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Decibels, distortion, amplifiers and golden ears - Page 5  

post #61 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
Good for you.

An individual decision that I have no problem with.

Not everyone has a large disposable income, those are the ones that I am speaking to.

You can have good sound without paying exorbitant amounts of money.

Everyone who comes to my home when I'm playing music remarks on how good my system sounds. Tight yet deep bass, crystalline highs and a warm midrange (my speakers have a 3" dome midrange).

The great majority have spent several times what I have spent and yet have inferior sound.

One word: Bose..

If you had said that in the last melodramatic thread you were involved in I think you'd have a bit more goodwill towards you on the forum, as a lot of what you're saying makes a good deal of sense. It's just that when you come across as lambasting people for their personal decisions (whether you mean to or not, you do quite often) it's bound to get them upset - especially when you don't know their circumstances.

Here is something that you may be forgetting to consider (maybe not, I don't know):

I believe that my old amp, a misterX built solid state PPA 2.0, was more accurate and true to the source than my modified Melos. HOWEVER - I vastly prefer the way that the Melos presents music to me. Why? Because I'm not trying to be true to the source - I'm trying to be true to real life.

I am attending one of the best conservatories in the world for piano performance. I spend hours each day playing on grand pianos worth more than most people's cars. I know exactly what a piano sounds like - and it's not what I hear when I use most solid state amplifiers. However, my Melos sounds just like a real piano, despite being measurably "worse" than a solid state unit. How can this be?

Quite frankly, as I'm sure you know, most music is mastered terribly today. Overmastered, actually. The gain is crancked and it's compressed to hell. In short - most recordings of a piano fundamentally don't sound like a grand piano. So in other words, the solid state amp is faithfully producing a flawed sound.

Now i'm not saying you can eliminate the flaws in the original recording. However, there is no doubt that the added harmonic distortion present in my Melos tube amp SOUNDS LIKE to my human ears (even though it isn't) the lushness and warmth missing in the piano notes. If you can't have a perfect recording, I'd at least like to have one that SOUNDS like the perfect recording. I don't particularly care if it is as long as it sounds like it is.

And THAT'S why I prefer tubes to solid state. They may not be able to produce the source as accurately as solid state, but they produce real life more convincingly. And believe me, I know what real piano sounds like.

Of course, keep in mind that everything is in my opinion. Everyone has different ears, but mine are all I care about when spending my money (and they are quite good, if I do say so myself). As a college student, believe me when I say I wish I could get the osund of my Melos at a $100 price point. But quite simply, I can't. And as a music major, I think it makes more sense for me than most to spend a good deal of money on a headphone setup when there is a great deal of required listening in the curriculum.


That said, I hope you stick around. You make people think, which is always a good thing. If you hadn't started this thread, I wouldn't have realized how very little I do know about the science behind distortion.
post #62 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
This may well be my last post/thread here, I strongly suspect that my views upset more than a few of you and that is not my intention at all.
1. Who the hell are you?

2. I agree with your statement, but also disagree. You completely babbled in your OP...who really cares about that little of distortion? You buy an amp based on the color, and if you prefer that "color" over another amp. Do you like warm amps? How about cold and vivid amps? You pay for what you're looking for in sound...it's not like going out and buying a new processor for your computer where one is an absolute better. So in short, I have no idea why you buy amps by merely specs...do you do the same for headphones? Do you read the back of headphone boxes and compare? Hope not. Sound is greater than specs.
post #63 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Computerpro3 View Post
As a college student, believe me when I say I wish I could get the osund of my Melos at a $100 price point. But quite simply, I can't. And as a music major, I think it makes more sense for me than most to spend a good deal of money on a headphone setup when there is a great deal of required listening in the curriculum.


That said, I hope you stick around. You make people think, which is always a good thing. If you hadn't started this thread, I wouldn't have realized how very little I do know about the science behind distortion.
Have you ever tried doing your own recording?

I would love to hear some of your work, I like well recorded music of just about any style and I think grand piano is just that, grand.

If you look at my website under "Nice 'n Easy" you will find a very low cost digital recording device that can record WAV files straight to an ipod or even a usb flash memory card. I'm about to put up a page on binaural recording, something which might work very well for you.

This link is to a post of mine on another forum where I discuss binaural recording a bit.

http://www.wavosaur.com/forum/binaur...ived-t375.html

You're right, I don't know everyone's financial situation, but I also assume that the majority of people want to get the most for their money.

