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What is meant by "musical amp"? (1 Viewer)

DaveDickey

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It's my understanding that some amplifiers are more "musical" than others. I'm assuming this means some amplifiers are geared towards music reproduction rather than HT use. My listening preference is primarily music, so I'm interested in buying one of these "musical" amps.
My problem is: amplifiers aren't advertised as "musical" so I really don't know where to compare such models.

Can anyone provide some examples of companies that are particularly good at making / selling amps geared toward music? All I need is a few suggestions to get me pointed in the right direction. Any input would be a big help.
Thanks:emoji_thumbsup:
 

Phil A

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Some of it with some cos. is marketing trying to target the audiophile market. As one moves up the chair in high end audio there are differences in design. Receivers and entry level separates generally share power supplies and are not true mono designs. Some things may have 2 or more amplifiers in the same chassis but just share a power cord. Much depends on your speakers as well. Some things are more difficult to drive then others. Some things with the wrong electronics mated to them can sound bright or recessed. So my approach would be to listen on either your own system or with a substantially similar system (set-up as close as you can to your current system) using your own favorite music. You might want to look at www.bryston.ca (or similar sites) and read the newsletter section of the site which may contain information about different types of design.
 

Lewis Besze

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"musical" is a subjective badge for audio equipments and may not apply to you or the "guy next door.So in essence any recomendation can be "wrong" if you don't like it when you actually audition it.IMO this is just a marketing BS.
YMMV
 

Eddie Horton

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I think the term "musical" when referring to amps is placed there by manufacturers to make you the consumer feel better about spending your money. If sound quality when listening to music is a concern, worry more about room treatments and speaker selection first, then the upstream components.
 

alan halvorson

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I've always believed that the adjective "musical" as used by "audiophiles" to describe audio equipment meant that the frequency response was modified in some way that they preferred. For example, an amplifier with a high output impedance (nearly all tube amps) interacts with the speaker load and adds peaks and dips. On the other hand, it often means simply that the listener or manufacturer has an active imagination and/or bias towards some equipment over others.
 

Tim Hoover

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Simply put...musical means that the particular piece of gear emphasizes whatever the reviewer prefers, be it tonality, rhythm and pacing, detail, etc...
 

Paul S

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I cannot immagine that any amplifier/receiver manufacturer sells a receiver that sounds lousy with music. They wouldn't be in business long would they?
 

Phil A

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Paul, there are lots of amplifiers that don't sound all that great hooked up to the wrong speakers. I had a friend who worked at a high end shop and did many deliveries with him. It's all a question of how one critically listens as well and what one defines as good sound. I've been in many peoples houses that had clean undistorted sound and they liked that quality about their system but to my ears (and my friends) were pretty awful for high end music reproduction. That's why I say forget all the marketing hype and go listen either in the context of your own system or a similar one. Only the person who is buying the product can decide what they regard as musical. Reviewers have preferences like everyone else, work for publications that get advertising dollars and also get accomdation sales. A review or list of recommneded components is good place to start a shopping list vs. just buy based on ranking or what one reviewer's opinion is.
 

Martin Rendall

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Musical means that the listener hears what they want to hear.

The last statement should be interpreted in two different ways.

Martin.
 

Paul S

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Phil A
It may interest you to know that there have been many highly controlled double blind tests done throughout the years regarding the sound of amplifiers/receivers. To date, not one person has been able to reliably tell the difference between the sound of any amplifier/receiver. This includes high-end amps versus lowly entry level receivers. I am not trying to start a debate here, I am simply telling you that it has been very well documented that all amps sound the same. I have owned well over a dozen receivers throughout the years and have yet to hear one that sounded different than the other.

If you don't believe it, so be it. I have no intention of arguing the point with anyone.
 

Phil A

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Paul, I have participated in such tests and found only a small minority of people could not tell differences. I've done hundreds of installs with friends in the business from receivers to systems with $85k main speakers. I've merely said someone should not go by marketing claims or reviewers and listen for themselves. Why pay more for something you can't hear to don't think the differences are worth the cost? If a basic receiver does it for you that's not a problem. There are many who have little or no practical experience with audio products and feel the need to rely on second or third hand knowledge from tests they've read about and have no first hand knowledge of the pariticpants, conditions, etc. or others who feel what a reviewer had to say or what appeared on some recommended component list of some magazine has to be good.

Either one of those is fine with me, it is not my system or my money and I'm not in the business so I have no financial concerns as to what someone thinks is OK by them. There is no point in arguing, most people here into HT and are fine with the music reprodution of such systems. One would of course find the opposite views on a board geared towards high end audio vs. HT There is no wrong or right for every person. I also don't feel the need to have someone think like me, that would be silly and I don't even think that would be a good idea:D , nor would I want to bother arguing issues with someone who lacked the experience with the stuff. I don't follow lots of stuff on HT that get posted places like this forum and look forward to the information. I would always prefer information from people who knew more than I did. Otherwise we might all still be living in caves and all those hard surfaces would not be really good for sound.:b If I have a system (speakers, source components, etc.), I don't have to agree with someone's opinion no matter what it is, but I'd sure be likely to listen more to someone whose owned that equipment, speakers, etc. and many other similar pieces of equipment vs. someone saying I read on a board somewhere that so and so conducted a test and don't waste your time. Opinions are free. First hand experience takes a bit more time than just rehashing what someone else claims. That does not make either opinion right or wrong for every situation. Try driving Magnegan 3.6s or Thiel 7.2s with your avg. every day rec'r as an example. You may not have the speakers for long. I am not sure what the original poster has for speakers but that was among my points.
 

Chu Gai

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Phil does bring up an excellent point with regards to choosing your amp wisely by considering the speakers. I might add that ML's can tax the capabilities of many a receiver and amp. An extra large double order of hot wings served by this waitress is in order for your most excellent post, Phil.

 

DanaA

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Wow, questions arise.

How does she get out of bed in the mornings?

Does it make it easier or harder for her to do pushups?

Is she late stage pregnant with the fetuses being carried in the wrong part of her body?
 

Phil A

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Chu, I'm glad to finally see some postive comments from you about 2-channel stereo :D Not that I have anything against multi-channel, but probably a little old to handle that :D

I do think that most people (on this board) are intelligent enough after getting various experiences and opinions to make a proper choice of what's right for them and their budget and what they hear or don't hear. Does anyone really feel the need to control what someone else hears or does? Didn't that movie (Stepford Wives) come out last week;)
 

Chu Gai

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I'm not so sure I've made rabidly negative comments about 2 channel. Let me know when you want her to come over Phil ;)
 

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