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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

 Budget amplifiers in real world systems are not the same as 'better' amplifiers but with limited power. There are other qualitative factors involved that in my view make a big difference.

What other qualitative factors are you talking about? I'm talking about budget hifi amps, not junk.

<snipped>

Back on topic, I remain convinced that the modern emphasis towards the speakers is simply wrong. I am well aware of the big differences one can hear between speakers but if we leave the 'junk' out of the discussion, I find most of the differences to be in the way that music is presented, rather than any real difference in the capabilities of the speaker.

Hi Dave

Could you expand on your idea regarding the difference between "presented" & "capabilities" in this context? We may disagree on the importance of speakers but they are only as good as the amp driving them, IMO. In other words, upgrading an amp can make a big improvement to the SQ by getting the best (or better) out of speakes.

 

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

Similarly I am also very aware just how similar competent amplifiers can sound in a blind test, something that strongly supports your views. 

There was a blind ABX amp test on the PFM forum over the summer, using two Naim models at different price points. The test grew out of precisely this sort of debate, i.e. whether or not amps sound different when working well within their stated operational limits. The test methodology was designed collaboratively by representatives of both ‘factions’ in the debate, and both sides confirmed before the test that the test met their methodological strictures. All agreed that both amps had been operating within their comfort zone and were properly level matched.

The result of the test was that the participants did distinguish between the two amps to a statistically meaningful degree, though it was also interesting that there wasn't unanimity about which amp sounded 'better'.

After the test there was a short burst of triumphalist crowing from the ‘amps sound different’ camp, quite a lot of objections were raised by the ‘amps sound the same’ camp, and one of the most vocal of the latter camp (who’d been involved in the design of the test) went off in a huff and stopped posting on PFM.

I wouldn’t say this ‘proves’ anything about amps (after all it was only one test), but it was very interesting on a sociological level. For one thing, it suggested that people who held very different views were good at collaboratively organizing a means to resolve their differences but were quite unable to deal with the fall-out.

This train … carries saints and sinners / This train … carries losers and winners / This train … carries whores and gamblers / This train … carries lost souls.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

@matt69

I do not think I have ever said that I think all amplifiers sound the same.

The phrase I use is the one above, that I am "aware just how similar competent amplifiers can sound in a blind test".

In the context of this thread I was explaining how I thought that many budget amplifiers are underpowered in real world situations and are therefore not operating within their design parameters. Much of the time what you are hearing is the sound of clipping, sagging power supplies and poorly controlled bass drivers.

By those criterea the amplifiers are not, to my mind, competent.

 

@busb

To my mind 'presentation' is all about how a speaker sounds. Is it bright or dark, does it have more or less bass, shouty or laid back, soundstage wide or narrow etc, etc, just a few obvious examples.

These characteristics will often vary with speaker setup, room placement, different rooms and even the taste of the listener.

'Capability' on the other hand is something more fundamental, the ability of the loudspeaker to convincingly convey the music in such a way that you get a better insight into the performance, in the parlance of this forum, 'more involving'.

I gave up being much bothered with 'presentational' issus many years ago, as I said above it is not consistent from room to room, setup to setup and is largely unhelpful when evaluating speakers. Listen to the music, not the sound it makes.

 

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

@matt69

I do not think I have ever said that I think all amplifiers sound the same.

Indeed, I took you as meaning that they don't. I was just picking up on your reference to blind testing.

This train … carries saints and sinners / This train … carries losers and winners / This train … carries whores and gamblers / This train … carries lost souls.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

 Budget amplifiers in real world systems are not the same as 'better' amplifiers but with limited power. There are other qualitative factors involved that in my view make a big difference.

What other qualitative factors are you talking about? I'm talking about budget hifi amps, not junk.

I know what you are getting at here but I think the issue revolves around our definitions of "budget hifi amps" and "junk".

As I said above, I feel the most budget amplifiers are chronically underpowered, an issue not helped by their optimistic power ratings. To my mind they are simply inadequate in (my) hi-fi terms. Not junk, as they can produce a pleasing sound, though to my mind (and ears) not really something that I would consider hi-fi. (I know, we have been here before, but suffice it to say that I personally set the bar a bit higher than some when deciding what is and what is not hi-fi).

