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Are external DACs unnecessary? Is a computer just as accurate? - Page 8

post #106 of 129

So amps and DAPs/DACs all (should) sound the same unless...

 

Biggest if is the output impedance, power and maybe in-software settings like crossfeed, eq, stereo field etc.

 

Though I think I can say that comparing amps is a joke! "Amp A makes the vocals stand out really and the soundstage is enormous though piano sonatas sound better on amp B because of the tighter bass, crispier highs and somewhat lifelike mids. Also its smaller soundstages makes you feel like you can touch the piano."

post #107 of 129
What is the importance of "should"? Reality usually doesnt conform to oversimplified theories... Do you think amps and DACs actually do sound the same?
post #108 of 129

Amps and DACs should sound the same. If they don't, it's because of the headphones or speakers you are using. That isn't a problem with the amp.

post #109 of 129
Thread Starter 

I like this post:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjl View Post
 

The fact is, if an amp has:

 

1) inaudibly low noise

2) inaudibly low distortion at the required power and current level

3) output impedance <1/10 of headphone impedance at all frequencies

4) sufficient voltage swing to drive the headphones to an acceptable level

5) inaudibly low channel imbalance

6) a flat frequency response

7) Little or no overshoot or ringing regardless of load

8) Decent phase response

 

the amp will sound just like every other amp that meets these criteria.

 

It isn't terribly hard to meet these criteria with modern electronics either, and any competently designed amp should succeed at this. As such, any competently designed amp with sufficient power and voltage swing (and this just means enough to get the headphones fairly loud) will drive the HD800 perfectly. Note that it only takes ~160mW at 8Vrms to get to 120dB with the HD800, so the limiting factor for nearly any amp out there is going to be voltage swing, not current capability (and even the amount of voltage required to get them ridiculously loud is well within the capability of most reasonable amps). The HD800 is actually a fairly easy load, from the amp's perspective - high impedance, low current, and not hugely insensitive. Something like an LCD2 is much more challenging to the amp than the HD800 ever could be.

post #110 of 129

While I do not have many amps, I cannot hear the differences between my USB DAC's headphone out (which measures very bad and well you shouldnt use it in Head-fi land), laptop, Sansa Clip+, Samsung GS 1, Sony Xperia T....

Even though I found a post somewhere on head-fi where people compared phones' audio quality and the Sonys actually were quite the worst!

post #111 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben123 View Post

While I do not have many amps, I cannot hear the differences between my USB DAC's headphone out (which measures very bad and well you shouldnt use it in Head-fi land), laptop, Sansa Clip+, Samsung GS 1, Sony Xperia T....
Even though I found a post somewhere on head-fi where people compared phones' audio quality and the Sonys actually were quite the worst!
There are a million posts on headfi which are just blabla. If you go out of the science section I would say that > 90% is bla. For some reason when it comes to audio ppl seem to enjoy the sound of unicorns more than anythin else. The japanese (I think) have a very good saying about that: if you believe everything you read, it's better to stop reading
post #112 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by prot View Post

There are a million posts on headfi which are just blabla. If you go out of the science section I would say that > 90% is bla. For some reason when it comes to audio ppl seem to enjoy the sound of unicorns more than anythin else. The japanese (I think) have a very good saying about that: if you believe everything you read, it's better to stop reading

True, but this same logic taken to the extreme would lead to the sound science forum reading more like a Dawkins and New Atheist Friends' musical opinions, rather than facilitating real scientific research on audio.

Or maybe it has already happened.
post #113 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPtheDude View Post

True, but this same logic taken to the extreme would lead to the sound science forum reading more like a Dawkins and New Atheist Friends' musical opinions, rather than facilitating real scientific research on audio.

Or maybe it has already happened.

 

Which is why, when budget isn't so much of an issue anymore, I want to put many of the DACs that lots of people claim sound so different to the test. AB, ABX, double blind, measurements, you name it!

post #114 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPtheDude View Post


True, but this same logic taken to the extreme would lead to the sound science forum reading more like a Dawkins and New Atheist Friends' musical opinions, rather than facilitating real scientific research on audio.

Or maybe it has already happened.

 

 

"There's probably no point in buying a new DAC. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" ?

post #115 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPtheDude View Post

True, but this same logic taken to the extreme would lead to the sound science forum reading more like a Dawkins and New Atheist Friends' musical opinions, rather than facilitating real scientific research on audio.

Or maybe it has already happened.
The dawkins comparison is quite apt, no need to take anything to any extremes: provable, measurable stuff vs. nice stories ... science vs. unicorns.
But IIUC, you seem to have something against dawkins&co. I dont care enough abour that stuff to call myself an atheist but I'd be curious to know what you think they are doing wrong. That's all offtopic but this is not exactly a super active thread smily_headphones1.gif
post #116 of 129
Thread Starter 

I thought this post of mine was relevant to the discussion in this thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post
 

