Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)
Jul 17, 2015 at 7:00 AM Post #6,286 of 6,492

wink

His amps are made out of recycled beer cans
and his source from tomatos.
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Posts
20,308
Likes
3,611
Quote:Lukeap69
 
I'm awaiting the MAGIC DAC which is not dependent on the recorded material, but accesses the original sound when it was recorded. It comes with a gallon can of snake oil to lubricate the metaphysical machinery manufactured by  Morgul minions securely ensconced within the hermetically sealed Faraday cage casing.


Does the case need to be hermetically sealed?

Short answer: YES
 
Long answer: Due to the pervasive manner in which any radiated emanations such as RF has in its ability to impinge upon any susceptible electronic circuitry which is not completely enclosed in a radiation-proof enclosure such as a Faraday cage, it is incumbent upon the builder of said electronic equipment to negate the effects of any spurious radiation which would affect and thus detract from the proper working of the said electronics by placing it in an enclosure which would prevent the radiation from affecting the circuitry by blocking the aforesaid radiation, and thus allowing the circuitry to perform to it's designred and desired manner. Anything less is a negation of the proper construction and usage of the device being manufactured, whether it is a commercial unit or a DIY item.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 8:01 AM Post #6,287 of 6,492

lukeap69

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Posts
2,466
Likes
330
  Short answer: YES
 
Long answer: Due to the pervasive manner in which any radiated emanations such as RF has in its ability to impinge upon any susceptible electronic circuitry which is not completely enclosed in a radiation-proof enclosure such as a Faraday cage, it is incumbent upon the builder of said electronic equipment to negate the effects of any spurious radiation which would affect and thus detract from the proper working of the said electronics by placing it in an enclosure which would prevent the radiation from affecting the circuitry by blocking the aforesaid radiation, and thus allowing the circuitry to perform to it's designred and desired manner. Anything less is a negation of the proper construction and usage of the device being manufactured, whether it is a commercial unit or a DIY item.


Oh that makes sense. I should have known this earlier because my DAC is only semi-hermitically sealed. This is probably why it is half musical and half analytical. Thanks for explaining.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 11:16 AM Post #6,288 of 6,492

Stillhart

CanJam@RMAF 2015 Karting Champion
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Posts
6,652
Likes
3,231
Location
Las Vegas
With a warped record, you will hear changes in pace, rhythm and timing because the record is speeding up and slowing down relative to the needle.  With a digital playback device, there's nothing that would cause those things to change.  Unless there's some sort of DSP in there that's actively changing the signal to speed it up and/or slow it down, I guess.  I'm not aware of any DAC's or Amps that actively change the speed of the playback in order to effect the PRAT.  Can anyone provide an example?
 
EDIT - Let's say a device does affect PRAT.  Let's say you're listening to "Happy" by Pharrell and somehow it sounds snappier and happier!  What happens when you listen to something chill by Pink Floyd?  Does it get snappier and happier too?  Or does it somehow know that you want it to be more chill?  This makes no sense to me.
 
But as always I'm happy to be proven wrong if anyone can provide empirical evidence.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 11:33 AM Post #6,289 of 6,492

BassDigger

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Posts
530
Likes
95
Location
In at the deep end.
"If no one can measure, explain or even comprehend it, it cannot exist." said the wise scientist.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 11:36 AM Post #6,290 of 6,492

Stillhart

CanJam@RMAF 2015 Karting Champion
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Posts
6,652
Likes
3,231
Location
Las Vegas
  "If no one can measure, explain or even comprehend it, it cannot exist." said the wise scientist.

 
I'm not asking for measurements or explanations, I'm asking for a concrete example so I can hear it for myself.  I didn't believe $500 USB cables made a difference until someone let me try one.  I still can't explain that one.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 12:27 PM Post #6,291 of 6,492

BassDigger

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Posts
530
Likes
95
Location
In at the deep end.
 
I'm not asking for measurements or explanations, I'm asking for a concrete example so I can hear it for myself.  I didn't believe $500 USB cables made a difference until someone let me try one.  I still can't explain that one.

 
You mention cables; my most recent example is a cable. When trying out a CAT5 networking cable, to replace the standard cable for my lcd2, the cat5 sounds faster. The music cannot possibly be faster (the only difference is the cable), but it sounds that way. This is, both new and now burnt in, the biggest difference between the standard and cat5 cables.
 
I was going to suggest that you do what I did, a few years back, and get a cheap vintage TDA1541 player and compare it to a more 'contemporary' model. But, it seems that you already have some good R-2R stuff. I guess that you haven't noticed any difference in the prat type musicality, when comparing between dacs.
 
