"Official" All amps sound the same thread - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 02:40 AM
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DT,
They are all valid questions. Don't you think they have all been considered and accounted for?
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post #62 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfganglui View Post

DT,
They are all valid questions. Don't you think they have all been considered and accounted for?

Personally I think assumptions really have to be made by everyone (those supporting or sceptical), but still it is a very tall order for that test to come out as it did IMO.
You calculated how low the average watt has to be to not even hit 128watts for 12db and 15db dynamic peak recordings (let alone excellent recordings around 20db)?

That aside, you agreeing that a discontinued one of the lowest budget model Yamaha AVR is the only spec required in a medium room and in fact is all that is required to control 4ohm speakers?
Or that then budget AVRs are what we all should be purchasing?

Because if you agree with the test findings you should be purchasing the lowest AVR model on the market for all aspects of hifi and not just films, or if assuming it was played very quiet then just a middle to just above this of the range model.
I doubt anyone here is going to say such a low built model should be sonically equal to a much better spec amp, and also equally drive 4ohm speakers or provide enough dynamic headroom to match the superior spec in a medium room (without even going loud).
But this is my take, and with different set of assumptions to mine you will arrive to a different conclusion and this is fine as we do not have enough details.

However, the initial agreement from some posts here is that AVRs should not be included in this discussion because there would be differences, but the test's conclusion does not match that.

Cheers
DT
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post #63 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

It seems possible that subtle differences in amplifiers can't be detecting during blind testing, yet do have an effect on a listeners enjoyment level.

I can't prove that obviously, nor would I bother. I have just speculated that's it's a possible hypothesis.

I personally don't worry about such things - I bought my receiver for it's feature set

I like the approach, I would like to add another practical way where you can also just look for a different model (maybe within certain specification) that looks to resolve any niggles that you may hear from some of your music due to the amp-speaker combination.
This is why I embarked on looking at amps (whether AVR/integrated/power), to resolve niggles that was putting me off some of my music to the point I would not play them often.
It does not necessarily have to be about what impresses, another view is ensuring your music can be played on your speakers without any niggles or disappointments.
And I do believe that changing speakers can mean different niggles occur, that are exacerbated by different albums and tracks, which can mean that the amp you have may not be able to deal with those and may need to be changed, in my experience this goes beyond the basic specifications.

Afterall not every speaker behaves identically and while each usually has its specific wow factor with sound, they do also usually have a niggle that is exacerbated as I mentioned by certain music albulms or tracks, and sometimes this is not noticed until living with them for awhile.

Edit:
I just want to clarify these recordings are not bad ones that I am trying to tweak, but are good recordings or ones using techniques that exacerbate what I identify as niggles to me on my current speakers (and to a certain extent that varies also appear on others from my recent auditions).

Cheers
DT
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post #64 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfganglui View Post

Michael,

Thanks for the reply but now it makes me wonder why did you start this thread then?

I was motivated by the desire to see people debate this in one place. I thought perhaps a specific thread for this topic might redirect some of the debates of this topic from other threads.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #65 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 06:34 AM
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IMHO, there are some of us that can say that all amps do sound the same.

I suffered through many ear infections, including burst and pierced ear drums as a child. Then spent my youth listening to loud music, and later years working on the flight line next to noisy jets.

I can remember the ear doctor telling me what great hearing I had after a test I had when I was about 8 yrs old. Its been downhill ever since, and I just don't hear the same things my kids do. In fact, sometimes I hear a song on the radio that sounds so different from when I heard it years ago.

One ear has better hearing than the other. The upside is that I can sleep on my good ear and not be bothered when the trains pass by at night.

Sometimes I wonder if the time, money and effort spent on building a quality system is worth it for me. I can certainly tell the difference between a lousy system and a better one, but the days of fine tuning a system by choosing a certain amp over another are finished.

I just purchased a Klipsch RF-10/Denon AVR-1909 home theater system knowing that it would be a waste of money to pay for anything better that I probably wouldn't be able to discern. Kind of like Ed, my blind friend who bought a nice TV a few years ago.

Anyway, congrats if you can tell the difference in amps. I'm sure many of us can, (protect your hearing if you are one!) some who think we can, and some who say "Can you turn that up a little louder please?"

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ant off
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post #66 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 08:37 AM
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Michael, It is certainly fun subject. So debate away.

DT, I tried to reread a few of your posts ....maybe it is easier if I ask you directly to see where you are coming from. Have you done any blind test or similar to make you sceptical of the Yamaha thing? Or it is just pure reasoning ... the numbers don't add .... so they must be wrong?
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post #67 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfganglui View Post

Michael, It is certainly fun subject. So debate away.

