Levinson 33 Archaic????

While telling a Pro-Audio buddy about Big Levinson, Pass, and GamuT amps and this was his response....

That's funny how these archaic amps designs think there the best and most powerful. Its funny because every so called high end sight claims there the best. Crown makes an amp that that is 10,560 watts into .85 ohm. Eighty (80) 250watt output transistors. Final output of 150 volts at an amazing 180 amps. Now that's high voltage and high amperage. Show me a amp that can beat that?

I know all this power really doesn't have anything to do with how it sounds...I was a bit shocked....what can I say?

By the way, how are the pro amps able to produce so much power out of a 120V/15A line with so little energy storage?

What's funny is his response.

The real issue is there are only so many ways you can lay out a gain device, and over time - it turns out - that the simple circuits tend to perform better in audio applications. Of course, someone will jump in with manufacture X who does it Y way, but there are always exceptions. But when you look at the center of mass for quality amplification, it aggregates around some rather basic principles.

- Beef up the powersupply
- Simplify the gain circuits
- Keep the connecting paths short

Stuff EE's figured out decades ago.
Your buddy is obviously more interested in numbers (which by the way can mean very little, depending on how they are used) than in actual audio performance. Is Crown better than a Levinson 33? No. Louder? Maybe, but who cares?
I agree with the others.
Just because an amp is powerful does not mean it sounds better.

That is like saying a SEMI is better than a Lexus because the SEMI has more power and can pull more.

Depending on the application, a crown amp might be better. Say, for PA gear and filling a staduim with sound.
That doesent mean it is nearly as refined as the other amps you mentioned, nor does it mean it sounds better.

Actually, i dont think i have ever seen KRELL or the others CLAIM to be the most powerful. but the most refined
Guys, thanks for your thoughts.

Slappy - the pro-audio guy read this on the Levinson site....

"The NÂș33 is the most powerful high end amplifier in the world and will not be the limiting factor in the performance of any system."

It was all the ammunition this "my dad's bigger than your dad" guy needed :o)
Going by the numbers tube amplifiers should be the worst . In my opinion tubes sound the best
The key phrase is "high end amplifier."

Having owned Crown and other pro-audio sound-reinforcement amps when I was a recording musician/engineer, I would not characterize them as "high end." They did what they were meant to do - a relatively compact package providing lots and lots of power for PA systems and stage monitors. They were never meant to be the last word in refinement of audio quality, which is what a "high end" amplifier is meant to be.
I guess that's why all the Grateful Dead shows I went to sounded sooooo good. A stadium event using McIntosh Amps. I wonder what all the other bands use...that would be an interesting thread.

Dunno what amplification Brittney Spears uses, but apparently that rack pales in comparison to the sheer size and weight of her rack of harmonizers.
Did i just let a post slip by involving Brittney Spears and Racks without a less than civil remark?

i must be tired.
Actyally, the 33 is the best sounding, most neutral amp I have heard. I enjoy the sound of many great tube amps, but can't say that any are as neutral. The 33 seems to have less of a sonic signature than any amp I have heard, and it is significantly smoother and more relaxed than the 33h.
120V/15A=1800W. Add enough capacitance to the power supply and you can have brief instances of more power. Add a big trani and it will store some power in the the form of magnetic fields.

These are very short term and limited resources beyond the 1800W coming in. Given that linear (not switching class D) amps are usually 50%-75% efficient, the amp is limited to 900W-1300W max in ideal conditions for sustained power output. A 20A circuit improves this another 25%. A 220V/30A circuit might be able to help an amp produce a sustained 5000W into small loads, maybe (4000W is probably the real world limit). And all that assumes some fairly high mass Robust Heat sinking, and high current caps, because 4000W is cooking.

Measurements are only as good as the specifications for those measurements thmeselves. Given a brief enough measurement period, the power output could appear to be almost infinite into a short circuit.
His response reminds me of some of my non-audiophile buddies: When they want to "test drive" my stereo, they want me to turn it up as far as it will go! The first time I heard someone say that, I thought it was a joke but I have since met like 10 guys that way. Perhaps it is their age (late 20s) or perhaps they don't know how to appreciate finer things life has to offer. I think it is more of the latter, as witnessed by you Mike. Funny indeed but too bad for them!