Comparing the Oppo 105 with an older CD player shocking revelation. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 07-26-2013, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided to post this here and not on the Oppo 105 official thread for respect to those like me who don't like other people raining on their parade, but this is something ineteresting that happened to me this week which shows that all I know is that I know nothing at all.

So, I am at my old man's house and he is showing off his system with a couple of new cds that he has just bought. As I'm listening, even though his system is of a lower quality tier of sorts (or so I thought) I find myself enjoying the music coming out of his system, very engaging and with a very relaxed feel to it. As I look into his music rack, I see that He still has the same old cd player that he bought like 10 years ago on a garage sale for $20 bucks, So, I mention to him how much I'm like what I'm hearing, and I asked him If I could borrow the Cd player for a couple of days to try it in my system.

As I walked away with his player, I was imagining just what a beating this 24 year old player was about to get from my 1 year old favorite piece of electronics, the Oppo 105, I was already feeling bad for this rather heavy little unit and mouth watering with anticipation when I'd tell my old man that his old cd player sounded ok in his system, but that my new Oppo was walking all over this late 80's old relic.

With everything connected and in place, I started my pre-conceived listening session with the Oppo and some of my favorite and most familiar recordings, My beloved 105 sounded as beautiful as always and as I started to head back to my listening position after taking the cd out of the Oppo and into the old player I heard the first notes of the old cd player and I noticed that it sounded different, diferent enough for me to take a much closer listen and start evaluating on specific differences between the two players.

To make a long story short, trying all kinds of cables and diferent inputs on my pre-amp and all available options, the old Magnavox CDB-650 (philips) cd player presented a beautfully wide, clean, engaging presentation that was sweet as honey and with a seperation of instruments in complicated music passages that blew my mind and left me in awe, and in shock.

I really like how this relic sounds and I'm keeping it as my cd player, the Oppo will continue to serve me for hometheater, sacd, etc for which it performs very, very well.

My dad will bring out of hiding another Magnavox CDB-650 that He found some place in perfect condition for $8.00 last year.

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post #2 of 24 Old 07-27-2013, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by luismanrara View Post

I decided to post this here and not on the Oppo 105 official thread for respect to those like me who don't like other people raining on their parade, but this is something ineteresting that happened to me this week which shows that all I know is that I know nothing at all.

So, I am at my old man's house and he is showing off his system with a couple of new cds that he has just bought. As I'm listening, even though his system is of a lower quality tier of sorts (or so I thought) I find myself enjoying the music coming out of his system, very engaging and with a very relaxed feel to it. As I look into his music rack, I see that He still has the same old cd player that he bought like 10 years ago on a garage sale for $20 bucks, So, I mention to him how much I'm like what I'm hearing, and I asked him If I could borrow the Cd player for a couple of days to try it in my system.

As I walked away with his player, I was imagining just what a beating this 24 year old player was about to get from my 1 year old favorite piece of electronics, the Oppo 105, I was already feeling bad for this rather heavy little unit and mouth watering with anticipation when I'd tell my old man that his old cd player sounded ok in his system, but that my new Oppo was walking all over this late 80's old relic.

With everything connected and in place, I started my pre-conceived listening session with the Oppo and some of my favorite and most familiar recordings, My beloved 105 sounded as beautiful as always and as I started to head back to my listening position after taking the cd out of the Oppo and into the old player I heard the first notes of the old cd player and I noticed that it sounded different, diferent enough for me to take a much closer listen and start evaluating on specific differences between the two players.

To make a long story short, trying all kinds of cables and diferent inputs on my pre-amp and all available options, the old Magnavox CDB-650 (philips) cd player presented a beautfully wide, clean, engaging presentation that was sweet as honey and with a seperation of instruments in complicated music passages that blew my mind and left me in awe, and in shock.

I really like how this relic sounds and I'm keeping it as my cd player, the Oppo will continue to serve me for hometheater, sacd, etc for which it performs very, very well.

My dad will bring out of hiding another Magnavox CDB-650 that He found some place in perfect condition for $8.00 last year.

