Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs. M2Tech hiFace
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs.... - Page 60  

post #886 of 1712
Sorry to hear this André.
post #887 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

...I found that all 4 units performed better than the direct USB inputs of the USB dacs I have.

.... I have noticed big differences between usb cables.
I just found your review.

I also have found that my DACs with built in USB performed better with transports than they did by themselves.

I scanned through what seemed to be a very long and comprehensive review until I came to the bit about USB cables. It was like reading a review where all of a sudden the author stated that elephants could fly. It was very hard to take anything seriously after that.

I was wondering if you would bring your discussion of USB and digital cables over to the Sound Science forum where it might be discussed in greater detail and without restrictions as to what can be addressed?

USG
post #888 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
I just found your review.

I also have found that my DACs with built in USB performed better with transports than they did by themselves.

I scanned through what seemed to be a very long and comprehensive review until I came to the bit about USB cables. It was like reading a review where all of a sudden the author stated that elephants could fly. It was very hard to take anything seriously after that.

I was wondering if you would bring your discussion of USB and digital cables over to the Sound Science forum where it might be discussed in greater detail and without restrictions as to what can be addressed?

USG
lol, that's one way of saying it. However, considering the fact that (most of) slim's findings on transports has been sufficiently corroborated by others here, including me, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt, atleast until we can test the claim for ourselves.

I'll admit that his choice of words probably wasn't too prudent. He likely meant "big" in the context of cable-induced differences. With that in mind, I would interpret that descriptor along the lines of "noticeable".

I'll further add that if headphone recables produce detectable differences in sound (IME), then why dismiss the possibility of such differences among USB cables?

Slim recently posted a review on the Oyaide digital cable which piqued my curiousity enough to get me to order one for myself. I'll see if slim's insights on the value of cables hold water after I get the cable. I'll reserve further judgment till then.
post #889 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
lol, that's one way of saying it. However, considering the fact that (most of) slim's findings on transports has been sufficiently corroborated by others here, including me, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt, atleast until we can test the claim for ourselves.

I'll admit that his choice of words probably wasn't too prudent. He likely meant "big" in the context of cable-induced differences. With that in mind, I would interpret that descriptor along the lines of "noticeable".

I'll further add that if headphone recables produce detectable differences in sound (IME), then why dismiss the possibility of such differences among USB cables?

Slim recently posted a review on the Oyaide digital cable which piqued my curiousity enough to get me to order one for myself. I'll see if slim's insights on the value of cables hold water after I get the cable. I'll reserve further judgment till then.
Hey how are you doing Shahrose?

Save your money.

Although your headphone cable statement is extremely debatable, digital cables, on the other hand, just transmit 0s and 1s. No matter how loudly or softly or with what ever tonal qualities, the 0s or 1s arrive, they are still just zeros or ones.

USG
post #890 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Hey how are you doing Shahrose?

Save your money.

Although your headphone cable statement is extremely debatable, digital cables, on the other hand, just transmit 0s and 1s. No matter how loudly or softly or with what ever tonal qualities, the 0s or 1s arrive, they are still just zeros or ones.

USG
Always good to hear from you USG .
If you can't hear differences among headphone cables, then it's best you don't waste money on other cables either. I would say you have been blessed.
Unfortunately for me, I have found differences from recabling headphones, not consistently positive ones, but differences nonetheless. Let me be clear here by saying that the differences were all subtle and required careful listening most of the time to discern. That being said, my recent upgrade of the HD800 cable produced a difference significant enough that even my non-audiophile brother noticed (and liked).
post #891 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Always good to hear from you USG .
If you can't hear differences among headphone cables, then it's best you don't waste money on other cables either. I would say you have been blessed.
Unfortunately for me, I have found differences from recabling headphones, not consistently positive ones, but differences nonetheless. Let me be clear here by saying that the differences were all subtle and required careful listening most of the time to discern. That being said, my recent upgrade of the HD800 cable produced a difference significant enough that even my non-audiophile brother noticed (and liked).
I would like to suggest that as long as you knew which cable you were listening to, all you experienced was a psycho-acoustical effect.

