The quality of power amp matters?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by swanmusic, May 29, 2006.

  1. swanmusic

    swanmusic Guest

    I was looking into getting passive monitors. I would need an amp for them. Does the quality of amp have any effect on the monitors?
  2. Robak

    Robak Active Member

    Mar 10, 2006
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I agree with Robak's short answer, but let me add a longer wishy-washy extension. Unlike things like microphones and preamps, all power amps have the same design goal: perfect linear amplification of the input signal. (Yes, this is a simplification that ignores considerations like the impedance that the input and output devices see, but it's pretty good for a start.) Now, all "good" power amps meet that goal "pretty well" in some portion of their operating range. (Note that the definition of a "good" power amp depends on your definition of "pretty well.") Now, my definition of "pretty well" means "almost impossible to hear". So to my mind, all "good" amps have a range where they all sound the same and that's where I want to operate them. The big difference is in the size of that range and how they sound once they get outside it. In practice, many can't afford amps that will handle every transient linearly, so we spend some time outside the range where the amps sound the same. I we were comparing high end amps with great specs and a ton of power, I doubt that I could hear the difference between them at SPL levels that I'd care to listen to.

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