Our regular contributor Stan Curtis wonders why the hi-fi world does tend to stick with what it knows rather than embracing radically new ideas. There has been little in the way of radical progress in the design of audio amplifiers in the past 40 years; more a case of gradual refinement aided by the availability of better quality components for the genre of conventional transistor analogue voltage amplifiers rather than, for instance, widespread acceptance of switching amplifiers, which now dominate all areas of consumer electronics and professional audio with output ratings from a few tens of milli-watts to thousands of watts and a standard of performance which most users would acknowledge to be more than adequate. Yet this same technology has not made great inroads into high-end audio, switching amplifiers tending to get warm rather than enthusiastic reviews. Stan reviews switching technology and tries to answer the question whether class D will eventually be suitable for ‘near to perfect’ amplification of audio signals.
Class D - an audiophile's dream? - Stan Curtis