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hafler amps run circles around new modern amps?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
According to this guy they do. What do you think?
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_778M3IS/Musical-Fidelity-M3i-Silver.html?tp=34948#customer-reviews-tab

I hear so many good things about Musical Fidelity being amazing though. Is old school Hafler really better then that brand any other more modern amp brands?
post #2 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

According to this guy they do. What do you think?
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_778M3IS/Musical-Fidelity-M3i-Silver.html?tp=34948#customer-reviews-tab

The guy is obviously a true believer in the idea that there are dramatic sonic differences among good amplifiers. That pretty well disqualifies everything he says right there.
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I hear so many good things about Musical Fidelity being amazing though. Is old school Hafler really better then that brand any other more modern amp brands?

Of course not. Yes the DH200 was a great sounding amp, but it is hardly alone in that category.
post #3 of 38
I agree with Arnold. There are MANY great modern amps that far exceed any of the 'old' amps. For one, components have improved and are relatively cheaper today than they were, especially for SS. With that said, SS components dont last forever, especially caps. I wouldnt trust an old amp without replacing suspect components.
post #4 of 38
Hafler amplifiers were fairly good-sounding in their day. On the other hand, I remember hearing A/B comparisons in an audio studio many years ago, and there were certainly a number of amplifiers of various brands that sounded better then , including Audio Research , Bryston, and Classe, to name a few.

I own a Musical Fidelity M3i, and IMO it is a MUCH better-sounding amplifier than anything Hafler ever made.

The same is also true of any amplifier from Bryston, Audio Research, or Pass or VAC IMO.

To me, saying that all amplifiers sound the same makes about as much sense as saying that all cars get you from point A to point B so there is absolutely no difference between a Corvette, a Bentley, a Porsche and a Toyota Corolla.

Those who want to think that way are welcome to do so, but it is certainly not what my ears tell me.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Hafler amplifiers were fairly good-sounding in their day. On the other hand, I remember hearing A/B comparisons in an audio studio many years ago, and there were certainly a number of amplifiers of various brands that sounded better then , including Audio Research , Bryston, and Classe, to name a few.

I own a Musical Fidelity M3i, and IMO it is a MUCH better-sounding amplifier than anything Hafler ever made.

The same is also true of any amplifier from Bryston, Audio Research, or Pass or VAC IMO.

To me, saying that all amplifiers sound the same makes about as much sense as saying that all cars get you from point A to point B so there is absolutely no difference between a Corvette, a Bentley, a Porsche and a Toyota Corolla.

Those who want to think that way are welcome to do so, but it is certainly not what my ears tell me.

If you want to maintain this state of mind, stay away from level-matched, double blind amplifier listening tests. ;-)

To me people who think they can taste-test amplifiers and find they all sound different are just admitting that they never done an amplifier listening test done the right way - level matched and DBT.
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I remember hearing A/B comparisons in an audio studio many years ago, and there were certainly a number of amplifiers of various brands that sounded better then ,
.
it is a MUCH better-sounding amplifier than anything Hafler ever made.
.
To me, saying that all amplifiers sound the same makes about as much sense as saying that
.
Those who want to think that way are welcome to do so, but it is certainly not what my ears tell me.
commsysman, did you match levels when those amps were compared?
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I remember hearing A/B comparisons in an audio studio many years ago, and there were certainly a number of amplifiers of various brands that sounded better then ,
.
it is a MUCH better-sounding amplifier than anything Hafler ever made.
.
To me, saying that all amplifiers sound the same makes about as much sense as saying that
.
Those who want to think that way are welcome to do so, but it is certainly not what my ears tell me.
commsysman, did you match levels when those amps were compared?

I have never seen an audio store that did a proper job of comparing amps or any other kind of electronics.

After all, their goal is to sell equipment, and doing proper listening tests can go against that.
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
isn't musical fidelity supposed to be one of the best amps that money can buy? I see so many people praise the brand.
post #9 of 38
Thread Starter 
I have never got to hear a Hafler amp, but someday I would like to. They get a lot of praise also for being good sounding.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
isn't musical fidelity supposed to be one of the best amps that money can buy? I see so many people praise the brand.
I think that's because one of the Yahoos at Stereophile won't write about anything else.
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
maybe the audio stores can't do proper test, because of the limited space that they sometimes have.
post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 
These Stereophile people get a bad rep online. I read a lot of reviews of people saying that they rate bad products good because they advertise. Is it true that they do that, or just a rumor?
post #13 of 38
Quote:
maybe the audio stores can't do proper test, because of the limited space that they sometimes have.
If you have space to listen, you have space to listen the right way.

