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post #1 of 52 Old 08-30-2013, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping to get some assistance with picking the power source for a two channel setup. I've gone over so many things I'm going to go crazy. So I'll go over some points.

• I have to do some more figuring but my budget is about $3000 maybe a little more, or less
• doesn't matter if its an integrated amp or separates
• want an all around amp that will work well with all speakers
• I'm willing to go vintage or new

I have read that there are those that believe that all amps basically sound the same within their limits. I used to think that, but was limited to AVRs at that time. I acquired an onkyo m-504 power amp and the difference was night and day. It was noticeably better than my fathers NAD integrated amp. At low volumes the with the onkyo, the bass was much more present and controlled.

So onto my points. $3000 seems to be my cap right now and I have zero problem buying used.

Don't really care if I get integrated or seperates, but figured an integrated amp would be cheaper overall since everything shares a chassis.

I go through speakers often. Right now I have a pair of maggies, kef calindas, A/D/S 300s and some DIY speakers. I plan on building many more speakers. I also like to search goodwills, flea markets, and craigslist for neglected speakers and revamp them. Ill listen for a couple of weeks and then move them onto the next owner. So I'm wanting something the will leave all out on the table I guess. I don't want there to be anything wanting when people come audition. If they don't like what they hear I want it to be because of the speakers, not the amp.

Don't really care if I go vintage or new. If I go vintage I want it to be reliable.
I will mostly be playing records through my soon to be upgraded Philips GA-312 and SACD and CDs through an oppo bdp 95 or bdp 105. There will be a little iTunes streaming too

So here is a short list of what I have together. Looking for at least 125-150 watts a channel @ 8 ohms.

For the newer stuff
• McIntosh MA2300 or MA2500
• Musical Fidelity M6i or A5 or A5.5
• Luxman L-505ux
• Krell s300i now I went and auditioned this one today at a local audio shop, they seem limited and I thought it sounded ok. I haven't read many good things on it though
• Parasound Halo A21 (not sure what pre to go with)

I asked my father what he would get as be loves the old stuff from his day, I have to say I love it too. I grew up on old pioneer and kenwood.

• McIntosh C28 pre with 2300 power amp (lots of power but getting a bit old and worry about repair costs)
• Luxman (recommendations?)
• Kenwood Supreme 600 or 650 (owned both, they were great and love the look)
• Kenwood L-09M monoblocks (not sure on what pre)

Now I'm not sure if this one is old or newer but Accuphase P500L, loads of power. Only problem is that the only one that's on eBay right now would pretty much be my limit for just the amp, if that price reflects the going rate.

Any other suggestions?
VU meter would be cool but not necessary.
Please help sort this out!!!

Dan
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post #2 of 52 Old 08-30-2013, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh I sould add also looking at the Pass Labs x250.

Dan
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post #3 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Oh I sould add also looking at the Pass Labs x250.

Dan

It would appear that you are a true believer in the audiophile myth that all amplifiers have their own characteristic sound and that finding the right amplifier is the true road to audio nirvana. Your subsequent behavior, which appears to have been churning your audio system's amplifiers at some expense to yourself is the predictable consequence of that. You appear to enjoy churning your system and probably not making much real progress towards better sound quality.

I'm personally prone to let you waste your time and money by continuing to senselessly churn the amplifiers in your system and not waste my time trying to convince you that you would be better off devoting your efforts to obtaining better speakers and better room acoustics which can be far more effective.

Are you ready to make some real progress, or do you want to continue doing the same-old same-old with predictable results?
Just cruising likes this.
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post #4 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow Arnold, you are so very kind. I know what I heard between those to amplifiers and I'll stick with what I said. I haven't been churning and wasting money as all I have right now is a Yamaha rx v3000 which will go to my dedicated theater, thus the reason I'm looking for two channel amplification. I'm not some loon who believes $20000 cables and magic pebbles will take me to audio nervana. I use dayton audio interconnects and they're good enough for me.

I'm just trying to get some feedback from people who may have used some of this equipment as I can only do this once. I don't really have the time or funds or a wife that would put up with multiple sales and purchases of amplifiers. She barely puts up with the speaker switch outs as it is.

Thanks anyways

Dan
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post #5 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

I have read that there are those that believe that all amps basically sound the same within their limits.
Where did you read that? Would you mind posting links?
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I acquired an onkyo m-504 power amp and the difference was night and day. It was noticeably better than my fathers NAD integrated amp.
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I know what I heard between those to amplifiers and I'll stick with what I said.
Did you listen to them at matched volume levels?
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post #6 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I did listen at matched levels, within one db of each other.

