Originally Posted by nicholars
Well actually I found that a) the Rdac treble was smoother b) the bass on the rdac was quite a bit worse than the dacmagic, quite obviously worse not even subtle....
Dunno, maybe the rdac is doing something it shouldn't (imho).
And regarding special power supplies, it seems to be using a simple 6 V DC power adapter.
If you say it is a "matter of preference" then surely there must be differences? You cant have a preference if they all sound identical? People report "this dac is forward" "this is smooth" etc etc. and they mostly seem to agree eg. most people say the Rega dac is smooth and "analogue" sounding etc.... Maybe it is all completely down to expectation bias and effectively fraud, but I think that maybe the other areas such as dac design, filters, power supply, dac design etc. must effect the final sound? It cant all be completely imagined surely (I agree with you on cables etc though, just I am not sure about dacs... especially as I thought I could tell a definate difference in the bass of the Rdac and dacmagic)
Sure you can have a preference if they sound identical. Connectivity, supported formats, design, output level etc. I guess you get the idea.
Without doing a blind, level-matched comparison I am certain that people hear clear differences. But those usually go away in a proper test.
Regarding people saying the same thing .. yeah there are also people that tell you how component X sounds although they have never even heard it. They're just parroting whatever they read. And most reviewers don't do blind tests. They see the device and the brain automatically "connects" anything they read about it with what they hear. There's also this huge fear/pressure that if you do not hear like the others your hearing is bad..
It all just seems like a lot of work has gone into the DAC's... if you look at some of the DAC designs from audio GD etc.... It is almost a shame if they really do sound identical to a cheap soundcard when you look at all the effort which has gone into the design....
Yeah you can put a lot of work into anything. Doesn't guarantee anything. Yahzi wrote in the testing claims and myths threads that another guy was claiming "a cable vendor has taken a decade to design and build a tonearm cable".
I do not know how the Audio-GD stuff sounds cause I'm not buying it and as stv014 wrote the measurements posted above seem to have ground-loop problems, so I'm not saying it's crap.
So are you saying that all DAC's sound identical to a Xonar STX for example?
No, I'm saying that after a certain quality level (which can be reached without spending a couple of hundred $$$) is reached, sonic differences are usually imagined.
Now there might be expensive DACs that are marketed as extremely high-end, high-fidelity and what not but still do not reach that quality level, that is flat frequency response, low noise floor, etc.
Edited by xnor - 1/23/13 at 4:48pm