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post #181 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 01:50 PM
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Therein lies the "wiggle room" for different DACS to sound differently. One is
not the correct DAC because NONE of them are exactly "correct" in the
sense stated above.

No one's made the assertion that DACs reconstruct an identical waveform. But virtually all come close enough that the differences are below audible thresholds. That's what three decades of objective listening tests, plus measurements, plus 150 years of psychoacoustics research tells us.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #182 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

Therein lies the "wiggle room" for different DACS to sound differently.

Then people with normal hearing capacity should be able to discern them when listening at matched volume levels without looking at them. Is that the case?
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post #183 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

No one's made the assertion that DACs reconstruct an identical waveform. But virtually all come close enough that the differences are below audible thresholds.

Perhaps. However, the fact that commonly used linear phase filters can give
one a signal that is acausal is a difference in type and not just magnitude.

One might make the argument that the differences were negligible and therefore
inaudible if the variance was only a difference in magnitude.

However, as the Keith Howard's paper demonstrates; the acausal ringing is a
distortion of a different type. The ringing in not in the noise, and because the
acausal ringing is something not heard in Nature, I would bet that many people
would find it audible, even though I don't have the test data to back that up.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
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post #184 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Then people with normal hearing capacity should be able to discern them when listening at matched volume levels without looking at them. Is that the case?

geekhd,

Some claim they do. There are lots of reviewers that claim to be able to discern
one DAC from another; but I can't speak for them.

However, I recently upgraded my audio system and replaced my old CD player
with a music server and outboard DAC combination. The new DAC has a choice
of two filters labeled "Measure" and "Listen". The "Measure" filter is the linear
phase filter that gives the best frequency response, and hence is the one they
want reviewers to use when they measure frequency response.

However, a frequency response measurement by definition must integrate
over time [ there's no such thing as a frequency response AT a point in time
since time and frequency are conjugate variables ], and hence temporal effects
can be masked. However, when I listen to this new combination of server and
DAC, it most certainly sounds different than my old CD player.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
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post #185 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 05:54 PM
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The ringing in not in the noise, and because the
acausal ringing is something not heard in Nature, I would bet that many people
would find it audible, even though I don't have the test data to back that up.

Then I can only say I hope you don't do physics like this.

As I said in my earlier post, the field of psychoacoustics is 150 years old. We have a very clear empirical model of human hearing. And according to that model, nothing that happens to a waveform in an ADC/DAC chain even comes close to being audible. The many DBT comparisons merely confirm that.

Venus revolves around the Sun, not the Earth. And you can't hear a difference between conventional DACs.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #186 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

No one's made the assertion that DACs reconstruct an identical waveform. But virtually all come close enough that the differences are below audible thresholds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

As I said in my earlier post, the field of psychoacoustics is 150 years old. We have a very clear empirical model of human hearing. And according to that model, nothing that happens to a waveform in an ADC/DAC chain even comes close to being audible.

So which is it, virtually all, or all? You cannot have it both ways.

Roger

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post #187 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 07:40 PM
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So which is it, virtually all, or all? You cannot have it both ways.

If you read closely, you'll see that those are not identical statements. But, yes, we do have to leave open the possibility of products that are badly designed, either purposefully or through incompetence.

In fact, if you scan the Matrix results, you'll get a pretty good handle on what qualifies as a bad design—things like non-oversampling DACs and those with tubed analog stages.

Guess I should probably add DACs with filters that alter frequency response. That'll make an audible difference.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #188 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

Some claim they do. There are lots of reviewers that claim to be able to discern
one DAC from another; but I can't speak for them.

Internet is full of claims. What about evidence, have you seen the ones supporting discern-able DACs when level matched?

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However, when I listen to this new combination of server and
DAC, it most certainly sounds different than my old CD player.

I've heard differences between audio components. Can you guess what caused the difference?
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post #189 of 224 Old 12-31-2010, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

Digital processing doesn't give you the "exact" analog waveform you started
out with - it gives you an approximation. How good that approximation is
determines the "sound" of the DAC.

A DAC only has a "sound" if the error is audible, which no one has ever been able to detect with a properly built DAC ($20 or $10,000) in a controlled study.

As for the link you proved, i'm not sure i understand the point. He took music recorded with an ADC (with its inherent filters), filtered it with some very questionable filters and unknown convolution algorithms then played it back through a DAC (with its inherent filters) and tried to conclude something about DAC filters?

