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Audio gd Sparrow Blind Test - Page 33  

post #481 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post


Quote:

 

What you can't hear doesn't matter and will never matter to you personally.  What you can't hear, you can't make comments about with regard to importance for those who can hear it.  Assuming that since you can't hear something it automatically follows through that it can't be important and is self-deception on the part of those who place importance and value on it, is a massively egocentric position to take.  This has been the general slur all this thread and makes for a huge impediment to personal development and exploration of life's offerings.   I hope that it's an attitude that applies only to hifi, but I truly doubt this.
 


I took the above to be your response to CC (the you are referring to) and your complaints about him. 

post #482 of 502

You really haven't shown us that much evidence. Showing us one amp and saying that they all are the same is kind of dumb in my opinion.

post #483 of 502

Loads of evidence here.......

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

I think that it is noteworthy that the above thread is tiny compared to this one, which is again down to it is more fun and easier to attack CC than it is to attack a whole series of blind tests, which like CCs cast doubt on a number of audiophile claims.

 

post #484 of 502

lol. I could have predicted Prog was going to post that and those words are almost a carbon copy of what was said a week or so back. Honestly, the 'attack' on CC that you are claiming may have occurred in the earlier posts, but certainly towards the end, the frame of posts has evolved due to the manner of posting which CC has posted and nothing further. It has already been accepted that everyone has different ears and different perceptions of sound.

 

Also, I don't deny the possible accuracy of your thread that you have been promoting, I just don't have the technical ability to chime in. This is always going to continue back and forth with one side believing they hear something different, the other side using mechanical tests and graphs to show otherwise, but if at the end of the day, you can't recreate what another person hears and perceives in their own ears/mind, the debate will continue.

 

Companies prey on vulnerabilities or peoples' interests and that occurs in almost any hobby out there or even, most businesses out there. I think it's great what you are showing, don't get me wrong. But like many people have said earlier about CC, when the general mass hears a difference between their use of a DAC and the on-board soundcard, that in itself is hard to disprove.

 

Some of the articles you have shown compare the gazillion dollar products out there and I do believe those are over-hyped and do not have that much difference and I don't believe I will ever pay for them for several reasons, I am not musically trained to be able to discern any audible differences if any, but even then, I'm a firm believer in diminishing returns and marketing strategy and branding.

 

Again, I am not disagreeing with you or anything, in fact, I agree with parts of CC's arguments and the like, but I just do not agree with the way he went about it after people disagreed with his testing. Kudos to CC for carrying it out and kudos to you for backing him and bringing forth those articles, but CC did not have to invade other threads to try and impose his ideas on others. It is one thing to put information out there, it is another to enforce your ideas on others and treat it as law. I don't believe the people in this forum tell any of us that something sounds exactly like that. In fact, there are those that hear things differently, but we all agree to disagree.

 

I won't drag this any longer. All I wish to say is that I think the opposition to CC is the manner in which he has spoken out. I think people do appreciate his effort of carrying out the DBT and some have said how it could have been improved albeit not in nice ways sometimes, but I really just don't feel what is being said is about slating CC.

post #485 of 502

I know, I am like a stuck record cravenz. It is just that people keep asking for proof......and I give it to them. 

post #486 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

I know, I am like a stuck record cravenz. It is just that people keep asking for proof......and I give it to them. 


lol

post #487 of 502

Hey Carl - 

 

I promised I'd do some A/Bs with the gear once I finally got my JH13s back.  I finally got them back last week, but I'm incredibly behind in my work, so I just some quick tests and will give you my very quick, initial take.  So take with a grain of salt everyone, these are neither exhaustive nor conclusive in any way.

 

Amps-

onboard soundcard of macbookpro 15in 2.2ghz headphone out

audio-gd sparrow (a-/b+ less than an A, more than a B - made specifically for JH13s) with a good (though cheap) optical connection to macbookpro 

ibasso D4 with 9.6v battery and hiflight topkit 

 

Phones-

old, weary Senn 580s 

JH-13 Pros 

 

Skipping test methodology, etc, etc.

 

Conclusions:

 

Carl is vindicated! ;)  Through my admittedly old and falling apart HD580s, the sound of the Sparrow and the mac were the closest of all in my tests.  I could barely tell them apart, and certainly could certainly not reliably discern them blind. In trying to figure out why this is the case, I believe it is because the mac has a good amount of power output, and it has a "smooth" sound signature (like ipods) that mellows out harshness (at the cost of some detail).  I could tell the computer and the D4 much more easily, because there was a definate harshness and angularity to the sound - more detail, but slightly less pleasurable to listen to.  But overall, both amps and the computer were very, very similar through the 580s.  Blind, I could not reliably tell them apart.  When looking and trying to discern differences, I could tell minor differences and have a bunch of notes, but for the purposes of this, I'll just say they were quite small.

