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HD800 being "picky" with amps myth - Page 12

post #166 of 308
I'm pretty sure my host was using Foobar. I left that up to him because I use a CD player at home. We each used our own test tracks. Source was the same. I listened to a track using an HD600 first on the O2 and then on the Crack, and then the blindfold would go on and I'd listen again. Then I did that another 15 times. Afterwards, she told me I identified the unknown 14 times. It was exhausting but still fun I guess.

Edit: Level matching was done by the third guy, my friend's friend, using some some of his electrical engineer tools--he had a few different meters. He also had a hundred bucks riding on there being no discernible difference so I expect he was very careful to get it right. They had a grand time; it's less fun being the guinea pig.
Edited by Claritas - 7/8/14 at 11:23pm
post #167 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I'm pretty sure my host was using Foobar. I left that up to him because I use a CD player at home. We each used our own test tracks. Source was the same. I listened to a track using an HD600 first on the O2 and then on the Crack, and then the blindfold would go on and I'd listen again. Then I did that another 15 times. Afterwards, she told me I identified the unknown 14 times. It was exhausting but still fun I guess.

Claritas, what did you find to be different from the O2?  Crack is often recommended for the 800, and I'm really curious what it is doing to the 800 for so many to find it a good match.

post #168 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I'm pretty sure my host was using Foobar. I left that up to him because I use a CD player at home. We each used our own test tracks. Source was the same. I listened to a track using an HD600 first on the O2 and then on the Crack, and then the blindfold would go on and I'd listen again. Then I did that another 15 times. Afterwards, she told me I identified the unknown 14 times. It was exhausting but still fun I guess.

How did you level match?

post #169 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 


Have you tried a double blinded, level matched comparison, and are you sure your "better-sounding" choices don't actually have audible (but euphonic) flaws?

This is a really important, but I fear a underappreciated point. Some people prefer certain 'feels' or sound signatures that can be less representative of the source material. It might sound 'better' but we really cease considering audio 'quality' if 'better sounding' is the goal, and not accuracy.

post #170 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclaz View Post
 

This is a really important, but I fear a underappreciated point. Some people prefer certain 'feels' or sound signatures that can be less representative of the source material. It might sound 'better' but we really cease considering audio 'quality' if 'better sounding' is the goal, and not accuracy.

 

So are you suggesting we should be listening to sine wave generators to avoid being biased by the music???

 

What else are you guys going to come up with to discredit a pretty solid experiment? I bet the next one is going to say it is not statistically representative because less than 1000 people took part in it.

post #171 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

What else are you guys going to come up with to discredit a pretty solid experiment? I bet the next one is going to say it is not statistically representative because less than 1000 people took part in it.

In no universe is a non-level-matched experiment "pretty solid." Variance in output levels has one of the largest impacts on perceived sound quality.

With sufficient trials by a single individual it would be at least possible to prove the statistical validity for one person (provided the proper controls are in place). To this end level-matching is essential -- among other things like tightly controlled switching times to compensate for echoic memory.
Edited by 3X0 - 7/9/14 at 5:53am
post #172 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 


I don't need to hear every amp to declare when one is sufficient to drive headphones to an audibly perfect level, any more than I need great experiences with the many fine fabrics of the world to know that, in fact, the emperor has no clothes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

To continue with my earlier analogy, anyone who hasn't had experience tailoring fine silks, or knitting top quality cashmere sweaters should not be remarking on the Emperor's nudity. It just spreads ignorance.

 

Erm, you sir might want to try harder for next analogy attempt..

To know if a person is nude, I would just look at and/or touch the person. Even if I were to make a guess without direct contacts with the person, I would try to gather information like the person's behaviour / habit / mental / physical / etc. Dealing with fabrics or silks doesn't seem relevant at all.

 

Similiarly, I know how certain equiments sound like by listening.

Before having the chance to listen, I can make estimates/expectations based on personal knowledge and available information like measurement / design / material / etc. But still, its just my guess.

Information and knowledge can help improving accuracy of estimates, but don't magically make estimates become reality.

post #173 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post


Erm, you sir might want to try harder for next analogy attempt..
To know if a person is nude, I would just look at and/or touch the person. Even if I were to make a guess without direct contacts with the person, I would try to gather information like the person's behaviour / habit / mental / physical / etc. Dealing with fabrics or silks doesn't seem relevant at all.

Similiarly, I know how certain equiments sound like by listening.
Before having the chance to listen, I can make estimates/expectations based on personal knowledge and available information like measurement / design / material / etc. But still, its just my guess.
Information and knowledge can help improving accuracy of estimates, but don't magically make estimates become reality.

I suspect he meant allusion rather than analogy. The tale is alluded to when suggesting collective ignorance.
post #174 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post


I suspect he meant allusion rather than analogy. The tale is alluded to when suggesting collective ignorance.


Well, I know the origin, just that it doesn't seem relevant nor appropriate to me. This thread is about real world perfomance of equipments, while the tale is 100% fiction.


Edited by kn19h7 - 7/9/14 at 8:39am
post #175 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post


I suspect he meant allusion rather than analogy. The tale is alluded to when suggesting collective ignorance

You are indeed correct. Sorry for any confusion...

 

:beerchug:

post #176 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post
 

Information and knowledge can help improving accuracy of estimates, but don't magically make estimates become reality.

they very well do as long as all parameters are accounted for. many things are free from the chaos theory.

math leads to knowledge that experiments can only demonstrate years later (and some still wait to be).  we tend to believe in vastly acknowledged math theories, because math have so many times now proven to be the number one truth teller in the world. and not much in math is about experiment. doesn't that contradict your statement?

("off topic"the check spelling doesn't want "proven". if "proved" is right  spelling why did I have "prove" in the irregular list of verbs when I was at school?)