If you read all over this forum you'll see many of the opionons I posted, arnyk being one. Just read the thread titled "what 2 channel amp should I get? And is Mcintosh overrated?" And "Audible differences between 2-channel s/s amps and AVRs, when operated below clipping?"

I really don't get the antagonistic approach by some. Were they picked on as children and now feel the need to bully with their mighty fingers and keyboard? I'm a very kind and peaceful person. I asked for some assistance and expressed my experiences, to which a very useless response was give. I would love a constructive response!

Thanks

Dan
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post #7 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

I did listen at matched levels, within one db of each other.
There is the culprit.
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If you read all over this forum you'll see many of the opionons I posted, arnyk being one. Just read the thread titled "what 2 channel amp should I get? And is Mcintosh overrated?" And "Audible differences between 2-channel s/s amps and AVRs, when operated below clipping?"
If you read all over this forum, you would have understood that 1 db of variance is way too big of mismatch.
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I would love a constructive response!
It's been given to others and you now. It's only constructive to those who are willing to listen and learn.
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post #8 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Haha lets say the NAD 1 db louder and the onkyo still produced more bass. You guys are so silly and so naive. You guys really think a power amplifier with a robust power supply will sound the same as one as not robust. Van Alstine added an outboard power supply to the dynaco A400 and DRAMATICALLY changed the sound, everyone in attendance to the experience agreed. Mcintosh and Bob carver both developed SS amplifiers that produced tube like sound, whether that's a good thing or not, it's subjective. There are things placed within the circuitry of an amplifier stage that does alter its sonic character. If this wasn't true then companies like mcintosh and bryston would no longer be in business when you could just go out and but a $200 behringer ep2500. There wouldn't be enough "clueless fools" to keep them afloat.

It's ok to have your opinions on the matter, that's all they are, opinions. Just don't look down on me for having mine.

If there is anyone would like to respond to my specific questions then cool
If there is anyone that would like to continue this endless debate with no definitive answer except to individuals, then cool
Dan
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post #9 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Haha lets say the NAD 1 db louder and the onkyo still produced more bass. You guys are so silly and so naive. You guys really think a power amplifier with a robust power supply will sound the same as one as not robust. Van Alstine added an outboard power supply to the dynaco A400 and DRAMATICALLY changed the sound, everyone in attendance to the experience agreed. Mcintosh and Bob carver both developed SS amplifiers that produced tube like sound, whether that's a good thing or not, it's subjective. There are things placed within the circuitry of an amplifier stage that does alter its sonic character. If this wasn't true then companies like mcintosh and bryston would no longer be in business when you could just go out and but a $200 behringer ep2500. There wouldn't be enough "clueless fools" to keep them afloat.
Looks like you didn't read much on this forum at all. Kind of things you are mentioning have been explained more than once. You are missing out. frown.gif
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It's ok to have your opinions on the matter, that's all they are, opinions. Just don't look down on me for having mine.
I'm trying to teach you something useful. It's unfortunate that you have a predetermined belief without having read what's been discussed on this forum. It's your loss.
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post #10 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Haha lets say the NAD 1 db louder and the onkyo still produced more bass. You guys are so silly and so naive. You guys really think a power amplifier with a robust power supply will sound the same as one as not robust. Van Alstine added an outboard power supply to the dynaco A400 and DRAMATICALLY changed the sound, everyone in attendance to the experience agreed. Mcintosh and Bob carver both developed SS amplifiers that produced tube like sound, whether that's a good thing or not, it's subjective. There are things placed within the circuitry of an amplifier stage that does alter its sonic character. If this wasn't true then companies like mcintosh and bryston would no longer be in business when you could just go out and but a $200 behringer ep2500. There wouldn't be enough "clueless fools" to keep them afloat.

It's ok to have your opinions on the matter, that's all they are, opinions. Just don't look down on me for having mine.

If there is anyone would like to respond to my specific questions then cool
If there is anyone that would like to continue this endless debate with no definitive answer except to individuals, then cool
Dan

Lots of half-truths in this post.

A "robust" power supply can and will make a difference - at the extremes of output. That's why some amps are rated to output, say, 50w/ch into 8 Ohms and other amps, say, 300 w/ch into 8 Ohms. But if both are only outputting a max of, say, 10 watts in most real-world use cases, just how "robust" does the power supply actually need to be?

