Class A/B VS class D amps, Mono blocks that is. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-27-2016, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Class A/B VS class D amps, Mono blocks that is.

I have owned both, for the weight and size I see no reason to buy a A/B App. What do you think?

Prime example is here >>> Click Here <<<

A true test of 1000 Watt Mono Blocks from two well price Audio Manufacturers in an enclosed environment, with all the same gear, and one of the best audio video experts in the world.....

In the end there where about the same cost, same type of sound, same DB's, and one weights much less....

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post #2 of 33 Old 03-27-2016, 05:05 PM
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yep...switched over to class d, and i have no regrets whatsoever.

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post #3 of 33 Old 03-27-2016, 05:51 PM
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Plus they run much cooler which is nice if racked or in a confined space.

I am puzzle led by the 5 year old post you linked and as much as I respect Chad's work/reviews labeling him one of the top experts in the world? Maybe I misunderstood your post.

Class D amplification has come a long way since 2011, even Emo is jumping on the wagon.

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post #4 of 33 Old 03-27-2016, 08:06 PM
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Usually written class AB, not A/B, FWIW. And it is decibel, 1/10 of a Bel, dB not DB.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages but as said above class D has come a long way in the past few years. IMO it is less forgiving of poor design and implementation than typical class A, AB, or related designs but properly implemented (including the power supply, a critical piece of the class D design) offers excellent sound and high efficiency in a small, lightweight, cool-running package.
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 01:23 AM
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The problem with class d is largely marketing. When the class D products first launched, they weren't very good. Add to that, people assume that heavier amps mean better amps. Not true in this case. Class D gets a bad rap. Rotel had moved its line to it a few years ago and changed back. Pretty sure it was just marketing
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 01:46 AM
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Just as in car audio, class D has taken over. People used to swear A/B amps were cleaner sounding but D has come a long way.
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 02:04 AM
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Main weakness of many Class D designs are still the presentation of upper frequencies because you have to get rid of the carrier frequency somehow without mangling to much with the highs. Doesn't seem to be that easy because many reviews applaud the macro dynamics and efficency of Class D designs but are less enthusiastic about the micro dynamics, sound and resolution / transperency in the upper range. Many manufacturers in the past therefore went back from their original Class D designs to Class AB because of this although usually more expensive, need additional cooling measures and have space considerations.
One of the reasons, why most manufacturers with a few exception use Class AB amps still or renewed in standard amplification and employ Class D only in plate amps for sub woofers with their limited frequency range and lower quality (?), price conscious amps plus PA amps, where the emphasis is different than in HiFi, namely high power, efficiency and weight.
Another reason might be a much higher load dependency especially in the upper frequenc range and a lower damping factor compared to "conventional" designs. It thus adds up...

But listen for yourself in combination with your own speakers, if you got the chance. If you like, what you hear, than why not ?

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post #8 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 04:24 AM
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I know this thread is about Monoblocks, but what manufactures make multichannel (5-7) class D (or H) amps?

NAD
Wyred 4 Sound
Rotel
D-sonic
NuForce


... are the ones I could fine. Anyone know of others?
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 05:38 AM
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I did not have a great experience with Crown class D amps recently and switched back to class a/b. I have not tried some of the newer high end offerings (D Sonic, Wyred, NAD,etc..) which seem to have much better reputation for high end sound reproduction but at this point I have no reason to experiment further as I just bought new class a/b amps that will likely be in my system for a good long while.
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 06:00 AM
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I also moved back to class AB from Pioneer class D. Won't look back for both music and movies.

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post #11 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 06:46 AM
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I went from AB to D3 (Pioneer) and I'll never go back to AB unless the price was right I guess. When you have difficult speakers to drive I think class D comes into it's own and it is really nice how cool they run.

One of the posters hit the nail on the head, with class D there is more to go wrong so you have to get it right but when they do it's definitely a winner.
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 10:01 AM
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I would choose class d over ab all day solely due to the weight. The sound difference is not different enough compared to the weight difference. I'm interested in trying a pioneer AVR with class D. I think even emotiva is moving on to class d.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 10:38 AM
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I guess I don't get the weight advantage comments of Class D amps. I have heard/read this several times now and just can't understand how that is an advantage. I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ with this response. My HT equipment just sits on a rack. How does it weighing less benefit someone in an HT environment? I don't care if it weighs 5 lbs or 500 lbs...it just sits there for years ????
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 11:05 AM
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The Klipsch XF-48 (link) floorstanders (L|R in my 2.1 "mostly music" system) are actually biamped powered speakers with both Class A/B High-Frequency, and Class D Low-Frequency internal amps. (No fans, and even when played hard in action movies all day, it's hard to tell if the metal chassis--which acts as a passive radiator--is any warmer than room temperature.)




