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AMP upgrade guidance

Sal1950

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If lying and misguiding people into puring they hard earned cash in something which really won't make a difference makes me kind and gentlemen than thanks but no thanks. Dear sir this is not such kind of place and when it becomes I will gladly leave it. I stand behind all what I wrote.
His speakers are rated at 85db sensitivity which is on the fairly low side and I do agree he would likely benefit from more muscle in that area.
That said, I still don't understand why you found it necessary to jump in and trash the mans entire system when he simply inquired about a amp upgrade.
Bad show old man, and in quite poor taste.
 

ZolaIII

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His speakers are rated at 85db sensitivity which is on the fairly low side and I do agree he would likely benefit from more muscle in that area.
That said, I still don't understand why you found it necessary to jump in and trash the mans entire system when he simply inquired about a amp upgrade.
Bad show old man, and in quite poor taste.
It's 82 as shown and I don't see point of buying amplifier with 4x output power only to match average 87 dB sensitive speakers. I also think selling speakers with such pore made crossovers should be considered as a criminal act. Yes I probably could have used a nicer approach but that doesn't change terrible reality so I jumped to the point you might call it a crash course but main point is that he gets it and that I didnt had any bad intentions by doing so. By the way I am much younger than you tho not as good showman.
 

Leeken

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To the OP,I have the same speakers,I actually auditioned probably over 50 pairs in the 2-7k region before I sett on them,they’ll probably do me for life.
Originally I had a 140w quad qsp with them,changed it for a nad c298 a year ago,I’ve always been fairly amp agnostic,but the difference between the two isn’t small,whether that’s down to extra power or something else I don’t know.
Still unsure of the avmentor graph,they don’t measure anything like that in my room,also the German mag got very different measurements,closer to my own,also I really don’t care anyway because I have to listen to them and frankly I’ll listen to something I like rather than impress some keyboard warrior somewhere beating his bishop over a graph
 

ZolaIII

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@Leeken really the difference between 140 & 185W is just 1 dB. Show me your measurements and measurements in that magazine and then and only then your statement will have some value (reasonable doubt). I don't care what you auditioned. You should check your hearing I did a year ago and it whose good up to 17 KHz and I am certain that would make some things more clear to you (as I am 6 years younger after all). Graphs ain't mine and yes I have a pretty good keyboard but it's not keyboard but what's behind it.
You have right to disagree with what ever you want but that doesn't change laws of physics, it's just your subjective opinion.
 

Zapper

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Once I upgraded my speakers to the ATC, I realised the Yamaha struggles to drive this speakers. I love the look, the construction quality and the sound of the Yamaha but it feels less dinamic on this speakers then the previous pair (elac).
How does it struggle? You can't get clean sound at a loud enough volume? How does the system sound when you play at low volume? If it doesn't sound good at low volume, it's probably the speakers' fault, not the amp. If they can't play loud, you need more amp.

The efficiency of your speakers is less than half of the elacs, so you need more than twice the power to play as loud. A powerful class-D power amp would fix that. Like this:

  • 700 watts @ 2 ohm
  • 700 watts @ 4 ohm
  • 380 watts @ 8 ohm
 
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Zapper

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Your speakers are not the most linear and neutral.

atc_scm40_quasi_anechoic.jpg
But how good are those measurements? It's not Klippel data. The quality of speaker measurements is often as dubious as the subjective reviews.
 

Matias

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But how good are those measurements? It's not Klippel data. The quality of speaker measurements is often as dubious as the subjective reviews.
Below is from German magazine Stereoplay. The on axis looks more or less the same.

Says that high impedance needs an amplifier with higher voltage.

I would choose this bad boy here:


Screenshot_20240124_204304_Drive.jpg
 

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Zapper

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Below is from German magazine Stereoplay. The on axis looks more or less the same.

Says that high impedance needs an amplifier with higher voltage.
Yes, the curves look similar.

Stereoplay found 77dB @2V @ 1m, equivalent to 80dB @ 2.83V (1W at 8 ohm). So it is a very low efficiency speaker.
 

ZolaIII

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@Matias simply buying much better speakers for that same amount of money and almost 6 dB more efficient like Linton's makes much more sense. And don't forget DSP. I mean I am bad for suggesting something obvious over a little stronger amp that can't push those even +3 dB over Yamaha and snake oil R2D DAC. Even Dynacord L1300FD PA eats that Apolon for breakfast regarding how useful it is (for embedded DSP) and that you won't really hear a difference and that is just bottom beginning of the mentioned Dynacord line. But seriously Yamaha A-S 2200 is great amplifier.
 

Matias

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The OP is happy with his speaker and looking for a strong amp. Can we get over it and respect his wish?
 

ZolaIII

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No main purpose of this place is to open eyes to the people who come hire asking for advice and that's exactly what I have been doing. He isn't satisfied anymore and with a good reason and now he gets the chance to really improve things up.
 
D

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By the way I am much younger than you tho not as good showman.

I believe @Sal1950 used the phrase "old man" in the British sense, akin to "old chap". It's a semi-friendly form of address. This is reinforced by the phrase, "bad show", which is also a common British phrase.

