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All Amplifiers Equal?

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TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
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19,070
keeper of the quays said:
TrevC said:
nopiano said:
TrevC said:
keeper of the quays said:
Amplifiers aren't equal..if the people on here believe this twaddle..why haven't they got the cheapest amp in their kit?
I am currently using a Sony budget amp. £120. 70 watts per channel into 4 ohms, so quite powerful. The equal of every other 70 watt per channel amplifier on the market.
. I wonder if it is more equal than a Naim NAP 100, give or take 5 watts?
It's better than the MF A1 I was using before. No crackling pot, a remote with motorised pot to boot, and much more powerful.

Naim amps are a little quirky. I know of one that burned out due to someone connecting speakers using that woven multi coloured enamelled stuff in a clear sleeve. Luckily it was covered by a guarantee. As you can tell, I can't remember the brand of the wanky wire, or see the point of using it in the first place.
I have in the attic a musical fidelity b1 and also a Sony 940 amp..think the b1 35 watts? And Sony 75 watts..like your a1 mine had issues..servisol sorted it..(sometimes! Lol) very meaty amp..would run nearly any speaker..think 35watts of mf is equal to 75 of Sony..but wasn't flash looking. The horrid on switch flickered..but it sounded brilliant..had a great phono stage..my Sony is a good amp, reliable..good remote.looks fab! But it doesn't seem authentic! If you know what I mean? Early musical fidelity stuff is quirky! Will it work today? Will switches crackle? Do have to fiddle with input switch to get sound to come out of both speakers! Lol..but when the amp was in a good mood? The sound was sublime..it had it's own character..infuriating sometimes..the Sony has no character just gets on with the job...does it very well..
The A1 has a peculiar way of connecting the volume control which means there's DC on it that makes it crackle. Not servisol fixable, sadly.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things. No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
There may be less point now but MF, Sugden and a few select others would disagree with you.

Still, circuit design has improved and 'new' topologies, such as the ones from Hypex have come a long way to reduce distortion to small enough levels.
 
K

keeper of the quays

Guest
IPod touch four..im going to try and borrow a iPhone 6 and run it through my t amp system..i saw post about it being better than benchmark? If it's better than iPod touch four? It really can't be much better! I'll report my findings..ps I played from you tube Rebecca pigeon 'spanish harlem' a well used test track..thru iPod it was in the room literally! There's a audio guide on you tube that tells you what to listen out for on this track..lol..it transcends the commentary..those audio cues it talks about whether you have hi resolution equipment it not? It's funny..through iPod and t amp into my speakers all those cues..go out the window..
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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The engineer together with the artist and producer in the studio decided this much 'real*' is enough for this song. Then I decide it is not 'real' enough so I saturate it with even more effects than the studio. All effects are essentially different types of distortion and modulation to the original signal. But why not use a very nice effects component (EQ, DSP etc.) like artists and studios use, but screw up simple things like an amplifier, cable or a DAC? I can tune in whatever I damn please with an effects machine. Why is that so much hated option by those who are very very persistent in changing the original signal?

*real, as in immersive, exciting, or whatever it means to anyone individually
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Vladimir said:
The engineer together with the artist and producer in the studio decided this much 'real*' is enough for this song. Then I decide it is not 'real' enough so I saturate it with even more effects than the studio. All effects are essentially different types of distortion and modulation to the original signal. But why not use a very nice effects component (EQ, DSP etc.) like artists and studios use, but screw up simple things like an amplifier, cable or a DAC? I can tune in whatever I damn please with an effects machine. Why is that so much hated option by those who are very very persistent in changing the original signal?

*real, as in immersive, exciting, or whatever it means to anyone individually
Or something like that.

Virtually all recorded music that we listen to at home is an artificial construct, sometimes constructed to sound 'real' sometimes not.

If you are of the view that 'it's what I like' is the correct approach then anything goes, so add whatever you want, add dsp or new cables, real or imagined changes, so long as the results are what you want to hear.

