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12-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,643
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 12492
Reply to: 12492
The Truly High-End Amplification. Does is really exist?
fiogf49gjkf0d

My journeys with Melquiades made me to look at the problems wider: if to form a truly High-End objective, for amplification for instance, then does a “service” that can satisfy such an objective exists? Well, not really. Let look into this.

Reinhard from Germany in his story told about his journey

http://www.romythecat.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=12429

 Reinhard’ wrote:
But not only the horns. As well the amplification. Been through all highest end: Mark Levinson, Macintosh, Audio Research... no amplification really did what we wanted to have rsp. hear. And what we wanted (and what we have now) was: input = output, without any add ones and without any deduction. And we wanted all Class A. Because the sound of Class A was so spectacular. And at that time Jean Hiraga had just developed his "Le Monstre" 7 Watt mono Class A, which we took as a model and then optimized during time. So we now have all Class A, 10 Amps, one for each driver, two 4 resp. 5 channel crossovers, and one pre-amp. And during the last years we have all amplification extended to separate controlled power supply for each unit. That was a huge step forward. It made the whole sound not only crystal clear but really stable down to the lowest frequencies, and the boom-boom was completely gone. And at that time we had already listened extensively to all highest end systems in Europe. And it was immediately clear what we didn't want to have and what we wanted to have. So we continuously worked on it.

Pay attention what is going on in there. They went for a dedicated amp for each acoustic system channel and then they recognized that by custom tailoring each amp they can take the idea much further. They are still ahalf-way there as they need to get rid of that “5-channel crossover”, it will take for them another year or so… Too expensive in term of time.

What Klaus and Reinhard experienced in their discovery about better amplification is not unique but emblematic.  I personally went over the very same discovery, continuously learning what need to be done to take the amplification a bit further then I knew. I do not claim any final stage of knowledge in the field but my observation of what I went through and what some other people I know went through let me to make some generalizations. My main generalization is that the better amplification does not exist as a product of today High-End Audio.

Let take me as an example.  It took around 3-4 years for me to come up with the DSET version that I have now. It is not just design time but rather self-education about what Sound need to get from amplification in order to be the Sound as it needs to be. I clearly invested my time into this but what if I am not willing to invest my time? Can I get a solution from the High-End audio industry? How about if the above-mentioned Reinhard has no interest to “continuously working” on this personally but is willing to buy out the results? After all if you have problem with teeth then you go to dentist, you do not buy the dentist books and dive into 5 years to study medicine in order to fix own  teeth. Why we need to do it with amplification?

What I saying is that industry created a cult of “better amplifier” and each month an army of house-trained marketing whores with reviewers budges crate new and new reason for simplistic consumers to feel that next amplifier is better than previous. In reality the quality of committal amplifiers in most of the cases is very much irrelevant for the demands of an audio person. So, how THEY can keep it irrelevant? They, the marketing people keep inventing and implanting into consumers new and new artificial demands instead of recognizing and addressing the natural existing requirements. What consumers truly need is the industry to recognize that playback systems have custom demands and High-End audio is not about selling crap with golden biding posts, silver wires and platinum labels but High-End is about recognition of custom demands and furnishing the best High-End custom solutions for those custom demands.  As far as I can observe it does not exists in today version of High-End audio.

Somebody ‘kurt  s’ in his AA post in replay to Jim Smith:

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/set/messages/6/63426.html

… advocated the DIY movement as a solution but my experience suggests that DIYers  have too much agenda to be objective and effective.  Not to mention that DIYers in most of the cases are more or less familiar with a PROCESS and hardly ever are experienced with RESULTS.

So, what is necessary in order to have amplification to be taken strategically-further then whatever the today McDonald High-End audio amplification has been offering? I fell it is necessary that some serious high-end audio amplification shops to route a part of their offered services into custom solutions.   That would teach customer to develop demands instead of buying into whatever available.  I mean the operational conditions of a given customer shall be analyze, an amplification solution needs to be tailored for a given respected conditions and in accordance to the personally- evolved demands of a given customer. That IS THE High-End approach, not the cookie-cutter mass-market crap we are having today.

