Is weight really mater?

If both amps are rated at 100wpc, in general, would one weight 100 lbs sounds fuller, more textures and juice, and is a “better” amp than the one weights only at 8 lbs? (Nope, I’m not comparing commercial PAs or Karaoke mixer systems.)
Mark Levinson No. 331 is weighted around 100 lbs while the amazing Jeff Rowland Model 102 is weighted shockingly at 7.4 lbs. Yup, you read right, “seven point four pounds”.
Can I use this factor for my determination?
In real life, bigger men will tend to lift bigger weights than tinny men, but how about electronic amplifications? Shouldn’t they too need bigger toroid transformer, bigger caps, bigger heat sinks, etc? What’s with the 8 lbs?
Please simplify much possible your comments so others (and I) would understand.
Speakers are smalll 6-ohm floorstanding Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home series. Thanks all.
Like cars, amps correlate by price per pound. I looked at this some years ago and was surprised how close price per pound was, not price by watt. It also work for cars.
The answer is yes, and it has to do with an amplifier's power supply.

Nelson Pass goes into detail in this article

He concludes by stating, "What if you don't want to go through the trouble but still want your money's worth? Get at least 15 pounds of amplifier for each thousand dollars spent."

Now, you may or may not agree with him, but he knows a fair amount about building high quality amplifiers.
I am assuming the Rowland Amp is Class D, which means it uses a totally different technology.

While this is a bad analogy, a PC power supply based on the typical big transformer with analog regulators would be much bigger, hotter and heavier than the far more efficient switching supplies used in PCs and many other devices these days.

I myself have the learned condition that power amps should be big, heavy and hot to sound best. But, I feel with modern high quality Class D amps from folks like Rowland, it would be unwise to put to much "weight" in making a determination on sound quality based on the weight of the amplifier.

Having said that, I have no doubt that if I were comparing a modern class D amp with a modern meat-and-potatoes amp, with identical power specifications, I would be prone to discriminate against the little teeny class D amp, even though in reality, it may in fact be superior sounding to the big-hot amp
I've been quiet on this front as I felt I might be nuts believeing weight matters in SS amps.... but it kept showing itself as being pretty evident.

my own exp with SS amps says Yes. There is a definite coorelation, more often than not. Indeed it is due to the power supplies in recent history, and this might change down the road with new power reserve technologies being nvestigated today.

I think though, the deal is however to make likewise comparisons.

comparing digital amps to non digital amps is not what I'd say is a likewise run off. Same for hollow state vs SS or switching amps.

Until or unless I get back into the 'lot's o' watts' camp, or rather if I do, I'd still want to stay with amp (s) under the 150 lb range. unless they've got their own wheels and are being set onto their own platform/stands. Getting something that heavy into a rack is a real chore. not to mention doing 'steps' with 'em on your shoulder or chest.
Yes, yes and yes; you are correct. I just now realize that I'm not really comparing apple to apple here. Now I'm torned with another selection, class D or class A?
In class A or class A/B the weight corresponded mostly to the size of the power supply transformer, where bigger is usually better at any output rating, particularly for bass. However, in all things audio, there are more exceptions than rules.

Class D, or switching amps, like the JR 102, are much more efficient for the amount of power consumed and don't require such massive transformers.

I'm an old-timer and still prefer the heavyweights.
>>Now I'm torned with another selection, class D or class A?<<

Haha, Yes, I would be as well!

My suggestion would be, unless you have specific requirements like being more "green", or space restrictions etc. I'd stick with a good old A/AB aka Meat and Potatoes Amp that sounds right to you! Good luck!

I want to qualify my answer above by stating that in regards to solid state and tube amplifiers, the answer is yes.

