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Why does the transport matter? - Page 3

post #31 of 85
Most HiFi mags / Golden Ears critics wouldn't know how to achieve good sound if it bit them on the posterior. They worry endlessly about molehills and don't address the big issues at all. Every speaker setup should be equalized. If it isn't, the odds are very good that it doesn't get anywhere close to sounding as good as its potential.

Equalization and DSPs are the most effective ways to get great sound as long as your tranducers are reasonably good. I really don't care what advertorials in hifi magazines say. Those reviews are bought and paid for with one primary purpose... to part suckers from their money. If that goes against "politics", so be it.
post #32 of 85

So anyway. Are we all agreed that the CD transport makes no difference?

post #33 of 85
In most cases, DACs don't matter either.
post #34 of 85

The transport can matter if the DAC is affected by perturbations in the bitstream provided by the transport such as timing variations on the bit transitions (jitter), noise on the ground line etc. These should not be allowed to affect the operation of the DAC, but in many DACs they do have an effect. Thus, different transports can result in a different sound. The solution is not to swap transports until you find the one that sounds best. The soluition is to swap the DAC for one that is not affected by perturbations on its input. There is widespread resistance to this point of view, because making "blameless" DACS the norm would eliminate a whole industry devoted to reducing the perturbations. For example, audiophile software players, audiophile USB cables etc.

post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post

The transport can matter if the DAC is affected by perturbations in the bitstream provided by the transport such as timing variations on the bit transitions (jitter), noise on the ground line etc. These should not be allowed to affect the operation of the DAC, but in many DACs they do have an effect. Thus, different transports can result in a different sound. The solution is not to swap transports until you find the one that sounds best. The soluition is to swap the DAC for one that is not affected by perturbations on its input. There is widespread resistance to this point of view, because making "blameless" DACS the norm would eliminate a whole industry devoted to reducing the perturbations. For example, audiophile software players, audiophile USB cables etc.

 

As a matter of principle and operation, these are my thoughts as well...

 

except that I'm not too convinced (at all) that the magnitude of effects from such perturbations really end up being audible. Anybody seen any bench tests or decent listening tests that try to evaluate the effect, magnitude, and extent of these things?

post #36 of 85
Even a $50 portable CD player should be able to spin the disk without creating problems for the DAC. If it doesn't, I wouldn't swap DACs until I found one that worked, I'd just get a drive that isn't broken.

Whenever I see the word jitter, I get the image of angels dancing on the head of a pin. Jitter is inaudible in even the most humble of audio gear. It isn't an issue at all

If ground loop intereference is going to be a problem, it will most likely be a problem for the amp. And even then, it's a problem with the power line and grounding, not the audio equipment itself.
Edited by bigshot - 8/12/13 at 6:06pm
post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

 

As a matter of principle and operation, these are my thoughts as well...

 

except that I'm not too convinced (at all) that the magnitude of effects from such perturbations really end up being audible. Anybody seen any bench tests or decent listening tests that try to evaluate the effect, magnitude, and extent of these things?


There have been well-structured tests run by people with impeccable references to quantify the audibility of various effects. Again, these are hotly debated. You see this happening the moment you step outside of this Sound Science subforum... popcorn.gif

post #38 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post


There have been well-structured tests run by people with impeccable references to quantify the audibility of various effects. Again, these are hotly debated. You see this happening the moment you step outside of this Sound Science subforum... popcorn.gif


Links please. Thanks!

 

Cheers

post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post


There have been well-structured tests run by people with impeccable references to quantify the audibility of various effects. Again, these are hotly debated. You see this happening the moment you step outside of this Sound Science subforum... popcorn.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


Links please. Thanks!

 

Cheers

 

 

+1 - I'd like to read these as well.

post #40 of 85

All you'll get is links to some anecdotes.

post #41 of 85
And equipment manufacturer's sales sheets!
post #42 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

And equipment manufacturer's sales sheets!


You and xnor have just proven my point. ... which may have been your intention.

post #43 of 85
We're well accustomed to the drill. Every few days someone shows up on our doorstep with a chip on their shoulder insisting that the inaudible is audible. They swear up and down that it's been proven time and time again, but when we politely ask for the proof, all they come up with is anecdotes in web forums and manufacturer's sales pitch. Then we nicely expain why that isn't proof and they lay low for a couple of weeks, then start the same old merry go round in a different thread. Eventually, they get tired of it and retreat to subjective land where they are free to blame us for being the bullies.
post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 ... Every few days someone shows up on our doorstep with a chip on their shoulder insisting that the inaudible is audible. ...

 

You do me a disservice, sir. I am of the diametrically opposite opinion. (I may have a chip on my shoulder, but it is on the opposite shoulder.) I defer (and refer) to the conclusions of researchers who have performed properly controlled tests to determine the actual limits of perception of various effects.

 

Even then, the results have to be interpreted in context. For example, there's some disagreement about how much jitter is audible. I've seen results that differ by up to an order of magnitude. What is often glossed over is the the way the test was performed. Using jitter with a random distribution and a representative set of audio samples (speech, music of various types) will give a different answer than an artificially generated test signal. I believe the startlingly low figure often quoted by "inaudible is audible" proponents was generated by using a 0dBFS 20 KHz signal jittered by a 1 KHz tone. Hardly representative of real life...

 

As for providing links to references, I haven't bookmarked any lately because I read them and say "That's obvious and logical, why would anyone argue about it?" and move on instead of bookmarking. Also, much of the more authoritative work is behind paywalls, such as the JAES. But I'll get onto it, and you may hold my feet to the fire if I don't deliver within a couple of weeks.


Edited by Don Hills - 8/13/13 at 5:32pm
post #45 of 85
Sorry, I wasn't referring to you. We regularly get trolled here on this very subject. We were joking with each other in shorthand. Hang around for a few days and you'll see what I mean.

By the way, here are the "reader's digest" cites for jitter audibility in music. Nick Charles can give you the full magilla if you're interested.

JITTER

Just Detectable Threshold in Music 20ns
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=8354 (needs subscription)
http://www.nanophon.com/audio/1394_sampling_jitter.pdf (cited in section 2.2)

...and this thread goes over the Steve Nugent hooey:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/668878/jitter-correlation-to-audibility
Edited by bigshot - 8/13/13 at 6:00pm
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