This is too off topic to continue here, but if you would like to continue this discussion I'll move this post to a new thread in the headphone forum called "Re-cabled 800s."

USG

new location: here
post #892 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Always good to hear from you USG .
If you can't hear differences among headphone cables, then it's best you don't waste money on other cables either. I would say you have been blessed.
Unfortunately for me, I have found differences from recabling headphones, not consistently positive ones, but differences nonetheless. Let me be clear here by saying that the differences were all subtle and required careful listening most of the time to discern. That being said, my recent upgrade of the HD800 cable produced a difference significant enough that even my non-audiophile brother noticed (and liked).
You missed the point there. He's talking about digital signals being inherently all-or-nothing while you're talking voodoo horse**** about analog cables.

You have to address his theoretical problem.

(dammit too slow and got baited by the off-topic.)
post #893 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp_zer0 View Post
You missed the point there. He's talking about digital signals being inherently all-or-nothing while you're talking voodoo horse**** about analog cables.

You have to address his theoretical problem.

(dammit too slow and got baited by the off-topic.)
If interested, bring your post over to the new thread, see above.

USG
post #894 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Hey how are you doing Shahrose?

Save your money.

Although your headphone cable statement is extremely debatable, digital cables, on the other hand, just transmit 0s and 1s. No matter how loudly or softly or with what ever tonal qualities, the 0s or 1s arrive, they are still just zeros or ones.

USG
Hi USG,

your statement regarding 0s and 1s is missing some important aspect: the time alignment which is responsable for jitter. If it wouldn't be so, all the Reclockers, Jitterbugs and so on would be redundant. There are many sources of missalignment in the time domain of digital signals (=jitter) e.g. power supply, processors (cpu, dsp) and of course cables. The one component of digital signal (music information - as you said 0s and 1s) is never the problem, but the clock information.You might find further information here.

Regards
Fujak
post #895 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
I just found your review.

I also have found that my DACs with built in USB performed better with transports than they did by themselves.

I scanned through what seemed to be a very long and comprehensive review until I came to the bit about USB cables. It was like reading a review where all of a sudden the author stated that elephants could fly. It was very hard to take anything seriously after that.

I was wondering if you would bring your discussion of USB and digital cables over to the Sound Science forum where it might be discussed in greater detail and without restrictions as to what can be addressed?

USG
Hi upstateguy,

So let me understand: You do hear differences between transports and built-in USBs? Do you realize that they are still Zeros and Ones?
But at the same time, I am not to be taken seriously to think there are differences between usb cables?
I have a hard time finding the logic in your reasoning...

What most people fail to understand: is that jitter can be generated at many points:

1/ It can be generated at the recording (too bad, there is nothing we can do about it).
2/ It can be generated at the source
3/ It can be generated by the digital cable
4/ It can be generated inside the DAC itself
5/ It can be generated by any impedance mismatch from the source to the DAC

Unlike many people here who claim that zeros and ones are all that matter, I try to do as much research as possible. Last week alone, I bought an AES research paper (Benjamin and Gannon) and I also read this 90 pages+ report on the jitter in high resolution DACs (here: http://www.iet.ntnu.no/courses/fe811...t_audiodac.pdf). If you care to read it, you will see that the author mentions several times that digital cables can have a measured jitter of a few ns (even more than the source itself).

So is it the same for USB Cable?

In the case of an adaptive usb to spdif converter, the usb converter acts more or less like a digital coaxial cable: it streams real-time data (no error correction or feedback) and its performance (jitter/reflections) is affected by the quality of cable.
FYI, as I said it many times earlier a regular usb to spdif converter doesn't act like a usb hard drive. I streams real time data and if anything is lost there is no error recovery.

In the case of an async usb to spdif converter, it shouldn't matter in theory. However, there are at least 2 reasons that might impact their performance.

First, most of them are not galvanically isolated from the computer. So the USB cable doesn't only carry data but also the power supply. So in that case, a poorly shielded usb cable can introduce HF/RFI noise into the power supply of the converter and the clocks as well as other components) inside are very sensitive to such noise.
In fact, a very good usb cable can act a filter for high frequency noise (if the capacitance of the power lines is very high). However, the power lines and data lines should not be treated/shielded the same: The data line is transmitting high frequency signals while the power lines are transmitting low frequency/DC power.

