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USB cable supposedly improving DAC sound quality? How can I take other posts seriously after that? - Page 4  

post #46 of 256
Yes, nothing counters a specious unfalsifiable claim about audible effects of tiny little technical nitpicks quite like a totally unsupported specious claim about the origin of said nitpicks in the first place. That'll really teach 'em a lesson.
post #47 of 256

rolleyes.gif 

 

I once had a math teacher who gave us 0 for a good final answer if the reasonning to get there was wrong.

post #48 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post

The point of disagreement is "when does it become audible for us mere mortals ?".


+1

A good analogy is what is going on in Japan right now with the nuclear reactor.  When they say there is detectable radiation of 'x' microsieverts in Tokyo, how does that actually affect the people?  Do we get the same amount from a light bulb or is it something more?  If it's the former, is it worth worrying about?

post #49 of 256
I think it boils down to:

-ppl making the wrong measurements using high jitter consumer grade gear and/or measuring the electrical conductivity between several cables...and using some circular logic, saying that all cables sound the same. Even an oscilloscope could shed more lights IMHO.

-the gear to measure very low jitter simply isn't accessible to many ppl. Even the world acclaimed AP package can't measure less than 100 or 200ps I think?

-some dodgy pseudo-scientific studies, using cheapo headphones and/or mono signals recorded on tapes...used as hard proofs by the ppl who only believe in what they read and refuse/are scared to try stuff *IRL*...you know the so-called "real world experience"™.

-some even dodgier pseudo-studies with ppl injecting jitter, and saying: "hey I can inject 3ns jitter, it still sounds the same to me!". They're majorly missing the point, as at some point it doesn't matter anymore. If your water isn't crystal clear, making it even muddier won't really be visible at some point...you'll mostly be relying on the clock recovery of the receiver, until it drops out. Going from 1ps to 1ns will be audible...Hell, it's even audible from 1ns toslink to 50ps coax on the Bravo(and I'm not the only one saying it).

Maybe Wolfson have better things to do than paying for some studies on WM8804/5 to be conducted? They're IC makers, they show hard proofs, that are as scientific as can get...they seem to trust measurements more than human perceptions....dummies that they are.

To get back OT, grab a bunch of USB cables...if they all sound the same to you, then Hallelujah brother! One less thing to worry about ethnik.gif

I think it ends up being more a religious matter at some point, because it's often the same ppl who believe that all opamps sound the same that also seem convinced that all cables sound the same(and that jitter isn't audible either, of course). Hell, if all analog/digital cables and opamps sounded the same...in the bizzaro world maybe.

I demand USB cables made out of coat hangers to prove YOUR case. As long as there's electricity getting through, all cables sound the same, right? Prove it...why should the non-believers always have the easy part? dawen.gif
Edited by leeperry - 3/28/11 at 4:03pm
post #50 of 256
I have no doubt at all that you could build a working USB cable out of coat hangers.

Just like you may have no doubt at all that you can hear a difference between a plain old $20 USB cable and an "audiophile" $2,000 one.

No discussion is possible between two people who have zero doubts about exactly opposite beliefs. The real mystery is why even bother.

There are people in the world who think the only way they would ever spend more than 10 bucks on a cable is to be convince that it matters after trying diligently and thoroughly to show that it does not matter.

There are other people in the world who want so bad to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on cables that they will buy them and then try diligently and thoroughly to hear the difference that they know is there.

Guess what, if you set out to hear something you will hear it. Maybe not at first, but you'll try harder and harder until you do. And then it as real to you as anything in the world. And if you set out to not hear a difference, you probably won't hear a difference. Or you'll hear it and expand you testing until you find some factor that results in not hearing it.

