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Count 1 more for all receivers sound the same - Page 7

post #181 of 540
Very true, the comparison with TVs is a very poor one. Amps are a whole different thing and much simpler and less variable than a tv.
post #182 of 540
I think it comes down to this: Based on test cases with simple and complex waveforms, we can precisely predict what the effect of a power amplifier should be, which is to exactly duplicate the waveforms at a much higher level. Any deviation from this can be considered a defect (or, if we've exceeded the power rating, outside the performance envelope), although apparently some defects are considered pleasing to some ears.
post #183 of 540
If better dynamics, clearer sound, better bass response, better Soundstaging and more natural or better tonal balance is defects, I'll take the defective amp every time. These are changes I heard from upgrading amps. All amps I owned would be considered well designed. Although in my personal experience only using ears to gauge sound quality and listening enjoyment.
post #184 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

If better dynamics, clearer sound, better bass response, better Soundstaging and more natural or better tonal balance is defects, I'll take the defective amp every time. These are changes I heard from upgrading amps. All amps I owned would be considered well designed. Although in my personal experience only using ears to gauge sound quality and listening enjoyment.

If you understand what it takes to provide better dynamics, clearer sound, better bass response, better Soundstaging and more natural or better tonal balance from a technical standpoint, then you will also understand that odds of a broken amp l doing any or all of those things well or at all is pretty much zero.

Given that your experiments with changing amps were no doubt all sighed evaluations with mismatched levels, random musical selections and separated in time by more than a few seconds, your reactions were unlikely to relate to actual reliable changes to SQ.

Take a good amp, some good speakers, add a good equalizer and adjust the equalizer well, and you will obtain the best possible perception of better dynamics, clearer sound, better bass response, better Soundstaging and more natural or better tonal balance that you can obtain without getting into equally productive efforts such as room acoustics. Of course you should work on the room as well.
Edited by arnyk - 2/8/13 at 5:44am
post #185 of 540
Lots of folks can hear the different sonic signatures of amps, you are one of the few who claim it is not possible. Changes may be small though compared to a change of speakers, room change or treatments.
post #186 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

If better dynamics, clearer sound, better bass response, better Soundstaging and more natural or better tonal balance is defects, I'll take the defective amp every time. These are changes I heard from upgrading amps. All amps I owned would be considered well designed. Although in my personal experience only using ears to gauge sound quality and listening enjoyment.

Bass response and "tonal balance" (frequency response) are easily measured and most amps are equal in that regard. Better "dynamics," and better "soundstaging" cannot be quantified so remain highly suspect. As someone said, that which is offered without evidence does not require evidence to refute.
post #187 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

Bass response and "tonal balance" (frequency response) are easily measured and most amps are equal in that regard. Better "dynamics," and better "soundstaging" cannot be quantified so remain highly suspect. As someone said, that which is offered without evidence does not require evidence to refute.

But why then did Bryston, Carver and even Emotiva? (to name a few) tweak their amp designs over the years for better sound, even though the earlier designs were "perfect" regarding basic frequency response specs?
post #188 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

But why then did Bryston, Carver and even Emotiva? (to name a few) tweak their amp designs over the years for better sound, even though the earlier designs were "perfect" regarding basic frequency response specs?

Deliberate coloration is sometimes used with amps but it would show in tests. When tests cannot reveal the difference than one must assume its not there. Why would someone "lie" about this? A single word, marketing.
post #189 of 540
Whatever you name "tweaking" ist not qualified in any way.
It could be more power, better specs, better looks, better features, better pricing (for the manufacturer), newer parts, cheaper parts, newer or better design, more trendy... you name it. The list could be extended in several directions.
The term "better SQ" is highly subjective and most of the time marketing babble, because you could just become poetic in every way you want to without any obligation to reality or proof of existence.
This is truly the part for the "believers" among us biggrin.gif Feed the crowd and give them, what they want to hear (and like to believe in).
post #190 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

Lots of folks can hear the different sonic signatures of amps, you are one of the few who claim it is not possible. Changes may be small though compared to a change of speakers, room change or treatments.

 

Lots of folks believe they can... ears aren't all that much use for the purpose of comparing, for the reasons given many times - incredibly short auditory memory, mismatched levels, expectation bias, placebo effect etc etc.

