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How much difference good DAC makes? - Page 4

post #46 of 67

^ Strangely enough, I can always hear the difference between cables and DACs under sighted conditions, and when looking online after writing down my conclusion, I have always found people hearing the same as me. [/sarcarm]

But even more strangely, most of those differences disappear in a blinded test.

post #47 of 67

^^ (i.e. last comment on the last page) When I read stuff like that, I realize that not everyone has stopped drinking the Kool-Aid...

post #48 of 67

 

Sometimes I wish stupidity would take a day off. Why can't they just implement a hearing test upon registering an account here at head-fi?
 
In the most laymen terms I can think of... you know how a lot of people listen to Bose and the Beats, how friends don't understand why you would spend hundreds on headphones; they just don't get it.
post #49 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

 

Sometimes I wish stupidity would take a day off. Why can't they just implement a hearing test upon registering an account here at head-fi?
 
In the most laymen terms I can think of... you know how a lot of people listen to Bose and the Beats, how friends don't understand why you would spend hundreds on headphones; they just don't get it.


Yeah, I wish it would too!  And that test ought to be an [word removed to prevent deletion] test so people can hear what they're hearing, not what they're seeing....

 


Edited by BlackbeardBen - 3/25/11 at 10:30am
post #50 of 67
Agreed.
post #51 of 67

A DAC that isn't your typical onboard DAC doesn't make that much of a difference IME.  The differences are rather subtle. 


Edited by moonboy403 - 3/25/11 at 6:42pm
post #52 of 67

I've noticed that a good DAC kind of decreases the gap between good and better headphones. My low end headphones like KSC-75 sound scarily close to my high end headphones with my desktop DAC, but I can't even bear listening to the low ends from my fuze.

post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post

But the sound out of the ipod setup really impressed me. It wasn't even an imod/diymod. It was an ipod with an alo wooden dock(don't know if that made much of a difference or not).


Any chance of you being a little more specific, moodryn - I thought Ken was pushing the Solo stack for the iPod, but perhaps he and Vinnie have cooked something else up ?

 

Edit: sorry - is this the dock you are referring to ?

 

http://www.aloaudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_15&products_id=396

 

If so, in ALO terms, its quite reasonably priced. I think they have LODs that cost more.


Edited by estreeter - 3/27/11 at 7:29pm
post #54 of 67
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

˄ When I read crap like that I feel like I'm in a secret club, that and thank God for giving me ears that work.


I'm glad there are people willing to be honest and say they can't hear a difference. I've done blind testing on DACs/Interconnects/Bitrates and the differences I thought I could distinguish were not present when I didn't know which I was listening to. I think the viewpoint of the obsessed/upgrade mad member gets a little too much "airtime" here. Volume matched it is very hard to tell apart modern well implemented DACs run through the same amp. Also you come across as kinda... well... I don't want to get into trouble. 

 

post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by blockhead View Post

I'm glad there are people willing to be honest and say they can't hear a difference. I've done blind testing on DACs/Interconnects/Bitrates and the differences I thought I could distinguish were not present when I didn't know which I was listening to. I think the viewpoint of the obsessed/upgrade mad member gets a little too much "airtime" here. Volume matched it is very hard to tell apart modern well implemented DACs run through the same amp. Also you come across as kinda... well... I don't want to get into trouble. 

 

I don't have a problem with people being honest... I have a problem with naysayers who habitually spread nonsense throughout a hi-fi community. How a member of a few months can decide what should get "airtime" here makes you slightly narcissistic. Whether you like it or not it all comes down to experience; if you can't hear a difference learn from it, it does not automatically equate to members being bewitched.
 
With your mentality what I don't understand is... and I'll use myself as an example. Why would I choose to have a $800 DAC and a $200 headphone when as you and your defeatist crew say a $200 DAC and $800 headphone would sound better? -- Why would I do that to myself?
 
It's easy to revert to calling people mad and claiming there to be some kind of conspiracy at work, the truth is there are differences that become quote apparent with experience and this to many is worth paying for. Given a choice an inexperienced listener would likely prefer the sound of the Sony XB500 and iPod over a Sennheiser HD800 and Leben.
 
It might sound simple and/or condescending but it takes time to understand what good audio is, it's unfortunate this needs discussing.
post #56 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post
It might sound simple and/or condescending but it takes time to understand what good audio is, it's unfortunate this needs discussing.


Well said!

post #57 of 67

Wait, who is spreading the nonsense here?  Those who say that our perception is not to be trusted in standard subjective testing when there are other highly proven causes for "hearing" differences or improvements - placebo, unmatched levels, etc. - or those who say to blindly accept what we perceive without any sort of critical thinking whatsoever?

post #58 of 67

In order to know the difference between what sounds good or not, you have to know what to listen for.

To figure out what to listen for, you have to listen, analyze and take the music apart with your mind, that takes training.

Just like some people use glasses and some do not, peoples hearing ability varies as well.

 

I recently upgraded from a DAC_I to a Atoll DAC 100, the DAC 100 is definitely better then the DAC_I.

The differences between the DAC_I and DAC 100 apart form the DAC_I being on the warm side and the DAC 100 being slightly bright, is hard to notice if I use my LD mkV amp, but with the Aragon 18k it is a totally different story.

Details I have never heard before are staring me in the face, right there and obvious where I thought there was nothing.

DAC's do make a difference, but only if you amp and headphone can make use of it.


Edited by Adda - 3/29/11 at 11:56am
post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

 

I don't have a problem with people being honest... I have a problem with naysayers who habitually spread nonsense throughout a hi-fi community. How a member of a few months can decide what should get "airtime" here makes you slightly narcissistic. Whether you like it or not it all comes down to experience; if you can't hear a difference learn from it, it does not automatically equate to members being bewitched.
 
With your mentality what I don't understand is... and I'll use myself as an example. Why would I choose to have a $800 DAC and a $200 headphone when as you and your defeatist crew say a $200 DAC and $800 headphone would sound better? -- Why would I do that to myself?
 
It's easy to revert to calling people mad and claiming there to be some kind of conspiracy at work, the truth is there are differences that become quote apparent with experience and this to many is worth paying for. Given a choice an inexperienced listener would likely prefer the sound of the Sony XB500 and iPod over a Sennheiser HD800 and Leben.
 
It might sound simple and/or condescending but it takes time to understand what good audio is, it's unfortunate this needs discussing.


I said what I said, it doesn't mean I have a "mentality" regarding this or am part of any "defeatist crew". I don't think expressing my opinion is narcissistic and how long I've been a member is irrelevant. Who called anyone mad or claimed a conspiracy? Yes..yes XB500 vs HD800 etc. but I wasn't discussing headphones or amps just volume matched modern DACs. You seem very creative. 

 

post #60 of 67

Hold on - doesnt 'conventional wisdom' tell us that its all about the 'weakest link in the chain' ?

 

1. If my headphones/speakers are capable of resolving the analog details being passed from my amp, how will I know just how good that source/amp combination is ?

 

2. If my amp isnt capable of rendering the analog signal from my DAC in all its power and majesty, how can I make a call on the abilities of my DAC ?

 

And so it goes. Can I test a 3K DAC with an entry-level amp ? Maybe, but I'd be inclined to try and find something a little further up the chain.

 

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