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Thread: Hypex and other DIY class D amps

  1. #1
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    Hypex and other DIY class D amps

    Anyone here have experience with the latest generation of DIY class D amps? I'm specifically talking about Hypex UCD AD modules, but there are many others.

    I've read all the specs, and wonder how they match up with some big JBL 4-ways. If anyone has built one of these class D / mosfet amps and teamed them up with big JBL's- I'd be very interested in knowing your results!

    Nathan.

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    Im using 5 ucd 180 ( not Ad ) modules to my 5 2446h drivers and im very pleased with them.

    Pangea ( Roland ) is using ucd 180 and 400 modules to his mtm speaker.
    His speakers sounds really good with ucd amps.

    regards mats

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    Quote Originally Posted by matsj View Post
    Im using 5 ucd 180 ( not Ad ) modules to my 5 2446h drivers and im very pleased with them.

    Pangea ( Roland ) is using ucd 180 and 400 modules to his mtm speaker.
    His speakers sounds really good with ucd amps.

    regards mats
    Thank you, Mats.

    I am considering the 180(AD). The UCD's aren't picky about the load they drive, so 180 seems like it will be plenty big enough- especially if each module will drive a single 2245.

    Are you using a shared power transformer for all your modules, or a transformer for each module? Is it the Hypex transformer? I have read that many prefer the Hypex branded torroidals.

    Have you had any issues with powering them on/off?

    My only real concern is: Are these amps real contenders for actual music? Their ability to produce world class bass is legendary, but I don't know if they can handle the mids and highs in my system without making my ears bleed. I guess if I pair them up with the right pre...

    I think I will order a pair and give them a go.

    Thanks again, Nathan.

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    I have 2 300 va transformers 2x30 volt ( not hypex ) and 2x47000uf caps.
    It works very well.
    The AD ( analog device ) version may sound a little better than the ST modules.

    I think i had chosen the 400 modul for a 2245 instead of a 180. Or do you have 2445 ?

    If you pm me your email i can send you some pictures.

    mats

  5. #5
    Senior Member spwal's Avatar
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    I am using a tim rawson built gainclone. not bad at all. not the last word in audio, but a fun cheap toy and certainly better than my home theater amp.

    Would you consider a aleph? alephs are fantastic!! You are doing yourself a disservice if you havent heard an aleph 3/30/J etc...


    I am getting a rediculous, cost is no object patek-based clone in the next couple of weeks.

    Just a few highlights --

    patrick daniel kit audiosector 3886 dual mono
    custom cut copper bus bar/ heat sink
    black diamond racing cones directly suspended transformer and heatsinks
    cardas rhodium single clamp binding posts
    silver wire throughout
    oversized plitron transformer
    deflex washers on all screws
    deflex pad under transformer
    custom machined spacers
    machine pressed recessed mounting holes
    custom machined mounting brackets for the binding posts etc.
    blackgate caps
    gold pcbs
    and of course my favorite part -- its gonna be blue stained birch wood with hand rubbed tung oil. fully exposed insides, no case.

    looking forward to it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spwal View Post
    Would you consider a aleph? alephs are fantastic!! You are doing yourself a disservice if you havent heard an aleph 3/30/J
    YES, YES, YES!
    Aleph 2 also
    BLS Reference on Passlabs XA 30.5 + Everest DD66000 clone on Pass XA 100.5

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    Quote Originally Posted by spwal View Post
    I am using a tim rawson built gainclone. not bad at all. not the last word in audio, but a fun cheap toy and certainly better than my home theater amp.

    Would you consider a aleph? alephs are fantastic!! You are doing yourself a disservice if you havent heard an aleph 3/30/J etc...


    I am getting a rediculous, cost is no object patek-based clone in the next couple of weeks.

