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Old 02-03-2014   #301
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I would say that the same people who claim to be able to 'train' their ears to hear the difference, put that training to the test.

if it's really a matter of conditioning and exercises designed to make the ear more sensitive than normal, why aren't we getting those?

let's see what everyone's preparation for the listening tests are comprised of, let's have a tutorial, right?


I mean, forget going out and listening to live, unamplified musical instruments in a club setting, forget going to your local hi-fi dealer's sound room and checking the uber-goodies for their "tonal superiority" or "air" and forget earphone references, we're on a mission here!

How does one gain this unique ability among audiophiles, that audiometrics has certainly eluded the population, how does the madness start?

distortion generators/tracks?

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what?
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Old 02-03-2014   #302
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

You can't "forget" live, unamplified music - that's the actual reference. Though a club setting may not be the best place to do it.
But I don't get to listen to enough of it, so for me it was spending time in boutique audio shops (I used to have 5 within about 1/2 hr of my home, and lots of free time) listening to well-recorded music over different systems.
The catch-22 is that you have to be able to tell what's well-recorded to make the exercise worthwhile in the first place.
Finding what the dealers and manufacturers said I should expect from the gear (with a BIG grain of salt - always), listening, reading up on it, and listening more. Then buying some for myself.

Or maybe we're just wired differently.

I'm not going to pretend that a stereo or surround system of ANY quality or price can approach the sound of real instruments in an actual space - but that doesn't mean that some gear doesn't bring you closer than others, or that it's not worthwhile to try. But you have to make your own choice about how close you want/need to get. And, frankly, i don't want my car stereo to sound like my home stereo - in the car I want a little thump and plenty of volume; in a home system the same bass boost gets tiresome over time.

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Old 02-03-2014   #303
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjswarbrick View Post
Some people can't perceive the differences - and some don't want to. I think it does take a certain level of training, or at least practice, to tell the difference a component or cable can make in the sound.
LOL. This is beyond ridiculous. You shouldn't have to be TRAINED to hear a damn difference. Omg... holy crap /thread unsuscribed. Getting out.

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Old 02-03-2014   #304
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Dude. Sorry. Maybe training was the wrong word. But sometimes I don't notice minute differences between things until I've familiarized myself with what to look for. What makes Snap-on better than Kobalt? Or Dom Perinon better than Cooks? Or Ferarri better than Honda? The list goes on, and for some people the correct answer is NOTHING. And that's great, too.

Anyway, I was just trying to offer a different perspective. I'm not here to offend anybody and am only in this hobby for fun so I'm dropping out, too.

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Old 02-03-2014   #305
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjswarbrick View Post
Dude. Sorry. Maybe training was the wrong word. But sometimes I don't notice minute differences between things until I've familiarized myself with what to look for. What makes Snap-on better than Kobalt? Or Dom Perinon better than Cooks? Or Ferarri better than Honda? The list goes on, and for some people the correct answer is NOTHING. And that's great, too.

Anyway, I was just trying to offer a different perspective. I'm not here to offend anybody and am only in this hobby for fun so I'm dropping out, too.
whoa, hey man..


there's no reason to get excited, now.


this is just a myth buster thread, you're gonna get the back and forth so just go with it....


we're all in it for fun.


anyways, I probably shouldn't have zoomed in on your training statement, because there's a very real element of truth in that, just like your other senses the real possibility of sharpening up the skill set, is there.

Can you tell me where a vanilla bean was grown? Some people can, and coffee, and wine...


I'm of the opinion that there isn't enough preparation for people, there's not enough "judge class" going on, for people to say we're all on a level playing field.

at the very least, it should be acknowledged that each of us comes with a different hearing ability, and we go from there.

I want to be a hearing athlete, but lack the exercise program, eh?
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Old 02-06-2014   #306
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjswarbrick View Post
Dude. Sorry. Maybe training was the wrong word. But sometimes I don't notice minute differences between things until I've familiarized myself with what to look for. What makes Snap-on better than Kobalt? Or Dom Perinon better than Cooks? Or Ferarri better than Honda? The list goes on, and for some people the correct answer is NOTHING. And that's great, too.

Anyway, I was just trying to offer a different perspective. I'm not here to offend anybody and am only in this hobby for fun so I'm dropping out, too.
Except I can write a couple pages on what makes a Ferrari better than a Honda or Snap-On better than Kobalt. And that's just objective, there are plenty of subjective ways Ferrari is better than Honda that the vast majority would agree on.

