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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 17

post #241 of 3261
Quote:
Originally Posted by onef View Post


 


 

 

gsilver, that's absolutely right. Which is why it's necessary that longer runs require a lower gauge wire to compensate for signal attenuation. Back to basics.
 

BlackbeardBen, could it be possible that difference you heard was from the replacement of possibly internally corroded cables, or that replacing the cables disturbed contact corrosion that had developed over the 20 years? Removing such would make a drastic improvement on SQ. I think this is the case for experiencing improved sound with new cables, more than anything else.


 



I think internal corrosion could be a contributor, but I had fresh wire exposed on them (recently installed) so contact corrosion (at least at the connections) should not have been a problem.  The wire had become quite stiff though.

 

I think the bigger issue may have been the length/gauge of the wire and coiling the excess (many loops, could have induced RF interference and/or enough back-EMF to notice).  Remember, I was running 4 ohm nominal speakers that extend almost as low as 1 ohm at some frequencies, so the resistance of such a long and thin wire running such low impedance speaker at high power levels may have been a factor.

post #242 of 3261
Thread Starter 

Bump as more tests added. The total is 29 now and still waiting for a positive blind test for a cable.

post #243 of 3261

Great thread. Replying for bookmark

 

Edit: Subscribed biggrin.gif


Edited by matbhuvi - 12/21/10 at 7:51pm
post #244 of 3261

I wont be buying any megabuck cables anytime soon, particularly USB cables, but I would be happy to submit to any blind test with a pair of headphones plugged into my (modest) DAC+amp combination vs the onboard audio in my netbook. Regardless of the music, I know that the latter is more compressed, edgy/shrill and lacking in dynamics. Whether I could tell the difference between my current rig and the Grace M903 is a different question, but I would be more than a little stunned if I couldnt. I guess you dont know until you take part in such testing. 

 

I'd also like to put some of these folks in a listening room with a pair of Krell monoblocks hooked up to a pair of Focal Grande Utopia floorstanders and ask them to tell me if they could *feel* any difference between that and the Pioneer amp ....

post #245 of 3261
Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

<snip>

 

I'd also like to put some of these folks in a listening room with a pair of Krell monoblocks hooked up to a pair of Focal Grande Utopia floorstanders and ask them to tell me if they could *feel* any difference between that and the Pioneer amp ....


Probably can't "feel" any difference until you drive the Pioneer amp into clipping.......

post #246 of 3261
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

I wont be buying any megabuck cables anytime soon, particularly USB cables, but I would be happy to submit to any blind test with a pair of headphones plugged into my (modest) DAC+amp combination vs the onboard audio in my netbook. Regardless of the music, I know that the latter is more compressed, edgy/shrill and lacking in dynamics. Whether I could tell the difference between my current rig and the Grace M903 is a different question, but I would be more than a little stunned if I couldnt. I guess you dont know until you take part in such testing. 

 

I'd also like to put some of these folks in a listening room with a pair of Krell monoblocks hooked up to a pair of Focal Grande Utopia floorstanders and ask them to tell me if they could *feel* any difference between that and the Pioneer amp ....


 

That seems rather obvious.  You wouldn't need blind tests to know the difference between on-board and a DAC/Amp combo.

 

You would for cables though.  You have people spending far too much on cables which don't change the sound.  Perhaps they colour it, but if that's the case then the user simply prefers a different sound signature. 

post #247 of 3261

I've seen on-board chips that beat even not-so-cheap usb DACs in terms of SNR/dynamic range, distortion ...

 

Generalizing that every on-board soundcard is inferior than external dedicated DACs is closed-minded and bordering on ignorance. tongue.gif

post #248 of 3261
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I've seen on-board chips that beat even not-so-cheap usb DACs in terms of SNR/dynamic range, distortion ...

 

Generalizing that every on-board soundcard is inferior than external dedicated DACs is closed-minded and bordering on ignorance. tongue.gif



Back at you with the "not-so-cheap" part.  I could resell a USB DAC at 10x the price, isn't going to make it better.

post #249 of 3261
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anjexu View Post


.....  You wouldn't need blind tests to know the difference between on-board and a DAC/Amp combo.......

 

 


But it would be interesting to see what the result would be.

post #250 of 3261

What I'm more curious to know is from which laptops or which desktop computer motherboards have good sound better than most onboard. From what I know, a large proportion of motherboards use "Realtek HD Audio", it's hard to find onboard sound that is not realtek
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I've seen on-board chips that beat even not-so-cheap usb DACs in terms of SNR/dynamic range, distortion ...

