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Audiophiles, generally don't like class D amps!

DavidM1

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Yes, some rooms are problematic. Large rooms with hard floors would be likely culprits especially when music is played loudly.

My response was to JRR who generalised that aiming for good equipment specs was a waste of time before a room was treated.

However, I think for most listeners that isn’t the case. High-spec gear simply sounds better and our ears accommodate a normal living room acoustic pretty well. This is an era of affordable high SINAD equipment and I’m happy to give messing with the room a lower priority.
 

JRR

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Perhaps all the attention on room treatment is a little misguided. Is the objective to match the sound of a recording control booth? Should a serious audiophile trade their gear for high-end, near field monitors and switch the couch out for a comfy office chair on wheels?

I think people quite naturally account for the sounds of different spaces. Our children’s voices are no less familiar as we go from room to room. A violin in a cathedral sounds different depending on where we sit but it is no less the sound of a violin.

Listening to a room that has an even decay response throughout the spectrum and has its first reflections treated is the single largest factor in sound reproduction you will experience. Of course this assumes that you have half decent gear. It will allow you to better hear said violin in its actual setting be it in a cathedral or the Gewandhaus rather than you own room. Control rooms tend to aim for a lower response time of 150-250ms where it is recommended to aim closer to 350-450 for a listening room especially if the room is to be used for other purposes.

Remember we’re talking music reproduction. Not production. My listening room is right next to the entrance of my home which has a 24 foot cieling. When people ask what the treatments do I bring them from the entrance to the room while talking and their eyes usually widen. Articulation becomes much easier and voices can be much softer and still legible. It is like night and day. The same is true for music but to a much greater degree.

My point isn’t that aiming for good equipment is pointless before room treatment. Rather my argument is that middle of the pack equipment will sound infinitely better in a well tuned room than the the ASR darlings in a untreated one.

Yet people on here tend to obsess as much over a 3db difference in sinad as much as audiophools do over the copper purity In their power cables.

Personally I’m planning on “downgrading” from Topping to Accuphase when I get to the aesthetics stage. I’ve spent too much time in Shenzen and do not want to be reminded by my Chifi plastic remotes every time i sit down to listen.
 
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Mart68

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.

Yet people on hear tend to obsess as much over a 3db difference in sinad as much as audiophools do over the copper purity In their power cables.
I don't know how you get this impression but does seem to be one that is repeated a lot. Vast majority here do not 'obsess' over 3dB SINAD difference since they at least have a basic understanding of what that means.

But otherwise I agree with your point.
 

DavidM1

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Listening to a room that has an even decay response throughout the spectrum and has its first reflections treated is the single largest factor in sound reproduction you will experience. Of course this assumes that you have half decent gear. It will allow you to better hear said violin in its actual setting be it in a cathedral or the Gewandhaus rather than you own room. Control rooms tend to aim for a lower response time of 150-250ms where it is recommended to aim closer to 350-450 for a listening room especially if the room is to be used for other purposes than listening.

Remember we’re talking music reproduction. Not production. My listening room is right next to the entrance of my home which has a 24 foot cieling. When people ask what the treatments do I bring them from the entrance to the room while talking and their eyes usually widen. Articulation becomes much easier and voices can be much softer and still legible. It is like night and day. The same is true for music but to a much greater degree.

My point isn’t that aiming for good equipment is pointless before room treatment. Rather my argument is that middle of the pack equipment will sound infinitely better in a well tuned room than the the ASR darlings in an untreated one.
 

DavidM1

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It’s interesting to hear your perspective and I imagine a 24ft ceiling could be a nightmare acoustically. I don’t doubt for a moment that speech was clearer after it was treated.

It is something of a pointless disagreement because I tend to think of that as a problematic room and my frame of reference assumed most of us wouldn’t have ceiling heights like that to deal with.

It makes sense that the ideal is a flat response but with greater reverb decay than a control room. That really sounds like a medium furnished room to me - more or less. As for whether upgrading room or equipment is preferable, it obviously depends on the starting point for either but my point remains that given how affordable high specification equipment has become it would be odd to start with anything that didn’t measure exceedingly well these days.
 

Talisman

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Vast majority here do not 'obsess' over 3dB SINAD difference since they at least have a basic understanding of what that means.
I'd like to believe that but I'm not too convinced. I get the feeling, at times, that many on this site don't follow science but have simply mistaken one God for another.
Read below each review of a new dac with better measured values than the previous one for those who want to "upgrade" even though they should be absolutely aware that their old dac is already well within the transparency margins.
 

restorer-john

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Personally I’m planning on “downgrading” from Topping to Accuphase when I get to the aesthetics stage. I’ve spent too much time in Shenzen and do not want to be reminded by my Chifi plastic remotes every time i sit down to listen.

A fun fact: Accuphase used to place metal weights inside their inexpensive Japanese plastic remote controls to make them feel more 'solid' in the hand. So did Cambridge Audio with cheap Chinese remotes. Nobody is immune to the flimsy remote plague it would seem.
 

JRR

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It’s interesting to hear your perspective and I imagine a 24ft ceiling could be a nightmare acoustically. I don’t doubt for a moment that speech was clearer after it was treated.