My experiences have led me to believe that plenty of power in a well designed but average priced amp is more important than a high end amp. It's not like I didn't have the money, I even owned a couple of very high end amps when I decided on the JL HD amps. Maybe I'm just not trained to hear the difference but there was just no audible difference between the high end and mid level amps but when I added more power to my mid level amps the system did sound better and you didn't have to crank it up too much no notice the difference.

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Old 02-06-2014   #307
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Greetings!

I have refrained from getting into this argument, but since I have had PM's asking me to give my opinion on this, here is my OPINION.

When evaluating amplifiers, be they car or home, I have found that the biggest difference that I notice is in noise floor. I.E. how quiet is the amplifier? Does it add any extraneous noise? When amps are dead quiet, depth of stage, three dimensionality of images, placement and separation of images are where the biggest differences occur.

I have always evaluated amplifiers on my home system. I know the speakers, the CD player and the PreAmp characteristics very well. I personally believe that the preamp is the second most important piece of the audio equation,( next to speakers of course).

I always use a reference amp as the standard. Home evaluation I defer to my Marantz Reference, in car audio, its the Adcom 4702. They are not the last word by any means in amplifier technology. They are amplifiers I am familiar with. Imaging and Staging is where I can tell differences in amplifiers. I personally believe it has a lot to do with the differences in impedance matching between the pre amp signal and what the amplifiers are designed to want. I certainly believe that circuit design, part compliment and how good the signal is transferred from point A to point B in the amp matters. WBT binding points, low ESR capacitors and a kick ass power supply that rejects noise are just examples that I have noticed in solid designs.

Bottom line for me is resolution. How much detail is revealed in the recording. That is what I am listening for.

One request was made on the music I use in evaluation of amps or a system in general. I use 1 recording. It is a Reference Recording recorded at the Meyerson in Dallas, Texas. John Rutter:Requiem and five anthems. It has a spectacular sense of space and it is the acid test for evaluation of any component's preservation of low level detail. You can hear shuffling of feet and the turning of pages as the musicians are playing. If your system is up to it, on the fourth track, there is a huge choir the will come into play along with an enormous pipe organ and the entire orchestra. If your system is up to it, you can hear layering from front to rear of the orchestra on the stage, detect extreme depth with the organ playing behind the orchestra and the choir coming in above the orchestra and in front of the organ. Amplifiers attempting to handle 16 hz notes and maintain enough control to have the soundstage maintain focus and not smear images are not easy to find. I personally have found few in either home or car that can do it.

Something for the masses to consider!

Nick Wingate
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Old 02-07-2014   #308
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I agree with Nick. The noise floor of an amp, and the whole system, is super critical in resolving details in the music that affect the soundstage. One thing to note is that the gain settings of the whole system need to be optimized in order to hear these fine details. Even if the amps have a high S/N ratio, a noisy head unit and/or processor(s) before the amp could affect the noise heard and the noise masking the finer details.

On the IASCA test CD there is a fade to 0 bits music track that at 1:00 into the track, the signal went completely music playing to 0 bits and no noise should be heard. I think at the 1:00 mark the signal was -70 dB from the start of the track. Judges were supposed to raise the volume of the track and clearly hear the music up to the 1:00 mark. If noise masked the music before 1:00 then either you had noisy equipment in the system or you did not have your gain structure set properly. If the music completely stopped before 1:00, then a noise gate somewhere in the system was interrupting the audio signal. If the judges could hear to 1:00 then it meant you passed the test and your system had an S/N ratio greater than 70 dB.

In my last competition system (2003-2004) I had an Alpine F#1 7990 and H900, a Brax X2400 amp powering Scan 12M mids and D2004 tweeters. In that system I could hear the noise gate used in the studio on the recording kicking in at 1:02! I had some judges at the 2003 IASCA finals said they heard a noise gate kick in when judging this track and they thought it was in my system. I had to question them about at what time the noise gate kicked in, and that there was no noise gate in my system. I ended up with perfect scores for noise and very high scores for SQ.
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Old 02-07-2014   #309
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuickGN View Post
Except I can write a couple pages on what makes a Ferrari better than a Honda or Snap-On better than Kobalt. And that's just objective, there are plenty of subjective ways Ferrari is better than Honda that the vast majority would agree on.

