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Audiophile cables, an interesting question. - Page 53

post #781 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Umm yes they do indicate differences were perceived. Consistently so. Do things not count as fact unless level-matched? When you change songs do you need to level match to confirm that you have, in fact, done so? I don't think you would, so there IS some information we can gain from listening without level matching, correct? I wasn't present at the time, but i doubt they were doing their listening at wildly different levels and at these levels they found differences. Not if the perceived differences only came about through things being louder, the loudest dac in the test surely would have done. I do not recall that it did. (Will check.)

As for the statement "analog design doesn't matter" really? Where's the proof of this? Isn't amplifier/buffer design all about reducing distortion? What if it was poorly designed? We've seen competent companies stumble before - meridian explorer with it's high output impedance, akg 812 with its funky square wave response (source: inner fidelity) so some quite blatant oddities that would have showed up in the design stage do reach the market. Who's to say there are none in dacs?

There's so much absolutism around here. It is so decisive when people say things "sound the same" or "don't matter" or "inaudible". But without any data it's just the same as others saying "unicorns". The people who say otherwise have to drag up all sorts to meet with blunt statements with no actual factual data or even any reasoning to back it up.

Dac chips do the same things therefore all dacs sound the same. Great. Now that's pretty much the same as saying all computers with the same cpu and clock speed perform tasks at the same speed regardless of ram, hdd, operating system other software. It may be measurable with a stopwatch but surely a few seconds are unnoticeable by humans therefore they're the same. What?

In the final part of his post eslude mentioned that (and i paraphrase) it is possible for dacs to sound different and also that it is "fairly uncommon" for them to do so. Now this is, i think, quite a bit a way from "all dacs sound the same".

I am not advocating that *all* things that can be measured can be detected by the human ear. But there is a trend here of:

1.) stating that non difference can be found through measurements, then
2.) well alright some can be, but it's not audible

And both are without any justification other than saying pretty much that dacs are dacs. I'm pretty sure we all understand there's more than a chip in that box and everything has to be designed and the design may or may not influence the outcome. It is clear that in some cases they do. There's an article and i think a youtube clip from ps audio (iirc) about the role the reference voltage plays in their new dac. Basically it says that their fpga works against a reference voltage and if this voltages shifts the conversion goes awry. Now in a lab with a controlled simulated mains supply this may work perfectly, but a good designer will design in a good tolerance to real home supplies while a bad designer may not thus things will possibly sound odd with the latter. Just an example of how other parts in a dac can make a difference. Not saying it will, just that it can. It is for me to find information that it does (in any case not just this) AND for people who think otherwise to produce their information that it does not. Not just keep banging on about things are "inaudible" and "no difference".

And even if we ignore all results/comments however unscientific, the reasons i mentioned earlier (3 of them) remain as possible causes of differences in the eventual output. And if there are possible causes we should look into information on what is and is not audible.

Finally, no company wants to increase cost so if they really do make no difference, why bother with designing these things? It cannot all be marketing/trends/fashion because if it is, dacs will look a $hit ton better than they do now cos that will be all that matter. Benchmark and i think Mytek are also in the pro industry so they must be doing something right and reasonable. People made a song and dance about how many companies use Sony CD transports but the industry as a whole accepted it, so why not do the same with DACs? It would make a load of sense, surely to just buy a dac board the same way they did transports because not so long ago a lot of the more established manufacturers really had little knowledge about digital audio and that would save them a load of money trying to design their own. A lot of facts that have nothing to do with placebos or bias also point to the possibility of there being something more to dacs than "they're all the same" and "nope, inaudible".

Lastly, just because it has the word "science" in the title of this forum it does not exclude discussions about observations. Purrin's test is just as valid here as the statement saying "all dacs sound the same". How many dacs have you listened to? Is it a representative sample? Level-matched? What are the control conditions and variables? Was it a double blind test? If this venue is open to one, it must open to another.

