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Bryston+BW or high end monitors?? Studio Amplifiers
Old 14th March 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
Bryston+BW or high end monitors??

A high end PMC or Dynaudio pair of monitors would cost approx the same as the followimng:

BW 800D3 (Canadian $$)

With A Bryston Power amp

If at year end, you have an urgent need to spend and buy someting great for your control/mixing/mastering/whatever room would you go with the PMC/Dynaudio pair or with the Bryston/BW?

What would be the advantage of each? Would the Bryston/BW be as transparent as a top quality pair of monitors at similar price?

Thank

Dan

Last edited by DanTheMan06; 14th March 2019 at 04:14 AM.. Reason: Typo in title
Old 15th March 2019
  #2
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mekanik's Avatar
 

For about 5 grand on speakers and 5 grand on amps you could get the same or better sound than the best studio monitor shizzle imo.

You could just as well not get 36k b&w speakers but instead get like 5-10k ones (even small ones on stands) and a NAD/Rotel stuff (dont get digital ****, it will ruin the sound), top it off with a JBL pro / PHL / B&C (not as good as the other 2)/ Electrovoice 18 incher in a big (200 liter or so) bass reflex cabinet and a 2 or 3 way active x-over and maybe even a behringer amp (they are all copys of really good stuff like qsc). and it will not get better imo.

bryston is overkill imo and so is the most expensive b&w's. you could just as well get the good monitor sized B&W whatever they now cost. but I doubt its over 5-6 grand. then you get killer top end. and then follow up with an 18 inch pa sub up to like 100hz or so. or get several long throw smaller, like 10 inch or so woofers. 1 15 inch is the same as 2 10 inch. and 1 18 inch is the same as 2 12 inch. talking cone area. distortion grows with xmax. if you want the best and can afford it get jbl or phl. done.

one thing i have noticed with "studio monitors" is that they have built in limiters (since they have built in amps and its supposed to work like a system). so even if you run these through a x-over they will not play louder since the limiter tells them to only allow x amount of db through.

now with all separate parts and especially high end part like the ones you are asking about you can play as loud as you want, its just that the distortion goes up the louder you play. I prefer separate parts myself since you can overdrive them if you want. the limiting factors are the power supplied and how much juice the speakers can take, and this is of course flexible depending on how much distortion you can handle.

**** studio monitors imo.
Old 15th March 2019
  #3
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Also the b&w speakers. whichever you get above lets say 3-4 grand or so will probably sound much better than most recommended monitors recommended here. I think they have been doing this for 50 years or more.

one thing that you should do is separate the bass system from the mains though. otherwise you have no control.
Old 15th March 2019
  #4
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before you sink lots of money on a bryston amp, do yourself a favor and compare it to a modern power amp from either powersoft or lab gruppen (with or without dsp) - you might be surprised...
Old 15th March 2019
  #5
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this would be a very good system:
B&C Speakers


or

http://www.phlaudio.com/products/?no...3a11f1ece92cc7

with

or the 804 (i personally think its overkill but still)


top it up with amp and x-overs of your choice. and done!
I personally wouldn't spend more than 3-4 grand om amps and filter for this. most likely only like 2. because you will not hear the difference anyway.

or you could get this whizz bang new unproven monitor thats like 2 milk jugs big and claiming 140 db all over the spectrum (good luck with that).
Old 16th March 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
before you sink lots of money on a bryston amp, do yourself a favor and compare it to a modern power amp from either powersoft or lab gruppen (with or without dsp) - you might be surprised...
lab-gruppen is probably the best maker of pwm amps.

I personally however would not ever use pwm for the mids/highs. because i can actually hear it degrading my sound compared to class a/b by a large margin, so a/b only for me except for bass where you cant hear this anyway. and to be honest you only need like 100-300w anyway for everything except bass. so why get subpar technology for this range?

imo mid/treble - class a/b amps
bass - whatever you want. class d is cheaper per watt for several 1000 watt systems. but if you go for a big 18 inch woofer. you only need like 2-350w anyway to make it bottom out/reach x-max/x-mech. this is very easily simulated.

beacuse thats how it works. you put a big woofer in a big box, and then you dont need much amplification since the size of the box and the parameters of the woofer does the job for you. aka physics.

