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#107442 - 08/11/05 09:49 AM Digital Amps
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
I have recently read a few reviews on audiophile digital power amplifiers, to be distinguished from those found on HTIBs like mine. Even Rotel is coming up with new digital power amps, mono, stereo and 7 channel, available for sale soon. Below is an excellent review of a mono digital amp from Nuforce, taken from StereoTimes:

Nuforce Digital Amp

They look awesome, light and small. If they sound just as good would be great!! Anybody any experience with digital amps?
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#107443 - 11/06/05 09:17 PM Re: Digital Amps
tmoyak Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 16
Loc: Erie, PA
I'm very curious about these amps as well. I've read about them in the free monthly online magazine from www.avguide.com. This month (issue #21) has an article on the newer Reference 9 model, and there was an interview w/ the company in issue #19. After doing a little research, I have read nothing but extreme praise for their little amps.

Has anyone here actually heard one of these yet? Any impressions?


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#107444 - 11/06/05 11:50 PM Re: Digital Amps
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3141
Loc: CA, USA
I have a bunch of Sonic Impact T Amps, one hooked up to a Velodyne CHT10 subwoofer, pair of M55s (tried it with a pair of Axiom M2s as well) and an Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CDP, sounds great.


Edited by 2x6spds (11/06/05 11:51 PM)
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#107445 - 11/07/05 12:22 AM Re: Digital Amps
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Skerdi, note that this isn't actually a digital amp; it's a class D(the D doesn't stand for digital; it's simply the next amp class after C) switching amplifier. The Stereo Times review contains almost no specs or other technical info, just the usual nonsense about sound characterisics, which shouldn't be taken seriously. The basic principles in judging all amplifiers apply equally to class D units such as this; if it has a flat 20-20KHz frequency response with inaudibly low noise and distortion it amplifies transparently and has no sound characteristic. Looking at the NuForce site, the specs do in fact meet those requirements. Someone looking for an extremely small and low weight unit could consider this, although $800 is a bit pricey for a 100 watt mono amp.
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#107446 - 11/07/05 02:34 AM Re: Digital Amps
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3141
Loc: CA, USA
Yes, but $25 for a 10 watt per channel digital amp with good specs is not bad.

If that's too cheap, you might consider the Panasonic SA XR 25, 50 or 55, 100 wpc x 6. There are some dedicated fans who use it for 2 channel and swear by it. I've always liked Panasonic equipment, and would give it a try. They can be had for under $200.


Edited by 2x6spds (11/07/05 02:36 AM)
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#107447 - 11/07/05 09:58 PM Re: Digital Amps
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Those specs are sometimes difficult for me to understand John, and yes, I read somewhere in Htguide.com/forums something very similar to your description about this particular Nuforce digital amp, being "not really digital". At least in paper, and in websites, considering size and weight, these amps really look good, I wonder how they sound though. As a matter of fact, even Rotel is already selling a digital 7X100 wpc amp: RMB-1077. Excellent reviews as well, but it retails for $2,500!!
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Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#107448 - 11/07/05 10:30 PM Re: Digital Amps
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Skerdi, you shouldn't overly concern yourself about "how they sound". At best these designs can match the transparency in amplification that AB amps have achieved. Don't be fooled by the flowery language found in some reviews about sound characteristics which don't in fact exist. The advantage of these designs is in higher efficiency, less heat, smaller size and lower weight, not some mysterious sound qualities.Someone looking for these factors can find them at a far more sensible price in receivers such as the Panasonics mentioned by 2x6, among others. A good discussion of class D amps can be found on the Georgia Tech site excerpt from Marshall Leach (the math can be skipped).
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