Isn't this a step backwards for AVSForum? - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 145 Old 02-09-2006, 10:41 PM
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Oh BTW hello from the other Rochester
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post #122 of 145 Old 02-10-2006, 11:14 AM
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This has been an interesting thread to read, however, there is one point I like to make on the quality of the digital signal that a transport output. Not all transports are the same, the problem is the recorded data on the disc. Unless the data is 100% error free, the transports will be required to perform damage control. Most of the time is due to the lack of crisp pit formation in a stamped CD that causes the problems. Other errors could be due to scratches, etc. What makes it worse are these corrections/modifications of the data must be done in real-time (some transport can read ahead). It take a lot of engineering to do it right if at all possible. The unrecoverable errors cause two problems:

1) The audible portion is lost
2) Errors usually manifest themselves into inaudible high frequency data also note that due to the mathematics, the reconstruction of data from frequency domain to time domain cannot guarantee that no audible and unnecessary data is injected back.

A good transport is the one that can do the best damage control before feeding it to the DAC.

The question is what about computer data on discs? The answer is the discs are sometimes read multiple times in order to get the data correct.

Currently, there are audiophiles loading their discs onto the computer, 'fix' up the data using e.g EAC http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/ and directly stream the data to a DAC. We can do that now with Apple AirPort.
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post #123 of 145 Old 02-10-2006, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fulusu
A good transport is the one that can do the best damage control before feeding it to the DAC.
The question is what about computer data on discs? The answer is the discs are sometimes read multiple times in order to get the data correct.
Currently, there are audiophiles loading their discs onto the computer, 'fix' up the data using e.g EAC http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/ and directly stream the data to a DAC. We can do that now with Apple AirPort.
I'm not sure that owners of $5,000 CD Transports will like the idea that their fancy device produces the same or worse results than a $30 CD-ROM drive and a freeware program off the internet, and that's one of the major issues here :)
Let's not even go into discussing how an audiophile would store and handle his CDs in such a way that they would have reading errors requiring error correction.
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post #124 of 145 Old 02-10-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditcho
I'm not sure that owners of $5,000 CD Transports will like the idea that their fancy device produces the same or worse results than a $30 CD-ROM drive and a freeware program off the internet, and that's one of the major issues here :).
The answer is if you want to do it (fix error) now, then there is price to pay. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ditcho
Let's not even go into discussing how an audiophile would store and handle his CDs in such a way that they would have reading errors requiring error correction.
OK - I can be an ostrich :)
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post #125 of 145 Old 02-10-2006, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditcho
I'm not sure that owners of $5,000 CD Transports will like the idea that their fancy device produces the same or worse results than a $30 CD-ROM drive and a freeware program off the internet, and that's one of the major issues here :)
You are missing the point. You should go back and re-read the post about S/PDIF, clock, and jitter, none of which is applicable in data transfer from CDROM to the computer.
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post #126 of 145 Old 02-10-2006, 03:13 PM
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I am not an engineer or scientist so my opinion probably does not matter.

I own a construction company and that has allowed me to put together a $70,000 hifi system. I played in a band for 25 years and have an idea of how music should sound.

My current system is what I would consider as very good but improvements could be made. Almost every time I have upgraded I have noticed changes in my music for the better. I am not saying everything I have upgraded to has been the most expensive. I try and buy smart.

One of the most notable changes in my system was when I upgraded my $2500 cd player to a $7000 dollar dac and transport system. I still own the $2500 cd player and a/b the the two players a couple of times and it is not even close which player brings me more of my music. I can feel the kick drum in my chest the speakers disappear in the room. It is a wonderful experience every time I turn on my two-channel system which is everyday.

I would challenge anyone who is ever in Tucson, AZ to come listen to my system. I will have it set up for you and right in the same spot I will have a system set up with 5 disc changer, lamp cord for speaker wire and we can a/b together.

