USB VS HDMI for 2ch audio to receiver - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

But you are oblivious to it and imagine it as being my arguments. I will try to shine some light on why not but am not hopeful that you will take off the blinders long enough to recognize it.
The "generic audiophile elitist arrogance/false dichotomy" is asking you to go and buy a $50,000 amp or shut up. They will tell you that if you haven't heard it, you can't have an opinion. Of course, they know that you won't because you either don't have the money or motivation to go buy that gear only to win an argument. In that sense, it is as clever of a debating tactic as you demanding a double-blind test of thousands or else.

No Amir, it's also the elitist arrogance of "Don't feel inadequate if you can't hear it with your inferior perception (and/or system)". As if "it" unquestionably exists in reality....and is not merely a claim. Like this:

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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Alas, it is $500 and unless you are a true audiophile, you may not care .
Net, net, if this is all too much, the short answer is go with HDMI.
be happy that you saved $500 and lots of reading in threads like this in the future . I expect 90% of the people to fall in that category if not more.

Bit-perfect it is. However, they will not both sound the same! That said, the difference in #2 is not audible to most people. So unless you have a good ear and dollars to go with it, it may not be worth the investment .

I accept that you don't hear a difference and that is cool.

I don't know how many times I have said I don't expect majority of people to find any difference.

No imagination required to understand your clear message.

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What did I ask you to do?

Perform an ad hoc at home test, like you did. I obliged.

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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

As to your test, I am very pleased you ran it. Thanks for doing that. Alas, I don't enjoy interacting with you so have no interest in probing further. You had a golden opportunity to just post that experiment alone and maybe engage me in a discussion of it.

That's fine. Nulls are pretty boring and pointless to discuss anyway, even if they expose your false dichotomy .
So why not discuss this with everyone (not just me of harsh tone):

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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I have conducted experiments to prove it to me that it does degrade audio.

Those results, rather than your constant stream of borrowed data and articles, would be far more interesting......
Of course, if you wish to keep them top secret (like John Risch's dielectric "hearing" tests and Dr Darque Knight Smith's, et al)....well "Harsh Tone, so I'm not going answer you" AJ would understand that as well .

cheers,

AJ
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post #362 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

All Procella Audio set-up.

Hmmm, never heard of them until today. Looks like they are cut from the Geddes type cloth. Interesting. Thanks.

cheers,

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post #363 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

To expand, the possibility is there because we can't ever tell the magnitude of the jitter or its spectrum. Great example is the TI DAC story we just got done discussing. Jitter was heard, instrumentation proved it, and design was changed to deal with it. So clearly in that instant, we have good evidence that something was heard. And that subjective evaluations are used in the industry to good effect.

Perhaps you missed my question. What was the jitter level of the prototype TI USB DAC?
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post #364 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

No Amir, it's also the elitist arrogance of "Don't feel inadequate if you can't hear it with your inferior perception (and/or system)". As if "it" unquestionably exists in reality....and is not merely a claim. Like this:

I hear your insecurity in that regard. I am interested in the psychology of it. Why does it bother you if you don't hear something and others do? That kind of thing never bothered me. I used to be pretty good at listening tests but in more than one occasion, I ran into people that were better than me. My reaction was to quickly hire them as part of our trained listening group. Not to run away from the challenge.

And so what that you have a modest system? I am the same way. The equipment I showed are owned by the business. A lot of my listening tests get done with a NHT monitors which only cost $1,000. OK, so there is an expensive DAC involved in there, so shoot me. But seriously, nothing in this discussion is meant to put down the great enjoyment that music brings in any package. Content comes first in my book, fidelity second.

So if you are seriously worried about such factors, you shouldn't be. If you are not and using it as yet another set of excuses relative to being victimized by the audiophiles, well, I say take your own advice and not be victimized!

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So why not discuss this with everyone (not just me of harsh tone):

I have explained that. To engage you in any direction means to reward your bad behavior. Look at how you are going back and forth with me even when I am just touching the corners of your posts.

If others make related points I may comment on their posts. But not yours.

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Those results, rather than your constant stream of borrowed data and articles, would be far more interesting......

You would say that of course. Who has use for an education?

I am trying to teach you how to fish instead of giving you one. With knowledge in your pocket, you will be far better in your audio journey than any one debate with me on some test I have ran. That you don't see that, is clear proof that you enjoy an argument, more that what is being argued. I am that way many times, including when it comes to schoolyard bullies . So don't take it as a one way thing. But at the end of the day, as the movie line went, it is all coffee-shop crap. What matters is what you know, not what you believe. Take out the knowledge and I have no use for you.

