If you check the forums, you will find plenty of info on them.
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I listened to ST1000 and this 'little dude' really has something: control, speed, never goes hot very clean and natural sound. They could play any music and you can use them for movies as well.
Definitely large step-up to Bryston and Parasound on identical power, not any worse than Krell that could set your place on fire and somewhat close to the Pass and BAT amps.
The other 'price buster' is Sunfire Signature 600 load invariant amplifier.
I had the ST1000 for a few months. Wonderful product. Does not sound like SS or tubes. As much as I liked its smoothness and power initially, it couldn't hold my interest in the long run. I think you are going to have to hear one for yourself and decide if the sound is to your liking. I bought mine on Agon useed and sold it easily with minimal loss. It was well worth the price of the audition.
I went from a Bryston 4Bsst to the Wyred ST-1000 and have not looked back. Extremely quiet, dynamic, excellent imaging, and runs cool (very important when you live in AZ where the summers hit triple digits regularly!). I was so impressed with the ST-1000 that I also bought an ST-500 and ST-250 for my surround channels.
As always, system integration and personal tastes rule the day, but I have been extremely satisfied with the Wyred 4 Sound amps and do not plan on changing anytime soon.
They are worth trying in many cases before jumping straight to more expensive monster SS amps.
Tube amp lovers will be less impressed I suspect but probably not any less than they might be with a big expensive monster ss amp, at least based on sound.
Not as pretty to look at as Mac gear for example for sure though.
For the moment tube will always sound better than SS. Why?
Heat control. Tubes can handle and dissipate heat more
efficiently than transistors which is why MOSFETS were developed in the 80's. The metal oxide in MOSFETS act as a heat sink allowing the transistor to perform at a lower temperature. Its just a matter of time when someone will invent the perfect transistor that can handle heat as well
as tubes, and when that happens tubes will become extinct.
However, the very, very expensive top SS Pre-amps in the world from FM Acoustics and Goldmund that sell for $50K and up to $150K, will bury any tube Pre-Amp on the planet.
Wyred 4 Sound as well as other companies using switching
modulation D amps, will probably advance forward enough technically over the next three years that their sonic qualities of their amps will surpass tubes. For the money,
Wyred 4 sound are currently the best ICE amps due to the 20% mods which result in a far superior treble and midrange.
I have been listening to the ST-1000 for over a year and have logged over 500 hours. These amps are the bees knees. They are superior to any power SS amp I have ever heard in bass extension ans control, transparency, and sweetness of the midrange and treble. As for dynamics, they blow the doors off any SS I have ever heard; just unrestrained power with absolutely no trace of strain, congestion or grain. For the money, these amps are a screaming bargain.
People amaze me when they obsess about these tiny differences in sound between amps. In it's operating range, unstressed, the ST-1000 sounds similar enough to my Sumo, Classe and B&K amps that I doubt that I could distinguish between them in blind tests. However, I am sure that on recordings that tax the amp (concert volume full orchestral and organ recordings) I could distinguish between the ST-1000 and the SS amps - the difference is at the power margins and that is the difference between good reproduction and superlative reproduction that approaches the absolute sound.
I purchased a Wyred 4 Sound ST-250 power amp just a short time ago and am using it with an Audio Research LS16 preamp. One thing that some may overlook about the Wyred equipment is the power cord. I initially used a Pangea AC-9 and thought something didn't sound quite right. Changing over to an Emotiva power cord made a world of difference; the ST-250 sounds much better; love this little amp.
I've been running the ST-500 stereo amp with STP preamp for a couple of years now and have had no desire to upgrade. Currently my speakers are Harbeth SHL5, and even though 250 watts per channel may be considered overkill, it sounds great with the Harbeths. I've thought about changing to a lower powered SS integrated amp since the Harbeths are an easy load, but the bass control with the W4S combo is unreal as is the mids and highs. The Harbeths are consistently praised for their mids but often said to have sloppy, loose bass, but I'm not hearing those characteristics and I think the W4S has a lot to do with it. I'm very happy with the combination right now. I also appreciate the low energy consumption and lack of heat with the class d amps.
