AVGuide hates usb
Sep 13, 2009 at 10:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 77

nightanole

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Well avguide.com just finished up their six month review of usb audio.

TAS 194: The State of USB Audio | AVguide

I normally hang out in the diy forum but i was wondering what other people thought of this crap.

He thinks a $500 6 foot usb cable sounds better then a $50 usb cable (guess $5 sounded like phone cord) and CHANGED the color of the music. Changed the bass and highs just like analog cables do, only without all the technical stuff like inductance and capacitive effects. Thats like saying reds of a jpeg look better over cat6 then cat5 due to higher bandwidth.

When using the same dac, the same source cd, played back uncompressed, both non upsampled, he says that usb to coax sounds alot worse the just from a transport.

This is with him spending 6 months on equipment that cost over $500 for the usb or usb dac parts.


I dont get how a usb cable can affect a bit stream.
i dont get how a usb to I2s or coax could affect sound any more then a transport to I2s or coax when it isnt resampled.


In just about any usb dac above $50 its converted to I2s, and then sent to a standard dac. Normally with options to send transport coax to the same dac. And the transport sound better?

Could anyone explain how this could be possible before i chalk this up to snake oil?
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 12:49 AM Post #2 of 77

leeperry

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some ppl think that HDD's sound different...and even that the type of carpet on which the computer is put on will make the sound drier/more percussive/yada yada.

talking about USB as whole is pretty meaningless, some soundcards use cheapo generic chips, some use buffered interfaces(0404USB), and some use several clocks to improve the USB jitter...like this one: Google Translate

4.33B0
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 1:32 AM Post #3 of 77

Phelonious Ponk

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There is a whole worldfull of audiophiles out there who love the tweaking and the "synergizing" and the sense of exclusivity one gets from having equipment that is esoteric and unusual. Digital is the great equalizer that threatens to bring a very high level of fidelity to the masses. Bits really is bits. Jitter really is reduced to below audible levels in basic, competent digital equipment. An iPod, with a good pair of ear canal phones from the likes of Shure or Etymotics really will deliver a higher level of fidelity to the original recording than their beloved valve and vinyl rig. Nothing matters much but the transducers. Which means that the ignorant, unwashed masses have bested, without even thinking about it, what they have slowly, obsessively built up through many years and thousands of dollars.

How can they possibly accept that?

They can't, so they have brought the tweaky, freaky world of analog "enhancements" over to the digital realm. It is even more soaked in snake oil here than it was on the other side. It depends on deep, heavy doses of psychological bias. Black CDs sound more "analog" than silver ones (like that's a good thing). $4,000 DACs that measure badly are more "musical" than $500 DACs that measure perfectly. And software and cables have a sound, even when all they are doing is moving digital data from one place to another, without change.

You don't get it? Good for you.

P
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 1:48 AM Post #4 of 77

chipzahoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
some ppl think that HDD's sound different...and even that the type of carpet on which the computer is put on will make the sound drier/more percussive/yada yada.


Must be nice to live in a world without vibration. Ignorance is a bliss, isn't it?
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 1:58 AM Post #5 of 77

Shike

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chipzahoy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Must be nice to live in a world without vibration. Ignorance is a bliss, isn't it?


Unless the vibration is causing the head to not read data or read improperly then the vibration isn't making a damn bit of difference. If the head IS having an issue then there's going to be larger problems than whether the bits of your music is correct (total system failure).

So yeah, the carpet isn't going to change the sound of music till it hits the speakers. That's only assuming there's a substantial amount too, a small slab under a computer isn't going to do jack.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:04 AM Post #6 of 77

chipzahoy

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In other words, you'd be able to own the equivalent of the BEST hi-end system for less than $1000! Wow, I wish I were you! Oh wait, that would require me to be half deaf, nevermind...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phelonious Ponk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Bits really is bits. Jitter really is reduced to below audible levels in basic, competent digital equipment. An iPod, with a good pair of ear canal phones from the likes of Shure or Etymotics really will deliver a higher level of fidelity to the original recording than their beloved valve and vinyl rig.


 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:06 AM Post #7 of 77

Shike

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chipzahoy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In other words, you'd be able to own the equivalent of the BEST hi-end system for less than $1000! Wow, I wish I were you! Oh wait, that would require me to be half deaf, nevermind...


