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Thread: Amplifier upgrade

  1. #16
    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    Hey Barnaby, I usually don't reply in HiFi thread's cuz of the "no difference" negativity lobby! Haven't heard the Mystique's either but several other Neat's and liked them quite well (but they unfortunately give to little bass for an organ aficionado like me) and my experience is that, they don't really need that much power but like an amplifier that can deliver a lot of juice (ampere's). I'm sure they would work fine with a Hegel amp, it is quite neutral (quite little character of its own in contrast to any NAIM), in any case, I would arrange for a home audition before deciding any way (Any good HiFI seller, even on-line, will allow for this!)

    If You want to audition something with a little more "character" (ie. not greyishly neutral) I suggest that You take a look at the French maker YBA, they will probably be the next replacement in my system (replacing 30 year old Bryston amps that have been showing some electrical problems of late)..

    /ptr
    Je suis Charlie ~ I am a certified OrgaNut! (F.—I.W.)

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  3. #17
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    Yes, that is another brand which I have been considering.

    I take your point about the internal DAC but reviews of this amplifier are very positive, particularly the one in HiFi+ which is written by a journalist I respect. There is a list of recent reviews on this page here if you scroll down a little bit on the left

    http://www.hegel.com/products/integrated/h160

    I have located a dealer near to me who is familiar with both Naim and Hegel, and will pursue this with him. in the meantime I will track down both the suggestions you have made. Thank you once more for your help.

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    hi ptr

    Yes a home edition will be essential no matter which I choose to try. Good to hear the compatibility with my current speakers would be maintained if I decided to go down there Hegel route. What sort of character does the YBA give? I am really looking for something that is neutral to be honest after the colouration inherent in Naim's electronics

  5. #19
    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    The YBA's are voiced to sound "slightly" like tube amps (warmer) but without their limited effect (low power), my ears feel that they are very honest, I don't experience that the slight warmth is a colouration but something that helps elevate the music! FWIW, for me the other contender when I've auditioned new amps are Ayre that was mentioned above and they are very good as well, quite close in sound character to the YBA Genesis I auditioned, but as I need 4 channels of amplification this alternative would be almost twice the money and I do not feel that they have twice as good sound...

    /ptr
    Je suis Charlie ~ I am a certified OrgaNut! (F.—I.W.)

  6. #20
    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnaby View Post
    Wow, no, fjf, that really goes against all my experience in listening to amplifiers, both of the same and different brands. The differences between many amplifiers are in no way subtle.f
    Agreed. Sometimes the differences are subtle, sometimes not. There is a kind of vaguely generic amplifier, but a) some aim at a particular market: b) circuitry arrangements are different - there's still a lot of debate about what's good and not; and c) the best amplifiers don't always use the best components (unless they're fashionable, like huge capacitors that precede a regulated power supply).

    Some people can't tell the difference between amplifiers of the same technology, others can. My associate (with who I design and build) can genuinely tell the difference between two of the exact same make/model of some vinyl cartridges let alone different makes (in most cases. Ironically it's the cheaper ones of the same make/model number that defeat this particular skill).

    There may come a time when amplification circuitry is so modularised / built of identical (quality/value) components that sonic differences could be disregarded but that isn't the case at the moment. Class D power amps are under the spotlight at the mo. They haven't quite won me over yet....

    If amplifiers were truly transparent there'd be no further need for design effort. I tend to agree with bigshot that there's an awful lot of trivia, chicanery and charlatanism about audiophilia but beyond that, some of us are still striving to achieve the transparent amp: the straight wire with gain and no resistance.

    Ultimately it comes down to your personal taste and this can only be exercised by listening - and really in your own room. Again, as bigshot pointed out elsewhere, the sound of a system will depend on room-tone.

    ...