 

Good, well-designed amps don't have 'sonic signatures'. Their job is to take an input signal and output that signal unchanged except in amplitude. If the output differs from the input (other than in amplitude) then the amp is introducing, by definition, distortion. Modern, well-designed amps have practically zero distortion when they are working within their stated design parameters - and what distortion they do have is well outside the audible range and thus immaterial. It follows that if modern, well-designed amps do not distort the signal, and pass it through the amp without change (other than in amplitude) then they cannot possibly 'sound different' one from another. 

 

I can’t see that you can disagree with the statement that modern, well-designed amps pass the signal undistorted and unchanged, because every independent test shows the response characteristics of the amp under test, and the FR, for example, is invariably ruler flat from 20Hz to 20Khz, distortion well below the threshold of audibility etc. So given that, what do you think could account for any sonic differences? 

post #191 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

Bass response and "tonal balance" (frequency response) are easily measured and most amps are equal in that regard. Better "dynamics," and better "soundstaging" cannot be quantified so remain highly suspect. As someone said, that which is offered without evidence does not require evidence to refute.

But why then did Bryston, Carver and even Emotiva? (to name a few) tweak their amp designs over the years for better sound, even though the earlier designs were "perfect" regarding basic frequency response specs?

It is easy to put the older amp and the newer amp on a testbench and compare them for differences. But if the original amp had a ruler flat response from 20Hz to 20KHz (as decent amps have had for decades) and if the distortion levels measured for the rated power are well below the threshold of audibility (as they have been for decent amps for decades), then how could a newer amp improve on that? You can't improve a flat FR from 20Hz to 20KHz - once you have achieved it, that's it. 

 

Years ago - back in the 70s - amps may have sounded different to each other - component manufacture in those days was not as sophisticated as it is today for example and one manufacturer may have used very cheap components to keep costs down, while another used expensive components. But these days, even the cheap components exceed the specifications needed so manufacturers of the kind of amps we on this thread would consider using (major brands) use these components simply because once you have a component that delivers 100%, there is no point in trying to go one better. 

 

Of course, when a manufacturer brings out a newer amp, he has to convince you somehow to part with your cash - seems like you believe them ;)  Welcome to the world of Marketing.

post #192 of 540
Okay guys, I heard all this before. So I guess it means from AVS forums experts perspective, the majority of people only imagine better SQ. And the few who know better are the smart ones not to be fooled by those darn audio gear manufacturers. I had my eye on those new Carver 180 tube amps, but might hold off now. They sure look cool though!
post #193 of 540
I'm not convinced that a general sample of the population would do well in ANY DBT regarding audio, be it amplifiers, MP3 vs FLAC, or even similarly designed speakers covering a wide price range. Does that mean that all audio gear sounds the same and our hobby is pointless? Might be time for me to switch over to woodworking or something... biggrin.gif

And yes, I realize there are "measurable" differences between speakers and lossy/lossless audio, I just have my doubts that the average Joe would hear these differences.
post #194 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

Okay guys, I heard all this before. So I guess it means from AVS forums experts perspective, the majority of people only imagine better SQ. And the few who know better are the smart ones not to be fooled by those darn audio gear manufacturers. I had my eye on those new Carver 180 tube amps, but might hold off now. They sure look cool though!

 

Yes, you have got it now. "Looking cool" is a perfectly valid reason for changing amps. But you won't hear any differences if they are both working properly.

 

Got an answer for the question I asked you a couple of posts back? "So given that, what do you think could account for any sonic differences? "

 

I am genuinely interested in what you think makes the sonic difference, given the issues I raise in that post.

 

I mean, if amp A is 'brighter' than Amp B, then that is a frequency response issue, so measuring the FR will show an upward tilt at the mid to HF end. If the FR is flat, then what do you think makes Amp A sound 'brighter' than Amp B?  Or 'warmer'. Or 'clearer'. Or 'harsher' etc. If the treble in amp A is 'gritty' compared to the treble in amp B, then something is causing distortion. In the absence of distortion as show by the measurements, then what do you think is causing the difference?

 

I've told you why I think the amps sound the same - now you tell me what makes them sound different?


Edited by kbarnes701 - 2/8/13 at 9:03am
post #195 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaville View Post

I'm not convinced that a general sample of the population would do well in ANY DBT regarding audio, be it amplifiers, MP3 vs FLAC, or even similarly designed speakers covering a wide price range. Does that mean that all audio gear sounds the same and our hobby is pointless? Might be time for me to switch over to woodworking or something... biggrin.gif

And yes, I realize there are "measurable" differences between speakers and lossy/lossless audio, I just have my doubts that the average Joe would hear these differences.