DT, I tried to reread a few of your posts ....maybe it is easier if I ask you directly to see where you are coming from. Have you done any blind test or similar to make you sceptical of the Yamaha thing? Or it is just pure reasoning ... the numbers don't add .... so they must be wrong?

I'm not sure of Michael's intent, but I think he started this thread to diffuse a difference of opinion between myself and another member(whom I have not heard from). My question was concerning the difference in the amp sections of receivers and the other members statement that all receivers(with the same features) sound the same. I also was questioning the sound of the new ICE amps(which I have not listened to yet). That debate on the other thread was getting out of hand and its over now. I have had the opportunity to compare 2 separate amps using an AVR as a pre-pro and I definately could tell the difference in the sound. One was an Anthem, the other was the Parasound. Both had the same power ratings and I did calibrate each with a Radio Shack meter. Even my wife noticed the difference between the two of them. I'm of the opinion for #3. But that's just the way I am when it comes to buying any AV equipment. Not just amps. Thank you Michael for starting this thread. Its nice to be able to learn more from people who know a hell of a lot more than myself concerning all the differences and their views.
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post #68 of 2642 Old 01-31-2009, 10:11 AM
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Posted this here in a thread where I was contemplating the differences between an Emotiva UPA-2 amp (2 channel, 125w) versus a Denon AVR-589 receiver. I though you might like to see the results of my side by side testing. I definitely think that not all amps are created equally: I personally found the dedicated amp to sound much better than the amp in the Denon AVR:

Quote:
Originally Posted by czachorski View Post

The Emotiva amp came last night, and I ran the Denon and Emotiva through a bunch of tests. I'll post my observations and opinions, but I won't keep you in suspense: the Denon went back to the store, and I am keeping the Emotiva. That amp is great.

The iMac and the features in iTunes serve as an outstanding pre-amp for the Emotiva. It was driving the Denon just fine before, so I had a feeling this would be the case with the amp too. iTunes even offers some pretty good Equalizer and pre-amp controls. Making changes to the EQ or the volume levels really has quite an effect. They work pretty well:


My first impression of the amp when I plugged it in was - hmmm it doesn't go as loud as the Denon. It was loud, but, the Denon had the ability to turn the knob a little further, and keep turning it up louder. At first, I was disappointed in the amp - I guess I expected to plug it in and just have it blow me away with how much louder and more powerful it was, but that did not happen. My disappointment quickly went away as I started going through the testing. I also noticed that the amp is about 2x heavier than the Denon - all that weight must be doing something right? I basically tested the amp versus the AVR in 3 configurations:

Split the Signal with Denon on One Speaker and Emotiva on the Other

This was the first test that I did, and it allowed me to very quickly check the performance of both options side by side. I listened to one by itself, and then the other, and also played them both at the same time and moved my head back and fourth between them.

The first thing I noticed is that at high volume levels when no music is playing, the Denon puts out a noticeable low level hum. This goes away when you back off the volume, but it is subtly there at decently high levels (within the volume range I would listen, although the upper range). The amp just does not have this.

With the side by side testing, I put on a few motion picture scores that really draw some power when the full chorus kicks in. What I found was that although the Denon can be turned up louder, it distorts at those high levels compared to the amp. When the amp is up very loud, although not as loud as full volume on the Denon, the sound is very clean. Since I have never done this before, I din't really notice how distorted the Denon is at high volumes until I had the amp to compare it to. Now that I have heard it, I really appreciate the clean sound the amp is putting out.

I then proceeded to turn down the Denon to get rid of the distortion during the musical peaks. Here was the clincher for me: I had to turn the Denon down quite a bit from its full volume to get it to sounds as clean as the amp. When both are at the threshold of distorting, the amp is much louder than the Denon.

I also noticed that when I have them both below the distortion threshold, and still quite loud, that the amp just sounds better. It just seems more crisp and clean, and less "fuzzy". It is a hard thing to quantify, but my wife who was home while I was testing (and thinks I'm nuts) , even commented on it. I know this sounds like one of those magical observations that some have posted around here could even be caused by the psychological effect of wanting more expensive equipment to sound better, but this is what we both heard.

Denon on Both Speakers Versus Emotiva on Both Speakers

I then put both speakers on the Denon and played some tracks, and then both speakers on the amp and played some tracks. With the Denon first, I could crank it up real loud and blow the house out at volumes much louder than I would ever listen to it, but once you know what the distortions sound like and you know what is possible, you just crave that clean sound.