People will hear or not hear whatever they want if they want it badly enough. Which is why the whole conversation is endless and endlessly moronic.
post #51 of 256

Yeah, you'll hear a difference because psychosomatics. It doesn't mean there's a real perceived difference though, which is proven through double blind tests.

post #52 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

you may have no doubt at all that you can hear a difference between a plain old $20 USB cable and an "audiophile" $2,000 one.
[..]
the whole conversation is endless and endlessly moronic.
Indeed. Well, my fav. USB cable costs $5...and it sounded WAY better than a $100 WW Starlight to my ears. But there surely are tons of ppl on computeraudiophile.com and so that will only be happy after spending a 3/4 figures amount on a copper cable.

I rest my case that all USB cables sound diferent, but a well built copper cable costs a few dollars top in China...the rest is marketing bs. Someone has to pay for the bribing required...people are only willing to sing along if you show the green.
Edited by leeperry - 3/28/11 at 6:07pm
post #53 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

Going from 1ps to 1ns will be audible...Hell, it's even audible from 1ns toslink to 50ps coax on the Bravo(and I'm not the only one saying it).

Proof?
Quote:
Maybe Wolfson have better things to do than paying for some studies on WM8804/5 to be conducted? They're IC makers, they show hard proofs, that are as scientific as can get...they seem to trust measurements more than human perceptions....dummies that they are.

Speculation.
Quote:
I think it ends up being more a religious matter at some point, because it's often the same ppl who believe that all opamps sound the same that also seem convinced that all cables sound the same(and that jitter isn't audible either, of course). Hell, if all analog/digital cables and opamps sounded the same...in the bizzaro world maybe.

When all else fails, attack the other side for your lack of proof.
Quote:
I demand USB cables made out of coat hangers to prove YOUR case. As long as there's electricity getting through, all cables sound the same, right? Prove it...why should the non-believers always have the easy part? dawen.gif

Such an amusing game you play. Nick has provided studies time and time again, and they aren't good enough according to you. We ask you for proof of a positive claim and you provide anecdotes then scream when noted what you've provided isn't evidence in the least. It's rather disingenuous and old.
post #54 of 256

I recently bought a DAC to use through my iMac to my speakers. It alone made a hugh difference in my perceived sound quality. Then I upgraded the USB cable to the DAC and the RCA interconnects to the speakers. I also "seemed" to hear an improvement. The reason I bought those "extras" was the salesman telling me I would hear the difference. Maybe he was just trying to "sell" me something more expensive for his company, or maybe there was a "placebo" effect. I'm not sure, but it does seem the better equipment makes a difference, and at least I "feel" better about doing what I can to make my system better.

post #55 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

I think it boils down to:

-ppl making the wrong measurements using high jitter consumer grade gear
If you are referring to the B and G study what was the actual jitter level , do you know ? You'll need to tell us how much jitter exactly you mean, high is a bit imprecise
 
 
 
and/or measuring the electrical conductivity between several cables...
Measuring end-user characteristics like FR, Noise and distortion does make more sense, FR especially so, but these have been done !
 
 
and using some circular logic, saying that all cables sound the same. Even an oscilloscope could shed more lights IMHO.

-the gear to measure very low jitter simply isn't accessible to many ppl. Even the world acclaimed AP package can't measure less than 100 or 200ps I think? - about 100 according to JA
You cannot measure jitter directly without the proper kit but you can measure the distortion induced trivially, the bit that would actually be audible, quite trivially in fact, it always shows up in the FR ! - HDD audio forum in the UK posted a large number of jitter samples , you can download them and examine the FR, using this method I was able to correctly place 5 samples in ascending order of jitter magnitude 0 - 100ns using only Audacity and Excel. B and G showed distortion sidebands in their study, you really should read it.
 
Even looking at Stereophile's measurements where they plot the distortion sidebands these almost never hit -90db and then only for really poor kit, even a bog-standard $350 Marantz CD player has distortion sidebands over 120db down on signal. Put this in context that is 24db below noise levels on a CD played at full scale. Do you genuinely think this level of distortion is audible ?
 
...and how would you know anyway as the THD and IMD of digital devices is ALWAYS significantly higher, so how would you even separate out the jitter even if you could detect the difference between a 50ps jitter and 5ns  jitter device (all other audio parameters being equal) in a level matched blind test which nobody has managed in the first place.
 
