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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 88  

post #1306 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

TAS reviewed the Mytek 192, Benchmark DAC2 and the Hilo.

The conclusion was the following:

 

The guy actually finds more difference between cables than these 3 DACs. This should annoy both the subjectivists and objectivists camp equally :D.

 

I looked through the review, but didn't see what I'm proposing. The objectivist/subjectivist business is pure silliness--fortunately most of us ignore it. Measurements can be useful, listening is (obviously) useful--if you can correlate the two in a novel way, it may produce another useful tool.

post #1307 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post

 

High quality PCM file>DAC1...DAC2...DAC3>Hilo AD>High quality PCM file--------->Quantitate differences between files (e.g., subtract one file from another)

 

Has anyone tried this?

 

I've done something similar to this before. The issue then becomes this with the difference data: What do we look at? Do we look at the bits? What parts of the difference waveform do we zoom in to (while using Adobe Audition.) Do we use FFT windows to convert to data for better visualization? If we such use methods for better visualization and presentation of the data, how will such methods translate information in the time domain to the frequency domain? Will anything be lost? What data behaviors are audible and what is not? What behaviors result in certain types of phenomena?

 

It basically opens a whole 'nother can of worms. The idea is interesting in theory, but isn't practical. Take it from someone who has tried.


Edited by purrin - 1/10/14 at 11:34am
post #1308 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
 

 

I looked through the review, but didn't see what I'm proposing. The objectivist/subjectivist business is pure silliness--fortunately most of us ignore it. Measurements can be useful, listening is (obviously) useful--if you can correlate the two in a novel way, it may produce another useful tool.

 

I remember a guy on ComputerAudiophile used a similar procedure to compare the sound of softwares. I think he used the Hilo for that, actually.

post #1309 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

I remember a guy on ComputerAudiophile used a similar procedure to compare the sound of softwares. I think he used the Hilo for that, actually.

 

Yeah, I think it was a comparison between the mystical JPLAY software and straight output from JRiver MC.

post #1310 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

I've done something similar to this before. The issue then becomes this with the difference data: What do we look at? Do we look at the bits? What parts of the difference waveform do we zoom in to (while using Adobe Audition.) Do we use FFT windows to convert to data for better visualization? If we such use methods for better visualization and presentation of the data, how will such methods translate information in the time domain to the frequency domain? Will anything be lost? What data behaviors are audible and what is not?

 

It basically opens a whole 'nother can of worms.


It absolutely opens a can of worms, but if you can settle on a comparison that correlates with audible differences--I think that's kind of interesting.

 

As far as Gary's amp, he chose it based on a head-to-head comparison against a number of other headphone amps--I'm sure he can elaborate. I did bring over my Mjolnir and we swapped it in for some comparative listening.  The two have different signatures, but I can't say they resolved any differently. The Odyssey struck me as very neutral with a fairly good soundstage--probably a little thicker sounding than a GS-X.

post #1311 of 1331
Purrin's done/doing some interesting stuff along these lines...what correlates, what's audible. Definitely the right approach IMHO - none of the subjectivist versus objectivist never the twain shall meet silliness.
post #1312 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

I've done something similar to this before. The issue then becomes this with the difference data: What do we look at? Do we look at the bits? What parts of the difference waveform do we zoom in to (while using Adobe Audition.) Do we use FFT windows to convert to data for better visualization? If we such use methods for better visualization and presentation of the data, how will such methods translate information in the time domain to the frequency domain? Will anything be lost? What data behaviors are audible and what is not? What behaviors result in certain types of phenomena?

 

It basically opens a whole 'nother can of worms. The idea is interesting in theory, but isn't practical. Take it from someone who has tried.

 

Did you try to run some PEAQ softwares to see if they (the software) actually find any differences?

I used (or tried to use) an old free software that would help me getting information on the (psycho)acoustic performance on a audio algorithm I'm working on - principally, automating the process - but I didn't really dig into it; I ended up preferring the good old listening test (as slow/tiring as it can be). This software showed differences between my anchor and the processed audio, though. Interpreting the results was another issue...

post #1313 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

A $3000-$5000 amp does not necessarily translate into something better than a mid-level rig. Price doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it. I know of several $5000+ headphone amps which were utter duds.

 

It's my understanding that you are using a speaker amp to power your LCD3s? It's been my experience that high speaker amps don't resolve as well as middle tier headphone amps. Typically, speaker amps have more amplification stages and are designed for speakers. There's a lot of stuff you can get away with speaker amps that you can't with headphone amps (headphones, which directly send the sound to our ears, can be much more resolving than speakers.) I haven't heard your Cyclops amp, but personally I suspect that's your weak link.

 

The differences among DACs will always be subtle.


Sorry, but since you haven't heard my amp, you have absolutely no basis for commenting on its performance at all.  In fact I did a direct head-to-head comparison of multiple headamps and speaker amps, and found the headamps (specifically the Mjolnir and Burson Soloist/Conducter) to be no more resolving than the better speaker amps.  In fact, I kept the Cyclops because it provided all of the details in the recordings but presented them in a significantly more lifelike manner than the headamps.  It is truly a piece of high-fidelity equipment, with its design based on the Symphonic Line of German high-end equipment. 

 

My reviews of all of those amp competitors are in the Speaker Amps thread, in case anybody wants to waste any more of their time reading anything I've written.   

 

Sorry to be so snippy, but this is getting ridiculous.  Those trying to find fault with my findings will not yield in their efforts to find problems with some aspect of me, my process or my equipment.  There is nothing I can say or do that will convince them that I am not a deaf person who couldn't tell the difference between a french horn and a saddle horn, who created a fatally flawed process and used totally inadequate equipment to execute it.  As a result, the response above is the last time I'm going to even try to respond. 

