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View Poll Results: Are Class-D Amps Ready For Prime Time?
Yes 199 73.98%
No 24 8.92%
Don't know 46 17.10%
Voters: 269. You may not vote on this poll

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post #31 of 130 Old 08-15-2014, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post
Your first post actually got me thinking even more outside the box. I was thinking more along the lines of an aural or neural implant that accepted digital signals and triggered the nervous system directly, mimicking the effect of having heard the content.
Well, I'm not real cozy with the idea of having one's innards mucked with.

The cochlear implant is a sort of reality today, but we really don't have the kind of knowledge or technology for that sort of thing yet.

But just as a class-D amplifier should have no trouble developing an identical electrical signal at the binding posts as a class A or A/B amplifier, we do have the technology today to build much more complex electro-mechanical systems than ever before.

Seriously, the notion of a loudspeaker has scarcely changed since the days of the gramophone when someone thought, "hey, you know, I bet I could use an electromagnet on the diaphragm instead of a needle!"

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post #32 of 130 Old 08-15-2014, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post
Your first post actually got me thinking even more outside the box. I was thinking more along the lines of an aural or neural implant that accepted digital signals and triggered the nervous system directly, mimicking the effect of having heard the content. This would eliminate all of the inefficiencies of electro-mechanical production of sound waves, which then relies on the imperfections inherent in room correction, ambient noise control, and the hearing capabilities of the listener in order to achieve its intended result. Imagine if a completely deaf person could experience the joy of music just the same as anyone else.
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post #33 of 130 Old 08-15-2014, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
Agree 100%. It's pretty funny, you rarely see any older guys embrace any kind of change, they will hang on to their 90lb amps and call them the best forever. I have to laugh when I people claiming how A/B is so superior, like technology hasn't evolved enough in the last 20 years to make an amp sound good..... and even at that, if guys are hearing vast differences between classes, their amps are broken.
And I also have to laugh at those younger tech guys who will embrace change no matter what. Older guys will hold onto the I-phone 4 or
4s because it works well and can make calls. Younger guys will get the 5, 5s, 6, 6s.....9,9s and can tell you instantly how much better their "phone" is. In fact the guy with the 9s, will laugh at the guy with the 8. It'll happen.

I'll take A/B over D on hi end speakers. I'll take D over anything on a top of the line hi powered subwoofer.

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post #34 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 04:18 AM
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Class D to Class A/B is what LCD is to Plasma. Advantages in some areas like weight, energy efficiency, and running cooler but not in ultimate performance. Just depends what's important to you. By the way I own a Pioneer Elite 151. 😉
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post #35 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuke View Post
I can't vote in this poll because my answer is not there.

The issue is not whether class-D is good enough or whatever.

The problem is the entire paradigm of speaker and amplifier. That approach is what is broken.

We have 100+ years of technology built up around a design that was dreamed up long ago when it was the only approach possible - amplify the heck out of an audio signal so that it is strong enough to drive a piston motor directly. Then we go to amazing ends to build "speakers" that take the mechanical impulse from a piston motor, driven by a high-current amplifier to transfer it to the air with something we feel is fidelity.

The right answer is to re-think the whole approach so that we have devices which are designed together to convert information representing an audio program, into audible motion in the air.

We should not be building "speakers" and driving them with "amplifiers". We should be building devices which integrate these functions so that the most correct mechanical operations happen which then result in the most correct motion induced into the air.

It is silly to continue this methodology of yesteryear.

