I was at the infamous BB the other day and I picked up (no I didn't buy but lifted it) an HK 1700 and it felt like it didn't weigh much more than 10 pounds and certainly well below 20 pounds. I tried to look inside. I couldn't see much in the way of a power transformer there and was wondering where the storage caps were. But then again, it is hard to see through those tiny vents.
I came home and went to their site where they were talking about "digital power supplies" and Green Edge technology? So I clicked on the trusty google search engine and came across this review:
From the review:
The physically larger AVR 1700, rated at 100 watts per channel, weighs in at 12.8 pounds, which is significantly less than the AVR 700, rated for 75 watts per channel, at 20 pounds. Harman ascribes the difference to the use of a custom designed switching power supply in the AVR 1700 and bills this as eco-friendly due to higher efficiency, while the AVR 700 uses a traditional linear amplifier power supply design. It is worth noting that switching power supplies, while more efficient, often involve compromises that are typically considered undesirable in audio applications when cost is a limiting factor. Perhaps Harman has managed to overcome or minimized some of these shortcomings with a clever bit of engineering, but without independent testing and careful comparison listening, one cannot say if such is the case just based on marketing materials.
I know that a switching amp often signifies a digital amp. But does just having a "switching power supply" qualify as class D amplification? Does anyone know what HK is doing here. Or could expand on this?