Audiophile CD Player? Which One? - Page 24 - AVS Forum
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post #691 of 706 Old 08-04-2014, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
But for those of us who understand that we can trust our ears, and that music is not a science....
Would you say that pyschoacoustics is a science, and/or the fields relating to audio engineering?
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post #692 of 706 Old 08-04-2014, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bo130 View Post
Would you say that pyschoacoustics is a science, and/or the fields relating to audio engineering?
I would say it's a science in that it involves developing a hypothesis from theory, defining variables, controlled experimentation, statistical analysis, and reporting in refereed journals. I haven't been involved in the field for many decades, and I retired 22 years ago as director of a high-tech research in which kids with PhDs in EE and CS did the high-tech and I sold the vision that supported them. That is, I was a glorified salesman. My residual expertise is experimental design and statistical analysis, but I am no longer current in binaural processing.

db

Thorens TD 124, SME Series III arm with Ortofon SME 30 H cartridge into Parasound JC-3 phono stage
Ayre C-5xeMP & Oppo BDP-105
Parasound JC-2 preamp into Proceed HPA amps
KEF Reference 107/2 mains & 102 surrounds
Velodyne SMS-1 bass managers & a pair of HGS-15 subs
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post #693 of 706 Old 08-05-2014, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
I would say it's a science in that it involves developing a hypothesis from theory, defining variables, controlled experimentation, statistical analysis, and reporting in refereed journals. I haven't been involved in the field for many decades, and I retired 22 years ago as director of a high-tech research in which kids with PhDs in EE and CS did the high-tech and I sold the vision that supported them. That is, I was a glorified salesman. My residual expertise is experimental design and statistical analysis, but I am no longer current in binaural processing.

db
db I appreciate your response. However I was looking more for Audio4Life to respond.
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post #694 of 706 Old 08-09-2014, 04:25 PM
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I read through some of these posts...do people honestly believe a DAC doesn't matter? I mean 100% honestly they say it should sound the same? I am BEYOND floored. I'll give you a few examples and then I'll leave. I'll start with my most recent one.

I have an Asus z97 Deluxe board and it has their so called "premium" audio solution. In reality its just crap realtek stuff. Anyways I use my Creative USB card for gaming and music every now and then...Using Jriver media center as the control with FLAC files there are very clear differences to the soundstage. The highs are a little more controlled on the Creative too. It goes from sounding okay to great. Granted them are just cheap things.

I can plug it into my PS4 and bypass the PS4/Receiver and again, there are MASSIVE differences to the soundstage and highs. I have a freaking measurment mic, tell me all you want that you can't hear a difference in A to B testing...the microphone isn't making things up.

My old Galaxy S1 with the Wolfson DAC with the proper software is NIGHT AND DAY compared to my HTC one. I mean it goes from sounding like mud to clear as a bell. I am not making this stuff up. Still, that is hard to measure....

So in my truck I run the 80PRS. For this test I used the Burr Brown DACs onboard, then I bypassed all of that with the analog in. For reference a CD was used as the medium. The analog sources were the Creative USB, my GS1, and my HTC1. In order of quality it was GS1>Creative>80PRS>HTC One. Every single time you could hear the differences. Screw AB testing..do ABCD testing and level match everything. I was actually able to measure differences between the GS1 and the PRS.

Anyone saying DACs dont matter need to drop 1k on a dual wolfson setup and then tell me it "makes no difference." I mean if most of you understood exactly how a DAC works then you would understand that they aren't all the same.

So I am out. Take it for what you want. Do the testing yourself with tons of sources and dacs and files. Low bitrate MP3s, youtube, SACD, redbooks and then come back and say it doesnt matter.
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post #695 of 706 Old 08-09-2014, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael_92 View Post
I can plug it into my PS4 and bypass the PS4/Receiver and again, there are MASSIVE differences to the soundstage and highs. I have a freaking measurment mic, tell me all you want that you can't hear a difference in A to B testing...the microphone isn't making things up.

.
So post up some measurements!

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post #696 of 706 Old 08-09-2014, 09:12 PM
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So post up some measurements!
No offense but what would be the point? I will just get called out on it. I am not going to waste a few hours for people to tell me they know there isn't a difference. They will say it isn't perfectly scientific. I feel even you yourself would be one of them.

The biggest differences I heard with my ears were with my GS1 in the truck the lows for whatever reason were much more defined. Playing on the PRS DACs it was okay but it just wasn't as clean? The mids were more defined as well. Past I'd say 5K I didn't notice much of a difference but it's worth noting the tweeters in my truck are trash.