Second, I have read somewhere (maybe Steve Nugent?) that while async converters act as a master clock for the data, those converters do not always implement error check and recovery. So in that case there could be a loss of data in the process (unlike a usb hard drive for example).

However, at the time I wrote the review, I didn't know the theory and I was as puzzled as many of you. But the test I did was pretty simple; I took the EMU 0404 usb as a source and used different usb cables. I tried to get the lowest possible ASIO latency setting with every cable before getting crackles and pops. And weirdly enough the cable that could achieve the lowest latency without problems was the Wireworld ultraviolet and the one with the worst performance was the stock usb cable of the emu (which is poorly constructed).
So of course, that was an indirect test, but I am pretty sure that if Stereophile did measurements with different usb cables, they will find differences in measurements like they did with digital cables and with different usb to spdif converters.

So, I understand that hearing differences between usb cables might come as shocking news. However, what I find more shocking is the number of people that state that it is foolish to hear differences between digital cables (whether it is coaxial or usb) without even knowing the science behind line induced jitter.
Of course, there is the problem of threshold of audibility of jitter. The AES study that Nick_Charles recommended me to read talks about thresholds levels of well above 1ns. However, that study was conducted more than 10 years ago and used a cheap sony headphone for the testing. (See the discussion with Nick Charles here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f133/p...ml#post6479343)
A more recent study that I have found recently about the temporal resolution of human hearing proves that with the right test equipment, the threshold of temporal resolution of human ears is far greater than we suspected (see here: http://www.physics.sc.edu/kunchur/pa...rge-Foster.pdf)

As you can see, I am not against a scientific debate on the subject. However, I am still on the process of collecting data. I will start a thread about usb cables, when I have accumulated enough data and info, and when I will have enough time to do it.

I took a little bit of time to write this post as it seems to be a recurrent subject. As I said, I will start a thread about usb cables in the sound science forum (in due time). However, the rules of this forum allow me to state freely my subjective listening experiences. So I am not going to do 30 DBT for each component I cite (usb cable, usb converter, digital cable, DAC, interconnect...) just to please a small portion of people.
To build a resolving and musical system, it takes a lot of time, research, and trial and error. I try to share the most significant components upgrade and tweaks. But I can’t spend endless hours just to do a proper DBT of a single usb cable. I would rather spend that time doing other things or just enjoying music.
post #896 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fujak View Post
Hi USG,

your statement regarding 0s and 1s is missing some important aspect: the time alignment which is responsable for jitter. If it wouldn't be so, all the Reclockers, Jitterbugs and so on would be redundant. There are many sources of missalignment in the time domain of digital signals (=jitter) e.g. power supply, processors (cpu, dsp) and of course cables. The one component of digital signal (music information - as you said 0s and 1s) is never the problem, but the clock information.You might find further information here.

Regards
Fujak
Thanks for the link. And your comment is more concise that mine

As for what you stated about the CPU, it reminded about an old test I did with the EMU 0404 usb.
I set the asio latency settings very low (4ms if I remember correctly). And I tried to play the same 24/96 files in foobar in 2 formats: FLAC and Wav.
With the Wav file, it played back perfectly, and with the FLAC I had a lot of dropouts. That would explain why some people have claimed hearing differences between FLAC and Wav.
The reason is not the data itself, but rather the increased load on the CPU which either causes drops of data or jitter.

The reason I used to do so many tests about the latency settings on the EMU 0404 usb is because its performance was noticeably impacted by the asio latency settings. The lowest the value the better it sounded. Again this might sound "crazy" and not serious but here is a possible explanation : http://cplay.sourceforge.net/pmwiki....ay.ASIOLatency
post #897 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fujak View Post
Hi USG,

your statement regarding 0s and 1s is missing some important aspect: the time alignment which is responsable for jitter. If it wouldn't be so, all the Reclockers, Jitterbugs and so on would be redundant. There are many sources of missalignment in the time domain of digital signals (=jitter) e.g. power supply, processors (cpu, dsp) and of course cables. The one component of digital signal (music information - as you said 0s and 1s) is never the problem, but the clock information.You might find further information here.

