D-Sonic peak current output compared to other

I read this review on 6moons website about the D-Sonic M2-1500M amplifier and I think it is a very interesting amplifier. However, I am wondering about the "Peak Current Output" spec (30A) according to D-Sonic website, because I've read regarding the Current Headroom at Spectron , where it is said that those can deliver peak currents of 65 amps...
I'm very interested to read your thoughts about that.
Jugg, what I have gathered this far about D-Sonic amps is that they are based on very innovative class D modules. The modules are rumored to be designed by Abletech. I suspect that unless you have speakers that are horridly demanding, the D-Sonic amps will drive them quite effortlessly. Being these amps so new, it will be fascinating to contrast their audible performance with more traditional designs in class D, A/B, A, or tubed. The trick is to let your ears do all the findings, not your eyes looking at their size, nor your... wallet. G.

I have also considered "peak current" when comparing amps. But I have come to realize it is not the end all of the whole.

Besides the Spectron, Spectral are known for their "Peak Current".
The Spectron is both a Stereo and Mono (they make an internal change). The Spectral makes different Stereo and Monos.

That being said I have heard both in and out of my system.

I really like the Spectron but as monos and with the upgrades. The price then became a consideration.
I also really liked the Spectral. Not sure of the model but it was a stereo version. But it just did not grab me, something was missing. Their Mono version were out of my price range at the time.

Not to go over all the different amps (do a search) but I found the one.

Do yourself a favor, a BIG one, and demo the Veritas by Merrill Audio based on the Hypex Ncore NC1200 Tech.

DO NOT let the class type bother you.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

PS It has 38A peak current. I have heard it drive all types with aplomb.
Thanks guys for your thoughts.

I am starting to check the specs of some Class-D amplifiers, and I first checked Spectron, as originator of this type of amplifier, but your are correct, if we consider the upgrades, price is somewhat an issue for me. Anyway, at the Spectron website they explain the importance of headroom, so I check this spec in the others.

I will consider the Veritas by Merrill Audio, although I'm unable to demo it or others, as I live far away :)

Djug, Merrill Audio and D-Sonic appear to sell directly to end users. Therefore your location may not matter. You may want to contact them and determine what arrangements can be made for you. Here is Merrill's site:
Cjug - FYI, the price difference between the Merril and the D-Sonic is big enough to drive a truck through. I know Merril personally, trust him, and will be auditioning his amps this year. However, I doubt I will be able to afford them anytime soon. If you think you can spend 10 large on a pair of amps, email Merrill. Perhaps he can arrange a home trial for you. D-Sonic has a 21 day return option, but you lose round-trip shipping costs and a 10% restocking fee. An expensive home demo if you don't keep it. IIRC, Wyred 4 Sound has a better return policy, but I am not sure.

I recently borrowed a pair of Arion RS-500 Class D amps from Mike at MK Audio. Great amps that took my rig up a big notch. I do not know much about them, but I think they put out 35 amps peek current. They sounded far more powerful and dynamic than my solid state Class A/B amp, which has a peek current output of 45 amps. So, there ya go. I am not affiliated with MKAudio. However, Mike did mention he had some B-stock units available at a discount from the regular $4K/pr price. You can ask him about it. www.arionaudio.com
Let's do the math!

We have three values mentioned so far. 30A, 45A and 65Amps.

Exactly what does that mean? I suspect it is not having anything to do with the power output of the amp. Let's see if I am correct.

The power formula is P=Isquared x R. P is Power, I is current and R is the load of the speaker.

Let's assume that the speaker is one ohm, which it isn't in most cases, but one ohm means that the power is equal to the current squared; 30 amps is thus 900 watts, 45 is 2025 and 65 is 4225.

If the speaker is 4 ohms the power level becomes 2700 watts, 8100 and 16,900 watts respectively.

Do any of these amps make power like that into 4 ohms? No? (sorry to be a bit flippant, but this is an often misunderstood spec).

The actual spec is the amount of current measured when the power supply is shorted out for 10 milliseconds.

By that measure, our MA-2, a 220-watt tube amp, has as much current as the most powerful amp mentioned on the is list so far. But its really the amount of *power* that the amp can make into the speaker load that is important.

The current spec is really a measure of the size of the pool of electrons that feeds the amp. But the amp is a bottleneck for that pool. It has been shown that amps with more power supply reserve do sound better- this is often simply because you get less IM distortion.

