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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 86  

post #1276 of 1331

Relax Gary. It was a benign analogy. Not levelled at anyone, but perhaps applicable in a broad sense to the question of whether minute or "indistinguishable" differences are worth pursuing.

 

If I wanted to be passive-aggressive I would have asked about your secret benefactor of the Yulong. Sounds like an incredibly generous individual. Kudos that it didn't sway your findings. In any way.


Edited by olor1n - 1/9/14 at 10:00pm
post #1277 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post
 

Relax Gary. It was a benign analogy. Not levelled at anyone, but perhaps applicable in a broad sense to the question of whether minute or "indistinguishable" differences are worth pursuing.

 

If I wanted to be passive-aggressive I would have asked about your secret benefactor of the Yulong. Sounds like an incredibly generous individual. Kudos that it didn't sway your findings. In any way.

 

Not taking any sides as I find all this banter quite amusing. Playing devil's advocate, wouldn't it have benefited him more to find the Yulong unattractive so that the "benefactor" would have bought it off of him for full price?

 

Anyways, everyone please continue :popcorn: 

post #1278 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koloth View Post

There are EASILY dozends if not hundreds of threads on head-fi where 10+ different items are compared. Only most of them are never in the same room together and instead compared from memory. Oh and - of course - most of them find a lot of differences - to be described in flowery language - between said items.
You seem to have missed where I said 13+ items AND found over half of them identical.
Quote:
2.) I've read every post in this thread from the very beginning. I dont remember anyone stating that he would base his decision what to buy solely on Gary's findings. (Which would be kinda hard since Gary's findings are that there arent many differences in SQ).
Obviously no-one would say exactly that, which is why I said 'indicated'. I see lots of 'Thanks for the amazing effort. I will get XX DAC.' or 'Going to pick one of these up while it's still on sale' and so on. It's pretty clear they stumbled in here, saw a $500 DAC bested $1000+ DACs and ordered one because of a perceived giant killer recommendation. If you recall, for a long time the only results posted in an easy to find area was just a 1-14 list with no other information.
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3.) How do you know "most people" hear differences between say the NAD M51 and the Dangerous Music Source? You state this as fact when you have absolutely nothing to back it up. But perhaps I'm wrong about you this time and you have knowledge of a double-blind-study with a reasonably big sample size that shows how people in general do indeed hear differences. I'd be very interested to see it!
Because in my 12 years on the forums here, this is the first time I've ever seen anyone in the audiophile hobby state that 9 completely different DACs sounded identical. A couple? Sure, but not 9. And don't say 'this is the first time volume matching, etc, BS, etc.' This isn't the first time.
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You're confused. Gary's approach was not 'objective' in any strict sense. -snip-

I was not referring strictly to Gary's methodology with the objective statement, mostly the defenders who seem to be touting a measurement as above human perception, when our interpretation of vibration as sound is a purely human mental ability. It's not completely measurable. You can (and should) use measurements to guide, but not blindly follow.
post #1279 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koloth View Post

Non sequitur. Its quite possible to get the same results using different means to get there. + the point is not whether different technical realizations lead to outcomes that differ 0.0002% in parameter x and 0.0003% in parameter y but whether those differences are in any way audible for humans.
It is possible, but extremely unlikely with complex electronics. Try defending the point again, please.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koloth View Post


Of course there is a standard for neutral sound? Its when every frequency is reproduced with the same amplitude and there is no audible distortion. Thats the standard. You may not like it, you may prefer a non-neutral sound that emphasizes certain frequencies, but if you do you're simply not going for neutrality.
Who sets the standard? Whoever sets the standard is different from anyone else, thus there is no standard of neutral. You can't measure everything about our perception of sound, so your measurement based standard is flawed. Even at a live event there is no standard as you occupy your own space and a few feet away might have different reflections and such creating an entirely different neutral.
Edited by Maxvla - 1/9/14 at 10:17pm
post #1280 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post

Yet you have no basis for claiming that Gary (or I) can't distinguish these differences.
They are listed as indistinguishable. I don't know about you, but usually that means the person thinks they can't distinguish. I may have to brush up on my English, though!
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Indistinguishable was not my word choice, but I think the DACs in the group would be nearly impossible to distinguish in blind testing. There are subtle differences, and I do mean subtle.
It's not your review.

