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Thread: Amplifier upgrade

  1. #106
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muse Wanderer View Post
    In the case of an amplifier or a DAC, from the moment the signal enters the audio system to being 'heard' within the auditory cortex of the temporal zones of the brain, the variables involved are infinitesimal.
    Maybe some folks need a brain upgrade, not an amplifier upgrade!
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    Senior Member Muse Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    Maybe some folks need a brain upgrade, not an amplifier upgrade!
    It looks like you can't understand the concept and would rather resort to ad hominems.
    That is fine for me.
    I am not here to push an agenda but to give my point of view that is evidence based rather than anecdotal.
    Last edited by Muse Wanderer; Jan-21-2016 at 02:06.

  3. #108
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    That was a joke. Loosen up a bit.
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    Senior Member Haydn man's Avatar
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    So if I am understanding bigshot correctly then just about any CD player and budget amp will produce a transparent sound. Essentially the technology is straightforward and results easily measured.
    I can go with this it makes sense to me given the nature of digital recording and reproduction.
    But you got to love the Snake Oil peddlers in the hi fi world who offer musical nirvana, apparently only available to those with buckets of cash and a need to be parted from it.

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  6. #111
    Senior Member Muse Wanderer's Avatar
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    Amplifiers at the same price range with similar measurements can sound different in my personal experience.

    I opted for an amplifier last year that was cheaper than the one it replaced by a wide margin. It still sounded better for me, as I wanted a neutral detailed sound rather than the warm laid back one I was used to. Other folks would opt for a warmer amp. The measurements for both solid state amplifiers are similar.

    It is an illogical fallacy to state that exactly similar sound results from similar measurements as these measurements are only surrogate outcomes.

    The real hard outcome whereby someone can state Amp A = Amp B soundsignature is a well designed randomised controlled trial. Such trials are of course cost prohibitive and not available.

    Everyone can believe whatever they want but stating opinions as true scientifically valid facts when clearly they are not is wrong.
    Last edited by Muse Wanderer; Jan-23-2016 at 18:45.

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  8. #112
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    Haydn man,

    This topic has been beat to death – so I’ll spend just a few minutes revisiting a few differing points of view.

    IME a few technical specifications do not completely define an amplifier’s subjective sound quality. This belief is based on currently owning more than 2 dozen amps Audiophile question, What do you listen to your music on?, and having owned hi-fi equipment since 1970.

    With that said, the differences in amplifiers’ sound qualities are often subtle. And good quality equipment is available today for a modest cost. Like many consumer products, there are dramatically diminishing returns beyond a decent quality product.

    Nonetheless, not all amps sound the same. Pick the distortion that suits you best. For me, tube amps and classical music go together like peanut butter and jelly. FWIW, here’s my reference for sound quality:



    Just because there have been some “snake oil” hi-fi products doesn’t mean that all hi-fi products are snake-oil. And not all people who buy equipment somewhere other than a big-box store are “audiophools”.

    An industry commentator once said, “If you’re convinced everything sounds the same, you’ll steer yourself that way.”

    I recently bought a new hand-built-in-the-USA SET tube amp for $1,500 that sounds wonderful. There’s a variant currently available for $1,100. Moreover I’ve bought electronically restored vintage tube amps for less than $1,000. Does that strike you as an insane amount of money for a made-in-the-USA amp built with quality parts? If you prefer a modern solid-state amp that’s less expensive – that’s cool. Again, you can buy equipment for less money that performs well. That doesn’t mean that everyone who makes another choice is a snake-oil salesman or an audiophool.

    I have no affiliation with any company in the hi-fi business. I’m just trying to “keep it real”.

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  10. #113
    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    Good tip, quality old Hi-fi is a good buy. I recently picked up a NAD 1020 pre amp and 2140 power amp for my second set up
    for $220 Aus, couldn't be happier sounds great.
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

  11. #114
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    P.S. I’ll share a “real world” assessment of a modern solid-state amp vs. a tube amp. Here’s a pic of my TV room system:



    The amp on the 3rd shelf (right) is an NAD C375BEE. This is a current-production solid-state amp that has received very favorable reviews. Retail $1,500 US.

