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Old 03-09-2014   #326
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by WinWiz View Post
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!
Finally, we are getting somewhere. Someone who is eloquently calling it as it is.

While my camp gets criticized for "swearing by tubes and passion", the opposite camp wants to defend a bunch of science to no end.

One wants to go by what they hear, the other by what they read.

If you took an unbiased layperson with no knowledge whatsoever on audio and asked them what they thought mattered, which side do you think they would take?

You think they wanna be wowed by what they hear or what you tell them about the equipment's specifications?

LOL.

This is why the female layperson often makes the better decision about gear, because she is essentially 100% ears and 0% theory. And they also tend to have better hearing and have 0 ego surrounding science and gear.

My friend sells gear for a living and he tells the story time and time again of a guy who comes in to argue theory vs. sound. He brings in his gear to compare to what is in store, and if he doesn't hear the difference himself, he is told to bring his wife in and without fail she will choose opposite of what he does.

So much of this audiophile community is about ego. If you "don't know about T/S parameters, you don't know what you're talking about" is sorta the gist of this.

It's probably worthy of its own thread title in this subforum:

"HAVING A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE ON AUDIO MAKES YOU A BETTER LISTENER"



BTW, I always highlight that I'm a Professional Engineer by day. So that means I spend more time than most making engineering decisions and using science to get my job done. I'm not against engineering by any means.

However, I have an "objective" job. This topic of audio is very, very "subjective". As soon as you deviate from objective and go into subjective, you have to separate the science from the art, or at least TEMPER it.
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Old 03-09-2014   #327
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Correct me if I'm wrong- the general conclusion of this test is: There might be very subtle differences in the amps tested but it's not enough to warrant getting your panties in a knot... It should be more about clean power- efficiency and feature set as long as you use a quality product.

We're installing in a car that goes down the road at 70mph- With that noise floor and paying attention to driving I would bet nobody can blindly pick an amp...

Once the car is parked install and tune are much bigger factors followed by speakers than amp technology- very few cars I've heard I feel would make substantial gains by simply swapping amplifier technologies.

Some equipment in some cars...
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Old 03-09-2014   #328
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

How to compare an amp to another? There's no way in real world.
Unless a brand that can comes out same channel amp with different class. Like brand A makes 2 types of 2 channel amp, 1 is class AB while another is class D, both output the same power.
Just another example : I'm taking an Alpine MRV-F409 compare to a Rockford Fosgate's Power series 4 channels. Will it be fair?

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Old 03-09-2014   #329
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by kyheng View Post
How to compare an amp to another? There's no way in real world.
Unless a brand that can comes out same channel amp with different class. Like brand A makes 2 types of 2 channel amp, 1 is class AB while another is class D, both output the same power.
Just another example : I'm taking an Alpine MRV-F409 compare to a Rockford Fosgate's Power series 4 channels. Will it be fair?
Unsure why you can't compare them- set gains so that both amps stay out of clipping- make sure the output is equal... Listen to them and pick out the nuances be it good or bad of each...

Some equipment in some cars...
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Old 03-09-2014   #330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo5upra View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong- the general conclusion of this test is: There might be very subtle differences in the amps tested but it's not enough to warrant getting your panties in a knot... It should be more about clean power- efficiency and feature set as long as you use a quality product.

We're installing in a car that goes down the road at 70mph- With that noise floor and paying attention to driving I would bet nobody can blindly pick an amp...

Once the car is parked install and tune are much bigger factors followed by speakers than amp technology- very few cars I've heard I feel would make substantial gains by simply swapping amplifier technologies.
Correct...

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Old 03-09-2014   #331
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by turbo5upra View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong- the general conclusion of this test is: There might be very subtle differences in the amps tested but it's not enough to warrant getting your panties in a knot... It should be more about clean power- efficiency and feature set as long as you use a quality product.

We're installing in a car that goes down the road at 70mph- With that noise floor and paying attention to driving I would bet nobody can blindly pick an amp...

Once the car is parked install and tune are much bigger factors followed by speakers than amp technology- very few cars I've heard I feel would make substantial gains by simply swapping amplifier technologies.
That is what I learned too... Unfortunately the "hearing is believing" crowd think there is some mythical force that sets them apart from the rest of humanity. It can't be measured, but they can sure as heck tell you it is different as long as they know which amplifier is playing.

Too bad the limiting factor in car audio is the car itself.

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Old 03-09-2014   #332
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by FG79 View Post
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.
Every scientifically valid blind test I'm aware of has concluded you are wrong. Power, gain, noise, distortion and frequency response. As long as these are within inaudible limits, there's no difference in sound. And it's not hard nowadays to build an amp that fits those qualifications.
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Old 03-09-2014   #333
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by squeak9798 View Post
Power, gain, noise, distortion and frequency response. As long as these are within inaudible limits, there's no difference in sound.
Precisely! Everything is contained within those parameters.

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Old 03-09-2014   #334
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by FG79 View Post
One wants to go by what they hear, the other by what they read.

If you took an unbiased layperson with no knowledge whatsoever on audio and asked them what they thought mattered, which side do you think they would take?

