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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 43

post #631 of 1186

I've been fooled so many times by what believed I heard, saw, or even tasted, that I'm extremely cautious about making any sort of statement based on anything I merely feel.

post #632 of 1186

Hi elmoe,

 

I think you'll agree that we don't really know if a "better" transport will necessary result in better sound. A point I hoped my HDD analogy served. For someone who doesn't think pretty cables sound better, you sure expect a lot from what a more expensive transport will provide.

 

Anyway, the BB DF1704 was introduced roughly a year after the Krell came to market (see: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Burr-Brown+Introduces+24-Bit,+96kHz,+8x+Oversampling+Digital+Filter.-a053183664 vs. http://www.stereophile.com/cdplayers/638/) so I guess there's a reason why it wasn't incorporated in the design. Also I think the player sadly came out when HDCD was a 'thing' so they probably went with the chip for compatibility reasons. What BB had at the time, I think, was a DF1700 which is an old (at the time) 16-bit chip or this HDCD wonder. Seeing the 1702 is a "20 bit" DAC, the 1700 was probably a bottleneck on paper.

 

On a side note, it had the PCM1702K chip which is a predecessor to the PCM1704 which was designed along with the DF1704. And I don't know if we should believe Burr-Brown with its claims:

Quote:
 The "K" designates a specially selected version of the 1702, which is already a pretty slick chip: fast (settling current is 200ns), quiet (120dB S/NR, rated type A), and clean (-96dB THD). Advanced sign-magnitude architecture is claimed to eliminate unwanted glitches and other nonlinearities around bipolar zero, according to Burr-Brown.—Wes Phillips

This information was current as of 1997, so it was pretty awesome back then because there wasn't the PCM or DF1704 around at the time.

 

Note also that the Stereophile review also talks about the TEAC transport mechanism. They go into some detail to include the fact that Krell added suspension to it and that the VRDS mechanism isn't such a piece of crap as pointed out here. I don't know if Mabuchi motors are bad or what but they're a Japanese company specializes in small motors used in most things. Anyway, going back to the transport itself. The guy seems to have something against the cheaper range of TEAC transports. Okay the top monster version is probably reserved for Esoteric only as I haven't seen it anywhere else. But there's a page where he took the middle version of it apart and his comments made it very clear that he had little clue about mechanical requirements. (see: http://lampizator.eu/lampizator/references/TEAC-T1/VRDS-T1.html) the black plastic bridge is there for damping and the bridge does not absolutely need to be mega rigid as it really depends on what sort of frequency it's trying to work with. If you're exciting it at frequencies way higher than its natural frequency, then the response is attenuated anyway. The plastic bridge will be there to help it settle at start up/shut down while it goes through resonance and afterwards help dissipate energy. Instead they guy says the plastic is a "fake" and that the bridge is not rigid "enough"…. perhaps we should listen to it and see if it is?

 

So, yes if the 1704 chips were used, it would have probably have sounded even better. But they weren't available at the time.

 

And as for "bang for your buck" - we're looking at $3.5k CD players here. The word "value" tends to take on some pretty wild definitions at this price level. It's all up to your own standards. Some would say it's viable and some not. It's getting arbitrary, really.

 

Now the Wadis is a different story. It IS a rip-off and I'm afraid that's not the only example of what they've gotten away with. Once they were pioneers of the DAC world, but they've done this too many times, IMO. If you're looking for decent transports, Cyrus do some really good ones apparently. I'm looking to audition one soon.

post #633 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpidglitch View Post
 

I've been fooled so many times by what believed I heard, saw, or even tasted, that I'm extremely cautious about making any sort of statement based on anything I merely feel.

