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Old 04-07-2013   #126
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by matdotcom2000 View Post
I dont think its a myth its more like the guys said before about build quaility and honestly preference, power, and current draw.. I currently have 7 or 8 amps in my possession and have owned many many many more... I am in the middle of a build and decided to have a head to head with my Arc Audio xxk 4150 (badass specs for a decent price), Monitor 1 2.70 (cheap price great build quality), Zapco c2k 2.0 (possibly SQ myth amp), and last but not least old school zapco z250c4...
I played each one of the amplifiers on tweeters, mids, midbass.. They all were different and I would use different amps for different reasons..
Honestly for midrange and tweeters I would rank the amps
1. C2k 2.0 2. Monitor1 3.z250c4 4.xxk4150
Midbass was totally different BTW all amps were bridged
1.xxk4150 2. C2k 2.0 3. Monitor1 4. z250c4
I ranked them based on my needs and personal taste. I honestly think that the Zapco c2k amplifiers are the BEST bang for buck SQ amps... They beat the pants out of most high end amplifiers IMO in price, power, and sound.. I have had arc SE, TRU, Helix etc... There is no comparison.. Honestly in my test I was pulling for the Monitor1 because of price and Size, Thinking I could sell the rest and get more than 60 bucks an amp, but in some test they just didnt match up totally..

So bottom line High END amps are NOT a MYTH depending on the amp and what your needs and taste are..
what qualities about the Zapco are better- bass (mainly), dynamics, or midrange / high frequency clarity?

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Old 04-07-2013   #127
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I agree with many of you on this. Some higher quality amps last longer and I do hear a slight difference between them I had an Orion 800.4 one of the new old school models it sounded wonderful dynamic clean. I know have two JL 300/2 amps and they sound wonderful ...very clean...and dynamic. I have noticed they also pick up less or actually no noise where the orion had some very faint alternator whine to it I could never quite get rid of. Still loved it. Gobs of power...I think power wise I can not tell the difference between the slash amps and it even though they are 50 more watts per channel.

What I have noticed and what really blew me away recently was the difference the head unit makes ...I had what I thought was good ..An Alpine X305 with the optional imprint processor. I recently swapped it for a Kenwood X997. The difference was immediate and night and day. I am really disappointed in Alpine as I always thought they had really great equipment. And some of the older stuff is really great. But no matter how I tuned the 305 with imprint it never sounded anywhere near as good as this Kenwood. Not even close not a little bit close ....it was Pyramid bad.

I also think that speakers make a huge difference and think that is why most of us here keep swapping them out I currently have SPX17's in front and Boston Pro 6's in back. I did have Pro's all around at one point but sold the front pair after hearing the SPX 17's in a sound board. The system sound very good ...fabulous even. But I have noticed the lack of midbass in the SPX's everone else on here describes. I do however think they sound amazing in a way I can't really explain. Clean maybe...accurate...they separate instruments well and image great. I had a set of Boston SPZ's in my old car that I sold and never should have though....I think they are the best speakers I have ever owned. But in the spirit of this Addiction I will probably be going with a different front set soon hoping to get that SPX sound with more midbass

But I digress ...this was about amps. I can also tell the difference between Class D and Class AB I think. It's not that I don't like the sound of Class D amps ...I do. But to me they sound more edgy....powerful for the rating typically. I had a ED nine.5 that was really powerful and clean for it's rating and not typically considered a "quality" amp ....not sure if any of this helps but it is my opinion...good luck.
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Old 04-07-2013   #128
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by avanti1960 View Post
what qualities about the Zapco are better- bass (mainly), dynamics, or midrange / high frequency clarity?
Honestly the best amp in the bass region was the monitor 1.. That little amp is VERRRRYYYYY sweeet for the price, the hell with JL audio, MTX and who ever. It is the best bang for buck for size, power, and sound.. IT has a warm sound with great bass and dynamics. But the XXK was just more refinded and tight on midbass. But the C2k is transparent on mids and tweeters, very clear, Not all muddy. Not to say most amps are muddy. You would not know that your sound was muddy until you compare this amp with another amplifier. I was veryy happy with the monitor1 until I compared it to the C2k honestly.. The only reason I purchased a C2k was because it was dirt cheap and I have owned them before (couldnt remember how they sounded)....

