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post #361 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I think you've discovered that all <$100 DACs are equivilently crappy.



Serious request - please elaborate.  I've been following this thread, and really enjoying the discussion.  What I don't understand are blanket statements like yours - without any explanation.  Can you point to tests/comparisons that show this?  I've asked earlier in the thread if anyone would be willing to actually perform a DBT:

 

Same source

3-4 different DACs from $100 to $5000 depending on gear available

Same amp

Same cans

Everything level matched.

 

IE - only one difference in the chain - the DAC.

 

I'd expect the sub $100 DAC to show some difference - but what I am more interested in is how much difference.  I'm not an audiophile.  With a young family, largish mortgage etc, I can't afford to be ..... at the moment.  I am a music lover though.  So I'd like to get the best 'bang for MY buck' - I know that's subjective.  At the moment - for now - I'm happy with my E7/E9 combo and my current cans.  Next step for me likely to be to an HD600 or HD650.

 

What I really want to know is if someone .... anyone .... would be prepared to perform a test.  Maybe at a meet where there is plenty of gear, and hopefully plenty of subjects willing to partake.  I can't organise something like this because of my location and because of my budget.

 

I'm sure there will be plenty of people like me who'd like an answer though - is $100 really 'crap', or is it decent entry point?

How important is the DAC in the upgrade chain?  Where is the biggest gain?  (I think it's probably the cans, then the amp, then the DAC - but that's an outright guess.)

 

It's the last time I'll ask the question.  If it gets lost again, I'll unsubscribe anyway.  No loss - I'm currently happy with my E7 - and personally I don't care what others think.  What I do want to know though (for the future) is how much value is there in going from a $100 to a $300-$400 DAC.  Anytime the question is asked, you get the same old answers (under $100 = toys or = crap) - yet no-one is willing to run a test ....... or provide anecdotal evidence.

post #362 of 373


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post


Serious request - please elaborate.  I've been following this thread, and really enjoying the discussion.  What I don't understand are blanket statements like yours - without any explanation.  Can you point to tests/comparisons that show this?  I've asked earlier in the thread if anyone would be willing to actually perform a DBT:

 

Same source

3-4 different DACs from $100 to $5000 depending on gear available

Same amp

Same cans

Everything level matched.

 

IE - only one difference in the chain - the DAC.

 

I'd expect the sub $100 DAC to show some difference - but what I am more interested in is how much difference.  I'm not an audiophile.  With a young family, largish mortgage etc, I can't afford to be ..... at the moment.  I am a music lover though.  So I'd like to get the best 'bang for MY buck' - I know that's subjective.  At the moment - for now - I'm happy with my E7/E9 combo and my current cans.  Next step for me likely to be to an HD600 or HD650.

 

What I really want to know is if someone .... anyone .... would be prepared to perform a test.  Maybe at a meet where there is plenty of gear, and hopefully plenty of subjects willing to partake.  I can't organise something like this because of my location and because of my budget.

 

I'm sure there will be plenty of people like me who'd like an answer though - is $100 really 'crap', or is it decent entry point?

How important is the DAC in the upgrade chain?  Where is the biggest gain?  (I think it's probably the cans, then the amp, then the DAC - but that's an outright guess.)

 

It's the last time I'll ask the question.  If it gets lost again, I'll unsubscribe anyway.  No loss - I'm currently happy with my E7 - and personally I don't care what others think.  What I do want to know though (for the future) is how much value is there in going from a $100 to a $300-$400 DAC.  Anytime the question is asked, you get the same old answers (under $100 = toys or = crap) - yet no-one is willing to run a test ....... or provide anecdotal evidence.


You're wasting your time asking for any of the big posters in this thread to even run a simple diffMaker test to support their points of view.

 

Just like we continuously tell the cable believers, the burden of proof is on the ones making the claim, and in this case the claim is that all dacs sound the same.  So come on, let's post those diffMaker files showing that all dacs sound the same.

 

USG

 

 

 


Edited by upstateguy - 7/2/11 at 10:18pm
post #363 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post


 


You're wasting your time asking for any of the big posters in this thread to even run a simple diffMaker test to support their points of view.

