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Is there a noticeably audible difference between two level matched solid state amps under controlled

  • Yes... I believe a notable difference can be heard.

    Votes: 136 48.6%
  • No... I do not believe there is any audibly significant difference.

    Votes: 144 51.4%

  • Total voters
    280
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Discussion Starter #141
Not at all... but it would serve no purpose and it is not part of the challenge, therefore it is irrelevant. It is not your 10K anyway... it is his. He gets to set the rules, which are the conditions of the challenge. If you can really hear a difference, it won't make a difference where you hear it at if all other conditions are equal for the amps in question. If you can hear a difference in room A, then you will hear a difference in room B... or an anechoic chamber... it won't matter... PROVIDED all is equal other than the amps. I am not sure how you would ever rationalize that the listening environment (with everything being equal other than the amps) would cause one amp to sound different than another. Oh wait... there's magic in the air! :ponder:
 

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Elite Shackster
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Not at all... but it would serve no purpose and it is not part of the challenge, therefore it is irrelevant. It is not your 10K anyway... it is his. He gets to set the rules, which are the conditions of the challenge. If you can really hear a difference, it won't make a difference where you hear it at if all other conditions are equal for the amps in question. If you can hear a difference in room A, then you will hear a difference in room B... or an anechoic chamber... it won't matter... PROVIDED all is equal other than the amps. I am not sure how you would ever rationalize that the listening environment (with everything being equal other than the amps) would cause one amp to sound different than another. Oh wait... there's magic in the air! :ponder:
You werent reading my earlier posts pertaining to human perception and the way the human brain works were you :D.

Watch this smarty pants, and it will become a little clearer as to the point I am actually trying to make:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vhw1d/Horizon_20102011_Is_Seeing_Believing/

Assuming we had one available, I can think of a single reason as to why the tester would refuse an anechoic chamber as the test facility, except of course, unless something was a foot.
 

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Elite Shackster
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Figures. Well its basically the science behind the studies of human perception. It details well how the human mind works, and how it combines the information it receives from your senses to result in a best guess result. This happens in everything we do, even when we are aware it happens we cant stop it from happening. Just knowing your in a room thats has factors influencing the result, WILL influence the result like it or not.

Look up the mcgurk effect and ames room. Both are examples of how your senses fool you, and like it or not all the senses work together in pretty much all scenarios and things like this can and do happen, even when you know about them and are aware they are happening.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
Regardless... I still believe that if all things are equal and you hear a difference in one room, you will hear it in another.

If that philosophy did come in to play with rooms and amp testing, the anechoic chamber is going to have an influence on you as well, it's another room. If you can't stop it, you can't stop it, therefore the anechoic chamber ain't gonna stop it. In your scenario, you would not be taking the influences of the room out of the equation... one) because the anechoic chamber is still going to have a different influence on the sound from that of a non-anechoic chamber... and two) because your implication is that it would be impossible to remove the perception from your mind... why would that be any different by going to an anechoic chamber. Silliness!

Either way, it doesn't matter. If 100 people accept the challenge, I believe 100 people will not be able to determine a difference, regardless of where the challenge is conducted. His method eliminate "chance". The end result is the same.
 

