Is There an Audible Difference Between High End CD Transports and Modest/Cheap CD Players? - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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post #331 of 352 Old 12-07-2014, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post
... Would you guys buy that Accuphase CD player if that sort of fortune befalls on you?
No adequate person should buy any CD player whatsoever in 21st century, given the fact that for $12k (or a lot less) you can get a 0dB PC (fanless) with a very big SSD drive(s) and fill it with all the CD's you would ever listen to.
1. you'll have immediate access to all your music
2. the quality will be 1:1 with the original, if you've ripped your CD's correctly
3. you won't hear any noise that you may hear from a CD player (since there are no rotating parts anywhere)
4. you can use the PC for many other things, and not only to play some obsolete optical media format
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post #332 of 352 Old 12-07-2014, 03:56 PM
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Even professional recording engineers cannot reliably differentiate between a 320k MP3 and a CD in a double-blind test, so a lot of this stuff is just silliness. Spending a ton of money on high end source components just doesn't make sense in the digital age.

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post #333 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 08:14 AM
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Sorry, to come in on this discussion at such a late date, but I just came across it.

My experience may be totally irrelevant at this stage in development of disk players, but...

After the introduction of the CD, I bought a Philips CD104 for around $400 (yes, in the early 80's). I enjoyed it for many years until I bought a Revox which sold for about $2000 in 1990. I found that the sound was a little richer and I definitely could hear more detail. OK, the new CD player came with a Revox receiver and Celestion speakers, but I did have both players connected for a while, and did A/B switching to justify my expenditure to "others" (wife). There could also have been the issues with the early CD engineering at play here. Bottom line, I could hear a difference. And yes, I do get this whole digital thing where the 0's and 1's are either there or not. So I guess it must have been the quality of the processing of the information after it was taken off the disk, by either the player or the receiver. I was told that the laser in both units (and my McIntosh) were the same unit, manufactured by Philips.

More relevantly, to this discussion, "Did the more expensive machine make a difference on playback." I think so, because friends would bring me scratched CD's that would not play on their machines that played without issue on mine. Again, and I am only guessing, but would this not have been the quality of the transport and circuitry in the better machines?

Now that I have resolved that a NAS is in my future, this dilemma of player quality has come back to haunt me when I think about the time that I will be spending to rip Flac's. My computer geek friends are laughing at me. But then they are happy with Mp3's!

$12k? If you are in that snack bracket...

I'd still like to get my hands on a Kuro Elite BDP-09FD. My Elite panel doesn't do 3-D.

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post #334 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by FMW 

We just try to give people information so that their decisions are based on knowledge rather than ignorance.


I have no doubt that you only want to help. And I appreciate it. But you see, knowledge is subjective. For example, when I posted a question on this very site "here is my setup, what should I upgrade next?". Speaker cabling, clean power supply, etc. The answer was get a power amp. Those people were 100% honest and based the suggestion on their beliefs. You guys telling me the power amp was money down the drain. I am sure you are just as straightforward as they were.
I am only trying to ascertain which opinions are based on actual experiences, as opposed to hearsay. It does not matter if the opinion is diametrically opposed to mine at the time. If an opinion comes from an expert (which you guys clearly are!) chances are mine will change eventually. Making mistakes is a vice (talking about myself, of course). Learning from them is a virtue.
This is straying from the original topic, but I have "an" answer to your question of whether you should have an amp.

After several expensive repairs to my Revox receiver and a Sony AVR, my repair guy's advice (because I asked) was to dump as much money as you can into an amplifier, as the technology is not going to change; it will always be analogue. The front end, with the ever changing formats and plugs, etc., should be treated as "disposable".

But one of the most important reasons to separate the two, in his opinion, was to get the heat out of the AVR/Receiver! If you have never looked at the inside of an AVR, they are packed! He showed me a $10,000 unit and described it as, "built to self destruct" due to lack of air circulation...circuit cooling.

He also recommended the matching of speakers to amplifiers, or vice versa. (kind of addresses some of the discussion above, about different amps being tried in the same system and sounding different...even amongst good speakers, there can be different power requirements due in part to efficiency or design.) Some amps are warm in tone ("better" for some music) and some are cool ("better" for other music and movies).

