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do all amps sound the same?

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

chebby wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

Yup.....but that's somebody else's idea of a good "tonal match".

The point was that "somebody else" would be someone qualified to do it better. Like a ... "highly qualified design or acoustic engineer, and not an amateur mixing and matching separates at a retail level".

I know exactly what the point is. There's a tonal match which is subjective, and there's a technical match which isn't.

Even those "qualified somebody else's" don't agree, otherwise all actives would sound the same.....I bet you prefer some professional photogrophers work over others....why?.....because it's personal.

 

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

I think there may be a few technical problems to overcome when designing a compact class A active speaker shifty

 

Class A active speaker

That reminds of a chap - who used to post here - who set fire to his Kudos C2 speakers

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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

CnoEvil wrote:

Even those "qualified somebody else's" don't agree, otherwise all actives would sound the same.....I bet you prefer some professional photogrophers work over others....why?.....because it's personal.

The photographer's work is the creative output. We are talking about the machinery (cameras, hi-fi) that is probably best designed by qualified  technicians.

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

I think there may be a few technical problems to overcome when designing a compact class A active speaker shifty

 

Class A active speaker

I know, and that's my point.

The good Actives I've heard have been so expensive, that I could have put something together that I'd like as much, for considerably less.

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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

chebby wrote:

The photographer's work is the creative output. We are talking about the machinery (cameras, hi-fi) that is probably best designed by qualified  technicians.

Active speakers are engineered to recreate music, the appreciation of which (tonally etc), is on the "Art" side of things.....so is subjective. ie. The sound the speaker makes, is like the photographers output. Cameras vary in ability, even though they are designed by technicians.

If you are talking about "technically matching" the amp to correctly drive a speaker....then I agree.

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

Naaah sorry, the amp Bob ended up with was not  the same amp he started with so the whole argument 'do amps sound the same' becomes void in this context

In fact including his labour what I wonder would be the price of the 'new' amp rebuilt from the old considering how much of the amps inards he had to replace. Thats why so many of these tests to settle hifi debates are pointless.

The only valid test of this type would be to take two amps, one source and one pair of speakers and using nothing more than tone controls get these  amps to sound lthe same - anything else is just a joke a better title is 'Can you build an amp to sound the same as another given  unlimited resources in 48hrs whilst locked in an hotel room in the middle of nowhere.....'.....prrrft.'

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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

CnoEvil wrote:

JMacMan wrote:

"Speakers can only shine if matched to the appropriate amp (imo)."

LOL... you do realise you just made an irrefutably accurate pitch for active speakers?  excellent!

I agree entirely, but feel both on technical grounds, and from personal practical experience over many years, that the task should be left to a highly qualified design or acoustic engineer, and not an amateur mixing and matching separates at a retail level - hence one of the many very much real world advantages of active speakers.  And no, I'm not pushing AVI!...lol  Shock

JB   Cool

Yup.....but that's somebody else's idea of a good "tonal match".

When they make Actives with full Class A amps, count me in.  shifty

 

I know you don't like to accept it, but ATC's actives are class A up to two thirds of their output. I defy you or anyone else to listen above that volume in a domestic setting. 

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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

CnoEvil wrote:

chebby wrote:

The photographer's work is the creative output. We are talking about the machinery (cameras, hi-fi) that is probably best designed by qualified  technicians.

Active speakers are engineered to recreate music, the appreciation of which (tonally etc), is on the "Art" side of things.....so is subjective. ie. The sound the speaker makes, is like the photographers output. Cameras vary in ability, even though they are designed by technicians.

 

Actually the correct analogy is that the music is the image created by the photographer (the art, subjective) and the speakers are the display (or printing process), the purpose of which is to display the image as accurately and faithfully as possible. That's if you go along with the basis behind high fidelity, which you or anyone else is perfectly entitled to reject. 

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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

BenLaw wrote:

I know you don't like to accept it, but ATC's actives are class A up to two thirds of their output. I defy you or anyone else to listen above that volume in a domestic setting. 

To get 35W of pure Class A requires an amp that weighs around 28 kg, and will reach at least 35 deg C. AB amps almost never sound like the real thing imo.

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RE: do all amps sound the same? RE: do all amps sound the same?

BenLaw wrote:

Actually the correct analogy is that the music is the image created by the photographer (the art, subjective) and the speakers are the display (or printing process), the purpose of which is to display the image as accurately and faithfully as possible. That's if you go along with the basis behind high fidelity, which you or anyone else is perfectly entitled to reject. 

