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Desktop AMP for under $350 - Page 3

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Just because listening is flawed doesn't make measurements unflawed, they are both flawed in different ways, human listening is more accurate and perceptive than hardware in some ways, however listening is victim to lying while hardware can't lie, that's all.

 

Human hearing is less accurate than (good) measurement hardware in every possible way. This is pretty well established.

post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by HamilcarBarca View Post

Widespread repetition of an untrue statement doesn't make it true. Widespread rejection of a true statement doesn't make it untrue.

In this case, the statement has firm theoretical grounding. It has also been demonstrated true in practice. Denial of truth is argumentative and fruitless.

So what you're saying is that different amps CAN make headphones sound better in the end?

 

They might make a headphone sound different. Better is in the ear of the listener.

post #33 of 38
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Human hearing is less accurate than (good) measurement hardware in every possible way. This is pretty well established.

 

Not really even in the top audio laboratories an EE may hear something first and then later try to identify what it is via hardware - http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/132471-national-opamp-inflation.html

 

Hardware can not correctly tell apart 1000 human voices, let alone it will completely fail at identifying 1 voice when 10 are speaking at once, in hardware that's just a complete haze of static information on a screen which no scientist can make any sense of.

 

Human hearing is only less accurate than hardware in every possible way at what hardware can measure.

 

How about what hardware can't measure?

post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcpitt View Post

As for the DAC, i am happy with ODAC, but the only real thing I have to compare it to is the Wolfson DAC in the 5th gen iPod Video and the Cirrus DAC in the iPad 2. It seems that for under $300, a completely transparent DAC with totally black background is a steal (the reason I went for it) and that even stretching my budget to accomodate a Centrance Dacport LX, Music Streamer II+, or Schiit Bifrost (USB) might not be worth it compared to what the ODAC is currently offering me. It might sound cold and sterile to some, but I don't really know any other sound in my somewhat limited experience. I am after "better", but still want transparency without coloration. Maybe that is not possible without spending upwards of $500-$600? If that's the case, I am fine with the ODAC so if anyone else has opinions on it, that'd be great. But if any of the other DACs I mentioned or any that you know of would be better within that price range and qualify as good upgrade to the ODAC, please let me know.
Basically, if you think the ODAC is on par with the DACs in the sub $350 price range, I will stick with it. I am really trusting you guys with this one haha and I really appreciate your time. As for the desktop amp, I am definitely going to be picking one up, it's just a matter of which one.
Thanks, everybody!

1. "Cold" and "sterile" are comments that come from perception bias - what the listeners believed it would sound like. ODAC has a reputation for being designed with pure objective performance in mind, and with that kind of knowledge, of course you'll get these silly comments. 

 

2. "Better" = transparency. That's really what this hobby is about. A headphone that is regarded "hi-fi" means it will produce "high fidelity to the source". Hearing the way the  music was intended is the ultimate goal, or at least it used to be. Yes I want some EQ on certain songs but in general, one must at least hear the way it was intended first. Spending all that money on amps/ dacs will give you very subtle results, especially with DACs. At the most, it'll make you very happy with the purchase. 

 

3. You should take our words with a grain of salt... yes some people here have listened to a lot of different equipment - me included - but that doesn't actually make us qualified to make these recommendations of products that are worth hundreds. There are too many factors to take into consideration. 

 

Reasons why you should pick one amp over the other:

1) Ergonomics - how practical is it? Look at the various inputs/ outputs that the amp offers. Look at the size as well if that matters. 

2) Looks - how good does it look to you? It may seem like a shallow way of picking something but the performance differences between the amps you listed are so negligible that the aesthetic appeal is more likely to be a factor in how you perceive sound. And yes I have listened to almost all of the above amps, in a double blind test. 

3) Price - obvious. 

4) Measurements - the output impedance is the first thing you should check. 

post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsson View Post

I'm not saying that it's COMPLETELY true, just that since it's such a widespread thing that people's talking about, i has to be based on some kind of truth?

