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post #46 of 395

Can someone enlighten me on all this fierce debate surrounding 'audiophile' daps?

 

Are these 1000 bucks hifiman, ibasso etc really worth the money. How do they fare or has there ever been a blind test with them vs other 'normal' players like ipod, clip + etc?

post #47 of 395

Some of these devices measure quite badly, despite the high price. Others measure ok, but there are much cheaper DAPs that are better in that respect.

 

Blind tests I don't know .. but some of these expensive devices have a very high output impedance causing all kinds of problems.

post #48 of 395

I mean there are reviews where a guy stacks these up against hifiman 801 imod etc in one sitting.

 

I just feel like ok, objectively the hifiman 801 is meant to measure atrociously in comparison to lets say a clip+ but could the price and feel of these mp3 players really cause such  'perceived' disparity in the SQ

post #49 of 395

Yeah but most (almost all?) of those reviews are not blind tests. That's imo the main reason why such subjective reviews are so problematic, unreliable and most importantly biased.

post #50 of 395

But could perception bias really account THAT much for the disparity in sound.

I mean if you were listening to a clip+ then put that down and instantly switched to a say hifiman 801. Can your brain trick you to that extent for you to imagine sonic nirvana?

post #51 of 395

With volume not matched, or just roughly anyway, and a much higher output impedance causing e.g. a bass boost and maybe even treble boost with the 801 which also makes volume matching harder there's already "big" audible differences. Add a bucket full of biases on top of that.


Edited by xnor - 3/26/13 at 3:10pm
post #52 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

With volume not matched, or just roughly anyway, and a much higher output impedance causing e.g. a bass boost and maybe even treble boost with the 801 which also makes volume matching harder there's already "big" audible differences. Add a bucket full of biases on top of that.

So a healthy gallop of bias mixed with distortions and BAM we have it the GREATEST DAP EVER WITH TRIPLE DACS!! or something... I heard the new hifiman 901 has two dacs onboard.... XD

post #53 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

With volume not matched, or just roughly anyway, and a much higher output impedance causing e.g. a bass boost and maybe even treble boost with the 801 which also makes volume matching harder there's already "big" audible differences. Add a bucket full of biases on top of that.

How do you know so much!? You sound like an expert.

I finally understand the distortions can be an influential factor for the differences that people do hear.

post #54 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

I mean there are reviews where a guy stacks these up against hifiman 801 imod etc in one sitting.

 

I just feel like ok, objectively the hifiman 801 is meant to measure atrociously in comparison to lets say a clip+ but could the price and feel of these mp3 players really cause such  'perceived' disparity in the SQ

 

YES - unequivocally YES. Dr Sean Olive (Harman) and a some time visitor here has done tests where listeners could or could not see the speakers tested. When tested sighted the flashy, expensive speakers are always judged better, when tested blind the objectively better speakers do better and all speakers are judged harder.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

But could perception bias really account THAT much for the disparity in sound.

I mean if you were listening to a clip+ then put that down and instantly switched to a say hifiman 801. Can your brain trick you to that extent for you to imagine sonic nirvana?

 

YES - unequivocally YES. 

 

My favorite example of such self-deception is the guy comparing his beloved Bryston amp to an Onkyo. He described the merits of the Bryston and all the failings of the Onkyo in great detail (thin, grainy, distorted)  then his pal turned off the Onkyo and the music kept on playing, he was still listening to his Bryston. There are accounts of cable swaps which were not swaps yet differences were still heard. When we think a change has been made we tend to hear it regardless of how real the change is. With a short search you can find loads of similar examples. Blind tests help us to face reality and are very sensitive. In this forum we have members who can hear differences (sometimes and with some tracks) between lossy and lossless and have used DBTs to prove it. 

post #55 of 395
Just curious how a source can.sound warm or harsh or cold etc etc. What is the cause of this? Is it distortions? And what component of a source is accountable for this, dac amp or ???
post #56 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

Just curious how a source can.sound warm or harsh or cold etc etc. What is the cause of this? Is it distortions? And what component of a source is accountable for this, dac amp or ???

 

You should not assume that just because somebody reports a source as warm or harsh or cold etc etc that their perception is always an accurate reflection of reality.

 

The vast majority of digital sources (outside of looney boutique designs or very bad designs indeed)  have a FR that is utterly flat i.e that no part of the audible spectrum is more pronounced than any other.

 

Yet if you trawl through the Dedicated Source forum you'll find endless A is brighter/warmer than B reports , and if you can find measured performance data 99% of the time both A and B have flawlessly flat FR(excepting the aforementioned looney designs) 

 

Sadly many of the boutique/expensive manufacturers will not publish measurements on their kit, luckily folks like Stereophile do comprehensive measurements. The measurement guy (John Atkinson) often

stating bemusement that his reviewer heard some difference between two items such as different outputs which measured exactly the same !

 

Of course it is possible to make something so bad that it is easily distinguishable from decent kit such as the objectively awful and awfully expensive Zanden kit http://www.stereophile.com/content/zanden-5000-mkivsignature-da-converter-2000-premium-cd-transport-measurements

post #57 of 395

But do distortions if there are any explain for differences in warmth coldness etc? I mean some say the mids are lush and pronounced. Does this mean that the mids are boosted? Or is the lushness produced in some other way other than through amplifying etc?

 

Also are measurements the be all and end all in judging the SQ of players? OR is there some other method of judging them?

post #58 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by uchihaitachi View Post

But do distortions if there are any explain for differences in warmth coldness etc? I mean some say the mids are lush and pronounced. Does this mean that the mids are boosted? Or is the lushness produced in some other way other than through amplifying etc?

 

Who knows ? All you will get normally is sighted anecdotes. If you are looking for some kind of carefully controlled variation of distortions and correlations with perceived sound you will find a small handful of references indeed. If you are really interested the AES library has some interesting papers it could be worth joining. I was a member for a while and got some good papers from them.

 

Also are measurements the be all and end all in judging the SQ of players? OR is there some other method of judging them?

 

Depends on what your definition of SQ is? ...If by SQ you mean whether you like the sound or not then there may be little or zero correlation to actual fidelity. If you mean technical capability then there are a number of rational criteria that can be used. But you should not confuse technical performance with preference.

 

 

post #59 of 395

I am referring to technical preference. In this case objective measurements are best I guess?

post #60 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
 


Curiosity here. In the AES archives was there ever testing done on human hearing? Bright, Warm, Textured, Cold, Dark, are all perceptions and caused by our experiences and inherent ability to hear physically. I would love to see a test where each paricipant in a double blind study went through a hearing test first.

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