Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?

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theater_lover

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Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« on: 19 May 2020, 06:01 pm »
So all of my past speakers have been fairly hard to drive, some even close to 2 Ohm.

I am trying out a pair of M3 Triode Masters.  I currently have a Wyred 4 Sound STI-1000, which has substantial class D muscle, but is likely overkill for the M3TM and it may prove beneficial for me to sell that and use the bucks towards something more appropriate.

Anyone out there found they preferred switching from Class D to A/B?  Or vice versa?  I'd like to avoid tubes for now, as well as anything terribly inefficient power wise.  I don't need a small space heater.

Looking for something sub $1000 (new or used).

Thanks.

Wind Chaser

Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #1 on: 19 May 2020, 08:00 pm »
I am trying out a pair of M3 Triode Masters.  I currently have a Wyred 4 Sound STI-1000, which has substantial class D muscle, but is likely overkill...

Looking for something sub $1000 (new or used).


I think given your budget you should just stay put. I heard those amps with the M3ts and they are not overkill. Yes those speakers can be driven with a few watts ....BUT a few a hundred watts makes them come alive and vital like nothing else. Those speakers thrive on power and there’s no replacement for displacement.

I’d like to suggest try positioning and repositioning the speakers in your room before you draw any conclusions on the amps. Pull them away from the walls and play with the axis, those thing make a big difference especially with those speakers.  :D

morganc

Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #2 on: 24 May 2020, 05:28 pm »
The Digital Audio Maraschino's do great with the TM's. 

genjamon

Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #3 on: 24 May 2020, 06:32 pm »

I think given your budget you should just stay put. I heard those amps with the M3ts and they are not overkill. Yes those speakers can be driven with a few watts ....BUT a few a hundred watts makes them come alive and vital like nothing else. Those speakers thrive on power and there’s no replacement for displacement.

I’d like to suggest try positioning and repositioning the speakers in your room before you draw any conclusions on the amps. Pull them away from the walls and play with the axis, those thing make a big difference especially with those speakers.  :D

I largely agree.  However, if you were to come across a used amp using the newest IceEdge 1200AS2 module, it could be an actual improvement over the W4S while also staying under the $1K budget. 

It looks like the W4S have been using IcePower modules in their STI amps forever.  The original STI-1000 was based on the late 2000's Icepower tech.  W4S began offering a V2 STI-1000 in the mid-2010's based on the next generation of Icepower modules.  Folks are pretty unanimous that the newest Icepower tech (IceEdge 1200AS2 modules) sound way better than the prior generations.  And given that a stereo amp using the modules can be had used at under $1K, I'd say that should be his next bet, unless he wanted to stretch his budget and give one of the DAC Cherry options a try under a 30 day moneyback. 

But I agree he needs quite a bit of power to get the most out of those speakers, and Class D is gonna be the best sound quality at the sub-$1K price point.

That said, the $1K could possibly be better spent on another aspect of his system.  The W4S amp may not be the bottleneck in system performance.


theater_lover

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #4 on: 25 May 2020, 02:47 am »
I was able to test out the speakers with my gear today and was quite pleased.  I have yet to play around with room positioning.
Yes, I could see opportunity in moving up to a later generation ice module, or perhaps a Hypex system.

I am using a MiniDSP SHD as a source and have been very happy with the performance and features of that component.

On purely aesthetics and a goal to shrink my system's presence in the room, I would love to find 1U clean black box solution for amplification.  I was considering the Elac DPA-2, as it hits a lot of marks, but the face leaves a lot to be desired.  Looks like a $50 Best Buy DVD player.

paolocaminiti

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #5 on: 9 Jun 2020, 01:32 pm »
Wouldn't a schiit aegir be the most sensible choice under 1k to drive the triode master?

Regarding the icepower edge, I've been driving my m3ts with an apollon as1200s. Plenty of power, very alive, super fast, amazing at blasting rock and very competent with jazz. But it revealed to be very sensible to power cord and fuses. The used unit I got had the fuse replaced with a hifi-tuning silver, and I was powering it with an anticable power cord level 3. The sound was unbalanced, hollow and irritating (my room is quite empty and lively - kitchen open space). Once I replaced the power cord with an all copper wireworld electra and the fuse with an all copper from hifi tuning balance really got back to warm and enjoyable, lot's of mid bass now. Still going direct from my directstream dac (supposedly very creamy and warm) to the icepower results in hollow sound on many recordings, so I use a schiit freya inbetween to give body and weight to the presentation. It's really good sounding now with the preamp but still I suppose class a would do a better job with the compression tweeters.

Also I'm not sure that keep putting high watts and high dampening on an open baffle results in a better sound, at times it seems like the woofers would enjoy being a bit more loose, especially with poor recordings. Clayton suggested a push/pull el34 would probably give more bass than my current setup.

I cited the aegir because I've been considering it for a while, unfortunately neither schiit nor spatial would comment wheter it is a good match to the turbo s, would had already gave it a go if I had the triode master (I do regret not upgrading to the triode master but that's not an option anymore).

Did anyone had a chance to try the aegir with the m3ts? Or some other <30w class a like the firstwatts?

JuleZ3C

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #6 on: 9 Jun 2020, 06:17 pm »
Hi
It's the exact setup I'm running right now (Aegir + M3TS)
There's more than enough power to fill a 5mx4m room (Schiit Saga @60% for 75dB avg, @3meters from the speakers) and the sound is globally very good but the bass is a bit too relaxed/bloomy for my taste.
Vidar is much better in comparison, but only for bass (above 70dB listening levels). Mids / highs are less etched with Aegir and the holographic qualities of the M3TS are revealed (in comparison)
Holographic qualities that were lost with my biamping setup using both these amps (poorly prototyped DIY electronic crossover being the culprit), but the bass was sooo tight and the ensemble felt more dynamic than with either amps used alone (with stock crossovers).


