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OK OK ;) I am not an owner yet.

 

But as part of my "fantasy" of separating my HT from my stereo setup, have been looking at some setups.

 

The Gallo Reference Stradas seemed an obvious choice for the speakers. Small and discrete and yet with the gorgeous and smooth and extended mids and highs from the CDT and spherical driver combo. Small enough too to be mounted on walls (in fact they are DESIGNED to be) and if you are looking to populate the room with identical 11 speakers for DSX/IIz, they seem ideal.

 

So what about amps?

 

My first option was obviously Emotiva. They are relatively affordable and offers huge BANG for the BUCK

 

But I am a big fan of ICE powered devices so it seemed that IF I were to transplant the BCD REF1000Ms to another room, I'd want a similar type of amp for its replacement.

 

Wyred4Sound has a very interesting architecture. They are modular.

 

So it looks like you can buy a SINGLE chassis today with as much power as you need, say 3x500W and if you need more in the future, there's enough room inside to plug in up to 7 mono power amp boards.

 

There's a mini chassis (MINI MC) which I can't tell if it is using ICE modules or not...

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-view.html?pid=339145&b_id=&find_groupid=18048

 

 

 

and there's the big ass version

 

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-view.html?pid=332923&b_id=&find_groupid=18048

 

 

 

Looks like they shrunk the pics so as not to frighten potential buyers ;) but this thing looks like a menace. Probably shouldn't be in ANY rack. Just get a power amp support board and leave it be.

 

It's not cheap, though. It's gonna cost you US$3.6k for the full 7 channels.

 

The late John Potis, one of my fave reviewers, had this glowing review of the STI-500, a stereo version of the modules used in the big ass MC amp. From the specs provided, it looks like the multi channel version also uses an upgraded input stage found on the stereo version.

 

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue39/wyred4sound.htm

 

Considering the 2 channel costs 1.5k USD, the 7 channel seems almost like a bargain hehe

 

Wonder if I can convince Ray to loan me a setup to drive the 3 Stradas to see how they all match up.

 

*gulp*

 

Anyone here using these amps?

 

I think Avonez might be using the MINI MC model.

 

 

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So it looks like it's not just a simple ICE module.

 

They do have an input board and a power board. Not sure how it stacks up against the BCD REF1000M's upgrades but it looks like it has a similar concept behind the mods.

 

In fact, this thing looks like it has TWO AC inputs!??

 

 

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There's a mini chassis (MINI MC) which I can't tell if it is using ICE modules or not...

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-view.html?pid=339145&b_id=&find_groupid=18048

 

Surprised to see this thread here, class D amps are more commonly associated with the likes of Nuforce, bel canto..recall there was a thread on Class D amp shootout some time back, although it's more a stereo shootout..

 

Bought the Mini MC 5 together with the Onkyo 5507 at launch. The MMC is using the ASX2 chip which is the 3rd generation B&O ICE module. Compared to the B&O reference ICE module, modification were done at the input buffer stage to improve sound quality with higher i/p impedance than the B&O reference design. The ASX2 chip is not high power chip hence, they cannot give 500W/1000W output unlike the first/ second generation  ASC/ ASP ICE chips which the W4S award winning ('bigger size') amps are based. The MMC5 can provide 5 channels of undulated 220W RMS power/channel to 8ohm (384W/ 4 ohm) in 'monoblock' design, more than adequate for most use. Only thing each individual ICE module has in common is probably the chassis. Enough of selling koyoke here... what impressed me what was the small size, so much smaller than their first generation multichannel amp, yet can still retain so much power. and no heat..just what I was looking for. Class A/B amps are definitely out for me. SQ wise? If I have to take a pick, I would think power amps will affect the SQ the least among all the rest of equipment. W4S, though relatively new are already being recognised for dishing out good products. and support in the States, so that's another reassurance. The designer/founder is actually quite a young chap so that's another refreshing thought.

 

I don't think Ray has the 7 channels for demo here but I am sure he will be willing to oblige for home test if he has.

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Thanks for the feedback!

 

Hmmm.. after u mentioned the Mini MC was also using ICE modules, it definitely made them a lot more appealing. Wonder why it is not in the spec sheet.

 

I am looking at the 250W/8ohm model because that's the same module used in the S500 from BCD. Having used the REF1000M, I can say it's bloody awesome.

 

While the ASX2 would probably suffice, I do feel the front 3 channels do benefit from better power than the others.

 

So another alternative would be to get the 3x250W ICE Box version, and then a 5 (or 6) channel MiniMC for the other channels.

 

But that would require two chassis and I think the cost savings aren't substantial.

 

I don't need the full 7 channels now ;)

 

In fact, it's a bit difficult cos of the wiring involved in my current setup. But even in the US, I realized it costs US$200 to upgrade + the cost difference between the different models (eg 5x250 to 7x250) so maybe just get the full 7 channels for now.

 

Damn, I need more room!! :P

 

 

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DH, just get a 3 channel with the ASP500 modules now lor to "pump" your AG!  Use your denon for the surrounds.  After u move house, then think of the rest lah!

