Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread - Page 8 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #71 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 12:05 AM
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Whether 5 of 7 is statistically significant depends on how you define it. By most research standards it would not be, as the probability of getting 5 of 7 if the probability of each choice is .5 would be about 84%. That means that there is a 16% probability of it being by chance. Most would consider 6 of 7 statistically significant, where the probability of it happening by chance is down around 5%.

I did not find that the imaging suffered in the blind tests. My big issue with the blind testing was time and confusion about trying to recall what X sounded like.

You have to consider our overall results, however, for 28 trials, to reach a 95% certainty we would need to be right 18 times. I think we could easily do that with more time and not restricting X for such a limited listening time and fewer amps.
I'm not sure, but I think 80% is considered significant in a subjective endeavor. I'll dig around for more info when I return home. Agreed that repeatability would make the data more robust.

If we had more amps, it would likely have dinged my score down considerably. Less amps, I might have scored 100%.

Remembering X was easy for me until the end. The next test will build on this one and I'm confident the group will have better data. I do hope I can attend, this was a blast and I liked working with such an intelligent bunch.

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #72 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

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Peter Loeser wrote: View Post
Seems there is a decent amount of evidence to support the theory that differences between amps can be heard. The evidence also suggests that there are select few who can detect the differences by ear, and under very specific conditions. Which means... the debate will continue!
Well put. Under a very carefully chosen set of conditions, I felt quite certain, for instance, that the sounds with one of those amps had more clean, open space around them than from the amp AB'ed against in sighted AB testing. If you make my getting supper tonight dependent on being able to pick that amp out in an ABX test or any other test, or even a repeat of the same test on another day / different room / feeling tired / insert variable here, I am likely to go to bed a hungry boy.

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What can I add that hasn't already been said?
  • Family/visitors impressed with picture and/or sound... CHECK!
  • Family/visitors unwilling to invest in quality components... CHECK!
  • Family/visitors put off by system complexity and calibration... CHECK!

But how about:
  • Visitors/family who don't watch/listen as if in movie ther or music hall?
  • Visitors/family who like to watch movies in daylight or lights on?

In other words, some people don't treat the performance as a primary activity. They repeatedly get up and move around, make annoying noises, narrate, etc., etc, etc. I suppose that's okay with certain types of performances like sports, but it can drive you up the wall if you're the type that likes to suspend disbelief and immerse yourself in the presentation.

To relate this back to the amplifier comparison, the participants recognized the difference between background/distracted listening and focused evaluation. And oh, how those distractions satisfied! Yummy food, and pleasantly rewarding company!
I appreciate the feedback - from a number of you - to the question. It leads into some decisions that were made concerning our Audyssey XT32 / Dirac Live comparison. Which, by the way DID happen...
  • In spite of technical issues - these will be outlined in the report, because they are pertinent to those who might be making a choice between them.
  • In a different way than originally planned. Par for the weekend.
  • Choosing a very particular set of test conditions for a very particular set of reasons (cough, ahem, nudge, wink - see aforementioned discussion).
  • With great attention paid toward making it an apples-to-apples comparison.
  • With - sadly - a limited number of evaluator ears - sorry guys, we really tried, BELIEVE me we tried.
  • With fairly conclusive results, in my opinion (how is that for confidence?).
Lots of writing to do, but this report is HIGH priority, it will be separate from the miniDSP nanoAVR DL review, due this month - ooooohhhh, did I say that out loud?
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post #73 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

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Well one of the main reasons why I was curious of this testing was this very fact... While I am leaning more toward the fact that amps make little audible difference when properly levele matched I do feel after reading and NOW agree that the biggest differences in amps that are audible are when they are driven loud are are driving into distortion.

I've read that and based on the results of these tests and some other publications I really do feel like amps make a minimal amount of differences IF driven into non distorted levels. This is solid state vs. solid state of course.. I do think tube amps sound different.

One of the only reasons I have a separate is the fact I got it for a decent price and that was that. After checking the actual test data my Krell can drive all channels into 108 watts at 8 ohms at .1% distortion and 136w at 1%... this is the actual test data of driving ALL channels at the same time.

Even checking current AVRs it takes a 2,000+ dollar AVR (typically) to be able to produce the same specs. My X4000 driving 5-6 channels only produces some 68 watts at 1% which basically means I can play louder and cleaner. than my AVR alone. I spent 2450 total on my AVR and amp which yes that could of bought me a high end AVR....

only issue is a high end AVR would be 1/4 the price in three years where my Krell value will hold true since it's market keeps the pricing current.

Now... something like the Outlaw 5 channel amp would be on my radar to test.... considering it's rated 200w each channel at .1% which gives me some 90w more headroom. Would love to hear that when playing loud and seeing if there are any audible differences.
I like that you have outlined a fairly specific set of factors that led to your choice. Someone else would use their own set of factors for their own reasons. Others might argue the validity of those factors. Bottom line, you did what made sense to you and you are happy. Excellent.

