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How far have ss amps really come in the last twenty years??

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#41
Oh, and akin to @MattHooper's disappointment with missing low frequency richness when trying out solid state amps, sometimes you find people disappointed with subwoofer upgrades when perusing forums. Better subwoofers have lower harmonic distortion, and thus produce a little less volume at a given frequency at levels below output compression, and a sound that is a little drier and not quite as "full".
 

andreasmaaan

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#42
I think that the CJ is actually hiding detail and resolution...which is not audible unless one compares it with the same recording through a more resolving amplifier. Then, and only then, will the difference become apparent as to what the latest thinking in tube design is vs. his older CJ amp.
This is exactly what is happening in a controlled test, i.e. listeners are directly comparing A with B and being tested on their ability to discern a difference.

If they can't reliably discern a difference, that is evidence (not proof of course: this is science) that there is no audible difference between the two devices.

But in this case, the stronger evidence comes not from these kinds of AB component tests, but rather from tests investigating auditory masking, which are largely immune from any uncertainties that may result from the imperfect performance of the components used in the test system.
 

DonH56

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#43
Or blind assumptions attributed to beliefs....that primarily have nothing to do with the ability of one's hearing acumen...or belief of a lack thereof.:facepalm:
Personally, i hold very little faith in what is in front of me on a scope or other measuring device and a ton more in my hearing acumen and ability to discern musical differences.( But then I come from a musical/musicians background ( the audio part of the forum's heading, LOL)..and not a purely scientific background with limited musical experience)
If that doesn't sit well with you and others....well so be it.:p
The assumption that none of the rest of us have backgrounds in music is false. The implication that science (or engineering) and music are opposites is similarly false.

If you've no faith in measurements you are in the wrong place.
 
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The assumption that none of the rest of us have backgrounds in music is false. The implication that science (or engineering) and music are opposites is similarly false.

If you've no faith in measurements you are in the wrong place.

LOL, I am certain you are 100% correct! There is no real reason why i would be attracted to the philosophies that you and apparently others on this site abide by. To me, measurements are an interesting aside...and are always going to be of secondary interest to what I hear with my own ears....clearly YMMV.
 
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amirm

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#45
LOL, I am certain you are 100% correct! There is no real reason why i would be attracted to the philosophies that you and apparently others on this site abide by. To me, measurements are an interesting aside...and are always going to be of secondary interest to what I hear with my own ears....clearly YMMV.
Hi Davey. Good to see you again. Sad to hear about you getting banned from WBF. Surely that comes from people not liking what you had to say about different experiences with the gear that they cherish, no? Wouldn't be nice if our opinions were provable? That would settle those kinds of arguments. That is what we are about here. What we can prove as far as data we put forward.
 

BDWoody

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#46
The assumption that none of the rest of us have backgrounds in music is false. The implication that science (or engineering) and music are opposites is similarly false.

If you've no faith in measurements you are in the wrong place.
Have any of the seemingly perpetual anti-measurement types ever put their money where their mouth is to show their golden-ear-ness? I saw a while ago where Amir offered $1,000 to someone blathering on about what matters and what doesn't, but of course nothing came of it.

Maybe a standing offer based on member pledges for anyone who can do what the rest of us apparently can't on an actual proper test? For all the belief, you'd think someone would have (could have?) at least given it a shot.

Oh, and Mr. I'm a musician so I have very special listening processes that the rest of you couldn't possibly relate to... Seriously? A DAC or amp is not an instrument. It isn't there to alter or shape sound arbitrarily or to taste.

You are saying it isn't about AB tests...imagine that...very convenient.
 
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Hi Davey. Good to see you again. Sad to hear about you getting banned from WBF. Surely that comes from people not liking what you had to say about different experiences with the gear that they cherish, no? Wouldn't be nice if our opinions were provable? That would settle those kinds of arguments. That is what we are about here. What we can prove as far as data we put forward.
Amir, IF I hear something that impresses me, I really couldn't give a rats ass as to how that is 'proven' from a so called 'experts' opinion. I trust my ears, and that is good enough for me. This hobby..and to me that is all it is, is all about myself ( and most a'philes) trying to get 'better' and more 'realistic' sound in our home systems. This goal is an illusive one, and one that I think is interpreted differently from one person to another. My beliefs generally jive with the theories that the writer Harry Pearson formulated. I have no illusion that we can ever truly re-create the 'real unamplified sound of live instruments' in our homes, but I am interested in trying to get that 'illusion' as close as possible. If the measurements that we are currently able to accomplish correspond to what I am hearing, that is an interesting aside, if not...i trust my ears vs. what the measurements are telling me. BTW, I actually take it as somewhat of an honor to be banned from the current WBF---way too many horn besotted folks over there. In their opinion, if it isn't a horn based system, then it isn't a true musical system and unable to sound realistic....not what I believe at all...based solely on what I hear with my ears. Therefore for those folks, anyone having a differing opinion should be banned....pathetic IMHO. Question is...whether this is the same scenario on this forum???
 