One other bit of math. Let's say the speaker is being fed 400 watts. What is the current? If a 4-ohm speaker, the current is 400=Isquared x 4. Solving for current we get 100, taking the square root we get 10. Ten amps is all that is needed to drive a 4 ohm speaker with 400 watts. Note: it does not matter what kind of amp is used, if its 4 ohms and 400 watts the current will always be 10 amps.

Amplifier manufacturers like to use that current figure to inflate the idea that their amp is more 'brutal' or something, I hope this rather simple math allows you to see what is really going on.
Very helpful, Atmasphere! That explains my experience perfectly.

There is an interesting reading in Magnepan's website regarding amplifiers current output.


"What is the best amplifier for Magneplanars? [top]

Some individuals assume we won't make product or amplifier recommendations for "political" reasons. Not true. We CAN'T make specific recommendations because WE DON'T KNOW. It is too much work to keep up with changing models and the vast number of products. As it is, our small staff is not getting all of our work done. However, the following guidelines will be helpful. Class A/B amplifier designs that come close to doubling power at 4 ohms have a long and successful track record.

There are 2 features or aspects of a receiver or amplifier that will enhance your music or experience-- High current power supplies (ability to drive 4 ohm loads) and adjustable crossover points in the bass management menu for home-theater.

The most common question is about the amount of recommended power for Magneplanars, but, first, it is important to understand the role of current and the power supply. High current and the capability of the power supply is a good indicator of the QUALITY of the amplifier. The amount of power you will need is a matter of QUANTITY. High current and total power are two separate issues.

The power supply is "what separates the men from the boys." A receiver is very efficient and cost-effective way to get is all in one package, but there are "issues". Unfortunately, consumers want all the "bells and whistles" without understanding the importance of power supply. Many manufacturers offer the "bells and whistles", but, compromise the power supply to be price competitive. There are a few manufacturers that are the exception.

Everyone understands they need plenty of power, but the role of power supply is not understood. There is one important concept you need to understand when shopping for an amplifier or receiver---and it is somewhat like understanding "good" and "bad" cholesterol. The ratio is very important. An Gold Standard for an amplifier would be to double the power at 4 ohms. This concept is important even if you are buying an 8 ohm speaker. If the amplifier is rated at 80 watts at 8 ohms, it should (ideally) produce 160 watts at 4 ohms (or close to it). None of the receivers will do that. However, this is the benchmark of a good amplifier design. A 10 watt amplifier that produces 20 watts at 4 ohms "speaks volumes" about the PHILOSOPHY of the designer. (But, of course, it does not tell you if a 10 watt amplifier is enough for your room.)

A good receiver might produce 30-40% more power at 4 ohms. Most receiver manufacturers don't want to talk about 4 ohm ratings because they have cut the "guts" out of their products to keep the cost down. Some receivers produce the same power at 4 ohms as the 8 ohm ratings. Or they use a switch on the back for 4 ohms to reduce the power and to prevent the receiver from self destructing. Others warn against 4 ohm speakers. Regardless of what speaker you buy, we don't recommend any of these receivers. There are a few manufacturers making receivers with good 4 ohm capability. But, we can't keep up with who's doing what. All you have to remember is to ask-- "What is the 4 ohm power rating?" If the 4 ohm rating isn't available, find another model or brand. It may take some digging to find the 4 ohm rating, but there are a number of receivers on the market that are rated for 4 ohms. For example, the THX rating requires that the amplifier section must be able to drive 4 ohms continuously. Even an inexpensive receiver like the 50 watt NAD C725 BEE (suggested retail of $799) is advertised to be stable with impedances down to 1 ohm and has peak power of 200 watts. So, don't be fooled by pretty front panels. Its what is on the inside that counts.

A new type of amplifier (Class D) has become more popular because it is a "green" design and uses less power plus it is smaller in size compared to conventional amplifier designs. We have heard reports of Class D amplifiers shutting down when driving 4 ohm loads or sound quality that is less-than-desirable. Some, more recent designs are much better. Because we do not have the time to determine which models of Class D designs are compatible with Maggies, we must take a conservative approach. Class A/B designs with high current capability have proven a good choice for many decades.

Adjustable crossover points- If you are shopping for a receiver or processor, you will want a model with adjustable crossover points for "small" speakers in the bass management menu. This is very important to the design of a Magneplanar home-theater system. Adjustable crossover points up to 250 Hz are desirable.

