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HD800 being "picky" with amps myth - Page 3

post #31 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


That's what I meant by "inexperienced."

Maybe inexperience and low standards are mutually reinforcing?

Actually, one of the central tenets of proper blind comparison in the field of audio is to level-match upstream variables (e.g. DACs, amps) within 0.2dB (typically at 1KHz). This is a pretty discriminating standard.

 

The bulk of audiophile "experience" out there isn't properly level-matched. The resulting error from matching upstream electronics by ear will be audible by ear.


Edited by 3X0 - 6/24/14 at 7:51pm
post #32 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

Because, as I pointed out, it doesn't matter.

When you decide you want better sound, you'll come to think of numbers as helpers that might explain some of what you're hearing instead of a means to justify not trying things out for yourself.
post #33 of 323
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


When you decide you want better sound, you'll come to think of numbers as helpers that might explain some of what you're hearing instead of a means to justify not trying things out for yourself.

 

Not to be rude, but why are you in this part of the forum? 

post #34 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OICWUTUDIDTHAR View Post

Not to be rude, but why are you in this part of the forum? 

My last post explained that too: measurements are very useful, when you want to understand and design.

Sound Science is too important and interesting to be left to dogmatists.
post #35 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


When you decide you want better sound, you'll come to think of numbers as helpers that might explain some of what you're hearing instead of a means to justify not trying things out for yourself.

However that is hardly a scientific solution. The question was posted on this board where hopefully an answer based on science is given. Predictions based on the physical theory of electronics and sound are used to give reliable and quantifiable statements about the differences between pieces of hardware and what we may or may not hear. Numbers are the only way we can do this. Qualitative statements based on personal experience are subject to far too much bias to be reliable.

post #36 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclaz View Post
 

However that is hardly a scientific solution. The question was posted on this board where hopefully an answer based on science is given. Predictions based on the physical theory of electronics and sound are used to give reliable and quantifiable statements about the differences between pieces of hardware and what we may or may not hear. Numbers are the only way we can do this. Qualitative statements based on personal experience are subject to far too much bias to be reliable.


+1 well said.

post #37 of 323


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post #38 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclaz View Post
 

This! Ideally, all amps should be designed with these goals in mind. So why should headphones that are developed with similar goals sound so different? Unless some of them are being designed very poorly. 

Because we currently don't have any way to make perfectly ideal transducers. All speakers and headphone drivers will have some deviance from a flat response, as well as some ringing at certain frequencies and possibly even audible distortion. Each headphone or speaker makes tradeoffs based on what is technically possible, what the budget is, what the intended market is, and the designers personal preferences. I doubt anyone here would disagree with the statement that different headphones and different speakers do indeed sound and measure differently, although there will of course be disagreements when it comes to which is better. With amplifiers on the other hand, we do currently have the technology to make them audibly perfect in every way, so there's no need for a set of design tradeoffs with them like there is with the transducers themselves (at least, no need for any tradeoffs aside from aesthetics, packaging, features, pricing, and peak power output).


Edited by cjl - 6/24/14 at 11:20pm
post #39 of 323

This discussion is relevant to me as I'm actually looking for a set of high end headphones and of course the HD800's must be considered. However so much talk of the HD800's being picky make me wonder what is really going on.

post #40 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


When you decide you want better sound, you'll come to think of numbers as helpers that might explain some of what you're hearing instead of a means to justify not trying things out for yourself.

I will absolutely do that, as soon as it is shown that the difference is actually audible in a double blind test. Even if two pieces of gear measure identically in every conceivable technical spec, if it could be demonstrated (preferably to a very high degree of confidence - 99.9% or better) that they could be differentiated in a level matched (<0.1dB) double blind test, it would certainly support the subjectivists' points very strongly. However, until that happens, the safest and most reasonable assumption for anyone with a scientific viewpoint is that subjectivist claims are primarily a result of unconscious sighted bias, poor level matching, and switching times far, far too long for decent auditory memory.


Edited by cjl - 6/24/14 at 11:19pm
post #41 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post

I will absolutely do that, as soon as it is shown that the difference is actually audible in a double blind test. Even if two pieces of gear measure identically in every conceivable technical spec, if it could be demonstrated (preferably to a very high degree of confidence - 99.9% or better) that they could be differentiated in a level matched (<0.1dB) double blind test, it would certainly support the subjectivists' points very strongly. However, until that happens, the safest and most reasonable assumption for anyone with a scientific viewpoint is that subjectivist claims are primarily a result of unconscious sighted bias, poor level matching, and switching times far, far too long for decent auditory memory.

I'm sure that's true much of the time. I'm also pretty certain that our measurements are currently inadequate.

Objectivism will probably be true one day in the very distant future but we have to live now, so either we use some trial and error and discernment to get the best sound or we've handicapped ourselves.
post #42 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by dclaz View Post
 

This discussion is relevant to me as I'm actually looking for a set of high end headphones and of course the HD800's must be considered. However so much talk of the HD800's being picky make me wonder what is really going on.

TBH i think as long as you like the HD800's signature the O2 amp dac will make it sound great. If you know you will want to get rid of the treble spikes then maybe you should look else where.

post #43 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkawaiiO View Post
 

TBH i think as long as you like the HD800's signature the O2 amp dac will make it sound great. If you know you will want to get rid of the treble spikes then maybe you should look else where.

 

Something like this could help most folks achieve the sound they desire...

 

Cheers

post #44 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 

 

Something like this could help most folks achieve the sound they desire...

 

Cheers

naa using a dual band equalizer will distort the sound and make the headphone less true to life. It is essential to buy a 5000 dollar amp and dac to magically transcendent the sound to the next level.

 

: ) 

post #45 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by OkawaiiO View Post
 

TBH i think as long as you like the HD800's signature the O2 amp dac will make it sound great. If you know you will want to get rid of the treble spikes then maybe you should look else where.

Should such an expensive set of headphones have much of signature? Are they not aiming for flat response so the output as as accurate as possible?

 

I never really understood the claims that high end headphones can sound so different considering they should all be trying to do the same thing.

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