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Audiophiles, generally don't like class D amps!

roog

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Ok, I know I shouldn't, but I've been reading feed back on an audiophile site on experiences with various Class D based amplifiers. (Purifi, Ncore, and a couple of others less well known to me)

I expected a bit of bias towards older technologies, but it was close to 100% against class D.

What is it that these people are experiencing? They can't all be wrong can they?

  • Is it that they miss the distortion/colour from their class AB amps?
  • Has this become normalized/expected?
  • Have they been programmed to dislike class D because everyone says it isn't as good, i.e bias?
  • Is there actually something else at play here?

Everything I hold as important in audio and electronics in general is about achieving the required performance/specs, 'the truth', or at least as close as we can economically get, am i wrong, because these people would appear to say so.
 
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theREALdotnet

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Thank you for that one, I might just throw that into the mix the next time I frequent such places!

Or better yet, don’t frequent such places. Not much to learn there, unless you’re a hobby sociologist.
 

chelgrian

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They can all be wrong, unless you do a blind level matched listening test with the same speakers in the same position with near instant switching between the two amplifiers then alL you are getting is bias from the listener.
Of course the 'audiophiles' would then claim the the switching gear is responsible for destroying the sound, it's really rather difficult to deal with such people.
 
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roog

roog

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Or better yet, don’t frequent such places. Not much to learn there, unless you’re a hobby sociologist.

I know, but its a world that I once frequented and sometimes I just like to see what they are getting excited about now, sometimes its funny, sometimes it is painful.
 
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Somafunk

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Thank god I don't consider myself an audiophile, been listening to class D for years and audio snobs can get in the f@4king sea as far as i'm concerned
 

JSmith

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Have they been programmed to dislike class D because everyone says it isn't as good, i.e bias?
This... although it's not based on nothing, as early class d wasn't great featuring high levels of intermodulation distortion and odd order harmonics. So for HiFi use, not great, but built to be cheap and small for devices like TV's etc. However that has changed, some time ago now. Due to the class d past and constant conditioning from reading subjective garbage for years, the expectation bias is negative to begin with for some and hard to shake.


JSmith
 

theREALdotnet

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I know, but its a world that I once frequented and sometimes I just like to see what nonsense they are spouting on about now, sometimes it funny, sometimes it is painful.

Certainly, and they often have classifieds, too, that are worth perusing :)
 

fpitas

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I'll admit I was skeptical when a friend built his system with Hypex UcD amps, especially driving his horns. But I was quickly convinced once I listened a few hours.
 

fpitas

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Groupthink.
The little I've suffered through those forums there was a guy or two who were the "experts". Seldom did they seem to have any technical know-how beyond soldering.
 

Gorgonzola

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I go by my experience on other forums. At one in particular which is a very long-standing forum, (shall I name it?), a very high proportion of members are against class D -- even though many have actually recently owned or tried class D in their systems.

The typical remark is that the "tone" of class D isn't right; it doesn't sound "natural" like live performance, especially the treble. In fact the "tone" deficit they refer to is easily explained by the lack of 2nd/3rd order distortion they are getting from their tube equipment or S/S such as Pass Labs. Some of them will admit this explanation, some will not.

But there are a few audiophiles whose tastes have evolved. I can think of one who was a stalwart of tubes for decades but is now loving his Benchmark preamp and power amp. Kudos to our member, @atmasphere, who was and is a maker of highly regard tube equipment, who is now also making a class D amp of his own design and is, happily, selling lots of them.
 
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roog

roog

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This... although it's not based on nothing, as early class d wasn't great featuring high levels of intermodulation distortion and odd order harmonics. So for HiFi use, not great, but built to be cheap and small for devices like TV's etc. However that has changed, some time ago now. Due to the class d past and constant conditioning from reading subjective garbage for years, the expectation bias is negative to begin with for some and hard to shake.


JSmith

Agreed, I recall an article in an electronics magazine back in the late 70's or was it early 80's which announced Sony's early class D HiFi effort, it spurred me into building a class D amp and I remember bring it into a lab session during which I tested it. My lecturer, who took interest, gave me his off the cuff opinion, "Good luck with that!" It wasn't very good, but it might have been adequate for a very small PA!

I find the dislike based on the topology is weird, given that they have been more or less everywhere for quite some time.
 

restorer-john

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It's the change to the status quo they don't like. I can be guilty of that too.

It's easy to dismiss a new paradgim as being 'wrong' if it challenges the base knowledge and beliefs systems, especially if it does so, much cheaper, easier and in some ways better.

HiFi was traditionally a difficult, expensive and arduous pursuit. You had to be in it for the long run. Pay your dues, climb the ladder and pay the price. Not anymore. You can jump to the top of the class for not a lot of time, effort or money. It sounds like cheating, but it is not. :)
 

fpitas

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I go by my experience on other forums. At one in particular which is a very long-standing forum, (shall I name it?), a very high proportion of members are against class D -- even though many have actually recently owned or tried class D in their systems.

The typical remark is that the "tone" of class D isn't right; it doesn't sound "natural" like live performance, especially the treble. In fact the "tone" deficit they refer to is easily explained by the lack of 2nd/3rd order distortion they are getting from their tube equipment or S/S such as Pass Labs. Some of them will admit this explanation, some will not.

But there are a few audiophiles whose tastes have evolved. I can think of one who was a stalwart of tubes for decades but is now loving his Benchmark preamp and power amp. Kudos to our member, @atmasphere, who was and is a maker of highly regarding tube equipment, who is now also making a class D amp of his own design and is, happily, selling lots of them.
It may be a comparison to tube amps. Or it may just be the notorious audiophile imagination at work.
 
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