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Thread: Is Nelson Pass saying very limited future improvement in Amps/Pre Amps?

  1. #1

    Is Nelson Pass saying very limited future improvement in Amps/Pre Amps?

    https://www.stereophile.com/content/...nd-end-science

    Techies and Engineering types........Is this true?

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don C View Post
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/...nd-end-science

    Techies and Engineering types........Is this true?

    What are your thoughts?
    Very interesting comments on the different effect of second harmonic distortion on positive and negative phase of the signal - I would love to hear from other designers concerning this aspect.

    Except that nothing really new, but again he clearly refers to audiophile preference:

    In the end, the subjective experience is what our customer is looking for. Our taste in sound may not appeal to everyone, but it's what we have to work with, and we only need a small segment of the market to be successful.

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    I don't think he's pointing to no developments. Perhaps the issue of amplifier development is like traveling by plane across the US. Getting there in one piece is a settled thing. Amplfication is handled with audio much as staying airborne in a plane is handled. But that doesn't mean the trip can't be more comfortable, quieter and faster.

  4. #4
    I suspect that Nelson is refering to the seeming truth that equipment performance advancements, both objective and subjective, are becoming more and more slight. In mathematics there is concept known as an asymptote. An asymptote is a line that approaches another line an progressively decreasingly manner, so that the two lines never actually meet. Speaking for myself, this seems to be occuring in audio equipment performance. Performance improvements appear to be in the realm of rapidly diminishing returns, increasingly minute in magnitude - while increasingly large in cost, by the way.

    The bigger question is how close are we to achieving convincingly live sounding reproduction? In other words, if, as Nelson seems to be suggesting, we are nearing an audio equipment performance asymptote (which is a product of present technology), is that approaching asymptote near or relatively still far from the objective of convincingly live sounding reproduction? If it is relatively still far, one conclusion is that convincingly live reproduction will require an paradigm shift in technology, or technical approach, giving a new advancement line who's asymptote comes much nearer to the goal of convincingly live reproduction.

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    Addicted to Best! PeterA's Avatar
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    I once tried to ask how close people think we are with reproduced music. Some thought 5% like the real thing, others closer to 80-90%. It is all over the map and totally subjective. Would anyone blindfolded ever be able to confuse reproduced music with live music? If the answer is "no", does that mean that there is a huge gap in the difference, or that they sound very much alike, just slightly different enough to know which is which.

    It is sort of like watching a good TV. Never do I think I am looking at real explosions or small actual people talking in front of me in my TV room. However, it is very easy for me to get lost into what I am watching, forget that it is all artificial, and simply immerse myself in the story telling experience and visual spectacle. It is the same with good music reproduced on a good system.

    For either of these experiences to become more convincing and at the point of being indistinguishable from the real thing, on a subjective level, a real paradigm shift in technology will have to occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I once tried to ask how close people think we are with reproduced music. Some thought 5% like the real thing, others closer to 80-90%. It is all over the map and totally subjective........................................ .................
    I would think that it's closer to 5% than to 80%. But any improvements will come in transducers (mics & speakers), rooms and recording techniques.
    Kevin

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    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! rockitman's Avatar
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    I think he's right. All the best basic topologies have been out for decades. Everyone is just tweaking, adding their own special sauce....save for Class D which I suppose is relatively new compared to SE, Push/Pull class A and Class AB switching amps.
    Christian

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    As in technology or software advances become increasingly hard to come by;the technology is mature. Speaker management and digital seem to be still fertile ground.
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    The recordings are becoming the biggest obstacles if you ask me.

    We see new stuff, but revolutionary we don't. However I wouldn't proclaim that you shouldn't expect to see new and exciting things. The tougher the circumstances, oftrn the better the innovation.
    Industry Affiliation: Folsom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don C View Post
    Techies and Engineering types........Is this true?
    I like Nelson's approach - simplicity, finesse rather than brute-force numbers of transistors. But what did he mean by

    The objective needs of amplifier users are largely solved on a practical level...

    I wonder? I don't see that a cheaper, better sounding amp will not be appreciated by users.

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