Dan Clark Audio Stealth Review, Interview, Measurements
Sep 21, 2021 at 11:27 AM Post #1,666 of 2,225

xirxes

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Any inklings as to whether we think these will be driven well on the new WA7 fireflies V3??

I love the look of this little dac/tube amp combo but the only input I have is from abyss saying that it doesn’t power the 1266 and Stealth is not quite that hard to drive, but not far off.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 11:35 AM Post #1,667 of 2,225

adrianm

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Well, good for you. :) As an engineer, objectivist foremost, and as someone that believes and knows that there is more than meets the eye in the human psychology (which actually meets the eye on a global scale looking at the practices of humans in case of a pandemic dealing with a difficult to grasp situation), I rather keep my objectivity and trust the science.

That said, I also have the T+A HA200, which costs not too far off from DAVE, running a 3090 and 24 core system infront of me to experiement with upsampling etc., plus I am fortunate enough that my objectivity and analytic thinking has earned me an OK life that I can afford any headphone gear I want. But I would rather keep my feet on the analytical grounds, as there is a lot of BS in this industry. People claim they hear things the measurment devices cannot, but it is often otherwise is true that measurement devices are much more precise and sensitive than humans. Whether someone likes the outcome or not, that is another subject.

Enjoy your gear. :) It is in the end what matters.
I agree, i'm a software developer myself, however please don't equate sites like ASR with science. The purpose of science is to explain reality. What a lot of these sites are doing is testing things to the best of their ability and calling it absolute truth.
Once you call snake oil on 90% you're testing that contradicts what so many people are claiming you should start to question if there's something wrong with your methodology instead of calling "placebo" on everything and insinuating it's a collective delusion. By that logic we'd still be living in caves. Confirmation bias works both ways.
I have no interest in becoming a subject matter expert in testing audio gear, and I fully agree there is a ton of snake oil in this industry, but I'm pretty disappointed with the way it's handled on the internet and mob mentality. On both sides.
I also count myself lucky from a financial perspective but let's not forget being able to afford this stuff is also a roll of the dice based on your geography and a large number of factors.
Haven't heard of T+A until you mentioned them to be honest, I try to stay off the forums unless something of interest comes out.
The Stealth is at #1 but the reception is kind of lukewarm, besides you and a couple of other exceptions.
 
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Sep 21, 2021 at 12:22 PM Post #1,668 of 2,225

DarginMahkum

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I agree, i'm a software developer myself, however please don't equate sites like ASR with science. The purpose of science is to explain reality. What a lot of these sites are doing is testing things to the best of their ability and calling it absolute truth.
Once you call snake oil on 90% you're testing that contradicts what so many people are claiming you should start to question if there's something wrong with your methodology instead of calling "placebo" on everything and insinuating it's a collective delusion. By that logic we'd still be living in caves. Confirmation bias works both ways.
I have no interest in becoming a subject matter expert in testing audio gear, and I full agree there is a ton of snake oil in this industry, but I'm pretty disappointed with the way it's handled on the internet and mob mentality. On both sides.
I also count myself lucky from a financial perspective but let's not forget being able to afford this stuff is also a roll of the dice based on your geography and a large number of factors.
Haven't heard of T+A until you mentioned them to be honest, I try to stay off the forums unless something of interest comes out.
The Stealth is at #1 but the reception is kind of lukewarm, besides you and a couple of other exceptions.
Did I mention ASR anywhere? If not, why are you limiting my explanations to ASR? Besides, do they have a well defined definition of "good"? Yes. Do they have well defined procedures to test against that good? Yes. Are they objective in their procedures? Yes. So, what is the problem here, I don't get the hate towards ASR here.

It is a borderline religious attitude we have here on HeadFi. Should the science be investigating why billions of people are believing that God created the Earth in so many days and why suddently that mighty God felt tired? Or should science investigate how come some guy in the dessert took a flight to the space on a camel to meet the God and what kind of camel was that? Billions of people are believing these stories, is it the job of the science to investigate that? Or does science have some other job to do? Is it the job of science to deal with silly conspiracies on the internet or should it have its own realistic and deterministic ways and measures to delve into problems?

ASR and analytical approach says this: Any product that doesn't adhere to some engineering measures, has not been well engineered. What should they say? "Yeah, the distortion levels are bad, there are unhandled resonances, and the measurements are bad, but people like it, so it is good". Should they just ignore that the TC measures horribly and has distortion issues when driven loud? These are facts independent of what others like. Some don't like Harman curve, and they criticise something that deviates too much from an industry standart with some work behind it.

