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  bel canto and wyred 4 sound
i am looking into going class d amplification and was wondering if anyone had any experience with these manufacturers. also wondering if the price differences are warranted in terms of results. they would be hooked up to mg 12 maggies.
Bianchi27  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-23 of 23)
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05-29-11   I believe if you check the forums, you might find some info ...   Riley804

05-29-11   Riley is correct about there being many forums about class d ...   Tan43

05-30-11: Ronwills
Just purchased the Wyred 4 Sound STI500 after being very satisfied with their DAC1 and now DAC2. It hasn't fully broken in yet, but so far I am very impressed. I have Magnepan 1.7s and the STI500 has plenty of power with a very smooth sound. As it is breaking in, I am hearing more details.

Don't know about the Bel Canto. I purchased the Wyred 4 Sound STI500 based on quality materials in the construction, great reviews and terrific success with their DAC. It seemed to hit the sweetspot in price vs. performance.

The unit is very easy to use and very flexible. Highly recommended but give it PLENTY of time to break in - 200 hours, at least. When you do, you will love the sound with the Magnepan loudspeakers.

Ronwills  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-31-11   It's going to boil down to a lot of factors. i have owned a ...   Ckoffend

05-31-11: Ronwills
I have heard this complaint about Class D amps before and it concerned me when I was making the final purchase decision on the W4S amp.

I did a quick scan of prices of the three amp brands you mentioned: Krell, Pass and M. Levinson and at anywhere near the output power of the W4S STI500 they are 3 to 15 times more expensive. This is really an unfair comparison.

Assuming quality audio reproduction of the equipment, Class D amps provide the following additional benefits:

They are very light,
Have very low power consumption, and
Give off little or no heat.

The pace at which the W4S is breaking in right now, my concerns about Class D lessen each day. I would possibly compare the "difference" in Class D amps with my previous Class A (up to 10 watts) /AB amp may be similar to how Magnepans sound different than other speakers. You either like it or not, but they do present the sound in a different manner. I don't hear any differences as big as Magnepans vs typical speakers in the W4S vs Class A or A/B amps, but possibly some slight differences.

Finally, the W4S STI500 does sound very very good with the Magnepans.

Ronwills  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-01-11   Ron, that is also an issue in my mind - the cost of the clas ...   Ckoffend

06-06-11   The bel canto is a class d amp that goes for 1.5 to 2 times ...   Ronwills

06-21-11   Well ron, it has been a while since i have been to this page ...   Ckoffend

06-21-11   I would be curious to see if the w4s sti500 would make a dif ...   Ronwills

06-21-11: Mcgarick
Ronwills, yesterday I put a 10 gauge power cord on my Wyred ST-250 and I tell you the truth, the sound open up more,got more natural, and it was already great! I'm shocked at this....
Mcgarick  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-21-11: Digilog5
I am using my ST-500 with Pure Note (TRS audio) Alluvion XLRs. These proved to be an excellent match between my w4s DAC2 and ST-500. Look for low capacitance XLRs with mostly air-spaced conductors. The Alluvions are cryo treated silver-palladium ribbons. Also later you can change the fuses on the ICE modules of the amp. I also changed my powercord on the DAC2 with a Neotech NEP-3003 cord (OCC copper based and cryo'd) with Furutech ends. This opened up the soundstage alot without being harsh at all. Had almost the same impact sonically to when I installed my pure notes.


Digilog5  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-21-11   I've tried several class d amps, historically i am class a a ...   Ckoffend

06-22-11   I'll say this, i've have been really really impressed with t ...   Mcgarick

06-22-11: Ronwills
I forgot to mention that I do have Xindak Power Cords for all of my equipment. They appear to be 10 guage (thicker than a garden hose!) These are very nicely constructed cables that would be comparable to $250-$400 power cables.

Ckoffend if you get a chance, try one of the W4S amps or integrated amps. I would be interested to hear if you have the same issues about them running out of steam. With the Maggies, the STI500 has the sense of unlimited clean and clear power. Really amazing.

By the way, looked up some of the amps you mentioned. Both the Krell and Mark Levenson looks like a battleships! I have seen Pass amplifiers and they were the biggest boxes I have ever seen in my life!

I do like the sound of Class A amps and believe they, like tubes, really provide more sound per watt than Class A/B. In addition, I think the W4S is very close to Class A sound (once I update some cables I think that they will take another step up - remember I am currently using a $140 cable and source is a $350 Netgear 9150). As of now, the W4S blows away the Class A/B amps I have listened to, especially at high volumn levels.

