Class D is affordable and sounds as good or better the SS/Valve why buy anything else ?


I have spent a fair amount of my hard earned money on big ticket brand new SS and VT/Valve amplifiers over the years without hesitation, with state of the art 2019 class D amplifiers becoming cheaper and sounding better, i wouldn't join in again.

For older technology amplifiers SS VT/Valve to compete with State of the art class D, Their prices are going up and up.

One example is Pilium Audio from Greece or Bulgaria their Divine Line the prices are all over £100,000 for their pre amps and power amps, I know the UK importer he said they sound OK,

Another example FM Acoustics again up to and over £100,000 for pre and power amps. i have owned FM Acoustics pre and power again their OK,

I am not saying they do not sound good, i am saying why spend this much when state of the art class D probably sounds as good now and can only improve with the GaN capacitors and is nearly up to 100 times cheaper.

Is there still a market for multi thousand £$s SS or VT/Valve amplifiers ?

When class D finally overtakes SS VT/Valves what will people do with their multi thousand £$ amplifiers, keep them knowing there is something better ? Or will we see the market flood with exotic used amplifiers ?

Digital technology is rapidly growing pace and becoming cheaper, with GaN capacitors being introduced the sound is going to get better and better and will slowly or quickly become even more affordable.

If you had 50,000 to spend on an Amplifier, would you buy a high ticket SS amplifier and hope for the best ?

Would you stay safe and go with high ticket valve amp, class D can never match good valves right ?

Or would you sit tight and see how the GaN capacitors can further improve the performance of state of the art class D ?

Please feel free to join in, everybody is welcome, i think its a very delicate/touchy discussion for some people with big bucks invested in older type amplifiers.
select-hifi
Totally on board with the OPs thoughts and experiences.

While I am totally enjoying my Audio Alchemy DPA-1, which, IMO is an incredible bargain @ $2k, back in 2016. It takes me amazingly close to the lifelike nature of a quality recording. Seems the 1200 N Cores would be the logical monetary step, but how much better are they than where I am now, vs being on the cusp of a quantum jump?

So, I am saving my pennies for GaN, when it gets into my price range, though I will no doubt extend myself farther than I should to experience it

Does this make me a junkie? I don’t think so. My pursuit is to hear the source as cleanly and texturally as when recorded= transported if you wish. Occasionally I get goose bumps now, can’t wait to hear familiar music through the many virtues that GaN offers. Who will harness it the best at an everyman’s’ budget? LOL, I'm betting $6K+ for what I need. GULP? Maybe I should start a Go Fund Me LOL

I asked Paul McGowan about GaN maybe 4 months ago. Hopefully, he was playing dumb when he attempted to divert my attention, but GaN would likely upset his new BHK amp apple cart, so.....

I owned his M700s, briefly. Again, IMHO, another great value that pushed my 40K system to its’ limits, exposing my next upgrade, a much better DAC. Having almost double the power, the M700s did a much better job of pressurizing my my large room, I planned to keep them and sell the AA, but apparently no one knows how good the AA is, so I kept it and sold the M700s.

I shudder to think how expensive 300wpc GaN amps will be. But if I’m stuck here, it is not a bad place to be. I’ve owned plenty of $<4K amps (both SS and Tube) today’s class D is bringing it people
Tweak1, I mentioned the GaN devices to Colin at Nord and he didn’t seem too interested. Colin did mention the Purifi module was 400 watts a channel i think.To be honest the Nord NC1200 Signature is so good i really believe i need to look at my front end for further sound quality improvement.
I can only imagine what my system will sound like with an Esoteric K-01X or K-01Xs,
I use a full loom of Townshend F1 Fractal cables with Townshend Platforms and Podiums for isolation.
I also use a Running Springs Dmitri conditioner, power cables are DIY Nanotec 308 with Furutech NCF connectors.
With all due respect for Colin at Nord, it's not surprising that he'd not currently express much interest in GaN devices. They produce amps using various existing Class D modules and at this point there are no such modules available using GaN devices. In time that's likely to change as their price comes down and availability improves. 
brewmasterdon, Since you have experience with Mike's systems, can you tell us your impression of how Mike's "All in one" integrated solutions compare to the typical separates and wires? I really believe he's correct about building all the parts as a dedicated system allows him to eliminate stages and optimize impedance and gain levels. Being "locked in" at first seems to make you worried about future DAC/module developments, but perhaps the performance gains in an all in one system outweigh that especially if the performance is exceptional.
@select-hifi have you had the opportunity to try the NAD M22 v2?  I am curious as to how it compares to the Nord.  It uses a custom nc400, a NAD-designed power supply, and a NAD input stage (whose implementation I know nothing about.)  I have been listening to the M22 for the last six weeks or so, and it is much better than all of the other amps that I have owned, which includes SETs, Class A, Class A/B - both tube and SS.

My impression is that most decently implemented nCore amps sound very good (which is to say, transparent).  I am guessing that they vary sonically in so far as how the input is implemented.   The clarity that is inherent in this technology seems to be a function of four things:  1) very low harmonic distortion, 2) the ability to control speakers' impedance swings, 3) very low noise floor, and 4) plenty of power.

The M22 produces better - by that I mean harmonically correct and physically controlled - bass than any amp I have owned. This is probably due to 1, 2 and 4.

The M22 allows me to hear pitch variations that I was never aware of before - probably due to 1 and 3.  Pitch variations can be intentional or unintentional.  When it is intentional it is part of the musicians art.  When it is unintentional it is usually because the musicians have not quite settled in with their instruments and with each other. The ability to reproduce these nuances leads to a much greater intimacy with musicians and their performance.

Also, probably due to 1 and 3, I hear more nuanced timbre.  I am struck by how "plasticy" Stan Getz sounds a lot of the time.  Based on playing the sax myself, I know that this is accurate.  There is no uniformity to timbe either.  It varies from recording to recording, musician to musician.  That is also as it should be.

I am also able to hear details better than I am used to.  I can hear the breathing technique of wind/brass players in some recording, for instance.  This is probably due to 1 and 3.

In the interest of learning a bit more about the notion of transparency, I will be taking delivery of the Benchmark ABH2 in the next day or two.  This amp has better harmonic distortion and noise measurements than almost all, if not all amplifiers on the market today - by a pretty wide margin.  On the other hand, I am not sure it has the drive capability of the M22.  So it will be interesting to see what upping the ante on distortion and noise measurements will translate into as I listen.