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AMPS? DO YOU REALLY NEED ONE? - Page 6  

post #76 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by vai-777 View Post
If you think its going to sound better it will. Now you cant trick your mind into believing that a sony amp will sound better than a INSERT FAVORITE HIGH END AMP HERE because in your subconscious you KNOW it cant.

However if you have a $400 amp and someone lets you hear a $5k amp you will HEAR a difference because your subconscious is telling you to do so. "Theres no way the $400 can beat the 5k amp right?" So you will listen more critically with the more expensive gear.

The mind is more powerfull than we would like to believe and can make anything amp cdp ect... sound better than the other as long as we have a preconceived notion that it SHOULD. Blind however I would tend to think if you had a 100 or 1000 "AUDIOPHILES" in a room in a blind test the results would be 50/50 as well.
If you need to use methodology to say something makes a difference, that is your choice. But if you have not done any comparisons yourself with whatever method you want to go with, then you are just making assumptions. Like everybody has said, if you don't hear a difference, great easier for you.

The problem I have with the idea that everything is in the head, is that is not a complete truth to me. I am not saying it does not have a part in what we hear.
But it does not explain why I have liked certain tweaks and not others, or that I have even switched to less expensive no-name gear (from more expensive stuff that I already owned) as well just based on SQ. I did not have bias or previous experience with this stuff and was able to make my own judgement where not everyhting more expensive won. Based on the whole idea that it is in my mind thing, I should have liked every tweak and kept all the more expensive items since I should be able to make it sound so.
post #77 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post
always trustworthy, never fails
no goose bump, not worth the upgrade, unless you are gradually upgrading to your 1st goose bump, then you upgrade on every goose bump. see isn't this easy?
I got goosebumps with a Zu-Cabled HD650 and have been thinking about adding Senns to my lineup since. Soundstage ahoy!
post #78 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post
your legal reasoning may ultimately limit your musical enjoyment.
legal reasoning is more fun than music anyway.





j/k of course, but law-fi needs to stick together.
post #79 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
legal reasoning is more fun than music anyway.





j/k of course, but law-fi needs to stick together.
I certainly agree with that as long as we are on the same side of the v
post #80 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
John, what headphone amps have you listened to, in what systems, and what were your conclusions based on your listening?
I'm listening through a Pocket Reference II right now and also own a Headroom desktop amp, listening through HD650s, playing out of my SB Audigy 2. I believe I can hear a marginal difference between the two amps although, if someone ensured they were playing at identical volume, I would not back myself to tell them apart in a double blind test. Because I know how subjective and unreliable my own perception is.

No, I haven't listened through a "top level" amp for any sustained period of time. Nor do I intend to, until I see some proof that people can actually pick them out when they're blind tested.

Quote:
...it's silly to argue that we should treat as the operative proposition the notion that all headpone amps and CDP's sound the same, merely because some DBT's don't establish the contrary.
Why do you say some DBTs? Has there been a DBT where "believers" have actually had any success? If not, you should instead be saying all DBTs have failed to establish significant differences, to make clear that no DBT conducted to date supports your view. The writer of that report made clear that other DBTs had been conducted with amps and that all of them had gone the same way.

On the other hand, if what you say is accurate and there has been a test where people have successfully picked out the big bucks amp, please point me to it. I really would be interested to read it - no lie.

Quote:
P.S. Do you have any proof that the average factory-installed car radio sounds better than a $25,000 high fidelity audio system? Any scientific studies that "prove" that? I guess it's open to debate then.
Well, no. This is a thread about amps. You're confusing the issue by bringing in speakers. Nobody disputes that there are differences between speakers. Of course there is scientific proof of that. You can see it every time someone posts frequency response data on speakers.

Differences between speaker sound have been proven scientifically and we can safely accept that they do exist. Differences between amplifier sound, other than tiny differences which may or may not be improvements, have not been proven scientifically. Hence my scepticism. Nobody's yet said anything to change my mind...
post #81 of 265
PS I'm trying to put smilies into my posts to make them sound a bit less hostile...but the smilies aren't coming out!
post #82 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
I'm listening through a Pocket Reference II right now and also own a Headroom desktop amp, listening through HD650s, playing out of my SB Audigy 2. I believe I can hear a marginal difference between the two amps although, if someone ensured they were playing at identical volume, I would not back myself to tell them apart in a double blind test. Because I know how subjective and unreliable my own perception is.

