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Author Topic: Power Amp Quality  (Read 18819 times)

Jerry Depew

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Power Amp Quality
« on: March 21, 2015, 03:07:54 pm »

Hi - I have been using Behringer EP 2500's for about 5 years now. I would like to step it up to a better quality amp.  Can anyone tell me if there is a tonal quality difference between amps?

Some say an amp is an amp but I am not convinced of that.

Thoughts anyone?
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 03:29:03 pm »

Hi - I have been using Behringer EP 2500's for about 5 years now. I would like to step it up to a better quality amp.  Can anyone tell me if there is a tonal quality difference between amps?

Some say an amp is an amp but I am not convinced of that.

Thoughts anyone?

When operated within their linear region (not clipped, over heated, or driven into too low impedance) amps are generally amps (even a Behringer). Where there is generally a difference is at higher power points and difficult conditions. Even then the difference is not as much about sound quality as working, vs. not.

Amp path linearity is not close to the weakest link for sound reproduction, microphones and loudspeakers are far less linear and harder to do well.

JR 
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 09:09:11 pm »

When operated within their linear region (not clipped, over heated, or driven into too low impedance) amps are generally amps (even a Behringer). Where there is generally a difference is at higher power points and difficult conditions. Even then the difference is not as much about sound quality as working, vs. not.

Amp path linearity is not close to the weakest link for sound reproduction, microphones and loudspeakers are far less linear and harder to do well.

JR
Agreed.

Often the "difference in sound" is when the amps are driven into clipping-a non linear situation.

And it is the sound of the "non linearity" that makes people prefer one amp over another.

But it also depends on what you call quality.  Is it just the "sound"?

Do things like: durability-how it deals with heat and so forth  count for "quality"?

There are many things that make some products "better" than others.  Not just a single parameter.
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Ivan Beaver
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 09:23:01 pm »

The EP2500 is not an amp to be looked down on.

Zero bragging rights, but a good solid amp.

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Ray Aberle

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 09:57:21 pm »

The EP2500 is not an amp to be looked down on.

Zero bragging rights, but a good solid amp.

I don't think anyone is looking down on the EP2500 just stating that unlike speakers, there is a lot more in common between amplifiers -- and it takes stepping up to a pretty big level before any discernible different will be noted.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 10:40:31 pm »

I have ran across very few amps that have a sound so to speak. If you line 10 amps up that are rated close to each other, you would probably be hard pressed to hear a difference, if any at all. As mentioned, what they do when they are under stress is another thing, but for all intents and purposes should not be ran to that point. My only grip about any amp is if it's not working like it should. I don't expect platinum to come out when it's connected to bronze and has crap coming into it. If the amp performs as it states then the rest is up to me.
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 03:08:07 am »

The EP2500 is not an amp to be looked down on.

Zero bragging rights, but a good solid amp.

Of course if the people who are hiring you don't want to see brand X, don't bring brand X.

But in the league of economical sound systems, the EP2500s may be the last thing you upgrade.
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Jerry Depew

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 02:24:11 pm »

Good info guys!  Sounds like the least of my worries.  How about those 12 pound amps??  I know mine are heavy but seems like some iron helps..
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Stuart Cunningham

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2015, 03:42:16 pm »

I have ran across very few amps that have a sound so to speak. If you line 10 amps up that are rated close to each other, you would probably be hard pressed to hear a difference, if any at all.

I have to disagree on this one. Just last week as part of a training event, we did have a number of amps lined up, all from premium brands, and there were very obvious differences in how they sounded.

We were connected to 8 ohm loudspeakers and running at a moderate level, nowhere near stressing any of the amps and the differences were definitely there.

The power amp may not be the point in the signal chain where the biggest differences will be noticed between products but if you listen, you will hear that all amps aren't alike.
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Stuart Cunningham
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2015, 04:11:18 pm »

I have to disagree on this one. Just last week as part of a training event, we did have a number of amps lined up, all from premium brands, and there were very obvious differences in how they sounded.

We were connected to 8 ohm loudspeakers and running at a moderate level, nowhere near stressing any of the amps and the differences were definitely there.

The power amp may not be the point in the signal chain where the biggest differences will be noticed between products but if you listen, you will hear that all amps aren't alike.
Did you have the levels MATCHED TO WITHIN LESS THAN 1/4dB?

If not, then that will EASILY explain the "differences" you heard.

Even very small differences in level (less than 1/4dB) will "sound" different.

I have messed with myself doing that-before I realized there was a VERY SMALL level difference.

Matching levels this close can be pretty hard-especially when using amps that have "detented" or controls that "click" between settings-forcing you to make "predetermined" level changes and you can't get the level to be "in between" the two.
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Power Amp Quality
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2015, 04:11:18 pm »


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