I write this post as an open question to the community: has Class A and Class AB speaker amps taken a backseat to Class D and Class T in the desktop environment?
Recently I contemplated buying the Emotiva BasX A-100 to power a to-be-determined set of speakers on my desktop (considering the ugly Monoliths) and I had to ask the serious question to myself if paying more for Class AB was worth it. Class D and Class T amplifiers have come a long way in sounding great, and now ‘smol’ things like the SMSL SA100 appear to have an edge in the price to performance arena. Not only does it seem like a better value for the price standpoint alone, but it also has features and conveniences like Bluetooth 5.0.
Despite this, I’m still somewhat biased and want to go with the Class AB amp. I’m not sure if I’m alone but I feel like I am stuck with yesterday’s differences between Class AB vs Class D even though I acknowledge the gap is closing or may even be non-existent for a desktop application. If I am not going to the limits of the amp, then is there really a difference any more besides one costing more while containing less features? Would there be a difference in a near field environment like a desktop?
Because I am thinking about doing it, I might have to buy a SMSL DA-8 (because I’ve heard good things about ICEpower Class D amps) and ask if Zeos would be kind enough to compare it to his Emotiva BasX to get an apples to may-as-well-be-an-apple scenario. A large part of me is also thinking that maybe I could get away with a Topping PA3 or even the SMSL SA 100 to get even more features and not miss anything.
Anyways, is Class AB becoming obsolete? I am spending too much time thinking about this because I’m obsolete? Is Class D or Class T the way to go for a desktop, near field setup? Please let me know your thoughts.