One Amp To ‘Rule’ Them All....


Is there one amplifier that everyone can agree on as a contemporary standard? An amplifier that can be considered a standard in both the studio and in a home stereo setup?

What one amplifier does everything very well and can be found in homes and in professional audio engineering environments?

What amp covers all the bases and gives you a glimpse into all qualities of fine musical reproduction?

...something Yamaha? ...something McIntosh?

8b96c43b e6a2 44b2 9680 9f170d281699brettmcee
Yamaha, McIntosh? I don't think so.
Thrax, Ypsilon will get you far closer.
In my view the McIntosh mono blocks MC1.25KW. They work very well with most systems and set-ups. Versatile as they are monos so can be part of two channel or multi-channel set-ups and powerful enough to be part of studios or home.
Ask two audiophiles this question; get three (or more) opinions
I think the only answer can be ... "the one that sounds best to your ears."

That's a great question but are you talking control room or mastering room? Or all three?

An amp that goes from Control room to Mastering system to a home playback. Some folks are going to say Bryston, some are going to say Crown and a few old schoolers might even throw in Crest or Yamaha. I have my favs.

But to ask this question consider the 3 different types of speakers in the same settings as above. If your taking JBL to all three places that's a big difference than lets say B&W. I think the answer would really depend on your specialty as an engineer. I've built and owned studios that had all 3 room types and system types (I used MGA speakers as well a mix of others), but I have a feeling most here are going to try to lean toward their home audio senses instead of thinking the 3 different areas of purpose.


mg 

I didn't know the MC1.25KW came in a studio version.

I'm getting old lol.

Post removed 
I've been following Bricasti Design and there seems several mastering studios using their amps http://www.bricasti.com/en/pro/home.php 
as well as their digital. 
What thread question will incite silly arguments and bring out the know it alls?

The OP has been a member for 3 years.You would think being here that long...oh nevermind.
There is no such amp.Pass 350.8 is great for many its system and personnel taste.Good luck though!!
A chameleon amplifier that could morph any system and room combo, into something that pleases every taste/preference, in music/presentation? Imagine all that!  Once someone like Lyngdorf, manages to meld FFT/DSP with EEG, maybe.
If I had to pick only one it would be Henway.

DeKay
Oh, about 3-4 pounds.

DeKay

Thanks
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bah dum dum POW-cymbal crash
Come on!  It's the internet.  You expect everyone to agree on something??
Everybody agrees that the Dennis Had Firebottle single ended amp is the best there is, and I find that comforting since I own one.
Sorry cubby, fleas need not apply.  I love doing this, the amp that ruled before all your amps were born, rule now by virtue of the number sold and now in existence, and will continue to rule into the 22nd century is the.....drum role....mighty Dynaco ST70.

That said, I bet if you take add all the versions of the McIntosh MC275 there are a lot of them out there.
The same amplifier will sound different with different speakers and the same amplifier and speakers will sound different in different rooms. So how is "standard" then defined?
dont forget the most important two amplifiers in the chain...microphone preamp and cutter head, but MG is correct, control room amp vs mastering is the wider spectrum you should consider.
@dekay . 
That was a good one!🤣
Bob
@tablejockey

Is no one else alarmed that on the consumer side of things that there really are no standards?

Its all very, very subjective and arbitrary.

We can all pretty much agree on good albums, quality recordings, good performances and good pressings/releases. We can all comment on and generally hear the merits of digital vs analog or tube vs SS even though we may have preferences.

We agree on things that can be done with speaker placement and room treatment that do improve the likelihood of quality home playback.

Why are there no ubiquitous sound reproduction solutions spanning production and home consumption?

Electrostatics are not found in recording or mastering studios. Giant tube-based amps are generally not to be found it professional settings. You are more likely to find cone-based speakers, sometime concentric/coaxial drivers and definitely solid state amps in recording/mixing/mastering environments.

What we do in our home systems is kinda bonkers compared to the professional world.

Just go to any audio show or convention. It’s rediculous! It’s like comparing apples to asteroids...

Everybody is cool with this?
brettmcee-

I'm glad you're not offended by my response but, as you can see be the other posts, your phrasing of such a question is begging for it.

You're on point with those statements. Perhaps your original question should be reworked to ask if there are any particular models that are more often used?

The post suggests singling out "the best," which always guarantees a thread gets out of control.



Class A amp that I build!

Game Over.

Happy Listening.


