Class A power amps and electricity crisis..

Fishfood

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That makes more sense! Yes, the Leaf is available here in the UK too and by chance I was reading about it a few days ago. The issue is with charging away from home. The impression given was that Nissan had chosen one method for connecting to the power supply while most other brands use another, more "standard" method. Therefore if you need to charge a Leaf on a long trip, a good deal of planning is required to ensure you can find a charging point that's good for Leaf. However, no doubt your sister is aware of this and probably uses her car solely as a city ruynabout - what it's designed for.
Yeah, city only... just like our little electric Fiat. 82 mile range and 0-30 in under 3 seconds which feels like a rocket ship.
 

Kingrex

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I looked for a month for a company that made a car charger that was not grid tied. I found one company in Australia.

Most car chargers are 240 volt with a 40A breaker. Figure a solid 30 amp draw. Thats 7200 watts. A decent sized solar on a roof is 5000W. Not enought to power a car charger.

No USA car charger I have seen is capable of monitoring the input power from a solar panel supply to the demand of the car. They are all built expecting the unit is attached to the wall will a limitless supply of electricity.

Please share with me a charger that can operate without the grid. I would like to find one.

Even though the carbon footprint of a single chip could be seen as very high, chips are produced on a scale in the billions. Spreading the input required to design and manufacture the chip over such vast quantities does reduce the individual chips global input demand. What is unfortunate is that that massive up front cost can only be absorbed by a few entities. If that entity goes down or limits supply to an end user, that end user could be crippled. And that can have cascading effects. This is another cost that no one seems to want to calculate into technological advancements. Of course the simple tube might also fall victim to limited supply. But its not so ubiquitous in all products that markets will be shaken.
 
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Atmasphere

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Amusicality seems to be the archilles heel of class d technology
This statement is false. I've seen tube amps and solid state A/AB amps that are amusical! Like any amplifier technology its all about implementation; knowing what you're doing. It really helps if you understand what measurements are important to the human ear.

It’s frustrating to see how little sustainability in design is still understood by the market and by many within industry. I’ve been developing training for sustainability in design for the last 14 years.
You of all people must then know how unsustainable tube technology will be in coming years! They require more resources to build, and more resources to operate.

FWIW in a tube amp you have to work with tubes that work with the output transformer you have. I've worked on plenty of tube amps for which the output tube is no longer made meaning you go the collector market to find the tubes, which are often more expensive in their own right than the rest of the amp. Or you might be able to rewire the sockets (easier if there isn't a circuit board...) to accommodate a different tube if it works with the OPT. How sustainable is that?

You aren't married to a particular semiconductor when making a class D amp. FWIW the semiconductor industry really doesn't want to make linear devices; they really seem to like making switching devices a lot more. I'm not saying there are drop-in replacements that will be available if a particular semiconductor is NLA but once you have a good operating design making changes to work with a different (and often improved) device is relatively easy, and the module really isn't where the cost is in most class D amps- that would be the chassis and power supply. So at worst you might have to change out a module if a semiconductor isn't available to repair the existing one. That sounds a lot more sustainable to me.

From an energy point of view of source class D is far more sustainable...
 

Ron Resnick

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Amusicality seems to be the archilles heel of class d technology

I have no interest in Class D for myself, but I have one (only one) contra experience here.

In Jeremy Bryan’s MBL 101E Mk. II systems at audio shows (same room, I believe, and the same components, but one year apart, so, yes, I understand all of the problems of such a recollection) I actually preferred the sound of the MBL Noble Class D amplifiers over the top-of-the-line MBL Class A amplifiers. On the MBL radialstrahler drivers I found the Class D amps to make the sound a little bit smoother, a little bit less fatiguing, than the Class A amps.
 

Manos_Bits

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.....................

Amusicality seems to be the archilles heel of class d technology and so music lovers and musicians may continue to avoid it if they continue to find it unsatisfying...........
class D is class more musical from most of consumer 'audiophile' solid state amps.. making a top class solid state amp is complex difficult and costly(see Ypsilon Amplifiers ) .. a well designed class D amp sounds extremely musical dynamic quiet and detailed very close to a top class tube amp and a top class solid state amp..
 
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Manos_Bits

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and everyone of us we have to mind clearly that in recording studios where music is created the most of monitors are powered with class D amps..
 

the sound of Tao

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We all have very different experiences of class d amps :eek: I’ll leave it at that.

As far as proper data and real evidence on total energy efficiency or a life cycle assessment of energy use for class d amplifiers there’s also been none given here. That would actually be good to know.

