Class D Amplification Announcement

After 60 some odd years of disappointment, Class D has finally arrived. As per The Absolute Sound’s Jonathan Valin, the Borrenson-designed Aavik P-580 amp “is the first Class D amplifier I can recommend without the usual reservations. …the P-580 does not have the usual digital-like upper-mid/lower-treble glare or brick wall-like top-octave cut-off that Class D amps of the past have evinced.”

Past designers of Class D and audiophiles, rejoice; Michael Borrenson has finally realized the potential of Class D.


I have not heard the Merril or Atma-Sphere GaN amps.

I can only speak directly about all the tube and solid state amp I have owned.

And to a lessor degree, amps that I have heard at shows and friend’s homes.

The review by @jjss49, I feel, gives an accurate breakdown of AGD’s performance.

IME, the AGD Audions produce SQ that is different and unique. Partially, AGD’s designer clearly has a great ear. And partly, he has created an amp that reproduces all the “broad strokes” and, especially, the subtitles that take SQ from great to “real”. One key of these is hearing the phrasing of musicians. Something that is both subtitle and profound. I have only heard this quality with AGD.


If I’m forced to pick only one or two attributes of tube amplification that appeal to me the most, it has to be the holographic/3D soundstage and the lit-from-within qualities that good tube amplification does it better than SS (of course, in my opinion only). How do you think AGD compares in this aspect? Are there any shortcomings (vis-a-vis tubes) that you can think of?

not sure how to answer... i would say that most low powered sweetie-pie tube amps provide a level of 2nd order harmonics that give voices and instruments a certain glow and lusciousness... i do not feel that the agd’s really do that nearly as much, its midrange is more neutral (if well detailed, very dimensional and ’human’ to my ear) but i don’t think anyone would mistake the agd female vocal reproduction to sound like that of a 300b 10 watt single ended amp .... then again, the agd’s speed, control and its own sense of very high purity in driving a much much wider range of normal and even hard to drive speakers needs to be factored in

imaging wise, i think the agd’s are really excellent - and as @twoleftears says one can always go tube linestage into agd power amp for an infusion of tubey goodness with very few of the downsides

relative to what may be your current, traditional tube amp, i really don’t think there are any downsides... or rather, maybe there are simply 7500 of them 🤣

Look, you guys are spending a lot of time, effort, and money trying to find out which class D amp is worth listening to, and I appreciate that, but Jonathan Valin has already done all the important work for you.  As he said in the most recent issue of TAS, the Aavik P-580 is the FIRST class D amp that, in his HUGE experience, is worth listening to!  So rejoice, start saving, and then go out and get one!

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Following on from @jjss49 's post, I agree completely with what he says.  For a good number of years I owned a Cary 300B-based SET amp, and no, no solid-state amp (be it A, A/B, D or whatever) can produce certain sonic attributes that it can.  That being said, the AGD does things that a 11-watt SET amp cannot.  The Tempo (slightly more powerful than the Audions) is hooked up to Harbeth 40.2's.  The other night I put on a CD of Bax's Symphony no. 3.  There are some thunderous bass passages, and this was the best I've heard from any system I've had in-house.  I'm more than happy with some quality 12AU7's in the signal path, but you could go 6SN7 or there are even a few preamps that use 300Bs.