Originally Posted by Xaborus
Why would anyone buy a $1000 DAC when the $150 ODAC performs just as good in blind testing as a DAC1?
Sometimes i think most of you guys are just buying an expensive placebo effect.. just like $1000 Cables.
Edit: Please note- I'm not trolling. Explanation of my viewpoints on the second page.
Originally Posted by Xaborus
NOT TROLLING. JUST SCIENCE. 192K is harmful. "
192kHz digital music files offer no benefits. They're not quite neutral either; practical fidelity is slightly worse. The ultrasonics are a liability during playback.
Neither audio transducers nor power amplifiers are free of distortion, and distortion tends to increase rapidly at the lowest and highest frequencies. If the same transducer reproduces ultrasonics along with audible content, any nonlinearity will shift some of the ultrasonic content down into the audible range as an uncontrolled spray of intermodulation distortion products covering the entire audible spectrum. Nonlinearity in a power amplifier will produce the same effect. The effect is very slight, but listening tests have confirmed that both effects can be audible."-- http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
"It's worth mentioning briefly that the ear's S/N ratio is smaller than its absolute dynamic range. Within a given critical band, typical S/N is estimated to only be about 30dB. Relative S/N does not reach the full dynamic range even when considering widely spaced bands. This assures that linear 16 bit PCM offers higher resolution than is actually required.
It is also worth mentioning that increasing the bit depth of the audio representation from 16 to 24 bits does not increase the perceptible resolution or 'fineness' of the audio. It only increases the dynamic range, the range between the softest possible and the loudest possible sound, by lowering the noise floor. However, a 16-bit noise floor is already below what we can hear"
Digital is digital. USB = Optical = Coax. This argument is only valid if you cant physically use usb as an input, and only then and there i admit, you have a valid argument.
Now i will give a single case in point to subjectivists, and it is a very valid point. Placebo effect is very, very real. And if you believe something will make your audio sound better, it simply will sound better. It doesn't matter if its a $1000 bag of rocks taped to your speakers, it will work if you truely believe it does.
But i personally believe that scientifically proven low-distortion methods of music playback reguardless of price is the best way to obtaining the highest audio quality. My placebo effect is not my wallet, but scientific charts and graphs.
While I agree that there are some wild claims out there, I don't see how your arguments regarding 192kbps, digital transfer mediums, and bit-widths invalidate subjective experience at all. In order to determine all these parameters, subjective experiences and observations had to be collected in the first place. Models regarding hearing thresholds, loudness levels, audibility thresholds, etc. are/were sanity checked with collective experiences of real people (unless papers about it flat out lie.) All these objective models have limitations, and will hopefully be improved as our understanding of ourselves improves. Measurements do not substitute our real world perception, they complement it.
Regarding the design of the audio systems out there, there is a huge collection of topologies built under a different set of requirements, goals, and assumptions. Saying that two "good" but different topologies will sound the same based on our limited knowledge is flawed. In the selection of one topology to the next, there are usually trade-offs and unknowns. I know this is the case in the design of communication systems, and I don't see how audio systems differ in this regard.
I believe a consumer is better served using all tools available to him/her in his/her selection of a product, and that includes BOTH subjective and objective instruments.
Edited by ultrabike - 7/26/12 at 11:46am