Amps do make a difference .... Butler Amps are Amazing ! - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 60 Old 06-10-2012, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by whovous View Post

I have no idea what a Butler is. In my case, I am now using an Emotiva XPA-3 in lieu of the amp section of my Yamaha 661 receiver to power my front three speakers.
I hear a very real difference. I don't really care why. My system sounds better to me, and absolutely nothing else matters.

I believe you that AVR test benched at 56wpc 5channels driven.
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post #32 of 60 Old 06-10-2012, 06:54 PM
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In a famous amp test, statistically speaking, people could not tell a $200 Pioneer apart from an expensive mono bloc tube amp. But that does not prove they did not sound different - just that people can't tell them apart...

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #33 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 01:42 AM
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First, I'm talking about receivers so throw amps out of the discussion... that gets rather old. How many did they test versus how many receivers were available in 2012? Why would I ever base a decision on which receiver to buy based on some ancient amp test? Where does that tell me Butler sounds different?? ...

Let try this again.

Amps (and even in the case of AV receivers, we are still discussing amps, not DSP) have been around for a while now.

There are many ways to provide "transparent" amplification, including with tubes. The technology is rather well understood and pretty much every reasonably large/reputable manufacturer knows how to build an amp which, when within specs, basically amplifies the signal within the audible range, without distortion.

Thus, amps which are for all practical purposes sonically transparent, can be, and are, mass-produced relatively cheaply.

So, when two amps which are capable of amplifying signal without distortion within the audible band are compared, common sense tells us that there should be no audible differences.

Numerous blind tests support this, and whether they were done in 1990 or 2012 is irrelevant, unless you are going to tell us that human hearing has somehow improved dramatically over the last two decades.
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post #34 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 03:00 AM
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But if you decide to discard both the "theory stuff" and the "blind test stuff", then all you are left with is "religion"....

The best quote of the day! smile.gif

Fantastic!
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post #35 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 04:57 AM
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Let try this again.

 

Didn't answer the question and 100% off topic.

 

Since you apparently have tunnel vision or can't comprehend the actual topic at hand I'll make it simple. Please add me to your ignore list. I don't think I could read the Mantra once again even if it was on topic. :)

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post #36 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Quote: Originally Posted by Ryan1 Let try this again. Didn't answer the question and 100% off topic. Since you apparently have tunnel vision or can't comprehend the actual topic at hand I'll make it simple. Please add me to your ignore list. I don't think I could read the Mantra once again even if it was on topic. smile.gif

The post answered your question directly and accurately. That you choose to ignore the proven science behind it is another topic.

Speaking of ignore - I have to put a bunch of members back on after the site upgrade, so don't be disappointed when I don't respond to your next post.
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post #37 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 06:01 AM
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Speaking of ignore - I have to put a bunch of members back on after the site upgrade, so don't be disappointed when I don't respond to your next post.

 

I'm looking forward to the entire cult (all three or four) doing such... thanks.

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post #38 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 12:09 PM
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Like religeon, Science can't convince most people that what they believe may be wrong.rolleyes.gif
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post #39 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 12:28 PM
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The problem with belief systems is they are by definition, irrational. A member is only allowed to believe in what the system allows, therefore facts that don't fit the system must be ignored, therefore it's irrational.

Where it gets interesting is when multiple systems compete for the same members. Each system denies the views of the other, as they must. So, the "religion" of ABX must deny the views of the religion of listeners. Makes things fun for us atheists biggrin.gif

Do any of you in this thread even know what a Futterman is? That's an interesting topic for discussion to me - how a bunch of people couldn't identify a Futterman. It would help to know what speaker they were using in that old test, I didn't see it mentioned.

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post #40 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fjames View Post

... It would help to know what speaker they were using in that old test, I didn't see it mentioned.

I believe the speakers used in the Stereo Review ABX tests were Magnepan MGIII, which are not the easiest speakers to drive, by any measure.

But similar tests (producing similar results) have been done with all sorts of speakers. I find this Spanish test rather funny (they used ATC SCM 12, which are considered to be pretty damned revealing speakers, and not too efficient, either).
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post #41 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 03:54 PM
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I believe the speakers used in the Stereo Review ABX tests were Magnepan MGIII, which are not the easiest speakers to drive, by any measure.
But similar tests (producing similar results) have been done with all sorts of speakers. I find this Spanish test rather funny (they used ATC SCM 12, which are considered to be pretty damned revealing speakers, and not too efficient, either).
If they were using Maggies that makes it even more interesting, since an OTL (output transformerless) amp would be your last choice, and a receiver your next to last. Makes me wonder if people couldn't tell the difference because they both sounded so bad biggrin.gif (the receiver and the Futterman.)

