the carver was a stand alone 2 channel amp...as was the nad it replaced.
the amp was the only piece in the system that was changed...
Then what I suspect happened was, expectedly, the change would reflect the neutrality of the newly introduced Amp. I'm not hanging a good or bad as I'm looking at what would cause the sound quality you described.
Originally Posted by NorCalJason
Spin it anyway you want... He didn't like the sound.
And isn't that what this hobby is all about? Enjoying how things sound?
Absolutely. Agreeing with you as I'm not spinning. There's nothing wrong with not liking the sound quality but if one Amp, at the OpAmp stage, is tuned to be warm and then another Amp is OpAmp designed to be neutral or flat then reasonably, an acclimated listener would make note of the differences in how the Amps have been tuned or colored. If one were to scope out the output signal of the first Amp and EQ'd the second Amp to match the output of the replaced Amp, then the differences would disappear. That's why I asked if this was an EQ'd listening environment or just a plug-n-play switch of the Amps with no consideration given to how the Amps were tuned by the designer and the end user. OTOH, if a room analyzer had been used, and the reproduced sound had been EQ'd or leveled for flat play, expectedly, the sound quality or timbre, all other variables being the same, expectedly, the reproduced sound should stay the same.
I'll let other with a better understanding on my above weigh in as I'm an end user, not an EE.
And time and time again, it has been shown, that once an ABX test is set up (line values leveled so there's equal SPL coming from the speakers) and the curtain is lowered so nobody knows what AVR/Amplifier is being used, one's ability to choose, falls to that of random chance. Go figure.
Surely you are not suggesting that one might as well buy the less costly amp/receiver that uses 10% instead of 5% resisters...that the use of wimpy foil-thin heat sinks instead of heavy cast sinks makes no difference ...that beefy toroids and/or large caps are a waste, that rats-nest wiring schemes and phenolic boards as opposed to tidy traces on glass epoxy...all such differences between a cheaply made amp/receiver and a premium one will be undetectable in a double blind AB comparison as long as the levels are matched and you stay below the headroom limits of the lesser amp?...The corollary being that if you do hear a difference, it's because the levels are not equal or you exceeded the output capabilities of the lesser amp?
My main point is not really to argue whether 'all amps sound the same'. I'm questioning whether you NEED an external amp at all. Or if you just WANT an amp. That should be determined first.
This challenge is a fun one.
It's a very strict set of controlled environment in which the test is undertaken. I am pretty certain that the originator isn't claiming that a d-class amp sounds like an a- class amp, for example.
You also need to take into account your requirements. Driving really low sensitivity speakers to reference levels with 50watt solid state amps is not going to sound the same as doing it with 1000w beasts.
Surely you are not suggesting that one might as well buy the less costly amp/receiver...
I know, I know. Agreeing with your valid, listed points when I post that double-blind ABX tests have shown over and over and over again that once the curtain goes down, as long as the Amps are operating correctly (within specs) and line levels are matched, owners with personally selected material and taking as much time of their choosing, can't tell the difference beyond statistical chance. Personally, not being an EE, I find the above to be very disturbing and second, if I made the claim that I could easily pick out my Amp and could only do so fifty percent of the time as opposed to the lower figure of seventeen to thirty-three percent, I would feel really foolish for having spent the money and making the claim.
I will give you several points, the need to properly shield the internals from outside interference, lots of quality caps for peak demands and overall build quality for the purpose of longevity are very important. In the end, I always encourage one to spend their money in any fashion that makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
i used to have an NAD amp...lost it in a storm a few years back.
i took this as an opportunity to buy a carver, as i had always wanted to own one...they were known for power, and i always thought they looked cool as hell...loved that retro look of the meters
anyway, got the carver home, hooked it up and i couldn't wait to hear my tunes thru my new amp. i finally owned a carver!! i just knew it was kick a$$
i was disappointed...
drums had more snap, but seemed thin in the upper mids...i dunno, kinda tinny sounding
it wasn't terrible sounding...but it was DIFFERENT sounding than the nad
I think what this tells you is NAD makes good amps. I think they're among the best in the $1,500 - $3,000 price range.
kidding - lots of really useful information here. i actually ended up biting the bullet and bout a $3K NAD T777. i can afford it, and i like the simplicity of it, and i think i can live with MultEQ XT instead of the XT32.
Assuming affordability, the OP should buy that what makes him all warm and fuzzy inside and having never used XT32 (user of XT here), based on what everybody else who has used XT32 has had to say on the matter, buying an AVR with XT32, is a definite upgrade.
I guess there's something to be said for buying what makes one warm and fuzzy!