We then can be the judge of music not a machine spitting out data.
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post #127 of 145 Old 02-10-2006, 10:06 PM
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Diamonds, your opinion matters, in fact, you confirm that the better 'damage control' you can acquire, the better will be your results. The point I tried to make was that if you want 'damage control' to be done in real time, then it will cost.
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post #128 of 145 Old 02-11-2006, 10:13 AM
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Diamonds -

I agree with Fulusu. You don't have a degree in science to know what sounds good. I was pointing out what I feel is wrong with the tests the hard core objectivists have used for knee jerk placebo effect comments. Frankly the way some of these uber objectivists talk, they seem like they spend all of their time looking at specs and not listening to music.

Bob
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post #129 of 145 Old 02-11-2006, 12:15 PM
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I just read a review of the Cyrus 8x last month where they said it performed badly in all measurements, and by right shouldn't have sounded any good at all. Then they ended up basically saying it sounds great and we'd recommend it to anyone. So there. And remember, even Einstein believed in the abstract concept of "God".
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post #130 of 145 Old 02-16-2006, 05:22 AM
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This is my first time dropping by this section of AVS; mainly because I have only recently become interested in new CD players (I was hoping someone would be weighing in on the Rega Apollo, but I see we are still arguing about whether or not different transports sound different).

I have observed a contingency of "scientists" that are either unwilling or unable to come to terms with the non-measurable aspects of this enthusiasm.

From cables to cd transports, and even a few with amplifiers, there seems to be a notion by these technical-minded folks that a group of "snake-oil" salesmen are trying to bilk us out of our money by selling us products that do not provide a measurable difference in sound; after all, numbers don't lie, do they?

I consider myself a scientist, not as an occupation, but as a way of thought... but in the area of music, there is an emotional aspect that is about the communication of art and feeling, and the appreciation of it is more "felt" than measured.

There are some that love this art that are also technically savvy enough to develop and continually innovate devices that reproduce this sound. There is a science behind it all, derived not only with measurements, but by listening, and trying to create the experience of the musical event as it was performed.

To try and reduce it all to zeroes and ones is, to me, a little close-minded and -eared... I have heard differences with every cd player, every amplifier, and yes, every interconnect I have changed in my system.

Every system and every room is different, and different people have different capacities for hearing these differences...

I for one view this new section of AVS as a step forward, and hopefully the "pure scientists" who can't hear beyond their meters will stay in the wings while we share some useful information.
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post #131 of 145 Old 02-16-2006, 11:33 PM
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Amen, bro.
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post #132 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Chucklee has provided a perfect straw-man argument by way of attacking an argument weaker than/different to what the opposing party has already explained in pages upon pages of text that nobody seems to have bothered to actually read.

I suppose I CAN come to one conclusion about this entire retarded debacle. In spite of the fact that ignorance only has to be temporary, laziness is a life long affliction.
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post #133 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
Chucklee has provided a perfect straw-man argument by way of attacking an argument weaker than/different to what the opposing party has already explained in pages upon pages of text that nobody seems to have bothered to actually read.

I suppose I CAN come to one conclusion about this entire retarded debacle. In spite of the fact that ignorance only has to be temporary, laziness is a life long affliction.
I'll bear that in mind as I prepare to go to my 13-hour job, after having worked 70 hours in the six days prior to my last two days' off.

It would be arrogant to presume that, just because one found your original thesis to be full of crap, that everything you blah-blahed about for the past several pages was worthy of great attention and analysis.

I would suggest you might want to take a "step back" from what you deemed to be AVSForum's "step backward".

But what does a man made of straw know about such things? If I only had a brain...
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post #134 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 05:26 AM
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The following is by far the best explanation I've ever heard for why transports sound different. It's by John Westlake, who's designed CD players for Cambridge Audio and Pink Triangle, among others. The "T1" he mentions is a new CD transport he will be releasing in a few months. This is taken from John's original post at diyaudio.com. It was in response to my question regarding my Cambridge IsoMagic/DiscMagic pair and his new transport which can clock-lock with my IsoDac. BTW, yes, CD transports definitely sound different. And a CD transport sounds different from itself depending on whether you use digital or optical connection.