    Just a few highlights --

    patrick daniel kit audiosector 3886 dual mono
    custom cut copper bus bar/ heat sink
    black diamond racing cones directly suspended transformer and heatsinks
    cardas rhodium single clamp binding posts
    silver wire throughout
    oversized plitron transformer
    deflex washers on all screws
    deflex pad under transformer
    custom machined spacers
    machine pressed recessed mounting holes
    custom machined mounting brackets for the binding posts etc.
    blackgate caps
    gold pcbs
    and of course my favorite part -- its gonna be blue stained birch wood with hand rubbed tung oil. fully exposed insides, no case.

    looking forward to it.

    Thank you spwal (and Guido). I appreciate the input.


    Spwal,

    Amps like the nuforce, channel islands, and others are raising the bar ever higher. Class D is the future. I lived with several class A furnaces and they sound wonderful, but I feel guilty about all the wasted electricity- and they aren't exactly cheap to operate either!

    The only downside to Class D seems to be it's vulnerability to RFI. Funny thing I have noticed is that the amps with notorious RFI issues (like the nuforce) have a cheap aluminum clamshell chassis. If they could compartmentalize the chipset, and use a nice steel chassis- problem solved. The UCD's have poly shielding on the wire leads, too. Why not teflon? Simple things...

    Yes, the aleph is a legend. But at thousands of dollars for a single-ended class A that barely runs a pair of headphones- It doesn't exactly fall into the same category of an 85%+ efficiency class D with no regard to load difficulty. They are completely different animals. I can assemble 2-4 UCD180AD amp monos for the price of one used Aleph 30. I do not have a "cost no object" budget or I wouldn't be holding a soldering iron.

    Another thing- I like powerful amps. Some may like the "fat" sound of an amp that is just suitable for the task, but I prefer the effortless projection of a bigger amp. So long as it is quiet, free from glare, and runs relatively cool, my criteria are met. I like an amp to do it's job and nothing else. An anemic amp is a 'disservice' to JBL speakers. You are shortchanging the very strength of them- transient speed!

    I subscribe to the British audio philosophy in that the focus on a system should be more upstream (source components). I have the luxury of knowing my source components are definately doing their job, so I put less money (proportionately) into the amps. I have lived with many amps that sound great, because I have integrated them with systems that bring their best performances out. In my experience, the preamp will have a profound effect on the sound of an amp, so I focus my efforts (and expenses) there.

    Your project sounds interesting- keep me posted.
    I'm just building plain old UCD180AD monos and I'll see what all the hype is about. The price seems right.

    Thanks again,
    Nate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member spwal's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Hi,

    Interesting you mention the succeptability to RFI EMI with the chipamps. With my current Tim Rawson Gainclone, I am getting faint radio station broadcasts when the volume is all the way down. It is just a whisper, and really doesnt bother me too much, but yes it is there and probably messing with my overall acoustics.

    Makes me wonder why my balls-to-the-wall patekclone is going to be openfaced (ie completely exposed). I hope that i wont have these issues with it.

    Tim suggested that he may have forgot to ground to earth, oh well.

    I wonder if that "clever little clock" (dont shoot me!) does anything to combat RFI EMI...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spwal View Post
    Hi,

    Interesting you mention the succeptability to RFI EMI with the chipamps. With my current Tim Rawson Gainclone, I am getting faint radio station broadcasts when the volume is all the way down. It is just a whisper, and really doesnt bother me too much, but yes it is there and probably messing with my overall acoustics.

    Makes me wonder why my balls-to-the-wall patekclone is going to be openfaced (ie completely exposed). I hope that i wont have these issues with it.

    Tim suggested that he may have forgot to ground to earth, oh well.

    I wonder if that "clever little clock" (dont shoot me!) does anything to combat RFI EMI...

    The first thing that came into my mind when you mentiond the open design, was extreme RFI. I don't fully understand why they are prone to RFI, but something about the DC loop leaves them wide open. It has been discussed at great length on other forums. It has even been suggested that the wavelength of the RFI could be measured and combated through the use of specific/strategic speaker wire length. beats me.

