Are amplifiers worth it - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 11:30 AM
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The bottom line here for the OP (or anyone else who cares) is that the quality of components in any audio or video system do matter and do have a material impact on the experience. Whether the price is worth it or not is a separate discussion. Additionally, there are always going to be those who cling to the false belief that a $20,000 investment in power amplification can only result in more volume when compared to an entry level all-in-on receiver. Frankly, for most, it doesn't matter. If you have over $20 or 30 grand into 5 or 7 speakers, then you already "get it" and won't be asking. That said, I do hope that we have members here hoping to upgrade over time. A full blown HT with Focal Utopia line speakers driven by separate power amps and a hi-end processor will result in a world class experience. I'm content with my little HT 2.0 and Panny VT50, but my primary hobby is on the music side where I've made quite an investment over the course of 20 years. EVERYTHING matters in A/V- the speakers, amps, panel/projector, etc.

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post #92 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

The bottom line here for the OP (or anyone else who cares) is that the quality of components in any audio or video system do matter and do have a material impact on the experience. Whether the price is worth it or not is a separate discussion. Additionally, there are always going to be those who cling to the false belief that a $20,000 investment in power amplification can only result in more volume when compared to an entry level all-in-on receiver. Frankly, for most, it doesn't matter. If you have over $20 or 30 grand into 5 or 7 speakers, then you already "get it" and won't be asking. That said, I do hope that we have members here hoping to upgrade over time. A full blown HT with Focal Utopia line speakers driven by separate power amps and a hi-end processor will result in a world class experience. I'm content with my little HT 2.0 and Panny VT50, but my primary hobby is on the music side where I've made quite an investment over the course of 20 years. EVERYTHING matters in A/V- the speakers, amps, panel/projector, etc.

This would be the time to produce actual evidence to support your position. You know, something like measurements or the results of a properly executed DBT...

There are many of us here with significant investments in audio (I meet your arbitrary spending criteria, not that it matters). Most of us prefer to invest in elements that make an audible difference (speakers, room treatments, DSP, measurement hardware/software) rather than those that don't ("Audiphile" amps, cables).
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post #93 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

I think this entire discussion can be summed up by this:

People who have owned Receivers and Seperates, who have heard a difference.

VS

People who have only owned Receivers and imagine there is no difference.

wink.gif

I think this discussion can be summed up by this:

People who are smart and actually understand the workings of modern gear.

Vs.

People who have over spent on some esoteric high- end gear and tell themselves they hear difference over less expensive common consumer level gear in order to justify the costs involved.
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I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #94 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

This would be the time to produce actual evidence to support your position. You know, something like measurements or the results of a properly executed DBT...
There are many of us here with significant investments in audio (I meet your arbitrary spending criteria, not that it matters). Most of us prefer to invest in elements that make an audible difference (speakers, room treatments, DSP, measurement hardware/software) rather than those that don't ("Audiphile" amps, cables).

Help me out here. Are you suggesting that all powers amps produce the exact same fidelity? So we could all be using 70s/80s era consumer amps (with those ultra low THDs!!) or modern, specialist amps and there would be no audible impact on the sound quality?! Does the pre-amp not matter either? How about solid state versus tube?

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post #95 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Actually, I don't care if some people (those without experience) can't hear differences in any given component. Power amps have a huge impact on a system's overall sound quality under the assumption that the speakers and other gear are capable. Not many would argue about tube v. solid state differences, right? So how about 70/80s solid state where, for example, negative feedback was used to reduce THD? Well, these amps sounded like crap regardless of the measurements. Today's hi-end SS amp designs do no target for .000001% THD by using negative feedback. And the better power amps today are amazing. I'd challenge anyone to install a full-blown Cary Audio HT system versus low or mid-fi gear and hear the difference. It won't be subtle.

Some rather snobbish comments around here. My obvious stupidity is based on owning Maggies, Bryston, Arcam ,etc, etc. And now I accept that even if I decide to put big resources back into source and amplification components, I'm satisfying a purely intellectual desire.