I hear a difference when I know what I am listening to or when others tell me what I should hear is not considered strong evidence round these parts pardner
 
- graphs and measurements are nice but proper listening tests are better and the proper listening tests to date that indicate reliable audibility of jitter at sub-ns levels simply do not exist. So where exactly is the solid evidence for it ?
 
 
 


-some dodgy pseudo-scientific studies,
Hmm Dolby Labs and several University research institutes and the BBC and NHK labs are dodgy, yet you trust manufacturers waffle ?
 
 
using cheapo headphones and/or mono signals recorded on tapes...used as hard proofs by the ppl who only believe in what they read and refuse/are scared to try stuff *IRL*...you know the so-called "real world experience"™.

-some even dodgier pseudo-studies with ppl injecting jitter, and saying: "hey I can inject 3ns jitter, it still sounds the same to me!". They're majorly missing the point, as at some point it doesn't matter anymore. If your water isn't crystal clear, making it even muddier won't really be visible at some point...you'll mostly be relying on the clock recovery of the receiver, until it drops out. Going from 1ps to 1ns will be audible...
I think you need to provide some credible evidence for this, you have zero evidence for all your assertions above, if jitter audibility at the ps level is trivial why has no study ever been able to support this ?
 
 
Hell, it's even audible from 1ns toslink to 50ps coax on the Bravo(and I'm not the only one saying it).
...and this can be backed with controlled test ?


Maybe Wolfson have better things to do than paying for some studies on WM8804/5 to be conducted? They're IC makers, they show hard proofs, that are as scientific as can get...they seem to trust measurements more than human perceptions....dummies that they are.
 




 


 

post #56 of 256
Hey Nick, how's life? wink.gif

Here's a good reason why recording and trying to detect jitter afterwards doesn't work: http://www.digido.com/jitter.html

Bob Katz says "Playback from a DAT recorder usually sounds better than the recording, because there is less jitter". When you record samples through your Roland USB consumer interface, you are effectively reclocking(and resampling if it's done via analog) the signal.

He also says: "The sonic results of passing this signal through processors that truncate the signal at -110, -105, or -96 dB are: increased "grain" in the image, instruments losing their sharp edges and focus; reduced soundstage width; apparent loss of level causing the listener to want to turn up the monitor level, even though high level signals are reproduced at unity gain."

The Bravo(via its WM8804 IC) allows me to hear a clearer/more defined sound at a lower volume, and that's all I could have ever dreamed of.

I've got a few 24/96 digitally ripped SACD's that went through HDMI and POF toslink...these 2 connections are known to be a jittery feast, and it ends up sounding most excellent when played back through the Bravo....for the very reason explained by BK in the aforementioned link.

Anyway, I think we're more or less OT(again biggrin.gif). This is a thread about all USB cables sounding perfectly identical. Make one out of coat hangers and let us know how it sounds? Rusty and worn out if any possible.

You were able to detect the jitter that was artifically introduced in digital audio computer files. That's great...but this is a lab rat experiment AFAICT. Jitter can have a lot of patterns, and the jitter that's presented to a DAC chip input is completely different from a more or less random jitter injected in a computer audio editor IMHO.

I have to admit that I like your double language...on one end, you want measurements...and on the other you want to see studies about human perceptions. I personally trust measurements more than the poorly accurate human brain...and I don't want to rely on anyone's perception to buy my audio equipment. I want figures and hard facts. All the recent S/PDIF USB transport boast about "low jitter" and "async implementation"...that's a nice story, but the Hiface was measured at 0.97ns and the Bridge Halide at 0.78ns. Of course, none of those companies provide any measurements or figures...you have to trust them on their good word julian33.gif

The same bs goes w/ the WW USB cables, I knew from *real world experience* that all USB cables sounded different...so I bit, I bought a WW Starlight second hand(that I've sold w/o losing money afterwards...I knew it wouldn't cost me a dime) and it sounded no better than a $1 USB cable to my ears. You guys are missing the point....I find it undeniable that all analog/digital cables sound different. But *again* a properly built cable costs a few bucks top in China. I've got nothing to do w/ sellers making 3 figures markups.
Edited by leeperry - 3/29/11 at 8:38am
post #57 of 256


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

Hey Nick, how's life? wink.gif
 
Fine, though I just graded some depressingly poor Student tests, and you ?