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Old 04-12-2013   #129
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by cleansoundz View Post
The difference in the sounds should be more based with the speakers and through the head units. A rf or kicker 100 x 4 will sound better than a 60 x 4 McIntosh merely because the are more power.
That is pure and utter rubbish. How is it that people think that amps done make a difference in sound? All electronics change the sound in some way. ALL!! Nobody knows what neutral is because everything colours the sound. Trust me, I have owned a LOT of expensive amps and I will tell you they are not created equal, regardless of power specs. My Orion NT amps are some of the cleanest, most dynamic and powerful amps I've used. And they are 50x2 and 100x2. I would put these up against pretty much anything.
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Old 04-12-2013   #130
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by soundhertz View Post
That is pure and utter rubbish. How is it that people think that amps done make a difference in sound?
Read the thread and you'll see why some people think that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 04-12-2013   #131
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
Read the thread and you'll see why some people think that.
I have read the thread. The thing is, an amp is "supposed" to just amplify the sound. Look at the hundreds of different designs with all the different quality components inside. How can they all sound the same? Impossible. That is a ridiculous notion. If that's the case, I will go buy a $50 flea market amp and sell my NTs. I'm sure they are rated to put out more power.
Also, let's have a head unit test. Run each head unit through a high quality sound processor and rta the signal and I bet a $100 head unit will sound every bit as good as an ODR. I just don't understand why it's so hard to believe why a head unit makes all the difference but an amplifier makes none?
I recently swapped out my Orion NT 200 amplifiers for a JL Audio 900/5. For test purposes only. Same power, 100watts x4, not using the sub channel. I gotta say that it was no comparison. I had hoped for more out of the JL but it came up wayyyy short. I was a little disappointed, to be honest. I was kinda looking forward to the easy install, lol!
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Old 04-13-2013   #132
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by soundhertz View Post
I just don't understand why it's so hard to believe why a head unit makes all the difference but an amplifier makes none?
Imo, it's other way around :P

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Old 04-13-2013   #133
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by soundhertz View Post
My Orion NT amps are some of the cleanest, most dynamic and powerful amps I've used. And they are 50x2 and 100x2. I would put these up against pretty much anything.
I know for a fact that those Orion amplifiers are underrated, so the 50x2 and 100x2 are a misnomer for comparison purposes. One of the things I learned through out my chase for the SQ holy grail is that POWER to be the key to being able to tell the difference between amplifiers, not the actual brand of amplifier itself. For example, I went from 75 watts RMS per door to 300 watts RMS per door, and I noticed a HUGE difference in dynamics. Everything sounded so much cleaner and my amplifiers were barely breaking a sweat.

Now, allow me to scientifically analyze this for a second. Let's make the assumption that I can get your Orion amplifier to measure the same as another amplifier as verified with an Audio Precision at an output level far below clipping. At 15% to 20% power output capacity, do you honestly think you'd be able to tell the difference between your Orion and the other amplifier that measures identically in a double blind a/b/x test? If so, please explain how or why you'd be able to hear such a difference.

With all that stated, don't get me wrong, I believe in paying a premium for a quality product that will hold up in the harsh environment that the automobile has to offer. I just refuse to pay a premium for something because it is known to have the golden ear award for Sound Quality. Been there, done that, learned from that mistake, and moved on!

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Old 04-13-2013   #134
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
I know for a fact that those Orion amplifiers are underrated, so the 50x2 and 100x2 are a misnomer for comparison purposes. One of the things I learned through out my chase for the SQ holy grail is that POWER to be the key to being able to tell the difference between amplifiers, not the actual brand of amplifier itself. For example, I went from 75 watts RMS per door to 300 watts RMS per door, and I noticed a HUGE difference in dynamics. Everything sounded so much cleaner and my amplifiers were barely breaking a sweat.