Class D amps are another animal. However some well regarded Class D amps use toroids in their designs (H20 for example), and therefore weigh more.
John, in general the answer is no, weight is not a factor in amplifier performance. High performance can be achieved in amplifiers that weigh a lot, and in amplifiers that weigh relatively little. In dividual designers make certain technological choices that end up leading down particular technologies, topologies. . . and weights. In the end, there are excellent amplifiers at all weights, and horrible amplifiers at all weights.
In the particular case of the JRDG 102, the designer wanted to achieve a high degree of performance for a chosen constraint. . . it was not weight. . . but an entry level target price of $1500. He used class D amplification and regulated switch mode power supplies that are extremely energy efficient, hence the very low weight. Whether Rowland achieved his price/performance goal on this particular product or not can be decided only by using one's ears. Unfortunately a scale won't help.
Will JRDG 102 outperform a Levinson 331? Perhaps possibly, but I truly doubt it. The 331 was designed with more ambitious goals. and it is priced 3 times higher than JRDG 102. While price alone is not a particularly good gage of performance, it is somewhat a better indication than weight.

On the other hand, if your budget can go as high as the $2K for the 331 currently offered on Audiogon, I suggest you also have a look at some of the bel canto Ref 1000 monoblocks available on Agon. I have reviewed one of these little wonders. . . and they are quite wonderful. . . and yes, very powerful as well. .. . and won't turn your living room into an oven. . . 331 runs in class A, which means it dissipates a huge amount of heat. . . not great for Houston Summers. G.
Ngjockey - Efficiency of class D plays a role but the most important difference is Switching Power Supply. Toroid in switching supply has diameter of 1-2" and can carry as much power at 50kHz as huge 10" dia toroid at 60Hz. In addition linear power supply is not regulated and requires big amount of capacitors to hold the voltage at loud passages (and filter out 120Hz) while SMPS is regulated (line and load)and easy to filter (small capacitors).

Bad rap SMPS have is caused by some manufacturers who use them to lower the cost only(inexpensive implementations).
Yes and no. You have to know what the weight difference means.

If someone shows me a 100Wx2 class A amp but it weights only 30lb. I know it can't be good because he must be cutting corners on heat-sink and power supply, two critical components which weight a lot.

On the other hand, if someone build an amp with extra thick panels which added 10lb to its weight, that extra weight has nothing to do to how it sounds.
Very fair comment. . . that's why I stated earlier that perfectly legitimate but differing technology decisions lead to differing paths toward sonic excellence. . . and differing weights.

I do confess that even I used to give the beefiness of a device major importance in my component choices. . . yet I experiencemore and more that the reassurance that a hefty component can give me can be misleading about its actual sonic capabilities. G.
Open the amps and look in. I always do and find no correlation to what you are inquiring about. Same as 10,000 dollar paint jobs on speakers vs stain. If you know what to look for, subtracting the jewely makes a huge difference to what is really going on. Right down to the capacitor.
11-07-09: Vandermeulen
Open the amps and look in. I always do and find no correlation to what you are inquiring about.
Then, are you calling Nelson Pass a liar when he discusses power supply build, including but not limited to the size of the transformer, and how weight translates to performance and price?

He's just a jewelry salesman?
Tvad or anyone: are heat sinks no longer an issue? Before oil went through the roof in the late 70s, upper end consumer amps weighed a ton; I've got Kenwood Supreme 600 from '77 that's 60 lbs: dual mono transformers and serious sinks. Has new technology bypassed that issue? Just curious.
Each heat sink vane on my amp is about 3" in length, but they're relatively thin. I doubt the parts weight that much.
Power supply quality is common sense. I dont need to mention that, especially since it was already brought up. Same with transformers. Do the math...internal component total weight - jewelry = worth. Its simple. And no, Pass is a well respected designer.
Actually, I think it does MATER. But if you're a TINNY man the 100 lb amp might not be practical.
Gunbei, your dicktionary must be on the light side :0)

I've had a few of those D amps and never held on to them. Good ones too. I wish they were better because my home heating system works fine on its own.

I've always found class D to be a little glassy or polished. Not bright, but not right.
Bjesien, what class D amps have you used? G.

Depends. Depends on the kind of shape you are in. As long as you can pick up both the tab and the device itself, at the same time, I'd say it doesn't matter then.