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Tom's Hardware Hi-Fi equipment test - Page 3

post #31 of 79

Some people talk without knowing, and a lot of times it's cause of the jelly of not having a high end equipment.

post #32 of 79
And yet experienced individuals presented in the same conditions can reach similar conclusions...
post #33 of 79

And who's that?


Edited by mowglycdb - 2/27/14 at 5:38pm
post #34 of 79

Whenever the facts and objective testing goes the wrong way, audiophiles retreat to "your ears don't work" and "your system isn't expensive enough".

post #35 of 79
For one thing, listener B in the study is used to a standard of equipment that very few individuals in even the high-end forums would be able to afford.

For another, many reasonable participants in sound science threads have owned (or still own) unobtainium gear and have been in the land of collective delusion.
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Yes it's about the same as with an amplifier. Except making clean line level output is even easier than making a clean amplifier or DAC. Most current solid state audio components are audibly transparent. The best reason to choose one over another is features and power (in the case of an amp).

Are you kidding?  What's your rig look like? I assume that your amp and dac are probably both sub $100 and perform the same as $1,000+ equipment?  Or is that extra $900 justified for "features" ?

 

Saying that solid state amps is extremely vague there's ss amps that sound like tubes.  

post #37 of 79

 

This is my listening room / theater. The speakers have been upgraded since this photo was taken. The mains are JBL Towers and custom made 12 inch 5 way studio monitors from the late 70s. The center channel and rears are Klipsch, and the sub is the top of the line Sunfire. I use a Yamaha AV receiver, a Sony blu-ray player and a Mac Mini media server with over 75 TB of online storage. The server streams music all over the house using an Apple Airport Extreme. My system is calibrated to a flat response covering the full range of human hearing. It's taken me 30 years of trial and error to get to this point.

 

I guarantee you that you would be hard pressed to find better sound than this. My speakers are VERY expensive. My amp and players aren't. But the thing that really makes the difference is the time I have put into calibrating the EQ. Money can't buy the improvement proper application of room acoustics and EQ gives.

 

Happy to provide more details on my system if you are interested. If you are ever in LA, I'd be happy to demo it for you.

post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post
 

Saying that solid state amps is extremely vague there's ss amps that sound like tubes.  

 

No, you have that backwards. The very best tube amps sound like solid state- flat, clean, low noise floor.

post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

For one thing, listener B in the study is used to a standard of equipment that very few individuals in even the high-end forums would be able to afford.

For another, many reasonable participants in sound science threads have owned (or still own) unobtainium gear and have been in the land of collective delusion.

 

 

 

Some people simplify what they're hearing,  music has a lot of information and being able to pay atention to all the details isn't easy, specially for someone who hasn't practiced it, plus you need a good hearing memory to be able to compare between equipment. I had a inferior DAC to what I have now, and the differences are very clear from Audio-GD NFB-1.32(650) to Master 7(2180), if this B person is as experienced as you say he must not have used a resolving AMP/speaker or heaphones for the tests, or doesn't want people to spend so much money in audio lol.

post #40 of 79
Perhaps what he meant to suggest was that some solid state devices approximate low-fidelity tube sound through the use of parlor tricks?

If so, I suppose we can call those defective by design?
Edited by 3X0 - 2/27/14 at 6:08pm
post #41 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowglycdb View Post
 

you need a good hearing memory to be able to compare between equipment

 

Tests have shown that auditory memory in humans distinguishing between two similar sounds is only a couple of seconds long. The only way to make an accurate comparison is direct A/B switching.

 

Blind to eliminate expectation bias.

Direct A/B switching to overcome auditory memory problems.

Line level matched to eliminate the natural human preference for the louder of two samples.

post #42 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

Perhaps what he meant to suggest was that some solid state devices approximate low-fidelity tube sound through the use of parlor tricks? If so, I suppose we can call those defective by design?

 

The only example of this I know about was "Bob Carver's challenge". Most amps don't deliberately hobble sound like that. The vast majority of them are designed to have a flat response, inaudible levels of distortion and a noise floor low enough to not be audible even at the loudest listening levels. You can pretty much go to Amazon and choose any midrange receiver and it will be able to do that.

 

The reason why there aren't more solid state amps hobbled to sound like tube amps has to do with tubes themselves. People don't buy a tube amp for the sound. They buy it for the lovely glowing tubes, and that convinces them that it sounds better. Pure expectation bias. Save money. Buy a midrange Onkyo or Yamaha receiver and put Christmas lights all over it. Get the same effect without the distortion and imbalances of tube amps.

post #43 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

This is my listening room / theater. The speakers have been upgraded since this photo was taken. The mains are JBL Towers and custom made 12 inch 5 way studio monitors from the late 70s. The center channel and rears are Klipsch, and the sub is the top of the line Sunfire. I use a Yamaha AV receiver, a Sony blu-ray player and a Mac Mini media server with over 75 TB of online storage. The server streams music all over the house using an Apple Airport Extreme. My system is calibrated to a flat response covering the full range of human hearing. It's taken me 30 years of trial and error to get to this point.

 

I guarantee you that you would be hard pressed to find better sound than this. My speakers are VERY expensive. My amp and players aren't. But the thing that really makes the difference is the time I have put into calibrating the EQ. Money can't buy the improvement proper application of room acoustics and EQ gives.

 

Happy to provide more details on my system if you are interested. If you are ever in LA, I'd be happy to demo it for you.


I have to admit, I wouldn't expect that room to be in LA.

 

 
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

The only example of this I know about was "Bob Carver's challenge". Most amps don't deliberately hobble sound like that. The vast majority of them are designed to have a flat response, inaudible levels of distortion and a noise floor low enough to not be audible even at the loudest listening levels. You can pretty much go to Amazon and choose any midrange receiver and it will be able to do that.

 

 

I know some Carver amps had both "voltage source" and "current source" outputs each sounding somewhat like a SS amp and a tube amp respectively. However, often those amps had somewhat poor damping factors which lent themselves to a more tubie sound regardless.

post #44 of 79

Bob Carver argued that a solid state amp could be tweaked to sound like any tube amp. To prove it, he took the most popular tube amp and made one of his own SS amps sound exactly the same. They did a blind test with golden ears, and no one could tell the difference. His point was that SS amps were better, but after that audiophiles came to him asking him to make the hobbled SS amp for them. He laughed all the way to the bank.

post #45 of 79

Hahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhahhah!

 

I told you so!

 

Actually I'm a little surprised, since correspondents were able to distinguish between recordings of the Behringer UCA202 and I think it was the Benchmark. But I've always said that the differences are negligible from the POV of enjoying music. I think the amp in the Benchmark might be better.

 

Now I can go back to pointing out that if you want to buy an amplifier you read the specifications, or read a review that includes instrumented review.

 

Finally you listen to headphones or speakers, or read reviews.

 

Don't say cables.

 

w

 

I don't however, deny that tube amps are appealing in some respects; nostalgia, aesthetics, red glow, warm, glass tubes to break and electrocute the kids, you may even prefer the sound quality, but please, please don't tell me that it's better.

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