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All DAC's sound the same. - Page 24  

post #346 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

My dog rates MUCH higher on that particular specification.


My parrot rates pretty highly too.  wink_face.gif

 

post #347 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post



This really is the crux of the problem. Too many people read the dope sheets on equipment without having the slightest clue about how long a picosecond is or how loud a decibel is. I see people all the time describing the frequencies above 12kHz as the "treble".

None of these numbers mean a damn thing unless you compare them to the spec sheet for human ears. The thresholds of human hearing have been studied and determined, yet the folks with golden ears are totally ignorant about their own ability to hear.

If I told you that the movie I just saw in the theater stunk because the projector bulb was incapable of producing infra red light waves and my TV was lousy because it produces a frame rate of 29.97 instead of 30, you'd think I was nuts. But these sorts of things get stated casually in audiophile forums all the time and people all nod their heads and agree and repeat the ignorance as "general knowledge".

If 3 ns of jitter is too much, just go out and buy a $100 Yamaha or Sony CD player. It will have fine specs and you'll have money to spare. If you really want to use a DAC, investigate the specs and put them into context of human hearing and you'll find plenty of bargains, I'm sure.


Excuse me and maybe there will be others who say that I cannot read (indeed I ve changed my picture books to some more intellectual poetry albums) but I am working in the research field of nanometrology and I know very good what it means talking in nano something, even though I cannot see it but I can measure it and out of this, I doubt to hear such changes or lets say 10 ns jitter sth else..

 

btw: I dont see the equation between loudness (loud) and decibel..

 

post #348 of 373
It's all relative.
post #349 of 373

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Frequency is how high or low a sound is. Dynamics measure how loud and soft it is. Distortion measures the shape of the sound. What other property is there to measure?
 


From my limited understanding of harmonics, discussing "frequency" in the singular may be oversimplifying things a bit.  If we are merely talking about reproducing the sound of a pitch fork, or a pure electronically generated tone, then perhaps fundamental frequencies are all a dac has to handle.  But with live instruments and voices, the perception of timbre that allows us to differentiate between a human tenor, a trumpet, and a guitar (as three random examples) are varying magnitudes in overtones relative to the core frequency, and (I think), some amount of phase shift between them, among other things.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_series_(music) )

 

Reproducing a single note plucked on a guitar, and making it sound like the instrument it is actually being played on, means the equipment has to account for quite a number of simultaneous frequencies, in some permutation of phases, at the correct magnitudes.  Now, instead of a single note on a guitar, let's contemplate a full orchestra, along with a choir, performing something fast and dynamic like Verdi's Dies Irae.  Playback is certainly going to be limited by the quality of the recording/the source data, but it seems to me that in any instant, a dac playing this sort of music is going to have to convert, and seamlessly output in analog, hundreds, if not thousands, of distinct frequencies, at different phases, and at different magnitudes in order to accurately convey the notes played and the various instruments/voices playing them.

 

I am totally ignorant as to whether or not there is even an accurate/accepted way to measure a dac's performance in playing back this sort of material.  Maybe my speculation is totally flawed, but it seems like the quality of the hardware, speed of the chip, lack of any latency in the system as a whole, and the power supplies implemented in the output stage might make a real difference - particularly when listening to this sort of a recording?  Then again, if listeners can't tell the difference in a DBT, maybe this is all irrelevant. 

 

post #350 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

It's all relative.


This is good :)

 

post #351 of 373
Digital audio is capable of reproducing as many frequencies and harmonics at once as can fit within the range of human hearing.

Harmonics operate at about an octave above the fundamental, and each level of harmonics is an additional octave up and at a greatly reduced volume relative to the one below it. In general, two levels of harmonics are all we can really hear, because they get too quiet to hear over the fundamental any more above that. Guesstimating that a guitar string sounds below about 3 kHz, that allows plenty of room for two levels of harmonics at below 6 and 12 kHz.

Cymbals produce sound up to and beyond the range of human hearing, but beyond 20kHz, we can't hear it as sound any more, so there isn't a whole lot of reason to reproduce it. CD quality sound covers the full range of human hearing.

In order to affect the phase of any particular fundamental or harmonic frequency, the distortion has to reach a relatively high level. It's unlikely that would occur within the significant frequencies without something being very very wrong.
Edited by bigshot - 7/2/11 at 12:15pm
post #352 of 373

Maybe to make a cut:

 

The thread started with the "sarcastic" question "all dacs sound the same" and ended up in a big discussion like other threads in this field, e.g. cables, plugs and so on. Even though it is the opinion of the OP, there are many ppl who participate to tell sth, just sth and further the OP question is forgotten and a lot of personal opinions fly in paired with personal judgements and bittersweet statements and really in my opinion everybody is sitting at home to get a new post in this thread. But what is the result? The result is that humans are humans and manufacturers are manufacturers and humans will buy manufacturers things and in the second of activating the buy button nobody wont think about jitter or anything else because this wouldnt be human.

 

Ohh, I dont exclude me..

post #353 of 373

So while you guys have been so anxious to point out what you  guys are talking about i would like to throw this out there.

 

"All DAC's sound the same"

 

That is the title of this thread and you guys have ventured way further than need to come to a conclusion regarding the title of this thread.

I noted that i had a conclusion and i was depicted as being an idiot who did not read enough.   I don't need to.

