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Complementary amplifiers to something ultra transparent?

Grotti

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I don't know if it's reasonable to work yourself through the history of HP amps. As it is, there are some endgame amps available, that were reviewed here and they are more or less affordable. So why not go with a Topping, SMLS, RME etc and call it a day? It won't get better than this and you can concentrate on what it's all about: exploring music :p....
 

egellings

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Makes sense to me. Thing is, some people like to fiddle with audio stuff and may have preferences for particular technical or aesthetic aspects of the equipment they like, such as semiconductors vs. vacuum tubes. You buy this itty bitty do-all box and all you can do is look at it and hopefully, enjoy. Take your protein pill and put your helmet on. I prefer to fiddle with separates, even though sonically, it may make no perceivable difference. You acquire the same protein, through a tasty meal rather than a tasteless albeit nutritious gulp.
 
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nyxnyxnyx

nyxnyxnyx

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I don't know if it's reasonable to work yourself through the history of HP amps. As it is, there are some endgame amps available, that were reviewed here and they are more or less affordable. So why not go with a Topping, SMLS, RME etc and call it a day? It won't get better than this and you can concentrate on what it's all about: exploring music :p....

Thanks for the suggestion. I already got myself covered with great amps as you mentioned, I bought an atom in 2019 and then had the topping a90 last year - so in terms of great and transparent amps I'm satisfied. I'm not setting my goal to look for anything absolutely "better", be it objective or subjective, I just want to know if there are amplifiers that might sound a whole lot different from what I currently have (be it with certain pairings or whatever, I don't care). If there is nothing like that then that's perfectly fine, I'll continue to enjoy what I already have, you can say that it's just an itch of mine in this audio hobby :D
I explore and listen to music quite often too, and I think it'll always be like that even if I won't have all the good gears anymore.
 
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nyxnyxnyx

nyxnyxnyx

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Makes sense to me. Thing is, some people like to fiddle with audio stuff and may have preferences for particular technical or aesthetic aspects of the equipment they like, such as semiconductors vs. vacuum tubes. You buy this itty bitty do-all box and all you can do is look at it and hopefully, enjoy. Take your protein pill and put your helmet on. I prefer to fiddle with separates, even though sonically, it may make no perceivable difference. You acquire the same protein, through a tasty meal rather than a tasteless albeit nutritious gulp.

Yeah, I'm not solely looking for an objective answer. I already purchased some of the great amps ASR approved and I enjoy them. At this point, it is just me wondering if there is still anything else with a different character in this market. I'm aware that it's not the most logical choice or it can lead to a waste of money, it is just me fiddling around.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Hello everyone.
I think that most of us here already have very transparent and clean amplifiers, namely something like Atom/A90/THX.....They are indeed very good but I want to hear if you have experienced something else, something that sounded noticeably different.
Are there any amplifiers out there, be it tube/hybrid or another solid-state, that can bring out a whole different flavor(if such things exist)?
All subjective and objective opinions/recommendations are welcome, I don't mind if it looks ugly or measures like sh*t. Be descriptive as much as you can!
My suggestion to you:

Instead of getting a piece of hardware that randomly and haphazardly adds a set of colorations which you may or may not find eurphonic, and incur considerable time and expense in the process. Get something like Equalizer APO and learn how to use it. That way you will have something in your tool kit that can give you whatever sonic signature your desire. Moreover, you'll learn how to dial in that signature on whatever future gear you buy.
Finally, if you get tired of that, you'll have a tool which will allow you to dial in the correct tonal response curve and you'll have the expertise to do it.

It's freeware, btw.
 

filipduarte

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The only thing that I can think maybe I gonna do someday is to buy some cheap tube pre from Ali to play with.
Something like FX-Audio Tube-01 or Tube-03.
Just to purposefully experience some distortion. :p
 

b4nt

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Get something like Equalizer APO and learn how to use it. That way you will have something in your tool kit that can give you whatever sonic signature your desire. Moreover, you'll learn how to dial in that signature on whatever future gear you buy.

I didn't use that further. Seems it is more than an EQ, can integrate plugins. Shall so allow vaccum emulation, or whatever else.
 

egellings

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My home brew tube amplification might be summarily dismissed on ASR due to it's unnecessary bulk and need for fiddling, like occasionally checking output tube plate current and in general, pissing nervous little puddles around it, but I like it. Made it muh self, you know. The stuff happens to be competent, too, with reasonably low distortion figures and flat frequency response. I'm sure it can be bested by a little handful of a switchmode amplifier, and I'm okay with that.
 
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