Do different amps sound different?


New member
Username: Jakelyods58

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-21
Recently I was browsing this subreddit when I came across a debate involving whether or not different amps sound different when played through equal signal chains.

Personally, before I read this thread, I held the belief that of course they did. When I first got into the hobby, I had an older 90’s 2 channel Onkyo amp, and when I eventually upgraded to a Pioneer SX-727, in the same system, I was blown away at the amount of improvement I noticed. Eventually, when the Pioneer bit the dust, I changed over to a Sony GX-808es, and while I was still pleased with the sound, the signature definitely sounded different than the Pioneer, so much so that I’m confident I could have determined which amp was which in a double blind test.

However, all of the science makes sense to me for why amps should sound the same provided they are operating in their undistorted performance envelope. I’m curious what your thoughts are on the matter.

Thanks for reading!

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 3632
Registered: Oct-07
Amps are fairly equal into a resistor... Which NO speakers are.

Into a real speaker, amps vary in the ability to make power and flatness of response which is the major reason amps DO sound different.

Some difficult speakers are notorious as amp killers. An extreme example might be the Apogee Scintilla, which made a 1 ohm version which most amps couldn't handle.
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