is it true that bright sound has better imaging than warm sound

chung

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Feb 23, 2002
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To be fair, some of the Yamaha integrated amps were great amps, much better than other mid-fi amps. Stewart Pinkerton reported that he did DBT on a dozen of power amps, and that the Yamaha AX570 was among the closest to his reference Krell. You can do a Google group search on "Yamaha integrated amp Krell Stewart Pinkerton" to find those posts, I'm sure.
 

Aslam Imran

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Mar 1, 2002
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I am speechless. I regarded Pass amps one of the best but now I have to rethink my priorities. It is really very interesting and I dont mean it in a sarcastic way.
 

chung

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Feb 23, 2002
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I think subtle differences exist between the Yamaha integrated amp and the Pass $12K monoblocks used in that trial. But the point is that many people said things like "night and day", "blows your mind", etc., and those apparently major differences are not so major if the tests were unsighted. Also, it may not be clear even if subtle differences exist, which product is better, especially if the differences are really subtle.
 

Walt N

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Jul 23, 2001
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BTW there was $10,000 riding on the Pass Labs/Yamaha blind comparison between Nouisane and Zipser. Zipser recently passed away from a massive heart attack and never did pay.

"Then why do reviewers characterize amps as having open soundstage and rock solid imaging, etc?"

Many of those same reviewers attribute the same properties to cables, interconnects, power cords, isolation devices, CD demagnetizers, and even equipment racks!
 

MatthewJ S

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Feb 27, 2001
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Actually , I've mostly been a "law of diminished returns" kinda guy ;hearing more diferances between equipment towards the lower end of the pricing scale while having progressively more trouble distinguishing between the middle to high/ high to esoteric catagories....yes I try to do crude blind tests to insure safety from my own prejudices, picking music at random.....
 

Walt N

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....yes I try to do crude blind tests to insure safety from my own prejudices, picking music at random.....
I also think it's a good idea to do this when possible. If one is unable to confidently establish a difference between components or accessories with a "crude blind test" with the help of an assistant or two, there's really no need to go on to an elaborate double blind test.
 

MatthewJ S

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Feb 27, 2001
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This ability is what I regaurd aS the most important benifit of working in a retail ce store...of course I don't sell every brand so it helps when a bunch of us find out what we think is best in a relative price point(in the mid-hifi gear we often reach a concencuss, but not always) and then have our friends in the compition stores bring over a coupla' their brands (or vis-a-versa)....yes, this is one of the reasons I like what I do!!!!!! I used to sell wine for a living (have shared a couple with Parker, etc.) and it amazes me how many experts in that field WILL have NO problem doing blind testings, yet in the world of audio enthusiasts it is considered unneccesary...Give me 20 people at random off the street and it will take YEARS and TONS OF MONEY TO make A WINE EXPERT out of maybe 3 of them, however when they get there they will be able to tell you an amazing amount of info on what they sample blind :vintage, region ,varietal % , maybe even producer...

Yet I BELIEVE I could take those same 20 people and teach them enough about what to listen for when demoing equipment and how to judge components and speakers that in a few weeks they would be discerning as much (or more to the point as little) about blind comparisons between equipment as most "audio experts", that is to say when concencees could even be reached between anyone, which often won't happen in double blind audio tests of hi-end gear...2cents
 

John Tompkins

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Aug 30, 2000
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I have owned gobs of equipment, rolling in/out amps, pre's, recievers etc. I can tell you for sure that a persons "audio memory" is not good to say the least. Its almost impossible to compare equipment unless you do an a/b test, Too many "mind" factors involved. This one was more expensive, you wanted too save money,one lookes nicer, we always have a reason for wanting one piece too sound better then the other. I know I have talked myself into thinking something was better then something else, only too do a true a/b to verify that they are almosy identical.

Bright versues warm ? . Its been my experience that(most) 5 channel ht amps lean towards bright and I think its on purpose. It shows better on ht material. Sorta like TV makers setting their contrast/brightness set to max, makes them look "better" to the average consumer. I used to hear a system and think the brighter the better, "man that sounds good"... but now I cant stand if a component comes off as bright as it hurts my ears
 

Jeremy Hegna

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Nov 28, 2000
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"But the point is that many people said things like "night and day", "blows your mind", etc., and those apparently major differences are not so major if the tests were unsighted."

