Are Class-D Amps Ready For Prime Time? - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: Are Class-D Amps Ready For Prime Time?
Yes 285 73.26%
No 34 8.74%
Don't know 70 17.99%
Voters: 389. You may not vote on this poll

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post #121 of 210 Old 05-11-2015, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swolephile View Post
My problem is that I don't see any quality, cost effective Class D options for under $1,000. The cheap class d designs from Peavey and Behringer do not have good sound quality in my opinion.

There is a gap in the market for a reliable 500 watt @ 8 ohms Class D unit with good fidelity. I see guys stating many of the higher priced units from Wyred 4 Sound and Speaker Power sound very good. But none of the aforementioned companies makes anything for under a grand.

There are many quality class a/b amps available for under $1,000. But nothing for quality class d in this range. I'm talking plug and play. Not do it yourself nor assemble yourself.

you need to buy on the secondary market to achieve those price levels. frankly, I dont want and under $1000 option when I am considering critical listening...

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post #122 of 210 Old 05-12-2015, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchu18 View Post
you need to buy on the secondary market to achieve those price levels. frankly, I dont want and under $1000 option when I am considering critical listening...
Hummm.... IME, tying a price directly with the performance of a product is a mistake in this hobby. While there may be a general correlation between the two, by no means is performance linear to scale with price.... (<---Not implying that you have this view, just making an observation.) i.e. - a $50 product can preform on par with a $300, just as a $1,000 product can preform on par with a $7,000 product from a performance standpoint. <---Fit / finish, even quality materials which have NOTHING to do with amplification, may contribute to the additional cost...

Most of the forum vets (yourself potentially included) may think I'm beating a dead horse by posting this, but I find this link helped me with some perspective when I first started getting into the DIY side of audio...

http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/rcrules.htm
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post #123 of 210 Old 05-13-2015, 08:34 PM
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There may be portions of that post that holds true as a overly generalised ideology, but the fact is... the more you spend, the better the build quality has the potential to be. In addition, there is generally a much higher component selection and application.

Price is no guarantee of performance, but it should also not be a hindrance to selection either... as long as your wallet can handle it.

All this doesnt take into account proprietary technologies or designs where price is usually a reflection of smaller economies of scale... for example, hand built.

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post #124 of 210 Old 06-26-2015, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschu18 View Post
you need to buy on the secondary market to achieve those price levels. Frankly, i dont want and under $1000 option when i am considering critical listening...
nad d 3020
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post #125 of 210 Old 06-27-2015, 03:54 PM
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I have had a number of different integrated amplifiers and receivers and growing up my father had a number of preamp/power amp combinations. My current receiver right now is a Pioneer Elite SC-05 which I believe uses ICE class D amplification. This receiver replaced a Yamaha RX-V995 receiver that did a good job for around 14 years. My current SC-05 was my first Class D receiver there are things I like about it and things I do not like about it. I have listened to a class D Sony ES that at the time was supposed to be Sony's class D HT receiver, did not like that receiver. One thing is my SC-05 seems to lack the low end punch that other amplifiers seems to have. And I also have a set of Polk Audio 2.1 class D speakers for the pc and just like most class D pc speakers I find them very lacking, I hate PC speakers and even though I have aprox 92gb of music I honestly do not listen to any of it much. But back to home amplification, I have heard some good class D amplifers and I have heard bad class D. At this point I would rather go to some McIntosh power amps if I could afford them or even an old used McIntosh two channel amp with a EQ for stereo music listening. The SC-05 has enough power to listen to music and movies at a good level but sometimes it sounds a little harsh and not enough bottom end to re enforce the lower frequencies when listening at louder volumes.

As far as moving away from current speaker designs and amplifiers I am not sure how you can do that. And while self powered speakers may work for some applications they are not always the best option and are not always very good. What other way would you reproduce audio? I am not sold on on what Sony came out with the Sountina project. One thing I have learned over the many years of buying and upgrading which required buying more and more new gear is that you can spend a lot of money getting a/v gear and there is such a thing as the point of diminishing returns. Does anyone need to spend 18K on an amplifier? I would say no and I would say it is a waste of money. Eventually I see a technology being developed that will not only transform the industry but make the current cone speakers obsolete. But for now do we really want solutions to take over where we have no choice in what we use as amplification? This obviously would be speakers that use small enclosures and tiny drivers. And IMHO when you are talking very low end and very cheap that equals something not very good. Unless your talking Bose which gets away with costing to much for cheap product!

http://www.hypex.nl/technology/ncore.html
"The first product using the new technology is ready and samples are available to selected customers. The NC1200 module, coupled with the SMPS1200 supply, delivers 350W into 8 ohms, 650W into 4 ohms and 1200W into 2 ohms, all with immaculate audio performance."

