Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › USB cable supposedly improving DAC sound quality? How can I take other posts seriously after that?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

USB cable supposedly improving DAC sound quality? How can I take other posts seriously after that? - Page 9  

post #121 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

So, for instance, is what you're saying "a preponderance of evidence and evaluation begins to trend towards the same answers" that all USB cables will perform identical?

 

 

Yes. Thus far, all evidence and theory points to a conclusion that any properly made USB (or other audio) cable will perform identically to another of similar length. The only exception being those where the cable is part of the circuit (e.g. electric guitar), or where the cable is improperly used (or otherwise flawed) and causing feedback/inductance, or poorly shielded and other problems). Usually excluded by the "properly made" statement.

 

 

 

Quote:
I have provided those examples.  Identifying human voices.  Identifying sound-stage, imaging and layering in an IEM or headphone, etc.  

 

 

 

Human voices: computers can do this, measurements can do this. Voice print for one, and as I stated before, all we are looking for is identifying a difference between them, not the content and meaning of the difference.

 

Identifying sound-stage, imaging and layering in an IEM or headphone, etc. - You have not shown that measurements cannot evaluate this. I also don't have a problem with ABX and DBT being used as an evaluation tool (per my earlier statements). I DO have a problem with sighted/biased human evaluation being presented as acceptable for this field, when it is not for any other.  

 

 

 

Quote:
I provided the example of TV's versus audio, that audio gets away with marketing, where TV's don't, since visual... is a more exact science, with more accurate instrumentation, and more conclusive data.  It's also more visible, and the results vary less.

 

I don't disagree - audio does seem to get away with many wild claims that don't fly in other fields. But I disagree that the science is somehow more exact, or the instrumentation is somehow better and data more conclusive for video - the data for audio is very conclusive, but people seem to be more willing to ignore it.

 

 

Quote:
Yeah they will be corrected and called out I just meant the STAX will still sound better than the Skullcandy which could be proved with a blind-test survey, even if you used EQ and various effects to make the STAX look like crap on paper.

 

Anyone using eq and effects to make the STAX measure badly, is not doing science. Those studies and measurements would be discarded as flawed data, and should not be considered a flaw in the measurement process. Those are a flaw in the people who misunderstand the nature and value of experimentation. 

 

 

Ultimately - I suspect you and I largely agree. There is too much marketing hogwash, and too much of the audio press and public lets it slip (or propagates it). I just also think there is less mystery to audio than you do. 

 


Edited by liamstrain - 4/27/12 at 8:07am
post #122 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

.......

 

If there is a measureable improvement from one USB cable to the other, it doesn't mean studios or their suppliers will find it.

 

 

Apparently only audiophile USB cable makers have found it and only audiophiles can hear it. The problem is that neither can say for any certainty what 'it' is and how 'it' works and have any science to back their theories about 'it' up.

post #123 of 256

I get the impression from reading this thread (a very painful exercise) that many of us here do not realize, or have forgotten, that a USB cable is carrying digital data streams, 1's and 0's, not analog audio signals.  

 

The data is either there or it is not.  The data is either correctly interpreted by the digital to analog converter or not.  Any subtle change in the transmission characteristics of a USB cable are completely ignored by the transceiver at either end of the cable, until the data can no longer be correctly interpreted by the DAC.  Consequently, analog music either comes out of the DAC or not.  There are no shades of grey.  Data is interpreted as a 1 or as a 0.  No tweeners.

 

There is no subtlety about yes or no.  There are no "maybe's" or "sort of's."  Maybe's and sort of's come out as nothing (no readable data stream) or in rare cases, digital trash/hash. Maybe's cannot be interpreted as subtle changes in shades of frequency responses or anything else in the analog world.

post #124 of 256

THANK YOU!

post #125 of 256
Did hell just freeze over? blink.gif
post #126 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

Did hell just freeze over? blink.gif

'Been noticing a distinct chill in the air lately.  wink_face.gif

 

post #127 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

Did hell just freeze over? blink.gif

 

?

post #128 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Quote:
I have provided those examples. Identifying human voices. Identifying sound-stage, imaging and layering in an IEM or headphone, etc.

