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  1. #46
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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Someone here might find this interesting.

    http://carvermk2.com/Docs/Carver Stereophile Challenge.pdf



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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Good read Rich. I found it quite interesting



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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps





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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Quote Originally Posted by gunz4me2 View Post
    I can make the SAME amplifier sound different just by adjusting the gain while keeping everything else constant. Don't believe me? Try playing your amplifier at a low volume level, say 5 or 6, with the gain all the way down. Now, do it again with the gain all the way up at the same volume level. Sound the same?

    The point I am trying to make is that differences in amplitude are far easier to pick out than differences in similarly powered amplifiers that measure within 1 dB of each other from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
    Sorry to bring this back up, but I thought it was a good point. The main differences I hear between amplifiers could be the amplitude, especially in certain bands. Some amps sound bland and dull (like an old transistor guitar amp), and some sound dynamic and full, like a Marshall stack.

    I agree about the gain settings also. Someone can't run a test with all the gains set at 50% across the board. Each amp needs to be tuned and adjusted for the source material. It goes back to setting a amp with a test tone and DMM compared to using dynamic music and setting it to the average voltage of your source material....... That way your perceived volume isn't so low on music.

    It keeps reminding me of the budget flea market type amps of the 90's compared to a high end JL, Alpine, SoundStream or other amp of the time. One sounds like a $150 amp and the other sounded like a $500 amp. Just doing a A/B on any wall at the local car stereo place was enough for most people to hear a difference...even at low volume. At higher volume that's when the high quality amp shines.




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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Just read the first article..... If it takes "a long table buried in oscilloscopes, distortion analyzers, voltmeters, the two amplifiers, a soldering iron, a white noise generator, two unidentifiable chasses
    full of inductors, resistors, and capacitors, a large table fan (there was no air conditioning),
    a half-dozen partially-drained Diet Coke cans, and perhaps 50 feet of audio
    cables, test leads, and clip-lead interconnects." Just to make 2 amps sound the same......I'll take my high quality amps any day.




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  7. #51
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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    The test equipment probably cost less than the "reference" amp, and once the "secret" is figured out, its just a matter of adding the required components into the "low end" amp to get the same results every time at a tiny fraction of the cost.



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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Exactly. I see what you did there. Line 6 is a very popular amp manufacture that "models" guitar amps. You can literally dial in 20+ different amplifier "models", regardless of speaker choice. I've come to the point that my $180 MB Quart isn't all that different than other amps for running subs..... When I get into my speaker choice however, amplifier makes 20-30% difference compared to the speakers/enclosures themselves.




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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    From my experience with car amps, you can notice a difference between them. Most of the difference will be noted more when the amp is being pushed more towards its maximum. The cheaper amps will have more problems as they have used cheaper components with lower tolerance parts. The higher priced amps have usually also put a lot of work into making clean amps (inside and out) that have good heat distribution and are very reliable. If you spend $50 on an amp and it craps out after a year then you say, well I only paid $50 for the amp. If you spent $1000 on an amp and it craps out in a year you call the manufacturer and they will usually replace or get it fixed for you. It's like most electronic equipment. As far as sound quality, there is a difference as remember switching my truck (sniff ...it is no more) from Audison Lrx (older blue version) to the brand new (at the time) Focal - Focal Power amps. With no other changes the sound improved even with the processor set flat. It was an impressive change. Granted part of that could have been that the speakers were the Focal Be Utopia's and worked better with the Focal amp, but none the less there was a difference in the sound of the amp. Yes, if it is set to low power and all things equal the amps will work about the same, but it's the more stressful situations that will show you which amp works the best. There is no "magical" best amp. It is dependent on many things, your speakers, power needs, ventilation, music being played, volume music is played at etc etc. Everyone is different and likes their own qualities in each amp, but I will say most of the people here can at least suggest a good variety of speakers that should do the job pretty well. If amps didn't make a difference then why are most of the World Champion vehicles that I've seen limited to about 5 or 6 main brands that you will see in their cars.

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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    I think what a lot of us are hearing is what is often called "headroom". A high quality amp usually puts out more than its rated power. It tends to handle dynamic peaks and valleys (transient responses) a lot better than a cheap amp. Whatever term you want to use, we're pretty much saying the same thing.




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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Quote Originally Posted by VWBobby View Post
    I think what a lot of us are hearing is what is often called "headroom". A high quality amp usually puts out more than its rated power. It tends to handle dynamic peaks and valleys (transient responses) a lot better than a cheap amp. Whatever term you want to use, we're pretty much saying the same thing.
    Headroom is my favorite sound characteristic. This is why my NAD 3125 (I think that was the model) was my favorite sounding home amp of all time...I sorely regret trading it away My Earthquake PA-series amps remind me a lot of that NAD, which is probably why I like them so much...



    Quote Originally Posted by benbenondatrack View Post
    when i see small subs i just think of a girl, 12s = teenagers, 15s = man, 18 = King Kong Mandingo Warrior

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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Troll Face View Post
    Headroom is my favorite sound characteristic. This is why my NAD 3125 (I think that was the model) was my favorite sounding home amp of all time...I sorely regret trading it away My Earthquake PA-series amps remind me a lot of that NAD, which is probably why I like them so much...

    Proton made car amps at the end of 80's - early 90's with the NAD "Power Envelope" circuits in them, they were the "Dxxx" series, where the "D" stood for Proton's name for the NAD circuitry, "Dynamic Power on Demand".

    I have a D275, which is rated at 85w per channel (4 ohms, .08% THD), and 300w per channel for a 20ms duration.

    Tons of headroom.




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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Proton made car amps at the end of 80's - early 90's with the NAD "Power Envelope" circuits in them, they were the "Dxxx" series, where the "D" stood for Proton's name for the NAD circuitry, "Dynamic Power on Demand".

    I have a D275, which is rated at 85w per channel (4 ohms, .08% THD), and 300w per channel for a 20ms duration.

    Tons of headroom.

    Yes! I forgot about Proton! They are even better known for their ridiculous amounts of headroom!



    Quote Originally Posted by benbenondatrack View Post
    when i see small subs i just think of a girl, 12s = teenagers, 15s = man, 18 = King Kong Mandingo Warrior

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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    They probably use a lot of capacitors to make a huge bank and then run transistors that are rated 4-5 times the RMS rating of the amp. Linear Power and a lot of older amp manufactures did this in the early 90's cheater amps. The RMS is safe, but the amp is capable of so much more in bursts.

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    Re: Difference between budget and high end amps

    Quote Originally Posted by VWBobby View Post
    They probably use a lot of capacitors to make a huge bank and then run transistors that are rated 4-5 times the RMS rating of the amp. Linear Power and a lot of older amp manufactures did this in the early 90's cheater amps. The RMS is safe, but the amp is capable of so much more in bursts.
    My experience with Linear Power was that they had extremely weak capacitance in the power supply section along with a loosely wrapped transformer that would squeal to the beat of the music. I found it odd that they were WAY overbuilt on the transistor side yet were underbuilt for delivering stable power to those transistors.




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