The differences between SS and tube amps, when one is present, is measurable. Tubes tend to misbehave more when presented with complex impedances than ss does. I'm not suggesting that there may not have been a learning curve to get rid of bad dwesign in early SS but that's decades ago. Time to get over it. Heck, it's decades ago that even Stereophile went on record saying that the best of tubes and SS were converging sonically. I can find you some 80s English solid state amps that sound tubey because they intentionally roll offf the highs. The iconoclastic Bob Carver was able, essentially by adding a resistor between the output and the speakers, to make his solid state amps sonically indistinguishable from tube amps in a test conducted for Stereophile. The sad truth appears to be that if it's audible its measurable, and in general a measurable departure from flat in electronics is either an intentional departure from accuracy or bad design. The flip side is not true however. There are measurable differences that are not audible, at least in appropriately conducted double blind tests. Just about every amp that Stereophile tests departs from perfectly flat when driving their "speaker-like" test load, and the departures are not all alike. They are generally pertty narrow, and on the order of a quarter decibel, making it the very rare person who could consistently hear them with real world content.

The reality of the placebo effect (which I steadfastly refused to believe I could possibly be subjedct to for quite a while) is simply overwhelming. If folks could overcome these things, it would take a lot less money and time to bring life-saving (or potentially so) drugs to markket. But if the person administering the test knows which is which, they give off cues that they cannot control by force of will that change the outcome. Let alone the effects if the person actually being tested knows which is which. It's real. It's the human condition.
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post #96 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Help me out here. Are you suggesting that all powers amps produce the exact same fidelity? So we could all be using 70s/80s era consumer amps (with those ultra low THDs!!) or modern, specialist amps and there would be no audible impact on the sound quality?! Does the pre-amp not matter either? How about solid state versus tube?

What I'm stating is that all modern SS amps when run within their normal operating thresholds sound identical. If they don't something is broken or misdesigned.

Of course tube amps may sound different when compared to another tube or ss amps - that's an entirely different discussion.

Edit - JHAz provided a more complete answer above.
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post #97 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

What I'm stating is that all modern SS amps when run within their normal operating thresholds sound identical. If they don't something is broken or misdesigned.

Interesting. I wonder why power amps continue to be manufactured at all price points from a few hundred bucks up to tens of thousands!? And why would Stereophile, TAS and others bother reviewing them? I think I'll hang onto my Cary Audio 200.2 to power my Focal Diablo Utopia speakers just in case all amps don't sound identical. Just in case. LOL.

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post #98 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

I wonder why power amps continue to be manufactured at all price points from a few hundred bucks up to tens of thousands!?

Because there are people with different amounts of money to spend.
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And why would Stereophile, TAS and others bother reviewing them?

Because they serve an aspirational readership who for a few bucks can dream about one day being able to afford them.

You don't need a difference in audio quality for $10,000 amplifiers or stereo magazines to exist.
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post #99 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Interesting. I wonder why power amps continue to be manufactured at all price points from a few hundred bucks up to tens of thousands!? And why would Stereophile, TAS and others bother reviewing them? I think I'll hang onto my Cary Audio 200.2 to power my Focal Diablo Utopia speakers just in case all amps don't sound identical. Just in case. LOL.

The argument is the same as it's always been: Placebo. You don't REALLY hear the difference. You want to believe, so you hear one. Pisses me off really. It implies:

I'm too stupid to realize there is no difference
They are not stupid, and clearly see the truth
I've spent too much money on my setup, i'm and idiot
They spent much less on theirs, they're smart

Instead of taking the same tone, I prefer to let people makeup their own minds. Buy an amp, try it out. Tons of great deals on Audiogon / CL / eBay. Heck, you could even start with a single stereo amp. If you don't like it, sell it and post in this thread.

Or be like the rest of us ignorant idiots... Enjoy the sound of the amp and buy more.

biggrin.gif
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post #100 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Interesting. I wonder why power amps continue to be manufactured at all price points from a few hundred bucks up to tens of thousands!? And why would Stereophile, TAS and others bother reviewing them? I think I'll hang onto my Cary Audio 200.2 to power my Focal Diablo Utopia speakers just in case all amps don't sound identical. Just in case. LOL.