 

It's not just the average Joe. NOBODY can reliably hear the differences in double blind tests. Scores are typically 50-50 - random guessing IOW.

 

Why can't they hear differences?  Yep - because there are no differences to be heard.

post #196 of 540
Never had any tube based electronics but don't they tend to have a slightly different sound due to the tubes injecting some noise or distortion? Seems like I read that. On the Head-Fi headphone forum there are thousands of posts about tube rolling and the sound being different from each other. Of course this is not scientific but just opinions from the tube users.

As to solid state amps, my limited experience reveled no noticeable differences even though I really wanted to hear improvements from spending the money. Now it is all about wanting more power and the physical appearance rather than the sound differences.
post #197 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd68 View Post

Lots of folks can hear the different sonic signatures of amps, you are one of the few who claim it is not possible.

The above post reiterates usual game we see Golden Ears playing which usually starts out by making a number of false claims about a position that they seem to need to disagree with.

The phrase "the few" makes it appear that only a tiny minority of weirdos could possibly disagree with an imaginary majority that believe the TRVTH, which is that all amplifiers have individual sonic signatures.

The phrase "claim it is not possible" is used to falsely make that alleged tiny minority appear to be rigid and isolated.

I believe that a lot of people have heard audio systems that had unique sonic signatures. There are enough different things going on in any audio system that it is not only possible but totally likely that these systems sound different.

One difference between you and me seems to be that I believe that there are a goodly number of reasons why systems sound different, and you seem to need to attribute them all or at least many of them to amplifiers.

So thanks for running true to form and misrepresenting me!

Have a nice day! ;-)
post #198 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

It's not just the average Joe. NOBODY can reliably hear the differences in double blind tests. Scores are typically 50-50 - random guessing IOW.

Why can't they hear differences?  Yep - because there are no differences to be heard.

There are also reasons that the other 50% could not hear a difference. Looks like the tests are not proof positive either way.

I am not defending amp sound either way. If anything I tend to think they all sound so close that I could not hear a difference.

This thread has strayed as usual. The original statement was "all receivers sound the same. That got lost as usual. AVR's are more than an amp. Of course you know that.smile.gif
post #199 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterK View Post

Never had any tube based electronics but don't they tend to have a slightly different sound due to the tubes injecting some noise or distortion? Seems like I read that. On the Head-Fi headphone forum there are thousands of posts about tube rolling and the sound being different from each other. Of course this is not scientific but just opinions from the tube users.

As to solid state amps, my limited experience reveled no noticeable differences even though I really wanted to hear improvements from spending the money. Now it is all about wanting more power and the physical appearance rather than the sound differences.

 

Yes, sorry, the discussion is about modern SS amps, working within spec. I assumed that was clear from the endless posts in the thread but you are right, one should not assume. Tube amps are a good example of "amp as tone control".  Or they used to be - I am told that modern tube amps are much more transparent to the source. It is very easy to design an amp to have any sonic characteristics the designer chooses - but that is using the amp as a tone control. Most modern, well-designed amps are designed in such a way that they have ruler flat frequency response and distortion well below the threshold of audibility - hence their all sounding the same when working to spec. In fact, even to say they "sound the same" is not really correct because amps are not meant to have a 'sound' at all. They are meant to simply take the input and reproduce it exactly at the output, other than the amplitude. If they do that, then it follows that one cannot possibly sound different to another: if I input source ACSJD**YEBSBGYFGT&AF to one amp and ACSJD**YEBSBGYFGT&AF comes out of the other end (but louder) and it also comes out as ACSJD**YEBSBGYFGT&AF from the other amp, how could the two amps sound "different". The guys who keep asserting that amps sound different to each other never seem able to explain why

post #200 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

It's not just the average Joe. NOBODY can reliably hear the differences in double blind tests. Scores are typically 50-50 - random guessing IOW.

Why can't they hear differences?  Yep - because there are no differences to be heard.

There are also reasons that the other 50% could not hear a difference. Looks like the tests are not proof positive either way.

I am not defending amp sound either way. If anything I tend to think they all sound so close that I could not hear a difference.

