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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This could come down to how much some people's ears can really discern over others, but time spent with one or the other could reveal differences. I am open to being proven wrong, not sure how subjective it could all be however.
 

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I have heard class D systems in homes and commercial settings that sound incredible. I have not been exposed to any class D full range car amplifiers that sound incredible, or I should say that didn't have flaws that detracted from the otherwise good sound. I am about 1 generation behind as far as testing. I certainly believe it is possible.
 

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To the OP: call up Richard Clark and tell him you are bringing your best Class AB amplifier to test against Zed's new full range Class D offerings or a JL Audio HD series. You can come back with bragging rights saying that you won $10k of Richard Clark's money by beating his challenge AND you can brag about being able to correctly identify amplifier topologies. Just think of all the audiophile magazines that will revel in your glory!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, just a thread spark, not the gospel. I am just trying to pool opinion. Some people say they can hear the difference or the circuit switching and that it doesn't sound natural. As for the HD's, I hear people prefer the slashes, other people say they can't tell a difference. Haven't heard anyone say the HD's sound better, but I haven't looked super hard into it. That could say something, or nothing, I don't know, but I'd like to find out what others think.
 

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I personally believe technology has reached a level that surpasses the average humans ability to distinguish the difference in a casual listening enviroment. In a sound proof/dead room you might hear a slight difference if you're lucky. But never in a moving vehicle while your driving.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'd like to meet some of those who can pick out amplifier topologies in an automobile while it is in motion. What is the average noise floor on the most quiet of luxury vehicles? 60 decibels, give or take a few. Now let's start talking about "normal" vehicles with higher noise floors. Sure, I believe someone can hear the circuit switching while driving.
 

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I have to say I have not listened to any recent class D amps but I have talked to two manf recently, one has a new line(and was one of the first to ever offer class D) and the other has a new one in the oven but has not had class D amps before.

Both are very very good companies with great histories of quality engineered products and both are using latest chips, etc....and both said they are not as good as their A/B amps.

Of the class D I tried years ago, I could easily tell the difference but then again, my system was light years ahead of 99.999% of what others would put into a vehicle and yes, while parked it was much easier to hear it though I could while driving as well (200 hours of sound deadening, solid as a rock, always going to have some road noise left so crank it up LOUD and drone it out but that is not fun either)

And I only played reference quality material.

I have also talked with a couple of home audio manf lately about the different classes, they preferred AB over D as well, even for subs and make both.

How many have actually done the RC test? How was it setup, quality of the systems, source material, etc.....? I have not read the test material for years, not going to either. But I am open to the idea that D class has gotten good enough but I will not believe it until I hear it, why I have some on order and have the ability to properly listen here.

Rick
 

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I've talked to people in the industry such as a master technician, and they say today's class D will meet any spec you want just as well as a class AB. They say class D are in everything from TVs to HT. That said they can have a different response curve, the ones I heard for cars were not new and they sounded more flat or some would say cold. Myself I prefer more 'warm' sounding amps such as older AB amps tend to be, but in reality with all the EQ processing today it is not much of an issue. They also can sound different when they clip. But, those two issues should not be confused with THD or other sound quality issues. Most agree class D is taking over everything and will be the common type of amp in the future.
 

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I can't vouch for the newer classes myself, but I can say that in the older Class D stuff I could definitely hear something that was off. I've heard some really good things from many audiophiles (the even the snobby types) that the newer Class D varieties are very listenable.

I think though that it works out pretty well with Class D though. What you need Class D for the most is high current applications (subwoofers) where this topology excels & have minimal distortion (even the older ones). No reason to really use a Class D amp on higher frequency drivers when you can get a reasonably sized amp & relative low draw amp to push them.
 

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I run a class D full range amplifier in my car. Planet Audio BB150.2. Very high quality MB Quart speakers and a really good Eclipse headunit. Could never tell the difference between it and any A/B amps I'd used, other than power output. If you notice a difference, it's likely at the very high end of the treble, which not all people can hear, especially in a car environment.
 

