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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 50

post #736 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpidglitch View Post
 


Nothing. Nothing wrong with $1500 DACs either.

Except $1500 DACs aren't noticeably better than $100 DACs, but the 400+hp in a Mustang GT can easily be felt relative to a 117hp Honda Fit. I think this kind of analogy way overstates the difference between a cheap DAC and an expensive one.


Edited by cjl - 5/30/14 at 12:31pm
post #737 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by lids369 View Post



My professors at engineering school told us that observations rule over equations, and my observations told me the power cord and expensive DACs work better. 

 

As has been said, observations without adequate controls do NOT rule over equations. Observations under controlled experimental conditions, may. Which, if you are the scientist you claim to be, you will understand. While changes in AC power may affect some aspects of an amplifier - changes in the CORD, should not unless one of them is faulty.

 

Quote:
 Especially use observations over equations when there aren't any equations for how music sounds.

 

There are plenty of equations for how music sounds. But you can do a very simple, and more objective test. Compare waveforms from the output of two dacs (using the same source - and volume matched, if no line level is available). Ideally you can compare that with the source waveform - but just comparing the two will be helpful. If the waveforms do not significantly deviate from each other - then you know what you "heard" was psychoacoustic in nature, and not actually due to the DAC. 

 

Quote:
Have you ever heard a $1500 dac? Or expensive power cables or interconnects? I have, and I'm a real scientist. ... If you guys want to be obstinate because you can't afford this stuff, go ahead and complain about sour grapes, and I'll just go out and experience the stuff.

 

And yes, I have listened to expensive cables, expensive dacs, very expensive amps (and speakers and headphones). And based on my observations (under both casual, and more rigorous conditions), made decisions about where it made sense to spend real money. (hint, it's not the cables, or in the DAC's unless one has features you desire and cannot get elsewhere). 


Edited by liamstrain - 5/30/14 at 12:31pm
post #738 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

Except $1500 DACs aren't noticeably better than $100 DACs, but the 400+hp in a Mustang GT can easily be felt relative to a 117hp Honda Fit. I think this kind of analogy way overstates the difference between a cheap DAC and an expensive one.


To me they're both equally pointless and impressive at the same time.
You're not a Mustang owner, by any chance?

My point was that both can be used to assert perceived authority (my 'whatever' is bigger/more expensive than your 'whatever'), and that sort of discussion isn't what we're aiming for here.

post #739 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpidglitch View Post
 


To me they're both equally pointless and impressive at the same time.
You're not a Mustang owner, by any chance?

My point was that both can be used to assert perceived authority (my 'whatever' is bigger/more expensive than your 'whatever'), and that sort of discussion isn't what we're aiming for here.

No, I'm not (I enjoy Mustangs, and I have had the chance to drive one pretty aggressively a few times, but on the whole, it isn't the car for me). I do see your point though.

post #740 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


Be careful here. There are probably a lot more folks here with more schooling and degrees here than you expect. Your uncontrolled experience is peanuts compared to proper test proceedures. For example, how did you control for the difference in output levels between you modi and bryston?

Cheers

Just A/B'ed the schiit modi vs the Arcam D33 DAC at a hifi shop on a pair of Klipsch palladiums w/ conrad johnson preamp and amp, and everyone in the room could tell the difference as soon as the music was audible again. I reset the volume down to zero between the switch. Took about 10 seconds to switch out the interconnects and usb cable.

post #741 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by lids369 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


Be careful here. There are probably a lot more folks here with more schooling and degrees here than you expect. Your uncontrolled experience is peanuts compared to proper test proceedures. For example, how did you control for the difference in output levels between you modi and bryston?

Cheers

Just A/B'ed the schiit modi vs the Arcam D33 DAC at a hifi shop on a pair of Klipsch palladiums w/ conrad johnson preamp and amp, and everyone in the room could tell the difference as soon as the music was audible again. I reset the volume down to zero between the switch. Took about 10 seconds to switch out the interconnects and usb cable.


You're putting out a sighted, non level balanced test as supporting evidence?
post #742 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post


You're putting out a sighted, non level balanced test as supporting evidence?

Wasn't sighted, switched it out and they said that had to be the Arcam.

post #743 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by lids369 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post


You're putting out a sighted, non level balanced test as supporting evidence?

Wasn't sighted, switched it out and they said that had to be the Arcam.


No controls described. - still sounds sighted. And you were in the room and knew which was playing and may have unknowingly been giving visual or vocal cues.

And still no mention of how you level matched.

There really isn't any value in an uncontrolled test like this in audio or any other area of science.
post #744 of 1186

Auditory memory for similar sounds is around 2-3 seconds. You need a switcher and preamps to level match.

post #745 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Auditory memory for similar sounds is around 2-3 seconds. You need a switcher and preamps to level match.

 

And calibrated SPL meters (or other objective meter) to level match if the line levels differ - doing it by ear won't cut it. 

post #746 of 1186

If specs on each DAC are right, then the Arcam would be 3.33 db louder.  Level matching is job one in any comparison.  If the volume wasn't changed no wonder it was obvious which was which.  As already mentioned checking level by ear won't cut it. 

post #747 of 1186
Can i just ask one thing: we're now saying basically all dacs sound the same? This is getting odd.
post #748 of 1186

All DACs *should* sound the same... shouldn't they?

post #749 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post
 

 

And calibrated SPL meters (or other objective meter) to level match if the line levels differ - doing it by ear won't cut it. 

The best (and easiest) way to calibrate them accurately is by using a voltmeter and a sine wave test signal, instead of relying on a SPL meter.

post #750 of 1186

Now I know why people don't do any controls at all.

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