Trust Your Ears...
Apr 27, 2010 at 3:25 AM Post #31 of 165

semisight

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Posts
904
Likes
12
So if amps aren't quite your cup of tea, why bother? It saves more money for better phones
biggrin.gif
. I've found what amps I've heard to be somewhat disappointing myself.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 3:38 AM Post #32 of 165

Crazy*Carl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Posts
852
Likes
28
Quote:

Originally Posted by semisight /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So if amps aren't quite your cup of tea, why bother? It saves more money for better phones
biggrin.gif
. I've found what amps I've heard to be somewhat disappointing myself.



Ya, I am trying to figure this all out. What makes it so incredibly hard is you can't demo this stuff in stores. If you could, it would be so much different. An audio forum is almost ironic - using text to talk about sound.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 3:41 AM Post #33 of 165

leichnitz

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Posts
156
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Head Injury /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My DAC upgrade made a difference. Not a tiny one like slightly improved timbre and texture that could easily be dismissed as placebo. I heard things I did not and still cannot hear without the DAC. Notes in the bass that appear as a blob otherwise, the perceived space between a pair of instruments that is filled before. Still not an extreme difference by any means, but as a (still?) junior Head-Fier I remain skeptical of anything high-end but headphones, and so I doubt it is all placebo. Still, if I had the means I would love to DBT myself. Maybe I could save some money!

So you not being able to hear a difference is both a blessing and a curse. Thus, I both feel sorry for you and your forever condemnation to the low and mid-fi, yet also envy you with every green bill in my pocket.

If I could do it all over again, maybe I wouldn't settle for a $99 DAC. Knowing what I know now about the quite small improvements, I think I could be as content either sticking with the sound card I already had, or leaping forth to the $200-300 range in hopes of finding something less subtle. But I don't feel like going to the trouble of selling it and trying again
biggrin.gif



I second this response. I have only had one "OMG" moment so far in upgrading my equipment. I went from a NAD CD player's internal DAC to an external DAC (Cambridge Audio DACMagic) and the difference really surprised me. I actually got one of those big goofy smiles listening to some familiar material on this new DAC.

On the other hand, I went to (actually, hosted) a meet up here in California a few months ago and could not honestly tell a great difference between much of the equipment.

So, if you are suggesting that all upgrades are placebo for all people, I guess I have to agree with Head Injury that our own experiences make us reach different conclusions. But I also think Head Injury has a good point in suggesting that if you don't hear a big difference, great, then just enjoy music on whatever equipment you already have! It is really about the music at the end of the day, not the equipment. Maybe you blessed if this experience allows you to just enjoy what you have.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 4:09 AM Post #34 of 165

Happy Camper

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Posts
9,040
Likes
253
Location
STL area
Quote:

Originally Posted by Head Injury /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My DAC upgrade made a difference. Not a tiny one like slightly improved timbre and texture that could easily be dismissed as placebo. I heard things I did not and still cannot hear without the DAC. Notes in the bass that appear as a blob otherwise, the perceived space between a pair of instruments that is filled before. Still not an extreme difference by any means, but as a (still?) junior Head-Fier I remain skeptical of anything high-end but headphones, and so I doubt it is all placebo. Still, if I had the means I would love to DBT myself. Maybe I could save some money!

So you not being able to hear a difference is both a blessing and a curse. Thus, I both feel sorry for you and your forever condemnation to the low and mid-fi, yet also envy you with every green bill in my pocket.

If I could do it all over again, maybe I wouldn't settle for a $99 DAC. Knowing what I know now about the quite small improvements, I think I could be as content either sticking with the sound card I already had, or leaping forth to the $200-300 range in hopes of finding something less subtle. But I don't feel like going to the trouble of selling it and trying again
biggrin.gif



Meets are just for this purpose. Next meet, come on down. Some of this stuff don't need weeks, days, hours to tell a difference.
biggrin.gif
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 4:18 AM Post #35 of 165

Mochan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Posts
2,005
Likes
47
Personally I have tried a lot of DACs and AMPs and they offer very miniscule differences. I've owned quite a few myself and sold almost all of them because the differences were negligible. I guess I am blessed and cursed to not have Golden Ears -- therefore it seems I don't need stuff that in the $100 to $200 range as they offer little improvement.

I still have an Auzentech Prelude soundcard in my PC and it is better than any USB DAC I have attached to it.

Anyway that said I still like having some of the amps and DACs around. I very much liked the sound of the D4 Mamba's DAC, and I like the soft, smooth sound of the D10 Cobra. The aggressive sound of the Mini^3 and Petite were noticeable but not significant enough for me to justify keeping them -- so I sold or traded them off.