 

 

Again, yea, differences were consistently perceived. Sighted that is, You're missing the entire point. It's unacceptable to claim x,z purely subjectively -- mucking about,

all the while not having a shred of 'objective' data to back it up. Period. This part of the forum plays by different rules.

 

The rest of your argument should be answered by Esl as it was his point you're contrarian to.

 

I think Big's comment sums it up though: If you can't hear a difference with human ears, it sounds the same.

post #782 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

So what you're saying is fact? Not, speculation?  You think the difference is only in the loudness level?  I think you're narrowing the possibilities.  I alludes you see people as simpletons, very negative thinking.  You don't think your speculation isn't simple?

A combination of loudness and expectation bias, yes. Calling people simpletons because they believe in reality isn't going to change matters either.

post #783 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

So what you're saying is fact? Not, speculation?  You think the difference is only in the loudness level?  I think you're narrowing the possibilities.  I alludes you see people as simpletons, very negative thinking.  You don't think your speculation isn't simple?

 

Can you list me what DACs you have tested?


Yes, if the fidelity of the DAC is sufficient to be transparent, and you match levels they sound the same.  You miss levels slightly one sounds better than the other.  Throw in sighted bias, and it doesn't take much to hear DACs differently when they actually are not.

 

Yes, I can provide the whole list, but won't.  The most expensive is about $6k. 

post #784 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 


Yes, if the fidelity of the DAC is sufficient to be transparent, and you match levels they sound the same.  You miss levels slightly one sounds better than the other.  Throw in sighted bias, and it doesn't take much to hear DACs differently when they actually are not.

 

Yes, I can provide the whole list, but won't.  The most expensive is about $6k. 

If you miss a level how does one sound better than the other?

post #785 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

If you miss a level how does one sound better than the other?

Typically, people perceive a slightly louder source as being clearer, punchier, and more dynamic, possibly with better bass and treble extension. Sound familiar?

post #786 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

If you miss a level how does one sound better than the other?


If two audibly transparent sources are played thru the same equipment, one being as little as .2 db louder will sound better.  It won't sound louder, but it will consistently sound of higher quality.  Up somewhere around a 1 db difference will perhaps be perceived as louder as well as better.  Though unless one is careful as in turn down one source, swap and turn up while setting new levels by ear you can easily be 2-3 db off without realizing it.

post #787 of 1186

Have you guys thought about change in power input changes the FR?  I looked into Tyll's graph and you can see noticeable distortion difference in at different power input levels.  This is not related to perception.

post #788 of 1186

If you're talking about headphone measurements, absolutely. Most drivers behave significantly different at high output levels compared to low output levels, and there's really not much getting around that.

post #789 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Again, yea, differences were consistently perceived. Sighted that is, You're missing the entire point. It's unacceptable to claim x,z purely subjectively -- mucking about,
all the while not having a shred of 'objective' data to back it up. Period. This part of the forum plays by different rules.

The rest of your argument should be answered by Esl as it was his point you're contrarian to.

I think Big's comment sums it up though: If you can't hear a difference with human ears, it sounds the same.

And bigshot's claims - as far as i know - are also based on sighted tests of a limited number of dacs and himself. There's nothing wrong with his statement and i'm not saying he's wrong. But my opinion is of another direction.

Now if you feel my opinions are invalid and more importantly unsuitable for this thread because even though i offer what i feel to be logical reasons there's no objective, blind tests, i ask of you where's the data that proves that any difference between any dacs is not perceivable by human ears? Where's the data that says there is no possible way for a dac to deviate from a typical dac that such deviation is perceivable by humans? You did say that all dacs are the same, right?

