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When did you last here a distinct difference between amps?


chn68b
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Even if it’s just in your mind if you think something sounds better to you then it does. I thought my McIntosh hybrid integrated sounded better than my Yamaha  AVR. When I traded my MA 252 for my Primaluna  pure tube integrated I thought it sounded much better to me. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. My wife can’t tell the difference. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s real or not because it’s real to me.

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Agree completely with Kalifornian, you really need to listen to different types.  Example, tubes are not for me, the distortion (naturally inherent in tubes) is not something I’m a fan of. But a quality A class SS is right up my alley. 
 

but the only way I know this is because I have owned and listened to many amps over the years. 
 

but yeah, going from your AVR to specific 2ch gear (integrated or separates) will net you huge gains. 
 

good luck bro!

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25 minutes ago, Joecoulson said:

Agree completely with Kalifornian, you really need to listen to different types.  Example, tubes are not for me, the distortion (naturally inherent in tubes) is not something I’m a fan of. But a quality A class SS is right up my alley. 
 

but the only way I know this is because I have owned and listened to many amps over the years. 
 

but yeah, going from your AVR to specific 2ch gear (integrated or separates) will net you huge gains. 
 

good luck bro!

 

I'd like to hear about some of the tube amps you've heard with all this distortion?

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3 minutes ago, capo72 said:

If you can't hear the difference between different types and classes of amps, then consider yourself lucky. You are going to save a lot of money and have a much simpler time building a stereo system that makes you happy. 

 

That's one way to look at it. Or perhaps one is better off with stamp collecting or needlepoint.......

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High sensitivity speakers can show the weakness of an amplifier. Think a Lowther & Oris setup might over qualify for that!

Running a thirty year old driven very hard Yamaha RX-1100 no prefix or postfix then swapping with a Cambridge CXA-80 right out of the box? The differences were not subtle!

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16 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

I wasn't talking about you, I mean anyone. And that is on topic.

As I was typing my "to stay on topic" post, you quoted my post about being lucky not hearing differences. I felt my post was off topic, so I created another one "on topic" with a recent experience. It was not a response to you. I should have just edited my post, but man I really need to get my post count up. Some people post like 300 times a day!

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We see what we want to see, we see things as we are.

 

That said, every amp I've used over 40 years has sounded different.  I recently reset my stereo system to work my way up from the bottom.  I thought my midfi solid state amp was fine until I went back and tested my esoteric tube amp.  Then it was "Why have I been depriving myself ?"

 

I first noticed this back in the 80s when I heard a Fisher tube receiver, it was astounding the difference from a midfi solid state receiver.

 

So I believe it is most likely amps will certainly sound different from each other. Maybe very high quality solid state amps may sound similar, but I'll never know.

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I know tubes are known for 2nd harmonic distortion, they clip easier than SS, etc....

 

But I also know that a lot of people associate tube sound with old Marantz and Dynaco stuff they heard 40 years ago. Time marches on and designs have caught up.

 

Today's best tube amps don't have

 

rolled off highs

mushy bass

warm fat midrange with no resolution

 

What they do have is

 

Lightning fast transients

Defined bass response

Detailed, yet textured mids

 

I understand you know all this, but there are some that still think of the stereotypical tube sound of yesteryear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think it would be difficult for me to just sit down with my system and distinguish two (new to me) SS amps that are very comparable build and spec. wise. However, I do think once you get some hours under your belt, its easier to pick out the differences in a fully treated listening area.  Most people don't have any treatments, they have poor walls, bad corners, strange room shape and opening floor plans, bad speaker placement, etc.  Getting the most from what you have is cheaper and brings more to the table than a quick and expensive  component  change. Treatment is everything and it took me 20 years to finally be convinced by it. Now, I can tell you its everything to my ears.

 

I ran a Fischer 100X2 SS amp and a old Onkyp pre that was all I knew back in the late 80's, hooked up to a pair of CW II's.  I wish I still had those two components, just to let me know where I am today.  I ran a first gen EMO XP5 or something like that through my modded K's from a fellow friend and the noise floor was so bad from the elevated input sensitivity it was literal insanity at idle and low level listening, but it sounded great on his Maggies. I also tried an Outlaw 5 or 7 channel amp many years ago, and it was an impressive and clean amp. I actually went to buy it after the audition and the owner fried it before I got there. I heard a pair of mono MC 30's back in the mid 90's hooked up to a pair of Heresy's at a friend of a friends house in Memphis. Let me say, this was one of the finest sounding setups I have ever listened to and I have never heard anything so lush.  It wasn't analytical or even accurate, but it just oozed dreamy brass, vocals and just electrified the room.  From Blues to Jazz, which was all he listened to, I was just floored by it.  When my ticket comes in, I will own two sets of 30's. 

 

Right now, I am running a MC7205 feeding K's up front and LS's in the rear. I set this up when the lossless multi channel audio was the big thing, and it still is in my book whether two channel or multi is involved. This amp is a bit cold and analytical, but extremely accurate and unforgiving. Is specs are off the chart in cleanliness, but you pay for this with the compromise of thinner SS sound.  Its dead silent at idle and layers the content incredibly.  I have called it good on this one, teamed up with a Marantz 8802a  Pre. I know there are many, better multi channel amps out there, but I have slacked off from the hunt with my aging ears. I have heard many amps here and there, but you just cant give anything a fair shake until its  sitting in your mix for a while. They all pretty much do the same thing, but the topography and components do change things up.  Diminishing returns  were mentioned earlier in the thread and that is a nail hit on the head after you reach a certain level of quality IMO.

 

Rounding back to the initial thread question. I think there is no doubt the majority here could listen to a intricate and/or delicate passage from one of their favorite artists they have heard for decades that they were familiar with, spending maybe 3-5 nights listening to actually hear differences to very similar built amps. However, if your room isnt treated or at least a halfway, you just might not. From the amount of Reverb and Echo I have previously had, I know I likely couldnt.

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I think it would be difficult for me to just sit down with my system and distinguish two (new to me) SS amps that are very comparable build and spec. wise. However, I do think once you get some hours under your belt, its easier to pick out the differences in a fully treated listening area. 

 

Which is exactly the reason DBT is so flawed. Differences come to light when you are relaxed and not stressfully trying to hear something. Long(er) term listening will show you which of two things you prefer.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

I'd like to hear about some of the tube amps you've heard with all this distortion?

Primaluna, McIntosh, Rogue Audio, Carver, 

but I have not had ears (except for Axpona) on SET amps for long periods. 
 

 

but the distortion to me probably sounds perfect to others. 
tubes have a liquid-y type sound that I’m not fond of. But many are. 

different strokes

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