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post #1 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Sub Amps - Class D v Class A/B v Class H

So I know most of us like our Class D amps (Crown XLS, Behringer iNuke, etc), but I'm curious why Class A/B amps are not used more often.

I've got a EP4000, and XLS2000. I switched my sub from the XLS2000 bridged, to the EP4000 and the subs seem to be louder and dig deeper. I dont have REW sweeps or objective proof, so its subjective, but I'm just curious why we all seem to be headed toward Class D (or if we can afford it Class H) amps instead of A/B's.

On paper, the two amps have similar input sensitivity, so I'm not sure what it is, and I'm curious if its due to the way Class A/B amps function compared to Class D.

I know the older pro amps seemed to be A/B (like the EP2500, EP4000, Crown XLS5000, etc), but I'm thinking thats because Class D hadn't been invented yet.

I'm not trying to start a flame war on either side, so I'm curious to learn here because I'm not the most knowledgeable on the pro's and cons of each Class of amp.

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post #2 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 07:56 PM
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efficiency.

The class d speakerpower 4kw modules for example are around 93% efficient. AB is around 50. When you're supplying kilowatts of power to your subs, how much do you want to be giving off as heat?
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post #3 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
So I know most of us like our Class D amps (Crown XLS, Behringer iNuke, etc), but I'm curious why Class A/B amps are not used more often.

I've got a EP4000, and XLS2000. I switched my sub from the XLS2000 bridged, to the EP4000 and the subs seem to be louder and dig deeper. I dont have REW sweeps or objective proof, so its subjective, but I'm just curious why we all seem to be headed toward Class D (or if we can afford it Class H) amps instead of A/B's.

On paper, the two amps have similar input sensitivity, so I'm not sure what it is, and I'm curious if its due to the way Class A/B amps function compared to Class D.

I know the older pro amps seemed to be A/B (like the EP2500, EP4000, Crown XLS5000, etc), but I'm thinking thats because Class D hadn't been invented yet.

I'm not trying to start a flame war on either side, so I'm curious to learn here because I'm not the most knowledgeable on the pro's and cons of each Class of amp.
Class D amps are much more efficient and much cheaper to manufacture than a true class A/B. Class H is just a variation on class D as I understand it. Class A/B have traditionally sounded "better" full range than class D. Class D is catching up though...ex. Spectron, Jeff Roland, Cary etc.
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post #4 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 08:04 PM
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a pertinent review that shadows Not's statement above:
https://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/adcom/gfa-555-ii.htm
"This amplifier makes as much power as you can get from a linear audio amplifier from standard 120 VAC 15 Amp wall socket"

that's a 850 watt amplifier into 4 ohm load with a necessary fan upgrade. the downside of many of the new class d amps is a weak power supply. it explains why in measurement threads such as Not and others have done, why bursts are measured in miliseconds and then a sustained output is done, which is much less.
in a vein of what you are personally experiencing, I prefer the sound of my older HK 795i receiver over even my integra AVR, but the AVR is too convenient to run with versus some sort of audio manager and a trio of HK's. (which I have ) and at least on paper, the integra throws more power.
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post #5 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnyt View Post
efficiency.

The class d speakerpower 4kw modules for example are around 93% efficient. AB is around 50. When you're supplying kilowatts of power to your subs, how much do you want to be giving off as heat?
And is that just a Speakerpower Class D thing, or a Standard Class D thing?

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post #6 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
And is that just a Speakerpower Class D thing, or a Standard Class D thing?
good class D stuff should be around 90% or above. The prolite 7.5 / ipr2-7500 are up there as well.

Last edited by notnyt; 07-10-2018 at 06:05 PM.
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post #7 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegaMan View Post

"This amplifier makes as much power as you can get from a linear audio amplifier from standard 120 VAC 15 Amp wall socket"



that's a 850 watt amplifier into 4 ohm load with a necessary fan upgrade. the downside of many of the new class d amps is a weak power supply. it explains why in measurement threads such as Not and others have done, why bursts are measured in miliseconds and then a sustained output is done, which is much less.

Interesting to hear. So if shopping for an amp should one put more emphasis on sustained output or burst? Do movies use more burst type bass or sustained? Or is it a “it varies” scenario?


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post #8 of 57 Old 07-08-2018, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
Interesting to hear. So if shopping for an amp should one put more emphasis on sustained output or burst? Do movies use more burst type bass or sustained? Or is it a “it varies” scenario?


