or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Are bel canto and Emotiva considered 'high-end' ? Peachtree Audio ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are bel canto and Emotiva considered 'high-end' ? Peachtree Audio ? - Page 4

post #46 of 98

A what now? Wiki has nothing for me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_(disambiguation)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post

Isn't something "high-end" if it makes you look like a BSD when you add it to your Head-Fi signature? 

 

 

post #47 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Not all Class D is ICE, just wanted to throw that out there. The Emo XPA's are probably more cost effective, but will use more power and weigh more. You might also look at Outlaw or Rotel. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I've enjoyed my time with my UPA-1 Monoblocks from Emotiva, but I'm still curious about Class D (ICEPower stuff) and have been contemplating giving it a shot. I'm trying to decide if I should try ICE from W4S or just go with a heftier set from Emotiva and wait for their balanced pre.

 

I've heard they play well with Maggies (ICE), and considering Maggies are power hungry high power usually comes at a high cost when it comes to 'high end' stuff.

 

I think 'high end' is in the eye of the buyer. Diminishing returns kicked in a long time ago when it comes to Summit-Fi.

 

 



True. I should've made that distinction myself. All the D I was looking at is ICE.

I looked at Outlaw a bit but never Rotel. Red Dragon has some nice mono blocks, too.

I have no idea what I'll actually do yet but those XPA monsters are sexy. They'd be all the power I ever need and I think with the right preamp (tubes) they'd be great.
post #48 of 98

Just remember - get a hand-truck to move them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post


True. I should've made that distinction myself. All the D I was looking at is ICE.
I looked at Outlaw a bit but never Rotel. Red Dragon has some nice mono blocks, too.
I have no idea what I'll actually do yet but those XPA monsters are sexy. They'd be all the power I ever need and I think with the right preamp (tubes) they'd be great.

 

 

post #49 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Just remember - get a hand-truck to move them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post


True. I should've made that distinction myself. All the D I was looking at is ICE.
I looked at Outlaw a bit but never Rotel. Red Dragon has some nice mono blocks, too.
I have no idea what I'll actually do yet but those XPA monsters are sexy. They'd be all the power I ever need and I think with the right preamp (tubes) they'd be great.

 

 



75 pounds a piece. UPS guy wont be happy about that. biggrin.gif
post #50 of 98
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post


True. I should've made that distinction myself. All the D I was looking at is ICE.
I looked at Outlaw a bit but never Rotel. Red Dragon has some nice mono blocks, too.
I have no idea what I'll actually do yet but those XPA monsters are sexy. They'd be all the power I ever need and I think with the right preamp (tubes) they'd be great.

 

Cmon, you know you want to take one for the team, MD !

 

http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/media/reviews/HiFiTest-GrandIntegrated-review.pdf

 

You dont have to be able to read German to know that 400WPC of ICE-Y Class D amp is going to be making someone at B&O very .very happy. From Emotiva to Peachtree - thats about as on-topic as I think I've been this year.  eek.gif

post #51 of 98

Power you say?

http://www.ciaudio.com/products/D500MKII

 

Is the Euro still > USD, so 4500EUR is like $6k? Wolfram thinks so.

 

 

 

post #52 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post


True. I should've made that distinction myself. All the D I was looking at is ICE.
I looked at Outlaw a bit but never Rotel. Red Dragon has some nice mono blocks, too.
I have no idea what I'll actually do yet but those XPA monsters are sexy. They'd be all the power I ever need and I think with the right preamp (tubes) they'd be great.

 

Cmon, you know you want to take one for the team, MD !

 

http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/media/reviews/HiFiTest-GrandIntegrated-review.pdf

 

You dont have to be able to read German to know that 400WPC of ICE-Y Class D amp is going to be making someone at B&O very .very happy. From Emotiva to Peachtree - thats about as on-topic as I think I've been this year.  eek.gif


I don't like integrated systems. I've owned the Decco 2 and auditioned the Nova though. Granted that's a different beast altogether.

If I were to go Class D it'd probably be W4S ST500 or ST1000. If I stay with bigguns it'll be those XPAs most likely.
post #53 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Will QSC repair your amp in 10 or 20 years for free like Boulder does?

 

You're right that most of the time you're paying for a TOTL monoblock you're paying for the time it takes for someone to hand-match the transistors, build and thoroughly test the unit, as well as for the fancy casework. Sure it might only translate to marginally lower distortion of questionable benefit, but there are people out there who will want to, say, discern the individual violins in an orchestra that tiny bit better and are willing to pay for that.

 


TOTL products from companies like Gryphon, Boulder, Ayre, Krell, BAT, Pass etc are usually the result of the vision and passion of a single person or a very small group of people. They are not commodity products stamped out to meet a spec. Obviously its going to cost more to buy that sort of item.

