Harmonic characteristics of the larger amps
[Yep, this blog was down yesterday morning – have no idea why except that it was not us who were responsible. One of the few times these days where I can pt fingers at someone else for a change! :-)]
Here is where we are currently with the dynamic side of things…
// MICRO < - less .... more ->
Soulution – McIntosh – BAT – CAT – VTL – ARC – Pass – Boulder – Krell – FM Acoustics – Spectral – Halcro – Vitus – MBL – Ayre – Sanders – Goldmund – Edge (early NL series)
// MIDI < - less .... more ->
VTL – BAT – CAT – ARC – McIntosh -Vitus – Edge – Sanders – Goldmund – FM Acoustics – Pass – Ayre – MBL – Spectral – Halcro -Krell – Soulution – Boulder
// MACRO < - less .... more ->
Spectral – Vitus – Edge – Ayre – Pass – CAT – Halcro – Sanders – Goldmund? – FM Acoustics – MBL – McIntosh – Krell – Soulution – ARC – Boulder – BAT – VTL
Let’s look at harmonics. We might want to think about this by looking a several aspects of harmonics: about harmonic color, purity and resolution? Guess I am kind of assuming that the amps are tonally accurate, otherwise… otherwise they probably shouldn’t even be on the list? Are all these amps really tonally accurate up and down the frequency spectrum?
Harmonic Color: amount of harmonics (opposite of ‘lean sounding’):
// COLOR < - less .... more -> FIRST PASS at this list – there WILL BE CHANGES
Krell – VTL – ARC – FM Acoustics – Pass – Boulder – Vitus – CAT – BAT – Soulution – Halcro – Goldmund – Spectral Sanders – Edge – Ayre – MBL – McIntosh
Harmonic Purity: lack of contamination of fundamental harmonic with other odd and bizarre harmonics (i.e. a tuning fork compared to a steel barrel – they might both primarily resonate at the same harmonic, but… one is purer than the other). I think solid-state amps do better here than many of the tube amps – which are often all over the place w/r to harmonics.
// PURITY < - less .... more -> FIRST PASS at this list – there WILL BE CHANGES
VTL – ARC – McIntosh – BAT – CAT – Krell – Pass – Boulder – Soulution – FM Acoustics- Halcro – Vitus – Goldmund – Spectral – Sanders – Edge – Ayre – MBL
Harmonic Resolution: amount of subtleties in the harmonic – most real instruments, like a pluck on a guitar or striking of a piano, have lots of things going on besides the harmonic (and its fundamentals) at one single freq of the note.
From Wikipedia: “The untrained human ear typically does not perceive harmonics as separate notes. Instead, they are perceived as the timbre of the tone. Bells have more clearly perceptible partials than most instruments. Antique singing bowls are well known for their unique quality of producing multiple harmonic partials or multiphonics”
// HARMONIC RESOLUTION (detail) < - less .... more -> FIRST PASS at this list – there WILL BE CHANGES
OK. So what do you think?