Here is my argument for Class D vs Class A:
Cool running!
Unlimited feel of power
Smooth, never harsh
Low power consumption (I leave my amps on ALL the time)
Small footprint (about the size of a preamp)
Better depth than my previous amp
Three dimensional but not yet up to my previous amp running in Class A mode where you feel the performer in the room
A fraction of the cost of a comparable Class A amp (less than 1/3 to 1/10 as much)

Truth be told, if inconvenience was not an issue, I would choose a Tube amp in the 100 watt range over a Class A or Class D amp but after all the issues you have to go through for tubes, I decided it was not worth the trouble.

Ronwills  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-24-11: Ckoffend
Ron, I got around to hooking up my Bel Cantos to the little maggies. Initially I just did a quick hook up of the maggies to the HT Receiver (yeah I know, no comment necessary, it's a Pioneer Elite model???). I am not too much into HT, so this is just for my kids.

But the Bel Cantos Ref 1000 seem to sound quite nice with the maggies (which I have not hooked up in my main system yet). I am just running a pre-out from my HT Receive to the Bel Cantos into the maggies. The sound is a notable (unsurprising) improvement vs. the HT receiver driving the maggies. These were cheap speakers and it had been a while since I had run maggies in my house and I figured they would be nice to play around with, especially with the BC amps. I can understand why people like this combo. Though it certainly doesn't compare to the performance of my main system (again, unsurprisingly as none of the other components, cabling, room, etc. compare).

Outside of these notes, I can understand many of your comments on the class A, class A/B, class D and the tube amps. Not sure if I agree with all the comments as I have had a tough time finding anything outside of Class A that has performed as well "in my system". Though having had good tubed amps, I love the sound, hate my continuous concern about the tubes and maintenance insecurities. The sound can be great though.

Ckoffend  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-24-11   All the ice amps have more in common than big differences. ...   Magfan

06-25-11: Ckoffend
I would have to agree with Magfan on his comments regarding similarity of class D amps having more in like, than major differences. I have owned and tested a few and found this to be the case - WITH WHAT I HAVE HEARD.

There are certainly other threads that make note of MAJOR differences; however, not to my ear!

I am surprised how content I am with the Maggie SMGa speakers, considering their price (I paid), their age and the lack of equipment support vs. my main rig. It makes me want to consider buying a more current and much larger pair.

As to the sound of Bel Canto and W4S, I can't say based on side by side comparisons, but again, I agree with Magfan that there is unlikely to be much of a difference. So many of these Class D amps seem to be comparing themselves to much more expensive Class A amps. I haven't experienced a level of performance that is anywhere close to matching the true class A amps that I am accustomed to in MY SYSTEM.

Ckoffend  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-25-11   I don't think you can compare the two brands. wyred amps ar ...   Mapman

06-25-11: Magfan
The ASP module includes powersupply. So, they are pretty much plug /play.

The ASC module is meant to be powered from an ASP module OR from a stand-alone PS. At that point you can buy a transformer and a capacitor bank, or go SMPS.

The output sections are very similar...topology and device selection.

It would appear that W4S uses unmodified ASP modules with perhaps a few changes on the input end. My PSAudio, built in the same facility has what they call the 'GainCell' on the input. I have no detail on that, except it is a potted module.

Other 'd' implementations may have character of their own. Hypex, Spectron and the little known International Rectifier are all 'd' entries. Spectron is proprietary, Channel Islands uses Hypex and I have no idea about IR modules, except I've got one out in the garage needing a power supply.

The 2 major topologies of 'd' amps, what are called 'FullBridge' and 'HalfBridge' may account for differences in sound.

Magfan  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-25-11   Magfan, aside from adding an input buffer, i know for a fact ...   Face

06-26-11   Would you or anyone consider such changes making the asp mod ...   Magfan

06-26-11: Face
Fuji/Gala... :D

Yes, caps are changed in a couple of locations.

I'd love to be present for a Class D comparison too. Off the top of my head, the only others I've heard were Bel Canto's TOTL monos. They sounded good too, but were in a different rig/room so not really much of a comparison.

Face  (System | Answers | This Thread)

11-17-11: Phd
Wyred 4 sound amps are well worth the current asking price, they are very good sounding amps, but not great. My experience with the ST-250 impressed me to some degree and felt a need to play the highest quality recordings (audiophile music) to make it sound good, whereas other recordings didn't quite measure up. I am from the camp that a digital switching amp could benefit from an analog power supply but I have to give Cullen Circuits a thumbs up for implimenting a switching power supply that is acceptable. After inserting the older PS Audio HCA-2 the overall musicality regardless of the quality of the recording improved quite substantially. One would think that as time goes on that the sound quality of digital switching amps would improve but it is apparent that this is not the case here. The HCA-2 with its panoramic sound and analog power supply fleshes out velvety highs, bumped up midrange coupled with its ability to layer and texture the music in such a delicious way is superior in most all areas and found the overall involvement in the music was stepped up quite a bit. This is my opinion and I could still recommend the wyred 4 sound amps at their current going prices but I don't classify them as high-end but just very good midfi.
Phd  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

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