Going to both speakers on the amp just sounded great. Good clean sound almost all the way through the volume range. With volume set at the threshold of distortion on the big pieces, it is plenty loud, certainly at or above the level I would ever play it at. At lower, but still loud levels, the sound is good and clean, when the Denon would have been distorted. At medium levels, the sounds just seems better to me. Very happy with the amp. Definitely going to keep it, and since all my listening will be 2 channel stereo, I'm not going to miss any of the bells and whistles on the AVR.


Run the iMac output to the Denon as a Pre-Amp then to the Amp

Some had suggested that the best sound would be generated if I went to the Denon as a pre-amp and then to the amp. I hooked it up this way, on both speakers, and then also split the signal and left one speaker in this setup and the other driven right off the amp. I could not tell the difference at all.

Both with the Denon as a pre-amp and with the amp directly sounded exactly the same to me. I noticed that when the Denon was in the pre-amp connection, that changing the Denon volume did not affect the output volume from the speakers at all. The Denon outputs are also not labeled as pre-out, they say "VCR" and "CD-R/tape"), so I suspect that the outputs that the Denon has are just pass-through. So does that mean that it does not really have pre-amp functionality? It really does not matter to me, because the iMac works so well as a pre-amp.

-----------------

So that's my observations and conclusions. The Denon went back to the store this morning. The only thing is, with all these tests, and really doing some jamming last night, I blew the foam out around the woofers. Surfing around these forums and the web, seems to be a common problem for speakers of this vintage (circa 1994) - that I just picked up 2nd hand last weekend. The foam seemed rather brittle to begin with, so I had a feeling this was going to happen. It seems like it is not a big deal, though - I just ordered a replacement kit on line. It doesn't look to hard to fix.

Sorry this was so long - I thought some might appreciate the detailed information.

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post #69 of 2642 Old 02-01-2009, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

I'm not sure of Michael's intent, but I think he started this thread to diffuse a difference of opinion between myself and another member....

Thanks. I found the thread by looking at a few of your back posts. Interesting his choice of word is 'isolate'. Does anyone else feel this forum is too big sometimes? I found this place when searching for some info on Oppo players. Only recently I noticed people like James D. (jj) Johnston and Arnyk also post here. Hoping if I stick around a bit I might learn a few new things.
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post #70 of 2642 Old 02-01-2009, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfganglui View Post

Michael, It is certainly fun subject. So debate away.

DT, I tried to reread a few of your posts ....maybe it is easier if I ask you directly to see where you are coming from. Have you done any blind test or similar to make you sceptical of the Yamaha thing? Or it is just pure reasoning ... the numbers don't add .... so they must be wrong?

Hi Wolfganglui,
I think instead of me re-iterating all that I have said here and also in the speaker 4ohm topic, it would be better if you lay out your own perspective and views/experience/opinion, and feel free what you want to question what I have said already (if you disagree or it does not make sense), as you say it is meant to be a fun debate.
I will briefly say that I have done preference and also ABX test for some amps, with a mix of consistent and inconsistent results (like other ABX).
IMO I am not entirely happy with ABX and hopefully I made it pretty clear what is questionable about this when you just look at the entry level discontinued Yamaha being sonically identical to a ML 300watt dedicated amp, driving 4ohm insensitive speakers in a medium room.

What would help is to understand though;
Do you ever hear niggles or characteristics you dislike when listening to any speakers or in general they all just sound good?
Do you feel entry to low mid AVRs are sonically identical to excellent spec dedicated power amps, and are also fine for 4ohm speakers in a medium room?

The last point is interesting because the assumption in general with this thread is that AVRs (unless possibly high end model ones) should not be sonically as good as dedicated amps, even more so when considering 4ohm speakers and their phase angle.

Cheers
DT
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post #71 of 2642 Old 02-01-2009, 08:23 AM
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Position 3.

I went through a variety of amps (Marantz MA500, MA700, Parasound 2205, Outlaw MA2200 and now I own a Parasound A51/A23 combo) and I can easily say that I can hear clear differences (I have also switch processors, but I did A-B test a variety of combinations with the same processor.

My most recent upgrade was from 7xMA2200 to the A51/A23 combo and I noticed immediately an increase in 'punch' (or dynamics) and a much more controlled sound. Am I making this up (is it in my head to justify the cost)? I truly believe that I hear an audible difference, so for me it's worth the upgrade and * I * can clearly say there is a difference between amplifiers.

Most likely there are people out there that support position 1, but I would like to ask them if they ever did a significant upgrade in amplifiers.
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post #72 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

What would help is to understand though;
Do you ever hear niggles or characteristics you dislike when listening to any speakers or in general they all just sound good?
Do you feel entry to low mid AVRs are sonically identical to excellent spec dedicated power amps, and are also fine for 4ohm speakers in a medium room?

