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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 134

post #1996 of 6592

No - just straight earplugs marketed to musicians. Protect from noise (so they lower dBs) but you can still hear sound with clarity so unmuffled like normal earplugs. 

post #1997 of 6592


post #1998 of 6592

That's them. I think they're great so I don't want you bursting my perception bubble now...


On another topic I came across this regarding a certain rather expensive power cable:


Why should a power cord, outlet, or their influence on DTCD matter when "miles and miles of wire" precede the system?
Perhaps the most common misconception about electronics and electrical systems is the belief that components lie at the end-point of a long electrical pathway. Given the distances of ordinary wire that precede home or studio systems, many believe there is little value in using top quality power cords or similar high-performance AC components at the end of this electrical chain. The only problem with that concept is that it represents a false assumption based on what is commonly referred to as the garden-hose analogy.
Power is not delivered to electronics like water through a hose and components do not sit at the end of a long distance electrical delivery hose. All power supplies lay between two poles of alternating current -- the hot and neutral. Once powered on, components represent the beginning of an electrical interaction, not an end point. They are essentially tapping into a vast reservoir of current.
Components that are in close electrical proximity to one another are dramatically affected by neighboring components electrical emissions including EMI, RFI and conducted electrical noise. Electronics have long proven to be far more affected by noise generated within the system -- through shared AC distribution, component radiated EMI or the back wave of power-supply energy, than they are by noise generated hundreds of feet much less miles away. In brief, electronics are minimally affected by electrical conditions that exist outside their immediate environment (with the exception of voltage fluctuations which are tightly regulated by the power company).
Let's define the local electrical environment as that which exists between the home's AC electrical panel and the home entertainment system. Beginning at the electrical panel, the importance and gauge of the in-wall wiring, splice connections, terminations, and outlets increases dramatically as the AC signal nears its interface point with the power supplies of electronics. By this measure, the power cord connecting a component to its power source is not the last six feet of an electrical hose. At the point of connection between a component and power source, the power cord becomes a functional extension of the power supply itself.
In terms of AC delivery, it is this local electrical network of primary connections, terminations, wiring and outlets that will have the greatest potential impact on the performance capability of recording, mastering and consumer A/V systems. These simple tenets are based on the near-field sensitivity and functionality of all A/V components.
I have evaluated several aftermarket power cords in my system and cannot hear a difference. Why?
Assuming the power cords tested were well made and served the purpose of reasonable DTCD then several common variables are likely playing a role in a null result.
DTCD is a foundational power delivery concept, not a power cord or an outlet -- not a make or a model. Replacing one stock power cord with a better aftermarket model on a CD player, pre-amp or amp is analogous to pouring one part clean water into four parts dirty water -- the "water" is still dirty. To get a clear idea of the capability of improved AC cords, it important to replace ALL of the cables that have low DTCD and are impeding current delivery. The integrity of the rest of local AC network should also be evaluated. One loose connection or significantly degraded AC contact point can obscure benefits elsewhere.
The other major factor to consider in evaluating the potential advantages of a measurably better power cord is the balance of the AC system. Systems that use massive low-pass filters will automatically be less sensitive to the (low-impedance to peak current) advantages of top quality outlets or power cords.
Systems that use transformers, chokes, coils, voltage stabilizers and AC "networks" represent the opposite end of the spectrum from DTCD in terms of engineering and philosophy.
It never benefits a pro or consumer A/V system to mix and match varying AC perspectives in the same system. Most often, competing approaches will unnecessarily complicate the system and make results of future component or power-system evaluations impossible to predict.
If the evaluation context is within a replay system then the system and room variables also come into play in how apparent a single or dual power cord change might be.
post #1999 of 6592
Question: Why is it that three feet of wire makes a difference when 20 miles of wire to the power plant doesn't?

Answer: Because all of your other equipment is polluting it. Buy a fancy wire for your refrigerator and AC unit too!

Question: I bought your overpriced wire and I couldn't hear a difference. Why?

Answer: Because the rest of your system sucks!

I love stuff like that!
post #2000 of 6592

I use carbon instead of copper wire in my power leads.


Why do they get so darn hot?

post #2001 of 6592
Bigshot - you said you analyse your setup for gremlins or underperformance and focus on improving those areas. Would you mind sharing with the noobs like me how you would approach doing that? E.g.: I like my new setup but I expect the bass could be tighter and I detect a bit of sibilance in the treble sometimes. If it's trade secrets - I understand smily_headphones1.gif.

