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The diary entries of a little girl in her 30s! ~ Part 2 - Page 184  

post #2746 of 21761

"Next up kiteki's Cirrus Logic question on the UHA 6S MKII. Nick Leckerton, the guy who designed the amps and created Leckerton Audio, from what I know is an engineer who works for Cirrus designing and implementing Cirrus Logic solutions for various applications. Also from what I know the Cirrus Logic DAC used in the MK II is supposed to be one of their top of the line solutions. That's fine, I find the MK II DAC a step up from both my iPod and laptop sound but it pales when compared to the DAC on my Studio V. Others have said it on the appreciation thread and I'll say it here. It seems as if 90% of design of the MK II went into the amp section and the DAC was only an after thought which is a shame considering I think the MK II is a very nice amp. As an amp I think the UHA 6S MK II easily matched my ALO RX MK II in performance and it accomplished that feat at a far cheaper price to boot.

 

I would also like to add I find it rather interesting and short sighted that certain people seem to go sour on gear based on what chip is used to the point they will call it down and spread misinformation all for the sake of defending their beloved Wolfson or whatever chip maker of choice. The more I hang in this forum and other type's of forums the more I'm starting to realize people really need to start walking away from certain patterns of thinking and realize a stupid inanimate object doesn't deserve to be defended like it was your first born"

 

 

I love all DAC's, I just love some more than others.  I sortof doubt the DAC in the Studio V is good, I bet it's the amplifier section which is good, and the DAC is "satisfactory", which really, it is =P  I use the same DAC as in the Studio V in my Sony Walkman gumstick, and Teclast X19+, they are both... very satisfactory!  Hmm... I think there's one more I've had, the err.... Hippo gumstick!  That thing sounded awesome for a while, loved it.  Still, I don't know, I'd never any connect these to my amplifier when I'm at my desk... I only use the Teclast X19+ strapped to an amplifier for portable use.  My desktop CS4398 and AK4396 outperform them all (after modifying the line-out chip), which is why I left a slightly inquisitive / rhetorical comment in the latest Hisoundaudio thread, why should they be releasing elite-priced products using chips I can find in a second-hand Sony gumstick and attach it to a really good portable amplifier?  As a customer, I want a DAP or media player which uses something more pristine, you know like the ES9023, which some people are attaching to their smartphones now.  I saw one Japanese guy with the rig smartphone -> ES9023 -> amplifer -> FitEar 334 .........

 

"Others have said it on the appreciation thread and I'll say it here. It seems as if 90% of design of the MK II went into the amp section and the DAC was only an after thought which is a shame considering I think the MK II is a very nice amp."

 

He works at Cirrus Logic, you said?  You'd think he knows how to install the CS4398 in his own product. =)  How did you test the DAC section?  You mean by utilizing the line-in with a different sound-card or DAC?  If not, you may just dislike the sound of the op-amp, or the err... lack of capacitors? I can't see any...

 

Now that you've just started op-amp rolling in your Leckerton, you may want to try a couple more, like the OPA111 hehe... if you can fit those metal cans in there... it sortof sounded... well... if you want an emotional connection to your music just try it hehe.

post #2747 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post


 

He works at Cirrus Logic, you said?  You'd think he knows how to install the CS4398 in his own product. =)  How did you test the DAC section?  You mean by utilizing the line-in with a different sound-card or DAC?  If not, you may just dislike the sound of the op-amp, or the err... lack of capacitors? I can't see any...

 

Now that you've just started op-amp rolling in your Leckerton, you may want to try a couple more, like the OPA111 hehe... if you can fit those metal cans in there... it sortof sounded... well... if you want an emotional connection to your music just try it hehe.

