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Old 01-03-2013   #76
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieg View Post
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!
You're probably right on that one but to know for sure, we need measurements

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
Never once said that the Sinfoni was better than the Milbert... I simply stated that there was a difference in sonic signature between the 2 amps - even after gain matching...

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"
From my understanding, the Milbert is actually a lot closer to being a class B amp than the Sinfoni - high bias towards class A with idling @ 5A+

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.
Don't remember it too well but I think Sinfoni has a lifetime warranty or something like that... There are also other amps where you pay big money and get huge support if something fails even 10 years since the date of purchase... Hard to swallow the big price tag first but it really is worth it in the end if you plan on never selling the amp
I can understand the need to change from 1 amp to another if you just buy from the "middle of the pack" type of amp (Mosconi AS, Helix Comp, DLS A, Audison LRx & Voce, etc...) It's always nice to have the next best thing or the forum boner...



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? My girlfriend surely knew I change something as soon as we drove off (her driving) - asking why is the stage deeper (first from a DLS A2 --> Milbert) and the second time why is the system sounding more dynamic (from Milbert --> Prestigio)
If you bring your system to where you want it (tuning wise) - live with it for a couple of years without touching its tuning (like I did with my first system) then change only 1 thing (Audison LRx --> Milbert) then yes, I believe you can hear a difference even with gain matching...


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...
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 01-05-2013   #77
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Very useful info in the above test results especially when considering that published technical specifications will never reveal the frequency response at a given Speaker load.

We read these generic boiler plate specs and when the deviation from one amp to another seems miniscule, we start believing that all amps should sound the same- yet our ears tell us another story.

Not all amplifiers do as well as the one tested above- we would probably be shocked at some of the results.

To tie it back into the original topic, "better" amplifier SQ is certainly not a myth, whether they are high end classified or not depends on the price of the unit.

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Old 01-05-2013   #78
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I found the article in the link below to be very enlightening on the topic of this thread. The author has been around a long time and has been reviewing audio gear since the 70's.
Among the highlights-

*Lower quality amps tend to give an edge to the sound.
This is how I would describe some of the lower quality amps I have had in my vehicle. Harsh and edgy, almost a very high frequency digital staccato.

*Ability to deal with different Speaker loads. As shown quite clearly in Subwoofery's test pics. Amplifier inputs and outputs are "noise factors" that cannot be controlled by the amplifier. How the amp responds with respect to system interactions is something that is not published by the manufacturer.

*Human perception. In blind taste tests, many people cannot tell the difference between coke and pepsi.
No wonder we have passionate, spirited debate about the SQ of amplifiers and class distinctions. Quite clearly there are differences and some people can hear them and some people cannot.

*ABX testing. Our holy grail on this site is ABX blind testing. The author mentions that this is not the best way to audition an amlifier- but rather live with one for a week and then compare to the next sample.


Do all amplifiers sound alike? | The Audiophiliac - CNET News

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Old 01-05-2013   #79
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

But what's funny is that weird behavior that subwoofery's pictures show is not necessarily the norm. There are much much cheaper amps out there that don't change their response profiles when you adjust the gain. And are perfectly consistent into a wide range of loads. So how do we interpret this? It's not like all amps go fucking crazy when you change the gain. Just the Arc does (and probably some others).

Here's the million dollar question:

If a cheap $129 Kenwood is perfectly flat, distortion-free, and not very noisy -- and it's this way under all conditions -- is it the "better" amp than a $1500 amp that maybe has some erratic behavior?

Here's the second million dollar question:

Do these behaviors, which appear to be confined to >10kHz, explain the subjective impressions of people in this thread? Can those measurements explain the issue of dynamics, midrange clarity, and other factors that people talk about? How would that arc amp sound on a pair of midranges that are lowpassed at 3k?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 01-05-2013   #80
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti1960 View Post
I found the article in the link below to be very enlightening on the topic of this thread. The author has been around a long time and has been reviewing audio gear since the 70's.
Among the highlights-
You found that article enlightening? I read nothing but his subjective opinion with absolutely no supporting objective, emperical evidence. He basically said "Of course there are differences, I know because I can hear them." Very unpersuasive.

Quote:
*Lower quality amps tend to give an edge to the sound.
This is how I would describe some of the lower quality amps I have had in my vehicle. Harsh and edgy, almost a very high frequency digital staccato.
That was his subjective opinion, no supporting empirical evidence.

