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Do PDX and other full range class D amps really sound good? (long)

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by DevL, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:34 AM
    #1
    DevL

    DevL [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I see most people in here love the PDX series amps. I am very wary of getting one, or any class D full range amp. Can you hear noises like horrible sounds when they clip becasue they are full range class D amps? I have read a comment here or there about "bad sound" from PDX amps.

    It seems like everyone here LOVES the PDX amps but this using class D amps full range is a recent development. When I first got into car stereo you would NEVER use a class D amp for mids and highs becaue they sounded like TOTAL garbage. Perhaps technology has caught up, I dont know. People used to say film cameras were far superior to digital, that CDs were not as good as records, MP3s not as good as CDs and so on. I have been out of the loop for a while so perhaps Class D is OK to use for sound quality on mids and highs?

    My first set of amps were Linear Power and they are now regarded as SQ delicacies. They got hot as hell, popped when they turned on, and a system of a bit over 500 watts output would suck so much juice your headlights would dim with the beat. This system was ridiculouly loud. It had 250 watts RMS from a 2202IQ to the 2 Kicker 15" subs. This was enough you could hear the thing thump almost a mile away. It not only made your rear view mirror vibrate so bad it was useless but made the guy at the stop light in front of you have HIS mirror vibrate so bad it was usesless. Nowdays 250 watts is nothing. My fronts had a 1502IQ at 75X2 watts and the rear fill a 453 IQ at 22.5x2 watts I used. Today this is a silly underpowered amount of power for a system... but that system would give you hearing damage it was so loud and you would have to scream into the persons ear next to you to tell em you wanted to pull over and return a page at the pay phone or they would never hear you (yes its been a long time since I had a sound system). What has changed that make people scoff at nunbers like those as weak?

    When new technologies came out they usually are worse but these differences eventually went away with advances in technology. Is that what happened here? Are there special considereation with full range Class D amps like plenty of overhead power so as to allow them to clip? Are watts rated differenetly nowdays lol? Did the ear of the consumer start to accept amps with worse SQ just to get more "watts" and "decibel" figures to impress friends with?

    I am trying to research a class D amp to see if it will suit my needs. I am looking at the 5 channel Alpine PDX or the Zed Leviathan. The Leviathan is a full range class D amp as well and is 150x6 or 150x4 and 570+ bridged... this is all at 4 OHMs. At 2 Ohms it can do 6x300. More amp than I need but at $540 its not too expensive and may give the overhead a class D full range might need to not sound like garbage.

    Can anyone give me the scoop on why Class D full range amps are acceptable now? Or are they not acceptable but consumers buy them based on price per watt with no thought for sound quality?
     
  2. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:47 AM
    #2
    sirsaechao

    sirsaechao Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't tell you but I heard the PDX has noise issues. I nvr swapped my JL 300/4 for the HD 600/4 but I heard everyone likes the 300/4 > the 600/4 because its a A/B amp vs D.
     
  3. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:04 AM
    #3
    86ceeten

    86ceeten Well-Known Member

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    I think they should be OK, I sure hope so, I'm putting together a new system right now based on a 6 channel class D. The new ones are getting pretty good reviews.

    I'm from the old school also! I had Linear Power 1502iq on subs (4 kicker 10's), a 992iq on mids and a 652iq (i think) on the tweeters. All in a Nissan Hardbody with a blow-through. Have a few trophies from some IASCA and USAC sound off's back in the early 90's!

    I have a ZED Leviathan on order now. It was between that and a JL 900 HD. I decided to try the ZED just to see what it's all about. Will be bridging channels 5&6 on a JL 13TW5, and running the front stage active on channels 1,2,3 & 4, running the rear doors from the head unit.
     
  4. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:14 AM
    #4
    sirsaechao

    sirsaechao Well-Known Member

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    BTW forgot but my wife is running a Infinity Five class D 5-channel amp and it sounds great.
     
  5. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:22 AM
    #5
    itsmyturn

    itsmyturn Well-Known Member

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    class d now sound pretty good. most can't hear the difference. the problem with PDX is idle noise with no music. that noise floor is pretty high. supposedly the new PDX should solve this issue. I just picked up a couple of Eclipse icepower amps. both have gotten good reviews. i think you're safe with a Zed or JL HD.
     
  6. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:46 AM
    #6
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion Sounds Gooooood

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    Yes, the noise floor on the first gen PDX line is a little high and not what I'd recommend for audiophile listening. Some think they're just fine though and I truly believe that's the case for most listeners.

    As I've said before, there is a NEW PDX line coming out that fixes a few problems with the PDX line and should be very good.

    I run a JL HD900/5 that is class D full range and it's great. Mark Eldridge runs the HD amps in his NASCAR competition SQ vehicle.
     
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