Because people continue to be unaware of the technical realities and purchase them. Or want vanity pieces.
Why do magazines review things? To fill magazines and sell subscriptions.

Again, if you have any measurements or DBT results to support your position, this would be a good time to post them.
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post #101 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

The argument is the same as it's always been: Placebo. You don't REALLY hear the difference. You want to believe, so you hear one. Pisses me off really. It implies:
I'm too stupid to realize there is no difference
...

No, it isn't stupid to treat an illness with a placebo if it works. If buying one amp over another makes you happy, it makes you happy. No one can dispute that.

On the other hand, if you're upset that there might be people out there that think you're idiot for buying a particular amp, then maybe you're not getting all you expected from your purchase. If all you want is better audio quality then the only thing that should be capable of pissing you off is not getting the audio quality you expected. What other people think, people who can't even hear your amp, shouldn't really matter.
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post #102 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 05:23 PM
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I take it this is the Proficient brand? With the ceiling speaker approach, I wouldn't bother with big upgrades. The UPA-500 may give you somewhat of an improvement, you could try it on their 30 trial.
I agree with runnin except that I would not even bother to get the UPA-500 - because of your speakers. I am guessing about them, purely based on price point and their size and type.

You asked in another post if a pre amp would beneficial. Its possible that if you spent money on a used Anthem or lexicon MCx type preamps and got some external amps, there might be "VERY SLIGHT" improvement, IF ANY! The improvement would be in spatial separation, clarity achieved by high quality components etc. I don't mean to be rude but your speakers are probably not good enough to show you an improvement, if any (just a guess, based on their size and price point). Again, I don't know anything about your speakers or your receiver. I also have a few inexpensive speakers - slightly less then your price point, actually - in one of the rooms. Over the years, I replaced receivers (I think I am now in the 3rd receiver). Certainly, there was an improvement, when I changed the receivers. I don't recall exactly which model was better and which was worse. All receivers were under $500 price point. I just don't remember model numbers. I don't know the price point of your receiver or much about it. If you are not "excited" about it, you might want to consider buying a used receiver. PS. Based on my limited experience with ONE Denon I am not a fan of denon but many others are. They could be right. Just stating my opinion. I am a fan of Sony receiver under $500 list. May be even Onkyo. Surely, there are many others which are very good. Currently, I have two "low end" receivers. Being too lazy to go upstairs to check on the model number of the 2nd, I have one Sony STR 910. I see it in used market on amazon for $259. It is an Excellent receiver. I use it with my very old Sansui speakers and I am very pleased with both the Sony and the old Sansui speakers (25 years old). To qualify my tastes - in my main theater room, I have three bryston 7bst monoblocks (list i think was $5000 each), jbl synthesis 3 system (list $30,000), Lexicon MC12 (list around $12,000) audio processor etc.. and I am telling you that for the money and the purpose, the Sony 910 and sansui sound just fine. Of course, there is a difference but each system has a different purpose.

So.. bottom line, save your money and enjoy your system.. If you want to TRY something, try the Sony STR 910 receiver and see if it improves.. If not, you can sell it for $50 less + cost of shipping.. or it is probably not worth even reselling, if you find a good deal..

Too often, we are in the dilema.. how can I improve my system.. and there is no easy or simple/cheap answer..
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post #103 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