Quote:
*Ability to deal with different Speaker loads. As shown quite clearly in Subwoofery's test pics. Amplifier inputs and outputs are "noise factors" that cannot be controlled by the amplifier. How the amp responds with respect to system interactions is something that is not published by the manufacturer.
As Mark briefly pointed out, there isn't enough information about the test to determine much of anything from the picture Subwoofery posted.

Quote:
*Human perception. In blind taste tests, many people cannot tell the difference between coke and pepsi.
No wonder we have passionate, spirited debate about the SQ of amplifiers and class distinctions. Quite clearly there are differences and some people can hear them and some people cannot.
Quite clearly some people think they can hear differences; the italicized is a very important but necessary addition to your statement. Some people claim to hear subtle differences not supported by objective empirical measurement, that very much does not make them "quite clearly" able to hear something others can not.

Quote:
*ABX testing. Our holy grail on this site is ABX blind testing. The author mentions that this is not the best way to audition an amlifier- but rather live with one for a week and then compare to the next sample.
Again, his subjective opinion. He actually states that when "put on the spot" in such a manor his magical abilities mysteriously disappear.....which to me is a much more telling statement......
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Old 01-05-2013   #81
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
But what's funny is that weird behavior that subwoofery's pictures show is not necessarily the norm. There are much much cheaper amps out there that don't change their response profiles when you adjust the gain. And are perfectly consistent into a wide range of loads. So how do we interpret this? It's not like all amps go fucking crazy when you change the gain. Just the Arc does (and probably some others).

Here's the million dollar question:

If a cheap $129 Kenwood is perfectly flat, distortion-free, and not very noisy -- and it's this way under all conditions -- is it the "better" amp than a $1500 amp that maybe has some erratic behavior?

Here's the second million dollar question:

Do these behaviors, which appear to be confined to >10kHz, explain the subjective impressions of people in this thread? Can those measurements explain the issue of dynamics, midrange clarity, and other factors that people talk about? How would that arc amp sound on a pair of midranges that are lowpassed at 3k?

If I may answer the first million dollar question, the answer is simple. In some minds, heck not some, a lot in fact, the "Kenwood" example amp will always be an inferior amp simply because it didn't cost as much or have some boutique name attached.
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Old 01-05-2013   #82
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery View Post
My girlfriend surely knew I change something as soon as we drove off (her driving) - asking why is the stage deeper (first from a DLS A2 --> Milbert) and the second time why is the system sounding more dynamic (from Milbert --> Prestigio)
If you bring your system to where you want it (tuning wise) - live with it for a couple of years without touching its tuning (like I did with my first system) then change only 1 thing (Audison LRx --> Milbert) then yes, I believe you can hear a difference even with gain matching...
The discussion about an amp being just an amp is always known as a dead debate between two parties so this is why each one give his own take on the subject but should not turn it to a fight.

But if you have an audiophile girlfriend, man that is rare!!!

One hell of a woman - consider a ring!

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Old 01-05-2013   #83
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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
The amplifier above appears to be a Class-D, since the high frequency output varies so much according to the load. That's caused by the low pass filter that's required on the output of a class-D. You won't see that in a class-AB, since the filter isn't required. The graph in the top left makes absolutely no sense to me if it's an indication of the frequency response at several input sensitivity adjustments unless the input sensitivity adjustment pot somehow loads the output of whatever analyzer is used--If that's the case, I'd call it a faulty design. It's more likely a measurement problem.
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Old 01-05-2013   #84
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wehmeyer View Post
The amplifier above appears to be a Class-D, since the high frequency output varies so much according to the load. That's caused by the low pass filter that's required on the output of a class-D. You won't see that in a class-AB, since the filter isn't required. The graph in the top left makes absolutely no sense to me if it's an indication of the frequency response at several input sensitivity adjustments unless the input sensitivity adjustment pot somehow loads the output of whatever analyzer is used--If that's the case, I'd call it a faulty design. It's more likely a measurement problem.
Sweeet, now we're talking... Thanks Andy - as usual, you're spot on
The freq response changing with the load is in fact a class D amp:
Hertz HDP5


Regarding input sensitivity adjustments, I really don't know if it's a faulty design (guess not) but it definitely isn't a measurement problem since I have a few tests that show freq response change from -6dB to 0dB (see below):


Kelvin

PS: for those that want to play the guess game - There's 3 x Sinfonis, 2 x Genesis, 2 x Audison, 2 x Celestra, 1 x Steg, and 1 x Focal
All of the above a considered great amps...