Most ribbon or electrostatic center channel speakers incorporate a dynamic midbass driver since the rather small ribbon or electrostatic elements can not produce midbass. This seems like a mistake to us. The does approximately 60% of the "heavy lifting" for movies. Why compromise such a critical ribbon speaker with a dynamic woofer?

Magneplanar center channel speakers are also small (relative to our full range models) and cannot produce adequate midbass-- by themselves. Our strategy is to utilize the front left/right Magneplanars (or one of the new Magneplanar Woofers) to produce the center channel midbass/bass. When optimally setup, the illusion is of a big Maggie in the middle. However, it requires one of several solutions for getting center channel midbass/bass. Adjustable crossover points in the bass management menu is one of the easiest solutions. If your receiver or processor only has an 80 Hz crossover point for "small" center channel, there are other options. Please call us and we will be happy to discuss your installation requirements."

The above quote is from Magnapan's website.

This is a video explaining why current output is so important in audio playback:
Not sure I buy the explanation in the video. It needs elaboration to know what he is trying to say.

The exert below is very clear and it is consistent with basic electronics course content.

This is an exert from The Complete Guide to High-End Audio as published for free by The Absolute Sound at AVguide.com

This link has the free download guide to electronics 2012. The section of this exert is on page 13.


Excerpted and adapted from The Complete
Guide to High-End Audio (fourth edition).
Copyright © 1994–2012 by Robert Harley.

Why Amplifier Output Current Matters

Some amplifiers barely increase their output
power when driving 4 ohms; others can double
it. This means that not all “100Wpc” amplifiers
are created equal. One “100Wpc” amplifier
might put out 150W into 2 ohms, while another
might deliver 400Wpc into 2 ohms. This ability
to drive low-impedance loads (specifically, to
deliver lots of current) has a large influence on an
amplifier’s sound and subjective power capability.
Loudspeakers have dips in their impedances at
certain frequencies, which puts greater currentdelivery
demands on the power amplifier.

This difference has real-world consequences.
The ability to increase output power into low
impedances indicates how much current the
amplifier can deliver to the loudspeaker. It is
current flow through the loudspeakers’ voice
coils (in dynamic loudspeakers) that creates the
electromagnetic force that causes the cones
and domes to move, and thus produce sound. If
current flow through the voice coil is constrained,
so is the music.

An analog is helpful to understanding this
concept. Think of a power amplifier driving a
loudspeaker as a water faucet and a hose; the
water pressure is voltage, the flow of water through
the hose is electrical current, and squeezing the
hose forms a resistance (impedance) to the flow.
In this analogy, the loudspeaker’s impedance is
the resistance in the hose that impedes the flow
of water. The lower the loudspeaker’s impedance,
the less the resistance to current flow from the
amplifier, and the harder the amplifier must
work to deliver current to the loudspeaker. If the
impedance is halved (say, from 8 ohms to 4 ohms),
the amplifier is asked to deliver double the current
to the loudspeaker (all other factors being equal).

If the amplifier isn’t up to the job, the musical
result is strain or even distortion on musical
peaks, weak bass, loss of dynamics, hardening
of timbre, and a collapsing soundstage. In short,
we can hear the amplifier give up as it runs out
of power. Conversely, amplifiers that can continue
increasing their output power as the impedance
drops generally have very deep, extended, and
powerful bass, virtually unlimited dynamics, a
sense of ease and grace during musical peaks,
and the ability to maintain correct timbre and
soundstaging, even during loud passages. If you
have relatively high-impedance loudspeakers
with no severe impedance dips, you’re much less
likely to encounter sonic problems, even with
modest power amplifiers; the loudspeaker simply
demands less current from the power amplifier.

Amplifiers with high current capability (indicated
by their ability to increase output power into low
impedances) are often large and expensive. Their
current capability comes from massive power
transformers, huge power supplies, and lots of
output transistors—all expensive items.

Keep in mind, however, that not all systems
require large power amplifiers. If you have sensitive
loudspeakers with a fairly high impedance, the
loudspeaker’s current demands are vastly lower.
Consequently, smaller amplifiers work just fine.
Single-ended triode amplifiers with as little as
3Wpc and very limited ability to deliver current
can sound highly musical when driving a load-appropriate

Excerpted and adapted from The Complete
Guide to High-End Audio (fourth edition).
Copyright © 1994–2012 by Robert Harley.
There are a number of things in the excerpt above that are patently false (despite the source) but are indeed widely-held opinion in the form of myth.

For example the ability to play deep effortless bass has nothing at all to do with the ability of the amplifier to double its power as impedance is halved.

