High end Class D amps?


Just an observation and a question. Are there 'high end' Class D amps out there that are just as good as Class A, A/B amps? I realize that's a sensitive question to some and I mean no disrespect---but whenever I see others' hifi systems on social media, all of the amps are A or A/B. There's always Pass, McIntosh, Moon, Luxman, Accuphase, etc. Where are the Class Ds? For folks out there that want more power for less efficient speakers and can't afford the uber expensive Class As, A/Bs, what is there to choose from that's close to those brands? Thanks
bluorion

Showing 13 responses by bluorion

Great discussion and I've learned a lot from this---some of you have commented that class Ds is good for better bass. Why is that? You wouldn't get good bass from class A or AB? 
@noble100 Good points regarding the sub--that's a possibility as well. I've seen some good reviews about the REL subs. My budget is around $2k so the D-Sonic would be fine if I decide to do that. I didn't realize there were subwoofer 'sets' like the Swarm. Very interesting indeed. I've learned so much from being in these forums. I had a sub and satellites (from Canton) years ago and they were quite nice. I sold them many years ago and never owned another sub since. Definitely something to consider. 
@flatblackround Very interesting---I wondered about something like that. Using a high end integrated like a McIntosh or Luxman as the preamp and using a class D power amp. Like using an Accuphase integrated with a Bel Canto amp for more juice? Will it sound that much different than using the integrated alone? 
@flatblackround Thank you---good to know. Do your VU meters on the McIntosh integrated still work with the class D amp connected? Sorry for the stupid question. LOL
@noble100 Thanks for the suggestions----I've heard good things about D-Sonic. What preamp(s) have you used with the D-Sonics? I'm not really a tube person--I prefer SS. I've never had mono blocks so that's something I need to check out too.
@noble100 Thank you for that information---so would it make sense to add a class D power amp to a class AB integrated with a pre-out to get more power if needed? I realize that may sound weird but if you have a 100wpc integrated, for example, and need more power for a pair of low efficiency speakers, adding a 200+ wpc class D would be ok? 
@noble100 Hi Tim---thanks for the info. I don't consider myself a new audiophile per se, but in the past, I didn't really pay much attention to specs like I do now. I was a young 20-something back then and just bought what sounded good. As I've gotten older, I've become more interested in what matches better with what and I'm trying to learn from all you guys. So now I have a Luxman 505UXii integrated with a pair of Dynaudio S40s as well as  pair of Tekton Lore References. I alternate b/w the Dyns and the Lores depending on my mood and musical tastes. I love the Luxman but I at times I wish it had some more punch or something. I caught a video on YT recently that had a new Luxman connected to a Pass amp (I think)---I can't seem to find it now. Anyway, it got me thinking about higher output class Ds (like 200+ wpc) and wondered how that would go. I really appreciate everyone's input and suggestions. 
@noble100      "From what I've read, Luxman amps are generally regarded as sounding well controlled, smooth, sweet but also detailed. Do you perceive your Luxman integrated as having these sonic traits?
     If so, and along with your comment about "wanting more punch or something", I'm thinking the combination of your amp and both of your high quality pairs of speakers may be too controlled, refined,smooth and polite for your preferences or tastes."
Tim---you nailed it! I think that's what I'm missing---don't get me wrong, I love the sound from my 505 but I often wonder if the extra "punch" and bass could be added with a class D. From what I've seen on here, the class Ds could add some extra bass due to the higher damping factor. I may try the D-Sonic 800 amp and see what happens. Thanks for the recommendation. Question: if I connect the D-Sonic to the Luxman, will I lose the gorgeous blue VU meters? :)
Thx
There are so many highly experienced audio pros in this thread that I still get a little overwhelmed by the technical talk, specs, etc. So after reading all the responses, here's what I'm thinking---so I have a pre-out on my Luxman 505uxii integrated and I have a pair of power hungry Dynaudio Special 40s. I am thinking of adding a class D to help the little Dyns and this is why I started the thread. Between looking at the Dynaudio S40 specs and the class D specs, I'm not sure which one would be better (or all of them). Let me know what you think. Also, I've never tried monos so that sounds interesting (budget is < $3k)
1. D-Sonic M3a-800 s (stereo or mono)
2. Wyred 4 sound ST500 Mii (stereo or mono)
3. Nuprime ST-10 or ST10M (really looks interesting)**
4. Bel canto REF500s
5. Red Dragon S500 (all sold out for now but Ryan at RD emailed me and said the Mk3 will be coming out in Q1 of next year---COVID has slowed everything down)

All have great reviews. I think all of them have 3-5 year warranties and pretty good customer service. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. 
So I'm confused about the little Nuprime ST10 amp (which has gotten rave reviews btw). Its output is rated at 150wpc at 8 Ohms and the same at 4 Ohms(??). Plus it has a toroidal transformer. Does that make it a hybrid of sorts? 
@twoleftears Thanks so much! I'm still trying to learn. :)
@noble100 @jjss49 Thanks for the advice and you made a lot of great points. Yes, I'm still learning and experimenting on my audiophile journey. I've never been an impulse buyer and try to do as much research as I can without over doing it. Funny you mentioned D-Sonic, That's at the top of my list and I may try the monos since that's something I've never done before. If times were different, I'd be going to brick and mortar stores to audition all day (like I used to back in the day). Well, the town I live in has 1 store and the customer service is questionable at best. So having a 30-day trial period is nice. W4S offers a 45 day trial---that was another one on my list. The ICs I'll be using with the amp will be Audioquest Big Surs. Do you recommend any particular brand with the D-Sonics? Again, thanks for the thoughtful posts. 
@phillyb @noble100 Such interesting dialogue. I admit I don't quite understand a lot of the specific acoustic specs, etc....but I enjoy reading others' opinions about them. It makes me wonder about brands such as Mola Mola, Merrill and JR that always get such rave reviews about their sonic qualities. Do they meet or succeed these sonic measurements that you mentioned---and do more reasonable class D brands (D-Sonic, W4S...) not meet these measurements?