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Focal Shape 65 - Any user reviews? Studio Monitors
Old 14th January 2019
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by gedna View Post
Hello all
Im really interested in Shape 65 models, mainly for electronic music compositions, bass heavy,
Im also thinking about Eve 208.

What would be better decision for mainly electronic music ?

Thank you

To be honest, no real way to know without demoing both in your room. But some generic stuff would be; The Eve's will probably produce more low end as they are an 8inch woofer and they appear to go down to 36hz (the Focals go down to 40hz). Saying that in my experience it's more about the tightness and accuracy of the low frequencies as opposed to the octave or volume. The Eve's are also ported (so placement must be considered), but the feedback I've seen regarding Eve's, in general, is that they are still well defined in the low end.

Last bit of generic advice would be making sure you won't be overloading your room with low end. Ideally, you need a good sized room. I used to have Yamaha HS8's and my room is W x L x H, 9' x 13' x 7'8".
And there was really just too much bass volume in the room (standing waves) and I could not for the life of me get a consistent mix especially in the low end (I produce Hip Hop).

But since switching to the Focals even though they produce less low end than the HS8's (which went down to 38hz), the bass in the Focals is way better (both to listen to and mix) I get consistent mixes now across the whole spectrum. I think I mentioned before that I have a 2nd monitor set with a sub and HD600's and I hardly need to check them to know what's going on all the way down to 30hz
Old 14th January 2019
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
To be honest, no real way to know without demoing both in your room. But some generic stuff would be; The Eve's will probably produce more low end as they are an 8inch woofer and they appear to go down to 36hz (the Focals go down to 40hz). Saying that in my experience it's more about the tightness and accuracy of the low frequencies as opposed to the octave or volume. The Eve's are also ported (so placement must be considered), but the feedback I've seen regarding Eve's, in general, is that they are still well defined in the low end.

Last bit of generic advice would be making sure you won't be overloading your room with low end. Ideally, you need a good sized room. I used to have Yamaha HS8's and my room is W x L x H, 9' x 13' x 7'8".
And there was really just too much bass volume in the room (standing waves) and I could not for the life of me get a consistent mix especially in the low end (I produce Hip Hop).

But since switching to the Focals even though they produce less low end than the HS8's (which went down to 38hz), the bass in the Focals is way better (both to listen to and mix) I get consistent mixes now across the whole spectrum. I think I mentioned before that I have a 2nd monitor set with a sub and HD600's and I hardly need to check them to know what's going on all the way down to 30hz
Thank you for the great response!

Focals is really interesting, regarding porting its good to know that i can place them closer to the walls, the room is not really big.

I guess they really need to be broken in before you can really judge the performance.

as far as i understand EVE's are using some sort of DSP processing, and Focals are not.. i could be wrong.
Old 15th January 2019
  #63
No, the Focals are not using DSP. And yes regardless new monitors do need to be broken in before they perform at their best.

There are favourable reviews of both monitors on Sound On Sound:

Eve Audio SC208 |
Focal Shape 65 |
Old 16th January 2019
  #64
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I ve had focal shape 65 and eve audio sc207 in my room for about 3 months. Both very good. Eve got the edge through. They have more defined low end with better extension.
Old 16th January 2019
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Marinelis View Post
I ve had focal shape 65 and eve audio sc207 in my room for about 3 months. Both very good. Eve got the edge through. They have more defined low end with better extension.
Speaker manufacturers can always make speakers sound better with digital processing. It doesn't mean the speakers are better it typically means they are digitally hyped which is exactly what I don't want in a reference monitor.
Old 16th January 2019
  #66
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I don't find the Eves to be hyped. Quite the opposite.
Both Focal and Eve are very good.
It's just that I found the EVE 207 to have better low end definition and extension. Not more low end volume. They go lower and they are tighter/faster in the bass region.

No matter the means each manufacturer uses, It's all about what the speaker delivers.
I mix daily on Barefoot monitors, they use dsp as well. I wouldn't call the Barefoots hyped either.
Old 16th January 2019
  #67
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Yea Barefoots are totally overrated. ATC, Focal and Amphion are where its at
Old 16th January 2019
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Yea Barefoots are totally overrated. ATC, Focal and Amphion are where its at
Its daytime here, I'm not sleepy now, so I can elaborate.