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post #15 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
I know this thread is about Monoblocks, but what manufactures make multichannel (5-7) class D (or H) amps?

NAD
Wyred 4 Sound
Rotel
D-sonic
NuForce


... are the ones I could fine. Anyone know of others?
my new rythmik sub uses class H

and I believe I read that class D ability to sound great is totally based on its ability of a switching mechanism which isnt easy to design and hasnt been around long enough for durability.

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post #16 of 33 Old 03-28-2016, 11:23 AM
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Class H (and related G) is not class D (or its siblings E and F). Class D uses switching outputs, PWM or PFM or a combination. Class H uses a continuously-varying power supply to track the input signal and reduce wasted power. Technically you could design a class H amplifier using class D output but it would be quite a nightmare; all the ones I have seen use class A or AB amplifiers.

Heat is one of the primary causes of lifetime reduction in electronics. Class D runs much cooler than class AB (not A/B, means something a little different, at least back when I went to skool) and thus potentially has greater life. And doesn't heat the other components and the room (a disadvantage in some climates, but even here where it gets cold, an audio amplifier is a pretty inefficient space-heater).

Many (probably most) issues class D amplifiers exhibited early on had to do with a multitude of things that have been largely solved. Including faster switching devices, more advanced circuit designs (including feedback loops that are more stable and offer much wider low-impedance output), and better filtering schemes that led to higher performance and reliability. There are always improvements to be had, natch.

Weight is mainly an issue when you have to move the rack, or the amp, but it also requires greater cost in packaging and such to support big transformers and heat sinks for class A or AB amplifiers. I normally don't care about weight but it seems like a few times a year I have to move the console out to rearrange something and those big heavy amps make it a pain...

There are places traditional class AB amplifiers do better but class D is rapidly catching up. The class D amplifiers I have heard in the past few years bear little resemblance in performance or reliability to the ones I first heard back in the late 1970's or early 1980's. With all the "green" emphasis these days I expect we'll see more of them.
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-29-2016, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
I know this thread is about Monoblocks, but what manufactures make multichannel (5-7) class D (or H) amps?

NAD
Wyred 4 Sound
Rotel
D-sonic
NuForce


... are the ones I could fine. Anyone know of others?
The new Emotva Emersa amps are class D (2 channel to 7 channel).
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post #18 of 33 Old 03-29-2016, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
I know this thread is about Monoblocks, but what manufactures make multichannel (5-7) class D (or H) amps?

NAD
Wyred 4 Sound
Rotel
D-sonic
NuForce


... are the ones I could fine. Anyone know of others?
Bryston (Hypex)
Lexicon/Crown/Savant (Harman DriveCore)
Sonance (formerly Icepower, now I think Hypex)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post
I guess I don't get the weight advantage comments of Class D amps. I have heard/read this several times now and just can't understand how that is an advantage.
Have you ever sold and shipped an amp?
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post #19 of 33 Old 03-31-2016, 08:54 AM
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Found this interview with Morris Kessler and found this quote interesting:

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...QxGYzPtelLV.97

S&V: Are all you designs traditional Class AB? And, if so, why? What other amplifier topologies do you see as having potential?
Kessler: My current designs are Class AB but we have followed the developments in Class D very closely. While the initial efforts did not meet our criteria—frequency response varied greatly as the impedance of the speaker changed, for example—there is at least one Class D solution we now find acceptable. I don’t think we’ve yet reached the point where the best Class D equals the best of Class AB.
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-31-2016, 09:03 AM
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The output filter and feedback design is critical for keeping the output impedance of a class D amplifier low. The output inductor used to filter ultrasonic switching noise leads to higher output impedance and frequency variation due to the speaker's (load's) changing impedance over frequency.

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post #21 of 33 Old 03-31-2016, 12:05 PM
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Don't get caught up in all the technical talk of Class D vs. AB...
Go out and audition some of the later Class D solutions...
The primary advantages of Class D are:
  • Smaller, form factor
  • Less heat
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • More watts per $

Yes..
In the early days of Class D solutions, many had certain, audible negative byproducts...
IMHO...
These have largely been addressed and solved.
Also since their sonic signature is dependent upon the transfer function programmed within the DSP, this can be tweeked to meet specific sonic performance objectives....

Just my $0.02...
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-31-2016, 12:31 PM
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^^^ +1, same as I said earlier, and matches my experience (which is much less than M Code's on this topic). Yes some amps still have issues with nasty loads, as do some AB amps, but what matters is how it sounds and for most amps (any flavor) and speakers it's a non-issue.
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post #23 of 33 Old 03-31-2016, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Don't get caught up in all the technical talk of Class D vs. AB...
Go out and audition some of the later Class D solutions...
The primary advantages of Class D are:
  • Smaller, form factor
  • Less heat
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • More watts per $

Yes..
In the early days of Class D solutions, many had certain, audible negative byproducts...
IMHO...
These have largely been addressed and solved.
Also since their sonic signature is dependent upon the transfer function programmed within the DSP, this can be tweeked to meet specific sonic performance objectives....

