Is D for Dry? Class D...

Class D sounds dry and lifeless... thats all, carry on
Wait, I know that someone out there had, or knew someone who once had, a class d amp that didn’t suck the entire life out of the room... that my friend was the exception.

ok, carry on again
No worries, no bait sent.  Just tryin’ to help out anyone out there considering class d, well, dont.  
Those in the “know” probably know the exact sweet spot of certain class d modules or whatever paired with this wicked tube pre to obtain a good class d setup but I haven’t heard it.  Im open to habe a changed mind but peachtree, w4s and ps audio havent swayed me from class a/b.  

Im just starting to wonder if this is how tube guys feel about a/b
Lol!Are you bored tonight b_limo?I had one for a couple of weeks but returned it. It was smooth as silk but I didn't care for it. I like more distortions I suppose;-)
I heard back in 2011 that class D had come a long way. It was supposed to be almost as good as class A. Heard the same story in 2016 and 2021. Now wait till someone chimes in with the usual ‘but but but you haven’t heard the modern circa 2020 class D amps. They really turned a corner in the last 13 months …’
Thank you Arafiq, thats what Im talking about!

@jtcf, not bored, hangin with my friends (be careful, you may fall into that category, lol)

Im pissed.  It was5 hours of driving and too much finagling for me to learn this.

Peachtree Nova Pre/ 220, Peachtree Nova 220se were pretty decent.  PS Audio GCC 250 and W4S STI 500 (with all upgrades) were the 2 dullest, driest most boring amps I’ve ever listened to.  There, I said it, I feel better!
To you.
Not knowing your experience I will have to discount all further proclamations.
Bad example(s), bad day, bad ears, bad judgement?
Does not matter in the least.
I have a 20 year old Class D amp from Stewart Audio. PA-1000.

Sounds damn good, one rack space, 11 pounds, 200 watts @8 ohms, 300 watts @ 4 ohms/channel, 1000 watts bridged mono at 4 ohms, damping factor >500.

Some will turn up their nose. I turn up the volume...😂 CD player straight in, no preamp, passive volume control.

Simple, minimalist, Class Dang that sounds good!
Check out Steve Guttenberg's review of the Mola Mola Kalu class D integrated amp. Designed by Bruno Putzi. Built-in DAC and phono stage. $22K! 100wpc. It's on the Audiophilliacs channel on UTube.
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Popular Electronics had a build-it feature and plans for a class D amp back in the Nineties. I no longer have that issue. Anybody have a copy?
Surely a company like Crown with their engineering team can produce a high-quality class D amp? XLS-1502? I'd like to buy one and try it out! $449!
I posted back at the beginning of February asking about higher powered options to replace my SET amp (JAS Array 2.1), inquiring about Class D in particular.  There were some interesting options, most prohibitively expensive.  I eventually settled on trying the Red Dragon S500 based mostly on a couple glowing reviews.  My only experience with Class D had been abysmal disappointment with the Wyred4Sound ST500 several yrs ago, rolled off on the top, missing inner detail and although a dynamics bass region, one lacking in texture and definition.  

I hadn't been using the JAS recently as I had it packed up due to a couple of moves in a short time.  Instead I had a few decent solid state amps in service including a Cambridge Audio 840W, a pair of Xindak XA8800NME (which are really quite nice), and an Audio Zone AMP1 (gainclone).  I settled on the Audiozone for its better resolution, more precise imaging, and transparency.  All are pretty good amps though and would kill the Wyred without a doubt. 

Anyway, I purchased an unused Red Dragon S500 and installed it in place of the AMP1 (so, without any burn-in) and was instantly relieved to hear even more detail (quite a bit more) but in a natural, organic way.  There was no sharpness to the sound.  It was reminiscent of installing a good power conditioner.  The background was blacker and the images were more dimensional, more palpable.  There are reviews of the Audiozone AMP1 which give a good record of how nice this amp is but the Red Dragon bettered it in everyway important to me.   Dry and lifeless?    No way!   All that natural detail engages me almost as much as the SET amp had.  No, the tube amp takes the edge in palpability with a wetter soundstage.  But I like the Red Dragon better.  It's MUCH easier to live with.   I'm not saying Class D is special in itself.  There are plenty of lousy Class D amps.  But, the Red Dragon S500 is a real keeper.  Just don't dumb it down with inferior components or cables.
Last afternoon i was listening to a Lindemann Musicbook series 500 driving a pair of PMC Twenty 5.26i, far from calling that dry and not involving.
A well designed Class D amp doesn't rely on a bank of coffee can size caps and huge iron to feed the beast. It taps the wall current available on demand without dimming the lights...and is a Green Power user.