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post #365 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I am trying to teach you how to fish instead of giving you one. With knowledge in your pocket, you will be far better in your audio journey than any one debate with me on some test I have ran. That you don't see that, is clear proof that you enjoy an argument, more that what is being argued. I am that way many times, including when it comes to schoolyard bullies . So don't take it as a one way thing. But at the end of the day, as the movie line went, it is all coffee-shop crap. What matters is what you know, not what you believe. Take out the knowledge and I have no use for you.

For someone who claims to not enjoy arguing you seem to find yourself smack in the middle of them constantly and spend inordinate amounts of time mashing long multi-quote diatribes.

Perhaps you should reconsider who it is that really enjoys arguing.
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post #366 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by xianthax View Post

For someone who claims to not enjoy arguing you seem to find yourself smack in the middle of them constantly and spend inordinate amounts of time mashing long multi-quote diatribes.

Perhaps you should reconsider who it is that really enjoys arguing.

Did you read what you quoted? This is what I said: " I am that way many times, including when it comes to schoolyard bullies . So don't take it as a one way thing."

I am open about it with JA. He is trying to be argumentative as a way to win. I am replaying the music I have recorded from him, in the small hopes that he realizes two can play that game and give up. My apologizes to the rest of the members for having to put up with it.

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post #367 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by audiophilesavant View Post

Perhaps you missed my question. What was the jitter level of the prototype TI USB DAC?

That's a question that might be better directed to the author of the article. His email is at the end of the article IIRC.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #368 of 584 Old 04-18-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I am trying to teach you how to fish

Finally, something we can agree on .
I'm not interested in fishing trips. Or wild goose chases.
As stated before, show me something tangible, a compelling, scientifically sound reason for audible improvement via one connection vs another.
Your claimed listening tests that "prove the hypothesis" would be a start, instead of the constant dance lessons.
Until then, we will conclude that like most things audiophile, this is but a tempest in a teapot.

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I am open about it with JA.

JA is the guy who had that rather amusing interview with J Gordon Holt - the patriarch of modern day audiophiles, who are among the chosen few 10%(?) who can "hear what others cannot", which makes them revered in audiophilia world (In real life, that would probably get them committed to an institution).
I'm AJ. Just FYI.

cheers,

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post #369 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

That's a question that might be better directed to the author of the article. His email is at the end of the article IIRC.

Thank you for responding on amirm's behalf.

Since the level of jitter is not mentioned in the article, I thought perhaps amirm had calculated it from the data and graphs provided.

It would be an interesting additional data point to know.
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post #370 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 06:59 AM
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I agree that it would be interesting. It's also interesting that the particular chip is no longer supported other than on a legacy basis and has been supplanted by others. Maybe it has to do with newer USB protocols.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #371 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by audiophilesavant View Post

Thank you for responding on amirm's behalf.

Since the level of jitter is not mentioned in the article, I thought perhaps amirm had calculated it from the data and graphs provided.

It would be an interesting additional data point to know.

Unfortunately, none of the previous math I provided applies to this situation. Julian's assumption was that the jitter signal was sinusoidal. He then assumed the that magnitude of jitter was much smaller than the signal, which resulted in simple AM modulation of the source signal instead of the more complex frequency modulation. So we just had two sidebands and a simple formula to go back and forth from frequency domain peaks to jitter and vice versa.

Here, our waveform is not sinusoidal although still periodical. The period is 100 Hz but spectrum is that of a pulse train. We call such a signal Dirac Comb. It has very interesting properties in sampling theory which is unrelated to topic at hand. Here is what it looks like in time domain:



We know the frequency transform of a Dirac Comb is another Dirac Comb. This simplifies our job in that we now know the waveform shape in time domain which is a train of pulses as shown above.

The "only" thing left then is to figure out the relationship between the pulses amplitude in frequency domain vs time domain. We can get that from this reference:



The challenge is to inverse that. I leave it up to you to figure out as I am too damned lazy to do it.

By the way, there is a lot of spectrum leakage in the author's FFT output. So be sure you don't go by the false data in there in your computation.

Of note, at end of the day, the important thing here is the spectrum of jitter, not its amplitude per-se. Showering your spectrum with 100 Hz shifts in frequency is a very unholy thing to do .