 

Human voices: computers can do this, measurements can do this. Voice print for one, and as I stated before, all we are looking for is identifying a difference between them, not the content and meaning of the difference.

 

With measurements and computers we can't evaluate a singers unique voicing.  A speaker, IEM or headphone is a bit like a singer, at least when they are coloured / voiced a certain way, which in a certain way, all of them are, since there is no 100% transparent audio experience yet, in which you can't tell if it's reproduction, or reality.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Identifying sound-stage, imaging and layering in an IEM or headphone, etc. - You have not shown that measurements cannot evaluate this. I also don't have a problem with ABX and DBT being used as an evaluation tool (per my earlier statements). I DO have a problem with sighted/biased human evaluation being presented as acceptable for this field, when it is not for any other.

 

How do I show that measurements can't evaluate something?  I don't know how to do that, but I'll work on it.  It's an intuitive conclusion, you can hear it, and the data for it isn't there, AFAIK.

 

I've seen some people say that soundstage is "only in the recording" or that soundstage in headphones "is only a personal illusion", to me that just says how far some people are entrenched in black and white science at times, instead of listening to the sonic spectra, and accepting it.

 

I agree with you that blind testing (of various types) is an acceptable solution.  I just don't think it's been exercised very much, there are limited tests there.  Obviously if you can't identify X or Y blind, then the difference is very slight at best, and possibly phantom sonics induced by visuals and expectation. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

I don't disagree - audio does seem to get away with many wild claims that don't fly in other fields. But I disagree that the science is somehow more exact, or the instrumentation is somehow better and data more conclusive for video - the data for audio is very conclusive, but people seem to be more willing to ignore it.

 

OK, you are right there.  For whatever reason, in audio/sonics, people don't seem very interested in proving something one way or the other, just believing.  Not only audio playback like speakers and cables, but instruments too, like $5,000 piano versus $50,000, X guitar brand is better than Y, X wood sounds better than Y.  I'm not exactly sure why that is... apart from my comment on human voices, which can apply to instruments too.  There is no data saying Ebony fretboards sound better than Rosewood, yes you can measure the differences, but I'm not sure if the measurement can be deciphered to correlate to the human perception.  The human perception could be proved to be fairly uniform though, with a blind-test survey, which once again, there is little of.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Ultimately - I suspect you and I largely agree. There is too much marketing hogwash, and too much of the audio press and public lets it slip (or propagates it).

 

Yes.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

I just also think there is less mystery to audio than you do.

 

Seems that way.

 

 

post #129 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

With measurements and computers we can't evaluate a singers unique voicing.  A speaker, IEM or headphone is a bit like a singer, at least when they are coloured / voiced a certain way, which in a certain way, all of them are, since there is no 100% transparent audio experience yet, in which you can't tell if it's reproduction, or reality.

 

 

Actually, I don't see why not. But more to the point - it can differentiate between two different singers, and provide a record of the differences between them. Humans evaluate the data to deduce the meaning of those differences.  

 

 

 

How do I show that measurements can't evaluate something?  I don't know how to do that, but I'll work on it.  It's an intuitive conclusion, you can hear it, and the data for it isn't there, AFAIK.

 

First show conclusively that people hear X difference between two headphones. Then show that there is no measurement data which demonstrates that difference. I believe soundstage, etc. are in fact data we can measure via instruments - as for where, precisely, that hides (e.g. what characteristic of headphone performance is responsible), is another matter. I would expect that attack/decay performance at various frequencies (visible in square wave) would be at least partially responsible for perceived separation and soundstage. 

post #130 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

With measurements and computers we can't evaluate a singers unique voicing. A speaker, IEM or headphone is a bit like a singer, at least when they are coloured / voiced a certain way, which in a certain way, all of them are, since there is no 100% transparent audio experience yet, in which you can't tell if it's reproduction, or reality.