It is something of a pointless disagreement because I tend to think of that as a problematic room and my frame of reference assumed most of us wouldn’t have ceiling heights like that to deal with.

It makes sense that the ideal is a flat response but with greater reverb decay than a control room. That really sounds like a medium furnished room to me - more or less. As for whether upgrading room or equipment is preferable, it obviously depends on the starting point for either but my point remains that given how affordable high specification equipment has become it would be odd to start with anything that didn’t measure exceedingly well these days.

Your furnishings will not be effective in the sub 100hz region. A regular sized room with typical stuffed furnishings will likely be reasonably damped in the >200hz region and have several first reflection impulses within 50ms. The result is usually a pleasant but smeared wall of sound with less than ideally defined bass. If you want soundstage accuracy you need to clear up the time domain and create a reflection free zone in your listening position.

Treating first reflections is easy and cheap. Bass in small rooms becomes involved and expensive quick but its worth it.

Anyway,

Sorry for drifting off topic. I have a topping d90/purify along with some other processors. In other words I have value equipment driving a pair of +$60k speakers. I don’t think the front end equipment is holding the system back. I think categorical dismissal of class D is foolish.

The funny part is that audiophiles will get on the D bandwagon if it is expensive enough. Aavik is selling extremely expensive products using the forbidden technology. Audiophiles are generally impressed with Aavik and tend to attribute their success to the specially-developed in-house modules that are head and shoulders above purify and hypex. Except… they look an awful lot like Pascal modules to me.
 
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Fstein

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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.
Isn't Benchmark AB?
 

Ricardus

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I'm about to grab a Buckeye for a pair of my studio ribbon nearfields and I'm super excited. Can't wait to get it.
 

Porter

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Hi ASR, reporting back after all the grief I received here regarding my experience with my Klipsch Heresy IV speakers and a decent Hypex-based Class D amp (NAD M10).

I'm happy to report that with different speakers, things seem to have radically improved. The same amp sounds really, really good with a different speaker load. Delicate, airy highs without any of the sharp edged glare I experienced with that amp on the Klipsch. And the Klipsch speakers sound great with different amplification, with almost none of that sharp high frequency effect. They are definitely still "forward" in the treble as that is their design, but without the harshness I experienced previously.

So where does that leave us? Am I still a fool, operating entirely on confirmation bias? Or is it possible (just maybe) that not all Class D amps are perfectly suited for all types of speaker loads, but can sound great when they are driving a load that's appropriate to their design?


I think my next investment is in a set of Purifi 1ET400 monoblocks, to see just how far affordable fidelity can go in my current system.
 

voodooless

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With what amp does the Klipsch sound good? Was it tested in the same room as the M10?
 

Porter

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With what amp does the Klipsch sound good? Was it tested in the same room as the M10?
Same room. Sounds good with both a Schiit Vidar, a B&K Components ST-202, and a Carver TFM-6B. By far the best with the B&K though.
 

GXAlan

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sharp edged glare I experienced with that amp on the Klipsch.

The M10 is sort of unique in that it's not just an amp but a DAC/preamp/etc.

Were you using the internal DACs or the analog inputs?


index.php
 

voodooless

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If you haven't done any basic controls like level matching using a DMM (or better), all bets are off. Though with about a 40 SINAD, the B&K should have distortion that may become audible.
 

Porter

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The M10 is sort of unique in that it's not just an amp but a DAC/preamp/etc.

Were you using the internal DACs or the analog inputs?


index.php
Internal DACs, streaming via Tidal. No unusual config or signal paths.
 

Porter

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If you haven't done any basic controls like level matching using a DMM (or better), all bets are off. Though with about a 40 SINAD, the B&K should have distortion that may become audible.
This isn't about some kind of general audio preference that would warrant a level matched AB test, it was about a specific high frequency shrillness. And I don't know where you're getting a 40 SINAD for the B&K, the spec is 95db and I've seen measurements of one at some point that matched that. There were four or five different versions of that amp over time, btw.
 
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voodooless

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This isn't about some kind of general audio preference that would warrant a level matched AB test, it was about a specific high frequency shrillness.
That doesn't matter, level matching is mandatory.
And I don't know where you're getting a 40 SINAD for the B&K, the spec is 95db and I've seen measurements of one at some point that matched that. There were four or five different versions of that amp over time, btw. I have the 200wpc into 8ohm version.
95 dB is the SNR (A-Weighted). the THD spec seems to be .9 %, at least according to this: https://recordmarthifi.com/products/b-k-st-202-amplifier , but otherwise information is very sparse, so I could be wrong.
 
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Blumlein 88

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That doesn't matter, level matching is mandatory.

95 dB is the SNR (A-Weighted). the THD spec seems to be .9 %, at least according to this: https://recordmarthifi.com/products/b-k-st-202-amplifier , but otherwise distortion is very sparse, so I could be wrong.

Better specs here. The ST 202 is on page 4.

That .9% was a typo, it was listed as .09% for THD and IMD. So a Sinad of about -60 db roughly.
 
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