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post #335 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by just jim View Post

More relevantly, to this discussion, "Did the more expensive machine make a difference on playback." I think so, because friends would bring me scratched CD's that would not play on their machines that played without issue on mine. Again, and I am only guessing, but would this not have been the quality of the transport and circuitry in the better machines?

Different machines, not necessarily better machines. As an example I have a modest Panasonic blu ray player that fails to play many blu rays rented from Netflix. I have an even more modest Samsung player that plays virtually every blu ray regardless of condition.


Alignment? stability? I don't know but it is a characteristic of all optical players from day one. Some decode some things better than others do. I'm not knowledgeable enough to tell you why.
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post #336 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 01:31 PM
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Demonstrating absence of a perceptible difference is very difficult, and requires many trials with a large sample of listeners to be valid. In my experience, subject variance, i.e., difference among listeners, is nearly always the main contributor to total variance in psychoacoustic studies. Those who purport that their "unbiased" listening tests show no audible differences among electronic components need more than mere assertion if they are to be convincing. I assume their assertions are based on ABX protocols where their listeners were unable to reliably identify X as being A or B beyond chance.

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post #337 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Haywood Jablomi View Post
Even professional recording engineers cannot reliably differentiate between a 320k MP3 and a CD in a double-blind test, so a lot of this stuff is just silliness. Spending a ton of money on high end source components just doesn't make sense in the digital age.
Link?

Total BS. Why are people buying DSD now? Uh because it sounds different.

ABX testing is ok, but ultimately an incredibly poor way to judge audio. Our brains don't work well at remembering or telling the difference between very immediate sound. However if you listen to a system for two weeks, change something, listen for two weeks, then change it back you'll pick up on the differences very easily if they're there. We gain familiarity, our brains begin to have expectations that will or won't be met as we change equipment.

For years I used cheap DVD players into an exceptional DAC. Then I upgraded to an actual intentional audio player, it was better. Even though it was old, upgrading to something much more serious changed the results. The transport always affects the sound greatly. Call it a flaw of the CD, but it's as real as anything else in our Matrix. Right now I use a Bel Canto CD1 and it's extremely better than anything else I've owned.

When it comes to digital things are much more complicated that simplistic concepts of a transport. One player will use the same mechanism and laser as another and sound entirely different. The quality of the power supply will have a huge affect; but that's just the start! There are so many decisions in building that it takes some thought to make any transport at any dollar amount actually work well. But I'll say there are some serious diminishing returns to CD transports at some point. You probably couldn't get something better than a Shigaclone MKII from whomever would build you one, at any substantiation even close to the original dollar figure. If you bought a Wadia, even if it were better, the dollar to appreciation amount would be questionably appreciable in a ratio that looks desperate over less expensive units.

There's so many points in this thread that are simply incorrect. One might pay some attention to how many units sell of different things. The placebo affect isn't so grandiose that it can entirely own a market. There are of course brands that cater to those wishing to spend money, and not whom listens for authentication of purchasing will.

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post #338 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 05:26 PM
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There is a large body of scientific evidence that proves that people are highly suggestible and hear what they expect to hear. That is why ABX is the only valid comparison and why so many people get conned into blowing money on snake oil like high end speaker wire.
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post #339 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 05:58 PM
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They're highly suggestible in an ABX setting where there's only A or B. Given our audio memory I'd still say ABX is ultimately very poor. Familiarity is a stronger ability than any ABX form when it comes to our ability to "have an audio memory".
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post #340 of 352 Old 12-18-2014, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
Link?

Total BS. Why are people buying DSD now? Uh because it sounds different.

ABX testing is ok, but ultimately an incredibly poor way to judge audio. Our brains don't work well at remembering or telling the difference between very immediate sound. However if you listen to a system for two weeks, change something, listen for two weeks, then change it back you'll pick up on the differences very easily if they're there. We gain familiarity, our brains begin to have expectations that will or won't be met as we change equipment.

For years I used cheap DVD players into an exceptional DAC. Then I upgraded to an actual intentional audio player, it was better. Even though it was old, upgrading to something much more serious changed the results. The transport always affects the sound greatly. Call it a flaw of the CD, but it's as real as anything else in our Matrix. Right now I use a Bel Canto CD1 and it's extremely better than anything else I've owned.

