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Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

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

floyd droid wrote:

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

I'll stick to believing measurements thanks.

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

I'm interested to hear from anyone who has owned both high quality / expensive amps and cheaper amps with easy to drive speakers and not detected any difference. 

Did you happily downgrade? 

Or upgrade, and later realise no improvement after the initial excitement? 

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

matt49 wrote:

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

So why can't people tell them apart in blind testing?

How does voltage affect things, since Watts = volts x amps?

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

Given that tone controls alter how an amplifier sounds, then it is not inconcievable to imagine that some sort of filtering be inbuilt in an amplifier to provide a house sound, not particularly hi-fi, but there you are.

So we can say that some amplifiers sound different maybe, but should they if they are simply amplifying a signal? To my mind, any decent amp should be as transparent as the design allows and almost all evidence seems to point to the fact that most amps sound the same, or as close to being the same to be considered so.

The value in more expensive amplifiers aside from non audio properties is in the ability to better control difficult to drive speakers and to allow for greater volume without distortion. Sound quality per se should not really be an issue.

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

i'd say alot of modern midrange amps, say 1 - 2k arent worth the money. I'd prefer a 10 - 20 year old Solid state powerhouse. My Arcam was ok but so cheaply built compared to some of the older Japanese stuff availible used. Thats where I'd spend my £'s. My only regret is not knowing sooner!

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

ESLee wrote:

 I'd prefer a 10 - 20 year old Solid state powerhouse.

Bloody Sony lovers! Wink

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

The Elicit R is £1100 more expensive than the Brio R IMHO this amp seriously blows the Brio R out of the water!

 

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

How does voltage affect things, since Watts = volts x amps?

For a certain power, when the speakers need lots of current (low impedance, high phase angle), voltage may drop = bad. No?

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

And is this in a test where both amps are playing the at exactly the same moderate volume with the same, east to drive speakers? 

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

We are talking about easy to drive speakers only, like Harbeths. 

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

CnoEvil wrote:

Rega Brio vs  Elite R

Meant Brio R vs Elicit R.  doh!

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

So why can't people tell them apart in blind testing?

I'm not aware of any blind tests comparing Class A against Class A/B amps. But then having read through the blind tests given in MakkaPakka's e-mail, I wouldn't give any creedence to that kind of blind testing. They all seem to have been done by enthusiasts or engineers. It's a bit like asking a psychologist to measure the performance of an amp.

pauln wrote:

How does voltage affect things, since Watts = volts x amps?

You tell me, since you know all about engineering measurements.

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

So why did you never take up the Harbeth Challenge and win yourself 5 grands worth of speaker if it's so easy?

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

I would have taken the Harbeth challenge in a heartbeat if it hadn't been for the get out clause that the amps must have the same frequency response. I own 2 amps that I am confident I can tell apart in a blind test. However they will have frequency responses that vary by 0.5 to 1 dbs at the frequency extremes. These frequency response differences are not the biggest sonic difference between them, but they are there nevertheless. The biggest sonic differences between these 2 amps comes from bass grip and midrange naturalness and detail.

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

pauln wrote:

floyd droid wrote:

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

I'll stick to believing measurements thanks.

You cannot hear measurements. Smile

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RE: Do more expensive amplifiers make a difference?

What can you hear that can't be measured?