 

Just like we continuously tell the cable believers, the burden of proof is on the ones making the claim, and in this case the claim is that all dacs sound the same.  So come on, let's post those diffMaker files showing that all dacs sound the same.

 

USG

 

 

 


This is where I'd actually LOVE to be able to assist - because I would definitely prefer to know rather than guess.  Unfortunately I don't have the equipment to do it.  I just wish the ones that could - would.  They'd be doing everyone in the community a real service.

post #364 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post


This is where I'd actually LOVE to be able to assist - because I would definitely prefer to know rather than guess.  Unfortunately I don't have the equipment to do it.  I just wish the ones that could - would.  They'd be doing everyone in the community a real service.


If you have more than one dac, you can easily run the Audio DiffMaker test.  It is an automated null test. 

 

But you won't find any of the long winded theorists here posting any diffMaker files.   Come on guys, some proof or back down.

 

USG.

 

 

 


Edited by upstateguy - 7/2/11 at 10:50pm
post #365 of 373

I've been comparing DACs for 30 years, from early Theta's and Arcam Black boxes to DCS and Wadia to the current Naim, Berkeley and Weiss units. I currently own something that's a few grand and won't get into specifics. While I don't think all the sub $100 dacs/sound cards are identical, I also haven't found something in that budget that I can enjoy in a good home system and therefore my statement. Crappy is relative and there will still be better and worse in the segment but from my (admittedly somewhat jaded) point of view, it really becomes moot. I don't think it a useless endeavor to find the best sub $100 DAC but I also felt one silly blanket statement deserved another. His setup isn't done well enough to tell and another might be too critical of same. As I said, relative.

 

 I actually think most would be better served with a Sonos for playing back files than they are with their computers due the variability in player software and generally noisy environment. A Sonos ZP90 is a $350 purpose built streamer so it's not just about price. Not what I would use for my main setup but surprisingly OK for the price. I prefer it's sound to the SBs even though it doesn't do HiDef.

 

When I need to use a computer for playback etc., I use a TC Konnekt or Weiss interface with regulated linear supply into my DAC of choice. Both Firewire with JET topology. A cost effective USB interface would be something like the Halide. I was using the TC and Wavelab player back when Computer audiophile was telling folks to use Itunes and tos out which I found 'crappy' at the time. They are now recommending similar things to what I do but it took them years to overcome the bits is bits stigma. Cheapest USB DAC that I've found somewhat enjoyable in a good system is over $300.

 

I've got nothing to prove to anyone else and will state my opinion on forum if I chose. Those demanding proof should back down. I have done blind tests and even stated something was wrong with  systems when a dac was changed without my knowledge but how do you go there on a forum. Proof is always demanded by those with an opposite view that may not hear something more likely due top a bottle neck elsewhere than anything else. When somebody says they don't hear something, I believe them but I never think it's due to their ears or 2 different products sounding the same. Guys are rolling chips  for sonic changes in amps and line stages. Does anyone think that all these DACs have identical line stages. That the filter, sampling or noise shaping circuits of DACs are more similar than a simple op amp? If they sound the same, guess what? Either the DACs are too crappy to hear a dif or the setup is not revealing enough.


Edited by goodvibes - 7/2/11 at 11:23pm
post #366 of 373

Obviously this was going to be asked eventually,

 

What $300+ Dac is that you are talking about?

 

BTW i've been trying to get answers from these guys for a while and they ignore my questions.  Once i ridicule them they immediately post back though all defensive like i'm the one trolling. Personally the way i look at it is that they are trolling.  Maybe they didn't mean any harm by it, but their lack of closure has left them debating for pages upon pages on a thread that isn't even equal to what they have turned it into

post #367 of 373

@Goodvibes

 

You are familiar that many Wadia DACs actually have built in filters for roll-off correct?  In such a case audibility would not be questioned.  Hell, the HM-801 DAP starts rolling off similarly early and exhibits a 1dB drop off at 9kHz (which I was able to DBT).  Guess what I consider worse than an iPod or Sansa Clip?

 

This is where it comes back to properly built and implemented -- I know quite a few that would say Wadia's doing it wrong (I'm one of them).  Wadia's filters show up quite easily in FR measurements.  Since you claim you were able to DBT some DACs successfully, you should be able to give us the exact models and test conditions correct?
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
Those demanding proof should back down.

