Is There an Audible Difference Between High End CD Transports and Modest/Cheap CD Players? - Page 15 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #421 of 450 Old 01-15-2015, 12:05 PM
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And I still believe what I perceive. So what?

db

So nothing. Everybody on the planet can believe what they like. We are trying to protect beginners from misinformation and that is why we challenge inaccurate comments made from sighted evaluations. Changing your mind about anything isn't the issue at all. Happy listening.
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post #422 of 450 Old 01-15-2015, 02:57 PM
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And I still believe what I perceive. So what?

db
Good thing I was able to change my mind on better evidence when I looked at a 5 gal bucket of water with a copper pipe place into it. Or the supernatural. Perceptions can be fooled rather easily.
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post #423 of 450 Old 01-15-2015, 06:45 PM
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Believe what you want. You want to post what you believe? Just be ready that you will be challenged on this forum. You don't prefer to be challenged? There are others forums that will suit your preference better.
spkr, I don't feel challenged, just annoyed by the ad hominem attacks on anyone who does not profess the faith. BTW, if all the units are the same, why is there any need for level adjusting? Could the circuitry after the DAC chip contribute to that?

db
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post #424 of 450 Old 01-15-2015, 10:42 PM
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spkr, I don't feel challenged, just annoyed by the ad hominem attacks on anyone who does not profess the faith.
Feel whatever you want or call it whatever you want. The challenge still comes through on this forum.
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BTW, if all the units are the same, why is there any need for level adjusting? Could the circuitry after the DAC chip contribute to that?
Study up on audio electronics circuit design. Materials are out there.
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post #425 of 450 Old 01-15-2015, 11:14 PM
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spkr, I don't feel challenged, just annoyed by the ad hominem attacks on anyone who does not profess the faith. BTW, if all the units are the same, why is there any need for level adjusting? Could the circuitry after the DAC chip contribute to that?

db
What ad hominem attacks? Can't remember any.

You instead prefer we simply share your faith in your opinion? What do we get out of it? What makes your opinion of sound qualities or gear performance or testing methodology to be worthy of serious consideration?
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post #426 of 450 Old 01-16-2015, 01:38 AM
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Study up on audio electronics circuit design. Materials are out there.
spkr, can you really be so dogmatic you missed the logical implication?

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post #427 of 450 Old 01-16-2015, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
spkr, I don't feel challenged, just annoyed by the ad hominem attacks on anyone who does not profess the faith. BTW, if all the units are the same, why is there any need for level adjusting? Could the circuitry after the DAC chip contribute to that?

db

No. The circuitry after the DAC chip is quite linear - even in a cell phone. It is just an op amp basically.


Level matching is critical because it makes it easy to distinguish one unit from the other whether there is an audible difference or not between the two. There is no point in making a bias controlled experiment without level matching because you will get 100% result every time. The difference in level creates an audible difference all by itself.


I understand what you believe and why. I was there myself for many years until I actually did the tests myself. The problem on this forum is simply that you are debating with only part of the experience. We all have hearing bias. Very few of us understand that, however, because very few of us have done the comparisons without it.


There are plenty of audible differences in audio but modern DACs aren't one of them.
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post #428 of 450 Old 01-16-2015, 08:52 AM
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spkr, can you really be so dogmatic you missed the logical implication?

db
You missed the point. Your question on post number 423 has been discussed and explained more than once on this very forum since Dec. 2006 (when you joined). For you to bring that up as if you just joined this forum yesterday, is ignorant to say the least. But then again, so what, right?
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post #429 of 450 Old 01-16-2015, 11:40 AM
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No. The circuitry after the DAC chip is quite linear - even in a cell phone. It is just an op amp basically.


Level matching is critical because it makes it easy to distinguish one unit from the other whether there is an audible difference or not between the two. There is no point in making a bias controlled experiment without level matching because you will get 100% result every time. The difference in level creates an audible difference all by itself.


