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Are audio companies all involved in a huge conspiracy? - Page 44

post #1291 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucest View Post

If you didn't do post 1273 who did?
I did 1273. But not the stuff Arny is attributing to me.
post #1292 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucest View Post

If you didn't do post 1273 who did?
I did 1273. But not the stuff Arny is attributing to me.

That is true, and it is also corrected. The poster of the quoted text I replied to was brucest. My apologies, it was a clerical error editing tags.
post #1293 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not only that even reasonably priced SS amps can be very linear, have a lot of reactive load handling power, and work well with very low impedance loads.

You don't have to do null testing, all you need to do is make proper use of modern test equpment.
Hats off to John Atkinson as a leading collector of information relating to this by the means I described above. IME the most audible undesirable property of tubed amps is their relatively high source impedance.
Furthermore such differences, if they existed would have to be unmeasurable using modern test equipment, including nulling. It is well known that all instances of non-measurable "audible" differences are vaporized by DBTs. They were artifacts of sighted evaluations all along.
I experienced one of the best examples of differences due to a high cost build that I ever have when I had a Threshold SA 4E in my possession to test a couple of years back. The amp was far better than it seemed in basic testing if you did some non-traditional but fairly conventional testing. When operating at low frequencies (< 100 Hz) and with low impedance loads (< 4 ohms) it would put out as much power as you could suck power from the wall to support. At 1 KHz and an 8 ohm load it looked like a fairly conventional 125 wpc power amp. Its output under non-traditional conditions was like an order of magnitude greater.

Pick the right Martin Logan speaker or a certain legacy Infiinity speaker and this puppy would probably be the death of a great many very fine modern power amps. With normal (well-designed) speakers you would be looking at a null test. What matters to you?[/quote

]Just to be sure I understand, let me repeat in my own words: unless one absolutely prefers a small set of speakers, good measuring amps per usual tests are equal. Alternately, the cost of certain speakers should be thought of as higher than indicated because of the need for high priced amps to drive them.
post #1294 of 3048
Is there such a thing as "system synergy"? Audiophiles like to mix and match components to give a special sound that either works or does not work. That seems like incredibly hard work ... very time consuming. So outside audiophilia, does system synergy exist or is it really just a myth propagated by audio magazines?
post #1295 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucest View Post

Just to be sure I understand, let me repeat in my own words: unless one absolutely prefers a small set of speakers, good measuring amps per usual tests are equal. Alternately, the cost of certain speakers should be thought of as higher than indicated because of the need for high priced amps to drive them.

That can work.
post #1296 of 3048
Quote:
Audiophiles like to mix and match components to give a special sound that either works or does not work. That seems like incredibly hard work ... very time consuming. So outside audiophilia, does system synergy exist or is it really just a myth propagated by audio magazines?
It's a myth embraced by audiophiles because it gives them something very easy to do, instead of having to do the hard things. It's easy to imagine that a certain CD player is bright. It's easy to imagine that a certain amp is warm. And therefore it's easy to imagine that putting them both together will get you a well-balanced system. The hard thing to do, because it's real rather than imaginary, is getting your speakers and room to play well together.

There are real issues about compatibility between components. In the old days, you had to worry about cartridges and tonearms, and output impedances from tube gear, and such. Even today, there's a potential issue with amps and some speakers. But calling this "system synergy" misidentifies the problem. The challenge is about the technical compatibility of two adjacent components in the chain, and it is best resolved by measurement, not by ear.
post #1297 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Is there such a thing as "system synergy"? Audiophiles like to mix and match components to give a special sound that either works or does not work. That seems like incredibly hard work ... very time consuming. So outside audiophilia, does system synergy exist or is it really just a myth propagated by audio magazines?

Synergy is defined as that happy situation where total system performance is greater than the expected performance of the sum of its components.

I guess that one example of audio synergy could be a speaker that sounds crappy because it has a downward sloping frequency response, driven by an amplifier that that sounds crappy because it has an upward sloping frequency response, resulting in a system that sounds great because it has flat response.

