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All DAC's sound the same. - Page 21  

post #301 of 373

OK Nick_Charles, I understand your point and I was wrong about a lot of things. I still think that the OP and a few others in this thread are wrong when they claim "anybody can make a good DAC." Nobody should claim a process is simple without understanding it. I know there are qualified MOTs who have accounts here but they almost never discuss technical issues in the sound science forum. Unfortunately, their contributions are limited to new product announcements (I'm talking about the guys who make DACs - there are plenty of MOTs in the DIY forum talking about amps). My point was that nobody in this thread (correct me if I'm wrong) knows how to design a DAC. As opposed to the amplifier conversations, where we have plenty of people who have built their own, and even designed their own circuits, nobody in this thread has a clue about what really goes on under the hood. I do agree that we can measure the output and compare, you have a good point there. Also, if you could link me to some of the DBT tests you are talking about, that would be great.  


Edited by tvrboy - 7/1/11 at 12:23pm
post #302 of 373

Re reading the opening post in the thread reminds me a bit of Crazy Carl who posted his opinions and a blind testafter he found he could not hear the difference between a sound card and a more 'audiophile DAC'. It also reminds me of a post by a newbie in a cable thread where he had bought an aftermarket headphone cable and could not hear a difference over the stock one.

 

If you are a lurker on this and the vast majority of forums, you will buy into hifi and expect at least a difference, if not a clear and obvious one. That is because of the numerous reports of subtle to night and day differences. But if you then find no difference, what are you supposed to think?

 

Here on this thread I think the OP has reacted with frustration thinking, this is crap, have I bought into placebo? On the cable thread the newbie asked a series of questions including is there something wrong with me?!blink.gif

 

It is telling that the subjective side often have a go at someone who cannot hear a difference, but the objective side are more likely to say, don't worry, there are good reasons why you are not hearing any difference, we are the same. I prefer the objectivist attitude, particularly as it also reassures those with a limited budget that superb sound is within their reach.

 

 

 

 

post #303 of 373

Tvrboy, the monster thread of blind tests is here

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

including various ones of DACs.

post #304 of 373

OK, I will read through that thread as time allows. I am not defending subjectivists here... I am an objectivist. If I find suitable evidence that an ipod sounds exactly the same as all super high end DACs, then I will believe that evidence. But I am looking for DBTs with a large sample size that compare a wide variety of products. Proving that an ipod is the same as a Burmeister CD player just proves the Burmeister is overpriced and/or underdesigned. It doesn't prove ALL DACs sound the same. That is a big claim to make.

post #305 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlylover View Post

 

Son of a......... I blame society. Or more correctly, damn FOTM hype, I'm a huge sucker for hype =(.

 

Got any quick and dirty "sound science approved" sauces for me to try? I won't be in the market for one anytime soon since I'll have 2 monster DIY T2's munching away at my wallet, but I'd like to have some recco's for when the time comes.

 

Since I'm a slave to hype, it'd be too dangerous for me to troll the dedicated sauce forum, which appears to be a mini audio-gd forum now...

 

They're out of my price range so I haven't done a ton of research on them, but if someone put a gun to my head and told me to buy a spendy DAC I'd probably get a Benckmark DAC1.  The Anedio D1 also measures very well, but you'll probably want balanced output for your amps and the D1 only has RCA outputs.

 

I only really know about those because they're up near the top of the line as far as measurements go, so I've got no idea about anything near the price of your current DAC, though I've seen used DAC1s on ebay go for around that price here in the States.

 

There are probably all sorts of cheaper outboard DACs that might be indistinguishable from those even under the high sensitivity of an ABX test but with something like the Benchmark at least you know where your money's gone, even if its to improvements that are beyond human hearing.

 

post #306 of 373



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

@Nick_Charles,..., if you could link me to some of the DBT tests you are talking about, that would be great

 

PRM has done it for me, also if you are interested in DBTs HydrogenAudio do have some and if you can pony up the fees the AES has some papers which include blind tests of different items such as PCM vs DSD, sampling rates, CD vs high res, jitter audibility and so on, but each paper will cost you $5 - but a simple google search on "blind test(s) audio" and variations turns up some new ones from time to time...