Developing SS amps that produce tube like sound can be pretty easy. Just screw em up by adding a resistor at the final output.

As for McIntosh and Bryston being around, why is Rolex still around? They don't keep time better than my $10 Casio do they? Yet people buy them, and probably not for their time-keeping accuracy but instead for their asthetic appeal. Why can't people in audio acknowledge that is the reason for existence of much high-end gear?

Final note: Don't underestimate the number of clueless fools in audio. Start with anybody who has a subscription to The Absolute Sound. wink.gif

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post #11 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 12:25 PM
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http://www.matrixhifi.com/contenedor_ppec_eng.htm

http://www.tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/index.htm

If you are looking for a particular sound either rearrange your furnishings or get different speakers.

Sound is subjective - even from one moment to the next depending on what you see while you are listening.

When all else fails - RTFM!

♫♫♫ Two Channel Rules! ♫♫♫

GO SEAHAWKS!!!
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post #12 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to teach you something useful. It's unfortunate that you have a predetermined belief without having read what's been discussed on this forum. It's your loss.

I could read until my eyes bleed, won't deter me from what I heard.

And yes obviously larger power supplies are going to help at higher volumes, but I'm talking about lower volumes. The NAD is rated at 55w and the onkyo is 165w I believe. I used the NAD preamp section to run the onkyo. We were using maybe a few watts. It wasn't a, hmmm I think I might maybe hear a difference, yeah I think so. It was a holy crap that sounds wayyyy better.

I'm not going to convince you guys and you won't convince me.

On a side note I went to a garage sale today and a guy was selling his 1980s fisher receiver for $10 and a bryston integrated amp for $3000. They were both rated at 50 watts, someone could save some serious do since they sound THE EXACT SAME!

Dan
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post #13 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

I could read until my eyes bleed, won't deter me from what I heard.

And yes obviously larger power supplies are going to help at higher volumes, but I'm talking about lower volumes. The NAD is rated at 55w and the onkyo is 165w I believe. I used the NAD preamp section to run the onkyo. We were using maybe a few watts. It wasn't a, hmmm I think I might maybe hear a difference, yeah I think so. It was a holy crap that sounds wayyyy better.

I'm not going to convince you guys and you won't convince me.

On a side note I went to a garage sale today and a guy was selling his 1980s fisher receiver for $10 and a bryston integrated amp for $3000. They were both rated at 50 watts, someone could save some serious do since they sound THE EXACT SAME!

Dan

Thanks for taking the argument to ridiculous extremes to make yourself feel better about your position. I couldn't have done that better myself!

You already admitted you didn't level-match closely enough, so we can pretty much disregard your listening comparison. Not to mention it was likely sighted. And to be fair, we do have to consider that, yeah, maybe they really did sound different, because maybe one was faulty (I've seen more than my share of field returned units over the years).

As for the 1980s fisher receiver vs the Bryston, you do realize that nobody ever claimed those will sound the same. They might, though. But without checking out the Fisher, who knows how it performs? It might be a good design but with time-degraded parts. It might be a crappy design from the 80s. It has no bearing on the discussion at hand.

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post #14 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the argument to ridiculous extremes to make yourself feel better about your position. I couldn't have done that better myself!

You already admitted you didn't level-match closely enough, so we can pretty much disregard your listening comparison. Not to mention it was likely sighted. And to be fair, we do have to consider that, yeah, maybe they really did sound different, because maybe one was faulty (I've seen more than my share of field returned units over the years).

As for the 1980s fisher receiver vs the Bryston, you do realize that nobody ever claimed those will sound the same. They might, though. But without checking out the Fisher, who knows how it performs? It might be a good design but with time-degraded parts. It might be a crappy design from the 80s. It has no bearing on the discussion at hand.

Extremes, what extremes?

Who cares if they weren't level matched by a computer. They sounded to play at the same level to my ears and to my db meter. There was clearly a winner in this battle, sighted or blind, it would have been obvious to anyone. It's funny because most of the the members in the diy area say 1-2 decibels isn't even noticeable to the human ear.

Extremes is you claiming that one must have been faulty, it couldn't have been that they just sound different. Another funny thing, both units had just been serviced at Inner Audio in Portland Oregon earlier in the week so I'm sure they were just fine.

As for the fisher and bryston, the claim is that all solid states sound the same whithin their limits. So if both will do a true 50w rms before clipping then why would one need to be looked at first. Even brand new off the shelf there wouldn't be a chance of the fisher outperforming the bryston, even at just a few watts, not to mention with dynamic material.