Why should they question their method? Because some HeadFi'ers don't like their methods, which have been the real measures of product development? You should not build an amplifier without those tests. It is something to check if they did their homework.

Anyway, I am really tired of this discussion. I don't think it is going anywhere.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 12:35 PM Post #1,669 of 2,225

adrianm

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Did I mention ASR anywhere? If not, why are you limiting my explanations to ASR? Besides, do they have a well defined definition of "good"? Yes. Do they have well defined procedures to test against that good? Yes. Are they objective in their procedures? Yes. So, what is the problem here, I don't get the hate towards ASR here.

It is a borderline religious attitude we have here on HeadFi. Should the science be investigating why billions of people are believing that God created the Earth in so many days and why suddently that mighty God felt tired? Or should science investigate how come some guy in the dessert took a flight to the space on a camel to meet the God and what kind of camel was that? Billions of people are believing these stories, is it the job of the science to investigate that? Or does science have some other job to do? Is it the job of science to deal with silly conspiracies on the internet or should it have its own realistic and deterministic ways and measures to delve into problems?

ASR and analytical approach says this: Any product that doesn't adhere to some engineering measures, has not been well engineered. What should they say? "Yeah, the distortion levels are bad, there are unhandled resonances, and the measurements are bad, but people like it, so it is good". Should they just ignore that the TC measures horribly and has distortion issues when driven loud? These are facts independent of what others like. Some don't like Harman curve, and they criticise something that deviates too much from an industry standart with some work behind it.

Why should they question their method? Because some HeadFi'ers don't like their methods, which have been the real measures of product development? You should not build an amplifier without those tests. It is something to check if they did their homework.

Anyway, I am really tired of this discussion. I don't think it is going anywhere.
I just assumed you meant ASR because they're usually the ones claiming superiority and demonizing whoever doesn't agree. I started out reading both sides and than testing stuff myself. What I've found aligns more with SOME things suggested here.
Like i said there are bad apples on both sides. When it comes down to it however , I'll make the decision myself and i won't lose a wink of sleep over people here telling me the Z1R sucks or ASR saying Dave is snake oil.
I'm not sure why you think I'm against measurements, this seems like a straw man argument. I started out by saying ASR doesn't equate or have a monopoly on science. And probably not a sufficient understanding, considering the disconnect. I'm also not claiming mine is better. But that's not my job or interest.
I agree on not going anywhere, this is why I stay off echo chambers.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 3:18 PM Post #1,670 of 2,225

tusing

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Once you call snake oil on 90% you're testing that contradicts what so many people are claiming you should start to question if there's something wrong with your methodology instead of calling "placebo" on everything and insinuating it's a collective delusion.
IMHO this is bad logic. People have believed in (and continue to believe in) plenty of things that are obviously false. Mass delusion has been around ever since humans drew paintings in caves. It was the scientific method that encouraged us to progress somewhat from there, but even today, billions of people believe in things that are either false or have never been proved.

Saying that just because people believe in something means that your methodology might be false, is an appeal to popularity. It holds no basis in fact or reason: "Copernicus, everyone believes that the Earth is the center of the universe - surely, your methodology is wrong?! After all, my subjective experience shows that the Earth is the center of the universe!"

The point is that proving that these differences exist is on the burden of the people claiming they exist. You can't say "$10k DAC is better than $1k DAC" and expect everyone to believe you with no evidence or testing to rule out psychological influences. You might be right, you might not be right, but the claims are irrelevant until proven with some sort of modern method.
 
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Sep 21, 2021 at 3:19 PM Post #1,671 of 2,225

ra990

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Back to the Stealth...

It's been a few days now and I'm looking forward to putting them on every day. These totally pass my subjective tests, consisting of:

Do I stay awake late listening to my favorite music, hoping to rediscover some magic I haven't heard before? Yes
Do I wake up wanting to listen to them again? Yes
Do I want to take off the headphones once I have these on for more than an hour? At times, but only because I am not used to closed headphones at all for extended listening and start to feel strange not being able to hear what's going on around me. Not because of their sound, in fact, these are one of the least fatiguing that I've encountered so far...

There's only a few headphones that pass those subjective qualities and they're all listed in my signature below.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 3:40 PM Post #1,672 of 2,225

tgx78

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Back to the Stealth...