He also appears to have tried to mimic analog filters by constructing FIR filters which is well, wrong. You'd want to implement those using IIR filters not to mention those topologies are of questionable application to modern ADC/DAC digital filters. Modern sigma-delta design are sampling at much much higher frequencies than the shannon-nyquist point, the digital filtering has no real impact in the audio band (which curiously he mentioned in the article). However not much was made of the fact that ADCs require analog anti-aliasing filters at their input and DACs require analog reconstruction filters at their output. These are generally designed with far fewer poles, are much closer to the audio band, and will have a larger impact on the system response than any digital filter in the IC.

I also have no idea why he wrote all this code himself and we have no idea what its doing in that code. He could have simply done this with scipy or octave if he doesn't have a copy of matlab. He also could have just produced error plots for each filter in the time and frequency domain rather than give us such enlightening descriptions as "fuller, duller and wiry" since those terms have no definition in acoustics or signal processing.
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post #190 of 224 Old 01-01-2011, 08:47 AM
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typical residential noise floor range between 35 to 45 db (40 - 50 db per EPA). That would invalidate at least half of those results and more per EPA, no?

I would like you to have 50 dBA at home for a day, I'm sure you'd sue your neighbors.
http://www.nonoise.org/library/levels/levels.htm
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On the basis of its interpretation of available scientific information, EPA has identified a range of yearly Day-Night Sound Levels sufficient to protect public health and welfare from the effects of environmental noise. It is very important that these noise levels, summarized in Table VIII, not be misconstrued. Since the protective levels were derived without concern for technical or economic feasibility, and contain a margin of safety to insure their protective value, they must not be viewed as standards, criteria, regulations, or goals. Rather, they should be viewed as levels below which there is no reason to suspect that the general population will be at risk from any of the identified effects of noise.

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Indoor activity inter- ference and annoyance Ldn < 45 dB Indoor residential areas

Levels to protect your health are not the same levels that you need for some activities like sleeping or studying or critical listening.
Quote:


Turning up the volume (within reasonable range) can alleviate the background noise problem. Most of the participants didn't have problem with this (half way down) Benchmark and Behringer DAC comparison session. vvv

5) Has harmed you the atmospheric noise?
Yes: 14%
No: 86%

Let's be clear. You are googletranslating a webpage trying to put me as a "subjectivist" but I was there and I'll tell you my subjective vision.

Matrix is so called because they think they have "The Truth" and they offer you two pills, a red one and a blue one... and if you chose the blue you are called a "smurf". There's nothing between the absolute owners of the truth and the ******* smurfs.

At one time there were some interesting engineers and technical people inside Matrix but the owners wanted to demonstrate more and more and some people warned things weren't being well done, they became smurfs and villains, while the absolute owners of the truth began calling themselves "talibans". Nowadays the activity at the Matrix forum is almost absolutely offending that people (including me) and I'm really honored to be on "the list".

If you make a DBT at Matrix and you find differences they will never publish them (unless it is between tubes-transistors) so DBT are called "banderas de Japón" (Japan flags) because their mission is to laugh at any people who think he can find differences but can't.

The Japan flag is a beautiful metaphor of how your ass will look like after the DBT. That's the kindness and friendship of those scientists who enjoy surrounding you wearing black t-shirts while laughing.

So my biased opinion is that you should make your tests rather than defending other people's ones made on the other side of the world.
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post #191 of 224 Old 01-01-2011, 09:16 AM
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Hey guys, I figured I'd check with the experts here, and I was hesitant to create a brand-new thread since I feel my question is quick and quite straight-forward.

I have quite a collection of Apple lossless files on my computer (I know some people aren't wild about ALAC, but I'm a huge fan of iTunes so it only made sense for me) and I would love to be able to play these files through my Energy speakers (and in the future, a great 2.0 stereo setup), but I'm unsure of which device(s) I need to go forwards.

I've been looking into getting an AppleTV, but I believe my computer with all the audio files must be on in order to stream the files, and if the computer is going to be on, I might as well get a dedicated HTPC with minimal power requirements that has more flexibility than an AppleTV, maybe an ITX system. If I build a HTPC and play the music files off of that directly, would I only need a sound card to connect to the receiver, or would an external DAC be preferable? Any ideas? Thanks!

edit: I was also just investigating the Cambridge Audio DacMagic device; so essentially, I build myself a cheap HTPC, connect the DacMagic to the PC via USB, and connect the DacMagic to my receiver, and BAM! Great-sounding ALAC files?
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post #192 of 224 Old 01-01-2011, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by game_fanatic View Post

Hey guys, I figured I'd check with the experts here, and I was hesitant to create a brand-new thread since I feel my question is quick and quite straight-forward.

