Anyone replaced a Class A amp due to power use? Suggestions for replacement?

cynix

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My main system consists of Dynaudio Contour 3.3 speakers, Wadia 830 CD player and a Jungson JA-88D amp. Also have a Squeezebox touch for streaming into the Wadia digital input but I very rarely use that, preferring just to pick and play a bunch of complete CD's.

I used to have another Class A amp, a Plinius SA100, but needed to free up some cash a while back and so tried the Jungson as a similar but cheap replacement. Switched between them for a month and couldn't tell them apart so stuck with the Jungson and sold the Plinius.

I'm totally happy with my setup right now, but getting a little concerned about the power use of the Class A amp (about 250w-300w) with the skyrocketing electricity prices. Now that isn't a huge amount (could be a lot worse!) and if I can't find a low power alternative with equivalent sound I'll be happy to keep the Jungson, but wondering if I'd be encouraged to use the system more if it was using maybe 200w less power. :)

I've had a couple of Class D amps in my 2nd system before (a Sharp and a Wadia with built in DACs, in the £300-£600 range) and wasn't at all impressed with either, so would probably not be looking at a Class D replacement unless there's a specific one which could match the Plinius/Jungson Class A sound.

I use the digital volume control on the Wadia and the Jungson has been modified to work directly as a power amp (sounds slightly better than using it's built in pre-amp) so really looking for just a power amp with balanced inputs, either stereo or I guess 2 x mono power amps. Budget around £700 to £1200 maybe? Prefer used as that will offer the best value.

Any suggestions for an alternative? I've seen a used Roksan K3 power amp and a Audio Synthesis Desire Decade power amp and think those may be suitable... any comments or experience with those?

Thanks.
 

Nothingface

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I used to have the Caspian pre/power & thought they were/are very good.
I currently have an Octave V70 Class A (KT-150) with Super Black Box & I think that is quoted at 190W in operation & I haven't noticed any increase in my bill...!
 
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Steveh

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Chord power amps run in class A (sliding bias ) at normal listening levels. I use the CPA2200/SPM1050 pre/power. If you can try a listen, it might surprise you.....
 

CnoEvil

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To answer your question - I replaced a MF AMS 35i with a Gato DIA 250S......but I also changed my speakers. One of the main reasons I changed, was down to power usage and heat - and in the current climate, I'm glad I did, as it pulled over 400W from the mains as soon as it was switched on.

So - IMO the success of Class D, depends on i) How the particular Class D amp sounds (The Gato doesn't imv sound cold and clinical) and ii) How it works with the intended speakers.

In the case of the Gato, it seems to work well with slightly warmer speakers, like Harbeth, Q Acoustics and Kef R Series. I don't think it would have sounded as well with my previous speakers - Kef Ref 205/2.

What had me looking at the Gato, was all the Reviews said the same thing ie. It doesn't sound like a typical Class D. When Elite Audio allowed me to try one, with the ability to return it - I took them up on their offer and it has remained in my system since.
 

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hifinutt

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i replaced my massively hot msb s200 which used 200 watts an hour i think ... with some nice class d monoblocks for 2 years but now its back to class A again with the tannoys . !! [ the class d icepower were lovely though and quite warm sonically ]
 

Rayymondo

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I have a Perreaux Audiant 80i, this I believe to sound like class A although it is in fact class A/B. I knew it was warm and full sounding but only recently did I realize just how much so, when I changed over to a T+A power amp which I'm using directly with a T+A Dac. It has made me realize I do quite like a richer warmer sound, not sure if all the Perreaux amps are similar but the 80i certainly fits this description. Cheap to run and stays cool.
 

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hearhere

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3 years ago, I decided to replace valve mono amps for an ss amp, partly for power use (environmental) reasons, but also reliability and valve replacement costs. I was expecting Class A amps to offer the best sound with my horn speakers, but both Class A amps I extensively auditioned at home (Accuphase and Sugden) were sadly rather less rewarding than a Class AB from GamuT and the Class D (Purifi Eigentakt) NAD M33. It was this last one I went for and consequently I'm now listening to far more music than ever.
 

