Sounds of amps?


Unregistered guest
I have heard that different amps have different sound characteristics, (warm, bright, laid back, forward, etc..)
If say a CD player is contacted via a digital connection, would they mostly sound the same? Do you need to connect sources via analog to hear these diff. amp characteristics?
Sorry but I am new to all of this and just trying to figure things out and find the right amp/ receiver

Bronze Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 79
Registered: Mar-04
no. amps definately have different personalities. even a/d converters do too. the differences are much smaller than differences between speakers, but they do exist.

the first thing you should do is listen to a variety of speaker types and sizes within your budget to see what you like. more than anything, your ears should decide what equipment you buy.

after that, equipment matching further tweaks your sytem, eg. if you have speakers that are too bright, then bright sounding amps are a bad choice.

for example... i have two recievers (nad and onkyo) and two different speaker types (nht super zeros and mission m-71s).
my main speakers are superzeros. they're warmer sounding than the brighter missions.

with the recievers, the onkyo is brighter while the nad is warmer.

nhts sound extra warm and muffled on the nad while the missions sound overly bright and even tiring on the onkyo.

i blew the nad up when it got shorted out driving my sub so i haven't listened to the missions on it, but i'm sure that's the better match while the nhts match well with the onkyo which livens their polite treble up.

first find the speakers you like most, and if there's some slight quality that you'd like to improve, then look for an amp that matches what you want.

there are a bunch of wildly different speaker types and devoted fans who swear by them and hate anything else. the thing to do is find out what your priorities are and go from there.

like alot of bass... then you might like ported speakers

like tighter faster bass... then you might like sealed speakers.

like tons of dynamics... then you might like horn speakers.

like imaging... then you'll probably lean towards smaller speakers.

like volume... then you'll lean towards larger speakers

like lifelike midrange and lightning speed... then you'll probably like planars and electrostatics

like mellow easy on the ears treble... then you'll prefer soft domes

like super fast and extended treble, then you'll prefer metal domes or "ribbons"

every one of those types of sound have their fans and their foes.

once you find "your sound" then you're ready to find an amp that matches your priorities.

real hi-fi stores will let you bring whatever equipment you already have to see how it sounds with what they have and some will let you audition equipment in your own home.

the first thing to do is train your ears to the things you like and don't then go from there.

two products that sound great seperately and properly matched can sound terrible improperly matched. those mission speakers have faster and more extended treble than my nht's, but are way too bright with onkyo.

sorry i've talked about speakers when you asked about amps, but they make the bigger difference and training your ears with, you'll have a better understanding of the differences in amps.

the one basic rule of thumb is that japanese "cheap" recievers aren't going to sound as good as "mid-fi" more expensive recievers and so on.

if you already own your speakers, then find a shop that will let you listen to them on different amps etc. to find your match. training your ears will let you discuss sound qualities without auditioning.

Unregistered guest
wow now thats a response. That was exactly what I was looking for. I have an old receiver I am getting rid of. I just bought Triangle Titus speakers. I listened to what I think was a lot of speakers and found these to be what I like for the price range.
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