There should be no amplifiers of audio, no heavy gauge speaker wiring and whatever electronics that are required to cause the mechanism to function, should be tightly integrated with the mechanism. Nothing other than data and a power source should flow to the transducer assembly. Whatever happens inside this assemblage should be a black box and its character judged by its ability to faithfully impart the air with motion based upon the datastream it receives. There should be no talk of watts per channel or ohms or any of that.
Totally agree. I really like the industry move of some high end speaker manufacturers making powered versions of their speakers, just provide a signal and wall outlet. This will allow the acoustic engineer that devises the speaker to build a complete package with less variability due to one several less variables (amp, speaker wire, power cords, etc). We've already made great progress sending speaker signals to subs via wireless, why not 5.1 via BT signal? Much less wire running = more users adopting that otherwise wouldn't (apartments, condos, etc). I'd love to see some complete systems like you say "black boxes" from Anthem/Paradigm that are $5K-$25K plug and play systems that are turn key as the two companies already make everything necessary except BD player and TV. One wouldn't know whether he has listening to class D, A-B, etc and it wouldn't matter because the designers would've already tuned the speaker to the amp to minimize any disadvantages by amp topology or driver material (and any other perceived limiting factor), just a, say, Harmon Audio group package that are Gold, Silver, Bronze packages for say $25K, $10K and $5K.
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post #36 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 07:43 AM
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This whole discussion brings to mind a book I read in the late '90s by Clayton Christensen called "The Innovator's Dilemma." It made quite a splash in the tech community at the time.

In the book, the author describes the concept of "Disruptive Technologies." You have a technology market (platter hard drives, POTS <plain old telephone service - the old analog service some of us old farts used to have>, Class AB amplification, etc.) established on a certain set of value propositions. Another technology comes along (Flash memory, VoIP, Class-D) that, at first, does not perform nearly as well as the entrenched technology, but that establishes a slightly different value proposition set and succeeds in a small, low-end segment of that market. That success funds improvements, and the new technology slowly eats it way up-market, gaining market share until the old technology is relegated to only the highest-of-the-high-end and dies as a result of being too highly-specialized.

Class D is there. At the high-end of the quality spectrum, class-D output may or may not be as good as a good class AB amp - but it is close enough that its other properties make it superior for the vast majority of audio applications. The only thing that is going to save class-AB is that it is really cheap and easy to make (heck, even I have built several AB amps) so keeping some around in the product line to satisfy a few "luddites" will still be moderately-attractive for quite some time (as opposed to Plasma...), especially since you will be able to over-charge for them.

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post #37 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
And I also have to laugh at those younger tech guys who will embrace change no matter what. Older guys will hold onto the I-phone 4 or
4s because it works well and can make calls. Younger guys will get the 5, 5s, 6, 6s.....9,9s and can tell you instantly how much better their "phone" is. In fact the guy with the 9s, will laugh at the guy with the 8. It'll happen.

I'll take A/B over D on hi end speakers. I'll take D over anything on a top of the line hi powered subwoofer.
lol, has nothing to do new tech, only the fact that the audio game is so full of snake oil and lies that the truth gets so convoluted, that people start believing their own lies.

The poll just shows what the general feeling of class D is, you guys that think that its only good for subs can keep living in your AB land of superiority and yes, we will laugh at you, not because you like AB but because youre so close minded that something MIGHT be just as good as what you have.

have fun with your iphone 4....
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post #38 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
lol, has nothing to do new tech, only the fact that the audio game is so full of snake oil and lies that the truth gets so convoluted, that people start believing their own lies.

The poll just shows what the general feeling of class D is, you guys that think that its only good for subs can keep living in your AB land of superiority and yes, we will laugh at you, not because you like AB but because youre so close minded that something MIGHT be just as good as what you have.

have fun with your iphone 4....
In life people have different opinions that's all. I guess people gotta trash others in order to try to make their point valid. Why not it's called the internet.

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post #39 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
In life people have different opinions that's all. I guess people gotta trash others in order to try to make their point valid. Why not it's called the internet.
You mean like yours where you clearly have not worked in the finest and most critical listening rooms yet still spew out that Class D is inferior?

Sadly the ill informed will always perpetuate myths as fact, and grasp at incorrect implementations of the technology in this subject.

I said my part, heard it on speakers well in excess of a hundred thousand dollars, and in blind listening the Hypex won in pure class D. No shock that many of the records that are mastered where mastered with Class D technology.

The technology is here, proven, and Bruno has the specs to back it up, not to mention the clientele.
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post #40 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
In life people have different opinions that's all. I guess people gotta trash others in order to try to make their point valid. Why not it's called the internet.
ummm really? So you get a jab in at me with your comment and cry when you get one back? hahahaha just a bit of a hypocrite aren't we?