When it comes to digital things are much more complicated that simplistic concepts of a transport. One player will use the same mechanism and laser as another and sound entirely different. The quality of the power supply will have a huge affect; but that's just the start! There are so many decisions in building that it takes some thought to make any transport at any dollar amount actually work well. But I'll say there are some serious diminishing returns to CD transports at some point. You probably couldn't get something better than a Shigaclone MKII from whomever would build you one, at any substantiation even close to the original dollar figure. If you bought a Wadia, even if it were better, the dollar to appreciation amount would be questionably appreciable in a ratio that looks desperate over less expensive units.

There's so many points in this thread that are simply incorrect. One might pay some attention to how many units sell of different things. The placebo affect isn't so grandiose that it can entirely own a market. There are of course brands that cater to those wishing to spend money, and not whom listens for authentication of purchasing will.
Yes, there are many points in this thread that are simply incorrect - on that we agree! We just don't agree on the poster responsible for them.

Feel free to do a blinded test of two pieces of gear, level-matched, and listen to them for 2 minutes, or 2 weeks, or 2 months, whatever floats your boat, as long as you don't know which is which. Then see just how reliably you can tell which is which. I bet you'll be surprised.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
Link?

Total BS. Why are people buying DSD now? Uh because it sounds different.

ABX testing is ok, but ultimately an incredibly poor way to judge audio. Our brains don't work well at remembering or telling the difference between very immediate sound. However if you listen to a system for two weeks, change something, listen for two weeks, then change it back you'll pick up on the differences very easily if they're there. We gain familiarity, our brains begin to have expectations that will or won't be met as we change equipment.

For years I used cheap DVD players into an exceptional DAC. Then I upgraded to an actual intentional audio player, it was better. Even though it was old, upgrading to something much more serious changed the results. The transport always affects the sound greatly. Call it a flaw of the CD, but it's as real as anything else in our Matrix. Right now I use a Bel Canto CD1 and it's extremely better than anything else I've owned.

When it comes to digital things are much more complicated that simplistic concepts of a transport. One player will use the same mechanism and laser as another and sound entirely different. The quality of the power supply will have a huge affect; but that's just the start! There are so many decisions in building that it takes some thought to make any transport at any dollar amount actually work well. But I'll say there are some serious diminishing returns to CD transports at some point. You probably couldn't get something better than a Shigaclone MKII from whomever would build you one, at any substantiation even close to the original dollar figure. If you bought a Wadia, even if it were better, the dollar to appreciation amount would be questionably appreciable in a ratio that looks desperate over less expensive units.

There's so many points in this thread that are simply incorrect. One might pay some attention to how many units sell of different things. The placebo affect isn't so grandiose that it can entirely own a market. There are of course brands that cater to those wishing to spend money, and not whom listens for authentication of purchasing will.
People buy lots of mp3s. They must sound better.
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post #342 of 352 Old Yesterday, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
They're highly suggestible in an ABX setting where there's only A or B. Given our audio memory I'd still say ABX is ultimately very poor. Familiarity is a stronger ability than any ABX form when it comes to our ability to "have an audio memory".

Unfortunately science has determined that the exact opposite is the truth. Actually, audible differences driven by hearing bias are more pronounced the longer the time frame involved.


I understand the need for an audio dealer to say what you say but those of us who have been through bias controlled tests have to step in to correct things.
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Science? Yours? What time frame? I've had numerous people ABX immediately tell the difference between equipment that also wasn't perceivable to some except over a several week interval (in this case power conditioner). All of which came from people who didn't want to buy something very expensive. Also perhaps the bias is correct anyways; if it weren't there, then there wouldn't be any piano tuners. When you "prove" someone's bias by ABX testing after a familiarity conditioning, I don't believe you're disproving a preference, you're just reconfirming that ABX testing doesn't work that well.

Just so you know from what I've seen in your posts I'm a very long ways off from thinking you have a good grasp on the subject of subjectively related objective difference, FMW.

