jake wrote:Specs are for suckers
Well, failing to look at those aspects which determine performance might be for suckers.......but one can't really blame the innocent for being misled in such things, there's a whole machine which was geared to churn out the propaganda which leads one to evaluate amps on an incomplete set of parameters, for example. And it's not just amps which that could be said to apply to in audiophillia.
If one is designing the things, or setting out to determine what's really going on, it seems fathomable enough if one digs hard.
raphealmabo wrote:In the perfect world, an amp should just add gain to the signal without adding or withdraw anything
I don't disagree, but it illustrates what I mean here. Because 'gain' conventionally is taken to mean 'voltage gain' and the power amp 'problem' is thought of in perfect voltage amplifier terms. Rather than in transconductance terms. The very very early audio amplifiers addressed this issue, and it all got lost somewhere in the 1940s AFAIK.
Speakers are ultimately motors, current operated solenoid coils where motive force is proportional to current. A big clue is that the unit of magnetomotiveforce is the amp or amp-turn ! But conventionally, speakers are voltage driven as though they are resistors - indeed even designed to try to behave like that. But it ain't natural.....and the whole scene has non-ideals that aren't even discussed. There are a few power amp designers, not least Mr Pass who have published perspectives on this. It's as much an issue with post 1940s speakers as power amps - the path the industry took.