My recollection is that the Magnavox CDB 650 is from the late 1980s which were good years for quality CD players. One reference says "...its from 1987, and uses a TDA1541..." another says "...Philips CDM4/19 transport...". That's all well-engineered stuff. I'd put it on the bench to make sure that none of the capacitors have dried out and hurt the bass.
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post #3 of 24 Old 07-27-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been doing some research on the unit and it seems to be a very well regarded player. A lot of people do mods on them and even change the dacs, it sort of has a following. it is an impressive sounding unit to my ears and I wonder if there are current stand alone cd players with that kind of sound at reasonable prices? I thought cd players made only small differences in sound when compared to speakers, etc, but this unit proved me wrong, or Maybe it's just the fact that blu ray players will never be able to compete in terms of sound with stand alone cd players

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post #4 of 24 Old 07-27-2013, 01:11 PM
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I thought cd players made only small differences in sound when compared to speakers, etc, but this unit proved me wrong, or Maybe it's just the fact that blu ray players will never be able to compete in terms of sound with stand alone cd players
Or maybe you just did the comparison in a way that greatly exaggerated the differences. smile.gif

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post #5 of 24 Old 07-27-2013, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Or maybe you just did the comparison in a way that greatly exaggerated the differences. smile.gif

Maybe, but We are reunited and it feels so good smile.gif

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post #6 of 24 Old 07-28-2013, 07:38 AM
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Some records benefit from "deficiencies" of DAC. Recently I played few CD made in late 1980s on my system with DAC, where I can select digital filters from regular sharp cutoff to no filter at all. For most modern records best setting (from sound quality point) is "upsampling on" with "slow rolloff filter". This sessing also measures best on the test bench. But for these old CDs the best sound was when I turned off upsampling. From measurement perspective it results in rather significant aliasing. I suspect that overall sound was adjusted to best perceived quality by mastering engineer when he was listening through similar "deficient" DAC back in the day.

Another thing is that players from early ages of digital all used ladder type DACs. Currently this type of DACs are only in use in measurement equipment (and for a good reason). Almost all audio gear uses delta-sigma DACs, which have their own deficiencies in transient response similar to sharp rolloff filters (but way cheaper than R2R ladder DACs with similar resolution and sample rate).
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post #7 of 24 Old 07-28-2013, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Some records benefit from "deficiencies" of DAC. Recently I played few CD made in late 1980s on my system with DAC, where I can select digital filters from regular sharp cutoff to no filter at all. For most modern records best setting (from sound quality point) is "upsampling on" with "slow rolloff filter". This sessing also measures best on the test bench. But for these old CDs the best sound was when I turned off upsampling. From measurement perspective it results in rather significant aliasing. I suspect that overall sound was adjusted to best perceived quality by mastering engineer when he was listening through similar "deficient" DAC back in the day.

Another thing is that players from early ages of digital all used ladder type DACs. Currently this type of DACs are only in use in measurement equipment (and for a good reason). Almost all audio gear uses delta-sigma DACs, which have their own deficiencies in transient response similar to sharp rolloff filters (but way cheaper than R2R ladder DACs with similar resolution and sample rate).

Thank you, You've made very interesting points, but I don't know how this translates into my experience with the these players.

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post #8 of 24 Old 07-29-2013, 04:37 AM
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Some records benefit from "deficiencies" of DAC. Recently I played few CD made in late 1980s on my system with DAC, where I can select digital filters from regular sharp cutoff to no filter at all. For most modern records best setting (from sound quality point) is "upsampling on" with "slow rolloff filter". This sessing also measures best on the test bench. But for these old CDs the best sound was when I turned off upsampling. From measurement perspective it results in rather significant aliasing. I suspect that overall sound was adjusted to best perceived quality by mastering engineer when he was listening through similar "deficient" DAC back in the day.

Another thing is that players from early ages of digital all used ladder type DACs. Currently this type of DACs are only in use in measurement equipment (and for a good reason). Almost all audio gear uses delta-sigma DACs, which have their own deficiencies in transient response similar to sharp rolloff filters (but way cheaper than R2R ladder DACs with similar resolution and sample rate).

Thank you, You've made very interesting points, but I don't know how this translates into my experience with the these players.

If you do good listening tests, a lot of the alternative filters on multi-filter DACs sound very much the same.
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post #9 of 24 Old 07-29-2013, 06:11 AM
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Some records benefit from "deficiencies" of DAC. Recently I played few CD made in late 1980s on my system with DAC, where I can select digital filters from regular sharp cutoff to no filter at all. For most modern records best setting (from sound quality point) is "upsampling on" with "slow rolloff filter". This sessing also measures best on the test bench. But for these old CDs the best sound was when I turned off upsampling. From measurement perspective it results in rather significant aliasing. I suspect that overall sound was adjusted to best perceived quality by mastering engineer when he was listening through similar "deficient" DAC back in the day.

Another thing is that players from early ages of digital all used ladder type DACs. Currently this type of DACs are only in use in measurement equipment (and for a good reason). Almost all audio gear uses delta-sigma DACs, which have their own deficiencies in transient response similar to sharp rolloff filters (but way cheaper than R2R ladder DACs with similar resolution and sample rate).