Currently I’m only aware of 3 parameters that affect the sound quality of CD transports: -

1. Data Accuracy

This is the most basic function of the transport – with a correctly functioning CD player and reasonable condition Disc the audio Data will be 100% Bit accurate, this means that the Data that was originally recorded on the Disc during Mastering is fully recovered Bit for Bit – in the worst case (this assumes reasonable condition Discs) I’ve never seen more then 50 “interpolated samples†of error across the whole disc – now consider that a 60 Minute CD has 158.76 Million samples, there’s no way that anybody could reasonably argue that 50 “interpolated errors†can effect the GENRAL OVERALL audio quality – by this I don’t mean when the disc skips etc.

The T1 employs a unique two prong strategy to recover Bit accurate data from the disc

A. Automatic RF gain Control on the RF signal recovered from the Disc – believe it or not most CD players only have Fixed RF Gain, as the reflectivity of the disc drops, so does the RF level, and so increasing the chance of Bit errors (this is not to be confused with Laser Diode Power Level regulation found on all players (APC) to insure a fixed Laser power, as Laser output changes with heat & aging etc).

B. If the AGC circuit reaches Max. Gain (such as with badly oxidized discs, or CD-RW media), then the Laser power is increased – this is only used under the most serious conditions to prevent premature Laser aging.

To rest assure any concerns a user may have about Data accuracy, the T1 has an error counter displaying “Interpolated†errors and any Non corrected errors, and a “Disk condition†indicator (I will not say any more about this feature until the product is fully released). These features allow the user to confirm the condition of there original CD’s and CD-R / CD-RW recorded media.


2. SPDIF Output Phase Noise (Jitter)

This is where Digital meets the realms of the real world – same Bit for Bit accurate Data but very different sound between Transports and even Interlink cables etc etc????

Lowest Jitter will not always guarantee best audio performance (It very much depends on what happens down steam at the DAC) – it’s the distribution (signal content) of the Phase Noise that is critical, types of Phase Noise that is ALLWAYS detrimental :-

A. DATA correlated artifacts. These are signals or spurie within the Phase Noise plots that are directly correlated to the “Data processing†of the CD transport such as spurie from the CD servo sections, Data recovery and error correction, control MCU etc.

B. Fixed frequency Non Data correlated discrete artifacts, such as mains hum, non synchronies Front panel displays & MCU’s etc.

It’s generally accepted that the SPDIF standard is poorly conceived as the Master Clock is located within the CD transport section (where Phase Noise (AKA Jitter) is unimportant), where as the DAC, which is extremely Jitter sensitive, is fed from a “Recovered†clock which is buried within the SPDIF Data Stream. To make matters worse, no attempt has been made to de-correlate or “randomize†the SPDIF Data during transmission, so that the clock recovered by SPDIF receiver is guaranteed to be heavily contaminated by Data correlated Phase Noise – Jitter of the very worst kind.

A guaranteed a solution to the deficiencies of SPDIF is to design the DAC as the “Master†clock device – i.e. a low phase noise clock located next the to DAC – and send the clock back to the transport via a second connection – preferably optical for best isolation. Arcam, Cambridge Audio (Clock Lock) Deltec / DPA (Deltran) & Pink Triangle use this method. As mentioned earlier, the transport is not sensitive to clock jitter, so no particular care need be taken for this second link. If designed and implemented correctly, this method GARANTEES that the DAC operates from the lowest Phase Noise clock – with no PLL’s in the signal path.

The T1 requires a 128Fs +/- 100ppm (5.6448MHz) optical input clock (via standard Plastic Fiber Toslink) to Clock-Lock – this is compatible with the system I used at Cambridge Audio on DiscMagic and IsoMagic.


3. RF & Earth Leakage Current introduced Phase Noise spurie & noise products.

The effects of RF & Earth Leakage Current should not be underestimated, they can effect the DAC (and audio system) via any electrical inputs (SPDIF), audio outputs (via the Feedback path of the output Opamps), and the mains supply input.

