Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Mar 1, 2022 at 2:46 PM Post #88,891 of 104,224

Paladin79

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I would personally love to see (hear) this happen!
Fortunately I have most everything in place for such an easy comparison and I believe you know I will follow through with it. I may change from five to four test subjects so everyone stays safe and isolated.

An example of the test amp I will use is arriving today on the West Coast by 7 PM today, one day it would honor me if you heard one. Mind you I am trying to work on other projects so it may well be the last of its line. :beerchug:
 
Mar 1, 2022 at 3:02 PM Post #88,892 of 104,224

GearMe

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We spent in excess of $50k and three years on just one type of tube, so this will be an easy setup lol. The thing we wanted to avoid with our tube testing was to avoid a person knowing he was listening to a tube that sells for $1-2K or that friends describe as the holy grail of tubes. If you spent even $300 on one tube your expectations are bound to be high. You might also have peer pressure of "OMG this tube is amazing, can you not tell that yourself?" :ksc75smile:

My answer to anyone crying foul is to spend $200 each on the fuses and do your own testing and show me a better way of doing it. I cannot get into the basis for some of the testing we have done, there are some well educated folks involved but every now and then we do some things for Schiits and giggles and have a nice adult beverage afterwards. Setting up the gear from the show Bosch is a prime example and fuses are much less heavy to lug around.:)
Yeah...my own personal bias, after learning from spending lots of $$$$$$ on high-end 2 channel gear when I was younger, is that I now lean towards transducers first and then tubes to provide the listening differences from a gear perspective. Hence my suggestion regarding the tube review instead!

For me, it's just too much effort to agonize over this stuff in my mind any more; rather just throw on some nice-sounding cans, hit shuffle, and enjoy the tunes :wink:

Honestly, I've gotten to the point where even the hassle of 'matched tubes' in an OTL amp isn't worth the effort to me and have moved to either SS or Hybrid amps depending on the setup in a given room.
 
Mar 1, 2022 at 3:36 PM Post #88,893 of 104,224

Paladin79

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040D9CB6-113B-4B69-A75A-BE5AC022A606.jpeg
Yeah...my own personal bias, after learning from spending lots of $$$$$$ on high-end 2 channel gear when I was younger, is that I now lean towards transducers first and then tubes to provide the listening differences from a gear perspective. Hence my suggestion regarding the tube review instead!

For me, it's just too much effort to agonize over this stuff in my mind any more; rather just throw on some nice-sounding cans, hit shuffle, and enjoy the tunes :wink:

Honestly, I've gotten to the point where even the hassle of 'matched tubes' in an OTL amp isn't worth the effort to me and have moved to either SS or Hybrid amps depending on the setup in a given room.
I am more curious than anything else and each of us is unique in our likes and dislikes. I grew up with tubes, moved on to solid state, and now I am back with tubes. Schiit produces tube gear so I have heard a lot of it including the Coaster amp. My hearing is not what it once was so I concentrated on designing an amp that would allow me, or anyone else to hear the subtle differences in specific tubes. I had a visit with my audiologist last week and trust me I can use all the help I can get. :ksc75smile:
I was talking matched quads for this testing just to make all amps as identical as possible. I built all cables just as I did for Jason for a tube shootout.

We tested a few 6sn7's that are priceless. A friends grandfather was an engineer in tube production at RCA and they are one of a kind. I listened to a couple in my home and had to lock this guy out of the room just in case.
 
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Mar 1, 2022 at 4:00 PM Post #88,894 of 104,224

belgiangenius

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I hope I am open minded about such things.

Would you consider it a fair test if I purchased three of the fuses and had five friends do a blind listen as the fuses were placed in four identical headphone amps of my design? My way of thinking is to not tell anyone what changes were made, and put one or two or three of the purple fuses in random amps and let the group tell me when any amp's sound was improved? Naturally the amps would be shielded so that no one knew what component was changed and into which amp it was placed.

We can easily switch between amps and the headphones involved using music that was designed to show off 20 criteria within the audio spectrum. Most likely we could use some very good Sennheiser or Focal headphones.

If need be we could do individual scores on each amp as either type of fuse is placed inside, this could show if indeed there was a perceived change to any of the criteria when scored against a baseline amp or two, or three.

We have specific DAC's we like to use as well as speakers, were we to go with pre-amps and power amps.

Such a test would certainly reduce expectation bias and for all the folks knew, we might be changing a tube, or cables.

Mind you this would be done in an engineering lab and most likely the setup would be controlled by an audio engineer I often use. I am neutral about such things and if the purple fuses were correctly picked on a consistent basis, I would think they might warrant the $200 cost per fuse.

Now if the thought is the equipment was not accurate enough to show the difference, I can certainly lay my hands on other gear made by Pass or whomever. I would not involve myself in any listening and the test subjects I would use are not on Head Fi so they would most likely think we are trying new 6sn7 tubes. Naturally we could use test equipment to try to pick up any differences but I would prefer to keep this as a blind listen.

If there were any sonic differences caused by various fuses and assuming these were actually audible on your test equipment, my question would be: Would the sonic differences caused by different fuses exceed or be distinguishable from the natural variation between seemingly identical pieces of equipment? I suspect NOT, because I would expect fuses to make that little difference.

In other words, one Schiit Vidar might sound a tiny, tiny, tiny bit different than another Schiit Vidar and you might actually be hearing that.
 
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Mar 1, 2022 at 4:05 PM Post #88,895 of 104,224

wout31

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When I worked at Nimbus Records, I was an audio engineer in the Audio Mastering Dept. One slow day, I did some spring cleaning. The next day, one of our other audio engineers, asked what I had done to the room; that everything sounded so much better. All I had done was to unplug each cable and cleaned the contacts. I had also pulled all of the daughter cards, from our Sony 1630 processors, and cleaned all of the edge contacts. I admit, I was a bit surprised that the cleaning was so noticeable...! :smile_phones:
Is this also the answer to the fuses sounding better? Pulling them out and refitting the same ones could/would/should have the same effect as replacing them with the fancy ones?
Better contact, little tiny bit different sound.
 
