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In Reply to: RE: It's not a cop out! posted by gusser on March 22, 2017 at 17:01:42
Sorry, but it is a cop out. State of the art is just that, offering perfect results consistently, not results predicated on this, that and the other, or when the stars are aligned. How would anyone ever really know that the input parameters based on whatever conditions/assumptions are perfect, so as to render the output also perfect? Think about it. Even if you hit on the perfect, you would never know it.
Besides, you haven't "shown the state of the art" you've only claimed that it exists. Who's the arbiter on that conclusion? What is it based on? Let me guess; very low distortion numbers, right? So you're using your original proposition (namely that numbers rule) to prove that... numbers rule! I hope that the irony (not to mention fallacy) here is not lost on you.
Also, I never claimed that you listen primarily to mid priced receivers as I don't know what your system consists of. I merely said that if numbers is all that matters, then there are reasonably priced components with stellar distortion numbers that should provide state of the art performance on a 'beer budget'. Win-win for you! That's the logical conclusion to your argument, don't blame the messenger.
Edits: 03/22/17Follow Ups:
How did you come up with that? Nothing man made is perfect and never will be. Where I come from "state of the art" is the best you can do with modern tools, components and knowledge. And it keeps getting better but it will never be perfect.
I think you missed my point entirely. I didn't say an amp designed via simulation is perfect. I was attempting to show how sophisticated modern circuit design tools have become. That based on these endless claims here by people who do not even work in any electronics field claiming what we can and can't measure accurately these days.
It is a fact that the professional version of Spice programs can do this level of simulation. That's is to process a .wav of other audio file through a simulated circuit and "record" the output into another file for analysis.
Now who can design a better amplifier assuming comparable skill levels. Somebody soldering parts together and listening. Or someone armed with these tools?
BTW, I posted my "beer budget" system up top.
How did I come up with that you ask? Your previous post's entire theme, part of which I quoted above, is how advanced our capabilities have become both in measurements and simulation abilities that we can basically predict and/or measure anything we wish. You didn't explicitly state perfection, but you certainly implied at least near-perfection. So please don't backpedal now by saying that state of the art is just the best of our current knowledge base. It certainly is that, no argument here, but that is not the way you presented it.
Here's the thing now that you've somewhat clarified what it is the you're trying to say: I will agree with you in that we have the means to design proper circuits without much effort (assuming that one has the proper experience/knowledge on how to use the tools available). Since we are afforded this 'luxury' we should strive to properly engineer circuits to minimize all sorts of distortions. I am an advocate of this approach and that's what I strive for, to the best of my abilities of course.
However, certain topologies or class of audio electronics if you will, have hard limits (well sort of) on how far you can go in eliminating non-linearities while still sounding subjectively good - I Know I just lost you. And this is the whole point; measurements can often times sorta predict what we hear but at other times they fail and quite miserably so. The case of the SET is one such example. Once you properly design an SET amp by following the rules of good engineering practice, you're still left with quite a bit of distortion. The ear however doesn't hear it as such, well at least for some folks. You could design it with 3 or 4 stages using global and multiple local/nested feedback loops and get the distortion real low, but the sound will suffer.
I don't expect you to agree with this last part, but this is my experience - I simply can't deny the subjective, realizing full well that the objective portion is an integral part of designing electronics.
BTW, to clarify, I never called you system a beer budget one. I was trying to make a point about a high performance at a low cost system in the general sense.
You state that SE tube amps sound very good. And I have built a few myself albeit strapped Tetrodes, not the classic triodes. My experience was so-so. But I also did not have the right speakers or high quality SE OPTs.
But if such were true, where is the commercial application of SE triode amps today?
Why are they strictly a hobbyist curiousity these days? The classics were the WE theater amps of the 1930s. Yet today most commercial theaters use Crown or QSC. Why?
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