When faster is better

Of the two types of power supplies found on class D amps, linear or switch mode, the latter is taking over and the former is moving down in popularity. It’s a natural progression as combining a giant power transformer and […]


A switching power supply really Hz! Not just 50 Hz or 60 Hz… You gotta be a real masochist and go for the Kill’oHz. :smiley: If you’re really into it, you could even go for the Mega Hz. :))




Paul can we expect to see switch mode PS in other products besides Power Amps?


@magicknow good question.

If SMPS’s can be this good, perhaps they should be implemented in products such as the P10, which is essentially a big power amplifier with a sine wave generator…


For that matter, why not use a class D amplifier in the power regenerators given the improved efficiencies and reduced heat?


Because they are very different applications. Indeed a power regenerator is a big power amp but every power amp has different requirements - and a regenerator’s biggest challenge is delivering massive amounts of peak power in short little bursts to fill in the top of each sine wave - something a class D amp isn’t good at, nor is a SMPS.

Fortunately for music we don’t need that many instant amps


@magicknow Probably not, at least in any foreseeable future. What we’ve found is that in sources and controllers SMPS sound pretty dreadful relative to traditional supplies. On power amps better.

My guess is that when low level details are the main thing the system is working on, or when that system is digital, relative to analog (such as in a preamp), then SMPS’s should be avoided. I will write more in a future post about that.


Source components also have a fairly steady power demand. Their variability is in milliwatts and a fraction of a percent of the total power consumption, so they lend themselves well to the limits and capabilities of linear power supplies.

Amps have a power variability from maybe 20% for a lightly loaded amp to more than 90% for a low bias class AB or a class D amp. For this as noted, a regulated supply would be nice and a switching supply is MUCH more efficient than a linear supply which is significant at amp power levels. Most amps run warm enough as it is and adding a linear regulator could easily double that (or more!).