Can we really hear a difference between amps? - Page 8 - 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 #71 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 01:59 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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Moonfly wrote: View Post
Are you talking intentional colouring, or unintentional though.
It doesn't matter whether it's intentional or not, if it's colored, then it's colored. The sound through most amps has been altered in some way, either the eq or THD or feedback or etc... Hearing the coloration depends on how much there is and if you know what to listen for. Whether 2 amps sound similar or different depends on the characteristics of the sound coloring.
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post #72 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 04:53 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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But in reality most all amps have some coloration of sound whether intentional or not.
Assuming that you are discussing only potentially audible coloration (as surely we don't care about what we cannot hear): Please support this claim.

What was your criteria for coloration here, and how did you determine that most amps had it (indeed, do you mean "the majority of models", or "the majority of sold units"; and are you looking specifically at currently sold amps, or are you including the last 100 or so years). Are you discussing only home-audio amps, or are we also talking about the amp in my cell-phone? And finally are we discussing "at all listening levels", or only at some; and if the latter, which.

I assert that any properly built amp, sufficiently powerful for the load given, will be indistinguishable to the human ear from any other properly built and sufficiently powerful amp on the same load. Though I think this is true for any sort of amplifier: I am actually making this assertion for home-audio amplifiers of the types most likely to be discussed on this board.

For example: I assert that you would be unable to identify by blind listening my McIntosh 2125 amp from my Yamaha P5000S amp powering my Paradigm S2's at a "reasonable listening level" (let's say <98db @1m) in the listening room of your choosing.

Do you challenge that assertion? Or are you asserting that the majority of amps are either improperly built or not sufficient to the loads they power?
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post #73 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 05:32 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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gdstupak wrote: View Post
It doesn't matter whether it's intentional or not, if it's colored, then it's colored. The sound through most amps has been altered in some way, either the eq or THD or feedback or etc... Hearing the coloration depends on how much there is and if you know what to listen for. Whether 2 amps sound similar or different depends on the characteristics of the sound coloring.
My question really was, are you including DSP modes etc in this, or are we talking about pure amplification in its most straight forward form? Ruling out intentional colouring, which I regard as the afore mentioned, and I'm not convinced you can hear a difference till you push the amps beyond their comfort range, in which case I would argue you need a different amp, but otherwise not.
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post #74 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 06:23 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Maybe my earlier post was a little vague and needs elaborating.
I believe when used properly, any properly built amp should not show their coloration (just the amp, no DSP) and should not be distinguishable from another amp that is similar.
In the real world most people (in my experience) push their systems to the limit and then amps will show their true colors.
There's more to my thoughts but I'm trying to watch Poltergeist now.
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post #75 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 06:26 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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My question really was, are you including DSP modes etc in this, or are we talking about pure amplification in its most straight forward form?
Now that makes sense to me.
Sometimes you gotta spell things out for me, I'm numb as a Hake.
No DSP, I was sticking to the intention of the thread with just the amp.
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post #76 of 825 Old 10-30-10, 10:51 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Quote:
JerryLove wrote: View Post
For example: I assert that you would be unable to identify by blind listening my McIntosh 2125 amp from my Yamaha P5000S amp powering my Paradigm S2's at a "reasonable listening level" (let's say <98db @1m) in the listening room of your choosing.
I'd love to be there for that listening test. Those are some great amps.

I think a real difference comes with sub amps.
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post #77 of 825 Old 10-31-10, 04:18 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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gdstupak wrote: View Post
Maybe my earlier post was a little vague and needs elaborating.
I believe when used properly, any properly built amp should not show their coloration (just the amp, no DSP) and should not be distinguishable from another amp that is similar.
In the real world most people (in my experience) push their systems to the limit and then amps will show their true colors.
There's more to my thoughts but I'm trying to watch Poltergeist now.
I think people that are more into AV dont push their systems to the limit. I think the people pushing their kit to the limit arent really that bothered and dont really pick up on the rubbish being produced. I think most of us here probably also have system that play to levels we are happy with while still within their happy operating range.

Quote:
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I'd love to be there for that listening test. Those are some great amps.

I think a real difference comes with sub amps.
You know, Ive compare the EP4000 against the ED 1300 and I couldnt tell any difference. Ive also hear a true IB using an EP 4000 and the IB was the best by a considerable margin. The sub made a huge difference, to my ears, the amplification didnt. I think that the money you might spend on a better amp, once you get to a certain level, is better spent on drivers etc, as the improvements are much more noticeable, and beneficial. This again assumes amps working happily within their limits. Ive heard a single driver sealed AV15 sub of the back of a Bash500, and we swapped it out for an EP2500, and the improvements were significant. The Bash500 was simply out of its comfort zone and it showed, nothing to do with it being a bad amp, it was just simply being asked to much of.
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post #78 of 825 Old 10-31-10, 09:25 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

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Moonfly wrote: View Post
I think people that are more into AV dont push their systems to the limit. I think the people pushing their kit to the limit arent really that bothered and dont really pick up on the rubbish being produced. I think most of us here probably also have system that play to levels we are happy with while still within their happy operating range.
I agree and wanted to say the same thing but Poltergeist was distracting me.
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post #79 of 825 Old 10-31-10, 10:58 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

IMHO with modern solid state amplifiers that are not intentionally designed to have some coloration, used within their operational boundaries (below clipping, with some dynamic headroom left and with a load that is representative of that intended for use with that particular amplifier design.), you cannot reliably tell the difference between 2 amps in a double blind scenario. There are subtle differences there but I believe that they are too small to detect reliably and get completely swamped by the distortions and inaccuracies imposed by the room and speaker system. The differences do start to become large enough to be apparent as the amplifiers start to get driven towards the edge of their capabilities.

Tube amps are a whole other affair and add a considerable amount of coloration which is easily heard.
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post #80 of 825 Old 11-02-10, 04:17 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

My friend and I did some comparative listening when I bought my amp. Everything was the same except the amps. We auditioned some pure class A vs AB from the same manufacturer only. 3 different amps (2 of them class A monoblocks and the other a stereo AB) and we could tell 99 percent of the time the difference, with the levels all matched. The surprise was that the biggest difference was between the two pure class A amps, which had different output ratings, one at 100 and the other at 160 watts!!

Up until that point both my friend and I were in the "I don't think the differences are easily audible" camp. I don't claim to be an expert or anything, I just enjoy music and quality gear. Haven't done other comparisons, but on this one the differences were audible and rather obvious: warmth, detail and so on.
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