I actally have an unused B&C 18ps100. and I think i need a 225liter box for it but then i can have 115db or so at like 35hz. and 125db or so at 100hz. with only 250-300w or so input.

all big Pa woofers work similar and jbl/phl will be better and most likely also Electrovoice.
Old 16th March 2019
  #7
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The B&W 800D3 + Bryston amps is a classic studio orchestral setup. It is good. Technically (despite the numbers shown which are -10dB number not studio -3 dB numbers), you'll need subwoofers to go all the way down to 20Hz for a control room.

However, there's a lot of markup for consumers to buy these speakers and amps (that's what you are seeing in the price.) And at these prices, there are lots of active studio speakers also in your option list for less.

But the B&W 800 plus Bryston amps have been a main stay for tracking rooms and mastering rooms for over 20 years. I don't know how satisfying they would be for those who are not working in orchestral or film scoring, so whether it fits your studio needs is up to you. Over the years, I've blown more than a few 800 (N and D models) woofers.

(and if you are paying the consumer prices shown for these B&W and Brystons, you'll get much more of a speaker from PMC, ATC, Augspurger, or OceanWay. I wouldn't even consider Dynaudio because the M series is so long in the tooth at this point -- which is the closest competitor. If you have access to professional pricing you'll see a much more reasonable and competitive price from B&W and Bryston.)
Old 16th March 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mekanik View Post
lab-gruppen is probably the best maker of pwm amps.

I personally however would not ever use pwm for the mids/highs. because i can actually hear it degrading my sound compared to class a/b by a large margin, so a/b only for me except for bass where you cant hear this anyway. and to be honest you only need like 100-300w anyway for everything except bass. so why get subpar technology for this range?

imo mid/treble - class a/b amps
bass - whatever you want. class d is cheaper per watt for several 1000 watt systems. but if you go for a big 18 inch woofer. you only need like 2-350w anyway to make it bottom out/reach x-max/x-mech. this is very easily simulated.

beacuse thats how it works. you put a big woofer in a big box, and then you dont need much amplification since the size of the box and the parameters of the woofer does the job for you. aka physics.

I actally have an unused B&C 18ps100. and I think i need a 225liter box for it but then i can have 115db or so at like 35hz. and 125db or so at 100hz. with only 250-300w or so input.

all big Pa woofers work similar and jbl/phl will be better and most likely also Electrovoice.
fair point regarding class a/b amps - for my taste/needs, their quality gets outweighted by the pwm amp's dsp though.

i like the lab gruppen amps a lot, but mainly due to the built-in lake processing; some powersoft amps even measure (and imo sound) better than the labs, especially when driving speakers at 4 or even 2ohms.

cannot agree on your view of subs for live sound: big woofers in big boxes? yes. not much amplification? no way! see clair cp-218 and check specs of powersoft k20 and lap plm20k... - power and levels needed for live sr are north of anything you'll ever experience in any studio!
Old 16th March 2019
  #9
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I question the need for anyone to have the need to go down to 20hz!

My own subs go down to 1 singe fukking hz! no ****. And iirc they will play 5hz at 105-110db spl or so (it was a long time ago i simulated them, i just knew i had the best **** there was on earth right there and then and was satisfied with that fact pretty much).

I have not had to use for that low freq capability (around 20hz) any single time!!

My woofers are 2x10 inches and they have a stroke of about 60mm or so (not one-way of course, i think).

since 0-20hz spectrum qualifies as noise, low frequency noise, there is no need to hear this **** imo. no one can hear it. unless you are into submarine movies and even then its highly questionable if they actually put infrasound on the actual movies.. its most likely 35hz or so at lowest.

