Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps

newzooreview, jnschneyer, Chris Adams, catluck and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 6865 times.

musicdre

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #80 on: 18 Sep 2022, 01:07 am »
Paragraph breaks. The pause that refreshes. Guys, some of your posts are darn hard to read.

cant comment yet on balanced GaN, since dont have one YET, but going balanced into my nCore 500 amp does make a positive difference.  its really good with single ended RCA.  its even better with balanced XLR.  its opening my eyes to both class D and balanced.  they seem to make a good combo.

morganc

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #81 on: 18 Sep 2022, 01:38 am »
I was able to join the Orchard Tour.  If anyone in Northern Arizona wants to visit hit me up. 
Am holding to have the Class D Mini Gan as well. 
« Last Edit: 18 Sep 2022, 02:46 am by morganc »

DBT AUDIO

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #82 on: 18 Sep 2022, 04:54 am »
Has anyone paired their (fully passive) Spatial Audio speakers with Bel Canto REF600M amps?  If so, what were your impressions compared to other class D amps or any other amps you have used with your Spatial Audio speakers?  This post is very interesting concerning the Gallium Nitride amps.

genjamon

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #83 on: 18 Sep 2022, 10:46 am »
Catluck has - see his original post

DBT AUDIO

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #84 on: 18 Sep 2022, 11:09 am »
Catluck has - see his original post
Thanks!  I missed that as I’ve been reading all the latest posts for the last several days.  Much appreciated…

catluck

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #85 on: 18 Sep 2022, 01:03 pm »
DBT - As noted I just sold my Bel Canto eRef 600's.  Fabulous amps. I really enjoyed their purity, increased bass and quietude.  For Class D, truly excellent musicality.  The gallium nitride products are in a different league.  I'm beginning to think that MOSFET based designs are yesterday's tech, i.e., dinosaurs. Yes, there remain many great sounding MOSFET designs.  But GanFets, in terms of switching frequency (3x's MOSFETS), slew rate (significantly faster), replication of square wave (less ringing/overshoot), significant reduction in THD/IM distortion, etc., simply eclipse MOSFETS' performance (if the reporting is to be believed).  MOSFETS simply cannot challenge GanFets' technical superiority.  It wouldn't matter, admittedly, if the GanFets' superior performance characteristics didn't manifest in a more musical presentation but they certainly seem to.  And all that without considering the enormously reduced: cost, weight, heat, power consumption, packaging materials, materials consumption, ease of placement, etc., of GanFet products in comparison to most MOSFET products.

Also, apologies for the lengthy posts absent paragraph breaks. I know better and I'll do better. 

Mr. Big

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #86 on: 18 Sep 2022, 03:01 pm »
Seems like everyone is enjoying their class D amps. I heard a few up to $10,000 and they all were very clean and clear with very good bass and enjoyable change of sound. Myself I go to live concerts and I'll stick with my class A/B because overall the sound is more to how I hear live music. But this hobby is about enjoying your music and if class D sound is enjoyable kick back and enjoys it. It is very affordable for sure and a good bang for the buck. But I would not put down class A/B or Class A amps they also have their important reproduction sound points even though class D does sound different which can be refreshing. 

newzooreview

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #87 on: 18 Sep 2022, 03:08 pm »
I heard a few up to $10,000 and they all were very clean and clear with very good bass and enjoyable change of sound.

Which ones have you compared in your system?

I had a Tripath-based and an Wyred4Sound Ice-based monoblock pair, but that was a long while ago, and not with the M3 Sapphires. By all accounts the recent Purifi and GaN-based amps are different than earlier class D.

Mr. Big

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #88 on: 18 Sep 2022, 03:49 pm »
1. Element 114 Stereo Power Amplifier (Cleanest)
2. PS Audio 1200 (most musical)
3. Jeff Rowland Model 625 ( Best of both above)

Enjoyed all, and kept my A/B.

genjamon

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #89 on: 18 Sep 2022, 04:28 pm »
Which A/B amp, Mr. Big?

newzooreview

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #90 on: 18 Sep 2022, 05:50 pm »
1. Element 114 Stereo Power Amplifier (Cleanest)
2. PS Audio 1200 (most musical)
3. Jeff Rowland Model 625 ( Best of both above)

Enjoyed all, and kept my A/B.

