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Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416825 02/03/16 04:08 AM
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OK, Craigsub ... come down to Southern California, bring your troop of evaluators, we will all close our eyes and listen to music, then we can argue over steaks and beers and listen to more music.


Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.
Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
craigsub #416827 02/03/16 07:42 AM
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The classic Stereo Review amplifier test , still unchallenged(i.e., unchallenged by scientific evidence to the contrary, not simply by a stubborn refusal to face the facts).


-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.


Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416828 02/03/16 08:36 AM
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"Stubborn refusal to face the facts," that's insulting, isn't it? You are an objectivist. That's fine, and of course, it is not insult. Insulting people with contrary views is what the holy warriors of that orthodoxy do here, you foremost among them. It is one of the reasons, this site is so dead. Instead of a discussion, people who express a different opinion are subjected to insults. So, folks either leave, or self-censor.

Let a thousand flowers bloom, John.

You should agree that audio enthusiasts disagree as to their prefernces between tube and solid state amplifiers. I prefer the sound produced from tube amplifiers because I think mine produces a more natural and realistic sound - warmer, richer, more liquid. That is, of course, subjective.

I did a quick google search and found various professional peer reviewed AES and IEEE articles about tube sound compared to solid state. They discuss the issue openly. It seems to me the matter is not as settled as you make it out to be.

Now, I am not an engineer, I am a consumer. I rely on my ears, and as to those amps I prefer, I figure the engineers who designed them did a better job than those who designed amps I like less.

I am not able to discuss differences in how amps deal with feedback, voltage spikes, transients, the effect of complex solid state circuits compared to the simple circuits of tube amps, even ordered and odd ordered harmonics, soft/hard clipping ... I cannot point to the reasons for the differences I hear. I hear them. Your graphs tell you, I do not hear them.

You must therefore deny my experience to validate your objective criteria and your belief that the objective criteria you rely on are sufficient to the task of describing the totality of audio reproduction sound quality. I suspect your criteria are not adequate to describe all the factors which contribute to sound quality.

Speaking of which, our local SoCal jazz audio get-togethers are hosted at member's homes. We get a chance to listen many systems, some are definitely high-end. This gaggle of enthusiasts almost universally prefer tube amplification.

What do we know? We don't know enough audio engineering to know our preferences are not valid.

Enjoy the music. We do.



Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.
Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416829 02/03/16 12:22 PM
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Thanks for the read John. Interesting stuff.

2x6 I'm not sure if you are into the research\reading side of the hobby, but this book may interest you. It is mainly gear quality focused, but delves a little into setup and acoustics. I think it would be a rewarding read for you. smile I read it over Christmas break. If you like it there is an uber version called the Complete guide to high end audio.

http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Guide-High-Performance-Audio-Systems/dp/0978649303/ref=pd_sim_14_1/185-1714575-1708235?ie=UTF8&dpID=51xwVIGf-dL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR106%2C160_&refRID=1XPTA2H6NRHE6J89JXWG


Last edited by Serenity_Now; 02/03/16 12:35 PM.
Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
AAAA #416832 02/03/16 12:52 PM
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2x6 ... One of the aspects of performance with tube amps that has been demonstrated (using an oscilloscope as Oakville Matt mentioned) is the high levels of even order distortion.

What many don't understand is that even order distortion tends to sound pleasant to our ears. Even level distortion is also called "harmonics". When we hear an instrument, it is the harmonics that separate the instrument from another. As an example, a Sax and a guitar playing the same note sound quite different, this is because much more is going on than playing that note.

Speakers are widely known for delivering different sonics because of higher levels of distortion, but mostly because of response variations.

A properly designed amp delivers no distortion, and has a flat response curve, which is why blind tests ALWAYS take out perceived audible differences between amps.

No, I am not going to spend $20,000 flying a bunch of people to California. But I think I will buy one of those little amps and blind test it myself. smile

Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416849 02/04/16 12:50 AM
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Well, Craigsub, leave your posse up there, if you like, but if you ever find yourself down here, you are welcome in my home anytime. I will play you tunes on a wonderful tube amp, and some on some solid states, and if you are not a vegetarian, I have mesquite charcoal, a Weber and what to put on it.

Make sure to close both your eyes when you listen to that little tube amp, so you conduct a proper double blind test. Let us know what you think!

Hey Serenity, don't read much about the tech, I read the usual magazines, Absolute Sound, Stereophile, Sound & Vision, I visit a couple of audio websites. Mostly, I go to audio shows, and hang with friends on Jazz Nights down here, listen to music on their systems, eat their food and drink their booze.