 

I'll check it out once I have more time to read through properly. I've been fooled only once - by cables, and since then I've been extremely careful when listening to a new piece of gear. I won't ask anyone to take me at my word, and I'm not interested in spending much time doing DBTs to prove anything either, but I consider myself to have a good enough ear and enough experience with gear/music/instruments to know when the difference is a big one. With cables I went by what some reviews said, and spend upwards of 500 bucks for a pair of interconnects. They were pretty, but that was it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

Hi elmoe,

 

I think you'll agree that we don't really know if a "better" transport will necessary result in better sound. A point I hoped my HDD analogy served. For someone who doesn't think pretty cables sound better, you sure expect a lot from what a more expensive transport will provide.

 

Anyway, the BB DF1704 was introduced roughly a year after the Krell came to market (see: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Burr-Brown+Introduces+24-Bit,+96kHz,+8x+Oversampling+Digital+Filter.-a053183664 vs. http://www.stereophile.com/cdplayers/638/) so I guess there's a reason why it wasn't incorporated in the design. Also I think the player sadly came out when HDCD was a 'thing' so they probably went with the chip for compatibility reasons. What BB had at the time, I think, was a DF1700 which is an old (at the time) 16-bit chip or this HDCD wonder. Seeing the 1702 is a "20 bit" DAC, the 1700 was probably a bottleneck on paper.

 

On a side note, it had the PCM1702K chip which is a predecessor to the PCM1704 which was designed along with the DF1704. And I don't know if we should believe Burr-Brown with its claims:

This information was current as of 1997, so it was pretty awesome back then because there wasn't the PCM or DF1704 around at the time.

 

Note also that the Stereophile review also talks about the TEAC transport mechanism. They go into some detail to include the fact that Krell added suspension to it and that the VRDS mechanism isn't such a piece of crap as pointed out here. I don't know if Mabuchi motors are bad or what but they're a Japanese company specializes in small motors used in most things. Anyway, going back to the transport itself. The guy seems to have something against the cheaper range of TEAC transports. Okay the top monster version is probably reserved for Esoteric only as I haven't seen it anywhere else. But there's a page where he took the middle version of it apart and his comments made it very clear that he had little clue about mechanical requirements. (see: http://lampizator.eu/lampizator/references/TEAC-T1/VRDS-T1.html) the black plastic bridge is there for damping and the bridge does not absolutely need to be mega rigid as it really depends on what sort of frequency it's trying to work with. If you're exciting it at frequencies way higher than its natural frequency, then the response is attenuated anyway. The plastic bridge will be there to help it settle at start up/shut down while it goes through resonance and afterwards help dissipate energy. Instead they guy says the plastic is a "fake" and that the bridge is not rigid "enough"…. perhaps we should listen to it and see if it is?

 

So, yes if the 1704 chips were used, it would have probably have sounded even better. But they weren't available at the time.

 

And as for "bang for your buck" - we're looking at $3.5k CD players here. The word "value" tends to take on some pretty wild definitions at this price level. It's all up to your own standards. Some would say it's viable and some not. It's getting arbitrary, really.

 

Now the Wadis is a different story. It IS a rip-off and I'm afraid that's not the only example of what they've gotten away with. Once they were pioneers of the DAC world, but they've done this too many times, IMO. If you're looking for decent transports, Cyrus do some really good ones apparently. I'm looking to audition one soon.

 

Better parts don't equal better sound if and only if the design is different. For the same design, parts with better measurements are sure to provide better sound (it's true for the majority, though there are some exceptions). A capacitor with lower ESR rating and higher ripple will generally, if not sound better, last longer and work more efficiently, to provide one example.

 

A cable is a cable. There is no scientific data to show that using gold instead of copper will give you a stronger or cleaner signal, that isn't the case with parts that go into making a transport, or an amp, or a DAC. You can hardly compare the two.

 

Again I'm no expert, but the Lampizator guy knows his stuff and I'm sure if he says the motor used is the cheapest, crappiest you can find, he's not lying. Anyway that's for the Krell, the Wadia as you say is a whole other story, and Krell/Wadia aren't the only transports the Lampizator guy opened up and reviewed, there are many others I don't have links to but remember reading about. I even remember one of his reviews about an expensive hi-end brand using a Philips transport that was kept so much alike the original, even the LCD functions were the same. The hi-end player had less buttons, but while less functions were accessible through it's remote, using the original Philips' transport's remote enabled you to access functions of the Philips player that you couldn't access with the hi-end remote. Completely ridiculous!

