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Why does the transport matter? - Page 2

post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

You can get bad sounding amps with =0.001 THD% and good sounding ones with 0.01 THD%

 

Sure you can. As long as the .01 THD has a great response curve and the .001 has a terrible one. But if both of them have nice flat response curves, they'll sound identical, because .01% THD is totally inaudible.

post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post

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

 

Valve amps came first and have been around for a long time, we did not get solid state (transistor) amps until a lot later, broadly speaking since the early 1970s the relative number of mainstream valve amps has declined precipitously compared to the increase in manufacture of solid state amps. Back in the 1970s perhaps before) someone coined the phrase " wire with gain" to describe the theoretically neutral (high fidelity) amplifier - neither adding nor taking away just adding gain. To some schools of thought an amplifier should not have a distinctive sound it should merely take a small signal and make it bigger...

post #18 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.

 

If they can hear a difference under controlled testing, it's because there is something different... distortion, frequency response, signal to noise, etc. However, when it's performing to specifications, even humble equipment should sound the same. If they don't, they aren't performing to spec and something is wrong with one or both of them.

post #19 of 85

Blue Angel -If you accept that why dont  you criticise  the tube rollers for using Variable MU tubes under no circumstances should they be used in audio --They are meant for  tube radios. Why---because they Automatically adjust the signal level as part of their design-read up on tubes This helps to stop signal  overload causing HF oscillation and distortion. I have NEVER met/ talked to ANY EE/Radio designer etc who will say that they are okay to be used in audio --Show me the book --title/author/ etc where it says that?? Its even harmonic distortion you are talking about which --yes does make it sound better to the ear than SS -odd order distortion. But plenty of SS amps have been built that have higher than 0.001% dis. and sound good because the odd order is kept to a low level.-less harmonics up the frequency range. 

post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

Only my ears but they don't count in your "book" do they?

 

Your ears would be fine in a level matched double blind test.

post #21 of 85

 That my ears would be okay to be used in a double blind test would be okay with me bigshot. AS long as I can use my own headphones.

post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

Its even harmonic distortion you are talking about which --yes does make it sound better to the ear than SS -odd order distortion.

 

Call me crazy, but I would rather have music with no audible distortion than music with audible but euphonic distortion. I don't want my equipment to have a sound. I want it to simply present the music the artists recorded faithfully. For the past couple of decades, that hasn't been very difficult at all. I guess I'm lucky. Adding noise to the music seems to cost a lot of money.

post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

 That my ears would be okay to be used in a double blind test would be okay with me bigshot. AS long as I can use my own headphones.

 

Maybe someday you'll try one. And then you'll know.

post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post

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


I happen to agree with you. 

 

Like bigshot I prefer a transparent system that plays the recording as it is generally. 

 

On the other hand, there is no denying some tube designs trick you into hearing more than is there in some ways (the more comes from various distortions).  In some instances it can be more relaxing and enjoyable.  If they would just release at a price we can afford some DSP to mimic tubes we could have our choice in software.  SS transparency or tube coloration applied to that transparency as desired. 

 

As for different playback software playing different, I don't find it does, nor do measurements turn up anything.  Supposedly  some of it results in less noise getting over the connections to the DAC.  I would like to know how different designers measure the results of their software tweaking and what they shoot for.  Or is it just tweak on a guess and audition?  I am skeptical of it sounding different other than from placebo and expectation bias.

post #25 of 85

Bigshot -I absolutely AGREE with you .Look at my posts  elsewhere I continually  and unceasingly say that my system is totally open. Thats how I prefer it .Any euphonia  provided my the music itself . In that I am following JLH who had the same aims.  What I was trying to say is that 1000000s of people round the World especially the UK  think tubes are the be all and end all of music because of the coloration they  provide. The "beautiful rounded" tones providing a "no fear" musical reproduction. Whether it is reality in the sense of live music is another thing. But if so many people like that . Who am I  to say "it isnt right" They enjoy that. and I wouldnt think of trying to spoil that by continually criticising them.

post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post ... Adding noise to the music seems to cost a lot of money.