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post #42 of 60 Old 06-11-2012, 11:14 PM
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The Maggies are pretty inefficient, but otherwise they are steady speakers and don't dip too much below 4ohm, so it really shouldn't be a problem for most OTL amps.

Not sure why they would sound "bad" though, as long as there was no audible distortion.
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post #43 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 02:47 AM
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Maggies like a lot of power, and have a fairly low (if steady) impedance, so pairing them with an inexpensive, ~20 year old receiver and an OTL amp (probably several years old and never really a production product - more a hand made niche toy that never worked right) seems like a bad idea that would introduce plenty of opportunities for distortion.

I was just making a joke based on my impression of Stereo Review, which is very low. They were extremely, blatantly political in their approach. The mag was written for a certain audience - the uninformed and those people who bought into their dogma. The setup for this test is one example among many ... a Futterman? Really? They couldn't lay their hands on some expensive solid state design of the time? Sure they could, but that being exactly the amp the Maggies would like, they didn't do it, and got some "impressive" looking amp most of their readers probably knew nothing about. It's a setup, designed for a desired result.

Every electronic component review they did had the same paragraph on sound quality - it sounded fine, just like you'd expect from the fine measurements. But the measurement they stressed was THD, which was vanishingly low on the CE stuff they usually reviewed. They never said why THD was important, how it might affect the sound, the difference between even and odd order, what techniques a CE company designing to a low price point might use to reduce measured THD, whether that might introduce distortions of its own that were worse than a little THD and on and on.

I don't have the article, but it would be interesting to see if they actually tested the Futterman. I would guess it wouldn't measure well by their standards, which means it shouldn't sound very good, by their logic. Which means the results of their test simply mean people generally don't know how to listen. It's a skill like anything else. Bob Bondurant once said that women were much easier to teach (he was a successful race driver who opened one of the early driving schools) because they admitted they didn't know anything, but men all thought they did (but didn't.) Just because you do something a lot, doesn't mean you're any good at it.

Today's world is different of course, with 2-channel all but dead. Now a person has to take the same budget that worked for 2 channels and spread it over at least 6. Used to be if a person was motivated, he could put a pretty decent system together, but now it's all but impossible for the average person. I'm trying to say that the standards have been reduced to the norm of what people can afford, so people actually sit around and argue about the sound of different AVRs. Those AVRs work fine on the speakers most have them paired with, but with more money, you'd have a more demanding speaker paired with a good high current amp and even with a digital front end, the sound quality would be much improved.

I can't afford that anymore, but I have fond memories smile.gif

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post #44 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fjames View Post

... Which means the results of their test simply mean people generally don't know how to listen. ...

LOL. So the "audiophiles" from the Southeastern Michigan Woofer & Tweeter Marching Society (the Detroit audiophile group which took part in the test) didn't know how to listen?! rolleyes.gif

And as far as solid state, they also included a Mark Levinson ML-11, NAD 2200 and a Hafler DH-120 in the test, so I am not sure what the problem is. The only reason the focus is on the Futterman and Pioneer amps is because of the dramatic price (and technology) difference.

BTW, from what I've seen, the Futterman amps test just fine. If this was not the case, it would have been apparent in the listening tests.

Finally, the standards today have not been "reduced," but instead we are at a stage where the technology has matured and there isn't much that manufacturers can claim to improve on in terms of sound quality (at least not with a straight face). That's why today the main differentiation among equipment is in DSP implementation.
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post #45 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 12:32 PM
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Which means the results of their test simply mean people generally don't know how to listen. It's a skill like anything else.

 

I find this to my case with video images. I have had Ken Whitcomb calibrate my displays going back to 2000. Every time I get a new projector I play (endlessly) around to the point I think it looks wonderful. The moment he walks in the room he points this and that out... notice the color shift in the lower right corner, the skin tone is reddish, the gamma is too high... so on and so on. :) That's before he even breaks out his fancy equipment which simply proves what he already knows. By the time I spot everything he points out I'm cursed to see a good many of them until I swap projectors!