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post #372 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

I agree that it would be interesting. It's also interesting that the particular chip is no longer supported other than on a legacy basis and has been supplanted by others. Maybe it has to do with newer USB protocols.

USB protocols have evolved for audio but I don't think that is the reason here. Likely, that chip was designed using an old process which is now out of production or too expensive relative to newer lines. It is 9 years later after all and that is an eternity in chip business.

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post #373 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for the response. It does not appear we have enough information from the article and graphs to be able to calculate the level of jitter in the prototype IT USB DAC - at least that I was able to determine. That's too bad as it would have been interesting to know what level of jitter the "golden ears" were able to detect, if in fact that is what they heard.
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post #374 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I think they have some good results there. That said, I have never tried to dig into it other than reading the papers. Others have though. See for the strong counter from Bruce who runs a recording studio locally: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...ll=1#post39527


Neither of those 'debunkings' were really debunkings, Amir. Together they hardly constitute a 'strong' counter. (my own report on Pras and Guastavino's curious results, is here) Interestingly, one of the paper's authors joins the thread later on. Some questions were raised, and remained unresolved. E.g. see this post.


And btw, haven't you been down this jittery road before, here?


The most interesting thing you've written here, to me, is not about the ABX results (and rather extraordinary hearing ability) you claim -- you've mentioned these before -- but your admission that you enjoy tweaking the noses of 'skeptics' as much as JJ enjoys tweaking 'audiophiles'. It's good to see someone be so honest about it. But it also seems to me a false balance, if that's the intent; if anyone is responsible for the greater bulk of nonsense ever claimed about audio , it's the audiophile camp, wouldn't you agree?

And btw, someone should tell Michael Fremer that 5/5 correct has a p=0.03. I call that a squeaker.
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post #375 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by stereoeditor View Post

The blind amplifier took place at the 1988 AES Convention in Los Angeles and in order to allow the maximum number of listeners to take part, each individual was restricted to 5 trials. As was mentioned, Michael Fremer got 5 identifications correct and I got 4 out of 5. Neither score reaches the 95% confidence limit

5/5 does. Not by much (p=0.03), but it does. Though one might question whether a 95% confidence limit is appropriately high enough for the phenomenon under test. As for 4/5, that's a p=0.19.


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and both Michael and I requested to take the test a second time, to see if we could repeat the score and thus increase the statistical probability that we were not just "lucky coins," but that wasn't possible.

A cynical person might suspect that the limit of 5 trials per person was decided upon to avoid a perfect 5/5 score being used as evidence for there being audible differences between the amplifiers chosen for the test. :-)


Pity. What really needed doing is a pre-set number of trials in the range of 16-20.


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Regarding Arnyk's claim that this 1998 test was not a test but a "dem," the report on it in the Journal of the AES did describe it as a listening _test_.


Are 'dems' to be generally held to a lower standard then? Good to know.
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post #376 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

Neither of those 'debunkings' were really debunkings, Amir.

I clicked on those links but I am not patient enough to read through all the arguments . Burce says some of the SACDs that were used were really redbook masters resampled to DSD and hence, lacked any high frequency information for anyone to hear. At least that is my quick read of his, as I have not had the patience to sit through his analysis either .

Is there some place where that notion is countered? Bruce is very specific with his spectrum snapshots and as the guy that authors a ton of downloadable HD content and frequently runs into above issue, he is a voice of authority.

Also, keep in mind what you quoted from *me*. I raised no criticism of my own.
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And btw, haven't you been down this jittery road here?

No doubt, this must be the fiftieth time I have had this discussion on some forum .

BTW, something great did come out of that thread. I got to know Don. He later joined WBF and wrote the great series of articles I have been linking to (http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...-s-Tech-Series). As a guy who designs RF and ultra-high-frequency DACs/ADCs he comes closest to an expert we can have here. Maybe something good like that comes out of this thread.
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The most interesting thing you've written here, to me, is not about the ABX results (and rather extraordinary hearing ability) you claim

What ABX tests? The article above? That was just a side discussion. My focus on this thread has mostly been towards debunking the myths around jitter in in audio systems. On that front, I think we have expanded on that topic better than any thread I have been involved in. Certainly way better than the thread you linked to.
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but your admission that you enjoy tweaking the noses of 'skeptics' as much as JJ enjoys tweaking 'audiophiles'. It's good to see someone be so honest about it.