 

In fact, I think this totally pointless debate has probably gone on for a couple of days too long.  I wanted to give folks an opportunity to offer constructive comments, and to their credit some have done so -- including several of the critics.  But those have been few and far between on both sides, so I will be asking the forum administrators to lock the thread.  Then we can all get back to loving or hating whatever we want elsewhere on the internet.  Or better yet, just listening to music.

post #1314 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

Did you try to run some PEAQ softwares to see if they (the software) actually find any differences?

 

 I ended up preferring the good old listening test (as slow/tiring as it can be).

 

That's PhD stuff more along Sean Olive's territory. I'm just a weekend warrior / hack / hobbyist when it comes to measurements. I'll let Dr. Olive write the AES papers.

 

It's kind of like what you are alluding to. At some point, it's just to difficult to design a HAL or R2D2 when we can more easily do it ourselves.

post #1315 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


Sorry, but since you haven't heard my amp, you have absolutely no basis for commenting on its performance at all.  In fact I did a direct head-to-head comparison of multiple headamps and speaker amps, and found the headamps (specifically the Mjolnir and Burson Soloist/Conducter) to be no more resolving than the better speaker amps.  In fact, I kept the Cyclops because it provided all of the details in the recordings but presented them in a significantly more lifelike manner than the headamps.  It is truly a piece of high-fidelity equipment, with its design based on the Symphonic Line of German high-end equipment. 

 

No need to be snippy or defensive. This is not a personal attack. (I know the tone here gets ridiculous sometimes, but think of me speaking in a Vulcan "Mr. Spock" kind of tone.) I'm just trying to ascertain the circumstances in straightforward way. People question me on this kind of stuff ALL the time; I don't think these questions or concerns are unreasonable, especially in a public forum where people who have not had a chance to hear a lot of this stuff want good reliable information or at least "calibrate" your specific setup to theirs. 

 

As for the Mjolnir, I actually don't think uber-resolution is it's strength. LOL, I actually feel the $119 Vali is better in the category of "resolving".

 

Now you mention the Cyclops presents things in a more "lifelike" manner. Can you elaborate more on this? Also, can you tell me more about the Symphonic Line of German high-end equipment? What are the specific German engineering philosophies with this amplifier? What is the Symphonic Line approach to amplifier design?


Edited by purrin - 1/10/14 at 12:48pm
post #1316 of 1331

If this post ends up as one of the last ones before the thread locks, I want to say THANK YOU to Gary. 

 

I think your generosity and sharing of your dollars, time, and impressions with the community is impressive and admirable. 

 

I have already ordered (and received) my Emotiva DC-1, which I look forward to A/B with my Benchmark DAC1. They may be indistinguishable. 

post #1317 of 1331

Not really caring what this thread has degenerated into, so am no longer going to follow it.  Before I exit, I would like to thank Gary for all his efforts and for sharing his experiences.  I found them truly helpful.  It made me re-evaluate things.  I was considering replacing my current DAC.  But I took a step back and thought about things for a bit.  Am I currently enjoying the music with my current DAC and system?   Yes!  Very much so!  Does it sound good to me?  Yes!!!   If at some point in the future when I finally do replace my DAC, I'm not going to sweat it so much.   Thanks Gary!  I'm no longer going to sweat the small stuff (real or imagined).  I'm going to get back to the reason I got into this in the first place.  Enjoying the music.  I wish you peace, happiness and much great music!

post #1318 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 


Sorry, but since you haven't heard my amp, you have absolutely no basis for commenting on its performance at all.  In fact I did a direct head-to-head comparison of multiple headamps and speaker amps, and found the headamps (specifically the Mjolnir and Burson Soloist/Conducter) to be no more resolving than the better speaker amps.

You do understand, I presume, that you just did exactly the same thing you ripped Marv for doing.

 

In the absence of any information about associated equipment and music used for evaluation, your defense of your results is ... umm ... meaningless.

 

In essence, what you've just said is "my experience is universal and scales, and Marv's isn't and doesn't, because shut up that's why."

post #1319 of 1331
Thread Starter 

Umm no, I absolutely said no such thing.  Perhaps you misinterpreted, but I did not intend to make any generalization at all, and I have never made any comment at all about hardware I haven't heard personally.  Perhaps this re-wording will make it clearer:

 

In fact I did a direct head-to-head comparison of multiple headamps and speaker amps, and found the headamps tested (specifically the Mjolnir and Burson Soloist/Conducter) to be no more resolving than the better speaker amps tested.

 

In fact, I did direct, side-by-side comparisons of all of the amps I wrote about, including those specifically mentioned above.  With my cans, my ears, my brain.  And wrote up the fully caveated results in the Speaker Amps thread.  The equipment and music used for every comparison I've done are in the threads containing the comparisons. 

 

Hope that clears things up.

post #1320 of 1331
It's been stated ad naseum that Gary's efforts are appreciated. It should go without saying that everyone here wishes him the best in finding the most fitting component for his system.

The utility of this thread isn't the outcome IMO. Again, individual preferences/thresholds dictate that we should all endeavour to hear these components with our own ears, using methods we can trust to arrive at a decision. Therefore, the most interesting aspect of this thread (for me) is to discuss how/why two individuals (Barry included) found what they found and how that can be reconciled with my own personal experience and those of others.

However, it's clear most here aren't interested in such a discussion and view anything but a repeat of the pat on the back as a threat. It's ironic that someone would drop circle jerk to describe other threads. That's exactly what's happening here. Perhaps "Appreciation Thread" should be added to the title, to keep the topic on track?
Edited by olor1n - 1/10/14 at 1:40pm
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