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HNY to all!
Drummerman does make some good points. Amps do sound different with different speakers because of the differences in load they are presented with, and usually it is the speakers that do the warm/cold/clinical bit.
Besides, I'd upgrade the speakers and worry about the amp later.
Shirley there must be hifi shops in or around the Ness Point area ?
Who is Shirley?
I met a Shirley recently but she's now called something else. This is no less helpful than many other replies.
My new power amp gives a more brightly-lit representation than I'm used to. Does that mean it's cold & clinical, not warm, must be unmusical, merely amplifying without fear or favour, highlighting the balance of the recording or what?
Does cold & clinical mean accurate?
Does warm & musical mean coloured?
What my system gives me is fabulous amounts of detail, especially with acoustic recordings but many pop/rock music sounds too bright! Does that mean I've made an expensive mistake or does my system reveal how poorly recorded much music is?
To me, it just highlights squaring the circle between excitement on one hand & a sound that never misbehaves on the other. That could be rewritten as harsh v bland. Neither is more right than the other & both can detract from enjoyment some or most of the time!
"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 & iTunes Match, CA Azur 751BD or Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros.
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
"Does cold & clinical mean accurate?
Does warm & musical mean coloured?"
To me, yes but I'm no expert.
As for recording too harsh then could be recording or could be your system or both. OK I have seen your system don't know about that gear. But yes some of my cds sound harsh/poor esp. high notes like cymbals, put that down to recording/pressing and a bit to my system.
As long as you know what you like, everything else is academic. There is no point in sitting listening to a sound you hate, because a reviewer or someone on a forum said it was neutral / accurate.
It is unlikely that you can get the right system simply by listening to the subjective, and often conflicting views of others
When I auditioned an Audiolab 8200a amp recently with Monitor Audio RX6, I expected it to be an overly clinical pairing given the reveiws of both. I was surprised to find the sound to be very neutral, detailed but smooth. I suspect that had something to do with the source discs being played through my Rega DAC which has a very musical analogue sound to it. If the Rega DAC had been replaced for the Audiolab M-Dac I don't think the pairing of this particular amp and MA speakers would have been so rewarding.
Sound: Naim Nait XS | PMC GB1i | Avondale Black Link speaker cable | PC with J River MC19 | Teac UD-501 DAC + Vetere D-Fi USB lead
Vision: Oppo BDP-105 | Pioneer PDP-LX5090 | Yamaha YSP-4100 | BK XLS300/PR Subwoofer
As for recording to harsh then could be recording or could be your system or both, what speakers do you have?
See my sig - Totem Arros. My point is that a change in amp can change the overall balance for me personally & what sort of compromises people in general prefer in their own systems.
PP, thanks, useful insights as always.
Richardw42 - I'd like to see if I can improve the sound quality and for me getting a better amplifier will do that. Also, amplifiers do have characteristics and it's not just about driving the speakers; a good amplifier and bad amplifier could drive the speakers but it doesn't mean they will sound good.
Drummerman, it's just a case of me wanting to improve the quality that's all. There is nothing bad/wrong with my NAD C350 amplifier; in fact, it's a very nice amp, I just think I can get better.
BigH, thanks - I'd heard good things about the Rega Brio R so I'll definitely add it - they say it's very musical and warm.
Fatman - thanks, seen this - great deal, great amp but it's silver and I need black, otherwise I would have gone for it.
richiesuk - KI Pearl - why did you prefer it over the K2 and Brio?
Bigboss is right btw - I'm just after general feelings towards these amps - I know it's not such an exact science and many other factors will come into play. But it helps to start off hearing the right amplifiers regarding the kind of sound I'm after - unless some of you have enough time to demo 25 different brands.
altruistic.lemon - thanks, I'd thought of this but I think I can get more out of my speakers than I can my amplifier.
busb and others - descriptions - we have to use them and of course they may mean something different to everyone but if we don't use any, then how can we convey what we hear?! I agree that clinical to one person could mean detailed to someone else. So be it, it's their interpretation. We need to use whatever words we feel describe what we're hearing.
pete321 - I'd also heard this about the Audiolab 8200a - it can be neutral, true, pure and smooth. I'd also say that my Audiolab M-DAC added smoothness to my kit, along with many other attributes.
HiFi: Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Marantz CD6000OSE, Audiolab M-DAC, NAD C350, Denon TU-260L II, Tannoy Revolution R2, Vortexbox, QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary bi-wire speaker cable.
AV: Sharp LC-46LE831E, Denon AVR-2310, Sony BDP-S363, SkyHD, Mordaunt Short Genie 5.1, various QED & IXOS interconnects, QED Silver anniversary speaker cable.
Speakers make the biggest difference to any system, miggsy. Even CNO would agree.
(On second thoughts, he probably wouldn't)
altruistic.lemon - I'd agree with that, I'll be looking at upgrading my speakers at a later date.
There is a big difference between a warm Valve amp and a something like a Cyrus or a Rotel.
What this forum could do with is some stickies with technical basics which newcomers (as well as some regulars) could use to gain some useful knowledge and I include myself there too. I am constantly learning and in the process have acknowledged that I have repeatedly given questionable advise in the past and I'm sure still do. Its not just about measurements and/or how things work/interact but these are important. Anyone not interested in that aspect is simply adopting 'the head in the sand' attitude, likely to make costly mistakes and at the end of the day not understanding a thing about this hobby ...
Personally i agree with the bold but after that in the end its only upto the individual if there willing to go down that route, there's no right or wrong in my eyes.
A tech section may be of some use here, but again i feel infomation is out there if you want to take interest in that side of things. Adding technical info to a thread can be of interest to anyone involved or reading as long as you dont need to be search via an engine every sentance or have a phd in electrical engineering to understand, thats just my viewpoint.
Shooter - hence why I advise people to just use their own words to describe what they're hearing; one person's idea of 'clinical' may be heaven to them and awful to someone else. It may also be the sound they're after, which means the description itself is not necessarily negative or positive.
I agree that we don't want to be referring back to a table of definitions every time we read a sentence. The english language has a wide enough vocabulary for everyone to get across their viewpoint!
Anyway, back to my original post - any more experiences of the aforementioned amplifiers from anyone? I'd welcome more views!
My veiw to this is that all transistor amplifier if they are competently designed should drive speakers consistently. This is because all this amps have very low output resistance which make them have high damping rate. High damping rate implies that speaker will not exhibit unusual resonance modes and should sound consistent. However amplifiers do sound different. Again a competent amplifier should keep crossover distorsion to a minimum as if not then they will be hard to listen to in the long term. So I would watch amplifiers that sound harsh, with forward upper midrange and trable at normal listening levels. If they have this behaviour then crossover distorsion may not be well handled and another amplifier should be tried. Then I favour amps that have a minimalist design with no filters so always use it with tone defeat. Also high current delivery amps with beefy power supplies is a must too. Once all this are there then the speaker selection is crucial to achieve the correct balance of sound in your room.
I'm more familiar with the Nait over the others - pretty neutral in tone with good dynamics. The problem for you seeking opinions is that one, some or all the amps on your list will sound different with varying speakers they drive. In your shoes, I'd give as many as possible a listen, narrowing down the list to a couple for a home listen, presuming you live here in Blighty where many dealers are willing to loan stuff out.
Not many of the dealers I've encountered seem to stock Creek & the one who had done so said getting stock for demo wasn't easy. WHF like the Heed offering very much if in your price range.
As for my amp being brighter than what it replaced, I've returned briefly to a Primare I21 - it also sounded a little bright so it's a case of getting used to a similar sound again (albeit very much better sounding).
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