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

John Tompkins

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Aug 30, 2000
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Maybe all reviewers should follow the same example... don't you think?
John, Yes I agree that there are too many reviews from people (including myself) that compare components based on memory. Then other people read these reviews and base their buying decisions on other peoples "tainted" opinions.

A/b ing equipment in your house with your other components is the only way to know for sure. That requires a person too go through alot of trouble and some would prefer not too do this, Thats were some may start trying to "justify" thier purchase as too talk themselves into believing that they have the "best" piece.
 

Aslam Imran

Second Unit
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Mar 1, 2002
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286
Many of those same reviewers attribute the same properties to cables, interconnects, power cords, isolation devices, CD demagnetizers, and even equipment racks!
You have a point there Walt. I have never understood open sounding cables and interconnects. But thats just me.
 

John Tompkins

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Aug 30, 2000
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I had an eye-opening experience last night. I have the parasound 2205 which I love. I recently aquired two HK pa2400 170X2 stereo amps.

It backed up what I had thougt to begin with. The two channel hk pa2400 was made for music and it shows. Much warmer then the parasound 2205. When I switched to movies the parasound 2205 was better for dialog and the brightness was welcome for seperation purposes. These two units were made with two different objectives, one for ht and one for music. Which is better ? well the answer is both, I guess it depends on where a persons priorities are. I am begining to believe that to have the best of both worlds that you do have to have two seperate systems, But Both can reside in the same room/rack.
 

Aslam Imran

Second Unit
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Mar 1, 2002
Messages
286
Many of those same reviewers attribute the same properties to cables, interconnects, power cords, isolation devices, CD demagnetizers, and even equipment racks!
You have a point there Walt. I have never understood open sounding cables and interconnects. But thats just me.
 

MatthewJ S

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Feb 27, 2001
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584
John,

I completely agree, it is simply a problem of practicality...

2 problems...

#1. how quickly can you switch from A to B ?

#2. how long does it take to properly calibrate a piece of gear in your room and who would you trust to buy it for you blind and do all those set-ups...

In short, I don't think that many people would be able to blind test quickly and accurately in their own homes...

It is , the best idea , but not time/cost effective....

I know that if I were to spend the same amount of time seting-up a Rotel pre-pro as I would setting-up the outlaw, I would have to know which ones I was comparing (still comparing two known pieces)and unless I took the time/equipment neccesary to hook these pieces up to do a QUICK switch then I would still have issues....

now , in my store I can use the switching system and A/B immediately...This won't tell me how they would sound in my room ,but the assumption would be that in the store's demo room both are impacted "relatively" equally...

I wish I had more money so I could just buy the REALLY expensive stuff and worry about it less....
 

Jeremy Hegna

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Nov 28, 2000
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812
"Maybe your weak link is the speakers or room acoustics/placement."

Gil, While I agree that the 5800 is a great piece of equipment...I have recently upgraded my speakers from B&W 604s to Nautilus 802s. I've been auditioning a few amplifiers to get the best from the new speakers. I think they automatically became the strongest link. I have spent a lot of time on my room acoustics and speaker placement/calibration. The room is dedicated with excellent acoustic dimensions. It was one of the reasons we bought this house.

That said, maybe the Rotel and Mac are closer in performance than I assumed they would be. The Rotel is quite a bit more powerful (380x2 @8ohms, [email protected]) while the Mac remains the same at all impedences, 200x2. I think I'm just a bit too "rookie" with seperate amplification to tell the differences...especially as I approach the law of diminishing returns. My cables are also of fairly high quality, so I've eliminated that as a factor as well.

"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."

Aslam,

That is damn near impossible in most home environments. I understand the point though. It would be the most credible way to audition. I'm hoping for bigger, more obvious differences as I A/B more amplifiers. I'm sure they exist when you get into the monoblock designs and the high dollar amps. I would assume that when you get into spending a bunch of money on these high dollar amps, the bright/warm signature wouldn't be prevelant. Aren't most high dollar amps considered neutral?

Jeremy
 

chung

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Feb 23, 2002
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Larry B:
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.
Not sure why you have to keep repeating that
. I don't think anyone here, not even the strongest DBT proponent, has said that DBT is NECESSARY for choosing a piece of audio equipment. You don't really need to defend your choice to anyone. However, if one says that A, which costs much more than B, is OBVIOUSLY MUCH BETTER than B, and one is basing that purely on sighted testing, well, that opinion may be open to question, especially when A or B is an amplifier or a preamp. A DBT can at least establish that there is a difference to back up that opinion.
BTW, extended listening can be part of DBT. No one should feel rushed or otherwise time-limited in DBT. On the other hand, if a really extended, long duration test is required to detect differences, then such differences cannot be "night and day".
 

randy bessinger

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May 16, 2001
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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?
Merc,
Very well stated. Whether all reviewers will follow the example is another matter, but I think your idea is sound and only helps to differentiate real differences.
 

