If I don't need louder, does an external amp do anything for me? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

Yup. And some amps will be absolutely terrible at 2.5 ohms, which is why your bass could sound very weak/bad if you're using one amp vs. another. And the bass frequencies, i.e 90Hz, is where you need the most power.

Yes! In other words, they'll clip faster. And then they'll sound different. Which goes back to the caveat that always gets ignored: "The amps sound the same when not clipping." What you're doing is finding ways in which they will clip.

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post #92 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

I know this got way off topic from the OP and in his case, he should leave well enough alone.

So far the chat has been about amps and speakers leaving out the pre amp. The pre in most mass market AVRs are not great so they could be the reason why the amp portion sounds different.

I know in my systems I can swap my Hafler pre with my VAC pre and again get a different sound out of the SAME amp as well as change amps and keep the pre the same.

I have never added an external amp to an AVR but I do send the pre outs for the fronts thru my 2ch rig and just set the volume where it was matched with the AVR setup.

But then there is the camp that claims pre amps don't sound different either. So if all amps sound the same, and all pre amps sound the same and only speakers can sound different, there must be millions of wild imaginations running wild that think they can hear the differences between all these components when the same pc of music is used.

Wait, didn't you say elsewhere that your preamp is a tube preamp? That's a whole 'nother ballgame. The argument is that equipment that measures the same, sounds the same, when operated within its limits. Tubes generally don't measure the same, so of course they won't sound the same.

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post #93 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 03:09 PM
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Sorry, I'm late to the game. Others have already covered my responses, and likely better than I have. Carry on...

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #94 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

I can't hear measurements.

No, but apparently you can hear non linear frequency response, noise, and euphonic distortion. That is what your tube preamp "resolves."

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Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

He also said this

""Listening: Do you believe in magic?

I've already tipped my hand that, when everything clicks, the VAC Renaissance Signature was capable of truly magical performance...

Great. That is little more than purplish prose typical of many audiophile oriented reviews. In this case, it merely serves to say, "This tube preamp is highly inaccurate in ways that I think sound good to me."

AJ
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post #95 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiWavelength View Post

Great. That is little more than purplish prose typical of many audiophile oriented reviews. In this case, it merely serves to say, "This tube preamp is highly inaccurate in ways that I think sound good to me."

AJ

that doesn't fill much column space though...

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post #96 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 04:49 PM
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What boggles my mind is that practically speaking, we're not even talking about full range duty here.

For a full decade, I ran a stereo system powered by a 35 WPC integrated amp that never once struggled to handle 4 ohm speakers - and those speakers were being run full range, not even as home theater satellites for over 80hz, which is what most folks do these days.

In current usage with x.1 or x.2 systems, there's practically nothing left for the receiver to do power-wise. I'd be shocked if they break 5 watts or 10 watts, at least short of people trying to deliberately deafen themselves. Are there amps/receiver that cant generate that little current even if at 4ohms? None of the bench tests I've seen suggest that.

I suspect most argument for external amps is purely for those playing at super loud volume and/or in huge rooms.
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post #97 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

For a full decade, I ran a stereo system powered by a 35 WPC integrated amp that never once struggled to handle 4 ohm speakers - and those speakers were being run full range, not even as home theater satellites for over 80hz, which is what most folks do these days.

+1.

Quote:


In current usage with x.1 or x.2 systems, there's practically nothing left for the receiver to do power-wise. I'd be shocked if they break 5 watts or 10 watts, at least short of people trying to deliberately deafen themselves. Are there amps/receiver that cant generate that little current even if at 4ohms? None of the bench tests I've seen suggest that.

I've been saying this for two years and people just ignore it and go back to demanding 1000wpc. And I'd take it a step further and say 10W is probably even too much. Rane estimates that the 50/50 split is around 350hz, but 5k on up is only 10% of total power. So it's weighted heavily towards the LF. I buy the argument that proper bass management gets you about 3 dB on top; that's pretty big in terms of wattage.