I have quite a collection of Apple lossless files on my computer (I know some people aren't wild about ALAC, but I'm a huge fan of iTunes so it only made sense for me) and I would love to be able to play these files through my Energy speakers (and in the future, a great 2.0 stereo setup), but I'm unsure of which device(s) I need to go forwards.

I've been looking into getting an AppleTV, but I believe my computer with all the audio files must be on in order to stream the files, and if the computer is going to be on, I might as well get a dedicated HTPC with minimal power requirements that has more flexibility than an AppleTV, maybe an ITX system. If I build a HTPC and play the music files off of that directly, would I only need a sound card to connect to the receiver, or would an external DAC be preferable? Any ideas? Thanks!

GF, I have some opinions and info on the subject, but this really isn't the place; this isn't really the place for any civilized conversation...lol.

You can either PM me, and/or read and post in this area http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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Originally Posted by jose almagro View Post

If you make a DBT at Matrix and you find differences they will never publish them (unless it is between tubes-transistors)

Really? What about this?
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So my biased opinion is that you should make your tests rather than defending other people's ones made on the other side of the world.

There are those who did. They are not published like Matrix or other DBT results you see online.
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post #194 of 224 Old 01-01-2011, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Really? What about this?

I'm Spanish so I don't need translation but I can give you an abstract:
"That DAC has tubes inside so it sounds worse than a Discman"

I'm tired about Matrix, if you like them, it's OK but please don't try to convince me as I know it from the inside.
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post #195 of 224 Old 01-01-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jose almagro View Post

I'm tired about Matrix, if you like them, it's OK but please don't try to convince me as I know it from the inside.

You posted your take on it and some of us are responding to it. vvv
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I have to agree the Benchmark sounded to me as the Behringer.

Would you say that your result would have been different if the room was quieter?
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post #196 of 224 Old 01-01-2011, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

No one's made the assertion that DACs reconstruct an identical waveform. But virtually all come close enough that the differences are below audible thresholds. That's what three decades of objective listening tests, plus measurements, plus 150 years of psychoacoustics research tells us.

"150 years of psychoacoustics research".......... Yes indeedy. There's something we can all hang our hats on.
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post #197 of 224 Old 01-02-2011, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by xianthax View Post

However not much was made of the fact that ADCs require analog anti-aliasing filters at their input and DACs require analog reconstruction filters at their output. These are generally designed with far fewer poles, are much closer to the audio band, and will have a larger impact on the system response than any digital filter in the IC.

Good point xianthax. Manufacturers have been too busy trying to improve digital electronics. AFAIK great digital filtering and "jitter free" technologies are the main design goals nowadays.

But still you have to deal with analog filters within the 20-22 kHz range.
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post #198 of 224 Old 01-02-2011, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Would you say that your result would have been different if the room was quieter?

I don't know but I can tell you I decided to buy a Benchmark after making DBTs, and I'm sure a Buffalo sounds better than my Benchmark without making DBTs.

DBTs are a nice way of training your ears or to manipulate people.
People will hear what you tell them to hear
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Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

"jitter free" technologies are the main design goals nowadays.

I have several measurements of the Benchmark DAC (supposed to have "total jitter immunity with Benchmark phase accurate UltraLock technology") and you can see clear differencies in jitter using several digital sources and even small differences using different cables using a j-test signal.
http://www.nanophon.com/audio/diagnose.pdf
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I don't know but I can tell you I decided to buy a Benchmark after making DBTs,

Do you mean DBT result wasn't a factor on that decision? I'm not trying to criticize your decision. It's your money.

Quote:
DBTs are a nice way of training your ears

Is that what they do to acquire trained ears status in audio industry?

Quote:
or to manipulate people.
“People will hear what you tell them to hear”

You mean preconceived notion. Those are white papers and published testimonies by the companies selling such products. They implant such expectations and belief to potential buyers. See example quoted below. vvv
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I'm sure a Buffalo sounds better than my Benchmark without making DBTs.

