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Old 1st February 2012, 09:58 PM   #11
LPM is offline LPM  Australia
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Hugh,

You have the patience of a saint...

Martin,

I suspect that it's this 'big picture' of the problems that Hugh seems to have that that helps provide the Aspen/AKSA synergy you were talking about in your first post.
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Old 1st February 2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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Hello

Excellent explanation Hugh.

I can ad a recent listening experience, at Christmas I was at a friend's house, he is a jazz pianist and he have my old Crimson amp.

We ad the oportunity to use few very different loudspeakers with that amp and a very good cd player. We eard it on a pair of Koss loudspeakers (a mid-fi speaker) and a pair of very good mission, and I eard it on my Dynaudio loudspeaker. Using alway the same music cd's and the same cd player we alway recognized the sound of the Crimson amp (nice soundstage, musicality, definition). We did that same test with a LM3886 chip amp I've made for his wife painting studio, and even with the cheaper Koss loudspeakers, the chip amp sound was easy to pick-up as much less soundstage quality less musicality etc...

I've verify that same thing wen I've listen to my amps at home, my diy amp don't sound like my Radford, my tube Pioneer, my Lifeforce or my Naksa, each of them have their own sound, some may have only little differences but others can be much more differents.

The amp can deeply change the sound of your audio system.

Bye

Gaetan

Last edited by gaetan8888; 1st February 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 10th February 2012, 10:00 PM   #13
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor smith View Post
The thing that hurts me is when I hear people say 'this amp is better than that amp'. What does that actually mean?
Mmmm, AFAIAC, the fact that you have to ask that question means you haven't even passed "Audio 101".

Can I suggest that, instead of wasting your time posting on Internet audio forums, you instead go out and listen to as many different amps as you can for a couple of years - and, preferably, when you are comparing a couple of amps, they need to be driven by the same source and feeding the same speakers.

Having spent this time, you will be closer to understanding what is meant by "this amp is better than that amp".

Regards,

Andy
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Old 11th February 2012, 12:58 AM   #14
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I have 2 main objections when it comes to the notion of 'comparing amplifiers'. First, there are many variables perhaps infinite in number such as room acoustics, dac, amp, speaker, cables etc. But there are also an infinite number of speakers, amps etc right? Some of those have 'not been made yet'. How many combinations of variables are there? x^x where x is infinite. A large number in any case. So how can we cut the number of possibilities we consider? By keeping some of the variables constant and pretending they dont vary. So now we only have to consider x^1 number of possibilities. If we have 2 amplifiers then we only consider 2 cases. The second fallacy in my view is one which seems very widespread in society. The idea of comparing one thing to another by pretending it can be quantified by a single number and asking, is X bigger than or less than Y? The answer is either yes or no. Its the false dilemma. False dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Why do I object to this? Its not clear to me how a single number is representative of the emotional experience of listening to music. We need a better definition of 'better' when comparing amplifiers. I dont know what that might be but I do feel that the current one is ill defined at best and at worst, fallacious.
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Old 11th February 2012, 04:41 AM   #15
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Hi Prof,
Let me see if I can help you out a little with your dilemnas.

If you wish to discuss the nature of comparing amplifiers, that is a much larger issue than anything here on the Aksa forum and perhaps you'd be better taking that to another forum like the Lounge or something like that.

It seems to me that you after something about the Aksa amps, for some reason. Now, Hugh sold you a couple older Aksa N+'s, and you didn't like them. Fair enough, everyone has their likes and dislikes. And if you don't like something then it is invariably over priced, irregardless of the price. Fair enough there too. But now that you are trying to sell those no good N+ modules, don't ask to much for them, like maybe about half what you paid for them if that, since you find them to be no good.

You did once ask about other Aspen amp products. Well, I've owned a few and heard the rest. To make it simple and sweet, the amps are all designed by one man, Hugh, and all somewhat have a "Hugh signature" to them. If you don't like the Aksa, then you wouldn't like the Lifeforce or the Soraya's. And you likely wouldn't care for the Naksa's even though they have more bass and some better definition of detail in the music. The Maya is just simply too expensive for you.

Moving along, well, perhaps that is what you need to do. There are many many other amp products for you to consider, and you should move on to them.
You also seem to want something cheap, maybe even dirt cheap. Everyone has their budgets, likes, etc. But remember that if you want something of quality, by anyone's definition, you have to pay something for that quality you desire, unless of course you want someone to give you something.

Hope this all helps you out.

Bye
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:29 AM   #16
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor smith View Post
But there are many variables arent there? Audiophiles dont just compare the sound of amps, they compare the sound of speakers, dacs, cd players, recordings and even cables.
My objection is that when we do the comparison, we keep all other variables fixed. Not only is this the simplest comparison you can do, its only one among many. Yet this practice continues among the audiophile community.
Sorry, whenever I compare amplifiers, I simply substitute the new one in place of the old. Nothing else changes. Obviously, you have to keep the other variables constant - and if you do ... you can see how the new amplifier sounds, compared to the old. So you understand that, yes, amplifiers can sound different - even ones which Hugh has simply "tweaked" (your words).