Sustainability in design isn’t a simple area and making an assessment of sustainability is a very involved specialist discipline that stretches way past any simple observation. Life cycle energy use assessments and carbon accounting are extraordinarily complex procedures … and that’s just a small part of undertaking a proper sustainability assessment… here also I’ll leave it at that.
 
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Tuckers

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Sustainability in design isn’t a simple area and making an assessment of sustainability is a very involved specialist discipline that stretches way past any simple observation. Life cycle energy use assessments and carbon accounting are extraordinarily complex procedures … and that’s just a small part of undertaking a proper sustainability assessment… here also I’ll leave it at that.
There is a very relevant metric that you can apply here which is the relative mass of Class A and tube amps vs digital amps. Most digital amps discussed seem to run between 10 and 40 pounds and usually on the lighter side of that. Class A and tube amps, much more. Many of the Class A and tube amps discussed here are 100s of pounds etc. That mass is iron, steel, copper, aluminum and in some cases silver. That behemoth Gryphon Class A amp that Fremer reviewed this month tips the scales at 445 pounds!

Simply by the amount of metal mined and refined will tip the scales of sustainability against Class A.
 

the sound of Tao

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There is a very relevant metric that you can apply here which is the relative mass of Class A and tube amps vs digital amps. Most digital amps discussed seem to run between 10 and 40 pounds and usually on the lighter side of that. Class A and tube amps, much more. Many of the Class A and tube amps discussed here are 100s of pounds etc. That mass is iron, steel, copper, aluminum and in some cases silver. That behemoth Gryphon Class A amp that Fremer reviewed this month tips the scales at 445 pounds!

Simply by the amount of metal mined and refined will tip the scales of sustainability against Class A.
Mass is one of many factors that can point to some small indication of how resource intensive a product is in terms of it’s sum process energy requirements… and that is then just a part the larger gross energy requirements for a product before it’s even in it’s operational phase. There has also been no little discussion about the terms of operational life and then end of life energy requirements to factor in here as well. For a proper understanding there’s so much more to be evaluated here and that’s why there is unlikely to be a comprehensive life cycle assessment for this technology. The built environment is much better served by the amount of info available in this kind of resource accounting. I researched and couldn’t find any real life cycle assessment specifically evaluated for class d amplifiers.
 
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microstrip

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(...) You aren't married to a particular semiconductor when making a class D amp. FWIW the semiconductor industry really doesn't want to make linear devices; they really seem to like making switching devices a lot more. I'm not saying there are drop-in replacements that will be available if a particular semiconductor is NLA but once you have a good operating design making changes to work with a different (and often improved) device is relatively easy, and the module really isn't where the cost is in most class D amps- that would be the chassis and power supply. So at worst you might have to change out a module if a semiconductor isn't available to repair the existing one. That sounds a lot more sustainable to me.

From an energy point of view of source class D is far more sustainable...

Ralph,

What is the power of your class D amplifier at 2 ohms? Do you have full measurements it?
Also for me it is not clear what is exactly meant by "Class D monoblocks, 2 x 100 Watts" . Isn't a monoblock 1 x 100Watts?

BTW, where can we get information about the price?
 

PYP

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Amusicality seems to be the archilles heel of class d technology and so music lovers and musicians may continue to avoid it if they continue to find it unsatisfying.
From personal experience, a generalization like that isn't always true (is any generalization?). My wife doesn't care about equipment. As long as she is playing her favorite music at (for her) high volume, singing along and/or dancing, then I know we are on the right track. As far as a second opinion about the musicality of our setup, it is that simple for me.

The term that often comes to mind when I get pulled into the music is "glorious." Not trying to convince anyone of superiority of class D (or anything else), but think it is worth listening to the latest class D has to offer. As with all other systems, diligence in optimizing the setup is important.

I've read unfavorable reviews from "professionals" who seem to misunderstand that if you have a very, very transparent amplifier, whatever you are hearing is most likely coming from what precedes it. There are some lovely amps out there that slightly obscure detail while sounding very musical. They can cover up system issues. Replace that amp with a transparent amp and it won't sound right until the problem is identified.
 