No, I haven't listened through a "top level" amp for any sustained period of time. Nor do I intend to, until I see some proof that people can actually pick them out when they're blind tested.
As I suspected, your conclusions are based primarily on what you have read, and what others have told you, and not on first-hand experience with the matter under discussion. I submit that extensive first-hand listening experience with a good amp (coupled with a good source, or course) would change your opinion. But no matter. You are free to stubbornly persist in your opinon based on what others tell you must be the case, while the rest of us enjoy significantly higher fidelity sound because we pulled our heads out of the sand. (I was once a skeptic like you and also had my head in the sand, so to speak.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
Why do you say some DBTs? Has there been a DBT where "believers" have actually had any success? If not, you should instead be saying all DBTs have failed to establish significant differences, to make clear that no DBT conducted to date supports your view. The writer of that report made clear that other DBTs had been conducted with amps and that all of them had gone the same way.
I haven't surveyed all DBT's on amps, because frankly I don't care what they say, having read a few and found that the test conditions don't mirror the real world under which most people listen to music. In addition, there was a famous test involving John Atkinson of Stereophile as a participant, in which he failed a blind amp test, bought the cheap amp in the test as a result, and ended up hating his system for the next year. This illustrates I think a real shortcoming with DBT's. Putting absolute faith in DBT's -- which typically involve rapid switching back and forth between music the participants may not be familiar with and components the participants may not be familiar with -- can lead to a conviction that there are no audible differences between certain components, while long term exposure to a particular component in your own system with your own music could eventually reveal that it is "missing something."

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
Well, no. This is a thread about amps. You're confusing the issue by bringing in speakers. Nobody disputes that there are differences between speakers. Of course there is scientific proof of that. You can see it every time someone posts frequency response data on speakers.

Differences between speaker sound have been proven scientifically and we can safely accept that they do exist. Differences between amplifier sound, other than tiny differences which may or may not be improvements, have not been proven scientifically. Hence my scepticism. Nobody's yet said anything to change my mind...
You make a valid point about speakers measuring differently, but some amps measure differenlty also. In any event, I would not be surprised if a DBT involving items that we know sound differently (e.g., speakers, headpohones, tubes) might also fail to yield statistically significant differences in some cases. Indeed, I'd like to see a DBT involving the AKG 701 vs. the HD 650 or HD 600. There's no question these phones sound different, but they are somewhat close in many systems, and I bet a lot of folks would fail a DBT under the "typical" DBT test conditions.

You seem to believe DBT's are fail proof, in terms of resolving the question at issue, which again is, IMO, a case of putting test data obtained in particular circumstances above real-world experience and judgments made by experienced and intelligent listeners. (When I listen to music, I place much weight on what it sounds like to me, not what some test or graph says it should sound like.)

P.S. You can't use a parenthesis and colon to make a smile; you have to use the smile list.
post #83 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
As I suspected, your conclusions are based primarily on what you have read, and what others have told you, and not on first-hand experience with the matter under discussion. I submit that extensive first-hand listening experience with a good amp (coupled with a good source, or course) would change your opinion. But no matter. You are free to stubbornly persist in your opinon based on what others tell you must be the case, while the rest of us enjoy significantly higher fidelity sound because we pulled our heads out of the sand. (I was once a skeptic like you and also had my head in the sand, so to speak.)
Well, I have a choice between competing sources. My choice is between DBTs (maybe not enough of them) and what people (including you) tell me about their "listening experience." With respect, I choose to believe the DBTs and reject "listening experience" as too subjective and unreliable. In support of this, I note that in the DBT I posted:
- some participants brought their own music;
- they had as much time as they wanted to listen blind to make their choice;
- when they knew which amp they were listening to, they all (even the sceptics) believed they were hearing significant differences. They were even "amazed" at these "differences."

The people being tested were initially allowed a period when they could listen to the amps and could see what they were listening to. They wrote comments expressing their views. Look at the comments on eg the Pioneer (cheap) and Levinson (expensive) amps. They are v similar to what you hear on here from some posters:

"Levinson: Sweeter top end...more visceral impact...Depth/sound stage excellent...Good clarity on voice...Strings and horns clear...Leading edge of transient is excellent."

"Pioneer: Less top end - blurry...Crescendo attack a little shrill...Harsh at times...Less attack, no bottom...less string clarity."

So, the test conditions clearly weren't a problem for them at this point. They "heard" very significant differences.

But when the amps were heard under blind test conditions, the comments changed. The comment recorded for the blind Pioneer/ Levinson comparison is "Amps sound strikingly similar." LOL.

Quote:
You make a valid point about speakers measuring differently, but some amps measure differenlty also.
I don't think this is the case. Different amps don't show anything like the differences that different speakers do. Maybe someone can confirm.

Quote:
In any event, I would not be surprised if a DBT involving items that we know sound differently (e.g., speakers, headpohones, tubes) might also fail to yield statistically significant differences in some cases. Indeed, I'd like to see a DBT involving the AKG 701 vs. the HD 650 or HD 600. There's no question these phones sound different, but they are somewhat close in many systems, and I bet a lot of folks would fail a DBT under the "typical" DBT test conditions.
Even if that's true, you are comparing v similar headphones, whereas the test compared v different amps (at least price wise). The group had a measly 52% success rate at differentiating a $12,000 amp from a $250 one. That really should, in my opinion, make anyone looking to buy an expensive amp sit up and question what they are doing. If someone blind tested HD650s against "off the shelf" headphones, I would expect them to achieve significantly better results than 52% success. Admittedly, some people thought the same about amps before their beliefs were tested. But it's only logical that differences in speakers/ headphones should show up, whereas the same won't necessarily be true of amps. Speakers actually produce the sound; amplifiers merely amplify it. They do not offer magical sound-quality improvements.

So if I do really splash out, it will be on speakers, where I know the difference will be felt (although even then, I would be extremely careful as I remain to be convinced that some of the speakers on offer represent value for money).