[...] I will use my Fulla to drive them. [beyerdynamic DT 880 Edition 660 Ω] According to this link, the combo can reach 109 dB. That's dangerously loud. I am skeptical about the whole "an amp needs to handle 120 dB dynamic peaks without clipping" thing. How often do we actually hear 120 dB dynamic peaks with normal listening levels? Since even the most dynamic music only has about 30 dB of dynamic range, and the majority of dynamic music probably doesn't exceed 15 dB of dynamic range, and ideal/average/normal listening levels are only 60-80 dB, 90-110 dB should be all we ever need. According to the numbers, even one of the hardest-to-drive headphones, the HiFiMAN HE-6, only needs 447 mW at 50 ohms to reach 110 dB. The Abyss AB-1266 only needs 316 mW. With most headphones, that number is much closer to zero. The 660 ohm DT 880 only needs 25 mW at 660 ohms. (The number is the same at 600 ohms.) With the Sennheiser HD 800, it's 21 mW. With the newer Audeze LCD-3, it's 6 mW. And so on. In other words, in terms of sheer output power and realistic listening levels, just about any amp has more than enough power to drive all but the least sensitive headphones.

post #117 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Alchemist View Post

I thought this post of mine was relevant to the discussion in this thread:
Relevant yes but what can anyone add/comment? Your math seems ok and it's implications are clear. And anyone who heard a last gen phone or MB with a reasonably efficient HP knows there is no need for extra dacs/amps. Case closed.
Edited by prot - 3/23/15 at 8:43am
post #118 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by prot View Post

The dawkins comparison is quite apt, no need to take anything to any extremes: provable, measurable stuff vs. nice stories ... science vs. unicorns.
But IIUC, you seem to have something against dawkins&co. I dont care enough abour that stuff to call myself an atheist but I'd be curious to know what you think they are doing wrong. That's all offtopic but this is not exactly a super active thread smily_headphones1.gif

I do have an issue with Dawkins; the man is an absolutely rude man and incredibly dismissive of people for entirely petty reasons. Along with Dawkins you have Sam Harris (and his big time partner in crime Bill Maher) who have teamed up to run a campaign of sorts highlighting the inherent violence and savagery that comes with the practice of Islam, brushing any innocent casualties under the rug because, given their islamic faith, they would likely have become terrorists if they survived so good riddance.

My point at large as it relates to this forum is that I believe the rhetoric used by the "objectivists" is not going to promote a real medium of discussion between the two opposing camps. I'm not saying one side did something bad first and they're to blame, but if you do take pride in letting science, and sound, guide your equipment decisions then also take pride in promoting rhetoric that respects both sides of the isle rather than snidely commenting about what some people spend in their search for their ideal sound.

Deidre McCloskey, an incredible economist, historian, and much more, has written a series of books on the industrial revolution and what really caused it, not just the scientifc advances but the changing social class structure, and with that a change in the dynamics of respect for the merchant class. I think her thesis about how rhetoric, and common values promote change more than anything else, would be something this forum should digest and implement. Promote more informed decisions rather than downplaying the subtle, if any, differences between amps and dacs assuming blah blah blah. Promote critical listening and enjoyment of the music as the end game, but also promote the journey that blind testing different equipment is, how it is a learning process between man, gear, and sound. Idk this might make zero sense.

About myself, I am a subjective objectivist when it comes to the audio debate, and a nihilistic, moral skeptic of an agnostic philosophically speaking and my study interests include Thomistic theology, Augustine, and British Idealism ala Oakeshott.
post #119 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPtheDude View Post

About myself, I am a subjective objectivist when it comes to the audio debate, and a nihilistic, moral skeptic of an agnostic philosophically speaking and my study interests include Thomistic theology, Augustine, and British Idealism ala Oakeshott.

 

The nice thing about all that is that it leaves plenty of room for improvement.

post #120 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPtheDude View Post

I do have an issue with Dawkins; the man is an absolutely rude man and incredibly dismissive of people for entirely petty reasons. Along with Dawkins you have Sam Harris (and his big time partner in crime Bill Maher) who have teamed up to run a campaign of sorts highlighting the inherent violence and savagery that comes with the practice of Islam, brushing any innocent casualties under the rug because, given their islamic faith, they would likely have become terrorists if they survived so good riddance.

My point at large as it relates to this forum is that I believe the rhetoric used by the "objectivists" is not going to promote a real medium of discussion between the two opposing camps. I'm not saying one side did something bad first and they're to blame, but if you do take pride in letting science, and sound, guide your equipment decisions then also take pride in promoting rhetoric that respects both sides of the isle rather than snidely commenting about what some people spend in their search for their ideal sound.

Deidre McCloskey, an incredible economist, historian, and much more, has written a series of books on the industrial revolution and what really caused it, not just the scientifc advances but the changing social class structure, and with that a change in the dynamics of respect for the merchant class. I think her thesis about how rhetoric, and common values promote change more than anything else, would be something this forum should digest and implement. Promote more informed decisions rather than downplaying the subtle, if any, differences between amps and dacs assuming blah blah blah. Promote critical listening and enjoyment of the music as the end game, but also promote the journey that blind testing different equipment is, how it is a learning process between man, gear, and sound. Idk this might make zero sense.

About myself, I am a subjective objectivist when it comes to the audio debate, and a nihilistic, moral skeptic of an agnostic philosophically speaking and my study interests include Thomistic theology, Augustine, and British Idealism ala Oakeshott.

smily_headphones1.gif fun read!
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