I am interested in these amps, there are good reviews online but I was wondering what audiogon members thought of these amps. I have not had a chance to hear one yet. Also interested in the bel canto digital amps, thanks
Wyred 4 Sound makes excellent class D amps for their cost. They compete with other class D amplifiers that cost 2 to 3 times as much. A lot of band for the buck. One would have to spend a fortune to purchase a better class D amp.
I too am interested in class D amps, including the Wyred 4 Sound line. Would you mind sharing your opinion with a musical ranking of the class D amps that you have heard? Wyred 4 Sound has been highly recommended to me by others, so I am curious to learn which lines you found to be even better than Wyred 4 Sound.
4musica44107, Although you really have to hear the amps for yourself, here is what I think: I have owned or own the following class D amps. Bel Canto (one of the original), Audio Zone 2, Channel Island D-200, Wyred 4 Sound SX-1000. Auditioned the following: Rowland, PS Audio, and Pass Lab AX Series. I ended up liking the Wyred 4 Sound SX-1000, and felt it was the best bang for my buck. I would love to own one of the Pass Lab AX Series but cant afford them. I hope this helps
I had the STI 1000 integrated amp and the build quality was nice. But, in the silver finish, aesthetically the Wyred 4 sound are some of the most industrial-looking, and spartan pieces you will ever see, (if appearance matters to you). I suppose the lack of fancy casework that we often see in the mid to high end is one of the ways they keep their unit prices down. The integrated sounded good from mids to highs with excellent detail, extension, and a very accurate sound, but lacked the weight in the midbass and low end that would be expected and is one of the hallmarks of Class D. I think for my system it was a poor match with my speakers more than anything else. 570 watts into 8 ohms should produce massive weight in the low end if your speakers are capable, and mine are, unless there is some kind of amp speaker matching issues. The low end was really not what I expected for Class D which is known for having pretty solid low end. I'm not putting down their products however. I think they are into quality and value at Wyred 4 Sound. If their amps match well with your speakers imho they are a great value in audio. It's always best to audition and learn for yourself how these amps will sound with your speakers. In the end, when I reconnected my Blue Circle solid state integrated, I thought it was a bit more open and spacious then this ice power integrated. The one thing to be aware of is if you try a home audition on one of their amps,they have a 15% re-stocking fee that hurts you in the pocket pretty good if you return it.
I am a Wyred SX500 owner (powering Gallo 3.1) and I agree with Audiofeil on this one.
For what they cost ($1,500 new) I have nothing to complain about. They sound dynamic, weighty and articulate in my setup. Smoother and tighter sounding then the Anthem SS amp I compared them too, and they have way more balls than the Cary tube amps that I started with on these speakers.
Would I prefer a top end Pass, Boulder or Simaudio amp? Hell yeah... but you can't get those for $1,500 new unfortunately
I have heard the best Pass Labs amps, and I can heartily disagree with AudioFeil once again. Granted, the new Pass Labs line is better than what they replaced. Compared to what I am listening to, Pass amps fail by a wide margin. They bloat the bass, shrink the mids, and blur the highs.
Mapman, Correct, class "D" amps do have a long break in time. Sometimes 500 hours or more. But worth the wait. My W4S SX-1000 monoblocks are driving my Magnepan 1.6 speakers. The sound is unbelievable. Very detailed in all areas and bass to die for.
after having 2 different brands ,you better listen long and hard before putting your money down,and double check return policy B.C. used to have 30 days,now i think its 2 weeks,which isnt enough time to audition anything, much less a digital amp.short term listening just wows you at first and long term listening determines everything.After what ive said will come all comments about system synergy ,was it broken in,these amps are giant killers ,it goes on and on,make your own decision not what others say,if you go for it and like them awesome.
Haven't heard the wyred4sound amps, but I own a Pass X150 amp (prior to the newer .5 amps). I have compared this amp to many others - and it is the best I have heard. I would be surprised if the wyred4sound amps sound as good as the current Pass amps. Price wise though the Pass amps are much more, so the wyred4sound amps seem like great bang for the buck. Like to compare them sometime. Anyone around PA, DE, NJ MD with these we could compare!