You actually start hearing sound at about 40-45hz or so and whats below that is only "vibrations". usually its distortion from any of the parts in the system such as box/membrane/surround/cables/isolation/connectors and so on, or the recording. or that someone had a much narrower bandwidth system to mix/master on (no sub) and didnt hear the rumble and then sent it off for printing basically.



its highly unprofessional to release stuff (music) that contains spectra under like 30-40hz. since no customers will ever be able to hear it and it will be stressing the customers speakers to the max. since if you half the frequency of a tone played by a speaker while maintaining the same spl, the excursion of the woofer will have to quadruple to maintain the spl. physics, again.

If the speakers are busy playing really loud infrasonics then there is no space for anything else since all its excursion is already used up. and since you cant hear infra sound. then its simply wasted capacity imo. idiocracy.

and its highly unpro for music makers to send out stuff for mixing/mastering that contains stuff under 40hz. then they basically have no clue at all.

i personally can play **** down to 1hz at a good spl but very very few people/consumers can. and its just totally wasted. maybe 0,001% of end users can.


----------------

imo if someone want a kick ass system i would definitely go with 1 or 2 PA 18 inchers, from one of the good 5 or so makers. put in maybe a 150-300 liter bass reflex boxes/per bass depending on parameters of the driver. it will most likely be 200-250l per bass if you want good range down low no matter what maker and parameters..

and if you look at a simulation of this you will find that none of these systems will output much around 20hz. and that would be correct. since they are designed to output actual sound! so they actually design the drivers to only output down to maybe 35-40hz. Because they are actual scientists and engineers that know how human hearing works that make these things.

--------

yeah sorry I'm getting kinda drunk here now but I just wanted you guys to know that "20hz" means jack **** in reality! and most likely it will mean that the product is crap instead; since they prioritized this crap infra-spectrum instead of making stuff good above 40hz. And 40 to 20hz is one octave, and that means 4X the xmax required!
going from 40 to 20 hz requires. 4x the power and 4x the xmax, for a given spl. this is how it works. its the same with rpm of engines. double the rpm 4x the power needed.
and in this case you cant even hear it!

are you getting it now??
Old 16th March 2019
  #10
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mekanik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
fair point regarding class a/b amps - for my taste/needs, their quality gets outweighted by the pwm amp's dsp though.

i like the lab gruppen amps a lot, but mainly due to the built-in lake processing; some powersoft amps even measure (and imo sound) better than the labs, especially when driving speakers at 4 or even 2ohms.

cannot agree on your view of subs for live sound: big woofers in big boxes? yes. not much amplification? no way! see clair cp-218 and check specs of powersoft k20 and lap plm20k... - power and levels needed for live sr are north of anything you'll ever experience in any studio!

ok regarding your first comment. you should try plugging in you tops to an a/b amp. you may not hear the difference right away. but you will definitely hear it over a day.

the way i noticed this in the first place was this: with my a/b amp music got better the louder i played (even though distortion increased)

but with my class d stuff it just got louder after a certain point kinda. you know that point where i was expecting in to get louder and soun ding better just because its better.

a/b basically got better the louder i played but d only got better to a certain (much lower point) then it simply got louder.

it was a very big let down for me.

-------------

regarding big woofer in big boxes. All PA woofers are made to work in biggish boxes. all parameters are made for this. the bigger the box is the more you rely on the box to amplify and the less you rely on amplifiction. but you need to design the driver for this obviously.

you can use more smaller drivers to get the same spl but it will usually require more watts. and the drivers will have to have longer xmax to do this, and the longer the xmax the higher the distortion.

*iirc a jbl 18 inch pro will only have like 1-2% thd at 123db or so at 50hz or so. wheras usual 10 inchers that has long stroke will have maybe 10x higher.

This is not an absolute fact though it only "general". since if you design the magnet/voice coil system and cone surround and spider well. you can beat this. but usually at a much much higher cost, like 100-200% per db spl.

a usual small monitor speaker like the b&w's maybe need 150w at most to max out. and maybe an 18 incher needs like 300-350w (but usually lower) to max out. so imo there is no need for multi 1000w amps. and if there is no need for multi 1000w then there is no need for class d.

I have been running my 2 10 inchers (60mm stroke) from my behringer ep1500. for about 2 years now. I think it delivers 200-250w/chan 8 ohm.
it has a fan that it needs to cool down. I have disabled this fan since it sounds like a jet fighter taking off. and not even once has this amp ever shut down for high temp. and that means I'm not using it to the max.

