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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 42

post #616 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

There's actually a bunch of very interesting stuff on the Lampizator website where the guy took apart a whole bunch of different hi-end cd players/transports to see what was inside (Krell, for one) only to find out that a great many of them were actually Philips CD players in a nice housing, had terrible design and/or cheap parts all around.

http://lampizator.eu/lampizator/references/krell%20cd300/Krell%20CD300.html

The Krell one is here, there are many other "hi end" ones but I forgot most of the names.

edit: here is a link to the Wadia:

http://lampizator.eu/lampizator/references/wadia%20WT%203200/WT3200.html

For the benefits of our younger members, companies advertised what mechanisms they used. It was not some kind of secret; reviews often include internal shots and reviewers nearly without fail mention what mechanisms were used.

Hardly anybody made their own mechanism - and those who did, must did so at exorbitant costs. This was something known to most people. What most manufacturers did was to use off the shelf transports and do the best they can. It's similar to how many different brands use the same usb interface chipsets these days.

Things move quickly in the digital electronics front. A $3,000 computer today will look retarded 10 years from now. So i guess a design of probably 10 years ago is probably not as good as what could be had today for the same money but that's no excuse to say $hitty things about them. It's like an engineer taking apart a 50 year-old car and start banging on about how poorly they were designed and made compared to today's standards. Rude and obnoxious.

The pages at the end of those links appear to be nothing but an exercise in inflating the ego of the blogger. He ripped at old designs and yet failed to explain why in his own words, they sound very good, specially the Krell was, in his words;

"So how does this monster sound in stock form?
The answer is - bloody good. I was shocked, I did not have my drooling towel handy and I listened in total disbelief.

This player is awesome. It sounds spectacular. It equals the best stock players I had. it sounds too good to be true.
Sound is spacious, free, open, fast, powerful, dynamic - everything you might ask. Nothing even resembling remotely the opamped sound of all other stock players. This is real high end. I feel no need for lampization, no need for tweaking. Even if the owner would be rather open about the possibility to do lampization if it was to improve the sound. It is soo good that all I want to do is listen MORE. This is the best stock player I ever had, I must admit that I am in shock."

This was after basically saying it was a box full of crap.

I know the lampizator guy knows his stuff, but if he cannot explain why the Krell sounded so good when all his comments based on his knowledge says it's mediocre at best, in my opinion it shows the limits of his expertise and also the lack of respect he has for others.

Btw, under the hood of a Lotus Evora lives an engine from a Camry. Does that mean anything? Sure, it means evoras have reliable engines. The lap times tell the rest of the story. I think this is similar to the Krell player.

And if you want more of what goes into some hifi gear - including cable network boxes, try hifishock.org . Shunyata research fans brace yourselves. (Not all show nearly empty boxes, some in fact really cement the level of reverence some companies have gained over the years. Look at what goes into an Accuphase/Burmester/PS Audio compared to an Isotek/Shunyata and you'll see what I mean.)
post #617 of 1186

Then again you're convinced after DBT ABX testing with no significant result that you can still hear a difference between a cheap cable and an expensive one, so you'll forgive me if I'm going to lean more towards the opinion of a guy "who knows his stuff" rather than one with no constructive counter-arguments to this so-called "limited expertise" ;)

post #618 of 1186

Guess what... I bet you wouldn't be able to discern a difference between a $40 CD player, an iPod through line out and a high end CD player in a blind level matched direct A/B test either!

post #619 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

Then again you're convinced after DBT ABX testing with no significant result that you can still hear a difference between a cheap cable and an expensive one, so you'll forgive me if I'm going to lean more towards the opinion of a guy "who knows his stuff" rather than one with no constructive counter-arguments to this so-called "limited expertise" wink.gif

He contradicted himself in the same blog, elmoe. He clearly said the Krell sounded really good which kindda goes against what he's been saying previously.

My points are:

a.) While one group of parts - the transport mechanism and some of its associated bits - are from another manufacturer and are mass produced, it forms no indication towards the end result. Mr.Lampizator agrees with the quality of the unit's output.

b.) It is no secret that nearly every manufacturer used Sony or Philips transports. You can find this out by looking up old reviews. Those who do not - Zanden comes to mind - have price tags going into the realms of mortgages just to spin a CD.

c.) It is bad form to heavily criticize another designer's choices specially when those choices were made under vastly different constraints with a completely different set of limitations.

Finally, a CD player can be viewed as a music server with only 650Mb on permanent storage (until you change the disc). if one views the transport mechanism as an equivalent to a HDD playing my flac files, you'd probably say i'm crazy if i demand special audiophile HDD's with teflon caps, tantalums and OCC SPC 9N ribbon cables in my mac, right? Again, you'd be calling me nuts if i say it needs a special audiophile controller card and firmware, yes? If i demand a special mainboard you'd also call bs, I suspect. Now if i use all those mentioned parts from common items, add a decent power supply to it, make sure everything is separated nicely, add a well implemented DAC, then add a really good output stage, would you say that's okay? If i had the capacity to do the above and sell it, that'd be okay too, right? That is precisely what Krell did (and probably more). They took a transport mechanism they chose (which would be for us, a toshiba hdd, asus mobo, and other bits off the shelf plus linux), added decent power supplies, good isolation, shielding. They then added a well designed DAC and a good output stage. The results of all this is what Mr.Lampizator calls "amazing". So why did he babble all colors of crap at what parts were used?

