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This is an old article - was from BAS - it is interesting


botrytis
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This is quite an old article - they did blind testing of Amps around 1976 - double blind and the results are in the article.

 

I would just thought I would post it here - it was on the BAS website at one point.

Do All amplifiers sound the same.pdf

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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I am hoping to use this a jumping off point to discuss this topic. I think it is very pertinent with mQa and the rest of the milieu. 

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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  • 4 weeks later...

Pretty interesting. So basically with competent amps suited to the speakers no ability to pick out one amp over another. Means that purely in terms of SQ and nothing else, any suitable/competent amp for  a given set of speakers will do.

If this was more modern, it would be interesting to have, say, a Hypex amp, included.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Two thoughts I had:

 

I remember back in the days or the AR-3 and AR-3a speakers they did tests where a live group would play behind a curtain, interspersed with a recording of the same group. People routinely failed to distinguish between live and recorded. 

 

I wonder if amplifiers and/or speakers have changed/improved enough in the last 45 years to make the study no longer valid.

 

As I wrote this I had more thoughts, including the thought that I'd have to stop writing sometime.:D Thinking about information analysis is a habit carried over from my days in the Canadian Intelligence Corps.:)

 

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The other part of this is how they setup their listening and the DBT. I cannot find that article, currently, but will keep looking.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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What I can say is that about 30 years ago I wanted to upgrade amps and I obtained 4 new amps to try at home for a long weekend. They were all well-reviewed and about the same price. The two ends of the tests differed radically. The best gave me renditions that I enjoyed, got me involved in the music and I felt like it grabbed a hold on the speakers as if it had a totally rigid connection that pushed and pulled the drivers directly. I bought it.

 

The worst amp made me feel almost physically ill and I was unable to stand it for more than a very few minutes at a time. Which was a shame as it was the one that I thought would be best as it was from the same high-end company as my speakers.

 

Do all amps sound the same? Not to me they don't. For everyone else—YMMV.:)

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3 hours ago, GregWormald said:

What I can say is that about 30 years ago I wanted to upgrade amps and I obtained 4 new amps to try at home for a long weekend. They were all well-reviewed and about the same price. The two ends of the tests differed radically. The best gave me renditions that I enjoyed, got me involved in the music and I felt like it grabbed a hold on the speakers as if it had a totally rigid connection that pushed and pulled the drivers directly. I bought it.

 

The worst amp made me feel almost physically ill and I was unable to stand it for more than a very few minutes at a time. Which was a shame as it was the one that I thought would be best as it was from the same high-end company as my speakers.

 

Do all amps sound the same? Not to me they don't. For everyone else—YMMV.:)

I don't think the idea is that they literally all sound the same. I think the idea is more that if you get amps and speakers that are well matched (in terms of power, current, speaker-amp impedance) then you are going to have a hard time telling them apart in a blind test. The test referenced here isn't the only time this has been shown.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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