My comment is not from an "unsighted" audition, maybe it should have been. This past weekend I auditioned a Mcintosh MC202 side by side with my Rotel 1090. I level matched the MC202, and listened for close to 8 hours. Using a bunch of material that I'm familiar with CDs, DVDs, music DVDs, etc. I was hard pressed to hear a difference between the two amplifiers. I'm a fan of all sorts of music...from blues to country, folk to rock. My favorite redbook CD for auditions is Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature." After listening to the album on the 202 entirely, I switched the Rotel back into the rack. I couldn't hear a difference. This weekend, I'm going to try out 2 different Krell amps. One is integrated, the other from the expensive FPB(?) line. It's really tough to do an amp audition...there is only one set of pre-outs on my receiver but two amps to compare.

IMO, there are three possibilities...

1. There is no difference

2. My receiver (Denon 5800) is the weak link and will not allow me to hear the differences in the amplifier.

3. My sonic memory sucks!

Is there a better way to audition amplifiers? How have you guys successfully done amplifier A/B comparisons, enough that you could hear the difference?

Jeremy
 
J

John Morris

JT: I didn't used to believe this, but now I do. From now on, I will only say that I preferred one unit to another when I actually did an A/B test versus each other directly. Otherwise, all we can say is that we think we may have preferred one unit to the previous one. Maybe all reviewers should follow the same example... don't you think?
 

MatthewJ S

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Feb 27, 2001
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2 possible scenarios that would work...in your own home people bring in an unknown (to you) product that you wish to compare to your own (perhaps within a certain pre-determined price range) and remove you from your own room and switch out that piece (or not) and play some musical selections and then repeat often enough the charade to (hopefully) elliminate "imagined" differances....should be done again with a 3rd piece later......

2nd scenario , have some trusted friends and salespeople at a local retailer use the same equipment except for the pieces in question and do the blind test there...also comparing "c" to both "a" and "b" ...have had people say A is better than B which was better than C , but C will then be graded as better than A.....

GIVEN that it has taken me (often) months to "tweek" the pre-pro/rcvr to my room and I can not afford three unknown pieces of gear, then I must ussually defer to the second option and while knowing that there will be differances in how the rooms will affect the demos , I must be satisfied with the thought that because all other important variables are equal in their effect on both systems , the conclusions of these crude blind demos are of some worth in my choice
 
J

John Morris

Matthew: Knowing your situation, I can understand your opinion on testing gear.

However, what is wrong with someone calibrating and then testing a component that they might wish to buy, with the ACTUAL other components and in the ACTUAL room that that component may someday preside? IMO, testing a component or two with your actual gear IS the best case scenario... don't you agree?
 

EricHaas

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Dec 25, 2001
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667
"Warm" and "bright" are not necessarily opposites. "Bright" means forward in the treble, often manifested by sibilance or shrillness. "Warm" does not mean laid back or recessed in the treble. "Warmth" is a highly subjective perception which may represent a coloration that equipment adds, e.g. the even order distortion added by tube amps. It might also simply represent a quality in the source material that the listener mistakes for a property of the equipment. A warm sound *could* also be recessed in the highs (ocassionally called "dark"), but it doesn't have to be.

Brightness we might associate with detail. Warmth has little to do with it one way or the other. Speakers need not be bright to be perfect in their rendering of detail and hence imaging. They just cannot be recessed in the treble or detail and imaging may be lost.
 

Aslam Imran

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
286
3. My sonic memory sucks!
Jeremy, I think in your case the reason is #3 not because your sonic memory sucks but because everybody's sonic memory sucks. I read in one S&V article that in order to do a fair comparison between two components the switching time between the two should be of the order of a fraction of a second. Thats how long it takes to forget the sonic signature of a particular piece of equipment. With one piece of preouts in your case its hard to fairly compare two amps and find a difference.

Thats my opinion.
 

Larry B

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Nov 8, 2001
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Merc:

Otherwise, all we can say is that we think we may have preferred one unit to the previous one.
I respectfully disagree. Since preference is a subjective property, "thinking" that you preferred something means that in fact, you did prefer it. What is subject to debate is why you preferred it.

As the risk of opening up another DBT debate, I will (for the umpteenth time) point out that unlike determining the efficacies of drugs, establishing a preference for a piece of audio equipment often involves extended listening. That is why, in my opinion, double blind A/B testing is not necessarily the end-all and be-all when it comes to choosing audio equipment.

Larry
 

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