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New Audiolab DAC - Page 4

post #46 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpunk View Post

@Kaos,

Let's just say that his views about the mysterious nature of audio and that things can be heard but not measured doesn't fit with my own views as an objectivist. He seems to be a genuinely nice guy but some of his comments just rub me the wrong way. He definitely caters for the "Hi-Fi" crowd and they seem to love it.



At the risk of pasting way too much information from the Pink Fish Media thread, here is an illustrative post that JohnW (coincidentally(?)) made today on this very subject...

 

 

Trade: Lakewest
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 899
 
Before I’m labeled as a subjectivist, I’d like to make it VERY clear that I’ve spent literately millions of pounds on my own test equipment to help assist in developing better designs.

However, no matter how much we measure our designs, at the end of the day our designs are approved by listening – there’s a huge gap between the “standard” audio measurements that “technophiles” ask for such as SNR, THD, etc and “Sound quality”

I’ve attached some picture of a small part of my old PERSONAL LAB before I packed it off to China (I don’t have more recent pictures, as I’m not the type to take pictures of boring old lab equipment).







If you look closely, you will see the two atomic clocks which where “locked” to each other to reduce their Phase noise (Jitter) – these are used as our Labs “House Clock standards” – References for our Jitter measurement systems.

We now have three primary standard Atomic Clocks – to reduce Phase noise even further – care to tell me any other audio designers who can claim this, and go to so much length to investigate and understand Jitter?

We measures, we test, we listen, we measure and listen over and over again… we do this on a daily basis to make our own conclusions.

Until the day we learn how and what to measure – "sadly" we still have to listen. Trust me it drives me crazy when something sounds different (under well controlled conditions), and yet I cannot measure anything of any significants - it does make me ask why I spent so much on the test equipment in the first place.

I believe what we hear can be measured, and one day we will be able to measure “sound quality, it would sure make my job easier – but we are not there yet! Until that day I’ll perform both measurements and listening tests.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

post #47 of 857

I am still following the PF thread with great interest. My main issue with the Hi-Fi world is the belief that the SQ of of something like a DAC can be improved indefinitely. You get to a point when improvement in jitter and power regulation doesn't become audible any more. Studies about jitter suggest the threshold is 40ns, with many people unable to differentiate a signal with 100ns of introduced jitter. Harman Kardon is as far as I know the only Hi-Fi company using blind tests to test their design.

Personally, after trying quite a few expansive DACs, I am using a £160 TC Konnekt 6, which I hoped to replace with John's MDAC.

You still have to give due respect to the man who gave us the fantastic CA Dacmagic. 

post #48 of 857

It's you again haha....

 

On that note, will I expect to see much improvement over the CA Dacmagic?? I'm hoping to see (hear) a decent improvement.....  OR am I setting myself up for a fall?

post #49 of 857

I don't really follow the PF forums but Westlake is no charlatan. He's an interesting designer with real pedigree. Some of his designs, courtesy of WPedia:

 

Audiolab M-Dac D/A converter - What HiFi sound & Vision Product of The Year 2011
Audiolab 8200 CD player - What HiFi sound & Vision Product of The Year 2010 and What HiFi sound & Vision Product of The Year 2011
Audiolab 8200 CDQ - CD player, DAC & preamplifier
Nova Peachtree Audio D / A integrated amplifier - Stereophile Budget Product of The Year 2009
Decco 2 Peachtree Audio - integrated Amplifier
iDecco Peachtree Audio- Tube Hybrid Integrated Amp with “Pure Digital” iPod Dock
DACMagic Cambridge Audio
CD4 Cambridge Audio
CD4SE Cambridge Audio
CD6 Cambridge Audio
DAC 1, 2, 3 Cambridge Audio
ISO MAgic Cambridge Audio
DaCapo Pink Triangle
Ordinal Pink Triangle
Cardinal Pink Triangle

 

I loved the PT DaCapo, and wish I had held onto it. The MDAC ought to be an excellent-sounding, flexible DAC at its pricepoint. There will be better and worse DACs at its and other pricepoints. I'm looking forward to hearing it but I don't expect there to be life-and-death differences from my current DACs. It's really about features and fit, I think.

 

o

post #50 of 857

Nobody insinuated John Westlake was a charlatan, certainly not me. My only issue has  more to do with personal views and design philosophy. I much rather buy something from designers such as John Lavry, who won't hesitate to debunk any audiophile non-sense. 


