Anyone heard the new Parasound Halo CD 1? - AVS Forum
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I curious if anyone has actually heard the new Parasound Halo CD 1?
Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:08 AM
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I curious if anyone has actually heard the new Parasound Halo CD 1?
Thanks!

In general CD players are sonically transparent and sound the same. If the Halo sounded different, then it would probably have some kind of severe problem. Is there any reason to expect this to be true?
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:26 PM
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Parasound makes all sorts of claims about its improved sound quality over standard CD players.

If you read the marketing material - or a gushing review - before you listen to the CD1, then you will hear the difference.

If you are unaware of what you're listening to, you won't hear the difference! wink.gif

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:44 PM
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I'm also very curious to read some thoughtful reviews on Parasound's new cd player. My experience over the years has taught me that many of the improvements that folks frequently scoff at are very real and plainly heard on a well tuned system.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post

I'm also very curious to read some thoughtful reviews on Parasound's new cd player. My experience over the years has taught me that many of the improvements that folks frequently scoff at are very real and plainly heard on a well tuned system.

It has been my experience over decades that the alleged audible differences vanish when the listening test is done carefully.

One of the keys to a careful test is providing the listener for a fast switch with switchover times well under a second.

I find that a basic tool for implmenting such a thing might be here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-8-Channel-Relay-Board-RS232-Serial-controlled-/280758385304?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item415e80fa98
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:56 AM
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I have seen various iterations of this argument for decades. I think it is of no value to continue it. Clearly we are each satisfied with what we hear and enjoy.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:47 AM
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I have seen various iterations of this argument for decades. I think It is of no value to continue it. Clearly we are each satisfied with what we hear and enjoy.

One probable difference being that I continue to revisit your viewpoint, just to be sure.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:23 AM
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Isn't that a bit like periodically putting your one oar in the water to see if you are still rowing in a circle? Seriously though, I've found that there are a myriad of small incremental improvements that one can make. Things ranging from component and cable choice, isolating components from vibration, cleaning up the power going to the components, etc. Each individual tweak ALONE can be subtle but as these improvements accumulate and the noise floor drops they become more and more significant.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post

Isn't that a bit like periodically putting your one oar in the water to see if you are still rowing in a circle? Seriously though, I've found that there are a myriad of small incremental improvements that one can make. Things ranging from component and cable choice, isolating components from vibration, cleaning up the power going to the components, etc. Each individual tweak ALONE can be subtle but as these improvements accumulate and the noise floor drops they become more and more significant.

A system noise floor is a readily measurable quantity. Please document the improvements you claim with reliable and relevant measurements.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:17 PM
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Actually at this moment I am listening to Clifford Brown and Max Roach "document" the improvements on a beautiful Mosaic lp reissue.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post

Isn't that a bit like periodically putting your one oar in the water to see if you are still rowing in a circle? Seriously though, I've found that there are a myriad of small incremental improvements that one can make. Things ranging from component and cable choice, isolating components from vibration, cleaning up the power going to the components, etc. Each individual tweak ALONE can be subtle but as these improvements accumulate and the noise floor drops they become more and more significant.

How do you confirm each of these changes makes an audible difference?

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:20 PM
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I listen carefully.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:21 PM
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Are you not aware of the myriad flaws in such an approach??

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:49 PM
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Listening carefully and thinking clearly works for me.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post

Listening carefully and thinking clearly works for me.

Depends how you define "works for me".

For example something that confirms your prejudices could "work for you"

Or, something that is more objective and may surprise you could "work for you"

There is plenty of evidence that sighted evaluations tend to confirm the listener's biases.

If there is no level matching, then the outcomes are frequently random.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:21 PM
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In general CD players are sonically transparent and sound the same. If the Halo sounded different, then it would probably have some kind of severe problem. Is there any reason to expect this to be true?[/quote][quote

Depends how you define "works for me".

For example something that confirms your prejudices could "work for you"

Or, something that is more objective and may surprise you could "work for you"

There is plenty of evidence that sighted evaluations tend to confirm the listener's biases.

