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The Sensible Sound

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Anonymous
December 3, 2004 3:46:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I have a question about this magazine. Is there disagreement among its
contributors about the sonic differences among amplifiers? Looking over
back issues (http://sensiblesound.com/backissues.htm) I see a tube amp
described on the cover as "silky smoooth with unparalleled transparency"
(June/July '03 #96). Is it noncontroversial that such tube amps sound
different from solid state amps? Can a solid state amp be "equalized" to
sound like a given tube amp? Are differences measurable here? I'm a little
confused, because I know some who post here write for SS and also claim
there are no audible differences among amplifiers satisfying X, where X is
some minimal criterion I've never properly understood. Does this mean the
Atma-Sphere S-30 MH II on the cover of SS doesn't satisfy X? If this amp
satisfies X, then I would guess some here would say the reviewer is lost in
tweako land? I'm just tring to get a handle on what SS is all about.

More about : sound

Anonymous
December 4, 2004 1:40:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Billy Shears w.ramey@comcast.net wrote:

>I have a question about this magazine. Is there disagreement among its
>contributors about the sonic differences among amplifiers?


Sure that appears to be so. But remember I am 'only' a contributor. In the
trade they call people like me "stringers." I do see stuff published that
appears to me to be dubious.Some of it appears to be extremely dubious. In
their way T$S is like a bi-sexual Stereophile. They will print opinions that
haven't been verified; but they'll also print stuff that doesn't follow the
high-end code ('If you won't call my bs bs I won't call your bs bs!") such as
things from me and Howard.

Looking over
>back issues (http://sensiblesound.com/backissues.htm) I see a tube amp
>described on the cover as "silky smoooth with unparalleled transparency"
>(June/July '03 #96). Is it noncontroversial that such tube amps sound
>different from solid state amps? Can a solid state amp be "equalized" to
>sound like a given tube amp?

Sure.That's easy; just put a power resistor equivalent to the output impedance
of the tube unit in series with the solid state amplifier and you'll get the
same frequency response errors; if the output impedance of the tube unit is
less than about 0.1 ohms then you have an equivalancy.

>Are differences measurable here?

Surely. Just use voltmeter and a sine wave test cd at the speaker terminals. If
that shows equivalency (+/- 0.1 dB ) than the amplifiers cannot sound
"different."

I'm a little
>confused, because I know some who post here write for SS and also claim
>there are no audible differences among amplifiers satisfying X, where X is
>some minimal criterion I've never properly understood.

That would be me. I've conducted dozens of amplifier listening tests. I've
examined a couple dozen more. To date, no person has ever demonstrated an
ability to show they can "hear" the sound ot 2 nominally competent ampliifers
(level macthed and response matched to +/- 0.1 dB over the range of 100-10,000
Hz.

Even the experiments where the sponsors "picked" amplifiers that "should have
sounded different" have been embarassed that such devices haven't been found to
exhibit reliablly significant differences even with sample sizes in the
thousands.


Does this mean the
>Atma-Sphere S-30 MH II on the cover of SS doesn't satisfy X? If this amp
>satisfies X, then I would guess some here would say the reviewer is lost in
>tweako land?

Haven't seem that issue. Bity IMO there somer contributor that have been lost
in Tweako Land. The apparent difference between T$S and Stereophile is that any
given reviewer does not have to prove this in advance of being given
assignments :-)

>I'm just tring to get a handle on what SS is all about.

I can't defend some of the stuff that's published there. It certainly doesn't
seem, at times, to be the bastion of $ensibility but like any other publication
you should read EVERY word with a healthy degree of skepticism.

Or better yet; a healthy does of cynicism. You can't know the true value of
anything unless you have already examined the cost.
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 1:42:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Billy Shears" <w.ramey@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:cood0u0e8k@news2.newsguy.com...
>I have a question about this magazine. Is there disagreement among its
> contributors about the sonic differences among amplifiers?

I don't beleive there is disagreement, since it is a known fact that some
amplifiers sound different than other amplifiers, just not as much as some
manufacturers would like us to believe.

Looking over
> back issues (http://sensiblesound.com/backissues.htm) I see a tube amp
> described on the cover as "silky smoooth with unparalleled transparency"

No doubt, that was his opinion.

> (June/July '03 #96). Is it noncontroversial that such tube amps sound
> different from solid state amps?

They can. To get similar sound to SS amps tube amps generally need to be
much more expensive than typical SS amps IIRC.

Can a solid state amp be "equalized" to
> sound like a given tube amp?

No, since what makes tube amps sound different is the way they react when
driven to clipping. A SS amp will chop off part of the sine wave and if you
saw it on a scope there would be no question that it was clipped.

A tube amp driven to clipping will still show what looks like a sine wave,
but will be smaller. That is at least part of the reason some people prefer
tubes, due to the fact that their clipping is not so obvious.

> Are differences measurable here?

Absolutely.

I'm a little
> confused, because I know some who post here write for SS and also claim
> there are no audible differences among amplifiers satisfying X, where X is
> some minimal criterion I've never properly understood.

Primarily frequency response and distortion. Once distortion is below a
certain level it is no longer audible. With frequency response, if it is
sufficiently flat in comparison to another amp, not driven to clipping it
will sound like another amp which falls within the same limits.

Does this mean the
> Atma-Sphere S-30 MH II on the cover of SS doesn't satisfy X? If this amp
> satisfies X, then I would guess some here would say the reviewer is lost
> in
> tweako land?

Only someone misstating things. Nobody I know of thinks there anything
wrong with a particular preference be it tubes, SS or whatever. If you want
to talk about value for the money, linear performance, and reliabilty, then
there are differences for sure.

> I'm just tring to get a handle on what SS is all about.
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 2:57:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Nousaine <nousaine@aol.com> wrote:
> Billy Shears w.ramey@comcast.net wrote:

> >I have a question about this magazine. Is there disagreement among its
> >contributors about the sonic differences among amplifiers?


> Sure that appears to be so. But remember I am 'only' a contributor. In the
> trade they call people like me "stringers." I do see stuff published that
> appears to me to be dubious.Some of it appears to be extremely dubious. In
> their way T$S is like a bi-sexual Stereophile. They will print opinions that
> haven't been verified; but they'll also print stuff that doesn't follow the
> high-end code ('If you won't call my bs bs I won't call your bs bs!") such as
> things from me and Howard.

They do have some advocates from both camps. As elsewhere, I filter
out the burblings of the 'burn-in' advocates. *And* the damn Mahler reviews (enough
already!).



--
-S
Your a boring little troll. How does it feel? Go blow your bad breath elsewhere.
!