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All Amplifiers Equal?

Mar 5, 2016
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How much of a difference does the amp make? I recently got back into vinyl and 'inherited' a Denon 350-PMA from a neighbour that no longer listens to music. I bought a ClearAudio Concept MC and couldn't get it to work as apparently it needs a pre-amp which I bought. The sound quality is phenomenal, it literally changes my spatial awareness when I listen to it through my PSB headphones.

Would I benefit from upgrading the amp soon or should I just wait for the old amp to die?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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That depends on who you ask.

IMO. Amplifiers make a substantial difference, especially when you get into different topologies.

The only way to know for certain is to do some demos with a good dealer or two.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
715
238
19,270
Gavin Morris said:
How much of a difference does the amp make?
All amplifiers are equal, but some are more equal than others!

As always, make your own mind up with your own ears. You'll love some amps, while other amps will leave you cold. There isn't a 'one size fits all' solution. However there is an amp that's right for you. Listen to a few at a good hi-fi retailler. If you like something better than you have, then go for it. If what you have sounds better, then stick to your guns. It doesn't really matter what others think, just what your ears are telling you.
 
K

keeper of the quays

Guest
Keep your amp..you said it sounds great!if you want to test amps? For little money..get a Dayton audio dta class t amp.bout £30 (amazon Usa) it's the old sonic impact I believe with new name..when it comes to spatial awareness? It should blow your mind!
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
All the amps that sound the same can (and will more than likely) be considered equal. Then there's the ones that sound different. For whatever reason.

You only have to listen to a budget amplifier (working well within its specification) on a pair of speakers that are beyond its capabilities, then listen to an amplifier that is up to the job to realise all amplifiers don't sound the same and aren't equal, and that there can be very noticeable differences between them.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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TrevC will be along shortly underlining all amplifiers sound the same, all cables are the same, all cd players/Dac's sound the same ... did I forget anything?

The usual caveat is ... 'all else being equal' ... and therein lies the issue. Rarely is all else equal.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,637
84
19,770
Amplifiers do vary, but to what degree will depend on source and speakers, and much lesser extent cables.

I know when I first purchased the Leema I had RS6s and a Arcam CD73. The difference wasn't night and day when I had the Arcam A65+. But since I've upgraded spekaers and source the gap between the Leema and Arcam has widened.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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Electro said:
CnoEvil said:
drummerman said:
... did I forget anything?
Yup....

TrevC sounds the same! *smile*
I'm not so sure, TrevC was talking about the quality of speaker imaging earlier so maybe his resolve is crumbling . *wink*
Perhaps he is feeling unwell today.

A good nights sleep and some milk and honey.

He'll be himself again tomorrow.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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drummerman said:
CnoEvil said:
drummerman said:
... did I forget anything?
Yup....

TrevC sounds the same! *smile*
Ah yes. Mind, the good fella made a joke yesterday which was totally out of character.

Really tripped me up for a moment that.
There was that and now he is running late for this thread. Someone better call him on his lobster phone to check if he is OK.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Vladimir said:
drummerman said:
CnoEvil said:
drummerman said:
... did I forget anything?
Yup....

TrevC sounds the same! *smile*
Ah yes. Mind, the good fella made a joke yesterday which was totally out of character.

Really tripped me up for a moment that.
There was that and now he is running late for this thread. Someone better call him on his lobster phone to check if he is OK.
This could be serious.

Please show a sign of life.

Anything. - Even 'Behringer' will do.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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David@FrankHarvey said:
All the amps that sound the same can (and will more than likely) be considered equal. Then there's the ones that sound different. For whatever reason.

You only have to listen to a budget amplifier (working well within its specification) on a pair of speakers that are beyond its capabilities, then listen to an amplifier that is up to the job to realise all amplifiers don't sound the same and aren't equal, and that there can be very noticeable differences between them.
Have you been at the sherry? Seriously?

If the speakers (more specifically the load presented to the speakers) is beyond the capabilities of the amplifier, then the amplifier will not be working within it's specification. It's axiomatic!
 

bigfish786

Moderator
Jan 29, 2013
258
83
18,970
And to further extent, all components, this site and mag would/should be called What's The Point? In Hi-Fi SAV?

i honestly believe if you go out into the real world and listen/demo products, you will hear the differences, and make your own mind up whether any product is worth spending your cash on.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
bigfish786 said:
i honestly believe if you go out into the real world and listen/demo products, you will hear the differences, and make your own mind up whether any product is worth spending your cash on.
Has to be ultra controlled conditions though, and product swaps within 3-4 seconds due to not being able to remember anything 5 seconds ago, otherwise it won't count :)
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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To go with your 'straw man' argument, interesting combination.

If you want to prove that amplifiers sound different when tested in 'controlled conditions' then I think the person you are trying to convince is fully justified in asking for the tests to be rigorously carried out.

If on the other hand you want to compare amplifiers in real world systems, where the conditions are not 'controlled' then of course you will hear differences.

It's very simple.
 
S

SemiChronic

Guest
This might be a rubbish idea, but ill throw it out there anyway. Thinking about how much gear there must be belonging to members, different amps speakers etc.

Would it be interesting and maybe helpful to members if we were to identify some tracks with tricky music that trips up some systems and report our findings?

We may find that certain amp/speaker combos perform better with certain tracks or show no difference whatsover . . it could be fun and we may learn something.

I would start a thread, but it would be sure to go down in flames if i did, so if somebody else would care to take it on, be my guest.

Id like comparisons from members with same amps/speakers playing same tracks but running different cables . . :)

Ok, nuff said . . . I'll reach for the fire extinguisher . .
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
David@FrankHarvey said:
bigfish786 said:
i honestly believe if you go out into the real world and listen/demo products, you will hear the differences, and make your own mind up whether any product is worth spending your cash on.
Has to be ultra controlled conditions though, and product swaps within 3-4 seconds due to not being able to remember anything 5 seconds ago, otherwise it won't count :)
Ridiculing the science that creates the products you sell and buy is literally sawing the tree branch you sit on. *nea*
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
Hi,

I am repeating here, but I had an Audiolab 8000A from 1991, and purchased a CA Azur 650A, on specification. I had read reviews, that the 650 sounded bright, but did not believe it. Yet, when installed I noticed the difference immediately - I checked the tone controls too, set to defeat/bypass.

In addition, tube amps will obviously sound different due to their even order distortion, and output configuration compared to solid state.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Vladimir said:
Ridiculing the science that creates the products you sell and buy is literally sawing the tree branch you sit on. *nea*
But companies that create the products have trained people who are immune to this rule of science?

I usually stay near to the trunk - venturing out onto the branches isn't safe.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
drummerman said:
TrevC will be along shortly underlining all amplifiers sound the same, all cables are the same, all cd players/Dac's sound the same ... did I forget anything?
All forum threads sound the same?
 

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