 

No sir, you should take a seat till you can provide us with said evidence.  This is sound science, the one place we are allowed to ask for evidence as much as we want.  I don't make the claim that all DACs sound the same . . . I make the claim that all properly made DACs sound the same.  Well, I guess we could have an unfortunate incident where two improperly made ones sound the same too . . . but they aren't really worth discussing IMO.

 

Opamp rolling is a joke, you're more likely to cause problems and create oscillations as Benchmark found out (more than likely the only real differences anyone can hear when rolling them).  I have little care when it comes to differences in topologies -- I care about what's coming out of them much more you see?
 

Topologies are analogous to the English language, there's many ways to say the exact same thing even though what's being said can be constructed many different ways.  Of course, a mismatch of words might leave the meaning of what you're saying broken.  The latter is like a shoddy circuit as far as I'm concerned.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMACAdress View Post


. . . Once i ridicule them they immediately post back though all defensive like i'm the one trolling.

 

I think you just admitted you were, as ridicule is what trolls oft tend to do.


Edited by Shike - 7/2/11 at 11:45pm
post #368 of 373

All Dacs Don't sound the SAME! Yep they tend to try to do the same thing in most cases but If some of you people can't hear the difference then...............................Sorry, this is just my opinion,and many of the older audiophiles who've I've been listening with, since Dacs 1st showed their heads......... Oh, buy the way you can measure, set levels the same, repeat the same reference material etc. etc. but "they" do sound different.  OH, I forgot this is a "Sound Science" forum, and many think that's a whole different ball game..... Talk about being Placeeeeeeboed!


Edited by 9pintube - 7/3/11 at 12:14am
post #369 of 373
I'm afraid I can't assist in the test because I use a Mac mini and a $150 Sony DVD player as source. I already did tests comparing several CD players against ipods, macs and a well regarded SACD and could find no audible difference. If there is no improvement between high bitrate and CD, I don't see a reason to compare different ways of playing a CD... unless someone wants to claim that a high end DAC makes Redbook sound better than SACD. (not likely)
post #370 of 373

can you tell the difference between a 128 mp3 and a 320 mp3?

post #371 of 373



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

@Goodvibes

 

You are familiar that many Wadia DACs actually have built in filters for roll-off correct?  In such a case audibility would not be questioned.  Hell, the HM-801 DAP starts rolling off similarly early and exhibits a 1dB drop off at 9kHz (which I was able to DBT).  Guess what I consider worse than an iPod or Sansa Clip?

 

This is where it comes back to properly built and implemented -- I know quite a few that would say Wadia's doing it wrong (I'm one of them).  Wadia's filters show up quite easily in FR measurements.  Since you claim you were able to DBT some DACs successfully, you should be able to give us the exact models and test conditions correct?
 

 

 

 

No sir, you should take a seat till you can provide us with said evidence.  This is sound science, the one place we are allowed to ask for evidence as much as we want.  I don't make the claim that all DACs sound the same . . . I make the claim that all properly made DACs sound the same.  Well, I guess we could have an unfortunate incident where two improperly made ones sound the same too . . . but they aren't really worth discussing IMO.

 

Opamp rolling is a joke, you're more likely to cause problems and create oscillations as Benchmark found out (more than likely the only real differences anyone can hear when rolling them).  I have little care when it comes to differences in topologies -- I care about what's coming out of them much more you see?
 

Topologies are analogous to the English language, there's many ways to say the exact same thing even though what's being said can be constructed many different ways.  Of course, a mismatch of words might leave the meaning of what you're saying broken.  The latter is like a shoddy circuit as far as I'm concerned.
 

 

I think you just admitted you were, as ridicule is what trolls oft tend to do.