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post #46 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 01:06 PM
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Yep. It must be really tough for all those with supernatural hearing. Almost as tough as being a fortune teller. rolleyes.gif

The sad/ironic part is that that so many of those making the mythical sound quality claims are middle aged guys who can't hear even a 12kHz tone.

As to the power of belief, here is another excerpt from the article I cited earlier:
"Doing the sighted listening, many of the listeners claimed to hear a distinct difference. Some of the skeptics were even admitting that they could actually hear significant differences between the sound quality of the different amps"

Of course, it all disappeared once the equipment was hidden....

There is a statement ascribed to Floyd Toole, which is appropriate for this discussion:

"In science, contrary evidence causes one to question a theory. In religion, contrary evidence causes one to question the evidence."
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post #47 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 02:05 PM
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Many of the receiver reviews on the "Secrets" web site include objective noise, distortion and linearity bench tests, as do many of the reviews in Stereophile. Comparing those measurements can be informative.

You don't have to read their subjective reviews if you don't want to. Personally, I usually find them rather entertaining, but probably wouldn't use them as a basis for purchasing anything. I can only believe that many of the articles in Sterophile are written with tongue firmly in cheek. For example, their recent article about how a metal disk modified the listening environment was hilarious.

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post #48 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 02:25 PM
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Finally, the standards today have not been "reduced," but instead we are at a stage where the technology has matured and there isn't much that manufacturers can claim to improve on in terms of sound quality (at least not with a straight face). That's why today the main differentiation among equipment is in DSP implementation.

I'll go along with that to a point. I'd say that the technology maturing is what enables acceptable sound from an inexpensive device, so more people have acceptable sound available, and that's a good thing. This sort of argumentative schematic is everywhere though - a BMW and a Honda will get you where you're going, and if you match them right you can get the same measurements from each (millage, acceleration etc.) but the driving experience, if you're sensitive to it, is superior with the German version. Some people care about that and some don't. So I'd analogize the driving experience of German engineering to the subtle sound alterations of some amps. Or you could imagine hearing the same symphony orchestra in several different halls. They'd sound different. Assuming there's no obvious acoustic failing, the same source is producing a different sound. Some will like this one and some that one, but they're all valid. I don't see a problem with fine tuning a system to your individual tastes, as opposed to rigidly clinging to a mantra of permanent perfection.

But your point is valid, and it must drive some high-end people crazy, that you can get much better sound for much less money than in the past.

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post #49 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 03:18 PM
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Many of the receiver reviews on the "Secrets" web site include objective noise, distortion and linearity bench tests, as do many of the reviews in Stereophile. Comparing those measurements can be informative.
You don't have to read their subjective reviews if you don't want to. Personally, I usually find them rather entertaining, but probably wouldn't use them as a basis for purchasing anything. I can only believe that many of the articles in Sterophile are written with tongue firmly in cheek. For example, their recent article about how a metal disk modified the listening environment was hilarious.

I spent maybe 15 years reading all the high-end mags in print. I doubt if I need the fingers of one hand to count the writers that actually knew something. They're all well-meaning, but obviously amateur hobbyists than get a bit carried away, ahem. But that doesn't discount the idea of trying new things, even if 99% don't work, or that having an open mind is better than a closed one.

But as a retired high-ender, I'll freely admit that most of those writers were embarrassing, like, get off my side smile.gif

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post #50 of 60 Old 06-12-2012, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

LOL. So the "audiophiles" from the Southeastern Michigan Woofer & Tweeter Marching Society (the Detroit audiophile group which took part in the test) didn't know how to listen?! rolleyes.gif
Well, yeah. Just to make a logical point, it seems strange that a person who seems to discount an "audiophile" frame of reference, is simultaneously using a bunch of self proclaimed audiophiles as a positive reference (they must be skilled listeners.)

Anyhow, I was involved in the high-end world for many years and spent the money to be a full fledged member. I read and tested for years to see what made sense and what didn't (this after a literal lifetime of audio exposure - my dad had the first 'stereo" in our town - I had to stand on a stool to reach the manual turntable.) Of course, over the years I met a few like minded people, but I never joined any social club. Those few that I knew were nuts. One built his own electrostatic speakers and they sounded awful, but he couldn't hear it. Another had all kinds of crazy theories about the interface between stylus and vinyl and he would get visibly angry if you challenged him. To me, a special interest social club is just that, a social club where people with like interests can hang and yak. You could call them a "mutual enabler" club. It's self defining, accomplishes nothing useful and of course supports their predetermined frame of reference.