All the arguing aside we all have one thing in common, the love of audio and music. It's obvious we are all passionate about the subject, which I appreciate.

So I'm trying to just get some advice on what to purchase, tell me what you use.

I ask if you decide to post in this thread, wether to bash my thoughts or to agree with them, let me know what you are using and what you think you'd choose out of my short list.

Thanks
Dan
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post #15 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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And also if you notice, I listed integrated amps so the preamp section will certainly add its own flavor so I'd like help with people that might have experience with those.

Dan
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post #16 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Extremes, what extremes?

Who cares if they weren't level matched by a computer. They sounded to play at the same level to my ears and to my db meter. There was clearly a winner in this battle, sighted or blind, it would have been obvious to anyone. It's funny because most of the the members in the diy area say 1-2 decibels isn't even noticeable to the human ear.

Extremes is you claiming that one must have been faulty, it couldn't have been that they just sound different. Another funny thing, both units had just been serviced at Inner Audio in Portland Oregon earlier in the week so I'm sure they were just fine.

As for the fisher and bryston, the claim is that all solid states sound the same whithin their limits. So if both will do a true 50w rms before clipping then why would one need to be looked at first. Even brand new off the shelf there wouldn't be a chance of the fisher outperforming the bryston, even at just a few watts, not to mention with dynamic material.

All the arguing aside we all have one thing in common, the love of audio and music. It's obvious we are all passionate about the subject, which I appreciate.

So I'm trying to just get some advice on what to purchase, tell me what you use.

I ask if you decide to post in this thread, wether to bash my thoughts or to agree with them, let me know what you are using and what you think you'd choose out of my short list.

Thanks
Dan

1-2 dB is *very* audible in controlled-listening scenarios. In casual listening, yeah, not as much, but still audible.

So if they sound different, what measured parameter do you think would account for it? Serious question. What were the model numbers for the Onkyo and NAD? Maybe we can find some measurements for them. As for them just being serviced, well, that doesn't give me the good feelings of confidence that it gives you. In fact, quite the opposite - if they were serviced, was that because they needed to be serviced? If so, why? Something faulty? Or was it a regular check up? Either way, how do we know the technician - yes, technician, not engineer - serviced them correctly. They each likely have pots that need to be adjusted in the amp stages. How do we know the tech adjusted each correctly? I'd be much more confident in new, out of the box units than in units that have just been 'serviced.' Not to bash technicians, some of whom are excellent, but I've seen techs screw up simple adjustments many times.

As for the Fisher and Bryston, the claim is that, yeah, but also the caveat that they're in proper working order. You know, a 30 year old receiver with electrolytic caps might just have some issues there. Not to mention that the claim is for modern solid-state amps. A 1980s Fisher doesn't qualify there either.

Brand new off the shelf, an equivalent to the Fisher vs. the Bryston, at just a few watts? You might not want to be so sure that the Bryston would win. Ever done a controlled blinded listening test like that? I have. And I found no difference between a $200 Denon AVR and a multi-thousand $$ Parasound, at moderate listening levels. Many others have done similar tests with similar results. It's a common myth that something like a Bryston outperforms something cheap at just a few watts. Not true.

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post #17 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 01:28 PM
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And also if you notice, I listed integrated amps so the preamp section will certainly add its own flavor so I'd like help with people that might have experience with those.

Dan

It will? Preamps that don't include room-correction shouldn't impart their own 'flavor" at all. Otherwise one isn't doing its job. The one area where the can/will make a subjective difference is that their volume controls are often old-school pots and can track quite differently. I've had several different integrateds (NAD, Cambridge Audio, etc) that *seem* to sound very different, and it's because they're volume pots track so differently. Put them all at 10 o'clock and one is ear-bleeding loud, one is kinda loud, and one is kinda quiet. That shows how important level-matching is when doing comparisons.

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post #18 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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It will? Preamps that don't include room-correction shouldn't impart their own 'flavor" at all. Otherwise one isn't doing its job. The one area where the can/will make a subjective difference is that their volume controls are often old-school pots and can track quite differently. I've had several different integrateds (NAD, Cambridge Audio, etc) that *seem* to sound very different, and it's because they're volume pots track so differently. Put them all at 10 o'clock and one is ear-bleeding loud, one is kinda loud, and one is kinda quiet. That shows how important level-matching is when doing comparisons.