To the best of my knowledge this type of service is not available widely in today high-end amplification market and if it is available for some then there is no competition of ideas in those market solutions. A person can approach a manufacturer and make manufacturer to do a custom job for himself.  Still, in those rare cases the knowledge of customer desiccates requirements and assure success of the project, not the level of the service offered.  The audio service as we have it today is tune off from serving customer needs for amplification but it is not how it shall be. If you willing to build your own custom boat, custom car, custom dress, custom home, or custom ….pretty much anything then we have a framework of service providers that are wiling to offer to you their accommodations. It costs more, in some cases much more but, it is not a conversation about cost and you do not see me arguing the cost factor… 

So, I think high-end audio, as a commercial discipline, needs to stop worship the UPS-deliverable mediocrity. It need start to recognize that a “quality” is a subject of evolved perception and be only understood in reference to progressed demands. It was said that people who do not know difference would drink sand in desert.  It is what it is. The High-End audio in majority is a bunch of self-pompous Morons playing with their adult toys and what they accomplish has absolutely no relevancy to people audio interests. The industry it trying to breed this class of “adult toys consumers” and the high-end manufacturers target their artificial stimulated needs. Take a look at the hundreds of generic amplifiers and that are not able to demonstrate neither performing integrity nor performing intentions – they are made because it was time to make a new model – no other objectives. In my view the only way to convert audio from something more than “better then philatelism but worse then Golf” type of hobby is to practice custom audio solutions. With custom audio solutions the requirements for solutions moderate the High-Endnes of implementation. In my estimate the 97% of people who practice audio have no personal requirement to Sound - so they do not need any High-End solution and they might very much be content with a good mass-production consumer amplification solution (that very frequently deliver sound then stupidly-made but pompously-sold “high-end” amplifiers).

Do not take me wrong: advocating custom solution I do not advocate DIY audio. I personally do not like the DIY audio. If somebody do then good for them but they are disqualified class from the industry perspective. Their progress or failures does not affect me, in the ways how my own progress or failures does not affect you. However, if a hundreds of so high-demands consumers like me would not do DIY and would demand solutions from commercial industry manufacturers then soon or later it will be an infrastructure of professional amplifier manufacturers that are willing to accommodate those custom demands.

How come that when I want custom earrings on a woman in a shape of jumping Cats then I can get it done without learning how to meld gold? How come that when I want my bathroom to have a triangular red Jacuzzi of 5 feet deep with green stripes then all that I need to do is just whistle and an army of professionals would compete to serve me? How come that when I want to have a custom trumpet then we have a market of manufacturers who are willing to do whatever I want as long I am willing to pay? How come that when I want a custom amplifier I need to beg and to perform a blowjob to a single caprice of audio manufactures?  Shall it be opposite and shall manufactures beg me for my business and compete with own results for my attention? Isn’t it how it done in any civilized business? Where are those capable and wiling audio makers who are able to make no only the pre-sold generic crap but the true high-end audio amplification?

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,208
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 12495
Reply to: 12492
The Elusive Point of Reference
fiogf49gjkf0d

Just now, anyone who might build "proper" amps has also a built-in pre-meditated agenda.  In other words, he is not only building amps but he is also - and primarily - trying to glorify himself - and his "main idea" - in the process.

The truth is, all the "skill" and/or all the money in the world won't get you Hi-Fi Squat without your OWN apriori sense of location as well as direction.

So, what every Moron(R) wants to know from this, is there a way to do this quick and dirty, on the cheap?

I've said since I started with the ML2s that every "amp designer" should listen to these for a while before proceeding to build anything else; and not in order to clone or reverse-engineer them, but just to hear what they do so astoundingly right -  for a "FR" amp....

Speaking for myself, the ML2s have jumped my "amp awareness" ahead by a quantum leap.  I might have taken forever to get here "on my own".  However: If I say they do - eventually - wind up pointing down that Old Endless Highway of Better and Better, then the Morons(R) will simply think they can just "skip that step", and they will continue searching based on the same mistaken notion that avoiding "problems" will eventually result in something wholly worthwhile.
 
Although I remain far too lazy and cheap to go custom DSET, it is easy enough to see and hear at  this point what "they" are talking about, as well as why they are talking that way.

The sad truth for most of us is that amps without speakers (and rooms...) are purely abstract notions.

The sad truth about  "custom amps" is that, without apriori direction, they are really not likely to be any better than any other random gambit.

Paul S

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   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  About moronity of DIY Audio movement...  ... the equally empty version #152424...  Audio Discussions  Forum     8  58865  05-09-2005
  »  New  The decentralization and multi-polarization of audio...  The decentralization and multi-polarization of audio....  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  12191  10-01-2008
  »  New  The “Inverted High End Audio” ™..  God is in the Nuances...  Playback Listening  Forum     30  158410  10-08-2006
  »  New  The high-end audio, as it should be...  My prediction about it in 2020....  Off Air Audio Forum     3  34732  03-15-2008
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