Referencing other monitors is useful, cause one can get a hint of how one hears and evaluates monitors, I should have done that myself.
We all have subjective preferences.

A have heard the ATC SCM100ASL Pro, Focal Trio6. I have worked a few times on Focal SM9. They are all very, very good. Especially the ATCs, they have a wonderfull and extremely engaging midrange.

However, coming from Adam S3As, I prefer the interpretation of Kii Audio, PSI and Barefoot. I am used to that kind of "timbre". I would need much more time to adjust on ATCs.
I also I don't get along with Genelecs. My mixes always come a little dull on them.

But all that, is subjective. I know lots of engineers that share my view and equally as many that prefer working on ATCs or Focals or Genelecs.
None is right nor wrong.

Now, back to Shape 65 and SC207. They are both great and balanced. I liked both better than Adam A7X.
Which one is subjectively better overall, depends on one's preferences. The sc207's do have better low end definition and extension. Is that a decisive factor? Yes and no, it depends on one's priorities. @ Gen da seems to be mainly interested in the low end, thus my initial comment.

It also depends on the room. In most rooms I've AB-ed the shape65 and sc207, I preferred the 207. But I've also been in some rooms that I preferred the shape 65 over the sc207. I could still hear that the 207 were a bit better in the low end but in those rooms the focals behaved better overall.

Truth is, no-one can make the choice for @ Gen da or anyone else. One must try monitors/gear in his/her room to be absolutely sure.

Last edited by Philip Marinelis; 16th January 2019 at 03:26 PM..
Old 16th January 2019
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Yea Barefoots are totally overrated. ATC, Focal and Amphion are where its at
Totally not true. Barefoots are as great, Genelecs as well, PSI as well, Kii as well, Quested as well. When you compare in a similar price bracket, they all perform in the norm. Your room is the decisioning factor what you'll choose.

BTW I don't agree on Amphions with you at all, just sold Two18+BaseOne25 and also sold SCM25s, and with a reason.
Old 16th January 2019
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post

BTW I don't agree on Amphions with you at all, just sold Two18+BaseOne25 and also sold SCM25s, and with a reason.

I have the One 15s with a Dynaudio sub and love the set up.

The high end ATCs are great too

Again, Barefoots are totally overrated and aren't in the same league in my opinion. Great marketing though and of course once one big name engineer gets a pair and hypes them up then all of the birds flock together..
Old 16th January 2019
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
I have the One 15s with a Dynaudio sub and love the set up.

The high end ATCs are great too

Again, Barefoots are totally overrated and aren't in the same league in my opinion. Great marketing though and of course once one big name engineer gets a pair and hypes them up then all of the birds flock together..
Believe me, Barefoots are in higher league than bookshelf One15s. They use quality parts, are made like tanks, and can outpit serious SPL with serious extension. It is nice, that you love your setup and it is important to love your speakers to be able to work with them, but this doesn’t tell anything about its actual quality.

High end ATCs are great as well, of course, no doubt about it. But not better or worse than Barefoots. Just different. And I don’t have Barefoots, but have worked with them numerous times and was always satisfied with the end result. SCM50s for example have very nice mids, but their low end extention, punch and transient response cannot compare to mm27.

Last edited by Jantex; 17th January 2019 at 07:36 AM..
Old 16th January 2019
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Again, Barefoots are totally overrated and aren't in the same league in my opinion. Great marketing though and of course once one big name engineer gets a pair and hypes them up then all of the birds flock together..
Have you actually listened to any Barefoots IN YOUR ROOM?? You shouldn’t claim any speakers are better or worse until you’ve heard them in your room. I was using Focal Shape 65s with a sub for awhile and thought they were great but with how much EDM, and bass heavy pop stuff we produce and mix I was interested in something with a little more in the low end.