 

Generalizing that every on-board soundcard is inferior than external dedicated DACs is closed-minded and bordering on ignorance. tongue.gif

post #251 of 3261

AFIK the its not really the chip itself, but the implementation.  The power supply side needs to be properly filtered, and the analog side needs to be well shielded.  I'm pretty sure Realtek has several different chips with different specs, but I've got no idea which chip is best or which OEM board put in what name brand computer has a good implementation.  Its likely to be pretty hard to find out which chip is best since I doubt people are itching to review these things, and because implementing it properly costs more than the chip itself, a getting a good chip isn't a guarantee of a good implementation.

post #252 of 3261
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I've seen on-board chips that beat even not-so-cheap usb DACs in terms of SNR/dynamic range, distortion ...

 

Generalizing that every on-board soundcard is inferior than external dedicated DACs is closed-minded and bordering on ignorance. tongue.gif



I'd really like to see the part nos and a link to a laptop/PC that comes standard with such a chip. I do agree that implementation is more important than the silicon, but that is where I start to get a little hot under the collar : Intel put millions into improving onboard graphics for the Core i3/5/7 chips, and about $20K into doing something with the audio. The codec on older chips is usually Realtek. but I believe that most of the newer stuff is the 'Intel High Definition Audio':

 

http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/hdaudio.htm

 

I have posed the question on several forums as to whether folk can hear an appreciable difference in onboard sound with the newer chips/architecture,. but most people are obsessed with video framerates and their only concession to audio is a set of Logitech USB powered speakers for gaming.

 

As I said, how about some links to the super chips you referred to earlier ?

post #253 of 3261
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

I'd really like to see the part nos and a link to a laptop/PC that comes standard with such a chip. I do agree that implementation is more important than the silicon, but that is where I start to get a little hot under the collar : Intel put millions into improving onboard graphics for the Core i3/5/7 chips, and about $20K into doing something with the audio. The codec on older chips is usually Realtek. but I believe that most of the newer stuff is the 'Intel High Definition Audio':

 

http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/hdaudio.htm

 

I have posed the question on several forums as to whether folk can hear an appreciable difference in onboard sound with the newer chips/architecture,. but most people are obsessed with video framerates and their only concession to audio is a set of Logitech USB powered speakers for gaming.

 

As I said, how about some links to the super chips you referred to earlier ?


http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2747#ov

 

Is an ancient board (released around '07) with a chip that has pretty flat FR, noise level below -96 dB(A), THD below 0.005%, overall rated "very good" by RMAA.

The board cost less than 100 euros and had a lot to offer besides the 7.1 audio chip.


Edited by xnor - 12/23/10 at 4:37pm
post #254 of 3261


http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2747#ov

 

Is an ancient board (released around '07) with a chip that has pretty flat FR, noise level below -96 dB(A), THD below 0.005%, overall rated "very good" by RMAA.

The board cost less than 100 euros and had a lot to offer besides the 7.1 audio chip.

 

Thanks for that - a card for gamers, and its good to see that they put some time into the audio. I would like to hear this from the headphone out. 

post #255 of 3261
Quote:
Originally Posted by kite7 View Post

What I'm more curious to know is from which laptops or which desktop computer motherboards have good sound better than most onboard. From what I know, a large proportion of motherboards use "Realtek HD Audio", it's hard to find onboard sound that is not realtek
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I've seen on-board chips that beat even not-so-cheap usb DACs in terms of SNR/dynamic range, distortion ...

 

Generalizing that every on-board soundcard is inferior than external dedicated DACs is closed-minded and bordering on ignorance. tongue.gif


 

 

I absolutely agree. My subjective ranking of various devices' headphone outputs using low impedance Etymotic HF5 goes something like:

 

1) NuForce Icon HDP  (superb clarity, great detail, quite a different league)
2) NuForce uDAC-2  and... Asus Eee HAG1201 (yes! not much if any difference between the two)
3) Lavry DA10 headphone output   (xlr outs are way better but I'm not considering them here)

4) Meier Audio Porta Corda mk2 (I don't think it's still on sale)
5) Dell Latitude Z600 and E6400
 

As you may note, Asus Eee is on the same level as uDAC-2. I like its headphone jack more than DA10 and Porta Corda. Dells are a shame here.

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