Now, allow me to scientifically analyze this for a second. Let's make the assumption that I can get your Orion amplifier to measure the same as another amplifier as verified with an Audio Precision at an output level far below clipping. At 15% to 20% power output capacity, do you honestly think you'd be able to tell the difference between your Orion and the other amplifier that measures identically in a double blind a/b/x test? If so, please explain how or why you'd be able to hear such a difference.

With all that stated, don't get me wrong, I believe in paying a premium for a quality product that will hold up in the harsh environment that the automobile has to offer. I just refuse to pay a premium for something because it is known to have the golden ear award for Sound Quality. Been there, done that, learned from that mistake, and moved on!
Actually, those Orions aren't very underrated. BidDWiz did a test at 13.8 volts, with a reactive load, and it only mildly exceeded its rated power.
But yeah, lots of power is definitely a great thing. I once used 2 Genesis monoblocks to power my front stage once. Incredible head room!
I guess as long as the system sounds good, that's all that matters. :-)
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Old 04-13-2013   #135
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by soundhertz View Post
How can they all sound the same? Impossible. That is a ridiculous notion.
Yeah, about as ridiculous as time travel into the future.

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Old 04-13-2013   #136
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I've already stated many times why I use the amps I use. Power, size, efficiency, quality, practically non existent noise floor. To me my HDs are "good enough". I do not believe I would gain anything from a more expensive amp, I have a McIntosh collecting dust.

What I do believe just like some others here is power is the key. More power has almost always equaled better SQ. If I went with cheap amps I would make sure to have lots of power on tap and I bet I wouldn't lose much if any SQ unless the noise floor was high.

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Old 04-13-2013   #137
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by BuickGN View Post
I've already stated many times why I use the amps I use. Power, size, efficiency, quality, practically non existent noise floor. To me my HDs are "good enough". I do not believe I would gain anything from a more expensive amp, I have a McIntosh collecting dust.

What I do believe just like some others here is power is the key. More power has almost always equaled better SQ. If I went with cheap amps I would make sure to have lots of power on tap and I bet I wouldn't lose much if any SQ unless the noise floor was high.
Kinda agree with that.

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Old 04-13-2013   #138
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by t3sn4f2 View Post
Yeah, about as ridiculous as time travel into the future.
hmm...
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Old 04-13-2013   #139
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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hmm...
.....

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Old 04-13-2013   #140
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I started this thread about higher end amps and sq. However, I have to state my latest findings. Recently I ran a JBL GTO 804ez rated at 80 watts rms x 4, RF 400x4 rated at 50 watts rms x4 and a RF 600x4 rated at 75 watts rms x 4. Gains were set with my DD1. They all sounded good. I just purchased a new CDT SQA 4075 rated at 75 watts x4 rms and let me tell you that this amp blew all of those listed amps away. The gains on my CDT were set with my DD1. I would think the CDT was grossly underrated for the difference to be so apparent. However according to the birth sheet on the RF P400x4 and 600x4, they are underrated as well but sound nothing like my CDT. No way does my CDT come out of my truck.

What do you all make of this?
BTW my birth sheet on the CDT has it rated at 79 watts per channel at 4 ohms.
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Old 04-14-2013   #141
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundhertz View Post
I have read the thread. The thing is, an amp is "supposed" to just amplify the sound. Look at the hundreds of different designs with all the different quality components inside. How can they all sound the same? Impossible. That is a ridiculous notion.
I believe this point was addressed too, although I might be thinking of another thread.

The great fallacy among "audiophiles" is that a piece of equipment is defined by the "quality" of the components inside. I think they believe that because they don't know how the actual equipment WORKS, so the differences must be with the guts. Well, that's somewhat true, but it's less about the "quality" of the components, and more about the "quality" of the design. A great design can use cheap components.

If you brought an amplifier to me and said, "Mark, how can I make this amp better??" I would first say, "Better how?" Then you would probably say you want improved distortion performance, lower noise, flatter frequency response from 20-20k, etc. To achieve those three things, virtually every modification I would suggest would probably be related to the design, not the components selected within the design. In fact, with a few exceptions, it's usually a bad idea to replace components in an already well-thought-out design.

So, the difference between your Orion amp and, say, the post-DEI Orion amps has less to do with the company putting "name brand" components inside, and more to do with the design overhaul that occurred when they bought out Orion.

But even more importantly, the fact is that there are a shitload of ways to skin a cat. You can alter a circuit to look completely different from another one, but make it behave in the same exact manner.

IMO, some of you guys should spend less time wondering about what's inside your amplifiers and more time trying to figure out how to objectively and systematically measure amplifier performance. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what comes out of the ass of the amplifier, and whether or not it's as clean as the other amplifier.


Quote:
Also, let's have a head unit test.
Been done. Search the site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 04-14-2013   #142
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

So what you're saying is differently designed amps sound different?
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Old 04-14-2013   #143
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by Golden Ear View Post
So what you're saying is differently designed amps sound different?



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Old 04-14-2013   #144
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by Golden Ear View Post
So what you're saying is differently designed amps sound different?
I'm saying that if we're gonna talk about one amp being different from another amp, internally, 1) let's first have a fucking clue about what those differences are; and 2) let's know what those differences MEAN.

The idea that Orion's NT amplifiers are better than Orion's XTR amplifiers because one uses Toshiba transistors and the other uses Sanken transistors would be such an oversimplistic account of the situation that it's really a big embarassing facepalm.

I know nothing about cars. I do know that my Volvo has a 16 gallon gas tank and a Saturn I borrowed once had a 13 gallon gas tank. I like the way my Volvo drives much better, so therefore bigger gas tanks mean better driving cars. See? In this example I violated both criteria: 1) I really don't have any clue about the differences of those two cars under the hood aside from the gas tank; and 2) I have no idea that the size of the gas tank results in better performance. In other words, I should shut the fuck up about what's under the hood, and stick to my subjective impressions about how the Volvo drives vs. the Saturn.

So let's skip the whole discussion about what parts are in the amplifier, because most of the people commenting in this thread don't know what those parts DO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subwoofery
What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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Old 04-14-2013   #145
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

You surely can't be implying that the (performance of the) sum of the parts is greater than the parts itself.
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Old 04-14-2013   #146
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Lmao
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Old 04-14-2013   #147
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Lmao

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Old 04-14-2013   #148
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Lmao

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Old 04-14-2013   #149
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Mark, thank you for the analogy. I, for one, don't know anything about the differences between what's inside cheap amps and expensive amps. I do, however, know that I like the sound of my Rockford Fosgate 4 channel amp more than my Zed Draconia. The RF is older and was cheaper so I believe psychoacoustics can be removed from the equation. The RF is 75 wpc versus the Draconia's 150wpc so more power can be removed from the equation. Maybe my ears like class AB over class D? Idk
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Old 04-14-2013   #150
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by MarkZ View Post
I'm saying that if we're gonna talk about one amp being different from another amp, internally, 1) let's first have a fucking clue about what those differences are; and 2) let's know what those differences MEAN.

The idea that Orion's NT amplifiers are better than Orion's XTR amplifiers because one uses Toshiba transistors and the other uses Sanken transistors would be such an oversimplistic account of the situation that it's really a big embarassing facepalm.

I know nothing about cars. I do know that my Volvo has a 16 gallon gas tank and a Saturn I borrowed once had a 13 gallon gas tank. I like the way my Volvo drives much better, so therefore bigger gas tanks mean better driving cars. See? In this example I violated both criteria: 1) I really don't have any clue about the differences of those two cars under the hood aside from the gas tank; and 2) I have no idea that the size of the gas tank results in better performance. In other words, I should shut the fuck up about what's under the hood, and stick to my subjective impressions about how the Volvo drives vs. the Saturn.

So let's skip the whole discussion about what parts are in the amplifier, because most of the people commenting in this thread don't know what those parts DO.
... but the smaller gas tank is lighter therefore it has a better 0-60 miles performance - correct?

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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