This is why the female layperson often makes the better decision about gear, because she is essentially 100% ears and 0% theory. And they also tend to have better hearing and have 0 ego surrounding science and gear.
A blind AX/ABX test will remove all theoretical knowledge from the equation so the point is moot. Sighted tests WILL ALWAYS be biased, more so if you have knowledge about the subject as you pointed out.

There have been many many blind tests over the years, nothing have been conclusive of these mysterious differences.

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Old 03-09-2014   #335
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I'm just gonna through this out there i am sick of the people who measure THD as the sound indicator harmonic distortion is rather the amp is on frequency nothing else it doesn't matter that much because most people can't tell a C from a C that is 3 clicks off in an instrument to began with so why would 1.3 hurtz matter? as long as it is consistent with all the channels of the amp. phasing is a big one people bluntly forget, resolution, transistant, extra are all not under THD and are vastly more importuned to sound that a few hurtz.
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Old 03-10-2014   #336
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
A blind AX/ABX test will remove all theoretical knowledge from the equation so the point is moot. Sighted tests WILL ALWAYS be biased, more so if you have knowledge about the subject as you pointed out.

There have been many many blind tests over the years, nothing have been conclusive of these mysterious differences.
It's a big claim to say that ALL listeners cannot discern differences between gear as opposed to "a good amount", "many", or "most".

I think it's time to put some money down on this stuff....a wager of sorts.

I'd even do the wager with a minimal amount of listening time for each track, provided I could hear several tracks, preferably my own.

One thing that's interesting about blind tests that doesn't always reflect real world buying decisions (which is why we do them), is that if I have a system at home that has been stagnant for a few months, or a year plus....one knows the sound of it very, very well. If you change any component, it will be easily spotted, especially an amp.

To have to acclimate to a brand new system, and then differentiate it on the spot makes the challenge tougher, but not impossible. But do realize that it plays a role.

I've even been in situations where I couldn't fully appreciate what I was hearing until a full twenty or thirty minutes went by. It's worth spending that much time to improve your life, no?

I'm almost certain 99% of the people on here if given enough time to differentiate between gear would be able to tell the differences. For example, swap out an amp in their system for a month then put the old one back in....everybody who cares will notice the difference.
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Old 03-10-2014   #337
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I never planned to throw my 2 cents in here, but here it goes.

IMO, the build quality of the amplifier has alot to do with power output. More available power equates to later clipping. Later clipping equates to someone believing the amp sounds better. Someone believing the amp sounds better is why this thread was started. More power = higher perceived SQ.
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Old 03-10-2014   #338
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Just a question FG79... How far away from and what were you doing when they did the blind amp test last month? I thought they were within driving distance of you in DC. I could be quite wrong though.


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Old 03-10-2014   #339
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Just a question FG79... How far away from and what were you doing when they did the blind amp test last month? I thought they were within driving distance of you in DC. I could be quite wrong though.
I moved from DC in early December, and live far, far away now.

It will be a year or two before I can come back to visit.
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Old 03-10-2014   #340
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by turbo5upra View Post
Unsure why you can't compare them- set gains so that both amps stay out of clipping- make sure the output is equal... Listen to them and pick out the nuances be it good or bad of each...
Well, class D amps in theory can give a better and more steady output, given the actual efficiency are much higher than class AB amps.
Anyway, enjoying music are subjective.

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Old 03-10-2014   #341
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by FG79 View Post
I moved from DC in early December, and live far, far away now.

It will be a year or two before I can come back to visit.
Maybe it is time to organize a similar blind amp comparison in your region then.


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Old 03-10-2014   #342
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by squeak9798 View Post
Every scientifically valid blind test I'm aware of has concluded you are wrong. Power, gain, noise, distortion and frequency response. As long as these are within inaudible limits, there's no difference in sound. And it's not hard nowadays to build an amp that fits those qualifications.
Let me ask you something......have you ever heard any real home audio, blind or no blind test?

People with any real experience listening to different amps on a same speaker rarely ever repeat this mantra you are espousing.

We set up a few rooms at one of the mid-atlantic home audio shows every year. Two of our rooms feature speakers that retail rather low on the high end scale (one is $1500, the other maybe $2500).....both small speakers -- one is a 2 way bookshelf with a 5.25" woofer, the other is a floorstander with a pair of 4" woofers. The overall value of each system is in excess of $15,000.

The sound that comes out of them belies their size. All the time we are asked where the sub is.

People come into the room with no preconceived notion of anything. Music is played for them or their requested music is put on. Nobody is there suggesting anything in their ears about the amps, DACs, cables, etc.

The systems get good reviews and are respected. .

The amps make those two rooms. The speakers themselves are nice but by themselves won't light the world on fire. A decent amount of people really think they are hearing the speakers do all the work. It's not terrible that they think that since it helps sell the speakers. Win/win no matter how you cut it.

I recommend getting out there a bit. One show is worth a few years of browsing these forums.
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Old 03-10-2014   #343
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyheng View Post
Well, class D amps in theory can give a better and more steady output, given the actual efficiency are much higher than class AB amps.
Anyway, enjoying music are subjective.
Would this not be a power supply issue? Be it actual power supply in amp incorrectly sized- or battery too small- or alternator...