If you would like an example of this, try that of a Sound Lab ESL being driven by a transistor amplifier. The tendency is for the amp to be bass-shy on that speaker while also being too bright.

What in fact is far more important is the relationship between the amp and speaker, as well as the intention of the designer of the speaker. Very closely related to this fact is the experience of seeing 'good' specs on paper, but also knowing full well that the specs will not tell you how that amp will sound in your system.

Here is an easy to read article about what is going on:

Most box speakers have a woofer in that box that makes the bass. The woofer has a resonance in that box that is expressed by a peak in the impedance curve. This usually shows up in most designs right near the low frequency cutoff of the speaker itself. So you can see that the comment:
amplifiers that can continue increasing their output power as the impedance drops generally have very deep, extended, and powerful bass
is not really true at all. In fact making deep bass has nothing to do with 'tons of current', since at the resonant peak in the box, the speaker's impedance will be high, not low, forcing the amp to make *less* power, not more! Obviously something else is at play in the way amps make good bass.

It is true that lots of capacity in the power supply (which is the source of the 'amplifier' current that generated this thread) is generally associated with the better amplifiers made. But it is the relationship between the amp and the speaker that actually governs the things we hear from them. Understanding that fact is how you avoid flushing large amounts of dollars down the loo.

Whatever Robert Harley said is his experience, which becomes statistical fact. Others can agree with him or not based on their own experience, which can be totally different.

I don't think there is actually a "myth" related to the importance of current in amplifier design. The proof of that is there are actually very few amp specs (tube or solid state) that actually mention the current output. "Watts" is the myth here, I think.

Magnepan thinks amp current output is important in the context of their speakers. I would think they actually have experimented with their speakers mated with all kinds of amps to come to this conclusion.

It is impossible to come to a consensus as every designer's opinion is biased based the intricacies of their designs. Hence, what Parasound said is true and what Atma Sphere said is also true.

At the end is the music that matters. Your amps sound great, so do Parasound amps and many other amps out there with totally different designs.

At the end is the music that matters. Your amps sound great, so do Parasound amps and many other amps out there with totally different designs.

Isanchez, this quote above really says it all- and also points to the fact that current is in fact not what does it.

Here is why:

Power (watts) is created by amps and voltage. The formula is P =I x E, where P is watts, I is current and E is voltage.

What this formula tells us is that if there is no voltage, there is also no power. We can apply this in a practical fashion; if we have an 8 ohm speaker driven by 100 watts the current is going to be a function of the voltage divided by the resistance of the load (8 ohms). So if we plug in the numbers, we see that in this case the current is about 3.54 amps.

However without the voltage the current is zero. So it is indeed power (watts) that is doing the work, not current (another way of putting this is it is impossible for current to flow without voltage). What is happening here is that there is a convention, the Voltage Paradigm, which is in play. It uses commonly-used electronic terms, but in ways that are not normally used outside of the audio industry. The term 'output impedance' is an excellent example, and another one that relates more directly is the idea that speakers are 'voltage driven' when in fact such is impossible without current. This leads to all kinds of confusion when people who think they know something about electronics see these terms used but don't realize that they have a different meaning. Do you see what I mean?

The quote from Robert Harley is his opinion, but is incorrect as the math does not agree with him. But we are talking about a very commonly-held myth, and such things don't die easily, even when faced with that math! Mind you, Ohm's law and the power formula are inviolable, which is to say unlike a speed limit they can't be broken. They are basic laws of physics.
"The actual spec is the amount of current measured when the power supply is shorted out for 10 milliseconds "

However, if one ever listen to symphonic music, for example, then one must notice that the crescendo takes much longer then few milliseconds....

In Spectron, duration of our peak current of 65A is 500 msec - I believe longest in industry and if I am wrong - kindly correct me. Our thoughts on headroom effect on accurate music reproduction is on the our web site but I want to finish with exert from the e-mail I got from our new customer in Australia (Steven K.) who received our amps today:

" My first impressions are that the dynamic range is simply spectacular - makes other amps I've heard sound

Sounds pop out of a velvet black background and then explode into the mix. It's so addicting!

There is tremendous speed across the entire spectrum, yet it manages to sound relaxed and natural "

My emphasis is on word "RELAXED" which for me indicates the absense of ear-piercing distortions, minimum ,if any, clipping etc.

Simon, Are you saying that your amplifier can produce peaks of 65Amps? Or are you saying that when shorted, your power supply can produce a peak of 65Amps for half a second?