I'm not like a superhero or have like special hearing abilities but one other thing we must consider is that if you take a sample of a bunch of humans and make them do sprints, you'd probably conclude that no human can do a 100m sprint in less than 10. Or may be a conclusion that the average human being can sprint 100m in 18 seconds. This by is by no means conclusive that it is impossible to do so. So in experiments such as audibility, conclusions must be drawn based on likelihoods and probabilities. Such as in general 80% of folks cannot hear something or whatever not that it is impossible to.
post #790 of 1186

Anyway, looks like people have have their belifs(and I respect that as I hope they respect other's beliefs), it's probably best to keep an open mind for possibilities.  Closed mindedness does not lead to discoveries.

post #791 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


And bigshot's claims - as far as i know - are also based on sighted tests of a limited number of dacs and himself. There's nothing wrong with his statement and i'm not saying he's wrong. But my opinion is of another direction.

Now if you feel my opinions are invalid and more importantly unsuitable for this thread because even though i offer what i feel to be logical reasons there's no objective, blind tests, i ask of you where's the data that proves that any difference between any dacs is not perceivable by human ears? Where's the data that says there is no possible way for a dac to deviate from a typical dac that such deviation is perceivable by humans? You did say that all dacs are the same, right?

I'm not like a superhero or have like special hearing abilities but one other thing we must consider is that if you take a sample of a bunch of humans and make them do sprints, you'd probably conclude that no human can do a 100m sprint in less than 10. Or may be a conclusion that the average human being can sprint 100m in 18 seconds. This by is by no means conclusive that it is impossible to do so. So in experiments such as audibility, conclusions must be drawn based on likelihoods and probabilities. Such as in general 80% of folks cannot hear something or whatever not that it is impossible to.

I think what you have to say is fine, however, it's completely contrary to how these parts work. Just the same as the rest of the forum being DBT-free, etc. I would think one would want to respect that. But at the same time -- these folks really are hated. So.

 

And by injecting some anecdotal 'evidence' of one's evaluation of DACs without following some proper procedures -- I find, well, disrespectful.

 

Lastly, if you look at my gear -- I'm in the wrong. I enjoy this hobby purely subjectively, but again, I respect these guys and their thinking. And hell -- they COULD just be

on to something. That is, they could be right all along.

 

After all, STILL none has passed a DBT, hm. If things were only SOO apparent, right? 

 

And stop using irrelevant analogies, the same stupid crap takes place in the rest of the forum to push people's points. Stop it.


Edited by paradoxper - 5/31/14 at 8:18pm
post #792 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post


Umm yes they do indicate differences were perceived. Consistently so. Do things not count as fact unless level-matched? When you change songs do you need to level match to confirm that you have, in fact, done so? I don't think you would, so there IS some information we can gain from listening without level matching, correct? I wasn't present at the time, but i doubt they were doing their listening at wildly different levels and at these levels they found differences. Not if the perceived differences only came about through things being louder, the loudest dac in the test surely would have done. I do not recall that it did. (Will check.)

As for the statement "analog design doesn't matter" really? Where's the proof of this? Isn't amplifier/buffer design all about reducing distortion? What if it was poorly designed? We've seen competent companies stumble before - meridian explorer with it's high output impedance, akg 812 with its funky square wave response (source: inner fidelity) so some quite blatant oddities that would have showed up in the design stage do reach the market. Who's to say there are none in dacs?

There's so much absolutism around here. It is so decisive when people say things "sound the same" or "don't matter" or "inaudible". But without any data it's just the same as others saying "unicorns". The people who say otherwise have to drag up all sorts to meet with blunt statements with no actual factual data or even any reasoning to back it up.

Dac chips do the same things therefore all dacs sound the same. Great. Now that's pretty much the same as saying all computers with the same cpu and clock speed perform tasks at the same speed regardless of ram, hdd, operating system other software. It may be measurable with a stopwatch but surely a few seconds are unnoticeable by humans therefore they're the same. What?

In the final part of his post eslude mentioned that (and i paraphrase) it is possible for dacs to sound different and also that it is "fairly uncommon" for them to do so. Now this is, i think, quite a bit a way from "all dacs sound the same".

