What is the cause for receivers /amps to have a "tiny" sound vs full sound? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Two receivers both with what should be enough power, one has a full sound the other has a tiny sound. I have noticed that with many of these newer receivers have this small sound, it's lacking in bass and lows or mids. Where as the highs are there and loud compared to the rest of the freq.

It's not at high volumes ether, You go from having a full range speaker sounding good even with a good amount of bass, to much less compared to the highs. Yes there is bass and mids but they sound muted compared to the highs.

What could be the cause for these different sounds? What is it supposed to sound like? Is the tiny sound correct and the full sound is just due to rolled off highs? Or is it lacking powersupply that is causing the lows to not be as loud as they should be?...

If no one has a good answer I may have to see if I can find the gear that I would need to test this and give it a test. Testing different tiny and full sounding receivers with amps and see if the sound changes when using the amp.
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:21 AM
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^^^

please ensure that the "test" is properly controlled... otherwise, all this will turn into is the usual disaster...

there's a bunch of reasons why this could be happening, and most (all?) are not related to the avr... one of them (and the most likely one), is "imagination"...

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post #3 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorror View Post

Two receivers both with what should be enough power, one has a full sound the other has a tiny sound. I have noticed that with many of these newer receivers have this small sound, it's lacking in bass and lows or mids. Where as the highs are there and loud compared to the rest of the freq.

It's not at high volumes ether, You go from having a full range speaker sounding good even with a good amount of bass, to much less compared to the highs. Yes there is bass and mids but they sound muted compared to the highs.

What could be the cause for these different sounds? What is it supposed to sound like? Is the tiny sound correct and the full sound is just due to rolled off highs? Or is it lacking powersupply that is causing the lows to not be as loud as they should be?...

If no one has a good answer I may have to see if I can find the gear that I would need to test this and give it a test. Testing different tiny and full sounding receivers with amps and see if the sound changes when using the amp.

Tiny speakers ?

Cheers.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:44 AM
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A "tinny" sound suggests to me that low frequencies are being lost.

I'd expect this to show up when using a high-impedence-input realtime spectrum analyzer connected to the (same) speaker's input terminals while running identical full-spectrum audio sweeps on the receivers' line inputs. After normalizing the spectrum analyzer's displays for the two receivers at an appropriate high frequency, I'd expect the low frequencies of the "tinny" receiver to be measurably lower in voltage than those of the "full" sounding receiver.

I'm sure more sophisticated tests could be used, too, involving white or pink noise to determine if it happens (perhaps only happens?) when full bandwidth signals are involved.

Finding the cause would be interesting, too.

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post #5 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:45 AM
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Can you describe the setup for both the circumstances?

Are the newer ones powering "cube" speakers, and the old ones driving a 8" 3-way speaker?
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Both powering the same speakers in the same room.

I will be doing some tests in the next couple days. Using a mcintosh amp, Definitive BP10 speakers that have a nice full sound with the amp. Along with a couple different receivers.

Edit I will be level matching and some sort of blind testing and a couple different people.
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 09:58 AM
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what is the purpose of he mcintosh amp in this whole setup?
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 12:25 PM
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Sorry, but by themselves, level matching and blind testing won't be good enough for the objectivists, except, perhaps, as a way to determine which configuration is believed to be "tinny". There are too many ways to make mistakes and wind up with only personal opinions.

You still have to measure the signal (voltage) at the speakers to see if the "tinny" and "full" receivers actually are delivering different signals to them. Alternatively, one could measure the output of a carefully calibrated, oriented and positioned microphone, to find out if different audio is reaching the listening position, but then one also has to worry about changes in the listening environment. People moving around in the room certainly will change it.

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post #9 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 12:54 PM
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Before doing anything else, the OP needs to clarify whether he means "tiny" or "tinny."

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post #10 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 01:05 PM
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My personal experience with speakers is that the two words are synonymous.

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post #11 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 01:16 PM
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I would thoroughly check the settings in the receiver because you may be running the speakers small.