Obvious troll is being obvious.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:07 AM Post #8 of 77

chipzahoy

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Sigh.

I'm not in the mood of giving a long lecture. As long as you're happy, I guess.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Unless the vibration is causing the head to not read data or read improperly then the vibration isn't making a damn bit of difference. If the head IS having an issue then there's going to be larger problems than whether the bits of your music is correct (total system failure).

So yeah, the carpet isn't going to change the sound of music till it hits the speakers. That's only assuming there's a substantial amount too, a small slab under a computer isn't going to do jack.



 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:11 AM Post #10 of 77

Shike

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chipzahoy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi, feeling clueless today?


No, just don't feel like dealing with someone that comes in and immediately starts insulting everyone with zero proof of an argument that was easily debunked.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:26 AM Post #11 of 77

chipzahoy

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What's your counterargument again? Oh right, "vibration isn't relevant unless it causes the head to not read properly". I've wasted enough time on you.

Edit: By the way, I'm not the person who thinks that all audiophiles who prefer a real audio system over an iPod are "ignorant, unwashed masses". You may want to have your eyesight checked as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No, just don't feel like dealing with someone that comes in and immediately starts insulting everyone with zero proof of an argument that was easily debunked.


 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:26 AM Post #12 of 77

Phelonious Ponk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chipzahoy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In other words, you'd be able to own the equivalent of the BEST hi-end system for less than $1000! Wow, I wish I were you! Oh wait, that would require me to be half deaf, nevermind...


Not quite what I said, there sparky. Escape from the distortions of vinyl and valves is cheap and easy in today's world. Equivalency to the best "high-end" (a term that has been rendered meaningless and unrelated to "hi-fi" by the last couple of decades of audiphool nonesense) will still require lots of headroom driving seriously great transducers.

P
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:32 AM Post #13 of 77

b0dhi

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I suspect the AVGuide thing is psychosomatic. That said, it isn't impossible that USB changes the character of sound due to jitter. That is assuming low levels of jitter are audible, ofcourse.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:39 AM Post #14 of 77

chipzahoy

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You cannot "hear" jitter, it simply degrades sound.

There are many more factors involved other than data and timing. If all digital cables are created equal, then the length, material, build, etc. of I2S cables wouldn't matter at all.

Quote:

Originally Posted by b0dhi
I suspect the AVGuide thing is psychosomatic. That said, it isn't impossible that USB changes the character of sound due to jitter. That is assuming low levels of jitter are audible, ofcourse.



Apparently coming from someone who doesn't know what a good vinyl system sounds like.

And thanks to your "cables and softwares don't have a sound" statement, you just lost all credibility on computer audio.

Feel free to embarass yourself further, I'm done with this thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phelonious Ponk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Not quite what I said, there sparky. Escape from the distortions of vinyl and valves is cheap and easy in today's world. Equivalency to the best "high-end" (a term that has been rendered meaningless and unrelated to "hi-fi" by the last couple of decades of audiphool nonesense) will still require lots of headroom driving seriously great transducers.

P



 
Sep 14, 2009 at 2:42 AM Post #15 of 77

chinesekiwi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Phelonious Ponk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There is a whole worldfull of audiophiles out there who love the tweaking and the "synergizing" and the sense of exclusivity one gets from having equipment that is esoteric and unusual. Digital is the great equalizer that threatens to bring a very high level of fidelity to the masses. Bits really is bits.


But if the bitstream is reduced via either bitrate or bit depth, then well, it affects the sound. And yes, this can be done via software. A classic example is of course Windows KMixer vs. WASAPI. Also since many electronic equipments, such as DAPs and portable amps have opamps in them, this can change the sound to the point in which it can make it sound worse or better as opamps are the most highly influential part of the equipment in therms of sound. Thus why synergy is quite important, espically in this sub-realm.

For example, adding an opamp with strong midrange production (such as the Linear Technology LT1057) to a warm source (Asus Essence STX) with a headphones that's massively coloured in the midrange (Audio Technica AD700) = super amounts of midrange to the point it's uncomfortable as your ears aren't really designed to take that much midrange, as of course your ears are naturally more sensitive to midrange frequencies [4kHz-13kHz] than another other range.

'Synergy' (I dislike the word too) is a very real thing tbh.
BTW, I am an intense doubter of cables and yes, I agree to the point that technology now has all but eliminated jitter.
 

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