Didn't TAS do a piece on class D power amp last month?
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It's quite funny to hear responses to queries regarding class D amplifiers by people who who have had little or no experience actually living with them. The abandon they portray in there quest to to downplay the credibility of this new class is almost fearful in nature. Class D is not a plot to overtake what you've been using to listening to music with. It's simply new technology that's being developed at a rather quick pace which has resulted in some startling levels of performance both sonically and economically. Paired with poor VAC and the wrong cabling many class D products can sound strident or forward.
While there are some interesting interviews made in the article mentioned above the actual product reviews where conducted in what seemed like an unorthodox departure from that publications typical method. To include so many manufactures of class D amplifiers and omit two of the oldest and most popular producers who are marketing their third and fourth generation products of class D is as irresponsible as comparing all the amplifiers in as many different systems, none of which was slightly altered, let alone optimized for the use of a switching amplifier. It's no wonder that even the amplifier that publication named amplifier of the year 2005 was later reviewed in that article as sounding terrible. Pleeezzz.
Angaria, you've got two ears. Use them. And if you must, who's ears would you trust more, Jeff Rowland's or Wayne Garcia's
i'ved heard the Model 102 thru a friend of mine on several occasions and a few times was able to try it in my system.
Overall, I'm very impressed with the product. The build quality is exemplary.
Plus side: its small, consumes less space, no heat, consumes less power.
Sonic quality: i've compared this to a Krell Kav 150p, bryston 3bsst. I preferred this unit to both. No grain, very quite floor noise, dynamics is incredible, powerful sounding, big sound. The mids are very open but its not as seductive as tubes. But pretty close. Not quite as liquid as tubes, but its very fluid. Smooth. Highly detailed but dependent on pre-amp and your source.
They are powerful enough to drive some inefficient speakers. We tried Totems, Proac, Dynaudios, Harbeths, and Vandersteens. No problem driving them.
Overall i heartily recommend it.
$1500 for the black finish is not a bad deal at all.
Vicdamone, you make an excellent point. Digital amps are rapidly evolving designs worth watching. Some have achieved superlative performance for the price, while others are, well. . . just superlative in an absolute sense. I am thinking in particular about the new Rowland 312 -- not a budget amp by any stretch of the imagination -- which is one of the very finest amplifiers I have ever heard.
I used to own two pairs of Rowland 201s. One pair powered my Goldmund speakers and the other pair powered my passive subs. They are very fine sounding amplifiers with all of the attributes listed above. Today I have different speakers and I use a Red Wine Audio Signature 30 amplifier. It is a TriPath design and competes with or surpasses anything else available today whether tube or SS. I'm sure most of you reading this will simply dismiss it as impossible but I would urge you to seek out reviews, check the Red Wine website and look up the user comments on other forums such as Audio Circle.
It has a DACT volume control and can be used as a single input integrated amp. If you want multiple inputs, Red Wine makes an input switcher. You will be very surprised to see how affordable state of the art has become.