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Old 12-27-2012   #51
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Good point on diminishing returns and that's a big one, how much more money are willing to spend to get that upgrade in sound? I have switched out my gear throughout the years as some of my friends would say at an excessive rate...some of the changes were in the right direction some were not

For some examples;

From the old school Soundsream reference to the Phoenix Gold zx series we're a step backwards

A wierd one was from the old RF punch HD amps to the DSM's I also didn't like the changes as well

One in the right direction was from JL slash to the Audison Lrx this one was huge!

From the Audison to the Arc I was indeferent, lateral move even though they both sounded very different from one another.

I have tried so many different amps, for that I feel blessed (though the process of buying high and selling low is getting old!)

The sound difference were'nt always a huge difference but there was always suddle changes
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Old 12-27-2012   #52
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Can you elaborate more on why some seemed like a step forward, back, or lateral. The lateral is actually more intriguing since you say they sounded different.
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Old 12-27-2012   #53
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

My amp started to develop a crackle a couple weeks ago -- gain pot needed cleaning -- so I pulled it out, noted where the gains were set, cleaned up all the gain pots (which included turning the gain knobs back and forth), and attempted to reset the gains to the exact location where I marked them. Reinstalled the amp just before christmas, and holy crap everything sounded completely different! Had to completely retune the system and readjust levels at the preamp.

The point of this story is to remind everybody that 1) very slight changes in level can be a big deal; and 2) the only true way to ensure that the levels of two amps are identical is to measure them in a controlled manner. Please keep these things in mind when doing a/b tests or sharing anectdotes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 12-27-2012   #54
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayboy View Post
LOL Those are two extremes, but I get your point. It just seems at some point you will reach diminishing returns in trying to reach beyond what level you are already on, or there is no next level. Has anyone here ever changed amps to something they thought was supposed to be the cat's meow only to find it was fairly lateral at best? Was the supposed slight sonic signature actually worth it in a a normal everyday driving situation? Keep in mind that vast differences in distortion are not what is discussed here, or is it?
I can surely hear a difference in sonic signature between my Milbert BaM-235ab (30 watts @ 8 ohm) VS my Sinfoni Prestigio (also something like 30 watts @ 8 ohm, maybe more like 35 watts) on my ID Horn Ultra... Gains checked before unplugging and plugging the new amp in
My wife can too since the horn system is in her Car

Kelvin

PS: difference weren't subtle either... Associated to distortion from tubes? Maybe but if we agree that the difference comes from distortion then we can agree that there's differences in sound from 1 amp to another...

Lycan
Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Old 12-27-2012   #55
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayboy View Post
Can you elaborate more on why some seemed like a step forward, back, or lateral. The lateral is actually more intriguing since you say they sounded different.
The step backwards at this point is very subjective since we'd have to go back...way back like 16 to 18 years ago, that step backwards I talk about is the memory of feeling as such...couldn't really elaborate much more on that

The lateral move from Audison Lrx to the Arc se's amps is an interesting one, these we're my findings (opinion/thought/feeling) based on my 2 ears;

Found the Arc to have a nice dynamic very smooth sound (quite natural sounding), for example they kept their composure, it seems like the more you ask of them to more they gave you...music would get louder but with no perceived change in character or added distortion ...which is really nice! To summaries, the Arc's never seem to run out of headroom! Listening to Guns and Roses' November Rain would bring chills to me

The Audison, on the other hand brought emotion out, very dynamic as well but as a little more edge to it! It has an entertaining sound...not necessarily better then the Arc just a little different.

Almost not fair to compare the 2 because the Arc Amps (2300se and the 4200se) vs the all in one chassis of the Audison Lrx 5.1k but if I were to break down how they performed on each Speaker I would describe it like this:

12" IDMAX sealed enclosure approx 1.75cu/ft (no stuffing)
Subs section Arc 2300se (1300watts at 2Ohms, class A/B) definitely had more
more bottom end, more control it seems...but to make it integrate with the rest I had to lower the crossover to 55/60hz down
Vs
Addison (1150watts at 2Ohms class D), a little less warmth on the sub section (not as smooth) but it integrated very well with the midbass

Edge goes to the Arc

Midbass Hybrid audio L6SE

Arc 4200se (100w x2 class A/B)
Nice smooth yet dynamic

Audison (channel B 140/160w x2 or so class A/B)
Very good midbass! Probably because of the added output...

