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MQA: Revolutionary British streaming technology

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by bigshot, Dec 8, 2014.
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  1. castleofargh Contributor
    I agree that it's obviously a thing. for actual research, depending on what the actual question is, we could involve various barely audible controls that could invalidate the test if the guy doesn't pick them up. I'm guessing that kind of stuff exists.

    now, @bigshot tries one Oppo device and some other DAC, then reaches his own conclusions. no matter how good the test was, the conclusions obviously don't go far beyond his personal level of experience. 1/ it's an anecdote. 2/ failing a test doesn't prove he or anybody else will never be able to pass it. we won't be writing a paper for AES anytime soon. ^_^
  2. Sterling2
    My purchase was sort of an upgrade, from 1080 to 4k; but, for the most part, it was about having a means to enjoy multi-channel SACD. All of the extras are a bonus, now making me think my $1300 expenditure was a bargain, since I am using the unit's extras in addition to multi-channel SACD playback capability. Of course, only time will tell if I still think my OPPO is a bargain, since I've got some equipment that is now over 40 years old providing service just like day 1 with the equipment.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  3. bigshot
    I understand feature differences. But if you look at the specs of both, they are both well into the range of overkill. You can measure a difference, but human ears can't hear it. The HA-1 may be closer to the sound of a Oppo X05, but I failed at detecting a difference with that too. Audibly transparent is audibly transparent.

    Perhaps the greatest contribution to the "improved" sound quality of high end Oppos is the sales literature, which is great at evoking expectation bias. I just did a basic controlled listening test and I was able to eliminate that. There's no audible difference.

    That reply seems to indicate that you don't care to know the truth one way or the other. I think differently than that. If you don't test to find out if you're getting the result you want, then everything you do is just random flailing hoping something ends up working. I actually want to work to improve my system. I don't want to just pay money and trust someone else to do that for me. The fun isn't in ownership, it's in solving the problems. But they have to be problems that actually exist, not ones that are manufactured out of whole cloth to convince someone to spend more money.

    I bought my Oppo player because it was region free modded with simple switching between regions, it could play MKV files off a thumb drive, and it had very good image adjustments (i.e.. Darbee). I choose for features I can use, not abstract claims of sound quality I can't hear.

    I compare every piece of equipment I own for audible transparency. It isn't just the Oppo and the WalMart player, it's blu-ray players by Sony and Pioneer, Oppo's top of the line headphone amp/DAC, a high end SACD player by Philips, my numerous Macintosh computers, a variety of iPods and several generations of iPhone. They all sound the same. Perfect. No one else has to take my word for it. They can do their own test and find out for themselves. But the fact that I've actually gone to the trouble to carefully compare should count for something beyond someone who says they have no interest in anything but purely subjective impressions.

    There are degrees of legitimacy to claims. For my purposes, I don't need to go to the extremes that someone publishing a paper for the AES would be required to do. But that doesn't mean that my careful comparison testing is no better than someone who depends entirely on their impressions.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  4. Sterling2
    When you say I don't care to know the truth makes me think you don't care to have a conversation. Your opinion is no more legitimate than any other here. And, what would be the point of me testing anything? My ears have already told me I am hearing more detail with the OPPOs usb DAC than from other DACs I've used to enjoy music stored on digital files. The proof is my familiarity with the music at the levels I like to listen to music. You don't have to believe it. I certainly don't need for you to believe it; and, in fact, it is not important to me at all what you believe. Now, you might want to set aside attempting to convince me that you cannot hear a difference, since I already believe that you indeed cannot hear a difference. I'd believe you without you even having tested it. BTW, I was not driven to buy the OPPO for any claims made by OPPO on its DACs sounding better. I did not even see such a claim. As I said, I just wanted a player with which I could enjoy my multi-channel SACDs. I got that and much more.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  5. castleofargh Contributor
    you did nothing wrong when describing your experience and impressions. here is what you initially posted.
    not even as much as an objective claim. very fine by me. and I also happen to agree with jagwap that we can be biased in both directions. I stated your anecdote as an example, not as a critic. :wink:
  6. sonitus mirus
    Have you made any attempt to remove obvious biases or to verify the setup/audio chain is not introducing a change that could account for an audible difference? What are the specifications or measurements in this very well established technology that you can point to that would be responsible for any differences you might be hearing? A modern DAC should be transparent. Anyone claiming they can hear obvious differences should at least verify that the volume level is precisely matched and that no special filtering is being applied.

    With audio, it is already well established that our perception is easily tricked. And with a general lack of any proof that anyone can hear a difference, more conjecture is really useless on the subject and deserves no further discussion. This is especially true for an industry that has flourished on human fallibility with audio perception and is filled with misguided or dishonest vendors that take advantage of customers.
  7. Sterling2
    I don't need to make an attempt to convince anyone here about the reality of my surprise discovery. My perception, based on familiar music at the level I enjoy that music, is that it seems more detailed from the OPPOs usb DAC than with the DACs of other devices I have used to listen to said music. I do not need to account for it, I do not need to measure it, I do not need to point to technology; and, here's why: I am stating my observation, not professing on a matter of which I have no credentials to convince or prove to you or anyone else here that I can hear more detail. It's just a pleasant surprise. Now, if I was attempting to account for the detail I'm hearing I would assume it has something to do with my other DACs not being modern types. But, I'm a layman, interested in music pleasure not audiophile matters.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  8. bigshot
    You're mistaken. All opinions are definitely *not* created equal. Some opinions are based on research, testing and knowledge. Others are based on personal bias or misconceptions. If you want your opinion to be more useful for other people, you have to make an effort to make sure that your opinion is informed. Placebo effect and expectation bias are real. If you don't want your opinions to be colored by those things, controlled testing is a great way to check yourself. If you have no desire to make any effort to back up your opinions, then they're probably less useful than the opinions of other people. Particularly if there is no reason to believe they are even correct.

