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SPL Phonitor Roll Call & Appreciation Thread - Page 6

post #76 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ical View Post
Thought both belong to neutral characteristic, it might be because Phonitor is more transparent which makes Auditor sound slightly warmer. For soundstage, Phonitor is for sure way bigger even at default.
Cal, this is my guess, too, as to why there's a difference in perception. In fact, I think this "relativity" principle explains a LOT of the differences in how we on Head-Fi perceive SQ. When we move away from the extremes toward the large gray area in the middle, our sense of what we hear is dependent on contrast, for example cool water begins to feel warm when we contrast it to really cold water. The same may be true for amps. We don't realize an amp is warm until we hear one that's even more neutral.
post #77 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by feifan View Post
Cal, this is my guess, too, as to why there's a difference in perception. In fact, I think this "relativity" principle explains a LOT of the differences in how we on Head-Fi perceive SQ. When we move away from the extremes toward the large gray area in the middle, our sense of what we hear is dependent on contrast, for example cool water begins to feel warm when we contrast it to really cold water. The same may be true for amps. We don't realize an amp is warm until we hear one that's even more neutral.
True, but you don't have an absolute reference, so you'll never be able to tell if an amp is warm or cold, just that it is warmer or colder than the other amp...
So it could very well be that your amp is neutral and the other amp is cold.
No way to tell.
post #78 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanex View Post
Hi EugeneK, that's very interesting. May I know what kind of music did you use for the comparison?

And by "exactly like", do you mean the warm/cool characteristic, or that DA10 is already driving HD800 so well such that an extra amplifier is not really necessary?

Personally I find DA10 to be very sensitive to the quality of AC power. And with a clean balanced power supply like ps audio power plant, the result is quite impressive.
I'm using "The ice hotel" first track of "Breakfast on the morning tram" by stacey kent.

I just mean the warmness/coolness of the sound. I do get a bit more detail out of the auditor.

But from reading the posts after yours. I guess if we're splitting hairs, then I'd have to say if I had to bet, the Auditor falls on the cool side of the headphone output, though it's really hard for me to tell. The DA10 was designed to have a neutral amp built in as well.
post #79 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
True, but you don't have an absolute reference, so you'll never be able to tell if an amp is warm or cold, just that it is warmer or colder than the other amp...
So it could very well be that your amp is neutral and the other amp is cold.
No way to tell.
True. And when you add other variables such as the quality of the recording or at least the intent of the arranger, engineer, etc., then you up the probability of error.

I guess we always return to the question of what, exactly, we mean by "neutral." For me, it means "natural," or the ability to accurately reveal and present the recording as intended by the producers. It adds no emphasis, coloring, or veil. It takes nothing away, and it adds nothing. It provides a clear view into the recording, with little or no distortion. It provides a completely "sterile" medium for the translation of the music so we, the listener, hear it in its intended form.

Using this definition and assuming good quality recordings, I think most of us can distinguish between altered and unaltered sound -- the altered being "warmer" and the unaltered being "cooler" or more neutral. But, and this is my point, we don't know the "direction" -- warmer or cooler -- of the SQ until we do a comparison.

Marshall McLuhan used the terms "hot" and "cool" to describe the way we interact with media. And his distinction seems to be applicable in defining warm and cool in audiophilia, too. The cooler SQ tends to make us work harder at our listening, demanding more attention. The warmer is more relaxing and less demanding. Thus, the first is considered more "analytical," and the other more entertaining or musical.

So, returning to the Phonitor vs. Auditor comparison, my guess is that we don't realize how much less neutral the Auditor is until we compare it to the Phonitor. In other words, in contrast to the Phonitor, the Auditor sounds warmer. But if you haven't heard the Phonitor, you might think it's neutral in comparison to other amps you've heard.

I'm not sure if this is making any sense.
post #80 of 679
I think the point Kees is trying to make is this:

He's trying to say that the auditor and phonitor are both so neutral sounding and close, it is impossible to tell which one is truly neutral.

Lets suppose X is true neutral, + is the auditor and = is the phonitor

It might be:
warm--------------X--------------cool
-----------------+=-------------------

or it might be:
warm--------------X--------------cool
-------------------+=-----------------

it might even be:
warm--------------X--------------cool
------------------+-=-----------------

And we should not assume the more expensive one is the neutral one. All we can say for certain is that the auditor is slightly warmer than the phonitor and that they are both neutral sounding. It is impossible to say that the phonitor is neutral and that the auditor is slightly warm.
post #81 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneK View Post
I think the point Kees is trying to make is this:

He's trying to say that the auditor and phonitor are both so neutral sounding and close, it is impossible to tell which one is truly neutral.