I'm a hermit, I think for myself. That's why I don't fit into either world. And why I'm reasonably happy with internet special speakers and an amp that would embarrass me in the good old days.

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post #51 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 06:06 PM
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Makes perfect sense. Do you have a list of receivers proven to have sonically transparent electronics so one is aware of what one is purchasing?

Fair question. My answer would be pretty much any modern AVR or separate that uses chip-amps or discrete AB amps, can flow enough current to drive one's speakers impedance, and have enough power to reach desired levels. For most speakers in most rooms, IMO, chip-amps are preferable to discrete amps. Provided they meet the above conditions, at least. The reason is that chip-amps will have better-matched pairs, and thus have negligible crossover distortion.

The Anthem unit Jayray mentioned is one of them, though it uses commodity Chinese A/B amp modules just like everyone else and is nothing special in the amp department. (I use an Anthem MRX 300 in my main system. I would use its built-in amps, too, except that I use speakers with an outboard active crossover. Unfortunately, but like every other AVR maker/marketer today, Anthem doesn't include preout/main-in loops that would allow people with more complex system designs to still make some use of the internal amplification.)

If an AVR uses Class D amps, it may have high output impedance, or output impedance that varies with frequency within the audible band. In which case the amp FR would vary based on the load it drivers. So one still needs to take Class D boxes on a case-by-case basis, depending on the design of the amp and the impedance curve of the loudspeakers one intends to use.

I've seen a few tests of AVRs that seemed to have exceptionally weak power supplies, but they are fairly rare above the $300 mark or so. For some, that might lead to sonic differences, depending on how difficult a load the loudspeakers present (low impedances at high phase angles), how efficient the loudspeakers are, and how big the listening room is.

But the fact of the matter is that it's relatively cheap to get electronics to be straight wires with gain, and outside a few fetishist cults within the "high end," straight-wire-with-gain t is the design brief of most audio amplifiers. So one really needs to focus not on the hard parts, but the soft parts, such as room correction, to find sonic improvements.
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The problem with belief systems is they are by definition, irrational. A member is only allowed to believe in what the system allows, therefore facts that don't fit the system must be ignored, therefore it's irrational.

Where it gets interesting is when multiple systems compete for the same members. Each system denies the views of the other, as they must. So, the "religion" of ABX must deny the views of the religion of listeners. Makes things fun for us atheists biggrin.gif ***

The error in your reasoning is that "ABX" involves nothing but listening. It strips away all of the confounding variables, and forces one to just listen.

There is no "belief" involved. Just empirical testing of falsifiable claims* As late Stereophile founding editor J. Gordon Holt put it, in answer to the question, "Do you see any signs of future vitality in high-end audio?"
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Vitality? Don't make me laugh. Audio as a hobby is dying, largely by its own hand. As far as the real world is concerned, high-end audio lost its credibility during the 1980s, when it flatly refused to submit to the kind of basic honesty controls (double-blind testing, for example) that had legitimized every other serious scientific endeavor since Pascal. [This refusal] is a source of endless derisive amusement among rational people and of perpetual embarrassment for me, because I am associated by so many people with the mess my disciples made of spreading my gospel. ***

Source.

So, the real "teams" are
(1) people who trust their ears, i.e. people who use just their ears, not their opinions of brands, price-points, etc., and
(2) and people who lack the basic confidence/self-esteem to trust their ears, i.e. they have to rely on crutches such as their eyes, listening with mismatched levels, the opinion of sales-hacks, people on internet fora (who often have pecuniary interests in propagating audio mythology but don't always disclose that information), magazine advertorials, etc.

*Sonic difference is a falsifiable claim, and the threshold question. Without actual difference in a given variable, there is no legitimate preference. However, when difference is established, preference is an individualized subjective matter. Science can establish only a majority preference, as well as say what's objectively more accurate to a large degree.
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Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010 View Post

Just check out Butler amps , really made very nice and Sounds Amazing ... Would love to hear it with some B&W 802 or one Focals .....woooooooweeeeee .lol

I bet they do, if you like a fixed midrange boost. It's EQ, not tubes or anything else, that makes Butlers sound different from high fidelity electronics.