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Yep class D has certainly moved on. For 4 1/2 yrs I ran Icon Audio MB845SEs and never thought I'd change, however I bought a pair of Nord ONE UP SE NC500MB (Hypex modules) as summer amps and when the Icons went away for service I used the Nords for a couple of weeks. When the Icons came back I did some mix and match listening and realised just how good the Nords were. 3 weeks ago I had a Krell KSA250 here in my system and the Nords comprehensively beat it to my ears. Yes the Krell sounded great when I first put it in but after a few hours it was just too much, too in ya face, also once I went back to normal listening levels it lost its drive and punch. The Nords on the other-hand sound absolutely superb at all volumes, they're definitely not cold and clinical, providing me with a rich, detailed 3D sound with deep, tight, tuneful bass.
 
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Nothingface

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3 years ago, I decided to replace valve mono amps for an ss amp, partly for power use (environmental) reasons, but also reliability and valve replacement costs. I was expecting Class A amps to offer the best sound with my horn speakers, but both Class A amps I extensively auditioned at home (Accuphase and Sugden) were sadly rather less rewarding than a Class AB from GamuT and the Class D (Purifi Eigentakt) NAD M33. It was this last one I went for and consequently I'm now listening to far more music than ever.

Are those the only class A amps you tried in your system?
I used to have the GamuT M250i monos & found them underwhelming.
 

hearhere

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Are those the only class A amps you tried in your system?
I used to have the GamuT M250i monos & found them underwhelming.
There were other amps with odd features such as the Valvet e2se, Bakoon 13r, etc.

The Gamut was the D200 Mk III that sounded great with my speakers apart from the severe thump when powered up or down With my very sensitive speakers, this amp just had to go. It's control and detail of bass in particular was astonishing. Other amps were from Mark Levinson, Lyngdorf, Micromega, Quad, Benchmark, etc. I was surprised that the NAD sounded as good as any and better than most.
 

hearhere

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You're worried about 300w consumption!? Mine consume 1800w lol.
I hope you have it switched on for less than half an hour per day! Have you thought of replacing it with an amp that sounds as good but consumes a fraction of that? Then you could listen as long as you like with a clear concience - and a low electricity bill?
 

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Psilonaught

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I hope you have it switched on for less than half an hour per day! Have you thought of replacing it with an amp that sounds as good but consumes a fraction of that? Then you could listen as long as you like with a clear concience - and a low electricity bill
LOL, how sanctimonious.
 

cynix

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

I think I'll keep an eye open over next few months for a possible alternative and at least give a class AB power amp a try. If it fails to equal the Jungson then I'll stick with that and move on the "new" one, if I buy used it shouldn't cost much to at least give something else a try and then re-sell it if necessary.
 

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hearhere

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Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

I think I'll keep an eye open over next few months for a possible alternative and at least give a class AB power amp a try. If it fails to equal the Jungson then I'll stick with that and move on the "new" one, if I buy used it shouldn't cost much to at least give something else a try and then re-sell it if necessary.
Don't overlook Class D. The latest offerings, particularly those based on Purifi's Eigentakt technology, are pretty amazing. Look for ones that don't just buy in Evaluation Boards, look for ones that build under licence after tweeking the circuit and using superior components. NAD is, the main player, although I believe that T&A are working on a Purifi amp. . I chose the NAD M33 out of the dozen amps I home demo'd over a prolonged period.
 
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Snoopdog

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I changed my amplification this year and was initially looking at Class A designs from Gryphon and Boulder.

I then read about how Class A operates, with the transistors being switched on all the time and the power that is not used by the loudspeakers is dissipated as heat, never mind how much power they actually suck out of the wall socket, even at idle!

I decided to try a Class D power amp, the TAD M2500 MKII, to enhance my green credentials, but I couldn't get on with it, so moved it on and finally settled on the Momentum HD preamp and S250 MxV power amp from Dan D'Agostino Master Systems!

I am very happy with my choice!