Regards,

Andy
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Old 11th February 2012, 12:51 PM   #17
ratbagp is offline ratbagp  United States
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The following is from a write up on a line stage I built where I could switch between different six tube types.

Audio ratbag: Tube Taster Linestage
__________________________________________________
So the big question is whether you can actually hear differences between the various tubes. The answer is yes, which is not surprising. When I first started to get music to appear at the loudspeakers I quickly shuffled between the various tubes and immediately noticed differences. Gain levels vary, of course, so I needed to adjust the volume to do real comparisons. Actually, I found it works best to resist the temptation to flick around between the tube types. Certain tubes seemed to suit certain music and I seemed to be consistent in my tastes. If I put this in whisky terms, if it’s really cold, wet and miserable outside, I prefer the peaty Islay types like Lagluvin and Laphroag. Otherwise if it’s just plain wet, then Dalwhinnie works for me. If it’s dry, then I prefer Ezra Brooks bourbon. If it’s after dinner, then Pierre Ferrand cognac is the tipple of choice. Variation according to your needs is wonderful.

You will notice I have not said which tubes I prefer. The reason is simple, I don’t want to influence your taste. Build it yourself and then you will know what you yourself really prefer.

________________________________________

Two years ago, a group I belong to held a competition where we each built a 6V6 tube amp for under $200. We had a few entries and all sounded different. We discussed for a while how to judge which was 'better' or 'best', particularly when we got down to two entries. My suggestion actually came from the famous Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter who reportedly said that when judging the pianists in a piano competition, his decision process was quite simple. Do I want to hear this pianist again?

ray
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Old 11th February 2012, 03:44 PM   #18
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor smith View Post
I have 2 main objections when it comes to the notion of 'comparing amplifiers'...
Why do I object to this? Its not clear to me how a single number is representative of the emotional experience of listening to music. We need a better definition of 'better' when comparing amplifiers. I dont know what that might be but I do feel that the current one is ill defined at best and at worst, fallacious.
You have objections on the "criteria" used by people... but at the same time you have defined your own criteria when you said "ill defined" and so on. This showed me that what happens here is you are expecting everyone to have a "better" criteria, which is yours. But you were being honest that you don't know what the best criteria might be (this, and your inability to predict how the AKSA should sound, is actually a sufficient reason to be humble and be more careful when giving bad credits to anyone's design).

Some just believe that there is never a convention on this criteria. It's just like food. Nobody can object if somebody prefer A over B (or prefer a saltier food over sweet ones). But you must respect the "preference of majority". If you prefer B over A, you cannot open a B food shop, unless you know that the majority also prefer B.

I myself, pay more attention (than the average) to "fatigue". I always be interested in designs labeled with "low TIM" and such. Why? because I feel lucky that I know that a speaker is more important in achieving what I want to hear. For amps, I rely on good power supply. An a good speaker cannot help a fatiguing amp, so this is very important for me.

As for AKSA topology, it has been proven with widely acceptable characteristics. If it is not your cup of tea, it is not mine either. No bipolar amp is my cup of tea (but if I have to have one, I want at least 3 paralleled output stage bipolar).

And when you try to relate amp quality with price, no commercial amps are justifiable. Not Krell, Mark Levinson or Accuphase. I can build the same schematic for a fraction of the price. And better for me is that I can choose, and I know what to choose (I can cook, and I have never been disappointed with my cooking, because I know what I like and I know how to achieve it).

Last edited by Jay; 11th February 2012 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 11th February 2012, 04:01 PM   #19
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbagp View Post
My suggestion actually came from the famous Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter who reportedly said that when judging the pianists in a piano competition, his decision process was quite simple. Do I want to hear this pianist again?
Yes, assuming that the speaker has the required capability (which I believe it does in your case).

Piano music is great, and it is very difficult to reproduce by any sound system. A "hi-end" system is not only have to be able to reproduce piano sound that sounds like a piano but also: it can distinguish an expensive piano, and a great piano player.

I also use male vocal tonality as a mean to ensure that a system (speaker especially) can distinguish between good vocalists and the average ones.
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Old 11th February 2012, 09:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor smith View Post
I think youre missing my point.
Prof,
You are missing the WHOLE point in your posts. You need to take this discussion elsewhere unless you are going to relate something specifically to an Aksa product.

In case it has escaped your attention, most folks who post on this forum think rather favorably towards the Aspen amp products. If you don't like the one you have that's okay as everyone has their likes and dislikes. But you can't just come here and be negative about the product without something specific other than you feel personally cheated.
Do you understand?
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