This thread has strayed as usual. The original statement was "all receivers sound the same. That got lost as usual. AVR's are more than an amp. Of course you know that.smile.gif

 

Receivers with everything disabled will sound the same because then they are effectively just amps. But yes, receivers are designed to have a thousand different ways to manipulate the signal, including many whose sole purpose is to change the sound they make (ie distort the input source) - eg tone controls, DSPs etc. I don't even know why I am in this thread - LOL. There are far better threads discussing the sonic differences (or not) between modern SS amps working as designed.

post #201 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Receivers with everything disabled will sound the same because then they are effectively just amps. But yes, receivers are designed to have a thousand different ways to manipulate the signal, including many whose sole purpose is to change the sound they make (ie distort the input source) - eg tone controls, DSPs etc. I don't even know why I am in this thread - LOL. There are far better threads discussing the sonic differences (or not) between modern SS amps working as designed.

All of the straightforward SS amps I've had sound virtually identical as far as I've noticed. The title of this thread refers to receivers though and some that I've had do change the sound - even when all the processing is off and they are supposed to just amplify. My NAD and my last Onkyo receivers did pass through sound indistinguishable from a straightforward integrated amp.

Though an Onkyo I had in the nineties sounded dreadful in stereo, regardless of the settings. My present Anthem MRX500 has a warmer sound than a standard amp without a doubt - that's actually why I bought it as my XTZ speakers are too clinical for my liking.

And no I haven't done a double blind test, it is just too obvious to bother. smile.gif
post #202 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Receivers with everything disabled will sound the same because then they are effectively just amps. But yes, receivers are designed to have a thousand different ways to manipulate the signal, including many whose sole purpose is to change the sound they make (ie distort the input source) - eg tone controls, DSPs etc. I don't even know why I am in this thread - LOL. There are far better threads discussing the sonic differences (or not) between modern SS amps working as designed.

Agreed, room correction is where the differences are usually heard (if none of the fancy changes are added such as "Hall of Echoes" or other blather).
post #203 of 540
Arny, I don't believe amps make more of a difference in SQ than speakers and the room. But it just hard for me to grasp the idea that all sufficiently built amps have no sonic difference. There are many different tube amp designs and some think even different tube brands, especially vintage tubes change the sound, a way to tweak the sound.

Even if you think the design and parts selection doesn't impact SQ, what about the different SS types? I always though class A type amps as having the best potential SQ, followed by class A/AB. Now we have class D amps that are more efficient but some claim not to like the sound compared to other older types.
post #204 of 540
Think about it, the purpose of amplifier is to amplify a signal, not to change it in any other way. The closer the output is to an exact magnification of the input, the more provably "correct" the amplifier's function is. Color and change the sound all you want, run it through a series of guitar effects pedals if you wish, but the amplifier really doesn't have a place in coloring the sound because that's an uncontrolled variable in the chain.

I can insert a tube (or digital simulation of a tube) into my signal path if that's what I want to hear. I can also turn it off.
post #205 of 540
Ok, instead of bickering back and forth, here are facts. If you dispute these facts, that is your own OPINION. I totally disagree about the TV comment, so I won't even go there. That has nothing to do with this so we can save that for "+1 for all TV's look the same" thread LOLZ

  • ABX tests are inconclusive and as I stated, in a controlled environment, I am sure AV receiver differences would be harder to detect.
  • ABX tests have nothing to do with real world listening, you won't always be running your AV receiver in direct mode and you will not be level matching it (what would you level match it to?)
  • ABX tests seem to be 50/50. You cannot say people were just guessing because the same amount chose correctly as opposed to not.
  • If the ABX test is on the skeptic side, it is a useless test because it is biased towards the skeptic. Saying, "the people correct just guessed" is assuming and siding with the skeptic.
  • If you do not have real good headphones or equipment, I am sure you may not be able to hear the difference between components.
  • Running an amp in direct mode will make the amps sound similar, I never disputed that and it is a fact. You are basically bypassing the components that make them different to begin with.
  • I know no one who always runs their receiver in direct mode (I never do)
  • Actually, as a stereo only receiver, the Sansui sounds better in general. But there is no DAC, no surround sound, no DSP, no speaker distance settings, just bass and treble controls. I can set my Pioneer to sound similar but I need to really tweak it.
  • You can knock my methodology and I can knock yours or counter, but you will never change my opinion and I am not out to change yours. I am just stating what I have found myself. If you disagree, that is fine but I disagree with those who say they are all the same.
  • Once you run a receiver as intended (Room correction, tweaked, distances set, 75dB all speakers, DSP engaged, etc.) they will sound different. Since everyone has different speakers, tastes, and even rooms no two would possibly sound alike.

