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#91024 - 04/17/05 06:22 PM want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
I’m eventually going to have to buy some more gear (within 6 months). If I ever get off my ass and finish the HT, my HK is going downstairs to drive the HT system. I’m still looking around for speakers for the HT, which will most likely be Axiom, but who knows?? I like change…lol.

But I’m not seeking input on speakers right now. I need some input on my stereo set up that will remain in the great room. I do not need a tuner, as I use satellite. In addition to the satellite, I just play CD’s. I’m not into multi-channel disks either. I leave that to movies and prefer the good ol’ stereo sound.

Assuming that I stick with the M80’s in this room, what would be the best option for driving them? Please educate me with the abundance of options out there for amps/receivers/pre-amps/integrated amps/etc/etc…

I would like tone control, inputs for the CD and satellite, plus an option to input my PC as well (another unfinished project in this friggin house that I pre-wired with cat 5 and coax). Oh yah, a remote would be nice!!

Another thought bouncing around in my head is running two pairs of towers in this room. Has anyone ever tried this? How will this affect the soundstage? Bad idea? How would I have to place the speakers to fill the room with stereo sound?

For budget, let's keep in under a grand for now.
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#91025 - 04/19/05 04:50 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
After surfing around a bit, it would appear that I am limited to either an integrated amp, or a pre-amp and amp combination. I forgot to mention that I want no less than 150 wpc / 8 ohm…..and/or 250 wpc / 4 ohm. It would also appear that I will be spending in excess of $1000 to get that, provided I buy new gear.

On the top of my wish list so far is Parasound Halo A21 amp and P3 pre-amp. 250 wpc / 8 ohm, and about $2800
Second on the list is Parasound HCA 1500 amp and PHP 850 pre-amp. 205 wpc / 8 ohm, and about $1050
Third on the list is NAD C272 amp and C162 pre-amp. 150 wpc / 8 ohm, and about $1000
Fourth is Rotel 1080 amp and 1090 pre-amp. (have not found an online dealer, so no idea what they cost)
Fifth is the NAD C372 integrated amp. 150 wpc / 8 ohm, and about $900

Whatever I buy will have to be shipped second day air to Alaska. A 50 lb box will run about $100. So that gets tacked onto the above prices.

Are there any other combinations I should be looking at? I looked at Krell, but suspect the cost of their gear will be higher than Halos. So that’s an immediate disqualifier as I don’t think I could choke down $3000 for the Halos, and definitely not more than that. Another consideration is that I am no audiophile-atic that spends much time trying to distinguish finger squeaks on violin strings (so to speak, cause I really don’t know what audiophile-atics like to listen for). I doubt AC/DC or Toby Keith will sound much better with $3000 Halos over $1000 NAD gear. Or will it? Hell I don’t know…..

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#91026 - 04/19/05 04:57 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
In reply to:

I doubt AC/DC or Toby Keith will sound much better with $3000 Halos over $1000 NAD gear



i dont think toby keith would sound good on anything!!!

bigjohn
_________________________
EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE SINGING BUSH??

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#91027 - 04/19/05 06:33 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
This would likely be a killer setup for you. The Rotel RC-1070 paired with the RB-1080. A guy has them on audiogon right now. $1000 for the pair.

msrp on the pair is $1500
_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#91028 - 04/19/05 07:30 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Thank you for the link. Yes, that set looks perfect for what I’m looking for. Have you (or anyone for that matter) bought used gear off this sight before? Should I be concerned with buying used? Can’t say I’ve ever bought used electronics before. Come to think of it, I rarely by anything used.

John….What kind of Texan doesn’t like Toby Keith?? You’re not really a Texan, are you? Well how about Alan Jackson, Gary Allen, George Jones?? - just kiddin…

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#91029 - 04/19/05 07:58 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
I've bought several things through audiogon. Never had an issue at all. Audiogon is mostly high end hi-fi equipment, and as you likely know, people who buy this kind of stuff generally treat it better than their childrend. They also usually suffer from hardcore upgraditus, so great stuff pops up on there all the time. I've bought all my Rotel gear from that site.