And you can compound amp's midrange errors by using high-end-but-not-high-fidelity speakers with poor midrange power response, like those horrid B&W 802's or the JM Lab Utopias...

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post #52 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 07:01 PM
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Nice post, good reading.

You've misinterpreted my "belief system" as it pertains to our hobby. It's not the belief system of an ABX participant to which I'm referring, but the one of the interpreters. If there can be just one scientific truism, it would be that there are no absolutes. The ABX believers believe in it 100%, it can not fail (unless you pay close attention and find a true believer choosing preference over ABX when it suits their needs.) I'm saying that if you truly believe in the scientific method, you can't be an absolutist. ABXers fail this test.

Which isn't to say that ABX testing isn't very interesting in theory. But the vast majority of the ones I see for audio are suspect, and leave me with more questions than answers. They are also often run by people with an agenda, and the setups are suspect as a result. But I'd pay money to be a participant in a well run one, not because I think I can beat it, but just to see how badly I'd do - I'm sure it would be a learning experience.

I've seen the Holt quote before. He was a curmudgeon (and enjoyed it immensely seemed to me.) He's right for a large part of the high-end publishing and manufacturing community, but the opposing view is also valid - Stereo Review never met a receiver that didn't sound perfect. When you've got two opposing, confrontational sides to an issue (it's human nature to pick one of two sides, rather than be a loner) they inevitably use the most extreme examples of what they perceive to be the failings of the other. Gets no one anywhere. It's stupid, boring, and I got tired of it years ago. The only reason I post on this subject is that occasionally I fail at managing my irritation level with the buzzing bees of techno-fetishists that inhabit AVS. These people offer nothing, educate no one and their level of self-satisfaction just gets to be a bit much sometimes smile.gif

And it leads to misinformation in the eyes of the noob. I'm sure you've seen a question something like - "I need a new receiver and A has the features I want, but B has .0001 better THD. I'm concerned that A might not sound so good, what do you think?" I'm hoping you agree this question (not an exaggeration) is from a sorely misinformed user. I guess he could always trust his ears, like you say, but I trusted my eyes until I learned to recognize EE and DNR too. There's a learning process, and it should be the job of experienced users at a special interest forum to honor that - try to help and educate people instead chanting their dogma.

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post #53 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 07:27 PM
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Nice post, good reading.

You've misinterpreted my "belief system" as it pertains to our hobby. It's not the belief system of an ABX participant to which I'm referring, but the one of the interpreters. If there can be just one scientific truism, it would be that there are no absolutes.

Not necessarily true. Here's one: if there is no reliably and repeatably detected sonic difference between two parts, then there cannot exist a valid sonic preference between them.
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The ABX believers believe in it 100%, it can not fail (unless you pay close attention and find a true believer choosing preference over ABX when it suits their needs.)

Not sure what you mean by that. Care to elaborate?

Note that favoring "high end" equipment does not invalidate a claim of no sonic differences. Appearance, perceived and actual build quality, heritage, brand snobbery, ergonomics, warranty, presumptions about resale value, and many non-sonic factors come into play there.
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Which isn't to say that ABX testing isn't very interesting in theory. But the vast majority of the ones I see for audio are suspect, and leave me with more questions than answers. They are also often run by people with an agenda, and the setups are suspect as a result. But I'd pay money to be a participant in a well run one, not because I think I can beat it, but just to see how badly I'd do - I'm sure it would be a learning experience.

I see things differently. People who actually do blind testing (for example, see this thread) tend to want to hear differences, because otherwise it's a bloody waste of time,. Often, they are disillusioned when differences don't materialize.

Meanwhile the con men who reject blind testing (like that "Upgrade Company" twit in the above-linked thread) throw out nonsense line after nonsense line to attack people acting in good faith.
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I've seen the Holt quote before. He was a curmudgeon (and enjoyed it immensely seemed to me.) He's right for a large part of the high-end publishing and manufacturing community, but the opposing view is also valid - Stereo Review never met a receiver that didn't sound perfect.

Why do you exclude the possibility that SR didn't find a receiver that didn't sound perfect, because all of the ones they tested were in fact effectively straight wires with gain?