 

I would say that most budget amplifiers will probably meet their spec, not that many hifi mags check that these days. I think you are assuming something is worse by looking at the price of it, clouding your judgement. 50 watts per channel at low distortion is going to sound very similar indeed on any amplifier regardless of price. The people in this well executed test couldn't tell, and I suspect, neither could you.      http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_ppec.htm

Which is why it's speakers first!

 

PS Could someone kill the captcha please, it's driving me nuts!!!

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

...

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

He may well have said that Dave and I'm sure a gentleman of your experience smelt the BS. I don't see the validity of his proposition comparing Hi-Fi reproduction of recordings to a bunch of under rehearsed asses that can't start and stop at the same time.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

 Budget amplifiers in real world systems are not the same as 'better' amplifiers but with limited power. There are other qualitative factors involved that in my view make a big difference.

What other qualitative factors are you talking about? I'm talking about budget hifi amps, not junk.

I know what you are getting at here but I think the issue revolves around our definitions of "budget hifi amps" and "junk".

As I said above, I feel the most budget amplifiers are chronically underpowered, an issue not helped by their optimistic power ratings. To my mind they are simply inadequate in (my) hi-fi terms. Not junk, as they can produce a pleasing sound, though to my mind (and ears) not really something that I would consider hi-fi. (I know, we have been here before, but suffice it to say that I personally set the bar a bit higher than some when deciding what is and what is not hi-fi).

 

I would say that most budget amplifiers will probably meet their spec, not that many hifi mags check that these days. I think you are assuming something is worse by looking at the price of it, clouding your judgement. 50 watts per channel at low distortion is going to sound very similar indeed on any amplifier regardless of price. The people in this well executed test couldn't tell, and I suspect, neither could you.      http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_ppec.htm

Which is why it's speakers first!

PS Could someone kill the captcha please, it's driving me nuts!!!

I thought I covered these matters in my post, even going as far as to highlight areas of my own thought processes that were not scientifically consistent in an attempt to be honest.

I have taken part in a number of organised blind tests and know full well just how difficult it can be to tell one amplifier from another and said as much. I have also, as a dealer and enthusiast, been lucky enough to 'live' with a wide range of components and systems and there are considerable differences that can be heard in the real world, away from 'controlled' conditions.

Now maybe you would not have heard these differences, maybe you would. I am trying hard not to be dogmatic about this but the difference in the ability of various budget amplifiers is quite marked in the real situation I describe. Given the low distortion and ample power ratings of these amplifiers, ratings which as you say should make them 'functionally identical', I can only conclude that these specifications are not being met, in these situations, at least

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

As much as Dave's dogmatism can grate sometimes, I'm with him on this one.

When my girlfriend moved in she brought with her a bottom of the rung CA Topaz AM1 amp and a pair of Gale 3010S. To my ears, not so much hers, it sounded dreadful. Everything you would imagine - thin sounding with little to no bottom end. Stick the Gales on to a 200w Class A MF amp and believe it or not they sound really quite good. Same with some Dali Zensor 1 I had on trial recently as a bedroom system. On the end of a Denon Piccolo they sounded, to me anyway, awful. Conformed to all the criticisms I have read about them. Again, stick em on the end of the MF amp and they sounded amazingly good. 

The OP's speakers, while not the greatest, are certainly not the worst either. They might benefit enormously from better amplification and might be good enough for the OP. In his position I would be tempted to get hold of a decent s/h amp. The Pioneer 400 is a great amp, I have one and love it with the right speakers, but seems a little over valued at the moment considering its age maybe. A better bet for me would be a Sony DB930. Totally undervalued in the second hand market (regularly less than £50 on ebay) and as a stereo amp. I recommend this simply because it is a cheap experiment, and could be sold on for same if not liked. It has masses of power, digital inputs, a half decent phono stage and might make the OP's speakers sing to their maximum capability. It certainly does a good job with the Gales.

There is massive value in the s/h market, and with the OP's budget I could put together amp and speakers that would be far from a shoddy set up. Add some Mission 751 to the Sony amp and the whole thing should come to under £100. If you have an i-device or computer with itunes already, chuck in an AEX and for about £150 you have a pretty decent streaming set up. But that's off topic a bit.