Then figure that competent speakers are around 90 dB/W, and most people don't sit more than what? 6 feet? 9 feet? away from their speakers, so that's maybe 81-84 dB/W. Dolby ref is 85 dB nominal, but I figure most people are like Mike and prefer 75 dB or something thereabouts; so we're talking about 250 mW (9 ft/75 dB) to 2400 mW (9 ft/85 dB) nominal and the 20 dB peaks will want (roughly) 25,000 mW (25W) to 240,000 mW (240W) (assuming you want full DR). Of course if we bumped our speakers sensitivity up, moved closer, etc, this changes.

And remember, this is BEFORE bass management comes into play - chop 30-40% off those figures and then remember this isn't an ACD situation...

I'm assuming that if you're building a dedicated theater, you're using speakers designed for a dedicated theater, like the Klipsch Ultra 2s or Hsus or something like that - in that nice 100 dB/W range. I'm also assuming you're plotting the SPL values and sizing the speakers and amplifiers to the room, and not just picking equipment willy nilly.


Quote:


I suspect most argument for external amps is purely for those playing at super loud volume and/or in huge rooms.

Surprisingly not. It's the only logical argument sure, but usually the argument for why we "absolutely need" some mondo-buck amp is because it "enhances [poetic words]" and "totally cleans up the system."

Also remember, most of the mega-buck equipment that gets bandied around usually doesn't break 200W/ch anyways. And some of it doesn't even break 100W/ch - there's lots of NAD, Anthem, etc jewelry that barely hits 150W/ch yet costs an absolute FORTUNE simply because someone figured out that they can (as a guy put it a few pages back) "slap a huge price-tag on it and watch the millions come in."

Like I said, if you really want lots of power because it "expands the dynamic range" and "improves bass response" and you're worried about low Z handling, look no further:
http://www.qscaudio.com/products/amps/rmx/rmx5050.htm

And for as long as I've been saying people only need a few W nominally, and suggesting the RMX5050 as a joke, I don't think anyone has gone out and bought the RMX5050. So that suggests to me that at least on some level people *are* getting it, even if they don't want to admit to it.


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post #98 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post


And for as long as I've been saying people only need a few W nominally, and suggesting the RMX5050 as a joke, I don't think anyone has gone out and bought the RMX5050. So that suggests to me that at least on some level people *are* getting it, even if they don't want to admit to it.

You're right, some talk the talk, some walk the walk. Didnt' go with the 5050s all around but my compliment of PLX amps were easier to come by and more attractively priced. That's two PLX3402s for the fronts and center, two PLX2402s for the surrounds and backs. Each pair on its own dedicated 20A circuit in the quad box you see behind.


Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #99 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

You're right, some talk the talk, some walk the walk. Didnt' go with the 5050s all around but my compliment of PLX amps were easier to come by and more attractively priced. That's two PLX3402s for the fronts and center, two PLX2402s for the surrounds and backs. Each pair on its own dedicated 20A circuit in the quad box you see behind.

Image doesn't work.

And the PLXs are nice amps. Still, makes me giggle that they're installed in a home setup - it's just absurd. In a good way. A Tim Taylor way.


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post #100 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 10:51 PM
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FWIW in my system ave dynamic range of blurays is 45db to 55db using dialogue level as min ,uncorrected for bass .(300 plus blurays).At -15db from ref 75db , with Front Left,right amps 5watts ave and 10watts peaks on Terminator Salvation all speakers small and 4 subs and eq.(subs have plenty of power if needed 2kw/18 inch subs)
Main seat is 3.6m from speakers (fronts).

Systems

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post #101 of 115 Old 04-27-2012, 11:13 PM
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AC2011 - You have to explain yourself what do you mean by "open up."

if your definition of "open up" = better, that too broad, it's just chasing heaven wo knowing that you want to find in heaven.

