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All DAC's sound the same. - Page 9  

post #121 of 373

My opinion based on quality gear not cmoy $100 crap amps.

 

My opinions are based on years of listening sessions while using every type of computer Mac, Linux, Windows and with every type of software.  Driving quality gear with quality recordings with good cans, great speakers and a great listening room.

 

My documentation and tests are all outlined on my web site.

 

Soon to come my comparison of the Squeezebox Touch.

 

 

post #122 of 373
a dac is only good for doing one job. changing a digital signal to an analog one. lot of more expensive dacs people like is usually from type of DSP,op-amp,upscaling or topology design. i never liked upscaling or any of those features. a good built DAC will have none of above listed features. it's just meant to provide a clean digital to analog conversion. nothing else,but op is right about one thing your amps,speakers and headphones are the most important part of your audio chain. onboard audio might be good for most but it does improve with dedicated soundcard or external audio interface/soundcard/dac resulting in a cleaner signal cause onboard sound is dependent on cpu cycles. it makes the biggest difference when recording cause onboard seriously has major latency issues. good for playback in some cases but horrible if wanting to record. op i would try another soundcard. i never liked X-fi cards. lot of newer soundcards made are built with special DSP chips and HT reason
post #123 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post



No inference. Someone earlier in the thread said it had a known issue with a noisy volume pot. I found that hard to believe. Thanks for the info,

I think that may be why they changed to switch type volume over the pot type as they had issues with customs repacking wrong (or carelessly) and the pot/knob getting bent or broken.
 

 

post #124 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

My opinion based on quality gear not cmoy $100 crap amps.

 

So it has to be expensive to be good?

post #125 of 373

 

Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
A clean volume pot is easy. Every audio product going back to the dawn of radio has had one. If we can put a man note moon, we can put a clean volume pot on a headphone amp

what an epic quote! probably the first time somebody compares volume regulation to moon expeditions biggrin.gif

 

but seriously, clean from what? probably you do not realize it but any form of volume control, either in the digital (before the d/a conversion) or analog (after conversion, typically resistors) has its drawbacks and the only question is how big is the data loss involved.

 

 

Here is the interesting thing here. You look at the charts on that page and reject it because you can't believe one can rate higher than another. I look at the same charts and say to myself, "those two things sound exactly the same". How can we come to such different conclusions?

I've put the numbers behind that test into the context of human audibility. It's a waste of time to go into the minutiae of testing methodology to skew things a few points one way or the other when the scale of the distortion is so infinitesimal. Even if he's wrong by a bit and the amp you like rates a bit better, it still doesn't matter because with these numbers, you're talking about angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Inevitably, this is what happens with people who value their totally non scientific subjective opinion over one that has testing evidence behind it. They question the methodology, argue over gnat hairs' differences and totally lose sight of what is audible. They refuse to let go of their opinion that is based on no testing at all and reject a controlled test because of one meaningless variable or decimal point.

I know what the specs are for human hearing and I apply those to the specs of equipment I am interested in. Usually with digital sound reproduction, there isn't any reason to go any further because the specs of even a $25 WalMart Coby DVD player outstrip the range of human hearing.


No. I reject the charts mainly exactly because they do not allow me to duplicate the experiment they supposedly describe and verify the results myself. Karl Popper, among other things, argued that any results claiming to be scientific have to be falsifiable. How would you potentially confirm or refute empirical results impossible to reproduce because their authors did not care to describe them in enough detail? What does +2 dB mean exactly, what was the SPDIF transport driving the NFB? Did they adjust volume levels and how? Was the operating system and playback software the same or not? Without answering these questions the results are useless, there are far too many interferring variables. And please note that I am not undermining their honesty.

 

And it does not really help me that I never came upon a cell phone that was claimed to be able to drive demanding 300 ohm headphones.  Did you ever read a single credible review of a mobile device comparable to dedicated headphone amps in driving demanding phones? If the Galaxy S is so great, why did not Samsung marketing pick these capabilities and target audiophile market? At the very least I would expect some numbers on headphone output power performance. Then, outputs on HTC Desire and HD2 that I tested are a disaster, they perform poor even on low impedance headphones like Ety HF5.  The idea of using HD650 and alike is ridiculous and seems more of a joke. Is Samsung so much better than HTC? Maybe, but I see very little credible evidence so far.

 

I would rather not seriously comment on the thing about $25 WalMart DVD outstriping the range of human hearing. Let me just ask if you compared the mentioned DVD to any modern, dedicated DAC priced over $500 heard no differences. Please, let us know what the DAC was blink.gif

  


Edited by axw - 6/27/11 at 7:07pm
post #126 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

So it has to be expensive to be good?



Evidently ..... I also checked his website - no comparisons with an E7 or anything sub $100 'crap' - so I guess we'll just have to take his word.  Personally I'll match my DAC to my budget and remain happy in my ignorance.  But then again - I'm enjoying my music - not the cost of my gear.

post #127 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

So it has to be expensive to be good?



Absolutely not, but there is such a thing as you get what you pay for....

 

Don't expect a Honda Civic to handle like a Porsche

post #128 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

Absolutely not, but there is such a thing as you get what you pay for....

 

Don't expect a Honda Civic to handle like a Porsche


Sometimes you get what you pay for.  Other times you don't.  Its pretty easy to verify with some objective testing if you've already got the cash for that sort of high end stuff.