Lets suppose X is true neutral, + is the auditor and = is the phonitor

It might be:
warm--------------X--------------cool
-----------------+=-------------------

or it might be:
warm--------------X--------------cool
-------------------+=-----------------

it might even be:
warm--------------X--------------cool
------------------+-=-----------------

And we should not assume the more expensive one is the neutral one. All we can say for certain is that the auditor is slightly warmer than the phonitor and that they are both neutral sounding. It is impossible to say that the phonitor is neutral and that the auditor is slightly warm.
Eugene, this is a cool way to graphically present the problem. Helps to clarify the issue.

First, I'm not disagreeing with you or Kees. In fact, I agree with both of you re an absolute standard (true neutral). My point was not about the absolute, but the actual data (or observations). Using your graphics, I'm referring to the line with the plus and minus signs.

In all three, the Auditor (+) is depicted as warmer. Regardless of where they both are in relationship to the true neutral. Thus, yes, they may both be warm or cool, but our ears can determine which of the two is warmer or cooler.

Re the Auditor and Phonitor, my guess is that they're both cool in relationship to true neutral, but the Phonitor is cooler -- thus making the Auditor, by comparison, warmer.
post #82 of 679
One thing's for sure: it's almost impossible to say something about it without confusing somebody.
post #83 of 679
:P I thought I was pretty clear!
post #84 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneK View Post
:P I thought I was pretty clear!
Yes you were.
But still people could easily make more of what you said than you actually meant to say.

What confuses me a bit is that the Phonitor has (to my ears) none of the characteristics of a warm amp. None. No lows hanging over the midrange, no smeared midrange, no rolled off highs.
It also has none of the characteristics of a cold amp: No exagerated highs, no super fast decay, no leanness that suggests more detail and space.
So what does that leave it to be? Neutral? Maybe, but there are other things that can make it coloured: detail, tonality, balance, dynamics...
post #85 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
One thing's for sure: it's almost impossible to say something about it without confusing somebody.
LOL! Including myself. I just reread what I posted earlier and can't understand a word of it. So much for trying to make sense out this insanity that's my hobby.
post #86 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by feifan View Post
LOL! Including myself. I just reread what I posted earlier and can't understand a word of it. So much for trying to make sense out this insanity that's my hobby.
I don't understand it either, maybe you should re-write it. >.<
post #87 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
But still people could easily make more of what you said than you actually meant to say.
I should hope so. If "people" are breathing and thinking, they do exactly that. They don't simply decode. They process the information they receive. And because language is, by nature, imprecise, fuzzy, and messy, communication is full of unintended effects. This is why we have discussions to confirm or correct our perceptions and interpretations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneK View Post
I don't understand it either, maybe you should re-write it. >.<
OK. If only to make it clearer for myself.

It's kinda like two cars racing along a straight stretch of unfamiliar country road late on a moonless night with no lights except the headlights. There are no other cars. One car is behind the other. Beyond the beams of their headlights, everything is pitch black. They have no sense of how far along the road they are, but they're still aware of who's ahead and who's behind.

One of the cars is the Phonitor, and the other, the Auditor. The drivers can tell which is ahead and which is behind, regardless of where they are in reference to the true midpoint of the road.

In other words, ahead or behind are relative terms determined by the positions of the cars to one another.

Applying this analogy to a comparison of the SPL amps, we can say that one appears to be cooler than the other -- regardless of where the "true neutral" is.

I'm not sure if this is any clearer, but I hope it is.
post #88 of 679
I think I read earlier in the thread about success with the SPL Phonitor and the Denon D5000s. Has anyone tried an (auditor) with the Denon D2000s?

I'm quite interested in the SPL Auditor (as I also have the AKG701s). One concern I have is that I've just been breaking in a Beresford Caiman DAC (with RCA out). Since the Auditor only has XLR in, I presume I'm looking at a bit of a problem? There doesn't seem to be too many cable options and it may not be a good idea anyway. Should I sell the Beresford or find a cable solution?
post #89 of 679
You can just use the cheap and good Neutrik XLR-RCA adapter. Most of the guys I know are using it without any problem or degrade in SQ. One of my friend actually find that the adapter with his RCA interconnects sound better than his XLR.
Neutrik - Audio - Circular Adapters - NA2MPMF

If you want something more exotic, can go for those from Cardas. Presently I'm using it which sound slightly more dynamic with darker background.
Cardas Audio

Based on my past experience with D7000/5000, I believe SPL amp has no problem driving the Denon well.
post #90 of 679
I've tried the auditor with a D2000 and a DA10 - it's way too dark for me. But there's no problems with clarity and detail.
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