AGD Audion GaN Class D In The House


During the last decade i have managed to try in my home 95% of the Class D amps offered to the public these include the so called break thru offerings of the last year or two. While there has been progress the class D signature remained and this included what was lacking in class D amplification.

When i heard about AGD i thought here we go again because i had been there and done that so many times with class D but the GaN tech had me intrigued so i bought a pair of the Audion amps, i thought i would give class D one more go.

I received the amps two days ago and have about twelve hours of listening. From the first minute onwards these amps had my full attention. There is no connection between this class D amp and class D i have heard in the pass no connection what so ever. Forget classes A, A/B, D or whatever this is just an excellent sounding amp, it delivers music that belongs at the upper levels of Hi End audio reproduction.

It`s only been a couple of days of listening but i`m so taken back at the quality of sound i just had to share. I will add more the more i listen, good or bad.
rh67
You listened to 95 different class D amps in your home???  I don't believe you (to put it gently).
I’ve heard AGD Audion amps with Sigma Acoustics speakers, no doubt they were clearly the best class D sound I’ve heard so far but let’s not get carried away.

For me, Class A or SET amps are the way to go as long as own high efficiency speakers.
@rh67 please share what other class D amps you have listened too over the years so we have a better understanding.
Sounds encouraging, especially with your past experience, and certainly beautiful too, but also moderately expensive.
lalitk..... I love class A and SET amps, i have a Pass XA25 and the Wavac EC-300B and a LM 508ia. I would say that the AGD is closer to the sound of the Wavac than the Pass or LM. 

What has me excited about this amp is not because it`s the best class D that i have heard but one of the best amps i have heard and what i`m hearing especially at it`s price point.

My opinion is not from what i have read but real in home experience which is what counts as opposed to hearing equipment at a show or dealer.

A couple weeks ago i had asked here if anyone had experience with AGD amps and got no response so i decided to put my money where my mouth is and purchased the AGD Audion amps, i never comment on anything unless i hear it in my home.

Enjoy your class D. I’ll enjoy my A/AB monoblocks. 
 Class D is so. MOnotone, sterile, lifeless,
im not one to dump on audio, heard many many class D amps 
€Allahabad failed in tone, bass, guitar. 
 If you “think” it’s real, enjoy it. 
I will,stick w my amps
kijanki

Never mentioned 95 amps but 95%. If you really want to know or experience something you need to bring into your home and i do, i need to know for myself.
arcticdeth

I was like you before i bought and brought these amps into my home.

These amps surprised me that`s all i can say.
roxy54

Thank you! I have been pleasantly surprised.
Never mentioned 95 amps but 95%. If you really want to know or experience something you need to bring into your home and i do, i need to know for myself.

Most of people don't even know how many class D amps are out there.  Do you?

How many class D amp have you listened to? Can you list them?
I can't believe the level of negativity in the responses in this thread.  This is one of the things that really afflicts the Audiogon forum.  One kind of post is made when someone gets a new piece of equipment, is excited about it, and wants to share with others.  People will stop sharing if this is the kind of reception they get.

Only one respondent has actually heard the AGD's.

One doesn't know the difference between 95 and 95%, and questions the OP's bona fides.

One dismisses all class D amps, despite the fact that the OP points out that for him the AGD is significantly different to most of the others.

Let's hope this is early days and that subsequent responses are more constructive, or at least more open-minded.


I heard the AGD Audion amps at the audio show in Tampa Florida and they were my favorite room paired with Ocean Way stand mount speakers. I almost took a pair home to try. I'd still like to hear them in my own house. I'm jealous OP. As far as other class D, I've had the Rowland 535 in one of my systems and thought it was great but just not exactly what I was looking for. I would love to have small monoblocks like the AGD or Cherry (never heard them but like form factor) right at my speakers with short speaker cable runs and fully balanced. Enjoy the AGDs! Everyone's system is so different that negative opinions above should carry little weight.
+1 twoleftears
Mike has been promoting them for over a year. Here's one of his YTVs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ungtogUJc_U
“I would say that the AGD is closer to the sound of the Wavac than the Pass or LM.”

@rh67,
I hear your sentiments and that’s saying a lot about AGD amps. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying these amps so much. I would like to know rest of your system, like speakers and preamp.