 

If I want to know how a Porsche handles compared to a Civic I'll check the slalom times and max Gs on the skidpad from the latest issue of Motor Trend or see what the Stig's lap time is instead of reading anecdotes about who won a race against who with what car.

post #129 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by axw View Post

any form of volume control, either in the digital (before the d/a conversion) or analog (after conversion, typically resistors) has its drawbacks and the only question is how big is the data loss involved.

The question is whether the data loss is audible to human ears. I have yet to run across a volume pot that is audibly noisy. I've found damaged ones, but not ones that degrade the signal audibly in normal operation. At least since the eary 1940s..
post #130 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

Even if its pure placebo, if I hear it every time....let me be happy with my placebo.

It's amazing how far you've come just in the space of two days! All the way from being blissfully happy with placebo to being an advocate of rigorous scientific methodology. I guess the years of listening sessions with every type of computer is beginning to pay off. Do you have the sub that goes with your dynaudio mains? They are going to sound mighty thin without it.
Edited by bigshot - 6/27/11 at 8:28pm
post #131 of 373

Sorry but whoever said the UHA4 sounds like the DACPort LX needs to upgrade their transducers.  I'm also not sure the discussion of DACs can be separated from their implementation either.  If a Clip+ sounds like a DACPort which sounds like a PS Audio PWD then I'm happy for your wallet and sad for your ears.

 

I've got a WM8740 (QA350), TDA1543 (602), CS4398 (UHA6), PCM2706 (UHA4), DACPort LX.  From LO (not including the Leckerton amps) they do not sound the same .  Unless you mean they all sound like music, then yes they sound the same. 

 

I also don't get why converting a digital signal to analog can't impart a character by design and must result in some absolute standard.  Don't you think the standards and parameters chosen by Wolfson, Texas Instruments, Cirrus, etc will affect the resulting waveform from the digital conversion?  What universal standard or specification did they adopt while we were all sleeping?  Why not say, "all headphones convert electrical signals to motion so they all sound the same."  Sounds silly doesn't it.

 

And FYI, the current XFi chips are no longer the same quality or manufacture as during initial release.  They underwent considerable cost cutting measures.  XFi is a marketing label that means nothing.  Creative Labs is nothing but a whore now which could explain why your integrated audio sounds the same.  Maybe get an HP laptop w/ Beats by Dre?  wink.gif

 

Goodnight.

post #132 of 373
The standard I would like any DAC to adhere to is a flat frequency response with no audible distortion and a dynamic range that is broader than my music. If two DACs meet that standard, I would expect them to sound exactly the same. If they didn't, I would be worried that there was something wrong with one of them.

It would be great if transducers could be manufactured to the same standards as DACs. If that was the case, it would make great sound simple.
Edited by bigshot - 6/27/11 at 8:26pm
post #133 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

I've got a WM8740 (QA350), TDA1543 (602), CS4398 (UHA6), PCM2706 (UHA4), DACPort LX.  From LO (not including the Leckerton amps) they do not sound the same .  Unless you mean they all sound like music, then yes they sound the same. 



I thought we had already limited this discussion to modern and properly implemented and functioning DACs.  evil_smiley.gif

post #134 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post



I'm currently using a $125 Sony DVD player and cd playback sounds great. Maybe the one you tried was old or out of align. I've had more problems with skipping on cd players than with DVD players. I got sick of throwing out expensive cd players when they start skipping. Cheap DVD players are more dependable and I don't mind replacing them if they do act up.


So there must be something wrong with my DVD player now because a CD Player sounded better.rolleyes.gif

I understand many people will be plenty happy with a $29-39 DVD player as a CD player.

But I did buy a $349 CDP actually got it for $329 And the CD Player it sounds better period.It brings me more enjoyment.

Now you're going to say is it $300 better? Or something.

Music is something I'm willing to indulge a bit more money that most people will.And I easily could of returned it full money back too.

But its not like I bought the Marantz SA 7S1 that cost $5999.

I bought a $329 CD player and I love how it sounds with my newly acquired speaker system(first real one) and I'm done buying anymore gear even though it was really the first time I even bought really nice gear but I'm very happy.

I also understand this CD player wouldn't even cost that much if it wasn't for the fact that there is no demand because everyone listens to Ipods,music in their car or no music at all.The amount of people who actually sit down and listen to music/albums at home is very low. So single disc CD Players really there isn't much of a market for them so the very,very few who do make them sell them a little higher than they probably should cost. But I don't see you saying anything about Ipods $250 or more for something that only cost $15 to make and probably sounds worse than a DVD player.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by mibutenma - 6/27/11 at 9:23pm
post #135 of 373
Most consumer electronics are built from pretty much the same stock parts. A $350 CD player is likely to have the exact same DAC as a $50 DVD player. The main difference between models in this price range isn't sound quality, it's features. To be honest, I'd pay $300 extra for a player with a remote that makes sense in the dark. It seems that logic goes out the window when they design the placement of the buttons.

By the way, an iPod costs a lot more than $15 to make and yes, it does sound as good as a CD player. I did a direct A/B line level matched comparison of a midrange Sony CD player and an iPod playing an AIFF file through line out. No difference.

I do these sorts of comparisons whenever I get a new piece of equipment.
Edited by bigshot - 6/27/11 at 9:39pm
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