And even if i set my mixer to max; 22dbu or so; it will not shut down.
At most i have seen a maybe 40mm excusion max. 20mm to go. and then its so loud I would be evicted if my land lord was even close to home.

you need a lot less powert than you think imo.

my subs max out at maybe 250-300w too. even though these are small and long throw instead of big and short throw. because i have built the boxes for this. they will produce an xmax of 60mm at 25hz or so at 300w input power. and yes they can probably take 2kw at 150hz. but what does that that really mean. nada.
Old 16th March 2019
  #11
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mekanik's Avatar
 

The actual speakers is where its at imo.

get good proven tops and good 15-18 inchers down low.

done!

you can probably drive this with 2 good 40watters if you wanted to. I have done it myself.
Old 25th March 2019
  #12
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by mekanik View Post
get several long throw smaller, like 10 inch or so woofers. 1 15 inch is the same as 2 10 inch. and 1 18 inch is the same as 2 12 inch. talking cone area. distortion grows with xmax.
What do you mean by ''xmax''? Does it means that long throw speakers will produce more distorsion or speakers of larger diameter will produce more distorsion?

Generally speaking, do you think that an array of smaller speaker will produce less distorsion at some volume?

Thank you

Dan
Old 25th March 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
Do not like/trust class D

Quote:
Originally Posted by mekanik View Post
lab-gruppen is probably the best maker of pwm amps.

I personally however would not ever use pwm for the mids/highs. because i can actually hear it degrading my sound compared to class a/b by a large margin, so a/b only for me except for bass where you cant hear this anyway. and to be honest you only need like 100-300w anyway for everything except bass. so why get subpar technology for this range?
I dont know labgrupen and I will check their products. It is only recently that PWM amp (class D) are good enought as amp for bass players. I would not trust pwm amps for mid or treble neither.

Dan
Old 25th March 2019
  #14
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
you'll get much more of a speaker from PMC, ATC, Augspurger, or OceanWay.
Thank you I will look at these. I dont know Augspurger or OceanWay.

Dan
Old 25th March 2019
  #15
Gear Nut
Your answers are very helpful and I have to learn more before I buy my high-end speakers/monitors. They will be used for a variety of task , mastering to casual listening, in a well damped room.

Here are some of the reasons why I assumed (seems that I am wrong) that top-end monitors had to be better:

Hi-fi system are supposed to ''sound very good'' to most guys whith enough money to buy. Studio equipement like high-end reference monitors are supposed to be (in my ideal world...) Flat, fast, without coloration or distorsion, no box vibration, without phase issues, if possible without white noise. Also the low fequency should extend to 30 hz at least. Remember that 31Hz is the frequency for the low string on a five string bass and the lowest on a piano (rarely used i know...) is 28 Hz.

In my mind the tolerance for high-end studio monitors should be more stringent. If a rich guy enjoys some coloration from his hi-fi passive system it is his taste after all. It wouldn't be my choice for top-end studio monitor.

Flatness (in well damped room) and phase issues are important to me. I bought some hi-fi systems for home in the past and I found the room has a significant impact on the frequency response. For this reason speakers are a bit tricky to shop and one need to be experienced enough to trust his ears at the dealear's place. Of course it is possible to EQ but why not buying a flat one to start with? Are hi-end monitors build (EQ)to be flat in a damped room?

For the phase issues, I suspect it is a cause of ear fatigue. I suspect that you are more likely to get phase issues at cross-over frequencies. In hi-end monitors the amplifiers are designed to work with specifics speakers. Don't you think the manufacturer will take care of it and make sure there are no phase issues?

For the low frequency extension, in a passive system you will need a big box. In a monitor, with a separate power amp for the low-end, you just need to push more power and if your speaker is designed for it you will get the low frequency (30hz) extenson.

With all these in mind, how could a BW 804D with a cheaper alternative than the Bryston power amp be a better option than a high end pair of monitors?

