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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:50 am 
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Location: windsor, ON, CA
I was with a friend in a buy and sell retail store a few days ago. He was looking for power amp. All the store had was Pro power amps. The store owner asked me "why not buy one of these, what's the difference between a home and a Pro power amp?". Stupid me. Brain freeze. I couldn't come up with an answer.

Does anyone have a simple answer to this question?

Embarrased,,,,Joe

PS. I know all about cooling, fans, built to run full power full blast 24/7. It is the sonic difference in question.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:18 am 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

A well designed and well built amplifier is indifferent to the end use. Bryston is the case in point. But there are some differences that result from 'expected use'. Parts selection is a big factor where an audiophile amp may have caps and other parts selected for 'reputed transparency' and a pro-amp may have parts selected for rugged applications. Heat dissipation is handled differently in the two types by design. Pro-amps are by necessity 'high current' types and can routinely handle resistance loads down to 2 ohms but many solid state audiophile amps are specified to a different brief. Naim built it's reputation on 'high current' designs starting with the NAP 250, and so, over a very long time frame, there is not much difference there. I once hooked a NAD 3020 (20 watts per side) up to pro-audio speakers (JBL) and the sound was huge. The little NAD probably couldn't do this for hours on end but it sure wanted to try - bless it's little heart.

Cosmetics counts a lot in expensive audiophile amps and boat anchor levels of steel and exotic metal machining abound. It's all irrelevant if you are blind but have sharp hearing. Class D is sweeping the pro-amp field - they are much lighter and run cooler. Lots of Magnepan fans swear by their selection of a pro-amp to power their systems as Maggies so like juice. Pro-amps are pretty much the dialectical apposite of your 3.5 watt 2A3 single ended tube amp pushing a 98 db single driver folded horn. But, to each their own.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:28 am 
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Location: Fairport Beach (in Pickering), ON, CA
Pro amps lack the ability to resolve detail. So in essence you'll only hear half of the music. Similar to going from low-fi to mid-fi, where the pro amp would be low-fi.

Having owned a Bryston 3B-St I wouldn't class that as hi-fi, but maybe better mid-fi. Owning speakers which can resolve the differences is also key.

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Collecting vintage tube Pilot (Pilotone) HiFi gear.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:47 am 
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Location: Repentigny, QC, CA
Hi, yes Bryston, no wanted to start a fire here about this, I had that in my mind about their pro sound.
some of the previous model had that signature forward, etc.

BUT to my dismay I sold an Audio Research LS2 preamp to a CAMMER that had a Bryston 3BSST
With very good Focal speakers, I could not believed sound from this set up, so it all about set-up.

But yes prosound is mainly for PA some are good sounding other only for blasting...
if you look at good old Crown DC300A,
Even very pro stuff like ATC P1 is very good for audiophile.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:04 am 
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Quote:
"Pro amps lack the ability to resolve detail. So in essence you'll only hear half of the music. Similar to going from low-fi to mid-fi, where the pro amp would be low-fi."

This is a touchy subject, as consumer market is very different from pro market.
That said, the amps you hear in IMAX installations are pro amps, and so are the amps used in all recording studios and live performances, that make music for those 95% lifeforms at the end of musical chain.
It takes actually owning and using such amps to appreciate the difference. Even at lower pricing end, some of them offer amazing value and just as amazing sound.
But then how exactly can you talk sense into people who are afraid of XLR and 1/4" connectors, not to mention the jumpers use?

P.S. Pro Bryston is (sort of) 7 and 14 series, the rest are strictly consumer lines, for those who want the name, not the sound.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:51 am 
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Tom-r should be more careful about spouting utter nonsense. "pro amps lack the ability to resolve detail..."

What a crock of bs.

A well designed and well-built amplifier is just that. It doesn't care what the application.

Since Bryston has already been mentioned in this forum, let's go with that. Can anyone deny that the 14BSST3 or the 28BSST3 are not of audiophile quality? They sound as good as just about any Class AB, solid-state amplifier that I have encountered and yes, they can do double duty and drive pro loudspeakers in a sound re-enforcement setting. I know because I used Brystons for over 20 years doing live sound. I also used a 4B in my home playback system for many years, eventually going back to tube gear which will always rule. IMHO

J.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:11 am 
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Pro amps dont necessarily have wide bandwidth. There are many amps designed for distributed audio or reinforcement that are rated on a "40hz - xx " basis. Your typical Bryston is flat and linear in the bottom octave and below.
These amps will not offer optimal hifi bottom end, but there are numerous pro amps that are designed as full range. This one instance the specs actually provide useful info.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:18 am 
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julesaudio wrote:
Pro amps dont necessarily have wide bandwidth. There are many amps designed for distributed audio or reinforcement that are rated on a "40hz - xx " basis. Your typical Bryston is flat and linear in the bottom octave and below.
These amps will not offer optimal hifi bottom end, but there are numerous pro amps that are designed as full range. This one instance the specs actually provide useful info.