The last point is interesting because the assumption in general with this thread is that AVRs (unless possibly high end model ones) should not be sonically as good as dedicated amps, even more so when considering 4ohm speakers and their phase angle.

Cheers
DT

To my ears most speakers make very nice sound. Sometimes there are differences and obvious if I tried to listen to them. More so when compared side by side over a period of time.

As for poweramps, stereo integrated amps having sonic differences as reported by many are hard for me to believe.

Processor and some AV receivers sometimes try to do different things and they can sound different but this becomes an issue of what you are trying to compare.


Quote:


I will briefly say that I have done preference and also ABX test for some amps, with a mix of consistent and inconsistent results (like other ABX).
IMO I am not entirely happy with ABX and hopefully I made it pretty clear what is questionable about this when you just look at the entry level discontinued Yamaha being sonically identical to a ML 300watt dedicated amp, driving 4ohm insensitive speakers in a medium room.

Have you shared this experience before here? If you feels unable to repeat it all yet again then maybe you could point out the threads on this. I notice in the 'CD players sound the same thread' you raise many issues with ABX but not sure why, like the Yahama vs expensive amp is so implausable it can't be true. I am a bit curious why you keep bring up certain questions which I thought should be obvious for some one who have tried ABX before.
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post #73 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siddhartha View Post

Has anyone done any doubleblind, equalized and level controlled, etc testing of amps lately? The answer to this question can and should be determined based on the testing and data.

I'm sure some have and the results have probably been that there is no difference. I agree with what another poster said about long term listening. That, to me is where the differences can be heard. When you find an amp that you can live with or one that reveals something you hadn't heard before. Sure you can install the previous one and probably hear what you heard for the first time with the new amp, but at that point you are trying to hear it, instead of it revealing itself to you.
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post #74 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfganglui View Post

.....I am a bit curious why you keep bring up certain questions which I thought should be obvious for some one who have tried ABX before.

OK,
I have explained the why here and there so it seems to me you believe the test was fine and that it was not flawed, meaning that the dynamics never went over around 70watts (allowing for stability in dynamic terms - if it is obvious I guess though you have read SoundWest and other informative sites/articles).

But as I said there is assumptions on either side because none of this was shown as a consideration in the ABX.
As you say it is rather obvious, but then how would they know they are not hitting 4 or 5watts at average listening levels, how many think to check dBFS of tracks or bother (again no reference to this in their detailed setup).

Usually this would not matter, but then that is what makes this test interesting - the obvious weakness of one amp over another in a medium room.
If you really cannot see what these potential errors are or prefer the assumption not only did they keep the average watts below 4, but let me repeat one of the most entry level Yamaha amps able to control as well as a fully spec amp the 4ohm speaker with phase angle of 30degree (again no mention of this in the test consideration).
Then your views are pretty obvious - all amps sound the same.

This is one ABX test that really cannot be defended.
And I am yet to see anyone else suggesting on these forums that a low entry level AVR model would be a match to even a moderate audio amp in a medium size room on such speakers.
Of course some may have the ears of a mouse and play music at say 1watt I guess, but then they should be showing that a low spec (rail and output stage) supporting 40watts is all you need.

After doing both ABX and preference listening, these days I only have time for long term preference testing as for me this was more consistent, and from my own experience it looked to be actual dynamics that could not be differentiated in an ABX (why I was hoping some others would do similar tests between weak and stronger amps).
Because a few years ago I listened to the mantra all amps are near identical, I ended up wasting a fair bit of money on not entry level AVRs but mid level ones.
In the end I finally found what worked for me but in the process with help from 2 others, we tested at times from these medium AVRs all way to integrated and power amps with 650+watt.
Did I end up using the 650w amp in my reference system, no I went with a different but well built and designed 380w amp as this managed to control the negative characteristics/niggling sound the best that was occuring with my speaker and exacerbated by certain albums and tracks.

Is it possible that the ones who feel amps are sonically pretty much the same also do not notice negative characteristics and niggles others hear in speakers, which is further exacerbated by some albums and tracks?

Edit:
Wolfgang, regarding my mention of ABX yes quite awhile ago I mentioned that the only chance you may have passing an ABX is knowing the speakers well enough that you can consistently trigger the worst characteristic that the amps would need to deal with and this requires certain music that is probably around 1% of a collection.
So this means you must have plenty of time with the speakers and a serious amount of tracks to be able to select even about 12 tracks from the list to exacerbate the situation enough to possibly pass.
Even then I find your main chance is using a stopwatch and noting what to look for at X seconds.
Without this, or if unlucky that two amps are pretty close in resolving the niggles in same way your going to fail, and you really need 1 amp that actually resolve this because if both do not then passing is near impossible.
When I went through 10 amps, only 2 amps managed to be classified in a way that can resolve my issues with the speaker.
So if ABXing the other 8 against each other, it was a mess, ABX one of those 8 against the Chord Electronics or KW550 then could pass.
However on a preference test the results were more consistent and did not just rely on focusing or engineering a situation around these niggles.
And this is all I am going to say on this subject, because then it is going to turn into a de-rail situation.
Feel free to send me a PM.