If I ever built a second system, the Audion’s would be on top of my list.
@twoleftears Totally agree.  I don't get it.  Hopefully additional commentary is more useful.  I'd love to hear these amps, I've read only positive reviews with a few neutral sprinkled in.  That's a good distribution.
What’s with the tube looking thing on the top?
I own a pair of AGD AUDION monoblocks, and yes they are beautiful sounding amps. I’ve never heard any class D amp that these Gallium Nitride sound even remotely similar to. Highly recommended.
I gather that tvad on this forum heard them and was distinctly impressed, though he opted to stick with an Audio Note-based system.
They’re not very forthcoming with all the relevant specs. I find the use of glass a gimmicky turn off.
@mapman It's half marketing tool, half future upgrade path.  They take old tubes and put the amplifying transistors in it.  I believe at this point in time it's all for show, but eventually they'll release new amplification modules and you can just swap out the tube and get a whole new amplifier.  Pretty clever idea if it really does get used as such.  
And @twoleftears good to know Tvad liked them.  He's got trustworthy ears in my book.  
lalitk

Pre, built for me a one off Lampazator DHT/Dac, LTA pre and Supratek DHT/6SN7.

Speakers, Magico M3, Raidho D-1, DeVore Super 9`s and Wilson Watt/Puppy 5.1. These amps will be paired with the Wilsons there is some magic going on with the Wilson and M3`s when played thru these amps. Wife said that our house is starting to look like a stereo store so some of these speakers will be leaving but not the Wilsons.
+1 @twoleftears well said. Thanks.
mapman

True, it`s part marketing but also a brilliant way to upgrade the amp simply by replacing the tube. In Dec. 2020 the tube was upgraded to what AGD calls the MK11. I never heard the original tube so no idea of the extent of the upgrade.
@cal3713 Yes, it is interesting idea.  Not only for the possible upgrade, but also in case of power element failure.  Performing musicians enjoy ease of tube change in comparison to power transistor replacement.  The only negative I can see is the longer connection that might radiate electrical noise (become an antenna).
The main rule in any switching design, like SMPS, is to keep connections as short as possible.
"...What has me excited about this amp is not because it`s the best class D that i have heard but one of the best amps i have heard and what i`m hearing especially at it`s price point..."

To me it seems like a lot of money for an 85 watt, 5 pound amp? 
There i s a shop about 30 miles from me, next Saturday, I’m going to take a drive, get lunch, & have a listen. 
   
russ69
One attraction of class D is lighter weight.

There are many ways to look at things, my 38k 100lb SET amp puts out 10 watts both amps are close in sound, the SET costs 5 times as much. For some the AGD would be considered a bargain.
arcticdeth

Cool, let us know what you think.
"...There are many ways to look at things..."

I like the benefits of class D. There are many applications where they would be superior. Glad to hear that they sound good.
I think it’s great for the industry,and especially great for the consumer that more topology choices are available.  How can there be a downside?  
How many class D amplifiers are out there?
Thanks for reporting on this rh67. Enjoy your amps & please keep us informed on improvements as they break in.



All the best
The reason people get responses like mentioned above is because of their own statements - heard 95% of Class D amps, etc.  Why not just say I auditioned many Class D amplifiers and this one was one that I really enjoyed the most.  Then it is stated that Class A, AB, etc., and mentions two amps that IMO do not reflect the best amps in their own categories.  So IMO that turned me off completely.  In building Class A amplifiers, and hearing many different amplifiers and modifying many different amplifiers, I would be hard pressed to hear something that is better than the Class A amplifiers we build (see how I snuck that in there!).

I have heard the Merrill Class D amps (current versions) which are very expensive, and I would venture to say that he has not heard them.

The last thing that always gets me is that they do not describe what sonic differences that were heard in comparison.  So saying that anything was really good or the best of the bunch, etc., tells me nothing about the sound something produced in their system.

Happy Listening.
@bigkidz Yes, it would be better to say "I've heard many class D amps".  I liked class D from the beginning and in 2008 posted a list of class D makers (today likely much longer).  There are over 50 companies on this list and most of them make more than one model:

Acoustic Reality http://www.acoustic-reality.com/
eAR202, etc (ICEPower)

Aivin http://www.aivin.com.cn/
DT300 (http://www.aivin.com.cn/files/english/products/proweb/DT300.htm) (Tripath)

Analog Research Technology http://www.analogresearch-technology.com/

AudioArt (NL) http://www.audioart.nl/
Van Medevoort MA240 (Hypex UcD)

Audiodigit http://www.audiodigit.com/
MC 8x100 (Tripath)

AudioResearch http://www.audioresearch.com/
150.2, 300.2, 150M (Tripath)

AV123 http://www.av123.com/
X-Empower, xAmp (prelaunch (http://av123forum.com/showthread.php?threadid=10683))
(Philips class-D?)

