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Objective2 Mini-Review and Discussion - Page 7

post #91 of 386

I certainly don't hear any issue with the bass on mine either. In fact, it's the meatiest,most controlled of any of my headphone amps. But that's not what impresses me most about its sound... it's the clarity, separation, and space around instruments which makes music breathe more naturally- that's what catches my attention first and foremost... and I'm a basshead! So I suppose I disagree with most of his points too. I know the Mini3 is supposed to not be as refined as the AMB M^3, yet I hear the O2 as superior to the M^3, so something is weird. Oh well, everyone hears things differently.

post #92 of 386

my interpertation of the headphonia review, and most of their reviews for that matter

 

we listen to lots of amps and over time we have become biased towards a sound that we prefer, which is clearly not neutral or accurate.  That sound is now our baseline and any amp that does not meet that baseline is inaccurately judged, and its true sound is then misconstrued and confused for anyone reading our review who doesnt know we are not really capable of accurately evaluating an amp. 

 

sorry, but if headphones lack bass through an 02, or the mids dont sound right, its either the headphones or its you.  

post #93 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Well rolled off bass in a portable is almost always due to undersized coupling caps but a high Z amp input will fix that and esoteric DAC filters only roll off the treble more and don't add to it so I'm not sure that's much of an issue.


Be that as it may, IME many devices are bass light via LO into any amp within reasonable accuracy.  I'm talking some stuff from $60 to thousands of dollars.  I've never heard those bass light sources 'fixed' w/o coloration from a colored amp.  So I'm not sure I buy into high z input fixing things based on my experiences w/ 3-4 devices that come to mind.

 

Plus I have more than the HD800 in my inventory before anybody tries to go down that route.

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 4/4/12 at 10:09pm
post #94 of 386

My thoughts on the headphonia review:

 

I fail to understand how easily these reviews quantify the perceivable changes in sound. There is no mention of how they did their testing, you cannot just use a combination of amps and headphones, because there is no objectivity. How well did it do compared to the source? No mention of that. 

Then there's the thing about measurements vs sonics. If good measurements cannot translate into good sound, then what does? Time and again this issue has been brought up, and its amazing how it never dies down.

Human senses are fickle, can be easily fooled. From my personal experience, if lets say I'm down with a cold, music sounds terrible because of sinus build up, or a blocked ear canal. That does not mean the amp or the source has suddenly stopped performing. On the other hand, if I design something that sounds nice now, chances are it'll sound ****ty later.

A device based on measurements will *always* give you the measured performance, nothing more, nothing less. If its bad, its *always* bad, if its good, its *always* good.

 

post #95 of 386

Well honestly though, it's still entirely up to whoever is listening in the end.  Maybe the O2 is in fact the most accurate amp out there - but maybe accuracy just isn't what the listener is looking for.  I know that I find "perfectly accurate" headphones to be kind of boring to listen to...

 

But it does get a little iffy as soon as he starts mentioning resolution and micro details and the like.  Not really sure what to say about that.  It's pretty hard to believe that an amp that has such low THD and measure so well otherwise wouldn't have "micro detail" unless this detail they speak of is simply artifically added by the amp or something.

post #96 of 386

So it has begun:

 

 

Warning: Yada yada... (Click to show)

 

Since some people seem to like car analogies....

 

20 years ago, the greatest scientists, engineers and aerodynamicists designed the fastest Formula One cars ever to race the earth all based on pure science (with a touch of productive art in the aero dept).  20 years later the cars are even faster and better based on the same physics which has not changed.  Did everyone from 20 years ago suffer from headcolds which impaired their designs?  I think not.  These 'true' scientists and objectivists keep pushing and searching for milliseconds in their development of a relatively simple electronic, mechanical and chemical device.  The only thing that matters is the lap time which is easy to test yet things are still dynamic, change and evolve.

 

In audio, you have a biologically (aural and neural) and psychologically dynamic system interacting with environmental physics and mechanical devices.  This seems a more variable and dynamic problem simply because of the three aforementioned variables.  To me this seems a much more complex problem than a D-Scope can solve in its entirety.  If an 'Objectivist' can claim that we know all there is to know about perfect audio reproduction, let him throw a tarp over Yo-Yo Ma and DBT his Cello versus whatever best audio reproduction system he can assemble and prove it on Youtube.  I'll even throw in a sweetner if you put your own money on the line. 

