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Skeptico Saloon: An Objectivist Joint - Page 48

post #706 of 915

You have a knack for ferreting out the snake oil threads!

post #707 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

You have a knack for ferreting out the snake oil threads!

I'm all over the place on this forum, so I run into lots of interesting ideas and products.  :D

 

post #708 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Ok something hilarious going on in one of the forum sections regarding coaxial vs optical.  I wanted to interject, but didn't want to break their flow of cool discoveries.  :D

 

So basically what it is a portable music player supposedly has a coaxial output and optical, and there was a debate on one sounds better than the other to an external DAC. To me those two signals shouldn't make a difference so I thought it was silly, but hey maybe there is something different about the demodulation process for two types of signals?  Any, they say it's audible.  So..

Optical is a better choice if you're worried about ground loops or interference/electrical noise on the ground line, since it doesn't involve any electrical connection between the digital source and the DAC/amplifier at all. Other than that, there should be no difference at all. I do run optical from my computer to my receiver because of a noisy ground issue I used to have (when using coax), and it did fix it entirely.

 

EDIT: Just noticed that the source device is a portable music player. In that case, there's almost definitely no benefit, since a portable player is likely running off of battery (in which case, there is no possibility of a ground loop since the player isn't grounded).


Edited by cjl - 5/11/14 at 9:28pm
post #709 of 915

I use a psychic link to avoid all interference.

post #710 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I use a psychic link to avoid all interference.

I did consider that option, but they're so finicky and expensive...

post #711 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I use a psychic link to avoid all interference.


 



Do you have any links for where to purchase audiophile grade psychic link amplifiers? As you can see in my signature I have been working on such a setup for a while.
post #712 of 915

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muinarc View Post


Do you have any links for where to purchase audiophile grade psychic link amplifiers? As you can see in my signature I have been working on such a setup for a while.
post #713 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

I do run optical from my computer to my receiver because of a noisy ground issue I used to have (when using coax), and it did fix it entirely.

 

Out of curiousity, what did you notice about the sound that made it noisy?

post #714 of 915

A very obvious (somewhat quiet, but easily audible) humming/hissing sound that went away the instant I unplugged the coax cable.

 

(If you have an electrical noise issue, it won't cause a "slight reduction in the air between the violins", or a "faint granularity" or a "loss of detail in the upper treble". It'll be noisy, possibly with a sound like static or tape hiss, possibly with a hum, but definitely a real, audible noise)

post #715 of 915

Oh yes I'm all too familiar with noise/background hum issues, it's incredible how crappy some headphone outputs from big bucks manufacturers can sound. But that's all in the analog stage. Don't hear many cases where the digital transport gets messed up so bad. Glad you found an easy fix!

post #716 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorJack View Post
 

Oh yes I'm all too familiar with noise/background hum issues, it's incredible how crappy some headphone outputs from big bucks manufacturers can sound. But that's all in the analog stage. Don't hear many cases where the digital transport gets messed up so bad. Glad you found an easy fix!

I don't think it was related to the fact that the cable was the digital transport at all - I think it was ground noise transmitted over the cable shield (high-end homebuilt desktop computers aren't known for the cleanest grounds in the world). The digital cable just happened to be the only connection between my computer and my receiver that included a ground. Since the digital and analog (on the amp/dac side) is all within a single box (I use an integrated A/V receiver), the ground noise that was transmitted across the cable shield got into the analog stage of the amp, and caused the hum. It probably also could have been fixed by going to a cable with the sheath only grounded on one side (at least that's my guess), but I had an optical cable laying around, and it was an easy fix.

post #717 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

A very obvious (somewhat quiet, but easily audible) humming/hissing sound that went away the instant I unplugged the coax cable.

 

(If you have an electrical noise issue, it won't cause a "slight reduction in the air between the violins", or a "faint granularity" or a "loss of detail in the upper treble". It'll be noisy, possibly with a sound like static or tape hiss, possibly with a hum, but definitely a real, audible noise)


Yeah I had the hissing and the high pitched EM noise from other components when I was using onboard soundcard. Usb dac solved it completely.

post #718 of 915
How does one know if a cable is bad? I have two removable headphone cables: one is a standard cable from a headphone manufacturer, another is made by non-headphone company and is made of a fancy copper material.

From A/B listening tests, I find the fancy copper cable to subjectively sound much clearer and better and I'm pretty confident I could identify which cable is which upon a blind test. Cable testing is hard to do though since cables have different impedance values and I gave the standard cable an advantage by making the volume louder. The fancy copper cable still sounds better to me.

Objectivists always say "cables are cables unless one is severely flawed," but no one ever says how to tell which one is the flawed one, so I'm wondering what's going on with my observations. The standard cable is from a manufacturer of high regards around here on Head-Fi and they're a very common replacement cable.
post #719 of 915

I would go by the stock cable being the proper/good cable. Since the product is designed with the stock cable in mind, the stock cable would essentially be the right "sounding" one. If a different cable causes a headphone to sound different, then you have found the  source that is changing the sound you are hearing. Still something that sounds "better" is subjective and it is also a broad term. I suppose the objective way of checking how it affects the sound is running a frequency sweep.

 

I find it problematic, when I am searching for a replacement cable myself, if people give impressions on sound differences more so than actual build quality. Even worse if the manufacturer claims sound differences. I just need a no non-sense custom cable maker that focuses on build quality instead of claims in order to sell their cables.

post #720 of 915

Got a question :)

 

What measurement goal would you say should be fulfilled for you to call an amp transparent? For the sake of the argument, let's suppose we are talking about a headphone like hd800 that measures very well etc.

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