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Class D - heaven or hell ? - Page 6

post #76 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

There's no denying that an NCore amp can be DIY'ed for cheap, Mola-Mola can't set itself up as a competitor for DIY'ers and Hypex's OEM clients.

If you bu Mola-Mola, you are essentially buying the certainty that your gear was 100% designed by Bruno Putzeys.

IMHO, it's not worth it, but some people may have the cash to spare.

I suspect that there are folk out there who are sufficiently in awe of his talents that they will want nothing less, just as there are folk who simply have to own Halcro, Krell or whatever. I'll probably never hear a set of Halcro monos doing their thing, and I doubt that I would be willing to drive to South Australia (!) and hand a man a cheque for 40K even if I had that kind of money. Ironically, I lived in Torrensville way back in the 80s - cant say it left a particularly positive impression on me - but Adelaide is a long, boring drive from my place but paying freight on those monsters would really hurt - two man lift etc.

I dont know what the shipping weight of the Mola-Mola pre/power set comes to, but I'm confident that its a whole lot less than anything they have at Halcro. Whether they are even in the same league sonically is the question on everyone's mind, but from a practicality POV, the Mola-Mola doesnt seem as intimidating as the Class A competition.  xe.com tells me that even 20K Euro (allowing for freight and Customs duty on 16.5K Euro) is less than 26K AUD - and the 40K Halcros would still need an expensive pre-amp, not to mention the fuel bill and the damage to the suspension on my Mazda 3.  eek.gif

I know - fantasyland both ways - but for the mining magnates in this vast, brown land, its chump change.  biggrin.gif

(note to the Class A devotees out there - I got the horse's head, so please dont send any more. If my mentioning Halcro and Krell in the same sentence as Class D infuriates you, please take a chill pill before posting something rational to that effect. I freely admit I havent heard any of the above, and quite possibly never will - c'est la vie)

Like beauty, value lies in the wallet of the beholder biggrin.gif
If I were into amps (as opposed to active speakers), I'd be more likely to spend $1k on a Yamaha P7000 than a $2k third party NCore, no matter how "objectively better" the NCore performs.

PS: If I were to estimate at what price an Ncore based stereo amplifier would be a good value $2000-$2500 would be it.

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post #77 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

I dont know what the shipping weight of the Mola-Mola pre/power set comes to, but I'm confident that its a whole lot less than anything they have at Halcro. Whether they are even in the same league sonically is the question on everyone's mind, but from a practicality POV, the Mola-Mola doesnt seem as intimidating as the Class A competition.  xe.com tells me that even 20K Euro (allowing for freight and Customs duty on 16.5K Euro) is less than 26K AUD - and the 40K Halcros would still need an expensive pre-amp, not to mention the fuel bill and the damage to the suspension on my Mazda 3.  eek.gif

 

Nobody ever said Class A amps have to be enormous mammoths like the Halcros. If you're willing to partner them with at least marginally efficient speakers, you can get very practical little Class A monos that (IMO) will beat ICEpower amps six ways from Sunday.

 

scaled_A3-800.jpg

post #78 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

Nobody ever said Class A amps have to be enormous mammoths like the Halcros. If you're willing to partner them with at least marginally efficient speakers, you can get very practical little Class A monos that (IMO) will beat ICEpower amps six ways from Sunday.

 

scaled_A3-800.jpg

 

Fair enough, and I accept that its pretty tough to make any such comparison with the Hypex NCore modules when its all so new. I also take khaos974s post on board and I expect that many others would greet the sticker price on the Mola-Mola gear with a mixture of shock and dismay. Its easy to tell people that 26K is a bargain compared to 40K when you don't happen to be in any danger of parting with either.......

post #79 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

Fair enough, and I accept that its pretty tough to make any such comparison with the Hypex NCore modules when its all so new. I also take khaos974s post on board and I expect that many others would greet the sticker price on the Mola-Mola gear with a mixture of shock and dismay. Its easy to tell people that 26K is a bargain compared to 40K when you don't happen to be in any danger of parting with either.......


Agreed, The little Valvets are about $6,400 a pair which is no small change, but they are much more affordable than the mega buck stuff, and if you have speakers that can make use of their 50W they can sound incredible.

post #80 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Tyll and Steve,

 

      I apologise if that post comes across as inflammatory to either your good selves or the people you know and trust. 

 

No offense taken, plenty of room for lots of viewpoints.  

post #81 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Hi All,

 

      I suspect that many of you favour tube designs over SS, but some of the claim and counter-claim around Class D blows my mind. I've read Martin Collums' thoughts from 2007 and another pasting from an engineer in 2004, but none of it seems to accept that the technology MAY improve over time. A lot of the venom seems to be aimed at B&O's ICEPower modules, but its also doled out on 'traditional' high-end amp manufacturers who dare to try something different. I find some of the rehashed guff very similar to the 'CD will NEVER be an acceptable medium for quality music !' mantra. 