I see these being in lower end speakers for self power speakers and looking at what this company claimed for power at those impedance I suppose that tiny transformer is going to push the amplifier to 650w @ 4 ohms and 1200w @ 2 ohms continuous sounds like a fantasy! This company seems to want people to think that these very tiny form factor amplifiers are going to keep up with and or out perform a/v amplifiers using much larger transformers.


http://www.cnet.com/news/sountina-ns...h-end-speaker/


The amp in the picture below looks more like a toy than something that can be taken seriously!
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post #126 of 210 Old 06-28-2015, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moritz View Post
The amp in the picture below looks more like a toy than something that can be taken seriously!
NC 1200 specs

I take it you've never heard either the NC1200 or NC400 amps.
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post #127 of 210 Old 06-28-2015, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
I take it you've never heard either the NC1200 or NC400 amps.
I have heard of alot of brands going to CES for a few years but I have not heard of these amps! What feeds the amp power? Like I was saying before they look like a toy amp that goes inside a pc speakers or some other similar speaker. But no I have not heard of them.

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post #128 of 210 Old 06-29-2015, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moritz View Post
I have heard of alot of brands going to CES for a few years but I have not heard of these amps! What feeds the amp power?
The NC1200 is sold only to OEM's, who then decide what PS they want to use. At least one OEM uses a Hypex SMPS, while Theta has designed and built linear PS for their monoblock and multi-ch amps.

The NC400 is sold only to the DIY community, and is typically used with a Hypex SMPS.
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post #129 of 210 Old 06-29-2015, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moritz View Post
...looks more like a toy than something that can be taken seriously!...

Analog:


Digital:


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post #130 of 210 Old 07-01-2015, 08:31 PM
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Viewing ether video doesn't show how good or bad the amplifier is not when your taking the sound then putting it through a pc dac's then on to pc speakers. The only way to hear it is in person as this is the worst way to hear a particular amp or even a home theater system.

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post #131 of 210 Old 09-19-2015, 12:34 AM
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Look at the power specs of the www.d-sonic.net amps.
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post #132 of 210 Old 09-19-2015, 12:51 AM
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I had a Panasonic receiver with digital class D amps, I think it was ~6 years ago, at that time they were very famous in the audio community and for good reason - 1/4th the weight, power and heat consumption of traditional receivers, and a very nice smooth sound with no lack of output or headroom, and it was cheaper as well. I couldn't point to any weaknesses at all, and I wish they still made them.

Even at the time there was a lot of disdain for those because they lack the huge transformer coils and traditions expected, but not from those who heard them. It is often the way in the audio community, tradition counts for more.
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post #133 of 210 Old 09-19-2015, 01:29 PM
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post #134 of 210 Old 10-19-2015, 10:04 PM
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How about the Crown DCi 8|300 analog amp?
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post #135 of 210 Old 02-15-2016, 01:40 AM
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post #136 of 210 Old 02-15-2016, 02:05 AM
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I forgot about this thread.

I just got a Class D Audio model CDA 250C amplifier about two weeks ago. Sounds great so far. It's rated at 125 wpc into 8 ohms and 250 wpc into 4 ohms. It'll drive any speaker I could purchase. It is, for me, a power amp for the remainder of my time in this hobby.

Has anyone else looked into this company?

I don't think there is a need to spend more than about $600 or $700 on a digital amp after buying mine for about $500 plus shipping.
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post #137 of 210 Old 02-15-2016, 02:15 AM
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When it comes to class "D" many seem to forget that this applies to the method of amplification.
Even Class "D" amplification could in fact be powered by an old school toroid power supply.

The fact Class D is designed to be cooler and lighter has pretty much demanded that it be given a power supply of same concepts. It is not Class D in and of itself that lacks the ability to perform, rather it is the POWER SUPPLY, that always comes with it. This is commonly referred to as SMPS, which operates on a complete maze of parts, most of which cost less than 2 cents each to the manufacturer. It is the cost of these power supplies vs the price that they can gouge the public for, that is the main driving force for pushing SMPS on to the world.