I think that you guys can have all kind of fun if you made your own thread about your discussion.

I just stumbled upon what seams to be a little dark whole closet columbine about Dac's.

Let everyone know.

post #354 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMACAdress View Post

So while you guys have been so anxious to point out what you  guys are talking about i would like to throw this out there.

 

"All DAC's sound the same"

 

That is the title of this thread and you guys have ventured way further than need to come to a conclusion regarding the title of this thread.

The thread started with the "sarcastic" question "all dacs sound the same" and ended up in a big discussion like other threads in this field, e.g. cables, plugs and so on

I noted that i had a conclusion and i was depicted as being an idiot who did not read enough.   I don't need to.

a lot of personal opinions fly in paired with personal judgements and bittersweet statements

I think that you guys can have all kind of fun if you made your own thread about your discussion.

and ended up in a big discussion like other threads in this field, e.g. cables, plugs and so on.

I just stumbled upon what seams to be a little dark whole closet columbine about Dac's.

Let everyone know.

The result is that humans are humans and manufacturers are manufacturers and humans will buy manufacturers things


I will eat popcorn

 

popcorn.gif

 

post #355 of 373

I'm done here too.

I've been taking in a lot of what they have been pointing out but they can't do the same.  They have no reasoning skills and like most people they are so narrow minded that they forget they can choose their attitudes.  They are stuck in "no way, i'm right, lets argue" mode lol.

I never said that what they were talking about was wrong, i even tried giving a little input of my own.  What i was trying to say is that more people should read about what they are talking about.  What they are talking about is more advanced/technical that what the thread title implies and i think that their comments deserve to be seen up front instead of 24 pages worth of comments behind a "sarcastic thread"

 

post #356 of 373

How come so many people posting on this thread have erased from their profile what DAC's they use.  

post #357 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMACAdress View Post

I'm done here too.

I've been taking in a lot of what they have been pointing out but they can't do the same.  They have no reasoning skills and like most people they are so narrow minded that they forget they can choose their attitudes.  They are stuck in "no way, i'm right, lets argue" mode lol.

I never said that what they were talking about was wrong, i even tried giving a little input of my own.  What i was trying to say is that more people should read about what they are talking about.  What they are talking about is more advanced/technical that what the thread title implies and i think that their comments deserve to be seen up front instead of 24 pages worth of comments behind a "sarcastic thread"

 


The question of the OP or even more statement is like I say that "Each newspaper, I take at the restroom is the same"-- a never ending story because the feeling at the restroom depends more on the human itself and not on the specs reading in the newspaper.. at least for me :)

 

post #358 of 373

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

This really is the crux of the problem. Too many people read the dope sheets on equipment without having the slightest clue about how long a picosecond is or how loud a decibel is. I see people all the time describing the frequencies above 12kHz as the "treble".

None of these numbers mean a damn thing unless you compare them to the spec sheet for human ears. The thresholds of human hearing have been studied and determined, yet the folks with golden ears are totally ignorant about their own ability to hear.

If I told you that the movie I just saw in the theater stunk because the projector bulb was incapable of producing infra red light waves and my TV was lousy because it produces a frame rate of 29.97 instead of 30, you'd think I was nuts. But these sorts of things get stated casually in audiophile forums all the time and people all nod their heads and agree and repeat the ignorance as "general knowledge".

If 3 ns of jitter is too much, just go out and buy a $100 Yamaha or Sony CD player. It will have fine specs and you'll have money to spare. If you really want to use a DAC, investigate the specs and put them into context of human hearing and you'll find plenty of bargains, I'm sure.


Read what I wrote later on with my reasoning.  The Jitter of the DAC over USB highly depends on the computers PSU.

 

I wrote:

 

"That is of course my opinion being a bit on the cautious side, because I don't know what the noisiest PSU is and how much jitter it will ultimately add.  For all we know there could be a horrendous no-name PSU being ran near balls to the wall max near death that would make a DacMagic jump substantially higher than the 3.5ns Cambridge has seen (from a well operating laptop PSU).  We could argue in such a case the person has more to worry about than the DAC, but having seen just how crummy some PSUs are I rather not make a recommendation that depends on it being absolute quality and still hitting 3ns."

 

Equally, I made the point that for the level of performance the Cambridge is actually achieving over USB a cheaper DAC would probably have the same level of performance allowing you to save money.  Or, a dedicated USB one at the same price may offer better and more consistent performance (may be properly isolated hence more resilient to ripple), where inaudibility is pretty much guaranteed in-spite of ripple.

 

3ns isn't audible, 10ns is audible with test signals, and 20ns is audible with music.  It doesn't seem Cambridge or anyone has seen what the worst case for the DacMagic is from a PC PSU, which I find disconcerting.

 

 

Do you still think it's for fluffy numbers now?  rolleyes.gif

post #359 of 373

what are some of the cheaper asynchronous DAC's that use an independant power supply?

 

post #360 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMACAdress View Post

what are some of the cheaper asynchronous DAC's that use an independant power supply?

 

 

I'm not sure what you're asking exactly.  Are you talking about isolating the USB such as galvanic?  I don't know of any cheaper, but some around the same price (Peach Tree DAC*iT is $50 more MSRP) offers it.  Cheaper USB DACs without isolation are likely to be in the same jitter ballpark as the DacMagic.

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