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Pathos InpolRemix 10 watt amplifier

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acalex

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Sep 13, 2011
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steve_1979 said:
I admit that I've never heard speaker with a 100dB sensitivity but I have heard several speakers with a sensitivity in the 90's. WHF recommend you can use it with the Dynaudio Focus 160 which only has a low sensitivity of 86dB.

In my experience anything less than 30wpc just isn't enough because the amp will start clipping too easily especially if you listen to music that has a lot of dynamic range. Surley I'm not the only person on this forum who realises that 10wpc just isn't enough?

Even if the Pathos amplifier sounds perfect at low levels as soon as it starts clipping is will become distorted. Why would a £4K amplifier that distorts every time you get a large peak in the music get 5 stars?
Steve, for sure it's not the same but I have tried (and trying at home for a month) a Jadis 50RC Signature (which is a 6k eur 30W tube amp) with Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento (which according to the specs are "only" 86db) and it sounded absolutely stunning at every volume level (went up to 85db volume which is far beyond my normal listening level) and with every type of music (from big orchestra to drums only to Jazz, rock etc). No clipping at all and an unbelievable musical experience.

For sure won't fill a 100sqm room with loud disco music...but that's not the purpose either of those amplifiers

I might try all the Pathos family this month ( Inpol 2 and Inpol remix)...so i will let you know
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
My Dad's ESL57s with 15wpc Quad IIs at full pelt were loud enough and no clipping that I could hear. Power isn't everything. Speaker choice is important with low power amps but 10w-15w will be enough for some when used with high efficiency speakers.
 

relocated

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Jan 20, 2012
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Steve,

I should imagine that this amp run through some nice big Tannoys would be able to punch a hole through your head, without clipping.

It is about matching the different parts of the system and then sitting back and enjoying the ride.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
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Sugden's classic A21 class A solid state amps have kept over 40 year's worth of customers happy, despite only having some 15 - 22 watts per channel output for all that time.

There are more ways to skin this cat than shovel loads of power.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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acalex said:
Steve, for sure it's not the same but I have tried (and trying at home for a month) a Jadis 50RC Signature (which is a 6k eur 30W tube amp) with Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento (which according to the specs are "only" 86db) and it sounded absolutely stunning at every volume level (went up to 85db volume which is far beyond my normal listening level) and with every type of music (from big orchestra to drums only to Jazz, rock etc). No clipping at all and an unbelievable musical experience.

For sure won't fill a 100sqm room with loud disco music...but that's not the purpose either of those amplifiers

I might try all the Pathos family this month ( Inpol 2 and Inpol remix)...so i will let you know
Hi acalex, it's nice to speak to you again. :)

It's good to read that you've been trying lot's of different kit and have been making your own mind up about what sounds good. Have you ever been to a pro audio shop and listened to some good quality active monitors? I think that the sound quality blows away expensive passive hifi systems and at a fraction of the cost too.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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Hi again everyone else. :) Sorry for the late reply to this thread, I've been very busy this week.

To answer peoples question: Yes I have heard underpowered valve amps before and I also admit that there is a certain charm to their soft/warm sound. It's rather nice in a distorted/coloured kind of way and I can fully understand how it appeals to some people. The big problem is the limited dynamic range that ruins the sound quality every time there's a loud peak in volume of the music. It's an issue with any music that has a lot of dynamic range such as classical.

Have a listen to Ravel's Bolero using an under-powered 10 watt amp and you will see what I mean... Go on check out Bolero on Spotify now.

If you have the volume turned up loud enough to hear the quiet intro clearly then by the time you get to the loud finally at the end you will have passed the limit of the amps power output and it will have started clipping which causes distortion to the sound.

Dynamic range is needed for lots of music as well as classical.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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steve_1979 said:
To answer peoples question: Yes I have heard underpowered valve amps before and I also admit that there is a certain charm to their soft/warm sound. It's rather nice in a distorted/coloured kind of way and I can fully understand why it's a sound that appeals to some people. The big problem is the limited dynamic range that ruins the sound every time there's a loud volume peak in the music. It's an issue with any music that has a lot of dynamic range such as classical.

Have a listen to Ravel's Bolero using an under-powered 10 watt amp and you will see what I mean... Go on check out Bolero on Spotify now.

If you have the volume turned up loud enough to hear the quiet intro clearly then by the time you get to the loud finally at the end you have passed the limit of the amps power output and it will started clipping which distorts the sound.

This sort of dynamic range is needed for lots of different music, it's not just in classical.
Hi Steve, its a quiet Sunday, so why not blow on the embers of a dying argument. ;)

I think you have either listened to the wrong Tube amps, or the right amps with the wrong speakers. Things have greatly moved on from the over honeyed presentation of yesteryear.

I think that's as big a generalization as saying that all active speakers sound hard, clinical and soulless. >)
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
I think you have either listened to the wrong Tube amps, or the right amps with the wrong speakers.
True. I haven't heard many tube amps because they just aren't my thing. I also haven't heard any urber sensitive 100dB speakers either.

I have experimented with many different amps though and found that 30wpc with sensitive speakers is just about adequate for dynamic music and 50wpc or more is much better.

In the WHF review they say that the Dynaudio's Focus 160 speakers work well with this amp even though they're only 86dB! Surely there's no way that this combo could ever play Bolero at a sensible volume without sounding like an awful distorted mess at the end of the track.