    I'm no expert by any stretch, but it stands to reason that if the power transformer (and even the caps supply) are housed independent of the chipset, it would help a great deal. A better RFI rejecting chassis material, and diaelctric coating of the wires would help too. Maybe.

    I'm thinking of 3 smallish Hammond steel chassis- each housing it's own section of the amp (transformer, caps supply, and chipset) shared by a common faceplate is the way to go. They could be be connected via umbilicals or firewall routing. Perhaps this will help, I don't know. Worth a try.

  10. #10
    Senior Member spwal's Avatar
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    hmmm...

    the idea was to try getting the maximum for the minimum, then the project sort of evolved and is now over budget. Wanted to spare the expense of the case and dump it back into the price/ quality of parts. This was before hearing anything more than a sonic-T, (well not true i had a bel canto evo 2 gen 2) and before i came across this problem with my newly-aquired gainclone.

    so im pretty sure when things get all set up, i will have some hellish rfi problems, hopefully not though. What are some symptoms of RFI ?

    I lurk on diyaudio chipamp section, but there is so much techno-talk that i cant follow them too much.

    thanks

    edit: for some reason bel canto evo 2 gen 2 amps are really expensive in australia. not sure why. you can get one over here for under 1000 usd if you are lucky. Now that is a chip amp that is well made and soncially excellent!

  11. #11
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    What's the skinny among chipheads on the Sonic T-Amps?

    Running HF in one system on one now.

    I have both models here....

  12. #12
    Senior Member spwal's Avatar
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    Zilch,

    if you want to borrow my gainclone to play with for a week, you are more than welcome to. I like it, its neat.

    my feeling on the soinc t-amp is that its heart of gold is surrounded by the cheapest of the cheap. I heard it with my abbys and it was wicked cool for 20 bucks, but i will leave it at that.

    My gainclone built by Tim Rawson (rawsonte) is in a different ballpark all together.

    You are more than welcome to try it. It has an overkill transformer on it.

    Here is my ad for it:

    First come first serve. Pics available upon request.

    does 45-50wpc into 8, 65 into 4.

    black case, on / off switch, removable power cord, no garish LED, no hum, basic (but still good) binding posts, 1 set of RCA inputs, nice and simple.

    I am the original owner and it has not moved from the rack that i unpacked it onto. If there are any scratches, and there arent, i didnt do them.

    "using 33volt rails, while they say 28volt rails for 4 ohms to 68watts, but as long as >= 85 db fine, that is not running 75% volume where approaching the limit." <--- dont know what this means but it was in the email he sent to me. sounds important

    FYI: I use this with a squeezebox digital volume control. Gain is very high on this one! 1-3 clicks (im serious!) for background listening in my small room, and at about 1/4 of the digital volume things are rocking!

    great bass, nice highs. lots of fun to listen to! Been using it on my giant vintage altec speakers as well as my vintage klipsch hereseys which are smaller -- works great on both!

    Cant beat the price/performance ratio. Tim Rawson amps are extremely re-sellable. Only reason I am selling is because he is building me another kind of clone that i cant wait to try.

    I owned a bel canto evo 2 gen 2 tripath based amp that lists for $ 3200 usd, and it is really not any wide stretch better than a well-built Tim Rawson gainclone.

    I am asking usd 195 plus shipping and paypal from 02141 boston, which is par for the course for a no-frills, all-thrills rawsonte gainclone.

    thanks!

    just drop me a pm

  13. #13
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spwal View Post
    my feeling on the soinc t-amp is that its heart of gold is surrounded by the cheapest of the cheap. I heard it with my abbys and it was wicked cool for 20 bucks, but i will leave it at that.
    The Super T-amp is a bit better constructed (aluminum case, gold-plated connectors, etc.,) and there's no batteries that run down in a day....

    With the "portable" version (now $30,) you pay $20 more for the AC adapter, itself a rather high-tech switching regulator. So, it's $50 vs. $140 for the two versions....
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  14. #14
    Senior Member spwal's Avatar
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    try my gainclone. its in a different league.

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