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What is the smoothest sounding Class D amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by campbems, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. campbems

    campbems Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I've played alot of Class D amps and have owned some very impressive amps that was powerful and smooth. I was wanting to hear from others on what is the smoothest sounding Class D amp you've played or owned no matter the price? By smooth I mean one that sets perfectly in the mix.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Cab? Venue? Genre? IMO, Too many variables.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Mesa D800 has such a punch and heft to all the notes that I've not heard in other amps, but of course I've not used ALL the other amps on the market. But the Mesa D800 excels at what you're looking for, offers it in a product made in the USA, and it has the best warranty and support in the industry behind it.
  4. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    Might be the (most hated) RH450
    Wicked G and campbems like this.
  5. campbems

    campbems Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    Here are the amps I've owned and played each alot:

    Markbass Little Mark
    TC Electronics RH450
    Mesa D800 and 800+
    Genzler 800
    Aguilar AG700

    So far the smoothest has been the Genzler but my newly aquired Aguilar 700 has more heft and the EQ seems simpler with more bottom end. The Aguilar seems to have a little bit of a presence that almost seems like a Tube tone. Will have to play live to know more in a full band setting but for just in my Practice room it's really nice and powerful.
  6. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Personally, I'd say the cab has more to do with the tone and smoothness factor than the Amp does. Seems I can put just about any amp on top of a great cabinet and get a good sound out of it. Not so much the other way around.

    But to answer your question, I've only personally used the MB800 by GK, the D800 by Mesa, and the pf500 by ampeg (not sure if the latter is a class d)

    The mb was tight and punchy, kicked out a huge wall of sound, but was unremarkable to my ears (unlike the RB series, which sound great)

    The PF500 was very Ampeg, and that sound is either something you like or don't. I personally like it, but it felt like it was struggling to get a smooth tone out at volume. It wanted to break up.

    Last was the Mesa and the nicest sounding to my ears. It's pretty versatile, and the impedance switch on the back switching between 8,4, or two ohm was nice and allowed a vast array of different cab choices. It was easy to get a good sound relatively fast, and the controls were easy to manipulate.

    Out of them all, my pick would be the Mesa. Lots of sonic choices to be had.
    Aqualung60 and campbems like this.
  7. Wish I knew what smooth is. Too subjective a description. We need better descriptors.
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The amp part of "class-d" by itself doesn't have any sound signature
    Any difference is coming from the pre-amp or other signal processing.
    Most all heads have enough in the tone controls to massively tailor the sound to anybody's liking.
    Store settings of straight up at noon, there is a signature sound built in. Every manufacturer, and amp has a different signature sound.
    Yet they all can be adjusted. And the knob settings on one head is not in any way to be correlated with the knob settings on another. For me, many are smooth with simple tweaks of the knobs. I like transparent, but with as much control as possible to reach other sounds when I want them.
    lomo and Ampslut like this.
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Smooth, as in, a baby's butt, Kenny G., operator? We need to know! :woot:
    aproud1 and McFarlin like this.
  10. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    The Glockenklang class D amps sound amazing, the Blue Soul & Blue Rock heads/with Glockenklang cabs are amazing.
    Dan Knowlton and mustBmtd like this.
  11. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    That may be true in terms of frequency response, but where dynamics is concerned I'd say class D amps are likely to have a superior dynamic response to other amps. Feel free to shoot me down in flames on that one :) But anyway that may be where the perception of class D being less "smooth" is there for some.
    Munjibunga likes this.
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Yes, I agree! :D Along with the higher efficiency, amp makers have been making better power supplies. So yes, there may be more "dynamics" in many modern amps.

    I was just pointing out that you can't really can't categorize the "amp part" of one class-d head as being smoother than another.
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    You'll have to get everyone to agree on what "smooth sounding" means before you will get any answers that will be of value to you.
  14. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Don't forget Rob Thomas and Santana ;)
    nsbclone, McFarlin and 5StringPocket like this.
  15. My Ampeg pf 800 is good.. My TC Electronic "Blacksmith" sits in mix nice too.:thumbsup:
    Lvjoebass and campbems like this.
  16. Matt23


    May 26, 2016
    I use a Blue Sky with a Vanderkley cab. It's clean, punchy and DEEP, that's without even engaging the EQ.

    I really want to try a Glock 4x10.
    Afc70 likes this.
  17. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Yeah, that Smooth has one of the best bass tones ever...

    A tone that sets perfectly in the mix can vary depending on the genre and playing style. Smooth is part of it but there also is a depth, presence, timbre, and envelope to the notes which makes the bass part stand out in a good way while blending and complementing the other parts. One of my favorite things about the role of bass is that you can be very effective at providing warmth, fullness, dynamics, movement, and working both melodically and harmonically with other instruments and vocals without being front and center. That said, I've been quite pleased with the way my Genzler MG800, GK MBF800, and Demeter VTBP-M-800D sets in the mix. I found the D800 a bit too dark for my taste but would like to try the D800+. That seems like a very nice package.

    +1 to the post above about having the right cab to pair it with.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    pfschim likes this.
  18. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Far West Texas
    While smooth can be very subjective and also mean different things to different people, I always find TC Electronic, Genz Benz, GK and Ashdown to sit in the mix perfectly.

    There are amps I have tried at the store and at home that sound like they will but don't. The 4 I listed have never given me problems on the gig. IMHO, IME but YMMV.
  19. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    Yes, I forgot the Blue Sky, never played one, but i love every Glock amp I've ever played, outstanding gear!
    Matt23 likes this.
  20. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I have a Class T hifi amp, that being a derivative of Class D but with switching rate program-controlled rather than fixed. Interesting technology but I don't think it took off as the originator folded, but it is supposed to be more efficient. Can't say if it's smoother or not, but it's a great little 50w+50w amp the size of a couple of stacked iPhones. Now I guess I will be told all Class D amps work like that these days...

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