If a Stewart Pro Reference 1000 ever comes up to it. It's a massive sleeper studio refence amp.

The Crown K1 and K2 are also brilliant alt tech amps with massive power and 3000 damping factor.
Class D sounds dry and lifeless... thats all, carry on
just because you didnt like the sound of the class d amp in this setup, doesnt mean that class d doesnt work in another setup.   

i have used class d amps a few times and one time it sounded great and the next time it didnt. 

finding equipment that has synergy with a pair of speakers is the key.
I will conduct a bit of forensic audio analysis. The GCC dates to about 2005, WFS STI 500 dates to about 2010, and Peachtree Nova 220 SE to about 2014. I had a pair of PS Audio GCA 250 amps - wow, that was a long time and a lot of gear ago! I had forgotten about them until I saw your post!  :) 

Looking at the class D amps you used, I understand why you drew the conclusions you did, but you did so with equipment that is about a decade behind, irrelevant to better system building today - at least for anyone who is wanting to be using better class D amps and putting up rigs that are far superior in terms of performance.   :) 

Conclusion? You are the better part of a decade behind due to reliance upon used/budget gear, it seems. This puts you out of touch with what is happening NOW with class D, and the conclusion you have reached is about... a decade off. You have used dated, fundamentally surpassed class D, and I do mean fundamentally. As it appears you have no experience with the latest crop of class D modules/designs, your premise that Class D is inadequate is colored by your lack of experience of current products. Consequently,  you perpetuate what are now misnomers about class D that no longer pertain. 

I actually address the perception/wrong conclusions that you and others anchor to in my article regarding the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier published at 

It is up to you whether you wish to be educated on this topic, or whether you wish to argue from a  position inexperience (that is, ignorant in terms of experience of more current class D amps), or one that suggests that older components will obtain the same result as current designs - typically, a budget audiophile perspective. No disdain toward it, as I was a budget audiophile for many years. However, it does not put the person in the position of speaking with authority on what is happening now in regard to sound. I don't mind discussion, but am not interested in arguing with people without experience. I suggest you need to moderate your declarative tone.  :(

Have had a couple of Class D systems in my office and I end up moving back to tubes. My main system is perfect for my ears, All Simaudio, customer for life.
Im just starting to wonder if this is how tube guys feel about a/b
Generally speaking, yes. That's why they have tube....
It's always good to remember, folks, that most decent quality audio system owners are not on forums. 

We get so inundated and caught up with our back and forth... that we fail to realize that, still... the majority of system owners don't care for forums or use them. They know what they like and they've got better things to do.
My main system is A/B system and it is accurate, detailed and has a wonderful sound stage.

I have a tube system in my office with horn speakers and it is warm, detailed and has a wonderful soundstage.

I enjoy both tubes and A/B wether it is SS or Hybrid I like to focus on what they do well and enjoy the music not getting mired down in what they do not do well and listening to the equipment.

The class D gear I have on my deck and had in my office was well just stereo. Filler noise. 
All Dobermanns are unfriendly.
All Greek wine is too sweet.
All class D amps are dry and lifeless.

Well, I'm convinced.
Many other threads on audiogon have debunked these broad statements. That is all.  Carry on.
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2:31amWhy do some audiophiles treat class D like it’s some kind of venereal disease

Some audiophiles are a pretty opinionated bunch I find. They like what they like and that’s the end of it. If they don’t like it it’s trash. Others are less so and recognize the advantages and disadvantages of different product designs and understand how each is unique, even those they choose not to live with.


Don't just toss a bomb out there OP - labeling a whole class of amps as "dry and lifeless" is not based in any reality. There are good sounding Class D amps, I have one. The TAD M2500. 
Class d has been sold by the magazines as the next great thing in audio but all i hear is a next great blunder in audio history it is a way to make an amp cheap and quick and sounds ok rather than spend the time effort and money to make a good amplifier.
My back and I love our Class D Arion Audio S-500 amp. Not dry at all.  Neutral and squeeky clean top to bottom.  YMMV, but never underestimate the ability of a talented designer to get the sound he wants from any topology.
jasonbourne52 said:
"Surely a company like Crown with their engineering team can produce a high-quality class D amp? XLS-1502? I'd like to buy one and try it out!" 

