Why are Class A and AB amps so expensive? The simple truth is, they convert electricity into watts with less efficiency. The lower the efficiency, the more heat the amp produces. The chart below vividly explains; Class A amps are 20% efficient, Class AB amps are 50% efficient. Both designs create more heat than power to drive your speakers. Since heat is the enemy of solid state devices, these amps must employ ways to get rid of it.
Audiophiles hate fans because they are noisy so manufacturers of Class A and AB amps are forced to use a lot of heat sink surface area to pull the heat away from the amp. The surface area requirement leads to a huge chassis to house the heat sinks and transformer. The cost of the materials to make the chassis to house all this heat sink is by far the biggest factor in why these amps cost so much today, its the packaging, not the transistors or circuit boards.
Class D amps are 90% efficient so they dont need as much heat sink or the big chassis to house them, leading to lower costs for consumers per watt. Further, Class D amps now sound better than the old fashioned Class A and AB amps we grew up with, they have lower distortion and noise and handle difficult loads better, with more slam and an ease of operation as they produce prodigious output for a lot less money.
Hi Res Audio brings us all the emotion of a live performance at home as never before with uncompressed 24/96-192K Blu-ray Concerts, Pure Audio Discs, SACD/DVD-A, and Hi Res Downloads for the most unveiled sound and transparency in audio history. Class D is swiftly taking over the audiophile market, the only people still complaining about how they sound are the manufacturers who still make the Class A vacuum tube and Class AB solid state amps from the last century. In a world getting hotter by the year, its really past the time to indulge in fantasies and rationalizations about which type of amp class sounds best.
With Class D you get 66% more output power for 1/3rd the price and lower your audio system’s power consumption by more than 70%, lowering your electricity bill as well. In the chart below, note that the Class A amps use up the most electricity because they are on at full output all the time, yet 80% of that electricity is thrown away as heat.
|Comparison of Amp Classes||Class A||Class AB||Class D|
|Electricity/Watts to drive a 200 watt Stereo Amp To Full Output||800||400||240|
That leads us to the Essence™ DPA-440 Class D Digital Audio Power Amp. It’s easy to find amps that can excel in one or two parameters but the DPA-440 is an amp that does everything well. With its wide open-loop bandwidth, extremely low-phase shift, almost non-existent noise, harmonic and intermodulation distortion independent of load, high current capability, low output impedance uniformly at all audible frequencies-it all adds up to incredible performance.
It goes without saying that I use an efficient business model that keeps the overhead low and that’s reflected in our low prices as well. We dont do a lot of shows or use reps, and we keep the number of resellers low, after all, nobody knows more about our products than we do.
When combined with the Essence Electrostats and the HDACC Upsampling DAC Preamp, the system performance reaches the highest level of clarity and resolution attainable today, at a price that’s sure to make heads spin. The amp is our latest disruptive innovation. Compare it to the rest of the competition:
|Manufacturers:||Essence DPA-440||Benchmark AHB2||Bel Canto Ref 150S||CI Audio E∙200S||NAD M22|
|FTC* Rated Output RMS Watts Per Channel|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||< -100 dB||< -113 dB||<-110 dB||Not Rated||<-100 dB|
|Peak Output Current||40 amps||18 amps||Not Rated||Not Rated||50 amps|
|Damping Factor||>1000||Not Rated||>1000||Not Rated||>800|
|Frequency Response||±.2 dB 20 Hz to 25 KHz||±.023@20Hz/-.32@20KHz||± 3dB 1.5 Hz – 90 KHz @4Ω||Not Rated||3Hz – 30kHz (ref. -3dB)|
|Input Impedance: RCA/XLR||30KΩ / 47KΩ||50KΩ / 1MΩ||100KΩ / 200KΩ||100KΩ||17 Ω / 200 Ω|
|Input Sensitivity||1.6v RMS||2v RMS||1.1v RMS||2.0v RMS||1.6v|
|Voltage Gain**||30 dB||Not Rated||27 dB||26 dB||29 dB|
|Idle Power||9w||Not Rated||9.5w||32 w||40w|
|Dimensions||12″ W x 3.5″ H x 12.5″ D||11″ W x 3.8″ H x 9.34″ D||8.5″ W x 3.5″ H x 12″ D||14″ w x 2.75″ H x 10″ D||17″ W x 4″ H x 15″ D|
|Unit Weight||18 lbs||12.5 lbs||13 lbs / 6.5Kg||8.5 lbs||19.6 lbs|
|Shipping Weight||21 lbs||15 lbs||16 lbs||10 lbs||23 lbs|
|Dynamic Headroom||3 dB||Not Rated||Not Rated||Not Rated||3 dB|
|Warranty||3 Years||1 year||2 years||5 years||2 years|
|*Continuous Output Power as per FTC Rule|