Cheers,

Jon
post #64 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitpotion View Post
1. Who the hell are you?

2. I agree with your statement, but also disagree. You completely babbled in your OP...who really cares about that little of distortion? You buy an amp based on the color, and if you prefer that "color" over another amp. Do you like warm amps? How about cold and vivid amps? You pay for what you're looking for in sound...it's not like going out and buying a new processor for your computer where one is an absolute better. So in short, I have no idea why you buy amps by merely specs...do you do the same for headphones? Do you read the back of headphone boxes and compare? Hope not. Sound is greater than specs.
Who am I?

I'm an old audiophile who has seen fads come and go and come and go again, just like clothes.

Do I buy amps on specs?

Absolutely not, I assume that any amp beyond a certain spec is going to sound very much like any other amp beyond that spec. So far I have not found myself able to discern the difference and I have been making recordings of one sort or another for almost forty years now, starting with an Akai cross field reel to reel recorder that not only had separate record, playback and erase head but also a separate bias head which could be adjusted to match the tape type you were using.



The last time I bought serious headphones was a long time ago and I tried every pair in a large serious hifi shop and bought the ones that sounded the best to me.

I brought my own vinyl that I was very familiar with and went through most of the phones quite quickly. The last few I took my time over, listening to them as critically as I could and trying to keep the volume the same on each pair.
post #65 of 790
"Do I buy amps on specs?

Absolutely not"

So you agree that one buys an amp based on what sounds best to them. That's why one is worth a difference in price. If you look at super high-end headphone amps, you'll start noticing that you pay for a lot more than lack of distortion...you're paying for build quality, technology....and yes...a bit for those wonderful caps and wires that put a wall up in front of that distortion. You pay for a lot of things when you buy an amp...I know I can buy the parts to make a wonderful amp, but put it in a cardboard box, and if someone else makes the exact same amp, but spends a few days making a custom cabinet for it they'l be getting more money than I'd get myself.
post #66 of 790
I'm quite dissappointed in having to point out very obvious answers to your - frankly - meandering and not very well thought out "responses". I hope you'll consider these with more pause than the previous set: -

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
You estimate...
Yes. Unfortunately, the compression system isn't specified by the site. But, that there is strong compression is a fact. The fact that you haven't denied that there is compression, but instead focussed on an extraneous comment I made in brackets shows that your intent is not to rebut my argument but to waste my time and the time of the head-fiers that are reading your many ill-reasoned responses in this thread.

What I estimate the compression to be is irrelevant - there is compression. It is relatively strong compression and it affects the outcome.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
One can concentrate, then open the eyes, click on the next selection.

If you say that makes the test invalid because it breaks the concentration then I would invoke the fact that memory for sound is poor.
Yes, it breaks the concentration. That is exactly what I'm saying. You invoke the fact that memory of sound is poor? Excellent - you're only one step away from realising why it's a bad idea to use it in a test designed to measure audibility of distortion, not memory of sound.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
That could be an artifact of your system, I heard no such clicking and I was listening quite carefully.
I tested on a different PC with a different sound card and the same issue is there. Also, my "system" doesn't click anywhere else. and I've tested on 3 different sound cards on this PC, and the leading (and trailing) clicks remain.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
Perhaps the most skilled listeners with the best ears made it all the way down. My hearing is rather poor and I made -36 dB.
Yes, it's obvious you're very proud of your -36dB. I think everyone here can see that already. Unfortunately though, you don't seem to understand much about statistics. The more sensitive the hearing, the fewer people there are that possess it. The results in that graph, on the other hand, indicate that there's a very large group of people with average hearing (correct), then a small group with above average hearing (correct), then another very large group of people with exceptional hearing (incorrect). I trust that even you see the incongruence there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
You think that people would post a *worse* score than they made?

I got the impression that a lot of people were surprised and disappointed at how poorly they did.
No. Out of the almost 60,000 members here only about 30 responded. Those that responded were not a random sampling of the total population of 60,000 members. Of the samples that were made, none can be verified.

In other words, as I originally said - "So, no reliable conclusions about head-fi can be drawn from those posts.".


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
You have yet to state a valid critique of my reasoning.
Well, you can lead a horse to water, but...
post #67 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitpotion View Post
"Do I buy amps on specs?

