Can we really hear a difference between amps? - Page 11 - 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. 136 48.57%
No... I do not believe there is any audibly significant difference. 144 51.43%
Voters: 280. You may not vote on this poll

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post #101 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 10:12 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Quote:
gsmollin wrote: View Post
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?
Very true, but are we asking "which amp is 'better'" or are we asking "which amp better reproduces music X"? They are very different questions.

Even then: our question is more narrow than that. In a car we might discuss fuel efficiency, as in an amp we might discuss efficiency. A car might have comfort where an amp has attractiveness. Both have interfaces. Where a car has acceleration and top speed, an amp has THD and max power.

But the question is about the ability to deliver music... so which one can better transport a briefcase down the highway at 70MPH? A Ferrari Italia 458 or a Porshe 911S?

They are the same when it comes to how long it takes the package to arrive.

Quote:
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.
It may happen every day... and there may be people that "normally" drive amps into overload.

I don't. No one I'm familiar with from audio circles does in "normal use". The audio shops I've been to do not (at least not on their SS units). I've got at home and used at shops amps with level meters, and amps with clipping indicators.

*All* amps color sound at overload. So which option is better? Getting an amp that colors it less, or getting one you don't overload?!?
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post #102 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

I think most people are very sensible when it comes to amps and their limits and I do not see the evidence to support people driving their amps into overload "every day in normal use". You have a few folks who will crank their system up close to or perhaps even exceeding its limits on occasion to maybe show off their system... but in every day normal use... amps are not driven near their limits. The typical home theater enthusiast is much different than your typical car audio teen driving his car around town trying to blow the windows out of his car. Sure people will test their systems on occasion, but normal use is not consistently overloading their amps on an everyday basis... it just ain't happening.
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post #103 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 10:19 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

I don't believe the question is speed at all..., its the ride. Just as can you tell the diff between An Audio Note Monoblock pair and a Sound Design receiver. All wiring and other conditions being equal. The question is not can you tell the diff when they blow up the Q. is "can you tell the diff when each is set up to show what it can do".
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post #104 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 10:26 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

However, if you would like to create your own challenge. If you offer $10,000 to see which amp handles overload best..., I will..., let me be the first to say "my amp will beat your amp" I am ready willing and able.

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post #105 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Hey... that sounds like a challenge right there...
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post #106 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 11:08 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Alright, you have everybody dancing a pretty good jig. I think I get your point. I have a few extreme questions myself.

Why do we do the amp test on your turf Sonnie. I might accept your challenge if you brought your amp anywhere else though I would prefer it if you were to set up here in my home but you cannot touch my equipment or treat the room in any way. Just set up your equipment next to mine. Then the A/B switch is handled by anybody that has no idea which is which and the person who sets up the the equipment cannot see which switch is open or closed. A true double blind study without placebo control. Although it might make things interesting..., no that would only increase your odds and decrease mine. a third amp is literally "out of the question". The original research question is "can I tell the difference between my amp and yours with all being equal.
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post #107 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

If I were the one offering the challenge, I would have to offer it on the same terms as Richard Clark and request it be brought to me... after all... I am the one paying out the $10,000. That is part of the challenge.

Actually it appears some of his challenge is more like a bet... and I would not gamble for a penny, so his challenge is not appealing to me. Would it prove a point? Sounds like it would. I would however, want a non-bias third party to set up the testing conditions.
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post #108 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 11:41 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

One more question..., since we are all in such a testy mood. Did I meet, exceed or did I fail your your real research question. Hope I didn't fail too badly in providing entertainment at least for smollion(i can't read the small type excuse the spelling please).

Some of the answers are interesting. I have to say I believe I have learned a little about most of the contributors to this thread "can we hear a difference between amps". This is a good question and I do not believe the discussion is complete. Because I do believe Sonnie can set up the experiment so that nobody could possibly hear a difference. I believe in my environment I will pick out the peculiar resonant frequency of my amp in my environment. That would be different in any other environment and I am sure I will not know the difference if there were no resonant frequency. Unless maybe if we use my wires: power cables interconnect, speaker cable, fuses..., not part of the original research question.
I am not going to challenge anybody. I have too many questions.

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post #109 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 11:55 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Where did Sonnie ever suggest that he was trying to set up an experiment at all, much less set it up so that such a result was achieved? There are differing perspectives here. No surprise in that. I agree that there is more to the question, but no one will be allowed to be testy here and no one is attempting to judge your success nor failure at any task. The topic was raised to engage discussion on a matter that has very different perspectives. Just because people have strong opinions does not mean that we cannot discuss it in a civil manner nor that anyone is going to be set up for a particular result.




Looking for me, just google my username. I have used the same one for most sites for many years.
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post #110 of 825 Old 11-05-10, 12:21 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

My mistake I assume too much, excuse me, please. However, I am enjoying watching all of you. I had hoped I wasn't alone. But you know what I am not having fun anymore.
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