The argument is the same as it's always been: Placebo. You don't REALLY hear the difference. You want to believe, so you hear one. Pisses me off really. It implies:
I'm too stupid to realize there is no difference
They are not stupid, and clearly see the truth
I've spent too much money on my setup, i'm and idiot
They spent much less on theirs, they're smart
Instead of taking the same tone, I prefer to let people makeup their own minds. Buy an amp, try it out. Tons of great deals on Audiogon / CL / eBay. Heck, you could even start with a single stereo amp. If you don't like it, sell it and post in this thread.
Or be like the rest of us ignorant idiots... Enjoy the sound of the amp and buy more.
biggrin.gif
With all due respect, please don't take this personally. It does not imply stupidity on your part, as you seem to want to feel. No one used that word, but you. No need for that. But please don't dismiss the opinion of some of us, who have spent a lot of time, energy not to even mention money - on this subject. I had personally participated in a blind test and I could not only identify blindly the Bryston, it was obvious to me that it was a superior amp - in terms of clarity and depth. Please don't dismiss us as having placebo effect, when we prove with a blind test. Having said that, I think a $500 Crown is 90% as good as a $5000 Bryston 7BST. The difference between the two is not always worth the price difference.. UNLESS you have very very high end speakers.
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post #104 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Because people continue to be unaware of the technical realities and purchase them. Or want vanity pieces.
I know three people, who know audio better than me. Two of them sell audio gear. I respect their opinions very much, based on my interaction with them over past 17 years. The third person I know would say that he knows Video more than audio (certainly, he is almost an authority on Video). He has never claimed to be an expert in Audio but I think he is very knowledgeable in Audio also. Certainly, he knows a lot more than me and certainly is in a much higher league than me. Having said that, he owns JM Labs Utopias ($32,000 each), Mark Levinson mono block amps ($10,000 each?), meridian processor (about $15,000). I think it would be unfair to dismiss his tastes because of his investment and assume that he wasted his money. There are people who do know what they want and are not exactly ignorant of "technical realities", as you call them. Certainly, there are many technical issues to be considered, while selecting a high end system but the final result of auditioning of the system, assuming an acoustically almost perfect room cannot be always measured with oscilloscopes. NO, I am not a proponent of snake oil cables etc..
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Because people continue to be unaware of the technical realities and purchase them. Or want vanity pieces.
Why do magazines review things? To fill magazines and sell subscriptions.
100% I agree with you and would add that the magazines are essentially bribed by manufacturers! Yes, many a product is sold on vanity price. Its possible that a very high percentage of products are sold on vanity price but we cannot state that expensive products are not better. Often, they are.. The question is, what is the perception of their value - its in the eye of the beholder.. but I would agree with you, that in many cases vanity prices may be paid without getting "bang for the buck" - certainly not all the time. I would have said that its 100% true in case of $1000 interconnect snake oil cables for examples. but when it comes to amplifiers, I do believe that there are significant improvements in quality - not always price related but certainly, a large enough advantage in certain amps for price/performance.
and yes, I believe that "technical specs" are often exaggerated. We live in a "market of exaggeration". BTW, I think I wrote here about how I was "fooled" once but not twice, by a snake oil cable company in "blind test" - except they were cheating by increasing SPL slightly, with their cable.

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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Again, if you have any measurements or DBT results to support your position, this would be a good time to post them.
I posted my experience with blind test of amps, yes, it was easy for me to identify the Bryston Vs Crown. It is factual. What results can I post? I don't have technology for "waterfall charts" and such..
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post #105 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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And the other thing is, not all people hear the same. I know someone who can't carry a tune to save his life. His attempts are actually painful. But he can't hear that he's off. To his hearing, he's hitting the notes just fine. Then there is the time I proudly played this acapalla track that had 6 or 7 parts to another friend. At the end he said, the bass vocalist went flat on his last note. I had heard that track dozens of times in the previous few weeks and never caught that, but with his hearing he could hear it right off. Another example is my wife, who can hear very quiet levels before I can.

In a room of 10 blind testers, how many could even hear a difference among amps if there was one?