I just plugged in via USB and through iTunes streamed 16 bit ALAC files and listened to some of my more favorite test albums. I thought the DAC was alright I just thought there was room for improvement. Truthfully, it sounds far better then any iPod or other mass market DAP out there. I'm going to try and do some direct A/Bing with my Studio V down the road and see where it leads me. The OPA111 looks rather fascinating I'm not sure that op amp would ever fit in Eva though. I should email Nick about it in the near future. That's why I'm really liking this amp, you can play around with it and fine tune everything to your liking.

post #2748 of 21761

Yup, fine-tuning (thanks, that is a good term to use) is a necessity, I never even look at those Alo RX things, except the red one looked real pretty...

post #2749 of 21761
IMHO, Whenever these types of discussions get going, the language quickly gets in the way. We talk about the DAC & OpAmp chips like they are the only things in the circuit - and of course they are not. Being "bit perfect" with perfect timing into the DAC is not the same thing as having *exactly* the same analog signal coming out of the entire DAC circuit and going into the output stage. Once the bit perfect and timed perfect signal crossed the line into the analog domain, then all bets about the bits are off. (cool - I love alliteration) You might or might not hear a difference, but you might need to look at the analog side of the DAC chip (or the circuit after that), not the digital side.

Then there is always the question of "measuring different" and "measuring *audibly* different" - not everything you measure can be heard - regardless of how golden a pair of ears are used. I am NOT an electrical engineer - so maybe I've misunderstood some of the stuff I've read, but I've seen plenty of analog cable measurements that appear to show differences, however, when the math is actually performed on the difference, there is no way that difference could be heard over a 3-4 foot cable length (let alone a 2.5 inch LOD). I've seen some of the concepts used in audiophile whitepapers be perfectly valid - if you were talking about interstate transmission lines used for sending electrical power over the grid - but not so much for inside a portable amp.

With all that said - if an OpAmp in the exact same circuit consumes battery power at a different rate, what does that really mean? Is it drawing a different level of current? Does it present a different impedance? If so, then would/could that affect the sound in an audible way? Is the gain, phase, etc of the end-to-end circuit the same for two different OpAmps? I'm not trying to be a smart@ss - I really don't know. I'm just trying to understand whether there *could* be something creating an audible difference when an OpAmp is changed and everything else is held constant.
post #2750 of 21761
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post
/
Then there is always the question of "measuring different" and "measuring *audibly* different" - not everything you measure can be heard - regardless of how golden a pair of ears are used. I am NOT an electrical engineer - so maybe I've misunderstood some of the stuff I've read, but I've seen plenty of analog cable measurements that appear to show differences, however, when the math is actually performed on the difference, there is no way that difference could be heard over a 3-4 foot cable length (let alone a 2.5 inch LOD). I've seen some of the concepts used in audiophile whitepapers be perfectly valid - if you were talking about interstate transmission lines used for sending electrical power over the grid - but not so much for inside a portable amp.

 

Have a look at the GoldenEars article I linked.  He himself says he heard a clear difference between the cables at the audio show.

 

In another article, he measured a couple TF10 or custom IEM cables I'm not sure and they measured clearly - audibly - different.

 

My point was cables in reality do sound different for scientific reasons and these can be measured, and yet, these forums overflow with "they all sound the same" and "no blind tests have been passed", et cetera.

 

I'm not saying cables are 'the real deal' or anything, just that they can alter the signal with capacitance, inductance and impedance, and in my opinion in the impulse delivery (time domain) via conductivity, which is why silver-plated copper is probably less popular than silver and copper respectively.

 

 

Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post
/
With all that said - if an OpAmp in the exact same circuit consumes battery power at a different rate, what does that really mean? Is it drawing a different level of current? Does it present a different impedance? If so, then would/could that affect the sound in an audible way? Is the gain, phase, etc of the end-to-end circuit the same for two different OpAmps? I'm not trying to be a smart@ss - I really don't know. I'm just trying to understand whether there *could* be something creating an audible difference when an OpAmp is changed and everything else is held constant.

 

THD levels may cause a difference, if you compare a chip with 0.01% versus 0.0001%.  Not necessarily the THD alone, perhaps the specs just indicate an overall good design with less side-effects.  Ultra low / high specs are intuitively deceiving.  Look at the jitter article I linked for example...

 

"even though 7.6 billionths of a second sounds like a very small value, its impact in distorting our audio signal is quite significant.".

