Get the mAmp (3rd gen ICE modules) vs the SX/ST which use second gen modules
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My bet is on D-Sonic. Their amps are based on new technology class D modules from AbleTech and Pascal.... Some amps use Abletech, while other models use Pascal.
I heard W4S several times at RMAF, including in 2013... Always found the ICEpower-based amps from this brand to yield some ear-strain. It is not easy to get high quality music out of ICEpower. Bel Canto has succeeded in spades... Try find a used pair of Bel Canto REF1000 Mk.2, also called REF1000M. See my PFO scribbling at:
What intrigues me about D-Sonic and the potential of Pascal is what Rowland has recently achieved on the admittedly more expensive Pascal-based Continuum S2 integrated. Within the D-Sonic line.
Yes, I have listened to the Rowland Continuum S2 at RMAF 2013... Marvellous involving sound... I concur with Roy Gregory's findings at:
Thus, while the proverbial devil remains in the details of individual amplifier implementations of any technology, it might be worth while considering Pascal-based amps from D-Sonic and other vendors.
Thanks for the opinions and links!
In regards to Wyred.... I did see they offer I think some of the same stuff in the mAmp on their latest gen stereo and mono amps.
I did read on d-Sonia's site where they state they dropped the ice amps in favor of whatever they use now.... Due to superior sound. I didn't know if that was them blowing smoke or true.... Sounds like it could be a possibility that they are superior.
I do like the idea of having quite a bit more power with a d sonic amp due to my very in effecient old infinity speakers.
I figure if I do not like whatever I buy..... I will throw them on a diy home sub build that I plan on accomplishing. I figure I will use those two extra parasound amps to drive the subs.....
Patrik Bostrom, Chief Engineer and designer of Abletec Amplifiers that are used by D-Sonic, has done away with PWM,
[Pulse Width Modulation} in his Class D designs, which has always had problems with uneven harmonics in certain bands and uses a method he designed call Phase Shift Modulation, which is similar to the method designed by Bruno Putzeys with Ncore/Mola Mola. However, Bostrom has the edge
after reading up on their design applications and Bostrom currently has made the worlds finest Class D amp for Marten of Sweden, Their M-Amp. PWM is still used by B&O in their ICE amps and has been around since the first Class D amp was invented by the Fairchild company in the U.S in 1964.
A mono amp, the Fairchild UA-702, which never got off the ground due to constant failure. That same year, Clive Sinclair in London, launched the worlds first working class-D amp which also had its problems. Patrik Bostrom with Abletec, is also a
musician and a very passionate Audiophile. Abletec is more advanced than B&O. Better bang for the buck.
Since you mention Infinity, I have a pair of Gilmore Raptor monos on the 'Gon right now. These are 500WPC ClassD amps using modified high sampling rate ICE modules. I've been running them for a few years on my Infinity RSIIb speakers and they sound great in that application. I built monster transmitter tube amps in the meantime, though, so the Raptors are up for grabs.
Just thought I'd let you know.
thanks for the heads up on your stuff.... I am just worried that wouldn't be enough power for my speakers. I hope to snag some better sounding speakers some day, kappa 9.1, ren 90's or one of their larger speaker systems and am worried 500w at 4 ohms will not cut it
Has anyone purchased from d-sonic? I have sent them a email from their website and no response for over a week now. Between that and their website being kinda funky.... its making it harder for me to send money their way. Are there any other manufacturers which are of similar cost and quality that I am missing?
For the last four months I've had a D-Sonic M3-3800 5 channel amplifier in my rack. The front L/R channels are 1000 watts each at 8 ohms and the other three channels are 600 watts each. The sound is impeccable with all sources.
This amp replaced a W4S 7 channel amp that was rated at 250 watts per channel at 8 ohms. It also sounded impeccable with all sources.
I didn't use two of the channels on the W4S amp and figured it would be nice to have more power running through the channels that are active.
Didn't have the opportunity to A-B the two amps but I think it would be a struggle to describe any material difference were they volume matched for a comparison. Both are excellent... my recommendation is to let your power and budget requirements guide your decision.
Guido, you are right about using the phone, at least as far as D-Sonic goes. When I was still researching replacements for my blown atma-spheres in the class D world, he always answered the phone himself and seems pretty cocky about his products. I think his relationship with Revel provides him with very broad range of speaker quality samples to use in his designs, but I think he doesn't know himself just how good his little amps can sound in a full-blown music-centered STEREO system set up with full attention to cables, platforms, footers and the rest of the tweaks commonplace among audiophiles.
