Sprout uses Class D Amp? In today's Paul Post, Paul states his dislike for Class D amps?


#1

Paul’s Post (1/22/2015):

The Emotivas are designed and built by my friend Dan Laufman, an Audiophile and talented circuit designer. After spending years listening to great sound in the Music Rooms of PS Audio, the last thing I want is brightness to the sound of my theater. In my experience, and after having listened to many a bright theater, the class D amplifiers built into modern receivers suck. They are bright, harsh, and makes you want to simply turn them down. I can always spot their sound. They drive me from the room. No, unless you go with excellent Class D amps like those some our fellow high end designers have created, you’re better off with a classic A/B design like the Emotivas.


#2

The topic heading is misleading. As your quote makes clear, Paul does not dislike all Class D amps, just the crappy ones used in most home theater receivers. Not all Class D amps sound alike, even if they use the same amp modules (and there again some are better than others). For starters, the input circuitry design has a big impact. As with anything else, it all depends on how the entire unit is designed and implemented. And as with anything else, there are trade offs. The new PSA signature amp coming out is Class A/B. But it costs about 10 times as much as a Sprout and requires a P10 sized chassis to hold it.


#3

Thanks for the reply.

I still wonder if there are other Class D amps that Paul thinks would give the Emotiva Class A/B amps a run for the money.

I am still interested in hearing from Paul or Scott what makes the Class D amps in the Sprout sound so good.

It would be interesting to compare and contrast the sound of the Sprout Class D to the Emotiva Class A/B amps.

I am not sure if Paul was describing custom Enotiva Class A/B amps or stock Emotiva amps.


#4

Merrill Audio Veritas Class D mono blocks with the NCore> NC1200 Hypex modules are not your typical HT receiver class D amp. These amps are just plain sonically superb across the board. I have owned tube amps and class A/AB solid state amps and the Merrills just plain crush them to powder. Lots of reviews online if anyone is interested in how they sound and spec out…


#5

Paul and Scott can (and hopefully will) speak for themselves. I have a small Emotiva stereo power amp that I got to use as a back-up. For what I paid (I think it was about $400, on sale down from $500), it’s a great amp and a real bargain. I haven’t compared it to the Sprout, which is in a different system (and it would be a pain to move the equipment in and out) but there would not really be a lot of point anyway given that they serve very different purposes. My Emotiva is a power amp (so it needs a pre-amp and source components) while the Sprout is an integrated amp with a built-in DAC (and phono stage). Paul is using some of their multi-channel power amps (he didn’t say anything about a pre-amp but I assume he is using one). As far as I know Emotiva does not make anything truly comparable to Sprout (although they make some receivers that may come close but in any event that’s not what Paul has) so it’s hard to compare apples to apples. Also, what Paul considers to be a good choice for a dedicated home theater system may not be the same as for a music system. By the way, Sprout is not the first Class D amp PSA has sold. I believe their GCA and Trio lines were also Class D (I never owned either–I’m still using an even older PSA Classic 250, which was their signature amp of the time and is Class A/B and even bigger and heavier than the new one will be).


#6

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I like Class D. Our G Series was great. Jeff Rowland’s stuff is as well. Sprout is too. I came within an inch of releasing the BHK Signature original Class D version, so good did it sound. It just didn’t have the magic I wanted for this state of the art amp. I just meant the average AV receiver, even the very best that use class D sound dreadful to me.


#7
mark-d said Merrill Audio Veritas Class D mono blocks with the NCore> NC1200 Hypex modules are not your typical HT receiver class D amp. These amps are just plain sonically superb across the board. I have owned tube amps and class A/AB solid state amps and the Merrills just plain crush them to powder. Lots of reviews online if anyone is interested in how they sound and spec out...
I second that Mark :)