Here's a good reason why recording and trying to detect jitter afterwards doesn't work: http://www.digido.com/jitter.html
 
Lee, I was talking about samples created elsewhere and with known levels of jitter injected, the HDD audio samples were created not recorded so the AD stage does not come into play fro the measurements

.

 AFAICT. Jitter can have a lot of patterns,
agreed
and the jitter that's presented to a DAC chip input is completely different from a more or less random jitter injected in a computer audio editor IMHO.
ah, well the HDD chap also an EE created the jitter spectra to be as realistic as possible, i.e to resemble real world jitter, but you would have to ask him for details
 


I have to admit that I like your double language...on one end, you want measurements...and on the other you want to see studies about human perceptions.
 
Every device has its limits of usefulness - 96db vs 60db (CD vs LP)  is probably pretty useful, 96db vs 132db is the same magnitude of difference but you start from a better place.....
 
 
I personally trust measurements more than the poorly accurate human brain...
In absolute terms no argument - but are we not also interested in what is and what is not audible ?
 
and I don't want to rely on anyone's perception to buy my audio equipment.
Rational decision , but what if everyone in a controlled DBT showed that they could reliably hear gross distortion in a device you are interested in?
 
I want figures and hard facts. All the recent S/PDIF USB transport boast about "low jitter" and "async implementation"...that's a nice story, but the Hiface was measured at 0.97ns and the Bridge Halide at 0.78ns. Of course, none of those companies provide any measurements or figures...you have to trust them on their good word julian33.gif

The same bs goes w/ the WW USB cables, I knew from *real world experience* that all USB cables sounded different...so I bit, I bought a WW Starlight second hand(that I've sold w/o losing money afterwards...I knew it wouldn't cost me a dime) and it sounded no better than a $1 USB cable to my ears. You guys are missing the point....I find it undeniable that all analog/digital cables sound different. But *again* a properly built cable costs a few bucks top in China. I've got nothing to do w/ sellers making 3 figures markups.


 


Edited by nick_charles - 3/29/11 at 9:47am
post #58 of 256
Well, for one I'm left-handed and color blind. The former means that my brain is wired the opposite way from ±90% of the world population, and the latter that I've got a completely different and much narrower color gamut than another huge majority of the population. I've got my very own colorspace(the US army uses color blind ppl in order to detect camouflages "normal" ppl can't see) too.

I believe it's been proved that left-handed ppl see faster, and right-handed hear faster. Why would I want to rely on some study done by God knows who in order to prove God knows what point? Studies cost money, someone has to pay for them...how are they not biased? How could they relate to what my somewhat atypical brain will experience? Subjective is subjective.
Edited by leeperry - 3/29/11 at 11:54am
post #59 of 256

well ive been reading through this thread for a while now and i gotta tell you....

 

For me, a well made and decent quality usb cable makes a noticeable difference to the sound of my setup....

 

because when i look at my cable i think its looks nice in my system,

 

and this makes me happy,

 

which puts me in a better mood,

 

which makes music more enjoyable.

 

Seriously though... the overriding tune i am seeing here is the recuuring argument of jitter. majority of people seem to be saying that;

 

a) jitter is undetectable - i can believe this and it because of this it seems all the jitter arguments should stop? it has been said that no one has access to the equipment to measure jitter which is all good and well but then also there has been studies posted (HARD PROOF) that jitter in different amount is almost certainly undetectable.

 

b) the arguments over usb audio being different from other usb transfer protocols (hdmi for example) - i think the fundamental issue here is that usb audio does not have the functionality for error correction. still, from what i have seen (this comes back to jitter issue) this is not an issue because even in the event that the signal is degraded in some form (highly unlikely) that because of the speed of decoding by the DAC, it would have to be severly degraded before a difference would be heard.

