Author Topic: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard  (Read 316 times)

Offline jimbones

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Two plus Two Speakers
what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« on: February 07, 2021, 12:20:28 PM »
Considering a move to Class D as my back can't lift to heavy an amp anymore. I'm afraid that they still can not compete with a good Class AB. Your thoughts?
Modwright LS100 Pre, Art Audio Vinyl Reference, Wells Audio Inamorata Pwr, VPI Classic II/Dynavector 20X2L, Two plus Two Speakers,  Roon Rock, Auralic Vega DAC, Emotiva ERC-3, MIT, WireWorld, Wywires, Shunyata, TWL

Offline Nick B

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2591
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2021, 01:46:07 PM »
Iím certainly sympathetic to your situation :( The upgraded Mivera clone I have is pretty good and they go used for $650 - over $800. But, for me itís lacking midrange warmth so Iím moving on. The DAC amps and Leoís Orchard Audio Starkrimson  monos have received favorable comments. Charles raves about the Arion HS Monos, which are Class D and utilize a 6H30. Itís one of 3 amps Iím considering. The retail for those  is over $6k and thatís why Iím looking for a used pair....
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline Folsom

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 662
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2021, 03:08:37 PM »
TPA3116 is pretty nice but isn't dynamic on all speakers.

Offline HAL

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Audio Mad Scientist
    • Hollis Audio Labs
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 03:50:53 PM »
The Orchard Audio original BOSC amps. 

The new Starkrimson version has the high input impedance where the originals are low input impedance.  I drive them with a balanced connection so the low works well for my setup.


Offline mdconnelly

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1411
  • new ways to dream...
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 10:28:44 AM »
I echo the Orchard Audio recommendations.    I also was able to listen to the Arion HS monos - albeit maybe 5-6 years ago - and they were amazing and definitely lived up to Charles' raves.   Check arionaudio.com

Charles, I now see the Mike K (Arion) has a line of speakers.   May have to take a listen at some point.

Offline jimbones

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Two plus Two Speakers
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2021, 02:31:16 PM »
Thanks for the idea's I will research them. I should have stated my budget at roughly 3500-4k (used is OK)
Modwright LS100 Pre, Art Audio Vinyl Reference, Wells Audio Inamorata Pwr, VPI Classic II/Dynavector 20X2L, Two plus Two Speakers,  Roon Rock, Auralic Vega DAC, Emotiva ERC-3, MIT, WireWorld, Wywires, Shunyata, TWL

Offline rodge827

  • Seeking Help
  • **
  • Posts: 25
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 04:44:18 PM »
The Digital Amplifier Company 2 Cherry is exceptional. I have owned a few of the DAC amps and the 2 Cherry is in a class of its own. Very quiet, detailed, exceptional bass and very smooth sounding. Tommy really out did himself with this amp. I sold it since I found a great deal on 300b monos Iíve wanted for a long time. Wish I didnít need to sell the 2 Cherry it gave the 300b monos a serious run.
"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
Alexander Hamilton

Offline Barry (NJ)

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1593
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2021, 12:02:07 PM »
What do you, listen for in, want out of, your system?
Happiness is when your system overcomes your nervosa ;) 
So much media, so little time... My Media Room...

Offline rollo

  • Industry Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 6408
  • Rollo Audio - Home demo the only way to know
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2021, 08:07:45 AM »
  The Arion HS 500 hybrid. 500W into 8 Ohm 1000W into 4 Ohm. Uses a 6H30 input tube. Military grade power supply used in submarines so it is VERY quiet. I used the m for the Pipedreams if you remember. Not dry, thin , bright or hard sounding.

charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm Industries - Aqua Acoustic, Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm - Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungary Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt -Vinnie Rossi,TWL, Mad Scientist, Swiss Cables

Offline jimbones

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Two plus Two Speakers
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2021, 02:20:13 PM »
What do you, listen for in, want out of, your system?

Listen to Jazz and Rock, not much classical. I like a full weighty midrange. Not a dry thin sound. My current amp is awesome but someday I will replace it. Not urgent but I like to understand the Class D technology and what it has to offer. BTW, I don't need stupid power, I am using a 130 watt amp now (Wells Innamorata). I was also wondering if Class D watts are the same as Class AB watts. No Joke, I have some experience with class D amps that claim 500wpc and I have to crank the volume to get anything out of it.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 02:22:36 PM by jimbones »
Modwright LS100 Pre, Art Audio Vinyl Reference, Wells Audio Inamorata Pwr, VPI Classic II/Dynavector 20X2L, Two plus Two Speakers,  Roon Rock, Auralic Vega DAC, Emotiva ERC-3, MIT, WireWorld, Wywires, Shunyata, TWL

Offline toobluvr

  • Certifiable
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2021, 04:29:26 PM »
What do you, listen for in, want out of, your system?

...... No Joke, I have some experience with class D amps that claim 500wpc and I have to crank the volume to get anything out of it.

That's not necessarily a power shortfall.

It most likely means the amp is hard to drive (ie: it has a very high input sensitivity).  For example, the amp may be able to deliver 1000wpc when driven to full output, but if it takes say 4 volts input to get it to full output, you will never be able to use all its potential horsepower.  Since most sources only output 2 volts max, the amp will "feel" like it lacks power because only a fraction of its rated power is being produced.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 04:38:46 PM by toobluvr »
Sunny Cable H2W10, JMR Twins, Gallo subs
TT1: Townshend Rock 3/OL Silver Mk3A/Music Maker 3
TT2: OL Aurora/OL Encounter Mk3C/Dyna xx2-Mk2
Other: Soundsmith Zephyr,  Shelter 501
several amps, peamps, phono stages, digital gear

Offline jimbones

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Two plus Two Speakers
Re: what is the best sounding Class D amp you've ever heard
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2021, 03:40:51 PM »
What do you, listen for in, want out of, your system?

...... No Joke, I have some experience with class D amps that claim 500wpc and I have to crank the volume to get anything out of it.

That's not necessarily a power shortfall.

I understand but it seems that was the case with multiple amps I tried  in the past.


It most likely means the amp is hard to drive (ie: it has a very high input sensitivity).  For example, the amp may be able to deliver 1000wpc when driven to full output, but if it takes say 4 volts input to get it to full output, you will never be able to use all its potential horsepower.  Since most sources only output 2 volts max, the amp will "feel" like it lacks power because only a fraction of its rated power is being produced.
Modwright LS100 Pre, Art Audio Vinyl Reference, Wells Audio Inamorata Pwr, VPI Classic II/Dynavector 20X2L, Two plus Two Speakers,  Roon Rock, Auralic Vega DAC, Emotiva ERC-3, MIT, WireWorld, Wywires, Shunyata, TWL