If there is no level matching, then the outcomes are frequently random.[/quote]

I would define "works for me" as over these many years, through a careful process of trial and error, and with the aid of some of the top critical journals in audio, I have found that there are indeed many, many ways to reveal more of the musical information that is encoded on lp and cd. You are correct in pointing out that there are a number of potential pitfalls that can occur in critical listening and evaluation. It has been my experience, however, that these can be overcome. What is more difficult to overcome is the sort of pseudo scientific claptrap that claims that all cd players must sound the same therefore, if differences are apparent, the players must be broken.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post

It has been my experience, however, that these can be overcome. What is more difficult to overcome is the sort of pseudo scientific claptrap that claims that all cd players must sound the same therefore, if differences are apparent, the players must be broken.
What is your credential in electronic sound reproduction field? I'm asking because you sound like someone with authority so I would like to know who it is that I'm listening to.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:05 PM
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No credential, just a poor shmuck, like yourself, trying to understand this hobby of ours. I think this has gone on long enough though, so I will, as they say, rest my case, and return to Clifford Brown.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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No credential, just a poor shuck like yourself, trying to understand this hobby of ours.
Some big words on this page about CD players from "just a poor shuck". You sure fooled me for a while.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:32 PM
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All right, you drew me back. So, if I understand the implications of your argument correctly, my opinion is of no value because I possess no degree in the sound reproduction field. Yet I have to ask, what of the designers of cd players at Parasound, Audio Research, Simaudio, Cary, Rega, Esoteric, Meridian, Burmeister, DCS, Boulder, Krell, to name but a few. I think we have to presume that they possess more than a few degrees in this field, and because they have worked hard to advance the art of cd reproduction I assume you must think that they have engaged in some sort of mass self-delusion despite their fine credentials? Well sir, it appears you have uncovered the error that has eluded them all. All I can say is hats off, well done, and bravo!
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

A system noise floor is a readily measurable quantity. Please document the improvements you claim with reliable and relevant measurements.
You are obsessed with trying to prove that every CD player sounds the same... At least this is a free forum not like the other one, so your demands of "relevant measurements" don't scare people.

There are other measurements that affect real quality, like inter-modulation, THD, group delay... Only a good engineer can admit that there is no simplistic approach to sound quality as "noise floor is low enough".
For example: I have find out the a multibit DAC sounds definitely better than the "newest" 32 bit sigma-delta. Also the I-V stage (speed, THD) has a tremendous importance.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post

All right, you drew me back. So, if I understand the implications of your argument correctly, my opinion is of no value because I possess no degree in the sound reproduction field. Yet I have to ask, what of the designers of cd players at Parasound, Audio Research, Simaudio, Cary, Rega, Esoteric, Meridian, Burmeister, DCS, Boulder, Krell, to name but a few. I think we have to presume that they possess more than a few degrees in this field, and because they have worked hard to advance the art of cd reproduction I assume you must think that they have engaged in some sort of mass self-delusion despite their fine credentials? Well sir, it appears you have uncovered the error that has eluded them all. All I can say is hats off, well done, and bravo!
What is it that you want?
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:06 PM
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You are obsessed with trying to prove that every CD player sounds the same... At least this is a free forum not like the other one, so your demands of "relevant measurements" don't scare people.

There are other measurements that affect real quality, like inter-modulation, THD, group delay... Only a good engineer can admit that there is no simplistic approach to sound quality as "noise floor is low enough".
For example: I have find out the a multibit DAC sounds definitely better than the "newest" 32 bit sigma-delta. Also the I-V stage (speed, THD) has a tremendous importance.

At my last place of work, we tested freq resp, THD, IMD, SNR, dynamic range, phase response, and several other things on each DAC-based audio output.

WIthout fail, every single parametric was well below audible thresholds on even the cheapest DAC chips we evaluated.

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:56 PM
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At my last place of work, we tested freq resp, THD, IMD, SNR, dynamic range, phase response, and several other things on each DAC-based audio output.

WIthout fail, every single parametric was well below audible thresholds on even the cheapest DAC chips we evaluated.