I no longer am so concerned what people think about my findings, as I can hear differences among the several AVRs I've had(when set to pure 2 channel audio not eq'd,etc) and the two amps I currently own. Some talk here about having super expensive gear and needing it to sound better than cheaper amps. There is also the flip side, budget amp owners needing to think that their gear is just as good as expensive stuff. But whatever, buy whatever makes you happy.
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post #106 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

This school of thought on amps is very common and usually pretty accurate, but I've experienced something that changed my mind on the matter.
I have an Emotiva XPA-3 that has sibilance with my Paradigm Signature S6 speakers. At volume peaks of 80db+ vocalists, when pronouncing an "s" have a hard overpronounced "sss". It's repeatable and easy to hear, but not on all recordings. I have a Parasound Halo A21 that swapped into the exact same system with the exact same tracks has no such hard "sss", and the vocal frequencies are not harsh as can be with the Emotiva. But for the price, the Emotiva is pretty decent, it's just not as refined sounding in these areas.
With other more laid back speakers the Emotiva amps apparently have no such issue. I also have 2 Onkyo AVRs, a 504 and a 876. Swapped in the 504 to my main system one night for giggles, and was impressed at how well it did. But it had a graininess to the sound when compared to the smoother sounding 876. I never knew what graininess was or what it sounded like before this, I'd read about some describing this only. Wasn't expecting to hear it, but it suggested to me that all amps do not sound the same. Forgive me for being obtuse, but this is what I've found in my limited experience.

You need to re-read the part that you quoted. If there is a difference, and neither are running outside of their comfort zone, then either one or both are broken. By broken, I believe Dennis means to say that they are NOT doing the job of being a strict/linear amplification device. I don't recall the exact quote, but a while back, one of the more knowledgeable posters suggested something along the lines of "the ideal amplifier is a wire that simply amplifies the incoming signal linearly" (apologies if I totally mangled that attempt but I can't find the quote anymore)

It is the same with analogue cables. Some higher priced cables will add additional circuitry to "alter" the signal (e.g. rolling off the high end to produce a warmer sound). I am not saying that in your instance the Parasound is doing this because it could very well be that the Emotiva is doing the opposite and boosting a certain frequency - I just don't know. The point to take away is simply that if differences exist, then the amplifier is either doing more than it is supposed to, or being driven outside of it's comfort zone.
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post #107 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

I no longer am so concerned what people think about my findings, as I can hear differences among the several AVRs I've had(when set to pure 2 channel audio not eq'd,etc) and the two amps I currently own. Some talk here about having super expensive gear and needing it to sound better than cheaper amps. There is also the flip side, budget amp owners needing to think that their gear is just as good as expensive stuff. But whatever, buy whatever makes you happy.

Not trying to pick on you or anything, just found your posts interesting. Not all implementations of Pure mode are equal in AVRs. Not saying that the ones you are running exhibit this difference, but in reality a sample of 2 (without knowing all the inner workings) is hard to make a solid conclusion from.

But just to be clear. You ran the test with an external source (DAC) that fed each of the amps with a 2 channel input, you turned on pure 2 channel mode and are certain that both receivers do not perform volume control in the digital domain, that there was no speaker delay or other such setting that could impact the output etc. ?
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post #108 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by anwaypasible View Post

from the person that wasnt decent enough to organize a post in a structured layout that is easy on the mind, body, spirit.
..i dont think you are young enough to budge what i said about how and why seperate amps are better.
and if you really want to look back at the amplifier making its way into the preamp to decompress some distortion .. also think about the digital comb filtering they do with the sampled rate of the output .. because the seperate amp might be just the thing that tightens the gaps in the air for them to keep a solid pace.
you can test this yourself with any plastic bag that makes noise.
(or any long solid noise)
the difference is huge.

If the things you are posting make sense to you, I suspect that would make a total of 1 people that understand your ramblings. I will assume you must be joking, and/or smoking something highly enjoyable and illegal. To your jab about my decency and age, well just refer back to my first sentence. Please don't annoy me enough to bother replying back to you because the conversation is irrelevant, unproductive, and of absolutely no benefit to Asere.
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post #109 of 432 Old 11-05-2012, 11:33 PM
 
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When I compared the two amplifiers, it was an Oppo 95 connected directly to the amp with RCA's, using the Oppo's volume. And I got the sibilance at peaks of 80db's, which is maybe one or two watts per channel, not driving the amp hard at all. Neither amp is broken, or operating out of spec as far as I can tell(the Emo was 3 yrs old, the Parasound a month, both babied and not driven above 90 db or a few watts into my Paradigms.)And my argument is that the amp's frequency is flat, but when connected to some speaker loads, the result may differ. But whatever it is, it's easy for me to repeat the sibilance and again, the Parasound didn't have it at the same volume level, same system, same tracks, and same room. It's not a huge difference, but it's bothersome. With a different pair of speakers with soft dome tweeters, maybe the sibilance would be gone.