I am running a wyred 4 sound st-1000 into proac d-15's.
The amp brings out the full capability of the speakers. This amp is very clean, slightly, slightly warm. The proac d-15's do not have the best bass- they are downward ported and a bit boomy. The wyred tightened them up quite a bit. Mids and highs are unbelievably detailed and quick. Very nice amp.
What concerns me in these reviews are the statements similar to: "better than any SS amp I have ever heard" with no reference as to top leading brands and models. Only to read further in the comments that these amps are being compared to mid level amps.
I would be interested to hear of people that have gone from some of the better amps, high power, high current amps (such as Krell [non KAV series of course], Levinson, CAT, Ayre, Pass, etc. . . ) for a comparison.
I am a bit concerned about the comments that concern within its operating range??? When we are talking about a class A amp at 500 watts per channel - on virtually every speaker sold - there should be anything outside of its operating range or stressing. Why does 500 watts of class D power versus Class A power not equal the same capabilities (unless I am understanding the poster wrong). Or is it the comparison many people make between SS watts and tubes watts (ie. 60 tubes watts vs. 100-150 SS watts). Do we now also need to differentiat 150 Class A SS watts vs. 500 class D watts?
I am not trying to be argumentative, just trying to get some first hand experience from people that have owned these for in excess of a year (I don't trust any review by users having owned equipment less than 1 year - sorry but pride of new ownership and just the sake something sounds different does not correlate with long term statisfaction - see the ARC HD220 amp review in these forums as a reference by a recognized member), coming from highly regarded class A power amps (reference listing above or similar).
Most of the amps mentioned are good ones.
I believe system synergy and listener preference more determines amp performance in practice than any inherent objective sonic superiority of one over another by design.
The Class Ds are small and energy efficient however compared to most others. These undeniable attributes are unique to the Class Ds.
"60 tube watts can't be greater or equal to 100 SS watts it can only be less."
yes, but soft clipping nature of tube amps in general compared to SS may allow things to go louder off the same # watts than SS and still sound good.
Some Class Ds might have favorable audible clipping characteristics as well, but Class D generally enables you to throw power at teh problem more efficiently than otehr SS amp technologies so clipping may be less of an issue in general with CLass D than SS in general as a result.
Clipping is always something better off avoided or minimized to the max extent possible in that it will always have a major negative effect on the sound when in play, but not to the same extent with tube amps as with SS in general.
Highly efficient Class D technology can serve as a good insurance policy against clipping compared to many SS amps of comparable cost. That alone is a good reason for me to invest in a good Class D amp and never look back.
Clipping will be less of an issue with more efficient speakers also. Tube amps are accordingly at their best here with high efficiency speakers designed to work well with tube amplification.
According to engineering/physics principles one would assume your statement correct. However, time and experience shows this is not necessarily true.
I brought this point up based on comments and statements I have heard others make. For example I know a guy that went from a 100 watt class A amp (plenty of power for his speakers) to 250 watt mono class D amps which did not have nearly enough power for his speakers.
We can look back into audio history and see "ratings" of amplifiers being mislead by manufacturers. While I am not saying this is the case with Class D, I do fail to understand an amp with two and a half times the rated power failing to have "enough power" compared to a much "smaller" class A amp?
Hence my Q as to a general analogy of Tubed amp power to SS A or A/B power to Class D power. One doesn't see many 500 watt and 1,000 watt Class A or even A/B amps. So why is this "rating" of power needed for class D amps? And is it equivalent power?
