discontinued amplifier B100 is missing

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R. Daneel

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Re: discontinued amplifier B100 is missing
« Reply #20 on: 23 Mar 2024, 02:26 pm »
There's more than the module to consider.  For example, how many DACs and receivers use the same DAC chips.  There's lots more than just the chip used.  I've people try to equate a raspberry pi to Bryston's old BDP pi (and calling it overpriced - which I would not agree with).  I've owned a few Class D amps and also Class A/AB and I have speakers which are not an easy load.  There's pictures in my gallery (with details).  The Class D amps easily bettered (and that's not just my opinion - probably over a dozen people all into high end audio heard as well) vs. what I used previously in my system. 

I strongly disliked Class D with what I heard 8-9 years back at a couple of audio shows (it sounded decent until pushed hard).  I bought a class D amp about 4 years back for a secondary system and was super shocked how much better it sounded vs. a well regarded (name brand) A/AB amp in that secondary system and was even more shocked when it blew away what I had in the main system.  What will be a game changer for class D is when they commonly start having real input stages vs. just a cheap op amp (and what I have now still sounds better than $10k ish Class A/AB amps I've had in my system for years) as the first thing the signal passes through.

The arguments remind me of Swiss watches.  In 1967, the Swiss made the world's first quartz watch.  Of course it couldn't be any good being so much less expensive.  I think in 8-10 more years there will be a portion of companies using old technology which will either have to change the way they do business or they may not be around.  It's so hard today to even find real dealers.  I have one audio dealer 15 minutes away (and the rest of them are about 2 hours away or longer) and I have more equipment than he does (with my secondary systems), although whay he tends to carry are ultra expensive things (e.g. $80k+ speakers).

Hi Phil!

It goes without saying that an amplifier (as a HIFI component) contains more than an amplifier circuit. However, it is also a fact that the amplifier circuit is the reason why the component is referred to as “an amplifier”. Let’s say you buy a PS Audio 700M power amplifier (or whatever it’s called) which uses class D modules made by someone else. In this case, “the module” IS the amplifier! What did you buy? Is it PS Audio that you bought or is it an OEM product that’s been tarted-up? See the point?

Perhaps it’s my own fault that I approach HIFI equipment in the same manner as I approach commercial engineering projects in my daily life. Now, admittedly, I am not an electronic or electric engineer (there’s a difference!) like some of my colleagues and am in a different engineering realm, but the same rules still apply.

To put things in context, a single transformer of a 20-year-old Denon PMA-2000 integrated amplifier costs more to make than the entire amplification circuit of a modern class D amplifier. It contains iron and copper and plenty of it too and these raw materials cannot be had cheaply. It is as simple as that. Class D was a cost-cutting measure for industrial purposes that found its place in the ever-greedier and overcrowded HIFI market.

It will also be interesting to see how many of the class D proponents, if any, will be able to provide aftersales support for “their” amplifiers once the module they’ve used has been discontinued by the original manufacturer. How many will stand the test of time and will there be any functional ones left on eBay in five or ten years? Will they say “Sure, send it in, we’ll fix it for you!” or will they say “Sorry, the module has been discontinued and because we didn’t make it, we haven’t got a clue how it even works, let alone how to repair it!” Sounds familiar? I’ve read a dozen comments on this very site about the BCD-1 CD player and its replacemtn mech.

As for HIFI dealers, most of them will be nothing more than order-takers. But it stands to reason one should pick the one that carries the least competing brands, doesn’t it?