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Difference between cheap and expensive DAC - Page 3  

post #31 of 51

As always, what matters is the output at the very end - the connectors - and not the fancy brand names on the super expensive or cheap chips inside. The former wouldn't be any guarantee that the implementation is good enough to make use of the extra performance anyway.

 

 

Afaik, most blind tests have been done between amps (usually with a fail as result) but I'd love to see some DAC blind tests as well. People think they can hear tiny frequency response variations at 20 kHz, a bit more distortion, jitter ... let's not even go there, and so on... but as soon as you hide the devices they can't "anymore".

post #32 of 51

Blind tests are audiophile devices killer !

But with my poor ears I can hear a difference between a <200$ and a >1000$ audio card, without hiding it of course ;)

post #33 of 51

xnor,

 

Yeah, more blind tests would be fantastic.  I would be surprised if this hasn't been attempted at meets, etc., but then again once folks spend the money and drink the kool-aid, they're not likely to put up their multi $$$$ dac against another.

 

Anyhow, I'm enjoying finally stepping away from some of the other threads on this site which constantly tout one piece of gear over another with a variety of statements which cannot be tested at all.

 

Best,

post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Migou67 View Post
 

For me, we can also expect less jitter and crosstalk from a good audio card.

 

You might expect it, but you certainly couldn't hear it.

post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

You might expect it, but you certainly couldn't hear it.

 

Totally agree but I can ear a difference between a cheap audio card and an expensive one, but can't say if this is due to a better jitter ;)

 

I think the whole components used for the card (including quality oscilators clocks) and how the elements are implemented play a role in a better audio restitution. 

post #36 of 51

It is very rare that jitter creates audible problems. HDMI had jitter problems, but that problem has been fixed quite a while ago.

 

 

Besides the obvious bias, audible differences between DACs can result from different levels, but also noise (thinking of badly implemented onboard/soundcards here), maybe even distortion (but it has to be really bad for a DAC, non-oversampling with 44.1 kHz comes to mind).

Some older soundcards used to have clearly visible ripple in the frequency response, but I'm questioning audibility. Maybe in a direct A/B comparison with fast switching.


Edited by xnor - 1/3/14 at 11:49am
post #37 of 51
Just going back to amps which I know is off topic. I take it that the reasoning is that amps of the same spec sound the same? Different designs sound different?
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gignac View Post

xnor,



Anyhow, I'm enjoying finally stepping away from some of the other threads on this site which constantly tout one piece of gear over another with a variety of statements which cannot be tested at all.

Best,
Totally agree. This thread has saved my sanity! Not to mention my wallet.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

I take it that the reasoning is that amps of the same spec sound the same?

 

As long as the specs are all below the thresholds of human perception, which most reasonable amps are, there's no reason for them not to sound the same.

post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

As long as the specs are all below the thresholds of human perception, which most reasonable amps are, there's no reason for them not to sound the same.
Even tube vs solid state?
post #41 of 51

Yeah, if you operate the amp within a reasonable range, i.e. below clipping, and the tube amp has low enough distortion, output impedance ... yup, why not. There are no magical properties.

 

The question is if you can find such a tube amp. :p 


Edited by xnor - 1/3/14 at 2:28pm
post #42 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

Even tube vs solid state?

 

If the tube amp measured within the specs of human hearing, yes. I've heard such things exist, but as tubes grow old, the sound shifts, so you would have to keep them fresh.

post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

Even tube vs solid state?

If the tube amp measured within the specs of human hearing, yes. I've heard such things exist, but as tubes grow old, the sound shifts, so you would have to keep them fresh.

Which is why tube amps are such bad idea to begin with....
post #44 of 51

I drape Christmas lights around my solid state amp and get the best of both worlds

post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I drape Christmas lights around my solid state amp and get the best of both worlds

But Christmas lights aren't particle accelerators. confused.gif

Clearly tube magic comes from relativistic effects!! :trollface: wink.gif

Cheers
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