 

The mA output of chips will cause a difference in sound, yeah, especially in full-sized headphones which prefer power.

post #2751 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

With all that said - if an OpAmp in the exact same circuit consumes battery power at a different rate, what does that really mean? Is it drawing a different level of current? Does it present a different impedance? If so, then would/could that affect the sound in an audible way? Is the gain, phase, etc of the end-to-end circuit the same for two different OpAmps?

 

Tangentsoft answers some of those questions directly and others indirectly in his site about portable amp design.

Notes on Audio Op-Amps

Op-Amp Working Voltage Considerations

(for extra credit: Working with Cranky Op-Amps, which gets into why rolling op-amps is not necessarily a plug-and-play affair)

 

tl;dr: Any particular high-quality op-amp is not necessarily the best option in a given circuit, if it doesn't provide that particular chip what it needs to perform optimally. 

 

His site is a good place to start because he keeps his writing at a high enough level for people like us who are willing to work through some of the math but whose understanding of electronics is not deep.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

I'm not saying cables are 'the real deal' or anything, just that they can alter the signal with capacitance, inductance and impedance, and in my opinion in the impulse delivery (time domain) via conductivity, which is why silver-plated copper is probably less popular than silver and copper respectively.

 

Judging from DIY cable builder discussions, SPC is less popular than copper mostly because it's difficult to source good headphone-friendly SPC wire. The most accessible source is a vendor selling milspec in heavy Teflon insulation, which makes the wire very stiff. Soft vinyl (PTFE and similar)-insulated SPC is much harder to find, the strands are coarser, the metals tend to be an unknown quality, and the prices charged make it more worthwhile to opt for high-grade copper instead.

 

SPC is probably also less popular simply because it lacks the word-of-mouth buzz that silver and OCC copper do. But basically, most of the options available in device interconnects are impractical or impossible with headphone cables because the ergonomics dictate it: You can get away with everything up to attaching bent rods of solid metal between your he-man turntable and your he-man preamp, but you can't for any variety of headphones.

 

I've been researching alternative headphone cable materials lately, so this is a thing. Things like tinsel wire and litz cable are attractive but can lead to cables that are bulky (even when they're limber), which is a dealbreaker for some people. At the same time, I suspect that people who obsess about headphone cables are going to be paying more attention to the cable construction design rather than simply the metals used, in part because (a) The price of silver has escalated into prohibitively silly ranges. It's going to be a long time before anybody outside of summit-fi will be casually buying stranded silver wire. Silver plated copper has its own problems, so you'll be seeing more people basing their experiments on good ol' copper. (b) Dielectric material is relevant. Unfortunately, Teflon both has the best dielectric of synthetic insulators and some of the worst ergonomics. (c) Cable weave is relevant. Many cable designers (eg George Cardas) have been arguing for years that wire diameter and stranding patterns are at least as important, if not moreso, than the kind of metal used. Litz weave patterns have been known, researched, and depended on for decades outside the field of audio.

 

The extend to which any of this actually affects sound is something I continue to personally be on the fence about. But that's the main reason why I'm continuing to build headphone cables: For my own curiosity.

post #2752 of 21761
Thread Starter 

 

 

H E L L O   D I A R Y

 

 

700

 

 

 

 

700

 

 

 

One. Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, I appreciate it.

 

Two. Thinking about getting a pair of the FitEar Monet customs with a clear shell and a simple design of "30" on the plates to commemorate this year for myself.

 

Three. Jecklin Float QA and Audio-Technica ESW11LTD coming next week.

 

Four. The Ultimate Ears UE900 universal IEMs --- [Y / N] --- ?

 

 

 

700

 

700

 


Edited by MuppetFace - 11/25/12 at 6:30am
post #2753 of 21761
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
ESW11LTD coming next week.

 

 

Did you get a shipping notification from them?  I'm still in the dark as to when mine are coming :/

post #2754 of 21761

That's a lot of Manta Rays... (or are they some other species?)

 

Look forward to seeing your avatar with a pair of Floats...

 

The Monet faceplate can accept a 'design' ?