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 01-05-2013   #85
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieg View Post
The discussion about an amp being just an amp is always known as a dead debate between two parties so this is why each one give his own take on the subject but should not turn it to a fight.

But if you have an audiophile girlfriend, man that is rare!!!

One hell of a woman - consider a ring!
She's got a ring on already With the wedding band coming in August this year

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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 01-05-2013   #86
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Smile Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wehmeyer View Post
The amplifier above appears to be a Class-D, since the high frequency output varies so much according to the load. That's caused by the low pass filter that's required on the output of a class-D. You won't see that in a class-AB, since the filter isn't required. The graph in the top left makes absolutely no sense to me if it's an indication of the frequency response at several input sensitivity adjustments unless the input sensitivity adjustment pot somehow loads the output of whatever analyzer is used--If that's the case, I'd call it a faulty design. It's more likely a measurement problem.
Hmmm....this is very interesting since I'm using Class D Amp.
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Old 01-05-2013   #87
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
But what's funny is that weird behavior that subwoofery's pictures show is not necessarily the norm. There are much much cheaper amps out there that don't change their response profiles when you adjust the gain. And are perfectly consistent into a wide range of loads. So how do we interpret this? It's not like all amps go fucking crazy when you change the gain. Just the Arc does (and probably some others).

Here's the million dollar question:

If a cheap $129 Kenwood is perfectly flat, distortion-free, and not very noisy -- and it's this way under all conditions -- is it the "better" amp than a $1500 amp that maybe has some erratic behavior?
Always depends on your goal... If you want an amp to be as described above - then sure, you'll feel much better spending $129 on it than on a much more expensive amp.
If you want your amp to have close tolerance on parts (no mismatch from L channel to R channel), last longer (not need to change it every month), have better warranty or lifetime warranty, better support, yet to be "perfectly flat, distortion-free, and not very noisy", then some would pay that kind of money to have, in their opinion, the better amp


Here's the second million dollar question:

Do these behaviors, which appear to be confined to >10kHz, explain the subjective impressions of people in this thread? Can those measurements explain the issue of dynamics, midrange clarity, and other factors that people talk about? How would that arc amp sound on a pair of midranges that are lowpassed at 3k?
Distorsion over the whole bandwith - posted many times about that and still feel that it is widely different from 1 amp to another...
If you remember, it's not only about freq response: gain, power, frequency response, noise or distortion
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 01-05-2013   #88
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti1960 View Post
*ABX testing. Our holy grail on this site is ABX blind testing. The author mentions that this is not the best way to audition an amlifier- but rather live with one for a week and then compare to the next sample.
Heard this objection before, it's just because they fail the ABX test and refuse to believe that they couldn't hear a difference, therefore they come up with these objections why ABX testing is faulty. I don't buy it... Seen articles on several occasions where they moved the components from different amps (cheaper/more expensive) and put them in a "black box" and let them listen to them for like a week or so, another test with some speaker/signal cables, same methodology. Guess what? They still failed the test, then they come up with another reason and another...

If the difference is so great, then it should be clearly audible and a simple ABX test should be child play to finish. If the difference is there but cannot be heard under normal conditions, why should it any concern at all in a Car of all places? People that say ABX testing ain't a valid testing method, ain't credible imo.

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Old 01-05-2013   #89
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by asawendo View Post
Hmmm....this is very interesting since I'm using Class D Amp.
Most class D manufacturers will tell you this, actually. This is why it's been brought up in some threads here that higher impedances aren't necessarily better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery View Post
Distorsion over the whole bandwith - posted many times about that and still feel that it is widely different from 1 amp to another...
If you remember, it's not only about freq response: gain, power, frequency response, noise or distortion
Yup, I agree with you and the other guy who said that the simple one-number spec sheets are useless. A data sheet would be much more informative, and could tell you about distortion characteristics as a function of various parameters (like vs. freq, or vs. output level).

But I don't buy the idea that these things are very different from one amp to another. I base this on two things... 1) I've measured them myself for a handful of amps once upon a time ; and 2) it's relatively cheap and easy to design one where the operation is perfect, so it doesn't make any sense why manufacturers would go out of their way to make them imperfect. Why does Arc make their amps' frequency response change with the gain control? Other cheap cheap cheap amps are able to do this without changing freq response, so one can only assume that Arc intentionally did this. [if it's not a measurement error by the tester]

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 01-05-2013   #90
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Heard this objection before, it's just because they fail the ABX test and refuse to believe that they couldn't hear a difference, therefore they come up with these objections why ABX testing is faulty. I don't buy it... Seen articles on several occasions where they moved the components from different amps (cheaper/more expensive) and put them in a "black box" and let them listen to them for like a week or so, another test with some speaker/signal cables, same methodology. Guess what? They still failed the test, then they come up with another reason and another...