It has and always will be the POWER SUPPLY, and not the method of amplification, that will determine overall performance. Lots of SMPS class D subwoofers such as the SVS units come with expensive price tags, and people complaining the power amp died after 7 years. Well chances are the power amp is still good, it is the power supply that failed, and as far as I am concerned they never should have expected it to last any longer.

Most of these new SMPS supplies are not designed to last like old school. Observant research on the net, can easily show, the exact SAME parts in these power supplies fail all the time, from brand to brand, and in SMPS amps specifically, it is always the power supply that fails.
Capacitors, a few diodes, and the switching transistors are the usual culprit. With the exact SAME parts always failing, you would think this would result in part replacement of better quality by the audio industry???. NOOOOO, this will not happen, as the new lifespan is also what the audio industry wants.

Not surprising is the fact the subject is brought up by someone married to AVS and the audio industry, which is moving to these low cost, higher profit margin items, at the expense of the public at large.

Part of the solution that would cause me to be warmer to SMPS power, would be for the manufacturers to finally spend at few more cents each on those parts, and put in some high quality capacitors, along with some higher power diodes and switching transistors. This would solve what I believe is the new problem of the audio industry incorporating , Planned, Obsolescence.

The same same concepts of OLD SCHOOL, could also be applied, by deigning the power supply for a higher margin output than what is required by the Class D amplification. This would lengthen service life by a wide margin, and only cost a few more dimes and nickles off the hundreds of dollars they already save not purchasing OEM toroidal transformers"
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https://discuss.avscience.com/index.php?topic=459.60
A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are least under rated if at all.

Last edited by johnplayerson; 02-15-2016 at 02:37 AM.
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post #138 of 210 Old 02-16-2016, 09:33 AM
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Again, anyone else looking in Class D Audio? These amps feature toroidal transformers.
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post #139 of 210 Old 02-16-2016, 11:27 AM
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I'm going to try out the NAD M27 for my home theater. Anyone heard this one?

I imagine I'll swap it into my 2-channel set-up for comparison to my Cary amp.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev H View Post
Again, anyone else looking in Class D Audio? These amps feature toroidal transformers.
Thanks, hadn't heard of those before. Their kits look very interesting....
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post #141 of 210 Old 02-16-2016, 01:02 PM
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Class D Audio kits

I'm not sure, but, I believe there is no soldering involved in assembling the kits.

In general assembly costs $100 . So, save a C note if you like!
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Originally Posted by Kev H View Post
I'm not sure, but, I believe there is no soldering involved in assembling the kits.

In general assembly costs $100 . So, save a C note if you like!
I don't mind soldering, it gets better all the time plus I just like tinkering anyways.....saving $100 for other uses is a nice bonus, tho.
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post #143 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev H View Post
Again, anyone else looking in Class D Audio? These amps feature toroidal transformers.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0gUC20QplU

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post #144 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh901 View Post
I'm going to try out the NAD M27 for my home theater. Anyone heard this one?

I imagine I'll swap it into my 2-channel set-up for comparison to my Cary amp.
I have heard a system using the M27 and M17 combo powering a Magnepan home theater system and I think they sounded great. They are very quiet amps. I have also heard the M12 and M22 with a few different speakers, including Dynaudio and Focal Aria speakers. I give them a thumbs up. My only complaint is the home theater preamp, which seems to be a generation or two behind in the technology. No Atmos, for example.
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post #145 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 08:07 AM
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My only complaint is the home theater preamp, which seems to be a generation or two behind in the technology. No Atmos, for example.
Regarding the M17, yes, no Atmos and only Audyssey Pro without XT32. Also, the HDMI may not yet be updated. I won't be upgrading my pre/pro for several months at least. Additionally, I run video direct from blu-ray player to video source and I'm not interested in Atmos. I do also hope to move away from MultEQ room correction at some point (relying on passive acoustic treatment). That said, it would be better if the M17 had the bells and whistles as that would enhance after-market.

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post #146 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 08:14 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.
And how would you take a low voltage/current signal from source devices, send it to a transducer and achieve adequate SPL without dealing with voltage, current and load?
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post #147 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post
When it comes to class "D" many seem to forget that this applies to the method of amplification.
Even Class "D" amplification could in fact be powered by an old school toroid power supply.

