"Official" All amps sound the same thread - Page 28 - AVS Forum
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post #811 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Then what would be the point of the thread? If that were the case of course every thing would sound the same. But then there would be no reason for Parasound to have had amps touted as being designed by John Curl or any of the other "personalized" lines by various manufacturers.

Forget I even asked any question. This thread will see the fate of the CD player thread that crabby ruined and got closed if certain individuals continue their bullying and rhetoric.

The point is that even given "all other things being equal" I still see people constantly proclaiming or describing amps in all sorts of flowery language, that defies any sort of logic or common sense.

As far as why they'd buy an amp by John Curl or Penngray for that matter, it would be the same reason why people buy coke Zero, Michael Jordan sneakers or Martha Stewart homewares. Names (or more properly brands) provide a comfort factor, if you've liked X by person Y, then most people are more willing to try Z by the same person vs the exact same product from someone unknown.
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post #812 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post

If he had said,

"The Outlaws aren't bad, but seriously lacked any punch/dynamics in my opinion. To me, choosing the Halos restored the sound I was used to."

Would it escape scorn?

It all means the same thing and its not scorn! We are simply questioning someone's 100% inaccurate descriptive claims.

The truth here is that people posting ANY amp lacks punch/dynamics seriously have little knowledge about amps and therefore their posts should mean zero when that post is in any thread talking about amp performance. Its our job to make sure the truth is posted and readers of posts are not confused/sold on something that reads great like advertising but is 100% false. It does not happen enough but Im doing my best

Im still waiting for someone to post actually explaining how the Parasound is extremely dynamic and the Outlaw amp is not??....Everyone DUCKS that question, I wonder why that is?

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post #813 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Do some amps have audible distortion even when not clipping? Someone mentioned above that a Bob Carver amp put a resistor on one of it's outputs and it sounds different. Is that the current source output on a Sunfire amp?

I guess if the output without the resistor is not audibly distorting, the one with the resistor is?

By distortion, I don't mean it sounds worse. There's anecdotal evidence which suggests some people prefer certain kinds of distortion - google 'single ended triode'.

Audible distortion at the output terminals is signal which sounds audibly different than signal that was amplified with zero errors.

Inaudible distortion would be a measurable difference between the ideal output, and the actual output, that's not audible.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #814 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TPnBobcats View Post

As far as why they'd buy an amp by John Curl or Penngray for that matter, it would be the same reason why people buy coke Zero, Michael Jordan sneakers or Martha Stewart homewares.

OT:

Please take this to the "Official all colas taste the same" thread.


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post #815 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Do some amps have audible distortion even when not clipping? Someone mentioned above that a Bob Carver amp put a resistor on one of it's outputs and it sounds different. Is that the current source output on a Sunfire amp?

I guess if the output without the resistor is not audibly distorting, the one with the resistor is?

1 ohm resistance to make its sound tube like so they say. Its on it and I have the amp. The difference can be extremely subjective too, I know its different but when I read how others describe the difference its like it was a miracle and a world of difference and it didnt really sound tube like to me!!

Quote:


By distortion, I don't mean it sounds worse. There's anecdotal evidence which suggests some people prefer certain kinds of distortion - google 'single ended triode'.

Audible distortion at the output terminals is signal which sounds audibly different than signal that was amplified with zero errors.

Inaudible distortion would be a measurable difference between the ideal output, and the actual output, that's not audible.


Distortion measurements are pretty easy so this isnt an area where there is magic and smoke.

As for audibility, Its been posted/researched/tested that people have a much harder time hearing distortion at lower frequencies then higher ones.

Example, A popular DIY amp use to be the buttkicker 1000W amp, it was cheap and it has a lot of power. Over the past couple of years measurements for it have been posted and everyone realizes how much distortion it produces (remember its for driving tranducers and distortion is not important for that application). Surprisingly, its not discussed or used much any more even though people never noticed the difference until the measurements came out

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post #816 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Heaven forbid your amp for your furniture shaking device has distortion. Are we barbarians?

I have never heard any distortion on my powered sub. I am either impressed by people who do, or think they are imagining things. I won't say which.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #817 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

OT:

Please take this to the "Official all colas taste the same" thread.


You're one of those "I'm a Pepper" heretics aren't you.
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post #818 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Heaven forbid your amp for your furniture shaking device has distortion. Are we barbarians?

I have never heard any distortion on my powered sub. I am either impressed by people who do, or think they are imagining things. I won't say which.


People were using it to drive their DIY subs.