Ah I asked if you wouldn't mind listing what you're using. Out of curiosity. What would you (if you had to) out of my list.
And your statement is true if we're talking about passive preamps not active.
Dan

Why do two tweeter, both with ferrite magnet, same voice coil material, aluminum domes with same moving mass, ect ect sound so different? Same with mids or woofers.
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post #19 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 03:57 PM
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Ah I asked if you wouldn't mind listing what you're using. Out of curiosity. What would you (if you had to) out of my list.
And your statement is true if we're talking about passive preamps not active.
Dan

Why do two tweeter, both with ferrite magnet, same voice coil material, aluminum domes with same moving mass, ect ect sound so different? Same with mids or woofers.

I don't follow your distinction of passive vs. active preamps. If a preamp has flat freq resp, high snr, etc, then how will it affect sound quality?

To answer your question about tweeters (though I know you're being rhetorical in an attempt to make a point), the tweeters can (and usually do) have different frequency response (both on axis and off), thd, power handling capabilities, etc. If all those are the same, they *would* sound the same. If you are attempting to say that because not all tweeters sound the same, that it follows not all amps or preamps do either, you're underestimating how (relatively) easy it is to design electronics with very good responses and how much worse, relatively speaking, any transducer's performance will be.

As for the gear I've used, it changes all the time because I like to buy used, play around with and inspect designs, and then resell at the same price. Just in the last couple of years: two Parasound amps, three Cambridge Audio integrated amps, an NAD integrated amp, an Audiosource amp, a Denon AVR, a Yamaha AVR from the late 90s, a Kenwood receiver from the early 90s, an Onkyo receiver from the early 90s, etc.... And in the lab at my previous place of employment, we had tons more gear - Rotel, Onkyo, Yamaha, Parasound, Sony, JVC, and a whole stack of older gear I never got a chance to go through.

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post #20 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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So in your logic, it would be money better spent to get an emotiva xpr2 rated at 600w over a mcintosh rated at 200w? I'm asking seriously as the emo was my original choice.

Dan
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I could read until my eyes bleed, won't deter me from what I heard.

And yes obviously larger power supplies are going to help at higher volumes, but I'm talking about lower volumes. The NAD is rated at 55w and the onkyo is 165w I believe. I used the NAD preamp section to run the onkyo. We were using maybe a few watts. It wasn't a, hmmm I think I might maybe hear a difference, yeah I think so. It was a holy crap that sounds wayyyy better.

I'm not going to convince you guys and you won't convince me.
This will convince you, do a listening comparison of 1 amp and have someone change the volume level of 1db up or down without revealing it to you. Try it as many times as you want. Since it's the same amp, it shouldn't make any difference, right? Give it a try.
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post #22 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

This will convince you, do a listening comparison of 1 amp and have someone change the volume level of 1db up or down without revealing it to you. Try it as many times as you want. Since it's the same amp, it shouldn't make any difference, right? Give it a try.

That would be a good test with the exception that adjusting the volume 1db on the same amp isn't going to magically reinforce and control the bottom octaves to such an extreme.

Dan
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post #23 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 08:24 PM
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So in your logic, it would be money better spent to get an emotiva xpr2 rated at 600w over a mcintosh rated at 200w? I'm asking seriously as the emo was my original choice.

Dan

If you have money to burn and love the look and feel of Mcintosh, go for it.
But if you're not a 1%-er, and instead just fairly well off, I think the Emotiva would be more than sufficient for nearly any speaker and any room.
Either one will sound great and have plenty of power, more than most people would ever need.
If you're a bargain hunter (like I admittedly am), then even the Emotiva is overkill.

In a level-matched, blinded listening test, I would bet the Emotiva sounds just as good as the Mcintosh.

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post #24 of 52 Old 08-31-2013, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Oh I sould add also looking at the Pass Labs x250.

Dan
You may want to check out Oddysey Audio. For a $3000 budget you could get a pair of Khartago mono amps and the Candela tube preamp. Klaus Bunge is excellent at helping to build a system to your needs and budget. In the past Magico Speakers have used Khartago amps to check their speakers.smile.gif
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post #25 of 52 Old 09-01-2013, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

I did listen at matched levels, within one db of each other.

That pretty well guarantees that you will hear an audible difference, and quite easily. However the difference might not be heard as louder or software, but a slight shift in timbre.

The standard number for level matching is a tenth of that, or 0.1 dB.

Now that we have AVRs with accurately calibrated electronic volume controls, just about anybody can dial in a 1 dB difference and hear the difference for themselves. I frequently adjust my system to increase or decrease its volume by 1 dB (two clicks on the remote), and I wouldn't do that it if didn't sound different.

