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D-Sonic custom Audio amps - Page 2

post #31 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stymlie View Post

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/

There are at least a few more companies that employ ICEpower....

Rotel, Bel Canto, and Jeff Rowland right off the top of my head.
post #32 of 1268
Here's another to consider: Wyred 4 Sound

Thanks Turbo, for the pix and review of the D-sonic amps. Definitely something to consider now that I know they're legit.
post #33 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

There are at least a few more companies that employ ICEpower....

Rotel, Bel Canto, and Jeff Rowland right off the top of my head.

Nice amps, but you're paying a heavy premium for those "name brands".
post #34 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Nice amps, but you're paying a heavy premium for those "name brands".

Absolutely.

But you also have a nicer dealer network.

Heck...I ordered my ICEpower based amp from Denmark last year. If d-sonic or Murano had existed back then, I probably would have gone one of those routes.
post #35 of 1268
Are you talking about Acoustic Reality? How do you like them and did you get them before they adjusted their pricing (initially, they were quite the bargain)?
post #36 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Are you talking about Acoustic Reality? How do you like them and did you get them before they adjusted their pricing (initially, they were quite the bargain)?

Nope...their pricing went up by the time I got to ordering.

I ordered from Bertram Audio, and I am very happy with it. Total cost with shipping was very close to d-sonic's pricing.
post #37 of 1268
I've been emailing back and forth with Denis at D-sonic. I'll parrot what was already said, he's very friendly and helpful. If anyone has specific questions, shoot him an email.

Denis sent me a couple pictures of one of his demo 2500's. There's nothing fancy about them, but that is not something I care about. I just want it to sound good.

As far as heat and power, I asked Denis how in the heck an amp that generates around 3500 watts could operate off a household 15 amp circuit. He replied that he has not done any sort of scientific tests to find out what the total amprage draw is. They did however test it under real conditions by running it for a day with what he called, some older inefficient pro audio speakers outside the building. The amp drew about 18 amps at full load and the speakers could be heard a quarter a mile away.

Denis also told me they offer a 21 day money back trial period as long as you pay shipping both ways if you decide you don't like them. One other item he mentioned it if you are running 4 ohm speakers, the WPC is effectively doubled. Not many amps can make that claim. They are usually around 1.5 / 1.
post #38 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

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

TurboFC3S,

I've been lusting for these amps ever since I heard them driving a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios but they retail for $6000. Have you heard any major differences between the D-Sonics and the Red Dragons? And if so, do you think those differences are worth the over $4K price difference? Thanks.
post #39 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicey View Post

TurboFC3S,

I've been lusting for these amps ever since I heard them driving a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios but they retail for $6000. Have you heard any major differences between the D-Sonics and the Red Dragons? And if so, do you think those differences are worth the over $4K price difference? Thanks.

FWIW, the modules are the same, and under license, the OEM can not make changes to the modules.

The differences, if any, would be the chassis, wiring, connectors, and whatever they want to do to the signal before and after the module.

With the ASP modules, all you need to do is to hook up the connectors...each is a fully functional amplifier.
post #40 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicey View Post

TurboFC3S,

I've been lusting for these amps ever since I heard them driving a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios but they retail for $6000. Have you heard any major differences between the D-Sonics and the Red Dragons? And if so, do you think those differences are worth the over $4K price difference? Thanks.

I believe that you are talking about the Leviathons. Turbo has the amp-1, a low cost one-time offering to the Audio Circle community. If I recall, it was 105 watts and only $250 per monobloc. Wish I had known about it at the time.

Mdrew, do you have any more info on the Axiom a1400-8? There hasn't been anything added on the Axiom messageboards, but it's getting close to the July 15 preorder deadline. I am not an Axiom speaker owner, but I am still curious (maybe they would make an exception for non-club members).
post #41 of 1268
"Nothing I've heard controls bass like ICEpower and Class-D stuff"

I have a K2 for my subs; do you think there's anything to be gained soundwise by switching to ICEpower?

