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If amps of similar specs sound different, what is the point of reading it?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by flargosa, Oct 17, 2017.
  1. flargosa
    I used to read specs, but I found out, all “neutral” amps sound different. Amps that measure very very well, still sound different and amps with more power, does not necessary, have better control of headphones. So, yes, what is the point of specs?

    With headphones at least you can see bumps in the frequency response, distortion in the square wave, so you have some idea how it sounds, with amps all of them have flat frequency graphs, extremely low THD, yet they sound different. Are there measurements that should be measured, but isn’t?
  2. Muinarc
    Probably, or there are a lot of measurements made in the design phase that aren't a part of the usual list of specs. The only measurement on amps I take notice of anymore other than topology, is power output at that 30-50ohm range that seems to be the norm. I have found I typically do not enjoy amps rated at like 0.2W at those impedances, but as you mention even that isn't reliable, there are indeed exceptions all the time.
  3. flargosa
    I wish they published more specs. That could be helpful. I feel like, I buy amps base on impressions, which is usually great for new amps, then everybody moves on to the next new amp which is the next greatest and the older amps start to get mix reviews and everybody finds little issues with it. haha.
  4. Muinarc
    No that's exactly how it happens. Beware the Hype Train. Especially for amps. Amplifier technology has been basically the same for 40+ years. The only movement we've had in the head-phone space that makes it different than speaker amps is that we only now get amps with 1, 2, 5, 15+ watt per channel of power. If you go back 10 years there were no dedicated headphone amps offering that kind of output. We have also gained more flexible amps that have more input and output options, pass-through, integrated DACs, etc. Old amps can and do sound fabulous, if they were good years ago they are probably still more than capable today for the most part.
  5. Hawkeye_1213
    Even for amp design groups, actual listening to their prototypes is the most important method to get desired sound.

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