 

I would advise against citing abstracts, an abstract is 100 - 300 words and often may be misleading, also generally speaking Journal papers are more critically reviewed than conference papers

 


Edited by nick_charles - 7/1/11 at 12:37pm
post #307 of 373

Better DACs do make a difference, especially headphones with a better soundstaging abilities. Headphones with a small soundstage, such as ATH W2002 and W1000, sounded relatively the same through portable and my Anedio DACs, but it's a whole different case with headphones with wide soundstage like the Sennheiser HD598 and ATH W11R.

 

Could someone explain why?

post #308 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

OK, I will read through that thread as time allows. I am not defending subjectivists here... I am an objectivist. If I find suitable evidence that an ipod sounds exactly the same as all super high end DACs, then I will believe that evidence. But I am looking for DBTs with a large sample size that compare a wide variety of products. Proving that an ipod is the same as a Burmeister CD player just proves the Burmeister is overpriced and/or underdesigned. It doesn't prove ALL DACs sound the same. That is a big claim to make.

 

Yeah, I don't think the current stance on this topic is "ipods are the same as high end dacs", it's now something like 'once a dac reaches a certain level, it's good enough'.

 

About your previous post, maybe it's too fiddly and boring for DIY'ers to build dacs, as it's really just the magic chip doing all the work, and all it really comes down to is just building some wicked power supplies and a good analog stage for it. Might as well put that effort into building amps for MOAR POWER, it's more exciting I guess =P.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

They're out of my price range so I haven't done a ton of research on them, but if someone put a gun to my head and told me to buy a spendy DAC I'd probably get a Benckmark DAC1.  The Anedio D1 also measures very well, but you'll probably want balanced output for your amps and the D1 only has RCA outputs.

 

snip


Cheers, I'll definitely check those out. I love things that measure good (even if I can't possibly hear the difference), you get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing your money is hard at work.

 

Luckily, Stax is automagically balanced by design, so I only need SE outputs. Maybe I can get twice the DAC for my money!

 

post #309 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlylover View Post

Cheers, I'll definitely check those out. I love things that measure good (even if I can't possibly hear the difference), you get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing your money is hard at work.


Me too.  That's why I want one even though I wouldn't really expect to hear "night and day" improvements.

post #310 of 373

I made my own test:

 

I tried Fiio D3, Fiio E7 (with L7) and icon HDP on Schiit Asgard, Valhalla and the E7 as amps. D3/HDP input via optical spdif from MacBookPro playing ALAC files via Audirvana. E7/L7 via USB.

 

The amps made an audible difference to each of the test setups, the DACs influence on the result was so small that I believe I could have imagined it completely. Of course I would LIKE my $420 icon HDP DAC to be better than the $30 D3 with Wolfson 8805 chips.... But it wasn't. I still love the icon HDP for its versatility of inputs and outputs, integrated amp, coolness and overall soundquality. But as DAC only, the difference to the others are really really small.

 

I will most probably still buy the Schiit Bifrost. Because if I trust any company to make a difference, then it's Schiit. Not rational, gut-feeling.

post #311 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

There are time based errors too.

Time based errors are a kind of distortion, and they are measurable.
post #312 of 373

Instead of tasting different pickles try a tomato instead, you might like it more than different varieties of pickles.

post #313 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Time based errors are a kind of distortion, and they are measurable.

 

I suppose it just depends how you split them up, but obviously they're still measurable.

post #314 of 373

I used to think digits were just digits but then I got my Anedio D1..........

post #315 of 373

As for the three that you mention, obvious.  What about this

 I have absolutely no clue how a DAC works other than the fact that it decodes information.

A router does the same thing using Algorithms, only with different information.  A good router can cope with any amounts of packets thrown at it break them up into smaller packets depending on how fast your bandwidth is and never get over saturate your network.  A not so good router would try sending those packets out in their normal state and probably have to resend them a few times creating "jitter." 

I would imagine a Dac can create a difference in audible sound depending on how fast they and how many tiny packets of information it can create.

(i'm saying they do use packets) Example.  A good dac could maybe break a 2:00 long song into 10,000 packets and a not so good dac would only create 5,000 packets in the same amount of time.  

I really have no idea how a dac works  like i said but to me, what i am trying to describe, seams to me like a smaller amount of information would lead to incorrect reproduction.  A dac is suppose to turn the digital in analog with out changing the sound.  Well how do you do that without being precise.

 

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