Interesting new Class D power amp from Teac Reference

The meters caught my eye while looking thru Audio News.

I’m sure the Stellars would blow this unit away. Class D, however, has come a long way even in just the past 10 years or so.

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Stellar S300 and M700 amplifiers are class D modules as well! They are from ICE (Bang & Olufsen offspring in Denmark), considering ICE is Danish no compromise design and Bang & Olufsen reference, the 2 x 300 respectively 700 W at 4 Ohm are a from a power output perspective a league or 2 above the TEAC.

But certainly not from a Sound Quality (SQ) perspective. Hypex NCore are the pinnacle of today’s modern class D (originated from the Philips UCD) fine tuned and further developed by Bruno Putzeys and his team in The Netherlands, manufactured in Malaysia. Design and Quality Controls by Hypex in The Netherlands.

However, whatever magic the TEAC Engineers have done to the design, PS Audio is up front and went beyond some voicing and treated each class D power end stage a class A pre stage, so from a SQ perspective that is a significant improvement.

If you want to compare the PS Audio Stellar line to something very comparable, look at the ELAC Alchemy 2 line. That has comparable in and outputs, comparable SQ, their class A pre stage (in the Power Amplifier is even fed by a separate linear power supply) so class A and class D a fully separated. Their Pre/DAC/head phone amp also has strictly separated Digital and Analog sections, but the ELAC offers Bluetooth streaming from mobile devices and a Roon Ready Ethernet port, also fully DSD compatible 2 x I2S (HDMI + mini DIN (SVHS)) but what is even more important AES EBU, as I2S sources are not standardized and even PS Audio has no I2S sources in their product portfolio at all.

If you want to add an affordable yet High End Phono Pre Amp theirs is fully balanced (the new Stellar Phono Pre Amp only balanced outputs), is equally fully discrete, separate MM and MC (balanced!!!) inputs of which the extremely low voltage MC phono signal tremendously benefits. It also provides a power output connection for their ELAC Myracord TT. At US$ 999.- and EUR 999,- (Yes ELAC knows how to do this) this ELAC combo should certainly be heard before forking out more then 1000 US$ and (with PS Audio considerably more EURos) for the Stellar combo.

I do like the look of that TEAC stuff. There’s a discontinued DAC out there (UD-501) that got really high marks, and I see it on eBay occasionally. Cool stuff.

I know this sounds terrible because sound should be the highest priority. However, The Elac components look like old cable boxes. I am, however, looking at their streamer/Dac. However, I’ll probably save extra money and go with the Lumin T2.