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tonyvdb wrote: View Post
LOL yup this debate will never die

I do think it does show though that the differences are subtle at best. In normal listening conditions it probably would be even less noticeable.
I certainly agree. We drove Sonnie's ESLs pretty hard - during fun time - with a smaller amp and heard that strain, and some clear breakup - both pretty unmistakable. Other than that, subtle is the key word.
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post #74 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

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I doubt that, BY ITSELF, dropping in a toroidal transformer will transport any amp into "higher-end" territory. Aside from trendy parts replacement such as toroids or fast recovery diodes, it's a particular power supply's DESIGN that helps account for any possible audible differences. For example, a fancy transformer won't make up for poor ground return paths in the signal chain.

How concerned is our review panel with, say, circuit topology, premium parts, and signal transfer of WBT vs Cardas vs plastic binding posts? Perhaps they'll become curious as they endeavour to explain slight differences. But I doubt they'll delve into a full blown, deep-dive exploration.
Would that we had the time to do so. The amp choices were made with many such factors in mind, but detailed analysis of the kind of factors listed, as I am sure all can appreciate, was simply beyond our scope. It would have been SO interesting.

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Only One, and that is kind of sad really.
Indeed, it is no much fun to share, and hard to find others who truly care.

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lcaillo wrote: View Post
Phrases like "normal listening conditions" are filled with assumptions. Normal listening conditions for someone who cares are very different than your average consumer. This is what Wayne was getting at.
Precisely. "Typical" for us (including all present, probably) is "crazy / nuts / ridiculous" to most, And when we get serious, look out. This relates to the entire weekend and to numerous choices wes made along the way, and to our purpose for it and to our upcoming detailed results. Our own assumptions about listening were challenged many times over the weekend.
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post #75 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 06:38 AM
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

Some (non-serious) observations ...

1. Are you guys insane? That's some serious work for a single weekend!
2. Did anyone think we needed even more reasons for Dennis (Tesseract) to be cocky?
3. This amp shootout, while not necessarily intending to, somewhat showed why higher efficiency speakers are a good thing.
4. This amp shootout makes me want to get a pair of Martin Logans or Magnepans.
5. Thanks to everyone for a really great read already, and looking forward to reading more.
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post #76 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:04 PM
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^^^^^
Some very good observations
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post #77 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:11 PM
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

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craigsub wrote: View Post
Some (non-serious) observations ...

1. Are you guys insane? That's some serious work for a single weekend!
2. Did anyone think we needed even more reasons for Dennis (Tesseract) to be cocky?
3. This amp shootout, while not necessarily intending to, somewhat showed why higher efficiency speakers are a good thing.
4. This amp shootout makes me want to get a pair of Martin Logans or Magnepans.
5. Thanks to everyone for a really great read already, and looking forward to reading more.
Some of these points ring very true indeed. Never the less, I think point three misses the point...so to speak. We need to acquire our amplification based upon the speakers we have in our rooms. While higher efficiency speakers can help if we just cannot obtain sufficient power to drive lesser efficient or difficult loads. Frankly even highly efficient speakers can benefit from serious power behind the cables. Try watching Fury or the depth charge scene in U571 for some extreme examples of needing power and an incredible reserve.

Good Listening

Jack

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post #78 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:13 PM
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

Well this has def opened my eyes and I'm not so hung up on Krell like I once was. Just happy that I have enough juice to power what I got at levels that I like.

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post #79 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:15 PM
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

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Fury or the depth charge scene in U571 for some extreme examples of needing power and an incredible reserve.
I love Fury and although it doesn't hit really low... I think the bass is executed perfect and portrays realistic scenes.

The SVS Ultras and my Krell handled it nicely and at 0db on the reciever after audyssey checks was hitting 105db with the REW SPL meter (not sure at what frequencies). Not sure if this is reference or not but it was way louder than I liked the scenes. I like around -6db for the tank scenes.

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post #80 of 250 Old 03-17-15, 04:20 PM
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Re: Home Theater Shack 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event Reporting and Discussion Thread

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I love Fury and although it doesn't hit really low... I think the bass is executed perfect and portrays realistic scenes.

The SVS Ultras and my Krell handled it nicely and at 0db on the reciever after audyssey checks was hitting 105db with the REW SPL meter (not sure at what frequencies). Not sure if this is reference or not but it was way louder than I liked the scenes. I like around -6db for the tank scenes.
I am glad you love the movie soundtrack, so do I. But in this case I am not speaking to the "low" in the sound but the impact supplied by the main speakers. This is where the impact of the tank shelling comes from and it will draw an awful lot of power to take command of the woofers and force them to do the right thing. I am sure the guts of a power supple would be severely taxed in these scenes.
This will also put on display many of the short comings of some amps in that they may not have power reserves to keep up.

Good Listening

Jack

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