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-   -   D-Sonic custom Audio amps (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-receivers-amps-processors/855660-d-sonic-custom-audio-amps.html)

Tomec 06-01-2007 08:36 PM

Hi,
has anybody tried the D-Sonic amps?

Cheers

Tomec

TurboFC3S 06-21-2007 03:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomec View Post

Hi,
has anybody tried the D-Sonic amps?

Cheers

Tomec

I will soon, just ordered a pair of their M1000S amps. They use the same 1000ASP module that everbody is ga-ga over, so I expect nothing short of being blown away.

I'll report back once I get them. Their website btw is www.d-sonic.net

Mikazaru 06-21-2007 05:44 PM

Kind of strange that the website doesn't have actual pictures of their products yet. Hope everything goes well for you and I look forward to your review.

mdrew 06-24-2007 07:35 PM

Anyone else have one of these amps yet??

TurboFC3S 06-25-2007 02:24 PM

I got 'em, they've been cranking since Saturday morning almost non-stop. All I can say is I understand now, you cannot have too much power! These amps are simply fantastic, now I have a huge stack of other amps to sell

My previous bi-amp setup was a pair of Bel Canto S300's, also ICEpower but using the 250ASC module instead of the 1000ASP. And in spite of only being capable of 1/4 the power, they're more expensive than the D-Sonic 1000S amps. I knew it was time for an upgrade when I was getting within a click or two of max volume with the Bel Canto's and still wanting more volume ... and with my Bryston 3B SST's I couln't turn it up that high without my ears melting. With my Adcom, Sherwood, and Parasound HCA amps there was a point on them all where I could tell the amp was starting to strain. It doesn't matter how much power the amp is putting out if it's too harsh to listen to.

But having this much power isn't just about volume. Now I can turn it to levels impossible before without a hint of edge to the sound, no fatigue on the delicate ears, and I get those volumes at around -5db on my Parasound Halo C2 instead of around +12db like before. I know it's significantly louder because I started to feel a bit nauseous once, seriously, and my ears were ringing after ... but while listening it sounded smooth, clean, detailed, and even though incredibly loud was easy to listen too.

I've been through a lot of amps lately, but now I'm pretty much sold on ICEpower ... especially the big ICE modules. They control bass like nothing else, and have what's in my opinion a totally uncolored midrange with more detail than any other amp I've heard in my system. They run cool and draw very little power, and they're small and light. I don't know what's not to like.

Dennis is the guy at D-Sonic, he says pictures are coming for the website. I offered to help since I'm a professional photographer, but he says he has it under control. The build quality on the D-Sonic stuff is on par with my Bel Canto's except for the quality of the binding posts - they're better on the Bel Canto's. I actually think the case of the D-Sonic amps is a bit heavier than my Bel Canto's, I have no complaints in the build quality of either.

BTW, I also have a pair of Red Dragon ICEpower mono's that I'm going to keep for my surrounds.

MKtheater 06-28-2007 09:46 PM

I wonder how these would compare to krell or mcintosh? How about sim audio?

Stymlie 06-29-2007 12:25 AM

I think they should sound great but I can see one potential problem area. With inefficient speakers at sustained high volumes there's a good chance that the thermal protection circuits could kick in. The high end class A Krells on the other hand are designed for that kind of stuff.

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 09:33 AM

I'd almost guarantee a Krell would shut down before one of these ICEpower 1000ASP modules. The ICE stuff runs so cool, even cranked they barely get above room temperature.

MKtheater 06-29-2007 10:19 AM

These are not cheap. How would these compare to a pro amp(comparable prices)? The pro amp at this price($1375) would have more power. My samson S-2000 cost me $300 used $699 new and has 685 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 1000 watts per channel into 4 ohms and 2000 watts into 8 ohms bridged. What do you guys think? The krown k2 has this much power and about the same price. Same goes for the QSC plx 3000 series.

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 10:35 AM

I have a Crown K2 which I hooked up just for a comparison. The listening session with the Crown only lasted about 5 minutes, I just couldn't take any more. From my experience, pro amps only sound decent on low resolution systems - revealing speakers and a pro amp is a recipe for a migrane headache.

Stymlie 06-29-2007 10:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

I'd almost guarantee a Krell would shut down before one of these ICEpower 1000ASP modules. The ICE stuff runs so cool, even cranked they barely get above room temperature.

My speakers are low sensitivity and have a very difficult impedance curve. Other Class D amps I tried could not deal with them, but my Krells can handle sustained high volume and high temp exceptionally well all day long. The Class D's do run cool and so do the ICE derivatives but most of them specify the use of external heat sinks and other modifications in their technical literature for low impedance hard to drive speakers in sustained high volume situations. You'll often see "TIME LIMITED" in the literature.

scorch123 06-29-2007 11:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stymlie View Post

My speakers are low sensitivity and have a very difficult impedence curve. Other Class D amps I tried could not deal with them, but my Krells can handle sustained high volume and high temp exceptionally all day long. The Class D's do run cool and so do the ICE derivatives but most of them specify the use of external heat sinks and other modifications in their technical literature for low impedence hard to drive speakers in sustained high volume situations. You'll often see "TIME LIMITED" in the literature.