It's been a few days now and I'm looking forward to putting them on every day. These totally pass my subjective tests, consisting of:

Do I stay awake late listening to my favorite music, hoping to rediscover some magic I haven't heard before? Yes
Do I wake up wanting to listen to them again? Yes
Do I want to take off the headphones once I have these on for more than an hour? At times, but only because I am not used to closed headphones at all for extended listening and start to feel strange not being able to hear what's going on around me. Not because of their sound, in fact, these are one of the least fatiguing that I've encountered so far...

There's only a few headphones that pass those subjective qualities and they're all listed in my signature below.

Same here.

Somehow I woke up at 3am this morning. Therefore I picked up the Stealth and put on some classical music hoping to go back to sleep. What a colossal mistake that was lol.

I am suffering at work right now.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 4:25 PM Post #1,673 of 2,225

Alcophone

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People claim they hear things the measurment devices cannot, but it is often otherwise is true that measurement devices are much more precise and sensitive than humans.
Robots can lift much heavier things than humans, but humans are still much better at fine motor skills. The car industry certainly would like to automate everything, but when installing wobbly fiddly things in tight spaces, humans still outperform robots handsomely.

When you design something to interface with a machine, absolutely go all in on measurements. But audio gear is ultimately intended to interface with ears hooked up to brains (and some machines as intermediaries), which work very differently from an analyzer. Which is why an analyzer can do things humans can't - and vice versa.

Good engineers use both type of tools to their advantage, while not losing track of the end goal: turning pressure waves into endorphins, which analyzers lack entirely.

Maybe if we start using artificial neural nets in measurement rigs they come closer to being sufficient on their own, but we're certainly not there yet.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 4:33 PM Post #1,674 of 2,225

adrianm

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IMHO this is bad logic. People have believed in (and continue to believe in) plenty of things that are obviously false. Mass delusion has been around ever since humans drew paintings in caves. It was the scientific method that encouraged us to progress somewhat from there, but even today, billions of people believe in things that are either false or have never been proved.

Saying that just because people believe in something means that your methodology might be false, is an appeal to popularity. It holds no basis in fact or reason: "Copernicus, everyone believes that the Earth is the center of the universe - surely, your methodology is wrong?! After all, my subjective experience shows that the Earth is the center of the universe!"

The point is that proving that these differences exist is on the burden of the people claiming they exist. You can't say "$10k DAC is better than $1k DAC" and expect everyone to believe you with no evidence or testing to rule out psychological influences. You might be right, you might not be right, but the claims are irrelevant until proven with some sort of modern method.
I could bore you with platitudes like that for days. And i used to, but i got sick of it. People are just too radicalized. I'm sure it has been proven time and time again, even if some random on the internet says he " has the best science " I'll just leave it at this :
Why would i delude power conditioners making a difference when i knew nothing about them when i tried them? When i've tested this with multiple people who have no clue about any of this stuff . Are they suffering from a mass delusion they're unaware of? Half the audiophiles claim they " ruin the sound", some think it helps, and ASR just proved they make no difference. Quite enlightening.
People can either listen to advice, or they can choose not to. There would be a burden on me if ASR or anyone here would pay for my $10k dac. Sadly being able to afford 10k dacs keeps one too busy to argue over the internet all day and prove points to strangers. Those points are better taken up with people who live off sponsorships and have a reason to actually care.
Let's get back on topic .
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 4:38 PM Post #1,675 of 2,225

DarginMahkum

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Robots can lift much heavier things than humans, but humans are still much better at fine motor skills. The car industry certainly would like to automate everything, but when installing wobbly fiddly things in tight spaces, humans still outperform robots handsomely.

When you design something to interface with a machine, absolutely go all in on measurements. But audio gear is ultimately intended to interface with ears hooked up to brains (and some machines as intermediaries), which work very differently from an analyzer. Which is why an analyzer can do things humans can't - and vice versa.

Good engineers use both type of tools to their advantage, while not losing track of the end goal: turning pressure waves into endorphins, which analyzers lack entirely.

Maybe if we start using artificial neural nets in measurement rigs they come closer to being sufficient on their own, but we're certainly not there yet.
Again...but last time. No more replies from me as this is going in circles:

If you are designing a product, you would want to have quantifyable measures to asses your design. That is the whole point of it. Independent of what it will interface. I don't understand what we are discussing here. And it is never a straight line process.