So, in some sense if you have an equalizer in your AVR and it is adjusted to optimize the sound of the rest of the system, you have synergy, even though you intentionally ruined the SQ of the AVR all by itself. ;-)
post #1298 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Is there such a thing as "system synergy"? Audiophiles like to mix and match components to give a special sound that either works or does not work. That seems like incredibly hard work ... very time consuming. So outside audiophilia, does system synergy exist or is it really just a myth propagated by audio magazines?

That some people spend a lot of time, effort and money doing this is absolutely no myth. The sad side of it is that very few use any available tools to distinguish between existing effects and imagined.

Another drawback is that replacing a single component that fails or when a new unit has to go in due to new formats it could upset the balance. Keeping all transmission links as neutral as possible does not have that problem and you'll be left with "only" the issue of matching speakers to your room.
post #1299 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not only that even reasonably priced SS amps can be very linear, have a lot of reactive load handling power, and work well with very low impedance loads.

You don't have to do null testing, all you need to do is make proper use of modern test equpment.
Hats off to John Atkinson as a leading collector of information relating to this by the means I described above. IME the most audible undesirable property of tubed amps is their relatively high source impedance.
Furthermore such differences, if they existed would have to be unmeasurable using modern test equipment, including nulling. It is well known that all instances of non-measurable "audible" differences are vaporized by DBTs. They were artifacts of sighted evaluations all along.
I experienced one of the best examples of differences due to a high cost build that I ever have when I had a Threshold SA 4E in my possession to test a couple of years back. The amp was far better than it seemed in basic testing if you did some non-traditional but fairly conventional testing. When operating at low frequencies (< 100 Hz) and with low impedance loads (< 4 ohms) it would put out as much power as you could suck power from the wall to support. At 1 KHz and an 8 ohm load it looked like a fairly conventional 125 wpc power amp. Its output under non-traditional conditions was like an order of magnitude greater.

Pick the right Martin Logan speaker or a certain legacy Infiinity speaker and this puppy would probably be the death of a great many very fine modern power amps. With normal (well-designed) speakers you would be looking at a null test. What matters to you?

Arny,

I'm quite intrigued by your experience and extent of knowledge. Would you be willing to share your views on how amp performance has evolved say since 1975 as you alluded to in any earlier post? Or if you have already wwritten on such could you direct me to it. For example, when has it been since well designed amps are essentially equal? As long ago as 1985 when the CArver Challenge happened?
post #1300 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucest View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not only that even reasonably priced SS amps can be very linear, have a lot of reactive load handling power, and work well with very low impedance loads.

You don't have to do null testing, all you need to do is make proper use of modern test equpment.
Hats off to John Atkinson as a leading collector of information relating to this by the means I described above. IME the most audible undesirable property of tubed amps is their relatively high source impedance.
Furthermore such differences, if they existed would have to be unmeasurable using modern test equipment, including nulling. It is well known that all instances of non-measurable "audible" differences are vaporized by DBTs. They were artifacts of sighted evaluations all along.
I experienced one of the best examples of differences due to a high cost build that I ever have when I had a Threshold SA 4E in my possession to test a couple of years back. The amp was far better than it seemed in basic testing if you did some non-traditional but fairly conventional testing. When operating at low frequencies (< 100 Hz) and with low impedance loads (< 4 ohms) it would put out as much power as you could suck power from the wall to support. At 1 KHz and an 8 ohm load it looked like a fairly conventional 125 wpc power amp. Its output under non-traditional conditions was like an order of magnitude greater.

Pick the right Martin Logan speaker or a certain legacy Infiinity speaker and this puppy would probably be the death of a great many very fine modern power amps. With normal (well-designed) speakers you would be looking at a null test. What matters to you?

