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Why are DAC's so controversial ?  

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I posted a question on another forum looking for a new media player that had a specific DAC chip because on a previous unit I had owned and was quite satisfied with  had the same manufacturers chip.

 

I was not wanting to debate  the validity of one chip sounding better than another ,I was simply wondering if any present units available now used that manufacturers chip.

 

instead of getting an answer to the question asked I was bombarded with opinions and insults .                         then I came here did a search and found the information I was seeking ,posted in the other forum thanks for replies but I found the information on Head-Fi

 

and then the moderator of that forum posted that I would be better off at Head-Fi  and I quote

 

Quote:where they make a living off people believing such stuff without ever having really done their own un-biased comparisons.
 
my question is this ,why is this such a hot button issue? 
 

 

post #2 of 34

Because the world of high-end audio is filled with misinformation and a general disdain for science and psychology. You only need to look as far as the cable debate (and the cables people can get away with selling!) to realize that.

 

Like cables, DACs serve one very specific function and technology has advanced to the point that this function can be adequately served at minimal cost and effort.

 

It's also important to note that the chip isn't the only thing that affects a DAC (or an amp). The implementation is more important. You can take one "budget" chip and put it in a circuit that's designed specifically for that chip and it'll perform great (like the Benchmark DAC1), or you can take a "audiophile" chip and put it in a circuit that's poorly designed and it'll perform poorly. But audiophiles tend not to actually care about performance, just brand and price.

 

I take it the site you were at is more science oriented than Head-fi (i.e. actually at all science oriented).

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

just because a chip is designed to do the same thing does not mean all manufacturers build them of the same quality?

 

 

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 

I know a lot of people that spend what I would consider a silly amount on speaker cables etc ,but I never felt the need to call them idiots in public,maybe they can or can not hear a difference but it is not up to me to judge others .

post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Like cables, DACs serve one very specific function and technology has advanced to the point that this function can be adequately served at minimal cost and effort.

this is your opinion and I respect your right to have it however it is not everyone's  opinion or why would there be such a market for high end DAC's

post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomustang84 View Post

then I came here did a search and found the information I was seeking ,posted in the other forum thanks for replies but I found the information on Head-Fi


Head-fi is full of subjective views and very very little fact, so was what you was seeking was a subjective opinion then? if so then your doing completly wrong and should start again.

 

Also good dac chips don't add anything to the sound there completly transparent, so it would be easy to find a device thats also has a transparent chip.

 

post #7 of 34

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomustang84 View Post

just because a chip is designed to do the same thing does not mean all manufacturers build them of the same quality?

 

 


The design of the chips and associated receiver and analog circuitry for DACs is now a mature technology. This means that a competent design correctly implemented using suitable components is capable of vanishingly small amounts of noise, non-linearity and distortion. In other subforums here there is robust deabte about how two identically flat FRs can be nore or less extended or about some abstract unmeasurable properties - the dedicated source forum is a good place for that kind of discussion. In this subforum which is a bit of a ghetto we are allowed to ask for much stronger evidence of audible differences between similar components than sloppy sighted comparisons- this is not a dig, it is a statement of difference. If you are here to troll please reconsider. If you are interested in rational debate please hang around, members here routinely find interesting research articles that spark lively debate and we often back up assertions with empirical research and/or measurements.
 

 

post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

Head-fi is full of subjective views and very very little fact, so was what you was seeking was a subjective opinion then? if so then your doing completly wrong and should start again.

   I was  seeking a fact = what player had that specific chip

I was not soliciting opinion

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 

I was also not soliciting opinions about Head-Fi or its members but that was offered also .

 

I appreciate that the information I was  seeking was available here

post #10 of 34

one of the many, many, many times where linking to voldemort's blog would clear everything right up.. what a shame.

 

 

post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomustang84 View Post

this is your opinion and I respect your right to have it however it is not everyone's  opinion or why would there be such a market for high end DAC's


No, this is not an opinion. The Behringer UCA202 is for all intents and purposes inaudible, and it costs $30. Obviously you can get better, and they will produce a more accurate signal, but there is no guarantee (in fact, no proof!) that anyone would hear a difference between those two signals in a blind test.

 

There is such a market for high end DACs because audiophiles are convinced that high end DACs do something that makes them worth the money, and obviously a manufacturer isn't going to let that demand go unsupplied. Mostly what they do is color the sound in objectively bad ways for ridiculous sums of money. That's if they do anything special at all. A lot of them are perfectly neutral, same as cheaper gear, and the price tag justifies itself through bias and placebo.

 

You're welcome to prove me wrong, of course. And by that I don't mean list subjective reviews, I mean point me to instances where people have heard differences in well designed blind tests.

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
You're welcome to prove me wrong, of course. And by that I don't mean list subjective reviews, I mean point me to instances where people have heard differences in well designed blind tests.

your missing my point  completely

,I am not saying your wrong or for that matter it really does not matter to me in the least if you are wrong or right

what I am saying is if someone thinks there is a difference and they choose to believe it for whatever reason.

why in the world would anyone care what they choose to believe in? 

 

all I said was there was a media player that I liked and for whatever reason the next model of that player dropped that chip for one that to my ears sounded worse and from all information I had it was the only difference in the two players so I was seeking out a player with the same chip ,

and I found that information and my next purchase will be a Cowon that has that chip.

 

if I had made a statement such as all DAC's sound different or they all sound the same then that would be inviting a discussion on that statement ,but that was not the post I made ,I was not debating the technology just wanted to ask if anyone knew of another player using that manufacturers chip.

 

I guess it is not so important to to me to declare how right I am at the expense of someone else's feelings

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomustang84 View Post

 

your missing my point  completely

,I am not saying your wrong or for that matter it really does not matter to me in the least if you are wrong or right

what I am saying is if someone thinks there is a difference and they choose to believe it for whatever reason.

why in the world would anyone care what they choose to believe in? 

 

all I said was there was a media player that I liked and for whatever reason the next model of that player dropped that chip for one that to my ears sounded worse and from all information I had it was the only difference in the two players so I was seeking out a player with the same chip ,

and I found that information and my next purchase will be a Cowon that has that chip.

 

if I had made a statement such as all DAC's sound different or they all sound the same then that would be inviting a discussion on that statement ,but that was not the post I made ,I was not debating the technology just wanted to ask if anyone knew of another player using that manufacturers chip.

 

I guess it is not so important to to me to declare how right I am at the expense of someone else's feelings


You're not just saying "I like this, oh well". You're asking for another player with the same chip, and imply that a different chip sounds worse. You're linking your subjective impressions to the chip. For those who want to keep the hobby honest, that's not going to look good. You would have been better off just asking for another player that uses the chip, without making any claims about what you like and don't like about a specific chip when what you heard most likely has nothing to do with that chip.

 

A true subjectivist wouldn't link what they like to the components at all. You're being a pseudo-objectivist, who tries to link subjective impressions to the measurable physical world. Real objectivists tend to take offense to pseudo-objectivist claimsthat aren't backed by anything meaningful.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbomustang84 View Post

I guess it is not so important to to me to declare how right I am at the expense of someone else's feelings


I don't know what happened when you were on a different forum but lot of us who hang around the Sound Science sub forum just want to get the facts out to newbies before they spend their money.

post #15 of 34
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