 

in most expensive domains now simulations have replaced experiments and conclusively lead to the making of the real stuff. even the guys creating the amps and headphones don't just try randomly until they get something right, unless it's one guy who learned by himself, but I would hope that he's got at least something close to an engineer level of knowledge, else it must be a long road for him.

 

when you know from reliable measurements(manufacturer specs might not always be it, I admit) and know all the specs are above "great for human", with enough power to drive the headphone(also something not hard to predict with the right measurements). then we know exactly how it will sound.

only when too much imperfection and distortions come out of an amp are we unable to predict how it will sound(chaos theory making a come back, too many parameters for accurate prediction). all good stuff do sound the same because there is only one right way to accurately transmit a signal. and for the amp, that's by transmitting it as it was with gain.

post #177 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

when you know from reliable measurements(manufacturer specs might not always be it, I admit) and know all the specs are above "great for human", with enough power to drive the headphone(also something not hard to predict with the right measurements). then we know exactly how it will sound.

only when too much imperfection and distortions come out of an amp are we unable to predict how it will sound(chaos theory making a come back, too many parameters for accurate prediction). all good stuff do sound the same because there is only one right way to accurately transmit a signal. and for the amp, that's by transmitting it as it was with gain.

 

This logic is still missing one variable: the headphone. When you plug it in, it becomes part of the amp's circuit and affects its performance. If there was a clear standard in terms what electronic properties a headphone should have, then you could expect to consistently deliver the same experience, irrespective of what is plugged in. With varying headphone impedance and efficiency, amps have to work at different points of their characteristics to handle them. I doubt we have many amps in the market that can drive any headphone to its full potential and still be completely transparent. The ones I know may be good with high or low impedance, high or low efficiency, but not even with every headphone I have.

post #178 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post
 

 

This logic is still missing one variable: the headphone. When you plug it in, it becomes part of the amp's circuit and affects its performance. If there was a clear standard in terms what electronic properties a headphone should have, then you could expect to consistently deliver the same experience, irrespective of what is plugged in. With varying headphone impedance and efficiency, amps have to work at different points of their characteristics to handle them. I doubt we have many amps in the market that can drive any headphone to its full potential and still be completely transparent. The ones I know may be good with high or low impedance, high or low efficiency, but not even with every headphone I have.

It's really not that difficult to determine a set of measurements that shows a headphone of just about any impedance and efficiency will be driven perfectly. Sadly, not many headphone amps have been measured to a sufficient degree to know whether they meet this spec. That having been said, it really isn't that hard to design an amp to meet this criterion - as I have mentioned before, the O2 is one such amp, as is the headphone amp in the Benchmark DAC series. I would assume a large number of other amps are similarly capable, but until I see the measurements for sure, it's hard to say with certainty.

post #179 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

[..] That having been said, it really isn't that hard to design an amp to meet this criterion - as I have mentioned before, the O2 is one such amp, as is the headphone amp in the Benchmark DAC series. I would assume a large number of other amps are similarly capable, but until I see the measurements for sure, it's hard to say with certainty.

 

Is that a fact or an opinion? 

post #180 of 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

they very well do as long as all parameters are accounted for. many things are free from the chaos theory.

math leads to knowledge that experiments can only demonstrate years later (and some still wait to be).  we tend to believe in vastly acknowledged math theories, because math have so many times now proven to be the number one truth teller in the world. and not much in math is about experiment. doesn't that contradict your statement?

("off topic"the check spelling doesn't want "proven". if "proved" is right  spelling why did I have "prove" in the irregular list of verbs when I was at school?)

 

in most expensive domains now simulations have replaced experiments and conclusively lead to the making of the real stuff. even the guys creating the amps and headphones don't just try randomly until they get something right, unless it's one guy who learned by himself, but I would hope that he's got at least something close to an engineer level of knowledge, else it must be a long road for him.

 

when you know from reliable measurements(manufacturer specs might not always be it, I admit) and know all the specs are above "great for human", with enough power to drive the headphone(also something not hard to predict with the right measurements). then we know exactly how it will sound.

only when too much imperfection and distortions come out of an amp are we unable to predict how it will sound(chaos theory making a come back, too many parameters for accurate prediction). all good stuff do sound the same because there is only one right way to accurately transmit a signal. and for the amp, that's by transmitting it as it was with gain.

because math have so many times now proven to be the number one truth teller in the world. and not much in math is about experiment. doesn't that contradict your statement?

Not saying I am agree with the statement, but have you noticed that "proven"? We need to actually run experiment to verify estimates or "prove" hypothesis, instead of direct jumping into conclusion. Accuracy is nothing more than accuracy.

 

in most expensive domains now simulations have replaced experiments and conclusively lead to the making of the real stuff.

It would be worrifying if the "real stuff" were not sufficiently tested before actual release... in fact, we have all kinds of standards and regulations for that.

 

Well, when we have "all the specs" and know all related theories, we may be able to make very very accurate estimates, thats it.

But that "all the specs" is yet another topic to be defined, tested and agreed on. Currently we have equipments that are measured fine, but not widely well liked, which might be an indicator of something's lacking in paramaters measured.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

It's really not that difficult to determine a set of measurements that shows a headphone of just about any impedance and efficiency will be driven perfectly. Sadly, not many headphone amps have been measured to a sufficient degree to know whether they meet this spec. That having been said, it really isn't that hard to design an amp to meet this criterion - as I have mentioned before, the O2 is one such amp, as is the headphone amp in the Benchmark DAC series. I would assume a large number of other amps are similarly capable, but until I see the measurements for sure, it's hard to say with certainty.

"Driven perfectly", or the phrase "audibly perfect", is also yet another topic to be defined, tested and agreed on...


Edited by kn19h7 - 7/10/14 at 5:17am
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