Good luck. Let us know what you finally end up with.

_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#91030 - 04/19/05 09:05 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
My vote would be for the NAD gear. Either the integrated or the combo. Plus the NAD gear can also be found on Audiogon for less than $900.

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#91031 - 04/19/05 10:03 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
I have owned neither, so I'm curious why you prefer NAD?
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#91032 - 04/19/05 11:49 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Get Rotel!!! I have RX-1052 stereo receiver and rcd-1072 cd player and they are just great!! both sonically and visually..
_________________________
Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#91033 - 04/20/05 12:18 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Mike, a cost-effective solution for driving stereo M80s or whatever would be the HK 3480 which you can get for around $300. A few tens of watts in rated power shouldn't be a concern at these levels and would make little or no difference.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#91034 - 04/20/05 12:19 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
No reason inparticular, it's just that I've read reviews where the reviewer has preferred the NAD amps over the Rotel amps, and my local audio guy told me he stocks NAD over Rotel gear because for the same price he thinks the NAD sound is better. My personal preference, is that the Rotel gear looks really cool, but the NAD gear has kind of a tough guy, "I don't care what I look like cause I know I'm a bad a$$" look to it.

I still hear that Rotel makes excellent products and if I were to get a great deal on Rotel gear I'd probably jump on it (supposing I was in a monetary position to do so) it's just that personally, I would take a chance on NAD gear.

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#91035 - 04/20/05 11:18 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
thanks. I too like the no-nonsense look of NAD gear. But those black Rotel's look pretty cool too (plus they would match my Integra CD/DVD player perfectly). The Halo looks dam sexy in an entirely different way. I don't like the look of the classic parasound stuff. But enough on cosmetics, I'm trying real hard to stop the impulse of buying that Rotel gear on Audiogon......this is gunna be tough...damit…..I….can…..resist….

I had looked at the HK receiver, and separates. My 7200 is rated at 100 WPC and it certainly plays the 80’s louder than I can tolerate, but I’ve heard from too many folks, too many times how the 80’s really wake up when you put about 200 wpc to them. I’ve just got to try it! The only reason my minimum is 150 wpc, is because I didn’t want to prematurely rule out the NAD gear.

Does anyone know where I can buy Rotel and NAD on line, or anywhere that I can call and get pricing. I’m not afraid of B stock or refurbished as long as it has a warrantee.

………so much for waiting…..I just know I’m gunna buy something, real soon. This place has a horrible influence on me…….


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#91036 - 04/20/05 12:04 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
I know Saturdayaudio.com used to stock NAD amps, you might want to check them out. There are a few other sites but I haven't visited them in a long time and I can't remember.

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#91037 - 04/20/05 12:07 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Not sure about NAD, but Rotel doesn't sell online.


_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#91038 - 04/21/05 04:02 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
freesey Offline
local

Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 248
Loc: London, Ontario
I would favor anything Rotel or Arcam. Very warm and accurate, with excellent dispersion (Well maybe its just me, i seem to think sound is placed better with those two)
_________________________
1xAxiom ax 1.2 2xPolk Audio R30 2xMordaunt-Short 3.0 H/K AVR 225 Paradigm PDR-10 Sub HTR MX-500

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#91039 - 04/21/05 06:05 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
I'm "negotiating" terms with the seller. Any idea's how to reduce my risk in loosing a $1000 buying items like this? Kind of a leap of faith, so to speak. There would be no recourse if I got screwed.
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#91040 - 04/21/05 07:40 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
simboticus Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 134
Loc: SF bay area
I bought an amp from Audiogon, it's the one I am now using to power my M80's. It's an Aragon 4004, 2x 200w, works great with the M80's. I paid $600 for it. I have a couple of friends that buy a lot of stuff from Audiogon, no problems at all.

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#91041 - 04/23/05 12:56 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Well, we are at an impasse’ with the second hand Rotel gear. Plus, the local Rotel dealer wont budge on price and sells at MSRP only. That’s just against my principles so I’m about to pull the trigger on the NAD separates.