I think he's trying to tell you that you've stuck your foot in it, but in the friendliest way possible. :)

Jim
 

ZolaIII

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I believe @Sal1950 used the phrase "old man" in the British sense, akin to "old chap". It's a semi-friendly form of address. This is reinforced by the phrase, "bad show", which is also a common British phrase.

I think he's trying to tell you that you've stuck your foot in it, but in the friendliest way possible. :)

Jim
So you gie it laldy. Would like to see him do that in Highlands and it's not what I said but all his eggs are double yoakit. He certainly wouldn't get a black pudding but enough of that.
 

radix

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@nikkon I'd basically agree with @ZolaIII. When putting together a sound system, you need to decide how loud you want to listen at what distance. Say 100 dB SPL at 3m (those are just example numbers). You then pick speakers that can deliver the needed SPL without badly distorting. You can get that sound level by either speaker efficiency or amplifier watts, but as you add more watts you deform the speakers more and they add more distortion.

You can get a free dB meter app and then sit say 1m from your speakers and turn it up until it's as loud as you'd ever want. Then add in a few dB for headroom (3-10 dB depending on the music). You can then use a calculator (e.g. https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/tools/calculators) to figure out how much amp power you need for that SPL at listening distance given a speaker efficiency.

Every -3dB of speaker sensitivity requires 2x the amplifier power, so low efficiency speakers do need a lot more watts, which likely adds a lot more speaker distortion.

It's really all just math at this point, and a bit of judicious rounding up to make sure you have the headroom.

From that German review, the SCM40 won't really put out more than 100 dB SPL (I assume @ 1m) and keep clean bass.
 
OP
nikkon

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thanks for the feedback. all well received - it is education for me.
i'm looking into new speakers and probably new dac (SPL Diamond with AKM may sound softer and closer to what I like)
 

earik

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thanks for the feedback. all well received - it is education for me.
i'm looking into new speakers and probably new dac (SPL Diamond with AKM may sound softer and closer to what I like)
@nikkon - keep in mind that you came to an internet forum with a simple question, and the responses you got were: your speakers are shit, your dac is shit, your whole system needs to be replaced, etc. I really like about half of the threads here at ASR, but the other half is just people just being mean and bashing things. Telling someone to replace their entire system is just a ridiculous response. The problem is that if you say that to an audiophile, they might half believe it, then gear lust quickly takes over and the next thing you know, they're replacing their entire system!! So maybe take some of this with a grain of salt...

My take:
1) Your speakers are fine. Go look at that graph that someone posted - they're pretty much +/- 2.5db on axis. For passives, that's fine, and way better than some other stuff out there. Yeah, maybe not ideal from a theoretical perspective, but *practically* speaking, you already know they're fine because you like how they sound.

2) For your amp, yeah, go with one of the class D offerings. You can't beat Purifi or Hypex. I've got four of the Apollon's, and they're very well built, reliable, and look nice. They've got TONs of power, are super clean, and are around $1k each, which is an insane deal given what you get. They measure better than the $10k Yamaha amp you were looking at, and in a blind test you wouldn't be able to tell either one apart (unless you did it at ear splitting volume, in which case Purifi/Hypex wins since the Yamaha will clip earlier). Alternatively, the Schiit Tyr's would probably be great too if you like those, but won't sound better than Apollon, so you'd really be paying extra just for looks.

3) For your DAC, yeah the Yggdrasil measures pretty poorly in the whole scheme of DACs. Whether or not you can hear the difference compared to AKM though is another question. Replace the amp first, then worry about your dac later if you still want to tweak things.

4) If you haven't messed with it yet, room correction might be something to explore as well. MiniDSP sells a relatively inexpensive Dirac implementation that works really well. Something like that is going to make much more of a difference in sound compared to changing your dac.
 
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ZolaIII

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@earik that's ±6 for first crossover and ±8 dB for second one and that's criminal. Your Apolon has little more then +2 dB headroom compared to Yamaha regarding max continues load and less regarding burst and none regarding prolonged burst one. So really is it so bad to suggest that he invest money that Apolon would cost to get much better speakers which are 6 dB more efficient like Linton's? He already owns the A-S 2200 and it will outlive all of your Apollons multiple times (simply for the power supply as caps on switching one won't last long even if they are good quality). You can get Hypex SoM amp with long warranty, parts availability and iron core power supply but it will cost you much more. Let's get a pitch down into same price category and nothing beats good old Yamaha A-S700 for unbalanced inputs stage and how it's done for around 500 $/€ new or less than half used.
So you failed to see how bad are the speakers (both crossovers and sensitivity) and pretty much spit on everything else including great power amplifier he already have actually advising similar path regarding ADC-DSP-DAC. You can pass without Dirac and save 200$ with a little bit of work and learning and if you give it more effort achieve better results than Dirac ever will.
 