I understand what you believe and why. I was there myself for many years until I actually did the tests myself. The problem on this forum is simply that you are debating with only part of the experience. We all have hearing bias. Very few of us understand that, however, because very few of us have done the comparisons without it.


There are plenty of audible differences in audio but modern DACs aren't one of them.
Thanks you FMW, yours are the only replies that have content, and i appreciate them.

(1) Why should there be level differences if the DACs are all the same and the analog circuitry is so linear?

(2) I went back and reread the OP and early posts. The title of this thread is a question, but the intent from the start was a statement: There is no audible difference. That is a given.

(3) I used to be an advocate of that position, and I still believe the transduction processes (microphone, speakers) are where the big action occurs. My listening preference tends to small classical and jazz groups, but I do occasionally listen to large orchestrations. I like a sense of openness or air that reminds me of the many jazz groups I've heard in soCal and recitals I've enjoyed at Stanford. But then I replaced my Proceed PAV and Amp 2 with a Sony receiver to simplify my setup. It was as though a soufflé went flat. All the notes were there but the sense of openness had gone. I had/have a Marantz Model 18 receiver that sounded superb driving the old AR3a speakers, so i was surprised. The KEF Reference 102s should have been easier. The PAV and Amp 2 went back into the setup and I gave away the Sony receiver. What I listen for is difficult to describe, but I know it when I hear it. The Hamonia Mundi recording of Corelli Opus 6 No. 1 with McGegan and the PBO is a litmus test I use when evaluating a system. Is the sense of spaciousness present or absent.

(4) As one who used to do psychoacoustic research, I'm aware of hearing bias, but I'm also aware how difficult teasing out psychophysical correlates can be. I used balanced experimental design with many trials and many listeners so I could evaluate the all important interactions, not just main effects. The physical correlates for something like i listen for is difficult to pin down, but I can do the present/absent dichotomy.

(5) Do I think you need to spend big bucks for fine sound? No. I often advise my friends to get an Oppo BDP 105 as disc player and processor, a decent amp, and a pair of something like the KEF LS50 speakers. All my equipment except for the Oppo was purchased used, often at 10 cents on the dollar and never more than 50 cents.

I enjoy intellectual discussion; I just don't enjoy the mud slinging so common in this thread but not elsewhere at AVS, the Asylum, or Audiogon.

db
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post #430 of 450 Old 01-16-2015, 11:54 AM
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Thanks you FMW, yours are the only replies that have content, and i appreciate them.

(1) Why should there be level differences if the DACs are all the same and the analog circuitry is so linear?

Because the output voltage of the analog stage can differ from one unit to another.

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(3) I used to be an advocate of that position, and I still believe the transduction processes (microphone, speakers) are where the big action occurs. My listening preference tends to small classical and jazz groups, but I do occasionally listen to large orchestrations. I like a sense of openness or air that reminds me of the many jazz groups I've heard in soCal and recitals I've enjoyed at Stanford. But then I replaced my Proceed PAV and Amp 2 with a Sony receiver to simplify my setup. It was as though a soufflé went flat. All the notes were there but the sense of openness had gone. I had/have a Marantz Model 18 receiver that sounded superb driving the old AR3a speakers, so i was surprised. The KEF Reference 102s should have been easier. The PAV and Amp 2 went back into the setup and I gave away the Sony receiver. What I listen for is difficult to describe, but I know it when I hear it. The Hamonia Mundi recording of Corelli Opus 6 No. 1 with McGegan and the PBO is a litmus test I use when evaluating a system. Is the sense of spaciousness present or absent.

The debate is whether what you experience is generated by the equipment or the hearing bias. The reason I suggest hearing bias is that I have yet to encounter an audible difference between two DACs. There may be one somewhere but saying that you are experiencing hearing bias is a pretty safe bet.

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(4) As one who used to do psychoacoustic research, I'm aware of hearing bias, but I'm also aware how difficult teasing out psychophysical correlates can be. I used balanced experimental design with many trials and many listeners so I could evaluate the all important interactions, not just main effects. The physical correlates for something like i listen for is difficult to pin down, but I can do the present/absent dichotomy.