Surely the can't Jason! I bought one out of curiosity and it is really bad. Returned it.
Wrong! I’ve had Sonic Frontiers big boy tube amp with 8 KT88’s , class A/B solid state amps, Japanese SET tube mono blocks...

Currently running Channel Islands Audio class D amps, they are the best I’ve owned and don’t heat up the house or weigh much... I have lots of good cables and tweaks, but it’s super liquid, airy, smooth, and neutral... Amazing tightness and deep bass...

Agree that class D is not dry…. Until you hear class A or tubes. It’s all relative. 
I just wish you guys (doubters) could stop in Ohio and hear my completed Legacy system, complete with their new V-series amps. And yes, their class D’s. I replaced a ATI Signature Series , which was a bad’est boy ATI made, with these new V-2 and V-5 Amps. Stunning, especially at over a 100 db with music. (Video Concerts) . I have invited about 8 couples, and a few friends over for evenings... and every single one has left with their jaw on the ground. Its amazing how people that feel quite confident they know a good sounding system. .... walk away dazed with " I’ve never in my life heard anything like THAT " . Couple of them say they hate me as one told his wife, "Get the hammers out, because when I get home, we might as well beat ours’s with hammers and junk them". Don’t get my statement wrong, My system is a peck of sand in the desert compared to others. But I came from a non class D , and love my new Class D’s. They run really cool, even at sustained volumes. Dead Quiet, something my ATI was not. And dynamically are superior to that monstrous beast that took 2 people to move around ...
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*L*  I can't help to view the whole squabble over D amps as akin to the era when SS challenged tubes....(Yeah, I'm old enough for that..).

"It sounds like..." and the whole spectrum of commentary parrots what occurs now. abortion of tech....bound to fail, flaying about in the process....

Fine.  Turn off your cell phones, and go back to land lines.  Oh, and shut off that flat screen while you're at it.

There's already those amongst this rabble that are hybriding tubes and SS in various configs.

When someone posts that their ears are leaking due to the lack of 'moisture' in the repro of their personal taste of racket from the speakers, Then I'll have a more serious consideration of the 'obvious negative aspects' of (lack of) class D.

I've a couple of the 'low rent' D amps for 'play purposes', and have yet to vomit, break out in hives, have my ears seal shut, or my mind glaze.
No, I didn't expect either to cause an orgasm, either.

On the other hand, it's apparent that the development of D amps is moving along rather nicely, enough to make the naysayers bitch more.

'Twas always, and ever will be, such.
It's called progress.  How one views the direction has always been an issue.

Enjoy yourself, mapman....there be critics always, everywhere. ;)
This is 2021...I suggest you open your ears. AGD Audion monoblocks may help you update your calendar.
Auditioned many D amps myself. Not for me!

 as mentioned, it is shallow sounding, and no life to it, compared to A or AB amps. 
  There is more to class,AB that themD sound. ,     My amps (both systems) are much,more detailed than themD stuff.

 Many of you swear by them, but I’ve compared my Sunfire amp to some amazing D amps, the Sunfire class H is,much,more lively and open, better bass and crunchy midrange than the D I compared them too. 
   The Sunfire I’ve compared to numerous amps,,and the old,Carver beast has betterednthem all, even some AB amps. 

   My opinion.......
both taps sounded more lively than themD  moos!

Have you listened to an EVS1200, or evenly the lowly (by comparison) PS Audio M1200s?

You might know I have owned a EVS 1200 for almost 2 years now. My preamp/dac is a Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5 (outboard PS).

I had taken out the optical cable so was listening via my Oppo 105 with upgraded LPM, and it was VG, BUT, the HFs were on the harsh side and depth was ok, even though I was using WireWorld Series 8 XLRs.  I finally figured that out and hooked up a WireWorld optical cable- WOWish, BUT, was rolled off. I decided to replace the 5ish yo Morrow Audio unjacketed multistrand power cord to the PS 5 with a WireWorld Electra 7 PC  to a fantastic a transformation in warmth, clarity, imaging and holographic sound stage

I love the anti - Class D folks and welcome their Critique .
Hence Allowing me to procure Class D Amps at a great price before the rest of the community really gives them a chance