B&O http://www.icepower.bang-olufsen.com/sw1067.asp
(ICEPower)

BelCanto http://www.belcantodesign.com/products.html
Evo (Tripath) eOne (ICEPower)

Bertram http://www.audiokabel.dk/eng-main.htm
(ICEPower)

Carver http://www.carverusa.com/
300.2, 700.2, 1200.2

Cary Audio http://www.caryaudio.com/
A 306 power amplifier (http://www.caryaudio.com/products/designer/a306.html)

Channel Islands Audio http://www.ciaudio.com/
D100, D200 (Hypex UcD)

Chapter Audio http://www.chapteraudio.co.uk/
Couplet Power Amp (proprietary WMP class-D)

D-Sonic http://www.d-sonic.net/
Magnum (http://www.d-sonic.net/) (ICEPower)

DIYCable http://www.diycable.com/
Exodus (http://www.diycable.com/main/default.php?cPath=140) (Hypex UcD)

Egosys http://www.egosys.co.jp/
Audiotrak DrAMP (http://www.audiotrak.net/drAMP.htm) (Tripath)

Elan http://www.elanhomesystems.com/
D1200, D1600 (12 and 16 channel power amps, Tripath)

Electronic Visionary Systems http://www.tweakaudio.com/
EVS-2 (http://www.tweakaudio.com/EVS-2/Amp_page.html) (ICEPower)

Flying Mole http://www.flyingmoleelectronics.com/
(proprietary class-D)

Gilmore Audio http://www.glacieraudio.com/
Raven, Raptor, Dragonfly (http://www.glacieraudio.com/new%20Glacier%20Audio%20Site/Products%20folder/Gilmore/Gilmore-amps.htm) m/ch (looks like ICE)

Halcro http://www.halcro.com/logic/home.asp
Lyrus

H2O Audio http://www.iceh2oaudio.com/
M250, M500 (ICEpower)

Integra /Onkyo http://www.integrahometheater.com/
DTA 9.4 (http://www.integrahometheater.com/model.cfm?class=Separates&m=DTA-9.4&p=i) 7x120W 8Ω

Jeff Rowland http://www.jeffrowland.com/
(ICEPower)

Jjaz Audio http://www.jjaz.dk/
(ICEPower)

Kharma http://www.kharma.com/
MP150 (http://www.kharma.com/frame.htm?products/matrix/mp150.htm)

LC Audio http://www.lcaudio.com/
Predator SE (http://www.lcaudio.com/index.php?page=37) (ZapPulse)

Marantz http://www.marantz.jp
Opsodis ES-150 (http://www.marantz.jp/ce/products/hometheater/opsodis/es150/index.html) (D2Audio) 2ch virtual surround

Medius [DK] http://www.medius.cc/
A II, A III (http://www.medius.cc/index2.asp?target=products&subtarget=amplifiers&view=amplifiers)

MG Audiolabs http://www.mglaudiolabs.com/
Symphony (http://www.mglaudiolabs.com/products/symphony.htm) (Hypex UcD)

Midgard Audio http://www.midgardaudio.no/www/
(ICEPower)

MindCraft (NL) http://www.mindcraft.nl/
Media Amp One (http://www.mindcraft.nl/mediaampone.htm) (Hypex UcD)

Murano-Audio (TW) http://www.murano-audio.com/
P500, P1000 (ICEPower)

NHT http://nhthifi.com/
Power2 (http://nhthifi.com/2006/products/s/power2.html), Power5 (http://nhthifi.com/2006/products/s/power5.html) (ICEpower)

Nuforce http://www.nuforce.com/
Ref 8, Ref 8b, Ref 9 (nPhysics proprietary class-D)

NuVo Technologies http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/
NV-P2100 (http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/prozone/nv_p2100.htm)

Onkyo http://www.onkyo.com/
A-1VL, A-9755, A-9555 (http://www.eu.onkyo.com/indices/index_com_en_53538.html) (?)

PSAudio http://www.psaudio.com/
GCA, GCMC (ICEPower)

Red Dragon Audio http://www.reddragonaudio.com/
(ICEpower)

RedWineAudio http://www.redwineaudio.com/
Clari-T, Lotus (Tripath)

Rotel http://www.rotel.com/
1077 (7x100), 1092 (2x500) (ICEPower)

Sharp http://www.sharpusa.com/
SM-SX1, SM-SX100

Sonneteer http://freespace.virgin.net/sonneteer.audio/bronte.html
Brontë (Tripath)

Sony http://www.sony.com/
TA-DA9000ES, TA-FA1200ES (http://www.stoneaudio.co.uk/stoneaudio/products/details.asp?product=2439) (S-Master)

Spectron http://www.spectronav.com/
Musician, Troubador (int amp w digital inputs)

TactAudio/Lyngford http://www.tactaudio.dk/ http://www.lyngford.com/
Millennium & others (Equibit)

TEAC Esoteric http://teac.co.jp/av/esoteric/
AZ-1 pre-main (translated (http://babel.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=ja_en&trurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.teac.co.j...)

