Audio Amplifier Classes (A, A/B, D, G, and H): What are the Differences?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Confused by the alphabet soup of amplifier classes? Do you wonder what terms like Class A or Class D mean? Long story short, these aren't grading systems with which to judge amplifier quality, but are in fact descriptions of an amplifier's topology. Understandably, each class brings something a bit different to the table, but the end goal is always the same: amplifying the input signal without introducing distortion. Curious to find out the real differences among the different classes? Keep reading to find out!
    [​IMG]
    Read Explaining the Audio Amplifier Classes (A, AB, D, G and H)

    Which is your favorite type of amplifier and why do you own it?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2014
    • Like Like x 4
  2. greatdavide Audioholic Intern

    greatdavide
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Wilsonville, Oregon, United States
    Really great article, I just have a clarity question, in the thread for the IQ audio mono block amp it was mentioned that efficiency and a lack of dynamic headroom are related. Is that only true for units using SMPS power supplies? In this article you mention that Class D amps with linear power supplies have more dynamic head room than those with SMPS, is the headroom of linear power supply class D amps generally equivalent to the headroom available in Class A or Class A/B designs? And if not is dynamic headroom a product of the amp efficiency or of the power supply design or something else entirely?
  3. Skylinestar Audiophyte

    Skylinestar
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    How about class T (used in topping amp)?
  4. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,024
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    Correct, the power supply would be the limiting factor, not the fact that the amplifier happens to be a Class D design.

    They're actually an implementation of Class D as opposed to being a truly separate class.
  5. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    32,076
    Likes Received:
    11,909
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Perhaps add that to the article. :) It would help others that have the same question.
    Adam,
  6. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,024
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    I made a little segue to clarify:
  7. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,302
    Likes Received:
    1,338
    "Class T" isn't really a formal class, it's actually a trademark, if I remember correctly, for a proprietary design. I'd just ignore it.
  8. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,024
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    Can't please everybody :D I don't know that it really hurts anything as is, though if Gene disagrees, it'll be gone soon enough.

Share This Page

  • EMPTek.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA