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Old 05-14-2013   #201
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I personally used to be a big believer in the differences in amps. I too had swapped amps multiple times and heard a difference each time. It was only when I picked up a decent set of bookshelf speakers and ran multiple amps that were level matched through the same pair of speakers over and over that I determined for myself that there is no audible difference between amplifiers that are similar power and level matched. Anyone that tests this for themselves PROPERLY will come to the same conclusion.

If you don't bother to do this, or don't know how to do this, you will continue to live in ignorance of the facts...

Anyone local to NJ is welcome to stop by and experience this in person.

That being said, I still pick better quality amps from reputable manufacturers simply for reliability, space savings, connction capabilities, and thermal management. There are plenty to choose from, so find what fits your needs/budget, but don't buy on SQ...
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Old 05-15-2013   #202
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Different capacitors in the circuit will give you different sound. It's just the way things are.
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Old 05-15-2013   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianhj View Post
Different capacitors in the circuit will give you different sound. It's just the way things are.
Question.... Since most here employ some sort of processing and in depth ones at that, can two different amps sound similar (aside from thd) with just fine adjustments?

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Old 05-15-2013   #204
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by Bayboy View Post
Question.... Since most here employ some sort of processing and in depth ones at that, can two different amps sound similar (aside from thd) with just fine adjustments?
Similar? Sure.. but not exactly the same. Unless you have an infinite set of points to adjust on the frequency spectrum. But that's a given. When looking at the big picture 31 bands is not very many!
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Old 05-15-2013   #205
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Originally Posted by brianhj View Post
Similar? Sure.. but not exactly the same. Unless you have an infinite set of points to adjust on the frequency spectrum. But that's a given. When looking at the big picture 31 bands is not very many!
Gotcha.... I take it some of these high end amps are that distinct? That would be a tough one for me being that I haven't heard any of these amps that I can remember.

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Old 05-15-2013   #206
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by WRX/Z28 View Post
....

That being said, I still pick better quality amps from reputable manufacturers simply for reliability, space savings, connction capabilities, and thermal management. There are plenty to choose from, so find what fits your needs/budget, but don't buy on SQ...
I agree with this for sure.
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Old 05-15-2013   #207
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Measure FR and distortion with RoomEQ through the speakers with amp1. Switch amp measure again with 'amp2' - level match. Any changes should be visable in FR/phase/distortion, decay. It's after all, what we hear. The only thing not measurable would be IMD (still dunno how measure that). Anyone ever tried this?

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Old 08-05-2013   #208
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Well i fell on mcintosh mc440 still not noticing big ddiferences but i guess im connect ing wrong impedances. Finished read the manual ten minutes ago..

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Old 08-05-2013   #209
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Hehe they advertized twice and warning! don t use channel 5&6 with xover at 80 or 120hz ..

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Old 08-05-2013   #210
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Ok this is confusing to me. so can someone please break it down to the simplest terms for me? I am and have been for many years been a fan of Pioneer. That being said. If Im understanding this thread correctly half of you are saying that the PRS-D4200F 4x75 at $500 is no better than the GM-D8604 4x100 at $200 The other half are saying it is. Im in the market for a good amp and thought I had decided until I started reading this thread....... little help pleas.....
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Old 08-05-2013   #211
 
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My tests have concluded much different results than the Richard Clark challenge. The fact of dumbing down the capacity the of the different amps and and then EQing them to take out major differences? Really? So to have a neutral sound let's go ahead and spend hours tuning them out. I get the tube 30watt vs. SS 30watt challenge but it should be straight up. I have found that everything you introduce in the signal chain can have an effect on the sound.
I have done very objective test with normal non sound guys test subjects and audiophiles and had clear results even with similarly rated amps. Did it based on final db output per amp on true full range speakers worth more than most cars. There was distinct sound character to different models, brands, designs, etc.
I like to start at the most neutral position when tuning. But that being said a properly calibrated, and tuned system will always sound better.
On more simplistic source, amp, and speaker system the differences will be more obvious. I do believe that if you know what you are doing the power of the new processors do allow you to tune out many differences introduced by amp design power and current delivery being the same. In the car at least. I have found many differences on how amps react to speaker loads also. In cars you don't run into as many challenges but in home you may have electrostatic, planar, and other non traditional diaphragms these can really change the sound of an amp.
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Old 08-06-2013   #212
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilkySlim View Post
My tests have concluded much different results than the Richard Clark challenge. The fact of dumbing down the capacity the of the different amps and and then EQing them to take out major differences? Really? So to have a neutral sound let's go ahead and spend hours tuning them out. I get the tube 30watt vs. SS 30watt challenge but it should be straight up. I have found that everything you introduce in the signal chain can have an effect on the sound.
I have done very objective test with normal non sound guys test subjects and audiophiles and had clear results even with similarly rated amps. Did it based on final db output per amp on true full range speakers worth more than most cars. There was distinct sound character to different models, brands, designs, etc.
I like to start at the most neutral position when tuning. But that being said a properly calibrated, and tuned system will always sound better.
On more simplistic source, amp, and speaker system the differences will be more obvious. I do believe that if you know what you are doing the power of the new processors do allow you to tune out many differences introduced by amp design power and current delivery being the same. In the car at least. I have found many differences on how amps react to speaker loads also. In cars you don't run into as many challenges but in home you may have electrostatic, planar, and other non traditional diaphragms these can really change the sound of an amp.
So it's worth spending $1500 on an "SQ amp" for it's non-eq'd sound difference instead of buying a $300 amp and using an eq built into almost any deck, or god forbid a $200-300 audio control unit?

The point is that amps don't do anything magical to the signal, and small FR differences can easily be eq'd out, leveling the playing field. Now he also says "any non-linear FR". The point of an amp is music reproduction. If it introduces it's own FR to your music, it's failing at it's only job (accurately reproducing the signal it's fed) however, Richard Clark shows that EQ work fixes that. IE, buy an amp and an eq to get that "sounds different" effect...

Most from the "amps sound different" camp are claiming that the differences are not merely from FR changes, and are "imaging" or "subtle cues" differences. RC proves this is not the case, and an eq with one band moved 3db most often make a larger difference in sound than a different amp.

There is no magical SQ amp. Most competently build amps perform in a linear fashion, but even those that don't can be accounted for.
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Old 08-06-2013   #213
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I can understand not hearing a difference a quiet levels but not at the spl level the music was intended to be listened at.If you can't tell the difference you should listen to live music to hear how an instrument actually sounds.Use test cd's or apps. for education.Then tell me there is hardly a diff.
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Old 08-06-2013   #214
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by car8961 View Post
I can understand not hearing a difference a quiet levels but not at the spl level the music was intended to be listened at.If you can't tell the difference you should listen to live music to hear how an instrument actually sounds.Use test cd's or apps. for education.Then tell me there is hardly a diff.
And if you can tell the difference and you aren't overdriving the amp then you should read the following article.

NwAvGuy: What We Hear

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Old 08-06-2013   #215
 
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I'm sorry but I've had way to many experiences where changes in Dac's or amps have made very noticeable differences. My wife who has some hearing loss in one ear has walked in to the room and ask why the system doesn't sound right she couldn't even stay and listen she said that it was uncomfortable and all that changed was either an amp or dac. So to think that there is this " big great conspiracy from this big grossly profitable industry" is total BS and hogwash. It is a dying industry in which it's most wildly profitable figures have barely scratched the surface of what the avg. starting programmer of apple and Microsoft made during the same time. These are the guys that have made money cutting down the quality of music for the sake of convinence and portability. Easily measurable. I don't see him attacking them? I am not saying that everything marketed to improve sound has been effective and there have been many that we're hookie at best. I have been involved in blind test and have had no trouble picking out what I like consistantly. I have seen novices notice too.
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Old 08-06-2013   #216
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I can hear the difference between my crown a6000gti and a db drive 7.5 or a hifonics sampson or an everest 10k and even though the crown is less power then the others I prefer it.
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Old 08-06-2013   #217
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Alright, you knuckleheads asked for it!

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Old 08-06-2013   #218
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by carlchj View Post
Ok this is confusing to me. so can someone please break it down to the simplest terms for me? I am and have been for many years been a fan of Pioneer. That being said. If Im understanding this thread correctly half of you are saying that the PRS-D4200F 4x75 at $500 is no better than the GM-D8604 4x100 at $200 The other half are saying it is. Im in the market for a good amp and thought I had decided until I started reading this thread....... little help pleas.....
Define "better." Better build quality? I'm pretty sure? Better warranty? I believe so, though it will have long been expired by now.

Audibly better? I don't know. The amps are very similar in terms of spec, including the +0 dB, -3 dB frequency response numbers. The D8604 bests the D4200F in power, but the D4200F bests the D8604 in SNR and THD. Is either of these enough to make a difference in what you hear? I don't know. Especially not without seeing frequency response graphs from each amp.

All that said, I would bet that given the same set of circumstances between the two, the PRS-D4200F will probably last longer the the GM-D8604. Does that mean the GM-D8604 is no good? I hope not, I just picked one up to use in the wife's car!
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Old 08-06-2013   #219
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Alright, you knuckleheads asked for it!

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Lol. This sums it up.

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Old 08-07-2013   #220
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Alright, you knuckleheads asked for it!

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ha ha, her statement at the end says it all. "when you want to beleive it is organic, its just tastes better."

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Old 08-12-2013   #221
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by cleansoundz View Post
I have used several amps over the past 6 years ranging from RF, LP, McIntosh, MTX, PPI, ARC AUDIO, POLK AUDIO, JBL, ZED, LANZAR OPTI, JL AUDIO, KICKER, ECLIPSE, Etc, Etc. While some amps did have a sound that was pleasing to the ear, I noticed that amps with higher power ratings set to a decent pair of speakers whether they were separates or coaxials sounded just as good as the so called higher end amps. My point is an 100 watt x 4 channel of a good brand sounded just as clean, crisp and clear as the so called higher end brands such as Brax, McIntosh, etc. The same applied to bass as well. I swapped out several good brand of amps with higher end amps to notice very little difference in sound quality using a sealed enclosure. If this is the case, why spend so much money on the so-called higher end brands?
no amplifier should have a "sound." Amps should be completely transparent if they do their job properly. When you buy a higher end amp what you buy is superior board layout and design, better quality components inside for better longevity and consistency across the board from amp to amp, and typically, better company support if you do have an issue with the product. There is more to quality than just the sound of something. I'm not, however, trying to convince you to spend two grand on an amplifier if you can get something just as good for cheaper. Just remember that you also have to look at dynamic headroom of the amplifier (power supply is a big chunk of the price in a quality amp) which will determine how good the amp sounds when you really push it to it's limits. The better amp's limits will far exceed that of the cheaper amp. Anyway, when people are looking to upgrade an audio system for a car, I usually tell them to buy a "good" amp and not a "great" amp if money is an issue. The amplifiers are one of the least effective ways to improve an audio system. speaker choice and placement, for example, is far more able to change a system's timbre for a listener than a bigger or more expensive amp will.

If you truly believe, however, that a "watt is a watt no matter what," then I suggest this to you: Compare a Pass Labs or First Watt amplifier rated at, say, 18 WPC to an AV receiver in a home stereo system, that's rated for 130 WPC, and tell me which one is the better amplifier. The 25 pound toroid in the First Watt amp will make a tremendous difference over the 35 pound AVR, even with a far lower rated power output.