I have, on occasions been able to do just that, only better. Mucking about (in the studio) with a 16 or 24 track master to produce my own mix, often very different to the one released to the public. In a sense I would love to be able to do that at home with commercial releases but on the otherhand it is all to easy to get distracted from the music itself.

In the end I indulge my own preferences and chose equipment that emulates what I refer to as a live sound, too raw, punchy and aggressive for many on here, but it's what I like.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
135
19,070
drummerman said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things. No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
There may be less point now but MF, Sugden and a few select others would disagree with you.

Still, circuit design has improved and 'new' topologies, such as the ones from Hypex have come a long way to reduce distortion to small enough levels.
The A1 is actually heavily biased class AB, not pure class A. If it was pure class A it would probably catch fire!

With mine I might make it a project to fix the volume control circuit and reduce the quiescent current to a more reasonable level.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
TrevC said:
drummerman said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things. No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
There may be less point now but MF, Sugden and a few select others would disagree with you.

Still, circuit design has improved and 'new' topologies, such as the ones from Hypex have come a long way to reduce distortion to small enough levels.
The A1 is actually heavily biased class AB, not pure class A. If it was pure class A it would probably catch fire!

With mine I might make it a project to fix the volume control circuit and reduce the quiescent current to a more reasonable level.
Reads like a little project.

Like it.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
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0
TrevC said:
drummerman said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things.  No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.?
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
There may be less point now but MF, Sugden and a few select others would disagree with you.

Still, circuit design has improved and 'new' topologies, such as the ones from Hypex have come a long way to reduce distortion to small enough levels.
The A1 is actually heavily biased class AB, not pure class A. If it was pure class A it would probably catch fire!

With mine I might make it a project to fix the volume control circuit and reduce the quiescent current to a more reasonable level.
Currently looking out the winDow waiting for a pig to fly by..... *sad*
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
davedotco said:
In the end I indulge my own preferences and chose equipment that emulates what I refer to as a live sound, too raw, punchy and aggressive for many on here, but it's what I like.
My sort of preference too.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
135
19,070
Thompsonuxb said:
TrevC said:
drummerman said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things. No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
There may be less point now but MF, Sugden and a few select others would disagree with you.

Still, circuit design has improved and 'new' topologies, such as the ones from Hypex have come a long way to reduce distortion to small enough levels.
The A1 is actually heavily biased class AB, not pure class A. If it was pure class A it would probably catch fire!

With mine I might make it a project to fix the volume control circuit and reduce the quiescent current to a more reasonable level.
Currently looking out the winDow waiting for a pig to fly by..... *sad*
I expect nurse will be along shortly.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
135
19,070
drummerman said:
TrevC said:
drummerman said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things. No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
There may be less point now but MF, Sugden and a few select others would disagree with you.

Still, circuit design has improved and 'new' topologies, such as the ones from Hypex have come a long way to reduce distortion to small enough levels.
The A1 is actually heavily biased class AB, not pure class A. If it was pure class A it would probably catch fire!

With mine I might make it a project to fix the volume control circuit and reduce the quiescent current to a more reasonable level.
Reads like a little project.

Like it.
Interesting stuff here. http://www.markhennessy.co.uk/mf_a1/mods.htm
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
TrevC said:
manicm said:
Most switchable so-called Class A amplifiers only remained so at low power levels, above that they switch to AB, regardless of the button.

Go all the way or go home.
The MF A1 is actually class AB with high bias. It would be greatly improved in terms of reliability if it had lower quiescent current and the silly volume control circuit design was changed to the conventional way of doing things. No point in full class A because crossover distortion is only an issue at very low volume. It's inaudible otherwise.
I was thinking more AMS35i, which is a pure class a integrated.
Pure class A is pointless. Just wasting electricity.
That may be true, just like a Ferrari wastes fuel.
No, like pouring fuel down the drain wastes fuel. Once you forward bias the output stage beyond the point where crossover distortion is eliminated all you are doing is creating unnecessary heat. If you want to heat the room buy a heater.
Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.