 

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 4/4/12 at 11:09pm
post #97 of 386

Anaxilus you should try the Benchmark DAC1 with O2 on your UERM. bigsmile_face.gif

 

I wouldn't expect much different in the sound of the HPA section of the benchmark VS the O2 though.

post #98 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

Anaxilus you should try the Benchmark DAC1 with O2 on your UERM. bigsmile_face.gif

 

I wouldn't expect much different in the sound of the HPA section of the benchmark VS the O2 though.


I have, the two are close but still different.  The HPO of the DAC1 is slighlty more detailed and spacious than the O2 but the O2's treble is a bit more forgiving than the DAC1 which has that usual digital bite that requires a slightly warmer phone like the HD650 to tone it down.

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 4/4/12 at 11:22pm
post #99 of 386

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


I have, the two are close but still different.  The HPO of the DAC1 is slighlty more detailed and spacious than the O2 but the O2's treble is a bit more forgiving than the DAC1 which has that usual digital bite that requires a slightly more colored phone like the HD650 to tone it down.


I think that the Benchmark DAC is one of the most detailed and neutral DAC out there. I will want to get it someday together with the UERM though the amount of details might be too much to bear.

 

post #100 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

I think that the Benchmark DAC is one of the most detailed and neutral DAC out there. I will want to get it someday together with the UERM though the amount of details might be too much to bear.


Lol, don't worry about it.  It's not that detailed compared to others to warrant such fears.  You won't hear Steve Hoffman picking his nose.  If you like the sound just go for it and enjoy.  

 

post #101 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

My thoughts on the headphonia review:

 

I fail to understand how easily these reviews quantify the perceivable changes in sound. There is no mention of how they did their testing, you cannot just use a combination of amps and headphones, because there is no objectivity. How well did it do compared to the source? No mention of that. 

Then there's the thing about measurements vs sonics. If good measurements cannot translate into good sound, then what does? Time and again this issue has been brought up, and its amazing how it never dies down.

Human senses are fickle, can be easily fooled. From my personal experience, if lets say I'm down with a cold, music sounds terrible because of sinus build up, or a blocked ear canal. That does not mean the amp or the source has suddenly stopped performing. On the other hand, if I design something that sounds nice now, chances are it'll sound ****ty later.

A device based on measurements will *always* give you the measured performance, nothing more, nothing less. If its bad, its *always* bad, if its good, its *always* good.


First of all, I don't think there's an attempt being made at quantifying the perceivable changes in sound.  There's definitely an audience for the kind of review being written, so I'll leave that at that.

 

More importantly, I think we should be more careful in saying "a device based on measurements" because most devices are based on some measurements in the design process.  I would think that some higher-quality tube amps and others are designed intentionally with certain distortion characteristics based at least in part on the measurements.  Schiit says they use measurements too.  Then also, a lot of devices aiming for good measurements (well, by "good" I mean higher fidelity), don't even measure that well, because of cost / space / size / power / designer incompetence limitations.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

Well honestly though, it's still entirely up to whoever is listening in the end.  Maybe the O2 is in fact the most accurate amp out there - but maybe accuracy just isn't what the listener is looking for.  I know that I find "perfectly accurate" headphones to be kind of boring to listen to...

 

But it does get a little iffy as soon as he starts mentioning resolution and micro details and the like.  Not really sure what to say about that.  It's pretty hard to believe that an amp that has such low THD and measure so well otherwise wouldn't have "micro detail" unless this detail they speak of is simply artifically added by the amp or something.


I agree about listener preference, and we can safely say that the O2 is definitely not the most accurate amp out there.  The point you bring up about micro details is a good one.

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

So it has begun:

Warning: Yada yada... (Click to show)

 

Since some people seem to like car analogies....

 

20 years ago, the greatest scientists, engineers and aerodynamicists designed the fastest Formula One cars ever to race the earth all based on pure science (with a touch of productive art in the aero dept).  20 years later the cars are even faster and better based on the same physics which has not changed.  Did everyone from 20 years ago suffer from headcolds which impaired their designs?  I think not.  These 'true' scientists and objectivists keep pushing and searching for milliseconds in their development of a relatively simple electronic, mechanical and chemical device.  The only thing that matters is the lap time which is easy to test yet things are still dynamic, change and evolve.