In fact 1 dB is a ca. 1933 attempt to define the smallest difference that would be audibly different. With ABX tests we can show that 0.5 dB can be detected with modern high performance audio systems.
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post #26 of 52 Old 09-01-2013, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Wow Arnold, you are so very kind. I know what I heard between those to amplifiers and I'll stick with what I said.

Despite your sarcasm, I am being kind. I know from personal experience and experience with 100s of other people that audiophiles are often caught up in a web of illusion. I also know that without personal experience with level matched, time synchronized, bias controlled (DBT) tests, many will never be convinced by mere words on a forum.
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I haven't been churning and wasting money as all I have right now is a Yamaha rx v3000 which will go to my dedicated theater, thus the reason I'm looking for two channel amplification. I'm not some loon who believes $20000 cables and magic pebbles will take me to audio nirvana. I use Dayton audio interconnects and they're good enough for me.

In my book the RXV-3000 is vastly overpriced. Why does one spend so much money on an AVR?

AVRs are perfect as centerpieces of fine 2.0 or 2.1 audio systems. I know that many think they are infested with mid fi cooties, but it is easy to show why technically, they are just fine.
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I'm just trying to get some feedback from people who may have used some of this equipment as I can only do this once. I don't really have the time or funds or a wife that would put up with multiple sales and purchases of amplifiers. She barely puts up with the speaker switch outs as it is.

IOW, you want to get some reinforcement from others who suffer with the same illusions as you do.

Your other subsequent posts indicate that I pretty well scoped out your illusions about everything sounding different. But as predicted, no amount of good advice and reasoning from others has changed your opinions.
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post #27 of 52 Old 09-01-2013, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

Extremes, what extremes?

Who cares if they weren't level matched by a computer. They sounded to play at the same level to my ears and to my db meter. There was clearly a winner in this battle, sighted or blind, it would have been obvious to anyone. It's funny because most of the the members in the diy area say 1-2 decibels isn't even noticeable to the human ear.


Dan

You ask so I'll answer. I have done literally hundreds of bias controlled listening tests. We do level matching with a voltmeter across a speaker terminal, not with our ears or with a radio shack DB meter. We match to .01 volt. If we don't the listener will choose the louder one every time, even if we reverse the two units. We could take the two amplifiers you tested and make you prefer either one just by mismatching levels in a blind test. Then we could make you prefer the other in another test. I could prove that to you easily. Just bring your amps.

The reason the tests are blind is that we all - you, me, everybody - suffer from expectation bias. We prefer one amp to the other before listening. Our brains will allow us to have our way during listening. It is hearing bias. When we eliminate the knowledge of which unit is currently playing, all that bias disappears and we can't distinguish one from another. Or, more accurately, we can't tell one from another if they are audibly the same. Obviously not everything is audibly the same. If you were to put a single ended triode amp against a modern solid state amplifier, they would sound different because the SET will have an audible level of harmonic distortion whereas properly designed modern ss amps like the ones you are talking about do not have audible distortion..

I've been where you are for decades. I've spent over 6 figures in high end audio gear. I am a former Stereophile subscriber. Not any longer. I learned the truth about a dozen years ago. I got so well trained from bias controlled testing that I rarely hear differences that don't exist even sighted test today. My hearing bias is less biased than it used to be. My expectation is that audio electronics should not add audible artifacts to the sound. And, for the most part, they don't. Speakers, on the other hand have audible distortion and contorted frequency response. I have yet to hear two different speakers that sound the same. Speakers are the way to go.
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post

That would be a good test with the exception that adjusting the volume 1db on the same amp isn't going to magically reinforce and control the bottom octaves to such an extreme.
How do you know, you tested it already?
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post #29 of 52 Old 09-01-2013, 10:46 AM
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fwiw, heres my 2 cents, I'm no audio expert but over the years i came to the conclusion amps and receivers only purpose is to power your speakers. sure some have bigger power supplies better quality parts better looking and that almighty audiophile brand name associated with it but none of this changes the sound coming out of your speakers other than the amount of distortion it might produce. imo speaker placement and room acoustics are far more important for sound than what powers them. again just my 2 cents

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post #30 of 52 Old 09-01-2013, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by saabracer23 View Post


Why do two tweeter, both with ferrite magnet, same voice coil material, aluminum domes with same moving mass, ect ect sound so different? Same with mids or woofers.

Because they have different levels of distortion, different frequency response and are in different enclosures.
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