Regards
Fujak
I know. I left jitter out. I am aware of the rhetoric, but jitter is a hotly debated and unresolved subject. Ones and Zeros are not.

Going on about what you think you might have heard on a particular day, or more likely what you expected to hear, based on a personal listening experience, is far from anything scientific, let alone conclusive evidence.

USG
post #898 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Hi upstateguy,

So let me understand: You do hear differences between transports and built-in USBs? Do you realize that they are still Zeros and Ones?
But at the same time, I am not to be taken seriously to think there are differences between usb cables?
I have a hard time finding the logic in your reasoning...
I found that my DACs with built in USB performed better with transports than they did by themselves. Now this is not scientific evidence of anything. I was simply agreeing with you on that subject.

You spin a good yarn but the only empirical evidence you can offer cannot be separated from psycho-acoustic phenomena. I remember reading nick charles' thread and think that an attempt at measurement is better than bandying about unproven theories and impressions of something you think you may have heard.

USG
post #899 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
I know. I left jitter out. I am aware of the rhetoric, but jitter is a hotly debated and unresolved subject. Ones and Zeros are not.
Jitter is not a rethoric but science. If you care to read Dan Lavry's posts on jitter, you will realize that audio is not the only industry being affected by jitter. It is a well known subject, measurable, and there are ways to deal with it.

If you say that that kind of difference doesn't matter, we should say the same about DACs, amps and even headphones to a certain extent.

There are 2 philosophies in building a system:

1/ Nothing matters as long as it has a reasonable frequency response in the 20hz-20khz range and acceptable THD measurements;

2/ Everything matters. The builder pursue small incremental improvements and tweaks wherever he can even when some people say it is overkill. However, the cumulative sum of the upgrades result is important.

I have listen to both types of systems. Type 1 sound boring and distant.
Type 2 on the other hand can bring you closer to the recording event.

Just last week, I had a friend over at home. He owns regular NAD electronics and Klipsch speakers and he is not a big fan of headphones. He mocked me because I spent so much money on my headphone set-up while I could have bought a big tower speaker system.

I invited him to listen to my headphone system and he couldn't take the headphones out of his head for more than half an hour.
His comments were the following: It was the best reproduced sound he heard, and he felt that in some aspects it was better than the live concerts as you get to hear more details and more timbre qualities of the instruments as you would in a a live concert.
Of course, this is not a definitive prove. But I have had many similar comments about people visiting at home (whether they were audiophile or not). I am not sure they would have picked up differences between usb cables, digital cables, platform supports, different software and upsampling algorithms, ... But one thing is sure, the end result of such a work is easily identified and noticed by trained and untrained ears.

So yes, you could say that jitter is not important. That a change in headphone cables is anecdotical, that all amps sound the sound the same, ...
And yes, you would be right, in a low resolving system, one change of a component is barely noticeable. In a more resolving system those little "tweaks" can be a lot more audible.

Human ears are very sensitive to the temporal resolution of music. It is something that we do not measure and take into account very often.

I urge everybody to read Kunchur's paper on the temporal resolution (link heer : Information for prospective students or at least the summary that I linked to before. In order to measure the limits of human hearing of square waves, he had to use a analog square wave generator (no 16/44 cd player was up to the task), he had to custom made a lab power amp and use sophisticated ribbon tweaters.
post #900 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post

Jitter is not a rethoric but science. If you care to read Dan Lavry's posts on jitter, you will realize that audio is not the only industry being affected by jitter. It is a well known subject, measurable, and there are ways to deal with it.

If you say that that kind of difference doesn't matter, we should say the same about DACs, amps and even headphones to a certain extent.
Read Lavry's posts.

DACs and amps can sound relatively similar when you cannot see which one you are listening to, not headphones.

You have convinced yourself that these effects exist and therefore they do. For the unconvinced, they do not.

USG
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs. M2Tech hiFace