A New Wave of Class D Integrated Amplifiers

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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Can I just ask if the new generation of Class D amps are developing that sense of warmth and body that one gets from Tube or Solid State amps? As I get older I find that body and warmth all the more compelling and addictive whereas back then I loved the idea of detail and cleanliness above all else

Not in my experience. I have both the latest PuriFi and NCore based Nord amps. My MSB Class-A monos, not to mention tube Graff 20OTL, sound noticably meatier and lifelike, with more meat on the bones.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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I realized a few years ago that class D was going to take over the amp game.....leaving all these big heavy class A amps as boat anchors. Looks like it is starting to happen.

I've been hearing this for 20 years. I'm open to it but it's not there yet imo.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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Not in my experience. I have both the latest PuriFi and NCore based Nord amps. My MSB Class-A monos, not to mention tube Graff 20OTL, sound noticably meatier and lifelike, with more meat on the bones.

Yeah, believe it or not the Crown Drivecore amps have the most tubelike sound out of the ones I've tried. I built a set of NC500 monos with high end parts and have heard a few others.

I would use NC500s for subwoofers though, their grip on the driver is amazing.
 

alfa100

Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2014
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Have the newer Class D integrated really come of age ? I have read and being told by some of my friends that Class D amps have evolved to as being better than as Class AB and also Class A and also better than Pass Labs Xa100.8 In particular that Devialet Pro is better than my MSB Analog DAC/Pass Labs Xa100.8 combination. Has anybody compared these to highly reputed brands ?
 

Loheswaran

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Dec 20, 2014
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Not sure - i'vee just seen quite a few for sale on Hi-Fi Shark. I heard a devialet driving some Vivid speakers about 6-7 years ago and was astonished how bloody good it was (great piece of reviewing lol :) )- not sure the model. My only reservation is i am a digital man and the devialet, is like the Tact in that it it creates a digital signal. Had i been all digital i wouldn't have hesitated.
 

alfa100

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Aug 29, 2014
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I have the Devialet pro 440 in my home for a demo. Connected to my Sasha Speakers. Driven by NAS, Tidal , Roon and Hard Drive. My Aurender, MSB DAC and Pass labs mono blocks disconnected. Transparent Audio speaker cable spades did not fit onto Devialet so I have some high end Furutech speaker cable. Blame the Furutech if my impressions are not flattering.
 

alfa100

Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2014
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Not sure - i'vee just seen quite a few for sale on Hi-Fi Shark. I heard a devialet driving some Vivid speakers about 6-7 years ago and was astonished how bloody good it was (great piece of reviewing lol :) )- not sure the model. My only reservation is i am a digital man and the devialet, is like the Tact in that it it creates a digital signal. Had i been all digital i wouldn't have hesitated.
I’m confused “a digital man......had I been all digital .....“. I don’t get it
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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Ric Schultz

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Jun 22, 2013
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Yes, this is the kind of reviews the M33 will get. They give the machine to a lower end reviewer like Kal and he does no useful A/Bs. There are people who will think this thing is state of the art from reading such a review. This is how these magazines make money. Take their advertising money and give them a great review. I am not saying the M33 is not great for the money. What I am saying is....how good is it? These kind of reviews will never tell us. Of course, this is true for the majority of reviews written these days.....simply worthless. Will this replace your Mephisto and MSB DAC? Come on, you got to be kidding. Does it sound anywhere near as good as my super modified Purifi amps?

I am totally into making things simpler.....and more compact. But each thing you do changes the sound. You have to listen to every single thing and do it to the enth degree. You simply cannot do that at this kind of price point and expect state of the art sound. If Gryphon made a thing like this (even with class d modules)...it would be 40lbs heavier, cost $30K and would sound way, way better......but it would be one box.....just done at another level. There will be more and more products like this at various price points. I am sure there are already such things. The cheaper it is the better it will sell....so NAD will sell tons of these things and I am sure they will be enjoyed by the people who buy them. Most people who buy the M33 are not those that would buy a more expensive product, so they will not know what they are missing.

Why didn't they give the NAD to Jason Serinus, Michael Fremer or even John Atkinson or Herb Reichert? .......well, you know the reason why. Money and survival.
 

Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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Ric Schultz said:

> Yes, this is the kind of reviews the M33 will get.

What - good ones? Rightly so I believe!

> I am not saying the M33 is not great for the money.

Glad to hear it, despite your endless carping about everything you've not modified

> Does it sound anywhere near as good as my super modified Purifi amps?

Probably better - NAD are good at what they do and have massive R&D recources

> There will be more and more products like this at various price points.

That's good - I'd like to see a 10+K all-in-one that betters even the M33

> NAD will sell tons of these things and I am sure they will be enjoyed by the people who buy them

That's good as it will make their customers happy and provide NAD with funds for furure developments

> Most people who buy the M33 are not those that would buy a more expensive product

Rash and unfounded assumption. I tried much more costly separates before choosing the M32 and many purchasers of M33 will be those who've seen the light and realise that a dozen boxes and a snake pit of cables doesn't necessarily mean ultimate sound quality.

I'm sure we all appreciate your obviously tongue-in-cheek response, but it would be really good to have your revised version after you've actually tried the M33 with your own speakers and objectively and unbiasedly compared it with your own kit!

Keep up the good work in the meantime! ;)

My take on the Stereophile review - Sadly no comparison with its predecessor, the M32. I'm sure many M32 owners, including myself, would like to know whether our upgrade is worth the cost in terms of improved sound quality.

