Can we really hear a difference between amps? - Page 10 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

View Poll Results: Is there a noticeably audible difference between two level matched solid state amps under controlled
Yes... I believe a notable difference can be heard. 135 48.39%
No... I do not believe there is any audibly significant difference. 144 51.61%
Voters: 279. You may not vote on this poll

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post #91 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Good idea... I will go back and add one and notify all who have posted in the thread.
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post #92 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

A poll has been added... please vote.
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post #93 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 02:14 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

I voted. It shouldnt be to hard to guess which way I went at this point
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post #94 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 02:46 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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Sonnie wrote: View Post
Thanks for the link... I like this part:

Twelve correct responses in a row is certainly a lot of correct listening but $10,000 is also a lot of money for a few hours of easy listening. The way people describe the differences is that they are like night and day. I would certainly not have any trouble choosing between an apple and an orange 12 times in a row. When compared fairly I believe the differences in amps are much too small to audibly detect and certainly too small to pay large sums of extra money for. If I am wrong someone should be able to carefully take this test and win my money.
I offered to take the test, and he wouldn't accept MY conditions- that we turn up the volume until the amps were in overload. I have long maintained that the differences in the amplifiers that people can really hear are caused by overload responses between the amplifiers and the connected speakers. Now this gets complicated quickly, because the testing depends entirely on the amplifier, speaker, and source material in question. The right combination can be heard; other combinations cannot. The challenge is much more stringent, the host chooses the operating conditions, and they don't include overloading any amplifiers.

I won't be voting, because the poll is asking the wrong question.
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post #95 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 02:58 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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I offered to take the test, and he wouldn't accept MY conditions- that we turn up the volume until the amps were in overload. I have long maintained that the differences in the amplifiers that people can really hear are caused by overload responses between the amplifiers and the connected speakers. Now this gets complicated quickly, because the testing depends entirely on the amplifier, speaker, and source material in question. The right combination can be heard; other combinations cannot. The challenge is much more stringent, the host chooses the operating conditions, and they don't include overloading any amplifiers.

I won't be voting, because the poll is asking the wrong question.
I would argue that pushing amps into overload is cheating. Its like asking which car is best, the one with the blown engine, or the other one also with a blown engine. Overloading an amp is not within its intended design application. The general consensus is that you cant tell the different between 2 normally operating amps. I would perhaps suggest your indication that its difficult even between stressed amps, supports such conclusions rather than proves otherwise.

You dont have to vote, but I believe the question is perfect. If you dont keep the question simple, then there will be contest to the answer to infinity. A simple question requiring a simple answer IMO best serves the purpose. If you cant answer, its my view you dont have a definitive conclusion on the matter.
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post #96 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

It is asking the question we want to ask... no reason to get any more technical... most will understand it. The first post also clarifies the question further.

From the descriptions I have read of how people describe the differences they hear, it is not from overloading the amps and many are quick to explain they hear the differences at moderate levels. I don't think there are many who will disagree that there can be differences when clipping occurs or when seriously demanding speakers are driving beyond an amps limits... that is not in question here.
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post #97 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 05:39 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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I offered to take the test, and he wouldn't accept MY conditions- that we turn up the volume until the amps were in overload.
Most people who offer a challenge are doing so to prove a particular point. Take the challenge or don't. You are allowed to offer your own challenge if you would like to do so.

Product testing has to be scientifically sound and reasonable. Most auto testing is done under normal driving conditions and some evasive or emergency maneuvers are included. You don't often see an auto test that says "let's over rev the engine and see which one throws a rod first." It is a pointless test since no one buys a vehicle with that issue as part of their buying criteria.
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post #98 of 825 Old 11-04-10, 06:15 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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You don't often see an auto test that says "let's over rev the engine and see which one throws a rod first." It is a pointless test since no one buys a vehicle with that issue as part of their buying criteria.
I'd like to introduce you to every 16-year old in my neighborhood.
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post #99 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 09:54 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

The automotive analogies are stretched, but what you are proposing is that we race, say, a Ferrari Italia 458 and a Porsche 911S, but limit the top speed to 150 mph. Which one is the faster car?

I contend that overload performance is what separates the good power amps from the bad, and most people have no idea what levels they are listening to. Witness the repeated, controlled tests, where every amp is kept in its linear range, that is to say derate the Porshe by 3 dB, from its top speed of 209 MPH to 150 MPH, and we find out that every amp sounds the same, i.e. the Ferrari can do 150 MPH too. These are not real world conditions. Power amps get driven into overload every day in normal use. The way they respond to this colors the sound, and that's what people are hearing.
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post #100 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 10:10 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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...You don't often see an auto test that says "let's over rev the engine and see which one throws a rod first."...
Check out auto racing. Every drive-train gets pushed to the limit. Many don't finish.

You won't see Consumer Reports do this on your typical mini-van test. Nobody cares, and nobody cares about the ultimate capabilities of a table radio either. If that's your point, then OK, we're not talking about the same thing.

In a home theater, the sound track is supposed to be able to hit 113 dB SPL. You do the math on a typical speaker than has sensitivity of 87 dB at one watt, and you will see that a 90 W/channel amplifier will be in its overload region long before 113 dB gets reached. Besides the obvious fact the speakers are the real issue in how well a HT will perform, the power amplifiers "grace under stress" is what separates good amps from great ones.
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