The Future of Audio Amplification


I have recently paired an Audio Research DS225 Class D amplifier with an Audio Research tube preamplifier (SP8 mkii). I cannot believe how wonderful and lifelike my music sounds. The DS225 replaced an Audio Research SD135 Class AB amplifier. Perhaps the SD135 is just not as good as some of the better quality amps that are out there, but it got me thinking that amazingly wonderful sonance can be achieved with a tubed pre and Class D amp. I have a hunch that as more people experience this combination, it will likely catch on and become the future path of many, if not most audiophile systems. It is interesting that Audio Research has been at the forefront of this development.
distortions
It’s interesting, folks have been pairing tube preamps with solid state amps since the 1960s, and often liking the results.

Personally I prefer the sound of a solid state preamp with a tube power amp to the other way around.
Tube preamp, tube power amp, tube guitar amps, tube paper towel innards, if innards is what those are called.
That must be how you get to 4000 posts....
If you grew up in awe of big IBM mainframes, Levinson ML3's, and Hummers, it's hard to shake the belief that weight matters.  God knows we've bought tons of thick, sculpted metal boxes in pursuit of audio pedigree.

Millenials grew up valuing "more power in less weight" and will go digital as the baseline of their world.  As a rule of thumb, digital always wins over time.  Soon, it will be arguing Audiogon debates.
Had the NAD M22 with the ncore modules, measured like an absolute champ.

Then we auditioned it in the dealer room next to all the Class AB amps and it just fell on its face.  Dry, sterile, and uninvolving when you really go head to head with Class AB.

Just my experience, but Class D has had this reputation for a while and I heard it justified that day.