Also, sure everyone can have whatever opinion they want.... your's is just wrong is all

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post #41 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
ummm really? So you get a jab in at me with your comment and cry when you get one back? hahahaha just a bit of a hypocrite aren't we?

Also, sure everyone can have whatever opinion they want.... your's is just wrong is all

On my original post I stated that I prefer a class AB over D. I didn't say that D is no good nor did I trash class D. Interpret the post carefully before you go on a trashfest.

Opinions are just opinions that's all . And yours is right? Grow up if you can.

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post #42 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 05:47 PM
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Exclamation

I have to say,

Class D well for what its worth is another technology that promised and has not delivered. OK it may be great for sub woofers, but it cannot accurately reproduce the higher frequencies as well as class AB.

Back in 1985 I was fooled into buying into the new CD technology. I brought into the new technology thinking that it would be better then vinyl. I sold off a bunch of my vinyl records and started to buy CD versions. One of the records that I sold off at the time was Eagles Hotel California. The record was mint and had only been played on my Dual 1245. I soon became very disappointed when the CD sounded flat and had no life to it. A few years ago I purchased a vinyl audiophile version of Hotel California and once again discovered the fine sound of pure analog.

I found it very disturbing that just because it's new most of you may think it better. So go-ahead, buy into the premise that class D is better, just like I brought into CD's back in 1985. Someday you may wake up and discover your mistake.

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post #43 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 06:06 PM
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1985? You seemed to be on the cutting edge of the "CD" technology at that point! I was 2. As in 2 years old. I remember the day I went to buy my first album, Green Day: Dookie. That was 1994 and I went and scooped the tape. When I got home, my dad was so upset that I didn't shell out the additional $6 for the CD that he drove me back to the "Record Store" and made me return it, giving me the extra 6 bones for the CD version. Thus started my obsession with audio.... Ripe ole age of 11. Have't really slowed down since then, but I can say I have had at least 3 different amps run through my theater at this point on the same main speakers. I can't measure ANYTHING different on the top end between class A, A/B and class D. I wish I could put each of the sweeps side by side for you, but your idea of Class D I feel is still "Back in the day" tech that has be drastically improved since....

I didn't think CD's even existed in 85, but if they did, same things rolls, the tech has improved on that too...

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post #44 of 130 Old 08-16-2014, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
On my original post I stated that I prefer a class AB over D. I didn't say that D is no good nor did I trash class D. Interpret the post carefully before you go on a trashfest.

Opinions are just opinions that's all . And yours is right? Grow up if you can.
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post #45 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Embry View Post
I have to say,

Class D well for what its worth is another technology that promised and has not delivered. OK it may be great for sub woofers, but it cannot accurately reproduce the higher frequencies as well as class AB.

I found it very disturbing that just because it's new most of you may think it better. So go-ahead, buy into the premise that class D is better, just like I brought into CD's back in 1985. Someday you may wake up and discover your mistake.
I think you're sadly mistaken, in fact I'd argue that the top end presentation of Class D is enhanced by the total control of the bottom end. It's like the top end has a clean canvas to play on with Class D.

What that might do in poor systems or poor rooms is create the premise that it's bright or inaccurate. There's nothing in competent Class D amp measurements I've seen that would indicate anything other than artifacts in the inaudible 50khz+ range.

The worst thing you can do is trust solely in your own impressions rather than the facts. It's simply too easy to be influenced by what we read or hear and program our sub-conscious mind to create a pre-determined outcome.

For one I think analog reproduction is grossly flawed, ultimately a stick slapping around in a wavy groove, but I like its' "character" and have amassed probably 300 albums. Over the years I've played them through every type of amp there is, and as of the last six years, they've been amplified by hybrid Class D ICEpower amps.

Frankly if I went solely based on my own experience, I'd say you've been brainwashed, but the facts in this case support the argument.

