Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
what nay-sayers typically do is finally get into the action when no one is looking, and they keep quiet about their conversion and hope that nobody calls them out.
Rest assured that all of the laserdisc fans where were nay-sayers with the advent of DVD "because they didn't want to buy their movie collections all over again" have probably not spun a 12" platter in years, and have more DVDs than they over owned on LD. The naysayers that said "16x9 anamorphic isn't worth it to me because I plan to keep my 4x3 TV" now all have 16x9 HDTVs and get ****ed when a non-anamorphic DVD on their shelf turns out to be the only way the studio made the film available. The HD DVD enthusiasts who believed that 30 gigs were good enough, that we didn't really need lossless audio and that they'd just enjoy DVD if Blu-ray won out are now collecting blu-ray discs, many of which put 50gigs to very good use.
With time all of the folks complaining that 3-D is a gimmick and a fad will slowly come around once they experience good 3-D, and in just a few years time they'll be enjoying countless 3-D programs on their 3-D display.
Don't I know it!!
Back in the mid 1960s, everybody, and I mean everybody, told me that the McIntosh 275 and Marantz Model 9s were the end all, be all of audio, equipment to strive for owning, then sit back, satisfied.
Well, I worked for a high end audio store and was not satisfied with the sound, and I had loads of speakers to listen to. I felt those amps ran out of gas. I owned the entire Marantz line, the Model 9s, the 10B tuner, the preamp, the straight line tracking turntable.
I thought the bass was "tubby" and indistinct - a bass drum just "boomed", did not sound like a real bass drum was in front of me. After listening to many amps, I notices that the sound did get better as power went up, all else being about equal, and the McIntosh and Marantz amps were the most powerful consumer amps, the model 9s having an edge being separate mono amps. I also know that our ears can compensate a bit and can fool us into complacency, into accepting inferior reproduction of sound, unless we have something to compare directly.
I was living with Bob Carver at the time; he had a TV repair business, University Television, and had been building small, 30 watt per channel amps for many years, since he was about 12, and he was about 24 in 1966, when I came to the conclusion that amps needed more power, and not just a bit more, not an "evolutionary" amount. I concluded that, from listening and knowing the 3Db rule of power vs. apparent loudness, that several times more power was needed. Bob thought I was nuts and insisted on building me a 30 watt/channel amp. He even wrote out a parts list for me.
Well, I took that parts list and bought the biggest version of those parts, four !2AX7 tubes (as I recall) became eight 6550s, the tiny power transformer became a 97 pounder. Small electrolytic power supply caps became huge Sangamo caps, etc. And one small chassis became three large chassis due to the weight and "real estate".
Then I placed the parts of the living room floor, and when Bob walked in, I said, "Well Bob, here are the parts I chose, and if you insist on making it 30 watts/channel, I think that would be a waste of these parts." Bob immediately got excited, put his TV repair business on hold, and we built the largest consumer stereo music quality amplifier on earth, with several times more watts than any other.
Then we hauled it to the hi fi store I worked at. We first listened to a few records using the McIntosh 275 and the Electrovoice Patrician speakers, which had a 30" woofer and was considered a high end speaker. Then we unhooked the McIntosh and listened to my amp. The difference didn't need any double blind testing. For the first time, the real character of a bass drum could be heard, the initial impact, the "slap" of the drumstick upon the leather - it was like listening to a real bass drum reproduced for the first time. No more muddiness. And, for the first time, the speakers "came alive" with rich realistic sound. We also hooked it up to the best JBL speakers, same huge difference in sound.
Needless to say, Bob became excited, told me he was going to build amps as a business. He wanted to build a transistor version as he believed that the tub version would be too heavy and expensive. Bob believed that amps cost too much, he wanted people to be able to afford his amps, if possible. We discussed a name, Bob came up with "Phase Linear", which I liked, too.
Transistor amps were being built, but they were anemic. He waited a year or so, until the big power transistors came down in price from around $50.00 each to about $4.00 each. He collected some experts on transistor design and collaborated. The Phase Linear 700 was the result, with at least 700 watts RMS.
At first the audio world was shocked, and the nay sayers spouted their nonsense, ridiculing the amount of power, without ever listening to the amplifier.
Bob sent Audio magazine a sample, and Julian Hirsch did a review. He had the grace to admit that he had been wrong all those years about "power needed", and that it was an artifice. He said that even Horowitz at the piano, at a realistic listening level, wound up needing all that power, which amazed him. So he had never even listened to Horowitz and really heard it, and he said so.
After that review, sales skyrocketed, and, as you say, naysayers waited for memories of their words to fade, then bought a Phase Linear, or, if they waited longer, a Crown or other amplifier whose power was close to that of the Phase Linear, if more expensive.
I have never been a person who accepts the opinions of self appointed "experts" or prevailing BS. I try to consider reality, let reality "talk" to me, and try to seek facts and truth in a rigorous fashion. You may have read my discussions on cable rip offs.
So, I guess my experience in this is an example of triumph over nay sayers. Pretty funny that some cars have more power than the amp Bob and I came up with! I have about 5000 watts in my home system.
Dave Ladely in Snohomish, WA