Have your say & ask the experts!

do all amps sound the same?

93 replies [Last post]
chebby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Jun 2008
Posts: 15319
RE: do all amps sound the same?

I think that traditional 'dumb' domestic active speakers will disappear quicker than hi-fi seperates. You still need a pre-amp (often more expensive than an integrated amp) or a DAC with variable analogue outputs. 

With the exception of the AVI offerings this means at least as much 'clutter' and boxes and cables as a passive system.

(And if they don't hang around hi-fi forums then AVI will be as much of a mystery to the average hi-fi customer as any other domestic active speaker so it's always going to remain very, very niche and expensive.)

In my opinion, the future of active systems (ones that approach 'mainstream' and appear in places like John Lewis as well as hi-fi shops) is being shown by companies like B&W with their active A5, A7 and new Z2 products that - used as designed - offer a high-fidelity standard that can exceed many seperates of the same value.

I am waiting for things like the B&W 'A9' or 'Z3' to appear with even bigger, better active innards and more DSP options.

I believe that the long-term  future of good quality, domestic,  active speaker systems is not with anything that includes two wooden boxes requiring stands and a mains lead each (whether they include a DAC or not).

 

__________________

Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

Overdose's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Feb 2008
Posts: 3135
RE: do all amps sound the same?

I think you're right, but there will always be a demand for a quality stereo system that images well, unless more mainstream products can create a stereo image somehow using DSP and projection, a bit like the tech used in soundbars.

Of course most people are not overly interested in hifi in the first place, we are not really a majority section of the AV buying population, never mind tech products in general.

__________________

Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts

chebby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Jun 2008
Posts: 15319
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Overdose wrote:

I think you're right, but there will always be a demand for a quality stereo system that images well...

Less and less so as most people's lifestyles and living spaces change.

The living room/listening room with 'Dad' (it was always the dad) dictating an arrangement that permits him to sit in a perfect hi-fi 'sweetspot' with appropriately positioned speakers on stands (toed in and with specified distances behind, between and at the sides) is rapidly becoming quaint historical behaviour!

It assumes a pliant partner and a tacit agreement that hi-fi/AV determines the room and furniture arrangements and that the needs of everyone else in the household take second place to one person's hobby when it comes to the main living room.

Very few people actually live as families in houses any more.  Hi-fi has to adapt to people living in smaller houses with smaller rooms, flats, apartments, studios, bedrooms etc. Lots of house sharing, lots of singles only or couples only occupancy.

'Dad' coming home from work, sitting down in a perfectly positioned armchair, with wife in kitchen cooking supper and keeping children out of his way while he enjoys his music alone is a very 1970s picture that I doubt exists in more than a small percentage of homes any more. It's more likely that he disappears to his study and cranks up Spotify while he does some more work on the computer.

Some people will object that that picture doesn't reflect their listening arrangements/home arrangements but - as I said - they are getting fewer in number every year.

__________________

Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

Overdose's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Feb 2008
Posts: 3135
RE: do all amps sound the same?

chebby wrote:

Overdose wrote:

I think you're right, but there will always be a demand for a quality stereo system that images well...

Less and less so as most people's lifestyles and living spaces change.

The living room/listening room with 'Dad' (it was always the dad) dictating an arrangement that permits him to sit in a perfect hi-fi 'sweetspot' with appropriately positioned speakers on stands (toed in and with specified distances behind, between and at the sides) is rapidly becoming quaint historical behaviour!

It assumes a pliant partner and a tacit agreement that hi-fi/AV determines the room and furniture arrangements and that the needs of everyone else in the household take second place to one person's hobby when it comes to the main living room.

Very few people actually live as families in houses any more.  Hi-fi has to adapt to people living in smaller houses with smaller rooms, flats, apartments, studios, bedrooms etc. Lots of house sharing, lots of singles only or couples only occupancy.

'Dad' coming home from work, sitting down in a perfectly positioned armchair, with wife in kitchen cooking supper and keeping children out of his way while he enjoys his music alone is a very 1970s picture that I doubt exists in more than a small percentage of homes any more. It's more likely that he disappears to his study and cranks up Spotify while he does some more work on the computer.

Some people will object that that picture doesn't reflect their listening arrangements/home arrangements but - as I said - they are getting fewer in number every year.

Whatever the reasons, the hifi market is shrinking. I'm quite ambivalent about the situation, but there will always be some sort of hifi solution for those wanting it.

__________________

Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts

chebby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Jun 2008
Posts: 15319
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Overdose wrote:

Whatever the reasons, the hifi market is shrinking. I'm quite ambivalent about the situation, but there will always be some sort of hifi solution for those wanting it.

"Some sort of hifi solution..."  yes indeed.

"Shrinking"?  Not so much. Just changing form and disappearing off the traditional hi-fi enthusiasts radar and being sold in non-specialist outlets and online.

I expect more companies to do like (for example) Ruark did and abandon their traditional speakers in favour of high quality radios and 'all-in-one' products.

I can see B&W abandoning the budget and mid-priced loudspeaker market one day and concentrating more and more on their networked/PC based one box systems (for the money) and just the very top end sector of traditional speakers (for the prestige and 'credentials').

Even Naim - I suspect - are making more money from their 'Uniti (networked/all-in-one) products than from any other range.

(I predict an amp-less UnitiQute type device with a pair of compact, class D active speakers from them one day, especially with the compact, active technology from Focal available to them. It'll be 'hi-fi'  - without any doubt - but completely alien to their traditional customer base and far more likely to sell.)

__________________

Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

Electro's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 988
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Overdose wrote:

The living room/listening room with 'Dad' (it was always the dad) dictating an arrangement that permits him to sit in a perfect hi-fi 'sweetspot' with appropriately positioned speakers on stands (toed in and with specified distances behind, between and at the sides) is rapidly becoming quaint historical behaviour!

