My NAD 3020 D proves your Class D tropes are wrong

I have a desktop integrated, the NAD 3020D which I use with custom near field monitors. It is being fed by Roon via a Squeezebox Touch and coaxial digital.

It is 5 years old and it sounds great. None of the standard myths of bad Class D sound exist here. It may lack the tube like liquid midrange of my Luxman, or the warmth of my prior Parasound but no one in this forum could hear it and go "aha, Class D!!" by itself, except maybe by the absolute lack of noise even when 3’ away from the speakers.

I’m not going to argue that this is the greatest amp ever, or that it is even a standout desktop integrated. All I am saying is that the stories about how bad Class D is compared to linear amps have been outdated for ages.

Great to see new development with GaN based Class D amps, great to see Technics using DSP feed-forward designs to overcome minor limitations in impedance matching and Atmasphere’s work on reducing measurable distortion as well but OMG stop with the "Class D was awful until just now" threads as it ignores about 30 years of steady research and innovation.
"@decooney I wish I could say I put a ton of time in. I may have listened here and there for less than 20 hours total in a few weeks. I did not switch speakers in or out."

Good to know. Barely scratching the surface of end-game potential, possibly. I won’t name the company, yet the owner of a different Co started wondering why they were getting more returns than ever anticipated on a solid sounding product. After some in-depth internal investigation ,something very telling surfaced for this Co. They instituted a (3x) much longer pre sale/shipping burn-in process to these particular class-D products and components. The customer returns dropped radically after this process was introduced. Then they tell the customer to give it another 100-200hrs for the final 5%. Not all, but some higher-end gear benefits from longer burn in cycles, finally reaching a set point, optimum specs, bias, and maybe the type of sound we all look for. Its definitely worth giving a try in the future, fwiw. Good luck.

Going along with that, there is something about some Class D that requires DAYS to warm up.  Even after being used and on for months my ICEPower monoblocks sound like garbage after being left off for a weekend.

I have not run a binary search pattern to correlate time off vs. sound quality, but there have been about half a dozen other encounters with other audiophiles who have had this phenomenon. 
@decooney yes I've heard similar reports. I believe PS Audio burns in certain products before shipping as well. To be honest I'm not a huge proponent of burning in although your example would give credence to it. Not trying to get into a burn in or not thread.. I am curious in your opinion and others in this forum...

Is one possible reason we lean away from class D because of its distortion profile or lack thereof? My understanding with the best class D and purifi products distortion is really low. Maybe I'm wrong. On the end of the spectrum class A and AB products introduction more distortion but in a "good way" and this creates that "tube" sound so many audiophiles gravitate to. I'm not saying there's no class a or ab products without low distortion. I'm saying the distortion introduced by those products might be more pleasing to our ears. This is the departure away from measurements and numbers and just what we like to hear. Maybe there's more of the 2nd order harmonics if you subscribe to that. Class D might be too clean after all making those products sound clinical and unexciting. 
I doubt anyone on here has heard the new Legacy Amps. 1000 watts per in Mono blocks, 600 per in 7 channel. I have each powering up my Legacy speakers .. I came from ATI Signature series . It was their premier model. These Legacy V series class D's are better ...and cleaner, and quieter, and a lot cooler ...  
@jwl244 I am curious in your opinion and others in this forum...Is one possible reason we lean away from class D because of its distortion profile or lack thereof? My understanding with the best class D and purifi products distortion is really low.

Possibly. I find dedicated solid state class-A amp owners may tend to be more forgiving of traditional Class-D sound thinking about "heat" and "weight", and yet Tube amp owners not as much at first (maybe liking some distortion, with 2nd and 3rd order harmonics); however some hard-core tube amp owners may like the idea of rotating in another amp to spare their prized tubes on rotation, or like the idea of less heat over the hotter months of the year. Reasoning and conditions vary by individuals we can suspect. All a guess, I’m simply trying different things when I can.

And, to your first point, silly me went over to the Audio Science Review (ASR) forum and started asking if "anyone" had tried pairing up a really good tube preamp with the NAD C298 Purify module based amp. Quickly realized all measurement extremists over there, few wanting to engage into "sound" discussion or anything with higher distortion. Felt like a single alien against an army of thousands of pure scientists only focusing on measurement. Stupid me, I still want to try a really good 6SN7 tube preamp in front of a NAD c298 class-D amp just to see what happens.

A few great measuring amps and ruler flat speakers I’ve heard in my system were some of the most boring and non-engaging to my ears. Blame my room and/or blame my ears, the difference was notable to my ears. I like a little distortion in the right places.

Distortion: Something on that same type wavelength. I evaluated an ultra high-end solid state DAC a few years back, 125db SNR, amazing build quality, amazingly huge sound stage. Clear, smooth, deep in detail, yet it was one of the more fatiguing and un-engaging pieces of equipment in my particular system. Was kinda shocked. "All the notes, none of the music". Then one month later swapped back to my more distorted R-2R ladder DAC with a musically distorting tube and all the "music" and engaging layered three dimensional sound returned. Wallah, back to listening to music instead of listening to components. Recently heard a very nice higher $ class-D ice module based amp at a buddies house. He left it on for 3 days before I got there. I’m not sure if we agreed it was missing some of the harmonics. He later went with a dual tube R2R DAC, and it helped some however it is not able to produce a layered and 3-diminensional sound that I’m more use to. Smooth, somewhat musical, and 2-D at best. I think I’ve listened to class-a and tubes for too long and we all formulate our opinions on what sound good to us or perhaps leaning more towards the familiar sounds we started with or grew up with.

If you follow Paul @ PSAudio, hard core solid state guy for several decades since his time at Krell, recently accepting hybrid tube front-end BHK designs paired into their mosfet amps. Who’d a thunk, it happened. Then he opened up to Class-D. Who’d a thunk, it happened again. Even Paul reports publicly Class-D is going to be something to recon with (even more so), with added designs and development "over the next 5 years". I’m not totally "there" yet willing to continue to experiment as options evolve a bit more. Its exciting to see more rapid progress past 2-3 years with class-D, and eventually I plan to own a good Class-D amp. Looking for a great "keeper".  AGD has done some neat things... Also, kinda waiting for the right sounding hybrid design to surface. I’m betting we’ll see more coming from purist SS & Tube manufactures, realizing they have no choice now but to accept Class-D like PS Audio did, and doing well at it.