I found a W4S ST500 to be too bright and cool in my system. I had it for over 6 months. With a tubed pre and vinyl only front end and ET LFT 8Bs. Just be careful with system synergy. In the right system, it just might work really well.
Good to know I also have ET LFT 8A soon to be 8B speakers! I guess my Pass Labs amp isn't going anywhere, and why should it? Nelson Pass has been in this business decades longer than most of these class D amp manufacturers. Not saying class D is bad. Nelson Pass really knows his stuff, and has designed amps for many other companies. Go to the DIY site and you can even ask him about his designs and what he thinks about class D amps. I bet he could do class D if he wanted, but the consensus still seems to be the non class D amps sounds best overall. Pass amps are the best I have owned and the customer service is beyond reproach, but I guess I am getting of topic here. :)
I have to agree with Audiofeil and Tvad regarding Muralman1's posts in this thread. The inclusion of Pass Labs amplifiers and their level of quality in the world of solid state is irrelevant to this thread.
Sometimes the world amazes me I believe I was the first one in this thread that made mention and said I found the Pass Lab AX Series to be superior to the W4S monoblocks but out of my price range. BTW; the Channel Island D-200 is no slouch either compared to the W4S monoblocks if we compare similar watts per channel.
As is usually the case, you probably have to try the product to make a determination.
If the Wyred's at their price are even arguably in the same league as the best Class As and not even necessarily as "good as" I would say they are definitely quite a bargain and must still sound very good.
I had the opportunity to buy the Wyred4sound SX-250 monos what are intended to have a better medium-treble, a more tubey sound than their more powerful brothers, the SX-500 and the SX-1000. I have compared them to other Class D amps that I have, And I just can say that for more than 1 000 $, they are not a bang for the buck at all...
They are just less airy, they have less bass, less dynamics and have a lot of details missing compared to Flying Mole DAD M-310 monos or to Huygens Mhz Power 4 monos (3 x the weight of the Wyred4sound SX-250...) at the same price!!
So, if you are searching a good price, go Wyred4sound.. If you are searching a wonderful sound at a good price.. Go anywhere else.
Lets not forget that size and energy efficieny are particular strengths of Class D compared to Class A.
When I was searching for an amp, if there was a high power Class A amp even close in size, weight, and energy efficiency, I would have had little reason probably to go Class D.
Sound aside, these are major factors to consider is your goal is to get the most out of good but inefficient or harder to drive speakers. The absolute best sounding amp may be out there, but some people like me do not want to deal with power drinking devices that are to heavy and bulky to deal with easily.
I think the BC ref1000m Class Ds deliver a sound competitive with the best systems I have heard.
I will not say they are the best or better, but I am confident that they are competitive.
They are not cheap, but are small, only weigh a few pounds each, run cool always and I can leave them on and run them as desired without running up the electric bill. That's something worth considering if you have speakers that can benefit from a monster amp but you do not necessarily want to have to deal with the size weight energy consumption, and heat production of Class A or similar beast.
I have not heard W4S amps, but what I have read leads me to believe they are a very good value if lots of SS power is what you need.
In comparison to less powerful or smaller and lighter SS amps, the lower powered Class D amps may lose some of their unique value proposition.
BC ref1000ms are designed to work well with tube amps and also have a custom power supply onboard that might help them deliver more bass and/or handle difficult loads better than stock Icepower perhaps. Wyreds (60Kohm unbalanced) and BC ref series amps (100kohm unbalanced) both have custom input sections with higher input impedance for better mating to tube pre-amps.
The custom power supply enhancement on the BC ref amps are the unique feature that led me to go for those at considerably more cost than the similar powered W4Ss in that this is something that I determined could benefit my particular speakers. FOr some other smaller or easier to drive speakers, this might not matter as much. YMMV.
I've found the Wyred4Sound ST500 to be a very good amp. I was told (and read on line) that the 250 was one to avoid as it had a different chipset and was not the sonic mate of the other two amps in the line. If someone told you the amp was tubey they must have been a solid state lover.