Both are impressive specs, however the former is not credible. It suggests that your amps can make a peak power of over 4000 watts into one ohm, and over 16,000 watts if a 4 ohm speaker. So I am assuming you mean the latter?
" It suggests that your amps can make a peak power of over 4000 watts into one ohm, and over 16,000 watts if a 4 ohm speaker. "

Of course not. It suggests theoretically only with "ideal" power supplies. If it would be true in real life then any 100 wpc @8 Ohms amp you buy at Best Buy for $99.95 would produce 6400 watt at 0.1 Ohm load....

I doubt. While, our amps are stable at 0.1 Ohm load I am not sure what other amps on market can be stable at 0.1 Ohm load...

In real life we all limited by the design of our power supplies. As you may know we are pro audio mostly company and audiophile market is a "fun" part for us. We are building 8 kW contninious amp for Inter-M company (they allowed us to use their name) and adequate linear power supply should weight, if I recall, about a ton. So, we had to develop light switching power supplies for this amplifier.

But of course, you know all that !

Yours truly,

Continuing with the Ampere discussion, what would be your recommendation in terms of electrical circuit capacity for a pair of monoblocks, high current amplifiers? Also, would it be different for 220Volt, 50Hz cases?

Best regards,
Hello Carlos,

If I may suggest to you - I have published an article on the topic [its a bit simplify things, so I am sorry in advance...] where I use actual measurements of British engineer Keith Howard of the actual (peak) power consumed by difficult to drive speakers...during their reproduction of music and not on the test bench (what a revolutionary idea !):


I actually believe that real measure of POWER in power amplifier is in its headroom which is characterized not only by the peak current and peak voltage but also their duration and IMO, most importantly the level (and composition ) of distortions created by the amplifier.

So to answer your question you must know the power hunger of your speaker, room size, selected music and distance between speaker and listening chair...

Of course, for musical enjoyment (unless its hard rock) we need many more attributes which are beyond the questions raised in this thread.

All The Best

Simon, I noted the last comment in that article. You might be interested to know that there have been studies of how the brain reacts to music- and where that music is processed.

The studies were conducted by Dr. Herbert Melcher, a neuro-chemical scientist.

What his studies show is that there is a tipping point that occurs in the subconscious brain. Normally music is processed in the limbic portions of the brain (which is the source of emotional reaction). Unlike the conscious portions of the brain, the subconscious parts are not fooled by poor audio reproduction. There is a tipping point wherein if too many of the human hearing perceptual rules are violated, the processing moves from the limbic centers to the cerebral cortex (seat of the conscious brain).

I thought that you might find it interesting that he has some pretty hard numbers on this subjective experience :)

I see this as the tip of the iceberg. The more we know about how the ear/brain system perceives sound, the better we can make audio systems for musical reproduction. It seems pretty obvious that we want the limbic centers to do the work :)
Dear Athmosphere:

Thank you for Dr. Melecher info - I was not aware of that.

I am absolutely, totally, unconditionally agree with you and as you have read, this is what I wrote in article and you also probably noted that I quoted your writings a lot, particualrly in brain/sound interface !

I don;t know if you would agree with some of the premesis of my article that one of the main , if not the biggest, reasons why people experience "listening fatique' is the presence of DISTORTIONS !!!!!! (next is wrong matching etc)

One idiot/wiseman/audiophile (forgot his name - but obviosuly reviewer) wrote that "distortions of SET amplifiers are glorious"..... I am, on other had, the enemy of all distortions, glorious or not, did a lot of experiments with tube "glorious" distortions which support strongly this belief.

Probably the most accurare amplifiers today are correctly designed and PROPERLY used OTL amplifiers.

Thank you !!!

That ETM article seems to ring true to me based on my experiences to date, including with Class D switching amps.
Simon, I think we are on the same page- IMO, distortion is pretty much the name of the game!

It turns out that the ear hears distortion as tonality. This is why SETs sound so lush, because of that 2nd harmonic. Its been my experience that if the system is working right, you can play it at high volume without really being aware of how loud it is, because there are no artificial loudness cues (which are higher ordered harmonics like the 5th 7th and 9th). IOW, if the system ever sounds loud, something is wrong.

The more you get rid of distortion, the smoother, more relaxed the presentation is, along with increased detail, as the presence of distortion masks detail.
" The more you get rid of distortion, the smoother, more relaxed the presentation is, along with increased detail, as the presence of distortion masks detail."

so, so, so, so, so, so TRUE !!!!!