Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are a winning combo

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Canada Rob

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Good Class D amplification and Omega speakers are showing up to be a winning combo.  The Crown Class D has been making inroads, and now the Temple audio Bantam Gold.

One of many things I love about Omega speakers is their ability to run really well on low wattage amps, many of them physically tiny which can make for a "disappearing front end", and with Louis' current crop of drivers, a wide variety of amp types work well.

I won't bore you with all the amps I've tried on various Omegas over the years, but there is is one type that never lit my fire, and that was (I say was) Class D.  Admittedly, that was a few years ago and Class D has not been sitting still, but seen great improvements since I had mine.

Wind Chaser is the one who got me interested in decent Class D when I listened over at his place.  I sought out what I believe to be one of the better "miniature" types and found the entirely made in the UK Temple Audio Bantam Gold stereo amp.  Made with very high quality components and 25 w/ch into 4 ohms (15 into 8?).  I was immediately impressed with the build quality.  It has an Alps volume control, Neutrik chassis mounted 5 way binding posts, and chassis mounted gold plated RCA inputs.

The sound: I first ran it in a room system with a Herus+ DAC and Super 7 Monitor MK2 and was surprised at the clear un-grainy top end, natural midrange, and full bass - in four words, nothing out of balance.  Very three dimensional with incredible speed.  Attack on notes is razor sharp and the clarity and transparency are amazing without sounding cold or harsh.  I'm currently using the brick switching power supply, but a battery or linear power supply like an Astron will be an upgrade in sound.  The noise floor with the stock power supply is very low.

Next, I ran the Bantam Gold in my desktop system with Audio Sector DAC and Super 3is and the results were similar to the above with some of the best imaging I've heard on the desktop.

Does the Bantam Gold sound like a SET?  No, nor does it try to.  It's fun solid state with a whole different set of strengths.  A different pleasure.  If I could only own one amplifier it would be a SET.  One place I would take this amp over a SET is in our sub tropical summers where the temperatures can reach well over 100 F.  Class D has to be the coolest running amp type I've encountered.  Yes we do have AC - can't live at the north end of the Sonoran desert without it.

Update: Did more listening on the desktop system and find the bass to be really "there" - quite deep and transparent, like there's a sub under the desk and the speakers aren't broken in yet.  IMO sub not needed in this system.
Imaging is as good as I've ever experienced at the desktop.  My Dell monitor just disappears in a gorgeous soundstage.









« Last Edit: 2 Jul 2015, 05:00 am by Canada Rob »

mresseguie

Rob,

By any chance will this amp be available for a quick listen?

Michael

Canada Rob

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Hopefully yes, but if someone snags them first it's out of my control, and it takes about a week for me to get more out of the UK.

mresseguie

I'm more than a little concerned that my AVA 400R/T8 tube preamp combination is just going to be too much for the Omegas. It's got a bit more than 200W/ch into 8 Ohms.

The Temple amp is inexpensive and very portable.

Well, if it's there, good. I'll give it a listen. If not, ........humility. :(


Audiophile58

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Hello Rob I see you have what looks like a external power supply ,with the Bantam Who makes it, and how Expensive ?

You have  good taste Rob. When living in the U.K Bantan was just starting out ,now they just keep getting better and better. Their new Bantan 1 dual monoblocks .Have you heard them yet ?
Thanks,Paul.

Audiophile58

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Regarding the AVA400 being too much power for the speakers  No I don't think so.Having more power then you need
If it is clean power gives you plenty of overhead . On dynamic swings your amp may require many times
The power requirements from Soft  passages to Loud dynamic swings.

Canada Rob

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Hello Rob I see you have what looks like a external power supply ,with the Bantam Who makes it, and how Expensive ?

You have  good taste Rob. When living in the U.K Bantan was just starting out ,now they just keep getting better and better. Their new Bantan 1 dual monoblocks .Have you heard them yet ?
Thanks,Paul.
Haven't heard the mono blocks yet or the new Bantam 1.  In the picture that's a DAC.  I want to get an Astron power supply for the Bantam Gold, but for now I'm just using the switching brick power supply that came with it.

RDavidson

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I'm more than a little concerned that my AVA 400R/T8 tube preamp combination is just going to be too much for the Omegas. It's got a bit more than 200W/ch into 8 Ohms.

The Temple amp is inexpensive and very portable.

Well, if it's there, good. I'll give it a listen. If not, ........humility. :(

With Omegas, the amount of power you have is largely irrelevant (with regard to having much more than enough). What can be problematic (in my experience) is finding an amp that sounds its best when pushing just a few watts. I find that many amps (class A/B in general), particularly those with high output (100 wpc or so) and multiple gain stages, don't sound their best until they are actually having to work a bit, versus loafing along. Let's say one must "stress" their amp 10% to get the amp to flesh out and sound right. With a 100 wpc amp, you'd be pushing 10 wpc continuous to the speakers. With Omegas, that'd be LOUD. I'm not saying that this will be a problem for you, as amp design can widely vary and thus performance characteristics can widely vary. The only thing one can do is try it and see. I think this is why we see a pretty wide variety of good combos with Omegas ranging from 500 wpc Class D to 2 wpc single ended tube amps.

