I like the sound of my Wadia 151 amp ... I find it fairly neutral in tone, transparent, dynamically fast with very tight control on bass and doesn't get bright or splashy at the top end. The fact that it is also a 4 input upsampling (384kHz) DAC in a box the size of a Mac Mini is brilliant.
Squeezebox Touch | Wadia 151 | Aliante Moda PF
I agree on this with you Frank. The more you go 'high-end' the more important the pre-amplifier becomes. Until now I am not convinced with the Class D amps. It sounds very clean and neutral, but there is some area what I would call the 'X-factor' that it just doesn't have for me.
This would also be my view......I wonder how many people would go for Class D having heard a competent Valve, Hybrid or SS Class A amp.....which more often than not, don't make the shortlist for demoing; though Class D is definitely more environmentally friendly.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
It's also a question of taste. And unlike class A, there is no clearly defined topology for Class D - only that the signal remains digital till the output stage - and in-between there makers take wildly different routes - NAD's latest D amps for example.
From what I've gleaned though is that they sound nearer to Class A amps, the good ones anyway. So it may not be to the liking of those who love their NAD356's etc. Strictly not for you
Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD
I agree completely about taste, but in order to rule something out, one has to have heard it in the first place.
The Nad certainly looks promising, as reading what Jax had to say, plus reviews......they are all saying the right things. Haven't heard it though.
If you include the Devialet, then I'd say I've never heard better. Different, maybe, but not better.
Otherwise, at a more affordable price, and pace the three-star WHF review, I like Primare's offerings which i have heard a few times now, and always liked them (though always with ribbon-tweetered speakers, which may not be a coincidence).
Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.
AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2
Interesting, you have heard the Devialet D Premier. Can you tell me where you heard it, and what it sounded like (plus describe the rest of the system etc). From what I have seen and read that looks like the perfect marriage of Class A and Class D and I would love one, or at least a cheaper version of one.
Bedroom: Sonos ZP90, Cyrus DAC XP+, Cyrus X Power, KEF LS50's
Living Room: Linn Majik DS, Marantz UD7006, Arcam AV9/P7, PMC FB1i fronts, TB2i centre, DB1i rears
TEAC's A-H01 is 30W with a 32-bit DAC. Uses ICE-power. Seems to be an interesting alternative for 500 euro.
Actually it's only £199 in the UK which I think is is good VFM for this class D digital and analogue input amp.
NP, how would you compare the Devialet to Linn Klimax (passive).....I ask as I've heard their sound isn't a mile apart, with Linn being (I believe) their own version of Class D.
It is quite interesting to read the Icepower history, available on their homepage. The field was left wide open by the conservative designers. The initial offerings were 1000 watt active speakers, to make the public take notice. Todays 50 watt class D amps seems to be a little bit sulten.
Following Devialet's lead ... seems like a there could be a few more esoteric Class D amplifiers on their way this year ... I like the look of this one ... the Intuition from Wadia ...
The big display reminds me of Roksan/Artora Oxygene and Resolution Cantata.
Specs are 350W into 4ohm, analogue and digital (inc. USB) inputs.
I think most manufacturers will be developing their own at the moment as the government is bound to bring in laws relating to power usage at some point in the near future - the 'less than 1W in standby' thing is just the start...
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
Used to own a Jeff Rowland Continuum 500 integrated, class D design. When idling, it ran quite hot so maybe class D isn't that environmentally friendly. Didn't quite like the sound - not enough body. Give me class A any day.
I've lived with my Primare A34.2 power amp for nearly a month. It has a brighter presentation than I'm used to. Decent recordings sound amazing - fabulous bass control, incredible levels of detail, imaging breathtaking with pretty clean treble. Given a poor recording, you know it all too soon. Most, if not all classical music sounds great but much pop sounds dire so this amp takes no prisoners, none, zilch! How close it sounds to other class D amps, I just don't know. I'd speculate that some would love the sound but others would prefer a more even-handed approach with less detail of the warts being a price worth paying.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini & iTunes Match, CA Azur 751BD or Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros.
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
It's definatly a tough balance.. I had £3k Cyrus pre/power before and the right recording sounded good but even then the top end was way to much for loud listening.. The second you had a bad or bright recording it became unbearable.. The anylitical nature also made it fatiguing and hard to let the music flow.. My new amp is an absolute gem.. Theres just as much detail but you can choose whether to pick it out or just let it flow. Extremely musical and very slightly warm. I found Electro's quite different from other class D's and will keep this one for a few years before doing a big step up. Then will try valve/class a/hybrids but for now i'm very happy. Maybe you should give them an audition
Electrocompaniet PI 2 | Naim ND5 XS | Chord Epic | ProAc Studio 115
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