As for the AVRs, you could be right about the 'pure' type circuitry. But with the Onkyo comparison, my understanding was they both didn't touch the analog signal at all. The Denon 3803, I'm not so sure.
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post #110 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 04:37 AM
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And the other thing is, not all people hear the same. I know someone who can't carry a tune to save his life. His attempts are actually painful. But he can't hear that he's off. To his hearing, he's hitting the notes just fine. Then there is the time I proudly played this acapalla track that had 6 or 7 parts to another friend. At the end he said, the bass vocalist went flat on his last note. I had heard that track dozens of times in the previous few weeks and never caught that, but with his hearing he could hear it right off. Another example is my wife, who can hear very quiet levels before I can.
In a room of 10 blind testers, how many could even hear a difference among amps if there was one?
I no longer am so concerned what people think about my findings, as I can hear differences among the several AVRs I've had(when set to pure 2 channel audio not eq'd,etc) and the two amps I currently own. Some talk here about having super expensive gear and needing it to sound better than cheaper amps. There is also the flip side, budget amp owners needing to think that their gear is just as good as expensive stuff. But whatever, buy whatever makes you happy.
Good point. I did that Bryston/Crown blind test many years ago. Now, I have reduced hearing. I took the mosquito noise test and I can't hear beyond 8k. Many people (not all) at my age, I think, typically cannot hear beyond 10 k. As we age, we lose hearing.. Headphones are accelerating hearing loss.. For me, subwoofers were probably the culprit. Typically, at a given SPL level, subwoofer frequencies don't annoy us as much as a high freq (such as a siren). So, I enjoyed the high SPL from multiple subwoofers in my room. Too late, I realized that it affected my hearing. A friend of mine, who is an ENT surgeon, watched a movie with me.. and then told me.. I would lose my hearing because of subs and the SPL he noticed. I do have an SPL meter and I really stayed within the "safe" range of exposure.. He actually did an audio test and showed me the charts.. years ago.. subsequently, I lost even more.. I don't use the subs anymore.. Bass shakers to the sofas are a good alternative..

But even with reduced hearing, I can easily hear and appreciate the difference between a good AVR/speakers/amps and not so good one. Example, recently, I heard QSC K12 self powered PA speakers at a wedding and though they were excellent value for the money. I posted here on AVS - then realized that there is a following for such type of QSC speakers for home theater.. Glad i can still "hear the difference".. "hear the difference" - which company had that as commercial?
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post #111 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 06:52 AM
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I'm sure glad I stopped by. I'm SO uninformed! I should have known that Stereophile, TAS and others are running a scam. I shouldn't have trusted my own ears and many years of personal experiences either. What was I thinking!? Preying on the most successful for decades. Disgusting. It's all in the measurements. I could have purchased a $200 power amp for my Focal speakers. I never knew. Why on earth does Focal only demo their speakers with specialist hi-end gear rather than consumer grade from Best Buy? OMG, they are in on it too! Call '60 Minutes'. Wait, 911. This is serious. I've been taken and so have so many others. #shame

I've benefited from what I felt was good info in the Plasma flat panel forum. I did crosscheck with CNET and elsewhere. I asked questions before landing on the VT50. I've been scammed on audio for 20 years now, so how can I believe anything I see or hear for myself? How can I trust what I read here or on CNET or elsewhere. It is all a scam. My brain is my own worst enemy. Well, fortunately I'm "in the know" now while others remain in the dark. My hi-end stereo components can be sold at a decent recovery to those who have no clue.