Some equipment in some cars...
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Old 03-10-2014   #344
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by FG79 View Post
Let me ask you something......have you ever heard any real home audio, blind or no blind test?

People with any real experience listening to different amps on a same speaker rarely ever repeat this mantra you are espousing.

We set up a few rooms at one of the mid-atlantic home audio shows every year. Two of our rooms feature speakers that retail rather low on the high end scale (one is $1500, the other maybe $2500).....both small speakers -- one is a 2 way bookshelf with a 5.25" woofer, the other is a floorstander with a pair of 4" woofers. The overall value of each system is in excess of $15,000.

The sound that comes out of them belies their size. All the time we are asked where the sub is.

People come into the room with no preconceived notion of anything. Music is played for them or their requested music is put on. Nobody is there suggesting anything in their ears about the amps, DACs, cables, etc.

The systems get good reviews and are respected. .

The amps make those two rooms. The speakers themselves are nice but by themselves won't light the world on fire. A decent amount of people really think they are hearing the speakers do all the work. It's not terrible that they think that since it helps sell the speakers. Win/win no matter how you cut it.

I recommend getting out there a bit. One show is worth a few years of browsing these forums.

If you were in the area, I'd be willing to arrange a simple test which would allow you to hear exactly for yourself. Our tests included 50 watt per channel amps up to 150wpc amps...some old, some new, some cheap and some very pricey, some class A/B, some class D, some excellent build quality, some...not so much. When they are all fed the exact same source simultaneously and properly level matched, all playing through the same equipment under the same conditions and in the same environment, I'd wager you will find it extremely difficult to tell the amplifiers apart. My test used Martin Logan electrostats which present a more difficult load for the amplifiers and are very revealing speakers. My testers had a very hard time with simple AX testing. I'd say trying to pick/determine an amplifier out of the lineup with any semblance of consitency would have been a lesson in futility.

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Old 03-10-2014   #345
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by FG79 View Post

I recommend getting out there a bit. One show is worth a few years of browsing these forums.
so being paraded around by salesmen trying to earn their kids' college tuition, in front of who knows what kind of electronic wizardry, in a "room" that looks nothing, sounds nothing like the one you'll set up in at home, is going to trump learning about the differences in speakers from the actual designers of the speakers on these forums?

did not know that.
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Old 03-10-2014   #346
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by FG79 View Post
Let me ask you something......have you ever heard any real home audio, blind or no blind test?

People with any real experience listening to different amps on a same speaker rarely ever repeat this mantra you are espousing.
Then why have people like yourself with all of this real world experience been unable to prove that superior hearing ability in scientifically valid testing? It's not me spouting some mantra, it's the facts of the matter based on the evidence both from our understanding of electrical theory and the demonstrated inability of the human auditory system to identify a difference in sound outside of those listed.

Prove otherwise. Conduct a scientifically valid experiment that proves your point....because so far no one else has been successful at it that I'm aware of. Every experiment I'm aware of does not support your claims.
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Old 03-10-2014   #347
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

If the difference between properly level matched amps that measure the same regardless of internal components, brand name, and price tag was noticeable, SOMEBODY would have taken Clark's $10k by now.

The fact is, not one single person has ever been able to accurately tell the difference between amps when they didn't know which one they were listening to. Until someone can, all the pretty marketing prose, anecdotal sighted experiences, and 'professional' reviews mean absolutely nothing.

Fellippe I bet I could find a couple of guys who would pay your airfare and room if you flew out one weekend and took the test that captainobvious set up and were able to back up your claims in the blind test.

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Old 03-10-2014   #348
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I've heard systems in the $200000 range. Sounds great... my $4000 sounds just as good. Price does not equal performance. I've done several blind tests, many many equipment swaps both in my home audio system and car. system. What matters?

# Source material (recording)
# Speakers
# Room treatments
# Power
# DSP (car audio)

Amp classes, highend cables, highend source units, high end DACs etc etc. I call BS on that. Differences that can't be measured cannot be heard, period.

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Old 03-10-2014   #349
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
I've heard systems in the $200000 range. Sounds great... my $4000 sounds just as good. Price does not equal performance. I've done several blind tests, many many equipment swaps both in my home audio system and car. system. What matters?

# Source material (recording)
# Speakers
# Room treatments
# Power
# DSP (car audio)

Amp classes, highend cables, highend source units, high end DACs etc etc. I call BS on that. Differences that can't be measured cannot be heard, period.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy 3 via Tapatalk.
Remember people are sensitive to different things.


A/B a stock c2k 4.0 and then listen to one of Matt R's class A biased amps. There is a huge difference there to my ears.

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Old 03-10-2014   #350
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Tested a $100 Sony HU yesterday, performed just as good as my Pioneer P99RS in the RMAA tests. I couldn't hear any difference from the raw output in my home audio setup either when they were properly level matched. Of course, the P99's DSP will make the system sound better ^^

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