My experiences have led me to believe that plenty of power in a well designed but average priced amp is more important than a high end amp. It's not like I didn't have the money, I even owned a couple of very high end amps when I decided on the JL HD amps. Maybe I'm just not trained to hear the difference but there was just no audible difference between the high end and mid level amps but when I added more power to my mid level amps the system did sound better and you didn't have to crank it up too much no notice the difference.
In my auditioning I have noticed this as well both in home, car and commercial. I notice it greater when running full range. With that though I will say that about any level price amp. Even when a larger amp is pulling the same amount of current at the same volume level I have noted smoother highs, warmer mids, lower extension and fuller bass. These results are very general but pretty typical from manufacture to manufacture.
Along these lines I like to think that there is a 90-10 rule. Analyze your listening. Are you building your system for 90% of your listening or 10% when you listen to competition and well recorded discs or vice verse. If 90% of your listening is AM talk radio. Then you will most likely not notice much difference. If most of your listening is some of the for mentioned reference recordings will expose more in your system. You will not notice nearly as much if your speakers are crap or your system is not properly installed and calibrated.
Apart from what was just said. My opinion is noise floor is very important to detail as well as how they achieve it. Are they using too much feed back cancellation? I also think that the amps response curve is also very important. As I don't believe in over EQing.
On this note in calibrating many systems I have found that there are so many factors in a great at system. The balance of the system is more important than a single component but every component plays an important part.

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Old 02-07-2014   #310
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

something else to consider, is that for some people, mid-grade is the best they have experience with, it's one thing to be wowed in some showroom but it's another to have months of listening time put in, in your own space where you can be there on your good and your bad days.

so, if you have long-term experience with extremely high definition, or resolution product, then the differences between what you've become accustomed, to that of something less revealing, and more mid-fidelity will be easier to distinguish.

a lot of people who attempt to say amplifiers and source units are basically hard to tell from each other, may not ever have had the seat time.

I can certainly tell differences between source units, set to flat or with tone modification engaged. Amplifiers too, but I don't necessarily contribute that to a great hearing ability, as much as knowing I have a sonic signature of auditory memory that "kicks in" when certain triggers are hit.

that's something that may be at work here, like those people with total recall, Marilu Henner, and that crowd. Who's to say their auditory memory isn't intact, and doesn't last for just the 20 seconds or whatever they say it is? some people may have a better memory of what they hear, and some people may have a better hearing of what they remember, and for a doozy, some people may remember better, and heard it better to boot!

so, we're not all the same. We all have our own unique loudness curve, we all have drop-outs and little resonant peaks in our hearing, some is physiological and some is related to memory, and some might just be genetic-based.


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Old 02-07-2014   #311
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Amps really should not color the sound, but that said the amp inside my expensive dynaudio sub 600 does sound relly nice, especially compared to the GZ titanium class D amp I just sold...
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Old 02-08-2014   #312
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

This is a retarded debate. Of course my Zed Leviathan sounds better than Planet Audio. When is the last time Audiopipe or Planet Audio has won a SQ competition? Yesterday I spent time in a Store called The Audio Edge. They sell brands like Arc, Digital Designs, Hybrid audio and other high end stuff. I had a chance to listen and compare the different brands using the same amp and different amps. I definitely heard a difference. I must say though, the Hybrid Audio Legatia V's sound so awesome. So, I heard a difference between the different brands. The kicker was, I thought the Hybrid Audio Legatia's sounded the best, but the store owner liked the Arc Black's better. So, in retrospect, sound quality is in the ear of the listener. Sound is subjective to the listener.
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Old 02-13-2014   #313
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Age old debate.

A good amp should not impact sound quality at all. It should simply take the input signal, amplify its magnitude and send out and exact, but larger copy of what came in. I want my amps to be a transparent as possible.


If you like one amp's sound over another it means you like something about the way it is changing the input or maybe the lack of changing comparing to another amp.
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Old 02-13-2014   #314
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratous View Post
This is a retarded debate. Of course my Zed Leviathan sounds better than Planet Audio. When is the last time Audiopipe or Planet Audio has won a SQ competition? Yesterday I spent time in a Store called The Audio Edge. They sell brands like Arc, Digital Designs, Hybrid audio and other high end stuff. I had a chance to listen and compare the different brands using the same amp and different amps. I definitely heard a difference. I must say though, the Hybrid Audio Legatia V's sound so awesome. So, I heard a difference between the different brands. The kicker was, I thought the Hybrid Audio Legatia's sounded the best, but the store owner liked the Arc Black's better. So, in retrospect, sound quality is in the ear of the listener. Sound is subjective to the listener.
If the amps on the board were matched output level wise and far from clipping you would be hard pressed to tell which you were listening to... Speakers on the hand are all together another story.