Arny,

I'm quite intrigued by your experience and extent of knowledge. Would you be willing to share your views on how amp performance has evolved say since 1975 as you alluded to in any earlier post? Or if you have already wwritten on such could you direct me to it. For example, when has it been since well designed amps are essentially equal? As long ago as 1985 when the CArver Challenge happened?

There were quite a few transparent power amps in 1975 when we started doing DBTs. The criteria we've used all along is "Transparent if not run into clipping". The circuit innovation that signalled the era of transparent amps were the SS amps that used then new-generation power devices such as the 2N3055 in the Lin circuit. Yes, they were quasi-complementary and that was one of the early controversies that we settled, which was whether full-complementary amps were required for transparency, and the answer was no. Amps of this era were subject to premature clipping with highly reactive loads, but that was clipping and so it wasn't a problem as long as the amp had enough clean power to get as loud as we needed for a good test with low efficiency speakers in a fairly large room. We did find some tubed amps that were also sonically transparent but we were not motivated to test any significant number of them.

So I would say that by 1985 good SS amps had been indistinguishable for over a decade - maybe as long as 10-15 years. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)
post #1301 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

. Keeping all transmission links as neutral as possible does not have that problem and you'll be left with "only" the issue of matching speakers to your room.

Truth, man.

As you no doubt know that's why most audio gear is designed to have low distortion and flat response - it is an easy standard to describe and test for conformance to. Thus, the world is full of electronic gear that is sonically transparent.
post #1302 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

That some people spend a lot of time, effort and money doing this is absolutely no myth. The sad side of it is that very few use any available tools to distinguish between existing effects and imagined.

Another drawback is that replacing a single component that fails or when a new unit has to go in due to new formats it could upset the balance. Keeping all transmission links as neutral as possible does not have that problem and you'll be left with "only" the issue of matching speakers to your room.


If synergy was such a big thing, how could you EVER throw any component out?

Ok, so your u-beaut interconnect was no good with THAT other component, you could not afford to get rid of it because it might just be the ticket (in the future) with this NEW component.

And think how quickly the permutations get out of hand!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)

Myth or reality?? That sort of stuff happened?

Do tell, interesting. smile.gif
post #1303 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

There were quite a few transparent power amps in 1975 when we started doing DBTs. The criteria we've used all along is "Transparent if not run into clipping". The circuit innovation that signalled the era of transparent amps were the SS amps that used then new-generation power devices such as the 2N3055 in the Lin circuit. Yes, they were quasi-complementary and that was one of the early controversies that we settled, which was whether full-complementary amps were required for transparency, and the answer was no. Amps of this era were subject to premature clipping with highly reactive loads, but that was clipping and so it wasn't a problem as long as the amp had enough clean power to get as loud as we needed for a good test with low efficiency speakers in a fairly large room. We did find some tubed amps that were also sonically transparent but we were not motivated to test any significant number of them.

So I would say that by 1985 good SS amps had been indistinguishable for over a decade - maybe as long as 10-15 years. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)

I remember back when I had a Dynaco Stereo 70 and SS receivers and amps were being introduced. The SS receivers and amps sounded really harsh. My brother loaned me a first gen. SS Macintosh that sounded horrible to me, it was several years old at the time. I went back to my Dynaco. He also found the Mac to be harsh. Quite a difference from today's SS amps which are very transparent.
post #1304 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

There were quite a few transparent power amps in 1975 when we started doing DBTs. The criteria we've used all along is "Transparent if not run into clipping". The circuit innovation that signalled the era of transparent amps were the SS amps that used then new-generation power devices such as the 2N3055 in the Lin circuit. Yes, they were quasi-complementary and that was one of the early controversies that we settled, which was whether full-complementary amps were required for transparency, and the answer was no. Amps of this era were subject to premature clipping with highly reactive loads, but that was clipping and so it wasn't a problem as long as the amp had enough clean power to get as loud as we needed for a good test with low efficiency speakers in a fairly large room. We did find some tubed amps that were also sonically transparent but we were not motivated to test any significant number of them.