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It depends. Good to have a bit of both. My current top picks for sub amps are the sp2-8000 or sp2-12000 depending on your power availability, the prolite 7.5, and the smiths fp14000.
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post #9 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnyt View Post
It depends. Good to have a bit of both. My current top picks for sub amps are the sp2-8000 or sp2-12000 depending on your power availability, the prolite 7.5, and the smiths fp14000.

Good to know. Those are all a bit outside what I could afford or need.

Out of curiosity how do you rate the Crown XLS Gen 1 series?

Are they still superior to a quality class A/B amp for burst and sustained?


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post #10 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
Interesting to hear. So if shopping for an amp should one put more emphasis on sustained output or burst? Do movies use more burst type bass or sustained? Or is it a “it varies” scenario?


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with the mixing im hearing on modern dvd's, its very much a mix. "back in the day" you had t-rex foot stomps that were burst..... now you have 8 t-rexs and 12 other dinosaurs running for 30 seconds while someone is beating a primal drum.....or any of the other very real demo style scenes AVSers cook their gear to...
that being said, I try to shoot for sustained power, but sometimes I have to go with what I can afford at the time. ie my JBLs that cover 40-200hz sit on a bridged inuke 3k but my strokers which cover below that are on a much beefier crown.
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post #11 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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with the mixing im hearing on modern dvd's, its very much a mix. "back in the day" you had t-rex foot stomps that were burst..... now you have 8 t-rexs and 12 other dinosaurs running for 30 seconds while someone is beating a primal drum.....or any of the other very real demo style scenes AVSers cook their gear to...
that being said, I try to shoot for sustained power, but sometimes I have to go with what I can afford at the time. ie my JBLs that cover 40-200hz sit on a bridged inuke 3k but my strokers which cover below that are on a much beefier crown.

Thanks. Right now I already have both Crown XLS (Class D) and the EP4000 (A/B), but I've been debating either switching to all EP4000's (bench tested at 1300 watts @ 4 ohms @ 20hz) from my Crown XLS2000 (no bench tests but rated 2100w @ 4 ohm bridged).

I've also been debating this A/B amp thats on closeout. On paper its got better specs than the Crowns in stereo, and about the same bridged. It also appears a bit beefier internally than the EP4000. However it obviously will lose some of that rated power to heat, but that would be ok as the subs** only really want about 1700 watts each before they get into trouble, which means I only need about 75% of its rated spec max.


*Side Note* I have 3 dedicated 20amp circuits, so power draw is not as much a problem as it would be otherwise.









**Each of my two rear subs consist of 4 JBL CS1214's in a 6cf enclosure. Those will be run by a bridged amp @ 4 ohms. Each enclosure gets into trouble after 1700 watts. Each of my Front 2 subs consist of a pair of JBL CS1214's in a 3.7cf Sonotube. Those will be run by a stereo amp at either 2 or 8 ohms per channel. Each enclosure gets into trouble around 725 watts.

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post #12 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 06:39 AM
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ClassH is ClassAB but with stepped or tracking powersupplies, it's an attempt to make it more efficient and higher powered by only providing just a bit more volts than is needed.

The clones are 1 step beyond that, basically a SMPS instead of torodial.

ClassD is 1 step beyond that, basically driving the cone with the powersupply with some HF filtering (typically >30khz as the powersupply is like 200khz). They have the highest efficiency by having just one component.

The next step would be a quantum electron pump which would be nearly 100% effecient. (Aliens! )
Give it another 50years.
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post #13 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 07:19 AM
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Only half related or on topic but:
The Peavey IPR2 7500/Crest Pro-Lite 7.5 will do 3750 watts x 2 at 2 ohms, which may give you more options for your crazy sub setup.

Also half related. I had some time to play around with my setup this weekend, and was blasting above reference for over an hour. Both Crowns only had minor heat, no fans running, no signal clipping. The subs were uncomfortably loud, even for me, and the voice coils were room temperature. My amps are running Bridged to 4 ohms. I considered a single 7500/7.5 for my setup actually; while I have no basis for comparison, I'm extremely happy with the Crowns.
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post #14 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
Thanks. Right now I already have both Crown XLS (Class D) and the EP4000 (A/B), but I've been debating either switching to all EP4000's (bench tested at 1300 watts @ 4 ohms @ 20hz) from my Crown XLS2000 (no bench tests but rated 2100w @ 4 ohm bridged).

