Time to buy a class D amp?



Will some new class D amplifiers outperforming the current ones appear soon

(the newest ones i know were released a  few years ago)?

Class D amps attract me as I consider them the most ecological ones with obvious non-auditionable benefits.

I have no doubts that they posses the maximum ratio performance/sound quality among the amplifiers of all classes.

At the same time, the sound quality the class D amplifiers that I have auditioned produce, although is quite good,

but not yet ideal (for my taste).


I use PS Audio Stellar S300 amp with PS audio Gain Cell pre/DAC with Thiel CS 3.6 speakers in one of my systems.

The sound is ok (deep bass, clear soundstage) but not perfect (a bit bright and somehow dry, lacking warmness which might be more or less ok for rock but not for jazz music).

I wonder if there are softer sounding class D amps with the same or better details and resolution. Considering two reasonable (as to the budget) choices for test, Red Dragon S500 and Digital Audio Company's

Cherry  2 (or Maraschino monoblocks), did anybody compare these two?



128x128niodari
Over the decades I have owned tube, SS (Class A, AB): I have also owned 2 different older generation W4S amps, Emerald Physics 100.2SE monos, Audio Alchemy DPA-1 (UcD), and PS Audio M700 monos prior to the EVS 1200; it’s an entirely different sonic experience from what the naysayers pontificate

The Audio Alchemy DPA-1 or DPA-1 monos (see TAS March 2016 glowing review) could well be the ticket for you, and are typically available at > 50% discount on the used market
If a Class D amp sounds great to you, buy it.
If you need some sort of test gear to tell the difference, you might as well be using dowsing rods.

@niodariI, I would avoid the Red Dragon S500 as it’s spec sheet suggests 2.7 ohms minimum. This is the same as the Icepower 1200AS1 or 1200AS2.

I think anyone using speakers that have an impedance below an amplifiers minimum rating will risk clipping the amp, and I don’t think you’d want that (under 3 ohms through MOST of the range).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipping_(audio)

From Stereophile measurements on Thiel 3.6.

"The CS3.6's impedance magnitude and phase plot (fig.1) reveals a very low impedance value. The loudspeaker is under 3 ohms through most of the range, dropping to a minimum of 2.3 ohms at 3.6kHz (the cursor position). The low impedance value explains the CS3.6's need for the iron-fisted Mark Levinson No.23.5 to provide control in the bass; the CS3.6 would appear to be current-hungry".


Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/thiel-cs36-loudspeaker-measurements#sW8lKVPmy1I7xlVD.99

Go near one with a portable am radio tuned off station around 600khz (or whatever your switching frequency is) and see what you get out of the radio.

If you look at their output on a oscilloscope they are more than just noisy as heck! And that (undetectable to human) noise goes through to the tweeter if it’s not Zobel’ed as many hi-end ones aren’t
This is all nonsense.


From Texas Instruments on output filters of Class-D amps that are set too high corner frequency.
"A concern with the switching waveform being dissipated in the speaker is that it may cause damage to the speaker"
This is what happened to my mates Wilson 8’s above, as Wilson does not use a Zoble Filters on this tweeter and I think all their speakers.
This statement is false. There are no class D amps that run without filters- such an amp is theoretically possible, relying on the inductance of the load to sort things out, but so far even with GaNFETs the switching frequencies are far too low.

More likely the reason for the tweeter failure (if even real) was that the amp used with the speaker was overloaded. That's a classic source of tweeter failure!