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Originally Posted by jose almagro View Post

and you can see clear differencies

There are clearly visible differences among many DACs and other audio component measurements. The question is, are those differences audible to us? Some claimed so but haven't been able to prove it.
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post #202 of 224 Old 01-02-2011, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose almagro View Post

I have several measurements of the Benchmark DAC (supposed to have "total jitter immunity with Benchmark phase accurate UltraLock technology") and you can see clear differencies in jitter using several digital sources and even small differences using different cables using a j-test signal.
http://www.nanophon.com/audio/diagnose.pdf

Thanks Jose. I've just downloaded the paper. I'll go through it and come back with comments.
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post #203 of 224 Old 01-02-2011, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by par4 View Post

"150 years of psychoacoustics research".......... Yes indeedy. There's something we can all hang our hats on.

Better than not having any at all, as some posters, right par4?
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post #204 of 224 Old 01-02-2011, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

Good point xianthax. Manufacturers have been too busy trying to improve digital electronics. AFAIK great digital filtering and "jitter free" technologies are the main design goals nowadays.

But still you have to deal with analog filters within the 20-22 kHz range.

Not with high sample rate A-Ds and oversampling D-As. The analog filters are well beyond the audible range.

Roger

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Originally Posted by Morbius View Post

... There are lots of reviewers that claim to be able to discern
one DAC from another; but I can't speak for them.

....

Oh, but can they do it under level matched and bias controlled conditions? Doubtful.
So, just some more testimonials of dubious value.
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post #206 of 224 Old 01-02-2011, 09:26 PM
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Better than not having any at all, as some posters, right par4?

Maybe for you.
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post #207 of 224 Old 01-03-2011, 05:06 AM
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Do you mean DBT result wasn't a factor on that decision? I'm not trying to criticize your decision. It's your money.


Is that what they do to acquire trained ears status in audio industry?


You mean preconceived notion.

My English isn't very good but I don't think it's so bad to make you misunderstand so often. DBTs helped me chose the Benchmark and get rid of the Behringer, OK?

Working as anything gives you a training, I don't care about nobody's status, specially if that status is given by ignorants.

Quote:


Those are white papers and published testimonies by the companies selling such products. They implant such expectations and belief to potential buyers. See example quoted below. vvv

You'll fit well at Matrix, if someone don't agree with you and you can't call him silly because he's a well respected professional, you'll tell he's a seller.

Well done.
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post #208 of 224 Old 01-03-2011, 07:58 AM
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Jose, can you comment further on the test you performed with the Benchmark and the Behringer to give more specifics? And thanks for travelling here to partake in the discussion!

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #209 of 224 Old 01-03-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose almagro View Post

My English isn't very good but I don't think it's so bad to make you misunderstand so often. DBTs helped me chose the Benchmark and get rid of the Behringer, OK?

This quote below suggests that the sound quality was same to you. Your decision was based on something else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jose almagro View Post

I have to agree the Benchmark sounded to me as the Behringer. Well, later I had a Behringer for few weeks and I bought a Benchmark DAC1.

DBT was comparing sound (blind test) not aesthetics, price comparison or status symbol potential. The result of that DBT (sound only comparison) wasn't a factor on your decision to buy Benchmark. Unless you were trying to say that Benchmark sounded to you NOT as Behringer. Is that what you were trying to type?

Quote:


Working as anything gives you a training, I don't care about nobody's status, specially if that status is given by ignorants.

I'm asking you if "DBTs are a nice way of training your ears" is the industry standard that professionals use.

Quote:


You'll fit well at Matrix, if someone don't agree with you and you can't call him silly because he's a well respected professional, you'll tell he's a seller.

Well done.

I'm aware of other published and unpublished DBTs of DACs and the results match the ones shown on Matrix. If you are aware of other published and unpublished DBTs of DACs that contradicts those on Matrix, please feel free to share.
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post #210 of 224 Old 01-05-2011, 03:58 AM
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In my village we have a saying: "A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan".
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

This quote below suggests that the sound quality was same to you.

At the test made by Matrix both sounded the same for me but I made more DBT, OK?
Quote:
I'm asking you if "DBTs are a nice way of training your ears" is the industry standard that professionals use.

I know an awarded sound engineer who told me "my work is dealing with blind tests every day". Of course he didn't mean surrounded by guys dressed in black trying to make your ass look like a Japan flag.
jose almagro is offline  
Reply CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

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