Class D Amps?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Clark Westfield, Jan 26, 2014.


  1. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor! Supporting Member

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    Can somebody explain what Class D amps are and how they differ from solid state?
  2. mrb327

    mrb327 Just say No to Tort Supporting Member

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    I have been reading about these. Am left a bit puzzled myself.

    Gurus, please help
  3. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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  4. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

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  6. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor! Supporting Member

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    So I am assuming that Class D amps are better suited for our bass guitars.

    I just keep reading amp company ads referring to Class D.

    The new Fender Rumble amps are now this rating.

    So I guess they are better then the old versions that spec out with solid state in the spec chart.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies

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    They're not better or worse, just different. They use less power (are more efficient). They can be built lighter and smaller than many other types of amp.

    Switching power supplies and pulse width modulation are the heart of the current amp technology.
  8. Codger

    Codger Supporting Member

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    No Clark, they are all solid-state. It's just a technical thing that allows an amp putting out a certain power to run much cooler than before, and consequently allows it to have a smaller power supply, smaller heat sinks, a smaller case and much lighter weight thereby, and presumably lower cost.
  9. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Class D isn't a rating. It's an amp typology. It will help you if you spend some time reading the Google links above. ;)
  10. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Correct.

    And many TB'ers also say that Class D just doesn't sound as good as Class AB. But of course, that is subjective and will vary from person to person.
  11. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor! Supporting Member

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    Sorry Satco, this stuff is beyond my technical expertise.

    I am a bass player, not some techie with soldering irons and transistors in my desk drawer.

    Sorry for my inaccuracies with the lingo.
  12. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    No worries mate! It's all good. I'm a bass player too (have been since 1972), and I'm not an electronics wizard. But I have been on TB for five years now, and I have learned ALOT! Plus, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express two years ago, so I've got THAT going for me, which is nice.

    Also, your comment about reading company ads reminded me of this eye opening (and extremely factual) commentary by the late and great Mr. Carlin......

  13. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Class D was just the next "official" letter for amp output typology. Some say class A "sounds" much better than class A/B, some prefer class A/B to class A. Class D will have it's proponents and detractors as well. Class B rarely sees audio use and class C is radio frequency only.
  14. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor! Supporting Member

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  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies

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    No, its actually true. That's why you don't find Class C amps. Although if you look hard enough you might find Class H.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    ... then there was the Class Clown ...
  17. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    True or class G.
  18. Troph

    Troph

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    The term "solid state" refers to the use of transistors, as opposed to vacuum tubes. "Class D" refers to the method by which the amplification is achieved. The two terms are not mutually exclusive.

    You could theoretically build a non-solid-state (vacuum tube based) class D amplifier. In fact, I think the earliest examples of this type of amplification stage occurred during the vacuum tube era. But the disadvantages of such a design far outweigh the cool factor.

    What has changed recently (last 15 years) that has caused the proliferation of these amplifiers in all sorts of audio equipment has been the broad availability of inexpensive but high-quality modules which can be integrated into your own platform, saving you from the years of R&D effort required to design your own. Bang & Olufsen's ICEPower modules being the most common examples.
  19. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    As are probably 90+% of those who own a TalkBass membership. And yet many of us have discovered, over time, that the "tech talk" informs our musical understanding, and our musicianship, in ways that we might not have realized, had we not begun to absorb some of these concepts. And the same is possible for you as well - if you will resist the urge to become defensive, will keep an open mind, and will give it some time.

    Getting the terms correct is important, because the terms directly affect our understanding of the concepts. And understanding the concepts correctly allows us to become more functionally independent - without relying as much on other people to make our judgements and decisions. :meh:

    MM
  20. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Oh yes. I remember when that album came out. My cousin and I were just kids, and we loved listening to............the seven words!!! :eek:
  21. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Bet you can eat just one ah, ha, HA.........that's true I usually switch off. :D

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