Amplifiers, newbie is confused !! (Off Topic)

by GC, Tuesday, March 29, 2005, 12:59 (4677 days ago)

Dear people,

I'm a bit confused and overwhelmed as a newcomer to the world of Hifi. Listing to music is one of the most importent things in my life so a couple of months ago I decided to improve my hifi set. limited by a fairly tight budget I started to surfing around and started to look for the options I have. It is clear which speakers I'm going to build, but it is totally unclear which Amplifier I want to buy/build...because here the confusion starts !!

Ok, here is my problem. Every speaker has his own characteristics and colours the music in its own way. (if I'm correct??). So two type of speakers will not sound alike, and a perfect speaker does not exist. It is all about compromising. Keeping that in mind I would expect that a amplifier should keep the music natural and clean without colouring. (because otherwise you have to deal with the unavoidable colouring of the speakers and the colouring of the amplifier?). Anyway, there are a couple of characteristics that determine the sound quality. (maybe there are more, I do not know)

Freq. response: between 20 and 20.000 with a flatness of +/- 1 dB
Distortion; less then 0,05% in the above freq. range
signal to noise (1watt) less then -90 dB
Damping 10 or more

If you take Amplifier 'X' and Amplifier 'Y' which both have the specification as mentioned above (or better) they sound the same. At least, that is what I would expect.

So, here is my question; Is it indeed true that from a HiFi point of view an Amplifier should produced sound according to the above specification, to keep everything as natural and clean as possible?? I mean, how is it possible that I read often in reviews that e.g. amp 'Z' has a warm sound, a solid bass etc etc, and that why it is better than amp 'W' I mean, an amp should not alter the music and make it more warm with more bass than is actually recorded? or am I wrong?

Thanks,

Jacob

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Amplifiers, newbie is confused !!

by GC, Tuesday, March 29, 2005, 14:27 (4677 days ago) @ GC

Dear Jacobus,

Welcome to the confusing audio world which in fact is much less confusing when you stop reading hifi-magazines...

If you take Amplifier 'X' and Amplifier 'Y' which both have the
specification as mentioned above (or better) they sound the same. At
least, that is what I would expect.

No they don't sound the same. To make it more confusing, the minimum spec's mentioned are true from mid-fi to high-end so there must be something else that makes the sound.... :)

In other words, only knowing specifications is the least interesting information you need to know...

So, here is my question; Is it indeed true that from a HiFi point of view
an Amplifier should produced sound according to the above specification,
to keep everything as natural and clean as possible?? I mean, how is it
possible that I read often in reviews that e.g. amp 'Z' has a warm sound,
a solid bass etc etc, and that why it is better than amp 'W' I mean, an
amp should not alter the music and make it more warm with more bass than
is actually recorded? or am I wrong?

An amplifier reacts on the load (the speakers). Technical perfect amplifiers will show their character the same on all speakers. These amplifiers are not bothered by capacitive loads, impedance variations and feedback through the speakers. Sounds cool but such amplifiers (if they exist) mostly sound the least musical, almost digital.

Less perfect amplifiers are more bothered by signals coming from the speakers (working like microphones) which can be cured with electronical feedback (creating higher damping figures). This technique also controls the speakers more (the ones that need it) giving a more tight and controlled bass (less "warm" sounding). Most modern amps use this technique but it reduces the musicality of the original signal.

Power is another thing that most people do not understand. Most people think that a 30W amp (more power) is better than a 15W amp. The only difference related to power is that the 30W amp is capable to provide only 3dB more gain before it starts to clip. 3dB is just a little bit louder.

How much power you'll need depends on the volume of your listening room, how loud you want to play and the sensitivity of the speaker (simplified explanation). A 15Watt amp with 90dB speakers plays just as loud as a 30W with 87dB sensitivity if the load (impedance) is the same.