 

For the JH13s, it was a whole different story.  First off, I could always instantly tell when the JH13s were plugged into the computer, because there was an unholy amount of line noise.  Just lots of ugly static that neither of the amps had.  Second, the computer was FAR too loud - I needed to turn everything way down to compare, which probably effected the sound a bit.  The more interesting comparison then became between the sparrow and the D4.  And honestly, here it was very hard to choose.  Blind, it would totally depend on the music.  There were certain tunes that I learned to hear the differences between them, while others I had no idea. Overall, it was impossible to reliably tell a difference between the two blind.  But since I needed to sell one and keep the other, I had a very personal reason to decide which I felt was better / liked more.  The D4 was about $100 more expensive with the accessories, but that wasn't a huge amount of money, and it was portable.  Again, I won't belabor all the individual tests, songs, methodologies, details, etc.  The general conclusion, for the JH13s, for me, was this: both amps sound better than the iphone 3gs, but not by so much that I'd want to carry a separate amp and LOD around with me on the subway - esp given the noise on the subway. Yes the Jh13s filter out the noise, but not 100%, and you have to have absolute quiet if you're going to hear the details that separate them.  So the portability became a non-issue.  Then it was just SQ.  And honestly, I think both amps are fine.  Neither was a runaway favorite.  But finally, finally, I went with the customized Sparrow for two reasons: 1) the sound had all of the fine details, but a little bit more smoothness and refinement that made it more pleasurable to listen to at higher volumes.  For classical, especially, there are sections where the D4 would have the violins shreeking up loud - the sparrow never did, they were present, detailed, but smoother. 2) the bass hump.  I realized, after a lot of A/Bing, that the D4 and the sparrow both have a bass hump, but at different frequencies.  The D4's is at the normal place for the subbass of a lot of pop/rap music.  So if you have a song like Kanye West's Celebration, his bass drum 4/4 is right on the hump and gets grossly exaggerated.  You don't hear it on every song, but it's definately there, and on some it sounds great, on some it's too much.  The Sparrow has one that's lower down - at the very very bottom of the spectrum.  Rather than a hump, it sounds more like 'fullness' or 'depth' - just a bit more 'oomph' from the music as a whole in the lower end, rather than a specific frequency.  There were a few times where I thought the sparrow might be making things a bit muddier than the D4, but the majority of the time, I really liked this greater "solidity" to the bottom end.  It made it more visceral - probably because of the increased power from the outlet.  

 

So that's all - in the end, very very similar, minor differences.  Apple obviously cares a lot about audio, and since they have a million audio people working on powerbooks and the majority of the market in ipods, they obviously know what they're doing and can produce good quality sound at a reasonable price.  So do many good sound card manufacturers. Sparrow and D4 are similarly priced Dac/amps, with the D4/topkit a bit more for its portability and a bit less power due to its battery.  Basically, exactly what you'd expect.  As I've said before, and most people here would surely agree, as you spend more and more, you're going to get less and less for your money.  The best value is probably whatever costs $20 these days, and it's all downhill from there.   Nevertheless, I'm really happy with my JH13 / Sparrow / Iphone3gs combination, and since I got the Jh13 for about half off, I consider them a decent value - definitely a few steps above the Triple Fi's I had before.


Edited by AVU - 7/4/10 at 3:33pm
post #488 of 502
Thread Starter 

Yeah, amps may do different things with other headphones.  But what got me is that the HD580s were supposedly supposed to be significantly improved with dedicated amp.  Obviously they don't.  It just makes me skeptical of all of it.  Then there is the crap like the HD650 cable sounds better than the HD600 cable..... rofl

 

Apple as well as Intel, Asus and many other companies all have excellent output sound.  Welcome to the future of audio.  Increasing technology has made you people's hobby useless.  Get used to it.  I am out...unsubscribed.

 

RichardNixonFarewell.jpg


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 7/4/10 at 6:45pm
post #489 of 502

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post

 

Apple as well as Intel, Asus and many other companies all have excellent output sound.  Welcome to the future of audio.  Increasing technology has made you people's hobby useless.