Anyhow, i can believe in sparkle trailing, time traveling, unicorns that $hit taco's and pee soy sauce if i wish. It does not mean that all the points i make are automatically invalid.
post #620 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

He contradicted himself in the same blog, elmoe. He clearly said the Krell sounded really good which kinda goes against what he's been saying previously.

 

All CD players sound really good. No contradiction there. Stock off the shelf parts are what CD players and DAC/amps are pretty much made from nowadays.

post #621 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

All CD players sound really good. No contradiction there. Stock off the shelf parts are what CD players and DAC/amps are pretty much made from nowadays.

This is what he said:

"So how does this monster sound in stock form?
The answer is - bloody good. I was shocked, I did not have my drooling towel handy and I listened in total disbelief.

This player is awesome. It sounds spectacular. It equals the best stock players I had. it sounds too good to be true.
Sound is spacious, free, open, fast, powerful, dynamic - everything you might ask. Nothing even resembling remotely the opamped sound of all other stock players. This is real high end. I feel no need for lampization, no need for tweaking. Even if the owner would be rather open about the possibility to do lampization if it was to improve the sound. It is soo good that all I want to do is listen MORE. This is the best stock player I ever had, I must admit that I am in shock."

To me it does not sound as though he's describing a CD player that sounds the same as the rest of them. My friend Sherlock highlighted the sentence in bold for you.
post #622 of 1186

Humor is a serious business. It's not to be undertaken lightly.

post #623 of 1186
Yeah regarding the Krell comments, the guy is clearly extracting the urine.
post #624 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Guess what... I bet you wouldn't be able to discern a difference between a $40 CD player, an iPod through line out and a high end CD player in a blind level matched direct A/B test either!

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I'm of the opinion that a good quality DAC makes a big difference VS something like an ipod through line-out, so much so that when I compared my Galaxy S2 line-out vs onboard soundcard vs my DAC I felt there was no need to even do a blind test.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


He contradicted himself in the same blog, elmoe. He clearly said the Krell sounded really good which kindda goes against what he's been saying previously.

My points are:

a.) While one group of parts - the transport mechanism and some of its associated bits - are from another manufacturer and are mass produced, it forms no indication towards the end result. Mr.Lampizator agrees with the quality of the unit's output.

b.) It is no secret that nearly every manufacturer used Sony or Philips transports. You can find this out by looking up old reviews. Those who do not - Zanden comes to mind - have price tags going into the realms of mortgages just to spin a CD.

c.) It is bad form to heavily criticize another designer's choices specially when those choices were made under vastly different constraints with a completely different set of limitations.

Finally, a CD player can be viewed as a music server with only 650Mb on permanent storage (until you change the disc). if one views the transport mechanism as an equivalent to a HDD playing my flac files, you'd probably say i'm crazy if i demand special audiophile HDD's with teflon caps, tantalums and OCC SPC 9N ribbon cables in my mac, right? Again, you'd be calling me nuts if i say it needs a special audiophile controller card and firmware, yes? If i demand a special mainboard you'd also call bs, I suspect. Now if i use all those mentioned parts from common items, add a decent power supply to it, make sure everything is separated nicely, add a well implemented DAC, then add a really good output stage, would you say that's okay? If i had the capacity to do the above and sell it, that'd be okay too, right? That is precisely what Krell did (and probably more). They took a transport mechanism they chose (which would be for us, a toshiba hdd, asus mobo, and other bits off the shelf plus linux), added decent power supplies, good isolation, shielding. They then added a well designed DAC and a good output stage. The results of all this is what Mr.Lampizator calls "amazing". So why did he babble all colors of crap at what parts were used?

Anyhow, i can believe in sparkle trailing, time traveling, unicorns that $hit taco's and pee soy sauce if i wish. It does not mean that all the points i make are automatically invalid.

 

This is all besides the point. What matters most to me is bang for my buck, and when you buy a Krell you expect high quality parts for the price that you pay, not the cheapest mass produced stuff you can find, regardless of "how good" it sounds. Mr. Lampizator says it himself on the very last line of his review:

 

Quote:
When the digital filter module arrived and I replaced the HDCD chip with the new one from ASE Audiotuning - Andreas Sellenthin's upgrade filter - the DF 1704 from Burr Brown. I was shocked by the magnitude of positive changes. An already good player became much better in every important area. A magnitude of change comparable with for example the complete lampization. Not mentioning that without that bloody HDCD it is now 6 dB louder. 
If you have a Krell - do it immediately. The swap is a 3 minute excercise without any soldering involved. 

 

Which clearly shows that if better parts were used to begin with, an already good player would become even better. When you spend that kind of money, you expect that to already be done, in my opinion.

