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Old 04-10-2012   #1
 
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Default I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

I think, in my own opinion, that amps are only made to "amplify" the signal from the HU as is... no more, no less. it should not change the SQ at all because that is not the true job of the amp, it is that of the source signal. no coloration, boost or extension of frequencies unless it is by the owner's tuning
I think over the years amps got smaller, more powerful, cheaper, less power hungry.but SQ is much the same.
good quality is much more obtainable now then 20 years back.(my first cd unit was worth more then some systems combined today)
some of the home stereos that sound the best are based on tube technology from decades back! and cost thousands like the carver silver 7 mono amp.
I think there is not to much difference in old school vs new school except the above opinions.

this is for debate, not who is right or who is wrong
anyone agree or disagree?

thanks everyone

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Old 04-10-2012   #2
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

Let's further add to this discussion by stating how and why the difference between quality amplifiers makes a difference in the most hostile environment for audio reproduction, i.e. the car itself!

Note: it's a trap, with the emphasis on quality.

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Old 04-10-2012   #3
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Let's further add to this discussion by stating how and why the difference between quality amplifiers makes a difference in the most hostile environment for audio reproduction, i.e. the car itself!

Note: it's a trap, with the emphasis on quality.
I've come to learn after reading the latest NwAvGuy blog post that people want to live the fantasy of "spending more money on equipment always leads to better sound reproduction". It won't stop me trying to guide people to start using their brains again, but I know now to not force an unneeded argument lest I waste more of my time.

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Old 04-11-2012   #4
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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I've come to learn after reading the latest NwAvGuy blog post that people want to live the fantasy of "spending more money on equipment always leads to better sound reproduction". It won't stop me trying to guide people to start using their brains again, but I know now to not force an unneeded argument lest I waste more of my time.
It is amazing what people will believe because they want to believe. I used to fall into that category myself, until I noticed that I couldn't tell the difference between old school, new school, and full-range class D in a moving car. So either I'm tone deaf or others believe in SQ fairies and SQ unicorns.

Regardless, I am happy that I came to my senses and chose to approach my car audio projects from a more scientific perspective. Since then, I managed to save a lot of money, headache, and grief. I just feel sorry for those who haven't come around and still believe in tuning their system via amplifier swapping. Poor people, they are destined to be forever parted from their hard earned money.

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Old 04-11-2012   #5
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

It's easy to manipulate the uneducated. Draw upon their emotions and their pockets. Same tricks applied in our political system and purchasing options as consumers.

Rarely do people listen to objective data or search for the truth.

I would contend that the most drawing options to amps, in my book, are size, current draw, and output. I tend to like efficient set ups, so class D power is nice to have. But, I'm not paying high prices for the taking. True, some amps do a better job of shielding noise, crossover selection, etc..

I've benched many amps, looked at data, sold and purchased many amps, truthfully, as long as it's from a reliable company, I don't see much difference in amps. After $500, the performace v. dollar question should come into play.

Below $200 though, which these days doesn't seem to be much, I think you're still climbing toward the peak of the performance/value curve, and beyond $300 you're really on the downward portion of the curve for a car.-Npdang
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Old 04-11-2012   #6
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

A shitty pre-amp definitely affects the sound. But do we seriously need to get into this subject for the bazillionth time.
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Old 04-11-2012   #7
 
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
It is amazing what people will believe because they want to believe. I used to fall into that category myself, until I noticed that I couldn't tell the difference between old school, new school, and full-range class D in a moving car. So either I'm tone deaf or others believe in SQ fairies and SQ unicorns.

Regardless, I am happy that I came to my senses and chose to approach my car audio projects from a more scientific perspective. Since then, I managed to save a lot of money, headache, and grief. I just feel sorry for those who haven't come around and still believe in tuning their system via amplifier swapping. Poor people, they are destined to be forever parted from their hard earned money.
I have been following your posts and hope to learn more from you. As this thread primarily focuses on amplifiers and the unproved need to spend more to have better sound, what do you suggest instead of the brand name 5-channel Class-D amps like the JL HD900?

I've been looking for equipment and browsing the forums, but don't like to create new threads if there is already a topic.

Thanks,
tai
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Old 04-11-2012   #8
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Originally Posted by BeatsDownLow View Post
A shitty pre-amp definitely affects the sound. But do we seriously need to get into this subject for the bazillionth time.
Thanks! I had a long reply typed but I am hesitant to post it. ^^This is the correct response and as long as it is left to that, I'll keep my response to myself.

I will just say, even if you don't see the sonic value (which I could argue to some degree) with high end amps, please don't knock someone else for merely owning one. After all, there are many reason people buy high end amps, just like people buy Acura, BMW, Lexus, Ferrari, etc. when there are many less expensive cars that can/do perform the same.
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Old 04-11-2012   #9
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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I have been following your posts and hope to learn more from you. As this thread primarily focuses on amplifiers and the unproved need to spend more to have better sound, what do you suggest instead of the brand name 5-channel Class-D amps like the JL HD900?