Some time ago I read an article that, as I recall, explained that the differences, in the way that R-2R and D-S dacs process the data, affects the converted signal that's produced. And that the timing aspect is a key casualty of of the DS process. This stuck with me, because of my own impressions.
Maybe I should have a serious look to see if I can rediscover this source, But in the meantime, I've been hoping that somebody contributing to this forum would have an understanding of this phenomenon and would be willing to explain it (in terms that I can understand).
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 5:18 PM Post #6,294 of 6,492

Stillhart

CanJam@RMAF 2015 Karting Champion
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Posts
6,652
Likes
3,231
Location
Las Vegas
   
You mention cables; my most recent example is a cable. When trying out a CAT5 networking cable, to replace the standard cable for my lcd2, the cat5 sounds faster. The music cannot possibly be faster (the only difference is the cable), but it sounds that way. This is, both new and now burnt in, the biggest difference between the standard and cat5 cables.
 
I was going to suggest that you do what I did, a few years back, and get a cheap vintage TDA1541 player and compare it to a more 'contemporary' model. But, it seems that you already have some good R-2R stuff. I guess that you haven't noticed any difference in the prat type musicality, when comparing between dacs.
 
Some time ago I read an article that, as I recall, explained that the differences, in the way that R-2R and D-S dacs process the data, affects the converted signal that's produced. And that the timing aspect is a key casualty of of the DS process. This stuck with me, because of my own impressions.
Maybe I should have a serious look to see if I can rediscover this source, But in the meantime, I've been hoping that somebody contributing to this forum would have an understanding of this phenomenon and would be willing to explain it (in terms that I can understand).

 
Well I'm a drummer with a pretty well-trained sense of timing and rhythm.  As you agree that the music cannot be faster, the only difference has to be in your perception of the music.  Perhaps my training as a drummer makes me less likely to perceive differences in timing that we all agree aren't actually there.  *shrug*
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 8:02 PM Post #6,295 of 6,492

Sonic Defender

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 9, 2011
Posts
12,293
Likes
3,737
Location
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
   
I totally disagree with your point about timing. To me (and in my experience), this is the key difference between the two technologies; R-2R is simply more musical, because it seems to be better at conveying rhythmic complexities, that DS even just misses. Since changing to r2r I've even, on one occasion (so far), noticed a more complex tune in some percussion, on a very familiar track (Paranoid Android), that I'd only previously noticed as a simpler beat.
 


While you may be correct, this can just as easily (in fact more plausibly) be explained by expectation bias. It is difficult to believe that these tiny machine measureable differences are so apparent that they can be perceived as easily detected differences like that. Sorry, but until we have blind listening data demonstrating such things we need to be quite skeptical. The very notion that DAC architectures can change rhythmic perception is quite hard to fathom. I also play drums and have fairly good rhythm (that's what she said) and I just can't imagine how DACs can alter rhythmic accuracy so much so that it is audible. No disrespect meant.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 11:39 PM Post #6,296 of 6,492

BassDigger

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Posts
530
Likes
95
Location
In at the deep end.
  "If no one can measure, explain or even comprehend it, it cannot exist." said the wise scientist.

 
Originally Posted by US Blues /img/forum/go_quote.gif

What if one perceives it?

 
Sorry; my bad; it should have read:
 
"If no one can measure, comprehend or even imagine it......
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 2:37 AM Post #6,297 of 6,492

jcx

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Posts
2,371
Likes
369
yes its fun reading the twisting of logic to "explain" PRaT as a audiophile quality - and especially how digital audio isn't superior in PRaT to all analog recording/playback tech
 
another interesting factoid from a lecture by a recording engineer that bridged the analog tape to digital transition is that he believed the younger generation of professional studio musicians he records that learned by listening/comparing to much more time stable digital playback now have much superior timing skills themselves over previous generations that had only mag tape an vinyl playback for reference, comparison
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 8:34 AM Post #6,298 of 6,492

BassDigger

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Posts
530
Likes
95
Location
In at the deep end.

