"Overpriced amplification is just as bad as overpriced cables in this "hobby.""

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by Niouke, Dec 20, 2017.
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  1. coinmaster
    Assuming you're talking to me, because the wheel is imperfect with room for plenty of improvement in many ways.
  2. wuwhere Contributor
    It’s a general statement not a reply to anyone’s statement or opinion.
  3. Whazzzup
    glad this hasn't turned into a bashing amp thread like a bashing usb thread or a bashing high res or bashing cable thread or whats left bashing dac and HP.
    No quality music for you:o2smile:
  4. Roscoeiii
    If you are looking for what are considered meaningful measurements for amplification in the audio world, check out the Measurements in Stereophile amp reviews. Below are John Atkinson's measurements of the Pass Labs HPA-1 amp (picked more or less at random, but Pass products are usually exemplary in both sound and measurements. No bashing of the price of them please, especially if you haven't heard one).


    And as I think was mentioned earlier, for headphones, impedance is important for amp pairings and synergy. Often amps that work well with a high impedance can like the Senn 650 will not work well with low impedance planars such as what HiFiMan offers. Especially if we're talking tube amps.

    On the IEM side, most agree for example that the ideal output impedance from an amp for the Campfire Andromeda is around 1-2 Ohms. Lower it becomes too dark, higher it becomes too bright. Andromeda is also very sensitive and so you'll have to worry about the noise floor as well. the Shure 846 is another low impedance, sensitive IEM, and I found some sources (iFi iDSD Nano for example) had too much hiss with them to be a good solution.

    On the can side, the Senn HD800 and 800s have a reputation for being very tricky in terms of amp matching. Due to how their treble is tuned, IIRC.

    And though this is a measurement heavy post, my best recommendation is to try as many amps as you can with the headphone(s) you have chosen. There will be audible differences between amps.

    Hope this is helpful.
  5. coinmaster
    There's two sides to every story, and bashing is pointless without definitive data when so many people claim the same thing.
    Also if you think something sounds better, then for all intents and purposes, it does.
    Bashing threads are dumb :p

    Indeed but they are life-changing if you manage to find that perfect match (big if)

    Also agreed. It's the only way.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  6. Whazzzup
    What does over priced mean? 10 g 100g ? The problem with the best amps is they put the dac under a microscope and step out of the way. Solid state wise this seemed counterintuitive outside of scaling hp. Shouldn’t it change the sound or add color. Well it could then this becomes another challenge. I went the former route that figures in to my preferences.
  7. coinmaster
    The issue is most of the expensive amps sold have a crazy high profit margin. Because they can.
  8. bigshot
    I used to have headphones that required amping. A cmoy did the trick. Now I have great cans that I plug straight into my iPhone without requiring an amp. That's the best of all.
    upstateguy likes this.
  9. pinnahertz
    OK, no bashing the amp. Can I bash the measurements? They are rudimentary at best, and would never reflect anything in terms of audible characteristics. Just taking THD and graphing it vs level and frequency is basic, but inconclusive. No THD spectrum vs level vs frequency? He could have done it too! No THD vs real load (he used 200 ohms and 30 ohms, resistive - no headphones are like that)? No FR vs load (100K is NOT a load!)? What happens to the spectrum when the amp is pushed into the nonlinear area where THD starts to climb?

    Sorry, his "measurements" are barely adequate to confirm marketing specs, pretty much useless for actual evaluation purposes.
    Kinda makes my point: if you don't fully profile an amp with actual loads - lots of them - you have nothing useful.
  10. Niouke
    It sounds to me that with the lack of measurements available everyone in the hobby is navigating by sight and manufacturers take advantage of that. In the speaker world everyone is hyped by the Emotiva amps, but there is no measurements to indicate how better those would be over my Yamaha for example...should I believe that shill running a blog saying it sounds great, or that guy that needs to justify his money spent?
    stalepie likes this.
  11. Whazzzup
    Trust your ears
  12. Niouke
    Unfortunately nobody wants to lend me an emotiva amp to test it in my living room :)
  13. Whazzzup
    Well I still have not heard what is overpriced? Just that metaphors could apply to any component. Overpriced anything is overpriced and unnecessary by definition unless money is no object.
  14. Speedskater
    Yes, it's a one dimensional test. The same number might represent two very different things. And it's not basic THD differences that humans react too.
  15. pinnahertz
    Sure, but trust ONLY your ears...you have to get all other senses and your expectations out of the picture...then trust your ears. Most amp auditioning is fully biased and highly unreliable. And people think that kind of "testing" is "trusting your ears". Nope, not even a little.
    sonitus mirus and Speedskater like this.
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