Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › If the signal carries all the information, why are there there so many pieces of crap components in this hobby?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

If the signal carries all the information, why are there there so many pieces of crap components...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
In my curiosity to find the differences in SS amps to pair with the HE-6, I am finding the higher priced gear does a better job at bringing every bit of the signal to your headphones. Then I go back to my references and find them lacking in some resolution. We say the "peeling away" of that sonic film gets us closer to the music.

What is the cause of this film?

Many have said that an amp is an amp and all things equal will sound the same. Same with DACs.

I don't agree with this as I'm finding I can hear much more information with better gear. So what is the area of circuit interest to improve resolution output to the headphones?

And yes, I know it's the sum of all parts but some parts are more critical than others.
post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

In my curiosity to find the differences in SS amps to pair with the HE-6, I am finding the higher priced gear does a better job at bringing every bit of the signal to your headphones. Then I go back to my references and find them lacking in some resolution. We say the "peeling away" of that sonic film gets us closer to the music.
What is the cause of this film?
Many have said that an amp is an amp and all things equal will sound the same. Same with DACs.
I don't agree with this as I'm finding I can hear much more information with better gear. So what is the area of circuit interest to improve resolution output to the headphones?
And yes, I know it's the sum of all parts but some parts are more critical than others.

It depends on the how the builder tunes it.

 

hell just looking at freq response curve for amps. They output different curves. Some are ruler flat, some are not.

 

then you have impedance on the inputs and outputs


Remember, speakers are not flat resistive load (ie, 8 ohm flat from 20hz to 20khz). They vary.

 

I used to have a pair of magepan 1.6qr which show a load of 4 ohms from the manufacture.

 

the real issue is that below 60hz, the load drops to around 2.6 ohms. Depending on the amp, might make the speaker sound anemic in the lower end. well of course! 2.6 ohm load is a hard load to push for ANY amplifier. :)

post #3 of 23
Quote:
If the signal carries all the information, why are there there so many pieces of crap components in this hobby?

Because it seems that many manufacturers don't measure 'their' products properly, just give them a quick listen and if it sounds OK sell it.

 

High output impedance, clipping, noisy or badly balanced volume controls, wrong gain, wrong line levels, wrong input sensitivity, rolled-off (sub)bass ... are just a few things many manufacturers get wrong regularly.

 

On a cynical side note: the real problem are the people that buy their stuff based on fotm/rave reviews.


Edited by xnor - 9/6/12 at 9:00am
post #4 of 23
Maybe headphone amps are simple enough to make that a lot of companies are guys making things in their garage with quality to match. Why not limit your search to stuff that measures properly?
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Maybe headphone amps are simple enough to make that a lot of companies are guys making things in their garage with quality to match.

Yeah but even pro-audio stuff has some of the problem I've mentioned above. While the implementation of A/D/A converters may be of excellent quality headphone outs often are not. I guess most of these pro guys know what they are doing (in contrast to the garage guys) but do no care enough for headphone-fi or design the stuff to work well with high impedance headphones (only), where for example a output impedance of 50 ohms doesn't hurt that much.

 

Quote:
Why not limit your search to stuff that measures properly?

That limits the results quite a bit, but yeah, thumbs up on that one. Since more and more sites do measurements it's only a matter of time until we got all of the interesting devices measured.


Edited by xnor - 9/6/12 at 9:55am
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Maybe headphone amps are simple enough to make that a lot of companies are guys making things in their garage with quality to match.

 

With quality to match? What's a garage have to do with quality? You think Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were turning out crappy instruments just because they were building them in Packard's garage?

 

 

se

post #7 of 23

Maybe that's why my HP printer died so quickly!

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

Many have said that an amp is an amp and all things equal will sound the same. Same with DACs.
I don't agree with this as I'm finding I can hear much more information with better gear.

 

I couldn't have said it better myself. 

 

You are correct. All things being equal, gear will sound the same. 

Now, if we sit down and think for 2 seconds what do we realize? We see that when things are not equal gear will sound different. 

ooh snap. 

 

The "everything sounds the same" camp predicates listening with measuring followed by trashing anything that does not measure the same.... 

"A does not measure the same as B, its not even worth conducting an ABX test between the 2" is said far too frequently. 

 

After a quick scratch of the surface you quickly see that people who say that everything sounds the same are either using a restricted definition of everything (the set of "everything" only includes things that measure very similarly) or are parroting people who made that foolish mistake. 

post #9 of 23
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikongod View Post

 

You are correct. All things being equal, gear will sound the same. 

Now, if we sit down and think for 2 seconds what do we realize? We see that when things are not equal gear will sound different. 

ooh snap. 

 

The "everything sounds the same" camp predicates listening with measuring followed by trashing anything that does not measure the same.... 

"A does not measure the same as B, its not even worth conducting an ABX test between the 2" is said far too frequently. 

 

After a quick scratch of the surface you quickly see that people who say that everything sounds the same are either using a restricted definition of everything (the set of "everything" only includes things that measure very similarly) or are parroting people who made that foolish mistake. 

What has this rant to do with "why there are so many pieces of crap components in this hobby" and "what is the area of circuit interest to improve resolution output to the headphones"?

 

Why do differently measuring things have to sound different? They don't!

 

Also, nice straw man with everything sounds the same there.

I've never heard anyone say that it's not worth conducting an ABX test between two components that measure differently. If you think 2 seconds you'll notice that's the only situation when an ABX test actually makes sense.

 

After another 2 seconds of thinking you should have noticed that everything can be limited, e.g. everything that has a SNR greater X and crosstalk below Y and THD below Z ... who are you calling foolish? t_t


Edited by xnor - 9/6/12 at 12:35pm
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post

After a quick scratch of the surface you quickly see that people who say that everything sounds the same are either using a restricted definition of everything (the set of "everything" only includes things that measure very similarly) or are parroting people who made that foolish mistake. 

It isn't difficult to make amps that have a balanced response, low noise floor and inaudible levels of distortion. I can go to Amazon and just about any receiver there fits that bill. Why is it unreasonable to expect the same for headphone amps?
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Headphone amps aside, there is a variety of sound performances from speaker amps in the same price range. I would think that voicing a circuit to bring out all the signal would be the target. What constitutes quality if the numbers can't determine the sound? I know it boils down to hearing it for your self but since few of us have access to this gear, we attempt to equate a formula to narrow the search. But there are things that just don't have a number and can't be quantified.
post #12 of 23
What part of the signal can't be measured?
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

What part of the signal can't be measured?

 

One obvious example is the imagination of the listener.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

One obvious example is the imagination of the listener.

That's not part of the signal.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

What part of the signal can't be measured?

what measurement determines which piece of gear presents the feel of a live performance and another not?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › If the signal carries all the information, why are there there so many pieces of crap components in this hobby?