Originally Posted by rnrgagne
They're also used in high end gear where sound quality is
important. And I think your concept of cost might be off a bit as well, it's been a fast moving technology. For an example a relatively old technology module which is the guts of the Bel Canto Ref e1000's (1000w @ 4ohms), probably wholesales for $300/$400 depending on volume purchased.
That's a lot more more expensive than I would assume a company like Pioneer would've payed for a single channel of amplification in their AV receivers.
I know Pioneer worked with ICE to create their initial amp sections, I have to assume they use the same technology now, and they're basically multiple mono-block channels on a single circuit board which should yield a bit of an advantage over a conventional multi-channel amp with a single shared power supply.
They no longer buy ICE modules for their receivers and supposely came up with thier own completly new less expensive design, but I don't know how much the technology has actually changed. Still it wasn't cheap enough to convince them that it would be a good idea to use them in their high-volume low-margin models, where any reduction in the cost of components would have its greatest benefit.
According to M Code, Pioneer receivers use linear power supplies
, I assume a single one is shared by all the amps.
That would seem to be the case, but there's a market driven anomily where the consumer equates weight and size with quality. It's been a tough sell for Class D because inevitably the consumer will buy the big heavy box with the advertised "toriodal transformer" without really understanding what's in play.
There's some merit to this, as Pioneer doesn't seem to use the technology to make thier AV receivers any smaller. However, even in my Class AB receiver only about a 1/4 of the internal volume, including space for cooling, is taken up by the power amps. Shrinking these wouldn't allow the receiver to get much smaller, especially since all the jacks on the back limit how much you can reduce the height.
Removing the non-toroidal transformer would save more space and wieght, but that apparently isn't practical in AV receivers today.