Canada Rob

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The systems in my picture are really sounding good.  The Super 3i and 7 Monitors are loosening up and really coming out of their corners and I only have a few hours on them.  The subwoofer was taken out (of the Super 7 system, and the desktop system never had one) as I feel it's no longer needed, not for my tastes anyway, YMMV.  I'm finding the Temple Bantam Gold to really have great dynamics with the 3i and 7 Monitor MK2.  I can hardly weight to try a linear power supply with these combos.  Both will go loud enough to drive me out of the room without any breakup or distortion.

I really notice the punch and dynamics the 3i and 7 are capable of when playing the High Kings "Field of Glory", and that's just on Spotify Premium, and that's just one example.  Add to that Bela Fleck and the Flecktones "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo".  Lots of really tuneful, well recorded bass in that tune and the 3i and 7 really bring it out.
« Last Edit: 11 Jun 2015, 04:37 am by Canada Rob »

DBC

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Back in December 2014 (before purchasing my Alnico Monitors) I did an in-home demo on the Peachtree 65se, 125se and 220se integrated amplifiers (all D class). Equipment used was Oppo BDP-105D and Klipsch RF-7 mains.

While the 65se and 125se are fine sounding amps, the 220se is in a class of it's own. All three units utilize different class D amps. The 125se is Texas Instruments and the 220se B&O ICE. Compared to the 220se the 65se and 125se were dry and lack the air and fluidity of the 220se. The 220se is simply Musical, Smooth & Dynamic.

My baseline amp for comparison purposes is the Decware Super Zen that I own. I ended up purchasing the 220se, it is that impressive. Although I swap the two amps out from time to time, 90% of my listening has been with the 220se since I received my Alnico Monitors several months ago. IMO the 220se sounds like the Super Zen on Steroids.

DaveC113

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Rob, you can get linear PS for a good price on ebay most of the time... IME it will make a big difference although there are some good switching PS out there these days. I'm not sure what your amps come with exactly, but it's worth trying. Many years ago I tried a few PS for a D amp including a big deep-cycle  Optima battery, then added caps to the battery supply. It was good but indistinguishable from a cheap used One Electron PS taken from a computer.

DBC, my current D amp, a Crown XLS 1500, shares a lot of characteristics with my DIY EL34 SET but the SET's midrange is better. The XLS bass control is awesome though. Both good amps...


pstrisik

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Rob,

What is the Bantam 1?  I don't see it on the Temple site.

.......Peter

Canada Rob

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Rob,

What is the Bantam 1?  I don't see it on the Temple site.

.......Peter
Hi Peter,
Not sure why it's not on their website yet.  It's a dual monaural 40w/ch Class D integrated with built in torroidal power supply, 3 inputs, and a pre out.
Over the years, I've loved small minimalist British integrated amps, and this one looks like it nails it.  My Bantam Golds are so musical and I'm guessing this new one is going to be sensational.  It's on my want list.

pstrisik

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Hi Peter,
Not sure why it's not on their website yet.  It's a dual monaural 40w/ch Class D integrated with built in torroidal power supply, 3 inputs, and a pre out.
Over the years, I've loved small minimalist British integrated amps, and this one looks like it nails it.  My Bantam Golds are so musical and I'm guessing this new one is going to be sensational.  It's on my want list.

Sounds like a good one.  I'm strongly considering the Bantam Gold to power my tweeters, though would certainly try it with the Omega mains.  Do you have pricing on the 1 (MSRP)?  I'll guess about $500 given his other pricing.


.......Peter

Canada Rob

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Sounds like a good one.  I'm strongly considering the Bantam Gold to power my tweeters, though would certainly try it with the Omega mains.  Do you have pricing on the 1 (MSRP)?  I'll guess about $500 given his other pricing.


.......Peter
I would have to contact them on the exact pricing.

pstrisik

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Rob,

No need to do that for me, but thanks.  It would be overkill for my purposes - more just curious.

.......Peter

vinagunner

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« Last Edit: 15 Mar 2016, 03:50 am by vinagunner »

pstrisik

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I just received my Bantam today.  It is to power my supertweeters, but I will give it a listen as my main amp powering the Omegas out of curiousity.

......Peter


Canada Rob

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I just received my Bantam today.  It is to power my supertweeters, but I will give it a listen as my main amp powering the Omegas out of curiousity.

......Peter

The Bantam Gold or Bantam 1?

Edit: Bantam Gold.  Saw it in another thread.

seikosha

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I see that Bantam uses the 2024C module which I've seen used by the DIY crowd as well as some of the Asian companies.  Anyone have any experience with this module in an amplifier other than the Bantam?