"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 #12 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 04:16 PM
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It could be due to the size of the power supply on the amps. An AVR with a small power supply will seem to appear to run out of gas during high demand sections. That's why cheaper AVRs don't sound as strong as TOTL AVRs. Some of the AVRs weigh only 20-25 lbs, and some weigh over 50 lbs. Most of the weight difference can be attributed to massaive transformers and caps. They can deliver more power on demand than one with a smaller power supply.

You cannot expect a $400 AVR to sound as good as a $3000 unit with the same power rating.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #13 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 05:53 PM
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I have experienced some AVRs, which when demo'd at an audio merchant, were dissapointing.

As the receivers were always lower priced models, I guessed that it was a lack of power. Hard to be 100% sure though.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #14 of 23 Old 05-01-2012, 10:00 PM
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If the comparative mix includes some older stereo receivers or preamps then it's probably a function of the bass boost from the loudness function. While I understand the intent of loudness compensation, some units were pretty heavy handed in that regard and do tend to sound heavier (or whatever) at lower volume than an AVR or something without a loudness function or a less boosted one.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #15 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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These are the sort of things I want to test. Since most listening levels you use so little power it seems that even weak receivers SHOULD be able to handle a watt or two. But it seems like they can't the way the more powerful receiver can.( both matched sound level. )
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post #16 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 07:15 AM
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Most receiver amp designs are class AB at higher signal levels, but class A at low signal levels. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the signal level where they change characteristics is different in different designs. That changeover should not have any audible effects but maybe it does in some cases. Only precise measurements will tell us for certain.

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post #17 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

You cannot expect a $400 AVR to sound as good as a $3000 unit with the same power rating.

Generally speaking you can't, but I remember HT Mag measuring an Onkyo 607 against much more expensive Arcam and Rotel units and the Onkyo measured better on almost every spec.
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post #18 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorror View Post

What could be the cause for these different sounds? What is it supposed to sound like? Is the tiny sound correct and the full sound is just due to rolled off highs? Or is it lacking powersupply that is causing the lows to not be as loud as they should be?...

Probably just a difference in settings. Often, unfortunately, AVR's are rather hard to navigate, so it may take you a while to figure out exactly what is awry. And different brands have different defaults as well.

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post #19 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

It could be due to the size of the power supply on the amps. An AVR with a small power supply will seem to appear to run out of gas during high demand sections. That's why cheaper AVRs don't sound as strong as TOTL AVRs. Some of the AVRs weigh only 20-25 lbs, and some weigh over 50 lbs. Most of the weight difference can be attributed to massaive transformers and caps. They can deliver more power on demand than one with a smaller power supply.

You cannot expect a $400 AVR to sound as good as a $3000 unit with the same power rating.

Yeah right. Remember the Tom Nousaine vs Steve Zipser challenge?

"There has been a lot of hot chatter on the E-mail circuit over the past couple of months about the Steve Maki and Steve Zipser challenge in Miami. I thought you would appreciate a complete recount of the events. Zipser, a high-end salon owner, had issued a challenge that he would pay the airplane fare of any interested party who wanted to see him prove he could hear the differences between amplifiers.

On Sunday afternoon, August 25th, Maki and I arrived at Zipser's house, which is also Sunshine Stereo. Maki brought his own control unit, a Yamaha AX-700 100-watt integrated amplifier for the challenge. In a straight 10-trial hard-wired comparison, Zipser was only able to identify correctly 3 times out of 10 whether the Yamaha unit or his pair of Pass Laboratories Aleph 1.2 monoblock 200-wattamplifiers was powering his Duntech Marquis speakers. A Pass Labs preamplifier, Zip's personal wiring, and a full Audio Alchemy CD playback system completed the playback chain. No device except the Yamaha integrated amplifier was ever placed in the system. Maki inserted one or the other amplifier into the system and covered them with a thin black cloth to hide identities. Zipser used his own playback material and had as long as he wanted to decide which unit was driving the speakers.