I've also been debating this A/B amp thats on closeout. On paper its got better specs than the Crowns in stereo, and about the same bridged. It also appears a bit beefier internally than the EP4000. However it obviously will lose some of that rated power to heat, but that would be ok as the subs** only really want about 1700 watts each before they get into trouble, which means I only need about 75% of its rated spec max.


*Side Note* I have 3 dedicated 20amp circuits, so power draw is not as much a problem as it would be otherwise.









**Each of my two rear subs consist of 4 JBL CS1214's in a 6cf enclosure. Those will be run by a bridged amp @ 4 ohms. Each enclosure gets into trouble after 1700 watts. Each of my Front 2 subs consist of a pair of JBL CS1214's in a 3.7cf Sonotube. Those will be run by a stereo amp at either 2 or 8 ohms per channel. Each enclosure gets into trouble around 725 watts.
The EP4k is weak, just convert 2 of those 20A breakers into a 240V wallsocket, get the 240V FP20 or 22 and be done with it. It's literally better than or equivalent to 4 ep4k's or nu3k's bridged, in one box, for the same price or less...

I'm in the process of going all FP's.

Already replaced a CA-30 and 2 EP4's with a single FP20.
One more 22k and I'll be able to power all 29 of my subs (the last 4).
Then I just need another 4 FP10k's for speakers and maybe 2 UM-18's, and then I'm throwing down the towel.
8-9 FP's in total.

Maybe a rear center height with the last remaining 10k channel.

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post #15 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCJetta View Post
Only half related or on topic but:
The Peavey IPR2 7500/Crest Pro-Lite 7.5 will do 3750 watts x 2 at 2 ohms, which may give you more options for your crazy sub setup.

Also half related. I had some time to play around with my setup this weekend, and was blasting above reference for over an hour. Both Crowns only had minor heat, no fans running, no signal clipping. The subs were uncomfortably loud, even for me, and the voice coils were room temperature. My amps are running Bridged to 4 ohms. I considered a single 7500/7.5 for my setup actually; while I have no basis for comparison, I'm extremely happy with the Crowns.

Thanks for that info. I'm pretty much stuck at needing 4 channels of amp for my setup. And the rear two enclosures are locked in at 4 ohm (4 SVC 4 ohm subs per enclosure). The front 2 are either 8 or 2 ohm loads (2 SVC 4 ohm subs each). The Peavey just doesnt fit my needs, and same with the FP20, FP14, I'd need two of either, which is way more than my budget would ever allow.


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The EP4k is weak, just convert 2 of those 20A breakers into a 240V wallsocket, get the 240V FP20 or 22 and be done with it. It's literally better than or equivalent to 4 ep4k's or nu3k's bridged, in one box, for the same price or less....
While it may be weak, if I use it for my front 2 subs, @ 2 ohms its got more wattage than I need. As stated above I need 4 channels of amp so I can independently time align and EQ them. Now thats why I also was planning on using the XLS2000's for my rear subs, as those will be within 1m of the listener on either side, as opposed to the front 2 subs which will be closer to 3m away, and as such are more filling in nulls than anything.

I was wondering if the sound difference I'm hearing (subjectively I know) was due to the differences in the Class of the amps I have.

It appears that if its the case, its more due to the specific amps in play rather than the general topologies.

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post #16 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 09:42 AM
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Amps can have different rolloffs, power limits, noisefloor, weird early distortions near clipping.
They can also have different input sensitivities and output gains. Also different efficiencies, pfc, fan noise and thermal limits and heat btu.

They are NOT all the same.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCJetta View Post
Only half related or on topic but:
The Peavey IPR2 7500/Crest Pro-Lite 7.5 will do 3750 watts x 2 at 2 ohms, which may give you more options for your crazy sub setup.
It's more like 2600 watts x 2 into 2 ohms with a little bit of burst available. The pl7.5 has more burst than the IPR2-7500.


This is my IPR2-7500 test 2ch into 2ohms


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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnyt View Post
efficiency.

The class d speakerpower 4kw modules for example are around 93% efficient. AB is around 50. When you're supplying kilowatts of power to your subs, how much do you want to be giving off as heat?
In practice, the difference is even much more than that. At small signal, both class AB and class D are much less efficient than their "full power" efficiency numbers imply. But most class D idles at much, much lower power dissipation (=heat) levels than do class AB amp. Even more so for sub amps, as the switching rate need not be as high so the idle current for the output stage gets very low.