Right now I only have two amps -- a cheap HeadAmp4 which serves well as a basic amp and my integrated Marantz 1090 which despite being integrated sounded better than my LittleDot MkII.

All in all I agree -- trust your ears -- and if you don't like it, sell it. I am having a lot of fun in this hobby trying out different stuff and the journey is its own reward for me. I keep the stuff I like and sell or trade the ones I don't.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 4:27 AM Post #36 of 165

semisight

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Posts
904
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ya, I am trying to figure this all out. What makes it so incredibly hard is you can't demo this stuff in stores. If you could, it would be so much different. An audio forum is almost ironic - using text to talk about sound.


It gets even more confusing when you read reviews about "bright" headphones with "crunchy" bass. Unless it's an edible desk lamp I'd rather people describe things in terms of frequency response, it can clear up a lot of confusion.

If you want to "demo" an amp, you can buy it in the for sale forums and sell it when you're done. It's not perfect and you may lose money on shipping, but the hit should be worth the experience.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 4:35 AM Post #37 of 165

Crazy*Carl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Posts
852
Likes
28
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mochan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I guess I am blessed and cursed to not have Golden Ears


Ya, the whole golden ear thing... more like delusional ears.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 4:42 AM Post #38 of 165

Audio Jester

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Posts
1,103
Likes
56
I might on a different wavelength that most others, but my opinion of DACs and amps is that they strive to be neutral to allow the headphones to speak for themselves. There is the case of tube amps and warm-sounding SS amps, but that is to modify the sound to play to a headphone's strengths. So with that in mind should it not be headphones as close to 100% of the sound signature as possible?
@ OP: Maybe you should try rigs that really add something to the sound (Dark/Warm etc)?
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 4:46 AM Post #39 of 165

earthpeople

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Posts
2,050
Likes
33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ya, the whole golden ear thing... more like delusional ears.


I can understand that you don't believe there is a true difference between amps and DACs from your experience, but I don't understand why you have to be so insolent in your replies calling people liars and delusional. Can you explain this to me?
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 5:00 AM Post #41 of 165

Region2

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Posts
726
Likes
18
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ya, I am trying to figure this all out. What makes it so incredibly hard is you can't demo this stuff in stores. If you could, it would be so much different. An audio forum is almost ironic - using text to talk about sound.


But then it frees up having to listen to people so you can listen to more music
beyersmile.png
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 5:41 AM Post #42 of 165

Feanor

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2004
Posts
1,162
Likes
12
I wouldn't go so far as calling them delusional ears, but I would argue that most differences in sound made by amps or dacs are much smaller than one would expect based on the reviews and impressions. If one is not listening critically then these differences are usually not apparent (in my experience at least). Of course, integrated motherboard audio is definitely sub-par, the first step away from it is noticeable in non-critical listening.

One example of no earth shattering differences being heard between two very different amp constructions, and you know there are a lot more like this.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 7:10 AM Post #43 of 165

Crazy*Carl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Posts
852
Likes
28
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthpeople /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I can understand that you don't believe there is a true difference between amps and DACs from your experience, but I don't understand why you have to be so insolent in your replies calling people liars and delusional. Can you explain this to me?


I never refered to any individuals as lairs or being delusional, just that there is some around
wink.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by Feanor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would argue that most differences in sound made by amps or dacs are much smaller than one would expect based on the reviews and impressions.


Absolutely Agree
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 7:12 AM Post #44 of 165

Crazy*Carl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Posts
852
Likes
28
Quote:

Originally Posted by Audio Jester /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I might on a different wavelength that most others, but my opinion of DACs and amps is that they strive to be neutral to allow the headphones to speak for themselves. There is the case of tube amps and warm-sounding SS amps, but that is to modify the sound to play to a headphone's strengths. So with that in mind should it not be headphones as close to 100% of the sound signature as possible?
@ OP: Maybe you should try rigs that really add something to the sound (Dark/Warm etc)?



If I wanted to change the sound, then I could just use an eq, not pay hundreds for a dark or bright sounding amp.
 
Apr 27, 2010 at 7:17 AM Post #45 of 165

VALIENTE

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Posts
1,005
Likes
26
Location
Albay, Philippines
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If I wanted to change the sound, then I could just use an eq, not pay hundreds for a dark sounding amp.


...or simply grab a Grado SR60 and forget those amps, DACS, cables, etc.
ksc75smile.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top