Quote:
You seem to believe DBT's are fail proof, in terms of resolving the question at issue, which again is, IMO, a case of putting test data obtained in particular circumstances above real-world experience and judgments made by experienced and intelligent listeners. (When I listen to music, I place much weight on what it sounds like to me, not what some test or graph says it should sound like.)
And if it genuinely sounds different, you will be able to pick out the superior sound in a DBT. Simple as that. I'm not saying DBTs are fail proof, I'm saying that in my view they are much more reliable than "listening experience."
post #84 of 265
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post #85 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
Well, I have a choice between competing sources. My choice is between DBTs (maybe not enough of them) and what people (including you) tell me about their "listening experience." With respect, I choose to believe the DBTs and reject "listening experience" as too subjective and unreliable. In support of this, I note that in the DBT I posted:
- some participants brought their own music;
- they had as much time as they wanted to listen blind to make their choice;
- when they knew which amp they were listening to, they all (even the sceptics) believed they were hearing significant differences. They were even "amazed" at these "differences."

The people being tested were initially allowed a period when they could listen to the amps and could see what they were listening to. They wrote comments expressing their views. Look at the comments on eg the Pioneer (cheap) and Levinson (expensive) amps. They are v similar to what you hear on here from some posters:
I think most here were like you at one point in time. then we heard something life-changing and we believed. stop posting and get to your nearest stereo dealer, and let the equipment do the talking
post #86 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post
I think most here were like you at one point in time. then we heard something life-changing and we believed. stop posting and get to your nearest stereo dealer, and let the equipment do the talking
Suddenly you believed...you sound like someone who went to church and found Jesus. For my part, I'm an atheist, I believe in scientific method and there is no way on earth that I am going to spend $12,000 on an amp.
post #87 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
Suddenly you believed...you sound like someone who went to church and found Jesus. For my part, I'm an atheist, I believe in scientific method and there is no way on earth that I am going to spend $12,000 on an amp.
lol..yes scientific method. I don't think you can accurately measure amps 100%. Measurement will get you part of the way there but every one hears differently and thus different result.

There are quite number of us who are EE and have either built/designed/school-work amps. We understand wire is is not important, have never ever taken wire into consideration in any of my circuit analysis, (wire is wire right, and scientifily coaxial is perfect for transmission and skin effect won't kick in until the Mhz range?) but we nevertheless still hears a difference in cable!!. So scientific method surely is important but scientific method, just like our hearing is not perfect.

Trust me it took me a looooong time to get over that. long time. and don't get me started on CD-Rs (they make a difference too, yes digital circuit dictates 1 is 1 and 0 is 0. yes yes and yes, BUT there is a difference.)

have fun playing this hobby is about letting it go and believe what you hear not what you measure
post #88 of 265
John,

I complete agree with your approach to this, and it is the right one to take. But why not buy two amps on the used forum and do a blind test (too much effort to do a double-blind test) on your own. For example, buy an MPX Slam and a GS-1. If you can't tell the difference, then there is no difference. If you can, then the tests are wrong. There is absolutely no expense since you are buying used equipment and can sell it for the price you bought it at.

I think reading these studies is important, but doing one yourself is even better.
post #89 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by seacard View Post
For example, buy an MPX Slam and a GS-1. If you can't tell the difference, then there is no difference. If you can, then the tests are wrong. There is absolutely no expense since you are buying used equipment and can sell it for the price you bought it at.
There's an inherent danger in this. He might hear a difference and might learn that his views --which are based on consideration of only a portion of the relevant evidence -- are not correct. He is not interested in this. He's in only interested in being convinced of what he already thinks he knows. This is not an uncommon human condition in this arena, or in others.
post #90 of 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post
lol..yes scientific method. I don't think you can accurately measure amps 100%. Measurement will get you part of the way there but every one hears differently and thus different result.
Of course you can't measure amps with absolute accuracy, but the accuracy far exceeds the capabilities of the human ear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert
So scientific method surely is important but scientific method, just like our hearing is not perfect.
Er...the scientific method is a process. It's neither perfect or imperfect. Research and testing can be imperfect, however. But that's irrelevant. Your argument is basically that (as I understand it), even though you know there is no difference, you can hear one, therefore it must be there and the scientific method is not perfect. Doesn't that strike you as a bit odd? Much more likely is simple placebo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert
and don't get me started on CD-Rs (they make a difference too, yes digital circuit dictates 1 is 1 and 0 is 0. yes yes and yes, BUT there is a difference.)
The only way CD-Rs could make any difference is if they were somehow so flawed that the pits were improperly burned. In that case, the data would probably be completely scrambled or severely distorted. There are no "subtle differences" in CD-Rs as far as audio quality goes. Physical disc integrity over time, durability, sure, but nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert
have fun playing this hobby is about letting it go and believe what you hear not what you measure
This may be true in many cases, since equipment isn't measured with all possible metrics, nor does it take into account any likeness the listener may have for colored sound. But it's also "dangerous" because you could "hear" the difference between cables and end up wasting money on something that would be much more worth it.
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