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Why does the transport matter?

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 

This might stir up a lot of controversy, but help me to understand here... when it's all in the digital realm, it should all be bit-perfect, so why would the transport have any affect on the sound? And on a related note, why does different playback software sound subtly different, even when hooked up to the same DAC etc?

post #2 of 85

The "objectives cafe" has commented on this and related matters. Not that I agree with them but they put their point of view pretty plainly .Personally I upgraded my Cyrus[UK] CD8SE -CD player to a Cyrus  -XTSE+ Transport along with a separate power supply. And yes it sounded "better" which is a controversial word to them[objectives] - extremely low jitter etc.I agree with your ears but you will get a lot of angry /sarcastic comments in that direction. Get ready!  I am sure you will be inundated with posts soon!

post #3 of 85
If you were getting audible levels of jitter, something in your system was broken. Jitter is pretty much a non issue in modern consumer audio.

With most things, excepting transducers, there shouldn't be any difference in sound if the amp is powerful enough to push the speakers / the impedance is correct for the headphones. If there is a difference, odds are something is perforning out of spec.

I do level matched comparison tests of every piece of equipment I buy. To date, everything is identical. If it wasn't, I would return it. I spend an awful lot of time perfecting my response curve. I don't want to have to start from scratch because of a colored piece of equipment.
post #4 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post

This might stir up a lot of controversy, but help me to understand here... when it's all in the digital realm, it should all be bit-perfect, so why would the transport have any aeffect on the sound?[1] And on a related note, why does different playback software sound subtly different, even when hooked up to the same DAC etc?[2]

 

 

1. Easy either outrageous defects in the transport (which does happen from time to time) or poorly controlled comparisons i.e sighted, non level matched,relying on memory from minutes, hours or even weeks ago based on preconceived ideas i.e more to do with psychology than electronics. To date I have not seen any properly conducted DBTs on non-incompetent digital transports that have verifiably shown an audible difference in carefully controlled tests, I've seen plenty that show no difference such as the matrixhifi bunch in spain. 

 

 

2. Says who ? and what is the quality of the empirical evidence like ?

post #5 of 85

What did I tell you but its aimed at me --GO back to that cafe it needs you. Human beings can tell the difference in the slightest change in equipment. It was already good  but is now excellent.You can get bad sounding amps with =0.001 THD% and good sounding ones with 0.01 THD% Robots can only hear zeroes and ones.Machines are made for man not the other way around. Can robots sense when somebody walks behind them but makes no sound/can they sense the atmosphere when somebody walks into a room. or know somebody is watching them when they cant see anybody.Human senses are and always will be superior to any machine. Why do you think scientists are using biological matter now in experimental equipment. To believe  your philosophy  we -human beings are living under a permanent delusion  and only machines are correct. WE cant think "straight" cant hear "straight"  and we need "corrected" by "superior beings"=objectives . When the truth is they are sadly lacking in humanity and the reality of this World which they are trying to change[for the worse] . 

post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

The "objectives cafe" has commented on this and related matters. Not that I agree with them but they put their point of view pretty plainly .Personally I upgraded my Cyrus[UK] CD8SE -CD player to a Cyrus  -XTSE+ Transport along with a separate power supply. And yes it sounded "better" which is a controversial word to them[objectives] - extremely low jitter etc.I agree with your ears but you will get a lot of angry /sarcastic comments in that direction. Get ready!  I am sure you will be inundated with posts soon!

 

 

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave earlier...as for jitter , well in the 15 years since Benjamin and Gannon at Dolby labs published their paper on jitter and the 8 years since Ashihara et al. at NHK (Japanese equivalent of the BBC) published their paper not to mention the BBC paper from 1974 not one single controlled study has found jitter of the type/spectra/magnitude as found in all but the crappiest of digital gear to be in any way audible under any circumstances. In one informal DBT study on the HDD forum (UK) one person was able to reliably detect 10ns (nanoseconds) ( or 10 x 1000 picoseconds) of jitter. 

 

In short the evidence for sub ns jitter audibility is entirely anecdotal i.e not the quality of evidence accepted in this ghetto. If you have any contrary empirical evidence from properly proctored tests I would certainly be interested to read it...