HT 3.1: Panny BDT 220 | 60" Panny VT60 | Marantz AV7005 | Focal CMS50 (L/R), CMS40 & CMS Sub

Stereo system: Cary Audio 306 SACD Pro | Cary Audio SLP-05 tube line level | Cary Audio SA-200.2 | Focal Diablo Utopia III
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^^^

don't make the mistake of comapring the feedback you got on video to what you get on audio...

"video" is far less "faith based"... in "video", there's none of this "i can see stuff you can't measure" stuff...

it has been proven many times that you cannot "trust your ears" in a non-controlled test, as more than your ears is then involved...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

The argument is the same as it's always been: Placebo. You don't REALLY hear the difference. You want to believe, so you hear one. Pisses me off really. It implies:
I'm too stupid to realize there is no difference
They are not stupid, and clearly see the truth
I've spent too much money on my setup, i'm and idiot
They spent much less on theirs, they're smart
Instead of taking the same tone, I prefer to let people makeup their own minds. Buy an amp, try it out. Tons of great deals on Audiogon / CL / eBay. Heck, you could even start with a single stereo amp. If you don't like it, sell it and post in this thread.
Or be like the rest of us ignorant idiots... Enjoy the sound of the amp and buy more.
biggrin.gif

No, silly it means you are ahuman being. You cannot stop the subconscious processes any more than multiple MDs and PHds can when they are administrering drug tests, or any more than you can will hyour heart to sto beating (which is different- autonomic, not subconscious, but similarly beyond our ultimate control).
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If it can't be measured (yet) or there is no identified correlation between a measurment (objective) and an observation (subjective), then "it" doesn't exist except as a figment of our subconcious. Got it.

HT 3.1: Panny BDT 220 | 60" Panny VT60 | Marantz AV7005 | Focal CMS50 (L/R), CMS40 & CMS Sub

Stereo system: Cary Audio 306 SACD Pro | Cary Audio SLP-05 tube line level | Cary Audio SA-200.2 | Focal Diablo Utopia III
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post #115 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

If it can't be measured (yet) or there is no identified correlation between a measurment (objective) and an observation (subjective), then "it" doesn't exist except as a figment of our subconcious. Got it.

What do you believe can't be measured yet?
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post #116 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

I'm sure glad I stopped by. I'm SO uninformed! I should have known that Stereophile, TAS and others are running a scam. I shouldn't have trusted my own ears and many years of personal experiences either. What was I thinking!? Preying on the most successful for decades. Disgusting. It's all in the measurements. I could have purchased a $200 power amp for my Focal speakers. I never knew. Why on earth does Focal only demo their speakers with specialist hi-end gear rather than consumer grade from Best Buy? OMG, they are in on it too! Call '60 Minutes'. Wait, 911. This is serious. I've been taken and so have so many others. #shame
I've benefited from what I felt was good info in the Plasma flat panel forum. I did crosscheck with CNET and elsewhere. I asked questions before landing on the VT50. I've been scammed on audio for 20 years now, so how can I believe anything I see or hear for myself? How can I trust what I read here or on CNET or elsewhere. It is all a scam. My brain is my own worst enemy. Well, fortunately I'm "in the know" now while others remain in the dark. My hi-end stereo components can be sold at a decent recovery to those who have no clue.

jh901.. I hope you are not making fun of my comments?biggrin.gif As I wrote, of course high end equipment have value.. I also believe that we can trust our ears.. It would be a shame to use $200 power amp for your focal speakers.. Tell you what.. since your focal speakers are probably not any better than $200 speakers, and now that you are so well informed that you are going to buy cheap amps and speakers.. I would be happy to take those focals off your hands.. After all, you are not supposed to trust your ears, yes? Hey.. just kidding..wink.gif Your focals would be amazing speakers and I am sure you have a great system.. Do your focal also have the beryllium tweeters?

