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post #766 of 835

I don't agree that all HIFI equipment is the same : I would say that DAC's, amplifiers etc. All have differences... Sometimes subtle sometimes more obvious.... From experience I have noticed differences.... Questionable areas would be cables and interconnects as well as the digital source, definately USB cables also.

post #767 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

I don't agree that all HIFI equipment is the same : I would say that DAC's, amplifiers etc. All have differences... Sometimes subtle sometimes more obvious.... From experience I have noticed differences.... Questionable areas would be cables and interconnects as well as the digital source, definately USB cables also.

I would agree that some HIFI equipment is different, but when built properly really shouldn't be different. If they are doing their job correctly they should send an unaltered signal to the speakers or headphones. I understand people like tubes and things of the sort, that doesn't make them inherently "better" though. I agree on the digital source thing. A $10,000 cd transport should sound no different than a $30 dvd player from Walmart as long as they are built properly. And seeing as companies have been making cd players for decades and dvd players for more than a decade I am pretty sure we have figured out how to make them properly. I understand better comes along every now and then, as in blu-ray, but that is a different type of format. Playing a cd on a cheap blu-ray player -vs- a top of the line cd transport should yield the exact same sound, if both are built properly. 

post #768 of 835

The thing people don't seem to understand when they make the "if all equipment was designed properly it would be the same and would be transparent/neutral" is that this defeats the whole point of manufacturers releasing different products with different sound signatures or different "house sound".. The manufacturers purposely dont make everything transparent and neutral and purposely colour the sound to make it "nice" or "smooth" or "energetic" etc etc.

post #769 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

I don't agree that all HIFI equipment is the same : I would say that DAC's, amplifiers etc. All have differences... Sometimes subtle sometimes more obvious.... From experience I have noticed differences.... Questionable areas would be cables and interconnects as well as the digital source, definately USB cables also.

 

Of course, if you compare their specs and measurements on a graph, no two designs will be the same. The question is the magnitude of that difference, and whether it converts into any audible difference.

post #770 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

The thing people don't seem to understand when they make the "if all equipment was designed properly it would be the same and would be transparent/neutral" is that this defeats the whole point of manufacturers releasing different products with different sound signatures or different "house sound".. The manufacturers purposely dont make everything transparent and neutral and purposely colour the sound to make it "nice" or "smooth" or "energetic" etc etc.

 

That is all well and good, but then manufacturers shouldn't claim a superior product when and if in fact it isn't. That's my only beef. People saying you need to spend thousands, when you really don't. 

post #771 of 835

Hmm well some products might be superior for the target user...

 

For example... User wants a refined sound which is not harsh = Buy an arcam

OR

User wants an energetic sound = Buy a Naim

 

For the different target users / sound signatures they are superior.... Maybe not technically superior but they will sound "nicer" to different people depending what they want.

 

Not everyone wants a completely neutral and transparent system because TBH that is not what sounds best to most people.

post #772 of 835

It depends really - some DIY designs will set you back thousands just in parts alone even avoiding boutique capacitors etc.  I think the important consideration is application - if you are using an efficient headphone, an amplifier with low distortion at the power levels you will be using the headphone with, and maybe a decent amount of headroom to allow for dynamics will probably be enough.  As for DAC's there is significant variation beyond distortion figures  as to the different sound signatures and characteristics, usampling or NOS, digital input designs etc. that while any one design may have low distortion it may not be to your taste.  This does not mean that you need to spend 10 grand to buy a CD player (or vinyl) with awful jitter performance, hefty distortion and a token low pass filter, but for people with a lot of money and not much imagination this may seem like the "only" way to get  the performance you are after.

 

To me the whole point of USB to SPDIF was to allow cheaper DAC's to catch up with CD players and more expensive DAC's with either media servers or well designed USB inputs, And at least in my own experience the purpose/intent of USB cables has been to extract more performance from cheaper USB transports, and at least with my own equipment I can say with absolute certainty that this has been effective, if possibly only because the design of the transport was flawed to begin with.

 

But to be honest I don't think it is productive to do the whole "head in the sand" thing by not demoing gear that has no proven audible benefit, or likewise claiming that any piece of equipment is superior without justification, but justification is a very subjective topic.  This is probably getting a bit off topic though.


Edited by drez - 5/15/12 at 8:00pm
post #773 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

Not everyone wants a completely neutral and transparent system because TBH that is not what sounds best to most people.