If the difference is so great, then it should be clearly audible and a simple ABX test should be child play to finish. If the difference is there but cannot be heard under normal conditions, why should it any concern at all in a Car of all places? People that say ABX testing ain't a valid testing method, ain't credible imo.
Arny Krueger and John Atkinson debated this issue once upon a time (there's a link to audio). Here's a link to the Stereophile article afterwards, and the diyaudio commentary which is pretty funny.

The great ABX debate: Atkinson vs Kreuger - diyAudio

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 01-05-2013   #91
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Never thought about the roll off because of the inductor. Makes sense since I think about it
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Old 01-05-2013   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
Arny Krueger and John Atkinson debated this issue once upon a time (there's a link to audio). Here's a link to the Stereophile article afterwards, and the diyaudio commentary which is pretty funny.

The great ABX debate: Atkinson vs Kreuger - diyAudio
Quite amusing indeed

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Old 01-06-2013   #93
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Never thought about the roll off because of the inductor. Makes sense since I think about it

That output filter is usually second order or higher, which is why the half-power frequency AND the Q changes so dramatically.
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Old 01-06-2013   #94
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I'd say that both camps in the debate take themselves a bit too seriously. Humans devise tests to prove, validate or explain experience. To say that ABX or any other test currently available is incontravertable is silly. To say that science can't be applied to art is equally preposterous.
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Old 01-06-2013   #95
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
But what's funny is that weird behavior that subwoofery's pictures show is not necessarily the norm. There are much much cheaper amps out there that don't change their response profiles when you adjust the gain. And are perfectly consistent into a wide range of loads. So how do we interpret this? It's not like all amps go fucking crazy when you change the gain. Just the Arc does (and probably some others).

Here's the million dollar question:

If a cheap $129 Kenwood is perfectly flat, distortion-free, and not very noisy -- and it's this way under all conditions -- is it the "better" amp than a $1500 amp that maybe has some erratic behavior?

GOOD QUESTION! Although you left open some variables- I cold imagine a flawed, expensive high end amp sounding smokin' 90% of the time to be more desirable (better) than a low cost amp that never offends but sounds less exciting or dynamic all the time. Someone else may think differently!

Here's the second million dollar question:

Do these behaviors, which appear to be confined to >10kHz, explain the subjective impressions of people in this thread? Can those measurements explain the issue of dynamics, midrange clarity, and other factors that people talk about? How would that arc amp sound on a pair of midranges that are lowpassed at 3k?
I don't think so. However the point of calling to mention those tests is that there are so many parameters and interactions of an amplifier within a system that are not tested and never published such that you could reasonably conclude that sound characteristics based on listening impressions (as mentioned in this thread) could be measured or ferreted out with the right system level testing.

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Old 01-06-2013   #96
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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You found that article enlightening? I read nothing but his subjective opinion with absolutely no supporting objective, emperical evidence. He basically said "Of course there are differences, I know because I can hear them." Very unpersuasive.

That was his subjective opinion, no supporting empirical evidence.

Not trying to submit evidence in a court of law, just trying to relate experiences by a seasoned audiophile. It works for me because I have had similar sonic experiences. Walks like a duck, basically.




As Mark briefly pointed out, there isn't enough information about the test to determine much of anything from the picture Subwoofery posted.

Other than not all amplifier characteristics and system interactions are tested for or have specifications published by the manufacturers of amplifiers- and that clearly there are variables that affect the sound- what we hear- despite amps having similar mfg. specs.

Quite clearly some people think they can hear differences; the italicized is a very important but necessary addition to your statement. Some people claim to hear subtle differences not supported by objective empirical measurement, that very much does not make them "quite clearly" able to hear something others can not.

I fall in the coke tastes different then pepsi crowd. maybe it's a curse rather than a blessing? subjective or empirical is irrelevant- it's what i hear- day in and day out and i fix my system accordingly. if replacing an amp resolves a sonic issue one possible conclusion is that the amp has better sound reproduction.