I called a mixing engineer that I really respect and he told me about the barefoots and how much he enjoys them, so I went to a place in town that had some and guess what.. I wasn’t too impressed.
So I called my friend again (who use to work at the studio where I listened to the Barefoots.) and he informed me that that room had large dips in the low frequencies because of the room treatment.
So I took the chance and got some Barefoots myself and listened to them IN MY PLACE! And these past 5 months have been the best mixing experience I’ve ever had! Translation is incredible and the bass is perfect and full without clouding any aspects of the mix! The Barefoot MM27s are the best speakers I’ve heard IN MY ROOM! But I’m not someone who is going to say they are best speakers in the world because the set up and frequency response of your room might be different. When it comes to speakers I think you should find out your sellers return policy and be willing to be honest about what you are hearing in your space and try another pair if one doesn’t work for you. Forget about price (not saying you go over budget) but if the $200 m-audios have a flatter better response in your room over a $10,000 pair of ATC’s... than get the M-Audios! That’s was a pretty drastic example but I guess the point is that you should find what works best in your room and that just because one brand of speakers sound different in your room it doesn’t mean it won’t sound perfect in another room!
Old 17th January 2019
  #73
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It doesn't make any sense to me to have converters in speakers. I have mastering grade converters and I don't want the audio coming out of them to be converted and tweaked with digitally while inside a vibrating cabinet with an amp. Every digital speaker I've ever heard sounds flat and fake to me.

Passive speakers paired with a high quality class A/B amp are always going to be better. They may not sound as hyped and pleasing but they will be more accurate.
Old 17th January 2019
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
It doesn't make any sense to me to have converters in speakers. I have mastering grade converters and I don't want the audio coming out of them to be converted and tweaked with digitally while inside a vibrating cabinet with an amp. Every digital speaker I've ever heard sounds flat and fake to me.

Passive speakers paired with a high quality class A/B amp are always going to be better. They may not sound as hyped and pleasing but they will be more accurate.
With digital speakers you are avoiding extra conversion and don't need expensive overpriced DACs. You just feed them digitally and take care converters inside the speakers, which were designed to be a perfect match with particular speakers, to do the job. And this system will be objectivelly much more accurate. Also class D amps are more accurate and linear so it is just the opposite from what you've said. You might love the slightly less accurate and hyped classic passive analog system, but as far as accuracy is concerned it is nowhere near - and you can easily prove it with measurements. Mind you, modern PMCs, Genelecs, Barefoot, ADAM, EVE audio, Kii, Dutch & Dutch - all these are doing digital. Also digital crossovers are much more accurate and transparent than passive can be, no matter whether you want to admit it or not.

And yes, you've written in your previous post that digital speakers sound more flat...but flat is the opposite from fake...flat means neutral and is the more correct representation of what you put in.

Problem with Barefoots is that they went out of fashion here on GS after riding the hype wave. But it remains the fact that they are very good. IMHO better than Focals' professional offerings, much better. Focals don't have monitor in their lineup which could cope even with mm27s., not to mention higher end Barefoots (but they do have of course in their audiophile range). But it is happening same with Amphions now, which were even more hyped here (starting by a certain clever business strategy oriented thread) and cheaper, so the hype could reach more masses. Look at the second hand market, it is pretty flooded with Amphions these days. And it happened with Focal Twins in the past, and ADAMs S3A before this and so on.

It is funny that it never really happened to this extent with ATCs, PMCs, Genelec, Geithain, JBLs and Dynaudios. Which is simply a fact that new companies, usually smaller but not always the case (like with Focal), that enter the "professional market" start to build hype here on GS to position their products, while established companies don't need to do this - so GS is kind of kickstarter for these newcommers, where some products deserve the hype, while the majority actually does not.

Last edited by Jantex; 17th January 2019 at 07:47 AM..
Old 17th January 2019
  #75
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I'm still loving my Shape 65s. My mindset had to change a bit after moving from the Adam AX series to these. I demoed a lot of speakers in the listening room and I chose these because they sounded so big and present and the low mids were full. The 3-way Eves were a close second but I thought the Focal sound was more engaging and inspiring for me listen to, which is really important to me when I spend hours mixing and also writing. I noticed my favourite mixes sounding really big and full on these speakers so my mindset is that if it sounds big on the Focals, then the mix is good. If you're used to leaner sounding speakers then you may think your mix is sounding big but thats just the Shape's natural sound. The transient response is great and has somehow encouraged me to keep more dynamics in the mixes. I can really hear when over-compression makes something too small. Stereo imaging is also sublime.