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  8. #21
    Senior Member fjf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnaby View Post
    Hi dogen,

    It isn't cheap, certainly, but you do get a DAC included as well as the ability to use it with a variety of sources. It is less expensive than my current Naim amp (sorry about that fgf ) and so if I bought it, proceeds of selling my current gear would virtually cover the cost.
    No problem Barnaby. It is your money, after all. And you have sense of humor, something very rare around here

  9. #22
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptr View Post
    Haven't heard the Mystique's either but several other Neat's and liked them quite well (but they unfortunately give to little bass for an organ aficionado like me) and my experience is that, they don't really need that much power but like an amplifier that can deliver a lot of juice
    Any speaker capable of producing sub bass frequencies will need a lot of power to do it. The lower the frequency, the more power needed to produce it. My subwoofer has a 2700 watt amp in it. It's capable of putting out healthy volume down to 15Hz. That is very very low and takes a lot of oomph to produce.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
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  10. #23
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frasier View Post
    If amplifiers were truly transparent there'd be no further need for design effort. I tend to agree with bigshot that there's an awful lot of trivia, chicanery and charlatanism about audiophilia but beyond that, some of us are still striving to achieve the transparent amp: the straight wire with gain and no resistance.
    I've got one. I've swapped in three amps in the past 20 years or so, and each of them sounded the same as all the others. (I checked.) That's important to me, because my system is carefully calibrated. I don't want to have to start from scratch every time I buy a new player or amp. Let me know next time you're in the market and I'll point you to some great deals on audibly transparent equipment. It's abundant and inexpensive.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jan-31-2015 at 02:35.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
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  12. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    I've got one. I've swapped in three amps in the past 20 years or so, and each of them sounded the same as all the others. (I checked.) That's important to me, because my system is carefully calibrated. I don't want to have to start from scratch every time I buy a new player or amp. Let me know next time you're in the market and I'll point you to some great deals on audibly transparent equipment. It's abundant and inexpensive.
    I believe the man designs his own stuff...

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    My dad built his own amp. I buy mine on the internet!
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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  15. #26
    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    Any speaker capable of producing sub bass frequencies will need a lot of power to do it. The lower the frequency, the more power needed to produce it. My subwoofer has a 2700 watt amp in it. It's capable of putting out healthy volume down to 15Hz. That is very very low and takes a lot of oomph to produce.
    Yea sure, You're still based in the 1970's inefficient speakers rhetoric!, my Toruses are specd 10 - 15oHz / 100dB/1 meter and their "integrated" amp has "mere" 200W; I have two and they are more then able to fill my 60 square meter listening room/library/man cave with low frequencies!

    Nuff said!

    /ptr
    Je suis Charlie ~ I am a certified OrgaNut! (F.—I.W.)

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    I built one of those Heathkits once. Somehow when I plugged it in I blew every fuse in the apartment. My wife terminated my budding career in electrical engineering at that point.
    Last edited by Triplets; Jan-31-2015 at 14:19.

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  19. #28
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Nice sub! I bet that set you back a bit.

    But power needs depend on the speaker and the design. In general, the lower the frequency, the more power needed to push it. Your speakers are the exception, not typical. I have a top of the line Sunfire which is the other end of the spectrum.
    Last edited by bigshot; Feb-01-2015 at 04:13.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
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  20. #29
    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    .......Let me know next time you're in the market and I'll point you to some great deals on audibly transparent equipment. It's abundant and inexpensive.
    Thanks!

    However, I haven't actually bought an amp in a long, long time. My accomplice and I accept commissions (and can beat the best at 5 times the price at least). People have certain requirements, like a current assignment involves a 12-step volume control with steps 4-7 being only 3db apart. Things like that.

    Obviously one doesn't design an amp from scratch - there are many established designs out there - but one always looks for ways to improve.

  21. #30
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    Bigshot .. New member .. Can't pm. Please advise of inexpensive audibly transparent equipment..thanks. No albums. Need speakers. Headphones, etc. listen primarily to opera. Thanks. Want speakers that are balanced.

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