So I would say that by 1985 good SS amps had been indistinguishable for over a decade - maybe as long as 10-15 years. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)

I remember back when I had a Dynaco Stereo 70 and SS receivers and amps were being introduced. The SS receivers and amps sounded really harsh. My brother loaned me a first gen. SS Macintosh that sounded horrible to me, it was several years old at the time. I went back to my Dynaco. He also found the Mac to be harsh. Quite a difference from today's SS amps which are very transparent.

The mid-range tubed amps of the era still had fairly high source impedances. I can't find any measurements for the origional ST70 (of which I owned several), but this report on a re-release of it gives some ideas:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/dynaco-stereo-70-ii-power-amplifier-measurements

"Its output impedance from the 8 ohm tap was 0.7 ohm from 20Hz to 1kHz, falling to 0.46 ohm at 20kHz. From the 4 ohm tap, these values were reduced to 0.5 ohm from 20Hz to 1kHz, falling at 20kHz to 0.4 ohm. Using the 16 ohm tap, the output impedance rose to about 1.37 ohms between 20Hz and 1kHz, and dropped to 0.99 ohm at 20kHz, with some load dependence noticeable."

Depending on what the impedance curve of your speakers was, this could cause a roll-off at the high end of the audio band. SS amps generally have far lower output source impedances, often a tiny fraction of an ohm rising to around two tenths of an ohm at 20 KHz due to the common addition of a LC network that enhances stability and durability. Bottom line, a SS amp is pretty good as a reference device, while tubed amps tend to sound a bit mooshy in comparison. Of course in the days of tubes the tables were turned and the SS amp is likely to sound crisp.

Also, I'll play the blind test card yet once again. We did a fair number of tube versus SS comparisons back in the day and our first perception was that the audible difference if it was audible, was always far less than what we perceived in our sighted evaluations.

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_pwr.htm shows an audible difference between a Dyna 400 and a Paoli 60. The Paoli 60 was a mildly hot-rodded version of the Dyna Mark III tubed amp.

http://www.the-planet.org/dynaco/Amplifier/Mark%20III.pdf

http://home.indy.net/~gregdunn/dynaco/components/ST400/index.html
post #1305 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

There were quite a few transparent power amps in 1975 when we started doing DBTs. The criteria we've used all along is "Transparent if not run into clipping". The circuit innovation that signalled the era of transparent amps were the SS amps that used then new-generation power devices such as the 2N3055 in the Lin circuit. Yes, they were quasi-complementary and that was one of the early controversies that we settled, which was whether full-complementary amps were required for transparency, and the answer was no. Amps of this era were subject to premature clipping with highly reactive loads, but that was clipping and so it wasn't a problem as long as the amp had enough clean power to get as loud as we needed for a good test with low efficiency speakers in a fairly large room. We did find some tubed amps that were also sonically transparent but we were not motivated to test any significant number of them.

So I would say that by 1985 good SS amps had been indistinguishable for over a decade - maybe as long as 10-15 years. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)

Thanks indeed. Complementary means? And is it safe to assume that such circuity components have improved over the years and gotten cheaper? Examples?
post #1306 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucest View Post


Complementary means?

Here's a good general reference:

http://users.ece.gatech.edu/mleach/lowtim/output.html

Figure 1. is a typical complementary Output stage.



All of the upper half transistors are NPN - the little emitter arrow is pointing out and current from the positive supply flows into the transistor's collector and out the emitter.

All of the lower half transistors are PNP - the little emitter arrow is pointing in and current from the positive source which is the upper half of the output stage into the transistor's emitter and out the collector.

Figure 7. is a typical Quasi-complementary output stage.



The goal is to actually do the same thing, and the upper half works about the same.

All of the lower half transistors are a mixture of PNP and NPN transistors tricked up so that they work in a way that is similar to Figure 1. This method was used because in the early days of SS, PNP output transistors were like hen's teeth. The asymmetries lead to somewhat poorer measured performance, but the circuit could be perfected well enough that they sounded the same, anyway.
Quote:
And is it safe to assume that such circuity components have improved over the years and gotten cheaper? Examples?