Absolutely not"

So you agree that one buys an amp based on what sounds best to them. That's why one is worth a difference in price. If you look at super high-end headphone amps, you'll start noticing that you pay for a lot more than lack of distortion...you're paying for build quality, technology....and yes...a bit for those wonderful caps and wires that put a wall up in front of that distortion. You pay for a lot of things when you buy an amp...I know I can buy the parts to make a wonderful amp, but put it in a cardboard box, and if someone else makes the exact same amp, but spends a few days making a custom cabinet for it they'l be getting more money than I'd get myself.
Actually I buy everything used, often from that auction site that may not be named.

My speakers came from the flea market, Infinity three way's with a 3" dome midrange and a dome tweeter. I know what to listen for and stuck my ear up to each driver to make sure it wasn't broken somehow. The other vendors were complaining but the dude selling the speakers told them to can it because he could tell I was going to buy them if they passed my tests.

My amp came from a pawn shop, I hooked it up to the best speakers they had in there and turned it up to listen for problems, it came with a thirty day money back warranty. I had dealt with them before so I wasn't worried.

Searching for bargains is a form of entertainment for me. I bought a Mitsubishi linear tracking turntable on the auction site that may not be named for $160 shipped. I had taken the photo into photoshop and enlarged and enhanced it to see the cartridge, it was a B&O MMC 3. I sold the cartridge for $210, they retail for $600 and are unavailable now.

I bought a Yamaha four track cassette portastudio for $10 at the flea market, tried to sell it on a local BBS before the internet, didn't sell it but ended up becoming an amateur sound engineer for several local groups. Didn't make any money but I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

And so on and so on..
post #68 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
Actually I buy everything used, often from that auction site that may not be named.

My speakers came from the flea market, Infinity three way's with a 3" dome midrange and a dome tweeter. I know what to listen for and stuck my ear up to each driver to make sure it wasn't broken somehow. The other vendors were complaining but the dude selling the speakers told them to can it because he could tell I was going to buy them if they passed my tests.

My amp came from a pawn shop, I hooked it up to the best speakers they had in there and turned it up to listen for problems, it came with a thirty day money back warranty. I had dealt with them before so I wasn't worried.

Searching for bargains is a form of entertainment for me. I bought a Mitsubishi linear tracking turntable on the auction site that may not be named for $160 shipped. I had taken the photo into photoshop and enlarged and enhanced it to see the cartridge, it was a B&O MMC 3. I sold the cartridge for $210, they retail for $600 and are unavailable now.

I bought a Yamaha four track cassette portastudio for $10 at the flea market, tried to sell it on a local BBS before the internet, didn't sell it but ended up becoming an amateur sound engineer for several local groups. Didn't make any money but I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

And so on and so on..
Yeah I understand that, but the debate going on currently is dealing with WHY people pay so much for these amps even though the distortion is irrelevant...and I explained to you why. I'm glad you get wonderful deals though.
post #69 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0dhi View Post
I'm quite dissappointed in having to point out very obvious answers to your - frankly - meandering and not very well thought out "responses". I hope you'll consider these with more pause than the previous set: -
Another insult, cool.

Quote:
Yes. Unfortunately, the compression system isn't specified by the site.

Yes, it breaks the concentration. That is exactly what I'm saying. You invoke the fact that memory of sound is poor? Excellent - you're only one step away from realising why it's a bad idea to use it in a test designed to measure audibility of distortion, not memory of sound.
ogg or mp3 != compression

At least not dynamic range compression.

You can either hear the distortion or you cannot. Some could hear it lower than others. That several people got as low or lower than did I showed that to be true.

The test is more sophisticated than it appears, as I found out when I checked out the rest of the site. It allows for increasing one's skill at listening for distortion during a single test. My wife missed several early on and then eventually got down to -15 dB during a single session.

Quote:
I tested on a different PC with a different sound card and the same issue is there. Also, my "system" doesn't click anywhere else. and I've tested on 3 different sound cards on this PC, and the leading (and trailing) clicks remain.
I don't remember others complaining of the clicks but I could be wrong. I did not hear any.

Quote:
Yes, it's obvious you're very proud of your -36dB. I think everyone here can see that already. Unfortunately though, you don't seem to understand much about statistics. The more sensitive the hearing, the fewer people there are that possess it. The results in that graph, on the other hand, indicate that there's a very large group of people with average hearing (correct), then a small group with above average hearing (correct), then another very large group of people with exceptional hearing (incorrect). I trust that even you see the incongruence there.
The site seems to fairly scientifically oriented, I doubt that they would publish stats that were seriously in error.

