Digital and anolog witch do you prefer


whats with all the digital amps is there somthing wrong with anolog, is digital realy that much better. i have a digital amp with a digital X-over built in it and i dont hear any voice coming from the sub but when a song puts out a high pitch sound the sub starts to pop and click it powers 2 tweeters as well from a different connection on the amp and there are no adjustments on this amp accept bass and treble witch if messed with it adjusts the tweeters too

Bronze Member
Username: Tbone

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2004
Is the amp a four channel amp? What brand? Do you have the crossover set on High-Pass?

jay amaro
Unregistered guest
im not sure which is actually better since digital is still too new but the only advantages im aware of besides size, weight and heat build up is where digital has an advantage but in sound quality im not sure.
what is the make and model of the amp and id be more than happy to do some reasearch and see if i can make any sense of its specs, design and your problem.
my verdict is still out on digital right now personally until ive had the chance to compare and bench test it against what might be a comparable analog designed amp so until then i have no idea if its better except for the 3 above mentioned factors which is somewhat insignificant when weighed against performance.

Well just so you both know the amp is an altec lansing and there are no high pass or low pass settings and it is a 3 channal amp there is just teble and bass settings and it was just an example realy its not a good stereo to start with only like 20 amps rms

Tim L.
Unregistered guest
ok, if there's no low pass crossover settings, that is the reason why your sub is making the popping sound, as it's not made to reproduce those frequencies.. at the same, running subwoofer frequencies to your tweeters can cause damage to them..

digital amplifiers more efficient in transfering power to sound than analog amps but analog amps reproduce sound better.. amplifiers with digital crossovers can be a plus, because one knows exactly which frequency they selected, while on some analog amps you may turn the knob and have to estimate what frequency you are at.. amps with digital signal processing can be a plus as well as the signal stays purer as it stays digital..

hey tim L. that realy was a big help seriously and the sub and 2 tweeters came as a set together and are made to be hooked up the way the are the hole system is just a peice of crap i know there isnt any sub freq. running to the tweeters because they have quite a bit of reflex but dont use any of it the sub sure does though thx for your help im done with this subject and no longer need any help

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1432
Registered: 12-2003
ok, since there is some confusion about amplifier classes, here's an article I wrote explaining the differences:

Amplifier Classes

There are five main amplifier designs: Class A, A/B, B, D, and Tube amplifiers. All of these but tube amplifiers are considered "solid-state."

Class A amplifiers are the most sonically accurate. On the other hand, they have some drawbacks that make them not be the most common choice. Class A amplifiers use only one output transistor that is turned "on" all the time, giving out tremendous amounts of heat. Class A amplifiers are very inefficient (~25%). More heat means more heatsink area, so even though most class A amps have built-in cooling fans, they are big. Pure class A amplifiers are usually expensive.

Class B amplifiers are the most common and use two output transistors. One for the positive part of the cycle and one for the negative part of the cycle. Both signals are then "combined". The problem with this design is that at the point when one transistor stops amplifying and the other one kicks in (zero volt line), there is always a small distortion on the signal, called "crossover distortion". Good amplifier designs make this crossover distortion very minimal. Since each transistor is "on" only half of the time, then the amplifier does not get as hot as a class A, yielding to a smaller size and better efficiency (~50%).

Class A/B amplifiers are a combination of the two types described above. At lower volumes, the amplifier works in class A mode. At higher volumes, the amplifier switches to class B operation.

The class D amplifier (known as digital amplifier) is the last of the solid-state types. These amplifiers are not really digital (there is no such thing), but operate similarly in manner to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The signal that comes in is sampled a high rates, and then reconstructed at higher power. This type of amplifier produces almost no heat and is very small in size. Efficiency is much higher in class D amplifiers (~80%).
The sound quality of a Class-D amplifier is much lower than that of other solid-state amplifiers, which is why Class-D amplifiers are only used for subwoofers in car audio. This is because the switching speed of the transistors, and lower sound quality are masked by the lower frequencies being reproduced by the subs, since distortion is harder to discern at low frequency.

Lastly we have tube amplifiers, which aren't often used in car audio. Tube amplifiers have about 50 to 60% efficiency.
Tube amplifiers are said to sound more musical. The reason is that tube amplifiers produce even ordered harmonics. Musical instruments give off harmonics in even orders. Transistor amplifiers tend to give off harmonics that are odd ordered. These harmonics are not pleasing to the ear as second order harmonics are. Modern solid state amplifiers have very low distortions but their distortions are less tolerated by the ear than even ordered harmonics. This means that when you hear someone say a Tube amp is "warm" sounding, they are actually talking about the second order distortion produced by that tube amplifier, which they find pleasing to the ear. A good example of this is in guitar amplifiers, which often pride themselves on their second order harmonics.
One should note that while most solid state amplifiers have very low distortions (Total Harmonic Distortion) for the left and right channel, other channels are often much higher as these specifications are rarely noted. Subwoofer amplifiers are particularly bad at creating odd ordered harmonics.
I believe that the best tube and solid state amplifiers sound amazingly alike. Bad tube amplifiers sound tubby and slow. Bad transistor amplifiers sound harsh, bright and strident.

Just like you can't judge a good book by its cover, you can learn very little about an amplifier without digging in and seeing what is inside. Generally speaking, the most important component of any amplifier is its power supply. Is it sufficient? Is it accurate? Is it fast? Unfortunately, almost no amplifier company talks about their power supplies or what transformers they use (An example of a good company would be Eclipse, who uses dual toriodal transformers in their amplifier power supplies.)
I think most manufacturers would prefer you not ask.

I hope this clears up some of the more frequent questions regarding amplifier classes, as well as tube versus solid state amplifiers.
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