Distortion is only important if you can hear it, human ears are not bothered at all when the distortion is 1% or even more at lower frequencies. It is also the type of harmonic distortion (1st order, 2nd order, etc.) that makes the difference.

I could go on and on but the best way to know which amplifier is the best for your system depends on your system in which it will be connected. The "best" amp, the "best" source, the "best" speakers and the "best" cables all together will not sound like the "best" at all.

All parts should match or compliment the other. Like red wine that goes with steak but hardly with cake...

Sorry for being even more confusing...

Ciao,

Bert

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Amplifiers, newbie is confused !!

by GC, Tuesday, March 29, 2005, 18:55 (4677 days ago) @ GC

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53537

Read it and weep.

+

When Kuei (Thorsten Loesch) is talking about uncompressed, low distorted and controlled directivity, he is (among others) talking about BD-Design Oris.

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Amplifiers, newbie is confused !!

by GC, Thursday, March 31, 2005, 07:26 (4675 days ago) @ GC
edited by GC, Thursday, March 31, 2005, 07:53

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53537

Read it and weep.

+

When Kuei (Thorsten Loesch) is talking about uncompressed, low distorted
and controlled directivity, he is (among others) talking about BD-Design
Oris

Go to the transcendentsound.com chat column, and read what owners have to say about the single ended, output transformerless, SEOTL, one and a half watt amp. Here is a do-it-youself, or ready-made amp that is, in my opinion as a user, faultless. It costs peanuts compared to other high end amps. It also 'matches', 'mates well', 'superbly drives' or whatever you wish to call it, without getting tooo technical, the AER speakers,.. The AER'S, are in my opinion, as a user, as close to perfect as you need, considering that only master tapes will really let you hear how they do shine..ie live music. See the 'showroom' for my set up. That is what I arrived at after forty plus years of upgrading, and seeking the ultimate....

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Amplifiers, newbie is confused !!

by GC, Thursday, March 31, 2005, 12:58 (4675 days ago) @ GC

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53537

Read it and weep.

+

When Kuei (Thorsten Loesch) is talking about uncompressed, low

distorted

and controlled directivity, he is (among others) talking about

BD-Design

Oris


Go to the transcendentsound.com chat column, and read what owners have to
say about the single ended, output transformerless, SEOTL, one and a half
watt amp. Here is a do-it-youself, or ready-made amp that is, in my
opinion as a user, faultless. It costs peanuts compared to other high end
amps. It also 'matches', 'mates well', 'superbly drives' or whatever you
wish to call it, without getting tooo technical, the AER speakers,.. The
AER'S, are in my opinion, as a user, as close to perfect as you need,
considering that only master tapes will really let you hear how they do
shine..ie live music. See the 'showroom' for my set up. That is what I
arrived at after forty plus years of upgrading, and seeking the
ultimate....

That was meant for the original poster, right?

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Amplifiers, newbie is confused !!

by GC, Thursday, March 31, 2005, 21:41 (4675 days ago) @ GC
edited by GC, Thursday, March 31, 2005, 21:55

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53537

Read it and weep.

+

When Kuei (Thorsten Loesch) is talking about uncompressed, low

distorted

and controlled directivity, he is (among others) talking about

BD-Design

Oris


Go to the transcendentsound.com chat column, and read what owners have

to

say about the single ended, output transformerless, SEOTL, one and a

half

watt amp. Here is a do-it-youself, or ready-made amp that is, in my
opinion as a user, faultless. It costs peanuts compared to other high

end

amps. It also 'matches', 'mates well', 'superbly drives' or whatever

you

wish to call it, without getting tooo technical, the AER speakers,..

The

AER'S, are in my opinion, as a user, as close to perfect as you need,
considering that only master tapes will really let you hear how they do

shine..ie live music. See the 'showroom' for my set up. That is what I
arrived at after forty plus years of upgrading, and seeking the
ultimate....


That was meant for the original poster, right?

Right.. and some guidance for any others still 'confused'..

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