I should add that I'm happy with the ST500 (though it forced me to get a much better preamp to put in front of it) I don't find that it is a world-beater unless you value pacing and transparency. I can see a lot of people listening with different priorities who would find the amp ordinary or guilty of some other sins of subjective omission. I have 4 ohms speakers and the amps control them effortlessly, but Ive had other amps that have impressed with more slam, but less music. Ive had (tube) amps that added more tone but less pacing and masked musical lines. I am keeping it until I commit to a design philosophy (or maybe simply a typology) that gives me better pacing, tone and dynamics. But I need to get the vinyl settled first, so I may have it for a while.
I am sure that there are better amps and maybe equally good digital amps in the price range - I just dont want W4S to be a victim of their hype. Its a great amp for $1500, but its still an amp for $1500. I am tired of every amp besting amps three times their price, and the amp that was bested was earlier reviewed for trouncing an amp twice its price .... leading me to believe that the W4S ST500 is better than $15-20,000 amps thats grade inflation.
When I was listening to SET I had Cain&Cain Abbys (still have them), like the W4S they do something really right, not the be all and end all, but they can stop a lot of searching until one has more listing experience under ones belt.
I have a lot of records to re-listen to with my now more open system. Certain tube sound that is wonderful, but far from a live sound; like SS slam, far from an acoustic reality (on the other side of the spectrum). So a little more grounded if a little less transfixed. More foot tapping but less heart-stopping? Theres a deeper thrill in verisimilitude (on the level that I can afford, a level that to those higher on the food chain might be pretty basic), thats what kept me going with the amp for the first weeks (when I thought it was harsh and mediocre) because there were little revelations in so many works familiar and less familiar. If I had $3000 maybe Id be saying the same about another amp, but in this price rage its doing its thing right.
GreggD - "I just dont want W4S to be a victim of their hype. Its a great amp for $1500, but its still an amp for $1500."
I'm all for level-headed cost comparisons but isn't one of the advantages of W4S amp pricing that they dispense with a) retail distribution and b) expensive, attractive casings? So if you compare a W4S ST500 at $1500 with a unit like the AudioResearch 300.2 with a sale price of $4000, you need to discount the AR unit for the dealer mark-up and the attractive case, the prices are in the same ballpark (although I would guess the AR is still more expensive on an apples-to-apples basis, maybe by $500-750).
I do not adhere to the idea that price dictates performance. It may or may not for various reasons some of which you identify.
You can take a great expensive piece put in teh wrong system and sound crappy or you can take a less expensive piece that is well designed and executed put it in the right system and exceed the expectations of most. The devil is in the details.
I had the 125 wpc amplifier driven by a hevily modded Airtight tube preamp, a modded Alesis 9600 CD player/recorder going out to Von Schweikert VR5 HSE Anniversary speakers. I used some locally (auto cable engineer) made copper cable (excellent by the way)out to he speakers.
The W4S has a very clean, clear, and exceptionally smooth sound. Loads of detail. It does not, however, sound like either solid state or tube gear. I have described the W4S as pathologically smooth; it is also the opposite of big-hipped, juicy and lush tube sound.
I ultimately sold the piece because, despite it's positive attributes, it just did not awaken my inner soul. I have a class D amp right (100 wpc) made by a local audiophile in my system running the same copper cable out to Magnepan 1.7's; they have been outfitted with Enacom speaker filters (a dramatic, immediate improvement in bass solidity, upper end sparkle, and detail) and the amplifier has a pair of Dakiom's on it. The system sounds magical; I thought thye amp did not have enough power for the Magnepans. My immediate reaction to the very obvious improvements the Enacom speaker filters made was that the Mags are very RF sensitive as the Enacoms. I don't remeber if I ever ran these tweaks though on the W4S amplifier.
Yerude1, I guess you really don't like Wyred 4 Sound. I'm very surprised to see that you purchased a Wyred 4 Sound amp after you already bought their DAC 2 and said it was no better than your "entry level" cd player. When can I expect a negative review on the W4S preamp?