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The job of a pre amp

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10 hours ago, Ihearmusic said:

Better tell Cafad to stop reviewing amplifiers then because there is no point as they are all decent SS amps and therefore all should sound the same.

 

He, whomever he is, can spend his time how he chooses. I feel he's basically wasting his time, and my comment comes from doing a whole lot of testing blind, both with myself and others who've claimed to be able to here these 'vast' differences between amplifiers.

Edited by A9X

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24 minutes ago, A9X said:

He, whomever he is, can spend his time how he chooses. I feel he's basically wasting his time, and my comment comes from doing a whole lot of testing blind, both with myself and others who've claimed to be able to here these 'vast' differences between amplifiers.

I have the exact opposite findings from doing a 6 month period of blind testing.

I have come to think that they are never done right in the right conditions and seem to always come to same conclusion, that they make everything sound the same. 

I did a lot of reading and searching why this seems to be the case for me. I have posted about in length on this site. No need to fill this thread up again with this as it never ends well.

I think unless done by very controlled conditions and by experts, who trained in hearing subtle differences and are aware of the pitfalls (maybe someone like harman labs), then you seem to find 99% of conclusions is they all sound the same or can't pick them.

 

I too was one of those that thought they all sounded the same during my testing until I read about all the tricks our mind can do.

Edited by rocky500

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23 hours ago, Ihearmusic said:

that is not what everyone likes

This may or may not be true, as it is a complicated thing  (I think it is generally not true, but whatever) .... engineering sensibilities say that "adding a flavour" in such a way (with a non-linear gain stage) is a very poor plan.

 

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10 hours ago, Ihearmusic said:

as they are all decent SS amps and therefore all should sound the same.

I feel this logic is commonly misunderstood (or purposefully misinterpreted?).    Decently performing amplifiers can sound the same, if the stars align and they are used under conditions where they aren't forced to perform differently.    This is often not the case when 'unstructured' testing is used.   Eg. non-linear gain or distortion with load impedance, or with drive level .... wildly different performance with clipping., etc. etc.

Edited by davewantsmoore

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8 hours ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

There’s also a multitude of different preamps on the market. Applying your logic, this is because individuals are seeking colouration. Agreed?

Absolutely agreed. Why else would it be that the best recommendation given when choosing new equipment, is to have a listen to it in your own system.

System synergy is most important.

Other factors to consider to explain the multitude of equipment out there are the looks of the gear.

This might be subconscious but if one does not like the look of a component, it won't make it into ones listening room.

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7 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

This may or may not be true, as it is a complicated thing  (I think it is generally not true, but whatever) .... engineering sensibilities say that "adding a flavour" in such a way (with a non-linear gain stage) is a very poor plan.

 

Very politician like start.....😀

Engineers don't go out to add flavour. But since they can not run a new design in every possible combination with all the equipment available to connect to..........

surely there will be different outcomes.

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1 hour ago, Ihearmusic said:

Engineers don't go out to add flavour.

Says who?   What a silly statement.  ;) 

 

Customer says "please add flavour", and a solution is engineered.   So of course engineers may want to add a flavour.

 

1 hour ago, Ihearmusic said:

Very politician like start.....😀

 

It's normally needed.    If I were to say it's been a pretty common result that when you test people (even ones who say they like distortion) that you find that people don't like distortion in general.     You might show examples of people who for whatever reason do prefer it.    And of course there'd be nothing wrong with that.   If someone does really like distortion (even though most don't) then that's a perfectly reasonable preference.    I'm just saying to accomodate that preference, you can do a lot better than haphazardly applying the distortion through a non-linear amplifier.

 

My very strong belief is that when audiophiles say they "like a bit of colour" (aka they "like a bit of distortion" ... and that "low distortion sounds too 'clinical'.... or whatever/similar) ....  that they are really talking about something else which is causing the difference.  :) 

Edited by davewantsmoore

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4 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

 

Customer says "please add flavour", and a solution is engineered.   So of course engineers may want to add a flavour.

 

 

 

Silly me, and I always thought that an amplifier design brief would include the aim to reproduce and amplify the original material presented in its most neutral form. As close to the original as possible.

The flavor I thought would come with the mixing of different components from different manufactures to the listeners taste!?

It must be hard to design flavor into a product that as soon it leaves the showroom floors gets mixed in with god knows what.

  

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1 hour ago, Ihearmusic said:

Silly me, and I always thought that an amplifier design brief would include the aim to reproduce and amplify the original material presented in its most neutral form. As close to the original as possible.

Exactly.

 

If one was asked to "add distortion of a certain flavour" to a system.   You could do that by using a component (eg a preamplifier) which has some inherent distortion..... but there are much better ways to do it.   It would be best to leave the amplifier(s) as attempting to function with as little distortion as practical .... and add the "flavour" in another way  (eg. with a box which is designed to insert distortion, eg. an equaliser, or some type of effects box, or a DSP).

 

Said another way.   If you are trying to "engineer distortion" .... then don't leave it to "chance".    Use amplifiers and components which perform as well as possible (ie. with as low distortion as practical), and then add the distortion purposefully.   In a way which can be controlled and changed, and tailored to exactly what the listener desires.

 

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