"What does the Lundahl transformer that they use (similar to Jeff Rowland's approach) provide that D-Sonic does not have?"

Why the heck would you put a transformer in the input signal path?
post #42 of 1268
Does anyone else know who, besides d-sonic, offers a 5 or 7 channel budget ICEpower amp?
post #43 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post


Mdrew, do you have any more info on the Axiom a1400-8? There hasn't been anything added on the Axiom messageboards, but it's getting close to the July 15 preorder deadline. I am not an Axiom speaker owner, but I am still curious (maybe they would make an exception for non-club members).

Nothing yet. Did you read Alan's last reply on the message board where he posted Tom Cumberland's thoughts? (Axiom's Chief R/D Engineer)

"The ICEPower amplifier modules were developed at Bang & Olufsen in Denmark by a friend of mine. We even have two of the 250-Watt modules in our lab. They were developed in the late 1990s and early 2000 as a very efficient substitute for Class AB amplifiers. Bang & Olufsen recognized, as we did at Axiom, that the real benefit of Class D amplification is in high-power applications. They developed a 250-Watt and later a 500-Watt module. The design of the module itself was exceptional in its day. By today's standards, it is still up there with the best of them. I have a great deal of respect for these modules. They make great plug & play' amps for companies that do not want to invest in the costly R&D needed to start from scratch, so to speak, in building a truly high-powered hi-fi amplifier.

"The B & O design has similarities to Axiom's in that it is really designed for high-fidelity applications, and not just for raw power output with no regard for high-fidelity criteria. However, here at Axiom we were looking to exceed what was available-- and what will be available--anytime soon. By using new silicon devices that were not available two years ago, we are able to exceed the power limits that even the ICEPower modules have. They stop at the 500-Watt mark due to the voltage and current requirements. But because of the newer parts we are using, we are able to exceed the voltage and current limits of older MOSFETs, thereby gaining incredible instantaneous power into any channel that needs it. This allows the music to dynamically peak without clipping into one or several of the loudspeakers without distortion. As testing our prototype amplifier has demonstrated, the limitations only then come in speaker compression, not in amplifier clipping. The sonic differences are quite noticeable. Clipping is very irritating, while compression is very livable."
post #44 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrew View Post

Nothing yet. Did you read Alan's last reply on the message board where he posted Tom Cumberland's thoughts? (Axiom's Chief R/D Engineer)

Yes, that post is one of the reasons I am interested. Also there was a guy comparing the A1400-8 favorably to his Mark Levinson monoblocs. The preorder price is over my budget, but if the amp is as good as the buzz, I may be able to manage it. Paying msrp would take it completely off the radar. I hope Axiom can post more detailed specs soon. Thanks for the response.
post #45 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post


"What does the Lundahl transformer that they use (similar to Jeff Rowland's approach) provide that D-Sonic does not have?"

Why the heck would you put a transformer in the input signal path?

According to Murano US distributor:

"A Lundahl input transformer is utilized for very low noise/wide bandwidth/high dynamics."

Murano Audio claim on their Web site that:

"In addition, the most important of all is we used the famous Sweden product Lundahl input transformer as the first stage of Murano P-1000S plus / P-500S plus. The design makes this two amplifiers offer much more lifelike music with further details and dynamic!"

These claims appear to be somewhat arbitrary and unsubstantiated. Elsewhere on the Web, I've read that the input transformer is meant to raise the otherwise low impedance of the stock ICEPower 1000 ASP module. I have no idea if this adjustment makes an audible change in sound quality, which is why I asked the question.
post #46 of 1268
Quote:


As far as heat and power, I asked Denis how in the heck an amp that generates around 3500 watts could operate off a household 15 amp circuit

The 15A is a continous rating (forever). Circuit breakers/fuses all have time verus current curves that allow for higher currents for short periods of time.
post #47 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by zothen View Post

The 15A is a continous rating (forever). Circuit breakers/fuses all have time verus current curves that allow for higher currents for short periods of time.


