Interest in a good digital amp

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RandyH

Interest in a good digital amp
« on: 8 Jul 2019, 10:32 pm »
Hi, I'm a long time Audio Circle member but a first time poster in the "Cherry" forum.  I am considering upgrading the amp in my current system.  I have a Bryston SST2 power amp, Audio Research LS-15 preamp playing into a pair of Vandersteen Quatro CT speakers.  I really have no complaints about my system, in fact this is the best I've ever had.  Having said that, I know there is always room for improvement and my curiosity is getting the best of me.  My question....given my speakers, which model Cherry amp would be good match for my Vandersteen Quatros?  I'm open to either a stereo amp or mono bloc...which ever would offer the best performance at a reasonable cost.  Also for those of you who have gone from SS A/B amps (specifically the Bryston) to the Cherry digital, what is different?  Better?  worse?...or just different?

Thanks, I'm looking forward to your responses and recommendations.

Randy

RonN5

Re: Interest in a good amp
« Reply #1 on: 8 Jul 2019, 11:38 pm »
Hi Randy....welcome to the cherry amp page!  If you haven't happened upon this link yet...it is definitely worth the read...it will give you a pretty good feeling for what Tommy is doing and what his thinking is about building amplifiers.

https://positive-feedback.com/interviews/tommy-obrien-digital-amplifier-co/

You may be surprised when you read that he isn't building digital amplifiers per se...his amplifiers are class d (which is not digital)....but not in the traditional sense where most companies buy a class d module and then build an amplifier around the limitations that the module offers.  Instead, Tommy's amplifiers are made from his own circuit designs with discrete components...not modules.

You will also read that Tommy's goal is to have his amplifiers sound like nothing.  I will talk about that in a moment.

In February, I found myself in the same place as you have described for yourself...Parasound Halo driving Salk Veracity STs...sounded great but as you said, "always room for improvement".

Based on the article I linked above, some of the reviews and on the forum comments, I placed an order for the 2Cherry....which is a dual mono stereo amplifier...and one of his most recent designs.

As you know, the Halo and the Bryston are quality solid state amps and sound more similar than different...and the Halo I would specifically describe as very smooth on top and very punchy on the bottom. (I haven't heard the Bryston)  The 2Cherry has been a step up!

How?  Why?  As you know, there are people who talk about and prefer the "tube sound"...smooth, liquid, deep layered soundstage.  And there are people who prefer the "solid state amp sound"....detailed, punchy, wide soundstage.  When you read about Cherry amps, you will often see that people infer that the Cherry amps are the best of both worlds.  But honestly, I'd like to suggest that while that may be true, there is something else that really sets the Cherry amps apart and makes them so special.

My experience has been that if you stand beside a guitar player and listen to the strum or the pluck....or you stand beside a piano player and listen to him play....vs what you hear on the best of home audio systems....a major difference is clarity.  Being there, listening live is just so much more clear.

That is the secret and the beauty to Tommy's amps...they remove a layer of haze....there is a clarity and an impact that just makes the music seem more alive.

As you know, clarity can be faked by tipping up the top end....these amps are not "fake clarity"....everything from the deepest bass to the smallest triangles will be more realistically clear...and...soundstaging will be wide, deep and layered and the low end will be powerful...but a heads up...because the clarity is so good, the boominess (if there is any) will be gone.

When I listen to older CDs recorded in the 80s and 90s...they actually sound good now.  When I listen to the recording of "Hamilton"...I can actually understand every single word!

So Bottom line....with a 30 day return policy, you have nothing to lose....and I'm sure that Tommy will be happy to guide you as to which of his amps will best meet your expectations.

Good Luck