I see it like this:

Sound from speakers (music) = Photographers Output (images)  ie.Subjective

Active Speaker = Camera  ie. capture as accurately as possible through the design

Printing Process = Room acoustics ie. Pass on what was captured accurately  

People buy Art / Music / Photographs / Hifi, because they like them....which may coincide with accuracy, or it may not..

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

@ Jmacman

why does it always have to be "actives are the best because they have amps inside which were stuffed in by qualified engineers and not by me"? surely, if you have an amp that feels comfortable driving a rock then it doesn't really mater which speakers you attach at the output? and it surely doesn't matter who connects the cables then? or am I missing something from your logic because that's what I believe you're on to. and in case you were wondering; yes, there are amps out there that are stable even into the wildest loads so they really don't care what speakers you throw at them. example? for instance class A Accuphase. you could surely find much cheaper options but Accu would be one of the better known.

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

oldric_naubhoff wrote:

@ Jmacman

why does it always have to be "actives are the best because they have amps inside which were stuffed in by qualified engineers and not by me"? surely, if you have an amp that feels comfortable driving a rock then it doesn't really mater which speakers you attach at the output? and it surely doesn't matter who connects the cables then? or am I missing something from your logic because that's what I believe you're on to. and in case you were wondering; yes, there are amps out there that are stable even into the wildest loads so they really don't care what speakers you throw at them. example? for instance class A Accuphase. you could surely find much cheaper options but Accu would be one of the better known.

I think Jmacman is talking about the principle that an active speaker is better than a passive version due to the employment of an active crossover and optimisation of the internal amps to match the requirements of the drivers.

Indeed such amps as you mentioned are available, much more so for sensibly sized speakers in a typical UK living room, for example, but then you still have the passive crossover to contend with.

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

Do all amps sound the same?

No.

Compare Cyrus to Quad.

Both well designed (maybe some would disagree).

They sound completely different!

I remember (vaguely as it was over 10 years ago!) demoing some AVR's.

A high end Denon (£2500.00) and a mid range Denon (£800.00).

The £2500.00 one sound amazing driving some Sonus Faber speakers.

I tried Sonus Faber speakers with the £800.00 Denon – they sounded awful!

Also, is the question just about power amps?

What about pre amps, integrated amps, AV amps?

With the various amps I have owned and demoed I have gone from the extreme of avoiding some CD's and tracks entirely because of listening fatigue to being able to play almost any CD (apart from rubbish one that I just don't like).

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

Overdose wrote:

I think Jmacman is talking about the principle that an active speaker is better than a passive version due to the employment of an active crossover and optimisation of the internal amps to match the requirements of the drivers.

sorry OD, but I get the impression you really don't get what I'm talking about. if you have an amp that drives equally well every load at every electrical phase angle than surely there's no more "optimisation" you could possibly think of. the only "advantage" (LOL!) those "optimised internal amps" might have over decently designed stand alone power amp is they can be severely compromised in many respects and still get away with it, mainly due to use of active xover as they wouldn't need to amplify the entire audible spectrum (but still the tweeter amp will need to be over-engineered compared to the woofer amp for best performance, a.k.a. to avoid high frequency TIM and transient saturation which causes distortion as well) and having known drivers with known electric properties (in most cases it means there's no need to cater for a 2 Ohm load). that's about it!

Overdose wrote:

Indeed such amps as you mentioned are available, much more so for sensibly sized speakers in a typical UK living room, for example, but then you still have the passive crossover to contend with.

that depends on what you think the bottle neck is in a hi-fi system. for me it's only the drivers. do you even realise what is the mass of a typical dome? or even more so - of a typical 6.5' cone? do you really think this can possibly follow electrical impulses accurately (even with the use of an electronic xover) knowing what level of inertia is caused making those diaphragms move? simply check THD measurements for dynamic speakers vs. ESLs to get the idea of what I'm talking about. sorry OD but the sad truth is active speakers are not the ultimate in hi-fi, they are only second best and only better from their passive counterparts. I really can't understand why so many around here herald actives to be the end game in hi-fi....

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RE: do all amps sound the same?

oldric_naubhoff wrote:

 I really can't understand why so many around here herald actives to be the end game in hi-fi....

Not the end game for sure, but a step above passives.

The amplifiers in active speakers may seem compromised in isolation to you, but it is an academic point, as they are designed to work with only one driver in mind and that is the one they are attached to in the box, so if the drivers are the bottleneck, as you put it, they are not going to be better driven in a passive system than in an active one.

I think that you may be in danger of over analysing the situation.

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