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Kingrex

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If the discussion is going to focus on cost with life cycle involved, how do conscientious people feel about their every 3 year disposable I phone. How about the TV you toss when it stops. Or the electric lawn mower you throw away when the battery fails. Everything we have in our house is now designed to be thrown into a landfill when it encounters some sort of failure. There is not repairing it. Our Audio equipment is designed to be repaired. That should in some way make you feel better about any technology you land on to power your speakers.
 

the sound of Tao

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If the discussion is going to focus on cost with life cycle involved, how do conscientious people feel about their every 3 year disposable I phone. How about the TV you toss when it stops. Or the electric lawn mower you throw away when the battery fails. Everything we have in our house is now designed to be thrown into a landfill when it encounters some sort of failure. There is not repairing it. Our Audio equipment is designed to be repaired. That should in some way make you feel better about any technology you land on to power your speakers.
Rex I’ve had just 3 cars in 40 years and buy a tv once every ten years (or more), I try to get about 5 to 6 years out of a mobile phone and not long went from an iPhone 6s to a iPhone 12 Pro. I’ve managed to get about 5 years out of each of the last 3 laptops I’ve bought but teaching remotely in lockdown I recently picked up some nice studio mics and 2 lavalier mics which I like to use and I try to be good generally with limited overseas travel even before we were all locked down… so all this as an offset for my little hifi problem with speakers characteristically more of a regular issue for me (I’ve got another OB horn in early concept design phase)… also I’d love to eventually build a 801 drives 300b amp so am not completely without electronic sin nor ever intend to be… but I am genuinely energy modest in most everything else I do plus as a landscape design sustainability teacher I get to claim back as offsets all my students lifetime of radically reduced environmental impacts of specification and also a good chunk of their carbon footprint reductions to boot as well… though my puppy bulldog is a relative methane machine so that scary greenhouse factor is proving fairly unsustainable for all of us atm lol :eek:
 
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Atmasphere

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What is the power of your class D amplifier at 2 ohms? Do you have full measurements it?
Also for me it is not clear what is exactly meant by "Class D monoblocks, 2 x 100 Watts" . Isn't a monoblock 1 x 100Watts?
The output section is protected by a current sensing circuit which will shut it down if the maximum current level is exceeded. So while it can make 200 Watts into 4 Ohms with ease, it will go into protect mode if you try to drive it too hard into 2 Ohms. If there is a 2 Ohm dip in a speaker that is otherwise 4 or 8 Ohms that shouldn't be problem.

They are monoblocks; each does 100 Watt into 8 Ohms. Sounds like we could do with some editing of that text :)
 

PYP

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A recent experiment gave me new appreciation for my amps in particular and for the role of amps in general. Replacing my Grimm MU1 + Tambaqui DAC with an old Logitech Squeezebox Touch at 1/100th! the price (wifi connection, using built-in volume control, basic SMPS plugged into its own dedicated line, playing The Jazz Groove internet radio) revealed an astonishingly good and musically satisfying presentation. Frankly, I'm flabbergasted at just how good this humble setup sounds.

The Kaluga amps have fancy power cords and are plugged into a Shunyata Denali, but I couldn't use my usual XLRs with the Touch so using single-ended (old Grover Huffman) cables.

I believe this tells me how much of the overall sound is contributed by the amplifier/speaker interface and that Class D switching amps can be both transparent and musical.
 
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PYP

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As an owner of Gryphon Mephisto monoblocs, I don't think Greta Thunberg is inviting me out to lunch anytime soon.
On the other hand, she might be impressed that you can lift one. And, um, she is 19.
 

godofwealth

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This is an interesting discussion. I have personally moved away from power hungry loudspeakers and boat anchor amplifiers to horns after 30 odd years in high end audio. The most power hungry amplifier I owned for a few years was the Krell 750 MCx, weighing about 180 pounds and needing 20 amp outlets. As it warmed up, it would make clanking sounds as the metal plates expanded from all the heat. I also owned a pair of Audio Research Ref 210s with 8 KT 120 tubes per channel — I think at idle it consumes about 500 watts! I view these as really wasteful designs now.

With my Klipsch La Scalas, I find I can use extreme low power amplifiers. My current reference is a pair of Triode Labs monoblock, which uses one 45 power tube to produce 2 watts per channel. These tube monoblocks run cooler than my Oppo Blu Ray player. Because the La Scalas are so efficient, I don’t need power hungry boat anchor amplifiers. The sound I now get is among the best I’ve ever heard after owning dozens of high end loudspeakers. After a lifetime in audio, it feels strange to move to horns, but I’m glad I did. It changes your whole perspective on audio. I don’t have any interest in other loudspeakers at this point (except perhaps the Klipschorn, if I can find a suitable location for them in my house as they do best in corners).

High efficiency low distortion horn loudspeakers driven by extreme low power tube amplification. That is my mantra now.
 
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