Again, his subjective opinion. He actually states that when "put on the spot" in such a manor his magical abilities mysteriously disappear.....which to me is a much more telling statement......
I agree. It's very telling because human interactions - e.g. stress- do alter our perceptions- which makes ABX testing flawed for some. Yet taking your time, living with an amp for a week or so, then making the switch- eliminates the stress factor.

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Old 01-06-2013   #97
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Heard this objection before, it's just because they fail the ABX test and refuse to believe that they couldn't hear a difference, therefore they come up with these objections why ABX testing is faulty. I don't buy it... Seen articles on several occasions where they moved the components from different amps (cheaper/more expensive) and put them in a "black box" and let them listen to them for like a week or so, another test with some speaker/signal cables, same methodology. Guess what? They still failed the test, then they come up with another reason and another...

If the difference is so great, then it should be clearly audible and a simple ABX test should be child play to finish. If the difference is there but cannot be heard under normal conditions, why should it any concern at all in a Car of all places? People that say ABX testing ain't a valid testing method, ain't credible imo.
I agree- to a point. I think variables that have an effect on sound (system interactions) are eliminated from most ABX testing. There are no noise factors considered- how an amp responds if over driven by high midrange / harsh source material, how it responds to the load of different speakers, how it responds to the load of a range of input voltage, etc. For example, many of the issues I have experienced with amplifiers are present on only a percentage of the music i listen to- but still highly repeatable- and highly objectionable- as one example of a system noise factor. if i were involved in an ABX test playing the friendly source material I would fail it as well- which is why extended listening has a better chance of potentially making differences more understood. Good stuff! On

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Old 01-06-2013   #98
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by avanti1960 View Post
I don't think so. However the point of calling to mention those tests is that there are so many parameters and interactions of an amplifier within a system that are not tested and never published such that you could reasonably conclude that sound characteristics based on listening impressions (as mentioned in this thread) could be measured or ferreted out with the right system level testing.
Exactly.

For starters, let's just say that amp manufacturers provide ZERO info about the performance of their amps. They really don't tell us anything about them, aside from maximum Power output, and even that can be iffy.

Do they tell us about frequency response? Not usually. They might list a spec that says "20-20kHz", but all that tells us is what their recommended operation range is, not their performance in that range. Sometimes they do add "+/- 1dB" alongside it, which tells us that the FR is probably flat from 20-20k within 2 dB. Ok, that's fair. But this is probably into non-reactive loads.

Do they tell us about distortion? Hardly ever. They might say "<0.1% distortion", but distortion is well-known to vary with output level and frequency, so a single number can't possibly encapsulate that information. Unless they're saying that 0.1% is the worst case scenario for all frequencies and all output levels (below clipping). But they hardly ever mean that. They usually mean @ 1kHz @ max unclipped voltage. Useless.

Do they tell us about noise performance? Usually there's an S/N spec somewhere, but that doesn't directly tell us anything about PSRR. And it certainly doesn't allow us to predict how prone to ground loops the design is. So, again, useless.

Speaker manufacturers are a little better than this because they give us T/S parameters and sometimes a frequency response plot (and when they're really nice, a polar response estimate!). But they also don't tell us anything about distortion performance or linearity.

Bottom line, the way manufacturers report the performance of their equipment is sorely lacking. This is why there became a demand for external testing of these items. Not just to verify that the manufacturers aren't lying, but to actually provide the information that the manufacturers do not make public.

Having said all that, manufacturers' reluctance to provide information should not be confused with the idea that this information does not exist, or that it cannot be measured by modern equipment. We've had a few people here volunteer to make these measurements themselves and provide it to the community for free. There's a subforum devoted to it, and a couple popular websites that are commonly referenced, such as:

Zaph|Audio
Medley's Musings | audio Component Data, Analysis, and Experiences

I don't know of any similar sites for amplifiers. Although CA&E used to have some very basic measurements on their site... I don't know if they still do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

This may have been said.....I don't know..... but one thing I have noticed in the Car audio equipment battles in the 1 year I have been in Car audio.......Is that what sounds best for one may not Sound best for another.....what gives....I think it has to do with the individuals psychological way of processing sound.
Sure the higher-end stuff uses better/superior materials to Build their amps.speakers,HU etc......But some people do hear with their wallet/purse too......and settles the question of what sounds good.

Keeping it Jazzy 'n' Smooth Charles
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

GREAT article on actually testing to show a difference in amplifiers sound

The Sound of audio Amplifiers: Can you hear a difference between Amps?
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