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What specs do actually matter in amps?

syn08

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Aug 9, 2019
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Clipping and clipping recovery behavior.

I've seen way too many power amplifier that either clip ugly (with sticking) or even burst in oscillation when clipping. The common design solution is the ubiquitous Baker clamp around the VAS gain stage, which is in way too many cases just a poor band aid. A true clipping protection requires a control loop that kills the amplifier loop gain when approaching the clipping levels. Not trivial to design, and not trivial to implement either... As any control loop it requires its own compensation to avoid stability troubles.

IMO, the clipping behavior would be one of the easy ways to discern amplifiers in a DBX test.
 

Cbdb2

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Agreed, clipping and over current protection can be a major factor in amp "sound". Why I like using high powered amps.

To the poster: borrow a good amp from somebody and see if it solves your problem. You may be wasting time and money.
 

Wes

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specs that can be identified before changing the amp include SINAD, harmonic spectra, clipping level & soft vs. hard, and adequate dampening factor

I doubt you will hear a difference no matter what amp you test vs. yours if the candidate amp is a good one
 

HorizonsEdge

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Dec 20, 2019
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the amp, in my opinion, should do the following:
1) provide enough power to drive 4 to 8 ohm loads. in a reliable manner - most of them do that
2) provide enough power to handle low frequency transients ( like thumps, fast bass lines etc).
3) have a good design for handling high freq transients in an as close possible to a natural sounding manner.
4) have a really low floor noise with a good THD and signal to noise ratio (i understand anything over 70dbA is perfectly fine).

I believe that any deviation from ideality on these 3

OCD ALERT

THESE 4

sorry
 

HorizonsEdge

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While asking for suggestions and having discourse is great I think you should prepare yourself an audition test plan. Spent 10 days with something and send it back. Gather your objective and subjective points and then satisfy yourself. Plus projects are FUN!
 
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