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Audiophile grade portable players [Please read before answer the poll]

Poll Results: What do you think the result will be:

 
  • 24% (9)
    A) Hiffie cannot hear sound quality differences between the two players.
  • 35% (13)
    B) Hiffie can detect the 2000+ USD audiophile grade portable player right ahead.
  • 40% (15)
    C)Hiffie struggles but finally evidence is that there's a slightly advantage on the 2000+ USD audiophile grade pp.
37 Total Votes  
post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

i know that there are tons of topics on this but i want to collect some straight answers to a theoretical situation.

Let's say that we got our fantasy friend, it's name is Hiffie.

Hiffie is a trained ear audiophile since 1980.

Let's pretend that we do several double blind placebo controlled audio trials on Hiffie to see if he can detect sonic difference between a fiio X3 (or any 24/192 respectable portable player) and a 2000+ USD audiophile grade portable player. Same cables, same 24/192 files, same high tier headphones (that the players can equally drive).

 

What do you think the result will be:

 

A) Hiffie cannot hear sound quality differences between the two players.

B) Hiffie can detect the 2000+ USD audiophile grade portable player right ahead

C) Hiffie struggles but finally evidence is that there's a slightly advatange on the 2000+ USD audiophile grade pp

 

Please answer on the poll.

 

Thank you.

 

**I've got some justified complain about the 2k$ DAP. This rapresents the most advanced high tier dap-benchmark unit available (even if it's not 2k$ or wathever)"


Edited by TommyNavara - 8/10/13 at 4:30am
post #2 of 27

With this scenario, I am going to conclude that Hiffie is similar to Tyll as Tyll is basically a trained ear audiophile from decades past and that the $2,000 DAP will be similar to a Burson, Blue Hawaii or Benchmark class unit in terms of sonic reproduction.

 

Wtih this specific scenario in mind, B would be what I would bet on.

 

It is extremely easy to tell the X3 or most sub $300 DAP's from pure reference sound that my scenario's perfected DAP can tell.

 

But of course, I am adding conditions of Hiffie being an 'actually' 'trained' audiophile and that the $2,000 DAP is actually good and not just snake oil.

 

If Hiffie is thus an actually trained audiophile with experience similar to Tyll's, and the player is of pure reference grade and not marketing schmaz. Then the difference will be there immediately. The moment the music comes on, he would be able to tell it apart. 

 

 

So let me ask you this/.

 

If you give Tyll of Innerfidelity an X3 with songs, and blind tested him against a Benchmark unit(to simulate the $2,000 DAP of pure reference grade..because I don't know of a DAP that is of pure reference grade right now). Will you guys put your bets on Tyll not being able to tell the two apart or that he will be able to tell it apart. Is basically how I'm changing the question by adding additional variables.


Edited by bowei006 - 8/7/13 at 11:08am
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

With this scenario, I am going to conclude that Hiffie is similar to Tyll as Tyll is basically a trained ear audiophile from decades past and that the $2,000 DAP will be similar to a Burson, Blue Hawaii or Benchmark class unit in terms of sonic reproduction.

 

Wtih this specific scenario in mind, B would be what I would bet on.

 

It is extremely easy to tell the X3 or most sub $300 DAP's from pure reference sound that my scenario's perfected DAP can tell.

 

But of course, I am adding conditions of Hiffie being an 'actually' 'trained' audiophile and that the $2,000 DAP is actually good and not just snake oil.

 

If Hiffie is thus an actually trained audiophile with experience similar to Tyll's, and the player is of pure reference grade and not marketing schmaz. Then the difference will be there immediately. The moment the music comes on, he would be able to tell it apart. 

 

 

So let me ask you this/.

 

If you give Tyll of Innerfidelity an X3 with songs, and blind tested him against a Benchmark unit(to simulate the $2,000 DAP of pure reference grade..because I don't know of a DAP that is of pure reference grade right now). Will you guys put your bets on Tyll not being able to tell the two apart or that he will be able to tell it apart. Is basically how I'm changing the question by adding additional variables.

Thanks for your precious opinion Mr Panda

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

I must tell, by the way, that this "difference" is not something that we can measure, because the freq response plot will be actually the same.

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyNavara View Post

Thanks for your precious opinion Mr Panda

But of course, if Hiffie was the average Head-Fi'er with post 5,000 post count  and the $2,000 DAP was the AK120.

 

I would place my bets mainly on C, but A has a bit of a chance.

 

 

So really, the question thus is what variables you are going to add as the word 'trained' and the person's own level of training differs from person to person and how good the DAP is also makes a difference.