 
Well I'm a drummer with a pretty well-trained sense of timing and rhythm.  As you agree that the music cannot be faster, the only difference has to be in your perception of the music.  Perhaps my training as a drummer makes me less likely to perceive differences in timing that we all agree aren't actually there.  *shrug*

While you may be correct, this can just as easily (in fact more plausibly) be explained by expectation bias. It is difficult to believe that these tiny machine measureable differences are so apparent that they can be perceived as easily detected differences like that. Sorry, but until we have blind listening data demonstrating such things we need to be quite skeptical. The very notion that DAC architectures can change rhythmic perception is quite hard to fathom. I also play drums and have fairly good rhythm (that's what she said) and I just can't imagine how DACs can alter rhythmic accuracy so much so that it is audible. No disrespect meant.

  yes its fun reading the twisting of logic to "explain" PRaT as a audiophile quality - and especially how digital audio isn't superior in PRaT to all analog recording/playback tech
 
another interesting factoid from a lecture by a recording engineer that bridged the analog tape to digital transition is that he believed the younger generation of professional studio musicians he records that learned by listening/comparing to much more time stable digital playback now have much superior timing skills themselves over previous generations that had only mag tape an vinyl playback for reference, comparison

 
This is just the 'great cable debate', only about a different component.
Our expectations, realisations, perceptions, beliefs and understandings surely all differ. Actually, we don't really understand how reality works, or even what it is; never mind how we perceive it.
 
Sure, properly done, bb tests will help to get closer to some kind of conclusion. But I don't believe they can ever be absolute.
i.e. How would you prefer to make an important assessment?
Spend years becoming totally familiar with one experience, in the comfort of your own home, alone and in your own time, being totally relaxed and absorbed in the experience, many times, over a prolonged period, before being introduced to the alternative.
Or would you be more comfortable and perceptive when doing quick comparisons, in the company of others and under some pressure to find a result, whether it be proof of a difference or proof of no difference.
In which situation would any possible differences, if they existed, be more apparent to you?
Yes; I've missed numerous mitigating factors, in this comparison. But these are factors for both sides.
 
My guess is that this possible phenomenon is perceptible, not because we can hear it, but more because we can hear a difference caused by its effects on the output signal and ultimately to our perception of the music (or mine and many others perception). E.g. As someone has mentioned, we cannot hear jitter. Be we can hear the effects of jitter. What if the effects of jitter are more widespread than we currently understand? This is just one example, that I can think of. I'm sure there are others that I could use, if I had a better understanding of the subject.
 
What exactly is 'audiophile' anything? I'm sorry, it's just one of those words that I'm reluctant to associate myself with. I guess it's like calling yourself a connoisseur or a gourmet. Does anyone (or anything) have an 'audiophile' certificate? I'm just a music lover who's into hifi. Like most of us, I guess. Please, let's not try and continue to discuss how this word relates to......anything.
 
Regarding the importance of PRaT: I'd say that it's one of the (perhaps the) key fundamentals of music; timing effects not only when a note is reproduced, but the pitch of the note itself. Actually, I'm not really suggesting that pitch is a factor, between dac technologies (although it could well be). But the timing of musical notes is surely what makes them musical. And musical is what myself, and a growing number of others, find R-2R is when compared to D-S. I'm sure that someone, somewhere, has a pretty good idea of why!
 
I thought that analog timing variations are usually quite obvious and easily explainable. It would be interesting to compare the prat abilities of analog and digital. But maybe that's for another.....discussion.
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 11:18 AM Post #6,299 of 6,492

pldelisle

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 28, 2015
Posts
75
Likes
12
Don't know if you remember me, but months ago I bought a Schiit Gungnir + Asgard 2. I had Sennheiser Momentum headphones. 
 
I recently found a buddy in university that had a pair of BeyerDynamics DT990 250 ohms edition. He accepted to borrow me these ones for the week-end.
 
Wow !!!!! This is simply not comparable to the Sennheiser. The sound has a LOT more air, better highs and bass, a lot more detailed. The only disadvantage is that I hear my mechanical keyboard while typing :p (programmer's inside). 
 
Just wanted to give reason to anybody here that was saying my Momentum were simply not enough to show the full potential of my system. Well guys, you are completely right ! :p 
 
Thanks ! 
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 7:46 PM Post #6,300 of 6,492

wahsmoh

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Posts
1,460
Likes
322
  Don't know if you remember me, but months ago I bought a Schiit Gungnir + Asgard 2. I had Sennheiser Momentum headphones. 
 
I recently found a buddy in university that had a pair of BeyerDynamics DT990 250 ohms edition. He accepted to borrow me these ones for the week-end.
 
Wow !!!!! This is simply not comparable to the Sennheiser. The sound has a LOT more air, better highs and bass, a lot more detailed. The only disadvantage is that I hear my mechanical keyboard while typing :p (programmer's inside). 
 
Just wanted to give reason to anybody here that was saying my Momentum were simply not enough to show the full potential of my system. Well guys, you are completely right ! :p 
 
Thanks ! 


You need to go out and buy yourself a planar headphone and you will really be taking full advantage of Gungnir + Asgard 2.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top