I think you'd be happy with Eves aswell. They are really impressive and the 3-ways were very revealing. Trust your gut. Choose the monitors that inspire you to make music. That's how you know a gear purchase was worthwhile.

Happy monitor hunting guys.
Old 17th January 2019
  #76
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Marinelis View Post
Its daytime here, I'm not sleepy now, so I can elaborate.

Referencing other monitors is useful, cause one can get a hint of how one hears and evaluates monitors, I should have done that myself.
We all have subjective preferences.

A have heard the ATC SCM100ASL Pro, Focal Trio6. I have worked a few times on Focal SM9. They are all very, very good. Especially the ATCs, they have a wonderfull and extremely engaging midrange.

However, coming from Adam S3As, I prefer the interpretation of Kii Audio, PSI and Barefoot. I am used to that kind of "timbre". I would need much more time to adjust on ATCs.
I also I don't get along with Genelecs. My mixes always come a little dull on them.

But all that, is subjective. I know lots of engineers that share my view and equally as many that prefer working on ATCs or Focals or Genelecs.
None is right nor wrong.

Now, back to Shape 65 and SC207. They are both great and balanced. I liked both better than Adam A7X.
Which one is subjectively better overall, depends on one's preferences. The sc207's do have better low end definition and extension. Is that a decisive factor? Yes and no, it depends on one's priorities. @ Gen da seems to be mainly interested in the low end, thus my initial comment.

It also depends on the room. In most rooms I've AB-ed the shape65 and sc207, I preferred the 207. But I've also been in some rooms that I preferred the shape 65 over the sc207. I could still hear that the 207 were a bit better in the low end but in those rooms the focals behaved better overall.

Truth is, no-one can make the choice for @ Gen da or anyone else. One must try monitors/gear in his/her room to be absolutely sure.
Hei thank for great reply my nick name is Gedna, not Genda :D but no worries, and im not only interested in the low end, yes its important because my genre of music is more bassheavy, but i really want the most flat monitors, like all of us music makers Yes 207 eve is cheaper, but back ported so my placement is crucial here, shape65 can be placed in front of the walls, witch is a good think, for small spaces.
Old 17th January 2019
  #77
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I'm not going to quote anyone but I'm just going to list a few things that are important to me in speaker design as I see things. This is all my opinion YMMV etc..

1. First, never judge gear by its technical specs alone or what it looks like on paper. Trust your ears and if you don't trust your ears then that is a big part of the problem. People listen to your mixes and masters with their ears not technical specs; our ears are the most important decision making tool that we have.

2. By flat in my previous post I meant flat as in lack of depth. So in that case I mean flat as a negative which I attribute to having a converter in the speaker box vibrating along with the amp, not a good design in my opinion.

3. Class D amps are digital and to my ears never sound as good as a well designed class A/B amp. There's a reason guitar guys still play class A and A/B tube amps. They are more musical and if designed well exhibit less distortion.

4. Its all a game of where you get your distortion from. Again, at the end of the day its how well it translates. I've been in the privileged position to hear a ton of high end studio monitors over the years and to my ears ATC, Focal and Amphion are at the top of the heap of what I've heard.
Old 17th January 2019
  #78
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You are totally entitled to your opinion. I would just like to correct your third point.

Class-D amplifier - Wikipedia

Terminology
The term "class D" is sometimes misunderstood as meaning a "digital" amplifier. While some class-D amps may indeed be controlled by digital circuits or include digital signal processing devices, the power stage deals with voltage and current as a function of non-quantized time. The smallest amount of noise, timing uncertainty, voltage ripple or any other non-ideality immediately results in an irreversible change of the output signal. The same errors in a digital system will only lead to incorrect results when they become so large that a signal representing a digit is distorted beyond recognition. Up to that point, non-idealities have no impact on the transmitted signal. Generally, digital signals are quantized in both amplitude and wavelength, while analog signals are quantized in one (e.g. PWM) or (usually) neither quantity.
Old 17th January 2019
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
You are totally entitled to your opinion. I would just like to correct your third point.