Stymlie,

What speakers do you have? I have run 1000ASP ICEpower module Class D with my 86dB inefficient Vandersteen 3A Signatures with no problems. They are ideal for me right now - summertime temps here in Phoenix run quite high, and these amps can drive music and movies for hours without needing to crank the air conditioning in the house.

My pair of ICEpower amps have a different sound that my Crown pro audio amps, or Pass Labs class A amps. The perceived bass extension is definitely there - YMMV.

I got modified 1000ASP-based amps from Ric Schultz at EVS Audio. He knows quite a bit about the 200ASC and 1000ASP and might be able to help you determine if class D in general will pair with your speakers.

Good luck,

- Steve O.

MKtheater 06-29-2007 11:02 AM

I would agree with that to a point. I guess it depends on the speakers. What speakers are you using?

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 11:24 AM

My speakers are DIY, the bass section is a pair of GR Research M-165x drivers wired in parallel ... impedance is a solid 2.3 ohm from 90hz up to where they're crossed over, now THAT'S a hard load. My ICEpower amps have no problem with it, and still like I said barely get warm.

My previous Bryston 3B SST couldn't handle the load at all, it souded like complete crap ... drivers sounded like they were bottoming out, there was all sorts of nasty noises coming from them, so with the Bryston I had to wire them in series. With the 1000ASP's, they control bass better at 2.3 ohm than the Bryston did at 12 ohm.

MKtheater 06-29-2007 11:28 AM

I am not worried about the power and drive capability, I am curious about the sound clarity. My amp now has great clarity and nothing I have tried is better than it with that regard. The d-sonic would fit in my rack much better and look good where my amp I have now is huge and class a/ab.

Stymlie 06-29-2007 11:46 AM

I have Thiel 7.2's and the impedance is 4 nominal, frequently into the 2's. Sensitivity is around 84 dB. The two Class D amps I've experimented with in the past couldn't take the punishment. The new ICE Modules may be a different breed, I'll have to look into the design, but I stand by my statement that the Krells are designed for those who have unusually hard to drive 2-4 ohm speakers.

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I am not worried about the power and drive capability, I am curious about the sound clarity. My amp now has great clarity and nothing I have tried is better than it with that regard. The d-sonic would fit in my rack much better and look good where my amp I have now is huge and class a/ab.

I've never had anything in my system than can compare to the detailed and natural sound of the ICEpower 1000ASP modules, I also have a few 250ASC and 250ASP powered amps and love them as well when the ridiculous power levels aren't needed.

The one thing that might come close is the pair of Greg Ball's SKA GB300D modules I'm building now. I'm going to try them in both class A/B and class A. I have an older Denon pure class-A amp that I like a lot, but it just doesn't have the dynamics and headroom I need ... and my Bryston 3B SST and Parasound HCA-2200 mk II don't have the detail and seem slightly colored in comparison. The Crown K2 just sounds like ass running full-range. The Sherwood, ATI, and Adcom 5-channel amps I've had aren't even worth comparing, they take about 30 seconds to easily identify as solid-state sounding, they suck the musicality out of a recording.

cschang 06-29-2007 12:01 PM

Turbo...can you post some pics? I have asked for some from d-sonic, but never got them.

I also love my 1000asp based stereo amp...great stuff.

Stymlie 06-29-2007 12:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I am not worried about the power and drive capability, I am curious about the sound clarity. My amp now has great clarity and nothing I have tried is better than it with that regard. The d-sonic would fit in my rack much better and look good where my amp I have now is huge and class a/ab.

Sound clarity is probably a non-issue with these amps. Modern, well designed amps of all classes are signal plus gain so if they do a good job with the Class D design there should be no audible distortion. The correct amount of power mated to your speakers is more important. My Class A krell didn't "sound" any different than the Class D's until I cranked them up beyond their capability. The Krell can double the power into 4 ohms and then again into 2 ohms. The Class D's couldn't.

scorch123 06-29-2007 12:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

The Crown K2 just sounds like ass running full-range.

Why not try an active or passive crossover for the bass, using something like a K2?

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 12:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Turbo...can you post some pics? I have asked for some from d-sonic, but never got them.

I also love my 1000asp based stereo amp...great stuff.

Here's one of the rack where they're happily resting Bottom right, on top of the Dish box you can see the Red Dragon AMP-1 mono's, above that the Adcom GFA-7400, Parasound Halo C2, fully Bolder modded with Gold Bybee's Squeezebox 3, and some other stuff. I never use that Yamaha DVD changer anymore, my PS3 does all the disc spinning.
LL

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 12:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Why not try an active or passive crossover for the bass, using something like a K2?