 

Mai Tu Liao.

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Headache leh..

 

Haven't bought the Anthony Gallos yet and have no where else to move the Thiels to.

 

So right now it's all paper exercise.

 

Not to mention the wires are all over the place:

 

AV rack (side of sofa)

AVR speaker out ---> front height, front wide, surround, surround back, center

 

AVR pre out --> front L/R --> AudioEngine AW1 wireless interconnect

 

AVR sub out --> long hidden wire --> SVS PB12/ISDV

 

If I get the ASP500 x 3 ICE Box, it'd be in the front. Where it can only power the center since the BCDs/Thiels are still there.

 

 

HiFi Rack

AW1 feeds Pre Amp HT Bypass

BCD REF1000M to Thiel CS2.4

 

 

 

All this rewiring sounds like it requires a brand new room.

 

I am sooo screwed.

 

 

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Here's something that struck me as being unique about Class D/ICE designs.

 

In most other power amp designs, there's a big transformer stage that is also the "limiting factor" of the amp's total output.

 

So say you have a Class AB design with 7x250W but the transformer used is not rated at 7x the monoblock version of the same amp.

 

So in reality, you'll never be able to get all 7 channels driving 250W simultaneously. A similar thing happens in most integrated AVRs but to a much bigger extent. I guess that explains why the XPA1 is more expensive than the XPA2/3/5s.

 

With switching amps, each module is directly connected to the AC rails so there should perform close to the monoblock versions, except where maybe the close proximity of the modules causes EM to play a bigger role and noise to be higher than in isolated monoblock designs.

 

Is that a correct assessment?

 

 

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Here's something that struck me as being unique about Class D/ICE designs.

 

In most other power amp designs, there's a big transformer stage that is also the "limiting factor" of the amp's total output.

 

So say you have a Class AB design with 7x250W but the transformer used is not rated at 7x the monoblock version of the same amp.

 

So in reality, you'll never be able to get all 7 channels driving 250W simultaneously. A similar thing happens in most integrated AVRs but to a much bigger extent. I guess that explains why the XPA1 is more expensive than the XPA2/3/5s.

 

With switching amps, each module is directly connected to the AC rails so there should perform close to the monoblock versions, except where maybe the close proximity of the modules causes EM to play a bigger role and noise to be higher than in isolated monoblock designs.

 

Is that a correct assessment?

 

 

That is correct. Also noticed the metal shield used in the modules, shield EM plus heat sinking.

 

Also the last stage before you connect to speaker is a low pass filter, that takes all the EM rubbish away.....

 

That is why I continue to stick with Class D, even in my car.

 

(Audio)

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That is correct. Also noticed the metal shield used in the modules, shield EM plus heat sinking.

 

Also the last stage before you connect to speaker is a low pass filter, that takes all the EM rubbish away.....

 

That is why I continue to stick with Class D, even in my car.

 

(Audio)

 

ah so... makes a compelling case for multichannel Class D boxes.

 

 

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Here's something that struck me as being unique about Class D/ICE designs.

 

In most other power amp designs, there's a big transformer stage that is also the "limiting factor" of the amp's total output.

 

So say you have a Class AB design with 7x250W but the transformer used is not rated at 7x the monoblock version of the same amp.

 

So in reality, you'll never be able to get all 7 channels driving 250W simultaneously. A similar thing happens in most integrated AVRs but to a much bigger extent. I guess that explains why the XPA1 is more expensive than the XPA2/3/5s.

 

With switching amps, each module is directly connected to the AC rails so there should perform close to the monoblock versions, except where maybe the close proximity of the modules causes EM to play a bigger role and noise to be higher than in isolated monoblock designs.

 

Is that a correct assessment?

i believe there are more than these factors but u are more or less correct. however, the emotiva analogy is not correct simply because the ratings are different and supposedly emotiva also provides its ratings by no. of channels utilised (e.g. 200w for 5 ch continous, 300w for 2 ch, etc), not like some other manufacturers and therefore takes into account the transformer already. i wrote about what i felt the differences to be between the 1/2/3/5 in another thread.

 

i don't know much about power amp design, but personally i feel class d amps is 'high power on demand'. with 'high power on demand' there is always still a lag, no matter how little, for the power to kick in - especially if it is dependent on your basic power supply. class a/b amps, especially those with high class a bias or sufficient caps, still seem to deliver this better imo, and much more effortlessly.

 

you mention transformer stage to limit the output.. well, let's put it as an analogy. imagine you want to have some water. would you get your water faster from turning your tap immediately on/off when you want it? or would you get it faster from keeping some water in a jug (transformer/caps?) and using it from there, while refilling it at the same time? i guess Class A is the ultimate - keeping water in a jug constantly full with tap running to the point of overflowing.

