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Neutral VS Coloured Amps

MarkWinston

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"All good (read : competant) amplifiers sound the same under clipping levels when volume matched". I totally agree with such a statement as good amps only do 3 things : recieve, amplify, spit. Easy enough to understand. Now comes the hard part, only measurements will tell which are really good amps, how do we buy stuff that are not measured? There are many amps out there that have their own sound signature embedded in by the manufacturer to make it sound special or attractive. Is there any way to tell which amp is 'good' without measurement? Are there any 100 - 500 dollar amps that measure as neutral as the 'good' amps 10 times their prices (not power wise obviously)? Listening to 2 unmeasured amps wont help either because both might be 'coloured'.
 
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MarkWinston

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Do you have a universally accepted definition of "good?"
Neutral, uncoloured, doesnt add or take away anything. Thats 'good' in my books. As I mentioned in my post, recieve, amplify, send. Do what an amp should do, nothing more nothing less.
 
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Kal Rubinson

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Nuetral, uncoloured, doesnt add or take anyway anything. Thats 'good' in my books.
I would agree with you but that is not a universally accepted definition, even around here.
There are many amps out there that have their own sound signature embedded in by the manufacturer to make it sound special or attractive.
By "our" definition, should not all of these be disqualified?
 
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MarkWinston

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I would agree with you but that is not a universally accepted definition, even around here.

By "our" definition, should not all of these be disqualified?
So what do you think might be the definition of good amp is around here?

And yes, all those amps that contain sound signatures should be disqualified from being good amps because it does not what an amp primarily has to do.
 

Snarfie

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There are many amps out there that have their own sound signature embedded in by the manufacturer to make it sound special or attractive.
All amps (neutral, colourd and/or with their own sound signature) sounds as good or bad as your Room Acoustics/modes let them.
But good an bad is quite relative considering that most well priced amps have enough juice an rather good flat freqency response.


 
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sergeauckland

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So taking that into account, what is the cheapest amp you have seen measured that achieves all that?
The Behringer A500s I use must be about the cheapest such amplifiers. Around 120 watts per channel with around 0.02% distortion, flat frequency response and adequately low noise. In other words, transparent under all sensible circumstances.
I'm sure there are others, possibly Behringer's newer A800, even more power, and current price around £169 including our 20% sales tax. Hard to get cheaper. SOTA it isn't, but adequate for audible transparency.

S.
 

Chrispy

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You could look thru the reviews done here and on various other sites that measure and rank them yourself....but by "amp" are you referring to only power amps?
 

killdozzer

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"All good (read : competant) amplifiers sound the same under clipping levels when volume matched". I totally agree with such a statement as good amps only do 3 things : recieve, amplify, spit. Easy enough to understand. Now comes the hard part, only measurements will tell which are really good amps, how do we buy stuff that are not measured? There are many amps out there that have their own sound signature embedded in by the manufacturer to make it sound special or attractive. Is there any way to tell which amp is 'good' without measurement? Are there any 100 - 500 dollar amps that measure as neutral as the 'good' amps 10 times their prices (not power wise obviously)? Listening to 2 unmeasured amps wont help either because both might be 'coloured'.
Another question is why would you go out and buy unmeasured (given that you obviously respect well measuring gear) next to all the measured ones?

I don't know about 100$, but up to 500, I think most respectable companies today measure well (meaning neutral in their comfort zones or if not neutral then inaudible). Buying a Yamaha, Denon or Marantz today under 500$ should still give you a good performing amp.

Also, I think neutral is neutral. I don't think there's cheap neutral and expensive neutral. As long as you don't push an amp out of what it's meant to put out, if it's neutral, it's just neutral.

This for example:
 

MakeMineVinyl

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Aside from tube amps, I can't think of a way to design an amplifier without it being 'neutral' within its operating limits, if good design practice has been followed. Sure, its possible to design what are essentially 'effects boxes' but I don't consider them serious high fidelity amplifiers.
 
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MarkWinston

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Another question is why would you go out and buy unmeasured (given that you obviously respect well measuring gear) next to all the measured ones?

I don't know about 100$, but up to 500, I think most respectable companies today measure well (meaning neutral in their comfort zones or if not neutral then inaudible). Buying a Yamaha, Denon or Marantz today under 500$ should still give you a good performing amp.

Also, I think neutral is neutral. I don't think there's cheap neutral and expensive neutral. As long as you don't push an amp out of what it's meant to put out, if it's neutral, it's just neutral.

This for example:

The thing is there are only a handful of amps tested compared to all the amps out there and many a times amps that are not tested go on ridiculous sales and we dont know what is neutral uncoloured.

On a side note, I have the A-301 and they do not sound them same as my Rotels and DA-9. Now the big question is which one is neutral or which ones arent? I know this will boil down to someone asking me to do a blind test while volume matching all of them but its just not the same.
 
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MarkWinston

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Aside from tube amps, I can't think of a way to design an amplifier without it being 'neutral' within its operating limits, if good design practice has been followed. Sure, its possible to design what are essentially 'effects boxes' but I don't consider them serious high fidelity amplifiers.
What is the cheapest serious hifi amp you have come across that was tested to be neutral?
 
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MarkWinston

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The Behringer A500s I use must be about the cheapest such amplifiers. Around 120 watts per channel with around 0.02% distortion, flat frequency response and adequately low noise. In other words, transparent under all sensible circumstances.
I'm sure there are others, possibly Behringer's newer A800, even more power, and current price around £169 including our 20% sales tax. Hard to get cheaper. SOTA it isn't, but adequate for audible transparency.

S.
Was the A500 measured? I wouldnt mind if it isnt sota.
 

Honken

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The forum has a search button and a review index y'know. It and its bigger brother have both been measured here. I'm no expert, but it wouldn't surprise me if some people could discern the difference between these two even with music considering the frequency responses of the two. But I doubt that I would be able to myself, I have no golden ears.
 

levimax

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Aside from tube amps, I can't think of a way to design an amplifier without it being 'neutral' within its operating limits, if good design practice has been followed. Sure, its possible to design what are essentially 'effects boxes' but I don't consider them serious high fidelity amplifiers.
The only thing I notice on Amir's amp reviews is that some of the cheaper Class D amps become load dependent and the FR does change quite a bit based on the speaker load. This is not "on purpose voicing" but rather "save money on output filtering". https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...azon-basics-80-watt-class-d-amp-review.20943/
 
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MarkWinston

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You could look thru the reviews done here acand on various other sites that measure and rank them yourself....but by "amp" are you referring to only power amps?
Mostly integrated, that consists of pre and possible a dac.
 
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