Oh, there is a whole sub culture of DIYers that can hear the difference in pro amps. I have owned pro amps from $300 to $2K, I have no idea what they are hearing

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post #819 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:10 PM
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Penn,
Do you think I don't know what I am talking about as I do think there are differences in amps. I do think it is more amp and speaker relationship. Meaning the impedance load, power, etc... I know that the reason that my speakers come more alive with the behringers than the Mac amps I had was because of the 2 ohm capability. Power should be the same since I always calibrate to reference. When my speaker dips below 4 ohms the mac most likely just compresses and the behringer just feeds them more power and therefore more dynamic, and scary good.
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post #820 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Penn,
Do you think I don't know what I am talking about as I do think there are differences in amps. I do think it is more amp and speaker relationship. Meaning the impedance load, power, etc... I know that the reason that my speakers come more alive with the behringers than the Mac amps I had was because of the 2 ohm capability. Power should be the same since I always calibrate to reference. When my speaker dips below 4 ohms the mac most likely just compresses and the behringer just feeds them more power and therefore more dynamic, and scary good.

MK, that is a perfect example of where the specs do matter and you touched on the other very important fact, speaker impedance curve. Few people realize its a curve not a value.

You know and understand the difference, you point out the reasons why there is a difference. Thats a perfect way to explain an experience to me!

Your post does indicate though that you may think I believe there is no difference, I believe there is a difference if the specs and measurements say there is a difference.

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post #821 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

...Few people realize its a curve not a value.

Maybe the speaker forum needs a stickied post explaining how speakers work. They are often treated as if they were mystical devices.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #822 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:28 PM
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Penngray,

Please stop spreading your lies. All amplifiers sound different.

You see, with the above statement of amps sounding different, than many, many good quality amps arrive on the used market (for me to scoop up at great prices) while those searching for audio nirvana continue to swap out amps and expect the skies to open and the sun to shine down on them.


It is amazing to me the amount of $$ spent on amps and cables trying to improve the sound when that $$ could have been spent on better speakers.

I, too, believe as long as certain criteria are met, amps sound the same.

Well, there may be very minute differences, but not worth the $$ to obtain.
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post #823 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Been a long time since I perused this thread, but in the mean time I have done some reading. In an article written by Peter Aczel in issue 16 of The Audio Critic, it is written "Power amplifiers must have high input impedance, low output impedance, no frequency-response anomalies, and be at all times operated within their voltage and current capabilites in order to sound the same."

I agree with that and it makes perfect sense......if the amp is designed to sound like all other amps that are designed in a similar manner. Now the rub, you knew it was coming. What about an otherwise perfectly fuctioning amplifier, operating as designed, but with a variation? For example Bob Carver putting a resistor on the output. The amp is operating as designed but sounds different and it sounds great to some people, like me.

Does the argument "All amps sound the same" still hold?

The reason I ask is because anytime somebody asserts a sound difference it is chalked up as a design flaw.

Yes, of course we can't add qualifications which boil down to saying that whenever a difference in sound is detected, it can be attributed to a defect in an amplifier or a flaw in the testing. Because then the position we are discussing has no content. And I think the qualification "no frequency anomalies" in the statement you quote is rather troubling.

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post #824 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Maybe the speaker forum needs a stickied post explaining how speakers work. They are often treated as if they were mystical devices.

I plan to cover this to at least some extent in the "Do I need an Amp" thread.
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post #825 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TPnBobcats View Post

You're one of those "I'm a Pepper" heretics aren't you.

Can we ever get past the personal attacks on this thread?

JUST KIDDING!!!

Actually can't stand soda pop. Give me good clean water from my well.

Or beer, of course.

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post #826 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

Or beer, of course.

You do know the board rules forbid religious discussions...
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post #827 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKstudios View Post

My "amp theory"...

I have a background in physics, music and art; and I really like music and movies, which is why I am a member here -- to learn more about recreating them in my own personal space. But, I am certainly no expert in amplifier design and welcome any input or corrections. Again, this is just a theory from reading threads like this one.

I have an all digital Panasonic AVR and a Harman Kardon AVR, that I can swap in a room with the same room acoustics and speakers, and get two completely different sounds. The Panny sounds "digital" and the HK sounds "warm". This is my attempt to explain, as to why that is.....

Hi MLKstudios,

This might not be any explanation of the difference you hear, but I think it would be very worth checking out:

Some people make a big deal about matching levels and the topic is taken as an old saw by a lot of other people, which they then dismiss. But unless you've tried it (and yes, in a blind test), you probably can't appreciate what a huge difference even very, very slight changes in playback level can make. Two playbacks of the same music can seem to be dramatically different if one is only a half dB different from the other. Can you be sure that it isn't just a case that maybe the HK plays a little weaker or louder than the Panny when you run the volume control up 'to taste'? (Knob turning taste is also affected by how far the knob seems to be being twisted, how it looks, how big the amp appears, other odd things, even. We aren't machines, subtle prejudice leaks into everything). Matching the knob position means precisely nothing, since amps do not have the same electrical gains nor do they use the same or even similar gain pots - gain (or signal level) has to been actually measured to get the match, on BOTH channels (a half dB balance has a lot of effect on image!), using those settings then seeing if the amps still sound different (blind).