Class-D amplifier - Wikipedia

Terminology
The term "class D" is sometimes misunderstood as meaning a "digital" amplifier. While some class-D amps may indeed be controlled by digital circuits or include digital signal processing devices, the power stage deals with voltage and current as a function of non-quantized time. The smallest amount of noise, timing uncertainty, voltage ripple or any other non-ideality immediately results in an irreversible change of the output signal. The same errors in a digital system will only lead to incorrect results when they become so large that a signal representing a digit is distorted beyond recognition. Up to that point, non-idealities have no impact on the transmitted signal. Generally, digital signals are quantized in both amplitude and wavelength, while analog signals are quantized in one (e.g. PWM) or (usually) neither quantity.
Sure, again even in the quote above they mention being controlled by digital circuits or include digital signal processing.


Other reasons that probably impact my perception of not liking the sound of class D amps.

(From Sound On Sound)

If Class-D were perfect, it would have swept the world and there would be no other class in common usage. I'll tell you about the three major problems of Class-D amplifiers in a moment, but first, here's a question: how do you make an efficient radio transmitter? Answer: start with a Class-D audio amplifier. Yes, the high frequencies involved in Class-D amplification readily propagate as radio waves, potentially causing interference with radio receivers and other equipment. You might think that the solution would be to enclose the amplifier in a substantial steel housing. But that's not where the problem manifests itself — it's in the cables. The filter that is supposed to remove the high-frequency components and leave only the audio signal is quite shallow in slope — 6dB or 12dB per octave — so there's quite a lot of RF energy still getting out. Clearly, manufacturers take care to improve the situation and remain within allowable limits, but it is a problem inherent to Class-D.

The second problem of Class-D is that the last thing the signal sees before it reaches the loudspeaker is the filter. A passive filter made from capacitors and inductors expects to see a certain load on its output. Even just looking at the resistance of a loudspeaker and ignoring its capacitance and inductance, loudspeakers come in 2Ω, 4Ω and 8Ω nominal impedances, and the filter will work differently according to the impedance of the loudspeaker. Taking capacitance and inductance into account, the impedance will vary according to frequency. So the filter design is suddenly very much more complex: an amplifier that performs differently for different speakers is going to be a problem.

Thirdly — not finally, but enough for now — a Class-D amplifier has a relatively poor damping factor. The damping factor is the ratio of the impedance of the loudspeaker to the output impedance of the amplifier (it's a little more complex than that, but let's not get bogged down with details). In simple terms, it's a measure of how well the amplifier can control the movement of the diaphragm of the loudspeaker. A good amplifier doesn't just give it a push and hope for the best; it senses where the diaphragm is from moment to moment and controls its position. To do that, a high damping factor is desirable, and, as mentioned above, a simple Class-D amplifier has a low damping factor.

Clearly, advanced technology can be applied to ameliorate these problems, but because of them Class-D amplification is used mainly in applications where efficiency, weight and small size are important. These include live sound, in-car audio and compact portable systems.

Last edited by bcgood; 18th January 2019 at 04:21 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 23rd January 2019
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Sure, again even in the quote above they mention being controlled by digital circuits or include digital signal processing.


Other reasons that probably impact my perception of not liking the sound of class D amps.

(From Sound On Sound)

If Class-D were perfect, it would have swept the world and there would be no other class in common usage. I'll tell you about the three major problems of Class-D amplifiers in a moment, but first, here's a question: how do you make an efficient radio transmitter? Answer: start with a Class-D audio amplifier. Yes, the high frequencies involved in Class-D amplification readily propagate as radio waves, potentially causing interference with radio receivers and other equipment. You might think that the solution would be to enclose the amplifier in a substantial steel housing. But that's not where the problem manifests itself — it's in the cables. The filter that is supposed to remove the high-frequency components and leave only the audio signal is quite shallow in slope — 6dB or 12dB per octave — so there's quite a lot of RF energy still getting out. Clearly, manufacturers take care to improve the situation and remain within allowable limits, but it is a problem inherent to Class-D.