Speakers are actively crossed over between the bottom two 7" drivers and top MTM section, the MTM section is a passive network with all top of the line components. But to compare the K2 to other amps, I add a passive filter between the top and bottom section and run them full range.

MKtheater 06-29-2007 12:20 PM

My amp doubles the power from 200 to 400 watts now in 2 channel mode. My speakers are 4 ohms, all 7 are identical, they are M&K S-5000THX and I cross them over at 80 hz. I can drive them to reference levels easily with my amp now so I was more interested in the small size and sound quality. I have also been interested in the acoustic reality stuff but they are too far away. My amp now is a Gemstone 7 channel amp and it is great, purely balanced with great control of my speakers. I am not unhappy at all. I would not change it for a lateral move.

cschang 06-29-2007 12:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

Here's one of the rack where they're happily resting Bottom right, on top of the Dish box you can see the Red Dragon AMP-1 mono's, above that the Adcom GFA-7400, Parasound Halo C2, fully Bolder modded with Gold Bybee's Squeezebox 3, and some other stuff. I never use that Yamaha DVD changer anymore, my PS3 does all the disc spinning.

Thanks Turbo.

I am pondering an 3 channel 1000asp version....or going all in and getting the 2500-7.

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 12:36 PM

Nothing I've heard controls bass like ICEpower and Class-D stuff, nothing I've heard has the midrange detail and lushness of ICEpower, the only area where some amps excel is in 'airy-ness' of the upper octaves. That's just my experience, but from what others have said as well it seems accurate. I think the ICEpower technology is the ultimate for accuracy and detail, but the sound you like is of course personal taste. My McCormack DNA-1 was a fantastic sounding amp, totally different presentation, it was great for jazz or anything with horns because of the way it rounded things out ... but ultimately it was lacking in detail and was probably meant for people who enjoy the tube sound and feel.

My system and tastes are all about detail and trying to find what I think is as uncolored as possible. Some may call it dry, but it's what I like.

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 12:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Thanks Turbo.

I am pondering an 3 channel 1000asp version....or going all in and getting the 2500-7.

I just sent you a PM with his contact info. His website has the wrong number for some reason. I'll tell you, it was a leap of faith to send that much $$$ to a guy with the wrong phone number and little or no info on his website. But I did, and I'm glad I did

cschang 06-29-2007 12:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

I just sent you a PM with his contact info. His website has the wrong number for some reason. I'll tell you, it was a leap of faith to send that much $$$ to a guy with the wrong phone number and little or no info on his website. But I did, and I'm glad I did

I replied. I had contacted him a couple of months ago and had the same reservations.

TurboFC3S 06-29-2007 01:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I replied. I had contacted him a couple of months ago and had the same reservations.

Well, I traded emails back and forth with him for a bit ... then had the urge to get something quick (probably because I was hitting 100% volume with my Bel Canto S300), so called him Thursday afternoon and asked if he could have them to me Saturday morning. Sure enough, 9am Saturday morning the UPS man was knocking on my door

Like I mentioned, build quality on them is great. Thick gauge chassis, and about a 1/4" thick black anodized aluminum front panel.

I can't leave well enough alone though, so wrote Dennis to see if he'd mind me soldering in Bybee's on the power supply and putting in some ERS paper and Isodamp ... he said no problem, warranty would still be intact

One thing that's for sure true about the ICEpower stuff is they're picky about how you give them power. I'm still experimenting with the 'perfect' blend of power cords and plugs, the CryoMax III and Furutech ends I got from cryo-parts.com is the best combo I've found so far ... with a Furutech non-filtering power distribution block pluged into the wall, and amps into that.

sdv5 06-30-2007 05:42 PM

Great discussion! Thanks, Turbo, for the review and images.

Have you considered Murano Audio as well? What does the Lundahl transformer that they use (similar to Jeff Rowland's approach) provide that D-Sonic does not have? I was hesitant to even consider D-Sonic because they still do not have real pictures on the Web site. Murano's design and binding posts look nicer (as far as I can tell from pictures). Given that 1000ASP module is a complete amp with power supply, the only difference in the circuit is the added transformer.

http://www.murano-audio.com/
http://www.audiovideochoices.com/

I am considering Murano Audio for my Magneplanar MG-1.6 speakers.

Stymlie 06-30-2007 06:26 PM

So far we have d-sonic, tweak audio, and Murano supplying these amps. D-sonic has a wider variety with mono, stereo, and surround amps. Dennis seems like a good guy so I might get a 500 mono to see how well it does with a hard to drive speaker.

http://www.tweakaudio.com/EVS-2/Amp_page.html
http://www.d-sonic.net/


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