Cheers
DT
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post #75 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:03 AM
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The issue here is philosophical, it doesn't have to do with specs, transistors, tubes, class or anything to do with the physical amplifier.

The truth lies between these two situations:

1. Our minds are so powerful that we can create differences in our minds when no differences actually exist, this is the placebo effect.

2. Our minds and ears are sensitive enough to differentiate true micro-nuances.

Statistics and scientific method are the only ways to tell whether 1 or 2 is more valid when comparing products. From a statistics point of view, knowing with 100% confidence either way is IMPOSSIBLE.
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post #76 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czachorski View Post

Posted this here in a thread where I was contemplating the differences between an Emotiva UPA-2 amp (2 channel, 125w) versus a Denon AVR-589 receiver. I though you might like to see the results of my side by side testing. I definitely think that not all amps are created equally: I personally found the dedicated amp to sound much better than the amp in the Denon AVR:

But again, this is irrelevant as it's not a particularly valid comparison. NOBODY is saying that, LITERALLY, all amps are the same. You are comparing a "75W/ch" entry-level receiver amp to a MUCH more powerful, truly 125W/ch external amp.

(And let's not even get into the different pre/pro and lack of level-matching. What you should have done was used the iMac as the pre/pro for both amps, using the EXT IN analog inputs of the Denon so you are bypassing all the processing and just using the amps).

Anyway, it is likely that the Emo is at least twice as powerful as the amps in the 589. You noted several times that when you cranked the Denon to huge volumes you noticed distortion compared to the Emo... which is what you would expect, given that the Emo is MUCH more powerful. All you did was verify that the Emo is capable of much greater sustained, clean power output than the 589, which is sort of self-evident.

Now, if you compared a 3808CI, or an Onkyo 805, vs. the Emo, where the power levels are more comparable, using just the amps with the same pre/pro (i.e. using the pre-outs of the 3808CI), the comparison would have been much more relevant. The comparisons really have to be more apples-to-apples to be meaningful.

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post #77 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

OK,
I have explained the why here and there so it seems to me you believe the test was fine and that it was not flawed, meaning that the dynamics never went over around 70watts (allowing for stability in dynamic terms - if it is obvious I guess though you have read SoundWest and other informative sites/articles).

The amp in question has published specs indicating short term current (wpc) delivery greatly exceeding 70 wpc into both 4 & 2 ohm loads.

Quote:


But as I said there is assumptions on either side because none of this was shown as a consideration in the ABX.

Additional information such as music listened, distance to speakers, speaker placement, and nominal levels at the seating position ought to have been provided for the sake of completeness.
Quote:


As you say it is rather obvious, but then how would they know they are not hitting 4 or 5watts at average listening levels, how many think to check dBFS of tracks or bother (again no reference to this in their detailed setup).

People don't check the dBFS of tracks when doing sighted comarisons either.
Quote:


Usually this would not matter, but then that is what makes this test interesting - the obvious weakness of one amp over another in a medium room.

Sometimes David wins.
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If you really cannot see what these potential errors are or prefer the assumption not only did they keep the average watts below 4, but let me repeat one of the most entry level Yamaha amps able to control as well as a fully spec amp the 4ohm speaker with phase angle of 30degree (again no mention of this in the test consideration).

I can see them. Phase angles that high are only for certain frequency areas and further, they don't occur at low impedances. That was made clear in the measurements.
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Then your views are pretty obvious - all amps sound the same.

Depends on the conditions.

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This is one ABX test that really cannot be defended.

Depends upon your assumptions.
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And I am yet to see anyone else suggesting on these forums that a low entry level AVR model would be a match to even a moderate audio amp in a medium size room on such speakers.

Most people, as they spend more on speakers (suggesting additional discretionary income) are prepared to spend proportionally more in other areas. A family of 4 making 50K spends less on dishes and silverware than one making 150K despite that both eat pizza, burgers, and chinese takeout. People's spending tendencies on amps isn't necessarily grounded 100% in reality.
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Of course some may have the ears of a mouse and play music at say 1watt I guess, but then they should be showing that a low spec (rail and output stage) supporting 40watts is all you need.

Yes, be a real man like Dylan, Neil Young, Pete Townshend, etc. and go deaf permanently.