Thank you, You've made very interesting points, but I don't know how this translates into my experience with the these players.

If you do good listening tests, a lot of the alternative filters on multi-filter DACs sound very much the same.

Of cause difference is not obvious, but rather subtle. Some things require deep thinking though, like difference in BASS sound when switching filters.
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post #10 of 24 Old 07-29-2013, 07:29 AM
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Some records benefit from "deficiencies" of DAC. Recently I played few CD made in late 1980s on my system with DAC, where I can select digital filters from regular sharp cutoff to no filter at all. For most modern records best setting (from sound quality point) is "upsampling on" with "slow rolloff filter". This sessing also measures best on the test bench. But for these old CDs the best sound was when I turned off upsampling. From measurement perspective it results in rather significant aliasing. I suspect that overall sound was adjusted to best perceived quality by mastering engineer when he was listening through similar "deficient" DAC back in the day.

Another thing is that players from early ages of digital all used ladder type DACs. Currently this type of DACs are only in use in measurement equipment (and for a good reason). Almost all audio gear uses delta-sigma DACs, which have their own deficiencies in transient response similar to sharp rolloff filters (but way cheaper than R2R ladder DACs with similar resolution and sample rate).

Thank you, You've made very interesting points, but I don't know how this translates into my experience with the these players.

If you do good listening tests, a lot of the alternative filters on multi-filter DACs sound very much the same.

Of cause difference is not obvious, but rather subtle. Some things require deep thinking though, like difference in BASS sound when switching filters.

Sighted evaluation, right?
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post #11 of 24 Old 07-29-2013, 12:30 PM
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Some records benefit from "deficiencies" of DAC. Recently I played few CD made in late 1980s on my system with DAC, where I can select digital filters from regular sharp cutoff to no filter at all. For most modern records best setting (from sound quality point) is "upsampling on" with "slow rolloff filter". This sessing also measures best on the test bench. But for these old CDs the best sound was when I turned off upsampling. From measurement perspective it results in rather significant aliasing. I suspect that overall sound was adjusted to best perceived quality by mastering engineer when he was listening through similar "deficient" DAC back in the day.

Another thing is that players from early ages of digital all used ladder type DACs. Currently this type of DACs are only in use in measurement equipment (and for a good reason). Almost all audio gear uses delta-sigma DACs, which have their own deficiencies in transient response similar to sharp rolloff filters (but way cheaper than R2R ladder DACs with similar resolution and sample rate).

Thank you, You've made very interesting points, but I don't know how this translates into my experience with the these players.

If you do good listening tests, a lot of the alternative filters on multi-filter DACs sound very much the same.

Of cause difference is not obvious, but rather subtle. Some things require deep thinking though, like difference in BASS sound when switching filters.

Sighted evaluation, right?

It was sighted, more than that - to switch back and force I had to stand up at walk to equipment rack. I am not a big fan of switching anything, the reason why I tried different filters was dissatisfaction with sound quality of my default settings when I played few old CDs.
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post #12 of 24 Old 07-30-2013, 11:53 PM
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I had the same experience and after many experiments I find out the response - the CD's sound much better with true multibit DAC's (ladder or R-2R are other names). That old Magnavox is the US version of the Philips CD650, with TDA1541 (DAC), SAA7220P/A (4x OS filter) and CDM-2 (transport). Altough TDA1541 is not really a ladder-type, is a true multibit DAC.
I have a similar Philips CD player and comparing it with newer Denon, Toshiba, employing delta-sigma DAC's was what started my search. I found out that I enjoy even more the sound of players that had as DAC chip another type of multibit - Burr Brown PCM61P (I have three different models, two Denon, one Yamaha) or AD1860N (Analog Devices version of the same). A list that shows what DAC's are inside various CD players can be found here:
http://vasiltech.nm.ru/CD-Player-DAC-Transport.htm

What old players usually need is replacing of dried-up electrolytic capacitors (and paralleling with some ones with lower value, non polarized) and also replace the opamps in analog stage with modern ones, better suited for audio applications.
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-08-2013, 03:42 AM
 
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What old players usually need is replacing of dried-up electrolytic capacitors (and paralleling with some ones with lower value, non polarized) and also replace the opamps in analog stage with modern ones, better suited for audio applications.