I will say I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of lower quality equipment is hard to tell the difference between.
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Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
Science? Yours? What time frame? I've had numerous people ABX immediately tell the difference between equipment that also wasn't perceivable to some except over a several week interval (in this case power conditioner). All of which came from people who didn't want to buy something very expensive. Also perhaps the bias is correct anyways; if it weren't there, then there wouldn't be any piano tuners. When you "prove" someone's bias by ABX testing after a familiarity conditioning, I don't believe you're disproving a preference, you're just reconfirming that ABX testing doesn't work that well.

Just so you know from what I've seen in your posts I'm a very long ways off from thinking you have a good grasp on the subject of subjectively related objective difference, FMW.

I will say I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of lower quality equipment is hard to tell the difference between.
Please describe this ABX process you claim to perform with your customers.
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post #345 of 352 Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
Science? Yours? What time frame? I've had numerous people ABX immediately tell the difference between equipment that also wasn't perceivable to some except over a several week interval (in this case power conditioner). All of which came from people who didn't want to buy something very expensive. Also perhaps the bias is correct anyways; if it weren't there, then there wouldn't be any piano tuners. When you "prove" someone's bias by ABX testing after a familiarity conditioning, I don't believe you're disproving a preference, you're just reconfirming that ABX testing doesn't work that well.

You misunderstand. While blind testing is often used to measure preference, we aren't talking about that. We are talking about measuring an audible difference. The tester simply identifies which unit in the comparison is which. Right and wrong aren't even important. It is the percentage of right to wrong answers we seek. I understand why you don't like blind testing. All I can say is that you will have to engage in it for yourself to know what some of us know. Lashing out on an internet forum isn't going to teach you anything.

Quote:
Just so you know from what I've seen in your posts I'm a very long ways off from thinking you have a good grasp on the subject of subjectively related objective difference, FMW.

And I'm dead certain that you've never engaged in a properly conducted bias controlled test and are therefore incompetent even to comment on the subject.

Quote:
I will say I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of lower quality equipment is hard to tell the difference between.

The same holds true with expensive equipment. Two products will either demonstrate an audible difference or they will not. If they do not, experience shows that the price of the two products is immaterial. You have to understand that we have heard your arguments hundreds of times before. Go gain the experience we have and then come back and post. Then you will have some credibility.
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Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
... Familiarity is a stronger ability than any ABX form when it comes to our ability to "have an audio memory".
Of course you have data to support this. Link and citation would be great.
Is this your science???
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...

I understand the need for an audio dealer ....
If you Google Folsom Audio, it comes up as a car audio dealer in Folsom, CA. If that is him, it is of interest.
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I'm not a car dealer.

It's not that I have a problem with blind testing because I'm afraid someone wouldn't like a product of mine, but rather that I find it's nearly useless for certain products. There are some products, such as speakers (if they've had a good run in time), where I would never expect someone to have to spend time with them to detect a fairly clear or not clear difference.

But on a similar account any testing can be botched by using equipment with lots of play time, and equipment without. I had a fascinating run in with this while comparing a couple amplifiers. We had not accounted for a filtered socket that had never been used so the filtration parts on it took about two hours to come around. For the first hour we didn't realize this, and just figured an amplifier was a flop, not very good. In the end they would have been difficult to tell apart except by size and price, back to back ABX.

I think you make a great point about some high end equipment being similar. That does happen with some.

Anyway, I'm not sure why you speak for the board. You seem like a bully around here FMW. I've looked up some of your posts and I don't believe all your "hard data" tell much at all within such a complex system of humans and audio. We simply aren't evolved to engage in defining a lot of differences we hear, but we repeat choices based on them. This happens with musicians I lone a particular piece of equipment too. Every time they use it they find a "groove" that doesn't happen otherwise. It's only existed while the device is in use. They'll talk about something sounding nice while using it, briefly. However because they don't have a damned clue how to define what they hear, they can't seem to equate what's happening, explain it, or believe the piece of equipment is the reason. They see lots of variables, but there's consistency that supersedes them. There bias is working in the opposite fashion! They're ignoring something that's evident, because they don't know how to quantify it. On the flip side a local instrument dealer couldn't get over describing it, making up new words etc.
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I'm not a car dealer.

