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Old 28th February 2009, 12:39   #1
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Default The Quest for the Perfect Amplifier

I have been reading on international forums how Rockford Fosgate has slowly faded into oblivion even in the USA for SQ seekers. Well, RF was one of the strongest and most loved brands in the 80s and the 90s and their old school stuff is still respected. But as speaker and amplifier technologies evolved, RF slowly started losing some of that old charm. The reason was not that their stuff fell in quality, it just fell out of contention due to the fact that it was becoming ubiquitous and other manufacturers had caught up with it in terms of sound quality and even bettered it at the same price. RF failed to evolve much. Also, the reputation of RF as a SPL based system manufacturer hit it hard. SQ seekers started looking elsewhere, without even giving RF a chance, because the amps had that reputation of delivering hard, raw power without finnesse. And the subs were just made to do the same, hit hard!
Some say there is a small amount of equalization that is dialled into the amplifier, hence the sound is more on the attacking side. The image attached is testimony to the eq.
IMAGE COURTESY: DIYMA

I'd want to ask, which other companies actually dial in some equalization, just like RF does. I want everyone to list out the cleanest of clean amplifiers that they have heard. Now everyone will mention the TRUs and the GENESIS' and the STEGS but there have to be amplifiers that deliver clean sound at a budget that doesn't warrant you steal a car, or rob a bank. One good example of this is the Ground Zero GZTA120MK2 amp that I have. Its a very clean amp and after using a couple of other amplifiers (4, to be precise) in a short span of 2 months, I'd say the GZ qualifies to be in the 'clean' bracket.
We need to list more 'clean' amps that do a good job of just keeping the signal the way it is, and faithfully delivering it to the speakers. Please make your contributions, but only based on the amps you have heard. Mud slinging happens with all brands, but very few people actually listen to the components before giving their verdict on them. Lets just speak of what we have heard. And of nothing else!
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Last edited by frankmehta : 28th February 2009 at 12:49.
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Old 28th February 2009, 12:50   #2
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Frank, any amp could "sound clean" and still have some EQ in there. Also, People expect amps to have some character. If I gave you a really high end amp that would measure "flat", you would not like the way it would sound. Unless you paired it with other stuff that had a sonic signature of their own that you desire. Again, the end result may still conflict with your car's acoustics and still end up sounding undesirable.

"Sonic Signature" is part of the game... If every component had a perfectly flat response, you would have an accurate but sterile sounding system. While some like that, most don't. Think about why tubes are popular, despite the common knowledge that it's distortion and coloration that make them sound the way they do.
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Old 28th February 2009, 13:01   #3
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Most audio products that have a specific signature and are still successful (both commercially and critically)
Quad
Martin Logan
Magneplanar
every tube amp I know of.. :-) the list is endless as in every DIY speaker I have ever built. LOL.
oops we ar talkng car audio...Frank I would look at Steg. There are quite 'clean'. Another might be Audison's VRx series but I have not had a long listen to them yet so will reserve a categorical verdict.
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Old 28th February 2009, 13:04   #4
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I would say making a new amp it is like Inventing the wheel. Majority of the amps all are the same schematic wise. All have DC-DC converter and a AB class amp in the second stage along with a pre-amp for the required filter. It is the design of the chassis, component used, Rating of the component used, Quality of output, control of the amp over the speaker are the few parameters which makes a amp good or bad.

In a good amp you will have a very huge power supply section which will be like 1.5 to 2 the times which is needed for the output stage. The Amp section will be underated so that it can play clean till the volume it is rated.

So end of day it is same as Gunbir said and Navin Ji say listen to the stuff and then buy.
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Old 28th February 2009, 15:49   #5
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this is not one of those frankmehta needs...... threads. lol! I am looking for more names here, that will add to the knowledge base and aid in helping people who like clean sound(like i do) :-)
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