It don't matter. A 15 amp circuit is only good for going for up to around 1800 watts max, and a 20 amp circuit is 2400 watts. There is no way he could get 3500 watts out of a 15 amp circuit, regardless of the fact that a breaker even may allow for a extra 2 amps or so for surges. For a amplifier to produce 3500 watts out of a 15 amp circuit, it would have to be well over 100% efficient. in this case way way over 100%! Which is impossible, no amplifier is, or even can be over 100% efficient! Most can't even get near 100%, it's about 80% or so as a high for the better ones.
post #48 of 1268
""In addition, the most important of all is we used the famous Sweden product Lundahl input transformer as the first stage of Murano P-1000S plus / P-500S plus."

I see, thanks; sounds like it's replacing some gain stages so it makes some sense.

"A 15 amp circuit is only good for going for up to around 1800 watts max, and a 20 amp circuit is 2400 watts. There is no way he could get 3500 watts out of a 15 amp circuit, regardless of the fact that a breaker even may allow for a extra 2 amps or so for surges."

The momentary overload capability of circuit breakers is way more than a couple of amps; it takes sustained overload to heat the breaker enough to trip.

Not only that, there's energy stored in the PS caps, so 3500 W could be delivered for several seconds.
post #49 of 1268
Caps or not, 3500 watts for instant maybe, but for anything like several seconds is doubtful. Unless the caps are maybe the size of 2 liter soda bottles. So that still does not make it a 3500 watt amplifier. This has been gone through before when Sunfire made their power claims on their multichannel signature amps, and then eventually they fessed up that the full claimed output was not at all possible with the 7 channel amp with all channels driven on a 15 amp circuit. And that it might be possible with their 5 channel amp on a 20 amp circuit, because that was the only one they actually tested to work that way, and it was 2 channels less and on a heavier 20 amp circuit.
post #50 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

"Nothing I've heard controls bass like ICEpower and Class-D stuff"

I have a K2 for my subs; do you think there's anything to be gained soundwise by switching to ICEpower?

"What does the Lundahl transformer that they use (similar to Jeff Rowland's approach) provide that D-Sonic does not have?"

Why the heck would you put a transformer in the input signal path?

Noah, I think it's likely for the same reason that Bel-Canto uses ferrite chokes on their input and output connecting wires to the 1000ASP modules, and that's to stop the EMI/RFI from affecting other components that might be succeptible.

I had three 1000ASP's and two 500ASP's in DIY cases with no ferrite chokes or anything else and had no problem with interference. These modules are really plug & play.

I've never heard pro amps but I can say that the ICEpower amps are the best I've had bar none.
post #51 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBL8 View Post

Does anyone else know who, besides d-sonic, offers a 5 or 7 channel budget ICEpower amp?

The only other "budget" seven channel unit that I know of is the Rotel 1077, but it uses the 200ASP/200A modules I think. Less powerful obviously but very well reviewed none the less.
post #52 of 1268
I see that the D-Sonic Magnum 1000S has a significant price advantage over the Rotel-1092. Does anyone know what some of the differences might be? Build quality, connectors, add ons?
post #53 of 1268
"Originally Posted by IBL8
Does anyone else know who, besides d-sonic, offers a 5 or 7 channel budget ICEpower amp?"

coldamp has multichannel offerings and will build to order for reasoanble prices.

I gather from what I've read at the Class D forum at diyaudio.com that their SQ is up there with the best.
post #54 of 1268
Just checked out the ICEPower specs and they seem to have a very low damping factor at high frequencies. Is that a bad thing, good thing, or don't care? And why?

The very high damping factor at low frequencies seems to be a good thing to control the woofers.

