This amp is better than that....bahhhhhh!!!
Jun 4, 2008 at 6:11 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 38

Drag0n

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I read people's reviews on equipment, and what they have to say about this amp, that headphone, a certain player, etc.

They will rate an amp over another one and even give reasons, but i dont always agree with their findings, and other people agree with me, or maybe they agree with the reviewer.

I think its because of synergy. Thats the secret to alot of opinions on anything reviewed here.

Like some of the cheap amps around $100usd and under.
Who in their right mind would believe that the little cheap less popular Xtra X1-Pro would sound better than my Portaphile Maxxed when paired with the 2nd Gen Ipod Nano and Senn. PMX100's ???

Well it does, because it brings out some of the much needed mids that make the PMX100 too dark. The Ipod is a little forward, and so is the Xtra X1-Pro, so it balances the PMX100 a bit, where the Portaphile, as much as i love it, is a bit too dark sounding in this combo.

But on the other hand, my Sansa E260 using my Grado SR80 and the Xtra X1-Pro has too many highs and is annoying together, but switch in the Portaphile Maxxed, and it sounds great.
Add the Zune in place of the Sansa in that combo and its even better.

So does that mean the Zune sounds better than the Sansa all the time?
Well no. The Sansa sounds more balanced with the PMX100 ampless than the Zune does ampless.

So i think people have to be careful when they use blanket statements saying that this amp blows away that amp, especially when saying it to new members here that arent as experianced with as many amps and other equipment as some people that have tried 30 different amps and headphones and players etc.

Yes, in the right combo, that $100 less popular amp may sound better with a certain combo than that Pico or Predator or 2Move amp.

OH THE HORROR!!!!!!
eek.gif
*Hides under the bed*
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Jun 4, 2008 at 6:19 AM Post #2 of 38

zhix78

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Ultimately, it's about what you hear with your own setup. That's also one of the reasons I always ask the "reviewers" what are the rigs that they use for the testing.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 6:24 AM Post #3 of 38

ClieOS

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True.

From time to time there will be members (most of the time newbies) complaints about how the recommendation he/she was given didn't work out as good as he/she imagined. As you has pointed out, the problem lies not only in the recommendation, but also the gears (source, headphone, etc) and music that go with that recommendation . If finding the prefect gear is as easy as many would like it to be, head-fi.org would probably be one of the most boring forum there is.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 6:50 AM Post #4 of 38

nor_spoon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ClieOS /img/forum/go_quote.gif
True.

From time to time there will be members (most of the time newbies) complaints about how the recommendation he/she was given didn't work out as good as he/she imagined. As you has pointed out, the problem lies not only in the recommendation, but also the gears (source, headphone, etc) and music that go with that recommendation . If finding the prefect gear is as easy as many would like it to be, head-fi.org would probably be one of the most boring forum there is.



QFT!
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 7:11 AM Post #5 of 38

xenithon

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I think there is also the prevalent problem whereby many "reviewers" (this site and others) find a component they like - which obviously has the abovementioned synergy in their system - but go on to suggest it as the one and onlyin every subsequent "What amps should I consider" for the following months.

Whilst I understand the joy of finding the perfect component for one's setup, and the desire to let others know, but I think it would be better to first consider other factors which play a crucial role in the decision, such as the genres of music being played, ancilary gear, preferences of the listener, and so on.

That is not to say that they should not be suggested, but rather look at the questions being asked holistically rather than reply in a a knee-jerk type of reaction.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM Post #6 of 38

Orcin

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Drag0n, I think your point is a good one. People are prone to emphasize their opinion for effect, and it may be misleading to someone who is looking for unbiased information.

I am constantly annoyed by the "iPod sound quality sucks" threads. Ok, maybe there are players that sound better in certain applications or circumstances. That doesn't mean that an iPod can never produce an acceptable level of sound quality.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 1:54 PM Post #7 of 38

nor_spoon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Orcin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I am constantly annoyed by the "iPod sound quality sucks" threads. Ok, maybe there are players that sound better in certain applications or circumstances. That doesn't mean that an iPod can never produce an acceptable level of sound quality.


Different opinions. What is acceptable for you, is not neccecarily acceptable for others...
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM Post #8 of 38

Orcin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nor_spoon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Different opinions. What is acceptable for you, is not neccecarily acceptable for others...



Exactly! The fact that it is not acceptable for others does not invalidate my opinion, or that of countless other people who like the sound from their iPods.