So there you have it. Either people who hear and appreciate differences in cd players are deluded (or crazy) ,or, your tests do not measure the differences they hear.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:10 PM
 
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So there you have it. Either people who hear and appreciate differences in cd players are deluded (or crazy) ,or, your tests do not measure the differences they hear.
You forgot some. They listened to those CD players at different volume levels, placebo effect and preconceived notion to name but a few. They are just as normal as other humans hence susceptible to those effects.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

A system noise floor is a readily measurable quantity. Please document the improvements you claim with reliable and relevant measurements.
You are obsessed with trying to prove that every CD player sounds the same... At least this is a free forum not like the other one, so your demands of "relevant measurements" don't scare people.

You seem to have things backwards.

I would like to find out the nature of reliable audible differences between CD players.

Measuring a system noise floor is reasonably easy and takes minimal special hardware.

I thought it was a simple request to confirm an opinion that was provided.
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There are other measurements that affect real quality, like inter-modulation, THD, group delay...

I was just trying to make things simple and follow along with the post that I responded to.

These other things may be more difficult and more complex. I was trying to keep things simple!
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:47 AM
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All right, you drew me back.

So, if I understand the implications of your argument correctly, my opinion is of no value because I possess no degree in the sound reproduction field

That is not true at all, at least for me.

It's not the degree its the work that you do.
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Yet I have to ask, what of the designers of cd players at Parasound, Audio Research, Simaudio, Cary, Rega, Esoteric, Meridian, Burmeister, DCS, Boulder, Krell, to name but a few.

They've got jobs and they appear to do them.
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I think we have to presume that they possess more than a few degrees in this field,

Probably so. However, I am aware of the true credentials of a goodly number of widely recognized "authorities" in the realm of high end audio, and many of them are far less than impressive, for what that's worth. You raised the issue, not I!
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and because they have worked hard to advance the art of cd reproduction I assume you must think that they have engaged in some sort of mass self-delusion despite their fine credentials?

I believe that their jobs all net out to be increasing the value of the capital investments in their companies. That would be true if they worked for well-run companies.

The rest of it is just about means to that end.

Quote:
Well sir, it appears you have uncovered the error that has eluded them all. All I can say is hats off, well done, and bravo!

I would suggest that the true merit of their efforts to advance the audio arts should be apparent during listening evaluations that are as fair to everybody as is possible.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:41 PM
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However, I am aware of the true credentials of a goodly number of widely recognized "authorities" in the realm of high end audio, and many of them are far less than impressive, for what that's worth. You raised the issue, not I!

I assume, with your penchant for documentation, that you can provide evidence for these claims and it is not simply "Big Talk".
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk 
However, I am aware of the true credentials of a goodly number of widely recognized "authorities" in the realm of high end audio, and many of them are far less than impressive, for what that's worth. You raised the issue, not I!

I assume, with your penchant for documentation, that you can provide evidence for these claims and it is not simply "Big Talk".

If you think about it, you're asking me to prove a negative - prove that they don't have impressive credentials.

So, the onus is on you - prove that all or most of the frequent contributors to Stereophile, TAS, etc have good relevant academic and technical credentials.

Been there, done that to some degree and I know where you are headed. ;-)
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If you think about it, you're asking me to prove a negative - prove that they don't have impressive credentials.

So, the onus is on you - prove that all or most of the frequent contributors to Stereophile, TAS, etc have good relevant academic and technical credentials.

Been there, done that to some degree and I know where you are headed. ;-)
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If you think about it, you're asking me to prove a negative - prove that they don't have impressive credentials.

So, the onus is on you - prove that all or most of the frequent contributors to Stereophile, TAS, etc have good relevant academic and technical credentials.

Been there, done that to some degree and I know where you are headed. ;-)
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If you think about it, you're asking me to prove a negative - prove that they don't have impressive credentials.

So, the onus is on you - prove that all or most of the frequent contributors to Stereophile, TAS, etc have good relevant academic and technical credentials.

Been there, done that to some degree and I know where you are headed. ;-)



Asking you to support your claims and implications is not really asking you to prove a negative. You make pervasive statements regarding the motives and abilities of respected audio reviewers and designers. It is clear that you believe them to be true. You challenge the things that my experience has taught me are valid by asking me to offer you proof that they are so. I think we are once again at the same impasse that we reached early on in this conversation. I say again, clearly we are each satisfied by what we hear and enjoy. I see no purpose in continuing this dialogue.
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