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Old 26th June 2006, 03:46 AM   #1
sqlkev is offline sqlkev  United States
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Default Am now a believer in pro amps

I just switched out my bass amp from a pioneer elite to a soundscraftman. With more power on tap (450wx2 @4ohm), my dipole subs no longer bottom out and have much more impact (louder) than before. With the pioneer elite, I nener turned the gains more than half way, was it causing distortions and drove the subs to bottom out? I'm not too sure. But the newer amp seems to have much more control on the bottom end. The dipole bass now sounds even more accurate than before.

Tomorrow, I'm picking up another amp. It'll be an onkyo m-501. I'll see how this amp measures up to the soundcraftsman.
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Old 26th June 2006, 03:20 PM   #2
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Not much of a surprise. Pro amps are by no mans as bad as some might have you believe. It's just hifi snobbery, and well worth ignoring. This is often the gear that albums are mixed and enginnered with after all. If it's good enough to create it, I can't see why on Earth it shouldn't be good enough to reproduce it too. As a bonus, pro amps are usually bomb-proof, have very good measured performance (so they should!) and hefty power supplies.
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Old 26th June 2006, 07:33 PM   #3
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Seems like you get more "bang for your buck" with pro amps too - more power/performance per dollar spent. Can you get Soundcraftsman online?
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Old 26th June 2006, 08:45 PM   #4
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Old 26th June 2006, 08:55 PM   #5
Tenson is offline Tenson  United Kingdom
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I have to agree though. I got a pair of Alesis RA500 amps to fill in until I could afford better. I had an active Bryston set-up before. I don't feel the need to change them though! I think I will just add some more PSU caps so they have more power on tap for large transients.
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Old 26th June 2006, 09:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tenson
I have to agree though. I got a pair of Alesis RA500 amps to fill in until I could afford better. I had an active Bryston set-up before. I don't feel the need to change them though! I think I will just add some more PSU caps so they have more power on tap for large transients.
Wow

That's some price difference between the Alesis and Bryston.

I've had quite a few amps in the past year and a good amp is a good amp, its very rare to find an amp that actually has some objectionable nature to it that renders it useless.

What I've heard between all the different amps I've owned recently is subtle changes in presentation, not an order of difference that would confidently allow me to recommend one over the others with absolute certainty. Well maybe not, the only one that really seems to standout is the Chord SPM1200E with a really fast, electric and natural sound to it. The others, which were predominately class A/B DIY designs, were similar but don't quite have the same attention grabbing nature. Some might consider the Chords to be lean sounding and I'd agree with this to some extent.

The only one I really had a couple of issues with was the LM3875 and LM3886 chipamps. Although even these mega cheap amps have notable qualities if used with care.

So to me, its very likely that most amps sound similar, especially of the same class ie. A, A/B, D etc. And that you don't have to spend a fortune to get good performance.
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Old 26th June 2006, 09:35 PM   #7
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Just to balance out this thread a bit, I tried my JBL 6260 amp on a pair of b&w dm602's, and it sounded worse than the audiolab 8000a I was normally using.

Have just bought a pair of samson servo 300 amps to run my surrounds though, as they're low sensitivity 4 ohm speakers, and need some power.

Would be intersting to try the '1 poweramp per driver' type setup that Thylanter has hinted at, with some good recent pro stuff.

Rob
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Old 26th June 2006, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShinOBIWAN
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My Radar is working 24/7

Funny because just 2 years ago on the AVS forum,
not much was discussed about proamp use in HT
or 2 channel audio. Eventually people get brave and
try and the popularity rose alot over there, more
and more are finding satisfaction.
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Old 26th June 2006, 09:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by RobWells
Would be intersting to try the '1 poweramp per driver' type setup that Thylanter has hinted at, with some good recent pro stuff.

Rob [/B]
I did this in 1986 with my car install, one 2 channel Zapco
model 200 in bridge mode {200w monoblock} per driver,
80v headroom {not factoring in losses} . Pretty cool 20 years ago,
probably boring today because you can get more for less money.

I'm going to do 260v headroom {not factoring in losses} per
groups of drivers in an array {mids/tweeters} and 320v
headroom for woofers, because you can drive lower impedance
with a good proamp so you don't need 1 driver per monoblock.

Proamps are the best secret in audio if you choose wisely
as there are build quality issues, some better than others
in that respect.
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Old 26th June 2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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The only problem of using pro amps that I can see is that it's not as satisfying as building your own.
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