I don't want to derail this thread into another iPod SQ discussion. My point is that when people say (for example) that an iPod is unlistenable (yes, I have seen that comment), it is misleading to other people who have never heard an iPod loaded with high-quality AAC files through a nice pair of IEMs that are well-considered for the user's taste and application.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM Post #9 of 38

nor_spoon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Orcin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Exactly! The fact that it is not acceptable for others does not invalidate my opinion, or that of countless other people who like the sound from their iPods.

I don't want to derail this thread into another iPod SQ discussion. My point is that when people say (for example) that an iPod is unlistenable (yes, I have seen that comment), it is misleading to other people who have never heard an iPod loaded with high-quality AAC files through a nice pair of IEMs that are well-considered for the user's taste and application.



Yeah, I see what you mean.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 2:27 PM Post #11 of 38

wharfrat1

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I agree, but it is up to the reader, if they cannot trial the equipment they are interested in, to sort through reviews and make as good a decision as possible. I've had to do that with few of my amps, and so far so good.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 3:02 PM Post #12 of 38

tfarney

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Synergy is difficult if not downright dangerous. There is not only the synergy with components you don't have to partially drove someone else's opinion of the component you may be considering, there is synergy with styles of music, synergy with specific recordings, synergy with individuals' hearing, and perhaps most importantly, synergy with what each individual listens for (detail, sound stage, warmth, clarity, slam, boom, etc. etc. ad infinitum....).

When you put it all together, quality becomes so ambiguous that reading other's opinions or expressing your own seems rather pointless. But then, what would we talk about?

Is this one of those subjectivist opinions that ultimately says an Airhead is as good as a Zana Deux? You bet. In another thread I read earlier today, a member was frustrated because his friends couldn't recognize the superiority of his collection of reference headphones over Bose and ear buds. But if those friends have to listen and learn and refine their skills until they finally appreciate the superior SQ, and that, for them, is a distraction from enjoying the music, for them, the Bose and the ear buds are better. Subjectively speaking.

Tim
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 3:11 PM Post #13 of 38

Uncle Erik

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Not disagreeing with you, Tim, but there's an objective side, as well.

The scientific angle doesn't get much play here, but it's not much different than figuring out how powerful your car needs to be in order to pull a 3,000 pound boat and trailer.

Some cars might give you more pleasure than others, but that boat isn't going anywhere fast with an old 88HP Ford Escort. That's objective and you can figure out how much power you need to tow successfully.

How much you enjoy the car is subjective. But don't forget that you have to take care of the objective side, as well. It would not make much sense to heavily criticize the boat because you're pulling it with an Escort.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 3:21 PM Post #14 of 38

warrior05

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Excellent post, Paul! And nice follow up, Tim!

I totally agree here. We should never become too snobbish in our opinions of what is good or bad. If someone loves their Bose and is in heaven listening to music with them - I say more power to them. The key is what gets your motor running. The journey of finding the magical recipe of equipment that just grabs you is frustratingly fun and interesting - to me at least. The journey is a big part of it and I hope never to be completely satisfied. (But then I'm a closet masochist.
biggrin.gif
) Replace one piece of equipment and you can get a whole different aural experience.
 
Jun 4, 2008 at 3:29 PM Post #15 of 38

Drag0n

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Everyone here has some valid points. Reviewers should always list the equipment used in the review, the music, also preferences, ie. basshead etc., so that the reader can see why A=B or A trouces B , etc.

Im guilty also. Ive heard things and said they sounded tinny etc, only to find out that if i use it on another source and amp, it sounded good.
Some of the amps on the bottom of reviewers ratings ive liked when paired with different headphones.
I think the MB Quart 55X headphone is under rated here, but thats fine! Yes, just under rate the living crap out of them so i can continue to buy these $100 headphones for $30
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Paired with the right stuff, they sound great for the price.

Ok, some headphones i couldnt find a good pairing with at all.
I didnt like the AKG K26P, and i wanted to like them. I tried them with everything i got to try to like them, and they still sounded like honky fart canons. Same with the Senn PMX200.

I didnt like the Ultrasone Icans for the first few minutes, but through system matching and burning in my brain, i love them now.

People talk about how a portable amp sounds like crap. Honestly, although i have preferences, ive never heard a crappy sounding portable amp. Yes theres different quality levels, but none sounded truly bad.
Even the famous Boosteroo!!! Ok, its not powerful, and doesnt properly drive Senn HD650's,....but it does what it was meant to do for $20, and really does nothing wrong. What goes in, comes out with no change and allows mulitple users to listen to the music. Its an amplified splitter, not really an amp meant for hard to drive phones. Most people rate them against portable amps, which is not the application the Boosteroo was built for at all.
So theres another product that was unfairly rated by people.

Sometimes a crappy rated product + another crappy product + another crappy rated product = magic!
 

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