Substituting different power amps with the last section of the NAD (Purifi amp) is none too helpful, particularly as one of the alternative amps used is the drearily dull AHB2! The earlier M32 sounded far more rewarding than the Benchmark in my own system. It would have been nice to see a comparison of all its features by substituting other all-in-ones of similar and higher prices. Nevertheless I'm not put off my immanent M33 purchase. I've not read anything less than excellent reviews so far, so I'm living in hope that it'll excell in my own system. Peter
 

Kal Rubinson

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May 5, 2010
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Why didn't they give the NAD to Jason Serinus, Michael Fremer or even John Atkinson or Herb Reichert? .......well, you know the reason why. Money and survival.
Nonsense. No one "gave" it to me. I pre-emptively took it.
. If Gryphon made a thing like this (even with class d modules)...it would be 40lbs heavier, cost $30K and would sound way, way better......but it would be one box.....just done at another level.
Perhaps but the shoe is on the other foot: Let 'em try.
 
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microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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Nonsense. No one "gave" it to me. I pre-emptively took it. (...)

Do you have an explanation for the ripple in the frequency response of the preamplifier shown in fig.2? Curiously it does not show in amplifier response in fig. 1.
 

Kal Rubinson

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May 5, 2010
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All I can say is that they are showing two different output stages and that the two also differ in the resolution/bandwidth of their A/D converter setting with 24/192 for Fig.1 and 24/96 for Fig. 2. Those alone might account for a difference but I do not know the source of the ripple in the latter.
You might ask that question of JA in the comments thread at stereophile.com.
 

Ric Schultz

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Jun 22, 2013
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Kal,
Of course, you would want to review it. It is in the price range of the components you use. However, this does not give anyone enough information to really know what is going on. Why don't all the review magazines send all components to most all reviewers? Rather than the usual review in every magazine that says......"this is the best thing at its price point and also 2-3 times its price".......and then you re read the review and realize that the reviewer has NONE of its latest competition and is comparing it to something years old. I must of read this a hundred times. If these magazines would really want to SERVE people then they would get maybe 5-10 of the latest and greatest thing in a particular price range and send them around to 5 different reviewers and then post the results. This would give the public a really good idea of how they all sound versus each other so we could make informed purchases. The magazines (all of them) are in business to make money. There are so many products at every price point. How can people know what to purchase? It is all the blind leading the blind. If a magazine did what I suggest then you could actually know something.......AND...the magazine would probably go out of business.....since all magazines are based on revenue from advertising. For instance, if they did a shoot out of the 10 most coveted preamps 10-40K then the losers of the shoot out would never advertise again. What if they did a shoot out of cables and Audioquest did not come out anywhere near on top.....do you think they would continue to advertise? What if B&W was way down the list in a big speaker test?

When I first got into this game in the late 70s we did not need the magazines and there was no internet. Within a 4 mile radius my audio buddies owned pretty much ALL the best stuff in the world.....maggies, Quads, Dayton Wrights, KLH 9s, triamped JBL monster system, custom tri amped wild system, etc. All the best preamps, power amps, cartridges, head amps, tone arms and turntables. You see, there were not more than a hand full of "worlds best" stuff back then. Two of my friends were within a couple of blocks from me and we would even walk over to each others house with the latest cartridge or preamp and A/B directly. We all KNEW what was going on. Of course, we were all very ignorant of all the things we know today. We had no idea that cables made such a difference, that footers and shelves made a difference, that fuses made a difference, that getting your cables off the floor made a difference, that damping heatsinks on a transistor amp makes a difference, that AC line conditioning and dedicated lines make a difference, that room treatments, resistors, solder, wire, capacitors, jacks, etc...etc, into infinity makes a difference.

High end audio is so different from most other hobbies.....in that it is almost totally subjective. Each man is on his own....to tune his system any way he prefers. There is no racetrack that "proves" the absolute superiority of any component. Measurements for the most part mean very little compared to listening tests. In drag racing....everyone knows what is going on. There are no guessing games. This is why all dragsters in the big classes all look the same and almost all run the same. Everything is known.....you have horsepower, drag, traction, gearing, weight and the driver. That is all there is. And you can measure the best car with a stop watch. Nothing like this in high end audio. Every single thing you do to a system changes the sound and most of the changes cannot be measured. However, if you are smart and do a lot of research then you can find components at every price range that are really good. However, you really need to have the ability to listen to these things before you buy or buy used so you can easily move the unwanted component. Most of my audio buddies read, read and read more and ask questions before even trying something. They look for people who seem to have real knowledge and are tweaky.....not just fan boys. If you are diligent and committed you can make seriously great sound at any price point. But most reviews posted in magazines and by people on line are just one mans opinion based on his knowledge and ability to source other competitors products (both qualities usually seriously lacking). How many people would buy all the preamps (or whatever) they think might be great and A/B them (burning each one in for 500 hours....each one using the best fuse and on the best footers tuned to it and best power cord for it, etc.)? If you did this, you would REALLY know something. You could then sell all the losers and be happy till next year when a new version of your thing comes out....he he.

What a crazy game high end audio is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happiness is living in this moment......being aware of the infinite love and joy that exists in this and every moment. High end audio is a game of TRYing to find the best component that gives you a temporary rush and then you get bored and want something new.....he he....like anything material in life....it is in time.....and time makes rust. The heart never rusts. The soul never rusts. We are eternal joy. Can you feel it? Send blessings to everyone you meet.....when you give love you feel love. Hug the world.....Hug your self. We are incredibly beautiful....and deserving....way beyond what your mind could every imagine...........
 
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