It's not that I have a problem with blind testing because I'm afraid someone wouldn't like a product of mine, but rather that I find it's nearly useless for certain products. There are some products, such as speakers (if they've had a good run in time), where I would never expect someone to have to spend time with them to detect a fairly clear or not clear difference.

But on a similar account any testing can be botched by using equipment with lots of play time, and equipment without. I had a fascinating run in with this while comparing a couple amplifiers. We had not accounted for a filtered socket that had never been used so the filtration parts on it took about two hours to come around. For the first hour we didn't realize this, and just figured an amplifier was a flop, not very good. In the end they would have been difficult to tell apart except by size and price, back to back ABX.

I think you make a great point about some high end equipment being similar. That does happen with some.

Anyway, I'm not sure why you speak for the board. You seem like a bully around here FMW. I've looked up some of your posts and I don't believe all your "hard data" tell much at all within such a complex system of humans and audio. We simply aren't evolved to engage in defining a lot of differences we hear, but we repeat choices based on them. This happens with musicians I lone a particular piece of equipment too. Every time they use it they find a "groove" that doesn't happen otherwise. It's only existed while the device is in use. They'll talk about something sounding nice while using it, briefly. However because they don't have a damned clue how to define what they hear, they can't seem to equate what's happening, explain it, or believe the piece of equipment is the reason. They see lots of variables, but there's consistency that supersedes them. There bias is working in the opposite fashion! They're ignoring something that's evident, because they don't know how to quantify it. On the flip side a local instrument dealer couldn't get over describing it, making up new words etc.
It's OK. My goal is not to convince you of anything. It is merely to keep beginners to audio on the right track. But I still recommend you experience the objective side of things. It may convince you. it convinces everyone in my experience who doesn't have a financial stake in the business. If you feel bullied I would recommend you not read my posts and recommend that others not read them.
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It's OK. My goal is not to convince you of anything. It is merely to keep beginners to audio on the right track. I think you mistake confidence for bullying. I have offered to put my money where my mouth is many times without a single taker. I can only recommend you walk the walk and learn what it is all about.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
I'm not a car dealer.

It's not that I have a problem with blind testing because I'm afraid someone wouldn't like a product of mine, but rather that I find it's nearly useless for certain products. There are some products, such as speakers (if they've had a good run in time), where I would never expect someone to have to spend time with them to detect a fairly clear or not clear difference.

But on a similar account any testing can be botched by using equipment with lots of play time, and equipment without. I had a fascinating run in with this while comparing a couple amplifiers. We had not accounted for a filtered socket that had never been used so the filtration parts on it took about two hours to come around. For the first hour we didn't realize this, and just figured an amplifier was a flop, not very good. In the end they would have been difficult to tell apart except by size and price, back to back ABX.

I think you make a great point about some high end equipment being similar. That does happen with some.

Anyway, I'm not sure why you speak for the board. You seem like a bully around here FMW. I've looked up some of your posts and I don't believe all your "hard data" tell much at all within such a complex system of humans and audio. We simply aren't evolved to engage in defining a lot of differences we hear, but we repeat choices based on them. This happens with musicians I lone a particular piece of equipment too. Every time they use it they find a "groove" that doesn't happen otherwise. It's only existed while the device is in use. They'll talk about something sounding nice while using it, briefly. However because they don't have a damned clue how to define what they hear, they can't seem to equate what's happening, explain it, or believe the piece of equipment is the reason. They see lots of variables, but there's consistency that supersedes them. There bias is working in the opposite fashion! They're ignoring something that's evident, because they don't know how to quantify it. On the flip side a local instrument dealer couldn't get over describing it, making up new words etc.
But you are a car audio dealer?

Please describe your abx testing/setup you've arranged in your store, that would be refreshing that a retailer would actually do such for his customers. What products is abx testing useless for? Coming from the retail side of things certainly doesn't lend much credibility to your opinion and the burn-in and power conditioner nonsense certainly doesn't help let alone the mystery device example. FMW may be repetitious but when posts like yours come up....

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
If you Google Folsom Audio, it comes up as a car audio dealer in Folsom, CA. If that is him, it is of interest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FolsomAudio View Post
I'm not a car dealer.

....
I don't think I said car dealer.
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