Weight vs Wattage vs Current vs Slam vs Value

Although I have no expertise in contrast to others, in regards to what is the best amp, be it SS or Tube especially considering the cost of the amp, used or not...I wonder what is in your opinion the best indicator of value. The definition of value here would be in all term the perception of the listener of the sound that he/she is likely to hear with the amp in the proper set up....
Some of the strangest things I have heard perceived while reading through audio ads and other post are things like

Odyssey amps.....comparing their amps and the their value in terms of watts vs cost...being very affordable in comparison to other manufacturer's amps....I am very skeptical about their line.....continue reading the other ideas I have come out with...

I had a pair of Carvers, they were light and yet it seems as if they produced some impressive Watts....my M 4.0 t produced 375 watts per channel and weighted about 25 lbs or something like that....but knowing by experience, these were the most ANEMIC watts I have ever had the pleasure of producing. Very weak when attempting to run tough loads.

Class A output SS amps....tend to be heavy, but their wattage seems to be low. I am curious about Clayton and their famous S-40? That produces 40 watts, but are tauted to have a lot of power in the perception of sound....Does this mean that a Clayton S-40 has more slam, soundwise as my DNA 225? If this is the case, what about Clayton S-40s versus my BC 2 monoblocks? Each having 75 watts of class A power+ being 75 lbs each? I do not remember my BC-2 having that much sense of SLAM.

The monster amps have a lot of weight, but then, they cost nearly as much and at least, perception wise (especially Krell/Levinson) have a lot of slam in their sound
Some SET amps, being low wattage, I have read somewhere that even THEY can have a sense of slam if properly set up...I.E: context of how they are being sonically displayed, perhaps with a huge folded horn set up.

And this question goes on and on....

Would like to have a list of amps, be it classic or contemporary with a small comment on their WATTAGE, WEIGHT and their sound characteristic...be it neutral, soft, dark, SLAMMY? etc... and your rationale about why each one of them are either excellent in value or very poor.

I was always curious about power supply design. For example, I have seen amps that happen to be very light, therefore, I must assume have similar LIGHT power supply design, one of this manufacturers being LINN. Their TWIN KLIMAX is so unbelievably light, and yet it seems to sport a very high wattage. How is this possible? Does this mean that the Linn amps cannot handle tough loads as the impedance drop?
What is the largest single transformer out there? 2.5 KV, is that the largest? If the transformer is too large, does that mean that it might be slow in releasing energy to the speakers? Just wondering....

Hello PaulWP,
Yes, I am an Ampzilla dealer as well as a few other brands. Trying to post helpful information on sites like this is somewhat difficult for a dealer like myself. If I say that I am a dealer, I get flamed for "advertising". If I don't say that I am a dealer, I get flamed for "trolling". No-win situation. :-( I used the Ampzillas just because that is the "high weight" amp that I am most familiar with and have had an opportunity to A/B against many others.

My un-scientific measure of bass control is the initial impact and controlled decay of low frequency instruments (i.e., the thump of a kick drum or the initial twang of an upright bass). On a well controlled system, the initial sound should be distinct followed by a resonant decay. On an uncontrolled system, the initial impact is less distinct and the decay is more rumble than resonant. I once tried a 3 watt SET amp with one of my 4 ohm speakers and "bloated" is the word that best comes to mind. In this extreme case, the bass was so "loose" that it was somewhat hard to distinguish individual bass instruments (the mids and tweater sounded fine).

The Ampzilla/Carver comparison was done driving a pair of Martin Logan CLSs (a VERY difficult load). The difference in control was not subtle and something a non-audiophile could easily detect (no golden-ear required). I, as well as my customer, were somewhat surprised at the difference. Had the speakers been an easier load, I do not think the difference would have been nearly as distinct.

Wattage is primarily a marketing term somewhat like an auto manufacturer stating how fast a car will go. If you have an easy to drive speaker (i.e, steady 8 ohms) then it has some realative meaning (think Hona Civic driving 80 down a flat highway). If you have a hard to drive speaker that dips down to the 2-ohm range, then it means little (think Honda Civic trying to pull a 5 ton trailer up a mountain. aaaaugh).

The 2.5kVA torroid in the Ampzilla is very large but is still smaller than the 5kVA+ and dual 4kVA torroids in the higher-end Krell amps. I am sure there are even larger in some of the "specialty" amps. Several of the mega-amps require dedicated 30A circuits (wouldn't want to know what that would do to an electricity bill. ouch).

The released current comes from the capacitors (another part of the equation) so a larger torroid should not result in a slower sound. Since a larger torroid can better feed the capacitor array, the sound should theoretically be faster. I am not an amp designer so I will leave further discussion on this subject to those more knowledgable than myself.

Well, Julian, you did not disclose up front that you are a dealer, and then you made a favorable comparison of something you sell. It isn't as unseemly as it might have been only because the Carver is out of production. And, of course, you didnt measure anything at all. How about the sound pressure level of the speakers driven by the different amps? I assume you matched them by ear, and probably don't realize that a .2 (that's point two) db difference in spl will make the louder of two components sound better.

Not a helpful post. A worthless post except for promoting the amps you sell.
Try Listening to the lastest BelCanto digital 2channel amp.
The relative weight of the amp in lbs now has very little
to do with its impact or weight in the bass.Whether the industry knows it or not producers of conventional analogue amplifiers
should now realise that their days may be numbered. While the current examples of digital amplifiers now available
are not perfect they do exhibit some characteristics that
conventional analogue amps are hard pressed to equal.An astonishingly large and transparent sound stage with very good focus in addition near matchless bass impact and definition.As with any other amplifier design if you go cheap on the power supply the bass and all other aspects
of the the reproduced sound will suffer.The first generation BelCanto had this mistake,maybe bean counters at work. In regards to the Clayton S-40,I belive it has a Class AB region that goes on up to 180 watts and doubles into 4 ohms.It is also a bipolar output design which gives it the ability to have a voltage swing nearly rail to rail.
It can use more of its total power supply voltage to reproduce music than a conventionally designed mosfet output based amplifier.One of the digital amplifiers' greatest
strengths comes from its typically 90% efficient utilization
of its power supply.At any given moment 90% of the stored energy in the power supply is available to accurately reproduce a musical waveform.Contrast this with an average
40% power supply efficiency for conventional amp.A digital
amp has another advantage over conventional amplfiers. Its output transistors are either all the way turned on or they are off.In the case of the high speed Mosfet outputs typically used they are turned all the way on and in their most linear operating region instantly.They are also exhibiting their lowest real world output impedence[ie.,before feedback] at all times.The analogue amp only
approaches this ideal when at full rated power,a conditon
that is rarely seen during actual use.Usually the listeners ears and speakers are in a region of non-lineariy when it occurs. In conclusion,it would appear that we live in a brave new Digital world and can expect a closer approach
reality in music reproduction in our listening room if we desire it. Happy Listening, _scotty_
Amplifiers that continue to increase their output with decreasing impedance loads will have more "slam" or "low frequency dynamic contrast" than those that employ current limiting in the output stage.
ie: 200wpc into 8ohms, 400wpc into 4ohms, etc...
This is especially true with loudspeakers that drop below 4ohms in the bass.
This almost always translates into a very large, heavy power supply and many high-power output devices per channel.($)

The "speed" of current delivery has nothing to do with slam or dynamic contrast.
Electrical current travels at virtually the same speed in all electronics.
In any event, the electrical rise time of a low frequency waveform is going to vastly outrun a massive mechanical device like a loudspeaker driver.

You can pretty much judge the quality of an amplifer by two criteria; the weight and the price.