Thank you for your explainations

Dan
Old 25th March 2019
  #16
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Dan, something that hasn’t come up in the discussion yet is the enormous influence your room will have on low end extension. Low frequency wavelengths are quite long. Without adequate size and trapping, you’ll never hear the very lows even with a system capable of reproducing them in free-field response.

What kind of room situation are you looking to place the system in? How big? (Dimensions would be helpful.) And, to what main use? Critical mixing, mastering, high-end home theatre? All have differing demands. A little more info would help to make a recommendation that will be valid for you, as opposed to just general “this is good, this sucks” kind of stuff.
Old 25th March 2019
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
Low frequency wavelengths are quite long. Without adequate size and trapping, you’ll never hear the very lows even with a system capable of reproducing them in free-field response.
I will be in a room of approx 20 feet long with a lot of damping. 20 feet is about half a wavelength at 30 hz. So I think I will be Ok. I will do critical mixing and mastering but also casual listening of good orchestral music when not working on audio file!
Old 25th March 2019
  #18
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So your primary question is whether a pair of passive speakers with an external power amp is superior or inferior to a pair of active monitors of the same approximate price? Profoundly difficult to answer. What is your budget for the system? And do you have a target ideal system that you’ve actually heard and loved, regardless of budget? That will help define your personal preferences and aid in a worthwhile recommendation.
Old 25th March 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTheMan06 View Post
A high end PMC or Dynaudio pair of monitors would cost approx the same as the followimng:

BW 800D3 (Canadian $$)

With A Bryston Power amp

If at year end, you have an urgent need to spend and buy someting great for your control/mixing/mastering/whatever room would you go with the PMC/Dynaudio pair or with the Bryston/BW?

What would be the advantage of each? Would the Bryston/BW be as transparent as a top quality pair of monitors at similar price?

Thank

Dan
Hello,
By example, you could compared Dynaudio confidence c1 and a Dynaudio air 20. The two was sold at the same price.

B&W surely a good speaker, very used in mastering. But if you paid your speaker, the precious wood increase the price and is not a sound improvement.

So with high end speakers, a great part of the price is due to the decoration and the margin of the audiophile dealer.

For bryston, this is no better or no bad like numerous power amp.
Generally the bw are coupled with classe audio.
Old 25th March 2019
  #20
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B&W 800/802 were paired with Classé because they shared the same distributor (who would often sell them as a massively discounted package deal). There isn’t anything special about that pairing (also nothing bad, but just wanted to clarify why you see this)
Old 25th March 2019
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
B&W 800/802 were paired with Classé because they shared the same distributor (who would often sell them as a massively discounted package deal). There isn’t anything special about that pairing (also nothing bad, but just wanted to clarify why you see this)
But the ME in studio will be under the influence?

I never understand this focus on bryston. If the brystons had the shape of a cheap beringher with the bryston sound, nobody pay attention to bryston (power amp)

bryston manufactures speakers. Why not?
Old 25th March 2019
  #22
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As a 4B owner, I respectfully but completely disagree with your characterization of the sound as on a par with Behringer or other non-premium brands. Along with my Hafler 9505 and Crown Reference, I chose to spend my money on the Bryston after careful auditioning and contemplation. Unless you’ve gone through the same process and reached the opinion you’ve put forth based on actual experience and not the postings of others on forums like this who may never actually spent any time with the equipment being discussed, I question the validity of your comment. If you have actually done the work firsthand, I still disagree with your conclusion, based on my experience.
Old 26th March 2019
  #23
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
And do you have a target ideal system that you’ve actually heard and loved, regardless of budget? That will help define your personal preferences and aid in a worthwhile recommendation.
.I heard Tannoy Kensington at an audio shop...very nice...My brother has Sonus Faber speaker with great tone, do not rememeber wich amp but it is high end. At home I have a McIntosh integrated tube amp MA2275 with Tannoy C-88 Coronet. I may eventually get other speakers for the Mac.

