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  1. #1
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    back to Class A/B for me

    Well after much time living with the Class D audio 440 amp in my system I think it is time to move on to other things and I think I am going to go back to class A/B and start looking to replace my Class D audio with something SS in around the 300 to 400 watts per channel area. Anyone who has Dynaudios knows they love power and I want to get an amp more than capable of driving them and also driving other higher end Dyns when I move up the line which i see me doing at some point in the future.
    I have looked at several options including Parasound Halo, Pass labs among others and I am not sure which direction to go and I am not even sure what budget I want to stay within yet but I am just getting set up for a change. Its not that I dislike My Class D amp it just does not work in my system like I had hoped and while it is very powerful and does have the lack of edge that I like and also the detail like I have never heard before it also seems to have a synthetic character with my system that took me going back to my class A/B amp to really notice totally. I just think for what I am into a conventional amplifier is a better choice for me.
    Any thoughts would be helpful on what directions I could take and also I will be selling my Class D audio 440 so if you know someone that likes this type of amp or someone that runs panel speakers because they seem to do well with them let me know as well.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I do not have any suggestions but I share your thoughts on class D. The longer I listened to my Onkyo class D the less I liked it. When I purchased the Krell S-300i I felt like the music was back. Class D was like a cutout and the Krell was more three dimensional.

    I wonder if it was the switching distortion that bothered me. I know some really like class D and I have not heard the new top of the line class D's but from my limited experience I do not think I would buy class D again.

    Good luck finding a new amp.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
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  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Harley, you should give thought to the AVAHiFi (Van Alstine) amps. The new Synergy line is a solid state design that was designed to sound like a tube amp. I had a chance to hear one at Frank Van Alstine's studio. It is very smooth sounding amp with no grain or harshness. Bass is well controlled and deep. Mids are silky smooth and the high end is detailed. The Synergy 450 is 225 wpc at 8 ohms and about double that at 4 ohms. The amp is rated for 2 ohm speakers. He has a 30 day money back trial if you don't like it. His FET Valve amps are a step up in sound though. They have greater transparency and detail and come in a nice chassis but are more money. The Synergy amps sound better than my Parasound Halo A21. I brought my amp to Frank's house to compare the sound to the Synergy Prototype which has since been improved. The prototype sounded better than the Parasound which is no slouch.

    here's a review on it-

    Audio By Van Alstine (AVA) Synergy 450 Power Amplifier Blockbuster performance for only $1999! Review By Anthony Nicosia

    avahifi - Power Amplifiers Comparison Grid

    The amp drove these Salk Veracity HT3's with a sensitivity of 84dB to very loud levels and never ran out of steam.

    HT3 - specifications

    If you decide to sell the Class D amp, send me a PM. I might be interested in buying it. I have a CDA-250 that I use with a Tube Preamp that sounds great with my MMG's in my second system.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    Well after much time living with the Class D audio 440 amp in my system I think it is time to move on ....
    I have looked at several options including Parasound Halo, Pass labs among others and I am not sure which direction to go and I am not even sure what budget I want to stay within yet but I am just getting set up for a change. Its not that I dislike My Class D amp it just does not work in my system like I had hoped and while it is very powerful and does have the lack of edge that I like and also the detail like I have never heard before it also seems to have a synthetic character with my system that took me going back to my class A/B amp to really notice totally. I just think for what I am into a conventional amplifier is a better choice for me.
    ...
    I wish I could buy your SDS-440 but I'm short of $$ and in any case I still fine with my SDS-258.

    I urge people not to consider that all class D amps sound the same -- they don't, although great detail and freedom from grain are usual characteristics.

    Personally I'd love to try a Pass Labs amp but even used they are far beyond my budget. Maybe I'm just biased but I personally have no desire for a standard A/B design such as the Parasound or Odyssey Khartago for example, though they might be quite nice. I'd be looking for a hybrid or class A design.

    If you're looking for a change of character, one more option might be a pair Monarchy SM-70 Pro's, a high-bias A/B, zero global feedback design. The power is only 80 wpc into 8 ohms (120 into 4) though. I owned this model for several years: it had smooth sound, great dynamics, good resolution, and relative freedom from grain. (My Class D Audio beats it for resolution however.)

    For a quite a few more shekels I would consider one of Monachy's hybrids, the SE160 (HERE) which purports to 160 wpc @ 8 ohm with 50 watts pure class A. Or even better, the SE250, (the latter is endorsed by the noted guru, Morricab at Audio Asylum).

    Other hybrids include the Van Alstine FET Valve offerings (HERE), and the Vincent Audio - SP-331, (see it HERE at Audio Advisor, pretty reasonable at $1400).

    I think it would be fun to investigate the Jungson Hedo pure class A amp, HERE at Grand Fidelity, for only $750, (but only 80 wpc).

  5. #5
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Blackraven I will definitely check out the AVA amp mentioned and also I looked at the Odyssey Stratos, don't know what you guys think of it but I have been interested in that company for quite some time but I also know that the stratos has been around for a while so maybe one of you guys would of owned one at one time and can give me some input on it. I will send you a pm with info on the Class D amp when I get a chance I am in the middle of buying a new house and trying to set up to move this next weekend so things are kind of hectic right now but I will try to look at those ideas when I get a chance.
    I did read the review of the AVA amp and it seems like something that might sound like what I am looking for with the tube like qualities and smoothness without the grain but also the drive and bass of SS.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  6. #6
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    Harley, get yourself up here and listen to the Pass. I also would urge you to look at the ATI 2002 or 3002, these amps are monsters and one of the best amp values I know of, if you want to keep in a certain budget. You do need one of those 20 amp wall outlets though. I had the AVA 400r which is said to be a bit better than the Synergy, I personally thought the Threshold S300 bested it. Granted Pass is much more expensive but it's a whole different league than AVA.

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