But I do have to disagree with you about audio/video magazines. Certainly, they provide a lot of useful information. How ever, when was the last time any of them said "this is a bad product. It sounds or looks horrible!"? Projector has lousy contrast? Well, "if you enjoy bright picture and don't feel the need for huge contrast, this 480p projector puts out 5000 lumens and has a contrast of 100:1. It is an amazing projector for those who like brightness, if you are blind as a bat and cant see beyond 480p anyway"? Familiar?
"These are great speakers. Yes, they sound like a tin can but they are perfect for those hard of hearing, who are tuned to tin can frequencies"? I exaggerate, you say? biggrin.gif
How about "the sample piece we got broke down in an hour. it was probaby a production piece. but this manufacturer can be trusted for very reliable product". Sure.. I trust them.. I would be shocked if you would not.. smile.gif

They are bought and paid for by advertising dollars and freebies from manufacturers - trips or products! Of course there might be a few rare exceptions but I can't recall any.. Some one whose opinion I respect said many years ago, that Wide Screen review was not too bad for video but they are not completely unbiased either.. That a british magazine http://www.whathifi.com/ was less biased but I have not read whathifi.. Funny thing is, he told me about whathifi before the days of itnernet.. and I could not find the magazine in Milwaukee at that time and didn't bother to try and subscribe for it from the UK.. Only today, as I write this, I realized that I could check it out online. biggrin.gif I am too old and I have been doing this for too long, you say? smile.gif
I like consumer reports for house hold goods but unfortunately, they do not report on very high end audio/video gear. They are probably not set up for such.
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post #117 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

What do you believe can't be measured yet?
First - confession - I am not an audio expert. but I can add a few of my thoughts.. Assume perfect amp and perfect listening environment. His focal speakers are considered high end (I don't know his particular speaker but focals are well regarded by audiophiles). The quality of those speakers are not measurable just by frequency response charts. Human ear perceives audio, not only in frequency but also in phase. Then there is the subject propagation of sound waves. How does each driver work with the other? Each speaker manufacturers design them differently. Ribbon? normal tweeter? Horn? Focal's Berrylium tweeter has better phase response? Propagation of those frequencies, as perceived by the human ear? Now combine it with the mid range driver. How many of them? How about the effect of the size of each of these drivers? Personally, I prefer 15" woofer for my main speakers. Others might prefer "tighter" sound from a 12" or 10". Even if all of them have the same frequency response, they would have different appeal.. Resonation with cabinets? How are the waves from each driver integrated to the sweet spot listening location? How do you measure that?These are, but only minimal examples. The huge variations lead to huge opportunities for the manufacturer and us to decide on what is preferable/considered truly high end - not necessarily by the charts.. Audio is a lot more complicated than my tiny cerebellum can comprehend and explain eloquently.
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post #118 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 08:35 AM
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^^^

it's even more complicated when you include "beliefs" instead of just concentrating on "facts"...

"price" is not a performance spec, fwiw...
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post #119 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

If it can't be measured (yet) or there is no identified correlation between a measurment (objective) and an observation (subjective), then "it" doesn't exist except as a figment of our subconcious. Got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

If it can't be measured (yet) or there is no identified correlation between a measurment (objective) and an observation (subjective), then "it" doesn't exist except as a figment of our subconcious. Got it.

What do you believe can't be measured yet?

yes, i'm all ears on that (so to speak)... since this has been "figured out" LONG ago...

uncontrolled "subjective" observations, unfortunately, have no basis in "fact"...
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post #120 of 432 Old 11-06-2012, 08:57 AM
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^^^
"price" is not a performance spec, fwiw...
I beg to differ. While I cannot say that price is ALWAYS a performance spec on an individual unit, the price point is typically a reflection of the expectation and offering of certain performance. Extreme example is the $100 speaker Vs $5000 focal. It is a performance spec, is it not? Of course, when you compare a $3000 speaker with a $5000 speaker, I would admit that price difference between these two might or might not be a performance spec. One could argue on such a variation but the two general statements: "price is not a performance spec" or "price is ALWAYS a performance spec" - would both be inaccurate
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