 

If you believe the "all amplifiers below clipping sound the same" trope, then I really can't help you there. Buy a cheap gainclone or a T-amp and use that. It's all the same after all, listening tests don't matter, be a meter maid.

post #54 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I've enjoyed my time with my UPA-1 Monoblocks from Emotiva, but I'm still curious about Class D (ICEPower stuff) and have been contemplating giving it a shot. I'm trying to decide if I should try ICE from W4S or just go with a heftier set from Emotiva and wait for their balanced pre.

 

For what it's worth, I have not been impressed by any ICEpower amp that I've heard. Distortion levels rise to 10X that of a well designed Class A/B amp as they near the upper end of their power rating, and the square waves they produce are pretty ugly - not all that square. In the real world that translates to grainy, ill-defined treble that's never really sat well with me. The only digital amp I thought was any good was the Spectron Musician III, and that doesn't come cheap.

 

A much more affordable and much better option would be to check out the amps from Odyssey - great reputation on those and the pricing is extremely reasonable by "high-end" standards - they start under $1K.

post #55 of 98

Can you explain this "meter maid" thing - I get that it's supposed to be demeaning, but I just don't understand it. 

 

Listening tests (as in, properly controlled ABX testing) don't generally support amplifier sound differences, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there either. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

If you believe the "all amplifiers below clipping sound the same" trope, then I really can't help you there. Buy a cheap gainclone or a T-amp and use that. It's all the same after all, listening tests don't matter, be a meter maid.

 

I've heard the same about distortion with ICE; but I've seen conflicting measurements; eg:

1108piosink.meas.jpg

 

808yam11.4.jpg

(That's an RX-Z11; the image doesn't have a caption).

 

Of course you could say the Z11 is not properly designed, but I think it's a fair comparison (they're around the same price and were both marketed as TOTL). iirc JND for THD is around 1%, but you do see it rise much more aggressively on the SC-09, while the Z11 is more "all or nothing" - to look at a more hoity toity amplifier:

1010class.measamp.jpg

 

Spec there is 300/ch and note that the scale changes dramatically from the above two images (it's 0-500 not 0-300, and in 100w steps not 50w). 

 

So the Z11 and the Classe going to deliver on their claims at .01% or better; the SC-09 is marginally higher (if memory serves, the Z11 is 140/ch spec, and the Pio is 150 or 170). My recollection of where the JND sits could be off, but it does exist as a difference on paper. I've also read that some (but not all) ICE amps have weird Zout behavior, but then again, there's CIA claiming that the D500 is "made for maggies" - I think it's most fair to say there's a lot of conflicting information and opinion on Class D. I'm not denying at all that distortion does rise with output (I wouldn't say 10x, but then again, we're comparing one ICE unit against a pair of non-ICE units; you can probably find an ICE that does a lot worse than the Pioneer; I doubt it costs more though). 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

 

For what it's worth, I have not been impressed by any ICEpower amp that I've heard. Distortion levels rise to 10X that of a well designed Class A/B amp as they near the upper end of their power rating, and the square waves they produce are pretty ugly - not all that square. In the real world that translates to grainy, ill-defined treble that's never really sat well with me. 

 

 

post #56 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post


TOTL products from companies like Gryphon, Boulder, Ayre, Krell, BAT, Pass etc are usually the result of the vision and passion of a single person or a very small group of people. They are not commodity products stamped out to meet a spec. Obviously its going to cost more to buy that sort of item.

 

If you believe the "all amplifiers below clipping sound the same" trope, then I really can't help you there. Buy a cheap gainclone or a T-amp and use that. It's all the same after all, listening tests don't matter, be a meter maid.

 

This was indeed my point (ie: I agree with you). Something people forget, which a discussion on headphones versus speakers made me realise it, we don't often account for how loud people listen. I NEVER listen loudly with speakers, so know I can get away with simpler amplification, but, I am aware from my own experiences the differences in sound quality from different amps, even at low and moderate listening levels, as I'm now heading towards my 4th (or 6th if we include my father's old ones) speaker amp, a second-hand Linn Klimax 500 Twin.  I think the pro-measurements people don't understand that measurements are made using sweeps and single impulses, and music isn't a series of sweeps or a single impulse and the circuitry has to be able to perform in a linear fashion with a large variety of designs at a variety of temperatures with an equally large variation in sources. Listening to the Linn two days ago it was apparent why it is truly high-end -- no matter what speakers were connected, its ability to drive each pair well was clearly apparent. I don't need measurements for this, because what I hear will be the most important thing.

post #57 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Can you explain this "meter maid" thing - I get that it's supposed to be demeaning, but I just don't understand it. 

 

Listening tests (as in, properly controlled ABX testing) don't generally support amplifier sound differences, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there either. 

 

I've heard the same about distortion with ICE; but I've seen conflicting measurements; eg:

 

Let's talk dedicated amplifiers rather than surround sound A/V receivers. Receivers are always a compromise, and supposed "TOTL" receivers can only go head to head with entry level separates and integrated amplifiers.

