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Thread: Timbre Question

  1. #1
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    Timbre Question

    My question is in regards to adding an external power amp to the HT system to improve SQ for "critical listening" ( 2ch. ). Will the adition of a power amp alter the timbre to a highly noticiable degree when used for movies or multi channel audio? Will it destroy the sound relationship with matching L/Cch/R speakers? I noticed some members on this site have added power amps to their HT for 2ch listening, please share your thoughts on this.

    Thanks,

    Wayne

  2. #2
    Audiophile Wireworm5's Avatar
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    My power amp I would say is neutral as well as my speakers, it's sound is only as good as the weakest link.Other amps/receivers I've read about may add brightness or warmth. But it won't change the timbre of speakers.
    With my SST amp the highs have a smooth airy quality to it. This may sound foreign to your ears at first since most people myself included have always had lesser quality brand names. However this airiness is of the highest quality in sound and I imagine only the high priced amps exhibit it.
    2 channel, muti-channel, HT will all sound better with a power amp with good system synergy.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    My power amp I would say is neutral as well as my speakers, it's sound is only as good as the weakest link.Other amps/receivers I've read about may add brightness or warmth. But it won't change the timbre of speakers.
    With my SST amp the highs have a smooth airy quality to it. This may sound foreign to your ears at first since most people myself included have always had lesser quality brand names. However this airiness is of the highest quality in sound and I imagine only the high priced amps exhibit it.
    2 channel, muti-channel, HT will all sound better with a power amp with good system synergy.
    The small, minute changes in timbre that might be perceived from using a different amplifier for 2 speakers would be insignificant next to the large, dramatic acoustic influences your room will impose on the sound. I'd use the amplifier for your L/R channel and not think twice about it.

  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayner86
    My question is in regards to adding an external power amp to the HT system to improve SQ for "critical listening" ( 2ch. ). Will the adition of a power amp alter the timbre to a highly noticiable degree when used for movies or multi channel audio? Will it destroy the sound relationship with matching L/Cch/R speakers? I noticed some members on this site have added power amps to their HT for 2ch listening, please share your thoughts on this.

    Thanks,

    Wayne
    No, amps do not alter the timbre of a speaker unless the amp is clipping. Moving the speakers close to surfaces will alter their timbre.
    Sir Terrence

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  5. #5
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    My suggestion would be to see if you could borrow an amp to insert in your system to see if you hear a difference. Some people are more sensitive to the difference the amp will make when put into the system than other may be.

    I started out with mixed brand amps. They had similar sonic signatures and I really didn't notice that big of a difference until I matched the amps and I realized an improvement in seemlessness and coherency in the L-C-R sound. You will be going the other way, where you now have that coherency and will be disrupting it. Only you will be able to tell if the difference is significant enough that it will bother you.

    If you have the funds and want to keep your existing coherency of sound you might consider getting a 5 channel amp. I've seen some of the 5x125 Krells on Audiogon for under $2k. I'm not familiar with them but www.spearitsound.com has some new in the box Audio Refinement 5x125 amps for $1,495.00 that had a msrp of $2,495.00.
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  6. #6
    golden ear Registered Member
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    wayner, go for the upgrade, for as long as the amp that you will be hooking up is good, the difference that you will be hearing will be an improvement. not to worry much about timbre matching since this will be influenced by the speaker itself and not the addition of the amp. the tweeter construction has the most effect on the timbre match.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Everyone

    Thanks again guys for all the help, i'll keep my system progress posted in the off topic area.

    Wayne

  8. #8
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    Changing amplification on only 2 channels will not change the actual speaker but it surely will change the character of sonic reproduction, making a difference between the 2 and the rest of the channels. Unless you believe that all amps sound the same and if that is so, why have this conversation at all, there wouldn't be any need or point to upgrading because the amp you replace will sound the same as the new one.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

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