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Some questions about settings (sample rate, latency, etc.) for an external USB DAC running off of ASIO

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by goodyfresh, Jul 30, 2015.
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  1. KeithEmo
    You seem more interested in arguing trivial semantics than in addressing the actual point of my post, which is that we all make assumptions, or evaluations, or whatever you prefer to call them, based on prior experience and generalized knowledge. For example, if my neighbor were to knock on my front door and ask me if I wanted to see the real live unicorn that just wandered into her back yard, I would probably consider the likelihood of there actually being a real live unicorn in her yard pretty low, if she said that it was a horse instead, I would still consider it very unlikely, but less so than with a unicorn, and, if she'd said a dog, then I would consider it to be not at all unlikely.
    My point was that, while one might argue that "all unproven hypotheses might possibly be true", we still apply basic "rules of thumb" when determining which ones are worth the effort to examine and which are not. And, in the "audiophile world",  most of us consider a claim that a documented measurable difference may correlate to an audible difference to be a lot more likely, and so more worth our effort to confirm or deny, than a claim that an audible difference exists where there is no measured difference with which it might correlate. The overriding point being that, since none of us have the unlimited time or resources necessary to thoroughly test every claim we hear, we all make "snap judgements", based on only partial clues, to decide which ones to pursue and which ones to ignore.
    EVERYBODY does this; no pharmaceutical company has the time and resources to test every chemical to confirm its effects on every medical condition, no electrical engineer tests every possible way of connecting each component "just in case" it works better in some new and unusual configuration, and no audiophile has the time and money to audition every component.
    (It has been suggested that the human ability to approximate and generalize this way almost certainly evolved as a survival trait. When a small primate living on the savannah hears an odd noise, he is most likely to survive if he pays attention to "lion like noises" and ignores "cricket like noises" - and so learning to make a good guess as to whether a given noise is one or the other is an excellent survival trait. A modern equivalent would be to pay attention to claims which might prove useful, and which seem to be based upon, or at least don't contradict, "known science", and ignore ones that seem to be based on emotional or unscientific premises. Some folks refer to this as a "BS detector" - and some people's BS detectors seem to work a lot better than others. )
  2. KeithEmo
  3. frodeni
    On the original topic.
    I use an Oppo HA-1, and it is very sensitive to the digital input. In particular, it is sensitive to noise carried by USB. It is flat out frustrating trying to combat the issue, as digital noise often times appears to improve the music. Like dithering would.
    In my case, there is no use upscaling the output to 24/192, and leave it at that. That just sounds worse. In my case, the upscaling is best left to the DAC.
    Also, the ASIO settings are in my case, significantly best at max.
    Also, players that support ASIO, sounds significantly better.
    A DAC more robust on the input, might respond differently. I never had that.
    Also, we all hear things differently. I know that many of my friends, simply would not be able to hear any difference on what I describe here. A good start is just to play with the ASIO settings, using a ASIO sensitive player, like Tidal. Some gear are more sensitive than others, as will be the experience by the listener. In general, the higher settings should sound the best, yet it would not be a crazy guess, that some people will prefer the sound of the lower settings.
    Some might not hear the difference between the build in driver, and ASIO. That is fine to. Then, that is how it is, for them. But in my case, I do. To me, the difference is like screaming, which is my experience.
    As I have said, digital noise and defects are flat out frustrating to work with. In the end, that really do not matter. Play around, and use whatever sound the best to you. If you hear no difference, use what is most efficient for the computer, as that will increase the performance.
    If I got it right, that is exactly what the guy who started this thread, ended up doing. Smart move.
    Wise words indeed.
    As for me, I trust my senses. If I hear a difference, I hear a difference. I have lived long enough, to know how to challenge my senses, when they are off. Or rather, my senses are hardly ever off, but my understanding of what they are telling me, might be completely off.
    Like applying a USM filter to a photograph. Now that will degrade the image, and I know that. Still to my senses, it will appear sharper. So I still happily apply the filter. But usually, I save a copy of the original, that is not degraded. If I need a different magnification on a later stage, requiring a different USM, I still got that option. It is all about sensing, knowledge and understanding.
    A lot of people can hear differences in sound reproduction, but they simply do not know what to listen for, or how to decipher what the senses tell them. Let alone, express it in words. Add the chaotic nature of digital noise, and the harse claims made by many on what they should hear, and people turn afraid to listen to what they hear them self.
    If anyone is still interested in the particular differences I had on this topic, I will happily share them. It is not really that hard to hear differences, once you know what to listen for. But you need to trust your senses, as there will be plenty of people telling you not to. Also, the differences I experience, might not embody in exactly the same way for your rig. Which is the whole point. But knowing what usually is the issues and changes, is a bloody good start. If not, you need to be a natural on this, something few people are.
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