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/listening-vs-measurements

"At Benchmark, listening is the final exam that determines if a design passes from engineering to production. When all of the measurements show that a product is working flawlessly, we spend time listening for issues that may not have shown up on the test station. If we hear something, we go back and figure out how to measure what we heard. We then add this test to our arsenal of measurements."

So they quantify and make it measurable so that it can be tackled and fixed, both for this time and the next times.

I am out.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 4:54 PM Post #1,676 of 2,225

Alcophone

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Again...but last time. No more replies from me as this is going in circles:

If you are designing a product, you would want to have quantifyable measures to asses your design. That is the whole point of it. Independent of what it will interface. I don't understand what we are discussing here. And it is never a straight line process.

https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/listening-vs-measurements

"At Benchmark, listening is the final exam that determines if a design passes from engineering to production. When all of the measurements show that a product is working flawlessly, we spend time listening for issues that may not have shown up on the test station. If we hear something, we go back and figure out how to measure what we heard. We then add this test to our arsenal of measurements."

So they quantify and make it measurable so that it can be tackled and fixed, both for this time and the next times.

I am out.
Psychology used to only look at disorders as well. As if the pinnacle of mental health is simply the absence of disorder.

Then Positive Psychology came around, looking at people who are truly thriving rather than merely not suffering, to see what might be different about them.

Similarly, a piece of audio gear can sound good and have no obvious flaws, without that implying it's the best it could possibly be.

Listening at the end for the absence of flaws is not enough. You need to listen throughout to retain what was better than good before you fixed an issue - typically there are multiple solutions to problems, all with their own trade-offs. I think good engineers listen throughout, not just at the end. It allows for more surprises and interesting discoveries, and thus ultimately for the experience needed to go beyond "has no obvious flaws".

I know, we talked about this in a PM, so this is more for anyone else who might still care.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 9:27 PM Post #1,677 of 2,225

Icenine2

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I "think" I'm at 60 hours now. That's because I'm getting distracted like other here with how great the music sounds. Hearing detail I've never heard in familiar recordings. Right now "Thick as a Brick" Steven Wilson version. Fantastic
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 10:01 PM Post #1,678 of 2,225

qboogie

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Robots can lift much heavier things than humans, but humans are still much better at fine motor skills. The car industry certainly would like to automate everything, but when installing wobbly fiddly things in tight spaces, humans still outperform robots handsomely.

When you design something to interface with a machine, absolutely go all in on measurements. But audio gear is ultimately intended to interface with ears hooked up to brains (and some machines as intermediaries), which work very differently from an analyzer. Which is why an analyzer can do things humans can't - and vice versa.

Good engineers use both type of tools to their advantage, while not losing track of the end goal: turning pressure waves into endorphins, which analyzers lack entirely.

Maybe if we start using artificial neural nets in measurement rigs they come closer to being sufficient on their own, but we're certainly not there yet.
I really enjoyed reading this more than once
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 10:06 PM Post #1,679 of 2,225

qboogie

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Psychology used to only look at disorders as well. As if the pinnacle of mental health is simply the absence of disorder.

Then Positive Psychology came around, looking at people who are truly thriving rather than merely not suffering, to see what might be different about them.

Similarly, a piece of audio gear can sound good and have no obvious flaws, without that implying it's the best it could possibly be.

Listening at the end for the absence of flaws is not enough. You need to listen throughout to retain what was better than good before you fixed an issue - typically there are multiple solutions to problems, all with their own trade-offs. I think good engineers listen throughout, not just at the end. It allows for more surprises and interesting discoveries, and thus ultimately for the experience needed to go beyond "has no obvious flaws".

I know, we talked about this in a PM, so this is more for anyone else who might still care.
Youre on a roll, dude. Very interesting thoughts that expand my own
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 10:30 PM Post #1,680 of 2,225

normie610

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Back to the Stealth...

It's been a few days now and I'm looking forward to putting them on every day. These totally pass my subjective tests, consisting of:

Do I stay awake late listening to my favorite music, hoping to rediscover some magic I haven't heard before? Yes
Do I wake up wanting to listen to them again? Yes
Do I want to take off the headphones once I have these on for more than an hour? At times, but only because I am not used to closed headphones at all for extended listening and start to feel strange not being able to hear what's going on around me. Not because of their sound, in fact, these are one of the least fatiguing that I've encountered so far...

There's only a few headphones that pass those subjective qualities and they're all listed in my signature below.
How different would you say to Susvara? Is it more relaxed and smooth?
 

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