Edited by nick_charles - 8/11/13 at 2:38pm
post #7 of 85
Thread Starter 

I'm not talking about empirical evidence, I'm just wondering why anyone would hear differences at all. I gather that Sound Science is a forum of skeptics and objectivists smile.gif

 

As someone who takes a neutral/agnostic position on most of these sound controversies, I would also pose the question: yes, expectation bias, placebo effect, etc. can bias someone into believing that there is a difference, and perhaps even a "better/worse" difference. However, unless one has also been influenced by other people's opinions, these biases can't bias someone into perceiving what those specific differences are. So how does the objectivist account for perceived qualitative differences if they aren't really there?

post #8 of 85

Only my ears but they don't count in your "book" do they? Its funny over 80% of the posters on Head-Fi are Subjectives but you still want to fight against them . You don't go onto the tube rolling site and tell them they are wrong---do you--A more subjective site you will not get . Many 1000s post there. Tell them they are wrong! Along with the other subjectives sites. Don't you realize you are in the minority. And that you are not going to "convert" them to objectivism. Robots hear music[digital] humans not only hear but FEEL music .No robot can or will be able to do that.

post #9 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post

I'm not talking about empirical evidence, I'm just wondering why anyone would hear differences at all. I gather that Sound Science is a forum of skeptics and objectivists smile.gif

 

As someone who takes a neutral/agnostic position on most of these sound controversies, I would also pose the question: yes, expectation bias, placebo effect, etc. can bias someone into believing that there is a difference, and perhaps even a "better/worse" difference. However, unless one has also been influenced by other people's opinions, these biases can't bias someone into perceiving what those specific differences are. So how does the objectivist account for perceived qualitative differences if they aren't really there?

 

Imagination is a powerful deceiver (Elvis Costello)

post #10 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

Only my ears but they don't count in your "book" do they? Its funny over 80% of the posters on Head-Fi are Subjectives but you still want to fight against them . You don't go onto the tube rolling site and tell them they are wrong---do you--A more subjective site you will not get . Many 1000s post there. Tell them they are wrong! Along with the other subjectives sites. Don't you realize you are in the minority. And that you are not going to "convert" them to objectivism. Robots hear music[digital] humans not only hear but FEEL music .No robot can or will be able to do that.

I think there is some science behind the sound of different tubes. Vacuum tubes distort the sound by adding harmonics or something like that. It just happens to be a pleasing kind of distortion.

post #11 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

Only my ears but they don't count in your "book" do they? Its funny over 80% of the posters on Head-Fi are Subjectives but you still want to fight against them . 

 

Duncan, this is the Science subforum, as such it is the one and only place where we are allowed (for now at least) to ask for, nay demand a better class of evidence above "I hear a difference so it must be different in reality". 

 

 

Along with the other subjectives sites. Don't you realize you are in the minority.

 

That neither makes me wrong nor right !

 

And that you are not going to "convert" them to objectivism.

 

We have this one island of rational thought in a sea of subjectivism, fwiw I love music deeply but feel free not to believe me, I also like rational thought and have a dislike of magical thinking

 

 

Robots hear music[digital] humans not only hear but FEEL music .No robot can or will be able to do that.

 

????????? 


Edited by nick_charles - 8/11/13 at 3:16pm
post #12 of 85

So is science it keeps changing its position when its rigidly help views are proved wrong.Like C. Drawins Theory has now been shown to be unprovable---Where are all the "intermediate"  species of evolution --don't exist   the famous prehistoric fish that was the "mother of all fish".--caught 30Yrs ago off South Africa and many more round that area--shouldn't exist according to Darwin . Now scientists are saying--okay Darwins Theory might not be right but --[after a long conference in the US]  of "what do we do now--you can hear them thinking---maybe this /maybe that--until one "bright spark" says  "I got it!!-meteorites    --silence---then and meteorites hitting earth so??? they contain DNA/cells of Martians/Aliens THAT'S how man developed . and also --"we live in different dimensions" 4TH  dimension etc. Clutching  at straws they are.

post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post

I think there is some science behind the sound of different tubes. Vacuum tubes distort the sound by adding harmonics or something like that. It just happens to be a pleasing kind of distortion.

 

Actually it is possible to create valve amps with very low added distortion, just harder and more expensive wink.gif - you might like to trawl through Stereophile's reviews of power amps and integrated amps it is fascinating, from a social scientist pov it is interesting to see the extent to which valve amps get a free pass often displaying outrageous amounts of added distortion. Compare two modern amps valve and SS of roughly the same price and see which one has less distortion...

post #14 of 85

It's just common sense really mate.

 

It is perfectly obvious that all optical discs can be read bit perfect. You don't get a subtly different version of Windows depending on what brand of optical drive you used to install it. Neither is there any doubt that data can be moved from place to place in the right sequence and with zero errors. No matter how often to check your bank account it always has the same amount of not enough money.

 

The irony is. The red book CD standard actually allows for errors. Sort of tries to fudge them through for as long as possible before announcing total failure. So it is possible to imagine a better quality transport reading a worn, broken or incomplete CD better than a poor quality one. But still wrong. If this worries you then rip your CD to disc, check it's bit perfect with accuraterip. It'll now never change.

post #15 of 85
Thread Starter 

IMO if a vacuum tube has no audible distortion then that defeats the whole purpose of using tubes over SS.

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