Originally Posted by quartertone
That's a bit of a simplification.
That's the point though right?
Lowest common denominator, that's really what an amp should be, in theory and ideally.
The complexity of making that happen on the other hand is apparently pretty overwhelming, which you see if you take a look at even a small amp circuit board. To do less, you almost need more. That's what appears to be happening.
What I think many amp makers are getting into is creating a target sound, which should really be done at the DAC level. Either because they can't create a true wire with gain or because given the seemingly limited options on the DAC end, it has almost been forced upon them by the market. That's why we're here talking about synergy and whatnots.
Altering a signal at the amp level, imo, is the same as double amping. You're changing something at the second level, ie something that has already been changed. This is less than ideal.
This is assuming digital to analog.