Give the edge by a hair to the Audison mostly because the Sub section seemed to integrate so well with the midbass

Widebanders L3SE'S

Arc 4200se (100w x2 class A/B approx 275hz up) as mention before the Arc just gives you more more of the goodness the more you demand

Audison (50w x2 class A same crossover) not as loud, but just as dynamic with a hair more warmth and extention...for the wattage rating wasn't necessarily perceived as inferior...

Depending on the music choice I would call it very close call between the 2.

Hope that helps a little
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Old 12-27-2012   #56
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Then it seems to be contrary to what some may say, that in fact the difference was more than one aspect. More like several summed into what is referred to as a sonic signature (gain settings, Power output, varying levels of tolerable distortion). Maybe perhaps some extra presence within a certain frequency. That doesn't suggest the amp doesn't add to the signal. It is actually opposite, but perhaps in a pleasing way???

These are guesstimates at best without some sort of measurements, yet we know these exist. Of course, back to the R.C. challenge, if all things were set to measure equal, what would we find? Even Mark Z's example of slight gain change seemingly caused a difference that apparently he may not have been able to recognize his own amp in a blind test just between the different settings using the same amp. The problem with either side is it doesn't prove or disprove the other side. For every point brought out from one side, there is quite a logical rebuttal from the other.

This again brings up the point of diminishing returns which was the gist of the op's first post. Where does that come in? How will you know that you have reached that pinnacle without wasting further time & money? Or does it essentially become a dragon chasing frenzy when the next "best thing" enters the market? We've seen this a many, many times every time a new amp comes out. People jump on it like crazy, standing in line to grab them before they are even released, later to see them dumping them in the classifieds or storing them in the closets. Some never even being used. Perfect example (although it is not strictly an amp) is the MS-8 craze. No doubt it is obviously a fine piece of work, but for some it did not bring about a necessary improvement or it did not solve the fetish to fiddle. In fact this even occurs with drivers as I am guilty of that myself although I can admit to not reaching "nirvana". There was always something amok to warrant change after a long audition.
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Old 12-27-2012   #57
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayboy View Post
Then it seems to be contrary to what some may say, that in fact the difference was more than one aspect. More like several summed into what is referred to as a sonic signature (gain settings, Power output, varying levels of tolerable distortion). Maybe perhaps some extra presence within a certain frequency. That doesn't suggest the amp doesn't add to the signal. It is actually opposite, but perhaps in a pleasing way???

These are guesstimates at best without some sort of measurements, yet we know these exist. Of course, back to the R.C. challenge, if all things were set to measure equal, what would we find? Even Mark Z's example of slight gain change seemingly caused a difference that apparently he may not have been able to recognize his own amp in a blind test just between the different settings using the same amp. The problem with either side is it doesn't prove or disprove the other side. For every point brought out from one side, there is quite a logical rebuttal from the other.

This again brings up the point of diminishing returns which was the gist of the op's first post. Where does that come in? How will you know that you have reached that pinnacle without wasting further time & money? Or does it essentially become a dragon chasing frenzy when the next "best thing" enters the market? We've seen this a many, many times every time a new amp comes out. People jump on it like crazy, standing in line to grab them before they are even released, later to see them dumping them in the classifieds or storing them in the closets. Some never even being used. Perfect example (although it is not strictly an amp) is the MS-8 craze. No doubt it is obviously a fine piece of work, but for some it did not bring about a necessary improvement or it did not solve the fetish to fiddle. In fact this even occurs with drivers as I am guilty of that myself although I can admit to not reaching "nirvana". There was always something amok to warrant change after a long audition.
Sure understand that some think it's not worth it - good for them really coz they'll save a whole lot of money ask me how I know

Poing of diminishing return? Sure... Focus on speakers and tuning first <-- will make a greater impact on sound than an ubber expensive amplifier...

For others, it's not uncommon to upgrade from a Brax to a Sinfoni Prestigio - from an Audison Thesis to a Phass RE2 - from a Soundstream Human Reign (old school one) to a McIntosh MCC602TM

Are the differences heard due to the design (distortion, bias, Power supply) or to the gain matching (levels VS output) - guess we'll never know how those people (those that buy ubber expensive amps) set their gains...
I know how to set my gains though, and when I feel that my system has been tuned to the best I could (never is really) then I try to switch amps in order to see what kind of difference it makes to the system as a whole...

Kelvin

Lycan
Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Old 12-27-2012   #58
 
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Smile Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayboy View Post
Then it seems to be contrary to what some may say, that in fact the difference was more than one aspect. More like several summed into what is referred to as a sonic signature (gain settings, Power output, varying levels of tolerable distortion). Maybe perhaps some extra presence within a certain frequency. That doesn't suggest the amp doesn't add to the signal. It is actually opposite, but perhaps in a pleasing way???
I would just like to share a story.