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Old 02-13-2014   #315
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
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This is a retarded debate. Of course my Zed Leviathan sounds better than Planet Audio. When is the last time Audiopipe or Planet Audio has won a SQ competition? Yesterday I spent time in a Store called The Audio Edge. They sell brands like Arc, Digital Designs, Hybrid audio and other high end stuff. I had a chance to listen and compare the different brands using the same amp and different amps. I definitely heard a difference. I must say though, the Hybrid Audio Legatia V's sound so awesome. So, I heard a difference between the different brands. The kicker was, I thought the Hybrid Audio Legatia's sounded the best, but the store owner liked the Arc Black's better. So, in retrospect, sound quality is in the ear of the listener. Sound is subjective to the listener.

As posted above, it is absolutely critical in any amp demoing that the amps in question are properly level matched so that they are on an even playing field. If you were hearing big changes with just an amp change and all other things being equal, than those amps are certainly not properly level matched for a fair comparison...or one of the amps had an issue which caused it to stand out (noise, etc).

I would venture to say this is common practice though. If you're demoing from a dealer soundboard and they want to move a certain product, they only have to slightly boost the gain vs the competition for a perceived better/more dynamic sound.

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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

we used to do that in car audio retail back in the day. Old RF series one amps. Those freaking things would get down almost as hard as the punch 60x2 and 40x2. We had to bump the gains on the 40 and 60. LOL

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Old 03-06-2014   #317
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Toms Hardware blind tests concluded that a cheap 2$ ic dac is just as good as a 2000$ external hifi dac regarding SQ:
Audiophile PC Sound - The Real Cost of Hi-Fi - Tom
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Old 03-06-2014   #318
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
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Toms Hardware blind tests concluded that a cheap 2$ ic dac is just as good as a 2000$ external hifi dac regarding SQ:
Audiophile PC Sound - The Real Cost of Hi-Fi - Tom
Yep ^^

My tests confirm there's no audible difference between my Pioneer P99RS and a $100 Sony HU except lower noise floor. I couldn't pick the right one in a blind test connected to otherwise high end gear... You pay for design, build quality and features. Imo, if you wanna improve the sound you either get better speakers, more power, more tuning features (DSP) and invest time into improving install. Modding amps, pre-amps, source units and crap to gain better SQ is to 99% a waste of time imho. It's generally the circuit as a whole that determines the performance, not single component swaps.

All audible features can be measured, just figure out how to correlate those measurements with psychoacoustics and we can start figuring out what sounds good or not by simply looking at data and ignore all those audiophile BS subjective terms. With speakers I have a pretty good idea what sounds good by just looking at FR and polar response, non-linear distortion plots and CSD/BD. A BL-curve also tells lots of a drivers performance. The speakers are the only high distortion devices in the system, as long as you got an adequate amount of power available.

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Old 03-07-2014   #319
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I just found out today that a certain percentage of the population cannot smell the side effects of Asparagus in their urine...

And we all know a certain percentage of the population is color blind.

I'm sure you can see where I'm headed with this....

People keep saying "if you level match two amps of equal power they shall sound the same!".

I don't know what world they are living in. I have heard a 75 x 2 amp set at low gains with more balls than another amp 150 x 4 ever had at any gain setting.

And it's not outright power/dynamics/spl either. I hear certain amps of lower power sound "sweeter" than a more powerful amp.

I'm sure the cynics will say it's distortion or something. Naturally it has to be, as it's their nature to want to be dismissive of things in general.

I've been around this hobby a little over ten years now, and over the last 6 or 7 years I've heard a ton of great home and car audio amps and they absolutely make a difference. I was floundering around with run of the mill entry level amps depressed with my sound and my friend demanded I swap them out for some vintage amps. I was the resident cynic, refusing to comply until I issued him an ultimatum that if I wasn't happy he would pay for it.