ThetaDigital http://www.thetadigital.com/
Virtu PowerDAC (http://www.thetadigital.com/press-release/virtu-09-06.htm) (Zetex class-Z)

UniwaveTek http://www.uniwavetek.com/
Anaco II

Yamaha http://www.yamaha.com/
MX-D1
@kijanki

You fingers have to be tired!  Nice work!  I won't ask you to describe the difference you heard !!!!

I have heard about half of the amps on your list. Back in the day I heard the Gilmore Ravens and was impressed with them but that was a long time ago.  Hearing the Cherry tiny mono blocks yesterday was really fun - I am a Class A design tube amplifier guy so the Class D amps I have heard don't float my boat at all but if someone else likes the way they sound in their system then I am all for that!  What ever makes you listen more is the goal IMO.

Happy Listening.  
I've had the Audions for two years now. They drive my Acoustats 2+2 with ease. Very quick transients. Very clean sounding. Love them. Just had the "tubes" upgraded. I recommend them. 
bigkidz

The manner in which i post is not the message here, your reading but you really are not. Your really not interested in the amps but feel the need to comment so you post ridiculous rantings that has nothing to do with said product. I post when i know something about a product otherwise i keep my mouth shut. I have no desire or the need to post, i post when i have something that is beneficial to others or possibly could be.

You mention that you build class A amps how is that relevant to this tread? Many here know my background, is it relevant to this tread? No, it is not.

This tread is about the AGD Audion it`s not about me.
@johnnieshouse

I loved/hated my time with my 2+2s: the hate part because ~20 years ago, while the servo amps sounded much better than the SS interfaces, they were unstable. Long after I sold them, someone figured out how to stabilize them

Would love to hear them with the AGDs
@rh67 - why are you picking on me.  People were making negative comments and asked why - my response was because I thought the statement that you have heard 95% of Class D amps.  What kind of response would someone expect.  Since you don't know anything about me - I am interested in a digital amp that can convey music if I find one that floats my boat.  That is my experience obviously.  I posted the Class A amps so people would understand from my experience why I do not use a Class D amp at this time.  Otherwise my experience/opinion would have no meaning for someone to understand why.   "post ridiculous rantings" why is that - Your experience is better than mine?  Have you built a product?  Do you work in the industry and know something we all don't know?  In my "ranting" i say I am open to learn, I did not  put anyone down for finding something they like I am all for that.  Seems pretty neutral to me.  You found something you like - great - I have no problem with that - I am all for that - but my experience which I have a lot of, plus I can build anything you have every heard - I hope will help others in their search for audio happiness that is what I have always been about.


bigkidz says:  "I am a Class A design tube amplifier guy so the Class D amps I have heard don't float my boat at all but if someone else likes the way they sound in their system then I am all for that!"

Evidently, like some other posters, bigkidz has never heard the Audions, yet is more than happy to group ALL Class D amplifiers together, or at least to assume that the Audions sound more or less exactly like the Class D amps that he has heard.

How is that constructive?  The OP's main point in his original post was precisely that the Audions were significantly DIFFERENT to all other Class D amps that he'd heard (which was a lot).
@arcticdeth Looking forward to hearing your listening impressions.  Hopefully they'll let you audition at home if the first experience is positive...
bigkidz

Once again this thread is not about you.

It`s a tread about the AGD Audion and MY experience with them nothing more and nothing less. 

The more i listen the more i`m impressed. Put class D aside these are just great sounding amps and these are the entry level amps, it makes me curious about their upper level amps???


@rh67   Have you heard the new NAD M33 that Stereophile rates so highly and if so, in your opinion how does it stack up against what your AGD sounds like.  I realize that the M33 is an integrated amp, but still I'm interested in what you might think on it.
rh67:

What is this (your first post here) about?...

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/agd-contact

DeKay
I was going to ask if anyone had AGD`s contact info. Several members sent it to me via PM. I got the contact info. and ordered the amps.

I have had interest in class D for the last 15 years and i would ask manufactures or dealers to send me product to use in my home and that is what i was doing with AGD but this time the amps delivered what was promised and these are not going back.
I am glad you found one you could listen to that really surprises me because i consider a class d amp an inferior product but i have heard one good one myself and it was a spectron from years ago.
assetmgrsc

The M33 is way better than the M32 but sound wise the class D heritage is still evident, for ME it`s an amp i would not consider buying.

Also there is way too much going on, i like DHT pre amps, i also like USB which the M33 does not have. I have found that i can taylor the sound using a great pre, the M33 does not allow this.

It sounds fine but that`s not good enough for me.