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ICEpower 200AC & 200ASC Review (Class D Amp)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of a DIY combination of ICEpower 200AC and 200ASC in a Ghent audio case. It was kindly supplied by a local member. Total part cost is US $310.

The case work is fine:

ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Review Class D Amplifier Parts Express.jpg


I like the hefty power switch which also acts as protection circuit indicator. Speaking of that, it is of nice variety that self-resets and doesn't require manual power cycling.

The back panel sports far better connectors than you could get in any mass market amplifier:

Ghent Audio Class D Amplifier ICE Power Case.jpg


And of course balanced inputs.

The internal amplification for one channel is provided by the ICEPower 200ASC which has an integrated switchmode power supply. This in turn feeds power to the amplifier-only 200AC module. Nice and clever!

ICEpower 200AC Measurements
Let's run our usual dashboard into 4 ohm:

ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements.png


Having been spoiled by high performance class D amplifiers, this is somewhat of a letdown. Distortion is dominated by third harmonic at around -78 dB which sets SINAD to the same rating. Result is average performance among all amplifiers measured to date:
Best class D Amplifier Review.png


Signal to noise ratio is good though:

ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements SNR.png


Frequency response is as well:

ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements Frequency Response.png


Power into 4 ohm though show early rise of distortion:
ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements Power into 4 ohm.png


Disappointing to see performance be worse than some of the worst AVRs we have measured at the limit. Same is true at 8 ohm:
ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements Power into 8 ohm.png


Even when we allow distortion to rise to 1%, we still don't get the rated 200 watt power:
ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements Max and Peak Power.png


The power supply is the limiting factor likely.

Sweeping the power range at different frequencies gives us very complex response:

ICEpower 200AC 200ASC Measurements Power vs Distortion vs Frequency.png


The lines going backward are caused by the amplifier going into temporary shutdown. This is occurring at just 40 or so watts at 20 kHz! Fortunately there is not much music power there but still, from engineering point of view, I like to see far cleaner and stable response. In some cases SINAD is rising to below 50 dB at just 2 watts!

Conclusions
As usual, we have high efficiency and compact packaging of class D amplification here. What we don't have is performance that matches or beats good class D amplifiers. Of course the cost is much lower as well (compared to higher performance class D amps). So you have a trade off to make. I am too much of a perfectionist to want to recommend this unit but depending on what you are using it for, it may be fine.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

dfuller

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Well this isn't particularly inspiring. If I'm looking at this right, an XLS1002 has similar performance but way more power on tap, and also is rackmountable.
 

stunta

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Well this isn't particularly inspiring. If I'm looking at this right, an XLS1002 has similar performance but way more power on tap, and also is rackmountable.

This unit is tiny compared to the Crown though. Probably suited to "bedroom" systems or a compact TV audio system.
 

ROOSKIE

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A well-executed TPA3255-based Class D "chip amp" will easily outperform this "entry-level" ICEPower implementation given a beefy enough SMPS -- for a lot less money and with no real DIY effort.
I have been wondering about this ICE set-up as parts express stocks it so easy peasy to buy from a good merchant.
Really though it is not better than the $100 Monoprice amps I purchased to get me buy as I build some additional active speakers.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...price-150-watt-605030-amplifier-review.16096/

I'd love a completely cool running and small amp with high power so I'd like to see those measurement's of a great TPA3255 amp.
I know that the TI tester can do so but who is building one with the same quality parts?
I am just not sure.
Plus somewhat of a thing to get the power supply required for max output.
Who has measured either of these units?
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000410819688.html?spm=2114.12057483.0.0.2a7473c68e6gmW

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000410819688.html?spm=2114.12057483.0.0.2a7473c68e6gmW
 

gvl

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Dashboard would probably look better at 5w into 8Ohm.
 

XaVierDK

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I know it's not really a point in its favor, but the 200ASC and 200AS boards are 15 year old ICEpower designs at this point. Performance not being comparable to modern state of the art is to be expected.
I have a 2-channel amp based on dual 200ASC boards. Would you expect it to reach 200W into 4 ohms, based on what you see with this setup?
 
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amirm

amirm

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I have a 2-channel amp based on dual 200ASC boards. Would you expect it to reach 200W into 4 ohms, based on what you see with this setup?
It doesn't have far to go so probably so.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Dashboard would probably look better at 5w into 8Ohm.
8 ohm speakers are so rare though. By far the most common impedance I see is 4 ohm. Hence the dashboard load. :)
 

polmuaddib

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It looks like it matches the published ICEpower data sheet where distortion rises with frequency. If I am reading it right... so this module is good enough for subwoofer amp or active build to power low band.
Is there an input buffer in this build? Could it affect performance significantly?
 

Bruce Morgen

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so this module is good enough for subwoofer amp or active build to power low band.

That makes sense given that it's a 15+ year old design -- essentially of the same vintage as the old IR Class D chip that requires external MOSFETs and is found in many active subwoofers from the early Y2k years, including the recently recapped Infinity PS-10 that lives under my desk and provides some low end heft for my near-field/desktop system. :cool:
 

Matias

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Last edited:

Frank207be

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Thanks for the nice & revealing review.

Still curious how the IceEdge 1200AS2 performs. I just had one of the first ones fail and the replacement sounds much smoother.
 

holbob

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This is a bit gutting, well more than a bit. Just ordered the xtz edge which uses ICEpower’s 300AS1 and 300AS amplifier power modules. I assume it will measure similar??
 

dannut

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I have been wondering about this ICE set-up as parts express stocks it so easy peasy to buy from a good merchant.
Really though it is not better than the $100 Monoprice amps I purchased to get me buy as I build some additional active speakers.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...price-150-watt-605030-amplifier-review.16096/

I'd love a completely cool running and small amp with high power so I'd like to see those measurement's of a great TPA3255 amp.
I know that the TI tester can do so but who is building one with the same quality parts?
I am just not sure.
Plus somewhat of a thing to get the power supply required for max output.
Who has measured either of these units?
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000410819688.html?spm=2114.12057483.0.0.2a7473c68e6gmW

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000410819688.html?spm=2114.12057483.0.0.2a7473c68e6gmW
Aiyima seems identical to what Audiophonics sells:
https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/inte...reo-class-d-tpa3255-2x225w-4-ohm-p-14693.html
Requires a PS thou, so no one-box solution.
 

XaVierDK

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This is a bit gutting, well more than a bit. Just ordered the xtz edge which uses ICEpower’s 300AS1 and 300AS amplifier power modules. I assume it will measure similar??
The AS1 is a newer design, with more benign characteristics in higher frequencies.
It should measure better, but to be honest you'll probably be fine either way.
 

polmuaddib

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This is data sheet. You have it for every Ice modul. I maybe wrong, but it seems to me this is what Amir measured also. You can see clearly that the worst distortion is at 6.67 khz. Why that particular frequency, i don't know.
I have a Jeff Rowland amp which uses Icepower 200asc (two of them, making it dual mono amp) but they put some input buffer which does something. I don't know what. Some THAT1200 chip or circuit from Jensen. As I read on forums, it improves common mode rejection.
But i am no engeneer so feel free to insult me for my lack of knowledge.
Whether brand name amps made using icepower modules measure the same as modules they use or better, it would be worthwile knowing.

icepower200.jpg
 

Matias

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6.67 khz. Why that particular frequency, i don't know.

The manufacturers chose to show this 6.67 kHz frequency to be representative of treble because its 2 main harmonics (13.3 and 20 kHz) are still in the hearing range.
 
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