« Last Edit: 9 Jun 2020, 07:56 pm by JuleZ3C »

paolocaminiti

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #7 on: 10 Jun 2020, 01:44 pm »
Cool :)

Have you thought of selling the vidar and go with 2 aegir monoblocks? That should add raw power, not sure about the 4ohm behaviour but seems like an option.

Can you elaborate a bit about the bass? is it just less tight or missing? I've been thinking a less tight woofer control would lend more apparent bass on an open baffle even if perhaps losing some quality.
How about extension and articulation/texture?

By the way, I had soft wood floor in my uk flat and adding a concrete slate under each speaker (free from a house being rebuilt next door) really made a big difference in definition and correctness, the music with less floor resonance is now just easier to follow.

JuleZ3C

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #8 on: 10 Jun 2020, 08:55 pm »
From measurements, bass extension is comparable, just more tubey like, but texture doesn't seem to suffer between the two amps.
Looks like the crossovers have more of an impact on bass quality than the amplificators (dynamic/variable dampening by way of variable crossover component values against fixed ones when using an electronic crossover I guess).

4Ohms & 94dB/1W/1m isn't a mismatch for monoblock Aegir from what I gather, but given the 'relaxed' bass I'm getting and the observations from trusted others that the finesse of the highs is a bit lost in monoblock mode, I won't sell my Vidar (I'm going from one to the other these days  :)  )
Again, bass level is comparable using either amp.

The plan for me is to acquire Nelson Pass' new/future analog network crossover kit (professional PCB and matched JFET) to get rid of the shortcomings of my tentative amateur electronic crossovers ('very' palpable hum when no music played was a big hint of the limitations of my 'design'... :green:).

Interesting aside : I had just crossed at 800Hz between the two sections (Linkwitz-Riley 24dB/oct HPF, 12dB/oct LPF), and level matched the two amps gain/output by phone splmeter (yikes) as I had no mean of (real) measurement and I found the result sounding a bit dark.
A bit of searching and I later read about constant directivity compression driver needing a bump (6 dB/oct) from a certain frequency to achieve a 'neutral' frequency response (link) and I guess that's what Clayton designed in his HPF as the FR with stock crossover is quite flat to 20kHz, but using a 'simple' HPF, I could clearly measure (later, once I acquired a Umik-1) that roll off and had to correct it by digital equalization (well, I was lazy as I could have implemented the linked eq) and a new level matching to restore a flat FR.

Those two (amateur electronic crossover + digital eq) might be the biggest factors in reducing top end performance in my experimentation. Hence waiting on Nelson's design, that allows for analog/electronic equalization by design and can easily be modified if needed while keeping the sonic advantages of a professionally developed product .


About slabs of concrete, I rent the apartment I'm living in, so...  :nono: :P

paolocaminiti

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #9 on: 10 Jun 2020, 09:39 pm »
"tubey bass"... now I really want one! :)

I rent too... the concrete are just on the floor, cheap rubber feet under them not to scratch the floor (the ones you find in any home stuff store).
The diffusors on the right wall, first point of reflection, helped somewhat centering the soundstage - on the other side there is a window... found them for 50 pounds 2 on ebay cheap polystyrene... it's incredible as everything that has to do with audio has to cost 10x what it would otherwise.


 

paolocaminiti

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #10 on: 23 Jun 2020, 07:06 pm »
Quick update for those running a 6ns7 preamp like the freya or saga. I just installed a pair of PSVANE C181-TII in the gain stage and wow, the system is showing so much more muscles on the bottom octaves. They say to give them 300hrs to burn in but I'm impressed already. (They need some sockect saver to fit them on the schiit gear)

paolocaminiti

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #11 on: 17 Sep 2020, 08:04 pm »
I had a chance to get a 30 year old Forte Audio Model 4 class amp (standard without upgrades). This is replacing my Apollon icepower ice edge 1200 driving my m3 turbo s.

Wow.

It ouputs 100w at 4ohm and has 48amp of current available. Not sure what it is, if the lower damping factor or the current available but bass is much fuller now!

It overall sounds amazing, highs, piano, voices, violins are so much better. To the point this is the first system I'm willing to listen symphonic music on (in terms of strings, overall tone and dynamics).

Plus volume raises without getting fatiguing: I think aside the bass this absence of fatigue is the main caracther compared to the various class d I tried (not gan devices tried thought). All sounds so plausible that familiar songs seem to come along with more information and give more excitment. If anything the icepower had a slight edge on transients, but the forte still sounds more exciting (not to say more full, correct and powerful).

jjss49

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #12 on: 18 Sep 2020, 03:28 am »
forte's are well known for excellent sound, superb dynamics, without solid state harshness

ice power amps have a haze and a flattening effect to me when i have heard them in various iterations, sounds pretty good ... till you compare them to a really good class a ab or tube amp...

paolocaminiti

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Re: Amps: Triode Masters... Class D or A/B?
« Reply #13 on: 18 Sep 2020, 11:59 am »
Only calss a/b I had before was a quad vena (for a short while) and hated the dull sound. I was convinced that the icepower was quite state of the art amplification didn't expect such a difference from an amplifier. (I had also a psvane 300b set but it could not drive the m3 ts, so didn't use it when I replaced klipsh heresy for the so so much better m3, also that was before dac and preamp and cables got upgraded).

Is a warm sounding amp with no feedback in the output stage, so not as neutral as the icepower. And a bit too much on the lush side for some recordings with the freya+ in tube mode (freya in passive sounds still better then tubes + icepower) - but who cares it's sounding goreous with everything on :)

For the price these can be found on the used market they are a steal - I had mine from the great people at emporiumhifi.com UK.

Even estetichally.