He complied, I bought them and he never had to settle up. My first thought was "why didn't I go to this guy first?!".

I would say that the big difference between what I consider to be good/great amps and bad amps isn't outright power or bass. It's the difference between a "full" sound and a "thin" one. And if you happen to prefer a "thin" sound then getting a "better" amp is not going to make it more pleasing.....probably worse sounding!

So it's basically an issue of taste. Most people are too afraid to "go there" in the audio world. It's the biggest "walking on eggshells" I've ever seen when it comes to expressing preferences and opinions. Everybody has strong opinions on who the hot chicks are, the best looking cars, houses, furniture, clothing. It's kinda accepted that a Ferrari is a better looking car than say a VW Beetle. You're free to think the Honda is better looking but you're in a tiny minority and at risk of being teased.

The smooth, laidback sound with strong midrange is the correct sound. The thin, brittle, make your ears bleed is not the correct sound. There's a lot of variance in between, but better sound is definitely closer to the former than the latter. The former takes years of experience to acquire, the latter is quite popular for most off the bat (yours truly included). I had s*** listening taste back in the day.

Nobody ever loved beer or scotch the first time they drank it. I wouldn't expect most people without lots of listening experience to like a good all tube system playing 1/4" reel to reel tape.

But eventually they should. And if they never do, they're not worthy.

Plain and simple, there I said it.
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Old 03-07-2014   #320
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Yep ^^

My tests confirm there's no audible difference between my Pioneer P99RS and a $100 Sony HU except lower noise floor. I couldn't pick the right one in a blind test connected to otherwise high end gear... You pay for design, build quality and features. Imo, if you wanna improve the sound you either get better speakers, more power, more tuning features (DSP) and invest time into improving install. Modding amps, pre-amps, source units and crap to gain better SQ is to 99% a waste of time imho. It's generally the circuit as a whole that determines the performance, not single component swaps.

All audible features can be measured, just figure out how to correlate those measurements with psychoacoustics and we can start figuring out what sounds good or not by simply looking at data and ignore all those audiophile BS subjective terms. With speakers I have a pretty good idea what sounds good by just looking at FR and polar response, non-linear distortion plots and CSD/BD. A BL-curve also tells lots of a drivers performance. The speakers are the only high distortion devices in the system, as long as you got an adequate amount of power available.
A friend had a very smart Engineer measures the differences between two amps. One was $7k and sounded average, the other was $25k and sounded a lot better. Everybody was in agreement with which sounded better to them.

Guess which amplifier measured "better"? Hint, it wasn't the expensive one.

My biggest issue with the idea that everything can be measured -- I don't think we know everything that should be measured, and how to correlate it to equate to "good sound". Outright power, THD, is useless for determining what sounds good.

At times I would correlate a reduced frequency response of a pair of headphones or a tape deck as sounding better (e.g. 30 - 17khz vs. 20 - 20khz) because you roll off the top and bottom which smooths the highs and "adds" midrange. This is not always the case, but I've seen it as such.

Who do you know ever thinks like that? The true scientist/engineer would blindly say that the 20-20 should be better than 30-17; that less THD is better than more, etc.

This stuff is very, very complicated. Because if it truly was easy, speaker/amplifier/etc. manufacturer would be a piece of cake, and all designs would sound the same.

People who try to champion digital as superior to analog citing greater signal to noise ratio and dynamic range fail to acknowledge the two are totally different domains altogether. You can only listen to music in analog, so the process of converting digital TO analog means there's something lost in translation.

It's like saying 7 kilometers is greater in distance than 5 miles, because 7 > 5.

On the issues of distortion, my theory on why gear with more distortion often sounds better is because when you filter out a lot, it's not just noise you're eliminating, but a good amount of the actual sound you want too. When you reduce/boost a frequency on an EQ, it's not just done in a vacuum....other frequencies are affected as well.

I'm an EE so naturally I have an interest in this stuff, particularly in correlating why I like what I like. But the difference is, I take it from the point of view that my ears are the source to trust and work backwards. Not, "this stuff measures good so I have to like it no matter what".

People think the placebo effect is only reserved for the audiophiles who think in lush and warm terms. It is also very real (perhaps even more real IMO) with those that get excited over a spec sheet all by itself.

The problem with measuring sound is the typical logic is to say something closer to one extreme or the other is better than the other. Perhaps the reality is somewhere in the middle.....a certain range is what is pleasing and anything above and below that range is not as good.