Oh, and I'm awake.
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post #46 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 10:00 AM
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Some local friends got together over a year ago to find out for ourselves. What we found is that when level matched to within 0.2 db's and switching IMMEDIATELY from one amp to another we could not tell the difference between any of the 8 amps, some were class D and others A/B. The only way to tell a difference is to clip the amp, if you stay below clipping no way you can tell a difference if you didn't know which amp was which.

I don't doubt that those that think they can tell a difference are 100% positive that they are right. They will be in for a shock however if they do a blind test.
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post #47 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 10:10 AM
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I'm surprised that BASH amps haven't become more popular over the last 10 or so years.

BASH amps are a hybrid design, they have a Class A front end, and a Class D output stage, thus providing the musical fidelity typically associated with Class A amplifiers *but with* the electrical efficiency associated with Class D amplifiers.

I have 4 sub woofers upfront augmenting my front L/C/R and front wide main speakers, the sub woofers use BASH amplifiers and the bass frequency's that they create is a very nice clean, tight and non-boomy low end.

The lack of power draw from the subs is almost unbelievable. The total normal continuous power draw of those 4 subs is only .6 amps in what I would consider *a heavy load* @ - 25db main speaker volume setting. The 4 sub amps are each rated at 250 RMS continuous with a peak output of 1k each.

Class D power draw is really unbelievably low and BASH hybrid amps combine the best of both worlds.


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post #48 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 11:16 AM
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One of the best two channel presentations I've experienced was a TacT system through a modest pair of Totem Forrests at least ten years ago. They used a combination of TacT's room correction and pure digital amplification. In pure Class D there's no DAC per se, the DAC is the amp.

Couldn't afford that stuff back then, but it certainly got me interested in Class D & room correction.
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post #49 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 11:24 AM
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The D amps in my Pioneer SC-1522 (=SC-65) drive my somewhat demanding Axiom speakers very well.

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post #50 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 12:40 PM
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I voted "yes," but in truth the question has three different answers:

For subwoofers: No question, D is far and away the superior choice today, because the increased energy efficiency means that one can swing more voltage with the same power draw. Since deep bass is all about voltage swing, D offers superior performance.

For closed systems (i.e. active mains): Pretty much all D works fine, given competent system design. Whatever frequency response errors caused by the interaction between the drive units and the amps' output filters will be minimal because the amps are connected directly to the drive units, and those issues that remain can be addressed in the active crossover/EQ section. However, except for high power speakers I'm not sure there's an advantage generally over AB chip amps. Perhaps cost, but I don't know as I don't keep up with the raw electronics segment.

For mains with passive crossovers: Here the answer is a little more complex, but the short answer is that most D is not ready for prime time, because (like most tube amps) their frequency response is not flat when driving loudspeakers with impedance curves that vary with frequency (i.e. pretty much all loudspeakers ever made, except for a few "full range" ribbons).
The exceptions that are ready for prime time are D designs that are load invariant, which means the amp's frequency response does not vary (within reason) based on the driven load. That is to say, they perform just like a standard AB amp with low output impedance. To my knowledge, there are three load invariant Class D platforms out there right now: Hypex (UcD and Ncore), Icepower (ASX2), and Anaview. There may be others I don't know about, and I hope there are.

FWIW, I own and use good class D (Icepower ASX2, Hypex UcD) and good AB (ATI, Parasound) to drive mains in the three systems in my home. There is no sonic difference between any of them when level matched and not overdriven.

That said, D is at best equal to good AB. One cannot be superior to basically perfect transparency. So unless one just wants to be green or one is reconfiguring a room and simply has no room for a behemoth, there's little reason to replace a good AB mains amp with a good D mains amp. (Subs, IMO, should always be powered by Class D amps.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuke View Post
Well designed tube amplifiers are audibly indistinguishable from well designed solid-state amplifiers.
Most actual tube amps are not well designed, though. They have high output impedance. Which is why I'm not at all surprised that a Fremer type would like Class D. Crude (not load-invariant) Class D basically sounds like high powered tubes...