What they don't have is the economic incentive to let their customers' ears alone make the buying decisions.
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
is best buy magnolia the worst at not having enough space in the showroom for a good test?
post #15 of 38
Quote:
These Stereophile people get a bad rep online. I read a lot of reviews of people saying that they rate bad products good because they advertise. Is it true that they do that, or just a rumor?
Well, they mostly don't review bad products, which avoids the problem. But when they review bad products, they praise them anyway. It's not just the advertisers; it's really what the readers want to hear. They want to believe that if you spend enough and are discerning enough, you can have a better audio system than the Joneses next door. It ain't necessarily so, but if Stereophile admitted that they'd be out of business tomorrow.
post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 
you make good points mcnarus. stereophile is like the think they are better then you audio store that won't talk to you demo anything etc without an appointment?
post #17 of 38
Thread Starter 
I mean they cater to a certain crowd of readers and shoppers
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

I have never got to hear a Hafler amp, but someday I would like to. They get a lot of praise also for being good sounding.

I've done a lot of listening through Hafler amps, and on balance they have been good amps - generally free of audible flaws. Hafler amps were used in many of the Stereo Review DBTs. I know that Hafler amps were used by the Bell Labs scientists that helped invent MP3, which involved a lot of critical listening.

You can read about Halfer amps here:

http://www.hafler.com

At this site you can find quite a bit of detailed information about their products.

They were bought out by Rockford Corp (car sound) in 1987.

http://www.rockfordcorp.com/
Edited by arnyk - 12/13/12 at 6:00pm
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 
oh I see thanks for helping me understand more about the Hafler amps.
post #20 of 38
Thread Starter 
what is your impression of rotel integrated amps arny? do you think they are worth it or overpriced? I only heard them with b&w. I am curious how good or bad that they sound with other brands.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
maybe the audio stores can't do proper test, because of the limited space that they sometimes have.
If you have space to listen, you have space to listen the right way.

What they don't have is the economic incentive to let their customers' ears alone make the buying decisions.

Several of of the Best Buy stores I have been at have had amplifier switching setups that seemed to be capable of doing level-matched tests if properly set up. I've never found one that actually seemed to make any serious attempt at matching levels.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
what is your impression of rotel integrated amps arny? do you think they are worth it or overpriced? I only heard them with b&w. I am curious how good or bad that they sound with other brands.
Not to put words in Arny's mouth, but their sound is just like a lot of other brands. What we're both trying to tell you is that differences between amps are much exaggerated.

I like Rotel, though, because their products are well-built. I've found them to be pricier than NAD, say, but more reliable.
post #23 of 38
Thread Starter 
what nad product wasn't reliable for you mcnarus? is rotel as good as musical fidelity? what scares me about rotel is that I hear that it's picky what brands that you use it with.
post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
at the store though they sound so good though and make me tempted to buy them. I never got to compare a rotel amp and another brand at the same store though, because a lot of them seem to only want to sell the b&w and rotel combo. The only thing that I got to compare rotel to at the same store was parasound.
post #25 of 38
Thread Starter 
how come some amps seem more bright to me then others though?
post #26 of 38
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what scares me about rotel is that I hear that it's picky what brands that you use it with.
That's nonsense.
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how come some amps seem more bright to me then others though?
Two likely reasons:

1) You're comparing amps playing at different volume levels. The louder you play it, the more high frequencies you will hear. And it only has to be a fraction of a dB louder for this to work--it doesn't even have to sound louder.

2) You're infuenced by factors other than the sound. If someone tells you a particular brand is bright, or you read a review somewhere that suggests that, that's very likely how you'll hear it. It would be great if we were perfectly calibrated sound measurement devices, but we're not. What we think we hear is influenced by al sorts of things.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

what is your impression of rotel integrated amps arny?

Current line looks like they are intended for the high end professional installer market.
Quote:
do you think they are worth it or overpriced? I only heard them with b&w. I am curious how good or bad that they sound with other brands.

Overpriced. Probably nothing at all wrong with how they sound.
post #28 of 38
Thread Starter 
I did not see what volume level that the dealers had the Amps on so you make a good point about higher frequencies and loud volumes.
post #29 of 38
I'm not as agnostic as Arnie, I do believe that there are subtle 'voicing' or 'house sound' characteristics to various makes/brands. They may not be necessarily differentiable in a DBT, but that doesnt mean that there are no meaningful differences. IMO, the audiophile needs to be well versed in the sounds of different kit, and make a choice based on that, as well as their budget. There are few 'bad' choices in audio, but many less than optimal choices.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post

I do believe that there are subtle 'voicing' or 'house sound' characteristics to various makes/brands. They may not be necessarily differentiable in a DBT,
Voicing or house sound means that something is audibly distinctive. If it's not audible, there is no distinctive sound characteristics to name.
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but that doesnt mean that there are no meaningful differences.
There are measurable differences even though they may be too small for us to discern with our ears.
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IMO, the audiophile needs to be well versed in the sounds of different kit,
Well, they may not be necessarily differentiable in a DBT. In such case, what is there to be versed in?
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