Ckoffend, the one example you offered, suggests many possible reasons: the Class D amp was defective, the Class D amp manufacturer overstated the specs, the Class A amp manufacturer understated the specs, the speaker/cables provided an impedance load beyond the rated full output capabilities of the Class D amp, the preceding gear didn't provide the neccessary output for the Class D amp to achieve full power output, the listeners didn't truly appreciate the power output of the Class D amp vis a vis the Class A amp, or something else all together. Small samplings of particular gear doesn't represent the entire technology genre.
" We can look back into audio history and see "ratings" of amplifiers being mislead by manufacturers. While I am not saying this is the case with Class D, I do fail to understand an amp with two and a half times the rated power failing to have "enough power" compared to a much "smaller" class A amp?"
Read article by one of the Spectron designer, Simon Thacher(http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/manufacture/0708/index.html) and you will understand that manufacurers as the rule and customers ALWAYS want power spec in rms i.e. continius.
Its good for bench test but music is not the test tone and as Spectron emphesize - the real power, power that matter is the peak power, its duration and absense of distortion during these periods. Thus as a rule, even small class A amp will outpower big class D amp, as former need huge power supply (big transformer etc) while non Spectron type class D have small swithing power supplies.
Ckoffend and others,
We often take LOUDNESS (in dB) over the power in Watts.
The effect of larger loudness in tube amps per given number of watts isn't only due to the soft clipping, but due to the smaller frequency range especially in the lower-end domain <60Hz where directly-coupled solid states give larger credit. The presence of an output transformer in tube amps(except OTL) dictates this limitation... Even OTLs would drop the power when the speaker impedance drops(in most lower frequency cases)
I totally agree with Bobgates. I have been using the SX1000 monos in my system for the last six months and up until I installed the Wyred 4 Sound PC's the amps sounded dry and non-involving. The detail and dynamics were there, but there was no life to the music. After installing the new power cords the amps have transformed into an integral part of my system making my speakers totally disappear. The soundstage has come to life and has an impressive 3D effect. I am extremely please
So Unsound and Dob, are you saying that the Class D amp manufacturers typically provide ratings on their peak maximum power output or on a continuous output?
I know and understand that most power amps are running at an average of 1/8th of their rated output and that the draw (amperage) of the amp reported at such an output should be indicative of the amp draw the owner is likely to see during "normal" listening.
I am not sure if class D amp mfgs. base their power ratings on peak why they would do that? It sort of reminds me of the boom boxes at Best Buy and Walmart that claim to have over 1,000 watts of peak maximum power output!
When I see a Class A amp rated at 300 WPC, I know this is a load it can put out continously. I also know that its peak output is much, much higher than this, yet it is not the peak that is reported as such reporting (as history has shown) is very misleading and resulted in some grandios rating/performance statements by lots of companies (aka 1980s).
Since I am contemplating taking the leap (a second time) and trying some (one or possibly more) class D amps, I am trying to get a better handle on this and what my needs may be. I know my speakers don't need anywhere near 500 watts of class A power (ie. @ 8 ohms), but at the same time, I have no clue as to the "amount" of power they need from class D amps. I know my amps can perform very well with 100-150 watts from a good tube amp. So if I like 100-150 watts from a tube amp, 100-300 watts from a class A amp, how many watts do I need from a class D amp?
I am not talking about sound pressure levels as my goal. By most people's standards, I am listening to music at a notably lower "loudness" than most. I am talking about control, musicality, transients, etc. . .
Watts/power alone is solely about how loud it can/should go and not useful to determine much else.
Other characteristics of amps and how they interact with speakers, like damping, current delivery, transient response, and other aspects design and execution have more to do with control, musicality transients and such. Specs in these areas might help set relative expectations but do not tell the whole story either. Only your ears when listening can.
Often the build quality of the power supply and transformers are good indicators of what might be expected.
Class D switching amps are considerably more efficient in delivering power than Class A or A/B. As a result, the power supply circuitry is considerable smaller, lighter, and compact. Also less heat is created in teh process so heat sinks are smaller, etc.
My understanding though is quality of the power supply is still a major factor in resulting Class D performance and power supply quality varies widely from model to model, vendor to vendor, despite the more compact package.
