Originally Posted by preproman
I would think the opposite "what's is there" that you're interested in. Maybe I missed your point..
Still haven't been able to hear the O2. The Emo does a really good job at detailed resolution and being able to pick out those nasty artifacts on bad recordings and put a spotlight on them effortlessly. Where other amps might mask that. If the O2 is masking that by the "what's not there" and the Emo is putting the spotlight on it "what is there" To me that's the mark of transparency. Crap in = Crap out.
this will allow you to go back to your source - being it the recording, DAC, PC or whatever. Again, I have not heard the O2, but the Emo. resolves deep into the music without being analytical, harsh or digital sounding. Giving you back what you feed it.
I've had the Magni, but I think I need to at least hear the O2. While the Magni is fairly transparent. I was able to pick out more bad artifacts on bad recording with the Emo when compared to the Magni.
Lol yea kinda missed my point. I should've been more explicit. Of course as you said, one should always look for details and precision...and yes you do get that with the Emotiva to a limit. You also get those details, even more so with the O2 IMO. In fact, O2 is the one amp that can make good recordings seem great and bad records like crap. Not only is the O2 more detailed than Emotiva, it is also less forgiving. This is one of the reasons that makes the Emotiva enjoyable - it works with all types of recording.
The comment I made about looking for "what isn't there" wasn't about micro details not being present, but rather about having material at a particular moment, that shouldn't be there. If at a particular moment in the recording, there is a gap for a specific channel strip for an instrument, you're suppose to hear nothing technically during that point - it's supposed to be silent. Although in real life practicality, this never happens completely - this linearity (phase + amplitude) concept is only a theory. With amps differing on design, you'll run into some amps that are quite coherent and more linear in their presentation. The O2 in comparison to Emotiva is more linear based on my experience. It goes when it needs to and stops when it needs to.
The Emotiva doesn't seem to have the full control that the O2 has, especially noticeable is some complex passages. So the phase is a bit off and creates this smearing effect - kind of like a blur. Of course, one will not notice this problem until they have tried something that does that aspect better. This is both tuned psychoacoustically and just psychologically.
For example, back in the day when I was running headphones out of laptop jacks and then went to E10 one day, it sounded much cleaner with more controlled bass and treble, but also with more precise breaks. The breaks and silence that were programmed in the tracks came out much better and so this made it much easier for me to pay attention to tracks and less fatiguing - because other wise my brain before was always working on correcting those phase issues and caused a bit of fatigue overtime.
While upgrading equipment, you can usually notice and predict over time suppose how bass might change or how the mids get better etc. Although the proper implementation of the silences and breaks is something that you really can't predict, until you hear for yourself, or rather "not hear for yourself"
So with the Emotiva I noticed off the bat, that the breaks and transients were slightly sloppier and the overall transparency had gone down. 5 months later with the Emotiva and 9 months with the O2, I think I would still agree with my initial impressions that O2 was more transparent.
I hope this made more sense.