New speakers or new amp?

I’d like to Class A for a new stereo set up after switching to class A for my headphones and really enjoying them.

My main speakers are only 87db efficient, so if I want good quality class A with good bass, does it make more sense to replace the speaker with something more efficient instead of buying a more expensive and hotter class A amp?

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Man, is there a wrong answer to this? I’m sure the opinions are going to vary. I feel you on the Class A, too. 2 of the 3 head amps I have are Class A. That said, my speaker amp is a very nice Class D.

I’m guessing that many (most?) will say upgrade the speakers. I lean that way as well. Ironically, my next move could well be to upgrade my speaker amp, and yes, I’d like it to be a Class A unit!


Class A emotion all the way :slight_smile:


efficiency isn’t everything. less efficient just means it needs more juice. how loud do you want them to play? how big is the room? how beefy of an amp are you wanting to get? 87db with 30 watts of class a will fill a decent space. also something to note. most people prefer class d for low end when it comes to speakers. your moving a lot more surface area on a speaker then a HP. class d has a tendency to control woofers better then class a.

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Room is about 17x25. I was think of buying a cheap sub 12 watt tube amp. And spending more on Tekon, Klipsch Heritage or Zu speakers.

My biggest concern is the heat that a full on 45 watt class a tube amp would bring, especially in the summer. Max volume I’d ever want is 85db and maybe 90db at peaks.


I did not know this. Is there some kind of literature out there that explains this? I’m anxious to know more.

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nothing official. more preferences. like equal dacs, but with a different chip maker for each.

i know peeps that bi-amp and tri-amp, and use d for the low end and class a or a/b for highs and, depending, mids.

theres lots of debates on other forums that are more DiY and speaker oriented. do a search for class a vs class d for speakers.

class a for sure gets hot. class a tubes has less issues. the tubes dissipate a lot of the heat. while not an official way to calculate, a rough estimate is to take efficiency and double wattage for each db your trying to get. i.e 87db at 1 watt, 88 db at 2 watts, 89db at 4 watts, 90db at 8 watts, ect. take into account standard measuring practice is 3feet/1m away.

and personally, i will almost always recommend upgrading speakers before the amp. there arent many bad amps anymore. and system value tends to go with speakers over amps.


Lots of good points! I’ve used class D amps on stereo speakers before. I don’t know if the bass quality is there because of class D or because they have the wattage to make bass just slam.


Interesting stuff. I think real 100w should be in everyones toolbox.


Id like to own class A to know what that sound is.

Reason the 100w class D/AB for that headroom as the speaker collection grows.

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I think in general you can feel the emotion or micro dynamics more. It’s like you can hear the slight swings in the singers voice that conveys emotion to you.

You can really hear it in the above sound around 1:00-1:30.

I can certainly hear this on my class AB stuff too, minus THX stuff, but it seems to be more present on my class A headphone amp. It is also more forgiving of all my crappy compressed jpop and kpop and just seems less compressed.

Of course the implementation is also important too lol.

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class a is know for sweet vocals. it is its strongest point and why many like class a. highs tend to be more mellow, and vocals sweet and full of body.

edit: that being said, i have a class d amp with a pair of small speakers that i would not trade for any class a amp with said speakers. the combo has the best vocals i have personally heard to date. and that includes crack/hd600 combo.


Do you have a class A amp to power the speakers you have now ? My suggestion is get another set of speakers paired with a class AB/D amp.

Variety is the spice of audio.:salt::garlic::hot_pepper:

No class A speaker amp ATM. Have a decent class AB marantz one and a really cheap class D.

Now i can see the dilemma, sorry im no help. My answer is still new speakers and amp. :grin:

What speakers are you looking at and do you have a sub ? From your intial question seems like you have the mind set on amp.
Follow the happiness.

You know since you have 2 amps to play with id learn toward speakers. Im getting way more enjoyment now that i got 3 listening rooms up and running.


I have a few subs kicking around I can take from the home theater, but I kind of want a pure 2 channel set up so I can use a higher end dac.

I think you gave me the best advice, follow happiness. Probably the amp!


In the world of active speakers, big speakers. This trend has been going for some years now.
Bass drivers is powered by D-class amp, T/M drivers work with A or A/B class amp.
Some smaller units are fully D-class but those are more in the "low ? -tier stuff.

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Isn’t it just about power and size with class d for bass? I can’t imagine svs fitting a 300w a/b amp in their subs and still being able to lift it.

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Lift it… like physically move it?
Umm… amp class and it’s weight in subs or the total weight has nothing to do with anything.
Maybe a water drop amount in a ocean.

You could have a 10" sub with D-call and it’s weight is ~60lbs.
You could have a A/B class sub with 10" driver and hole thing weights like ~40lbs.
Or 10" china china D-class sub in a cardboard box with 20lbs.

Fascinating. I guess this makes sense to me, given what I have seen lately regarding speaker amps, now that I am kinda looking for one. The whole notion of bi-amping has been a bit foreign to me, but then I am only running a desktop solution so doing that in this use case does not seem to make sense.

That said, I have a Class A unit and a Class D unit (maybe 2) on my current short list (see what I did there? :grin: ) and I am actually leaning towards the Class D solution. But things can change…