 

In audio, you have a biologically (aural and neural) and psychologically dynamic system interacting with environmental physics and mechanical devices.  This seems a more variable and dynamic problem simply because of the three aforementioned variables.  To me this seems a much more complex problem than a D-Scope can solve in its entirety.  If an 'Objectivist' can claim that we know all there is to know about perfect audio reproduction, let him throw a tarp over Yo-Yo Ma and DBT his Cello versus whatever best audio reproduction system he can assemble and prove it on Youtube.  I'll even throw in a sweetner if you put your own money on the line. 


For the record I'm not the biggest fan of car analogies, but anyway, if you like putting text in spoilers I'll try it too.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

First off, there's a big difference between making a car faster and pursuing accuracy in audio reproduction.  At least for these purposes, there's no practical limit to how fast we would want to make the cars go, so there's a stronger motivation to keep making them faster.  At some point, greater accuracy doesn't matter much, depending on the application.  If you have really really pure water vs. really really really pure water, are they going to taste different?  Who cares about removing the impurities once it already tastes exactly like water, if it's just for people to drink?  (Okay, this example is not that good, especially since music is not as plain as water, and impurities can be a good thing, and so on.)

 

I don't think any "objectivists" or any people in their right minds are suggesting that we know all there is to know about audio reproduction, or that we have systems that sound exactly like the real thing, so this sounds like a straw man at best.

 

The claims being made are that a good amplifier will not be the weak link in the chain that makes Yo-Yo Ma sound different than a recording of Yo-Yo Ma being played back, and that there exist amplifiers that produce such similar outputs (given the same input) that the differences are small enough to be indistinguishable by humans.  Even though there's a lot known about amplifier design as well as electrical theory behind the operation of amplifiers, and people are still pushing the boundaries with new topologies and designs, some even aiming for even lower distortion figures even for audio purposes. 

 

The interactions between the biological and psychological systems, the mechanical, and the electrical parts, are complex, sure.  That doesn't mean that you can't analyze some of the components separately.  You don't need to even understand the biological, psychological, and mechanical systems to come up with different electric amplifiers of different designs that behave extremely similarly under typical operating conditions, not just with test tones, but with whatever music you want.

 


Edited by mikeaj - 4/4/12 at 11:57pm
post #102 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Warning: Yada yada... (Click to show)
In audio, you have a biologically (aural and neural) and psychologically dynamic system interacting with environmental physics and mechanical devices.  This seems a more variable and dynamic problem simply because of the three aforementioned variables.  To me this seems a much more complex problem than a D-Scope can solve in its entirety.  If an 'Objectivist' can claim that we know all there is to know about perfect audio reproduction, let him throw a tarp over Yo-Yo Ma and DBT his Cello versus whatever best audio reproduction system he can assemble and prove it on Youtube.  I'll even throw in a sweetner if you put your own money on the line. 


Of course, even the best audio reproduction will not sound like live performance, but that is because of the limitations of transducers, and not amplifiers, DACs, or cables. If you take these measurements of the HD800, and substitute those of the O2 instead, the HD800 would look like lo-fi equipment in comparison. And that is not even considering the difficulty of reproducing all spatial information with a stereo system.

 

post #103 of 386

In reply to Anaxilus:

I think we should be able to differentiate between the Performance, the Recorded Performance (i.e. the Source) and the Reproduction.

An Objectivist can probably show you in a DBT that the *Reproduction* will closely replicate the *Source*, that an amp will not change the Source in any way except power.

IMO its the same for any amp, not only for music, but also for communications and other areas where amps are used.

The acoustics of the Performance are totally different than what mics recorded and what the production did to the music.

 

My understanding is this, if any changes are deliberately introduced to the source signal, maybe for the purpose of making it sonically pleasing to some people or any other reason, its perfectly fine. But we should realize that we are adding another variable to the overall complexity, and should acknowledge as well as report this fact in the measurements etc. For those who have a variety of amps and headphones it may work as they might find that perfect combination, but for others, it kind of mixes things together and does not let one appreciate the music as it is.

post #104 of 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Lol, don't worry about it.  It's not that detailed compared to others to warrant such fears.  You won't hear Steve Hoffman picking his nose.  If you like the sound just go for it and enjoy.  


I just went to google who exactly Steve Hoffman is. evil_smiley.gif

 

post #105 of 386

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

Of course, even the best audio reproduction will not sound like live performance, but that is because of the limitations of transducers, and not amplifiers, DACs

I disagree.  This is an oversimplification in analysis similar to saying digital audio is just ones and zeros.  I have yet to hear any perfect wire w/ gain amp or perfect DAC w/o signatures of their own.  

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