Anyone have any last words on this? What kind of SQ difference should I get going from my HK / 100 wpc to NAD / 150 wpc?? If anything changes, my hope is that they will be less forward than they are now.

_________________________


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#91042 - 04/23/05 04:25 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
In reply to:

Plus, the local Rotel dealer wont budge on price and sells at MSRP only.




Uh huh, same thing I was told whenever I bought my Rotel gear, conversation went something like this...'OK, give me the best price you have to offer' the reply was 'That is the ONLY price', oh well I forked over the money and have been very happy with my decision to take the Rotel stuff.

But.....

A million people will have three million opinions regarding just about anything in life, so I can only speak for myself.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#91043 - 04/24/05 12:46 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Mike, I know that you wrote that you've "just got to try it!", but you've also invited "last words" and want to know what "SQ difference" you should get. Factually, you should get none. You've already reported that your 7200 drives your M80s louder than you can tolerate. The difference between 100 and 150 watts in maximum loudness is only about 1.8dB. Note also that the HK rating is somewhat conservative and that continuous power into 4ohms is likely on the order of 200 watts. The two channels of the 3480 are essentially similar to the channels of the 7200 and would provide equally transparent amplification. Your M80s are already wide awake from what you report, so spending money on unused amp headroom isn't necessary to remedy a non-existant slumber.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#91044 - 04/24/05 01:01 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
If you are going to upgrade amps, at least get double the power. If it is already more power than the speakers can physically handle, its useless.

_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#91045 - 04/24/05 03:20 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Thank you for the frank reply. That’s exactly the type of information I find useful. To clarify, I'm not wanting "louder", simply better SQ. seeing how I will have to buy something to drive them; I want better than I have now, not the same or worse. Make sense? For example, the stereo in my truck. My subs are rated at 500 wpc 4ohm ea. the first amp I had was 1000 watts. I replaced it with a 1500 wpc amp and they sounded completely different. Tighter, fuller and just plain better. Not any louder, just better.
_________________________


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#91046 - 05/02/05 01:16 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Well I woke up around 4 am this morning with an epiphany. If the 272 doesn’t do it for me power wise, I’ll buy another one and run the two in bridged mono. That would give me 300 wpc with 1132 wpc IHF dynamic power. Don’t think I’ll need to do that, or even want to, but it’s an option that would only be a couple hundred than the Rotel 1080.

So I went ahead and placed an order for the 162 / 272 combo a little while ago. Hopefully, they’ll be here before the weekend so I can set them up and play with them and have a couple days to do some comparative listening between the HK and the NAD’s. What really tipped the scale toward the NAD over Rotel was the pre-amp. I like the tone controls better and I also like the variable pre out 2 that the NAD has.

And seeing how I’ll need somewhere to put the new toys, I ordered a cool EQ rack to set this stuff on that will go very well with all the stainless I have in this area. I bought it from AV123. If you’re curious, it’s the silver one with glass shelves. The friggin shipping costs on the rack was as much as the rack, so they gave me a pretty good deal on the rack to help ease the pain.

After I get this stuff set up, I’ll let y’all know if I can hear a difference.

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#91047 - 05/02/05 03:57 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
I await your response.

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#91048 - 05/02/05 05:08 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
In reply to:

I’ll buy another one and run the two in bridged mono. That would give me 300 wpc with 1132 wpc IHF dynamic power




You will not be able to run the NAD amps bridged pushing a 4 ohm load.When bridging any amp the load the amp sees is cut in half.So if you were to try it with the 80s then the amp will see a 2 ohm load.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#91049 - 05/02/05 09:34 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Well crap....

