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LSA Voyager GAN 350 Review (Stereo Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 166 74.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 52 23.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 4 1.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 0.9%

  • Total voters
    224

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of Living Sound Audio Electronics Voyager GAN 350 stereo amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US 3,000 from the company.

I really like the high-end look of this amplifier case:
Living Sound Audio Voyager GAN 350 Review Crosstalk RCA Class D stereo amplifier.jpg


Strange though as there is no power indicator, nor switch. The latter is in the back only:
Living Sound Audio Voyager GAN 350 Review Back Panel RCA Class D stereo amplifier.jpg


I really dislike the hard to read type on the back. Other than that, the connectors seem to be of good quality.

As the name indicates, this amplifier uses GaN transistors to ostensibly lower distortion and increase efficiency of the amplification. In use, the bottom where all the modules are mounted barely god warm so efficiency is good.

LSA Voyager GAN350 Measurements
I started my testing with XLR inputs which showed really odd results:

LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements XLR Class D stereo amplifier.png


As you see, the gain is nearly 10 dB different between the channels. I looked for configuration switches but couldn't find anything. After wasting half hour, I switched to RCA input and problem vanished:

LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


If I were to guess I would say the XLR input is miswired on one channel. Bad execution if so in such an expensive amplifier. For the rest of the test I stuck with RCA input.

Signal to noise ratio while OK, is not state of the art:

LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements SNR RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


I like to see full 16 bit/96 dB dynamic range at 5 watts. We fall short here.

Frequency response was sad to see:

LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Frequency Response RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


Class D amplifiers have a low pass filter that can interact with the load if not designed well and that is what we have here. The impact falls clearly in audible band. This would be OK for a budget amplifier in $100 range but not in this class. Depending on what speaker you hook up to this amplifier, the highs may be exaggerated or filtered.

Crosstalk on the other hand was exceptional due to dual mono design and no crosstalk through the power supply:
LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Crosstalk RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


Multitone performance was also very good, indicating low intermodulation distortion:
LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Multitone RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


Power was healthy into 4 ohm albeit with unexceptional distortion and noise levels:

LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Power into 4 ohm RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Max and Peak Power into 4 ohm RCA Class D stereo ...png


There is still plenty of power available even into 8 ohm:

LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Power into 8 ohm RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


Interesting how distortion keeps rising and clipping is rather soft. As they state, this indicates low amount of negative feedback.

Transfer function is frequency dependent with distortion rising quite a bit at higher frequencies (likely due to that low feedback level):
LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Power into 4 ohm vs frequency distortion RCA Clas...png


Spectrum of switching frequency shows good attenuation but not that high of a frequency:
LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements FFT RCA Class D stereo amplifier.png


If they had opted for higher speed which GaN transistors allow, the impact of the output filter would have been lower (and possibly above audible band).

The amplifier doesn't need any warm up as it is stable on power on:
LSA Electronics Voyager GAN 350 Measurements Warm up Class D stereo amplifier.png


Conclusions
Other than having a lot of power and good efficiency, there is not much else to be happy here. Clearly companies are using GaN as a buzzword without fully taking advantage of what it can provide. Lots of money is left on the table here in many areas from frequency response load dependency to high amount of distortion. At the end of the day, you have an expensive, high power amplifier here with average performance.

I can't recommend the LSA Voyager GAN 350. Performance is not there, nor is quality control.

Edit: teardown just posted: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...a-voyager-gan-350-teardown-class-d-amp.28208/
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beefkabob

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On the design, I would rotate those side cards 90 degrees and swap around those speaker connections and XLR connections. Then the XLR run is still the same or close to it, but the black bundles and speaker outputs could all be much shorter and not have to run over a bunch of other stuff.
 
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Doodski

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On the design, I would rotate those side cards 90 degrees and swap around toms speaker connections and XLR connections. Then the XLR run is still the same or close to it, but the black bundles and speaker outputs could all be much shorter and not have to run over a bunch of other stuff.
Those are good ideas. Check out the overly short screws for the RCA terminals. Those lock nuts are barely on there. :facepalm: One of those comes loose and poW fried amp de jour! I wish we could get schematics for some of these class D amps. I really want to see the topography.
 
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MC_RME

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From the photo this unit does not have a switch to select either XLR or RCA. Instead the switch grounds pin 3 when using RCA- That means you can not plug two sources and switch between them (as the lable suggests) - they are both active all the time...
 

PeteL

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On the design, I would rotate those side cards 90 degrees and swap around those speaker connections and XLR connections. Then the XLR run is still the same or close to it, but the black bundles and speaker outputs could all be much shorter and not have to run over a bunch of other stuff.
I find that already weird to have the two RCA Channels spread appart and separated by the Power chord. That would split them even more, Most RCA cables are two channels.
 

gvl

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How is the multi-tone much cleaner than the dashboard at the same power? There is the 1kHz tone as far as I can tell, so I'd expect its 3rd harmonic at 3kHz to be about about -90dB as per the dashboard, but there is nothing on multi-tone.
 
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amirm

amirm

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How is the multi-tone much cleaner than the dashboard at the same power? There is the 1kHz tone as far as I can tell, so I'd expect its 3rd harmonic at 3kHz to be about about -90dB as per the dashboard, but there is nothing on multi-tone.
Each tone has far lower amplitude than the single tone in dashboard. It is their sum that makes up the overall voltage.
 

xaviescacs

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The fact that odd harmonics are higher than even harmonics is common when using GaN? Or it's just this amp?
 

fordiebianco

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Are these OEM modules or did the company actually design them? Sad to see another 'boutique' brand having QA issues.
 

wwenze

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The fact that odd harmonics are higher than even harmonics is common when using GaN? Or it's just this amp?

Odd harmonics higher than even harmonics is quite common and can't be attributed to GaN or not.

Example:

But one thing that can be mathematically proven is that for symmetrical clipping or compression, only odd harmonics are generated. While nonsymmetrical distortions (in this context at least, for more technically correct answer, refer to this post) will result in both odd and even harmonics.
 

Dennis_FL

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Is a listening test in order with GaN transistor amps?
 

Koeitje

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Poor, because of the XLR failure. Shouldn't happen for 3K.
 
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