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The fast A-B switching and level matching is essential for accurate comparisons. It's too easy to interpret different volumes as different sound signatures without level matching. Not just the "if it's a bit louder it'll sound better" truism, but it's easy to qualitatively describe sound signature differences that aren't present in level-matched comparisons. I also don't think accurate comparisons are possible without near instantaneous switching. The lack of one or both of these elements may explain why some personal observations are at odds with Gary's results.

A mix of some fast A-B, and lots of long separated listening with intimately familiar works is ideal. Only fast A-B confuses the senses. Perhaps this is why everything sounded the same.
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The objectivist/subjectivist classifications are just silly. My day job is as a scientist/clinical trialist and those terms aren't very useful in science.
What else am I supposed to say when people defend with measurements and DBT, etc. This is textbook Objectivist talk. ("The HD700 doesn't sound like that, look at this frequency graph", and the like)
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I don't suppose you live anywhere near DC, because it would be easier just to listen together and compare notes. Even if you have access to a preamp, and can try some level-matched comparisons, it might give you a different perspective.
I don't.
post #1281 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post



Who sets the standard?

Engineers and scientists are who sets the standard.

 

Everything that can be heard, can be measured. If it sounds different, it will measure different. That I do not doubt.

 

What I do doubt is that someone can magically hear something that no one else can hear, and that every single audio engineer on the planet is just measuring the wrong thing. That notion is ridiculous to me.

post #1282 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

I suspect you're just taking the stance of a contrarian.
For what purpose?
Tired of a should-be-private DAC sampling being unofficially (not in Gary's intention) turned into a review that is not well documented to lead the reader to properly considered result. It looks like a review, but isn't supposed to be, yet it sort of is, all the while Gary says it is for himself only (which I believe), yet it's in the public, so which is it? And why is it?

To flaunt that he can rack up $10k in audio gear? Possible, but doubtful. Misguided attempt to let others in on his purchasing event? More likely. To shill Emotiva products? Perhaps there is familiarity based on his previous DAC, but I don't think so. Sacrifice of time (and shipping charges) for the community? No, it's 'not' a review. I don't know why it's here.
post #1283 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by painted klown View Post

Engineers and scientists are who sets the standard.

Everything that can be heard, can be measured. If it sounds different, it will measure different. That I do not doubt.

What I do doubt is that someone can magically hear something that no one else can hear, and that every single audio engineer on the planet is just measuring the wrong thing. That notion is ridiculous to me.
Tell me, based on measurements alone, which DAC has more accurate imaging, soundstage, texture, timbre, etc. These are all things that can't be measured and are VITAL to the sound.

Engineers and scientists are all individuals with their own mental interpretation. Do you not see how that conflicts your statement?
post #1284 of 1331
^ note to self : never argue with this head-fier. biggrin.gif
popcorn.gif
post #1285 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


Tell me, based on measurements alone, which DAC has more accurate imaging, soundstage, texture, timbre, etc. These are all things that can't be measured and are VITAL to the sound.

Engineers and scientists are all individuals with their own mental interpretation. Do you not see how that conflicts your statement?

Why? Do you have a lab with test equipment and some gear to measure?

 

I don't recall ever claiming to be an engineer. I don't know every parameter they measure, and I didn't claim to. If I knew how to design gear, I would be busy doing just that. For more information on what parameters to measure, I would suggest Google, or even better, college level courses on electronics, and sound engineering. Good luck, and please let us know how engineers feel about measurements, and what ones are important.

 

Nothing I said conflicts with my statement. You clearly got my point that I was talking about measurements, and was in no way suggesting that a group of guys in lab coats arbitrarily decided what should be considered neutral. That is the exact opposite of what I said, you clearly understand what I meant, else you would not have asked your baited question.