I let my ears do the thinking and the music do the talking.


Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.
Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416850 02/04/16 01:12 AM
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Hey Serenity

I checked the link and was pleased to see it directed to Robert Harley's (Absolute Sound) book on high end audio. Bob did a book signing down here a few weeks ago. here is an interesting outtake from Wikipedia which mentions our favorite speaker company:

Blind tests refer to experiments where researchers can see the components under test, but not individuals undergoing the experiments. In a double-blind experiment, neither the individuals nor the researchers know who belongs to the control group and the experimental group. Only after all the data has been recorded (and in some cases, analyzed) do the researchers learn which individuals are which. A commonly used variant of this test is the ABX test. A subject is presented with two known samples (sample A, the reference, and sample B, an alternative), and one unknown sample X, for three samples total. X is randomly selected from A and B, and the subject identifies X as being either A or B. Although there is no way to prove that a certain lossy methodology is transparent,[3] a properly conducted double-blind test can prove that a lossy method is not transparent.

Scientific double-blind tests are sometimes used as part of attempts to ascertain whether certain audio components (such as expensive, exotic cables) have any subjectively perceivable effect on sound quality. Data gleaned from these double-blind tests is not accepted by some "audiophile" magazines such as Stereophile and The Absolute Sound in their evaluations of audio equipment. John Atkinson, current editor of Stereophile, stated (in a 2005 July editorial named Blind Tests & Bus Stops) that he once purchased a solid-state amplifier, the Quad 405, in 1978 after blind tests, but came to realize months later that "the magic was gone" until he replaced it with a tube amp.[4] Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound wrote, in a 2008 editorial (on Issue 183), that: "...blind listening tests fundamentally distort the listening process and are worthless in determining the audibility of a certain phenomenon."[5]

Doug Schneider, editor of the online Soundstage network, refuted this position with two editorials in 2009.[6][7] He stated: "Blind tests are at the core of the decades’ worth of research into loudspeaker design done at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC). The NRC researchers knew that for their result to be credible within the scientific community and to have the most meaningful results, they had to eliminate bias, and blind testing was the only way to do so." Many Canadian companies such as Axiom, Energy, Mirage, Paradigm, PSB and Revel use blind testing extensively in designing their loudspeakers. Many audio professionals like Sean Olive of Harman International share this view.[8]

I purchased my first Axiom speakers (M3tis) after reading Doug Schneider's review in SoundStage! His review was not based on a double blind test or the graphs (though graphs were provided). He loved them. I bought 'em, and I loved them too.

Coupling the M3s with a 5wpc SET tube amp gave me my first experience of audio nirvana. I have heard these same M3s with various solid states, and though they sounded good, they did not sound as good.

Now, I do not have a tube amp with sufficient oomph to drive my Thiel CS3.6s and they do sound great with the Integra M504 amp and have provided me with hours of music listening pleasure.

I just prefer the sound of my wee tube amp. Craigsub, maybe you had the wrong tube amp?

Just my experience. Yours may differ. I won't call you wrong if it does.


Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.
Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
2x6spds #416852 02/04/16 02:19 AM
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Anyone who suggests that blind tests: "fundamentally distort the listening process and are worthless in determining the audibility of a certain phenomenon" is the same sort of charlatan who promotes $1000 interconnects and $2000 speaker cables - which both Atkinson and Harley do.

I read Stereophile for entertainment, not information. Same thing with The Absolute Sound.

Neither of those magazine's writers like blind tests because their advertisers don't like blind tests.

Axiom does all its development through blind tests.

If someone loves a component, cool. If someone declares a component is superior to another component in sighted tests, and declares a blind test is not needed, or that it is "inferior" to conduct a blind test, that someone is utilizing junk science.

Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416853 02/04/16 05:53 AM
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Very often, I close both my eyes while listening to music. Double blind.


Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.
Re: Seeking some amp advice for m80s
elsewhere #416858 02/04/16 10:44 AM
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The book I mentioned was a christmas gift. I would guess if you enjoy Stereophile and TAS you will find the book useful.

I found the book interesting in certain passages. The sub phase and amplifier power parts were of interest. I tend to focus on maximizing the performance of gear (speakers) in rooms, rather than the gear itself. I have found Toole's Sound Reproduction book quite instructive for this. smile

The problem I found with the mags is they seldom cover the truly important aspects of audio. The core foundations of audio are not sexy or romantic. They wont sell more magazines or any gear so they are not often talked about. But damn do they make me want more stuff! smile

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