His entry into 2-channel audio follows almost a cult following in the world of HT system owners who were dreaming about high-powered but clean-sounding amps to power ever more sophisticated speakers. His early ice amps were good enough to gain him a reputation within that community as evidenced by the 40+ pages of debate on his "official" page on AVSforum,com, starting in 2007, and only occasional references here at audiogon and the other sundry audio blogs. That balance changed with the publication in 6moons of Glen Wagenknecht's glowing review of his monster 1500w(8ohm) amp's ability to deliver the sonic goods in his very serious 2-channel system. Further evidence to support my claim that Mr. Deacon doesn't really get what a good thing he has wrought can be seen early in the review when he is interviewed by the author. Mr. Deacon came off as a bit miffed that his chosen powercords could be bettered by the reviewer, possibly leading to a better review, Mr. Deacon is adamant that these are not throwaways and believes that the purchaser will not require an upgrade. To quote, "these are high-quality hospital grade product sourced from Interpower and not inexpensive." Fortunately, the reviewer persevered and set them up as an audiophile would, otherwise, the review he wrote may not have been sufficient to bait the hook I bit when I ordered my M2-600 pair shortly thereafter.
One bit of personal learning experience I had with these amps was to discover just how good they can be made to sound when given care in placement and cabling. Despite weighing only about 10 lbs, they truly came to life for me when experimenting with crude isolation platforms thrown together using small oak shelves and leftover footers and cork/rubber blocks. This discovery spurred a project where I ended up putting similar 3-level platforms under every single component and power supply. These amps made it obvious that platforms and footers, used properly, result in superior sound to the listener.
My advice to the original poster is to go ahead and call r. deacon; he will probably answer the phone right away, but don't be too surprised if he doesn't talk the usual audiophile talk. His products walk the audiophile walk.
Better buy the amps now then while they are still relative unknowns and before the maker himself even realizes the full potential and raises the prices accordingly. :-)
On a serious note, even older Icepower modules deliver topnotch results when implemented well. Rowland and Bel Canto have demonstrated that to-date. Wyred also though perhaps to a lesser degree.
Consider also that Class D technology has not peaked or plateaued yet in terms of its potential. The precision and accuracy of the technology continues to increase. Abletec and or Pascal might be two the the better recent examples that have not gained large home audio market penetration yet. But the trend will continue and the results possible at any particular price point should only continue to improve, so like with computers, the longer one waits before making the investment, possibly the better, but there are very viable and top notch performers on teh current grand scale of things readily available now if desired. Plus Class D amp technology still has the most untapped potential of any amp technology out there at present IMHO.
D-Sonic appears to have a new M3 series of amplifiers, as most devices are now called M3-xxxx. There is no description of the differences from the previous series, nor there is mention of what power conversion modules they utilize -- Pascal, Abletech, or otherwise. See:
D-Sonic is a very secretive/murky product. Not much you can bank on other than price. Maybe that's enough?
I wonder how much sound difference/variability from unit to unit, series to series. No way to know really. That's a negative unfortunately.
Six Moon reviews are fun and interesting sometimes, but one review on such a big unknown as d-sonic can carry only so much water.
I suppose the strategy is "try it, you'll like it", which is fine.
Question for D-Sonic owners: once you buy, will D-Sonic answer tech questions about what you bought?
The M3 series has been out for quite sometime. I already mentioned in a previous
thread I initiated months back on D-Sonic that Dennis mentioned to me during one of several phone conversations that his M3-1500M amp is a Pascal, and his M3-600M amp is Abletec. He would not divulge any further info on his other mono or two channel models but did state that all of his multi-channel amps are B&O Ice.
I think there is too much speculation on d-sonic. It has been clear for a year or so that the lower-power amps are Abletec and the higher-power ones Pascal. The proof of the sound pudding is in the eating, that is, when reviewers and customers --not the manufacturer-- decide which one sounds best. I haven't listened to any of them but I think it is good for audio (and for Dennis) that d-sonic is in the news.
Well gent's, during the past week two new amplifiers popped up on the Wyred 4 Sound website. Their in a redesigned chassis that departs from that industrial look and much more attractive. They are both stereo amps employing the latest technology from B&O using their 250ASX2 amps. The amps are the ST-500 MKII and the ST-1000 MKII.
Two 250ASX2 boards are in each amp. This is the same amp that is used in the mono Mamp. The amps did show up at the recent RMAF. Sonically, like the Mamp, they are smoother, richer, much better treble, more refined.