The T1 is recommend to be connected to the DAC / Digital Amplifier by optical isolation only (for both Clock & SPDIF – the units are not sensitive to Jitter in Clock-Lock mode), this isolates the Ground Planes between the DAC / Digital amplifier & Transport – removing corridors for RF & Earth Leakage Currents to flow.

The T1 AC Mains input is heavily filtered on its Primary and Secondary side to prevent its own internal RF contaminating other audio equipment connected via the common Mains supply.

I’ve seen products (CD’s & DAC’s) that have interfered with television reception via the Mains supply only (no SPDIF or audio leads connected), so interference via this route should not be underestimated. If the RF interference can effect the TV reception, then it sure well affect the audio quality of a Hi-Fi system.

By Clock-Locking your IsoMagic & DiscMagic with optical interconnect, you have removed audio degradation via sources 1 & 2, leaving only source 3 (RF noise) as an area where you could improve upon the “Audio†performance of your current set-up, and its cheaper to buy a Mains Filter, then it is to buy a T1 transport, you could even try looping the Mains power cord to the DiscMagic around a large ferrite bead –end nearest the player.

John Westlake

Dan
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post #135 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
Chucklee has provided a perfect straw-man argument by way of attacking an argument weaker than/different to what the opposing party has already explained in pages upon pages of text that nobody seems to have bothered to actually read.

I suppose I CAN come to one conclusion about this entire retarded debacle. In spite of the fact that ignorance only has to be temporary, laziness is a life long affliction.
Yeah, you're right. Now leave.
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post #136 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
Chucklee has provided a perfect straw-man argument by way of attacking an argument weaker than/different to what the opposing party has already explained in pages upon pages of text that nobody seems to have bothered to actually read.

I suppose I CAN come to one conclusion about this entire retarded debacle. In spite of the fact that ignorance only has to be temporary, laziness is a life long affliction.
Why do I get the feeling that if everyone here agreed with you, you'd start contradicting yourself?
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post #137 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 12:51 PM
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And if everyone that disagrees with you is truly retarded, why are you arguing with them? Doesn't show a really smart person that argues with retarded people.
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post #138 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 01:32 PM
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I think this section is a huge step forward in terms of allowing us to discuss AUDIO by itself, without always discussing it as part of VIDEO. In fact, there is nothing in the title (Audio/Video Science) that prevents this site from adding a section to discuss LPs (Vinyl) and turntables as well. Although analog, there seems to be quite a following for this type of media. All it takes is a visit to places like this and this to understand what I mean. :D

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post #139 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
People have responded regarding what I already agreed with, but seem to have no opinion on the main purpose of the post... the fact that if you're going to discuss the quality of the cd player, you're really discussing the quality of the dac and nothing else. A cd player that sounds different is a dac that sounds different, and has little to nothing to do with the transport itself. If this is agreed, .
Completely disagree with this. DAC is only part of the equation. Master clock, power suply, transport and analog output ALL matter and no, they are not all the same.
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post #140 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 02:55 PM
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Let's face it, Cowclops wants to have a discussion only with people who agree with him. To suggest otherwise, encurs the wrath of multiple posts with reams of esoteric and pointless arguments. I'm convinced he's practicing his debating skills for school, work or just plain to be stubborn.

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post #141 of 145 Old 02-17-2006, 05:11 PM
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Some of you self-proclaimed "scientifically minded" experts argue that all CDPs should sound the same because of the digital format. "Digital is digital", right? So why argue about it?

The only thing digital about CD sound is in the storage medium . The rest is all analog, once the D/A conversion is done. Different DAC chips produce measurably different analog signals. Even if you think the analog signal is "pure" coming out of the DAC, a lot of factors can influence the analog signal as it moves along.

I'll give you just one example here. I have an external DAC (AOS Piccolo - now discontinued) which I use with my Marantz CDP. It has a slot which you can switch opamps. I have been switching between opamps (LM6172, AD8620 and dual OPA627). Each of these opamps have different sonic signatures and they are easily discernable. The opamps, by the way, operate in the analog domain.

If you doubt this, simply read the specsheet of each opamp. They all measure differently. So, why not let your ears also be the judge?

C N Machani
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post #142 of 145 Old 02-18-2006, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to have a discussion with people capable of following the rules of logic. The reality is that even the dissenters aren't using the same explanations to come to their conclusions, and in fact despite their conclusion being the same, their explanations are contradictory.

I'm not going to keep a tally of who said what, but it has been said that people like me should stop worrying about the numbers and concentrate on the music. Except, I'm not relying on pure numbers to come to the conclusion. I'm relying on cause and effect, and rational explanations.

The counter arguments have mostly been A) anecodotal evidence, B) straw man attacks (i.e. claims that I ONLY worry about the numbers and thus must be wrong), C) "scientific proof" that isn't substantiated with listening tests to back it up.

A) I can do nothing about besides point out that it isn't the kind of conversation I'm looking for. B) Is downright dishonest and does nothing except prove an argument that nobody is making is wrong, C) is the closest thing to interesting discussion, but it hasn't really gone anywhere.

Merely repeating a widely believed opinion doesn't make it true, and merely stating scientific possibilities for that opinion doesn't make it true. Proofs are not for the academically lazy, and while I certainly enjoy everyone who makes a stab at proving what they've heard, some people are making considerably less impressive efforts than others.

A cause without an effect isn't proof. An effect without a cause isn't proof. A cause from one person and an effect from a different person with no correlation between the cause and effect isn't proof. Thats just the unfortunate difficulty of the matter.

If all this ranting on logic is boring, I realize it is most likely because making a logical argument is only marginally more interesting than a legal argument. To sufficiently prove something, it does require a LOT of carefully chosen words, and in the process of making it so wordy it starts to sound more like legalese than something normal people really want to read with their sunday breakfast.

There is obviously little interest in the formalities of proofs in this section. I recommend this to all... if you are not interested in providing some actual stimulating discussion, please do not reply to merely restate that you disagree. I know that there are people that disagree, but a million disagreements don't equal one good chunk of directly correlated cause and effect.
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post #143 of 145 Old 02-18-2006, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
I want to have a discussion with people capable of following the rules of logic. The reality is that even the dissenters aren't using the same explanations to come to their conclusions, and in fact despite their conclusion being the same, their explanations are contradictory.
Want logic, rules? Well here are measurements of two different external DACs from the same manufacturer: AOS Piccolo and AOS Flute.

If the DACs measure differently, it stands to reason that different models of CDPs can also measure differently.

Oh, no. Now you're going to say that the measurements are fraudulent!! :p

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post #144 of 145 Old 02-18-2006, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just because it measures differently doesn't mean its sounds differently.

Just because you heard a difference doesn't mean it was caused by a change in hardware. A change in your psychological condition is just as likely.

The first tidbit should clarify the fact that I DON'T "stick entirely to the numbers." If I did, I wouldn't still be disputing the case because its clear you can always find SOMETHING to measure and show how it differs.

The second tidbit should clarify the fact that understanding the psychology behind hearing is important too.

To really come to a valid conclusion, you have to understand A) the physics regarding the equipment and the sound its producing, B) the physiology of human hearing (i.e. what actually happens in your ears and C) the psychology of human hearing (i.e. what happens after your ears relay what they heard to your brain).

In matters such as this, ALL THREE factors matter. You can't pick and choose to come to a useful conclusion.

The science may indicate there are measurable differences (but it also indicates that the differences are extremely small).

The easiest way to sum up the physiology is that your ears are pretty crappy microphones but your brain is a really good signal processor

Moving onto the psychology, what it comes down to is that the conlusion you make depends both on what your microphones(ears) heard AND a lot of other factors that your brain(the signal processor) has picked up that mixes it into the conclusion.
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post #145 of 145 Old 02-18-2006, 04:37 AM
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Thanks all, this really has gone on long enough. Needless to say,the area is doing quite well.

Thread now closed.

David Bott
Founder - AVSForum


DISCLAIMER: All spelling and grammatical errors done on purpose for the proofreadingly challenged...:)

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