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Old 08-12-2013   #222
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Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
no amplifier should have a "sound." Amps should be completely transparent if they do their job properly. When you buy a higher end amp what you buy is superior board layout and design, better quality components inside for better longevity and consistency across the board from amp to amp, and typically, better company support if you do have an issue with the product. There is more to quality than just the sound of something. I'm not, however, trying to convince you to spend two grand on an amplifier if you can get something just as good for cheaper. Just remember that you also have to look at dynamic headroom of the amplifier (power supply is a big chunk of the price in a quality amp) which will determine how good the amp sounds when you really push it to it's limits. The better amp's limits will far exceed that of the cheaper amp. Anyway, when people are looking to upgrade an audio system for a car, I usually tell them to buy a "good" amp and not a "great" amp if money is an issue. The amplifiers are one of the least effective ways to improve an audio system. speaker choice and placement, for example, is far more able to change a system's timbre for a listener than a bigger or more expensive amp will.

If you truly believe, however, that a "watt is a watt no matter what," then I suggest this to you: Compare a Pass Labs or First Watt amplifier rated at, say, 18 WPC to an AV receiver in a home stereo system, that's rated for 130 WPC, and tell me which one is the better amplifier. The 25 pound toroid in the First Watt amp will make a tremendous difference over the 35 pound AVR, even with a far lower rated power output.
That's very true Glasswolf...

In my experiences with some good or great power amp (both oldschool and new school) I always pick ones with superior design board and also decent power supply in order to deliver their job flawlessly.

A good or great power amp which sound transparent (so true to the source) and have no coloration and noticeable distortion even in peak dynamic music always been my favorite.



Best Regards

Asawendo

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Old 08-12-2013   #223
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Originally Posted by t3sn4f2 View Post
And if you can tell the difference and you aren't overdriving the amp then you should read the following article.

NwAvGuy: What We Hear
I get a laugh every time I read that. I love the fact they never mention that sound travels in waves. What happens to waves when they interact with each other? They distort each other. Yes we only hear up to the 20k range. Does that prevent a sound that we can not hear from distorting a sound that we can? The answer is no. So, YES higher frequencies that we can not hear do influence sounds we hear all the time.

Back to the topic, Is there a difference between higher end amps and low end amps when it comes to SQ?

Let's go over some facts and logic.

Each part has ratings of tolerance, unbanded (generic up to 20% variance), silver banded (up to 10% variance), gold banded (up to 5% variance), and Military spec (up to 1% variance). These parts are how far they can be off rating and still earn their band.

All amplifiers are using one of a few circuit layouts to amplify signals. These are the classes of amplifiers. Manufacturers add some protection to keep us from damaging what we purchase and ourselves also.

When you buy a higher end amp, they should be using higher end parts. Less variance = truer to measured parts = closer to perfect sound reproduction. Now this does not prevent unbanded parts from being off enough in opposite ways to end up sounding just as good. What you are paying for is a guaranteed better sounding amp on averages.

Is it possible for a lower end amp to end up sounding better than a higher end amp?

Absolutely.

How often will that happen?

About as often I will win the lottery.
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Old 08-12-2013   #224
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

and that actually links back to why people love old school car stereo products. For me, I'm an old Orion fan, and their higher end products used full MilSpec components throughout, which not only had tighter tolerances, but were able to operate in greater temerature ranges with larger variances in voltage without damage, which in short, meant they held up better to age and abuse. Even today, over 20 years later, the most I have to do to restore most of those old amps is just re-cap them, since electrolytics have a limited lifespan anyway. The KEF Reference home speakers I restore use components that were hand matched for tolerance, so every pair of speakers were serialized as xxxxA and xxxxB matched pairs. Tolerances can, as noted above, matter. When I build amplifiers, I go through the components like the caps, and use a capacitance meter to sift through a bag of the caps and find matched sets, to keep everything as tight as I can from one end to the other. Does it make an audible difference? Probably not, but I know it will be as acurate as I can get it.

-GlassWolf
Pioneer Stage-4/Orion/DynAudio/Fi Audio
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Old 08-13-2013   #225
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

You can decide to breathe the air from the city or the woods.. at the end of the day is air... but what about quality! ? Some can say theres an ear placebo...but

Focal KRX3, Helix amp on stand by, mcIntosh mc440 & jl audio 750 hd amps helix p dsp. Idmax12 sealed. sony avx601bt double din.excuse my english its not my native lenguaje
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