Half right. Old electrolytic caps can dry up and loose the ability to pass bass signals. I've seen it happen in a few years, and I have equipment that is 30 years old and still meets original spec. IOW, YMMV,

OP amp upgrades are generally do-nothing exercises if you do proper listening tests, or even measurements on the test bench. There have been excellent reasonably-priced op amps for audio for maybe 30 years. Some of them, believe it or not are still being made and sold for ridiculously low prices. There's no excuse for bad sounding op amps in audio gear, and these days they are very rare.

There's a reason why op amp upgrade articles on the web generally don't have ABX tests. That's because an ABX test would demonstrate the futility of the exercise. Those same articles generally don't have technical tests, but a few do. They may or may not show the addition of a sonically useless leading zero on some THD spec.

Paralleling big caps with little caps is generally useless, based on both good listening tests, and measurements. Polarized caps in CD players generally cause no difficulties for a variety of reasons that I can explain if asked.

My favorite morning dish - a plate full of audiophile myths to debunk! ;-)
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-10-2013, 06:53 PM
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You never heard a modded CD with newer OpAmps in IV stage, but you keep guessing about it. Some old CD players had execrable OpAmps. Only the top-shelf ones had the 5532, and that jellybean is surpassed by lots of newer OpAmps, especially when used in the IV stage. Any half-hearing individual can tell you that.
As for capacitor story, you are again showing more knowledge than every EE in the world. Congrats...

You sound like the fox and the grapes. Sorry for your hearing... you miss a lot in life, I can understand somehow your hatred for the ones that can still hear.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-10-2013, 07:44 PM
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You never heard a modded CD with newer OpAmps in IV stage, but you keep guessing about it.
We're not guessing, we're applying scientific principles. That's one of the neat things about science. You don't have to experience things personally in order to understand them. Try it sometime—if you dare.
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Sorry for your hearing... you miss a lot in life, I can understand somehow your hatred for the ones that can still hear.
Sorry for your thinking. You miss a lot in life.
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-10-2013, 11:28 PM
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I can understand somehow your hatred for the ones that can still hear.

Hatred is a strong word.. Curious how you chose that....
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 10:51 AM
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You never heard a modded CD with newer OpAmps in IV stage, but you keep guessing about it.

I'm not guessing. I've heard what comes before all that which is the high rez recording of the live performance before it was made into a CD, and compared it to the CD-qualty downsample of it.
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Some old CD players had execrable OpAmps. Only the top-shelf ones had the 5532, and that jellybean is surpassed by lots of newer OpAmps, especially when used in the IV stage.

Please compare and contrast numbers for the sake of numbers versus actual sound quality.
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Any half-hearing individual can tell you that.

That would be an ignorant insult. I've done op amp DBTs. What happens if you built 20 stages out of sub-5532 op amps, and compare that to a short straight piece of wire? I know and I verified it with virtually 100s of experienced audiophiles and audio engineers. No difference!
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As for capacitor story, you are again showing more knowledge than every EE in the world. Congrats...

Not every EE in the world believes every audiophile myth that comes out of the web. In fact most of the ones that actually work with audio know better.
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 11:00 AM
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You keep repeating the same bull that measurements don't matter, that quality of parts or layout does not matter.
Please provide a link that you tested a $20-40 DVD player (new in store, not ebay) next to another decent one. I did test those and open them, listen to them before and after, measured them before and after modding the analog stage. No wonder they are absolutely horrid sounding, the parts they use cannot do the job, they are not meant for it. In unitary gain mode almost every OpAmp sounds ok, like a wire, but when you really need them to do their job (I/V, filtering) then the cheap ones fail.
EE believe in measurements, not in audiophile stories. EE designed all those chips based on real tests, not imaginary ones. You cannot provide measurements for your own tests, you probably just jumbled a bunch of parts together and ABX them... then, based on flawed testing, you generalized your mantra. And you have convinced a couple of kids here to believe in that too.

PS: I am still waiting to hear what studies do you have, that you disparage so much the EE's.
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You keep repeating the same bull that measurements don't matter, that quality of parts or layout does not matter.
Please provide a link that you tested a $20-40 DVD player (new in store, not ebay) next to another decent one. I did test those and open them, listen to them before and after, measured them before and after modding the analog stage. No wonder they are absolutely horrid sounding, the parts they use cannot do the job, they are not meant for it. In unitary gain mode almost every OpAmp sounds ok, like a wire, but when you really need them to do their job (I/V, filtering) then the cheap ones fail.
EE believe in measurements, not in audiophile stories. EE designed all those chips based on real tests, not imaginary ones. You cannot provide measurements for your own tests, you probably just jumbled a bunch of parts together and ABX them... then, based on flawed testing, you generalized your mantra. And you have convinced a couple of kids here to believe in that too.

