Can we really hear a difference between amps? - Page 2 - 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 #11 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 11:56 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

If two amps test the same, in the same test conditions, I believe they would sound the same.

Clearly though, the introduction of a 5th foot on the new Yamaha AVRs represents a significant auditory breakthrough.

http://www.hometheatermag.com/images...0610yamaha.jpg

(prepares for the onslught of 5th foot devotees)


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post #12 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 11:58 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Quote:
fitzwaddle wrote: View Post

http://www.hometheatermag.com/images...0610yamaha.jpg

(prepares for the onslught of 5th foot devotees)
Only if the 5th foot is colored by a special green marker -- otherwise it is suboptimal

(for those who weren't hoodwinked in the 90's: http://aroundcny.com/technofile/texts/greenink86.html)

Last edited by Anthony; 10-13-10 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Added link
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post #13 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 12:05 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Hahaha, I had forgotten about that. Surprised noone has advocated putting a pyramid over your receiver too, or maybe a receiver sized "power band" bracelet.

http://www.powercoreband.com/?gclid=...FYjt7QodDjPcCA


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post #14 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 12:06 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Going back to your question about changing a 1kHz tone, there can be many different 1kHz "tones" since a tone doesn't specify the waveform (e.g., 1kHz squarewave, 1 kHz wind instrument note, etc., etc.) However, you cannot change a 1kHz sinewave without changing it into something else. Why am I blithering about this? It relates to what one poster mentioned and that's harmonic distortion. Different amplifiers can have different amounts of harmonic distortion which is one of the primary differences between amplifiers of different vintages. As of late though, amplifiers are being manufactured which have very low levels of harmonic distortion - so low in fact that it would be almost impossible to hear amplifier distortion with the ear.

I can fully accept both of the original quotes and believe in many cases, unless the amplifiers are badly matched, no differences are audible between competing amplifiers. As one poster stated, it becomes more a matter of things external to the amplifier (speakers, wiring, etc.) for audible differences to exit, and under test conditions where these are minimized, not too many folks would be able to tell when an amplifier has been switched out with another, unless the second has ratings in the basement compared to the first.

I've never accepted that a high priced amplifier is worth its value solely in terms of sound quality (there might be other factors to consider such as construction & durability). That is more true these days than ever. For those that can't afford the $100K amplifier, don't pine at what you are missing!!! Take solace in that your $2C (that's $200 for those that don't know the Roman numerals) amplifier, if purchased more recently, can and probably does sound just as good as that high priced one under listening conditions most people enjoy.
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post #15 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 12:08 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

To get back on topic, though, I have access to a really nice O-scope at work and have been meaning to test my Outlaw amp, among others. I just haven't had the time. I really respect the reviewers/websites/magazines that check all the specs of every product.
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post #16 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 02:41 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Perhaps my observations have no relevance to this thread due to the fact that my experience was in professional audio applications but I know when I was doing live sound production with arena sized PA systems there was a big difference in the sound of different amplifiers of similar output. The PA company changed its brand of amplifiers four times on the same speaker system in a three year period. The first set of amps were a conventional power supply type with a very warm and musical tone however they were large and heavy and were power hungry. Competitors came forth with switching power supply amps that were lighter and more power efficient but the tone of the amps was shrill in the high frequency range and they could not reproduce the envelope of the note of a kick drum completely. The owner had purchased them without giving them a listen first. These amps were quickly replaced by another brand which had similar issues although they did sound a little warmer. The fourth replacement was good as this brand had excellent tone and could reproduce bass notes effectively.

Three observations I made throughout this ordeal was first, the amplifier needs to be able to store or access enough current to comlplete the entire envelope of a low bass note. Second, it must be able to exhibit good control over the transducers it is driving to give proper transient response. Third, the amp must not add odd order harmonics to the fundamental high frequencies or it will sound shrill and color the sound.

That being said, I recently purchased a large seven channel surround amplifier to replace some pro A/B type two channel amplifiers with a slightly higher power output but the seven channel amp is a dual differential balanced design and even with less power it sounds much cleaner with tighter bass and more accurate reproduction on the same speaker system.

I therefore conclude that not amplifiers sound the same nor do they sound the same in the same brand.
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post #17 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 02:55 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Hello,
I have never personally noticed a massive difference with the exception of Tube Amplifiers. The issue with Level Matching is not all Amplifiers are capable of outputting at the level.

My Aragon 8008bb and HCA-3500 both are capable of huge amounts of power thanks to having over 2.0 kVA Toroidal Transformers and over 150,000uf of Capacitance. This is the same Power Supply as my 5 Channel HCA-2205AT that is considered one of the most powerful Multichannel Amplifiers available without a Fan.

Having a fan really can make an audible difference. Especially many Pro Amps have them as they are designed with Rack Mounting in mind and are not usually if ever near Recording Areas. In an HT, this can be an issue.
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Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
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post #18 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 03:00 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Quote:
Jungle Jack wrote: View Post
Having a really can make an audible difference. Especially many Pro Amps have them as they are designed with Rack Mounting in mind and are not usually if ever near Recording Areas. In an HT, this can be an issue.
Incomplete thought, I'm guessing "fan".
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post #19 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 03:35 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

D'oh. I am Posting on my Macbook that has multiple Key's not working. I have to Cut and Paste the Letters h,y, and the number zero every time I write words containing said Letters. It was indeed fan I intended to write. This is not easy to write Posts. Truly an Ice Cream Cone to Forehead feeling while doing so. And the Delete Button is broken.
Cheers,
JJ

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Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
Electronics: OPPO BDP-93
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Display: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Sony KDL-55EX500, Sony KD-34XBR910
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post #20 of 825 Old 10-13-10, 03:49 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Sounds like you need to borrow a USB keyboard
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