Originally Posted by mcsoul
How would you measure clarity and color? VVS1 F like a diamond? No, if you cannot measure it, your mind reflecting on your wallet and guided by your ego is filling in the sonic scenery. But, actually I'm totally ok with that, to each his own. I like big heavy and expensive amps too.
first of all, how would i measure clarity and color?
please dont get me started on laboratory-grade measuring equipment.
that stuff can get detailed and sensitive enough to stop functioning properly when there is too much static in the air.
if you are calling me a fool because i believe that the total harmonic distortion values are not the absolute best way to test an amplifier.. that would be fine if you told me the amps where being reported with real numbers that have a valid say.
my receiver says it puts out 100 watts in stereo at 0.09% total harmonic distortion.
when the receiver is put into surround sound mode, the total harmonic distortion changes to 0.7%
i can hear a difference when i switch from 2ch to surround sound.
a total harmonic distortion value does not necessarily express that the amplifier can reproduce transients.
having good harmonics means the amplifier will have a good sonic signature.
this is good to have when you want to experience strong 3D fade/balance effects.
having good transients means the midranges will produce vocals with extra clarity and detail.
a generic step by step process:
first, you stop clipping the soundwave until it starts to sound like something that can be understood.
then, you continue to clean up those soundwaves until the sound gets more clarity (good harmonics) this is where the amplifier starts to gain the ability to play more than one thing at a time.
finally, you need the amplifier to have a reaction time fast enough to play the itty-bitty details (good transients) this is where the amplifier will start to gain the ability to play more 'zoomed-in' realistic.
an amplifier that has low harmonic distortion, but cannot play transients well.. the amplifier wont reproduce the sound of a guitar pick touching the string with high resolution detail.
an amplifier that has high harmonic distortion, but CAN play transients well.. the sound of the guitar pick touching the string will be louder and more detailed.
those giant paper woofers used at concerts usually have high amounts of transient detail with less harmonic ability.
you dont want a whole lot of harmonics on those speakers because it will cause the speakers to move in and out more.
that is why you can hear lots of little details from the microphones as the band members pick up their guitars and get ready to start playing music.
they are massive chunks of transients.. and if those chunks get any bigger, they will be known as harmonics.
most DJ equipment that you hear at the bar will have decent harmonic distortion values.. but they literally dont have any transients.
that is why the speakers sound extra rich and almost muddy.
they use the giant chunk size to throw the sound far away from the speaker.
do i care if the amplifier can send large pulses of electricity to the speaker without distortion? yes
do i care if the amplifier can send tiny 'sparks' to the speaker? yes
if you wanna go on and on about how low your harmonic distortion is, then you need to fill up the entire room with bass and be proud at how accurate the bass is when you feel it with the hair on your arms (or your pants and t-shirt)
that doesnt say anything about being able to play details that the midrange and tweeter need to sound superb.
having all that low distortion for the bass doesnt do any good if the midrange and tweeter are lifeless.
you dont even need audiophile woofers to know the difference.. sure, it helps.
but any mid-grade midrange is enough to inform you of the difference.
i think i picked a perfect example with the guitar pick touching the string.
that is where the life and realism is for the midrange and treble.
harmonic distortion is the life and realism for the woofer and subwoofer.
low harmonic distortion doesnt mean the amplifier can reproduce transients.
so why do i care about low harmonic distortion numbers?
wouldnt you expect the amplifier to have transients if the harmonic distortion was low enough?
and if you brought the amplifier home and realized that the midrange details are not as good as you wanted.. wouldnt you be upset?
i think you aimed the punch in the right direction.
people's wallets and ego's are paying for sonic scenary.. not midrange/tweeter details.
i am downright scared to buy another receiver, because i dont want to waste the time and gasoline to keep bringing the receiver back to the store.
online shipping is even worse..!
if you find a good deal and the amplifier isnt good enough, you gotta pay to ship it back.
you already had to wait 3-4 days for the thing to arrive.. now you have to wait another 3-4 days for the thing to get sent back.
then another 3-4 days for the next selection to arrive.
if audio was mud..
the clipping distortion is how big the chunks of mud are.
the harmonic distortion is how much mud gets spread across the floor because of the chunks of mud.
and transient distortion is how much of the mud you can smell in the air.
transients are literally that small.
and if you want high resolution audio, you need details in the sonic signature and the midrange/tweeter.
unfortunately, there is no specification that tells us if the amplifier can play transients.
all you need to measure these distortions are speakers that you know are capable of playing details when requested.
i think its a lot harder to find a 12 inch woofer that will play transients compared to any mid-grade midrange.
i would bring my own speaker and my own music to test the receiver or amplifier.. that way i know what to listen for and should be able to come to a conclusion in less than 60 seconds.