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Challenge From Harbeth - Free M40.1 For Those Who Can Identify Amplifier Differences

Discussion in 'audio' started by ryder, Apr 6, 2012.

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  1. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Quite the reverse. The first amp has a reputation for sounding very beautiful, quite valve-like. There wasn't a trace of harshness.

    Nor is there in its replacement.
  2. Dinovector

    Dinovector pfm Member

    Sorry Sue, it was meant just as an example of some phenomena or other that might have made the sound less (or more) enjoyable but different to the second amp
  3. darrylfunk

    darrylfunk Banned

    i beg your pardon but i don't need to...it is already proven by science and peer reviewed.

    we know the limitations of our hearing.

    also how our sight effects our hearing perception.
  4. Dinovector

    Dinovector pfm Member

  5. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    No problem Dinovector.

    Actually, the first amp was so un-harsh I think I simply got bored of it.

    My point being that on a brief audition, especially switching between the two, I'd doubt my ability to reliably pick one from the other as required by the Harbeth test. Neither would have any problems meeting the basic techy criteria required by the test, they're not at all unusual in terms of output power, impedance or other requirements. But one meets my needs pretty much exactly, whereas I was glad to see the back of the other one.

    To answer Serge's point, I don't think the fact that I listened to much less music with one, and much more with the other, can really be attributed to any sort of expectation bias. I owned one, then the other, and didn't have them both at the same time. I'd expected to like both, and having lived with both for a few months, I found that I only liked one of them.
  6. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Lol, well as long as you're certain...
  7. darrylfunk

    darrylfunk Banned

    good argument.....

    where's the proof for your well thought out theories then....have not seen any evidence yet....unless your evidence tallies with your last post!!!
  8. ultrawomble

    ultrawomble Sith Lord

  9. GTM

    GTM Resitance is futile

    Maybe, maybe not.. problems are:

    a) technical superiority is no guarantee of preference. e.g. I see plenty of peoples TVs with the colour turned right up because they honestly think its "better" despite the fact technically it's far less accurate. Same principle applies to audio.

    b) Practically no one would actually be able to translate the measured performance to a system sound that they would actually enjoy more. It takes a lot of personal experience and experimentation to understand how just frequency response changes affect the overall sound of a system for example. Speaker developers may have a reasonable handle on it, joe public has no clue and therefore technical measurements are useless to them in terms of being able to make a choice. (see point a)
  10. Dinovector

    Dinovector pfm Member

    With no due respect, you're an idiot!

    Is the point exactly, no science involved and I assume no visual preference but a difference was heard
  11. sergeauckland

    sergeauckland pfm Member

    Not necessarily. A difference was perceived, not necessarily heard. This could be due to many things, sound quite possibly, but other things too. There's no definite here unless a blind test was done between the two.

  12. Dinovector

    Dinovector pfm Member

    So if I have 2 identical Naim amps of some sort, I take one to Les at Avondale to be modified, will it sound the same or different in a blind test against the other?
  13. sergeauckland

    sergeauckland pfm Member

    I would be surprised if they sounded any different after modification, but I would have to see the measurements before and after to be sure. Given that a standard Naim amplifier is transparent, if any modification sounds different, then the modified amplifier must be technically worse. If it's technically better, then it still won't sound any different given that the standard one is already as good as it gets sonically.

  14. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    To take Serge's point in relation to my earlier post: I'm pretty sure the measurements would be within the normal expected range and differences would not be considered critical to performance.

    I didn't make a conscious decision to like or dislike either of them, and had equally high expectations of both of them. The rest of the system remained the same. The fact that I subconsciously listened to a lot less music with one amp suggests, quite strongly, that I got much less meaningful musical experience out of my system with that amp in place. Again, my personal circumstances hadn't changed. No more, nor any less access to my system, or time in which to listen.

    So, the obvious variables having not changed, I think it's a reasonable conclusion that the amps were the difference. I merely point out that I doubt the Harbeth Challenge(TM) would have flagged up these differences which, for me, have turned out to be fundamentally important.
  15. sergeauckland

    sergeauckland pfm Member

    I agree that it's a perfectly reasonable conclusion, possibly the only reasonable conclusion. What I don't necessarily agree with, though, is that it was anything to do with the sound having changed, but with the amplifier itself, and your relationship with that amplifier that changed. This is impossible to prove other than with a blind test between the amplifiers.

  16. Dinovector

    Dinovector pfm Member

    But isn't this Harbeth test about any amplifier regardless of how they measure? I agree with you about transparency but they all aren't at or close to that ideal

    I don't want to criticise Avondale, I'm sure they would sound different (and measure differently, not that I have listened to their stuff to know either way)
  17. Basil

    Basil Harbethian


    Count to 10 before replying...

  18. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    I'm not sure I understand your point. I don't really see how a blind test would prove anything about my relationship with the amplifier.

    My point remains that, once the honeymoon period was over (we are talking about having relationships with our kit here, aren't we? ;)) a strong preference for one amplifier over the other has emerged and would have been most unlikely to emerge during an A/B test, whether or not that test conformed to the parameters set by Harbeth.
  19. Dinovector

    Dinovector pfm Member

    OK so am I to take it that I can't take a Nait 3 and a Nac552..... to compare?
  20. Jowcol

    Jowcol pfm Member

    I don't really understand why it is that tone controls (graphic equalisers) are forbidden.
    You could have whatever sound you want then. And there would be nothing to fight about.
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