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I've liked speakers that would probably test badly, such as the Ti Focals and Al Vifas of ten-fifteen years ago. I think its my hearing that was subjected to very loud music concerts in the early '70s. But I have to admit that it is a smooth midrange that attracts me most now. Speaker motors have improved so much. I can hear the difference of 24 bit depth from those that have 16 bit resolution but doubt that I hear any difference between 96kHz and 48kHz. MP3's, especially 128k, sound inferior to me, although I've bought thousands. I wish MP3's were never invented. Dolby Digital (DD, not the HD version) also sounds harsh to me. Even some low-def cd's sound inferior to the best LPs I've heard. I have some 24 bit flacs that I like a lot and I think sound better than a cd. Sometimes technology takes a step backward in order to save on production costs and to appeal to people as the newest "best thing." Solid state was one of those when it was first released, with horrible switching distortion but years later is now neutral sounding (given that better parts are used) and arguably better than tubes (which often color the sound with high 2nd order distortion). I wouldn't mind using a tube amp for the mid-range in a DSP crossed over system, if it had enough power. I am not ready to buy a mid-range receiver as the power supplies are almost universally deficient. What happened to the FTC dictating objective and non-deceptive numbers in ads and specs? I've been to many concerts (folk, classical, jazz (not easy listening or "cool")) and I think my system sounds better better in comparison due to the deficiencies of the sound systems and poor seats/concert hall. Still a live concert is special and highly enjoyable with an energy often not present in recordings. One of my favorite recordings that captured this energy was the LP version of Old & In The Way which sadly was destroyed (mastered by Owsley Stanley, LSD chemist). I also prefer movies on my system because of the deficiencies of sound systems and the 24fps flicker in theaters which for some reason I am highly sensitive to. I have no interest in replicating the sound of a concert hall but rather want something better at home. I do use surround to add a subtle ambiance. Music is a subjective experience but the replication chain does not need to be.
 

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Elite Shackster
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Regardless... I still believe that if all things are equal and you hear a difference in one room, you will hear it in another.

If that philosophy did come in to play with rooms and amp testing, the anechoic chamber is going to have an influence on you as well, it's another room. If you can't stop it, you can't stop it, therefore the anechoic chamber ain't gonna stop it. In your scenario, you would not be taking the influences of the room out of the equation... one) because the anechoic chamber is still going to have a different influence on the sound from that of a non-anechoic chamber... and two) because your implication is that it would be impossible to remove the perception from your mind... why would that be any different by going to an anechoic chamber. Silliness!

Either way, it doesn't matter. If 100 people accept the challenge, I believe 100 people will not be able to determine a difference, regardless of where the challenge is conducted. His method eliminate "chance". The end result is the same.
I agree I dont think people could hear the difference. My point is simply to eliminate all possible variables as well. An anechoic chamber has the mental effect of most people not knowing what to expect, thus removing preconception and the influence of it, and having that chamber in complete darkness would also aid this experiment as your ears are more sensitive an accurate when the visual sense is removed from the brain. It also serves to make the test as sympathetic to the person taking the test as it does the guy with his 10k on the line. Half the problem is not just the room, its the human being as well, and I think good science would agree with me on these points.

I'm still in agreement with Ricci though, that the fact we are even discussing such extremes, or not, lends itself to the idea the differences are simply too small to make a meaningful difference to 99% of people out there.
 

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Regardless... I still believe that if all things are equal and you hear a difference in one room, you will hear it in another. why would that be any different by going to an anechoic chamber. Silliness! .
Well good speakers aren't designed for chambers they are designed for resonate rooms that real people live and work in. So I don't see their merit in this procedure. I think chambers have their place, but in real world audio engineering they fall short. Harman has made a determined effort in the past few years to address this by designing speakers with good off and on axis response.

I think it's interesting to consider the merits of chamber testing and recognize it's limitation. Sound after all isn't experience in a chamber. I suppose it's similar to Barth's statement about preaching. It's a miracle we perceive anything at all. How fascinating is it that I can get a realistic war experience in my own home without risking my neck(well besides the vibrating sub)

I don't think we've even touched the knowledge of our own perceptions. What we grasp at are the lights in the sky compared to what's waiting to be unlocked.
 

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This is a good point, but with one caveat. You then have to decide if the room is the difference, or the amp, or a combination of both.
Nope. If the amp can be reliably picked out, then the amp is doing something different.

It is not logically possible to be able to tell two identical things apart without making them not-identical.

If you can reliably identify one amp from another, then they are different.

OK, here is something for you to mull over. If a 'real world' room is the test room, and a participant does detect a difference, then in theory, changing the room to one with different effects should still yield the same result should it not.
No, that conclusion does not follow that presumption. The difference may not be audible under all conditions.