I can still use two amps and bi-wire them, can't I? One amp to the LF and one to the HF?
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#91050 - 05/02/05 09:40 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Yes Mike you can but you will still be pushing the 150 watts to each speaker.A waste IMO.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#91051 - 05/02/05 10:05 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
excuse my ignorance (and if it isn't obvious by now, I'm completely audio ignorant). but.... wouldn't I have 150 wpc going to the LF drivers and another 150 wpc going to the HF drivers? for a total of 300 watts into each speaker...what am I not understanding here?
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#91052 - 05/02/05 10:12 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
You would have 150 going to the lower side and 150 going to high side.You would have that just leaving the straps on the binding post in place and just run the one amp.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#91053 - 05/02/05 10:29 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
I feel like a dumbass now. Can't believe I didn't think of that. the ol’ parallel/series wiring rule.....there'd still be twice as much available current though. Or am I wrong there as well?
_________________________


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#91054 - 05/02/05 11:33 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
No, Mike, I believe that Rick's analysis is correct; and no, the current is being supplied by the one power supply section of the amplifier or receiver and more doesn't somehow become available when two channels of output transistors are used instead of one.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#91055 - 05/03/05 03:25 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
If the first watt isn't great, who cares how many more like it the amp puts out.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#91056 - 05/03/05 11:43 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I always thought that saying was a bit ridiculous. After all, how does one separate the first watt from the rest?
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#91057 - 05/03/05 12:21 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In reply to:

After all, how does one separate the first watt from the rest?


New England Wattdogs. Used by watt ranglers as far back as the early 19th century. Born and bred for their ability to herd watts by nipping at their heels.

Bren R.

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#91058 - 05/03/05 12:34 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
but there would be two different circuits from different power supplies (two different amps).

and by the way, I'm not trying to be argumentive or disagreeable. And I'm not concerned - at all- about not having enough current or wattage. at this point I'm simple trying to learn.

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#91059 - 05/03/05 02:29 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In reply to:

but there would be two different circuits from different power supplies (two different amps).


You used the term bi-wire instead of bi-amp. You're refering to using one amp to drive each speaker (or one amp to drive each of the sections - tweeters and woofers) which is where I think this got off track.

Bi-wire - one amp, two sets of wires.
Bi-amp - two amps, two sets of wires.

Bren R.

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#91060 - 05/03/05 05:30 PM Re: want some new gear for stereo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Ya, exactly.....

It's not what I say, it's what I mean..LOL
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#91061 - 05/04/05 02:23 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
You don't understand? Oh, you don't believe there is any audible difference between solid state amps so the significant variable for you is wattage?

I sometimes putter while listening to music from my garage system - used to use a Kenwood KA 9100 with twin power meters. Even driving a heavy load like a pair of Dahlquist DQM 905s, I rarely saw the power meter read higher than 3-5 watts. So, I don't think the number of watts an amp is rated at is the most significant value. It's the quality of the output. Now, there are some who believe there is no difference in sound quality between similarly spec'd amps. I disagree. So, the saying refers to the distinction between quantity and quality.

BTW if you use a solid state amp other than the T Amp, I wouldn't use an amp rated at fewer than 15 wpc to avoid clipping damage. If you use a tube amp, you can get by with 2 watts per channel.

In reply to:


Poster: pmbuko

I always thought that saying was a bit ridiculous. After all, how does one separate the first watt from the rest?




_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#91062 - 05/04/05 02:40 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
My criticism was of the semantics of the saying, not its intended meaning. I agree with what you're getting at, which is -- correct me if I'm wrong -- wattage ratings (beyond a certain minimum) are no guarantee of superior sound.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#91063 - 05/04/05 03:19 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Peter, my thought about that old saying would be that it's certainly valid if simply taken literally, i.e. if an amplifier was so poorly designed that even at 1 watt it had problems with noise or variations in frequency response and wasn't transparent, the ability to put out a lot more equally flawed watts wouldn't make it acceptable. What would be ridiculous would be an implication that a correctly designed amplifier, either solid state or tube, with flat response and inaudibly low noise and distortion, would nevertheless be distinguishable from another meeting the same standards. Blind listening tests indicate that there's no factual basis for this, and when we have to trust our ears alone, the differences previously claimed disappear.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#91064 - 05/04/05 04:04 AM Re: want some new gear for stereo
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
So it's not a case of the blind leading the blind, then?
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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