I have two amplifiers of the same brand and the same model. Both are barely a year old. Opening them up, they both show the same date-codes and quality control stamps on the PCB which means they probably came from one manufacturing batch. Carefully examining the individual components, the soldering as well as the Build quality shows no visible differences. Safe to say they will measure similarly on a test bench, given the exact same gain settings.

The capacitors in one of the amplifiers was upgraded. Here are pictures (not actual) of the new capacitors:







Generic Power supply caps were changed to Nichicon KG Gold Tune. Low-level electrolytic caps were replaced with Nichicon ES Muse. The small square polypropylene caps were replaced with Wima MKP. The work was professionally done, with a temperature controlled soldering iron and solder sucker tool. No part of the PCB was damaged in the process.

Only the caps were upgraded. Nothing else was touched.

The upgraded amp was used for roughly three weeks (played around 5 hours a day) in a friend's car.

No idea if the upgraded amp will measure the same as the stock amp, but when I swapped it with the stock amp in my Car and carefully set (with an oscilloscope) similar gains, it sure sounded a whole lot better!

My friends and I agreed that we started hearing things we didn't hear before. Here are some examples: Low-level details such as pages turning (Salena Jones, We've Only Just Begun), improved attacks (The Sheffield Drum and Track Record - Amuseum) snare drum strikes seemed to "pop" a whole lot more and longer decays on cymbals (it became easier to follow the sound of a cymbal strike decay down to the noise floor) and the sound of the singers mouth opening to sing (Jane Monheit, Somewhere Over the Rainbow).

Just to be sure, we swapped back the stock amp (gain settings reset with the same oscilloscope). Those low-level details all but disappeared. We had to keep really quiet and concentrate to hear what was immediately audible with the upgraded amp.

Then we put back the upgraded amp and the improvements we heard were all back.

So...

Does this have to do with "watts?" Doubtful. Gains were carefully matched and the amp's output devices were untouched.

What about other factors such as Frequency Response, Bandwidth, Output Noise, THD+N, TIM, Crosstalk? Maybe. But measuring these are beyond my capabilities.

Perhaps I should take both amps to a professional and have them measured?

Happy Holidays!

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Old 12-27-2012   #59
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by co_leonard View Post
What about other factors such as Frequency Response, Bandwidth, Output Noise, THD+N, TIM, Crosstalk? Maybe. But measuring these are beyond my capabilities.

Perhaps I should take both amps to a professional and have them measured?
I'm going to say that you're the smartest motherfucker on this forum. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. You're maybe the only one I think I've seen say this after years and years of amp "debates" on this forum that invariably go nowhere.

To those who insist there's a difference between two amps in their system -- and who may be right -- haven't you guys ever wondered what that difference is?? It's astonishing to me that somebody who's so interested in audio that they spend time on the internet on an audio forum would say, "Hey, these amps sound different from these amps!" and then just fucking stop right there and never wonder why that might be the case. Then they tell everybody, "dude, Audison amps sound better than Hifonics amps", never really understanding what "better" actually means or whether their subjective impression is tied to differences in design, issues in quality control, or just a fluke with that particular amp that could easily be corrected in some way.

So kudos to you for saying that you'd like to understand why two amps that you've observed to sound different actually sound different. I wish more of us had your attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 12-27-2012   #60
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I think it has been acknowledged by a number of people in the following thread.

Do all competently designed and level matched amps/head units sound the same?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lycan View Post
no offense intended, but the poll is silly. The correct answer is not dependent on ... in fact, only loosely correlated with ... a majority opinion on an audio message board.

The only real question of interest is : do we have a comprehensive set of specifications that completely describe & determine "the sound" of purely electronic devices (lets not include loudspeakers, for now)? All data ... all scientific investigation, all theory, and all tests ... leads to an affirmative answer.

If two pieces of audio electronics have the same gain, power, frequency response, noise & distortion ... then what is the parameter by which they CAN sound different?

What is it?

The type of solder used? If it doesn't impact gain, power, frequency response, noise or distortion ... then it is irrelevant.

The type of capacitors used? If it doesn't impact gain, power, frequency response, noise & distortion ... then it is irrelevant.

The type of Wire used? If it doesn't impact gain, power, frequency response, noise & distortion ... then it is irrelevant.