I've been looking for equipment and browsing the forums, but don't like to create new threads if there is already a topic.

Thanks,
tai
You're not going to like my answer because I am seriously thinking of using a pair of HD 900/5s in my next setup. If you must, I'd suggest looking into the following: Kenwood Excelon, 2012 Alpine PDX, Kicker, JBL, and Infinity for alternatives to the JL Audio HD series. Eventually the PPI amplifiers may get there, but I am hesitant to try them at this point in time.

Then again, I already know that the JL Audio HD series will my needs and expectations, so why bother changing to something else? The only caveat is if I can make my current amplifiers work. I think they are too tall, but, we'll just have to wait and see.

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Old 04-11-2012   #10
 
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

Quote:
Originally Posted by tai01 View Post
I have been following your posts and hope to learn more from you. As this thread primarily focuses on amplifiers and the unproved need to spend more to have better sound, what do you suggest instead of the brand name 5-channel Class-D amps like the JL HD900?

I've been looking for equipment and browsing the forums, but don't like to create new threads if there is already a topic.

Thanks,
tai
Don't get caught up in the "wattage wars" I only have 2 amps that are 50 watts RMS per channel and and it can deliver high SQ until you need to almost yell to the person with you.I run a lower cost sub and it improved SQ and brought it in to a new level of dynamics and it runs around 80 watts. Quality RMS is what to look for, not 1000 watts of garbage. Good quality name amp that can handle high dynamic range without distortion is what to look for.
There is a saying in photography... Garbage in = garage out. No amp can fix a bad signal from the HU.

Thanks so far everyone for your opinion and please feel free to post more

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Old 04-11-2012   #11
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Thanks! I had a long reply typed but I am hesitant to post it. ^^This is the correct response and as long as it is left to that, I'll keep my response to myself.

I will just say, even if you don't see the sonic value (which I could argue to some degree) with high end amps, please don't knock someone else for merely owning one. After all, there are many reason people buy high end amps, just like people buy Acura, BMW, Lexus, Ferrari, etc. when there are many less expensive cars that can/do perform the same.
I vote for an amplifier shootout!

Can't we just end this argument once and for all with a properly administered blind listening test?

Although these tests have already been done elsewhere and they've all been one-sided...
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Old 04-11-2012   #12
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Originally Posted by slipchuck View Post
Don't get caught up in the "wattage wars" I only have 2 amps that are 50 watts RMS per channel and and it can deliver high SQ until you need to almost yell to the person with you.I run a lower cost sub and it improved SQ and brought it in to a new level of dynamics and it runs around 80 watts. Quality RMS is what to look for, not 1000 watts of garbage. Good quality name amp that can handle high dynamic range without distortion is what to look for.
There is a saying in photography... Garbage in = garage out. No amp can fix a bad signal from the HU.

Thanks so far everyone for your opinion and please feel free to post more
Where are all these head units that are supplying a bad signal? I don't get it.
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Old 04-11-2012   #13
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

Amp swap certainly can change the sound, many times I swapped an amp and then I am messing with the EQ to get something right. I'd certainly say the more you spend the less change it will be. I've had some amps work better in a system, while not the most ideal in another system. That said they don't make much difference until you get to cheap no-name amps that are really bad. You also have to note the difference in power apart from the SQ changes. I don't swap amps for SQ reasons until I've used and tuned the system for some time, then I can note a difference or not. Overall many newer amps are very good SQ and cheap, compared to old school where you needed an above average amp to get some nice SQ...but not always. Speakers and install make way more difference. You need a good enough signal to supply the rest of the system, for example some tuners are far worse than others. All in my experience, though I have repaired some amps I don't have equipment to test SQ other than my ears. In my car I know what it sounds like and can tell if it has changed, and usually pick what works better meaning it EQs easier and is not fatiguing. High side amps that distort, I can't listen to them loud for long at all.

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Old 04-11-2012   #14
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Old 04-12-2012   #15
 
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

to me it's the HU for sure
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Old 04-12-2012   #16
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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High side amps that distort, I can't listen to them loud for long at all.
You hit the nail on the head with this comment. The first time I experienced an amplifier that colored the sound, I was wowed and amazed by it. Then after getting some extended seat time listening to my favorite tracks from yesteryear, i.e. Pink Floyd, I started saying to myself "That doesn't sound right... Neither does that... WTF?" Nobody messes with my Pink Floyd!

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Old 04-12-2012   #17
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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I vote for an amplifier shootout!

Can't we just end this argument once and for all with a properly administered blind listening test?

Although these tests have already been done elsewhere and they've all been one-sided...
Jeeez, let me get the mid-woofer test done first...lol! Remember, the one sided tests are stating that "If all amps measure the same, they will sound the same". What happens if I only level match the output voltage? What happens if I drive them just into clipping? What about headroom or lack thereof? What if we stress them some (like in the real world) instead of a test tailor made to do the opposite and prove a point that is very rarely indicative of the real world?