Xulonn

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#48
LOL, I am certain you are 100% correct! There is no real reason why i would be attracted to the philosophies that you and apparently others on this site abide by. To me, measurements are an interesting aside...and are always going to be of secondary interest to what I THINK I hear with my own ears....clearly YMMV.
There - fixed that mistake for you.
 

amirm

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#49
Amir, IF I hear something that impresses me, I really couldn't give a rats ass as to how that is 'proven' from a so called 'experts' opinion. I trust my ears, and that is good enough for me.
It shouldn't be though. That is our goal here. To get audiophiles to appreciate how routinely their brain is lying to them about what the ears perceive. I have proven this point to myself so many times that I have lost count. In many cases, that false conclusion would have cost me my reputation, job and company's fortune. So stakes were high. As you imply the stakes are not high so you are not worried that it may be provable that you are wrong. But don't you ultimately want to be wedded to the truth in audio?

That truth will set you free in ways you can't yet imagine. It will give you clarity that doesn't exist. It will give weight to your opinion that is ironclad. Twisting in the wind of audio subjectivity is not my cup of tea....

Stay with us. Let some of this sink in gradually. It will at some point. You just have to give it time.
 

BDWoody

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#50
Amir, IF I hear something that impresses me, I really couldn't give a rats ass as to how that is 'proven' from a so called 'experts' opinion. I trust my ears, and that is good enough for me. This hobby..and to me that is all it is, is all about myself ( and most a'philes) trying to get 'better' and more 'realistic' sound in our home systems. This goal is an illusive one, and one that I think is interpreted differently from one person to another. My beliefs generally jive with the theories that the writer Harry Pearson formulated. I have no illusion that we can ever truly re-create the 'real unamplified sound of live instruments' in our homes, but I am interested in trying to get that 'illusion' as close as possible. If the measurements that we are currently able to accomplish correspond to what I am hearing, that is an interesting aside, if not...i trust my ears vs. what the measurements are telling me. BTW, I actually take it as somewhat of an honor to be banned from the current WBF---way too many horn besotted folks over there. In their opinion, if it isn't a horn based system, then it isn't a true musical system and unable to sound realistic....not what I believe at all...based solely on what I hear with my ears. Therefore for those folks, anyone having a differing opinion should be banned....pathetic IMHO. Question is...whether this is the same scenario on this forum???
You emphasize the illusion of it all, and by stacking the placebo effect on top of your desire to keep chasing (and creating) that illusion, you will certainly continue to hear a lot that the rest of us just wouldn't. You don't have to prove anything to anyone, but if you spent the effort to prove it at least to yourself, you may find that you have less vastly overpriced, fleece oriented crap, and could allocate resources where it has an actual chance of making a difference.
 

Daverz

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#52
For me the important dysfunctional idea to get away from was that if I just spent more on the latest miracle gear I could finally reach audio nirvana. (That was only feasible when I had money anyway). Seeing how things actually measure helps a lot to disabuse one of these notions. On the other hand, there's a point where gear is "good enough", and that new gear with SOTA measurements probably won't lead to audio heaven, either.

On the other other hand, what matters at the end of the day is whether my gear actually makes music enjoyable to listen to. But that info is about as useful as how attractive I find my wife is or how smart I think my kids are.
 
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Thread Starter #53
It shouldn't be though. That is our goal here. To get audiophiles to appreciate how routinely their brain is lying to them about what the ears perceive. I have proven this point to myself so many times that I have lost count. In many cases, that false conclusion would have cost me my reputation, job and company's fortune. So stakes were high. As you imply the stakes are not high so you are not worried that it may be provable that you are wrong. But don't you ultimately want to be wedded to the truth in audio?

That truth will set you free in ways you can't yet imagine. It will give you clarity that doesn't exist. It will give weight to your opinion that is ironclad. Twisting in the wind of audio subjectivity is not my cup of tea....