So did we. We used a group of 10 audiophiles and did 100 iterations of the test - 10 for each subject. I don't argue that our tests are flawless. All I say is that, if audible differences disappear when bias is controlled, then it isn't a stretch to assign the audible differences to bias. There is no other logical conclusion.

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(5) Do I think you need to spend big bucks for fine sound? No. I often advise my friends to get an Oppo BDP 105 as disc player and processor, a decent amp, and a pair of something like the KEF LS50 speakers. All my equipment except for the Oppo was purchased used, often at 10 cents on the dollar and never more than 50 cents.

I learned long ago that there is little correlation between price and sound quality in the home audio business. I have no problem at all with the existence of audio jewelry. I care not what people spend on their equipment. I'm comfortable with a wide range of motivations for a purchase. I just try to keep raising my hand to debate science against what I view as belief. It isn't personal at all

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I enjoy intellectual discussion; I just don't enjoy the mud slinging so common in this thread but not elsewhere at AVS, the Asylum, or Audiogon.

db

People tend to behave differently behind the shield of the internet than they do face to face. It is one of the characteristics of the net, I'm afraid.
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post #431 of 450 Old 01-16-2015, 12:59 PM
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I enjoy intellectual discussion; I just don't enjoy the mud slinging so common in this thread
That's odd, especially after seeing these come from you...
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That was my point. You haven't documented your claims yet you castigate anyone who is skeptical of them. Of course reference my decades old articles in JASA is irrelevant to the current topic, except to point out that those who claim to have science on their side are expected to publish their results, preferably in peer reviewed journals. Handwaving is insufficient, especially when making such broad generalizations. There must be some perverse pleasure some of you get in these attacks, because you do persevere.
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Now that is a claim clearly beyond your knowledge or expertise. I am even more skeptical of those who purport to know the motivations of the behavior of others.
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Let's just leave it at I'm a skeptic, and let's have no more psychobabble from Arnyk about repressed fears and discomfort.

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but not elsewhere at AVS, the Asylum, or Audiogon.
So you know where you'll be happier. That's good to know.
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post #432 of 450 Old 01-17-2015, 10:36 AM
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Thanks you FMW, yours are the only replies that have content, and i appreciate them.

...
I enjoy intellectual discussion; I just don't enjoy the mud slinging so common in this thread but not elsewhere at AVS, the Asylum, or Audiogon.

db
What I don't understand is why the mud slinging is allowed by the mods, it certainly does not add anything to the forum.
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post #433 of 450 Old 01-17-2015, 04:54 PM
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What I don't understand is why the mud slinging is allowed by the mods, it certainly does not add anything to the forum.
Just because you and dbphd see challenging audio claims as mud slinging, doesn't mean everyone sees it the same way.
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post #434 of 450 Old 01-17-2015, 05:33 PM
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I'd like to know some further input from Arny and Amir on this thread's subject. ...And also from owners of ultra high-end CD transports. /// And separate DACs of course.
/// dCS, Trinity, Meridian Reference, Krell, Esoteric, 47 Laboratory, Cary Audio Design Professional Versions, Classe, Linn, Playback Designs, Burmester, Nagra, Ayre Acoustics, Mark Levinson, Naim, Musical Fidelity, Muse, Accuphase, Boulder, Bel Canto, Audio Note, Simaudio, Bricasti Design, Chord, MSB, Theta Digital, Weiss, Wadia, Wavelength, ...
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post #435 of 450 Old 02-26-2015, 09:03 PM
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Just because you and dbphd see challenging audio claims as mud slinging, doesn't mean everyone sees it the same way.
Well thanks Captain Obvious, but just because you can't hear the differences pointed out it doesn't mean that everyone else can't and are hearing things. I have 2 cd players, an Oppo and an old Marantz I recently picked up. It sounds warmer than the Oppo, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

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post #436 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 10:24 AM
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Well thanks Captain Obvious, but just because you can't hear the differences pointed out it doesn't mean that everyone else can't and are hearing things. I have 2 cd players, an Oppo and an old Marantz I recently picked up. It sounds warmer than the Oppo, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

You keep failing to understand that audible comparisons done sighted are unreliable. If you want know if an audible difference exists you need to control hearing bias. Since nobody has ever been able to tell one CD player from another in a blind test, it isn't much of stretch to tell you that the differences you hear originate from hearing bias, not the equipment. It is just a proven fact. Denying it doesn't make it untrue.