The fact Class D is designed to be cooler and lighter has pretty much demanded that it be given a power supply of same concepts. It is not Class D in and of itself that lacks the ability to perform, rather it is the POWER SUPPLY, that always comes with it. This is commonly referred to as SMPS, which operates on a complete maze of parts, most of which cost less than 2 cents each to the manufacturer. It is the cost of these power supplies vs the price that they can gouge the public for, that is the main driving force for pushing SMPS on to the world.

It has and always will be the POWER SUPPLY, and not the method of amplification, that will determine overall performance. Lots of SMPS class D subwoofers such as the SVS units come with expensive price tags, and people complaining the power amp died after 7 years. Well chances are the power amp is still good, it is the power supply that failed, and as far as I am concerned they never should have expected it to last any longer.

Most of these new SMPS supplies are not designed to last like old school. Observant research on the net, can easily show, the exact SAME parts in these power supplies fail all the time, from brand to brand, and in SMPS amps specifically, it is always the power supply that fails.
Capacitors, a few diodes, and the switching transistors are the usual culprit. With the exact SAME parts always failing, you would think this would result in part replacement of better quality by the audio industry???. NOOOOO, this will not happen, as the new lifespan is also what the audio industry wants.

Not surprising is the fact the subject is brought up by someone married to AVS and the audio industry, which is moving to these low cost, higher profit margin items, at the expense of the public at large.

Part of the solution that would cause me to be warmer to SMPS power, would be for the manufacturers to finally spend at few more cents each on those parts, and put in some high quality capacitors, along with some higher power diodes and switching transistors. This would solve what I believe is the new problem of the audio industry incorporating , Planned, Obsolescence.

The same same concepts of OLD SCHOOL, could also be applied, by deigning the power supply for a higher margin output than what is required by the Class D amplification. This would lengthen service life by a wide margin, and only cost a few more dimes and nickles off the hundreds of dollars they already save not purchasing OEM toroidal transformers"
I think some people are equating 'Class D' with SMPS, "All Digital", etc. I had a Sony integrated amp with PWM power supply, driving a Class AB amplifier and it's still out there and working very well, AFAIK. I had to replace the power supply's thermal fuse, but that's because I was using it to drive a pair of horn-loaded Peavey PA woofers for a band, with the amp bridged into 4 Ohms, fed by a Crown active crossover with normal and inverted outputs. I decided to bypass that part and put a fan on it for the rest of the gig and the only other problem it had was when I asked our service tech to check its output and specs on the distortion analyzer in the service department. It launched a diode in the bridge, so he replaced all four with something that he said "will handle about eight of these amplifiers". NEVER had another problem and it output at rated distortion (.01% THD and IM, 20Hz-20KHz, both channels driven) was 186W/ch, even though it was rated at 100W/ch.

'Digital' means different things, to different people. Look at power amps used for live sound- many are now using SMPS and they usually live long, work great and sound great. They're not necessarily expensive, they put out a ton of power and audiophiles hate them but the fact is, they sound as good as much of the others that are available. The primary reason they went away from using heavy transformers? It costs more to transport heavy amplifiers.
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post #148 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
I think some people are equating 'Class D' with SMPS, "All Digital", etc. I had a Sony integrated amp with PWM power supply, driving a Class AB amplifier and it's still out there and working very well, AFAIK. I had to replace the power supply's thermal fuse, but that's because I was using it to drive a pair of horn-loaded Peavey PA woofers for a band, with the amp bridged into 4 Ohms, fed by a Crown active crossover with normal and inverted outputs. I decided to bypass that part and put a fan on it for the rest of the gig and the only other problem it had was when I asked our service tech to check its output and specs on the distortion analyzer in the service department. It launched a diode in the bridge, so he replaced all four with something that he said "will handle about eight of these amplifiers". NEVER had another problem and it output at rated distortion (.01% THD and IM, 20Hz-20KHz, both channels driven) was 186W/ch, even though it was rated at 100W/ch.

'Digital' means different things, to different people. Look at power amps used for live sound- many are now using SMPS and they usually live long, work great and sound great. They're not necessarily expensive, they put out a ton of power and audiophiles hate them but the fact is, they sound as good as much of the others that are available. The primary reason they went away from using heavy transformers? It costs more to transport heavy amplifiers.
Today at 2:07 PM
You would be correct in saying people confuse Class D, along with it's power supply.

You are also correct in saying the freight cost is ONE of the reasons the industry wants to move
to SMPS. This is but one reason only. The whole market model cost is lower. They can build the entire
power supply for one tenth the cost, of the COST, for an OEM manufacturer to produce an OEM toroidal
transformer for you.

