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The D-Class Pioneer D1004 is a ~$80-90 entry level amp that has good reviews online. A friend offered me one and it fit a hole that I needed to fill. Its a pretty no-frills amp, 4 channels @ 45w @ 4ohms. You can bridge it to 2x @90 @4ohms. I used it mostly as rear-fill (for speakers I honestly can't even really hear in the rear doors). I ended up using it as an amp for my CDT ES-02 mostly because it freed up my JL XD 400/4 to be bridged to give my mid-bass 200 watts a piece. The amp does NOT have gains ... and I think its Signal to Noise is somewhere in the 70s, as a result, it hisses at 0 volume, and the hiss grows but usually gets lost in the music. For this reason - the amp sucks. I had to use my DSP to adjust it to -20db as that was the only way I could get it to balance out - as when it runs full blast it is has an awful piercing sound to certain frequencies.

When I would mute my mid-bass, I kept noting that my ES-02 really just sounded like sh**. When you paired it with the mid-bass, it was completley adequate, but I could tell that there was something missing.

The Zapco ST-2x SQ is a $150 A/B class amp. I ended up scoring a Zapco ST-2x- SQ for $90 shipped on ebay, after a bit of haggling. I hooked it up and immediately was blown away at the difference. Granted, this is D-class vs A/B - which is unfair to begin with. Also, the Pioneer is the cheaper amp, which also is unfair. Additionally, its a cheap 4-channel vs a less-cheap 2x channel - which also isn't fair. The Zapco brought my ES-02's back to life. The difference was night and day. I'm curious to hear it vs my JL XD 400/4 on my midbass, but that is for another day.

My takeaways were that the Zapco 2x is awesome. If I was looking at a cheap amplifier, I would definitely try and spend the extra $100 to get myself into the $100-$200 territory, which opens you up to great A/B amps from USAcoustics (the Barbara Ann, Lisa, etc), the Zapco 2x SQ.
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