For me and my ears my favorite and last amp I will own is the Primaluna Dialogue HP with KT 150s and Brymars for the inside gain tubes. 
@brettmcee-  "Giant tube-based amps are generally not to be found it professional settings." and, "You are more likely to find......solid state amps in recording/mixing/mastering environments."
I beg your pardon? In what, "professional setting" would one find a, "giant tube-based amp", to start with? But, to date, the very best mic pre-amps/power supplies and record-cutting amps, are still tubed. Some of the most highly regarded(and holographic) recordings, of all time, were mastered on tube-based gear. ie: Research such as Parlophone Records Ltd, Bernie Grundman Mastering, Abbey Road Studios and Sheffield Labs, as regards their awards, discographies and artists/customer-lists. Doug Sax was quoted as saying, "Digital Finishes What the Transistor Started.”(then again, he wasn’t a DJ)

I agree with Elizabeth. “No”
Sanders Magtech, and never look back.
warranty best in business, clear, gobs of power, not too Heavy.
stable to 1 ohm or lower. Drive magnetic drivers, or transmission line if you ever switch.  It’s the do all of amps.

win, win!
"Is no one else alarmed that on the consumer side of things that there really are no standards?

Its all very, very subjective and arbitrary."

Really...

What righteous standards are you referring to for the non-consumer side of things?

Also how many commercial recording studios have you used/accessed?

As far as your very basic query goes (about amps) most of us "home" users do not require or want balanced runs, unlike the need for such in every recording studio I visited up until the late '80s.

DeKay
No, you’ll need to spend a lot of time listening and a lot of money on amps you don’t like to  figure it out. Go to trade shows and listen. It’s a journey and a lot of fun.

ray

The OP has given us one heck of a great question to answer, and there has already been some great answers. These recent threads that are pointing to the HEA bubble popping is starting a new and way over due playback hobby. Watching the one volume control hobby coming to an end is worth the price of admission alone.

mg

I don't know everyone can agree on a best, but I find Parasound are an excellent gauge of great price/performance.

I find they tend to be slightly warm, robust, and neutral. A number of Class D designs sound the same to my ears, so it seems they are reaching towards a very similar, uncolored, powerful middle.


Hi Ray

"Go to trade shows and listen. It’s a journey and a lot of fun."

This is another topic that is of much importance right now.

What's going to happen to the HEA trade shows over the next few years will be interesting as the gas runs out of the "only a volume control" hobby comes to it's end. The realization that the professional world has been trying to gently help HEA with is finally breaking through the minds of the HEA audiophile.

When HEA should have turned right they turned left a drove way down a road that makes no sense. Now watching this vehicle try to politely turn around in the middle of traffic is going to be interesting to see.

Can I paint another picture for you guys?

What if you drove to the next HEA trade show and instead of walking into rooms where everything sounded different and there was only a volume control to adjust, you instead walked into rooms where you could sit down and make everything and every recording sound your way?

We could have made that move around the mid 90's, but even though we're slow as a hobby's people, we're making that move now. Now it's more a matter of how fast the conversion will take. The plug & play hobby is almost over. Enter the variable wars :)

mg

To answer the OP's question, well it has already been answered several times.  The answer decisively is no.  That answer has been answered, demonstrated and proven in this very thread.
@michaelgreenaudio- "What if you drove to the next HEA trade show and instead of walking into rooms where everything sounded different and there was only a volume control to adjust, you instead walked into rooms where you could sit down and make everything and every recording sound your way?" If everything sounded, "your way", wouldn’t that result in some VERY happy brain-waves? Like I said earlier, once someone like Lyngdorf manages to meld FFT/DSP(and their Room Perfect algorithms, for instance) with EEG, maybe. If someone can imagine it, tap into your Happy-Listening-Synapses and come up with the algorithm, why not? My TacT RCS 2.2(Boz was Lyngdorf’s old partner), with all of it’s room correction abilities, has enabled me to shape my sound, in a way that puts me in another venue and very happy. If this is possible via laptop keyboard(and TacT), why won’t it eventually be done via thought and some new device, like THIS: https://newatlas.com/mind-controlled-prosthetic-fingers/41886/ Then again, why not a direct feed, to your brain’s listening centers(who needs ears, anyway), or- a way to trigger a little extra Dopamine, whenever music’s playing, so everything sounds good, regardless? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-musical-self/201101/why-listening-music-makes-us-feel-g... Now, THAT would be really, "High-End"!
"The plug & play hobby is almost over. Enter the variable wars :)"
Not everybody likes, or has time and attention span, to tweak and adjust. Some like to press the button and not think about it anymore. They are no worse than those who tweak to the end of the world. They just have different approach.

