McIntosh power amplifiers

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McIntosh power amplifiers have a total harmonic distortion of 0.005%. Is it measured at 1W? If not, how much is that?

Why not reduce total harmonic distortion? ? With their technology, they can accomplish 0.000x%.

Or lower。

Because there's no real reason to.

Distortion below the noise threshold of a system is going to be inaudible anyway and further reductions can drive up the price of a piece of equipment by huge amounts... and McIntosh is already over-priced.
 

PRR

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McIntosh .... Why not reduce total harmonic distortion? ...

For decades, Rolls-Royce car horsepower was rated "ample", no numbers.

Let the lesser brands play the numbers game.

(Actually for years, R-R had to list a "Tax Horsepower", which was based on bore and cylinder-count, and had not reflected actual HP ability for a long time, and everybody knew a "10 Tax HP" engine of the 1930s was probably way over 50HP for-real. England finally quit taxing on outdated formulas so that number was dropped.)
 
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My DIY audio power amplifier has reached 0.000X%. Measurements were performed using RMAA software. Is there a gap between this software and AP measurements?

If it is difficult to distinguish ultra-low harmonic distortion, what other parameters affect the sound? What parameters need to be changed to make the sound more beautiful?
 
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BTW, I'm a believer of low THD DAC, but it does not always apply to amp nor speakers. Everyone has different strategy or his own logic.

I would recommend to start reading the papers from FirstWatt. I hope you will know what parameter makes you think more or less beautiful someday.

If you feel McIntosh amps sound beautiful, it would be their autoformer which contributes a lot to McIntosh amp's signature.
 
BTW, I'm a believer of low THD DAC, but it does not always apply to amp nor speakers. Everyone has different strategy or his own logic.

I would recommend to start reading the papers from FirstWatt. I hope you will know what parameter makes you think more or less beautiful someday.

If you feel McIntosh amps sound beautiful, it would be their autoformer which contributes a lot to McIntosh amp's signature.

You mean Nelson Pass? Just add distortion? I have also been following him, and I will borrow his circuit and add it to the front of the power amplifier.
But Nelson Pass's approach is not in line with modern technology, it is just creating a personalized voice.
 
I have no objection to his technology, can I introduce one of his audio amplifiers? Can make the sound better.

Unfortunately, no one except you knows what kind of "sound" you will think 'better". I generally prefer single ended amps, but SE amps have higher distortion, so I guess it is not your cup of tea. You should contact Nelson directly, if you are interested in his amps. He is a super nice person!
 
If it is difficult to distinguish ultra-low harmonic distortion, what other parameters affect the sound? What parameters need to be changed to make the sound more beautiful?

Overall tuners, dacs, pre-amps, amplifiers and the various cabling play only a very small part in what you hear. It is, in fact, fair to say that within their power limits, most audio electronics has been audibly perfect for more than 40 years.

If you actually want to beautify your music you need to go back to the source... all the way to the musicians who played the music, then the recording engineers who mercilessly tampered with it, then the pressing houses that make the disks or tapes. That is where the dominant control over what you hear is.

The single biggest in-home difference you will hear will come from the combination of speakers and room. Different models of speakers definitely do sound different. You will also find huge differences from room to room as well. This is where you should concentrate your efforts.

If you want to go beyond linear amplification of a given source and beautify your music for some personal reason, now you need to talk about tone controls, equalizers, DSP and room design.

Bodging around with micro-fractions of distortion or transient response isn't going to make any difference that the human ear can hear... unless you make it far worse.
 
I don't know what McIntosh power amp the OP is talking about, but the MC 2100 amp is rated for "less than 0.25% THD" as stated in their literature.
This, of course, is really inaudible to normal people, and the amp is typical of their reputation for good quality designs.
Discussing THD figures of 0.000? anything analog is being a bit too obsessed with figures, and has nothing to do with the actual enjoyment of things.


Comparing my own Technics amplifier, which has an even lower THD specification (0.003), I would tend to think that the Technics, while costing much less, outperforms the Mc2100.


But all this is facts and figures, and in the end, the performance is all that counts, not fussing over figures.
 
I don't know what McIntosh power amp the OP is talking about, but the MC 2100 amp is rated for "less than 0.25% THD" as stated in their literature.
This, of course, is really inaudible to normal people, and the amp is typical of their reputation for good quality designs.


You should measure your own hearing. I can definitely hear 3rd harmonic around -55dB for low frequencies (100 to 300Hz range), which is about 0.18% distortion. The widely accepted figure is around 0.1% for audibility of distortion, which if you want some leeway for those with keener hearing means aiming for 0.01% makes perfect sense, purely on the grounds of harmonic distortion. With intermodulation distortion its more complex, but these days is easy to exceed 0.01% with class-B, doable with class-D.


As a datapoint for IM distortion I can hear higher harmonics down to about -65dB, as the masking effect is absent. IM products can be well clear of the generating tones (clear of masking) so I'd suggest amps should aim for -80dB, including THD and IM, which is the 0.01% level again. An amp with 0.01% at 20kHz is probably able to get 0.003% or better at 1kHz. The solid-state McIntosh's 0.005% level seems pretty reasonable, if not SotA.
 
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You should measure your own hearing. I can definitely hear 3rd harmonic around -55dB for low frequencies (100 to 300Hz range), which is about 0.18% distortion. The widely accepted figure is around 0.1% for audibility of distortion, which if you want some leeway for those with keener hearing means aiming for 0.01% makes perfect sense, purely on the grounds of harmonic distortion. With intermodulation distortion its more complex, but these days is easy to exceed 0.01% with class-B, doable with class-D.


As a datapoint for IM distortion I can hear higher harmonics down to about -65dB, as the masking effect is absent. IM products can be well clear of the generating tones (clear of masking) so I'd suggest amps should aim for -80dB, including THD and IM, which is the 0.01% level again. An amp with 0.01% at 20kHz is probably able to get 0.003% or better at 1kHz. The solid-state McIntosh's 0.005% level seems pretty reasonable, if not SotA.

So then, the highly regarded MC 2100 amp, loved by many, even today, with its measily 0.25% THD should sound like annoying crap to you, right?

I have to admit that my hearing, while being older, is still quite sensitive and reliable.
And even when young, around 23 years old back in the 1970's, I'd have been able to pick up such distortions, yet, the MC 2100 even back then, was one of the most satisfying amps to listen to.

I still don't get the "super minimal" critiques even being discussed.
It's like looking at the coastline, a beach, and discussing a single grain of sand being out of place and an annoyance.
 
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