If you're unhappy about the 'wasted fuel' approach of class A amps, perhaps you should consider a Devialet. Class A amp and class D hybrid which works extremely well and rarely gets above 35C in my experience.

http://en.devialet.com/expert/#discover
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
135
19,070
Infiniteloop said:
[

Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.
That's just it, once the bias is set high enough to eliminate crossover distortion increasing it further only wastes power, there are no further benefits to be had.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
[

Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.
That's just it, once the bias is set high enough to eliminate crossover distortion increasing it further only wastes power, there are no further benefits to be had.
If that's the price of pure Class A sound, so be it.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
135
19,070
Infiniteloop said:
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
[

Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.
That's just it, once the bias is set high enough to eliminate crossover distortion increasing it further only wastes power, there are no further benefits to be had.
If that's the price of pure Class A sound, so be it.
The best amplifiers are not class A. Sugdens, known for their class A biasing, are nothing special. There's no point, we should be conserving power.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
[

Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.
That's just it, once the bias is set high enough to eliminate crossover distortion increasing it further only wastes power, there are no further benefits to be had.
If that's the price of pure Class A sound, so be it.
The best amplifiers are not class A. Sugdens, known for their class A biasing, are nothing special. There's no point, we should be conserving power.
That's just your opinion. If you're so concerned about saving power, how about shutting off your computer?
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
135
19,070
Infiniteloop said:
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
[

Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.
That's just it, once the bias is set high enough to eliminate crossover distortion increasing it further only wastes power, there are no further benefits to be had.
If that's the price of pure Class A sound, so be it.
The best amplifiers are not class A. Sugdens, known for their class A biasing, are nothing special. There's no point, we should be conserving power.
That's just your opinion. If you're so concerned about saving power, how about shutting off your computer?
I do shut it off. A thought. If hifi afficianados all used class A would the EU try to ban them? You'd best vote Brexit.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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Isn't it the third or fourth time we have a thread about this question in the last 6 months ? Everytime the thread vanishes in the deepness of the forum. So should we really spend time to defend our points of view and try to educate peoples in knowing obviously that this thread will go the same way ? I believe I'm more going to have a good listening to an old Steppenwolf record on my shelf, and probably will be taken away by other records.

So please, accept this "turbo" point of view of mine and my apologies for coming back in the end of the discussion. I would not say "they sound the same", but they don't sound that different either if some conditions are respected. Integrated amps (I believe it's what we are speaking about there), have the mission to deliver the sound to the speakers. They must take the signal, without modifiying anything about that and send it to the next. You can't pull the trigger of much stuff there, because if you add too much gain on the preamp section, you will end with a form of soup that will not be the cup of tea of anymone. So, when I admit, they are tiny differences, they are so subtle that other factors like "our perception" are going to matter far more. I although know that I'm missing the point of "the different technologies" there. Tubes and class A amps, have their own distinctive printing on the sound, mostly due to a higher rising level of far more harmonic distorsion (please, don't take this statement for a totality involving statement, we have all kind of exceptions in hifi).

But on uncritical speakers, you will not need an astonishing high powered amp with impedance abilities going in the basement. I experienced some really good results with simple amps on very good speakers (Xavian XN270, PMC Fact8, Dali Epicon6, etc...).

So for me, high end amps, are a testimony to my passion of sound and good quality electronic. A visual sugarcoat, making the whole experience sweeter.

#theLHCwillbebored5
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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I do shut it off. A thought. If hifi afficianados all used class A would the EU try to ban them? You'd best vote Brexit.
In fact, they tried to ban them around 2 - 4 years ago. The EU wanted to pass a bill imposing amps to have a total consumption of a few watts and not more. That would have banned the classA technology definitely. If I remember correctly, due to implication of the german hifi lobby, the text was reported and will be completed for making it possible for manufacturers to produce powerfull amps, but in little limited numbers (source : Stereoplay germany).
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
TrevC said:
Infiniteloop said:
[

Yeah, but the 'wasted fuel' is well worth it for the great sound.
That's just it, once the bias is set high enough to eliminate crossover distortion increasing it further only wastes power, there are no further benefits to be had.
If that's the price of pure Class A sound, so be it.
The best amplifiers are not class A. Sugdens, known for their class A biasing, are nothing special. There's no point, we should be conserving power.
That's just your opinion. If you're so concerned about saving power, how about shutting off your computer?
I do shut it off. A thought. If hifi afficianados all used class A would the EU try to ban them? You'd best vote Brexit.
I meant permanently......
 