Edited by zenpunk - 11/13/11 at 4:38am
post #51 of 857

Atomic clocking? Seems like a rather extravagant waste of money if you ask me. In fact, the ridiculous emphasis on jitter measurement implies that even his "proof he measures stuff" is being used in a PR-led way to show he pays attention to the latest buzzwords.

As for the magical differences not covered by his stacks of measurement equipment, don't suppose anyone could interest him in a blind test? Disproving half of what we thought we knew about electricity would certainly give physicists something to think about...

Oh, but of course, I forgot. No need to test for differences you can hear...

 

 

And I like the DACMagic!

post #52 of 857

Well mine will be despatched tommorrow for Tuesday delivery. I don't want to get bogged down by all the negative stuff, I'm very exited about my purchase!

 

Anyone want a DACMagic??

post #53 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

Atomic clocking? Seems like a rather extravagant waste of money if you ask me. In fact, the ridiculous emphasis on jitter measurement implies that even his "proof he measures stuff" is being used in a PR-led way to show he pays attention to the latest buzzwords.

As for the magical differences not covered by his stacks of measurement equipment, don't suppose anyone could interest him in a blind test? Disproving half of what we thought we knew about electricity would certainly give physicists something to think about...

Oh, but of course, I forgot. No need to test for differences you can hear...

 

 

And I like the DACMagic!


I think this belongs in Sound Science, but I also think you're misconstruing Westlake's comments. Here's what he sad in the section Runswithaliens quoted:

 

Until the day we learn how and what to measure – "sadly" we still have to listen. Trust me it drives me crazy when something sounds different (under well controlled conditions), and yet I cannot measure anything of any significants - it does make me ask why I spent so much on the test equipment in the first place.

I believe what we hear can be measured, and one day we will be able to measure “sound quality, it would sure make my job easier – but we are not there yet! Until that day I’ll perform both measurements and listening tests.

 

That seems like a pretty standard statement of practice from designers who are also engineers. For the record, here is Dan (not John) Lavry on how he finalizes his digital designs with musicality in mind:

 

Engineering is the art of optimizing and compromising. Making gear musical does take lot of experience and understanding of the ear. I never underestimate the ability of a good ear.

 

Anyway, looking forward to comments on the MDAC once they're in peoples' hands. Mine included, of course.

 

s

post #54 of 857

My main concerns is that if you don't have a clue as why things sound different and you can't even measure it then how can you even design a DAC? Designing a DAC sounds more like alchemy than electronic engineering.

Hold down! My computer just transfigured itself into a magical box.very_evil_smiley.gif

post #55 of 857

I really like this DAC. Out of the ones I have short listed, the Anedio, EE Mini Max, BiFrost, this is the only one with balanced output. Great value for money!

post #56 of 857

I'm in on the planetofsound pre-order...Hope my decision to choose the M-DAC over the MF M1 DAC A was the right one...

post #57 of 857

Well mine arrived yesterday and is now set up. Had a bit of time (1 hour) last night and am relieved to say it is a fair step up from the DACMagic. The thing I was not expecting was the astounding headphone amp, I was expecting something ok but this is a fantastic headphone amp with lots of power.....

 

post #58 of 857

How is the build quality? Will I be able to place a 27-inch monitor on the top without the case bowing (I understand that I will be blocking some venting, but that is altogether another matter)...

 

Update: Answered by sq225917 @ pink fish "The case is a single box extrusion with an internal rib, you'd struggle to bow it."


Edited by adamlau - 11/18/11 at 4:52am
post #59 of 857
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpudHarris View Post

Well mine arrived yesterday and is now set up. Had a bit of time (1 hour) last night and am relieved to say it is a fair step up from the DACMagic. The thing I was not expecting was the astounding headphone amp, I was expecting something ok but this is a fantastic headphone amp with lots of power.....

 



Wow! Thanks for keeping us updated. Looking out for more comments when you've spent more time w it! :)

 

 

post #60 of 857

Well, I made a balanced cable (2 x female 3 pin XLR to Hirose) this evening and I'm pleased to say the results for my HE-6 and LCD-2 are fantastic.

 

Anyone wondering, I terminated my cables recently with Hirose Connectors for my DB-2/PB-2 iBasso set up....

 

Only problem with this scenario is I want more time listening biggrin.gif and there just isn't enough hours in the day.

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