Thanks. Those are some nice amps. The Element is $16,000. The PS Audio is $6,598. And the Model 625 S2 is $16,000 (judging from second-hand information online; the manufacturer's site posts no price). I expect that any of them would add some refinement, if not more, compared to my Pass Labs XA25.

What was is the class A/B amp that you preferred to the class D amps you tried?

DBT AUDIO

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #91 on: 18 Sep 2022, 06:32 pm »
DBT - As noted I just sold my Bel Canto eRef 600's.  Fabulous amps. I really enjoyed their purity, increased bass and quietude.  For Class D, truly excellent musicality.  The gallium nitride products are in a different league.  I'm beginning to think that MOSFET based designs are yesterday's tech, i.e., dinosaurs. Yes, there remain many great sounding MOSFET designs.  But GanFets, in terms of switching frequency (3x's MOSFETS), slew rate (significantly faster), replication of square wave (less ringing/overshoot), significant reduction in THD/IM distortion, etc., simply eclipse MOSFETS' performance (if the reporting is to be believed).  MOSFETS simply cannot challenge GanFets' technical superiority.  It wouldn't matter, admittedly, if the GanFets' superior performance characteristics didn't manifest in a more musical presentation but they certainly seem to.  And all that without considering the enormously reduced: cost, weight, heat, power consumption, packaging materials, materials consumption, ease of placement, etc., of GanFet products in comparison to most MOSFET products.

Also, apologies for the lengthy posts absent paragraph breaks. I know better and I'll do better.
No need to apologize, I appreciate the detailed response.  I owned the PS Audio M700 mono blocks a few years ago, but they were paired with my Paradigm Signature 6 speakers and I thought they outperformed my Bryston 4Bsst.  I sold them when I bought my X5s and joined the club of vacuum tubes.  Now, I'm back to solid state with my Luxman which I really like.  Thanks for your feedback!

Mr. Big

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #92 on: 18 Sep 2022, 07:49 pm »
Thanks. Those are some nice amps. The Element is $16,000. The PS Audio is $6,598. And the Model 625 S2 is $16,000 (judging from second-hand information online; the manufacturer's site posts no price). I expect that any of them would add some refinement, if not more, compared to my Pass Labs XA25.

What was is the class A/B amp that you preferred to the class D amps you tried?

A/B AMPS. McIntosh MC402, Mark Levinson 532H, Parasound JC5, and lately my Luxman 600A. I rotate amps as I buy new ones. I keep my gear and I can have a new system as I tire of the old sound that I get used which is why we all fall in love with new gear, it may not really be better but it sounds fresh to our ears and makes us sit up and notice and listens for a change, something we stop doing after having a system sound in house for a while and we stop taken notice on changes and don't listen as intently as when we bring new gear home to try, that is really how we chase our tail and how they sell us on the change of sound any given piece or gear can do or much cheaper a better power cord.   

lazbisme

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #93 on: 18 Sep 2022, 08:20 pm »
One can always switch to a great tube amp and only have to buy new/different tubes to "change the sound" as often as you wish. You can even keep the same amp and change speakers and "roll" the tubes to tune it to your new speakers! Plus, if it is a quality amp(DECWARE SET is my choice at the moment), the sound will be glorious!

newzooreview

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #94 on: 18 Sep 2022, 09:10 pm »
A/B AMPS. McIntosh MC402, Mark Levinson 532H, Parasound JC5, and lately my Luxman 600A.

Thanks. I would also be surprised if the Orchard or Class D (company) GaN amps sounded better than those.

The M3 Sapphires do sound better than some more expensive box speakers, however, so there is sometimes a chance for better design to win out at a lower cost!

catluck

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #95 on: 19 Sep 2022, 03:37 pm »
Mr. Big - don't disagree with your comments re: new sound might be "refreshing" and, at least for a moment, desired above other topologies.  Strikes me as wise words.  The interesting thing for me is that I've been a tube guy, mostly, for over 30 years.  So, for instance, in the upstairs system, I'm all tubes (KT88, 300B, 6C33)  and, as I've written, downstairs I run 845's. I love tube artifacts.  But, listening to the Orchard Starkrimson monos upstairs, on the big Merlins (M3's are downstairs) a funny thing happened yesterday.  I was listening to Kelly Joe Phelps "Slingshot Professionals," a great recording of great music.  At first, the presentation struck me as somewhat disorganized and confusing.  I kind of couldn't make sense of what was presented.  But as I continued to listen, and I've listened to this recording many times, I realized that I was hearing information (harmonics off steel strings, deep background voices like organ, drum symbols, etc.) which I hadn't noticed previously.  Tambourine zills had an astonishing pitch and location which I don't recall my tube gear presenting as clearly. After about 10 minutes I was able to "make sense" of the additional information and it was, I hate to use this word again but.... revelatory.  I simply heard this music in a way that I had not previously heard it (or, at least, don't remember ever having heard it this way) and the experience was so pleasing.