The second problem of Class-D is that the last thing the signal sees before it reaches the loudspeaker is the filter. A passive filter made from capacitors and inductors expects to see a certain load on its output. Even just looking at the resistance of a loudspeaker and ignoring its capacitance and inductance, loudspeakers come in 2Ω, 4Ω and 8Ω nominal impedances, and the filter will work differently according to the impedance of the loudspeaker. Taking capacitance and inductance into account, the impedance will vary according to frequency. So the filter design is suddenly very much more complex: an amplifier that performs differently for different speakers is going to be a problem.

Thirdly — not finally, but enough for now — a Class-D amplifier has a relatively poor damping factor. The damping factor is the ratio of the impedance of the loudspeaker to the output impedance of the amplifier (it's a little more complex than that, but let's not get bogged down with details). In simple terms, it's a measure of how well the amplifier can control the movement of the diaphragm of the loudspeaker. A good amplifier doesn't just give it a push and hope for the best; it senses where the diaphragm is from moment to moment and controls its position. To do that, a high damping factor is desirable, and, as mentioned above, a simple Class-D amplifier has a low damping factor.

Clearly, advanced technology can be applied to ameliorate these problems, but because of them Class-D amplification is used mainly in applications where efficiency, weight and small size are important. These include live sound, in-car audio and compact portable systems.
The critique about RF is possibly passable. Are there measurements or examples where this is confirmed/matters? I have never heard of surrounding equipment getting affected in a negative way.

The other points though, are in fact wrong.

The second one: the output filter uses component values with a purpose of affecting very high frequencies (switching frequencies of hundreds of kHz), and have an extremely limited effect in the audible band (otherwise visible in the frequency response). If there were any major negative effects, they would be easily observable through measurements. The output impedance 20-20k will be essentially unaffected by this filter. In short: for audio frequencies, the output filter can not have any effect, no matter how complex and reactive a load you put after it. The impedance of any normal loudspeaker rarely goes under 3 ohms.

Third one: output impedance of class-d amps are in fact one of the strong points which implies a strong damping factor too. The Anaview modules used i Amphions amps have a maximum output impedance of 10 mOhms for the entire audible range! You have a hard time beating that with conventional output stages.

In time, class D will most likely overthrow most other amp technologies. They are already superb regarding efficiency, linearity, damping factor, weight/footprint and are getting closer to, for our intents, complete transparency with each consecutive iteration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
3. Class D amps are digital and to my ears never sound as good as a well designed class A/B amp. There's a reason guitar guys still play class A and A/B tube amps. They are more musical and if designed well exhibit less distortion.
This is just opinion though, what is musical and what sounds better. In many cases non-linear devices are percieved as sounding "better". More correct, they are not.

Perhaps the "analytical" class D amp is just showing you the shortcomings of the upstreams chain or the material. That can be quite eye-opening.

Last edited by Oskari J.; 23rd January 2019 at 03:20 PM..
Old 25th January 2019
  #81
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If you can't tell the difference and are happy with your class D amp by all means keep using it.

I'll keep using my class A/B amp

There's a reason why Focal and ATC both use class A/B amps..


Old 26th January 2019
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
If you can't tell the difference and are happy with your class D amp by all means keep using it.

I'll keep using my class A/B amp

There's a reason why Focal and ATC both use class A/B amps..


I got to give well done classic amps the nod for distorsion figures. No debating that! What I'm saying though is that class D is almost there, for a tenth of the price (but basically already good enough for all types of critical work, though a taste thing). Give it 5 more years and I predict the old heavy ones will have few arguments going for them. Right now, if money is no subject, really high end classic amps will be the clear choice.


The strong points of class D are hard to counter though:
* Price
* Efficiency
* Low heat (due to efficiency)
* Size/weight
* Can be mounted in tight spaces (due to size and low heat)
* Good enough specs in all regards for all applications

This means manufacturers can have more R&D-money and better driver/enclosure quality at the same pricepoint. Stuff that make a bigger difference than going from 0.01% to 0.0001% distorsion.
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