If by "open up" you mean definition fine. I think there will be a lot of tweaking involved, lots of it from your listening environment, I know everybody else is into equipment but that's just part of it.

U can spend $$$ on a trial&error basis, hope u got the $ and patience, *or* define what you like THEN chase those objectives.

On top of my head, even at your normal listening vol, u should sense "punch." A good punch system compel you to follow the beat, to sing along, you can't ignore a good punch system playing. If you have to increase vol to a ears-splitting level before you sense punch, then your system has no punch. Here a good amp should help, assuming there is no existing speakers problem.

For definition = u can clearly hear the individual instruments in an orchestra, spend time with some high definition earphones, THEN try to replicate that with your speakers.

Fun exercise - play your favorite tracks with different bitrate MP3 and finally, uncompressed wave. If you hear difference, then you got good music ears, worth it to pursue higher audio experience. If u cant/barely hear any difference then I say follow wifey advice and spend $ on good vacation.

Good luck - have fun - don't break the bank!

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #102 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 04:59 AM
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^^

Great post. IMO 'open up' has no meaning outside of its incorrect usage as a verb to justify the placebo effect. I suspect this is why AC chose the term.

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post #103 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

You're right, some talk the talk, some walk the walk. Didnt' go with the 5050s all around but my compliment of PLX amps were easier to come by and more attractively priced. That's two PLX3402s for the fronts and center, two PLX2402s for the surrounds and backs. Each pair on its own dedicated 20A circuit in the quad box you see behind.


Well, this system certainly is not lacking, output or input! I am always bewildered when the input side is neglected, not the case here.

Do you do any conditioning &/or protection on the input end?

Steve
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post #104 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 06:29 AM
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Yes and no.

I do have an APC H-15 in a different system, purchased when they were on sale for $99 a couple(?) years ago. I don't detect any sound improvement but the sequenced turn on alone is worth what I paid, at least to me. Also have a Tripplite ISObar filter/surge protector I got at a garage sale, so to speak, that I use as a power strip for sources because I needed more outlets. Don't notice any difference there either.

Nothing before the amps except the power grid. Often think of putting in a whole house surge protector in the meter base but never quite seem to get there.

Power quality seems pretty good here, at least there are no defects that audibly manifest and voltage is 121-122V with only a volt or two fluctuation either way.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #105 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Who are you? Why is your nose stuck in this conversation? Why do you feel I have forced my opinion on anyone? You may freely give all the opinion you like. You have my permission. Sigh.

Anyway, this comment, were you perceptive enough to understand what the up arrows (^^) mean, was directed at commsysman. The OP asked whether it was necessary to upgrade his components. The simple answer is no, the complex answer is no - it is not necessary.

the $30 per channel or so that Yamaha spent on those amplifiers certainly does not result in the superior sound quality that top-quality amplifiers can produce

Now, of course it's never a bad idea to upgrade components. This is not a question. Better speakers, better AVR, better display, a better life is something everyone wants. But commsysman chose to tell the OP that his equipment is crap. What kind of feeling do you think this emotes? AC2011 will likely now think his setup is inferior, and upgrading is mandatory.

It wasn't necessary. It was detrimental to the conversation, but then that's commsysman. Had he simply stated "your system is fine, but everyone can do better..." it would not have warranted a sigh.

Got it? Good.

I hope you're feeling better today.
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post #106 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 11:20 AM
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I hope you're feeling better today.

I feel fine every day, thanks for the concern!

Are you here to add to the conversation, or just to make health checks?

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post #107 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

You're right, some talk the talk, some walk the walk. Didnt' go with the 5050s all around but my compliment of PLX amps were easier to come by and more attractively priced. That's two PLX3402s for the fronts and center, two PLX2402s for the surrounds and backs. Each pair on its own dedicated 20A circuit in the quad box you see behind.
...

Now if you tell us that this is all set in a 10"x10" apartment bedroom, we'll all be really impressed.

How large is the space where you have all this?