Still, you could be right - perhaps I'll find this fatiguing and return to tubes.  Too early to say.  But, man, Kelly Joe sounded good. And one last thing: I know when I'm enjoying the sound of gear if I listen longer than I intended to or usually do.  That's been happening everyday since I started with these GanFet products.  Purely anecdotal I admit and, again, you could be right that I'll tire of the sound and return home to tubes.  But I wonder...

I'm thinking perhaps, New Zoo nailed it when noting that, sometimes, a less expensive design/product can simply outperform more expensive competitors... Is that what we have here?

RonN5

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #96 on: 19 Sep 2022, 05:08 pm »
My thought is that our sound preferences are influenced by our listening habits and expectations.

I've noticed that when I go to live concerts...orchestras, bands...anything up on a stage, lots of instruments, spread out...it is hard to hear individuals playing, it is hard to hear much in the way of depth...I hear a blending of everything that ends up being music...and usually I like it.

If I'm listening in a smaller venue, 3 or 4 musicians...I may hear a lot more individual detail and more depth, but again there is a blending and usually I like it.

Now, when I sit down to listen at home, am I listening musically or analytically....if I'm having an analytical day, then I'm probably listening for things that are missing or are problematic...more than I'm listening to what sounds good.

Then assume I'm sitting down for some comparison listening between amplifiers....I'd say this is analytical listening and it may tell me instantaneous likes and dislikes but not whether I like the piece for its longer term musicality...that only comes by putting it in my system and living with it exclusively for a few months exclusively.

As to the Starkcrimson....Nelson Pass and Ralph Karsten both say that anecdotally, about 1/3 of people prefer some 2nd harmonic in their amplifiers, about 1/3 prefer 3rd harmonic and about 1/3 don't have a distortion preference.  I believe Leo says he designs his amps to be as close to straight wire with gain as possible...so, they may not appeal as much to a person with a strong 2nd harmonic preference.

If a person has the space and the budget, I'm thinking that having multiple amps may not be a bad idea if they sound different from each other but both are enjoyable...much like cyclists may have multiple bikes and photographers may have multiple cameras.

Tyson

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #97 on: 19 Sep 2022, 05:14 pm »
If a person has the space and the budget, I'm thinking that having multiple amps may not be a bad idea if they sound different from each other but both are enjoyable...much like cyclists may have multiple bikes and photographers may have multiple cameras.

This is exactly the path I've taken lately.  It's also why I now own 8 amps with different topologies.  It's fun to amp switch whenever I feel like it.

catluck

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Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #98 on: 19 Sep 2022, 10:55 pm »
RonN5 - absolutely agree. That's why I used the phrase "tube artifacts."  I've always believed that we tend toward the distortion spectra most pleasing to us.  Tyson's solution is certainly one way to scratch the itch.  But with 5 pair of mono blocks already, if I came home with another pair, I think my femme would help me relocate to a new home.  So, for me, that's out.  But I do think you're onto something. Question is how could I so positively respond to a "straight wire with gain" when coming from decades of loving tube distortion? Maybe we're back to Mr. Big's thoughts that we just find change refreshing...at least for a moment.  I also fully agree that months are required to ascertain the possibility for long-term enjoyment. 

So, I'm back where I started.  Bewildering enjoyment with these little toys and I guess I'll just take yes for answer.  Great conversation with all of you.  What a fabulous group to have to chat with.  It's been so informative and thoughtful.

Bingenito

Re: Sapphire M3's - Gallium Nitride Amps
« Reply #99 on: 20 Sep 2022, 01:00 am »
Seems like we need a poll on this thread. How many amps does it take to cause Catluck to get a "relocation" package  :lol: