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DIY amp/DAC with better measurements than O2/ODAC? - Page 2

post #16 of 49

It's a fair point that the specs, especially just two numbers like you quoted above, don't tell the whole picture. But the whole "specs" page taken together along with studying the schematic and reading the design notes can give you a good idea about which is likely to perform better of the B22 and M3.


Edited by joeyjojo - 2/27/13 at 2:10am
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyjojo View Post

It's a fair point that the specs, especially just two numbers like you quoted above, don't tell the whole picture. But the whole "specs" page taken together along with studying the schematic and reading the design notes can give you a good idea about which is likely to perform better of the B22 and M3.

I think we're saying the same thing.wink.gif

 

Yes, I cherry-picked the two measurements that I knew were worse in the B22 than the M3, but it wasn't my point at all to claim that the M3 is better.

 

Rather, I believe that measurements are important in making an amp design as good as it can be, but they're not necessarily a dependable discriminator in judging whether one amp is better than another.  You can't divorce the ear from the equation - or even the source and load combinations.  I was heartened to read Tyl's most recent post on innerfidelity.  When attempting to make measurements the be-all to end-all (and to paraphrase), we don't know what we don't know ...  


Edited by tomb - 2/27/13 at 6:57am
post #18 of 49

So in case the last dozen posts aren't clear...

 

The Objective duo sounds like crap. Objective measurements don't translate into the enjoyment of the music. There are no objective ways to measure satisfaction.

 

My "warm" and "technically inferior" NFB-12 is leagues in front of the Objective duo in terms of enjoyment. My ears simply agree more to the sound coming out of it.

 

An "amp/DAC with better measurements than O2/ODAC" probably won't be more enjoyable to listen to. Unless of course you listen to your music trough your test measurement devices...

post #19 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

So in case the last dozen posts aren't clear...

 

The Objective duo sounds like crap. Objective measurements don't translate into the enjoyment of the music. There are no objective ways to measure satisfaction.

 

My "warm" and "technically inferior" NFB-12 is leagues in front of the Objective duo in terms of enjoyment. My ears simply agree more to the sound coming out of it.

 

An "amp/DAC with better measurements than O2/ODAC" probably won't be more enjoyable to listen to. Unless of course you listen to your music trough your test measurement devices...

 

rolleyes.gif No, they aren't clear since this is completely subjective. No, they don't sound like crap because they don't sound at all, they are neutral and transparent and this is what the real hi-fi (high fidelity) should be (because otherwise, it's not "fidelity" anymore if you intentionally alter the frequency response and add distortion). And yes, this is only what YOUR ears prefer.

 

I personally have nothing against amplifiers and DACs that colour the sound and I am also searching for some suitable amp/DAC unit within my budget but I would never call any of them more hi-fi than O2/ODAC. The combination of O2/ODAC and HD800 is the most neutral and enjoyable I have ever heard, I enjoy to get close to what recordings are supposed to sound like. I don't think that O2/ODAC is the best amp/DAC ever but unless I get enough money to purchase Benchmark DAC2 HGC, I am most probably staying with what I have... Nothing seems to be convincing up to 1000USD.

post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

So in case the last dozen posts aren't clear...

 

The Objective duo sounds like crap. Objective measurements don't translate into the enjoyment of the music. There are no objective ways to measure satisfaction.

 

My "warm" and "technically inferior" NFB-12 is leagues in front of the Objective duo in terms of enjoyment. My ears simply agree more to the sound coming out of it.

 

An "amp/DAC with better measurements than O2/ODAC" probably won't be more enjoyable to listen to. Unless of course you listen to your music trough your test measurement devices...

 

You can achieve the same with the O2 and a software equaliser. Why people buy Chinese crap when they could use a tone control I'll ever know.

post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyjojo View Post

 

You can achieve the same with the O2 and a software equaliser. Why people buy Chinese crap when they could use a tone control I'll ever know.

 

  1. Because software EQ are unreliable.
  2. Because software EQ degrade the sound.
  3. Because Software EQ is a pain to manage, especially when you have multiple DACs, amplifiers and playback software.
  4. Because it's not Chinese crap.
  5. Because your alternative is made of parts made in China. How's that different?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustA View Post

 

rolleyes.gifNo, they aren't clear since this is completely subjective. No, they don't sound like crap because they don't sound at all, they are neutral and transparent and this is what the real hi-fi (high fidelity) should be (because otherwise, it's not "fidelity" anymore if you intentionally alter the frequency response and add distortion). And yes, this is only what YOUR ears prefer.

 

I personally have nothing against amplifiers and DACs that colour the sound and I am also searching for some suitable amp/DAC unit within my budget but I would never call any of them more hi-fi than O2/ODAC. The combination of O2/ODAC and HD800 is the most neutral and enjoyable I have ever heard, I enjoy to get close to what recordings are supposed to sound like. I don't think that O2/ODAC is the best amp/DAC ever but unless I get enough money to purchase Benchmark DAC2 HGC, I am most probably staying with what I have... Nothing seems to be convincing up to 1000USD.

 

That was my point, I think. wink.gif

 

Nobody has the same ears. Everybody ears differently. There are no consensus on the perfect reproduction of audio signal, even less so for something as personal as headphones. I have a hard time believing every human's ears has the same flat frequency response. If you're going for "objectively best", then the _real_ way of doing it is to get your ear's frequency response verified, and find audio gear that compensate for this.

post #22 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

 

Nobody has the same ears. Everybody ears differently. There are no consensus on the perfect reproduction of audio signal, even less so for something as personal as headphones. I have a hard time believing every human's ears has the same flat frequency response. If you're going for "objectively best", then the _real_ way of doing it is to get your ear's frequency response verified, and find audio gear that compensate for this.

 

You don't have to have ears with flat frequency response. You hear sounds around you in a certain and unique way and this is what you basically use as a reference when assessing "neutrality". If you get close to reproduce this with a specific audio chain, it is possible to call the gear near-to-neutral. Of course, it's a lot easier with speakers because of several factors.

post #23 of 49

I hesitate to contribute to this thread because I'm not very technical. But as a guy who likes classical music, I may have one point to contribute.

 

A lot of recordings nowadays do not even pretend to convey the experience of a live concert. What's more, not even live concerts do - some of them at least. By the time you put $1 million worth of equipment between you and the audience, you might as well play them a record. (It's been known…)

 

Now every truly live experience takes place in a particular environment and provides a specific sound, and this is never uncoloured, flat or neutral. That's the way we experience music, sound plus space.

 

I think that may be why we can handle dacs and amplifiers that "colour" the sound. Okay, it doesn't reproduce exactly what's on the record, as the neutral sounding equipment does,but what it adds is no more than a variation on the sound–space picture, and we have a very high tolerance for variations.

 

Anyone who's been in a recording studio knows the shock when you first perform in one. There's neutral for you!

 

All of which might explain why I didn't care for the O-DAC . . .
 

post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

  1. Because software EQ are unreliable.
  2. Because software EQ degrade the sound.
  3. Because Software EQ is a pain to manage, especially when you have multiple DACs, amplifiers and playback software.
  4. Because it's not Chinese crap.
  5. Because your alternative is made of parts made in China. How's that different?

 

1 and 2, do some reading (e.g 1, e.g. 2). 3 is a fair point.

 

4 - if your DAC has a "sound", warm or otherwise, then it is faulty or a bad design.

 

5 - the parts are the same but there are an infinity of designs out there. Again, if the ODAC is neutral and your DAC is "warm sounding", and they are both made of the same Chinese components, then your DAC is faulty or a bad design.

post #25 of 49

doesn't prove anything when the meaurements or the build must be horseapples - there's no excuse for those numbers from the B22 circuit - the discrete jfets running at mA in the input are lower noise than than any M3 op amp fet input op amp recommendation

 

specifically the AD8610 spec is 6 nV/rtHz with 1/f corner near 1 kHz

 

Linear systems LSK389/170 both spec 1.9nV/rtHz max - 0.9 typ, and the 1/f corner is below audio altogether

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

Just another FYI, but as for amps ... if you really study AMB's measurements on his products, you'll find that AMB's M3 is better in noise and distortion than the B22:

 

THD

M3: 0.0009, B22: 0.0011

 

Noise

M3: -97.4dB, B22: -90.3dB

 

Here again, what does this mean?  Should people be buying the M3 as the ultimate headphone amplifier because of its low distortion and noise level?  I don't know AMB's specific sales statistics, but I bet everyone would agree that he sells more B22's than M3's.  AMB must be fooling us all ... but he and Morsel designed and built the M3 years before he thought about and designed the B22.  That doesn't make sense.  Why design, build, and sell a supposedly superior product that measures worse?  I guess he should've built/bought an O2 and forgot about it.wink.gif

 

OK - without being cagey or confrontational ... an M3 may very well be more appropriate as a pre-amp.  However, when it comes to different loads, reactive loads, varying loads with all sorts of different designs/applications of headphones, the B22 seems to be the preferred choice for many people, regardless of the poorer measurements.

 

All that said for me - I still prefer tubes, and their measurements are much worse than any of the above. wink.gif


Edited by jcx - 3/6/13 at 6:14pm
post #26 of 49
Edit: duplicated post removed
Edited by jcx - 3/6/13 at 6:11pm
post #27 of 49

Post removed.


Edited by tomb - 3/6/13 at 6:25pm
post #28 of 49

Sorry - it's not your fault.  Obviously, Head-Fi has blown up right now.  Here's hoping they get it fixed. smily_headphones1.gif

post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyjojo View Post

 

1 and 2, do some reading (e.g 1, e.g. 2). 3 is a fair point.

 

4 - if your DAC has a "sound", warm or otherwise, then it is faulty or a bad design.

 

5 - the parts are the same but there are an infinity of designs out there. Again, if the ODAC is neutral and your DAC is "warm sounding", and they are both made of the same Chinese components, then your DAC is faulty or a bad design.

4 and 5 are false. An amp designed to colour sound is not faulty or bad, it just colours the sound. It would be bad if it was neutral, but if it colours the sound like the design is supposed to, then it works fine.

 

Think of it this way, sunglasses that take away some sunlight is not faulty. 

post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parall3l View Post

4 and 5 are false. An amp designed to colour sound is not faulty or bad, it just colours the sound. It would be bad if it was neutral, but if it colours the sound like the design is supposed to, then it works fine.

 

Think of it this way, sunglasses that take away some sunlight is not faulty. 

 

Sunglasses are designed to take away some sunlight, it's their purpose. However, amplifier is supposed to AMPLIFY the signal, nothing more.

 

That said, I have nothing against amplifiers that introduce distortion and change the frequency response... They are just not completely hi-fi (high fidelity). IMHO

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