Just my $0.02...
Can you shed some lights on which later class D amps will fit your descriptions?
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post #24 of 33 Old 04-01-2016, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxrb1 View Post
Can you shed some lights on which later class D amps will fit your descriptions?
We recommend solutions using Hypex N-Core Class D modules.

Jeff
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post #25 of 33 Old 04-01-2016, 03:39 PM
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I'll never buy another class AB boat anchor again. Switched to class D 6 years ago and will never go back. I've had Red Dragon (ice modules), W4S, Hypex ncores (still have) and my Current D-Sonic (ice modules) loved every one of them!

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post #26 of 33 Old 05-15-2016, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post
I guess I don't get the weight advantage comments of Class D amps. I have heard/read this several times now and just can't understand how that is an advantage. I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ with this response. My HT equipment just sits on a rack. How does it weighing less benefit someone in an HT environment? I don't care if it weighs 5 lbs or 500 lbs...it just sits there for years ????
Unless you're a Pro user (bands, PA, etc.) the main advantage is for the manufacturer, not the end user. You can get more of them on a boat from China (or wherever) for the weight, making profits higher. One hundred on a skid instead of 30, so they can also lay a few guys off here. Cheaper to ship coast to coast after they're here too. So more profits.

Last edited by noway1; 05-15-2016 at 03:06 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post
The Klipsch XF-48 (link) floorstanders (L|R in my 2.1 "mostly music" system) are actually biamped powered speakers with both Class A/B High-Frequency, and Class D Low-Frequency internal amps. (No fans, and even when played hard in action movies all day, it's hard to tell if the metal chassis--which acts as a passive radiator--is any warmer than room temperature.)









_


*slightly off topic*
I have 4 of them, right now connected to the speaker terminals. Can't wait to hook them up via pre outs on the Marantz 6010 which I am getting real soon.
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post #28 of 33 Old 05-15-2016, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noway1 View Post
Unless you're a Pro user (bands, PA, etc.) the main advantage is for the manufacturer, not the end user. You can get more of them on a boat from China (or wherever) for the weight, making profits higher. One hundred on a skid instead of 30, so they can also lay a few guys off here. Cheaper to ship coast to coast after they're here too. So more profits.
Bingo. I was about to post something similar after all the breathlessness about reduced weight. When I had a PA, before D was viable and proven reliable, it would have been a godsend. At home, once I bolt something into the rack, it doesn't move for years, so weight is relevant for the few minutes of the transition. Most of my amps in system are pro amps, all AB. Most I've had for years from my PA and bass rig so they got repurposed for free. The last two purchased, second hand, cost me $A1400 for 4 channels of 2400W. I don't care that they weigh 40kg each.
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post #29 of 33 Old 05-15-2016, 10:48 PM
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Class A/B VS class D amps, Mono blocks that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noway1 View Post
Unless you're a Pro user (bands, PA, etc.) the main advantage is for the manufacturer, not the end user.


Advantages flow to the end user too. Lower weight also increases net resale value (lower shipping costs, thus wider market for resale without taking a giant chunk in shipping). Furthermore, lower weight opens up placement possibilities. A 100lb amp will always need to be on the strongest shelf of a cabinet. A 40lb amp can be on any shelf.

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post #30 of 33 Old 05-16-2016, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Don't get caught up in all the technical talk of Class D vs. AB...
Go out and audition some of the later Class D solutions...
The primary advantages of Class D are:
  • Smaller, form factor
  • Less heat
  • Higher energy efficiency
  • More watts per $

Yes..
In the early days of Class D solutions, many had certain, audible negative byproducts...
IMHO...
These have largely been addressed and solved.
Also since their sonic signature is dependent upon the transfer function programmed within the DSP, this can be tweeked to meet specific sonic performance objectives....

Just my $0.02...
It would be advisable to look for newer class D amps, which have their low pass filters at the output (carrier filtering) inside their feed back loop. If not, like many of the older or cheaper ones, your frequency response will strongly depend on the impedance "burden" (match) of your speakers at higher frequencies. The frequency response will then vary a lot with the variations of the load impedance because it's not compensated for. This is one of the reasons, why reviews of class D amps differ a lot und describe the sound often as "brittle" or sometimes "muted" because of that impedance mismatch pheomenon.
Examples of better class D amps are the modules manufactured by Hypex (Netherlands) like the Ncore versions (DIY type like NC400 or commercial offerings like NC500 or NC1200). The commercial NCore offerings ar quite expensive though... and often used in the upper end amps of some well known brands like NAD or Bel Canto etc.
Latest addition being Marantz with its PM10 amp which use Hypex OEM NC500 modules.
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