I am not advocating that *all* things that can be measured can be detected by the human ear. But there is a trend here of:

1.) stating that non difference can be found through measurements, then
2.) well alright some can be, but it's not audible

And both are without any justification other than saying pretty much that dacs are dacs. I'm pretty sure we all understand there's more than a chip in that box and everything has to be designed and the design may or may not influence the outcome. It is clear that in some cases they do. There's an article and i think a youtube clip from ps audio (iirc) about the role the reference voltage plays in their new dac. Basically it says that their fpga works against a reference voltage and if this voltages shifts the conversion goes awry. Now in a lab with a controlled simulated mains supply this may work perfectly, but a good designer will design in a good tolerance to real home supplies while a bad designer may not thus things will possibly sound odd with the latter. Just an example of how other parts in a dac can make a difference. Not saying it will, just that it can. It is for me to find information that it does (in any case not just this) AND for people who think otherwise to produce their information that it does not. Not just keep banging on about things are "inaudible" and "no difference".

And even if we ignore all results/comments however unscientific, the reasons i mentioned earlier (3 of them) remain as possible causes of differences in the eventual output. And if there are possible causes we should look into information on what is and is not audible.

Finally, no company wants to increase cost so if they really do make no difference, why bother with designing these things? It cannot all be marketing/trends/fashion because if it is, dacs will look a $hit ton better than they do now cos that will be all that matter. Benchmark and i think Mytek are also in the pro industry so they must be doing something right and reasonable. People made a song and dance about how many companies use Sony CD transports but the industry as a whole accepted it, so why not do the same with DACs? It would make a load of sense, surely to just buy a dac board the same way they did transports because not so long ago a lot of the more established manufacturers really had little knowledge about digital audio and that would save them a load of money trying to design their own. A lot of facts that have nothing to do with placebos or bias also point to the possibility of there being something more to dacs than "they're all the same" and "nope, inaudible".

Lastly, just because it has the word "science" in the title of this forum it does not exclude discussions about observations. Purrin's test is just as valid here as the statement saying "all dacs sound the same". How many dacs have you listened to? Is it a representative sample? Level-matched? What are the control conditions and variables? Was it a double blind test? If this venue is open to one, it must open to another.

You, me, anyone, has no little chance of combating bias of all kinds.  If you listen to DAC A, compare it to B and decide B is better you will be off on a long chain of events that simply cement B as being better in your mind.  It isn't to belittle you or anyone.  It simply is how things have been found to work.  So, miss the level even a tiny bit, and voila, you decide B is better than A.  The fact someone consistently prefers B isn't enough to validate the difference by itself under such conditions.  It can seem so very real as is possible, and yet be misleading.

 

As for the statement analog design doesn't matter?  I never made that statement.  I did say if the analog circuits were of a enough quality to be audibly transparent the circuit didn't matter.  A subtle, but important difference.


As for claims here being without data and like unicorns, there is plenty of good data.  Far better more useful data than some guys heard some stuff and agreed on what was better. 

 

You next ask about all sound the same or most do.  Look DACs are in all sorts of items these days.  Old laptop computers have not so terrible DACs, but are backed by audibly noisy analog chips and other issues that can be audible like inadequate drive for headphones or even some pre-amps resulting in audible levels of distortion or frequency response variations.  So by all DACs we would say everything in the world.  That isn't what is being claimed here.  Modern DACs competently designed which need not cost all that much money can be audibly transparent.  And most of those available are.    If you keep listening to high end purveyors, of course they will feed you all sorts of rationalization about why their product is different and better.  Is reference voltage for DACs important?  Sure it is.  But once it is good enough it is good enough you can't hear it if it gets better.  You want information such differences don't matter.  Conclusively for all time proving a negative is unlikely to be conservative.  But there is lots of info indicating such is the most probably result, and it is those claiming a difference who lack credible data these things actually sound different in a way humans can hear.