 

 


Edited by painted klown - 1/9/14 at 11:14pm
post #1286 of 1331
I want to be different. I want to hear difference. I want to feel different. Yulong Da8 FTW. Thx Gary. beerchug.gif
post #1287 of 1331

Well Gary's findings could have a lot more weight for most people (well for me it did anyway). Sometimes it is really difficult to draw sensible conclusions from people with highly trained ears using expressive language, when the difference between most DACs, like Gary found, is usually quite subtle and one has to bend the use of language to try and describe it. Usually reviewers use high end gear and cables to justify differences that they hear more easily, but is that then relevant to those of us with mid level systems? Somewhere, the real difference can get lost in translation, which is why I really appreciate Gary's "just the facts" findings.

 

I also ended up picking a DAC based more on features, than sound, but it ended up being a very decent choice, though a pain to level match. It would be relatively easy for me to describe differences between the Audiolab M-DAC, PS Audio NuWave and RL Concero based on my experiences with them with the HE-500, but it remains subtle and subjective. Often I have been using the DAC in my Yamaha RX-A3010 AVR in "Pure Direct" mode as a reality check and often end up with the same conclusion, "that doesn't sound all that different". Now admittedly by audiologist standards I'm reasonably deaf in the upper frequencies, so I don't worry about bats and you won't find me lecturing on treble differences between DACs, that I leave up to my wife! :p

 

I think the reason why some of us are doubting the findings or find it controversial have to do with the way in which build up our systems. For many its a journey of going from headphone to headphone, from amp to amp and lastly from source to source and we are always looking for magic bullets till the magic bullets result in a magic system and then we go look for new magic bullets. That is the thrill of Head-Fi. I think a lot of it has to do with how we think, especially in western countries, and how we consider a system's value to be based on the sum of its parts (add, detract) rather than as a collective (synergy) . It leads many people to consider DACs to be magic bullets or that X-factor in a system when Gary's research for me clearly don't support that notion.


Edited by daerron - 1/9/14 at 11:26pm
post #1288 of 1331

Even purrin says the differences are extremely subtle, so...

 

I have no problem to believe there are such differences, but the few vocal night-and-day'ers act like this board is all about them. It's always welcome to have a realistic "review" where newbies can be guided, they can decide better if they want to pursue further or not.

post #1289 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by painted klown View Post

Why? Do you have a lab with test equipment and some gear to measure?

I don't recall ever claiming to be an engineer. I don't know every parameter they measure, and I didn't claim to. If I knew how to design gear, I would be busy doing just that. For more information on what parameters to measure, I would suggest Google, or even better, college level courses on electronics, and sound engineering. Good luck, and please let us know how engineers feel about measurements, and what ones are important.

Nothing I said conflicts with my statement. You clearly got my point that I was talking about measurements, and was in no way suggesting that a group of guys in lab coats arbitrarily decided what should be considered neutral. That is the exact opposite of what I said, you clearly understand what I meant, else you would not have asked your baited question.

I didn't say you were an engineer. You said there were measurements for everything, so I simply asked you to show me which ones fit my criteria. You don't have to be an engineer to link me to a InnerFidelity type measurement page and tell me which graph to look at for soundstage accuracy.

The conflict is that an innately individual experience cannot be made a standard for other individuals, because all the other individuals hear it differently. I did say you can have lots of close to neutral, but not a 'by the book, scientific journal, this is exactly it' standard of neutral.
post #1290 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by painted klown View Post
What I do doubt is that someone can magically hear something that no one else can hear, and that every single audio engineer on the planet is just measuring the wrong thing. That notion is ridiculous to me.

 

Which audio engineers are you talking about?  I've spoken to several on these forums and none have agreed with this.  Tyll -- the man who invented the dedicated headphone amp -- knows he can hear things that his own measurements don't show.

 

Who's no one else?  I've heard fairly apparent differences in every DAC I've owned. 

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