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post #19 of 57 Old 07-09-2018, 10:40 PM
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i also hate CLASS D Amp because sub get boost dig deeper but midbass loss

CLASS A/B amp sound is batter no boost dig deeper so deeper + midbass no loss sound is batter suitable music

i have my kicker comp 15 8ohm i have try Class D amp seen sound i don't like to much boost dig deeper not nice music but movies batter

now i using Dayton Audio SPA250 250 Watt Subwoofer Plate Amplifier they use Class AB no much boost dig deeper
sound batter deeper + midbass batter music but not nice movies hehe

very hard to find Class AB for 2000watts or 5000watts
always can get Class D very very bad
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Originally Posted by gopala33 View Post
i also hate CLASS D Amp because sub get boost dig deeper but midbass loss

CLASS A/B amp sound is batter no boost dig deeper so deeper + midbass no loss sound is batter suitable music

i have my kicker comp 15 8ohm i have try Class D amp seen sound i don't like to much boost dig deeper not nice music but movies batter

now i using Dayton Audio SPA250 250 Watt Subwoofer Plate Amplifier they use Class AB no much boost dig deeper
sound batter deeper + midbass batter music but not nice movies hehe

very hard to find Class AB for 2000watts or 5000watts
always can get Class D very very bad


Do you have anything to backup you claim about class d being terrible for mid bass?


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post #21 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 07:09 AM
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Do you have anything to backup you claim about class d being terrible for mid bass?


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yes but class a/b sound batter bass for music

i don't know class d mid bass weak
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post #22 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopala33 View Post
yes but class a/b sound batter bass for music

i don't know class d mid bass weak






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post #23 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
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yes but class a/b sound batter bass for music

i don't know class d mid bass weak
So what I'm hearing is that you have an opinion.
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post #24 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 10:26 AM
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yes but class a/b sound batter bass for music

i don't know class d mid bass weak


I’m sorry I don’t know what you are trying to say.


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post #25 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 10:42 AM
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I’m sorry I don’t know what you are trying to say.


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I think there may have been a loss in translation. English is likely not his/her first language. I've updated it to be more clear below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gopala33 View Post
I also hate Class D amps because subs get a boost from such amps and are thus able to dig deeper, however, at the expense of midbass.

Class A/B amps have a better sound; unfortunately, these amps do not dig as deep as the Class D amps. They do retain the midbass punch, though, which is more suitable for music.

I have a Kicker Comp 15 - 8ohm driver that I initially connected to a Class D amp. I did not like the sound of the subwoofer in this configuration. Though it was able to dig deeper, this was at the expense of the midbass. Consequently, this was not my preferred method to listen to music.

I am currently using a Dayton Audio SPA250 - 250 Watt Subwoofer Plate Amplifier, which is a Class A/B amp. While it does not dig as deep, the midbass punch sounds better with music and less so with movies.

It is extremely difficult to find a Class A/B amp with 2000 watts or 5000 watts. Class D amps are readily available with such output.
Uh, yeah, still incoherent nonsense.
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post #26 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VicTorious1 View Post
I think there may have been a loss in translation. English is likely not his/her first language. I've updated it to be more clear below:



Uh, yeah, still incoherent nonsense.
yes correct

Class A/B VS Class D both bass sound different
i still prefer Class A/B
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post #27 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 11:38 AM
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good class D stuff should be around 90% or above. inuke does not qualify.

How so?

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post #28 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 11:46 AM
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How so?
Because it's cheap class D, not good class D. IIRC, efficiency was around 60% 75% on the nu3000dsp into 4 ohms bridged.

Last edited by notnyt; 07-10-2018 at 06:06 PM.
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post #29 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 12:52 PM
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yes correct

Class A/B VS Class D both bass sound different
i still prefer Class A/B
You must be using crappy implementations of both, as today's ClassD generally sound better and run cooler and provide more power. PowerSoft K20, or ncore 250 etc. Hell even the fp clones.

I had to stop using ab plate amps as I kept clipping and overheating them to death within just 5 minutes. The ED 1300 and Velodyne 3kw for example.

Last edited by BassThatHz; 07-10-2018 at 04:26 PM.
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post #30 of 57 Old 07-10-2018, 04:10 PM
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Because it's cheap class D, not good class D. IIRC, efficiency was around 60% on the nu3000dsp.

Are you sure you're remembering that right?

The inukes have respectably low idle power, and if they were that inefficient I don't see how'd they get away with the fan mods that many have done.

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