 

someone pls tell me if i am just spouting gibberish. :P

 

2ndly i always found class d amps a little lacking in muscle somehow despite the high watts.. unless you go down the chain. i think DJQ also commented about his S300 which has similar watts to my XPA-5. i've no clue why this is so though, but if i use the water/tap analogy above, does it mean i have to pay for a much larger tap (i.e. higher watt class d) so i can get the same sort of eventual instant output? just a thought.

 

however, for your comment about multi-channel versions of class d vs monoblock versions.. perhaps it is true, since no transformer then it will be closer in terms of wattage output. then again i dun find it an issue if the manufacturer actually states the continuous output rating like what emotiva does.

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I wasn't referring to Emotiva specifically.

 

What I meant was designs in general.

 

So to get XPA 5 to deliver 66% more power than the XPA3, it needs a transformer that's about 66% larger in capacity.

 

I personally don't find ICE powered modules to be slow. It doesn't quite use the transformer model. I have not tried the S300 so I can't be sure where it is deficient, but that could be a function of slew rate and that could be the spec of the module being used.

 

 

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you mentioned emotiva so i commented. :)

 

anyway, i doubt its slew rate or damping factor as class a and class a/b are worse off than class d inherently cos of the design. it will be even more worrying if this was the reason. :) we aren't really talking about 'speed' per se as class d always has good control due to the related specs. delivering fast low current vs semi-fast high current may make differences to dynamics though.

 

anyway, this is just my speculation.. could be the reason why class d amp wattage goes up to the thousands when obviously u don't need that much.

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I mentioned emotiva as part of the original post as an option I was considering.

 

I don't know why the S300 would have the slowness that you mentioned. It could be due to system matching. Thiel designed their speakers to run with loads more power because as the designer said: watts is cheap :) so it would stand to measure that a higher powered design would suit it better.

 

Also, I think BCD took some liberties with the specs of the S300 ;) the ICE module used is actually rated closer to 250W (which IIRC is what PS Audio specs theirs to). I suspect this module doesn't have the same degree of tolerance as the ones used in the 500/1000s which have a direct doubling when facing 4ohm loads.

 

 

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yes i did, imo. BC input stage is cleaner than the W4S. but if you take into account the price tag on both brand. W4S has better WFM. With both ice modules using the 3rd gen ICEpower. i would say a very good match for CS2.4. By getting BC 1k mk2 would be abit too far stretched with the merits only pushing a little bit more on the dynamic improvement. ( this part here shows bigger improvement on the CS3.7 )

 

bro jonlee got the W4S STI-1000, although i have not heard them i can only deduce that the BC mk2 with the improve PSU delivers better and cleaner power. i would guess both very equal except that you get slightly better details.

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I don't know why the S300 would have the slowness that you mentioned. It could be due to system matching. Thiel designed their speakers to run with loads more power because as the designer said: watts is cheap :) so it would stand to measure that a higher powered design would suit it better.

 

Also, I think BCD took some liberties with the specs of the S300 ;) the ICE module used is actually rated closer to 250W (which IIRC is what PS Audio specs theirs to). I suspect this module doesn't have the same degree of tolerance as the ones used in the 500/1000s which have a direct doubling when facing 4ohm loads.

i am not comparing the S500 and S300 but the emotiva XPA-5 vs the S300 which are both rated at 300w at 4ohms. of course, if you say that the actual output of S300 is less, then that is another issue. also have heard S300 on other speakers and it faces similar issues imo. granted though, some of them are equally 'hard loads' like dynaudio.

 

again it is not 'slowness' but lack of dynamics and power. another friend who replaced his S300 with a Class AB 70 watter also said the 70 watter felt like it had more dynamics and power.

 

so far the only low watt class d that gave me a better impression is the redwineaudio stuff, which is only 30w but yet is able to deliver - although obviously it won't work with your thiels. perhaps the battery power is able to provide more instant power apart from the other benefits. imo, this was why i felt purepower might have been a good match for your system.

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I don't suppose Class D is for everyone.

 

But I am using Flying Mole Class D CA-S10 with Gallo's Reference 3.1 and it has a nice synergy. The review of the Pre3/S300i from Srajan@sixmoons and the Reference 3.1 also indicates a similar conclusion. Perhaps the Reference 3.1 is an easier load to drive vs the 4ohm designs like Dyns or Thiels. The Flying Mole is only rated for 100W/8ohms IIRC.

 

I think jonlee upgraded from a class AB to ICE/Class D for his Thiels. Maybe he can provide some insights.

 

Anyway, looks like I need to go back to the drawing board and decide how to upgrade my setup. UUrgh. This is gonna be a pricey upgrade.

 

 

 

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Anyway, looks like I need to go back to the drawing board and decide how to upgrade my setup. UUrgh. This is gonna be a pricey upgrade.

 

 

Just as easy to compare between Marantz & Denon.  You pick Denon with 11.X capability mah.....

 

So now, just 11 X Bel Canto M300 lor.  (Opps again, you may need another "powerstrip")

 

How can you go wrong with that?  :)

 

(Audio)

 

 

Oppps...sorry, didn't realised I was writing in a Wyred4Sound owner thread....

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