 

For the most part, A is going to hold true for the mass majority of consumers and C holding true for most head-fi'ers having experience

 

Is what I have come to see things here on Head-Fi with my infinite Panda wisdom 

 

P.S I have never heard the AK100/AK120. What CLIEOS and others I trust for these audio feedback about it doesn't put it high on the list for pure reference grade.

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes in the design of the theoretical test scenario i was thinking about those daps, but i went for the theoretically pure "reference" to add a bit of spice to it :P

post #7 of 27

Easy enough to hear FW differences on clip. Why wouldn't you hear a difference on completely different players?

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Easy enough to hear FW differences on clip. Why wouldn't you hear a difference on completely different players?

Pardon my ignorance but FW =...?

And clip you mean sansa clip+?

Is not a 24/192 player so no point regarding our test environment

post #9 of 27

Your imaginary test environment? FirmWare. If you can hear something without HiDef on a cheap player.........


Edited by goodvibes - 8/7/13 at 2:39pm
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Your imaginary test environment? FirmWare. If you can hear something without HiDef on a cheap player........

I think actually that the point is if you got a respectable dac on a sub 300 player or max sub 500 vs reference, we got this scenario IMHO: the sonic difference is not as heavily different as the price = Worthless buying.

 

Unless you are a wealth baby kiddo with huge loads of money and you don't even know what to do with it. (And here, on HeadFi, it's crowded with this kind).


Edited by TommyNavara - 8/8/13 at 1:22am
post #11 of 27

So you've asked a question with lots of prebias built in. The answer will be that it's relative to associated kit, files and as easily rationalized by poor baby kiddos as rich baby kiddos or spec followers vs subjective listeners. You aren't actually asking for help here and if you want greater discussion should repost this in the sound science forum. In fact there are forum rules to that extent. I've never heard a USB DAC that I would call VG for a better home system so even your last supposition is relative.wink_face.gif

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyNavara View Post

I think actually that the point is if you got a respectable dac on a sub 300 player or max sub 500 vs reference, we got this scenario IMHO: the sonic difference is not as heavily different as the price = Worthless buying.

 

Unless you are a wealth baby kiddo with huge loads of money and you don't even know what to do with it. (And here, on HeadFi, it's crowded with this kind).

 

I think it's exactly the opposite - you have a lot of people on these forums who will thrash something they have never heard only because they cannot afford it or it somehow clashes with their moral beliefs about waisting money etc (I think of them as the 'Occupy HIFI' movement and they are to be avoided at any cost).

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgdinamo View Post

 

I think it's exactly the opposite - you have a lot of people on these forums who will thrash something they have never heard only because they cannot afford it or it somehow clashes with their moral beliefs about waisting money etc (I think of them as the 'Occupy HIFI' movement and they are to be avoided at any cost).

The world is beautiful because it is varied. By the way, mine is not a moral belief but it's a cold calculation: cost vs sonic gain.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

So you've asked a question with lots of prebias built in. The answer will be that it's relative to associated kit, files and as easily rationalized by poor baby kiddos as rich baby kiddos or spec followers vs subjective listeners. You aren't actually asking for help here and if you want greater discussion should repost this in the sound science forum. In fact there are forum rules to that extent. I've never heard a USB DAC that I would call VG for a better home system so even your last supposition is relative.wink_face.gif

This is not supposed to be a help forum, 

it's a poll and the subject is portable players, so the forum section is appropriate, I do not understand why we should bother "forum rules".

The prebias of the scenario is constructed to avoid this kind of statements " it's relative to associated kit, files..."

 

 "I've never heard a USB DAC that I would call VG for a better home system so even your last supposition is relative"

Sorry but i need explanation to this. Kinda confusing.


Edited by TommyNavara - 8/10/13 at 2:48am
post #14 of 27

Though I am not old enough to be an audiophile since the 80's (more like late 90's), I do own an X3 and a HM901 (which is about half of a $2000 portable audio player... wait, there is a $2k DAP out there?), fairly good headphone and some 24/192 HD music. It is relatively easy to tell the two apart for me, so I vote B.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Though I am not old enough to be an audiophile since the 80's (more like late 90's), I do own an X3 and a HM901 (which is about half of a $2000 portable audio player... wait, there is a $2k DAP out there?), fairly good headphone and some 24/192 HD music. It is relatively easy to tell the two apart for me, so I vote B.

Thanks for your precious contribute ClieOS.

The 2k is meant to rapresent "the most elite-reference dap available".

Let me ask a question here:

You can tell the two apart and the HM901 is actually better or is just a matter of taste on different sound signatures, color, etc..?

This is very important.

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