This is the sad thing about being a male. We are so worried about losing face that we refuse to acknowledge the simplest of human motivations and emotions. Our insecurity on this front holds us back as people more than anything else. Look at how you ran off with my comment, but won't remark on yourself! Folks walk around, pretending to be angels and posting for good of man kind, rather than some sense of self-satisfaction of being right. I wish I wasn't the only one being honest about that .
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But it also seems to me a false balance, if that's the intent; if anyone is responsible for the greater bulk of nonsense ever claimed about audio , it's the audiophile camp, wouldn't you agree?

On AVS, I would not say that. It is incredible how many of the audiophiles have left the forum and for good. A number of people read this thread and send me PMs on other forums, shaking their head saying they would never post here or join. I knew that had happened in the $20K forum but didn't realize it was so widespread.

Read the other parallel threads in this sub form and amp/processor. It is dominated, if not entirely composed of objectivist views.

Not saying it is bad. It is a form of self-selection and will make the forum whatever it wants to be. Being able to wear both hats, I can and do participate as you see. So it is an issue for me. But for the rest of the members, they are missing on another point of view, and wealth of experience.

Putting that aside, I have to object again as I have repeatedly on your point mattering in the discussion. Who cares what other people who are not here have said? How is it meaningful to anything you and I would discuss? You all need to put aside your past ghosts and live in the present. Convince me, one of your own, that your point of view has merit. That it is not easy, has a more concrete message in it than your point!

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And btw, someone should tell Michael Fremer that 5/5 correct has a p=0.03. I call that a squeaker.

I wouldn't if the man asked to run more tests and he was refused. You get one shot at making your point. That would have been a great one. Test him as much as you needed and declare him a fool for not getting it right. Instead, you test him in one phase, he does way, way better than the group as a whole and no one says, "oh, let's test him for another round and two and see if he is really that good?"

So no, I will take this as a victory for him and audiophiles. He "won" the argument even if he didn't win the war of statistics. Don't challenge your opponent unless you are willing to a) finish the battle and b) live with the consequences.

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post #377 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

And btw, haven't you been down this jittery road before, here?

Thanks krab. Funny read. Glad to see the audiophile condition elitism has been reduced from the (surely scientifically derived) 99.99% "can't hear 'it' anyway", to an oh so modest 90%. Amir must be mellowing with age.

Dance skills have definitely improved though.
Seems that even your non-harsh tones....got the exact same result....zero details, of the mythical "proof of concept" listening tests.
Surprise, surprise. Where have I seen this before?
So on it goes.....

cheers,

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post #378 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Ap1, I want to make sure the general message is not lost. No one is trying to say the job is impossible. It is not. Here are the key points then:

1. Don't assume, despite the kind of line thrown out by likes of Arny, that all devices are the created the same.


Neither the likes of Arny, nor Arny himself, say that. There are qualifications, and they're important. So to phrase it this way, is a straw man argument..



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Most mass market designs are based on cookbook circuits from the chip manufacturer, butchered by cost constraints or sloppy work on the way out to manufacturing. Since hardly anyone looks at such performance specs, they get away with it. There may be a caring designer there, but don't count on it.


But there are economies of scale that a mass market mfr can employ that a boutique can't. And even if that didn't make for better DACs on average, in the end, it's about what's audible, and under what conditions they are audible, right?


Chu has asked you a good question about this already -- it appears that some of the effects you are writing about (HDMI jitter included, I think) were previously only audible to you via headphones, but your acquisition of those magnificent Revels has made them audible via loudspeaker. Is this the case, and if so, what loudspeakers did NOT prove so revealing? And does it say something that it requires a setup of THAT calibre for even someone with YOUR fine hearing, to perceive the difference?

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BTW, I just saw a $170 asynch USB to S/PDIF bridge. If it measures well, then the cost is even lower to get into this solution. Remember, these devices won't become obsolete. In many cases are driver-less and plug-and-play -- far better than some fancy sound card in your PC.

Interesting. Currently I play all my music from external HD --> laptop optical S/PDIF out, to my AVR, (which 'FAILED' the miller jitter tests, btw, but it sounds pretty good to me...). My AVR accepts USB audio input directly. I only ever stream 2-channel LPCM, or multichannel DTS/Dolby lossy compressed bitstreams, not multichannel LPCM. Is there a good chance the fidelity of the signal from laptop to AVR output would be higher using the USB connection than the S/PDIF?
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post #379 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

T
At such a time it is human nature to want various people to see (hear) the result, so we demonstrated it to all of those purported to be 'Golden Ears.' The audio signal came through the PCM1716, a DAC with an industry-wide reputation, and the PLL as the PLL1700, which has excellent C/N performance.