'Dad' coming home from work, sitting down in a perfectly positioned armchair, with wife in kitchen cooking supper and keeping children out of his way while he enjoys his music alone is a very 1970s picture that I doubt exists in more than a small percentage of homes any more.

 

This describes me perfectly  sticking out tongue   Wink    rolling on the floor laughing

__________________

Electrocompaniet EMC1UP Cd player , EC 4.8 preamp , AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC PB1i speakers .

Linn LP12 Lingo , Ittok lv3 , Lyra Lydian , EAR834P .

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."     Albert Einstein .

Overdose's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Feb 2008
Posts: 3135
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

Overdose wrote:

The living room/listening room with 'Dad' (it was always the dad) dictating an arrangement that permits him to sit in a perfect hi-fi 'sweetspot' with appropriately positioned speakers on stands (toed in and with specified distances behind, between and at the sides) is rapidly becoming quaint historical behaviour!

'Dad' coming home from work, sitting down in a perfectly positioned armchair, with wife in kitchen cooking supper and keeping children out of his way while he enjoys his music alone is a very 1970s picture that I doubt exists in more than a small percentage of homes any more.

 

This describes me perfectly  sticking out tongue   Wink    rolling on the floor laughing

Maybe, but I didn't write that. Wink

__________________

Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts

chebby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Jun 2008
Posts: 15319
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Overdose wrote:

Electro wrote:

Overdose wrote:

The living room/listening room with 'Dad' (it was always the dad) dictating an arrangement that permits him to sit in a perfect hi-fi 'sweetspot' with appropriately positioned speakers on stands (toed in and with specified distances behind, between and at the sides) is rapidly becoming quaint historical behaviour!

'Dad' coming home from work, sitting down in a perfectly positioned armchair, with wife in kitchen cooking supper and keeping children out of his way while he enjoys his music alone is a very 1970s picture that I doubt exists in more than a small percentage of homes any more.

 

This describes me perfectly  sticking out tongue   Wink    rolling on the floor laughing

Maybe, but I didn't write that. Wink

Can people learn to quote properly please?

__________________

Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

Electro's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 988
RE: do all amps sound the same?

chebby wrote:

Overdose wrote:

Electro wrote:

Overdose wrote:

The living room/listening room with 'Dad' (it was always the dad) dictating an arrangement that permits him to sit in a perfect hi-fi 'sweetspot' with appropriately positioned speakers on stands (toed in and with specified distances behind, between and at the sides) is rapidly becoming quaint historical behaviour!

'Dad' coming home from work, sitting down in a perfectly positioned armchair, with wife in kitchen cooking supper and keeping children out of his way while he enjoys his music alone is a very 1970s picture that I doubt exists in more than a small percentage of homes any more.

 

This describes me perfectly  sticking out tongue   Wink    rolling on the floor laughing

Maybe, but I didn't write that. Wink

Can people learn to quote properly please?

Nothing has been  added to the quote that was not there originally , I only cut out the unnecessary sections to save people having to read the whole post again .

I believe this is common practise puzzled  if not then I will consider my wrist firmly smacked shifty    Smile   .

 

__________________

Electrocompaniet EMC1UP Cd player , EC 4.8 preamp , AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC PB1i speakers .

Linn LP12 Lingo , Ittok lv3 , Lyra Lydian , EAR834P .

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."     Albert Einstein .

chebby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Jun 2008
Posts: 15319
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

Nothing has been  added to the quote that was not there originally....

Except engineering it to look like Overdose wrote what I wrote.

I will assume I can quote you saying absolutely anything that someone else wrote from now on then?

__________________

Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

daveh75's picture
Offline
Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 8214
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

Nothing has been  added to the quote that was not there originally , I only cut out the unnecessary sections to save people having to read the whole post again .

I believe this is common practise puzzled  if not then I will consider my wrist firmly smacked shifty    Smile   .

 

Yes but in doing so you also managed to remove the quote tags, i.e [ quote=chebby ] from the post making it look like Overdose had written it.

__________________

 

 

BigH's picture
Offline
Joined: 29 Dec 2012
Posts: 3300
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

Yes but in doing so you also managed to remove the quote tags, i.e [ quote=chebby ] from the post making it look like Overdose had written it.

 

Nothing has been added. 

 

Do you get it now?

BigH's picture
Offline
Joined: 29 Dec 2012
Posts: 3300
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Electro wrote:

Yes but in doing so you also managed to remove the quote tags, i.e [ quote=chebby ] from the post making it look like Overdose had written it.

 

Nothing has been added. 

 

Do you get it now?

Electro's picture
Offline
Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 988
RE: do all amps sound the same?

Ahh yes    doh!   embarassed

__________________

Electrocompaniet EMC1UP Cd player , EC 4.8 preamp , AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC PB1i speakers .

Linn LP12 Lingo , Ittok lv3 , Lyra Lydian , EAR834P .

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."     Albert Einstein .

busb's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 920
RE: do all amps sound the same?

CnoEvil wrote:

JMacMan wrote:

Which is not to say Naim is bad, on the contrary, I believe it to be very good, but it most certainly doesn't corner the market on musical reproduction, whilst everthing else is mere 'HiFi'; - it simply isn't true, and is yet another example of marketing hype playing upon the lack of knowledge and insecurities of audiophiles over and above any objective, verifiable and proveable fact.

JB

Something sounds great until until you hear better.......which is why it's great to see people come on here and talk about brands that are, well.....less talked about.

IMO. The single biggest mistake that people make when buying hifi, is narrowing their vision down to a couple of attention grabbing brands, thus ignoring some wonderful kit.

+1 !

__________________

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."

James Branch Cabell

 

_________________________________________________________

MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen

ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.