Actual amplifier costs to produce use to be about 10 percent of the final selling price, according to Randy
Slone, the retired electrical engineer who passed away, with the toriodal costing about 33 percent of the cost, and Old school amplifier boards with heat sinking the other 33 percent. Eliminating this stuff reduces the entire cost of the amplifier by 66 percent. So just putting in an SMPS supply is a huge savings, 33 percent, , and changing over to class D, another huge savings, 33 percent, of same margin.
They have essentially accomplished turning water into wine so to speak as far as profitability is concerned.

There is always someone with a single story about how their single Smps amplifier has done so well for them and is still working. For every single story, there are thousands of stories of failures, and this is for newly produced SMPS amplifiers that they have had over 20 years to perfect by now.

The Pro audio industry actually sells off their entire SMPS inventory on a 3 to six year schedule, because failure is not an option in their business. and it is cheaper to replace everything new for them, rather than deal with maintenance costs. Even the Pro audio industry that buys these amplifiers, is smart enough to know when to unload them.

As far as performance is concerned they do a fairly good job at 20 to 20000K performance. They still are lacking in the 30hz and under, or bass portion.

SMPS is not digital. It is simply a system that pushes the incoming line frequency to such high levels that only a small power up transformer is required, if any at all. Digital means different things to different people, because they do not understand what is, and what is not digital. )

https://discuss.avscience.com/index.php?topic=459.60
A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are least under rated if at all.
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post #149 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post
Today at 2:07 PM
You would be correct in saying people confuse Class D, along with it's power supply.

You are also correct in saying the freight cost is ONE of the reasons the industry wants to move
to SMPS. This is but one reason only. The whole market model cost is lower. They can build the entire
power supply for one tenth the cost, of the COST, for an OEM manufacturer to produce an OEM toroidal
transformer for you.

Actual amplifier costs to produce use to be about 10 percent of the final selling price, according to Randy
Slone, the retired electrical engineer who passed away, with the toriodal costing about 33 percent of the cost, and Old school amplifier boards with heat sinking the other 33 percent. Eliminating this stuff reduces the entire cost of the amplifier by 66 percent. So just putting in an SMPS supply is a huge savings, 33 percent, , and changing over to class D, another huge savings, 33 percent, of same margin.
They have essentially accomplished turning water into wine so to speak as far as profitability is concerned.

There is always someone with a single story about how their single Smps amplifier has done so well for them and is still working. For every single story, there are thousands of stories of failures, and this is for newly produced SMPS amplifiers that they have had over 20 years to perfect by now.

The Pro audio industry actually sells off their entire SMPS inventory on a 3 to six year schedule, because failure is not an option in their business. and it is cheaper to replace everything new for them, rather than deal with maintenance costs. Even the Pro audio industry that buys these amplifiers, is smart enough to know when to unload them.

As far as performance is concerned they do a fairly good job at 20 to 20000K performance. They still are lacking in the 30hz and under, or bass portion.

SMPS is not digital. It is simply a system that pushes the incoming line frequency to such high levels that only a small power up transformer is required, if any at all. Digital means different things to different people, because they do not understand what is, and what is not digital. )
PA systems don't usually need to produce a l ot below 30Hz and if they do, it's hard to mix and get a good sound because a lot of acts have bass guitar/upright, keys, drums and people stomping around the stage, all occupying frequency response real estate. The fact that they rotate their gear every 3-6 years is definitely for preventive measures, but it's also easier to say "these have been rode hard and put away wet, so they need to go" and "it's in the budget" if they don't cost $3000 each. I used to see Crown DC-300A and its successor at arena-sized gigs for bands like Genesis and now, the amps are smaller, lighter and less expensive. Makes carrying replacements more feasible, too.

The amps that do better in the low end usually have PWM power supplies but they still need to be designed for quality, durability and dependability. If they're failing, it's the fault of consumers (retail or pro) for not switching to a different brand as soon as the problems start.
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post #150 of 210 Old 02-17-2016, 01:32 PM
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Maybe There Is Some Confusion Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchu18 View Post
Class D Audio is a brand. Here's a link to its website: http://www.classdaudio.com/ .

I'd like to know how many of us have heard of them, who's interested in them, who might take the plunge as I have, and who has decided not to and why.

That's what I'm asking.
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