Yes. All of the transistors have become far less costly for a given power level. I can remember when fairly crappy fragile output transistors cost over $30 each. In similar quanties a far better part may be now less than a dollar. The SS devices have also become faster, better able to withstand heat, have more gain and are better able to handle reactive loads and shorts. The actual circuitry has not changed all that much. In some low end AVRs the output stages are implemented as single chip or as a hybrid integrated circuit, but the performance can still be more than good enough.
Edited by arnyk - 2/6/13 at 5:44pm
post #1307 of 3048
"All of the lower half transistors are NPN - the little emitter arrow is pointing in and current from the positive source which is the upper half of the output stage into the transistor's emitter and out the collector."

That's a typo. The lower half transistors are PNP.
post #1308 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by terry j View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)

Myth or reality?? That sort of stuff happened?

Do tell, interesting. smile.gif

Yes, more often than PL would like to admit... My 700 was a great amp when it worked but the least reliable amp I have ever owned. It ran hot and tended to self-destruct. It also had a nasty habit of taking the speakers with it when it blew as the output transistors tended to short and apply the supply rail across the output. Goodby woofers, including a couple in my Infinity IRS 2's... I got tired of replacing output transistors and ballast resistors. I sold it to a band after the last time I fixed it, and they managed to blow it up on their first gig with it. I took the money and made lemonade.

Although others have reported issues with 400's, I never had problems with any of the PL 400's we sold or that friends had. The 700B also seemed a little better but we sold fewer so a lower sample size. Aside: I hated the Cube, one of the few amps I could readily hear, and did not like.
post #1309 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

So I would say that by 1985 good SS amps had been indistinguishable for over a decade - maybe as long as 10-15 years. AFAIK the PL 400 and 700 were transparent, the latter conditioned on it not being on fire! ;-)
I still have my PL400, which worked 100% reliably since I bought it new way back circa 1970. But to keep the heat down I placed a slow spinning whisper fan behind each bank of transistors (which were conveniently sized to fit such fans perfectly).

The extra cooling afforded me the opportunity to tweak up the bias current a bit and reduce the crossover distortion. I cannot say it made much of a difference, but I felt better.

Fast forward to 2011, when a FW glitch in a surround processor unit I was testing took out a fuse in my L/R amp (Classe CA201). While I awaited the replacement, I pressed the old PL400 back into service. As far I as could tell, it had not changed over the years, and worked perfectly after a long hibernation. But the sound was decidedly harder and glassier sounding that the Classe it replaced. I don't think, based on this one sample, I could consider the PL400 as transparent.
post #1310 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Yes, more often than PL would like to admit... My 700 was a great amp when it worked but the least reliable amp I have ever owned. It ran hot and tended to self-destruct. It also had a nasty habit of taking the speakers with it when it blew as the output transistors tended to short and apply the supply rail across the output. Goodby woofers, including a couple in my Infinity IRS 2's... I got tired of replacing output transistors and ballast resistors. I sold it to a band after the last time I fixed it, and they managed to blow it up on their first gig with it. I took the money and made lemonade.

Although others have reported issues with 400's, I never had problems with any of the PL 400's we sold or that friends had. The 700B also seemed a little better but we sold fewer so a lower sample size. Aside: I hated the Cube, one of the few amps I could readily hear, and did not like.

Oh, so there was a 700 AND a 700B?

never knew. Ha, I have a 700B on my bass drivers.

Maybe the B was for 'better fire rated'?

Never heard of any of this before, which is why it was interesting
post #1311 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

"All of the lower half transistors are NPN - the little emitter arrow is pointing in and current from the positive source which is the upper half of the output stage into the transistor's emitter and out the collector."

That's a typo. The lower half transistors are PNP.

True. Thanks for the correction. I fixed the post.
post #1312 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Truth, man.