We hear the same things you do. We just understand why we hear them and we try to explain it to people like you.
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post #437 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 10:38 AM
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You keep failing to understand that audible comparisons done sighted are unreliable. If you want know if an audible difference exists you need to control hearing bias. Since nobody has ever been able to tell one CD player from another in a blind test, it isn't much of stretch to tell you that the differences you hear originate from hearing bias, not the equipment. It is just a proven fact. Denying it doesn't make it untrue.


We hear the same things you do. We just understand why we hear them and we try to explain it to people like you.
You keep making assumptions about what comparisons are sighted or not, and then go off on a tangent that has no connection to reality. Any scientist will gather more data before offering an opinion, so it's puzzling that you science guys will ignore the basic fundamentals so often.
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post #438 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 03:32 PM
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Well thanks Captain Obvious, but just because you can't hear the differences pointed out it doesn't mean that everyone else can't and are hearing things.
I'm not sure why you keep making assumptions like that. I've heard differences when casually comparing CD players.
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I have 2 cd players, an Oppo and an old Marantz I recently picked up. It sounds warmer than the Oppo, but I'm not losing sleep over it.
What do you think caused that sound difference? Could it be that Oppo uses more expensive capacitors?
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post #439 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 03:35 PM
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You keep making assumptions about what comparisons are sighted or not, and then go off on a tangent that has no connection to reality. Any scientist will gather more data before offering an opinion, so it's puzzling that you science guys will ignore the basic fundamentals so often.
Do you know of a level matched DBT where CD players made audible difference? I am interested in learning about it so please enlighten me.
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post #440 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 03:38 PM
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No, you're not interested in learning.
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post #441 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 09:01 PM
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You keep making assumptions about what comparisons are sighted or not, and then go off on a tangent that has no connection to reality. Any scientist will gather more data before offering an opinion, so it's puzzling that you science guys will ignore the basic fundamentals so often.
What assumption? If one player was warmer than another then it wasn't compared with bias controlled listening test. The reason is that players don't sound warmer than others. That isn't an assumption. It is a conclusion.
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post #442 of 450 Old 02-27-2015, 09:57 PM
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When the science crowd does "experiments" with test samples of ten? Thanks, you keep that big guy, I've got all the keyboard cowboy advice I don't need already.

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post #443 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 06:26 AM
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When the science crowd does "experiments" with test samples of ten? Thanks, you keep that big guy, I've got all the keyboard cowboy advice I don't need already.

I'm not providing you any advice, nor am I trying to convince you of anything. I'm just allowing newcomers to audio to get the truth in the face of misinformation. The difference is that I can prove my position and I can prove it to you if you ever get the urge to learn the truth.
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post #444 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 08:51 AM
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Oh you've been pushing your agenda on this forum for a long time, trying to convince any poster who wondered about differences they heard between components. And when I found out what your basis for this whole campaign was, I had to chuckle. Tests you did comparing DACs, about a dozen of them. With a test sample of ten people. That's right, reader, such a tiny test sample that any scientist wouldn't dare draw any conclusions from, but FMW uses it as the basis for his Everything-sounds-the-same campaign. And he wouldn't even name any of the DAC chips involved when queried. No doubt he doesn't even know.

Here's the link. Audiophile CD Player? Which One?


"Correct. These tests involved a group of 10 people and around a dozen DACs. The most extreme example was a comparison between a Radio Shack portable CD player and an Audio Research CD player. No audible difference."

