The 'New' vs. 'Old' Technology Amp Sound...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave_BTV, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. Dave_BTV

    Dave_BTV Auditioning

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    I recently purchased a Marantz 6200 to start putting together a HT system. I currently had a 12 year old Nakamichi AV stereo receiver putting out less than 50x2 with a pair of Paradigm Reference 20's and 40's. When I hooked up the Marantz, I was VERY disappointed with the sound that came out the Paradigms. The Nakamichi music was SO much fuller with a wider soundstage and quite a bit more forward. After quite a bit of A/B with every available person I could drag in... EVERYONE preferred the sound of the old Nakamichi!

    Are my ears just accustomed to the old sound? Or are the amps in the Nakamichi just better? If I'm looking for that kind of sound out of a new pair of 60's, what would do it?

    Dave
     
  2. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    The amps in the Nak sound like they are better, to you at least. You are the most important critic. You might want to try one of the newer Nakamichi units. Maybe your ears are favorable to the characteristics of their sound.

    Just because it is newer does not mean it is better, that is for sure.

    -rob
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    we talking regular stereo here? receivers being driven within their safe operating range? no signal processing? This is very peculiar to say the least...I'd take a stab at level matching both units at the speaker terminals and repeat this. Default, disabled conditions for both. Not familiar with the Marantz unit of yours...if you've made any changes with things like speaker distance or anything else, make sure they're correct. Then try it with that stuff disabled. Also, make sure you're not changing the speaker positioning at all.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Doesn't surprise me at all. My dad has a 25yr old Pioneer stereo receiver that sounds quite impressive too. I'd say the Nak is a step up from the Marantz. The Nak most likely has a much more potent amp section than the 6200. IMO, the 6200 does not have quite enough power to drive 60s effectively, so it sounds like you need to step up with the receiver or add at least a 2ch amp in the 150w/ch range.

    I own a 6200 and I am quite plesed with it, but that does not mean I haven't heard better.
     
  5. Joe

    Joe Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is my story which is somewhat related to yours.

    I owned a Yamaha rxv 995 AV receiver connected to a pair of paradigm studio 60s. I thought it sounded fine. Later, I got the upgrade bug, sold the 995, and bought the newer Yamaha 2200. What a mistake that was. I could not stand the sound of the 2200 for music! I even went to the extent of connecting a rotel 1080 2 channel amp to help make the 2200 sound better for music. It helped a little but I still could not stand the sound of the 2200 (Movies sounded great though). Anyhow, I also have an old Nakamichi TA-2 reciever, which I am now using as a preamp, that I connected to the rotel amp. I have found this to be the best combo of them all for music.

    I am looking to get the rotel rsp 1066 to replace the Nakamichi so I can do HT again but I am worried the rotel pre/pro won't sound as good for music. (I think I'll post this part as a new question for feedback)
     
  6. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    Those transistor amps from the 70's sounded terrible. It was the dark days of Audio when everybody abandoned tubes and went with the easy to own transistors.
     
  7. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Aren't they using transistors now?
     
  8. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    But those are the days when they just moved to transistors, not for sound quality sake. Many companies were glad to get rid of tubes but did not konw how to make the transistor amps sound good.

    The 80's wasn't so good either, with much of the THD race, but that is mostly with the mid-fi stuff.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  10. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Thank you, Lee, for the more detailed info.

    I personally can't stand the regular transistor sound. It's either tube (which I can't afford) or MOSFET (which I can only barely afford).

    The new Pioneer Hybrid Amp (Push-pull being hybrid with what?) sounds really nice though considering it's only about Cdn$550 for their 811.
     
  11. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Hybrid usually refers to a tube input stage and a solid state output.

    -rob
     
  12. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I would dispute that power supply improvement claim, at least if you look at affordable receivers. Few of them can handle the load of driving five demanding speakers simultaneously, as far as I know.

    Yes, if you go up to the pricy separates range I'm sure the current products being made are superb, but what most of us have in our homes have stuff like 4/8 ohm switches etc; those are basically a way to keep the amp from having a meltdown if having to drive speakers with low impedance.

    A properly designed amp should show a doubling or close to that in wattage when you halve the impedance, but IMHO it is a rare home theater amp that can do that.
     
  13. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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  14. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Tube for $119 only? WOW! Where can I get them? (then again, I'll have to buy four of them for my HT setup) and get a pre-pro which ends up to be more expensive than my upcoming Pioneer 45TX (about US$1200).
    As far as loudness goes, I don't listen to anything loud anyway (HT at -35db to -30db below reference, music at -40db below reference). Besides, I don't want to go deaf by the time I reach 30 [​IMG]
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Lee you did hear about the test that Nousaine did with Zipser down in Florida (he's got the Pass amps in his house, and he's also owns I believe Sunshine Audio)? Neither Zipser nor his wife were able to identify the Pass from a 12 year old Yamaha integrated amp. I believe the Yamaha was using regular old 12 gauge...don't know what Zipser was using. I'd think a person who deals in audio and is supposedly quite familiar with his own setup would have had quite an advantage, don't you think?
     
  16. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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  17. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  18. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Dave:

    It would be surprising only if the Nakamichi and Marantz sounded identical. By substituting a different receiver you changed both a preamp section and power amp section, and all the different circuit topologies inherent in their respective designs. The Nak, as your ears should have detected--and did--has a different sonic signature than the Marantz. Different engineers, different designs, different sound.

    Only you can determine what pleases your ears. Part of the fun of this hobby is finding a combination of a source component, preamp and power amp (or integrated amp or receiver), and speakers that provides the final sonic results one enjoys. You change one link in the chain and that chain can take on a new sonic personality, as you have discovered.

    Marantz receivers have a reputation for a warm sound. To your ears that reputation has been confirmed. If that type of sonic signature displeases you, you should try something else. I have not listened to the current crop of receivers, so I'll leave it to others to provide suitable suggestions.

    Happy listening!
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    I can second the recommendation on the ASL Waves. I've had them in my system for many months now, and I think they're amazing for their price. They replaced a NAD C-340 50W integrated amp (I was using only the power amp section) that cost as much on the used market as the Waves cost me new.

    It's very important that your speakers be "tube friendly" though. Hook up the wrong kind of speakers and I'm sure these amps can sound horrible, because they're only 8W.
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Tom didn't participate in the listening. He just matched the levels. He flew down at his own expense. They took place in Zipser's own home with his own choice of listening material. Zipser and his wife both listened to each setup, the Yamaha and the Pass reference system. They both failed to successfully distinguish between that and when a Yamaha AX-700 played the same selections.
    The amps were 12K Pass Aleph 1.2 monoblocks, speakers were Dunlavey. I have a feeling it probably wasn't hooked up to a walkman.
    But if you want this to be about everything sounds different and that the technical advances of Pass necessarily translate to audible improvement, then you're right, there's no reason to explore alternate views.
     

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