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The environment is everything.

Most folk don't sit in their car to listen to music; even under best conditions, an automobile is not an optimal listening environment. I have pretty good ears.... I'm trusting that my new Sony Xplod amp (class D) will not show itself to be audibly flawed when I install it in spring.
 

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Just a general statement, not intended to say much except:

I much prefer the sweet sound of a good tube amp over any transistor amp ever made:)

Possibly the specs of the class D might be there but the way a transistor works may be kinder to my ears, as a tube amps is compared to a transistor one???

How about this, set up a true listening test in your own vehicle, level matched, playing the best recordings you have, switching as seamlessly as possible from a great AB amp to a D class.......parked, dark out, lights off, etc.......

Then do the best you can while driving, it would be much harder to hear the difference if any but you might.

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I do wonder how many have actually heard a world class system with a true audiophile recording as not that many have actually been built and tuned well. Speaking of tuning, I have beaten a world champion on my own build and tune, by a good margin then had Eric at ID tune it for me and absolutely blow away my tune. I fear not many of us can begin to approach that level of tuning. I would love to hear the amp test with such a system and tune, it does matter, hard to fully understand until you hear it, harder to explain.

(I have to admit, I seldom played the system while driving, it was just to good while parked. I did however love to show it off to anybody I could because it blew them away. Best was some very very musically experienced people from outside the mobile realm, that was the most fun:)

Rick
 

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Anybody in the DFW is more then welcome to listen to my car and see if they can tell the difference. I have Zed built Class a/bs and the new Zed class ds at my disposal.

FWIW the class D's are staying put in my car.
 

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Switching them in and out seamlessly while playing would be the ultimate way to do this.

I have many test disks but if I want to really see what a system can do I use the Alan Parsons Sound Check disk, be careful with it, makes sure the gains are such you cannot overdrive anything, a butt load of energy on that disk:)

(for those nit pickers out there I am using the term energy as a general term;)
 

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I am very impressed with the G class amps I have in my Vette, enough so I am putting 3 in my truck to save space for our huge doggies, Akita and Irish Wolfhound.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What about other classes of amps? Specifically G, H, or T?
G and H use switching with MOSFETS, it's two amps in one chassis with a common switching rail (I believe). I had a clarion xh5410 but sold it before using it, it's G/H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have to say I have not listened to any recent class D amps but I have talked to two manf recently, one has a new line(and was one of the first to ever offer class D) and the other has a new one in the oven but has not had class D amps before.

Both are very very good companies with great histories of quality engineered products and both are using latest chips, etc....and both said they are not as good as their A/B amps.

Of the class D I tried years ago, I could easily tell the difference but then again, my system was light years ahead of 99.999% of what others would put into a vehicle and yes, while parked it was much easier to hear it though I could while driving as well (200 hours of sound deadening, solid as a rock, always going to have some road noise left so crank it up LOUD and drone it out but that is not fun either)

And I only played reference quality material.

I have also talked with a couple of home audio manf lately about the different classes, they preferred AB over D as well, even for subs and make both.

How many have actually done the RC test? How was it setup, quality of the systems, source material, etc.....? I have not read the test material for years, not going to either. But I am open to the idea that D class has gotten good enough but I will not believe it until I hear it, why I have some on order and have the ability to properly listen here.

Rick
Thanks for the added info Rick, and for the roll of Raamat shipped to Fairfield drive in Flourtown PA, musta been 8-9 years ago when I was 17. I don't live there anymore, but PM for my new address to send more, for free :D
 

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I am currently using a Clarion DPX1851 to power my JL Audio 13w6v2. Truthfully, that was the best BNIB amplifier deal for the money at $150 shipped from Crutchfield.
 

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I know how G and H work, I meant anyone with actual experience to the sound? Can A/B sound like G or H?

Class D, by its nature, may never produce sine waves exactly like A and B will. That doesn't mean it can't sound as good, technology can surpass our ability to measure it with our ears.
 
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