One would fail using this argument for religion... You know that in certain countries, the  majority of their people still do not believe in global warming. This was also true for the majority of American at some point. But global warming is very real and a scientist (I forget his name) that was the leading opposition to the theory even admitted to being wrong. 

post #36 of 38
Originally Posted by ddcpitt View Post
/
As for the DAC, i am happy with ODAC, but the only real thing I have to compare it to is the Wolfson DAC in the 5th gen iPod Video and the Cirrus DAC in the iPad 2. It seems that for under $300, a completely transparent DAC with totally black background is a steal (the reason I went for it) and that even stretching my budget to accomodate a Centrance Dacport LX, Music Streamer II+, or Schiit Bifrost (USB) might not be worth it compared to what the ODAC is currently offering me. It might sound cold and sterile to some, but I don't really know any other sound in my somewhat limited experience. I am after "better", but still want transparency without coloration. Maybe that is not possible without spending upwards of $500-$600? If that's the case, I am fine with the ODAC so if anyone else has opinions on it, that'd be great. But if any of the other DACs I mentioned or any that you know of would be better within that price range and qualify as good upgrade to the ODAC, please let me know.

Basically, if you think the ODAC is on par with the DACs in the sub $350 price range, I will stick with it. I am really trusting you guys with this one haha and I really appreciate your time. As for the desktop amp, I am definitely going to be picking one up, it's just a matter of which one.

Thanks, everybody!

 

You could try this DAC as an experiment to see what you think - http://www.ebay.com/itm/HI-FI-DAC-TDA1543-X4-parallel-connection-digital-optical-to-analog-covnerter-/110896185565

 

Plus this amp - http://www.ebay.com/itm/TORPEDO-Parafeed-Tube-Headphone-Amplifier-Hand-built-Torpedo-amp-/280917664390

 

 

At least then you'll get a noteworthy difference in sound for your money?  Just a shot in the dark.


Edited by kiteki - 11/11/12 at 11:43am
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Not really even in the top audio laboratories an EE may hear something first and then later try to identify what it is via hardware - http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/132471-national-opamp-inflation.html

 

Hardware can not correctly tell apart 1000 human voices, let alone it will completely fail at identifying 1 voice when 10 are speaking at once, in hardware that's just a complete haze of static information on a screen which no scientist can make any sense of.

 

Human hearing is only less accurate than hardware in every possible way at what hardware can measure.

 

How about what hardware can't measure?

 

Um, that thread you posted is irrelevant. And "top audio laboratories" design and measure their devices first. In fact the way they design them is by simulating the circuits and seeing what the predicted measurements are using programs like SPICE. In fact, I doubt listening tests are done at all, because they are useless when you have proper measurements done. Unless by "top audio laboratories" you meant nuforce or audio-gd...

 

And as a matter of fact hardware can tell apart 1000 human voices apart using harmonic analysis... not that it is relevant for testing audio equipment. Can human hearing correctly quantify the amount of distortion produced by an amplifier? I didn't think so.

post #38 of 38
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

And "top audio laboratories" design and measure their devices first. In fact the way they design them is by simulating the circuits and seeing what the predicted measurements are using programs like SPICE.

 

Yes they design and measure first, without listening, this is clear.  The measured performance and chasing numbers is very important, it just doesn't seem to cover the entire picture.  Audio is not chemistry.  However even in chemistry, they can make medicine and not know entirely how it works, that's why they perform human trials to study what happens.

 

 

Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

In fact, I doubt listening tests are done at all, because they are useless when you have proper measurements done. Unless by "top audio laboratories" you meant nuforce or audio-gd...

 

Have a look at the thread I linked, they do some listening tests with high-end speakers there.  My point was they located a difference via listening and went to look for the difference later.  No I didn't mean Audio-gd / Nuforce I'm referring to National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

 

 

Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Can human hearing correctly quantify the amount of distortion produced by an amplifier? I didn't think so.

 

No it can't, and humans suffer from illusion where hardware doesn't.  Still, neither one is completely reliable.  They are flawed in different ways.

 

Sure, audio is science and confined to the laws of nature, that doesn't mean we're sophisticated enough to measure or conceive all of it and where the limits lie.  Those who like to think so are called audionihilists and define their own limits.  Their tone is too cynical for my liking and I find it more emotional than scientific.

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