 

 

Actually, I don't see why not.

 

Because on American Idol, they're not using instruments and data, and they never will.

 

Since audio reproduction is "voiced", much like an instrument or singer, the same rule applies... until you have a 100% transparent audio reproduction of reality.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

But more to the point - it can differentiate between two different singers, and provide a record of the differences between them. Humans evaluate the data to deduce the meaning of those differences.

 

Not very well.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

How do I show that measurements can't evaluate something? I don't know how to do that, but I'll work on it. It's an intuitive conclusion, you can hear it, and the data for it isn't there, AFAIK.

 

First show conclusively that people hear X difference between two headphones.  Then show that there is no measurement data which demonstrates that difference.

 

I provided some examples in post #108

 

Why does it need to be shown conclusively?  It's just common sense, and the extremely inexact science of audio (and thus lack of evidence), which is at play.

 

A chemical reaction is something which just happens, and can be witnessed, until the chemicals vaporize into thin air.  It's up to science to explain the exact process in detail of what happened when mixing X and Y chemicals.  Mind you this is before videocameras existed.  Audio is "only electricity" or "only air", much like chemistry is "only the periodic table".

 

Apple earbud versus Sony MDR-ZX700. 

 

Apple_iPodEarBuds_Graph_AppleBudsA_all.jpgSony_MDRZX700_graph_all.jpg

 

 

post #131 of 256

My head is really starting to hurt now.  People still don't get it at all, or the thread is wildly off topic,  (As if that never happens...blink.gif)

post #132 of 256

 

^I agree USB cables are data transmission i.e. 1's and 0's, and power supply.

 

If the data stream is incorrect (like a scratch on a CD), that isn't inherent to - and can't be fixed by - the USB cable itself, yep, I get that.  So if there's anything "audiophile" about USB cables, it can only be in the power supply part, from what I can tell, imho.

 

post #133 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

My head is really starting to hurt now.  People still don't get it at all, or the thread is wildly off topic,  (As if that never happens...blink.gif)

 

The thread did expand out significantly from the OP's comment about USB cables, to incorporate a wide variety of audiophile mythology.

post #134 of 256

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

I get the impression from reading this thread (a very painful exercise) that many of us here do not realize, or have forgotten, that a USB cable is carrying digital data streams, 1's and 0's, not analog audio signals.  

 

The data is either there or it is not.  The data is either correctly interpreted by the digital to analog converter or not.  Any subtle change in the transmission characteristics of a USB cable are completely ignored by the transceiver at either end of the cable, until the data can no longer be correctly interpreted by the DAC.  Consequently, analog music either comes out of the DAC or not.  There are no shades of grey.  Data is interpreted as a 1 or as a 0.  No tweeners.

 

There is no subtlety about yes or no.  There are no "maybe's" or "sort of's."  Maybe's and sort of's come out as nothing (no readable data stream) or in rare cases, digital trash/hash. Maybe's cannot be interpreted as subtle changes in shades of frequency responses or anything else in the analog world.

 

I thought it was an analogue signal with voltage variances, as in on and off representing the 1s and 0s. Contained within that is another signal to do with timing to make sure the 1s and 0s are going at the correct speed.

post #135 of 256

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

C'mmon now, don't be unkind.  Some folks just don't know any better.  They may have fallen for hyped ad copy, and don't realize that it's truly impossible for any "subtle" sonic, or for that matter ANY "sonic" alterations to take place.  Bit errors might be interpreted differently by different codecs but the sonic difference would be anything but subtle.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

I get the impression from reading this thread (a very painful exercise) that many of us here do not realize, or have forgotten, that a USB cable is carrying digital data streams, 1's and 0's, not analog audio signals.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

My head is really starting to hurt now.  People still don't get it at all, or the thread is wildly off topic,  (As if that never happens...blink.gif)

 

 

A digital "data stream" is a square waveform. Which is most definitely an analog signal.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › USB cable supposedly improving DAC sound quality? How can I take other posts seriously after that?