These are all facts. Here are some myths that I have found are truly myths

  • High end HDMI cables sound/show video no different then other makes. A cheap HDMI 1.4 will sound/look the same as an expensive one (a more expensive one may last longer though, maybe!)
  • As long as you are using larger gauge speaker wire, you will not hear a difference in the speaker wire. I will never agree that expensive speaker wire is better or improves sound quality.

Edited by Ricsim78 - 2/8/13 at 11:20am
post #206 of 540
When you get a nearly perfect 50/50 break in people giving the right/wrong answer, it's not that half of them were guessing and the other half were right. They were in fact ALL guessing, and by random probability half of them got it right, half of them got it wrong. They would have performed the same way if both pieces of equipment had been identical, or if there had in fact been only one piece of equipment and they were misled about switching.
post #207 of 540
It seems to tunrn out that as long as you're within linear operation, the differences between class A and Class AB or even Class D and H amps are not audible.

Regarding Bryston, FWIW, it appears that each reiteration of their amps results in better performance with lower crosstalk, more vanishingly low THD and IM distortion, etc. As I said elsewhere today, once it's inaudible, making it "inaudibler" doesnt change what's audible. But they certainly can claim to have improved their amps.
post #208 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by JD in NJ View Post

When you get a nearly perfect 50/50 break in people giving the right/wrong answer, it's not that half of them were guessing and the other half were right. They were in fact ALL guessing, and by random probability half of them got it right, half of them got it wrong. They would have performed the same way if both pieces of equipment had been identical, or if there had in fact been only one piece of equipment and they were misled about switching.

Agree 1000%.
post #209 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricsim78 View Post


  • ABX tests seem to be 50/50. You cannot say people were just guessing because the same amount chose correctly as opposed to not.

 

 

Now I know you're kidding, right? biggrin.gif

post #210 of 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricsim78 View Post

Ok, instead of bickering back and forth, here are facts. If you dispute these facts, that is your own OPINION. I totally disagree about the TV comment, so I won't even go there. That has nothing to do with this so we can save that for "+1 for all TV's look the same" thread LOLZ

  • ABX tests are inconclusive and as I stated, in a controlled environment, I am sure AV receiver differences would be harder to detect.
  • ABX tests have nothing to do with real world listening, you won't always be running your AV receiver in direct mode and you will not be level matching it (what would you level match it to?)
  • ABX tests seem to be 50/50. You cannot say people were just guessing because the same amount chose correctly as opposed to not.
  • If the ABX test is on the skeptic side, it is a useless test because it is biased towards the skeptic. Saying, "the people correct just guessed" is assuming and siding with the skeptic.
  • If you do not have real good headphones or equipment, I am sure you may not be able to hear the difference between components.
  • Running an amp in direct mode will make the amps sound similar, I never disputed that and it is a fact. You are basically bypassing the components that make them different to begin with.
  • I know no one who always runs their receiver in direct mode (I never do)
  • Actually, as a stereo only receiver, the Sansui sounds better in general. But there is no DAC, no surround sound, no DSP, no speaker distance settings, just bass and treble controls. I can set my Pioneer to sound similar but I need to really tweak it.
  • You can knock my methodology and I can knock yours or counter, but you will never change my opinion and I am not out to change yours. I am just stating what I have found myself. If you disagree, that is fine but I disagree with those who say they are all the same.
  • Once you run a receiver as intended (Room correction, tweaked, distances set, 75dB all speakers, DSP engaged, etc.) they will sound different. Since everyone has different speakers, tastes, and even rooms no two would possibly sound alike.

These are all facts. Here are some myths that I have found are truly myths

  • High end HDMI cables sound/show video no different then other makes. A cheap HDMI 1.4 will sound/look the same as an expensive one (a more expensive one may last longer though, maybe!)
  • As long as you are using larger gauge speaker wire, you will not hear a difference in the speaker wire. I will never agree that expensive speaker wire is better or improves sound quality.

Post of the day. I don't know why people get so hung up about this, it's supposed to be fun, but then egos get involved.

BTW, I just bought an old Sansui receiver because I was curious about what they did back in the day, vintage early 70's. I can't believe how good it sounds, a better soundstage and all the instruments sound more live than my flagship Onkyo TX SR876 in pure 2 channel mode. The difference is not subtle and I still can't believe it.
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