I had matched the playback levels of the amplifiers to within 0.1 dB at 1 kHz, using the Yamaha balance and volume controls. Playback levels were adjusted with the system preamplifier by Zipser. I also determined that the two devices had frequency response differences of 0.4 dB at 16 kHz, but both were perfectly flat from 20 Hz to 8 kHz. In addition to me, Zipser, and Maki, one of Zip's friends, his wife, and another person unknown to me were sometimes in the room during the test, but no one was disruptive and conditions were perfectly quiet.

As far as I was concerned, the test was over. However, Zipser complained that he had stayed out late the night before and this reduced his sensitivity. At dinner, purchased by Zipser, we offered to give him another chance on Monday morning before our flight back North. On Monday at 9 a.m., I installed an ABX comparator in the system, complete with baling-wire lead to the Yamaha. Zipser improved his score to 5 out of 10. However, my switchpad did develop a hang-up problem, meaning that occasionally one had to verify the amplifier in the circuit with a visual confirmation of an LED. Zipser has claimed he scored better prior to the problem, but in fact he only scored 4 out of 6 before any difficulties occurred.

His wife also conducted a 16-trial ABX comparison, using a 30-second phrase of a particular CD for all the trials. In this sequence I sat next to her at the main listening position and performed all the amplifier switching functions according to her verbal commands. She scored 9 out of 16 correct. Later another of Zip's friends scored 4 out of 10 correct. All listening was done with single listeners.

In sum, no matter what you may have heard elsewhere, audio store owner Steve Zipser was unable to tell reliably, based on sound alone, when his $14,000 pair of class A monoblock amplifiers was replaced by a ten-year old Japanese integrated amplifier in his personal reference system, in his own listening room, using program material selected personally by him as being especially revealing of differences. He failed the test under hardwired no-switching conditions, as well as with a high-resolution fast-comparison switching mode. As I have said before, when the answers aren't shared in advance, "Amps Is Amps" even for the Goldenest of Ears."[
Tom Nousaine, Cary, IL]
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post #20 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 09:38 AM
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Good article Auditor55. I had never seen that one before.
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post #21 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 10:25 AM
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LOL, Auditor55, this is great

I had heard the Zipser name before, but never about this challenge. But it went as expected.

Of course, AX-700 may have been hooked up to one of those $15k power cords, which would totally explain why there was no audible difference between the amps.

P.S. The real cause for the difference in tone is obvious:

new AVRs are like boys, with squeaky voices. As the parts mature and the boy becomes a man, so to speak, the voice of the AVR deepens and becomes fuller. True audiophiles accelerate this process by running their new equipment continuously for months, training the parts, before they can hear the true, mature voice of their amps.

Duh!
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post #22 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 12:47 PM
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you are missing my point here... You might have a Sony $400 receiver and an Onkyo $2500 receiver. Both are rated about 120wpc/2 channels driven. The Sony however tests at only 30wpc/all channels driven due to the smaller power supply. The Onkyo, with its larger power supply, tests at 120wpc/all channels driven.

You drive both amps to a loud volume and the Sony with its true 30 watts will run out of power 6dB before the Onkyo. When you push the amps to a certain volume, the Sony will run out of power and sound weaker than the Onkyo.

I am not talking about the actual accuracy of the sound... I know that Bob Carver was able to make his TFM amps sound as good as some high end amps by tweaking the output to match the sound. I do not deny the fact given two amps with the exact same frequency response will sound identical.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #23 of 23 Old 05-02-2012, 02:51 PM
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Correct me if I am wrong, but the OP was claiming the tiny (or tinny?) issue was at all volume levels?

Seeing how loud one watt should be, I don't understand how this is based on power.

But I have personally experienced receivers which sounded weak at moderate levels.

You would think ANY receiver could easily hit 80 dB SPL with any reasonable speaker in a typical room. That only calls for less than 1 watt at one meter with 90 dB speakers. Drop by 6 dB for distance to 2 meters, and you get 84 dB. And 84 dB is quite loud as many of you know (probably loud enough to annoy neighbors in an apartment building.)

Could there be some variables here having to do with real world amp-speaker interaction?

"But this one goes up to 11"
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