OP
nikkon

nikkon

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@nikkon - keep in mind that you came to an internet forum with a simple question, and the responses you got were: your speakers are shit, your dac is shit, your whole system needs to be replaced, etc. I really like about half of the threads here at ASR, but the other half is just people just being mean and bashing things. Telling someone to replace their entire system is just a ridiculous response. The problem is that if you say that to an audiophile, they might half believe it, then gear lust quickly takes over and the next thing you know, they're replacing their entire system!! So maybe take some of this with a grain of salt...

My take:
1) Your speakers are fine. Go look at that graph that someone posted - they're pretty much +/- 2.5db on axis. For passives, that's fine, and way better than some other stuff out there. Yeah, maybe not ideal from a theoretical perspective, but *practically* speaking, you already know they're fine because you like how they sound.

2) For your amp, yeah, go with one of the class D offerings. You can't beat Purifi or Hypex. I've got four of the Apollon's, and they're very well built, reliable, and look nice. They've got TONs of power, are super clean, and are around $1k each, which is an insane deal given what you get. They measure better than the $10k Yamaha amp you were looking at, and in a blind test you wouldn't be able to tell either one apart (unless you did it at ear splitting volume, in which case Purifi/Hypex wins since the Yamaha will clip earlier). Alternatively, the Schiit Tyr's would probably be great too if you like those, but won't sound better than Apollon, so you'd really be paying extra just for looks.

3) For your DAC, yeah the Yggdrasil measures pretty poorly in the whole scheme of DACs. Whether or not you can hear the difference compared to AKM though is another question. Replace the amp first, then worry about your dac later if you still want to tweak things.

4) If you haven't messed with it yet, room correction might be something to explore as well. MiniDSP sells a relatively inexpensive Dirac implementation that works really well. Something like that is going to make much more of a difference in sound compared to changing your dac.
thank you for the suggestions and pragmatic approach
 

Leeken

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@Leeken really the difference between 140 & 185W is just 1 dB. Show me your measurements and measurements in that magazine and then and only then your statement will have some value (reasonable doubt). I don't care what you auditioned. You should check your hearing I did a year ago and it whose good up to 17 KHz and I am certain that would make some things more clear to you (as I am 6 years younger after all). Graphs ain't mine and yes I have a pretty good keyboard but it's not keyboard but what's behind it.
You have right to disagree with what ever you want but that doesn't change laws of physics, it's just your subjective opinion.
I’m fully aware the difference is 1db,but The purifi is without a doubt a much cleaner amp throughout the frequency range,maybe something with load dependency is going on?
my hearing has been tested to be running out at 14khz due to a life of struggle in the cesspit of capitalism.
Maybe you have heard the ATCs and don’t like them? Maybe you haven’t,if so if you’re ever passing the Wirral your welcome to have a listen,can even swap the amps for you,As I’ve previously said I’ve rarely found much difference in amps before,bar one home brewed chip amp once which was nearly brilliant,not noticed any difference in dacs,cd players,even my cheap Sony Blu-ray player sounded exactly the same as a oppo 203,so I’m not really much of a subject for SSD,well not since 1998 anyway.
 

earik

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@earik that's ±6 for first crossover and ±8 dB for second one and that's criminal. Your Apolon has little more then +2 dB headroom compared to Yamaha regarding max continues load and less regarding burst and none regarding prolonged burst one. So really is it so bad to suggest that he invest money that Apolon would cost to get much better speakers which are 6 dB more efficient like Linton's? He already owns the A-S 2200 and it will outlive all of your Apollons multiple times (simply for the power supply as caps on switching one won't last long even if they are good quality). You can get Hypex SoM amp with long warranty, parts availability and iron core power supply but it will cost you much more. Let's get a pitch down into same price category and nothing beats good old Yamaha A-S700 for unbalanced inputs stage and how it's done for around 500 $/€ new or less than half used.
So you failed to see how bad are the speakers (both crossovers and sensitivity) and pretty much spit on everything else including great power amplifier he already have actually advising similar path regarding ADC-DSP-DAC. You can pass without Dirac and save 200$ with a little bit of work and learning and if you give it more effort achieve better results than Dirac ever will.
I was more spitting on the idea of the guy having to replace his entire system than anything else. He specifically asked about swapping the amp, not anything else, so if you are telling him to keep the amp and toss the rest, you are coming at it backwards.

Regarding your other comments:

I'm going off of Matias's chart. Draw a line through the middle of that FR and you get deviations of +/- 2.5db. That's not bad. It's going to be worse than that in-room, but full range Dirac can smooth all that out pretty easily, which is an easy fix if it's bugging him (thanks to this thread). $200 is a pretty small price to pay compared to having to buy an entire new set of speakers. Also, speaking practically again: he likes his speakers.

Apollon is 400w at 8ohms and 600w at 4ohms. That's +6db headroom compared to his current amp which is 90w/150w. And as far as outliving the Apollon multiple times, sorry, I call bullshit on that. If you really want to argue that point, you'll really need to say that Yamaha will outlive FOUR Apollons in a row, because that's the price difference. I'm not bashing Yamaha (I used to have one, and liked it), but if someone comes in and says their amp is underpowered for their insensitive speakers, that is not the amp I'd be pointing them at. Get the right amp for the speaker, not the speaker for the amp.
 
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