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After doing both ABX and preference listening, these days I only have time for long term preference testing as for me this was more consistent, and from my own experience it looked to be actual dynamics that could not be differentiated in an ABX (why I was hoping some others would do similar tests between weak and stronger amps).

You like playing three-card monty with the cards face up. Me too.
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Because a few years ago I listened to the mantra all amps are near identical, I ended up wasting a fair bit of money on not entry level AVRs but mid level ones.

AVR's involve additional circuitry like dsp chips. Further, you may have mistaken or not fully understood that not all amps can drive all speakers. Next time, get a real man's amp...a pro amp and never have to worry that you'll run out of juice.
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In the end I finally found what worked for me but in the process with help from 2 others, we tested at times from these medium AVRs all way to integrated and power amps with 650+watt.

Too bad you didn't keep notes.
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Did I end up using the 650w amp in my reference system, no I went with a different but well built and designed 380w amp as this managed to control the negative characteristics/niggling sound the best that was occuring with my speaker and exacerbated by certain albums and tracks.

If I'm still here a few years from now then I expect you to not have changed. My sister in law has negative characteristics and a niggling nature.

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Is it possible that the ones who feel amps are sonically pretty much the same also do not notice negative characteristics and niggles others hear in speakers, which is further exacerbated by some albums and tracks?

Sure. Maybe they need to give more thought to their listening tendencies.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #78 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig View Post

......
Now, if you compared a 3808CI, or an Onkyo 805, vs. the Emo, where the power levels are more comparable, using just the amps with the same pre/pro (i.e. using the pre-outs of the 3808CI), the comparison would have been much more relevant. The comparisons really have to be more apples-to-apples to be meaningful.

And interestingly those Emo amps are such a stunning price that it does put them into serious contention when compared to other similar priced products, or even slightly cheaper/expensive AVRs.

A cracking product for the mainstream thats for sure.

Edit:
Chu, you can only take the 70watt figure because they are cheating with their specs, as higher watts quoted are for one channel with no FR and no comment on stability before falling back (check NAD for these points on their design).
I provided a quote explaining why all other figures mean nothing and actually do not add more power to this entry level AVR.

Regarding seating distances I explained that in my discussions with B&W that the minimum distance for a 3-way driver design is at least 2.5m and ideally 3m+, anything less messes up convergence from the seperate drivers.

Now I am going to shock you:
Your right pro amp is a good suggestion or even Emotiva that seem cracking prices for you guys in the US (lucky lot as I do not have those here in the UK)

Anyway this is a discussion about do amps sound similar and why to me it is important to mention the 70w cheapo entry level Yamaha being equal to a well spec amp in an ABX test as ABX did come into the discussion or is a consideration of such a discussion thread, after all many agreed that an AVR should not be compared to dedicated amps as there is differences.


That aside your right, economy of scale would be pro amp if you do not discern negative characteristics of your speakers for certain music (ignoring the discussion of purchasing amps due to the better impression overall of sound quality such as more weight/articulation/etc that is highly subjective).

Cheers
DT
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post #79 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:26 AM
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I would guess about 100% people without hearing damage can tell the difference between amplifiers with:
10% distortion and 0.01% distortion

However, the numbers will be much smaller if we compared amplifiers as below:

1. What % of the population can tell the difference between:
10.00% and 10.01%

2. What % of the population can tell the difference between:
1.00% and 1.01%

3. What % of the population can tell the difference between:
0.00% and 0.01%
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post #80 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

.....
If I'm still here a few years from now then I expect you to not have changed. My sister in law has negative characteristics and a niggling nature.

Sure. Maybe they need to give more thought to their listening tendencies.

Well if your sister in law improves with different amps or I know what music not to play, introduce us for sure

Cheers
DT
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post #81 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

Well if your sister in law improves with different amps or I know what music not to play, introduce us for sure

Cheers
DT

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"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #82 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

And interestingly those Emo amps are such a stunning price that it does put them into serious contention when compared to other similar priced products, or even slightly cheaper/expensive AVRs.

A cracking product for the mainstream thats for sure.

They are the Walmart of amps with a very nice appearance and heft. Quite remarkable as far as I can tell.

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Edit:
Chu, you can only take the 70watt figure because they are cheating with their specs, as higher watts quoted are for one channel with no FR and no comment on stability before falling back (check NAD for these points on their design).
I provided a quote explaining why all other figures mean nothing and actually do not add more power to this entry level AVR.

That may be overly conservative on your part.
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Regarding seating distances I explained that in my discussions with B&W that the minimum distance for a 3-way driver design is at least 2.5m and ideally 3m+, anything less messes up convergence from the seperate drivers.