PS: I am still waiting to hear what studies do you have, that you disparage so much the EE's.

What you fail to understand is nobody is doubting differences in measurements from one component/part.

Understand that?

What this gets down to is - are the differences AUDIBLE?

Understand that part? Okay if you do, lets move on.

How do you go about proving the differences in audibility? How much credence do you give any given test. Do you place more weight on subjective sighted testing, or blind?

Understand that

If there were REAL differences between any given component/part, they would be THERE in both a sighted AND unsighted test. It wouldn't SOELY exist simply in someone's BELIEF.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 11:14 AM
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You keep repeating the same bull that measurements don't matter, that quality of parts or layout does not matter.

I never said that, and I defy you to quote me saying such a thing.

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Please provide a link that you tested a $20-40 DVD player (new in store, not ebay) next to another decent one. I did test those and open them, listen to them before and after, measured them before and after modding the analog stage. No wonder they are absolutely horrid sounding, the parts they use cannot do the job, they are not meant for it. In unitary gain mode almost every OpAmp sounds ok, like a wire, but when you really need them to do their job (I/V, filtering) then the cheap ones fail.

If I actually did such a thing (which I have) you might say (and actually very reasonably) that I am so biased that I stacked the test against you.

No, this is a test that an advocate of the alleged upgrades perform. I recuse myself on the grounds of potential bias.
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EE believe in measurements, not in audiophile stories.

Since you claim to believe in measurements, please show me an example of a CD player upgrade that measures out to create an improvement that is above the known thresholds for hearing distortion, noise, and frequency response variations.
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EE designed all those chips based on real tests, not imaginary ones.

If that is true please show us an example of an op amp design that showed an audible improvement based on a proper bias-controlled listening test.
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You cannot provide measurements for your own tests, you probably just jumbled a bunch of parts together and ABX them... then, based on flawed testing, you generalized your mantra. And you have convinced a couple of kids here to believe in that too.

You are libelling me. Of course I own several complete suites of audio test gear including two made by Audio Precision.

Quote:
PS: I am still waiting to hear what studies do you have, that you disparage so much the EE's.

Please see below
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EE designed all those chips based on real tests, not imaginary ones. You cannot provide measurements for your own tests, you probably just jumbled a bunch of parts together and ABX them... then, based on flawed testing, you generalized your mantra. And you have convinced a couple of kids here to believe in that too.

PS: I am still waiting to hear what studies do you have, that you disparage so much the EE's.

Wait no longer:

Bailar, John C. III, Mosteller, Frederick, "Guidelines for Statistical Reporting in Articles for Medical Journals", Annals of Internal Medicine, 108:266-273, (1988).
Buchlein, R., "The Audibility of Frequency Response Irregularities" (1962), reprinted in English in Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 29, pp. 126-131 (1981)
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post #21 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 02:58 PM
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You wrote all those? Because if not, I can add Newton and Einstein in my camp then...
Or just those articles in a magazine? It's OK, you can be wrong in your field and still published. Nobody can sue you for that.
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 04:04 PM
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You never heard a modded CD with newer OpAmps in IV stage, but you keep guessing about it. Some old CD players had execrable OpAmps. Only the top-shelf ones had the 5532, and that jellybean is surpassed by lots of newer OpAmps, especially when used in the IV stage. Any half-hearing individual can tell you that.
As for capacitor story, you are again showing more knowledge than every EE in the world. Congrats...

You sound like the fox and the grapes. Sorry for your hearing... you miss a lot in life, I can understand somehow your hatred for the ones that can still hear.

Once again you act as if Arny is the only one who has ever done blind testing and been unable to differentiate one component from another. rolleyes.gif

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 05:04 PM
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You wrote all those? Because if not, I can add Newton and Einstein in my camp then...
Or just those articles in a magazine? It's OK, you can be wrong in your field and still published. Nobody can sue you for that.

Are all of those papers wrong?

How can you tell?

Have you read any of them?
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post #24 of 24 Old 08-11-2013, 05:07 PM
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What you fail to understand is nobody is doubting differences in measurements from one component/part.

Understand that?

What this gets down to is - are the differences AUDIBLE?

Understand that part? Okay if you do, lets move on.

How do you go about proving the differences in audibility? How much credence do you give any given test. Do you place more weight on subjective sighted testing, or blind?

Understand that

If there were REAL differences between any given component/part, they would be THERE in both a sighted AND unsighted test. It wouldn't SOELY exist simply in someone's BELIEF.

(hears crickets chirp).....
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