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Mar 1, 2022 at 4:10 PM Post #88,896 of 104,224

Paladin79

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If there were any sonic differences caused by various fuses and assuming these were actually audible on your test equipment, my question would be: Would the sonic differences caused by different fuses exceed or be distinguishable from the natural variation between seemingly identical pieces of equipment? I suspect NOT, because I would expect fuses to make that little difference.

In other words, one Schiit Vidar might sounds a tiny, tiny, tiny bit different than another Schiit Vidar and you might actually be hearing that.
I may not have made this clear but we would perform several tests and have different combinations of the fuses in sets of amps. If one amp sounded better than the others regardless of which fuse was inside, we can remove it from the results if need be. The gentleman who brought up the fuses said the change was fairly obvious to him and I would think if one amp sounded better with a standard fuse, it may well be off the charts with the $200 fuse if a difference is heard. I would want each amp to have each type of fuse at least once therefore in a way we would be testing individual amps and be able to switch to other amps to see how they compare. I hope that makes sense. I am thinking through this as I do other work. :ksc75smile:

I did think of a quick comparison at first but I will make it more simple.

Imagine grading a Vidar with a standard fuse and a $200 fuse not knowing when the more expensive fuse is added in, and you do say three listens. It does not matter if another amp sounds the same or not. I also like the fact that you can switch between amps and think to yourself, wow 1 and 4 sound great, 2 and 3 do not. Just an easier way for the test person to differentiate on each of 20 categories.

Any further questions or observations should be sent to @bcowen esq., much of this is his fault. :ksc75smile:
 
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Mar 1, 2022 at 4:13 PM Post #88,897 of 104,224

Paladin79

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Is this also the answer to the fuses sounding better? Pulling them out and refitting the same ones could/would/should have the same effect as replacing them with the fancy ones?
Better contact, little tiny bit different sound.
I wondered that myself, it is why I mentioned a friend claims better SQ upon cleaning his fuses. I am more apt to think it occurs with interconnect cables or headphone cables or USB cables.
 
Mar 1, 2022 at 6:28 PM Post #88,900 of 104,224

dstrimbu

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I wondered that myself, it is why I mentioned a friend claims better SQ upon cleaning his fuses. I am more apt to think it occurs with interconnect cables or headphone cables or USB cables.
I totally agree @Paladin79 - cables can make an audible difference; I've heard cables described as "tone controls" before, and it's not too farfetched that the varying electrical properties of different cables can load an amp/pre-amp in a way that changes its response curve... and, since I'm not an EE or circuit designer I can only postulate. I have spent a reasonable amount on cabling from AudioQuest (balanced and SE interconnects), Cardas (USB) and Analysis Plus (AC and speaker cables), because I do believe that well-engineered stuff eliminates a lot of variables. Heck, that's why I love Schiit gear.

The fuse thing, though... fuses are metal strips or wire elements "of small cross section". Under normal operation, the fuse element stays intact. When too much current is drawn, the element itself (or a solder joint within) melts to open the circuit.. Am I right so far?

So wouldn't said fuse be a highly resistive element even in its normal operating range? And if somebody designed a fuse that offered the same protection with less resistance to current flow in the normal operating range, might that not be good?

Asking for a friend. I'd rather put $200 toward a pair 'o Tyrs, but it's worth debating... <g>
 
Mar 1, 2022 at 6:33 PM Post #88,902 of 104,224

golfbravobravo

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When I graduated from using PINE (Pine Is Not Elm) to Eudora as my email client, my first sig was "No longer PINEing for the fjords".

Nobody ever got it. I don't know if that's the sign of a good joke, or just that my target audience was so miniscule I never reached it
I went from the UK indigenous computer company where I ran development of all the "surround" or add-on products to an office automation suite (OFFICEPower, for anyone who is really old) to X/Open in 1991. The OA stuff was quite sophisticated for the time, fully inverted searches, workflow, imaging, etc. All worked well and was very nice for its day. I go to X/Open and they give me this "luggable" Compaq and it uses this weird system. elm. That lasted about a week. Non of the techies thought it was odd at all.
 
Mar 1, 2022 at 8:36 PM Post #88,903 of 104,224

Paladin79

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I totally agree @Paladin79 - cables can make an audible difference; I've heard cables described as "tone controls" before, and it's not too farfetched that the varying electrical properties of different cables can load an amp/pre-amp in a way that changes its response curve... and, since I'm not an EE or circuit designer I can only postulate. I have spent a reasonable amount on cabling from AudioQuest (balanced and SE interconnects), Cardas (USB) and Analysis Plus (AC and speaker cables), because I do believe that well-engineered stuff eliminates a lot of variables. Heck, that's why I love Schiit gear.

The fuse thing, though... fuses are metal strips or wire elements "of small cross section". Under normal operation, the fuse element stays intact. When too much current is drawn, the element itself (or a solder joint within) melts to open the circuit.. Am I right so far?

So wouldn't said fuse be a highly resistive element even in its normal operating range? And if somebody designed a fuse that offered the same protection with less resistance to current flow in the normal operating range, might that not be good?

Asking for a friend. I'd rather put $200 toward a pair 'o Tyrs, but it's worth debating... <g>
I am trying to stay neutral about the worth or lack of worth till friends and I are done. A fuse is not a high resistance, it is a conductor but not a great one. It has to have the ability to open at a specific current. Larger surface area would make it a better conductor but defeat its purpose.😉
 

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