 

     Anyway, for those who have heard a Class D amp, I'd be interested in your feedback. I don't have a dog in this fight, but I have been drooling over NADs C390DD and the trickle-down from the M2 (including the prospect of a modular headphone stage controlled via upgradeable software).

 

     Informed feedback most welcome. 

 

Thanks,

 

estreeter

 

Sorry - cant resist - this is the summary from the 2004 rant:

 

 

Digitally controlled class D: dead end street
 
Analog controlled class D: definitely the future, although you shouldn't expect it to flatten competition from traditional solid- state and tube amps by a tremendous margin. 

One of the finest amps ever been in my home was an integrated class D amp of Bel Canto. It wasn't even their reference monoblocks. It sounded amazing! Clear, open, natural sound, analog-sounding treble (a big problem for every system). My friend, an engineer interested in audio, also heard this amp and was very, very surprised by quality of the sound.

I see top-notch companies like TAD and Lyngdorf making class D. I doubt they would rely on this approach if it's limited in quality (I mean audible limitations at least).

post #82 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brat View Post

One of the finest amps ever been in my home was an integrated class D amp of Bel Canto. It wasn't even their reference monoblocks. It sounded amazing! Clear, open, natural sound, analog-sounding treble (a big problem for every system). My friend, an engineer interested in audio, also heard this amp and was very, very surprised by quality of the sound.

I see top-notch companies like TAD and Lyngdorf making class D. I doubt they would rely on this approach if it's limited in quality (I mean audible limitations at least).

 

Interesting  - I have another thread here somewhere which poses the question as to whether Bel Canto are even 'high-end' in terms of their products - Head-Fiers seemed divided on that one, but you join a growing list of forum posters who are happy to endorse their gear. I know its more semantics than anything else, but the 'know-it-alls' on various forums see the 'ICEPower' logo and start foaming at the mouth.  Poor old B&O - I guess they should just stick to selling lifestyle gear and leave the audiophilia to,er, audiophiliacs .... wink.gif

 

Personally, one of the most frustrating things is that I couldnt even hop on a plane to Singapore, my usual destination for ogling silly-money-audio, and be guaranteed of being able to hear anything resembling a 'Class A vs Class D side-by-side' audition - the dealers are so firmly stuck in 1985 that its like watching a re-run of 'Back to the Future'.  There is a McIntosh dealer in The Adelphi who wouldn't look out-of-place if he came to work wearing a dressing gown, slippers and smoking a pipe - these are not the people to carry audio forward in the 21st century. Putzeys and his team of young Turks, though ...... I guess only time will tell. I could look back on this thread in 12 months and think 'Yeah - you were bang on with that one, Einstein ......'   rolleyes.gif

post #83 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

There is a McIntosh dealer in The Adelphi who wouldn't look out-of-place if he came to work wearing a dressing gown, slippers and smoking a pipe - these are not the people to carry audio forward in the 21st century. Putzeys and his team of young Turks, though ......

 

But what is it exactly that's being carried forward into the 21st Century?

 

All I see Class D bringing to the table is efficiency (and dragging a whole lot of RF along with it). So if audio in the 21st Century is to be all about efficiency and more RF pollution, then yeah, three cheers I suppose.

 

And while I admire all the work Bruno's put into Class D, ultimately what it boils down to is just trying to get Class D to perform as well as less efficient linear amplifiers.

 

se

post #84 of 133
Step away from the audiophile market and I see Class D chosen in almost every applicable instance. More efficient/smaller/cooler and easier to implement would mean a lot to an engineer, why bother with anything else unless you're hoping to cash in on the tube/class a fetishes?

Bruno's approach was indeed clever because he focused on getting rid of the weaknesses of class D performance. Now that his approach has been market tested and approved by audiophiles, it won't be long before new generations of class D design set similar goalposts and drive the price down for mass-market utilization. By the time a 10.2 receiver hits the market, I'm almost certain it will be class D. Not to mention a decade down the road, if UHDTV ever gains any traction and there's a demand for 22.2 amplification.
post #85 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Step away from the audiophile market and I see Class D chosen in almost every applicable instance. More efficient/smaller/cooler and easier to implement would mean a lot to an engineer, why bother with anything else unless you're hoping to cash in on the tube/class a fetishes?
Bruno's approach was indeed clever because he focused on getting rid of the weaknesses of class D performance. Now that his approach has been market tested and approved by audiophiles, it won't be long before new generations of class D design set similar goalposts and drive the price down for mass-market utilization. By the time a 10.2 receiver hits the market, I'm almost certain it will be class D. Not to mention a decade down the road, if UHDTV ever gains any traction and there's a demand for 22.2 amplification.

We have already had and passed 10.2; and they've been Class D or Class AB depending on the manufacturer. Or were you being facetious?

Otherwise I agree with everything you said.
post #86 of 133
Oh yeah, the Pioneer. Sorry, for some reason I was thinking in terms of a receiver with native 10.2 decoder support.

