Yeah, but which ones have you heard doing all this? Same with timing. does an amp really have influence on this? In fact, does any component? Can we name and shame?
I've always thought PRaT was a joke on the back of the acronym. I've never yet heard an amp, or source, affect "timing". What timing is going to go exactly? Will the drum beats be out of sync? Will the guitar be a beat behind? Will the conductor suddenly lose the orchestra? Nope...never anything like that yet.
Indeed I think the whole "timing" thing is nonsense. Timing of individual instruments on a recording cannot be affected.
An amp that can't properly control the bass driver on a speaker, turns the whole bassline and drums to a sort of muddled mush...thus effecting the timing (IMO).
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We judge products against similarly-priced rivals. In this case the arrival of Rotel's RA-10 has raised the bar, and shown that the Marantz could be better in certain areas.
By transparency we mean the ability of the amplifier to let the music signal through unchanged.
how do you measure this ?
transparency is a BS word that has no meaning in this context, but WHF and hi Fi in general Are not alone. Any reviewer of pretty much anything probably has to dress it up a bit.
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That's clear enough but how do you know what the original "music signal" sounds like so that you can judge the extent of any "change"?
BTW perhaps you could explain "timing"?
While waiting for a reply, this might help ie. explaining the relationship between Pace, Rhythm and Timing: http://www.tnt-audio.com/edcorner/prat_e.html
That kind of explains what the terms means, but doesn't make any attempt to explain how different kit changes them.
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Are distortion figures not printed in most hifi product specifications?
Measurements will show distortion or artifacts, but wether or not you can actually hear and identify them is another matter entirely, which is where 'audibly transparent' comes in.
Playing devil's advocate, is there any reason why there can't be an 'audibly transparent' passive crossover?
Simlary, how does an amp or player affect rhythm and/or pace?
With regard to OP's query, it seems the amp in question alters the music signal, producing an output that is soft and smooth.
Surely it would be easier to provide a measurement/reading of these change and provide it in a graphic within the magazine. When this type of thing is put down in writing it's all rather wishy-washy and difficult to decipher.
The timing is in the recording, which means that a piece of kit can only mess it up, but never improve it (obviously)....I think it will take an electrical engineer to fully explain how source / amp / speaker design can effect it.
You're seriously suggesting that a CDP might play the music at the wrong speed?
WHF have always tried to tell it like it is in a simple kind of way without blinding people with science. Most people reading reviews about amps in this price category won't want or understand graphs and distortion ratings, they just want to know roughly how it sounds.
However I do agree a lot of WHF descriptions or any Hi-Fi publications descriptions for sound quality for that matter are very subjective with overly elaborate wording.
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I'm not knowledgeable enough to know to what extent any component can effect it eg.In a digital source, does jitter only come across as a hardening of the sound, or can it subtley effect the timing. My Linn DS has a faster cleaner sound than my Karik / Numerik or Arcam DV 79.
My amp has lightening transient response, due to being Class A, which I believe effects the timing.
I also think standmounts can sound "faster" than floorstanders; and sealed speakers often have bass that is easier to follow (than ported), which also effects the timing.
Maybe someone qualified will be along to better answer your question.
Also playing devil's advocate - shouldn't we keep our minds open to possibilities? Or should we close it based on what we think isn't possible?
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No, but I know a man who can
Cno touched on this earlier - an amp that rolls its bass off a little early can sound faster. Because it isn't producing the lower notes that many speakers (and probably amplifiers) can't keep a grip on, it sounds like it is more in control, and therefore sounds faster, seemingly exhibiting more accurate pace and timing.
That's good. I was talking "on the hoof" and making it up as I went along!
"... rolls off its bass a little early ..."
Oh you mean as in a lean sounding speaker, or leaner sounding against one with a fuller bass? This is down to an interpretation of how we describe bass. More to do with the ability of a speaker to reproduce bass depth than "timing" of the music itself though I'd suggest.
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