So just like most other gear, not all Class D amps, even all Icepower module based Class D amps, are created equal.
Same true in regards to Icepower amp input circuitry and how designed to work well or not with higher output impedance tube pre-amps. There are differences from model to model, vendor to vendor. Wyred is quite good in this regard as I understand it.
OK fellas I am taking the class D plunge here. I have a ST-500 that I picked up used arriving at the end of the week. A little background I really like tube equipment and have been using a tube amp since I received my current speakers (Geddes Abbey 12A) 6 months ago. The speakers are designed to be used with solid state amplification with their inherent low output impedance as compared to tube amps. So I picked up a Forte Model 5 100wpc class A input and A/B high bias output and low and behold I liked the sound better than the tube amp, so now I want to try the class D with a little more power, so after that long winded background here is my question. How big of a factor do you guys find the power cord to be, I see 2 posts claiming sonic improvements from different power cords from Drewportland and bobgates, anybody else have an opinion. I am not a believer in HIGH priced power cords but am not opposed to using the P-1 cord from Wyred. Thanks in advance guys.
I have an ST500 and I find the choice of power cord does make a significant difference. I really like the Nordost Brahma cord which is then plugged into a Nordost Thor. My set-up is probably a bit unusual for an amp in this price range whereby the cord is almost as much as the amp, the power center twice the price and the preamp five times the price.
The stock cord isn't bad. I preferred it over a 12 gauge PS Audio cord I have which tended to sound thin. I have not tried an assortment of cords other than to note what works for me.
If you check my systems, you can see I enjoy tubed components. My ST500 has the WBT outputs which I'm told makes a noticeable improvement vs the standard terminals. I find that the sound is not like SS amps I've had before nor is it the same as tubes. I enjoy the amp.
I replaced my Parasound preamp and amps, with W4S gear. The DAC, Integrated and Multi-channel amp are fabulous. The MC7 pulls a little current at startup, so I decided to just leave it on full time. W4S equipment runs cool unlike my Parasound gear. Both are good products, but W4S is a big step up IMO. Only real beef I have is the DAC-2 remote conflicts with the integrated amp remote functions, so the DAC remote functions must be deactivated. I think W4S would be wise to use a different code signal to allow remote use for both devices. Minor issue, but an issue nonetheless. Do give them some time to break in. A couple hundred hours and the W4S gear really starts to shine. W4S customer service is helpful and available to discuss issues with. Very happy with my purchase thusfar.
Hi Bacardi - I had a P3 preamp, TWO A23s each running a set of stereo speakers, and an HCA-1205A which ran one set of stereo speakers, a center, and a set of surrounds. I still have a C2 controller which I run the multi-channel stuff through. An A/B switch allows 5.1 or 7.1 selectable. 5.1 has three sets of stereo speakers, 7.1 has two sets.
I'm new at this, so if this post constitutes hijacking the thread, please say so and I'll quit.
That said, can anyone describe the sonics of the W4S ST-250/SX-250 with the other W4S amps? The 250's use the B&O ASC amp module.
The 500 and 1000's use the higher-powered ASP module. EJ Sarmento's posts on an early thread in AVS Forum indicate that the sonics for the ASC are different from/better than the ASP on mids and highs, but I don't have a sense of what that actually sounds like.
the full-size MC series amps use the ASP module. I spoke with Clint at W4S yesterday and asked whether the multi-channel MC circuit boards were the same as the SX or ST 500/1000 unit boards. He checked with EJ, who told him that the front-end on the MC boards doesn't have the same tweaks as the monoblock or stereo units because of spce considerations. Has anyone heard the full-size MC amps? Can you compare the sound to the mono or stereo units?
The Mini MC uses a different ICE module, the ASX, which rolls off at a higher frequency than the other modules. Any experience listening to the Mini MC, and comparisons to the other W4S amps?