Hmmmm.....I see a future test on the horizon!
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Old 04-12-2012   #18
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Jeeez, let me get the mid-woofer test done first...lol! Remember, the one sided tests are stating that "If all amps measure the same, they will sound the same". What happens if I only level match the output voltage? What happens if I drive them just into clipping? What about headroom or lack thereof? What if we stress them some (like in the real world) instead of a test tailor made to do the opposite and prove a point that is very rarely indicative of the real world?

Hmmmm.....I see a future test on the horizon!
Going further, what if you install those amplifiers in an older car with lots of road noise and do the blind test at 70 MPH on the interstate? Start looking for a CRX, a 90s Civic Hatch, or an Integra Type R to perform the testing in. Also, no MLV on the floorboard or firewall is allowed, but I will allow you to seal up the doors and deaden them.

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Old 04-12-2012   #19
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Jeeez, let me get the mid-woofer test done first...lol! Remember, the one sided tests are stating that "If all amps measure the same, they will sound the same". What happens if I only level match the output voltage? What happens if I drive them just into clipping? What about headroom or lack thereof? What if we stress them some (like in the real world) instead of a test tailor made to do the opposite and prove a point that is very rarely indicative of the real world?
All valid concerns, but let me counter with a different question: what if you don't stress it and don't clip it? In that case, would the cheap one sound (and measure) the same as the expensive one?

If it did, it would blow the mind of a lot of people.

So I think the controlled testing/unstressed scenario still tells us something useful. At the very least, it guides some decision-making... do you put extra money into buying an expensive designer amp? Or do you put extra money into buying a cheaper amp that's large enough not to be stressed or clipped?
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Old 04-12-2012   #20
 
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Where are all these head units that are supplying a bad signal? I don't get it.
Maybe a better way to express it would be poor dynamic range and distortion instead of bad signal. Kind of like comparing a unknown Chinese brand to Kenwood or something similar.

Hope this helps

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Old 04-12-2012   #21
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

Yeah, I know what you mean. I just haven't encountered that sort of thing before. Even cheap 15 year old head units do just fine. Most factory head units manufactured within the last 10 years do too.

The point being that it's cheap and easy to build a low-distortion high-dynamic range source. So if there are companies fucking this up, what are they doing wrong? And are they doing it intentionally, for one reason or another?
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Old 04-12-2012   #22
 
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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You hit the nail on the head with this comment. The first time I experienced an amplifier that colored the sound, I was wowed and amazed by it. Then after getting some extended seat time listening to my favorite tracks from yesteryear, i.e. Pink Floyd, I started saying to myself "That doesn't sound right... Neither does that... WTF?" Nobody messes with my Pink Floyd!
When I was younger I thought the louder the better. Ears hurting and not hearing the buddy beside you. Then I grew up and bought some high end equipment.... Turned up the volume and my ears were normal. Then started to say something and had to speak as loud as with the first system. It only sounded 1/2 as loud until I opened my mouth. from that day on I knew what audiophile magazines wrote about
And my ears thanked me too!

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Old 04-12-2012   #23
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Originally Posted by Niebur3 View Post
Jeeez, let me get the mid-woofer test done first...lol! Remember, the one sided tests are stating that "If all amps measure the same, they will sound the same". What happens if I only level match the output voltage? What happens if I drive them just into clipping? What about headroom or lack thereof? What if we stress them some (like in the real world) instead of a test tailor made to do the opposite and prove a point that is very rarely indicative of the real world?

Hmmmm.....I see a future test on the horizon!
Well, the real world would include listening to car audio amps while actually driving the car...not that I think it would make a difference either way.

How would you compare "headroom" on amps of similar power? Even if the "sq" amp had more headroom than your average amp of similar power, wouldn't it be easy to just double up on power with another cheap amp? Watts are cheap these days.

And if this thread isn't convincing enough about the topic, I don't know what will be:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...ound-same.html

Except, maybe, an amp shootout!
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Old 04-12-2012   #24
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Originally Posted by rain27 View Post
Well, the real world would include listening to car audio amps while actually driving the car...not that I think it would make a difference either way.
It would if they were in the Integra Type R as I stated. The chances of one hearing ANYTHING over the road noise at normal volume is slim, much less determining which ess que amplifier gives the best eargasm.

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Old 04-12-2012   #25
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Default Re: I don't think amp SQ has changed much over the years

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Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
It would if they were in the Integra Type R as I stated. The chances of one hearing ANYTHING over the road noise at normal volume is slim, much less determining which ess que amplifier gives the best eargasm.
I agree. I meant that I don't think the sq amp could be determined whether in a quiet room or noisy car.

All of the tests so far have been in ideal listening environments and still no one in the history of amps has been able to distinguish one from another.

Not sure what other compelling evidence people need. But an amp test with car audio amps would strengthen what's already been established.

Whoever administers the test will be referred to for years when people remember the test where no one could distinguish the Tru amp from the Kenwood.
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