Though today my least favorite reviews are those done by former SR'ers such as Daniel Kumin. What's the point of an AVR review with the only thing that generally matters sonically in modern AVRs - the room correction system - turned off? Sadly, it seems that Dr. David Rich and Prof. Kal Rubinson are the only people in all of audio-reviewerdom who can do a competent review of a multichannel audio box. (And KR's reviews would be much improved with technical data.)
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IAnd it leads to misinformation in the eyes of the noob. I'm sure you've seen a question something like - "I need a new receiver and A has the features I want, but B has .0001 better THD. I'm concerned that A might not sound so good, what do you think?" I'm hoping you agree this question (not an exaggeration) is from a sorely misinformed user.

I do. And I agree with your earlier words about the general pointlessness of THD specifications.

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post #54 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 09:35 PM
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... What's the point of an AVR review with the only thing that generally matters sonically in modern AVRs - the room correction system - turned off?...

^^^Amen to this!

It would make the reviews worth reading, although I have a sneaky suspicion that we will not see Room EQ reviews until the "audiophile" brands advertising in these publications decide such technology is easy/cheap enough to implement on smaller scale.

It's funny that this thread just popped up again, as while hiking with my dog today, I was listening to a podcast about some homeopathic nonsense and the vehement arguments against double-blind testing reminded me of many of the claims made by some here.
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post #55 of 60 Old 07-21-2012, 02:07 AM
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DS-121 wrote about Butler amps:
"I bet they do, if you like a fixed midrange boost. It's EQ, not tubes or anything else, that makes Butlers sound different from high fidelity electronics."

Really? That's funny, because my Butler TDB-5150 freq. resicoonse measures within 0.5 db of perfectly flat from 20Hz - 20kHz and I notice *no* boost in the midrange. Since you're "show me the specs" kinda guy, how do you reconcile your statement with the spec. I quoted?

And way too many folks equate a vanishingly low THD and super-high SN ratio to better sound quality in amps. It's *easy* to generate very low THD figures, just crank up the negative feedback (The Butler amps have NO negative feedback). And SN ratios higher than 100db are generally meaningless - show me a single commercial pressing (viny, CD, DVD,or Bluray) that comes anywhere near a 100 db dynamic range. Trust me, they don't exist - you're lucky to find even 70db dynamic range, if that.

The best arbiters of overall amp sound quality can be gleaned from several specs and design features. Yes, you want low THD, but anything below 0.1% is inaudible. And most folks can't even hear 0.5%. A more important spec. is slew rate. Slew rate tells you how fast the system responds to a large signal change. A "faster" amp will replicate the sharp attack transients much better than a "slow" amp. This is particularly evident when listening to music/movies with sounds that contain such transients - cymbals, triangles, horns, snare drum, gunshots, explosions, crashes, etc.

Another important factor is the design and capability of the power supply and the caps - big, beefy transformers and large, fast caps make for a much more rewarding sound, especially in the bottom octaves. These type of amps are generally characterized as "ballsy". The Butler really shines here, it has a massive toroidal transformer and the caps are rated at 20,000 pico-farads per channel. You'd be lucky to find an AVR that has even 10,000 pico-farads per channel. And the Butler Monad amp has 1,000,000 pico-farads (1 farad!!) per channel. More capacitance equates to more power reserve capability - the Butler NEVER runs out of steam, even when pushed hard with very dynamic input signals. You cannot say that about most AVR amps - there simply isn't enough room in a 3 or 4 RU chassis to accomodate such devices and the attendant heatsinks required.

And, finally, *most* multi-channel AVR amps' power rating is measured driving only 2-channels simultaneously. Frankly, this is useless for an amp having more than 2 channels. A more honest spec. is one that shows the power when driving ALL channels simultaneously. Butler specs their amps driving ALL channels simultaneously.

Amps *do* sound different, and many of those differences are shown by careful perusing of the specs. But you gotta know *which* specs to peruse...

Butler TDB-5150
=============
• Freq response: 20Hz to 20kHz (+/- 0.5dB) - most Butlers will actually bench at +- 0.3db 20Hz - 50kHz
• THD: <0.10% @ 8 Ohms, <0.15% @ 4 Ohms
• S/N Ratio: Better than 110dB (A-Wtd)
• Slew Rate: 15v/µsec

-RW-
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post #56 of 60 Old 07-21-2012, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rlwainwright View Post

....

... A more important spec. is slew rate. Slew rate tells you how fast the system responds to a large signal change. A "faster" amp will replicate the sharp attack transients much better than a "slow" amp. This is particularly evident when listening to music/movies with sounds that contain such transients - cymbals, triangles, horns, snare drum, gunshots, explosions, crashes, etc....
...
• Slew Rate: 15v/µsec
-RW-

Wow! I've got to give it to you, slew rate!