I would also argue that with the same settings the PS3 for music unlimited sounds much better than the PS4 and the Vita comes out dead last. It sounds like parts of the song are just missing on the Vita. I don't have particularly high end equipment in any sense but I would have to argue that it makes a difference.

Out of question does anyone here play with USB dacs and that or do they trust the CD player/Receiver or whatever to do the work? I am just wondering...
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post #697 of 706 Old 08-09-2014, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael_92 View Post
No offense but what would be the point? I will just get called out on it. I am not going to waste a few hours for people to tell me they know there isn't a difference. They will say it isn't perfectly scientific. I feel even you yourself would be one of them.

The biggest differences I heard with my ears were with my GS1 in the truck the lows for whatever reason were much more defined. Playing on the PRS DACs it was okay but it just wasn't as clean? The mids were more defined as well. Past I'd say 5K I didn't notice much of a difference but it's worth noting the tweeters in my truck are trash.

I would also argue that with the same settings the PS3 for music unlimited sounds much better than the PS4 and the Vita comes out dead last. It sounds like parts of the song are just missing on the Vita. I don't have particularly high end equipment in any sense but I would have to argue that it makes a difference.

Out of question does anyone here play with USB dacs and that or do they trust the CD player/Receiver or whatever to do the work? I am just wondering...
I'd just be interested in measurable differences as long as the conditions were setup well for a proper comparison; I'd even like to know how you setup for such a comparison in terms of level matching and gear used and exactly how setup and performed etc. I don't hear differences in DACs particularly but then I've not bothered manipulating gear to compare them as I've found no need to go to such lengths. I don't generally use the DAC in a digital player as I'll let my receivers handle it except in my analog only gear, then will use the player's dac but no complaints about the dac on either side of the equation. Somewhat as the saying goes pics or it didn't happen....since I'm not you and wasn't there; your subjective experience and description is of little value to me.

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post #698 of 706 Old 08-09-2014, 09:46 PM
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Hey I get that, you don't need to believe me at all. I mean this is the internet where people make stuff up ALL the time. I been lied to more than once lol.

The car is a 2001 Sierra. I have it sound deadened to death. The head unit is a Pioneer 80PRS and the amp is the Alpine V70. Using a Dayton Audio Aluminum 8" 4 Ohm Sub and I the box made so it's basically flat. After the PRS EQs it then its +-1.5DB flat from 20-75 up to around 100DB..after that it starts to lose a little because it is just an 8". I am running a single HiVi L6-4R in each door. I have one Vifa BC25SC55-04 on each piece of apillar trim. It's a active 2.1 setup. NO rears or nonsense.

Measurement equipment used to set levels is RoomEQ Wizard and my UMIK-1. It is a calibrated SPL meter so I trust it. Again that is to level match each source. Recoding is dead simple. I have done it both ways using the actual mic with audacity and the such. This is a very poor way and the differences are hard to note. I have also took readings right from the RCAs on the head unit into my Creative USB dac. Then you just use jRiver to compare the files.

If I had to guess at what my measuring told me it is dynamic range is just better on one chip compared to the other. I don't think you are really getting more highs so to say, it's just clearer. It is really hard to say DACs are majorly important. I do believe they make differences BUT for example...look at my mids and tweeters...they are trash. I want to get some scanspeak drivers but I need more help from people. I don't actually know anyone else into higher end audio so it's very hard to learn besides the internet and tons of $$. Hopefully I can not tick off a lot of people here




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post #699 of 706 Old 08-10-2014, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael_92 View Post
Do the testing yourself with tons of sources and dacs and files. Low bitrate MP3s, youtube, SACD, redbooks and then come back and say it doesnt matter.
I did and it doesn't matter. i appreciate your passion for audiophilia, however.
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post #700 of 706 Old 08-10-2014, 12:13 PM
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I did and it doesn't matter. i appreciate your passion for audiophilia, however.

Well so be it. I personally think having good speakers and time delay and all that is more important than a DAC anyways. I'd rather have a good sub than a stupid expensive dac.
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post #701 of 706 Old 08-10-2014, 12:30 PM
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I wanted to add one last thing. It is a digital to analog converter, (DUH Mike) but what I am to understand makes each one different is it's ability to reproduce a 100% accurate signal from the digital one.

Say you send it the 1s and 0s which is solid on a digital scale..it either works or it doesn't no room for error. That 1200 dollar cable isn't making your 1s and 0s better than everyone else. Where it is a problem is the chips take the 1s and 0s and turn that into a analog signal to then go to an amp. My general understanding is that none of these chips actually reproduce the sound perfectly. There is always some small error in the process because it isn't perfect yet. There is always little differences between the DAC chips.