So I can't have an opinion unless I provide you proof. LOL Rationalize what you want. The demanding proof should back down was in response to I should back down if I can't provide enough to satisfy. I always find it amusing how easily one gets called out for repeating something considered  acceptable from another point of view. Your position is as obtuse as mine. I just don't go demanding of others. Take a chill pill and deal with it. I could relate results of a blind test and you could just as easily decide not to believe me and claim subjectivity. In the past when results like these have come forward they've always been attacked or ignored and why it's useless to even bother. It's a forum. Your welcome to your views as I should be to mine. I know what I know and believe what I believe from my experience as do you. Show me the mechanism of gravity or it doesn't exist. Demands are easy. There's more to experience than measurement and it's either very uninformed or pompous to believe that we know how to measure everything. Science is as much understanding as it is measurement and a good scientist will know that he doesn't know everything. When you're doing target function engineering, of course measurement and inductive design take precedent but discovery is not intuitive and requires an open mind. I doubt that the stock switching supply on Young DAC measures much different than a good linear one set to the exact same voltage but I can assure it sounds different. I have done that one blind to be sure and I set the regulated voltage. If you don't think that manufacturers listen and voice after an initial design, you're in the dark about how things come to market after the initial engineering is done. Not as much with the cheaper stuff where R+D is prohibitive but basically everything else. One can argue subjective better and worse but different? It just is.

 

 Filters have been pretty poor since the inception of digital sound and are just now coming around with proper oversampling (not asrc up) and multiple lesser slopes to prevent ring and phase issues. I never liked Wadia Dacs in general but do think their docks are kinda cool. Never cared all that much for CDs in general but access to tunes has always been more important than format.
 

 If one wants to know why I did a one line hit and run earlier in this thread. this argument is it. This subject always turns into the same endless debate fueled by those that want it simple and I suspect participate in that manner to create self fulfilling unresolved setups. Yes, admitted conjecture and more power to you if you're happy and can save the bucks. I really mean that but preaching that folks should not approach this with an open mind is just counter productive. All I ever want is for folks to listen for themselves and form their own opinions. Not be gestapoed into your perspective because you demand proof that you will refute or find insufficient if given.

 

I never said Opamp rolling was a great thing but there are usually a few that work correctly in circuit and will sound different. I'm well aware of the poor choices some DIYs make but there's also factory approved swaps. Not my thing as I'm a discrete kind of guy but I find it interesting that you challenge the entire concept because you don't like the premise od sonic variety. For someone claiming to care more about what comes out, you seem more concerned with mearurements.

 

I've said my piece and will not continue this endless debate here. Have at me if you like but I am entitled to my views whether you care for them or not. All I ever ask is that folks listen for themselves and not be bullied.


Edited by goodvibes - 7/3/11 at 2:34am
post #372 of 373

You state your opinion, are asked politely for more information on your claims, probably in hope of continuing what was at one point a vaguely intelligent debate, and in response you fly off the handle.

But hell, I'll respond anyway. There is nothing magical that we cannot measure in a circuit. Transducer, maybe. Approaching audio with an "open mind" is what most people do - they then read about 10,000 dollar cables and justifiably jump to the conclusion that it is full of insane people. You make a hell of a lot of unsubstantiated claims, parrot various commonly held audiophile beliefs and then huff off.

Listening with an "open mind" wins points for melodramatic rhetoric, but when it boils down to it sighted listening is flawed. Other forms of listening are also flawed, but their flaws pale into insignificance versus sighted listening.

 

I'm not entirely sure why I'm saying this. You posted in a thread which was obviously a debate, stated an opinion and that you had evidence (blind tests) behind it and then when someone questions it rant on about how everyone's entitled to their opinion. You then have the temerity to post about keeping an "open mind". bigsmile_face.gif

If you are confused at this stage, may I recommend doing a Google search for "debate"?


Edited by Willakan - 7/3/11 at 4:29am
post #373 of 373

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post


So I can't have an opinion unless I provide you proof.


If that's all it was sure, but realize you're going to be asked to substantiate it regardless because of where you're posting.  Instead, you had an opinion and basically told those that ask for evidence to shut-up, because of your opinion.

 

Not how it works in the real world or in forums.

Quote:
LOL Rationalize what you want. The demanding proof should back down was in response to I should back down if I can't provide enough to satisfy. I always find it amusing how easily one gets called out for repeating something considered  acceptable from another point of view. Your position is as obtuse as mine. I just don't go demanding of others.

 

Null is an accepted defacto in the scientific method.  If I said there's a flying spaghetti monster you'd ask for proof, or if there was a really awesome deal on gear I claimed was legit from China.  People want proof.  Furthermore, my view isn't obtuse -- there's plenty of DBT that agree with my position and for the most part the position held here.