By the way ... nobody in their right mind says that all amps sound the same. I can pull two amps off the same production line, and set their gain controls different by 0.25dB. They WILL sound different. However, the REASON they sound different is because that gain knob happens to impact one of these : gain, power, frequency response, noise or distortion.

Conversely, there's always someone who says : "I swapped amps, and i KNOW they sounded different !!!!"

That's a meaningless statement. What WOULD be a meaningful statement is : "I swapped amps, and i carefully measured gain, power, frequency response noise & distortion to make sure these classic parameters were the same. Then, in a controlled listening test where the name brands were hidden, a statistically significant difference was identified. And because i carefully eliminated the classic variables of gain, power, frequency response, noise & distortion, i have come to the conclusion that the difference could NOT be attributed to any of these classic variables".

Of course, that statement has never been offered in the history of the world.

So the question always remains : How do you know whether or not the difference you heard can be attributed to : gain, power, frequency response, noise or distortion?

How could anyone possibly answer this question? Do we have no choice but to wander aimlessly in the dark ... no choice but to rely on guru opinions and internet polls? Is there no logical process to determine if differences can be attributed to gain, power, frequency response, noise & distortion? What's the process to determine if these specs are indeed comprehensive?
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Old 12-27-2012   #61
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Lycan said that, and others too. But what's rare is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by co_leonard View Post
My friends and I agreed that we started hearing things we didn't hear before.
Quote:
Perhaps I should take both amps to a professional and have them measured?
I can't recall the last time I saw someone insist that there was a difference between their amps, and then recognize that it's really only a useful observation if you can identify what the difference is.

The "dude, I heard a difference between XYZ and ABC!" posts are completely useless. Just like my post earlier talking about sticking the same amp back into the system and hearing a difference. If you can't identify what the source of the difference is, it's impossible to conclude that there's some intrinsic difference that isn't merely a byproduct of the installation, settings, working condition of the equipment, or subjective factors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 12-28-2012   #62
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Man, the more & more I read this thread the more I keep thinking don't bother switching out my old reliable amps. Just reconfigure the system with better drivers/enclosures. Ughhhhh!!
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Old 12-28-2012   #63
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

all cars, if you got blind folded, ear muffled, restrained and wrapped in a thick foam blanket and dumped in, would feel identical to you when idling at 1.5mph on glass smooth pavement.

I keed I keed...cajunner my ears isnt good enough to tell exactly when 100 db is and when it becomes 3db (half as loud) less...i am not that technical, but listening to music such as Keith Dont Go, or Moutain Dance, or any other music that is pretty dynamic, with lots of bass guitars drums and all sorts of things going on all at the same time, at moderately high volumes, meaning volumes that i easily listen to in a Car on a daily basis, thats when i can tell a difference. same headunit, same car, same front stage, same processor, and almost the same install. i can especially hear a difference between a good class AB amp, versus a small class D full range i.e. JL XD, arc XDi, etc etc. funny thing is, sometimes i hear quite a difference on the subs from class D to AB...

but then again, perhaps i need more experience with class D amps, as i dont use them that often on subs.

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Old 12-28-2012   #64
 
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What model genesis is good compared to upper end US brands.im currently running arc se's.also anyone try helix amps?
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Old 12-28-2012   #65
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunner View Post
amplifiers that need time.

some amplifiers need time, to develop to their best sound. Some need a period where the protection circuitry is based on an analysis of the operating parameters of the speakers they are hooked to, some need time to warm up their operating temperatures to a level that is in the amplifier's "sweet spot" and some need tubes to settle down, and as we all know, temperature fluctuation is a huge factor in whether an amplifier is operating marginally within it's "safe" zone or it's nearing runaway thermal meltdown.

Now, I remember a time when it was necessary to operate the DSM Rockford's with a period of waiting, and they "opened up" and sounded their best, several minutes after being turned on.

I have heard this is true of several amp circuits, and that some of the protection schemes and distortion reduction models used by amp designers are chosen based on different ideas of what "audible" distortion is, and when I read that solid state amplifiers that have a lot of negative feedback as part of their design, subsequently reduce the amount of natural 2nd order harmonic information that is disguised as distortion, then I'm wondering why some amps that have higher distortion and noise ratings, can be subjectively, rated so highly? Like the Harmon Kardon CA260/240 amplifiers. Bad on noise/distortion, high on instantaneous current, and so well-liked as to become very collectible 20 years into their sunset?

Now, I don't know if it's just that amplifier manufacturers have gotten away from these design distinctions or if moving to an all-mosfet specification removes the differences, because it's mostly an argument that goes between bi-polar devices and mosfets, or what?