chung

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Feb 23, 2002
Messages
234
I'm sure they exist when you get into the monoblock designs and the high dollar amps. I would assume that when you get into spending a bunch of money on these high dollar amps, the bright/warm signature wouldn't be prevelant. Aren't most high dollar amps considered neutral?
10 years ago I did single blind level-matched tests between the Aragon 4004Mk2 and a Krell class-A amp that costs more than twice as the Aragon. I could not reliably detect any difference, using Apogee Duetta Signature speakers, a Sony ES preamp and a Sony ES CD player.
Differences between good solid-state power amps are very, very subtle, especially if your speakers are easy to drive. The Apogees are 3.5 ohm speakers and not as bad as some others in this respect. I would tend to believe that in your case, the Rotel and the Mac's have very little sonic differences driving your speakers, which are very good speakers BTW. You may still be able to detect them, but perhaps the differences are not important for HT. You may want to read Roger Russell's page where he related his experiences with comparing power amps. Roger Russell is with McIntosh Labs: http://www.sundial.net/~rogerr/truth.htm
 

Larry B

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Nov 8, 2001
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Chung:

If we infer from the few DBT tests that all amplifiers sound pretty much the same, then we are forced to conclude that all the reviews describing the sonic characteristics of a particular amp are in essence, illusory. What do you think underlies these "auditory hallucinations?" Is it simply the need of the reviewer to fill up paper to earn his or her keep?

Larry
 

chung

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Feb 23, 2002
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Larry B:

If we infer from the few DBT tests that all amplifiers sound pretty much the same, then we are forced to conclude that all the reviews describing the sonic characteristics of a particular amp are in essence, illusory. What do you think underlies these "auditory hallucinations?" Is it simply the need of the reviewer to fill up paper to earn his or her keep?
Listen carefully. I said that all good solid-state power amps sound similar, and the differences are subtle. Power amps also behave differently when operated close to clipping, or when driving difficult loads. I did not say all amps sound pretty much the same; that's an over-generalization, in my opinion. How much weight you put on what reviewers say is up to you; I know that I don't trust them much. There are reviewers who said that writing with green ink on a CD improves the sound of the CD. Buyers beware.

There are real differences between power amps, and most receivers have relatively poor power amps, and the differences are readily detectable. Tube amps also sound different than SS amps. Although I must admit that when a reviewer says something like "the soundstage opens up tremendously with this power amp", I have a nagging feeling that he does not know what he is talking about, unless he has been listening to bad equipment all along.
 

Larry B

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Nov 8, 2001
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Chung:
My intention was not to antagonize. Really. If I erred in using "sound similar" and "sound pretty much the same" interchangeably, I apologize.
I too am wary about (most) reviewers, in that I feel they are loathe to speak badly about a piece of gear. On the other hand, I do feel that some of them (though certainly not all, and probably not even most) have pretty well-trained ears, and can describe fairly reliably the sonic chararcteristics of a unit.
There are reviewers who said that writing with green ink on a CD improves the sound of the CD.
Of course that's ridiculous. We all know that only mauve is effective.

Larry
 

chung

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Feb 23, 2002
Messages
234
Larry B:
If I erred in using "sound similar" and "sound pretty much the same" interchangeably, I apologize.
The more important qualifier is "good solid state". There are bad power amps that sound very different. And then there are SET amps
 

Saurav

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Joined
Feb 15, 2001
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Single Ended Triode - the current "rage" in tube amps. It's a kind of a tube amp, so to speak - specific design/topology. Depending on who you talk to, they're the next best thing since sliced bread, or just a passing fad. The objectivists usually dismiss them because they produce very little power (single digit watts, usually), and have very high distortion (a few percent THD). They sound pretty special though, in my opinion.
 
W

Will

I don't know about differences in amps but I do have a strong opinion about differences in speakers.
The title of this thread asks if it is true that bright sound has better imaging than warm sound.
A few years ago, I compared NHT 2.9 speakers to PSB Stratus Gold i speakers (since they were at the time in a similar price point) in the same room, on the same system. I remember thinking the NHT was both brighter and had much much better imaging than the PSB Stratus Gold i. But I preferred the Gold i. I found the NHT fatiquing when I was not listening in the sweet spot. I remember thinking the sweet spot was real small. By comparison, the PSB didn't image as well, and it didn't have as small a sweet spot, either.
When I was sitting in the sweet spot, the NHT totally blew away the Gold i. It had awesome imaging. Totally awesome. But it absolutely had to be set up, just right. And you absolutely had to listen to it at the right spot. And anywhere else, it didn't sound right. For me, sitting anywhere else, it was too fatiguing. I mean, for my taste. No doubt other people would disagree. I associated the brightness, when not in the sweet spot, with the fatigue. But I associated the brightness, when in the sweet spot, with excellent imaging, and no fatigue.
Somebody else who heard exactly what I did might prefer the NHT over the PSB. But and here's my point, I believe most people would hear a difference between the two speakers. As to which speaker each person prefers, well, that comes down to individual choice and personal preference.
 

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