Can we really hear a difference between amps? - Page 7 - 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 #61 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 06:07 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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I think there is a lot more feeling that processor make a fair bit of difference in a setup, and I for one lean that way. I agree, starting a thread on that subject would be very interesting.
The quality as a whole unit will depend on how a processor sounds, so it will be the pre amp stage DAC's and also the processors that will determine how it sounds, the pre amp stage is superb on my Arcam allowing my CD players full potential to be heard, and then the DAC's for my digital inputs (HDMI) also make a big difference and luckily Arcam have taken into account the amount of jitter that HDMI can cause, virtually eliminating it therefore making a better sound, then there is the latest SHARC processing which will also make a difference...anyway best left for another thread...but you get my drift
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post #62 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 08:05 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

The only reason I ask it hear is because I think most people would agree that the circuit design and different components in a DAC make a difference in the sound and I wonder why the same wouldn't be true for an AMP?
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post #63 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 08:23 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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The only reason I ask it hear is because I think most people would agree that the circuit design and different components in a DAC make a difference in the sound and I wonder why the same wouldn't be true for an AMP?
A processor not only has that, but it also has on board software that intentionally augments the signals as they pass through. Simply hitting a DSP mode is a huge example of this kind of thing.
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post #64 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 08:34 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

I am not talking about a processor. I am talking about a DAC (digital to analog converter). There is no software...just a process that affects the sound.
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post #65 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 08:41 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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I am not talking about a processor. I am talking about a DAC (digital to analog converter). There is no software...just a process that affects the sound.

Yes, there are many types of DAC's and some are at the low end of the mainstream AVR's and then you have the top of the range ones, Wolfson and Burr Brown come to mind, some will accept DSD from SACD and others will not, it is all down to there sampling rate and there are 24bit and some 32bit but it is not to say that the 32bit DAC is better, there is loads of white papers on DAC's and most of it will go straight over our heads for us mere mortals, here is an example to Digest...

http://www.wolfsonmicro.com/products/dacs/WM8741/
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post #66 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 08:45 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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I am not talking about a processor. I am talking about a DAC (digital to analog converter). There is no software...just a process that affects the sound.
I appreciate that, but for many (I would argue the majority), the DACS are tied into a processor of some kind, and that the processor is a big variable in that. John makes some better points on the specifics of DACs too though, and he is probably the better person in that subject. I suppose a good test would be a setup comprising of the same amp(s), speakers and source, with stand alone DACs placed in the loop that could be swapped out?

I feel a new thread or two coming on already
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post #67 of 825 Old 10-26-10, 11:07 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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rosco968 wrote: View Post
The only reason I ask it hear is because I think most people would agree that the circuit design and different components in a DAC make a difference in the sound and I wonder why the same wouldn't be true for an AMP?
It's testable the same way amps are testable. Put given waveforms in and compare the output for differences. Quantify and then qualify those differences to determine if they are audable.

The good news is, moreso than sounic waves in the air, electrical waves in a conduit are relatively absolute things (for the purpose of powering a speaker).

One could also try the ever-popular DBT method to remove theory from practice.
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post #68 of 825 Old 10-29-10, 01:56 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

I used to be convinced that I could. For instance I chose a Yamaha RXV 2095 over an identically powered Yamaha receiver because the one sounded better driving Martin Logan Speakers. They sounded roughly the same driving less challenging speakers.

I introduced a partially deaf friend to my hobby years ago. He was delighted to listen to my stereo because, even with his limitations, he could hear sounds/music more clearly at my house. That was in the days of a Pioneer Reciver and Speakerlab kit speakers I built myself.

I'm finding these days, at 64, that my aural acuity isn't what it once was, but I can still tell the difference between a good system and a bad one. I doubt my ability to tell the difference between amplifiers - save possbily the comparison between a tube amp and a transistor-based one.

It's all fun, though.
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post #69 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 12:39 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

As asked in the original post, the answer is 'no' you cannot hear a difference between amps.
But in reality most all amps have some coloration of sound whether intentional or not.
Hearing a difference between amps depends on their coloration characteristics and if you know what to listen for. 2 amps that color sound the same way will sound similar. 2 amps that color sound in different ways will sound different.
So I think the answer is 'yes' and 'no' here in the real world.

Last edited by gdstupak; 10-30-10 at 12:44 PM.
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post #70 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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gdstupak wrote: View Post
As asked in the original post, the answer is 'no' you cannot hear a difference between amps.
But in reality most all amps have some coloration of sound whether intentional or not.
Hearing a difference between amps depends on their coloration characteristics and if you know what to listen for. 2 amps that color sound the same way will sound similar. 2 amps that color sound in different ways will sound different.
So I think the answer is 'yes' and 'no' here in the real world.
Are you talking intentional colouring, or unintentional though.
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