 

Value is exactly my problem when a 3500USD player is in fact the same as a 150USD one, in a prettier box.

 

I'm not looking for a decent transport, I use my computer for everything and am very happy with my current DAC although still curious about other brands such as Audio-GD I might eventually try out later on, when funds permit. I'm just very curious about all things audio related, and am beginning to get into DIY stuff more and more, so learning a few things like what Lampizator blogs about is interesting.

post #634 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

And where are your facts on this matter?

I did a line level matched A/B comparison test between a $40 Coby DVD player, a well regarded $900 SACD player and an iPod. They all sounded exactly the same. That really isn't surprising to me, and it shouldn't be to you either, because redbook spec is beyond our ability to hear. If it has a sound, it isn't performing to spec.

It wasn't always true, but today, a player is a player. Sometimes you have to do the test to know. Otherwise, you're just fooling yourself.

I think the main thing lacking among audiophiles is solid info about the thresholds of human perception. If you don't understand that there really is a line across which you can't hear a difference, then every little incremental improvement seems important. But it isn't improving the sound if human ears can't hear it.
Edited by bigshot - 5/6/14 at 10:58am
post #635 of 1186

I did my own level matched A/B comparison (not blind) and the difference was obvious. Instrument separation, soundstage, depth, detail, all things my DAC did better than my onboard soundcard and my Galaxy S2. In fact I also compared my Emu 1212m to my DAC when I first bought it (I've since sold the Emu card), and the DAC was much better, difference so obvious there was no need for a blind test.

 

I already got suckered into wasting hours upon hours into DBTing my power amps only to come to the same conclusion I previously had, no need to do it with my sources, if my ears didn't lie then I don't see why they would now. I'm not be knowledgeable enough to explain why X or Y is better in scientific terms (nor am I really all that interested in going that far), I'm quite satisfied with what I've tested and know to be true to my ears. No point in arguing about it here, really. 

post #636 of 1186
I can't speak to your soundcards. I use Macs, but I know there are some particularly craptastic PC soundcards. But try to do it blind. You'd be amazed at how much we "hear" with our eyes, particularly when you dearly want a particular outcome. It's pretty clear you're invested in a particular outcome. It wouldn't hurt to remove that from the equation.
Edited by bigshot - 5/6/14 at 11:47am
post #637 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post
 

I did my own level matched A/B comparison (not blind) and the difference was obvious. Instrument separation, soundstage, depth, detail, all things my DAC did better than my onboard soundcard and my Galaxy S2. In fact I also compared my Emu 1212m to my DAC when I first bought it (I've since sold the Emu card), and the DAC was much better, difference so obvious there was no need for a blind test.

 

I already got suckered into wasting hours upon hours into DBTing my power amps only to come to the same conclusion I previously had, no need to do it with my sources, if my ears didn't lie then I don't see why they would now. I'm not be knowledgeable enough to explain why X or Y is better in scientific terms (nor am I really all that interested in going that far), I'm quite satisfied with what I've tested and know to be true to my ears. No point in arguing about it here, really. 


Echoing bigshot here, but yeah do it blind.  Hundreds of times have been given the so obvious no blind test needed story.  Even a few times when nothing was swapped other than the picture in our minds something had been changed.   Huge obvious difference (that could not be so because nothing was changed other than the picture in the mind of what was being listened to). 

 

Instrument separation is one of the most common descriptions.  Yet something like a 30 db channel separation will separate as much as can humanly be detected.  Your S2 has far more separation between channels than that.  Separation somehow appears to be among the most easily imagined differences where none that could matter exist.

 

Now your final sentence of saying no need to explain in scientific terms, and that you are quite satisfied with your testing true to your ears is just another variation on subjectively determined audiophile pablum.  It isn't sound science.

post #638 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 


Echoing bigshot here, but yeah do it blind.  Hundreds of times have been given the so obvious no blind test needed story.  Even a few times when nothing was swapped other than the picture in our minds something had been changed.   Huge obvious difference (that could not be so because nothing was changed other than the picture in the mind of what was being listened to). 