I remember how the SoundCraftsmen series of mosfet class H amps were reviewed, as warm and tonally correct, and when Rockford moved to mosfet everything, it was hailed as an improvement, but today there is a resurgence for people who want their old amplifiers' sound back, who want amps made with bi-polar output sections again?

just an idea why we might have been able to tell when amplifiers sound different, outside of "measurements" and theoretical argument/discussion why the amp in your Car is now somehow less capable, than say,

the amplifier in my car, LOL>>...

Why wouldn't any of those factors be measurable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 12-28-2012   #66
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
Why wouldn't any of those factors be measurable?
Because he SAID SO!!!!!.....

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Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Old 01-02-2013   #67
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Here is my take on this.

From my 15 years of experience with Car audio I could say from the start, this is a lost debate, but so much fun to take part of

First I think that when dealing with this subject we should separate between tearms and concepts

Amplitude vs amplifier

And amplifier as in sound quality speaking vs amplifier as product quality speaking.

For me the saying that an amp is just an amp is true if you speak about amplitude. What an amplifier does is taking an input and increase it with x watts on its output.

When you speak about the concept of amplitude no doubt this is true BUT this is real life, amplifiers today are way past the "thread amplifier" which is just an input -> Power supplier -> bulb -> output

Amplifiers nowadays are way more complex and they have noise filters inside them, they have xovers embedded inside, they have all kinds of Wire protection circuitry like quite turn on/off etc etc.

SO first - when I purchase an amp I don't just buy something that does amplitude, I buy a product which means:

1. It has a certain Build quality.
2. It has a certain design that fits my needs.
3. It has a certain weight.
4. It has a certain measurement.
5. It has a certain brand and prestige which "speaks" to my brain or heart

If I have a Car that does not have its rear seat fold able then I would probably look for an amp which has all its potentiometers on top right? not on the side...

As for sound quality up til today I am using a full class D range amplifier (ZED leviathan) it is by far the best amp I ever used, now, why is that?

For me, it is because:

1. It is the strongest I ever owned.
2. It has a full bypass to its xovers so it means it does not influence the signal by any kind of manipulation which an xover does.
3. it has excellent THD value
4. it is one of the most efficient amps ever made - and I do not recall any one speaking about efficiency here

I do recall a guy comparing between two amps that are 30watts at 8 ohms but ever did he check if their xovers are bypassed? if they are both as efficient? if they both have same THD? etc etc...

I see people that claim that they here differences between two capacitors on the same amp and on the same gain but have they even checked if any thing else was changed during the tests? -> for example air temperature and humidity??? or HU volume level? Have they checked from the first place if the original capacitors are actually any good?

At the end of the day you are buying a product more than just buying an amplifier, you might be paying some big bucks for a brand and its prestige but lets say for a moment this is true, and yes, you are all stupid for doing that -> but what if you payed 4 times more for a product which would last 4 times longer??? are you stupid now? -> no, you are not!

What I say is - amplitude is amplitude but an amp is not just an amp.

A good amp could be an amp for life or at least for a long part of it.


So choose wisely and be happy with your choices.

Just to end this - in one out of many debates I hear people saying they can here well and clear sounds above 21 and even 22 Khertz - if that was to be true, if I blew a dog whistle they would probably go nuts

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Last edited by eddieg; 01-02-2013 at 05:16 AM..
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Old 01-02-2013   #68
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieg View Post
I do recall a guy comparing between two amps that are 30watts at 8 ohms but ever did he check if their xovers are bypassed? if they are both as efficient? if they both have same THD? etc etc...
Guess that would be me

There's so many things that could have made 1 amp sound different than another - freq response, levels or distortion being the most important in this case...
Between the Milbert (Tube) and the Prestigio (Class A) - both amps are very inefficient (5A VS 6.5A @ idle) and both amps have no Xover. No amp is clipping since I'm using them to Power horns which are way more efficient than the 6.5" mid I'm using... Distortion over the whole bandwith? I'm sure it's that but have no equipment to check - did post a few times the distortion profile of some of the most popular and best amps (do a search )...

One thing I noticed (from a test done from an Italian magazine) is that setting gains can affect the frequency response of the amp itself - the load also has an effect (see below):

Set gain to the max (0dB) or to the minimum affects the high response (as seen above) but can also affect the low end range (below 100Hz)
I left the name of the amp aside to lead to a good debate about the differences - not about the brand. One thing I can tell you though is that the amp is highly regarded as being @ the top of the food chain - especially on this forum

So using the Milbert or the Prestigio @ 8 ohm could very well be a load difference associated to the freq response... So many things to consider don't you think?