As you no doubt know that's why most audio gear is designed to have low distortion and flat response - it is an easy standard to describe and test for conformance to. Thus, the world is full of electronic gear that is sonically transparent.

Depends a little bit on how anal one is in the testing. One of the more common flaws is the roll-off towards DC being set too high so it's a detectable difference up to the end of the infrasonic range for those with such capabilities. But if we stick to what's detectable outside a well arranged, fast switchable, ABX between input and output, then I'm totally with you on that.

For instance; Last LTS test I read was for the NAD C375BEE integrated and while they had no problems to detect it with statistically sound confidence, they also concluded the coloration was both so small it would be undetected in normal listening and of a benign nature. Wasn't surprised about that, I've heard it driving a pair of B&W 802 Diamonds quite flawlessly and to decent volumes in that room too. It would be strange if it would not also apply to the matching 275 power amp that can be used bridged for one channel if you bridge the 375. A true budget bomb, I'd say, given that they cost 50% more here than in the States.
post #1313 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by terry j View Post

If synergy was such a big thing, how could you EVER throw any component out?

Ok, so your u-beaut interconnect was no good with THAT other component, you could not afford to get rid of it because it might just be the ticket (in the future) with this NEW component.

And think how quickly the permutations get out of hand!

Well, haven't you met a number of people in your life who's got new gear every time you meet them? For them it seems a big thing, for me - I think they're deep in placebo land. But definitely the permutations are way out of hand.

On the other hand, they're probably keeping the shops alive for the rest of us.... biggrin.gif
post #1314 of 3048
thankfully I don't associate with guys like that. They would not get along with me smile.gif
post #1315 of 3048
Had an argument with my friend over bi-amping and he tells me his 200 x5 Rotel, biamping his fronts sends 200 watts to his fronts for bass and 200 watts to the highs. I told him that 200 watts to his highs would fry the tweeter and tweeters can't handle that kind of power. I thought bi-amping would result in the same/similar power and not produce same to the highs and lows.
post #1316 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Had an argument with my friend over bi-amping and he tells me his 200 x5 Rotel, biamping his fronts sends 200 watts to his fronts for bass and 200 watts to the highs. I told him that 200 watts to his highs would fry the tweeter and tweeters can't handle that kind of power. I thought bi-amping would result in the same/similar power and not produce same to the highs and lows.
His bass has 200w available, and his tweeter has 200w available. Interestingly, that statement remains the true whether we are talking about bi-amping or not.
post #1317 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Had an argument with my friend over bi-amping and he tells me his 200 x5 Rotel, biamping his fronts sends 200 watts to his fronts for bass and 200 watts to the highs. I told him that 200 watts to his highs would fry the tweeter and tweeters can't handle that kind of power. I thought bi-amping would result in the same/similar power and not produce same to the highs and lows.
Bi amping does not double the power to the speaker? Is that what you mean?
post #1318 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Had an argument with my friend over bi-amping and he tells me his 200 x5 Rotel, biamping his fronts sends 200 watts to his fronts for bass and 200 watts to the highs. I told him that 200 watts to his highs would fry the tweeter and tweeters can't handle that kind of power. I thought bi-amping would result in the same/similar power and not produce same to the highs and lows.

Is there a crossover somewhere, i.e. in the speaker or after/within the preamp out?
post #1319 of 3048
Yeah, he thinks instead of receiving 200 watts for his fronts ... total, he is getting 200 watts for the highs and 200 watts for the lows. That's how I understood his argument due to the fact that he is bi-amping. His speakers are Polk Audio RTI-A9's.. so have a crossover.
post #1320 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler 
His bass has 200w available, and his tweeter has 200w available. Interestingly, that statement remains the true whether we are talking about bi-amping or not.

How is that? There is only 200 watts per channel. I would imagine only a fraction goes to the tweeter and the larger proportion goes to the woofer. You saying 400 watts? confused.gif Not sure.
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