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Old 16th June 2002, 03:31 PM   #1
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Question What makes an amplifier "bright", "warm", or "neutral"?

Which component, components, or circuits make an amplifier "bright", "warm", or "neutral"?
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Old 16th June 2002, 04:15 PM   #2
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There's no simple answer.

Sound quality is affected by frequency response and various
distortion mechanisms, which are themselves mostly a function
of basic design. I'd guess the biggest variable is loudspeakers
and room acoustics.

Tube electronics have traditionally had a reputation for a 'warm'
sound, and semiconductors for a 'harder' and 'brighter' sound,
which appears to be mainly a function of the distortion products.
Tubes generally have a higher percentage of distortion, but their
proponents claim they still sound better. It's almost impossible
for me to say as I don't own any tube equipment and rarely
get a chance to listen to such.

One can substitute premium components for existing parts, but
the effect is almost always marginal; basic design counts for a
lot more, in my opinion.

It's a complex subject; everything depends on everything else.
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Old 16th June 2002, 04:24 PM   #3
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Just as I feared. I must continue buying amps, stockpiling, trading in until I find just the right one!!! They always seem to auditon so much differently than they sound at home, and I have a VERY neutral listening room, my walls are all covered in MDF and then covered in sheetrock. One large, dead speaker box.
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Old 16th June 2002, 04:37 PM   #4
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Sheet rock? what is that? Ideally, the walls should be solid and covered in a damping material. Sheet rock sounds more like it would reflect sound rather than absorbing it.
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Old 16th June 2002, 05:09 PM   #5
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Well, I wasn't going to go into the extreme details taken after the sheetrock. Corner treatments, bookcase, tapestry, z-strips seperating the rock from the mdf, speaker cable suspended off the floor.....
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Old 16th June 2002, 07:44 PM   #6
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Reading the first post an indea struck me. People say the tonality can depend on amout of upper harmonics ( prevailing even or odd harmonics). Does anybody know any software which can add some harmonics to the signal ( 2nd or so) to perform the test?
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Old 16th June 2002, 07:55 PM   #7
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Dear Koy,
it is very hard to imagine how to add 2nd harmonic to a natural sound signal. Using a DSP might bring a source of new troubles and new undescribed distortions.
PMA
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Old 16th June 2002, 08:40 PM   #8
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Yes JohnS,what is sheet rock?
You can use something like plastic foam (dont know if is right word).That stuff use drum players to isolate rooms,it have characteristic sine wave form.

Quote:
"bright", "warm", or "neutral"?
That are well used words in audio,even more wierd words use in magazines and audio salesman when trying to sell you components.Even now i dont know why buy expensive audio rack that is built like a speaker? I mean with spikes and filled with some kind of sand...whatever.

I heard MOS fets have 'metal' sound
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Old 16th June 2002, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
what is sheet rock?
Pressed Gypson that is sandwitch between 2 to 3 mm thick card boards.



Its MOSFET not MOS fet. MOSFET are mainly used in digital circuits. MOSFET may look good on graphs but they a far from being linear. They waste to much energy to produce the given wattage. Transistors on the other hand are linear and very predictable.


Sound cards these days can re-create just about anything. Cards with EAX has infinite possiblities.


An equalizer should be used if the speakers can not be position optimally in the room. Many rooms make different frequencies louder than other frequencies.
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Old 17th June 2002, 12:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnS
Just as I feared. I must continue buying amps, stockpiling, trading in until I find just the right one!!! They always seem to auditon so much differently than they sound at home, and I have a VERY neutral listening room, my walls are all covered in MDF and then covered in sheetrock. One large, dead speaker box.
Maybe, after all, it's not the amps but the room is the problem. Dead boxes create dead sounds.
And who makes good equalisers?
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