They did cite a source for the testing protocol after all.

Quote:
No. Out of the almost 60,000 members here only about 30 responded. Those that responded were not a random sampling of the total population of 60,000 members. Of the samples that were made, none can be verified.

In other words, as I originally said - "So, no reliable conclusions about head-fi can be drawn from those posts.".
Conclusions can be drawn about those who took the test, a small sampling true but not insignificant. Even you admit you took the test but did not respond. My guess is that you did not do nearly as well as you expected you would.

Quote:
Well, you can lead a horse to water, but...
Sure you can, push his head under water and clap two bricks on a certain sensitive part and he's gonna suck it in.

If you have a good rebuttal to my OP, I haven't seen it or don't remember it. Perhaps you could refresh my failing memory.
post #70 of 790
Just so you know (in case you missed my post in that thread), the original thread you linked to is a re-post of a test that was posted in a much longer test a couple years ago:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=112091
post #71 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitpotion View Post
Yeah I understand that, but the debate going on currently is dealing with WHY people pay so much for these amps even though the distortion is irrelevant...and I explained to you why. I'm glad you get wonderful deals though.
As has been pointed out on the thread by someone other than myself, people's memory for sound is not good at all.

Unless you sit down and try two amps side by side with the volumes almost perfectly equal (<1 dB) you aren't really going to be able to hear the difference and remember it.
post #72 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
Just so you know (in case you missed my post in that thread), the original thread you linked to is a re-post of a test that was posted in a much longer test a couple years ago:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=112091

I did see the link but didn't follow it. I have more than one thing going on here right now. I'm carrying on discussions on two boards at once.

I do appreciate the link and intend to review it at my leisure.
post #73 of 790
I don't understand why OP is so defensive AND aggressive. I told you exactly WHY people pay that type of cash for the products at hand.... and you totally jumped over it and just started naming off everything you've bought. I don't want to come off as disrespectful because we're all very different as humans, but you need to find a meeting point and understand that everyone here has their own PERSONAL opinion about everything....and YOU will not change that nor will I.

I suppose the only thing ANY of the head-fiers can do is simply ask "What do you want us to tell you?" If you're trying to get us to admit that you're way of thinking, or this "discovery" that you've made is so impacting that we're going to drop our multi-digit dollar amps...you're crazy. I personally don't think you realized what this was going to turn into.... you should take a shop on how to communicate with others. Don't get any of this wrong either, I'm the most laid back person, and right now I'm not aggressive or defensive/offensive AT ALL....it's just my personal opinion (since we all have one...).

-_-
post #74 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVinylRipper View Post
I did see the link but didn't follow it. I have more than one thing going on here right now. I'm carrying on discussions on two boards at once.

I do appreciate the link and intend to review it at my leisure.
Well, that link contains many more results of the test than the current thread, so I'm not sure why you wouldn't have wanted to see the results there first instead of relying entirely on the new one for your thread.
post #75 of 790
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitpotion View Post
I don't understand why OP is so defensive AND aggressive. I told you exactly WHY people pay that type of cash for the products at hand.... and you totally jumped over it and just started naming off everything you've bought. I don't want to come off as disrespectful because we're all very different as humans, but you need to find a meeting point and understand that everyone here has their own PERSONAL opinion about everything....and YOU will not change that nor will I.
I don't intend to change anyone's opinion, I've been online long enough to know that is a very rare thing indeed. I'm interested in the subject and am just expressing my own thoughts.

I would appreciate it if you would give me some quotes. I'm told quite often that I don't communicate well and yet I never get any explicit examples even when I ask for them.

Quote:
I suppose the only thing ANY of the head-fiers can do is simply ask "What do you want us to tell you?" If you're trying to get us to admit that you're way of thinking, or this "discovery" that you've made is so impacting that we're going to drop our multi-digit dollar amps...you're crazy. I personally don't think you realized what this was going to turn into.... you should take a shop on how to communicate with others. Don't get any of this wrong either, I'm the most laid back person, and right now I'm not aggressive or defensive/offensive AT ALL....it's just my personal opinion (since we all have one...).

-_-
And I am expressing my opinion also, with the backing of a little fairly basic math that I thought would not be beyond most of the people here.

If I was mistaken in my assumption, I apologize.

I have provided an example of my own investigation into transducer nonlinearities, which I was told were better documented than those provided second hand by others.

What more do you want?
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