Thanks, Andy
post #2002 of 6592

My favorite post in a long time. The claim? Some powerbanks make your dap sound better than others. Behold: 


I want share my experiment with 3 power bank charger as follow :

Source : AK 120
Headphone : LCD 3
Power bank : with 2 USB charger 1 mAh and 2 mAh , Energizer only 1 USB

from left to right

Yoobao limited edition with Swarovski crystal 7800 mAh white colour

Hame 10400 mAh blue colour

Energizer power bank XP 8000

SQ :

The best sound quality if I charge my AK 120 with these 3 power banks as follow

The best SQ is with Hame , the best balance SQ the best bass impact
Second best SQ is with Energizer xp 8000
Third best SQ is with Yoobao

High : with Hame more clear and extended high
Mid : with Hame more sweet and clear
Bass : with Hame very clean bass impact and bass detail
Clarity: with Hame is the best m second Energizer
Separation : the best separation with Hame
Soundstage : the best with Hame , second Energizer
Backgound : with Hame has the black background

Hearing is believing please try it , I is very interesting experience
Can improve the power from AK 120 as well , I can drive my LCD 3 in loud but very excellent SQ

Conclusion : if I use power bank with higher ampere , can make the best SQ for my AK 120


This is a level of self-delusion I just can't comprehend. I think this guy is seriously addicted to buying gear. He has every piece of high-end portable gear known to man, and always posts multiple pics of his newest/latest/best-sounding blahblahblah etc. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I think this is an addiction of his. Frightening stuff. If I'm wrong, please correct me since I'm being fairly critical (I should be nicer, I know.)

Edited by doublea71 - 6/3/13 at 3:20am
post #2003 of 6592

That's like saying "I tested 3 keyboards X, Y and Z and with X the font looks the smoothest in Word."

post #2004 of 6592

Thanks for this write-up. Helped me a ton. :)

post #2005 of 6592
Originally Posted by acdalek View Post

Bigshot - you said you analyse your setup for gremlins or underperformance and focus on improving those areas. Would you mind sharing with the noobs like me how you would approach doing that? E.g.: I like my new setup but I expect the bass could be tighter and I detect a bit of sibilance in the treble sometimes.

The first thing I'd do is try to determine if the stuff you're hearing is mixed into the music itself. Find a super clean recording with lots of bass and high end and see if it still acts up.

If there are still problems even with well recorded music, it's likely frequency response issues in your headphones. I'd start by looking at published response graphs on your particular make and model and see if you see a midbass bump and a spike around 8kHz. A good equalizer can help you isolate the trouble areas and tame them. Always EQ subtractively. Don't push frequencies up... pull all the other frequencies down.

See if that helps.
post #2006 of 6592
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 Always EQ subtractively. Don't push frequencies up... pull all the other frequencies down.

Generally agree, subtractive is the first choice when using a graphic EQ, but with judgement. If there's a 1/3 octave dip, it doesn't make sense to pull 3 octaves down to fix it.  


More importantly, use the right tools.  A graphic equalizer with fixed frequencies is far less useful than a full parametric where you can dial in the exact frequency, Q and gain of the response problem you're trying to fix.  When you do that, the subtractive-only approach is less applicable.   Often having 5 bands of full parametric beats a 1/3 octave graphic hands down.

post #2007 of 6592

Great advice Bigshot and Jaddie. Thank you kindly. Off I blunder into the world of EQ and analogue vs digital, graphic vs parametric, etc... It's funny because before reading this and another thread I would have been straight to the upgrade cables/upgrade sources/upgrade everything I possibly can. No harm in playing with EQ and room layout first.


Edit: Wow I've just noticed that this thread's very own Xnor has created a highly recommended EQ in Foobar. Well that's where I'll start then. Nice work Xnor!

Edited by 367459 - 6/3/13 at 11:03pm
post #2008 of 6592

This is speakers, not headphones? If so room layout might have a lot to do with your bass problem. Also, if you have a sub, it might just be a level imbalance between the mains and sub.

post #2009 of 6592

Thx Bigshot. I guess the first thing I can do is compare whether I hear the same thing through speakers and headphones. That would be a good start. Right, back to the myths and claims...

post #2010 of 6592

I'm not sure if this is considered a myth, but what exactly do people mean when they use the term "black background"?

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