 

Why not for the UE900... Main motivation would be that it has an attractive carry case. tongue.gif Don't expect a particularly unique sound, though. It's very agreeable, but not particularly special in terms of signature. Keep in mind that it was designed by the marketing department of Logitech, designed to churn out maximum profits from its price point. It has a tiny pinhole that fills with gunk and will drop bass levels, but the gunk can be cleaned by a prick of a file clip?

post #2755 of 21761
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 

tl;dr: Any particular high-quality op-amp is not necessarily the best option in a given circuit, if it doesn't provide that particular chip what it needs to perform optimally.

 

Indeed, and how do we know if the chip is suited for the circuit?  Either via electrical theory, studying all the various specs, studying every component, looking at screens via instrumentation - or via listening harder, and harder... different music, different transducers with varying synergy and source transparency, impartiality, trial and error, experiment x200.  I think it's important to stay on both sides of the coin, seems like most veer to either either (eether ayther).

 

Anyway, it's all chasing sonic rainbows, lust to hear the 2% differences... like they will take us to heaven.  None of us really need some discontinued blackgate capacitors and so on. =p

 

DIY'ers tend to feel like they're above commercial products, from what I've seen at diyaudio.com.  It's interesting.  Anyway, I don't know what's inside my Sony Z1070 coming up, don't care, I trust they did all the homework, it's their secret... hehe.

 

 

Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 

Judging from DIY cable builder discussions, SPC is less popular than copper mostly because it's difficult to source good headphone-friendly SPC wire. The most accessible source is a vendor selling milspec in heavy Teflon insulation, which makes the wire very stiff. Soft vinyl (PTFE and similar)-insulated SPC is much harder to find, the strands are coarser, the metals tend to be an unknown quality, and the prices charged make it more worthwhile to opt for high-grade copper instead.

 

SPC is probably also less popular simply because it lacks the word-of-mouth buzz that silver and OCC copper do. But basically, most of the options available in device interconnects are impractical or impossible with headphone cables because the ergonomics dictate it: You can get away with everything up to attaching bent rods of solid metal between your he-man turntable and your he-man preamp, but you can't for any variety of headphones.

 

I've been researching alternative headphone cable materials lately, so this is a thing. Things like tinsel wire and litz cable are attractive but can lead to cables that are bulky (even when they're limber), which is a dealbreaker for some people. At the same time, I suspect that people who obsess about headphone cables are going to be paying more attention to the cable construction design rather than simply the metals used, in part because (a) The price of silver has escalated into prohibitively silly ranges. It's going to be a long time before anybody outside of summit-fi will be casually buying stranded silver wire. Silver plated copper has its own problems, so you'll be seeing more people basing their experiments on good ol' copper. (b) Dielectric material is relevant. Unfortunately, Teflon both has the best dielectric of synthetic insulators and some of the worst ergonomics. (c) Cable weave is relevant. Many cable designers (eg George Cardas) have been arguing for years that wire diameter and stranding patterns are at least as important, if not moreso, than the kind of metal used. Litz weave patterns have been known, researched, and depended on for decades outside the field of audio.

 

The extend to which any of this actually affects sound is something I continue to personally be on the fence about. But that's the main reason why I'm continuing to build headphone cables: For my own curiosity.

 

Thanks for all that info.  Like you, I am always on the fence and do it to pursue my curiosity (and sonic rainbows).

 

Just to clarify my stance, I think cables will sound different due to severe inductance, capacitance and impedance in their design, however I'm not interested in them.  I ordered some 6N Copper in Teflon recently to try with my speakers.  My current stance is I'm only really interested in high purity Cu, and high purity Ag, preferably thick.  If I really wanted to experiment I'd buy some 'useless' material like... Nickel... (in conductivity), or NiChrome hehe, to see if that sounds any different (it should, right?).

 

In all of the blind testing I've seen so far, I honestly think they're not extensive enough and/or pseudo-scientific.  I think fast switching ABX is not the ideal test and causes perceptive difficulty (for scientific reasons such as here - http://www.geopolitics.us/?p=968) and I lean a little towards this viewpoint - http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue56/abx.htm

post #2756 of 21761

Very cool colours and pictures in that post #2572, Romy.

post #2757 of 21761

"MONET" is an IEMs especially made for listening to anime songs. The Q&A section of the official site admits that president of the company is a huge anime song fan, and insinuates that her last name is (probably) taken from a famous anime singer/voice actress Maaya Sakamoto. She is designed and illustrated by manga artist Thillayuki (Samurai Girls, Flame Arms). Does Mone resemble Maaya? The price for the IEMs is 157,000 yen (about US$1,966). Do you want to have your own anime song IEMs?

