GaN provides the following audio sonic/sound quality benefits over traditional silicon transistors:
This is because GaN transistors have much better characteristics over their silicon counterparts:
Amplifier performance is improved by the use of GaN technology:
You read that right. Starkrimson is an analog switching audio power amplifier. The "d" in class d does not mean "digital."
The pulse-width modulation (PWM) is performed completely in the analog domain and is then amplified by the GaN power stages.
This sets Starkrimson apart from its counterparts that use digital modulation techniques using FPGAs, DSPs, and processors.
Starkrimson amplifiers use my proprietary DC-coupled, fully balanced dual feedback modulator. This allows the amplifier to be completely balanced from input to output, through the use of bridged GaN power stages.
GaN technology enables Starkrimson to switch at ~800kHz which is 2-3 times faster than traditional class d amplifiers using silicon transistors. This very fast switching allows for the use of a simple LC (inductor and capacitor) filter, which allows the amplifier to have practically no phase shift from DC (0Hz) to 30kHz.
The filter is a very important part of a class d amplifier. Starkrimson uses oversized very high-quality, oxygen-free copper (OFC) inductors and a very high-grade film capacitor.
Having high-quality components will only get you so far; Starkrimson’s 4-layer PCB is state-of-the-art. It uses a custom stack-up with high-end dielectric (insulating) material and ENIG (gold) finish.
"This design has a really pleasing tonality, one that renders the natural timbre of the instruments being played in a surprisingly natrual way" and "...this pair of Starkrimson monoblocks offers seriously good value for the money - especially if you're all about getting teh best sound per pound"
"The Orchard amplifiers at $1499.99 set a new benchmark for value, laser-like clarity, and inner detail at this price range. Highly recommended." and "Power on and my very first impression was clean and clear music overlapping what was a very dead black background."
"Leo's little guys, boasting the newest GaN (gallium nitride) transistors and modestly priced at $1500 for the pair, lit up the music room." and "...dynamic, well defined deep bass, excellent staging, imaging and resolution throughout. All this was maintained through demanding crescendos, with airy upper ranges, while conserving the subtleties of decay- especially welcomed on pizzicato and percussion segments."
"At 1 W into an 8 Ω load, the amp’s distortion is below the Audio Precision analyzer’s measurement capabilities." and "No matter what sort of music I played from acoustic jazz to Americana-folk to electronic progressive rock, whether my own minimally miked uncompressed recording or highly produced loud studio rock the amplifiers did exactly what they were supposed to, noiselessly, without stress or strain, and in a perfectly transparent way."
"The top end, there is a lot of clarity." and "When it comes to instrument separation, it is fantastic."
"I wanted to stop my heart so I could hear the music better. I was being sucked in, pushed out, and unable to focus on anything else but the music. There were all the little bird-like chimes, dancing between clicks and pings and bongs of xylophone harmonics with dry reed raspy sounds zooming in and out, floating on top of deep rolling strings and organ-like bass. I didn’t want to miss a moment of it."
"I found them very dynamic, very musical, and beautifully detailed in the top end. The tone was better than in many transistor amps. The same could be said about emotional involvement. Listenability was very good with a relaxed and detailed sound. The soundstage and imaging were also very good."
"I immediately noticed a major drop in high frequency noise and a swathe of new air and space within the midrange which pushed open the soundstage, expanding it left and right. All of the reconstruction work of the soundstage created a new level of clarity and transparency." and "Sound quality is quite sublime for the price, detail, character, clarity, it’s all there. A fascinating power amplifier and definitely one to investigate."
"There is no doubt that Orchard Audio is doing something very right with the sound of Class-D amps." and "It played music that was full-bodied, relaxed, and just fun to listen to. Standup basses and cellos had a beautiful tone and the finger work was easy to hear. Best of all, I could easily hear the difference in bass between a cello and standup bass."
"The Orchard Audio Starkrimson Amplifier evokes a Herculean form of Class D Amplification!" and "The power of the amplifier delivered a muscular sense of control over musical dynamics, (one of its biggest assets) and instrumental transients that undeniably confirmed that the Starkrimson had an abundance of reserve power..."
"The amp sounded incredibly clean, and immediately sprang into action with powerful and confident-sounding bass." and "The separation of the information on top was really impressive and is one of the standout magic tricks of this amplifier"
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