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Class D Amplifier

Jim
Community Member

Hello,

New to community, I am considering Arendal speakers for my home theater upgrade and trying to choose an amp. I’ve read a lot about class D amps and was wondering if anyone is using one for their Arendal speakers. How does the sound compare to class A/B amps? Monolith has just released an 8 channel class D amp that looks good. I’ve also researched Cherry, and Buckeye amps. The class D amps are smaller, weigh less, less heat, and more efficient, but my main concern is sound quality. If a class A/B will sound better with Arendal speakers I would get a Monolith or Outlaw 7 channel amp.

Thanks for your input

Jim

All replies (19)

Lukas
Customer Support

Hi Jim.

The answer will always be: it depends!

There is no easy way to just say this is better than that. It will always depend on the use case and of course the design/quality of the product.

You can buy very poor-sounding class A/B and class D amps.
We have ATI amps in both variations in our engineering lab, and both sound great with our speakers.
It will be your personal preference, so my recommendation would be to try the amp before you buy and hear if you like it.

Jim, I have used class D amps in the past with Kilpsch speakers and I have to say its very annoying the reason is they introduce a lot of noise to the speakers. Yes they are very efficient in terms of power consumption but consider the amount of buzzing and hissing that goes along with those amps. Like Lukas said, its depends a good class A/B amp will produce about 80% efficiency and almost zero noise to the speakers, the reason is the toroidal inductor it has. I am using Crown XLI series amps and they are pretty darn good and produce some serious sound quality. Keep in mind though, if you are using XLR’s over RCA your getting a 6dB gain vs RCA.

Lukas
Customer Support

There are super quiet market-leading Class D amps out there and very cheap or not well-engineered ones that hiss.
Class A/B with toroidal transforms tend to hum and are much less efficient than 80%.
It is all pros and cons and you need to find the right amp that fits your use case and budget.

 

Lukas
Customer Support

I just copied over the two responses from the other thread in Hangout. Let’s continue here.

Thomas Gunvaldsen (193.212.192.77) Customer Support

Hey Jim, welcome to the community! In my opinion, you can’t really determine a general difference on amplifiers by looking at them being Class A/B or Class D. I have heard many bad and many good examples of both. We have used a few different amps in our showroom through the years on Arendal Sound speakers.I will say that there is usually a pretty good coherence between price and performance. If you can try out a couple of different amps in the price range you are looking for, with the ability to return one it would make the choice easier for you, and you will end up with what suits you best.We love the ATI range of amps, and I think both their Class A/B and their Class D amps sound awesome. They are a bit pricey though.

#39771 June 17, 2022 at 08:16

 

Jim (108.234.72.25) Community Member

Thanks for the reply, I checked out the ATI class D amps and liked what I saw. I am limited on cabinet space and don’t like giant amps heating up the living room. I was concerned with the sound quality of a class D but from the reviews I read ATI owners said they sound as good or better than the class A/B amps they replaced. You’re right, they are pricey but I guess you get what you pay for.Thanks again,Jim

#39779 June 19, 2022 at 03:04

Shlomi Shoil
Community Member

Hi, what is your opinion about nad c298?

It got the purify module.

Lukas
Customer Support

Hi Shlomi,

Please keep in mind that manufacturers like NAD, do not use straight out-of-the-box modules from Purify.

They are custom-made ones from NAD, that can be of different quality.

So like I said before, the best way is to just listen in your room with your system. The price-to-performance ratio is very subjective.

Ramón T.
Hero

I currently have two ATI amplifiers in class a / b the 1825 and 1822 for my Arendal Towers 1723, the truth is that I am delighted in control and dynamics, with an “infinite” volume. ATI class D must be very good too but I go out of price, ATI manufactures serious things, they practically do not look second-hand for sale, at least where I live. In terms of noise along with the Anthem av70 is practically inaudible. Of course, sometimes you can hear the toroidal due to direct current contamination in the home network.

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Corey
Community Member

I have run many amps with my setup including anthem mca525 gen 2, monolith 7X and monolith 8250x class D amp. I currently am running 2 x monolith 7x amps for my setup. I was really excited when monolith announced their class D amps and I waiting a long time until they were finally available to purchase. I was not impressed with the class D. It ran just as warm as the monolith 7x amps I have and I preferred the class AB sound to the class D. I get no hum or anything with my monolith 7x amps. They are wonderful for the money. Even more so if you can get them as B-stock. Only downside with them is they are 95lbs each.

 

If you are looking for a class D amp I would recommend you give buckeye a look. I hear nothing but good things about them…the only downside is the long wait.

 

Jim
Community Member

I have considered the Monolith 7x amp or the ATI class A/B amps. I have never had a separate power amp. I am currently running a 7.1 setup with a 90 watt Marantz A/V receiver, Infinity speakers, and a Velodine sub-woofer. Setup is about 17 years old so definitely time for an upgrade. In searching for speakers I read many good things about Arendal. What processor can members recommend that sounds good but dose not cost more than the amp? Thanks to the members for the replies, you have been very helpful.

Ramón T.
Hero

I currently have an Anthem AV70 with ATI stages, before I had Marantz 7010 and there is a significant change from anthem. If you want to save money buy Monolith that ATI manufactures in my country I did not have the possibility to buy them. Another option is Arcam, it depends on tastes and the calibration you want. Even though I have the Anthem with ARC I don’t use it, my room is treated and I like it better without the calibration.

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