 

In the science forum, no Purrin's comments and tests are not as valid as anything.  Yes, the observations can be discussed as in why such a comparison isn't revealing, but instead contributes to confusion. 

 

You are the second person asking what DACs I listened to.  In the subjective world having heard with your own ears the leading contenders is apparently taken as form of credibility.  And of course I think most here have probably listened to products to see if there is anything to it.  Without stopping to count I couldn't say how many DACs I have listened to extensively.  Probably something like 50 or so over all the years since digital audio was available.  Of course not all auditioning was blind or even level matched.  Just like others such uncontrolled conditions made some DACs seem clearly superior.  Match levels and some seemed mildly superior.  Do it without knowing and they seem the same.  I am excepting some that were different for known reasons.  One well known maker has an audibly different frequency response due to the filtering used.  Of course it sounded different, even level matched.  A couple of others were using tube output stages with also compromised frequency response and really sounded different. 

 

So if you have facts unveil them.  Just realize unmatched, uncontrolled, sighted listening has many pitfalls and is not a reliable basis for such distinctions.  Didn't you find such to be the case in your own tests of audiophile cable?

post #793 of 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

I think what you have to say is fine, however, it's completely contrary to how these parts work. Just the same as the rest of the forum being DBT-free, etc. I would think one would want to respect that. But at the same time -- these folks really are hated. So.

And by injecting some anecdotal 'evidence' of one's evaluation of DACs without following some proper procedures -- I find, well, disrespectful.

Lastly, if you look at my gear -- I'm in the wrong. I enjoy this hobby purely subjectively, but again, I respect these guys and their thinking. And hell -- they COULD just be
on to something. That is, they could be right all along.

After all, STILL none has passed a DBT, hm. If things were only SOO apparent, right? 

And stop using irrelevant analogies, the same stupid crap takes place in the rest of the forum to push people's points. Stop it.

If my analogies irk you, please skip over them. I try to talk from principles that apply universally and not just audio and sometimes examples away from the topic calls up less emotion. May be i'm wrong.

I was not aware that me saying i hear differences between dacs or that a group of guys (who weren't shy about voicing their opinion) felt there's a difference between dacs is any more or less respectful than someone saying they do not. I think someone also mentioned some 'test' some one did also. None of us cited any scientific reference of any kind, just opinions and thoughts.

Anyhow, for the fans of objectivity, please read the odac development blog. It talks about 4 revisions of the design iirc. There was even a point where the designer mentioned that a tubed output stage would color the sound and earlier he specifically said that (this revision) is not even close to what the chip cam deliver but "many companies would stop here". That version had nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't optimum in a few areas. Between the lines and knowing that his work are closely based on audible results, it means dacs of even similar designs can sound different, according to him.
post #794 of 1186

Fair enough. IT does irk me, but I'll live.

 

I said my small piece and 'round these parts enjoy reading more than blabbering, so to the shadows I shall go. 

post #795 of 1186
Esldude - i actually think we're on the same page on most things. I never said that more expensive dacs are better neither did i say that cheap dacs are no good. If you go back to my original post on the subject, i said the differences are possible and design play a large role. This was in response to a claim that there was no difference between (hifi) dacs while there is - you yourself mentioned on manufacturer using a different filter.

The purrin thing i referred to simply as they used some of the dacs i have or have heard so that it's not all in my head or all that the dealer's facilities.

Data - i cannot find any that leads to a conclusion that shows there is no difference between dacs. None that is more stringent of conditions than a bunch of guys listening to stuff. The only addition was that it was done blind.

In my little tests, the differences were tiny if they were even there at all. But the differences between dacs in my (probably invalid again) experience can be very apparent that in my opinion it is not an absolute requirement to do so blind. I'm not saying sighted tests are as valid, but for cases between some dacs, there's no need specially if it's to see if they are different.
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