And as further proof that B&O's ICE is losing cachet, Pioneer's moved on to a different class D solution in the latest gen receivers.
post #87 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Step away from the audiophile market and I see Class D chosen in almost every applicable instance. More efficient/smaller/cooler and easier to implement would mean a lot to an engineer, why bother with anything else unless you're hoping to cash in on the tube/class a fetishes?
Bruno's approach was indeed clever because he focused on getting rid of the weaknesses of class D performance. Now that his approach has been market tested and approved by audiophiles, it won't be long before new generations of class D design set similar goalposts and drive the price down for mass-market utilization. By the time a 10.2 receiver hits the market, I'm almost certain it will be class D. Not to mention a decade down the road, if UHDTV ever gains any traction and there's a demand for 22.2 amplification.

 

Well of course, step away from the requirement that something actually sound good and it makes a ton of sense - lots of power with little heat to concern yourself with. You can fit 500 or 1000 watt class D modules into plate amps.

 

That's what everyone needs, 12 speaker home theater, because 8 speakers is FAR too little. rolleyes.gif Why not shove fifty channels of amplification in an A/V receiver? Use switch mode supplies and just cram the box full of amps, so that it can decode Dolby Digital Ultra True HD Studio X+Z, with height, extra height, front and rear ceiling, and 26 discrete "TruSurround" (TM) surround channels. MOAR speakers = MOAR BETTER!

post #88 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Oh yeah, the Pioneer. Sorry, for some reason I was thinking in terms of a receiver with native 10.2 decoder support.

Pioneer, Yamaha, Mark Levinson, Lexicon, JBL, Denon, Parasound, Onkyo, etc.

I don't think any of them can do more than 8 or 10 channels (including LFE) input, but there's nothing that will process into greater than 7.1 that consumers can get (and even less content). Playback can be done with however many channels you want in reality; it just requires more processing and amplification. It can get very expensive for not very many benefits depending on what you're generating.

I don't see 10.2 as the next standard FWIW; 9.1 will (likely) be next on the block. I doubt we will ever see multiple discrete LFE channels on the encode (especially given that only a few products do truly independent outputs). More channels is and isn't really a good solution - there are definite advantages to 5.1 as it exists, but most schemes beyond it are the result of interpolation and clever mathematical tricks. There's a very small number of actual 6.1 and 7.1 pieces of media out there and probably even fewer set-ups that do that right. And even those setups that *are* done correctly; 5.1 can still be "just as good" and is more flexible. I somewhat agree with Dave - we don't need a wall of speakers. There are a number of MCH schemes that do work very nice (Dolby EX, SDDS, DATASAT, etc) though, but again, is any of this needed for music playback? On the plate amp point - why even bother with D? That's what BASH (or G or H) is for...tongue.gif
Quote:
And as further proof that B&O's ICE is losing cachet, Pioneer's moved on to a different class D solution in the latest gen receivers.

This too. I think ICE was neato when it came out, years and years ago, but times are a'changin.
Edited by obobskivich - 5/19/12 at 3:26pm
post #89 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Well of course, step away from the requirement that something actually sound good and it makes a ton of sense - lots of power with little heat to concern yourself with. You can fit 500 or 1000 watt class D modules into plate amps.

That's what everyone needs, 12 speaker home theater, because 8 speakers is FAR too little. rolleyes.gif Why not shove fifty channels of amplification in an A/V receiver? Use switch mode supplies and just cram the box full of amps, so that it can decode Dolby Digital Ultra True HD Studio X+Z, with height, extra height, front and rear ceiling, and 26 discrete "TruSurround" (TM) surround channels. MOAR speakers = MOAR BETTER!

That's where the different mentalities make themselves apparent. I know you were being facetious with the MOAR equivalency, but I can say with a straight face that I agree. Having read up on the challenges of surround sound, more channels do allow for better localization. It's not as controversial or ridiculous a notion as you might imagine. Not that there's anything wrong with stereo, like most of the new generation of audiophiles I have both a stereo & a surround system. However there's little overlap between the hardcore sects so you see few setups with 7.1 high efficiency horn systems driven by tube monoblocks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

I don't think any of them can do more than 8 or 10 channels (including LFE) input, but there's nothing that will process into greater than 7.1 that consumers can get (and even less content). Playback can be done with however many channels you want in reality; it just requires more processing and amplification. It can get very expensive for not very many benefits depending on what you're generating.

I don't see 10.2 as the next standard FWIW; 9.1 will (likely) be next on the block.

That's why I see UHDTV as the next likely goal post.
post #90 of 133

What we MUST have in mind is that many manufacturers speculate with tha fact that most of their clients listen to live music hardly ever. Their idea of how acoustic intruments sound differs from the truth. Many "high end" systems sound more surreal than realistic.

I've listened to many hard-audiophile systems consisting of "high-end"class A tube amps feeding exotic horn or transmission line speakers that produce ridiculous "real" sound.

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