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Thread: How to set amplifier input sensitivity.

  1. #31
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    My view is that the musical instrument should produce the even number harmonics that are pleasant to the ear and the microphone should capture them. The equipment should reproduce the harmonics that are produced by the instrument itself. That is the definition of high fidelity. I don't want an amplifier that adds even number harmonics to any signal that passes through it.
    Solid-state amps will tend to emphasize odd harmonics. That's why guitarists use tube amps. I know, we're talking about home audio.
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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Solid-state amps will tend to emphasize odd harmonics. That's why guitarists use tube amps. I know, we're talking about home audio.
    Uh, I'm sure you can offer some documentation on this, yes?


  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Solid-state amps will tend to emphasize odd harmonics. That's why guitarists use tube amps. I know, we're talking about home audio.
    My Marantz amp specifies total harmonic distortion 0.01%. That means any odd harmonics introduced are less than 1/10,000. It doesn't matter what harmonics a solid state amp would introduce if it distorted, because a good one is designed not to distort.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    SS amps and tube amps clip differently when overdriven by guitarists, this is what MR is talking about. Tubes have more rounded clipping and produce more even-order harmonics. It's an easy Fourier analysis for anybody on this thread ... But we're talking about home audio, as he said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    My Marantz amp specifies total harmonic distortion 0.01%. That means any odd harmonics introduced are less than 1/10,000. It doesn't matter what harmonics a solid state amp would introduce if it distorted, because a good one is designed not to distort.
    The real problem isn’t with total harmonic distortion but with intermodulation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    The real problem isn’t with total harmonic distortion but with intermodulation.
    You are absolutely right that intermodular distortion is what makes music sound opaque. They don't spec it, but I found an independent test of a Marantz Amp that put it at -96 dB, or 0.0015% driving a resistive load.

    Distortion in speakers is way higher than this and will be the main limit on sound quality, assuming the amp has enough power

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Distortion in speakers is an order of magnitude about distortion in amps. The sound of clipping is irrelevant for listening to music in the home, because no one overdrives their amp to play a CD. Distortion down at -96dB is absolutely inaudible. If you are interested, in one of the videos in my sig file, Ethan Winer does a test where he takes the loudest, most annoying buzzing sound possible and drops it down in level under music progressively 15dB at a time. Guess where the buzzer becomes inaudible under the music? You can download the sound samples from his website and find out for yourself.

    There are two big problems with audiophools... first of all, they don't know what those numbers mean in real world sound. They've never sat down with an audio editing program to figure out what -30dB or -50dB sounds like, or what sort of sound exists above 10kHz. Secondly, they believe that if the numbers are better, there must be an audible difference. They have no concept of the thresholds of perception nor the concept of audible transparency. Combine ignorance of what the measurements mean with ignorance of the context of the measurements, and you end up with ignorant statements in home audio threads.

    Most amps today are clean, flat and accurate... even inexpensive ones. That should be a fact that is liberating, not one that makes people mad.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jun-19-2019 at 18:13.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Scarpia View Post
    .

    Distortion in speakers is way higher than this and will be the main limit on sound quality, assuming the amp has enough power



    Speakers matter. In my experience a good match of amp and speakers is necessary to create a realistic image.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jun-19-2019 at 21:34.

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    There are two things you can do that will almost certainly improve the sound of your system... Room treatment as much as possible, then polishing the details of the response curve with EQ. These two things are the most effective things you can do, yet many audiophiles completely ignore them and focus instead on numbers on a page that don't relate to anything they can actually hear.
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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    There are two things you can do that will almost certainly improve the sound of your system... Room treatment as much as possible, then polishing the details of the response curve with EQ. These two things are the most effective things you can do, yet many audiophiles completely ignore them and focus instead on numbers on a page that don't relate to anything they can actually hear.
    Amateur cyclists spend thousands of dollars on high-tech components that maybe weigh a few grams less, but often neglect the extra 20 pounds hanging around their gut.

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  12. #41
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    I know I try to ignore mine! But it's harder because mine is bigger than 20 pounds.
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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    Distortion in speakers is an order of magnitude about distortion in amps. The sound of clipping is irrelevant for listening to music in the home, because no one overdrives their amp to play a CD. Distortion down at -96dB is absolutely inaudible. If you are interested, in one of the videos in my sig file, Ethan Winer does a test where he takes the loudest, most annoying buzzing sound possible and drops it down in level under music progressively 15dB at a time. Guess where the buzzer becomes inaudible under the music? You can download the sound samples from his website and find out for yourself.

    There are two big problems with audiophools... first of all, they don't know what those numbers mean in real world sound. They've never sat down with an audio editing program to figure out what -30dB or -50dB sounds like, or what sort of sound exists above 10kHz. Secondly, they believe that if the numbers are better, there must be an audible difference. They have no concept of the thresholds of perception nor the concept of audible transparency. Combine ignorance of what the measurements mean with ignorance of the context of the measurements, and you end up with ignorant statements in home audio threads.

    Most amps today are clean, flat and accurate... even inexpensive ones. That should be a fact that is liberating, not one that makes people mad.
    It's highly doubtful that you have much of an idea what everyone is looking for in an amp and are likely not to have liberated anyone that, according to what you've written above, you apparently consider "audiophools." Just because an amp is "clean, flat and accurate," does not necessarilly follow that it automatically means the owner will find it pleasing — which many listeners have found out through their own personal listening experiences rather than depending solely on clinical specs or an outside "expert".
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Jun-24-2019 at 08:41.
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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    If a clean, flat and accurate amp isn't pleasing, the problem isn't the amp. It's most likely the room and/or the speakers. The electronic part of sound reproduction is drop dead easy. The mechanical part is hard. If it's coloration that you want, that is best done with sound processing, not buying an amp with coloration hard wired in.

    The best way to achieve pleasing sound in a home audio system is to understand how it works and use those principles to optimize the sound you can actually hear. Trusting salesmen to know best, assuming that better numbers always mean better sound, taking subjective impressions on face value unquestioningly, and randomly swapping in components of higher and higher price are all very poor ways of achieving that goal... you might say "phoolish".

    But I understand the desire for validation in buying choices. Once you've spent a whole bunch of money on a stereo system, the last thing you want to hear is that you spent way too much. But some of us would rather know the truth, even if it's different than what we want it to be.

    There was a fella in another group who insisted his Chord Mojo sounded better than his iPhone. He was just as reticent to believe that wasn't true, but he was willing to go to the effort of setting up his first line level matched, direct A/B switched, blind test. I helped him set up the test and he and a friend did it and now they know the truth for themselves. That is definitely a liberating thing.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jun-24-2019 at 16:36.
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  15. #44
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    There are two big problems with audiophools...
    Most amps today are clean, flat and accurate... even inexpensive ones. That should be a fact that is liberating, not one that makes people mad.
    Fools? How about "audio jerks?"

    That is totally untrue! I've tried different power amps with a single preamp, and some power-amp combinations sound totally unacceptable.
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  17. #45
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Do a controlled test that finds that and I'm very interested in hearing about it.
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