{Not to give offense, but being sure that "this can't be it" (as is often protested) also means nothing, really. Changing a test to use verified matched playback levels can be an eye-opening experience ...after the blind is removed of course!}

You may well be right, there might be something else, but there's a good chance that gain is really the difference. I've been fooled by it myself a number of times.

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post #828 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TPnBobcats View Post

MJH, the thread starter has mentioned on several occasions and if you had actually read most of the thread you would know, we are talking about "All amps sound the same, ASSUMING all other things are equal".

).


If all things are equal.


What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #829 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonhawk View Post

Can we ever get past the personal attacks on this thread?

JUST KIDDING!!!

Actually can't stand soda pop. Give me good clean water from my well.

Or beer, of course.

Beer

You know it's all the same.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #830 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post

If all things are equal.


And yet you continually express surprise that people think you're obnoxious.
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post #831 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Beer definitely is not the same. In a blind test, I can tell canned Coors Light from Bottled Coors Light for example, but that's probably the can's fault.

Chamay tastes totally different than Budweiser. If someone can't tell the difference between those beers, they should never spend the money on Chimay.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #832 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Beer definitely is not the same. In a blind test, I can tell canned Coors Light from Bottled Coors Light for example, but that's probably the can's fault.

Chamay tastes totally different than Budweiser. If someone can't tell the difference between those beers, they should never spend the money on Chimay.

Maybe we should all get together and do multiple double blind taste testing.

That could go a long way to easing some of the friction around here.

Then, we could all listen to a bunch of different amps and start a drunken brawl.

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post #833 of 2642 Old 04-20-2009, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I need to get over the digestive ailment first, but I am game after that

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #834 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post

Hi MLKstudios,

This might not be any explanation of the difference you hear, but I think it would be very worth checking out:

Some people make a big deal about matching levels and the topic is taken as an old saw by a lot of other people, which they then dismiss. But unless you've tried it (and yes, in a blind test), you probably can't appreciate what a huge difference even very, very slight changes in playback level can make. Two playbacks of the same music can seem to be dramatically different if one is only a half dB different from the other. Can you be sure that it isn't just a case that maybe the HK plays a little weaker or louder than the Panny when you run the volume control up 'to taste'? (Knob turning taste is also affected by how far the knob seems to be being twisted, how it looks, how big the amp appears, other odd things, even. We aren't machines, subtle prejudice leaks into everything). Matching the knob position means precisely nothing, since amps do not have the same electrical gains nor do they use the same or even similar gain pots - gain (or signal level) has to been actually measured to get the match, on BOTH channels (a half dB balance has a lot of effect on image!), using those settings then seeing if the amps still sound different (blind).

{Not to give offense, but being sure that "this can't be it" (as is often protested) also means nothing, really. Changing a test to use verified matched playback levels can be an eye-opening experience ...after the blind is removed of course!}

You may well be right, there might be something else, but there's a good chance that gain is really the difference. I've been fooled by it myself a number of times.

Appreciate the response bwaslo,

I am quite sure the volume (SPL) is not the case. I have some beryllium dome speakers used as surrounds, and they were unlistenable on the Panny, but smoothed out on the HK, at any volume level.

Of course there could be other factors. The Panny's EQ setup is not as advanced as the HK (it doesn't have a mic for auto EQ). But, I also have a stereo HK, and have attached various speakers to it, and the sound is obviously different than when those same speakers are attached to the Panny.

I went back to an old set of Cambridge Soundworks HTIB speakers that the Panny matched well with, for my BR HT. They are a little dull on either HK, but the Panny makes them sparkle.

There is also a pre/pro in each, so this is not a fair amp vs. amp comparison. But, I am sure anyone, even someone who is tone deaf, could hear a difference.

My own unscientific conclusion, was the HK paired well with the JBL Synthesis speakers and the Panny needed speakers that had little brightness to them. The HK/JBL match may be expected as they are both under the Harman umbrella.

In short, I think if you compare amps on two different speaker systems, then there is no way to tell which one sounds best. You simply need to find the right amp/speaker combination, as well as taking into account the acoustics of the room.