Kelvin

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Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Old 01-02-2013   #69
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Yikes. Tell me which amps those are so I can steer clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 01-02-2013   #70
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunner View Post
This is another good point about where changes in FR can occur and it's not obvious to the person who connects at a resistive 4 ohm, what the amp is doing in a reactive 16 ohm loop.
I wouldn't count on this behavior being the norm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 01-02-2013   #71
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
I wouldn't count on this behavior being the norm.
The graph on the left is a behaviour that actually shows in numerous test I have from that magazine - showing a difference from setting the gains from -6dB to 0dB. It either happens in the very low band or @ the very treble

I'll let people know the name of the amp in a few days lol

Kelvin

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Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I think the name of the amp is on your picture.

The gain thing is slightly surprising. It's just a volume knob. Why is the amp's FR being altered by the volume? Or is the tester's measurement equipment affected by signal magnitude?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 01-02-2013   #73
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
I think the name of the amp is on your picture.
Missed... (battleship)

The gain thing is slightly surprising. It's just a volume knob. Why is the amp's FR being altered by the volume? Or is the tester's measurement equipment affected by signal magnitude?
^ that I wouldn't know... Some amps doesn't exhibit any deviation from -6dB to 0dB while others (also good amps) show a change either in the low or high bandwith...

Kelvin

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Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Old 01-02-2013   #74
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunner View Post
it says ARC 2300 SE in the folder heading..
Crap... lol I should have deleted that

Ohh well - you win

Kelvin

Lycan
Quote:
I'll repeat it for the miliionth time : All amps do NOT sound the same ... It's astonishing to me that nobody understands this
Who knows, some might understand now
and here's another one and another <-- click on the links
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Old 01-03-2013   #75
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery View Post
Guess that would be me

There's so many things that could have made 1 amp sound different than another - freq response, levels or distortion being the most important in this case...
Between the Milbert (Tube) and the Prestigio (Class A) - both amps are very inefficient (5A VS 6.5A @ idle) and both amps have no Xover. No amp is clipping since I'm using them to Power horns which are way more efficient than the 6.5" mid I'm using... Distortion over the whole bandwith? I'm sure it's that but have no equipment to check - did post a few times the distortion profile of some of the most popular and best amps (do a search )...

One thing I noticed (from a test done from an Italian magazine) is that setting gains can affect the frequency response of the amp itself - the load also has an effect (see below):

Set gain to the max (0dB) or to the minimum affects the high response (as seen above) but can also affect the low end range (below 100Hz)
I left the name of the amp aside to lead to a good debate about the differences - not about the brand. One thing I can tell you though is that the amp is highly regarded as being @ the top of the food chain - especially on this forum

So using the Milbert or the Prestigio @ 8 ohm could very well be a load difference associated to the freq response... So many things to consider don't you think?

Kelvin
Hey Kelvin

I think that the key is the answer to your last question "So many things to consider don't you think?"

Actually - there are TOO MANY things to consider

You may be able to measure amps
you may be able to measure speakers
you may be able to measure head units and so on

But the truth is that you don't listen to amps, you don't listen to speakers and you don't listen to head units

You are listening to a whole sound system and as well - everything around it!

And the volume knob - if it is digital, then it is hard to explain such difference but if it is analog volume/gain knob - then it can be easily explained, very simple, it is not percise...

Volume knobs can rust or collect dust which can hurt their ability to be a conductor or visa versa short circuit it. so many times just by clearing volume knobs (gain more to be true) had solved a hiss (SNR) issue in amps.


IF you payed so much for a milbert and by replacing it with a Sinfoni you started to hear things you never heard before, to be honest - I would ask of milbert for a refund

I can understand small differences but sounds you never heard before??? I can only guess that A class amplifier can be very unlinear but if it is by that much, what is the point of that? and especially in a Car when a sound system becomes "chaos theory" instead of "exact science"

Still I do think that an amp is mainly an amp though once you implement it in a sound system, it is not just an amp, it is a product which affects and affected by the whole chain and as I said before, choose wisely, a good amp could be an amp for life - thus justifying in any way the price you payed for it.


But the questions that interests me more are the "point of reference" related questions -

If you did not know that the amps were replaced? would you still have noticed?

Better yet - If you let your self get used to one setup and drive with it for a while, after how long would you "forget" how the previous setup sounded like? probably after half a day you would loose that point of reference...

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