How did amp that distorts during the dynamic peaks in classical music get 5 stars?
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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steve_1979 said:
CnoEvil said:
I think you have either listened to the wrong Tube amps, or the right amps with the wrong speakers.
True. I haven't heard many tube amps because they just aren't my thing. I also haven't heard any urber sensitive 100dB speakers either.

I have experimented with many different amps though and found that 30wpc with sensitive speakers is just about adequate for dynamic music and 50wpc or more is much better.

In the WHF review they say that the Dynaudio's Focus 160 speakers work well with this amp even though they're only 86dB! Surely there's no way that this combo could ever play Bolero at a sensible volume without sounding like an awful distorted mess at the end of the track.

How did amp that distorts during the dynamic peaks in classical music get 5 stars?
They also matched it with some Audio Note AN-Js, which would be my choice and (imo) are more suitable.....when I heard them with a tube amp, the sound was far from warm, mushy and undynamic.
 

WinterRacer

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Jan 14, 2009
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steve_1979 said:
How did amp that distorts during the dynamic peaks in classical music get 5 stars?
I guess the same reason they like turntables, they like the sound of the distortion.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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John Duncan said:
You've heard it distort then?
A 30 watt amp with 90dB speakers is barely capable of playing dynamic music at a sensible volume without clipping.

A 10 watt amp with 86dB speakers is going to clip unless it has somehow managed to alter the laws of physics.
 

John Duncan

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Jan 8, 2008
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steve_1979 said:
John Duncan said:
You've heard it distort then?
A 30 watt amp with 90dB speakers is barely capable of playing dynamic music at a sensible volume without clipping.

A 10 watt amp with 86dB speakers is going to clip unless it has somehow managed to alter the laws of physics.
So no then.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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John Duncan said:
So no then.
I haven't heard the Pathos amp no.

But I have heard several other underpowered amps (most of which had more than 10 watts) and they all distort during the large dynamic peaks.

Like I said. Unless the Pathos amp doesn't need follow thew same laws of physics as other amps then it will clip. Or are you trying to say that a watt produced by the Pathos is somehow capable of doing more work than a watt produced by any other amp?
 

BenLaw

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Nov 21, 2010
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steve_1979 said:
In the WHF review they say that the Dynaudio's Focus 160 speakers work well with this amp even though they're only 86dB! Surely there's no way that this combo could ever play Bolero at a sensible volume without sounding like an awful distorted mess at the end of the track.
As I said before, how often do you use more than the first watt? Or to put it another way, just how loud do you want your music? 86dB sensitivity means at 1W the volume will be 86dB (at 1m). That's damn loud!

The point with dynamics is also to consider what power is output when impedance drops. I don't know the figures for this amp, but if power doubled as impedance halved, or something close, then it should be able to deal fine with dynamics.
 

WinterRacer

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From an interview with Roger Sanders:
"As an aside, I continue to be amazed by the fact that most audiophiles are not aware that they are using underpowered amplifiers that are clipping and distorting most of the time. It is easy to show that most speakers need around 400-500 W/channel to play dynamic music at the loud levels audiophiles enjoy. If you doubt this, just connect an oscilloscope to your speakers and watch it. You will see the trace run into an invisible "brick wall" when the amplifier runs out of power and clips. In most systems, you will see the amplifier clipping constantly on musical peaks..A clipping amplifier has very high distortion and awful performance. But it does not sound obviously distorted because only the music peaks are clipped, which are of very short duration. The average levels are about a tenth the level of the peaks. The average levels usually will not be clipped (when they are, you will hear obvious and gross distortion). Since the average level is much longer than the peaks, the sound will not seem to be distorted and listeners will think that the amp has adequate power. But it doesn’t. A clipping amp will be behaving horribly. It compresses the dynamics, it will sound strained, muddy, and harsh -- particularly if protective circuitry is triggered, which is usually the case. In fact, most of the sonic flaws heard in amplifiers are due simply to clipping. .Audiophiles often make false assumptions about these flaws in that they assume they are caused by various amplifier features (like class of operation, feedback, type of output device, etc.), when in fact the flaws are produced by clipping. In other words, amplifier power is the most basic and fundamental requirement in any audio system. An underpowered amplifier will always sound bad. So what is the point of using a low power amp that simply guarantees poor performance? I do not compromise, so I only manufacture very powerful amps. ".
 

John Duncan

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Jan 8, 2008
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steve_1979 said:
I haven't heard the Pathos amp no.
QED.

steve_1979 said:
John Duncan said:
So no then.
But I have heard several other underpowered amps (most of which had more than 10 watts) and they all distort during the large dynamic peaks.
What if you don't listen to music with dynamic peaks? We get it, you like Bolero; personally I think it's sh-t.

steve_1979 said:
Like I said. Unless the Pathos amp doesn't need follow thew same laws of physics as other amps then it will clip. Or are you trying to say that a watt produced by the Pathos is somehow capable of doing more work than a watt produced by any other amp?
I'm not saying that at all. All amps clip if you play them too loudly. And if you want to play Bolero loudly, this is not the amp for you. Does a Mondeo stop being a five-star car because it doesn't do 200+ or gets stuck in muddy fields?
 

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