 

Mone Sakamoto's profile

Birthday: October 28

Favorite foods: Takoyaki, Mongolian mutton barbecue, very spicy dishes

Hobby: Listening to music, collecting cat goods, playing guitar (beginner level)

 

 

"

Holy freak show. Yeah, you'll be able to enjoy the best earphones for anime related stuff!, but I don't think that $2,000 is a reasonable price. ><
post #2758 of 21761
Quote:

Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

Two. Thinking about getting a pair of the FitEar Monet customs with a clear shell and a simple design of "30" on the plates to commemorate this year for myself.

 

Four. The Ultimate Ears UE900 universal IEMs --- [Y / N] --- ?

 

2: Will you still need it, will you still feed it, when you're 64?

4: From what I've read, it sounds like a TF 10 with better clarity. If you considered the tri-fi good but not catering to your interests, this might be more of the same. For me, it's firmly in the category of something I'm mildly curious about auditioning but not buying.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

DIY'ers tend to feel like they're above commercial products, from what I've seen at diyaudio.com.  It's interesting.  Anyway, I don't know what's inside my Sony Z1070 coming up, don't care, I trust they did all the homework, it's their secret... hehe.

 

Just to clarify my stance, I think cables will sound different due to severe inductance, capacitance and impedance in their design, however I'm not interested in them.  I ordered some 6N Copper in Teflon recently to try with my speakers.  My current stance is I'm only really interested in high purity Cu, and high purity Ag, preferably thick.  If I really wanted to experiment I'd buy some 'useless' material like... Nickel... (in conductivity), or NiChrome hehe, to see if that sounds any different (it should, right?).

 

I recall reading some listening impressions that indicated aluminum can sound very good. Good luck sourcing aluminum wire that approximates copper's plasticity without fatiguing prematurely. Again, less of a concern with interconnects (rarely get flexed) than with headphone cables (flexed continuously). You can't plate aluminum over copper either, because they will corrode each other. Aluminum wire is used for high-tension power cable, but there's usually an intermediary material at its terminal points.

 

I tend to see audio properties ascribed to metals according to their market value, color, and material properties. So of course silver sounds brighter than copper, and gold has depth and richness. It's rather silly.

 

Of course DIYers feel that they're above commercial products. Otherwise they wouldn't be going through all the extra effort. I don't really mean that in a dismissive way: If you can build anything you want, you may as well build exactly what you want and eschew the compromises that any non-bespoke product has to confront in order to satisfy customers with varying interests and needs. Of course, some DIYers discover themselves having to make exactly the same sorts of compromises, due to either their own inadequacies as designers, or because they encountered the same problems in implementation that a manufacturer did (you can't park the transformer on top of the vacuum tube, even if the optimal wiring arrangement dictates it).

post #2759 of 21761
If NBA superstars were IEMs...

LeBron James: FitEar TO GO! 334
Kobe Bryant: Final Audio Design FI-BA-SS
Tim Duncan: Etymotic ER4S
Kevin Durant: Phonak Audeo PFE232
Dwyane Wade: HiFiMan RE-272
Carmelo Anthony: AKG K3003
Chris Paul: FitEar F111
Dwight Howard: Sennheiser IE800
post #2760 of 21761
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 

I tend to see audio properties ascribed to metals according to their market value, color, and material properties. So of course silver sounds brighter than copper, and gold has depth and richness. It's rather silly. /

 

Perhaps the true gemstones of audio are hidden within all the expensive marketing and silliness.  Like sapphires under the moonlight in a grey, barren junkyard!  Help!

 

 

 

Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

/

Of course DIYers feel that they're above commercial products. Otherwise they wouldn't be going through all the extra effort.

 

Well, that just single-handedly shot down my argument.

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