 

other things that havnt been mentioned...

 

*spdif signals are fundamentally different from usb as the timing and data signals are all carried along the same signal path. HAS ANY ONE EVER NOTICED THAT COAX CABLES FOR SATTELITE TV IS ALWAYS HIGH QUALITY? - think about it. in low level consumer grade stuff, in a home tv setup, the coax cable will usually (almost always) be high grade with solid copper conductor lots of shielding etc. THIS IS BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE. the signal in this cable is in the GHz range and is very susceptible to rf noise.

 

*think about what many people say about power cables - how can a thousand dollar power cable make any difference when the power will travel through thousands of feet of other cable (power lines, mains though houses) to get there?

 

*same with usb cables - say we had a silver usb cable. its all good and well saying that it will reduce jitter (even though this may not be audible) but how is this possible when the signal will end up passing though copper tracks along the circuit board to the dac anyway?

 

*most important argument i think - *THE SIGNAL WILL PASS THOUGH ALOT OF STANDARD COPPER TRACKS IN YOUR MOTHERBOARD BEFORE GOING THOUGH NICKEL/TIN/LEAD SOLDER AND INTO YOUR USB CABLE, THEN THROUGH MORE COPPER AND SOLDER BEFORE IT GETS TO THE DAC.

 

how will using an exotic material between these point make any difference?!!??! 

post #60 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeLuxx View Post

well ive been reading through this thread for a while now and i gotta tell you....

 

For me, a well made and decent quality usb cable makes a noticeable difference to the sound of my setup....

 

because when i look at my cable i think its looks nice in my system,

 

and this makes me happy,

 

which puts me in a better mood,

 

which makes music more enjoyable.

 

Seriously though... the overriding tune i am seeing here is the recuuring argument of jitter. majority of people seem to be saying that;

 

a) jitter is undetectable - i can believe this and it because of this it seems all the jitter arguments should stop? it has been said that no one has access to the equipment to measure jitter which is all good and well but then also there has been studies posted (HARD PROOF) that jitter in different amount is almost certainly undetectable.

 

b) the arguments over usb audio being different from other usb transfer protocols (hdmi for example) - i think the fundamental issue here is that usb audio does not have the functionality for error correction. still, from what i have seen (this comes back to jitter issue) this is not an issue because even in the event that the signal is degraded in some form (highly unlikely) that because of the speed of decoding by the DAC, it would have to be severly degraded before a difference would be heard.

 

other things that havnt been mentioned...

 

*spdif signals are fundamentally different from usb as the timing and data signals are all carried along the same signal path. HAS ANY ONE EVER NOTICED THAT COAX CABLES FOR SATTELITE TV IS ALWAYS HIGH QUALITY? - think about it. in low level consumer grade stuff, in a home tv setup, the coax cable will usually (almost always) be high grade with solid copper conductor lots of shielding etc. THIS IS BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE. the signal in this cable is in the GHz range and is very susceptible to rf noise.

 

*think about what many people say about power cables - how can a thousand dollar power cable make any difference when the power will travel through thousands of feet of other cable (power lines, mains though houses) to get there?

 

*same with usb cables - say we had a silver usb cable. its all good and well saying that it will reduce jitter (even though this may not be audible) but how is this possible when the signal will end up passing though copper tracks along the circuit board to the dac anyway?

 

*most important argument i think - *THE SIGNAL WILL PASS THOUGH ALOT OF STANDARD COPPER TRACKS IN YOUR MOTHERBOARD BEFORE GOING THOUGH NICKEL/TIN/LEAD SOLDER AND INTO YOUR USB CABLE, THEN THROUGH MORE COPPER AND SOLDER BEFORE IT GETS TO THE DAC.

 

how will using an exotic material between these point make any difference?!!??! 

Jitter is undetectable until it results in dropout, and a person would have to be deaf not to hear dropouts.
 

 

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