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Anonymous (not verified)
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Amp's role in TONE

Hi, I use an average Sony ES power amp, and it sounds SO sweet when I push it wide open w/ my vinyl recordings (CD sources tend to sound worse after a certain threshold). Can someone explain this phenomenon, and how a solid state handles it differently than a tube circuit?

Any thoughtful comments would be greatly appreciated.

commsysman
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Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Re: Amp's role in TONE

What most people descibe as "sweetening" is in fact a sort of "smearing" of information that the amplifier is processing. It can be compared to saying that an impressionist painting is "sweet" compared to an accurate photograph of the same subject matter. This works OK with some subject matter, especially when some other parts of a system are producing distortions that are not pleasant to hear. Smearing those distortions, or "sweetening" them, may be desirable to some extent to cover them up.
But do not lose sight of the fact that the amplifier is NOT accurately reproducing the signal it gets; it is a form of distortion, nevertheless. you are never going to get really fine sound until every component in the system is free of the distortions that the amplifier is to some extent masking. The fact that ugliness looks better out of focus is hardly a good solution to preventing the ugliness in the first place.

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