Can we really hear a difference between amps? - Page 83 - 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 #821 of 825 Old 02-24-17, 05:48 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Quote:
awood wrote: View Post
Well guys, I'm in the pro-audio since early 1990 and the only thing I have to say is that "there is a big difference" between amps and I will put an example from my personal experience : Back in 1999, I won a contract to upgrade an auditorium sound system that has an EV 2 way active system 4 tops+4 subs all with QSC MX 3000 & 4000 amplifiers. So before moving to a new speaker system , I switched all amplifiers and tested with Lab-Gruppen FP series and the sound changed absolutely , so big was the difference in sound quality that I did an A/B comparison test with the same system : L with the original QSC amps & R with the Lab Gruppen and that's it and the difference was immediately noticed.
This is my personal experience and there's a big difference between amps, at least in the pro-audio field.

Cheers.

Alan
..., always a sensitive and potentially highly controversial topic, please do not feel offended by any comment I make. I am no expert on any Amp class type and/or amplified sound qualities. I am only trying to understand how there can be differences in reproduced sound.

Alan I wonder..., if a third party had set-up the new amps to reproduce sound similar to the amps being replaced (before your first listening) would the sound you first heard be as starkly different.

But I wonder too did you replace an old Class A with a new Class AB and/or transistorized AB. I am learning that some of the newer transistor AB amps can get the cross-over distortions to nearly non-existent. Most amp designers and builders today are able to achieve and maintain low distortion levels in sound amplification for moderate dollar values etc etc

I could be wrong but I believe the original question is, "can you hear a difference between two amps of similar design when each is set up to reproduce their best sound or a similar sound...?" Seems to me there was a $10,000 challenge. If anyone can hear a difference between a $1000 amp and a $10,000 (approx) amp of similar Class Type in a "Double Blind Placebo Controlled Study" when each amp is set-up to reproduce its best sound, all other variables being equal...

You'll have to do the research on this if you want to reproduce the original experiment using newer equipment. But I'd love to watch and listen and contribute what I can.

Alan I believe your statement was in response to your experience and I believe you did hear a difference but I believe one long standing question on this is... "why?"

Thanks for your comment - i love this question

We believe everything we tell ourselves..., don't we??
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post #822 of 825 Old 02-24-17, 05:50 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

I would have to say YES in general - but SO many factors in the chain affect the sound to a greater degree than the amps involved its almost a mute point > ie speakers-source-source recording etc etc

On that note - my new setup with BALANCED connections > Marantz 7702 > DDRC-88BM > Emotiva XPA7 has a much more discreet channel resolution than any unbalanced system Ive had .... The DDRC obviously has made a world of difference - especially in time alignment and phase response .. I am a true believer...
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post #823 of 825 Old 02-26-17, 11:48 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Going out even further on this limb that is already very fragile...

I wonder if many of the differences actually heard can be explained by:
  • amps operating in spec but...
  • attributes that are not specified, poorly specified, or spec is poorly understood
  • attributes that are more difficult to correlate directly to "listening experience" because of psychoacoustical interpretation factors involved
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post #824 of 825 Old 02-26-17, 12:29 PM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
Going out even further on this limb that is already very fragile...

I wonder if many of the differences actually heard can be explained by:
  • amps operating in spec but...
  • attributes that are not specified, poorly specified, or spec is poorly understood
  • attributes that are more difficult to correlate directly to "listening experience" because of psychoacoustical interpretation factors involved
Fragile limb, I like that AC and may steal it at one time or another.

I am of the no all amps do not sound the same or maybe I should say that while different amps made by the same manufacturer might sound very similar amps made by a different manufacturer may sound significantly different. You may be right that amps may operate within its specs and yet not operate as one would hope may fall short.
If in the second post you mean amps that cheat on their specs, i.e., 100 wpc x 2 @6ohms vs 100 wpc x 2 @ 8 ohms or some dishonest variant thereof.
I am unsure what the third entry means, as such I look to your further enhancement of the statement.

I have three amplification systems in my main room, Denon, Emotiva and an integrated Tube amp from Dared. All three sound significantly different from each other when fed from the same dac to the same speakers using all of the same cabling. Denon is less powerful than the Emo but considerably more powerful than the Dared. The differences in sound between the two solid state amps is one of timbre and the integrated tube amp seems to have more solid bottom end and a much improved soundstage...I should add perceived.

Like anything, maybe its in the power supplies, or any of the internal components, but when properly volume matched, well as close as I can get, all three sound different enough from one another to allow my to pick preferences. This is also true with the four dacs I have in house presently...but that is another discussion.

Good Listening

Jack

"For those who believe no proof is needed for those who don't believe no proof is possible"
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post #825 of 825 Old 02-27-17, 10:36 AM
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Re: Can we really hear a difference between amps?

A fr'instance:

Channel Separation gets worse as frequencies increase and is more an issue with a power amp or integrated amp than with a preamp, because of the current levels involved. Most manufacturers do not even specify this (Yamaha does). Poorer channel separation will affect imaging at high frequencies. It is conceivable that a difference in imaging could be heard between two amps, one with good channel separation and another with poorer channel separation, and there would be no explanation because that particular spec is under-emphasized these days. Both amps could be operating in their linear range (no clipping), and still "sound" different.
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