• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Hypex, Ice, Purifi: which is Really Best?

Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
97
Likes
170
#1
It’s interesting to see a number of manufacturers using a modular approach to utilize modular technology like these, named, modular units in their products.

Though this may be opening a religious war amongst ASR Illuminati, which of the modular amp companies like ICE, Hypex, Purifi (have I missed any other major players) really seem to be raising the bar on amp design?

With auto design, it’s amazing how today’s even ho-hum sedans generate the same horsepower that a high performance sports car had 25 years ago, with 50 - 100% better gas mileage), and phenomenal safety improvements we couldn’t have imagined when, in the Seventies, a shoulder strap seemed like high tech from a race car.

Which of the the modular amp makers today are the Porsches and which are the Ramblers? (Google it.)

To stretch the auto analogy, (and I’m an old car fan so please don‘t accuse me of heresy) I’d honestly rather hit a tree in a ‘20 Jetta than a 1959, 356). Is there really enough difference between the top tier modular amps, today, to worry about or is it honestly about aesthetics of the box, the right name on the box and feeling good for the owner?

Are any reasonably designed, modular amp today of the caliber that its performance difference is truly measured on an oscilloscope rather than by sitting on a couch and listening?

So, to you, the informed reader: do any of the modular amps really stand out from the rest? If so, please explain.

Let the discussion begin!
 

Blumlein 88

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
11,401
Likes
16,654
#2
I guess you left out Tripath and Pascal. Don't have an answer for your questions otherwise.
 

mhardy6647

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
2,520
Likes
4,488
#3
Though this may be opening a religious war amongst ASR Illuminati...
Which of the the modular amp makers today are the Porsches and which are the Ramblers...?
As The New Yorker used to say: "Block that metaphor!"
;)

I’d honestly rather hit a tree in a ‘20 Jetta than a 1959, 356).
(actually, one of my favorite Iggles songs -- and, no, I wouldn't admit just anyplace that I had any favorite Iggles songs ;) )

PS no need to google "Rambler" -- ever see ASR's Unusual Weird Cars thread? There's a Nash Metropolitan (albeit slightly tarted up :oops:) right on the first page first post. :cool:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/weird-cars-thread.10711/
 

mhardy6647

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
2,520
Likes
4,488
#4
I guess you left out Tripath and Pascal. Don't have an answer for your questions otherwise.
Is/was there a 'all the works on a board' Tripath "solution"? I only remember Tripath chipsets (but I am far from expert).
Are the TI boards still available or did they sell that business off to someone else? I kept meaning to get an evaluation set to play with (registered with TI and everything when they were available inexpensively) -- but never did.
 

Killingbeans

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
1,186
Likes
2,056
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
#5
So, to you, the informed reader: do any of the modular amps really stand out from the rest? If so, please explain.
I'm not particularly informed, but here's my 2 cents:

Hypex UcD marked the point where Class D caught up to Class AB in terms of diminishing returns. Having negative feedback after the output filter was the thing that made further "improvements" more of an engineering exercises than something giving clearly audible benefits.
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Likes
2,815
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
#6
In my opinion, looking at datasheets and how THD+N behaves in the 3 frequencies on various loads, and IMD artifacts.

Tier 1
Purifi Eigentakt

Tier 2
Hypex nCore
ICEpower ICEedge

Tier 3
ICEpower HCOM
Hypex UcD
Pascal
Tripath

Looking forward to more Purifi and ICEedge amps being released. :)
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
18
Likes
16
#7
In my opinion, looking at datasheets and how THD+N behaves in the 3 frequencies on various loads, and IMD artifacts.

Tier 1
Purifi Eigentakt

Tier 2
Hypex nCore
ICEpower ICEedge

Tier 3
ICEpower HCOM
Hypex UcD
Pascal
Tripath

Looking forward to more Purifi and ICEedge amps being released. :)
Where do the new german Infineon chips sit in these tiers?
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Likes
2,815
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
#8
Where do the new german Infineon chips sit in these tiers?
From what I have seen below, best case is Tier 2 as well. No saturation, mids and highs well behaved. Low power though...

Screenshot_2021-01-21-21-17-54-640_com.google.android.apps.docs.jpg
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
1,452
Likes
3,232
Location
BC, Canada
#9
In my opinion, looking at datasheets and how THD+N behaves in the 3 frequencies on various loads, and IMD artifacts.

Tier 1
Purifi Eigentakt

Tier 2
Hypex nCore
ICEpower ICEedge

Tier 3
ICEpower HCOM
Hypex UcD
Pascal
Tripath

Looking forward to more Purifi and ICEedge amps being released. :)
Can you add this info to your spreadsheet? ;)
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Likes
2,815
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
#10
OP
TheWalkman
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
97
Likes
170
Thread Starter #11
Matias,

Great information.

So do you rate Class D amps like the TI TPA32XX beneath recognizing as even a Tier 4?
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Likes
2,815
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
#12
Guys, I am not an industry insider, just an armchair analyst with too much free time. :) So take my opinions with a grain of salt (or two!). I am open to discussion and suggestions too.

Not sure about TI, will have to check. But Tier 3 is pretty much "old school" class D already.
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
1,963
Likes
2,815
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
#13
TI TPA3255. They don't show the power x THD+N with the 3 frequency lines like the others. But low saturation, slightly high noise floor, and a slightly misbehaviour of highs, especially in high power. Tough call. Tier 2.5? :)

Screenshot_2021-01-21-21-37-35-534_com.google.android.apps.docs.jpg
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom