Class D amplifiers. What's the future look like?

I have a number of amplifiers: Luxman C900U, Bryston 4BSST2, Audio Research VSI 60 Integrated, NAD C298 and some other less noteworthy units. As I swap them in and out of my main system, I've come to the conclusion my very modest NAD C298 is about all I really need. Granted if I had extremely hard to drive speakers, I might be better with the Bryston or Luxman, but driving my Harbeth 40.2 speakers, the NAD is just fine. 

I thought a while ago that class D would quickly overtake amplifier design type mainly due to profit margin which I think would be much greater than A/B and tube. I'm not saying the other design styles would go away, just that D would be the most common style. 

Clearly my prediction is not panning out, at least in the mid and high-end audio world and I'm wondering why? It seems companies such as Bryston, Luxman, McIntosh, Hegel and so many others are sticking by A/B. I'm no "golden ears" guy, but is the perceived sound issue(weather real or imaginary) still holding D back? Maybe my assumption of profit margin is not correct? Maybe the amplifier manufacturers are experimenting with D, but keeping tight lipped until release? Perhaps brand loyalists don't want change similar to what happened with "new coke". What else am I missing?



GAN miracle vs Technics, it just ain’t adding up on what you’re getting for the price! Funny enough, even that ~10k honestly priced engineering extravaganza Technics gets hammered by a whole lot of simpler Class A designs and no Class D-iddly under 100k i know of got crack engineered as good as the Technics (to nullify the cons of Class D-iddly).


Class A vs the rest - A interesting discussion by the grand Schiit Lords at Schiit Audio...

when i just look at his D with the chassis open, it ain’t looking like much to me.

Class D, done properly, is never going to look like much. Its very different from a tube amp in that regard!! The biggest issue class D has to contend with is noise generation; to that end the module has to be as small as possible to minimize parasitics caused by stray inductance (and at the frequencies involved, a lead of a part easily causes problems...). Because we are using GaNFETs, which don't require large heatsinks, the heatsinks (which are machined to 1 mil tolerances) are beneath the module and serve also as its mounting. So ya, not looking like much 😉


This is now just turned into another thread on Class D.....rather than what the future of it is.  The Atma-sphere amp may be the best $5400 class D amp you can buy....or maybe not.  The review has nothing to do with that.  He compares (BY MEMORY) to an older tube Atma-sphere that he reviewed some time ago.  What the heck does that have to do with anything?  Where is his very precise review of these new mono blocks against all the LATEST class D or otherwise,,,,,done directly in his listening room, RIGHT NOW.      NOT there....not there at all.  How does the Atmas-sphere compare to a Benchmark amp, to a VTV high powered Purifi or Orhard with all my mods, or to the AGD amps or to Pass amps or to super tube amps in that price range, etc.?  How are we to know anything about how it really is and compares with anything already available?  All reviews need to be against a known reference in the same system at the same time or it is totally meaningless.  The reviewer does not even mention any other amps nor the amps that he currently owns.  This review is typical of reviews these days.....completely meaningless.  It is if Ralph himself wrote the is simply ad copy.  I am not saything that is what happened....just that "WHERE IS THE BEEF?"...This review is spam....he he.  High end audio has NO REFERENCE......there is no agreed upon anything.  Nothing like car hot can simply measure car performance on the drag strip.  There is no drag strip in audio.....It is every man for himself.....beating on his chest that he knows something.  Pretty silly, really.  Here I am beating on mine....he he.

What if some magazine got 10 of the reputed best amps all around $5000 and compared them all in several systems over several months and gave you their TOTALLY honest opinion about them......This would never happend as the magazines are all about money.  In fact, Stereophile has banned me from making comments on line after reviews because I would come in and describe how the product just reviewed could be made better....not as a put down.....just as information for the betterment of sound.  They don't want the manufacturer to be shown that.  They want the manufacturer happy, so they keep paying for ads.  Stereophile makes no money on subscriptions....its all about the ads.  Sad, but true.  This is why you have to listen yourself and make your own mind up.  Stop being so outer directed.....YOU KNOW what the truth is.  But, you have to seek it out for yourself.  Magazines will not give you truth....for the most part they are ad copy.  A lot of reviewers do not want to compare to older or different things because they are not getting paid much or very little so they want to keep all avenues open to everyone in case they want to buy something from a manufacturer later on at half price (which is what reviewers usually pay).  Audio is a game.....played by people who are enthusiastic about audio....BUT, are also commited to their own DESIRES (money and saving money and prestige).   

Love does exist.....but it is not generally shown in audio reviews. 

I believe the future of class D is digital amps like the Levinson (Mark Daniel) and Peachtree GaN1, the Technics amps, the Lyngdorf amps, etc.  And bi and tri amping with digital amps is what we will see more and more....for that is the ultimate.

I just looked inside the Technics biggy and I see some things I could do to make it sound noticeably better......not going to do it.  But, there is way more to be gotten than what is avaiable stock now.  I could mod the Atma-sphere amps to sound way better too......You will time goes on. Karen sang "We have only just begun".  Audio keeps getting better and love grows and grows......Life is great!

As has been mentioned in the many responses; execution is everything.  Whether you agree with this notion or not, the proof is in the hearing.  Listening to the latest technologically advanced amplifiers from Mola Mola (the new Perca stereo amp or Kula integrated amp) and you begin to dispel concerns over amplifier output class.  They are transparent, 3D, dynamic, and oh so musical.    

But, when i just look at his D with the chassis open, it ain’t looking like much to me

This is how the internals of 1930 computers looked. Compare that to the internals of today's desktops/laptops/servers/super computers

Mechanical Computers