That is what I know, if it makes a huge difference or is placebro I cannot say. If it was pure digital I would say EVERY SINGLE ONE would sound the same. Unfortunately there is this analog part that comes into play.
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post #702 of 706 Old 08-13-2014, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael_92 View Post
I wanted to add one last thing. It is a digital to analog converter, (DUH Mike) but what I am to understand makes each one different is it's ability to reproduce a 100% accurate signal from the digital one.

Say you send it the 1s and 0s which is solid on a digital scale..it either works or it doesn't no room for error. That 1200 dollar cable isn't making your 1s and 0s better than everyone else. Where it is a problem is the chips take the 1s and 0s and turn that into a analog signal to then go to an amp. My general understanding is that none of these chips actually reproduce the sound perfectly. There is always some small error in the process because it isn't perfect yet. There is always little differences between the DAC chips.

That is what I know, if it makes a huge difference or is placebro I cannot say. If it was pure digital I would say EVERY SINGLE ONE would sound the same. Unfortunately there is this analog part that comes into play.
So you're saying the technology to put the music into digital form is far more advanced than the technology to decode it from digital form? Hard to believe after all this time....

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post #703 of 706 Old 08-26-2014, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
You may somehow be missing my point, but I'm not missing the point made by fmw. He claims that the Ayre player may be producing "higher volume levels" than the Sony, thus fooling the listener into thinking it's superior SQ, when it's only volume. I'm simply pointing out that he doesn't really know what the volume was set at (at the preamp volume knob) for either unit.
Correct and that is why the comparison is questionable. Our bias controlled tests occurred about 15 years ago. Things may have changed but I doubt it. Back in the late 1990's we couldn't tell one DAC from another whether it was in a Radio Shack portable player or a $3500 dedicated DAC. My guess is that the same is true today since there is no reason to think that DAC technology has declined.

It should be good news that you don't have to spend much for a good DAC but, for some reason, some people view it as bad news. I think a lot of audiophilia becomes a matter of spending the money "just in case" or to be "covered and on the safe side." It's human nature. I've been there myself.

Perfect sound reproduction is not available at any price. It gets down how close to perfect it can get at a given price level and how far up the ladder of diminishing returns one wishes to climb. My advice is always to spend that money on transducers and environmental acoustics. Those two things represent somewhere between the overwhelming majority to all of the sound quality of an audio system.

What I have learned over the years is that ladder of diminishing returns starts at the first rung and moves exponentially upward. My current 4 audio systems are what would be described as mid fi but with sensible choices and a few modifications I've been able to get close enough to that top rung that I don't really care about the difference any more. I'd rather just listen to the music rather than listen for and chase ghosts. I know because I've had systems within the last few rungs in the past. I don't do that any more and don't want to.

I reached this point complelely because of the bias controlled tests our group did in the late 90's. The same thing happened to all 10 of the group members. It's all about speakers and rooms.
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post #704 of 706 Old 08-26-2014, 02:50 AM
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Well so be it. I personally think having good speakers and time delay and all that is more important than a DAC anyways. I'd rather have a good sub than a stupid expensive dac.
I view the subwoofer as the second biggest sound improver introduced into the industry in my lifetime. The first is digital audio. It is amazing what a good sub, a good pair of speakers and a good room can do. Not the only reason, but the biggest reason high end speakers have always sounded superior to others is their ability to reproduce bass. The subwoofer brings great bass reproduction into the realm where most of us are.

I once had a pair of speakers that had 2 12" woofers and a 12" passive radiator in each cabinet. The far simpler and cheaper speakers I use today with subwoofers sound better by far. And the bass level is even adjustable. Huge.
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Last edited by FMW; 08-26-2014 at 02:54 AM.
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post #705 of 706 Old 08-26-2014, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
So you're saying the technology to put the music into digital form is far more advanced than the technology to decode it from digital form? Hard to believe after all this time....
+1
"Can't find my way back home" (not necessarily wasted), may be a good analogy, at least words from a favorite song of mine.

To get back on track I am content with my OPPO 95 as my audiophile CD player + it does so much more than just spin CD's.

Of course you may spend much, much more if you choose?

Cheers,

Steve
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post #706 of 706 Old 08-27-2014, 09:54 AM
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I too use a Blu Ray player. I just use the one that is connected to my TV in the living room. I find that it plays very well.
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