K

keeper of the quays

Guest
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
Isn't it the third or fourth time we have a thread about this question in the last 6 months ? Everytime the thread vanishes in the deepness of the forum. So should we really spend time to defend our points of view and try to educate peoples in knowing obviously that this thread will go the same way ? I believe I'm more going to have a good listening to an old Steppenwolf record on my shelf, and probably will be taken away by other records.

So please, accept this "turbo" point of view of mine and my apologies for coming back in the end of the discussion. I would not say "they sound the same", but they don't sound that different either if some conditions are respected. Integrated amps (I believe it's what we are speaking about there), have the mission to deliver the sound to the speakers. They must take the signal, without modifiying anything about that and send it to the next. You can't pull the trigger of much stuff there, because if you add too much gain on the preamp section, you will end with a form of soup that will not be the cup of tea of anymone. So, when I admit, they are tiny differences, they are so subtle that other factors like "our perception" are going to matter far more. I although know that I'm missing the point of "the different technologies" there. Tubes and class A amps, have their own distinctive printing on the sound, mostly due to a higher rising level of far more harmonic distorsion (please, don't take this statement for a totality involving statement, we have all kind of exceptions in hifi).

But on uncritical speakers, you will not need an astonishing high powered amp with impedance abilities going in the basement. I experienced some really good results with simple amps on very good speakers (Xavian XN270, PMC Fact8, Dali Epicon6, etc...).

So for me, high end amps, are a testimony to my passion of sound and good quality electronic. A visual sugarcoat, making the whole experience sweeter.

#theLHCwillbebored5
great read! I liked the part about soup and cup of tea...and the visual sugar-coat analogy...i vote for more posts please..the way you write is great! In my opinion..
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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0
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
Tubes and class A amps, have their own distinctive printing on the sound, mostly due to a higher rising level of far more harmonic distorsion (please, don't take this statement for a totality involving statement, we have all kind of exceptions in hifi).
I have to disagree about Class A having inherently more harmonic (or modular) distortion than other types of circuits and biasing.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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0
It's interesting Vladimir. Why are you disagreeing ? Because I must admit, my personal listening experiences with class A amps are limited. I only tried some class A integrated from luxman, Accuphase and Sugden (if we stay in the transistor) and although had the pleasure to listen to their power blocks. They seemed to sound different to me and I was curious to know why (I generally made my listening sessions in a pro studio that I had near my house in those time and was prudent with the expectation bias and volume bias during those runs), so I researched about this theme and falled on different publications of some german hifi magazines that where publishing graphics with their tests. And it was really common for A class amps to have this "plus" of harmonic distortion. I only have two examples, because there are, for the moment, the only one I could put my hands on, but although on my paper magazines, it was going in the same direction.

This is, for example, a Sugden IA4 harmonic distortions mesured at different volumes :


This is an A45 of Accuphase on its different volumes :


And, just for compairing, this is the harmonic distortion of an AB amplifier taken in my database :



In this particular case, it's obvious that something is very different in the setup. Yes, there is a tendency, specially today and specially for high end amps, to make them richer in pair harmonic distortion ; we could call this a trending. And yes, we could argue if a common listener will be able to hear that at 1 or 2 watts. But at 10watts, we are going above the noisefloor level, so there should be something to hear there.

Credits : All graphics are and remain property of Stereoplay and Audioo.de. Property of the Klasing publishing and are only used for educational purpose.
 

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