This misses the point that many instruments have their timbre tweaked with distortion, but the mix between these separate sources is highly linear, decent mixing consoles have excellent linearity specifications. This means no intermodulation between guitar and vocals, for instance, even if each has been through separate effects - this means non-harmonically related intermodulation products are not generated. The human auditory system is very good at distinguishing separate sources from one another, but such intermodulation eats away at that ability and is undesirable. You cannot have second harmonic added without also creating intermodulation, and proponents of "even order harmonics = good" seem not to care about intermodulation between signals for some reason. Intermodulation products in most situations are not harmonically related to any of the contributing signals - they are dissonant, and typically numerous.'Once the right amount of various types of distortion have been added to various parts of the music and the sound is 'balanced' the vast majority of humans prefer no further distortions to be added.'
It's happening in every recording studio, every day and is documented on virtually every recording that has ever been made.
Mastering is a mixed bag for me... no pun.You need to learn a lot about mastering.
I did something similar with a Realistic STA-2250 that i stll have, put a fan over the heatsink and indeed the sound became more pleasant, really pleasant.Unfortunately a passive cooling would have been really challenging if i'd wanted to have a listen at lower volumes without hearing the fan...That amp is open in the shed since 2011...never took the time to put it back together although its FM tuner is one of the best ever being also the second digital tuner ever made after STA 2100 made by the same company.Also STA2100 has one more filter.I should probably drag it again to class A cause its power transformer is 480watts while the power amps are 2x 50 watts class ab.The power supply is 2x 42v dc though...Not sure how much time will it survive in class A at 50 watts.The real chalenge though is the heatsink placement and its type... I have some server cooling fans with refrigerant liquids but i don't have the space for them inside the Realistic amp.The best amps of the 80's used freon for cooling which allowed for better cooling without active recirculating fluids.I still dream of building the ICE-AGE class A amplifier actively cooled with refrigerants...most probably someone else will do it before me , but talking about ice age a class B amp would probably be more appropriate to match.I' m pretty sure though that class A at room temperature would be a really interesting experience as tighter specs could be obtained.Regarding Class AB, John Curl once biased an amp at 1A trying to get a large Class A region. Other designers have found perceptually optimum bias points that are amplifier specific. Takes ESL speakers to hear some of the subtle details more clearly.
Sounding better has many different definitions. It needs to be clarified with specific context. In the context of sound reproduction, it's the level of fidelity between input and output. In the context of personal preference, it's whatever the listener prefers. The latter creates problems when people are discussing it remotely such as internet forums. Why? I'm sure you've heard a phrase, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."One would assume outcome of listening session can be easily predicted. Low distortion amp will sound better.
Well you just showed the class d purify module based nad c298 having the same distortions at low power as your class A gryphon...while the gryphon distortions rise with power same as in any class ab amp...not sure i'm getting your point anymore.Question: those who claim only clean amp should be used...can you please tell me what is % distortion cut off according to the listening tests below which amp is considered clean, and above which amp is considered 'effect box'?