If I can hear a pin drop in a quiet room, shouldn't I be able to hear it drop with a jet engine near by?
If I can hear a pin drop on tile, shouldn't I hear it drop on carpet?

Let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that the different between amp A and amp B occurs at 19Khz, and that our listener cannot hear 19KHz. Let's then assume that the room our listener is in has a wall that excites at 19KHz and creates a sub-harmonic at 9.5KHz (which our tester can hear).

Yes, the two amps are performing differently (at 19KHz). Yes, the listener can hear it (in that room). No, the listener will not hear it in an anechoic chamber.

Mind you, I type this firm in the belief that two properly built amps driving within limits will not sound different under any conditions.
 

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i have no trouble believing 2 amps of the same class sound the same, i just have trouble believing that holds true once you get into class a/b vs class d, class g, class h, etc...
 

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because the switching is visible on an oscilloscope and claimed audible in high frequencies by too many people for me to dismiss arbitrarily because somebody else says that "all amps sound the same"
 

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because the switching is visible on an oscilloscope and claimed audible in high frequencies by too many people for me to dismiss arbitrarily because somebody else says that "all amps sound the same"
But now you have an easily measurable artefact that may be audible. Just because something is visible on a CRO doesn't make it audible.
 

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So how has that played out in practice? When you go to a performance with amplified sound can you tell class D from class H by sound? Can you do it at your local speaker store? Do you feel you could pick out my mac from my tammy if i brought them over?
 

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So how has that played out in practice? When you go to a performance with amplified sound can you tell class D from class H by sound? Can you do it at your local speaker store? Do you feel you could pick out my mac from my tammy if i brought them over?
i honestly don't know. I could try it at home with my Onkyo 805 and one of my Face F700s (class H), but that wouldn't prove anything to anyone, would it?
 

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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.
Wiring? What sort of wiring? RCA vs. balanced? "Directional" that shows which way it should be oriented? Unless you have very long cable runs there would be no difference between RCA and balanced and any difference can be measured so.... where are the measurements? But then again I don't know what you are referring to. I used to have hum problems with wiring and a totally different kind at the photography school I went to in the early '70s where the stereo's speaker wire was of very small gauge (probably 22 or so) and a very long run and picked up police radio calls. Right now I have a couple of surround speakers connected with about fifteen feet of 12 gauge close-out ($10 for 30ft):rofl2: wire and have no such problems and I don't believe I could hear the difference between my $6 closeout interconnects and $700 cables. I guess people get to the point in buying gear where they have bought the most expensive components and speakers and still feel the need to buy more, even if it makes no sense.
I just saw a post about wood blocks that when placed under components makes them sound "better." There is so much that is sold with false claims made for it that I wonder if PT Barnum was right (I think he said this) "A sucker is born every minute."http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/images/smilies/rofl2.gif
 

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As a former nurse and mental health professional I would say that physical (include electro-chemical) differences would tell nothing about the sound of the amps but rather only differences in perception (or how perception is processed). Its not that perceptions are not real but rather they are in a different realm and do not necessarily indicate any non-mental difference.
 

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The maple blocks give the sound a leaner and more forward soundstage. If you like a warmer and more intimate experience, I suggest you try the Rosewood blocks. I don't care for the walnut blocks, IMHO they tend to construct the image and I have trouble with depth perception;)
 

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Wiring? What sort of wiring? RCA vs. balanced? "Directional" that shows which way it should be oriented? Unless you have very long cable runs there would be no difference between RCA and balanced and any difference can be measured so.... where are the measurements? ......
Theresa, I would not be so quick to put the RCA and balanced in the same category. I've had terrible ground loop problems (with short cable runs, that is!!) and after trying EVERYTHING the only way to get rid of the hum and buzz was to switch to all balanced. Again, we're talking less than 10 feet!
 
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