I would guess that the Butler salesman mentioned this one to you.... rolleyes.gif

Dude, even purely theoretically, for a 100WPC amp, you need only about a little over 4v/µsec to reproduce a 20kHz sound at full power.

Now, this doesn't even take into account that these are square wave measurements and there is no music of which I am aware of, which demands full power at 20kHz.

It also doesn't take into account the fact that 20kHz is only audible to humans with perfect hearing, which excludes virtually anyone over 25, or anyone younger than that who has been in a nightclub.

Nope, nowadays slew rate is really much less important than you think and that's why most people never measure it, or worry about.
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....
And, finally, *most* multi-channel AVR amps' power rating is measured driving only 2-channels simultaneously. Frankly, this is useless for an amp having more than 2 channels. A more honest spec. is one that shows the power when driving ALL channels simultaneously. Butler specs their amps driving ALL channels simultaneously.
...

Uhm, it may not be all that useless, since most audio material exercises the fronts a lot more than the surrounds or surround backs. If anything, measuring all 5-channels at full power is rather "useless," for most home theater settings.
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post #57 of 60 Old 04-23-2013, 11:03 AM
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No, a salesman did not quote some specs to me. I have been involved with high-performance hi-fi and AV for over 30 years. And my experience shows that big, beefy power supplies, large secondary capacitance, and big toroidal transformers impart a much more authoritative, "ballsy" sound. And yes, I do want to know that ALL of my amp's channels can produce the power they are rated at at all times. With the advent of properly-mastered surround sound, having the center and rear channels able to keep up with the front channels is a must-have. Feel free to continue to use amps that are spec'd. to give a bogus power output rating, I'll take honest specs.across the board every time...

-RW-
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post #58 of 60 Old 04-23-2013, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rlwainwright View Post

No, a salesman did not quote some specs to me. I have been involved with high-performance hi-fi and AV for over 30 years. And my experience shows that big, beefy power supplies, large secondary capacitance, and big toroidal transformers impart a much more authoritative, "ballsy" sound. And yes, I do want to know that ALL of my amp's channels can produce the power they are rated at at all times. With the advent of properly-mastered surround sound, having the center and rear channels able to keep up with the front channels is a must-have. Feel free to continue to use amps that are spec'd. to give a bogus power output rating, I'll take honest specs.across the board every time...

-RW-

Since you've been at this for 30 years, you must have quite a set of measurements showing audible improvements supporting your position. Please post some.
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post #59 of 60 Old 04-23-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlwainwright View Post

No, a salesman did not quote some specs to me. I have been involved with high-performance hi-fi and AV for over 30 years. And my experience shows that big, beefy power supplies, large secondary capacitance, and big toroidal transformers impart a much more authoritative, "ballsy" sound. And yes, I do want to know that ALL of my amp's channels can produce the power they are rated at at all times. With the advent of properly-mastered surround sound, having the center and rear channels able to keep up with the front channels is a must-have. Feel free to continue to use amps that are spec'd. to give a bogus power output rating, I'll take honest specs.across the board every time...

Do yo have any experience with comparing amplifiers in listening tests that are level-matched, quick-switchable, and double blind?

It turns out that every parameter you have mentioned is largely irrelevant to sound quality while reproducing music because of the strong technical differences between music and test tones:



One of the facts demonstrated in the illustration above is that music can have approximately 1/8 or less of the continuous energy content of the pure sine waves used in bench tests. Thus a power supply that is sufficient for one channel of test tone signal is capable of supplying power for 8 or more channels of music.
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post #60 of 60 Old 04-23-2013, 01:11 PM
 
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Just to add my two shekels:

All an amp does is amplify the sound - it just makes the sound louder. If built properly, there will be no distortion or changes to the sound as it passes from input to output (except for increasing the loudness of it). Now, that said, some amps will purposefully alter the sound (and some give you the option to alter it). If you like the results of the altered sound better than the non-altered sound, then by all means keep it that way. The goal of all home audio and video systems is to be enjoyed by the system owner/user. It does not matter if the sound is altered if you like the altered sound better. Most AVRs nowadays have some sort of room correction system in them (such as Audyssey). Audyssey alteres the sound leaving the AVR but most people are happier with the altered sound than the original sound.

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