Author Topic: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?  (Read 836 times)

Offline LC

How much are we influenced by perceived value and well-known name brands? I am specifically referring to Class D amplifiers.

Buying an amplifier with all the bells and whistles from a known brand equals dollars.
Buying an amplifier with all the bells and whistles from an unknown brand usually much less dollars.

I have seen many products being sold in the Class D domain, but what astounds me, is the enormous price variance say between a Hypex or Nad amp and a fairly respectable "no-name" brand. Do they really use such special components, or are they just trading on hype?

.. to me it seems some well-known brands have jumped on the inexpensive bandwagon to market their wares for a huge profit.

 

Offline The kock

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Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2021, 05:18:16 PM »
Im not sure what the components costs but Im pretty sure its nothing compared to what we fork out. This industry is one of the lucky industries that still manages to trade on perceived value as a pose to cost +. In saying that a brand like Nad has got a signature sound that people either like or dislike, and if you like it you end up buying it......


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Offline gavinbirss

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2021, 06:26:21 PM »
How much are we influenced by perceived value and well-known name brands? I am specifically referring to Class D amplifiers.

Buying an amplifier with all the bells and whistles from a known brand equals dollars.
Buying an amplifier with all the bells and whistles from an unknown brand usually much less dollars.

I have seen many products being sold in the Class D domain, but what astounds me, is the enormous price variance say between a Hypex or Nad amp and a fairly respectable "no-name" brand. Do they really use such special components, or are they just trading on hype?

.. to me it seems some well-known brands have jumped on the inexpensive bandwagon to market their wares for a huge profit.

Listen to the Darko podcast with Bruno Putzeys around OEM and DIY modules of the current Purifi module and it will explain the pricing. A EVAL1/2 Purifi unit with an added power supply put in a chassis is all that is needed.

https://soundcloud.com/johnhdarko/expert-opinion-bruno-putzeys-purifi-mola-mola-hypex

There are various input module options for DIY/commercial amps that include discrete opamp and even a KORG tube.

A NAD M33 offers some additional features.

Now there are other manufacturers doing their own Class D designs like Classe for example.

Offline sajunky

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2021, 07:11:14 PM »
Good for 2 hours on HT, perfect for a subwoofer. Fatiguing on the longer run. Not only humans don't like it, also tweeters. I own IcePower 125ASX2 (some NAD was using it, it was glorified for a NAD sound), replaced it with an entry level Denon PMA-520AE.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 07:18:01 PM by sajunky »
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Offline chrisc

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Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2021, 09:31:46 PM »
Devialet combine a class A amp with a class D for high power.  There is extensive filtering on the output to attain the extremely low distortion figures and the sound is certainly not fatiguing

Once had a Rotel class D power amp and it certainly matched well with the speakers I had at the time
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Offline 2wice

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2021, 10:40:30 PM »
If you find all class D amps fatiguing, something else is wrong.
If my music is too loud, yours is too soft. :p

Offline Zilch

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Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 02:08:39 PM »
If you find all class D amps fatiguing, something else is wrong.

Must be the class a/b bias :tongue:
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Offline kamikazi

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 11:28:49 PM »
There are some interesting dynamics and philosophies at play in the Class D market that largely determine what you see in the market and the huge disparity in pricing and performance. The economic model is also significantly different and perhaps a bit more complex.

If you read up on some interviews with Bruno Putzeys you'll see that his ultimate goal is to put a solution out there for amplification where you would consider this a "solved problem" e.g. improve it to a point where nobody needs to reinvent the wheel. The amplifier essentially amplifies an audio signal without any added distortion. Both Purifi and Hypex also offer some margin for tweaking these solutions which makes it an interesting option since the underlying amplification technology is proven and solid, but also tweakable.

NAD has an interesting strategy on offering a competitive package that is either lifestyle focused or high performance featuring modular inputs (digital/phono etc.), room correction and an user friendly UI. Through licensing the amplification tech, which likely reduces their R&D spend, they can focus their efforts on the overall product itself which looks to be quite successful. If you look at the overall package, though expensive, does offer a comprehensive solution.

With the availability of OEM class D modules in various retail channels, there is also margin for custom amp builders using their own buffers and off-the-shelf chassis to offer competitive solutions at a discount to retail brands. Here you have to tread a bit carefully as not all of them are that good and you do have some variability in terms of QC, but the value equation is usually quite high.

As pointed out earlier in the thread there are some designers that have come up with their own proprietary Class D tech which would have been expensive, depending on what is involved in the design. Have a look at Primare with UFPD and Cherry digital amplifiers.

Offline Cuco

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 05:04:58 PM »
Then there are ultra high end class D's like the Jeff Rowland 825, that cost $30k USD. Seems to be partly designed by Bruno Putzey. 70kg's of class D.


Offline sajunky

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 07:15:06 PM »
There is so much pun from Bruno Putzey. ;)
If it measures good and sounds badit's bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing.
/ Daniel R. von Recklinghausen, Chief Engineer, H.H. Scott/

Offline Shonver

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Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2021, 07:30:00 PM »
Then there are ultra high end class D's like the Jeff Rowland 825, that cost $30k USD. Seems to be partly designed by Bruno Putzey. 70kg's of class D.

He didn't really have much to do with this amp. Probably only a kilo or two.
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Online pwatts

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2021, 11:07:20 PM »
There is so much pun from Bruno Putzey. ;)

That man's a genius. An absolute master of PWM.

Offline LC

Re: Perceived value of Class D amplifiers. Are we being swindled?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2021, 12:57:33 PM »
Thank you for all the replies guys. It is appreciated.  :thumbs: