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Does designing an amplifier by ear really work?

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24 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

IME, there is nothing to be gained being publicly critical of another member.  The anonymity of the medium makes it difficult for some to avoid personal conflicts.

 

Some take it personally when others have different preferences.  For example, you own an F150 and I buy a Ram, is incorrectly interpreted as a criticism of you for being so ignorant as to prefer your Ford.

 

I observed this phenomenon from an early age and have tried to avoid it.  My late father was a kind and decent man who would help strangers anyway he could, until he got behind the wheel of a car.  He was one of the most aggressive and competitive drivers I ever saw.  I don’t think he would have done well on the Internet.

 

IMO, the negative conduct exhibited by some need not be moderated to the extreme.  The kooky crankiness is amusing and easy, at least for me, to ignore.  I like class D chip amps, zip cord, and hi-res digital.  Do I lose sleep if someone else prefers tubes, Cardas cables, and vinyl?  I do not.  Over the 17 years I’ve haunted this forum, I’ve seen malcontents come and go.  When trolling troublemakers fail to get a rise out of others they grow bored and go to another board.

 

One thing that ought to unite us all is a shared preference for the high efficiency and low distortion of Klipsch, despite the anti-horn bias of “audiophiles.”  

That, for me personally, is in the running for Post of the Year, very well said.  You should have been a lawyer.

 

Travis

 

P.S.  Everyone knows people who drive Dodge trucks are idiots.  

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34 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

Over the 17 years I’ve haunted this forum, I’ve seen malcontents come and go.  When trolling troublemakers fail to get a rise out of others they grow bored and go to another board.

I agree, although what is considered malcontent behavior is in the eye of the beholder...Some want to get a rise with shock value while others try to keep things interesting in a civil manner. Fwiw, I missed the deleted discussion but can't help but think threads get locked when the name calling/belittling begins and the non sequiturs fly--That's my take.

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On 6/25/2019 at 9:52 AM, babadono said:

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Ok I am trying to quote the sentence the starts with "On all the elements........and sound quality".

So we are all agreed? That everything except the power amp is well defined and the sound quality standardized? Huh? Is this a Klipsch speaker forum?

The way I read this, the author's point isn't that general agreement exists among listeners–but, rather, agreement exists between accepted specifications and their resulting sound quality; in other words, the specifications and the sound quality for other elements in the chain are, generally speaking, not at odds with each other the way they sometimes can be with power amps (the premise of the article).

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38 minutes ago, dwilawyer said:

That, for me personally, is in the running for Post of the Year, very well said.  You should have been a lawyer.

 

Travis

 

P.S.  Everyone knows people who drive Dodge trucks are idiots.  

So now, YOU, are in the running for funniest $marta$$ remark of the year. Birds of a feather flock together!

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23 minutes ago, Endo said:

The way I read this, the author's point isn't that general agreement exists among listeners–but, rather, agreement exists between accepted specifications and their resulting sound quality; in other words, the specifications and the sound quality for other elements in the chain are, generally speaking, not at odds with each other the way they sometimes can be with power amps (the premise of the article).

Yes, and by instrument, tubes have much higher distortion figures (like 100 times more) than the current champ, which is the Hypex NC series. Speakers are even worse in this regard, yet the pleasant and euphoric distortions of tubes are enjoyed by many people around the world. So, listening is more important than measuring, but either way you need to know up front what you are dealing with. "You can't make what you can't measure because you don't know when you have it made." PWK quoting Dr. Irving Gardner.

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2 hours ago, Endo said:

The way I read this, the author's point isn't that general agreement exists among listeners–but, rather, agreement exists between accepted specifications and their resulting sound quality; in other words, the specifications and the sound quality are, generally speaking, not at odds with each other–as is sometimes the case with amps that measure good and sound bad (the premise of the article).

 

 

Very good Endo. 

 

The question I pose, is " WHAT to measure ?? " 

 

Can we measure what is meaningful, in 2019?  Do we really know what counts, what to measure ??  Is it so simple to do, and be meaningful?

 

If so,  any classically trained EE can add an out-of-time negative feedback loop back to an earlier stage, and the amplifier WILL measure better.  But the NFB loop, among other nasties,  blunts dynamics, and the " cure" of using NFB is typically to my listening, often worse than the original zero feedback playback !!  

 

Amps are the audio components most needing in help .....in my listening experience. 

 

The highest-fidelity answer " I " find, is to use highly efficient professional-use horn-loaded speakers, that will play with amps designed so as to not use any NFB - amps of 2 or 3 Watts , or less.  Design them by ear !!

 

Have fun, I do. 

 

 

Jeffrey

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33 minutes ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

Amps are the audio components most needing in help .....in my listening experience. 

This is where I respectfully have to disagree. By far to my ears THE BIGGEST influencer of what I hear is the loudspeaker. Then the room acoustics. And as @Chris A would say YMMV.

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1 hour ago, babadono said:

This is where I respectfully have to disagree. By far to my ears THE BIGGEST influencer of what I hear is the loudspeaker. Then the room acoustics. And as @Chris A would say YMMV.

 

 

Thats totally  fine, I understand where you are coming from, ....and MANY will agree with you !!  .

 

I always assume a really good, high efficiency PROFESSIONAL - use speaker, like the non consumer,  very best Klipsch, or ALE, ALTEC , JBL, GPA. 

 

On any of those five mentioned drivers, amp ( and wiring ) differences will be astounding and profound - is my direct experience. 

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it's easy to design an average to poor to bad sounding amplifier they permeate/saturate the market place (they all want to be oscillators given any reasonable opportunity). Fine well balanced high performing stable and load invariant designs are much harder to find. One only has to look at the mountains of threads of people searching for and discussing the perfect amplifier match for some specific loudspeaker. How much nicer to have an amp that can perform well in a wide variety of situations.

It seems that you are considering that it is the loudspeaker that sounds different and I agree that they do but perhaps it is the impact of the loudspeaker upon the amplifier which results in the bulk of what you hear. I believe that this is often the case. with solid stable amplifiers you can drive a lot of different load loudspeakers and overall characters will remain much the same but for the expected differences one might expect form response differences. This is just a slightly different way of looking a situation. Makes sense to me from my experience but it may not to others.

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3 hours ago, dwilawyer said:

You should have been a lawyer.

 

 

You sound like my late mother.  Unfortunately, a waterskiing mishap sent me to law school on crutches.  After more than twenty years “practicing” law, I started a small business.  The last decade plus, as a recovering attorney in my encore career, has been much more enjoyable.  I still pay bar dues; for ~$300/year it’s worth  it to keep my wife happy.  

 

My last client was years ago when our younger son’s life was going up in smoke.  Despite his antics, I was able to resolve his legal problems without a misdemeanor conviction.  Fortunately, his frontal lobe has now developed.  It’s like dealing with a different person.

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25 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

. . . without a misdemeanor conviction.

 

If someone else posted this, I would have asked:

 

“But what about your son, did he avoid a misdemeanor conviction too?”

 

At which point Carl @CECAA850 and Mike @MookieStl would have rolled their eyes.

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8 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

 

If someone else posted this, I would have asked:

 

“But what about your son, did he avoid a misdemeanor conviction too?”

 

At which point Carl @CECAA850 and Mike @MookieStl would have rolled their eyes.

My intention has always been for you to exercise moderation in your attempt at puns.

Now that you have become your own straight man, I see no possible end in sight. I can still hope.

(I'm sure you can find a couple witty retorts to this post as well!)

You've been working overtime lately being the voice of reason and an entertainer as well. Must be exhausting.

Have fun, I secretly enjoy a few of them on rare occasions.

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2 minutes ago, MookieStl said:

Now that you have become your own straight man, I see no possible end in sight. I can still hope.

 

If I recall correctly,  my father warned me about this; something to do with blindness, or am a confused . . . again?

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5 hours ago, dwilawyer said:

I like class D chip amps, zip cord, and hi-res digital

I drink boxed wine, roll my bike through stop signs, and disapprove of children having unsupervised access to MP3s.

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2 hours ago, moray james said:

Fine well balanced high performing stable and load invariant designs are much harder to find

Not really. Hypex NC 400 is the answer.

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5 minutes ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

Not really. Hypex NC 400 is the answer.

I heard the Benchmark AHB2 is now the low distortion champion.

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7 minutes ago, dwilawyer said:

I heard the Benchmark AHB2 is now the low distortion champion.

Bruno Putzeys has a new one which may be a smidge better, but even on the NC series, new measurement methods were needed because traditional ones could not detect the distortion, since it was too low to measure. Nowadays it's NEUTRAL Class D vs. the Euphoric Distortions of Tubes. They both sound good with the right speakers.

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6 hours ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

If so,  any classically trained EE can add an out-of-time negative feedback loop back to an earlier stage, and the amplifier WILL measure better.  But the NFB loop, among other nasties,  blunts dynamics, and the " cure" of using NFB is typically to my listening, often worse than the original zero feedback playback !! 

 

Any fb loop which runs from the opt secondary back to the driver (even with only 2 stages in my experience) can be prone to some phase distortion issues.  However, applying small amounts of fb locally at each stage pretty much eliminates that problem.  I find with SEPs that some fb is needed and, if carefully applied, can result in an almost SET like midrange/top end and tighter/more potent bass which is useful for speakers like LSs and Heresys.  That said, if a SEP is used at a small percentage of its total output power (say less then 25%), the distortion is usually quite low and the resultant sound very nice without using fb.  We get into some definite personal taste issues here.

 

In regard to the Hypex and Benchmark amps, I seem to recall that both use some nfb.  Does anyone have definite info about that? 

 

Getting back to Cheever's thesis, I mentioned being fascinated by his discussion of the response of our auditory systems to harmonics and have started doing some research.  So far, this article has been the most informative (it's a bit heavy in neuroanatomy but lots of info can be gleaned even if you don't have a strong background):

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865599/

 

All of this raises some important points in regard to why some of us prefer certain types of sound from our audio systems.  Apparently, there can be some wide variations in our  neural wiring.  Perhaps this is why some like the harmonic signatures of SETs vs SS vs PP and so on.  And, in my mind, it can certainly account for why one person can be enthralled by one type of sound while another is driven out of the room.  I'll have to continue reading about this as I go along. 

 

 

Maynard

 

 

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10 hours ago, polizzio said:

 

But rules exist for a reason. Respectful discussion and sharing experiences and knowledge. I myself crossed that line a couple times early on (being a NFG with a personality disorder), but am working on it. 

There is zero reason or justification for personal attacks and its just not productive in the grand scheme of things here. I respect the mod's decisions.

 

Ya got 35,000 members here and 98% are male. And most think their toys are the best ever. Add in some ego and bravado..........oh brother!

 

Cheese and rice, the banter on this forum was no worse than what is experienced in high school football and wrestling locker rooms or in the military.  The age of real men is dead, sadly replaced by junior high hall monitors policing audio forums. Bravo!

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