 

Then use eq or something... don't compromise the audio data (and yes, I say this knowing full well that I enjoy my tube amps - but CD transports, dacs, etc. should be invisible). Or for that matter - at least give us some standards from which to deviate before you start throwing house sound into it, so that those doing mastering have a target, and so that consumers know ahead of time what they are in for. 


Edited by liamstrain - 5/15/12 at 7:49pm
post #774 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Then use eq or something... don't compromise the audio data (and yes, I say this knowing full well that I enjoy my tube amps - but CD transports, dacs, etc. should be invisible). Or for that matter - at least give us some standards from which to deviate before you start throwing house sound into it, so that those doing mastering have a target, and so that consumers know ahead of time what they are in for. 

Agree.

post #775 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Then use eq or something... don't compromise the audio data (and yes, I say this knowing full well that I enjoy my tube amps - but CD transports, dacs, etc. should be invisible). Or for that matter - at least give us some standards from which to deviate before you start throwing house sound into it, so that those doing mastering have a target, and so that consumers know ahead of time what they are in for. 

Agree 100%. Why spend thousands for something that could get the sound you want cheaply? That seems ridiculous to me. I'd rather spend that money on music or something else. If you have the money to throw around and want something because of the way it looks, the way it makes you feel by looking at it or listening to it, then so be it. But don't tell people they need to spend a ton of money for it, when in reality you don't. I don't think anyone here thinks anything of people who spend enormous amounts of money on something that makes them feel good. The problem lies when that person tells someone new to the hobby that their gear isn't good enough and they need to spend a ton of money to get great sound. 

 

This hobby should be about getting good sound, at a decent price. But alas, audiophiles can be snobs and don't want the common man to believe he can achieve great sound at a fraction of the price. They take it as a slap in the face to tell them that a $30 dvd player is as good as a $10,000 cd transport. Not my fault building a perfect digital source isn't rocket science. If more people held manufacturers responsible for being shills(not all of them) this hobby could be enjoyed much more, IMO. 

post #776 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Then use eq or something... don't compromise the audio data (and yes, I say this knowing full well that I enjoy my tube amps - but CD transports, dacs, etc. should be invisible). Or for that matter - at least give us some standards from which to deviate before you start throwing house sound into it, so that those doing mastering have a target, and so that consumers know ahead of time what they are in for. 

 

I probably agree here but from a consumer standpoint is it better to buy say a $750 colored DAC paired with a $750 neutral amp (say Yulong D18 and their new balanced amplifier) or $750 on a completely transparent DAC and then $750+ on a tube amplifier with low enough distortion?

 

[hope this makes sense now]


Edited by drez - 5/15/12 at 8:17pm
post #777 of 835

 Quote:

Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

The thing people don't seem to understand when they make the "if all equipment was designed properly it would be the same and would be transparent/neutral" is that this defeats the whole point of manufacturers releasing different products with different sound signatures or different "house sound".. The manufacturers purposely dont make everything transparent and neutral and purposely colour the sound to make it "nice" or "smooth" or "energetic" etc etc.

this not only goes against the principle of hi-fi, but also puts consumers in an unenviable position when manufacturers can get away with peddling anything under the sun for any amount of money. it also creates the illusion that manufacturers are somehow "above" objective design, and while u can speculate all u want about whether they are, u can't even define "nice" or "smooth" or "energetic" let alone tie some engineering principle that makes equipment so.

post #778 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

 

I probably agree here but from a consumer standpoint is it more economical to buy say a $750 colored DAC paired with a $750 neutral amp (say Yulong D18 and their new balanced amplifier) or $750 on a completely transparent DAC and then $750+ on a tube amplifier with low enough distortion?

 

Arbitrary numbers, but I'd go with the transparent DAC - at least that gives you the most flexibility downstream. 

post #779 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellsprout View Post

 Quote:

this not only goes against the principle of hi-fi, but also puts consumers in an unenviable position when manufacturers can get away with peddling anything under the sun for any amount of money. it also creates the illusion that manufacturers are somehow "above" objective design, and while u can speculate all u want about whether they are, u can't even define "nice" or "smooth" or "energetic" let alone tie some engineering principle that makes equipment so.

 

Welcome to late capitalismbiggrin.gif

post #780 of 835

Whilst it sounds good in principle I have recently purchased an Arcam dac which supposedly smooths the high end a bit  and compared to the supposedly neutral Dacmagic it sounds a lot nicer... Although maybe this is just because the sound is better quality I don't know.

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