Matthew
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post #835 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 02:03 AM
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Over in the Speaker section I found this, thanks to cpu8088. It implies that amplifier design does affect the harmonic frequencies...

quote from secrets:

"Natural sounds (not recorded) contain many harmonics, and primarily even ordered (second, fourth, sixth, etc.). It is the combination of harmonics that allows us to distinguish a trombone from a french horn when they are both playing the same note. Amplifiers produce an artifact called "harmonic distortion", which means that they create harmonics where they don't exist, or exaggerate harmonics that are already there. Even ordered harmonics (second, fourth, sixth, etc.) are pleasing (consonant) to the ear, while odd ordered harmonics (third, fifth, seventh, etc.) are irritating (dissonant). Think of it in terms of the sound of a barber shop quartet. If the three harmony parts are all singing in tune with each other and the soloist, all is well as far as the listener is concerned, no matter how loud the harmony parts are singing. This is consonance. However, if just one of the harmony parts sings out of tune, even quietly, the listener finds this irritating. This is dissonance.

Tube amplifiers, particularly the single ended type, produce even ordered harmonic distortion, primarily second order. Push pull tube amplifiers, particularly solid state amplifiers, tend to produce odd ordered harmonic distortion. If you are purchasing a single ended triode tube amplifier, 1% total harmonic distortion (THD), which means 1% of the sound is harmonically distorted, is actually pleasing to the ear, because it is even ordered. However, with a solid state amplifier, THD as low as 0.5% can be irritating, because it is odd ordered distortion. Therefore, when purchasing a solid state amplifier, make sure that the THD is no more than 0.5%. All high quality solid state amplifiers meet this specification, but you should note the fine print as to the THD in the rear channel of surround sound integrated amplifiers for the distortion factor. Often, it is larger than 0.5%. On the other hand, the bottom line in all cases, is whether the sound pleases you or not. "Specsmanship" as it is called (emphasizing the specifications on the technical data sheet supplied with a component) should not be the deciding factor. Decide with your ears, but ask to see the technical data sheet before you write the check.

Negative feedback is the process of taking a portion of the output, electrically inverting it, and then feeding it back to the input. The purpose of negative feedback is to flatten the frequency response, reduce harmonic distortion, lower the output impedance, and also to reduce the effects of "parasitic oscillation" that can occur when parts of the circuitry cause an induced current to flow in other circuits where it is not wanted. However, too much negative feedback can sometimes be used to produce an artificially low harmonic distortion specification. Second order harmonics will be reduced, but fifth order harmonics will increase, and this odd ordered distortion is much more noticeable than the original second order distortion. A tell tale sign of too much negative feedback is an excess of sibilance in the human voice (the "s" is exaggerated)."
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post #836 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats View Post

And yet you continually express surprise that people think you're obnoxious.

Let me see, that is your 3rd "let's fight" post to me in a row. What is it you want to fight about?

Here is a cute song to take the edge off your day in hopes that you'll calm down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8nzX...eature=related

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #837 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKstudios View Post

Over in the Speaker section I found this, thanks to cpu8088. It implies that amplifier design does affect the harmonic frequencies...

Yes amps do effect harmonic frequencies, that isn't new for anyone here.

The title of the thread is always misleading people because no one has ever posted that ALL amps sound the same no matter what.

The point here is that amps with similar specs/similar measurements are going to sound the same unless there is a problem.

There are lots of measurements out there, I have yet to read about something in sound that is not measureable so everything can be determined by measurements.

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post #838 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 06:15 AM
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Let me see, that is your 3rd "let's fight" post to me in a row. What is it you want to fight about?

Maybe that a lot of your posts come across as snide and insulting?

Perhaps, that's not how you intend them, but it's how they come across.
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post #839 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 07:43 AM
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Maybe that a lot of your posts come across as snide and insulting?

Perhaps, that's not how you intend them, but it's how they come across.

Easy on him now, he just want to listen and believe

Im still waiting for him or anyone else to post actual proof on why a specific amp is better then another amp. I will never get it though

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post #840 of 2642 Old 04-21-2009, 07:46 AM
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The point is that even given "all other things being equal" I still see people constantly proclaiming or describing amps in all sorts of flowery language, that defies any sort of logic or common sense.

As far as why they'd buy an amp by John Curl or Penngray for that matter, it would be the same reason why people buy coke Zero, Michael Jordan sneakers or Martha Stewart homewares. Names (or more properly brands) provide a comfort factor, if you've liked X by person Y, then most people are more willing to try Z by the same person vs the exact same product from someone unknown.

I respectfully disagree. If people were buying amps for comfort factor Emotiva and other ID startups brands would never even be a consideration. Coke Zero? It tastes like regualar Coke. Michael Jordan shoes? They look cool, I guess, as well as popular association. As far as Martha Stewart, thats all name recognition.

BTW, the flowery language is just that flowery language. Something to be ignored by most knowlegable persons.
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