Audiophiles are a weird crowd indeed - I'd see myself more like a hifi-nut, not audiophile.
My dream was to buy N804 speakers, because I really like the way they sound. and finally I did buy them after a long long wait...
Now you can choose for yourself if these speakers are "high-end" or not, that depends on your wallet I guess (
), but for me they are amazing sounding, and surely at the top of what I'd spend on speakers.
Problem was that I couldn't afford good amplification right away, I had to make do with my AVR, which had trouble to drive the N804's (not because the amp doesn't "sound" good, but pure electrical, N804's impendance is tricky)
I was happy to hear them on bryston, rotels, and other usual suspects but couldn't afford these.
Enter a DIY forum somewhere, where they are raving about Diy UCD amps - couldn't resist and dropped the cash, thinking I could use those amps for a second system I have here with old Philips speakers that can handle a lot of power.
Built it, tested it, sounds wonderful with the Philips... Couldn't resist trying them on the 804s... Never looked back, to my ears the speakers were alive just like in the shops where they are demo'ed with the above usual suspects.
Now why is UCD so good? I believe it's the feedback system - the load is included in the feedback and that way optimizes itself to whatever you connect to it (given enough clean power to work with) - other class-d designs have linearity changes due to the load connected - not the UCD's.
Secondary, these UcD's have a "linear" distortion, meaning the distortion isn't higher at high frequencies, like in a regular class AB. The result is very clean highs, even on speakers that are told to be very tiring & forward in the highs, like my N804's.
Couldn't be happier, really... everyone should at least take a listen
Of course, this might just be a my-kid-is-cuter-than-yours placebo effect...
Value for money it's a no-brainer! and meanwhile... "audiophiles" are laughing because I run the precious B&W gems with "dirty class-d" power...