- Feb 14, 2008
That's the thing though, most people don't learn to listen. In fact, the vast majority of audiophiles don't even seem to understand the basics of hearing and listening or the role of perception, let alone actually learn to listen.If you do learn to listen, ...
I have listened to what "some very creative audiophiles have developed in their quest to sonic perfection". Generally, what they've achieved is a long way from sonic perfection because they haven't learned to listen and they have no idea what "sonic perfection" is!If you put some miles on the road and get the chance to hear what some very creative members have developed in their quest to sonic perfection, you'll find there's a lot of ways to that end.
1. Sure but then that conflicts with your first point, because if you do learn to listen, then there's no difference! Some of us need to control the metallurgy of the wire and solder used on our ICs.  To that end, yeah there are differences if it's important to you.
2. To what end? If the end is sonic perfection (and one learns to listen), then "No" there are no differences. If on the other hand, the "end" and what's "important to you" is visual appearance, status symbol, keeping up with the fashion of audiophile marketing or anything other than audible sonic performance, then "Yes" there are many differences.
1. That's entirely possible. My enjoyment of recorded music improved a lot when I changed from the DAC in an Oppo BDP 105 to a Dangerous Convert-2 converter, (both via USB).  The improvement in resolution was spectacular.
2. That's not possible, unless one of the units was defective.
1. There are no technological reasons for that difference, you're looking in the wrong area. The areas to look for those differences are user error and/or perception error. Would be interested in any input as to the possible technological reasons for this difference.
 EDIT: Resolution was even better when bypassing the volume control on the Convert, but only to a relatively slight extent.
2. That's possible, if it's a digital volume control and if, for example, you are lowering it by a significant amount and compensating with much higher amp gain. However, this would come under "user error"; poor gain staging.