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Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

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matt49's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

MakkaPakka wrote:

I am really waiting patiently for some decent evidence there is a difference so I can justify buying a new toy but my head tells me to stick with what I've got because it has all the functionality I need.

I understand your position on this, but it does raise the question: have you listened to to a range of different amps and concluded that you can't tell the difference between them?

Matt

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

pauln wrote:
Oh, hang on, not one person took up the challenge. That speaks volumes to me.

I think that is more down to the fact that people can't be bothered. Either that, or they don't want Harbeth speakers...

Poor attempt mate.

They are easily sold for close to new price, thought you'd know that, what with you being in the business. Not many would turn their nose up at even £4000 for a days work would they? And surely there must be a few audiophiles out there that would just want to prove Alan Shaw wrong?

To OP - research both sides of the argument and draw your own conclusions.

Take a step back, 'mate' - there was nothing negative in my post towards Harbeth, only what you read into it. Maybe if someone like B&W offered the challenge, it might be more widely promoted/known about. 

I'd take it, but I can't be bothered. Point proven, so not a poor attempt after all. 

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floyd droid's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:
especially valve amps, it's a nice, warm, analogue kind of sound that probably reminds middle aged men of their childhood. 

You dont half type a load of bo**o*ks mate and obviously have no idea how modern day valve amps sound compared to yesteryear.

Yeah my 845s are nice warm pipe and slippers sounding. Like EDITED they are.

My 300B SE is all cuddly wuddly wrapped in cotton wool . Like EDITED it is.

Complete bollo**s mate. Go away untill you have the slightest idea what you are banging on about regarding valve amps. 

 

Amen. rant over

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

DocG wrote:

pauln wrote:

Contrary to what many claim, a Watt is, in fact, a Watt, a unit of measurement of power, as unchangeable as a metre or a litre and neither valve watts or Naim watts are any different to any other Watts.

Hi Paul,

Sure there is more than Watts. Difficult speakers can challenge an amp with diving impedances and high phase angles (something I read about; I don't pretend I understand it  Smile). Can you comment?

I know little about electronics, however I do know (or have learnt) that diving impedance/high phase angle are characteristics of difficult to drive speakers and these speakers will require even more Watts to drive them without clipping. More Watts, higher current. More power.

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

John Duncan wrote:
What amp have you got, pauln?

Rega Brio 3; why, does it matter?

Prior to that was a Mission Cyrus 2. I don't upgrade much.

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

I've owned one AV amp and five stereo amps but I've never been able to compare in the same room with the same speakers level matched so there's no basis to make any comparison. 

 

Being unable to do any meaningful test I defer to the evidence available and all of it says the same thing. 

 

 

 

 

pauln's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

MakkaPakka wrote:

pauln wrote:

 research both sides of the argument and draw your own conclusions.

 

You can save some time on that here - pretty much every recorded blind test rounded up in one place:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

I want to believe there's differences (because it makes things interesting) but the evidence against is pretty compelling. When you think about all the amazing technology we have today, you have to think that amplifying two channels of sound without distoring it is a pretty basic task that should be easily achievable for not much money.

 

People try and pick holes in ABX tests but if the differences were as big as people claim then they would be passed rather than coming back as no better than random every single time. ABX tests seem to be just fine when it comes to picking the differences out between speakers. Harbeth wasn't the first to do this type of challenge either.

 

I am really waiting patiently for some decent evidence there is a difference so I can justify buying a new toy but my head tells me to stick with what I've got because it has all the functionality I need.

 

 

Pretty much the same as my own thoughts really.

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

I know little about electronics, however I do know (or have learnt) that diving impedance/high phase angle are characteristics of difficult to drive speakers and these speakers will require even more Watts to drive them without clipping. More Watts, higher current. More power.

So you accept that wattage isn't all that matters; current matters too. This is why a low-wattage, high-current design, such as a 30W Class A amp, is better at driving difficult speakers than a low-wattage, low-current design, e.g. a low-spec Class A/B amp. Class A amps for the most part also sound different from Class A/B amps, because unlike Class A/B amps they don't suffer from crossover distortion. Different designs can sound different. It's not simply a matter of wattage.

Matt

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

John Duncan wrote:
What amp have you got, pauln?

Rega Brio 3; why, does it matter?

Prior to that was a Mission Cyrus 2. I don't upgrade much.

I'm wondering why you upgraded at all, if amps all sound the same.

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audiokid's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

Informative link. Thanks for posting.

John Duncan's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

John Duncan wrote:
What amp have you got, pauln?

Rega Brio 3; why, does it matter?

Prior to that was a Mission Cyrus 2. I don't upgrade much.

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ESLee's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

I'd say they do.

I used to have an Arcam A28 feeding my Spendor's and found that after trying a Sony TA-FA 777ES which fed them with more power, they seemed to open up considerably.

I'm aware they are not the easiest to power, however. That said, IME, older amps with less power on paper have been more than a match for some of the more powerful modern amps ive used.

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pauln's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

floyd droid wrote:

pauln wrote:
especially valve amps, it's a nice, warm, analogue kind of sound that probably reminds middle aged men of their childhood. 

You dont half type a load of bo**o*ks mate and obviously have no idea how modern day valve amps sound compared to yesteryear.

Yeah my 845s are nice warm pipe and slippers sounding. Like EDITED they are.

My 300B SE is all cuddly wuddly wrapped in cotton wool . Like EDITED it is.

Complete bollo**s mate. Go away untill you have the slightest idea what you are banging on about regarding valve amps. 

 

Amen. rant over

You're obviously a fan.

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floyd droid's picture
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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

You're obviously a fan.

Obviously. And as I said ,obviously you have no idea what a modern day valve amp sounds like. 

Stick to what you know ,not what you have read.  Smile

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

John Duncan wrote:

pauln wrote:

John Duncan wrote:
What amp have you got, pauln?

Rega Brio 3; why, does it matter?

Prior to that was a Mission Cyrus 2. I don't upgrade much.

I'm wondering why you upgraded at all, if amps all sound the same.

Because it stopped working? Fine reason to get a new one don't you think?

Because it was 15 years old and had been fixed twice already.

Because, oddly, at that time I didn't think the way I do now about this kind of thing.

I couldn't hear any difference, my wife thought the Rega sounded worse - "a bit tinny" was the phrase she used. I was expecting this much vaunted British amp to sound fantastic and it didn't.

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