The end of "one volume control knob" era may be coming to an end, if there has ever been that era, but it may be just because of fashion cycles. A few decades ago, amplifiers had lots of shiny knobs, then less and less. It may be time for more. At the same time, real simple-to-use tweaks have been around for decades. They used to come with receivers. "Club", "Church", "Stadium", "Pop", "Rock", and what not. I have not checked receivers in a while, but cell phones/iPods/etc. have such modalities. Changing sound to suit someone's preference has been around, it is not due to the "end of HEA" now.

Wars are never a pleasant experience. Hopefully, variable is negotiable.
Ear, preamp and poweramp were used in the studio. Audio Note to.
Please reread my original post when time permits. I am not looking for ‘the best’, I am looking for all of your opinions on ‘standards’, amplifiers that can be used as a basis for standards and/or as common points of reference. 


Hi Rodman

One thing I have learned from the recent CESs and the news that comes out of them is innovation is our hobby's best friend. It has also helped me when visiting and tuning "gamers" rooms. Tuning rooms for 25 year olds is a trip. Their brains are so fast and hungry for knowledge. While tuning a room this weekend I mentioned something about a PBS show I saw, and before I could push the next pin in this guys fingers were on the keypad pulling up all kinds of videos on the topic I mentioned. He was amazed what I did with the acoustics, but I was sitting there amazed at how quick this guy zoomed in on topics and popped them up on the big screen with like 20 videos on the same topic waiting to load.

The generations have much to learn from each other, and the old school has some very good basics, but the innovation of the new is wild, fresh and smart.

mg

Grasshoppers,

    Confucius say:
" Discussing politics, religion or best amp like
 sticking one's head in hornet's nest: no good will come of it."

Tim

Hi Glupson, good to see you!

"Not everybody likes, or has time and attention span, to tweak and adjust. Some like to press the button and not think about it anymore. They are no worse than those who tweak to the end of the world. They just have different approach."

I have to ask, who are you hanging around?

I read comments up here many times and I honestly feel like I'm visiting the nursing home for music lovers. I've seen guys try to get me to think that people are not "doing", but I think they fail to realize that people get ahold of me every single day asking me about the very opposite. If you saw the questions on my emails just from this weekend I would be surprised you could make the statement you just did.

Your second paragraph is much more to the point and easier to understand where you are at in your thoughts.

Glupson, HEA took a detour that the rest of audio technology didn't. While HEA was pushing the high cost revolving door of "One Volume Control Only" the professional and innovative audio world kept moving forward. HEA magazines became out of touch with what was actually taking place in the hobby of listening and fell way behind the learning curve. Now that $30-$200 amps for example are slapping them in the face the era of one volume control only club is finding itself obsolete. HEA will try to act like they were not out on the island they were and will try to switch gears in front of us to make things look the way they want to, like all generations do as they reach that age of little return. But it's too little to late.

As you my friend have mention a few times you are here because you are wasting time for yourself. Consider those who feel the hobby is not the wasting of their time. You might be surprised to see that not everyone is lazed out on their sofa sipping with only the remote in their hand. Or maybe it's just when I come to visit them they put on a display of activity in front of me to impress and then go back to their catatonic state when I leave.

Kind of reminds me of your taking off the lid of a component to say you did it and that qualified you as a "walker". I can't help but notice the active world today moves maybe a little further along then that description of walking. I do wonder however when I see you now posting if you can see the hobby walking or maybe even running by your older posting. Glupson as you can see it didn't take very much for me to move the direction of this forum with the help of other walkers thinking they too are a part of a more ambitious lifestyle than the talkers.

interesting isn't it, smile

mg

michaelgreenaudio
glubson, I read comments up here many times and I honestly feel like I’m visiting the nursing home for music lovers.

>>>>Oh, no he didn’t!

“They also serve who only stand and wait.” 😛
Power amplifier or integrated amplifier?  
  
For a power amplifier, in regards to total transarency, the Benchmark AHB2 is hard to beat (though an ATI amp using  Hypex may give it a run for its money). Maybe you aren’t after transparency, but I’d rather have transparent gear and use DSP instead of getting gear with “colored” sound and play the matching game.
Someone listed CROWN...still laughing hysterically...
I want to try the Benchmark myself
Retro rules. Digital is ugh.Old school my man.