 

Instrument separation is one of the most common descriptions.  Yet something like a 30 db channel separation will separate as much as can humanly be detected.  Your S2 has far more separation between channels than that.  Separation somehow appears to be among the most easily imagined differences where none that could matter exist.

 

Now your final sentence of saying no need to explain in scientific terms, and that you are quite satisfied with your testing true to your ears is just another variation on subjectively determined audiophile pablum.  It isn't sound science.

 

Great, then instead of starting an argument with me on a subject I have no wish to debate on in the sound science forum, why not move on and get back on topic instead? ;) 

 

I don't even have the means to do a DBT with my sources anyway, and am not willing to invest in more gear just to be able to do one, so the point is moot.


Edited by elmoe - 5/6/14 at 11:58am
post #639 of 1186
The power that expectation bias holds over our opinions is VERY relevant to the topic of audiophile cables. It's pretty clear that some folks are VERY invested in their beliefs and resist putting those beliefs to a controlled test. Even when the test comes back, they fight to spin the results to say things they don't say. Long ago, I set aside my ego and just worked on focusing on sound quality. If a $40 CD player gave it to me, so be it. I can spend the money I save on music.

Head Fi is full of opinions of all kinds. Some of them are really lousy.. Sound Science is about squirreling out the facts behind the hype. We listen to the folks here who go to the trouble to find out for sure.

Welcome to Sound Science! Sorry about your preconceptions.

By the way, all you need to do tests on equipment is a couple of preamps to adjust line level and do direct switching. Pretty inexpensive for all of the benefits of knowing for sure what matters and what doesn't.
Edited by bigshot - 5/6/14 at 12:14pm
post #640 of 1186

I already did a DBT for my power amps following arguments exactly like the one above. Turned out I was right. I'm not going to buy a preamp just to DBT sources I already know sound different. I'm not pushing any of my opinions on anyone, or saying they are facts. If you can't accept my above posts, too bad for you. In this thread I find the same guys who gave me speeches saying a DBT with my power amps would prove that I can't make a difference between them, so that's what I did. I made the difference each and every time, and easily too, between 3 different amps. Then people told me that I didn't match levels properly. So I raised the volume on the crappy amps, and the monoblocks I have still sounded better, even at lower volumes. Then people told me there had to be some kind of design flaw with the cheaper amps I used. If you think I'm crazy enough to do this again with my sources, and spend money on a preamp to do it, you're delusional. If some of you prefer looking strictly at measurements to judge how a piece of gear sounds, more power to you. I like to use my ears. That's why I own Grados. That's why I DBTed cables and found out it's hocus pocus. As far as amps or sources are concerned, I think you guys don't know what you're talking about. If measurements back up what you say, more power to you. My opinion still isn't going to change, especially with amps, considering my own DBT proved you wrong.


Edited by elmoe - 5/6/14 at 12:49pm
post #641 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Welcome to Sound Science! Sorry about your preconceptions.
 


I think we have finally found an appropriate quote that is worthy to sit atop of the sound science fourm.

 

Cheers

post #642 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoe View Post

I already did a DBT for my power amps following arguments exactly like the one above.

You use tube amps, right? No surprise there.
post #643 of 1186

isn't it more like "welcome to sound science, they answered your question 2days ago and about 50times in the last 6months"  ? :biggrin:

 

cause I haven't been here a long time, but there is a comfortable feeling of being in the cast of the "groundhog day".

post #644 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 


I think we have finally found an appropriate quote that is worthy to sit atop of the sound science fourm.

 

Cheers

That's a really nice one!

post #645 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

You use tube amps, right? No surprise there.

No. The power amps compared were all solid state. A pair of Quad 99 monoblocs, an Onkyo receiver and an Inter M (cheap) power amp.
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