Originally Posted by JHAz
Actually, it appears that in double blind testing, people cannot distinguish a high end amp from a non-high end amp as long as both are operating within their linear ranges. Which is to say that the betrter sound I heard from my Bryston was placebo effect. Ah, well . . . .
Yep, hit the proverbial nail on the head, along with your comment on Mr Ohm. Lots of people love to make all sorts of completely subjective self imagined claims about being able to hear large differences in sound by changing cables, changing interconnects, changing amps or changing from a receiver to a dedicated amp, etc. Objective blind testing has proven that when comparing two capable power systems for the speakers in question being driven these claims are simply nonsense and untrue.
Yes, it is true that if the receiver you are using is substantially underpowered for trying to drive the speakers you are using, moving to a bigger receiver or a receiver plus a separate more powerful amp could result in audible differences you could detect. However, for the system the original poster described, this simply is not the case as his receiver is perfectly cable of driving those speakers easily to his desired listening levels within his set up.
For all these "golden ears" who claim they can hear all these differences, I would suggest you offer them a simple challenge: go buy a new receiver, and a new separate amp and hook them up to your speakers. Then invite them over, sit them down in your primary listening position, blind fold them and conduct your own series of blind tests with equally weighted sound levels when playing the separate amp setup versus your current receiver. See if they can actually tell which is which so easily? Ill wager you the cost of your new amp and upgraded receiver they will not be able to accurately tell you which power set up is which any better than pure random guessing. Objective bling testing supports my assertion. Im not guessing here, Im simply regurgitating what has ALREADY been proven in a number of objective random tests on the subject. Remove the placebo effect, remove the nonsense and have someone, anyone PROVE to you they can actually hear all these huge diffrences in sound that are claimed by the "golden ears." If they prove me wrong Ill buy your new components. If they cant, they buy them for you. They had better bring a good load of cash with them when they venture over to your home, because they"ll be buying your new system, not me. :-)
Unfortunately the AV world, like so many other hobbies has become inundated with people who believe money always buys something perceptually better. Sometimes it is true, often you are buying marketing hype and little else that is actually relevant to your uses. Will a $10k Krell amp put out more clean power than your receiver? Absolutely! Does it mean a hill of beans if you put it in your dwcribed set up with your describe use and speakers? Flat out NO! Hook that Krell up to the speakers you described and listen to them using your described usage, and Ill tell you now, No One, No One, would be able to detect an audible difference between your speakers played through that amp versus your current receiver. Sorry they wont! The plain reality is your speakers, ANY speakers, even $100K speakers put out orders more distortion than even a basic plain jane $500 receiver does regarding distortion which effects the sound output from the speaker. Thats a physical, mechanical, electrical fact! It's reality. The power source simply is not anywhere near as important to your output sound as the speaker is unless the power source is truly incapable of comfortably driving the speakers involved and is clipping. That is fact despite the "golden ears" placebo, buyer rationalization, claims to the contrary.
Sorry for being so long winded, but I get sick listening to self professed golden ears telling newbies they need to spend silly , ridiculous, bordering on ciminal amounts of cash on amps, cables, interconnects, etc to get good sound. It simply isnt true! Most of this uber high end stuff is little more than fluff sold to individuals who you could convince a turd tasted great if you put a $200 price tag on it, and sold it through a Whole Foods store. It reminds me of the moronic cable claims. Inside those $10k speakers, the wires are basic copper wire with a simple plastic housing, little different than a simple Belden cable or any wire you could buy from a Lowes or Home Depot! But yet somehow by magic, once you get outside the speaker that simple copper wire is no longer acceptable to providing good sound according the the cable "golden ear" proponents. Now all of a sudden you need some $500/ foot Koolaid Shunyata or Nordost snake oil cable sprinkled with fairy dust which of course "magically transforms" your sound according to the self professed "golden ears." If you listen to their drivel, that nosebleed cable magically changes the output sound of your speakers even though the physical FACT is the signal from that magic cable ends up being routed through a simple plain jane copper wire once it is inside the speaker, and before it reaches the speakers driver! The claim does not make sense, does it? Just goes to show the amount of pure snake oil complete BS which has become common place in this hobby. Snake oil improvment claims sold as fact, when all one would have to do is simply peek inside their speaker, look at the wires it uses, and if you had even a modicum of logic in your head youd know the utter nonsense and pure 100 percent bullsheot being sold by firms like Nordost, Shunyata, Monster, etc.... My rant is now done. :-)Edited by Breako - 11/3/12 at 8:52am