 

And as said above, Mr. Lampizator has a particular sense of humor ;)

 

Now let's take a look at the Wadia transport, which when it came out cost pretty much an arm:

 

Quote:
 This player is a ... Philips 960 transport ! This is a Japanese Marantz!! Or I am on drugs ! Same CDM1 mk1 transport, Marantz display (cd94mk1) and the standard PCB. 

 

Quote:
Under the magnifying glass, there is NOTHING AT ALL that deviates from the Marantz. Not one smallest cap or resistor. No blackgates, no proprietary soft, it is a Marantz. 
Not look alike.
Not similar,
Not "based on Marantz"
It IS A MARANTZ. Period.
(well, minus 90 % of the buttons and functions.)
It reacts of course to Philips standard remote, so no proprietary servo here as well. Not even a superclock.
Does it mean that it is bad - no, on the contrary, it is a hell of a transport. But just fitting the alu face plate does not justify the 5x price difference. They could have done better.

 

Bolded the most important point there.

 

And to conclude (this is not just parts, he also compared sound):

Quote:
The Marantz 95 which it really is - is cheaper and better looking, but it will not be a Wadia.

 

Wadia WT3200 new when it came out: ~3500USD from what I could tell from google searches.

 

Marantz 95: About ~150USD from what I found.

post #625 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I'm of the opinion that a good quality DAC makes a big difference VS something like an ipod through line-out, so much so that when I compared my Galaxy S2 line-out vs onboard soundcard vs my DAC I felt there was no need to even do a blind test.

 

 

The iPod line-out is perfectly transparent.
I don't know about the S2, but neither do you, until you've done a proper test. No matter of opinion can weigh up for good honest facts.

post #626 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpidglitch View Post

The iPod line-out is perfectly transparent.

I don't know about the S2, but neither do you, until you've done a proper test. No matter of opinion can weigh up for good honest facts.

And where are your facts on this matter?
post #627 of 1186

Where? Don't you mean what?

And there is no possessive adjective assosiated with facts. They are impersonal an unbiased.

post #628 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpidglitch View Post
 

Where? Don't you mean what?

And there is no possessive adjective assosiated with facts. They are impersonal an unbiased.

 

No, I mean where, because this is a forum on the internet, where you quote sources from other websites which have an address, thus "where" is perfectly acceptable.

 

The possessive adjective also fits perfectly well considering you have no facts to speak of, only opinions, thus "your" facts.

 

As for being a grammar nazi you might want to learn how to spell "associated" right before you try to give english lessons, Mr. Professor. It should also be pointed out, since that seems to be your "thing", that it is typically frowned upon to start a sentence with "and" or "but". Not that I care mind you, but you seem to be strung up enough about it so I thought I'd point it out. You also said earlier 'perfectly transparent'. It either is transparent or it isn't, using "perfectly" is useless. Shall we go on or have you had enough?

 

:rolleyes: 


Edited by elmoe - 5/6/14 at 3:54am
post #629 of 1186

When it comes to the iPod the earliest measurements I know of are those performed by John Atkinson back in 2003, with the conclusion that it performs equally well as any competently designed CD player or DAC.
You may want to compare the results from those measurements with the known thresholds of human hearing. If you believe two units that both measure below these known thresholds can still sound different, the onus is on you to demonstrate it.
In later years a number of other people have done similar measurements on other iDevices, including NwAvGuy and Ken Rockwell, and a number of other more amateurish attempts, of varying quality.

These are not my facts, or anyone's facts, but datapoints that together make up the bigger shared fact that the sound quality of iPods line-out is quite alright indeed.

There's also a thread hiding away somewhere on this forum discussing all of this. I'm sure you can find it.

This is all about iDevices. You might very well be correct about your Samsung being rubbish, but until you've actually tested it, you won't know.
(It's also perfectly OK not to know, but you need to be honest and forthright about it)

post #630 of 1186

I guess we're done debating English skills then.

 

When have I not been honest or forthright? I tested things out (not scientifically, as said before) for myself and came to a conclusion I was satisfied enough with without having to do any DBTs. All that matters to me is what my ears can pick up. Cables sounded similar enough that I made my own DBT to make sure. If they had sounded particularly different, I wouldn't have bothered. The DBT I did for cables confirmed what I originally thought: cables make no audible difference. When I compared the s2 to my realtek onboard soundcard to my dac, the dac provided a clear difference in sound quality to my ears, thus no need for a DBT. You can feel free not to believe me if you wish, and I never implied I wanted to argue about this either, but if the difference is such for my ears, then no amount of discussion on the internet will change my mind. I also think amplifiers' sound signature and sound quality vary, one more thing that no doubt plenty will argue against, but once again, arguing about it isn't of any interest to me considering the differences I heard weren't small enough to warrant me doing a DBT to make sure (even though I actually DID do a DBT for power amps comparing 3 of them of various prices/quality because I was intrigued by some head-fiers arguments that they should all sound alike, and my results were that I could fairly easily pick them out).

 

I'm not well versed enough to understand all the data/measurements above, but I'm intrigued enough by it that I will buy an iPod, rockbox it and compare it to my DAC and see for myself. They're cheap enough if you buy an older generation.

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