    You don't have to be an expert to back up your opinions. A simple google search will help.

    Here are the specs for the BDP103

    Frequency: 20Hz – 20kHz (±0.05dB), 20Hz – 96kHz (-4.5dB ~ +0.05dB)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >115dB (A-weighted)
    THD+N: < 0.006% (1kHz at 0dBFS, 20kHz LPF)

    Here are the specs for the BDP205

    Frequency Response: 20Hz – 160kHz (-3dB ˜ +0.05dB)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 120dBr
    THD+N: < 0.00018%

    Now, I've done a little research into the thresholds of perception. Both of these specs are well over the line into audible transparency. Looking at these figures, I see no reason to expect that one would sound different than the other, because human ears can't hear anywhere close to this sort of sound quality.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    71 dB likes this.
  9. pinnahertz
    Your observation was highly biased and don't represent what was really going on. A double blind test would remove all biases, and your observation then would be bias free, and most likely quite different. However, your current biased "observation" is also your reality, and nobody can doubt that. If your reality makes you happy, then go with it. You may not find much agreement in this forum.
  10. 71 dB
    In social media opinions are equal in the sense that own opinions are good and whoever disagrees is simply wrong.

    I tend to assume 90 % of differencies I hear is due to placebo effect. I believe that's in the ballpark.

    The thresholds are what they are, but I think there is something else going on at a very subtle level. Measurements do not analyse the signal in every possible ways and our hearing doesn't analyse sounds exactly the same way say a spectral analyzer does. What happens in our head is not a perfect Fourier transformation for example. It's possible our hearing reveals something about the signal that technical measurements hide (and vice versa of course!). If I take a signal through an all-pass filter that delays 1 kHz area 100 ms compared to other frequencies, it is certainly audible, but the magnitude spectrum looks the same! Visually we can have two squares which are both 1 ft x 1 ft to the accuracy of nanometers so they look to our eyes exactly the same size, but what if they are not exactly the same color? What if the other square is a bit darker for example? Does it mean it looks a bit smaller? Measurements tell the squares are the same size to the accuracy far beyond the resolution of eye, but darker square looks smaller! So, the question with sound quality is: What properties of sound that affect perception we do not measure and are there differences in these properties above the threshold of our hearing?

    I used to think that all well designed (especially digital) audio product sound "perfect", the same just because the differences are below thresholds of perception as we understand them. However, nowadays I'm not 100 % sure about this. To me my CD player and Blu-ray player have subtly different sound (CD player sounds "zesty" compared to "sappy" Blu-ray player and my first DVD player had a "glassy" sound while my first cheap crappy JVC CD player from 1990 had dull sound compared to the other newer players) which I think I might be able to tell apart in blind tests, althou I am not sure about that. Even my amplifiers I have used over the years seems to have their own sound signature! Maybe this is just placebo, but I can't be 100 % sure about anything! Maybe the differences in output impedance (damping factor) explains it? The only thing I haven't noticed differencies are the interconnector cables. They always sound the same. I try to keep myself open-minded in this issue.
  11. pinnahertz
    All of the above can easily be measured. Measurement and audibility correlation studies exist for all-pass delay.
    Yes, perception and measurement correlation is the problem. It's closer to a solution all the time.
    If you'd ever done some actual ABX/DBT testing, you might feel differently. Differences in CD sound would need to be carefully analyzed, as they are unlikely. However, there can be differences in amplifier sound. Simply, you must throw out any sighted impressions as biased, including those of the cables. Bias is powerful enough to provide perceived differences where there are none, and cover differences where they exist. It works both ways.
  12. gregorio
    But that is exactly the point, you are not stating your observation, you are stating your impression/perception of your observation and have apparently not made any attempt to separate your impression/perception from your observation. A test procedure which does attempt to eliminate impression/perception and thereby present an actual observation IS therefore more legitimate than an impression/perception just presented as an observation!

    1. There are none.
    2. As there are no such properties, this part of your question is invalid.

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  13. bigshot
    I find that when people describe sound in terms that describe things other than sound, odds are there is some sort of bias at work. Things that sound different sound that way for a specific reason, and the differences are describable. I always try to describe aspects of sound by words that directly relate to sound (response, distortion, dynamics, etc) and I always do a controlled comparison test of every piece of equipment. I'm betting that if you did a blind test, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart any more. It really isn't that hard. Just pick up a couple of identical preamps at eBay and a switch box.

    In general, the audibility specs you see thrown around in audiophile forums are best case scenarios. For instance 20Hz to 20kHz only applies to young people. Many older people don't hear that high. And I remember reading that the world record for someone who could hear the highest was a young girl who could hear up to 22-23kHz, which isn't that much higher than 20kHz. Audiophiles love to argue that everyone's hearing is different, so some people may have golden ears that can hear things other people can't. But the truth is that some people have tin ears and can't hear well. The best hearing is still in the normal range of human hearing.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  14. Glmoneydawg
    Opinion...a view or judgement not necessarily based in fact or knowledge....its JUST an opinion....good for you for standing by yours,but...we all have opinions and we all think ours smells best
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  15. bigshot
    You support an opinion with facts. If you have facts to back your opinion up, it's worth more than someone who hasn't bothered to think.
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