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Do All Amplifiers Sound The Same When Their Not Driven Into Clip?

Old 06-10-2014, 10:18 PM
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Do All Amplifiers Sound The Same When Their Not Driven Into Clip?

I've been reading a lot of hype about amps all sounding the same if not driven into clip and signal/channel matched to .1dB.

This hasn't been my experience, especially with 12-Volt amplifiers.

What do you guys think, please share your experiences.

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Old 06-16-2014, 05:38 PM
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Have you participated in an ABX double blind test?

I have, in a class of about a hundred industry people. Nobody passed.. To make matters worse, we were comparing a well respected Class A/B amp to............

.......a headunit!

The rub is that the real world doesn't generally allow for playing this way. The loads are almost always heavier, the music almost always louder, and most amps live a considerable amount of their life at least partially clipped.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:18 AM
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Good post Dukk.

One ends up concluding that since unclipped all pretty much sounds the same, the focus should be to get an amp that makes lots of power instead of one that promises SQ.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:19 AM
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Well, this topic has been discussed, and more often argued, over and over to death. Over time I have developed the opinion that one cannot take a hard stand on either side of the topic - it is more of a 'well it depends' thing.

From what I have experienced, this is a bell curve kind of thing. Probably 80% of the amps out there sound very similar in most situations, then there are 10% that just don't sound good ever and 10% that have a little extra something that make them sound better, but for the most part even then it is often not a dramatic difference but usually quite subtle.

Again, just my opinion.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:21 PM
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Google "Bob Carver amplifier challenge" and have fun.
Well designed amps will all sound very good, the differences are very small and usually due to how they react to different speaker loads.

Consider this: one very high end home audio amps use inexpensive TexasInstruments amp chips that cost a few dollars. So no need to do all sorts of esoteric expensive things.
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