    On the second shelf the amp in the middle is an early 1960’s Scott 299C. I bought it 5 years ago for $549 + $35 shipping - excellent condition, already electronically restored.

    The modern NAD amp is a good product that sounds good. However I use it only for Hollywood movies, because I prefer the sound of the Scott 299C for classical music and opera. (I also prefer the sound of the other tube amps in this system compared to the solid-state amps.)

    Additionally, I have three other systems that have multiple amps. The amps all sound different. This is a real world comparison, not based on someone’s theory.

    Bottom line, IME the assertion that all amps sound the same is false. I’ve had numerous guests comment that they’ve never heard sound as good as my two 1950’s Pilot mono amps - $425 x 2 = $850. (Purchased 4 years ago.)

    Of course you can spend more on tube gear. If you can afford a pair of McIntosh MC30s, you’ll have an investment that will undoubtedly appreciate in value, and can be handed down to future generations. And will sound better than any big-box-store black-plastic throw-away amp.

    That's my additional 2 cents.

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    http://ethanwiner.com this guy has a view and a ebook http://ethanwiner.com/book.htm
    save money by readng. and in the end all audioforums are hijacked by boy and toys; https://community.roonlabs.com just one year old, a transparent program that does nothng with sound but now the hot item is HQplayer and other fiddlers.
    Last edited by Adamus; Jan-24-2016 at 10:01.

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  14. #116
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    I've got one - had it for a number of years - but it's now in the loft, replaced by a Marantz 6002. Mind you, I've not tried it with my Tannoy Mercury speakers, only my Monitor Audio BR1s and they didn't make a great combo.

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn man View Post
    So if I am understanding bigshot correctly then just about any CD player and budget amp will produce a transparent sound.
    The one caveat to that is the power of the amp... particularly with multichannel sound. When you look at the info and see a 80 watt rating on the specs sheet, you might think that is overkill. But those ratings are based on just one or two channels. Run a 7.1 system and the pie quickly gets divided up and the power drops. My AVR is 110 watts for seven speakers and it is enough, but definitely not overkill.

    Whenever modern solid state amps have been subjected to controlled blind listening tests, they have always come out sounding exactly the same. Any reports of variation inevitably come from uncontrolled sighted comparison. Tube amps are different. They are *supposed* to sound different. But solid state amps are carefully calibrated *by design* to present a full balanced frequency response with inaudible levels of distortion. It shouldn't be surprising they sound the same... they are designed to meet that standard.

    That is particularly important to me, because I have carefully equalized my system for my room. If I bought a new amp that didn't sound exactly like my old amp, I would have to go back to square one and equalize and balance outputs all over again. No thanks! I want plug and play transparency, not wildly varying euphonic distortion and colored response. I don't want a bunch of different sounds that I have to EQ individually.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jan-24-2016 at 21:29.
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  17. #118
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    I just traded my Pass Labs INT-150 solid state amp for a Primaluna Premium Dialogue HP tube amp--I vastly prefer the tube sound! It's just far richer and simply more real sounding than the ss amp. I'm sure the Pass measures better, but in my experience, and certainly in this case, numbers don't begin to tell how something will sound.

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  19. #119
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Someone should design a DSP that recreates the distortion and response coloration of tube amps even when played through a solid state amp. It wouldn't be hard, except that there are so many different distortion signatures in tube amps, it would require a million different settings to cover them all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    I just traded my Pass Labs INT-150 solid state amp for a Primaluna Premium Dialogue HP tube amp--I vastly prefer the tube sound! It's just far richer and simply more real sounding than the ss amp. I'm sure the Pass measures better, but in my experience, and certainly in this case, numbers don't begin to tell how something will sound.
    This looks like a great amp. What output tubes are you running? Do you prefer the triode or ultra-linear mode?

    What speakers?

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