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December 2013 Mid-Level DAC Comparison - Page 54  

post #796 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin W. View Post
 

 I started to pay attention when the Indistinguishables category started to grow

 

The indistinguishables category being so large tells me that there is no real difference at this price and anything that is different from the pack is likely an engineered distortion of some kind, and not transparent. 

 

Folks simply don't want to believe this. This is a commodity technology now folks. Dirt cheap at the base level, and quite old as tech goes. 


Edited by jbarrentine - 12/30/13 at 4:30pm
post #797 of 1331

+1 AiDee, yfei, cizx

 

I, for one, am grateful for this tremendous effort. And admiring, I should say. But top-of-the-head-scratching to find some clues about what's going on and how is it possible that various companies are selling the same sound quality reproduction for wildly different amounts of money (as I can't imagine features + customer ignorance fully accounting for this), or how come many people do hear a difference where many others (certainly NOT just Gary!) cannot discern any single one at all - well, this is potentially constructive behavior. It's not dismissive per se, it's not necessarily a personal attack. Just in my opinion, of course.

post #798 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Quichotte View Post
 

+1 AiDee, yfei, cizx

 

I, for one, am grateful for this tremendous effort. And admiring, I should say. But top-of-the-head-scratching to find some clues about what's going on and how is it possible that various companies are selling the same sound quality reproduction for wildly different amounts of money (as I can't imagine features + customer ignorance fully accounting for this), or how come many people do hear a difference where many others (certainly NOT just Gary!) cannot discern any single one at all - well, this is potentially constructive behavior. It's not dismissive per se, it's not necessarily a personal attack. Just in my opinion, of course.

It's a combination of marketing, buyer defense, no level-matched A/B comparison, placebo etc. Diminishing returns hits a brick wall precisely at this level of gear, and yes I have heard more/less costlier DACs than these. The main things you are going to get out of a $2k+ DAC is features, elite ownership, peace of mind, and if you're lucky a small improvement with various converters and/or linear power supplies. That's all there is folks, this is only audio, not satellite communications. We don't have any future alien technology to make the same stuff better. Amps and headphones/speakers are a totally different ballgame all together though.

post #799 of 1331
A suggestion- let Gary, if he's still willing, complete his evaluation by his rules without comment by the peanut gallery.

Then, in a subsequent thread, those that want to geek out ad nauseum over arcane testing methodologies may do so without constraint.

I, for one won't subscribe to that pointless exercise.
post #800 of 1331

I paid $10,000 for mine, and its the best! I'm a happy lad and I love my gear.  I really do NOT want to hear that it is no better then the one my neighbor bought for $400. 

post #801 of 1331
I think a lot of the impressions from people who claim to hear differences between DACs of this level of quality are on shaky ground as they almost never match levels and they claim to hear differences when hearing one item weeks or months after another.

Audible memory is incredibly short. It's important to a/b these devices very close together, at the same volume, to determine if one is actually hearing differences or only thinks they are.

I respect Gary's testing for being so open in his methods, for valuing volume matching and for listening to two items side by side to more easily tell apart any differences in tone or detail. Those are always very subtle changes to discern at this level of quality reproduction.
post #802 of 1331

I must confess I can't quite get the continued focus on 'hearing differences' between DACs. Its well established in the psychology of perception that trying to notice differences is incredibly hard. Google for 'change blindness experiments' if you're skeptical of that. For me a DAC is about delivering more enjoyment of the sound - that's an emotional connection, not an intellectual one. I don't want to know if one DAC's different from another, I would rather know if its a more satisfying, interesting, engaging listen.

post #803 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapientiam View Post
 

I must confess I can't quite get the continued focus on 'hearing differences' between DACs. Its well established in the psychology of perception that trying to notice differences is incredibly hard. Google for 'change blindness experiments' if you're skeptical of that. For me a DAC is about delivering more enjoyment of the sound - that's an emotional connection, not an intellectual one. I don't want to know if one DAC's different from another, I would rather know if its a more satisfying, interesting, engaging listen.

Lol what?

post #804 of 1331

So any 'differences' to be focussed on are in my emotional response to what I hear. Was that unclear?.

post #805 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapientiam View Post
 

So any 'differences' to be focussed on are in my emotional response to what I hear. Was that unclear?.

Oh, in that case, then just go get a $20 DAC and use the other $1k for a steady supply of beer or whatever else gets your dopamine really flowing :tongue: j/k 

post #806 of 1331

You pretty much summed up my audio philosophy, but its not beer, rather the local green tea. Seeing as I build my own DACs, $20 might well cover the parts cost, at very least the chip costs :tongue_smile:

post #807 of 1331
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

 

Fine.

Then I won't bring up electrostats either............:veryevil:


Okay... I'll make an exception here.  Chris if you want to send me some Stax SR-007s and a BHSE I will gladly accept that gift...  I'll have to figure out where to put a rig that size, but I think I can manage...

 

Now that I've had a bit of sleep I'm not as grumpy as I was.  It's not the criticism that bothers me, it's the repeating of criticism that has already been addressed that bothers me.  We've been over this stuff guys, and I've tried to accommodate as many of the suggestions as I could.  I've also offered to allow anybody to come over and try all of these DACs with the cans of their choice (assuming they have 4-pin XLR cables, or bring their own amp) just like Barry did, and that offer still stands for a couple of days, then I have to get this equipment back. 

 

Note that the NAD and Arcam are already on their way back, the Concero is back at Mike's house, and the Gungnir should have been delivered back to its owner today too.  Part of the reason I can afford to do this is that I don't have to pay for all of the equipment thanks to the community, but I also need to get as much of the stuff I have charged off of my CC before the billing period closes and I actually have to pay for the stuff I ordered.  While I know I'll eventually get refunds as long as I send back the stuff within the stated return window, I'm not real interested in fronting billion-buck banks any more money than I absolutely have to. 

 

Another note: I have the OTG cable now, and will be trying it tomorrow.... here's hoping I don't brick my phone...:blink:

post #808 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapientiam View Post
 

You pretty much summed up my audio philosophy, but its not beer, rather the local green tea. Seeing as I build my own DACs, $20 might well cover the parts cost, at very least the chip costs :tongue_smile:

Cheers to DIY. I find that to be very enjoyable and personally rewarding. Not to mention a great learning experience, and sharing the fruits of your labor with others who appreciate those things :)

post #809 of 1331

I don't know why everyone was getting all huffy about the HD800 when it makes far more sense for Gary to evaluate dacs using a headphone that he is much more familiar with.

post #810 of 1331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

I don't know why everyone was getting all huffy about the HD800 when it makes far more sense for Gary to evaluate dacs using a headphone that he is much more familiar with.

+1. Not everyone owns a HD-800 (or an LCD 3) anyway so stick with what one has.

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