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Old 27th March 2004, 12:31 PM   #1
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Default How bad is budget?

I posted this in two groups concerned with using powerful amps (1000W +). Amazingly, no replys. Although the answer might seem obvious, they could not define it.
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It does interest me when I see budget and second hand gear on the market. The audio forums still worship 20 year old transistors.
My question is:- What gets left out of a budget amp - In terms of what you can hear? What great strides have been made to make yesterdays amps sound old? What it the specific difference between 150 Prosound and 500 Yamaha? (please don't say "sounz betta")
I am sure that this forum can define it.
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Old 27th March 2004, 12:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: How bad is budget?

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Originally posted by Pbassred
What it the specific difference between 150 Prosound and 500 Yamaha? (please don't say "sounz betta")

the Yamaha is 350 more expensive than the prosound?

Seriously, for most people, sonic difference between this two is probably minimal.
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Old 27th March 2004, 02:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: How bad is budget?

Quote:
Originally posted by Pbassred
I posted this in two groups concerned with using powerful amps (1000W +). Amazingly, no replys. Although the answer might seem obvious, they could not define it.

I am sure that this forum can define it.
Your question is like asking someone to take a side of beef and make a single hot dog out of it so it will fit in your bun. Even if someone is nice enough to attempt to synopsize this board's bandwidth so you can just read it while eating a donut, they will come up short of mentioning "everything". Browse. Search. Browse again...
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Old 27th March 2004, 03:26 PM   #4
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So, one guy says in will not matter, and the other one is an audio snob who thinks he is clever by describing the forums knowledge base as "bandwidth". If I was an "expert" I wouldn't need to ask the question. Am I supposed to read every post and build every amp configuration before I am "worthy" of a conciddered reply?

To restate the question in more longwinded and snobby terms:-
Is there a comonly used cheap cofiguration which would make the output noisy?
Does a less expencive amplifier distort somehow?
Do the power supplies run out of power at top end?
is the frequency response less linear or just missing top or bottom.
Does the price difference come from a nasty plasticy case?
Is it likely to die an early death?
Would it run out of steam at 4ohms?

Some of these things might not matter.

At the moment the only differency I can demonstrate between 150 and 500 is snobery.
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Old 27th March 2004, 04:07 PM   #5
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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Perhaps most people just wisely want to stay out of a religious debate. What benefit is there in trying to convince you of something that you don't believe in? For the most part, we here are involved in audio for the fun of it. If you don't want to play, no skin off our teeth.

As has been stated already, the information you request is all available. If you are truly interested, please read up instead of rudely criticizing others views and then asking them to do you a favor by regurgitating thousands of posts worth of information.
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Old 27th March 2004, 04:11 PM   #6
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design?
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Old 27th March 2004, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pbassred
So, one guy says in will not matter, and the other one is an audio snob who thinks he is clever by describing the forums knowledge base as "bandwidth".
Woo-hoo! I got called an audio snob! This is a red letter day for me on this forum! I suspect most of the gurus here are fed up answering my questions on how to skimp every penny and buy all my stuff surplus or on sale. And I was just at Wal-Mart debating whether I shout buy the $3/can undercoating to paint my ML-TQWT's with, or SPLURGE and go with the $8/can bed liner spray Thanks for your patience planet10, kelticwizard, Peter Daniel and the rest, you know who you are! EX-CEL-LENT!

The funniest part is that what you described as "longwinded and snobby terms" is the basic information needed for someone to answer your question(s)
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Old 27th March 2004, 04:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: How bad is budget?

Quote:
Originally posted by Pbassred
I posted this in two groups concerned with using powerful amps (1000W +). Amazingly, no replys. Although the answer might seem obvious, they could not define it.

