
IMO, these class D amps are well suited for home theater sound
I've owned them for 5.5 years now & have been very pleased with the sound quality. I see no reason to think otherwise