To a level I understand why people care so much about #s and specs.....you want to know if you will like something before dropping big cash on it. I get it.

However, there has to be a way to listen to something first if it matters that much to you. Either that or you take the risk and listen to it first. Another alternative is to find other people with similar tastes and then if they get access to the sound, you can leverage their experience for your use.

I have a few people in that camp, and for the most part whatever they like, I'll like. And even if there's slight disagreement on taste, it can be described in terms that we all understand. "This has more weight than that one, but not as open".
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Old 03-07-2014   #321
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I'm gonna say this macintosh is now a joke. More importunely bigger amps have headroom and don't have to work hard to move a 6 by 9 when it has 6 outputs and half power vs 2 outputs 500F way in to clipping with eggs and bacon cooking on the heatsink. Always look to the pro audio world for most of this they use oversized amps for tweeters so they don't distort. Also half the hi end amps in lower brands are a joke they are a little better sometimes but no triumph. there are some hi end amps that sound good, ya know there not even high end there sq... its not about the name pot off the hood and look underneath, look at the caps the resistor tolerances extra... isolation transformers misfit outputs are all good signs, but i highly don't recommend a sq amp for most people they don't care really. most people want sharp clean power not natural pure sounding power they don't know how to listen to it, sq just means it is closer to how the world sounds. Some car audio i like unnatural i like clean sharp tweeters in a car listening to rap not lots but over noted and stand out. A real sq system doesn't sound because there is no distortion from the system it reproduces exactly what is given in the input.
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Old 03-07-2014   #322
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by FG79
People keep saying "if you level match two amps of equal power they shall sound the same!".

I don't know what world they are living in. I have heard a 75 x 2 amp set at low gains with more balls than another amp 150 x 4 ever had at any gain setting.

And it's not outright power/dynamics/spl either. I hear certain amps of lower power sound "sweeter" than a more powerful amp.
If you've never been part of a true AX blind comparison, you'll always be a "believer" or a "wonderer" about amplifier 'sound'.

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Old 03-08-2014   #323
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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If you've never been part of a true AX blind comparison, you'll always be a "believer" or a "wonderer" about amplifier 'sound'.
Back when I was a believer, I was shocked to learn that what I liked was actually intentional distortion produced by the amplifier. It wasn't until I had some seat time with said amplifier playing music that had distortion in the music itself that I realized that I DID NOT like said amplifier! Go figure...

That caused me to embark on a semi scientific test where I used some decent Klipsch speakers, performed some level matching with a Fluke 117 and an oscilloscope, then started listening myself. I mean REALLY listening! Even knowing which amplifier was playing, I was hard pressed to tell the difference, with the exception of one that was known to have a sonic variance. The variance was an equal loudness contour built-in to said amplifier with a higher than usual distortion level that could be measured.

Isn't it crazy that I knew it sounded different and it measured different too? I swear this hearing is believing argument is the same as science versus religion. I better watch it because I may be labeled a racist for saying that.

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Old 03-08-2014   #324
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

A speaker that measures perfect can sound boring while a nice sounding tube amp can measure quite bad...
So SQ isn't as easy or simple as some people clam!
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Old 03-09-2014   #325
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by captainobvious View Post
If you've never been part of a true AX blind comparison, you'll always be a "believer" or a "wonderer" about amplifier 'sound'.
I will take a blind test anytime, anywhere.

My version of disproving this blind listening test theory is I've heard some real cheap s*** speakers being driven by some real top end home audio amplifiers, and the sound is unreal.

Big soundstage, lots of midrange presence, images nice....people asking "where's the sub?". All from 4" drivers in a tiny bookshelf, sealed enclosure.

Of course it has its limits but it sounds legitimately audiophile. The cheap speakers disappear and it becomes very difficult to believe they are producing the sound they are producing. But they are.

I submit we need to have more of these exhibitions.....a cheap speaker being driven by some great amp/DAC/etc. vs. an expensive speaker being driven by some run of the mill cheap amplifier.

The range of quality in car audio is a lot more compressed than home audio, so it takes a bit more of a good ear to hear the differences but they are there too.

A blind test might be enough to sway things that are very, very close together, but when the difference is sufficient, it won't change the end result.

Last edited by FG79; 03-09-2014 at 01:24 AM..
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