The pic I posted suggests seating distances might well have been in that area.
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Now I am going to shock you:
Your right pro amp is a good suggestion or even Emotiva that seem cracking prices for you guys in the US (lucky lot as I do not have those here in the UK)

I wonder how they'd sell in Europe.
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Anyway this is a discussion about do amps sound similar and why to me it is important to mention the 70w cheapo entry level Yamaha being equal to a well spec amp in an ABX test as ABX did come into the discussion or is a consideration of such a discussion thread, after all many agreed that an AVR should not be compared to dedicated amps as there is differences.

It's not the equal unless the conditons are right. Have you thought of simply emailing Matrix?

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That aside your right, economy of scale would be pro amp if you do not discern negative characteristics of your speakers for certain music (ignoring the discussion of purchasing amps due to the better impression overall of sound quality such as more weight/articulation/etc that is highly subjective).

Don't forget PRAT!

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #83 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 11:12 AM
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There are people that believe products should be built properly and therefore when they look at the specs they believe they will get a specific peformance. (Im one of those people)

There are people that believe certain $$$ or brand names will inherently give them better SQ and therefore those products automatically sound better then other brands or other products that cost less. (I do not give a crap about Brands or $$$, Im in the logistic business and I have seen "product labelling" work wonders on people )

Placebo is real, there is almost no way around it in the audio world so we are all effected by it. Some people are effected more then others by it.

In the end an amp should NOT color (distort) sound, the amp should simply amplify the sound and therefore by definition amps should NOT sound different. The only problem is what Micheal posted already. Manufacturing is not perfect there is always problems.

One thing many people do not understand is how amps handle the impedance curve over all frequency ranges. Due to bad designs some amps may not do well at the low frequency ranges meaning they do not provide much power at all, people will describe these amps as amps with less punch. AVRs for one have lousy amps in them, lousy power supplies, etc and therefore impedence curves/frequence range power is effected greater then in a dedicated amp.

I own the following amps.

7 outlaw mono blocks (M2200)
Emotiva XPA-5
Sunfire Grand Signature II
B&K 440ex
Many pro-amps (FACE F1200TS, Behringer EP2500, QSC1850, Crown Xti2000)


Im in camp #2!! But only because companies never get it right.

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post #84 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

Anyway it is definitely a food for thought concept that many of us are biased when we consider amps and hear more dynamics that possibly just are not there.


Junk food! And those of us who rightly dismiss such junk food (although admittedly it IS totally uncontroversial among scientists), there are all these tasty audiophile items to consider purchasing to further enhance our listening pleasure:

http://www.nathanmarciniak.com/elemental/

Haters, don't tell me these are nonsense; unless you have heard them yourself, over a top-flight system, you have no grounds to dismiss them!!

.
.
.
.
.


(Anyway, nice try guys, but this thread is mostly a junkpile, just like any other where sighted anecdotes are taken as useful reports of sonic quality of gear. Amps should sound the same unless they're being taxed beyond their performance limits, or they're broken, or they're designed to add distortion. But I'll stick around in case Chu posts some tasty pix'o'chix)
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post #85 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DulcetTones View Post

H
IMO I am not entirely happy with ABX and hopefully I made it pretty clear what is questionable about this when you just look at the entry level discontinued Yamaha being sonically identical to a ML 300watt dedicated amp, driving 4ohm insensitive speakers in a medium room.

Your discontent isn't with 'ABX' per se, it is with your idea of what an ABX is, which is not necessarily what an ABX can or has to be. But only those of us who have slogged through your endless misunderstandings ,quibbles, and bizarre gedanken-experiments about ABX tests would recognize this. You should put it in your sigfile, or something.
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post #86 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

I'm sure some have and the results have probably been that there is no difference. I agree with what another poster said about long term listening. That, to me is where the differences can be heard. When you find an amp that you can live with or one that reveals something you hadn't heard before. Sure you can install the previous one and probably hear what you heard for the first time with the new amp, but at that point you are trying to hear it, instead of it revealing itself to you.

LOL, so, let's see, you learn to hear something on the new amp that you didn't hear on the old, and then when you put the old one back in, you hear it with that one too...this is supposed to tell is that the two are in fact *different sounding*.

Long term listening is not the enemy of ABX. You can do both, if you really want to test the idea that LT listening reveals difference. Listen for long enough that you believe you have solidly identified the 'signature' of the gear, THEN do the ABX.

It's been done before, btw.
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post #87 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by biomed_eng_2000 View Post

The issue here is philosophical, it doesn't have to do with specs, transistors, tubes, class or anything to do with the physical amplifier.