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Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

^^

Great post. IMO 'open up' has no meaning outside of its incorrect usage as a verb to justify the placebo effect. I suspect this is why AC chose the term.

Placebo effect most likely, or simply playing at a slightly louder volume than before.
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post #108 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 02:27 PM
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A bit more than twice that, from memory. Something like 12 x 22, give or take a foot either way.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #109 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpearce023 View Post

I did. I got in an argument about receivers sounding different in stereo mode. I had always heard Yamaha is bright and Denon is neutral and Onkyo is bright and Marantz is warm and so I always thought that was the way it was. I ended up going to a store where I could setup a blind A/B test and found out that I was wrong. I picked the one that sounded best and pretty much every time I had picked a different one. So I was appreciative of the education I got here, although I did have to go out and prove it for myself. At least I don't still believe that garbage like you should never buy a Yamaha/Onkyo with Klipsch speakers because the combination is too bright. I can't even believe I actually fell for it to begin with. I also bought a Rotel amp to see if it would sound better than my Denon receiver and it didn't. So see, some people actually do go out and try this stuff after seeing threads like this and find out the truth for themselves.

and all the people said 'amen'

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"

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post #110 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

I can't hear measurements.

He also said this

""Listening: Do you believe in magic?

I've already tipped my hand that, when everything clicks, the VAC Renaissance Signature was capable of truly magical performance. But what exactly was it about this preamp that made it so captivating, and how did it measure up in all of the areas we audiophiles hold dear?

The single most impressive thing about the VAC, and the area where it stood head and shoulders above any other preamp I'd heard, was its resolution. At low levels, whether a single plaintive note fading ephemerally into the surrounding ambience or a subtle countermelody buried deep in the orchestration, the Signature retrieved more tonal, spatial, and temporal information than any other unit I've heard. With the VAC, there was never any question that an orchestral section was composed of multiple instruments, each in a distinct position and each with a characteristic tone, texture, and presence. A lot of top-quality gear reveals this level of detail in the major components of the orchestration, or in the front half of the stage, but where the VAC really stood out was in how well, at lower levels, it reproduced details of instruments buried way down in the mix or at the rear of the stage. ""

that was the subjective listener's evaluation vs. the objective measurers evaluation --- two different people.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"

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post #111 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 02:44 PM
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Which is true?
A. Every power amp is better than any AVR.
B. Using 10% of power amp will create a better sound better than using 30% of AVR.
C. Those with more disposable income can justify adding a power amp.

It's the subjectiveness of sound that creates this controversy. If we think it will sound better if we spend more money..... it usually does. So the answer is C.
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post #112 of 115 Old 04-28-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Now if you tell us that this is all set in a 10"x10" apartment bedroom, we'll all be really impressed.





I have two 20 amp lines in a 12x12 room. I have 2 x Emotiva XPA-1s, a XPA-2, and a XPA-3 for ht, and a Bryston 4BSST2 and Elite 80 tube for 2 channel. Ahhh sweet sweet overkill.
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post #113 of 115 Old 04-29-2012, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

that was the subjective listener's evaluation vs. the objective measurers evaluation --- two different people.

But the bottom line is How It Sounds to the Human Ear, not what it measures.

Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA 1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS-400 > Clearfield Continental Speakers via Synsergistic Research Cabling
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post #114 of 115 Old 04-29-2012, 04:41 AM
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^^^

when ONLY the "human ear" is involved, sure...

but your "comparisons" include much more than your ears...

- chris

 

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post #115 of 115 Old 04-29-2012, 04:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbobuick86 View Post

Which is true?
A. Every power amp is better than any AVR.
B. Using 10% of power amp will create a better sound better than using 30% of AVR.
C. Those with more disposable income can justify adding a power amp.

It's the subjectiveness of sound that creates this controversy. If we think it will sound better if we spend more money..... it usually does. So the answer is C.

An awful lot of truth in choice C.
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