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ODS123

Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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We have two nice stores here in the Dayton area. Audio etc. and Hanson Audio/Video.

 

Most of the stuff in Hanson Audio is cost prohibitive for me - for most people actually. It's located close to the most upscale neighborhoods in the area.

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29 minutes ago, richieb said:

 

—- Dean’s the devil in disguise - he casts no reflection—

Kind of hurt my feelings a bit. I'm really a pretty nice guy, just ask anyone hanging off the end of my spear.

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So if I end up buying a new Pre/pro with DAC's SNR @ 120db with THD @ -112db vs the cheaper Pre/pro with DAC's SNR @115db with THD @-107db  I will be wasting money for better numbers? Not saying I could hear a difference, but aren't better numbers actually better?

 

 

My Powersouce is A weighted @ 113db below rated output

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Deang said:

Kind of hurt my feelings a bit. I'm really a pretty nice guy, just ask anyone hanging off the end of my spear.

 

=== well then, I’m sorry. I was trying to inject a bit of humor into this lame 65 page game of bait and switch. Or better known as 

trolling for suckers —

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I hope that apology wasn't sincere - I knew you were just playing.

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8 minutes ago, Max2 said:

So if I end up buying a new Pre/pro with DAC's SNR @ 120db with THD @ -112db vs the cheaper Pre/pro with DAC's SNR @115db with THD @-107db  I will be wasting money for better numbers? Not saying I could hear a difference, but aren't better numbers actually better? 

 

 

A good question for @Edgar

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Can somebody please take the Amplifier Challenge and win the $10,000. I just want to know if it is real.

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I'm sure it is.

 

I mentioned earlier in the thread, wondering what would happen if someone used a very small sample of something, like a cymbal crash or a 10 kHz test tone, and just went between A and X, and never on B.  

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19 minutes ago, Deang said:

I'm sure it is.

 

I mentioned earlier in the thread, wondering what would happen if someone used vary small sample of something, like a cymbal crash or a 10 kHz test tone, and just went between A and X, and never on B.  

 

That's the ticket. 2-3 seconds of content and a black silent decay involved.    I don't see how anyone could mash anymore than that and identify a difference with the brain trying to absorb all the info.  Its probably why all the pictured testers in that link were holding both hands on their brain.

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I’m sure the test is legit.  This begs the question of whether or not it is relevant though.  It has nothing to do with what sounds better in the real world.  In the real world pretty much no one has Clark available to make every amp sound the same as every other amp, and beginners go out and buy an amp and speakers and put them together in less than ideal rooms.  This is presumably a forum for hobbyists that are interested in getting the best sound out there system, right?  Other than the common thread of everyone being interested in Klipsch and Klipsch inspired speakers, we all find our way to what sounds best to us.  If I were to advise a beginner who appears to be a budding audio enthusiast what to buy, I am going to advise them to buy something that works for me.  Even though I use SETs mostly, my advice was to buy an ACA.  That’s because I have heard it, it sounds good, and it is reasonably priced.  I am not going to advise them to buy something I haven’t heard or something I’ve heard and don’t like.  My annoyance with the OP has mostly to do with his advising against/slagging equipment he hasn’t heard in the real world, a world where Clark isn’t standing there adjusting equipment so it all sounds the same.  In the real world, it doesn’t sound the same.  Some amps and topologies sound better than others because of their synergy with the far more imperfect speakers they are paired with.  

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46 minutes ago, Deang said:

A good question for @Edgar

 

It's not only about DAC performance. There is analog circuitry attached to those DACs.

 

That said, it's also not only about SNR and harmonic distortion. Otherwise, the amplifiers with the best SNR and distortion would sound best.

 

Years ago people used massive negative feedback in amplifiers to reduce distortion to tiny numbers. You don't see those amps around any more because they didn't sound very good (at least not in subjective evaluations).

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47 minutes ago, Deang said:

I'm sure it is.

 

I mentioned earlier in the thread, wondering what would happen if someone used a very small sample of something, like a cymbal crash or a 10 kHz test tone, and just went between A and X, and never on B.  

 

Well, as you opine on that I think I can safely say to beginners that I’ve proved my point...

 

That IF differences between amplifiers exist they are apt to be soooooo small that you have unclaimed $10k awards;  dozens of people on websites endless debating their existence and importance; and manufacturers who never provide ANY outcome data from listening trials.

 

So, the moral of the story as I see it:  Spend most of your money on speakers...  But be sure to leave enough left over for an amplifier that has the build/feel you want, the features you want (like tone controls, ability to drive a 2nd pair of speakers, mono switch, auto-on,etc.. whatever matters to you) and has enough power to drive your speakers to the levels you desire without clipping.  Beyond that, set aside concerns that you’re missing out on some faint indescribable, immeasurable audio magic, because chances are — you’re not.

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Repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, etc.

 

Just because DBT doesn't detect nuanced differences between some components, doesn't mean nuances over the long haul aren't detectable or important to some.

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This thread appears to have become a contest in who can wear the other down via argument through repetition.   I’m trying to avoid being baited into further beating a dead horse - however, I’m sorry to report that I can’t resist. 

 

Thus far 2 potential causes have been identified in this thread for differences in the sound quality for amps:  tone controls, and non-linearity.  I seriously doubt this list is complete.  How do you explain the observation of some audiophiles that some amps sound “dry”, or aren’t “musically engaging”?  

 

IIRC someone rhetorically asked (many pages ago):  “Is there a list of “approved” modern amps that meet some definition of ‘linearity’ “?  I think that many audiophiles (vs. John Q. Public) would respond:  Who cares?

 

One thing this thread has established is that some of us value “musicality”, while others want to convince themselves that their hi-fi system is “accurate” (whatever that means), and some people appear to employ the “hope strategy”.  

 

Apparently, some people hope that they’re hearing what the record producers and engineers wanted them to hear.    As I’ve said before, unless you’re using the same amp, speakers, and room treatment that was used in the recording studio control booth, or you have an EQ curve that mimics every recording studio in the world, I don’t understand how this makes sense.  If you have your hi-fi system calibrated for flat in-room response (according to your “calibrated” mic and PC software), you’re probably not hearing what the recording engineers heard.

 

My perspective is different.  For the classical music I love, the recording engineers and producers aren’t the artists.  For classical music, the composer, conductor, and musicians are the artists.   (And BTW there is no sound-board operator, because there is no sound reinforcement system when classical music is performed in a symphony hall.)  For the classical music I love, there is a clear benchmark for how the music should sound.   I care what someone heard when sitting mid-hall during a live performance of the classical concert in a world-class symphony hall. 

 

I’m completely unmoved by an argument that says that I should buy any amp that is “linear” (and has adequate power, adequate features, and appealing aesthetics).    I care about how the music sounds.

 

Each consumer must decide their goals for their hi-fi system.  And each consumer must employ a decision-making methodology that suits them.

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8 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

Beyond that, set aside concerns that you’re missing out on some faint indescribable, immeasurable audio magic, because chances are — you’re not.

 

Nigel: "You see, most blokes will be playing at 10. You’re on 10, all the way up, all the way up...Where can you go from there? Nowhere. What we do, is if we need that extra push over the cliff...Eleven. One louder."

 

DiBergi: "Why don’t you just make 10 louder and make 10 be the top number, and make that a little louder?"

 

Nigel (after taking a moment to let this sink in): "These go to 11."

 

Nigel was fooling himself. Perhaps all audiophiles are fooling themselves. Does it matter?

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I posted several good links to articles that explain why DBT doesn't work well for audio. The Audioholics article was especially well written. Those folks are die hard meter readers. 

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3 minutes ago, Edgar said:

Nigel was fooling himself. Perhaps all audiophiles are fooling themselves. Does it matter?

Such a great movie, funny.

 

No, it doesn't really matter. Like I said earlier - people buy what they want to buy.

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21 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

Apparently, some people hope that they’re hearing what the record producers and engineers wanted them to hear.    As I’ve said before, unless you’re using the same amp, speakers, and room treatment that was used in the recording studio control booth, or you have an EQ curve that mimics every recording studio in the world, I don’t understand how this makes sense.  If you have your hi-fi system calibrated for flat in-room response (according to your “calibrated” mic and PC software), you’re probably not hearing what the recording engineers heard.

 

21 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

For the classical music I love, there is a clear benchmark for how the music should sound.   I care what someone heard when sitting mid-hall during a live performance of the classical concert in a world-class symphony hall. 

 

 

Here's the rub - if you do not hear the same orchestra with the same conductor in the same hall in which the recording was made, it is not a valid comparison either.

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32 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

So, the moral of the story as I see it:  Spend most of your money on speakers...  

Is this really always the best advice?

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9 minutes ago, Deang said:

Like I said earlier - people buy what they want to buy.

 

For many years people, knowing that I am an audiophile, have asked me what I thought of their audio system. I always answer their question with a question: "Do you like it?"

 

They almost always answer, "Yes."

 

I always answer that with, "Then I think it's great."

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