The truth lies between these two situations:

1. Our minds are so powerful that we can create differences in our minds when no differences actually exist, this is the placebo effect.

2. Our minds and ears are sensitive enough to differentiate true micro-nuances.

Statistics and scientific method are the only ways to tell whether 1 or 2 is more valid when comparing products. From a statistics point of view, knowing with 100% confidence either way is IMPOSSIBLE.

We never ask that anything be known in science with "100% confidence" to be considered 'true', so that's a STRAWMAN.

#1 is not only true, it's the reason why scientific work requires controls in the first place.

#2 can be shown to be true for some definitions of 'micro-nuances' , so it really depends on what that term means in a discussion.
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post #88 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 03:39 PM
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I agree Krabapple it is food for thought that maybe we do have bias when it comes to dynamics and going for powerful amps believing we hear more than what is there.
However the complete food for thought is that it could be possible that in ABX testing for some reason listeners fail to identify actual dynamics that are there, and also even more subtle sounds.
As I said in the past to a certain extent it is probably a mix of both instances.

But an interesting preference is when reading either from people like Ailmentall or other posters when they audition one particular manufacturer that has a unique solution.
Here is a different example that when listeners go and audition the NAD M3 to other similar spec amps.
It seems that it has a serious amount of fans, but maybe this is because it has a proprietary solution that is very slick for instant dynamic power and also soft clipping.
Of course this then would lead to the fact there is potential for dynamics being involved and identified as preference, or in other words preference listening and testing.

And from my own experience only one of my 10 amps had consistently noticable dynamics over the others in a selection test (deliberately not preference), even though their voltage rails and outputs all varied from 110watts all the way up to 650+ watts and other in between in mid 100s, 200ish and mid 200s, 300 and also mid to high 300s.
Of course I must stress that this is my own experience, so hey maybe I was biased in wanting it to fail.

Krabapple please consider change your post 85, your flat out wrong what I actually think and are now putting words to some effect that you prefer.
Also didnt you say you have never done an ABX when someone asked you?
I actually have a healthy respect for some ABX testers here and their approach and attitude, that being MZillch, who comes across open minded.

Cheers
DT
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post #89 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post

But again, this is irrelevant as it's not a particularly valid comparison. NOBODY is saying that, LITERALLY, all amps are the same. You are comparing a "75W/ch" entry-level receiver amp to a MUCH more powerful, truly 125W/ch external amp.

(And let's not even get into the different pre/pro and lack of level-matching. What you should have done was used the iMac as the pre/pro for both amps, using the EXT IN analog inputs of the Denon so you are bypassing all the processing and just using the amps).

Anyway, it is likely that the Emo is at least twice as powerful as the amps in the 589. You noted several times that when you cranked the Denon to huge volumes you noticed distortion compared to the Emo... which is what you would expect, given that the Emo is MUCH more powerful. All you did was verify that the Emo is capable of much greater sustained, clean power output than the 589, which is sort of self-evident.

Now, if you compared a 3808CI, or an Onkyo 805, vs. the Emo, where the power levels are more comparable, using just the amps with the same pre/pro (i.e. using the pre-outs of the 3808CI), the comparison would have been much more relevant. The comparisons really have to be more apples-to-apples to be meaningful.

No doubt - it would have been much more meaningful in this discussion. I agree with much of what you said.

For me, the only thing I was trying to determine was whether I would be better off with an AVR or putting about equal money into a dedicated amp. That is all I was trying to accomplish personally, with the testing I performed.

It should be noted that I was not even getting a solid answer in the thread that I posted the original question in (link) about what would be better between the Denon 70w AVR and the Emotiva 125w amp. I was so confused from the discussion, I felt the only way I could find out was to do my own testing. I think that this shows that what was mostly obvious to you, is not so obvious to many (including myself ) which I think shows how confusing this topic can be to have a discussion about.

PS - I re-read the OP in this thread, and did not see a mention in the initial rules that said that only amps of comparable wattage should be compared - if that was the intention, perhaps it should be made more clear.
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post #90 of 2642 Old 02-02-2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czachorski View Post

PS - I re-read the OP in this thread, and did not see a mention in the initial rules that said that only amps of comparable wattage should be compared - if that was the intention, perhaps it should be made more clear.

Well, it does say this for "position 1":
All amps sound the same when they are not clipping and are designed for a flat response

That bolded part implies what I was talking about -- you drove the 589 amps to clipping/distortion, so of course the Emo sounded better at that volume because it wasn't beyond its limits. Nobody would say that a 50W amp will sound the same as a 200W amp when you actually NEED more than 50 watts!

They should have sounded the same, however, at lower volumes when the 589 was within its "happy zone" of flat, undistorted output.

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