Thanks,
Rob
post #55 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stymlie View Post

I see that the D-Sonic Magnum 1000S has a significant price advantage over the Rotel-1092. Does anyone know what some of the differences might be? Build quality, connectors, add ons?

The primary difference is name brand. You will pay a lot more for Rotel and Bel Canto, and much, much more for Jeff Rowland. But the truth is that with ASP ICEPower modules, the module is a complete amplifier all the way down to the power supply. No one modifies the actual ICEPower modules. Manufacturers (assemblers?) merely attach several wires for power switch, input connectors (both single ended and balanced), and speaker terminals, and add their own enclosure. Yes, there is a difference in connector quality and attention to detail during assembly. Some people believe that such details can affect sound quality, whereas others simply do not mind paying extra for the nice looking cases.

Bel Canto dampens components on the circuit board with some viscous material, and they also attach ferrite chokes to input power leads and speaker terminals to reduce RF emissions. They use highest quality WBT and Neutrik connectors, and high quality wire. The case is also very attractive looking.

Jeff Rowland adds a Lundahl transformer to increase impedance so that some pre-amps will have an easier time driving their power amps. I don't know what effect this transformer has on sound quality (Murano Audio adds the same transformer to their ICEPower amps). Jeff Rowland also provide an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous case. It looks expensive because it is.

Rotel also has a very nice looking case but I am not sure if they do anything special inside.

Murano Audio, D-Sonic, and Wyred4Sound are leading the way with lower cost power amps based on ICEPower modules. I think they look great too (at least Murano and Wyred4Sound who have actual photographs on their Web sites).
post #56 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdv5 View Post


....Bel Canto dampens components on the circuit board with some viscous material.......

Rotel also has a very nice looking case but I am not sure if they do anything special inside....

I think that the viscous material is standard, at least the modules I got from Denmark had it.

Rotel actually "cages" the modules - again likely for EMI/RFI control.

PS Audio uses what they call a "Gain Control" circuit before the module as well in their GCA amps probably for the same reason Jeff Rowland does.
post #57 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

...I ordered from Bertram Audio.....

Soren no longer makes them. I think the market there was oversaturated.
post #58 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdv5 View Post

The primary difference is name brand. You will pay a lot more for Rotel and Bel Canto, and much, much more for Jeff Rowland. But the truth is that with ASP ICEPower modules, the module is a complete amplifier all the way down to the power supply. No one modifies the actual ICEPower modules. Manufacturers (assemblers?) merely attach several wires for power switch, input connectors (both single ended and balanced), and speaker terminals, and add their own enclosure. Yes, there is a difference in connector quality and attention to detail during assembly. Some people believe that such details can affect sound quality, whereas others simply do not mind paying extra for the nice looking cases.

Bel Canto dampens components on the circuit board with some viscous material, and they also attach ferrite chokes to input power leads and speaker terminals to reduce RF emissions. They use highest quality WBT and Neutrik connectors, and high quality wire. The case is also very attractive looking.

Jeff Rowland adds a Lundahl transformer to increase impedance so that some pre-amps will have an easier time driving their power amps. I don't know what effect this transformer has on sound quality (Murano Audio adds the same transformer to their ICEPower amps). Jeff Rowland also provide an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous case. It looks expensive because it is.

Rotel also has a very nice looking case but I am not sure if they do anything special inside.

Murano Audio, D-Sonic, and Wyred4Sound are leading the way with lower cost power amps based on ICEPower modules. I think they look great too (at least Murano and Wyred4Sound who have actual photographs on their Web sites).

So when all is said and done, it's a case of who does the better soldering job.
post #59 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stymlie View Post

So when all is said and done, it's a case of who does the better soldering job.

Pretty much.

I think B&O hit a home run with these modules when you look at the level of gear they are in.
post #60 of 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

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.

They run cool, they are light weight, and they cost a lot less than most. Whats not to like? I think these types of amps are the wave of the future.
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