The OP does need to sort out his stylus though!

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

namefail wrote:

davedotco wrote:

...

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

 

He may well have said that Dave and I'm sure a gentleman of your experience smelt the BS. I don't see the validity of his proposition comparing Hi-Fi reproduction of recordings to a bunch of under rehearsed asses that can't start and stop at the same time.

 

The designer in question was not being entirely serious, it was a remark made after work and over drinks.

However the idea that you can change the 'sound' without actually changing the 'quality' of the musical playback did actually strike a chord.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

Ah, I didn't know there were beers involved.  Smile

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

namefail wrote:

Ah, I didn't know there were beers involved.  Smile

I was a hi-fi dealer, there was always beer involved...... :cheers:

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

namefail wrote:

davedotco wrote:

...

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

 

He may well have said that Dave and I'm sure a gentleman of your experience smelt the BS. I don't see the validity of his proposition comparing Hi-Fi reproduction of recordings to a bunch of under rehearsed asses that can't start and stop at the same time.

 

The designer in question was not being entirely serious, it was a remark made after work and over drinks.

However the idea that you can change the 'sound' without actually changing the 'quality' of the musical playback did actually strike a chord.

 

Placement can be as important as speaker quality.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

namefail wrote:

davedotco wrote:

...

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

 

He may well have said that Dave and I'm sure a gentleman of your experience smelt the BS. I don't see the validity of his proposition comparing Hi-Fi reproduction of recordings to a bunch of under rehearsed asses that can't start and stop at the same time.

 

The designer in question was not being entirely serious, it was a remark made after work and over drinks.

However the idea that you can change the 'sound' without actually changing the 'quality' of the musical playback did actually strike a chord.

 

Placement can be as important as speaker quality.

That is precisely the opposite of my views.

Not because placement (and support) is not important, it is, but as I have explained above it only changes the sound of the speakers, the speaker quality is something else entirely.

If you want better 'sound' from your speakers you can change the placement and setup, more bass/less bass, wider/narrower soundstage, etc, etc. If you want better 'music', change the speakers.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

namefail wrote:

davedotco wrote:

...

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

 

He may well have said that Dave and I'm sure a gentleman of your experience smelt the BS. I don't see the validity of his proposition comparing Hi-Fi reproduction of recordings to a bunch of under rehearsed asses that can't start and stop at the same time.

 

The designer in question was not being entirely serious, it was a remark made after work and over drinks.

However the idea that you can change the 'sound' without actually changing the 'quality' of the musical playback did actually strike a chord.

 

Placement can be as important as speaker quality.

That is precisely the opposite of my views.

Not because placement (and support) is not important, it is

 

If you want better 'music', change the speakers.

 

At last we agree. But at the same time you contradicted yourself.

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RE: incorrectly matched Ohms?

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

TrevC wrote:

davedotco wrote:

namefail wrote:

davedotco wrote:

...

As an aside.

Some years ago a loudspeaker manufacturer explained it like this.

"Imagine you go to a concert and find that the band (orchestra whatever) is not very good. You can move your seat elswhere in the hall and the sound changes each time you move, but the quality of the performance stays the same".

 

He may well have said that Dave and I'm sure a gentleman of your experience smelt the BS. I don't see the validity of his proposition comparing Hi-Fi reproduction of recordings to a bunch of under rehearsed asses that can't start and stop at the same time.

 

The designer in question was not being entirely serious, it was a remark made after work and over drinks.

However the idea that you can change the 'sound' without actually changing the 'quality' of the musical playback did actually strike a chord.

 

Placement can be as important as speaker quality.

That is precisely the opposite of my views.

Not because placement (and support) is not important, it is

 

If you want better 'music', change the speakers.

 

At last we agree. But at the same time you contradicted yourself.

If you read the whole of my posts you would know that I consider the 'sound' of a speaker (more bass/less bass etc as explained above) to be fundamentaly different from the 'musical' ability of a speaker.

You may disagree with that view or maybe not even 'get' it, but I have made it pretty clear that is how I see things, so no contradiction at all.

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