What are you referring to as "full range"?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:19 am 
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Tom_r wrote:
Pro amps lack the ability to resolve detail. So in essence you'll only hear half of the music. Similar to going from low-fi to mid-fi, where the pro amp would be low-fi..


You may want to re think that statement, those tend to be unfounded generalizations.The Bryston is but one of many Pro amps that will compete head to head or even outclass an "audiophile" amplifier.

Give a listen to or better yet, a/b compare another Bryston model, a Crown Macro Reference, just about any MC Squared amp, Lab Gruppen, Yamaha, QSC to name a few.
If you keep an apples to apples comparison ie linear vs. linear or switching vs. switching, class a/ab vs. class a/ab, class d vs. class d, you just may be pleasantly surprised.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:42 am 
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deltaV wrote:
Quote:
"Pro amps lack the ability to resolve detail. So in essence you'll only hear half of the music. Similar to going from low-fi to mid-fi, where the pro amp would be low-fi."

This is a touchy subject, as consumer market is very different from pro market.
That said, the amps you hear in IMAX installations are pro amps, and so are the amps used in all recording studios and live performances, that make music for those 95% lifeforms at the end of musical chain.
It takes actually owning and using such amps to appreciate the difference. Even at lower pricing end, some of them offer amazing value and just as amazing sound.
But then how exactly can you talk sense into people who are afraid of XLR and 1/4" connectors, not to mention the jumpers use?

P.S. Pro Bryston is (sort of) 7 and 14 series, the rest are strictly consumer lines, for those who want the name, not the sound.



I would not typify the sound quality desired or achieved in any imax installation that I've had the displeasure to deal with..as being anything other than mediocre,at best.

I get what you are saying and possibly trying to say.

Pro applications are designed to not break, as a criteria above and beyond sound quality. Pro is curtailed in distortion qualities and purposely introduced limitations, in order to satisfy 24/7 extreme operational aspects. At least in the vast majority of all pro amps I've ever taken apart, opened up, or seen the schematics of. Which number in the hundreds.

the audio qualities I've heard from all of them, in my experience ranges from poor to abysmal. a few were mid-fi in level. The problem in my experience is complex component and signal handling LCR distortions ----- being mistaken for signal/detail.

The good (theater) systems I've heard....are carefully constructed from specific pro and high end audio gear and in high end environments....and have many aspects of being easily broken or blown up, if the people running it are hamfisted or illiterate in any way.

The acoustics of imax theaters and box theaters in my experience are abysmal and downright painful to suffer through.

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Last edited by Teo Audio on Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:52 am 
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aesthetics and application flexibility would be my guess


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:40 pm 
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There's lot of food here, but I don't have time for trolling these days; suum cuique.
Liquidity of cables is also a touchy subject; in such situations I find reviews for Denon AKDL1 quite useful.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:04 pm 
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All that should matter to most of us is that the piece of audio equipment we employ should process the voltage signal it is tasked with handling in a way that adds no errors in amplitude, frequency and phase that are at audible levels. If it does this, it matters not what badge it wears nor the Country of origin nor the purchase price nor the circuit topology used, nor anything else for, objectively it is functioning perfectly and should be enjoyed as such.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Lots of trouble with pro amps...

o They are ugly. Usually big logos. Odd colors. Industrial cases. My equipment has to be as pretty as I am.
o Super reliable. How the hell do you upgrade if the equipment never fails?
o No magic ingredients. No designer who lives on a mountain top. Just an engineering dept trying to sell large quantities.
o Typically run balanced. Single ended provides the analog warmth so many seek!
o No Class A designs. How can I fry bacon and listen at the same time?

A little tongue in cheek. As someone getting more and more into guitar amps. I find the pro shops a lot of fun.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:24 pm 
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Aside from the fact that the input and output connections can be different, Pro amps are supposed to be designed to handle the hostile environment of being on the road. Try take your home amp on tour and drive a PA with it. I would say the good ones are built stronger than the home stuff and yes they often have big unsightly logos. I would say they are designed the same as most so called audiophile amps... as good as they can for the price point they are willing to sell them for. If that means that some of the money goes to make it more solid than to make it sound good, then so be it. Some of the money for the home stuff goes to making it pretty as well.
In the end, like all other amps, you have to find the one that goes well with your speakers...pro or not.

-- 15 Feb 2018 22:30 --

You CAN fry bacon and eggs on a Bryston in a PA application. They can run hot!

Well eggs for sure, the grease might not be a good idea.

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