I am sure that this forum can define it.
In terms of a technical difference, you'll have to read the white papers of both amps. In terms of a sonic difference, you would have to listen to both amps on the same speakers in the same room, ideally without at the time knowing which amp you are listening to, to make a determination. Determine which one sounds better to you, or even if there is a noticeable difference in the sound. Then if you think the more expensive one sounds better, you have to decide if the difference is worth the money. You shouldn't spend all that extra money just because somebody here tells you to. Only spend it if you think it's worth it. The answer is far from obvious, and quantifying the sound of an amplifier is very difficult.
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Old 27th March 2004, 05:06 PM   #9
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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"Does a less expencive amplifier distort somehow?
Do the power supplies run out of power at top end?
is the frequency response less linear or just missing top or bottom.
Does the price difference come from a nasty plasticy case?
Is it likely to die an early death?
Would it run out of steam at 4ohms?"

Interesting questions. At least for me as I was a "bean counter" in real life. Combining that with what I've learned from the hobby here are few observations:

Price has almost nothing to do with basic amplifier performance. Except for some pricey MOSFETS, there is nothing on an amplifier PCB, even the most exotic and complex topologies, that when purchaced in commercial volue cost more than you pay for 2 or three tanks of gasoline! You can bet that if you place an order for 10,000 even Black Gate caps and dual-die lateral MOSFETs are cheap.

Expensive componts are transformers, enclosres (to an extent), large filter caps, heatsinks and cosmetic items (i.e., gold plated anything)

Three of these last items can have a price vs. performance impact. Number one is transformers. The manufacturing technology of transformers limits how much the cost can be driven down by volume production. There is no equivalent to Moore's Law. About all a large volume ordr can do for you is make it economical to order up a custom design. The very fact that unique application specific orders are economic is an indicator that economies of scale are limited. Big filter caps are related to some extent. Also heatsinks - there is point beyond which an extrusion is an extrusion and buying more of it doesn't dramatically reduce costs. Together, they are an areas where you can cut costs by "down rating". A certain mind set likes to know that they can run a sine wave into their amp at rated power, walk away and come back a month later and find everything is still just fine. DIYers often build their amps to do just this. High-end products often can be treated similarly. Ordinary (if you read this forum chances are you aren't ordinary in the context) people don't treat their audio equipment this way and it's pretty silly to expect then to pay for a capability they don't need.

I find the black plastic enclosures sitting row after row at the local chain store uninspiring. Yet they seem functional and can be made in shapes not pratical or evean possible from metal stamping. Plastic enclosures, by the way, are not cheap unless you make a lot of them - the desin and tooling needed at the frront end cost more than your house (unless you live in Tokyo, or Northern California). There may be a performance issue here is regarding shielding which is probably why even cheap recievers tent to limit the plastic to the front of the box.

In my mind there is a bit of an analogy between audio and automotive. Take a typical high volume, low cast product from each category - say take your typical basic Toyota and your typical basic Pioneer reciever, hop in your time machine, set it to 1960 and show what you've got to the "locals". Watch the jaws drop. Convert 2004 $'s into 1960 $'s, tell them the price and watch them faint with shock.

Anyway, let's face it audio has a big ego component. Expensive (looking) and exotic sells. Do you really need to go 0-60 in four seconds? Do you really need .0005% THD at 10kHz? Is it nice to have? Does it make us feel good to have a capability we don't need? Is it fun, even if irrational?
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Old 27th March 2004, 05:32 PM   #10
r0cket- is offline r0cket-  United States
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There's another important question that hasn't been addressed, at least in this thread: at what point does your amp actually become a limiting factor in sound quality? Chances are, if you're using a $100 amp with $100 speakers, upgrading to a $300 amp isn't going to noticably improve the sound. And for this reason, I suspect it's sort of a moot point for a lot of people--by the time the rest of their system is revealing enough that differences between a $100 and $300 amp can be heard, they've invested enough that they may as well round out the system with an expensive amp that sounds good, has power to spare, is built like a tank, and carries a decent warranty, rather than performing an extensive analysis of low-end offerings that may even sound as good as their more expensive brethern, but are sloppily-designed or assembled, prone to failure, lack manufacturer support, etc.
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