The photo's at RMAF of the Wyred 4 Sound setup at the Marriott last October with the Emerald Physics speakers does not look very ideal and its a crap shoot with Class D amps at a high end show since they are more a.c. wall dependent using the outlet as a capacitor bank than a conventional A/AB amp which is why Class D amps will only perform best in your home with a true, straight line dedicated 20 or 30 amp a.c. outlet. During the past fifteen months I've read many post's on threads on a variety of high end sites of philes who own the Mamp from Wyred and they all come away with very similar opinions that its a very rich, warm, organic, smooth sound with a very liquid midrange. The Mamp and the new Wyred ST-500 MKII and the ST-1000 MKII all use the B&O ASX 250-2 amp. This is the exact same power amp that's in Bel Canto's REF 500M which is Bel's best sounding amp which is why it makes sense for Wyred to jump on this puppy and take advantage of it like Bel. Both John Stronczer at Bel and E.J. Sarmento at Wyred have done and excellent job with their extensive in house
upgrades to the input stage's of the ASX amps they are using
which is why the new models from Wyred should be taken very seriously based on the rave reactions to the Wyred Mamp and the Bel Canto REF 500M during the past several years.
Uhrn, unfortunately I have this poor habit of using my own ears before doing any raving... I wrote about Bel Canto REF500M based on ASX2... Good amp overall, but Bel Canto REF1000M (Mk.2) drives wide and fast musical circles around it.
I do appreciate the RMAF W4S room not being optimized... But what I heard there was beyond painful... The experience is not encouraging me to pursue the brand further than a yearly in-show check.
So Audiozen, have you listened to any of these amp thingies on your own at all?
"But what I heard there was beyond painful"..spoken like a true politician. There are lots of other relevant ears out there who own Wyred that have opposite opinions that are very positive that I have read, and yes I have listened to class d amps over the years including owning a pair of Nuforce REF 9 MKII's in 2007.
You deliver a lot of hard conclusions based on readings/research it seems.
Research/learning is fine, but you should lighten up on publishing firm final conclusions among designs unless you have actually heard and compared specifically.
Technical specs/parameters are useful guidelines but alone never tell the whole story.
Tell me what's out there that seems to offer some innovation, but from there I am mainly interested in what these things sound like relative to each other. Reviewer-like assessments in lieu of reviewer actually hearing the thing being assessed is of very limited value frankly and comes across as having a hidden agenda.
I currently have the D-Sonic M3 1200-S and have to say it is possibly the best amp I have ever had. I have owned the Wyred ST-500 for several years and loved it. I then went to a Bel Canto Ref 150S, which I thought was more transparent and neutral than the Wyred, although the St-500 has a pleasing roundness in the mid-range that gave hard rock real weight. I then bought the mAmps which were definitely more powerful than the Ref150S but I never was happy with the sound - I personally preferred the original ST-500. I then switched to the D-Sonic (with a short foray to a Parasound A21 but that's another story) and the difference is literally "jump-out-of-your-seat, holy crap, I can't believe this" better.
The other posters have it right - Dennis may not talk like an audiophile but this amp is the real goods. Words like "transparent", "neutral" etc. don't really capture what this amp is like - there is refinement,transparency, slam etc. etc. but above all there is a sense of flow and ease that I simply have not heard with any other amp - and I've had a lot of good amps in my system over the years. In the absence of a technical background, I can't claim that it is the Abletec technology that is responsible for this but it sure seems that way. It is, in my view, THE amp to beat at a real world price. Absolutely spectacular.
Hi Srama. Your experience further confirms the incredible/value performance of the D-sonic Abletec amp designed by Patrik Bostrom of Sweden. I discovered D-sonic by accident back in 2012 when I came across a report in a tech mag out of Europe reporting on a company called Abletec that has made further advancements in class d technology with incredible sounding amps. It listed their U.S. office in New Jersey so I called and spoke to the office manager on his cell who informed me only two companies currently use Abletec in the U.S.. Parasound in their
Z Quattro amps and D-Sonic.
I have owned most everything under 80k. Big hobby for 50 years. Bought some EP 100.2se monos for my office. Hate class d. But these amps sound great. Using PS P5 regen. Driving Maggie 3.7. Wyred dsdse dac with femto into amps. I dont know whats in them but sound beautiful. Had them 2 months, a record for me. They replaced a $15,000 amp. Can't find any reviews.