 

Adding noise is cheap. Adding noise that makes it sound better is expensive.   normal_smile%20.gif

post #27 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

Blue Angel -If you accept that why dont  you criticise  the tube rollers for using Variable MU tubes under no circumstances should they be used in audio --They are meant for  tube radios. Why---because they Automatically adjust the signal level as part of their design-read up on tubes This helps to stop signal  overload causing HF oscillation and distortion. I have NEVER met/ talked to ANY EE/Radio designer etc who will say that they are okay to be used in audio --Show me the book --title/author/ etc where it says that?? Its even harmonic distortion you are talking about which --yes does make it sound better to the ear than SS -odd order distortion. But plenty of SS amps have been built that have higher than 0.001% dis. and sound good because the odd order is kept to a low level.-less harmonics up the frequency range. 

 

I don't know anything about those tubes so I'm not in a position to criticize anyone. All I'm saying is that at a comparable price, solid state is much better at being a neutral "wire with gain" than a tube could ever be. The only logical reason for using a tube is to add euphonic distortion - and there's nothing wrong with that. Music is meant to be enjoyed, and if it increases your enjoyment of the music, all the power to you. But I just don't see the point of expensive "low distortion" tubes when solid state is low distortion for a lot less money.

 

Generally I prefer a transparent system too, especially for well-recorded music. However a lot of music these days is poorly mastered, and in those cases I may want to "distort" the sound in certain ways, like using gear with an unnaturally large soundstage to play congested recordings. That's not misrepresenting the artists intentions; it's making up for the producer's lack of intention, due to laziness and/or incompetence :P

post #28 of 85

blueangel2323-If you read my reply to Bigshot I am ENTIRELY agreeing with him on that point. Likewise I am also ENTIRELY agreeing with you! . We don't have a  dispute on that score. Tubes cannot go down to the very depth of detail that a SS amp can. I have proved that umpteen times. That means tubes miss out minute amounts of detail that's why they sound "smoother" to a average persons ear. But I go down the same road as you and Bigshot  the trial is that it takes a much higher design for a SS amp to be smooth AND still go down to the most minute detail. This type of SS amp--well designed both in   components and layout is usually dearer to buy[in comparison to other SS amps] because of the amount of time and trouble taken to achieve that. But the result is a depth of image that tubes cant get to and a more spiritual "uplifting" because you can hear the full extent of the music. I will repeat so that everybody knows when it comes to audio design/ layout /parts used/etc I am an objective. Its only the human factor I have a difference of opinion on because I am subjective--in that sense ONLY.

post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan1 View Post

1000000s of people round the World especially the UK  think tubes are the be all and end all of music because of the coloration they  provide. Who am I  to say "it isnt right" They enjoy that. and I wouldnt think of trying to spoil that by continually criticising them

My only criticism is adding coloration as a non-adjustable hard wired fixed setting upstream in the system instead of adding coloration through the use of flexible and adjustable equalization or DSPs as the absolute last step in the chain.

The nice thing is that solid state amps and CD players nowadays almost all perform at a level that exceeds the ability of a human to hear. I replaced a $1,000 SACD/CD player with a $120 Sony blu-ray player and a $2,000 power amp with a $350 Yamaha receiver and not only did it not make a bit of difference to the sound quality, my system actually sounds *better* because of up-to-date DSP technology and more accurate ability to equalize.
Edited by bigshot - 8/12/13 at 10:58am
post #30 of 85

 I see where you are coming from Bigshot but the problem in the UK is equalization unless referring to a pre-amp for a  record deck is "not welcome" in most Hi-Fi mags/" Golden Ears" and reviewers even though --as you say coloration is added upstream by tubes. You cant criticize tubes here without being criticized. You don't  know how much "political" control is exerted here.on this issue.

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