Stay with us. Let some of this sink in gradually. It will at some point. You just have to give it time.
I really think that you put too little credence into your ability to hear the differences in gear. Perhaps, that is the case, but I can tell you, IF I hear a piece of gear that does not impress me initially, it has very rarely changed to the opposite. OTOH, If I hear a piece of gear that impresses me, that is what i can accept and will believe in what I heard. If the measurements do not confirm my hearing, I really couldn't care less. Now I understand that it is imperative for some to be validated with what is the current known science. Personally my ears validate enough for me in this hobby...if that isn't enough for some folks, well that's their gig.
BTW, I do think that this hobby is truly swayed by one's experiences...and since many have never experienced what the very best gear can sound like in exceptional systems, then I can easily understand the naysayers. Question again is this....are these folks open minded enough to consider another opinion??? Are you Amir? Remember your truth in audio, may very well NOT be my truth in audio and vice versa...let some of that sink in gradually.;)
 

andreasmaaan

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#54
There is no real reason why i would be attracted to the philosophies that you and apparently others on this site abide by. To me, measurements are an interesting aside...and are always going to be of secondary interest to what I hear with my own ears....clearly YMMV.
Personally my ears validate enough for me in this hobby...if that isn't enough for some folks, well that's their gig.
Are you really excluding all sources of information other than your ears, or are you listening with your ears, your eyes, and your background knowledge, beliefs and expectations?

I really think that you put too little credence into your ability to hear the differences in gear.
This is not a fair criticism IMHO. Amir is someone who has tested his hearing more rigorously than almost anyone I know of, and who as a result knows a huge amount about his own hearing ability.

Perhaps, that is the case, but I can tell you, IF I hear a piece of gear that does not impress me initially, it has very rarely changed to the opposite.
This may be because your initial gut reaction was correct, but at the same time it reads like textbook example of expectation bias. You can find out by only one means... ;)
 

andreasmaaan

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#55
So, my question for those more technically inclined than myself is...how far has the design of ss amps come in the last ten...or even twenty years?
But to get back to your original question, the gains in the past two decades have been mostly in efficiency, size and cost, arguably with modest gains also in noise and distortion. Not a subject I'm particularly well-read in compared to some others here, however.
 
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Are you really excluding all sources of information other than your ears, or are you listening with your ears, your eyes, and your background knowledge, beliefs and expectations?

Like everyone here, i am listening with my ears and interpreting what I hear with my brain. That is all I can do...and it is good enough for me. If you don't trust your own ears --and your experience with 'live' music and how it should sound, well what can i tell you, LOL.



This is not a fair criticism IMHO. Amir is someone who has tested his hearing more rigorously than almost anyone I know of, and who as a result knows a huge amount about his own hearing ability.

This is not a criticism, it is an observation.



This may be because your initial gut reaction was correct, but at the same time it reads like textbook example of expectation bias. You can find out by only one means... ;)
Expectation bias can work in many ways...do you seriously believe that all measurements are infallible?
 

andreasmaaan

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#57
Expectation bias can work in many ways...do you seriously believe that all measurements are infallible?
No, obviously not. Good measurement systems are expensive and need to be checked and in some cases re-calibrated. Decisions about which measurements to take and how to interpret them can be subject to error. But when it comes to modern measurement gear in wise hands, there is a chasm between the scope for error in measurement vs controlled listening, while uncontrolled listening is subject to such gross potential error that the results IMHO are barely worthy of consideration.

Like everyone here, i am listening with my ears and interpreting what I hear with my brain. That is all I can do...and it is good enough for me. If you don't trust your own ears --and your experience with 'live' music and how it should sound, well what can i tell you, LOL.
Are you listening under controlled conditions? If not, it is not all you can do, and you are not like everyone else here.

This is not a criticism, it is an observation.
In that case I suggest it is a mistaken observation :p
 
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MattHooper

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#58
I don't know what CJ amp you have but here is a set of Stereophile measurements for a CJ Premier Eleven stereo tube amp from 1994. The low end roundness and warmth you speak of sounds a lot like the high harmonic distortion at LF.

View attachment 29063

SS amps won't have this, and frequency response EQ won't recreate it.
Thanks!. Could be, I suppose.


Do you have a link to the full measurements please? Got me interested...
FWIW, here are stereophile measurements for the two tube amps I own. The CJ is my main amp, the Eico I use occasionally:

Conrad Johnson Premier 12 mono block amps:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/conrad-johnson-premier-twelve-monoblock-amplifier-measurements

Eico HF81

https://www.stereophile.com/content/eico-hf-81-integrated-amplifier-measurements
 

Hypnotoad

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#59
Perhaps because I have a 'trained' ear as a former professional musician.
I had a friend who had a trained ear, it would actually jump through hoops. ;)

But seriously didn't Bob Carver prove that amps that have the same specs sound the same and none of the golden eared experts could reliably tell the difference?
 

andreasmaaan

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#60
But seriously didn't Bob Carver prove that amps that have the same specs sound the same and none of the golden eared experts could reliably tell the difference?
Not really IMHO. The listening panel were working sighted, which means their conclusions are unreliable, and what Carver matched were not the specs but (to a reasonable extent) the transfer functions. Two different amps could have the same specs for THD, power, impedance, etc, and yet very different transfer functions.
 

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