 

For someone claiming an open mind you should probably watch this:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI

 

Quote:
Take a chill pill and deal with it.

 

I'm hardly the one that's incapable of keeping my emotions in check when it comes to this debate.  You're crying the victim and acting as if there's a witch hunt and great persecution of audio believers -- even though you can post your opinion just about anywhere else on this board without fear of anyone asking for "proof".

 

Quote:
I could relate results of a blind test and you could just as easily decide not to believe me and claim subjectivity. In the past when results like these have come forward they've always been attacked or ignored and why it's useless to even bother. It's a forum. Your welcome to your views as I should be to mine. I know what I know and believe what I believe from my experience as do you. Show me the mechanism of gravity or it doesn't exist.

 

You're . . . . not particularly skilled at debating are you?  The mechanisms of gravity are pretty well outlined and peer reviewed.  It's not a simple "I believe in gravity", it is measurable.

 

Quote:
There's more to experience than measurement and it's either very uninformed or pompous to believe that we know how to measure everything. Science is as much understanding as it is measurement and a good scientist will know that he doesn't know everything. When you're doing target function engineering, of course measurement and inductive design take precedent but discovery is not intuitive and requires an open mind. I doubt that the stock switching supply on Young DAC measures much different than a good linear one set to the exact same voltage but I can assure it sounds different. I have done that one blind to be sure and I set the regulated voltage. If you don't think that manufacturers listen and voice after an initial design, you're in the dark about how things come to market after the initial engineering is done. Not as much with the cheaper stuff where R+D is prohibitive but basically everything else. One can argue subjective better and worse but different? It just is.

 

Let's see what you've done in this part of your post.  You're arguing that we don't know how to measure audible aspects, and as such our understanding is insufficient (in-spite of numerous DBTs).  You then propose a SMPS probably measures the same as regulated with no evidence, then proceed to claim it makes a difference when we don't know how it measures.  We don't have measurements of it, so we don't know if the PSU suffers from substantial ripple causing audible issues do we now?  You're going out of your way to create a straw man to attack us, and I don't find it amusing in the least.

 

Quote:

 Filters have been pretty poor since the inception of digital sound and are just now coming around with proper oversampling (not asrc up) and multiple lesser slopes to prevent ring and phase issues.

 

Those ring and phase issues are more questionably audible than jitter.  As in, no-one has been able to DBT them.  A slope filter is an elegant solution for a problem that pretty much is already handled in a superior fashion.

 

Quote:
 If one wants to know why I did a one line hit and run earlier in this thread. this argument is it. This subject always turns into the same endless debate fueled by those that want it simple and I suspect participate in that manner to create self fulfilling unresolved setups. Yes, admitted conjecture and more power to you if you're happy and can save the bucks. I really mean that but preaching that folks should not approach this with an open mind is just counter productive. All I ever want is for folks to listen for themselves and form their own opinions. Not be gestapoed into your perspective because you demand proof that you will refute or find insufficient if given.

 

Naivety and open mindedness are two very different things.  I urge anyone that hasn't already watched the video I posted earlier do so now.  Hopefully after you do not make the same mistake this person repeatedly has by misrepresenting the posters here as "closed minded".

 

As for why you did a one hit run, it's presumably because you can't substantiate a position and must shout down others while trolling effectively.

 

Quote:

I never said Opamp rolling was a great thing but there are usually a few that work correctly in circuit and will sound different. I'm well aware of the poor choices some DIYs make but there's also factory approved swaps. Not my thing as I'm a discrete kind of guy but I find it interesting that you challenge the entire concept because you don't like the premise od sonic variety. For someone claiming to care more about what comes out, you seem more concerned with mearurements.

 

Measurements are ultimately what comes out.  Furthermore, I dislike you representing my position with a straw man again.  I said nothing of sonic variety, there's plenty of OTL tube amps that measurably provide a difference.  The opamp modifications don't to a degree of audibility unless something was horribly wrong before, after, or in both instances.

 

Quote:
I've said my piece and will not continue this endless debate here. Have at me if you like but I am entitled to my views whether you care for them or not. All I ever ask is that folks listen for themselves and not be bullied.

 

No one here is being bullied honestly.  You just don't like that the evidence agrees with our position, one that you're so vehemently against.

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