No and maybe.The difference between Class A/B and Class D amps is simply efficiency. The sound you get from them if kept within the design limits should be the same.
Thank You.Hi Tony,
No and maybe.
Compared to AB, Class D amps tend to have higher output impedance and must have low pass output filtering to attenuate the HF switching noise.
The result of this is that they can have varied HF response depending upon load (speaker impedance, mainly at HF). So that's the "No" part.
The maybe, is that it's also entirely possible that because this variance is at high to very high frequency, coupled with the fact that the amplitude variance can be small.
So there is a chance small sound differences can be heard...and a chance they can't. This of course excludes the imaginary stuff possibilities.
Don't know the specifics of the Pioneer, but I suspect between them and their TAD division, they have done a stellar job to minimize these effects with their proprietary chips.
That seems reasonable.I am coming to the conclusion that the D3 amps may be as good sounding as the best of A/B amps found in receivers
Doubtful and not reasonable .and probably better.
That could indeed be a benefit.But the additional benefit is higher power output at lower impedances
Possibly. And the 2016. And 2018...and.....I wonder if Pioneer will again improve on these amps in their next (2014) models...
In listening tests at BB (poor location but the only place I can find around here with the Pioneer's) against A/B amps near the same receiver cost, so far the B3 amps seems to perform better because of their efficiencies. I believe this is based upon headroom with more power reserve rather than any audio quality comparison between the two which may be the same at low levels. So this looks like it matches what you also have found when speakers are driven to higher levels.The A/B's in the 43 showed some strain when I pushed them to higher levels with a 4Ω load. Not so with the D3's. The power reserves in the D3's seem to free up the speakers and let them run unrestricted. That kind of head room in an A/B would have come at a pretty high price on many levels.
This is why I am so concerned about D3 as I did not like the sound of any of the earlier Class "d" amplifiers and always prefered almost any Class A/B amplifers that had enough power for the application in any of my auditions for speakers. But now that I have to put together a system with a RECEIVER only, I am comparing as many rceivers as I can with different speakers and the Pioneer seems to be standing out because of their D3 amplifiers and their higher efficiencies resulting in higher headroom with all channels operating.I really have not heard any of the Pioneer AVR's with the class D amps so please dont take what I say seriously for todays equipment.
I have heard some of the earlier class "D" amps and while they killed the bottom end, very very efficient, the top end was rather dry sounding and did not flesh out the music like "A" or "AB". Now again, this was a couple years ago so things may have changed, I would love to hear the newer stuff.