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Originally Posted by ctmooregottapee View Post
Anyone care to offer up some suggestions for class D amps
For mains, anything based on a module by Hypex*, Anaview, or the Icepower ASX2 line, that hasn't been "modified" by some 2-bit "high ender." The one on the market right now I'd buy if my ATI AT2007 died is the new Hypex-based NAD unit.

*Hypex UcD or Ncore doesn't really matter; yes Ncore is better on paper but there's no reason at all to expect any audible difference because even the original UcD amps were audibly transparent.

For subs, depending on one's tolerance for fans, the Crest ProLite or Crown XLS Drivecore units look good, with the Crest units being more attractive but having louder fans. (I wouldn't keep my ProLite 2.0 in the living room.) If you're willing to spend the coin and you have a multisub system, I'm a big fan of the ElectroVoice CPS8.5, which is an 8 channel amp that can do 500W per channel or be bridged to 4 1kW channels, and takes up just 2RU of height. Best of all, it has a 12V trigger. It's pricey (Though it looks like street prices have dropped to around 3 grand now) but I think it's worth the price and wouldn't trade mine for any other amp out there at any price. Hopefully more "pro" amps will include 12V triggers in the future, because that's really the only functional feature that gives consumer-level amps an advantage over pro units.
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post #51 of 130 Old 08-17-2014, 11:33 PM
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Anyone care to offer up some suggestions for class D amps
Check out the D-SONIC amplifiers at www.d-sonic.net
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post #52 of 130 Old 08-18-2014, 07:44 AM
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^^^^ Agreed. I love my 7 channel Dsonic. Best amp I have ever owned.

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post #53 of 130 Old 08-18-2014, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ctmooregottapee View Post
Anyone care to offer up some suggestions for class D amps
Bel Canto... Either the REF500m if you have fairly good effiency, or the REF1000m if you need real power.


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Klipsch Cornwall/Crites/Aletheia Audio - Klipsch RC64II - Klipsch SW115
Samsung PN64D8000 - OPPO BDP93
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post #54 of 130 Old 08-18-2014, 08:18 AM
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I was skeptical until purchasing an upper end Pioneer Elite AVR but now am a believer. The sound is different but Pioneer was able to engineer the warmth that was often missing.
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post #55 of 130 Old 08-18-2014, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loop7 View Post
I was skeptical until purchasing an upper end Pioneer Elite AVR but now am a believer. The sound is different but Pioneer was able to engineer the warmth that was often missing.
Creamy class D ICE power... Keeps me warm at night.

Yours sounds like it might be broken though. It's supposed to be transparent.
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post #56 of 130 Old 08-26-2014, 06:36 AM
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Whether AB or D, I've found there are sometimes subtle EQ differences between amps when driving many speakers with passive crossovers.

When using room EQ, though, those differences vanish, and after experiencing good EQ, I can't go back to no EQ.
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post #57 of 130 Old 08-26-2014, 07:52 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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"My AV systems were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many speakers. And they have . . . A PLAN."

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post #58 of 130 Old 08-30-2014, 08:27 AM
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What other D class amp people running in their theatre? I remember reading awhile back some where using crown XLS gear ( Pro audio gear ) if I'm correct there all D class Amps? Would like to hear from them as I'm looking at going in that direction as well.
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post #59 of 130 Old 08-30-2014, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
Love that output inducter to prevent oscillation and the amp going into smoke.
The output inductor on class D is to filter out the switching freq.

For diyer's here's where to get the latest greatest Anaview modules

http://www.profusionplc.com/pro/gex/pcatdtl0.html

I believe they're used in the latest D-Sonics.

Noah
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post #60 of 130 Old 08-30-2014, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post
What other D class amp people running in their theatre? I remember reading awhile back some where using crown XLS gear ( Pro audio gear ) if I'm correct there all D class Amps? Would like to hear from them as I'm looking at going in that direction as well.
I'm using Hypex NCore for Mains. I've also tried a ClassDAudio SDS-470C which was excellent for HT but I preferred the NCore for music. You're welcome to try the SDS-470C as I haven't listed it for sale as yet. I'm in Bicton.

I am also running Class H amps for my surrounds -Audiocontrol Pantages G3. Fantastic sound for both music and HT.
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