 

Take the Bel Canto REF1000 as an example of a premier ICEpower amp, it's functionally the same as any of the other ICE based monoblocks including the W4S models. Starting with the 1Khz square wave:

 

555Belfig2.jpg

 

Not terrible. A slight rise on the leading edge compared to linear amps which typically produce nearly flawless square waves at 1Khz, but again not terrible. Now at 10Khz:

 

555Belfig3.jpg

 

Uh oh. Measured response doesn't always correlate to real world issues, but it sure does here. This is a mess, and you can hear it in the lousy treble region of an ICEpower amp. Where I got the "10X" figure is in distortion vs. frequency and distortion near peak power - this is particularly true with 4Ohm loads - high-end Class A/B amplifiers will have 1/10 the level of distortion in these areas.

 

555Belfig5.jpg

 

Being a meter maid is using things like the above measurements as the sole criteria to judge the performance of one audio component vs. another. Measurements are helpful, but they are not the end all be all. ABX test failures are nothing new in audio - I don't find the absence of evidence to be evidence of absence - especially not with all of my first hand experience.

 

 


Edited by DaveBSC - 4/28/12 at 8:27pm
post #58 of 98

Oh dear...You've turned me on to Odyssey and at those price these are hard to ignore...Nice tube pre...Powerful monos at only 3.2k a pair...Tons of optional upgrades? 20 year warranties!?

 

...this is bad. Hide wallet, hide!

 

Kind of a shame theirs pre options aren't balanced, but that's a minor quibble. 

 

EDIT: Their Kismet links are broken...I want to see their flagship stuff...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I've enjoyed my time with my UPA-1 Monoblocks from Emotiva, but I'm still curious about Class D (ICEPower stuff) and have been contemplating giving it a shot. I'm trying to decide if I should try ICE from W4S or just go with a heftier set from Emotiva and wait for their balanced pre.

 

For what it's worth, I have not been impressed by any ICEpower amp that I've heard. Distortion levels rise to 10X that of a well designed Class A/B amp as they near the upper end of their power rating, and the square waves they produce are pretty ugly - not all that square. In the real world that translates to grainy, ill-defined treble that's never really sat well with me. The only digital amp I thought was any good was the Spectron Musician III, and that doesn't come cheap.

 

A much more affordable and much better option would be to check out the amps from Odyssey - great reputation on those and the pricing is extremely reasonable by "high-end" standards - they start under $1K.

 

 

 


Edited by MorbidToaster - 4/28/12 at 8:46pm
post #59 of 98

Dave - neato measurements. I'm still somewhat skeptical regarding the THD values (I don't disbelieve your graphs) - again, I want to say JND is at 1% but you aren't the first person to complain about what ICE does at HF, maybe it's lower (I know it varies wrt freq and it's supposed to matter less on the LF - I don't want to make the quantum leap that it's inversely relative though). And for the money that some of these amps cost, I'm really inclined to be less than accepting of this flaw. However, find me a speaker that won't hide this in it's own distortion...or a room that will let it play. That's my hang-up; not that I'm married to a scope, but that there's often bigger fish to fry. Just like with headphones - sure you can get the most perfect, linear, high power, etc amplifier known to man, but if you're driving it into something that distorts terribly and is generally mud, it's all for naught. But when you get a headphone that's perfect, or nearly perfect, then all of that up-stream stuff can have more of a difference (again, only to a point - after a while you're still just dumping money into a hole). 

 

On the "entry level separates and integrateds" argument - it strikes me as somewhat of a hasty generalization (I'm not knocking on separates or IAs). You can find garbage anywhere, and sometimes it comes in more than one can.

 

I'd rather assess each piece of equipment holistically; measurements are nice because they let you drop inappropriate/irrelevant equipment off the list, and let you pare down from say, however many million CE devices exist, to maybe a dozen that would satisfy a given need. Most specs for CE equipment today are a joke, you might find this interesting in that vein: http://www.rane.com/note145.html

 

 

post #60 of 98

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Oh dear...You've turned me on to Odyssey and at those price these are hard to ignore...Nice tube pre...Powerful monos at only 3.2k a pair...Tons of optional upgrades? 20 year warranties!?

 

...this is bad. Hide wallet, hide!

 

Kind of a shame theirs pre options aren't balanced, but that's a minor quibble. 

 

EDIT: Their Kismet links are broken...I want to see their flagship stuff...

 

Yeah those links have never actually gone anywhere, I'm not sure what the deal is with that. Anyway, here's a review of the Kismet monoblocks and a pretty good primer on Odyssey Audio. If there's a greater bang for the buck in amplifiers, I don't know what it is. Odyssey amps driving Vapor Sound speakers - now that's a high-end bargain. $6-8K invested in that combo could take on $30K systems. As a side note: Alon Wolf of Magico was asked about what amplifiers he likes and he uses. His answer: Spectral, Boulder, Odyssey.

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/odyssey2/1.html

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Are bel canto and Emotiva considered 'high-end' ? Peachtree Audio ?