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post #445 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 09:39 AM
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not all DACs sound the same. just plug some decent headphones into your PCs audio out. then do the same with a good DAC. if you don't care about the difference, good for you.

of course there is a law of diminishing returns in audio that these days kick in very quickly. does the Audioengine D1 i plug into my computer sound 10x worse than the Benchmark DAC2 in my main system? certainly not. and we all also know there are other considerations outside of pure sound quality - there's needed functionality (how many in and out ports, what type, etc), and there's also the element of industrial design (tailored to personal taste, of course).

now to CD players. i haven't listened to one in many years. for music all i have are ripped CDs or downloaded music, and that goes from computer to DAC to power amp. my last CD player, which in the end i merely used as a DAC, was an Accuphase DP65v. i think it was $5k or so at the time. it replaced an already plenty good Denon 1290 CD player. those two sources made me very happy for over 20 years, so my thinking is they were pretty smart investments because i never did for a second doubt i could be very happy with my system, and simply focus on enjoying the music. did the Accuphase sound better than the Denon? to be honest i don't think i even tested them against each other. the specs were better, but i have never fooled myself i could listen to .0001% jitter or .01dB channel separation... :-) it was simply because i had wanted an all Accuphase system for a long time, and i could, and i just got married and had bought a big house, so why not. i was very happy with my system (and my marriage and house) for 15 years. alas some things are not supposed to last forever. :-) glad i did it, though.

i think there's never been a better time to put a system together. the quality of the sound that can come out of a thoughtfully put together sub-$2k stereo system these days is amazing. i still think my system sounds better (at around ~13k it better), but it's not by much, even though i find it extremely satisfying. and i have 2 friends with >100k systems that to me sound horribly limited and colored. but it's important to simply like and be happy with what you own so it pleases all your own very personal priorities, and to hell with what anyone else thinks. and if some people are happy with a 10k CD player with 5k Unobtanium RCA cables, and they didn't commit a crime to pay for iot, hey, good luck to them... :-) personally, yes, i think most of the money should go into speakers.

System: SB Touch -optical-> Benchmark DAC2HGC -AnalysisPlus Oval Copper XLR-> NAD M22 Power Amp -AnalysisPlus Black Mesh Oval-> Totem Element Fire
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post #446 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 10:28 AM
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No, you're not interested in learning.
So you know of a case but withholding it because you assumed that I'm not interested in learning? All results of level matched DBT of CD players I know have been the same, indistinguishable sound quality. I am very interested in learning about the opposite. Please educate me if you know of one. I hate living in the dark.
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post #447 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 10:32 AM
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And when I found out what your basis for this whole campaign was, I had to chuckle.
May I ask what the basis for your campaign is?
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post #448 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 12:47 PM
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What assumption? If one player was warmer than another then it wasn't compared with bias controlled listening test. ...
And, that "warmth" would certainly show up in a frequency response test chart, large enough deviations to make them audible.
Perhaps the player in question has such a FR chart? Most likely it doesn't and is ruler flat.
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post #449 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Oh you've been pushing your agenda on this forum for a long time, ..."
And you have no agenda, of course??? What you post must be so???
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post #450 of 450 Old 02-28-2015, 03:45 PM
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Oh you've been pushing your agenda on this forum for a long time, trying to convince any poster who wondered about differences they heard between components. And when I found out what your basis for this whole campaign was, I had to chuckle. Tests you did comparing DACs, about a dozen of them. With a test sample of ten people. That's right, reader, such a tiny test sample that any scientist wouldn't dare draw any conclusions from, but FMW uses it as the basis for his Everything-sounds-the-same campaign. And he wouldn't even name any of the DAC chips involved when queried. No doubt he doesn't even know.

Here's the link. Audiophile CD Player? Which One?


"Correct. These tests involved a group of 10 people and around a dozen DACs. The most extreme example was a comparison between a Radio Shack portable CD player and an Audio Research CD player. No audible difference."

Yes, that is what I wrote because it describes the test results. As I said, let me know if you want to experience the proof.
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