I like the solid state Mcintosh monoblocs (but way too expensive!!) and think that with either prestige line Tannoy like the Kensington or some Sonus Faber Opera I would have great tone. I heard some Bryston amp some time ago and was favorably impressed. I would prefer Bryston to solid state Mac as I would get more for my $$$. But all this is HI-FI...I dont know how good it would be for mastering...this is the issue

I think that the large concentric Tannoy need a well controlled bass. A Bryston will do the job. I have to admit that I dont know well the Bower-Wilkins but I heard a lot of good things about these. My current budget would allow for a Bryston 3B3 and a used BW 804D. I may just buy the Bryston, used my old JBL for now and buy better BW speakers next year.
Old 26th March 2019
  #24
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I don’t think this has come up yet - what is your budget for the system?
Old 26th March 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
As a 4B owner, I respectfully but completely disagree with your characterization of the sound as on a par with Behringer or other non-premium brands. Along with my Hafler 9505 and Crown Reference, I chose to spend my money on the Bryston after careful auditioning and contemplation. Unless you’ve gone through the same process and reached the opinion you’ve put forth based on actual experience and not the postings of others on forums like this who may never actually spent any time with the equipment being discussed, I question the validity of your comment. If you have actually done the work firsthand, I still disagree with your conclusion, based on my experience.
The business are invaded by the audiophile mentality. Sad time.
Old 26th March 2019
  #26
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Again, your evidence?
Still waiting on something substantive.

Not an audiophile, just an experienced engineer with decades of experience, a discerning set of ears and good taste.
Old 26th March 2019
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
Again, your evidence?
Still waiting on something substantive.

Not an audiophile, just an experienced engineer with decades of experience and good taste.
You succeeded abx and you can proove it?

Experience engineers or the authority's argument.
Old 26th March 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
But the ME in studio will be under the influence?
I think it is long enough that I can say this but I was offered >70% discount on 802D or 800D with Classe. From the B&W distributor and this was a standard deal for those working at a professional level. So $7k per channel for what was sold to everyone else at +$20k. That's where "consumers" and those lower on the totem pole get screwed with delusion. Bought 10 for studios at the time (16 in total for our facility.) Like AR, we pay a fraction and B&W use us for advertising (not even a featured story but just a mention.)

You don't think an ME (or major studio like AR) isn't influenced by that kind of discount? I mean, Bob Katz traded in his Revels (I'm sure gifted) for Dynaudio M5P Evidence at $60k. Which I'm sure he also didn't pay for. Does it matter to anyone worth their salt if they trade one full range speaker for another -- not really; ear and experience do the work. Do all the acolytes not understand this, absolutely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
I never understand this focus on bryston. If the brystons had the shape of a cheap beringher with the bryston sound, nobody pay attention to bryston (power amp)

bryston manufactures speakers. Why not?
The good thing about Bryston is their warranty. They are built very resiliently. And that may cost money. And the 20 year warranty must cost money. Behringer won't offer something like that. So your comparison is invalid -- if Behriniger offered the same build quality and warranty, they would charge more. Only a small fraction is probably the brand on the front. But at the end of the day (as has been proven) the biggest factor of amps (once it isn't a poorly constructed one) is the power reserve.

Last edited by pentagon; 26th March 2019 at 06:22 PM..
Old 26th March 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
You succeeded abx and you can proove it?

Experience engineers or the authority's argument.
Took a look at your history on the forum and found nothing but a long string of trolling posts with absolutely no expertise evident behind them.

Go back under your bridge, sonny. The adults are talking here. Or, even better, contribute something of worth to the discussion, backed by facts and experience. Differing valid viewpoints can be tremendously useful in a thread. But not the junk you’re currently offering. Do better, please.
Old 26th March 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
Took a look at your history on the forum and found nothing but a long string of trolling posts with absolutely no expertise evident behind them.

Go back under your bridge, sonny. The adults are talking here. Or, even better, contribute something of worth to the discussion, backed by facts and experience. Differing valid viewpoints can be tremendously useful in a thread. But not the junk you’re currently offering. Do better, please.
The word troll is usually used when there are nothing to opposite, the new insult.
The forums are became an exposure of ego as "Me mister i have the taste...."
A power amp is an amplifier of tension. Not a cello concerto.

Taste vin.
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