That may be true for computers as music sources as far as standard DAC output, but I would contend that there is certainly room to improve the computer as a jitter-free source of digital music, like re-clocking the usb to a decent s/pdif output for example. The current crop of onboard DACs are certainly approaching the lower-end outboard units, but that is not to say that computers don't have room for improvement when compared to higher-end CD transports.


Edited by grokit - 7/4/10 at 4:09pm
post #490 of 502

Always good to have more opinion, especially regarding synergy, so thanks. In the same vein I have some natural sounding headphones that sound good out of many things. But one of my headphones and speakers are very picky about dac performance.

 

When you have time though, do share the test methodology and your scores :p or else I see both sides being irrational about what you've just contributed.

post #491 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post

Welcome to the future of audio.  Increasing technology has made you people's hobby useless.  Get used to it.


Hardly. Just because movies are limited to a 1920x1080 resolution doesn't make movie watching any less interesting a hobby. In the audiophile's case, it just costs less to really enjoy it.

 

This thread had so much potential, too. Shame the OP had to be such a troll about his results.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

That may be true for computers as music sources as far as standard DAC output, but I would contend that there is certainly room to improve the computer as a jitter-free source of digital music, like re-clocking the usb to a decent s/pdif output for example. The current crop of onboard DACs are certainly approaching the lower-end outboard units, but that is not to say that computers don't have room for improvement when compared to higher-end CD transports.


Have there even been any conclusive studies as to the audibility of jitter in computer audio?

post #492 of 502

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


Have there even been any conclusive studies as to the audibility of jitter in computer audio?


Here's one: this paper by Julian Dunn

 

Linked to from a decent article that touched upon the subject pretty extensively:

"Jitter has always been and still is the worst enemy of the digital audio format. And today it is fully understood. Jitter can only cause loss in audio quality at the A/D and D/A conversion process."

 

Also be sure and check out:

"It turns out that timing errors in the picosecond (ps) range—the time it takes light to travel inches—can audibly degrade digitally reproduced music. These timing errors—called jitter—are only now beginning to be understood (footnote 1)."

 

These folks seem to know what they are talking about, and have studied the subject objectively and yes, conclusively.


Edited by grokit - 7/4/10 at 5:59pm
post #493 of 502


Only read like the first page of each. Do any of them touch on the actual audibility? I know jitter can be measured, but does it pass a blind test?

post #494 of 502

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


Only read like the first page of each. Do any of them touch on the actual audibility? I know jitter can be measured, but does it pass a blind test?

 

This article refers to a Basic program for simulating the effect of any amount or kind of timing jitter on any frequency or level of sinewave signal with A/D converters running with any bit resolution at any sampling frequency, complete with comparable amplitude graphics:

 

"Uncertainty in the precise timing of that digital one or zero results in a loss of system resolution, with audible effects on the finally recovered analog signal."

 

It also spouts a very good analogy, IMO:

 

"As my violin teacher used to say, "The right note in the wrong place is the wrong note." It's the same with digital data. Uncertainty in the precise timing of that digital one or zero results in a loss of system resolution, with audible effects on the finally recovered analog signal."

 

I like scientific measurements better that DBTs, because DBTs are only as good as the listener/subject's perception is.


Edited by grokit - 7/4/10 at 6:22pm
post #495 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I like scientific measurements better that DBTs, because DBTs are only as good as the listener/subject's perception is.


And all the measurements in the world are only as good as the limits of our senses. The two need to go hand in hand, I think. With no proof that "uncertainty in the precise timing" is audible, the numbers only prove that there is a measurable difference.

 

And in an effort to steer the thread back on-course for as long as it remains above the waves, I liken it to Carl's amp. There's probably a multitude of different measurements which all show the Sparrow is vastly superior to onboard sound, but if it can't pass a blind test then it doesn't matter. At least not for whoever took the test, and presumably the population as a whole if enough other people fail as well.

 

Take a look at the graphs you just linked. The largest spikes of the 2ns jitter (ignoring the 10KHz peak) are at 9KHz and 11KHz, and peak around about -83dB. That's audible, at least with just test tones. But during a song with a lot going on, I don't think it's likely that someone would be able to spot it in a blind test. And, of course, that's if someone's listening above 83dB, which is (correct me) close to the recommended max volume for 8+ hours of listening. I personally probably (never measured) listen around 75-80dB, so that would be inaudible to me even with test tones. During a song, forget it.


Edited by Head Injury - 7/4/10 at 6:42pm
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