Well, I'm copying here my reply to an existing post on digital amplifiers because I really feel the question is interesting.
Recently a lot of rumours are coming about "T-Amp"s, or similar products using "Class T" chips (from Tripath, www.tripath.com). The "T-Amp" is a small amplifier costing less than $30 that is said to deliver "hi-end sound".
It's not my opinion, but of hundreds (or thousands) of people who actually bougth, installed, modified that amp or similar ones.
I had direct experiences with such amplifiers. Maybe the sound is not the best, but it's far from being the worst. Moreover it's simply impossible to get the same quality with less money. The T-Amp is about $30 for a 20+20W amplifier!
Such amps really outperforms my collection of budget amps (Rotel RA 931 Mk II, Creek 4030, Cambridge Audio A 300, a couple of HT amps ...).
Quality is so good that I decided to start designing and selling kits based on such chips, from Italy, quite an impossible task ... Despite of that we've been selling our kits for 6 months now, with quite a success.
Be assured, I'm not writing this for money, this is not an advertisement, so I won't write here the name of the kit or our brand.
I decided to post this question because I have been wondering for months why a respectable magazine like Stereophile (in which I trust for opinions abou components a lot, so that I actually purchased a couple of speaker sets because of their reviews ...) is completely ignoring such a phenomenon ....
Maybe the price MUST be proportional to sound quality? Are such low cost amps very unlikely to be ever advertised on a magazine ?
Keep in mind that such chips are used, among others, by Carver and Audio Research .... of course in pricey components.
Really, we (or at least I) really need the opinion of Stereophile's "golden ears". Are we all becoming mad?