Oh wait a minute. Did you catch that? Gold Ears? At an IC company? You know, the place where guys with protractors hang out? They use their ears for evaluation? Horror of horrors!

When the guys in charge listened to the prototype I saw dubious faces and was asked a variety of questions such as "Is the source coming from the PC corrupted?" In the end I was told to measure the audio performance. When I announced the results in a subsequent meeting I was told the distortion was an order of magnitude too high; the THD+N was 0.03%.

More horrors. Their trained listeners were able to hear artifacts prior to measurements. And measurements showed 0.03% distortion. Conventional wisdom in this thread says they shouldn't have heard anything but seems like they did. He goes on:

(shrug) No, conventional skeptic wisdom would say, in a sighted test 'golden ears' are likely to report difference. I see no indication that this was a controlled test.

That a difference was reported, and a substantial difference was subsequently measured, could be related phenomena here...or it could be chance.
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post #380 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I clicked on those links but I am not patient enough to read through all the arguments . Burce says some of the SACDs that were used were really redbook masters resampled to DSD and hence, lacked any high frequency information for anyone to hear. At least that is my quick read of his, as I have not had the patience to sit through his analysis either .

Is there some place where that notion is countered? Bruce is very specific with his spectrum snapshots and as the guy that authors a ton of downloadable HD content and frequently runs into above issue, he is a voice of authority.

In supplementary posts to the Web, Meyer and Moran published the list of recordings they used in their (in)famous series of tests. IIRC at least some of them were full DSD, not resampled Redbook. (The use of 44.1-bandlimited sources for 'hi rez' releases is an interesting topic in itself; there was an amusing article in Stereophile showing some cases of that, with steep dropoffs above 22kHz. On the a slightly different front, I myself have personally documented DVD-A and SACD releases that have less dynamic range than a well-mastered CD -- loudness wars victims in hi rez! Yet in many if not all of the cases I'm referring to, 'golden ears', including Stereophile reviewers, typically gushed over how much better they sounded than the lowly CD versions -- and of course attributed it to the higher SR/bit-depth)



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BTW, something great did come out of that thread. I got to know Don. He later joined WBF and wrote the great series of articles I have been linking to (http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...-s-Tech-Series). As a guy who designs RF and ultra-high-frequency DACs/ADCs he comes closest to an expert we can have here. Maybe something good like that comes out of this thread.

I listen in on a mailing list that has lots of pros, including 'name' equipment designers, on it; it's fascinating and very 'grounding' to read their takes on the things audiophiles consider important.


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What ABX tests? The article above? That was just a side discussion. My focus on this thread has mostly been towards debunking the myths around jitter in in audio systems. On that front, I think we have expanded on that topic better than any thread I have been involved in. Certainly way better than the thread you linked to.


Haven't you mentioned doing your own controlled tests, that satisfied you that jitter from X or Y degrades the sound? If not, I've misread.


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This is the sad thing about being a male. We are so worried about losing face that we refuse to acknowledge the simplest of human motivations and emotions. Our insecurity on this front holds us back as people more than anything else. Look at how you ran off with my comment, but won't remark on yourself! Folks walk around, pretending to be angels and posting for good of man kind, rather than some sense of self-satisfaction of being right. I wish I wasn't the only one being honest about that .


I certainly enjoy tweaking audiophiles -- obvious to anyone who cares enough to remember my posts -- and I have been known to call out 'skeptics' too now and then. But I can't agree I 'ran off' with your comment; compared to the marathons you've been posting on this thread, my 'graf there is just a baby step.



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On AVS, I would not say that. It is incredible how many of the audiophiles have left the forum and for good.

I'm not sorry. I find 'audiophiles' pretty detrimental, overall, for the S/N ratio, and there are PLENTY of forums where they run riot. And I find that the overwhelming bulk of sheer gibbering audio nonsense on AVSF comes from the 'audiophiles', as elsewhere.

Then again, my favorite audio forum is Hydrogenaudio.



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A number of people read this thread and send me PMs on other forums, shaking their head saying they would never post here or join. I knew that had happened in the $20K forum but didn't realize it was so widespread.

Read the other parallel threads in this sub form and amp/processor. It is dominated, if not entirely composed of objectivist views.

Which btw does not mean it's dominated by people who think 'all amps sound the same'.

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Not saying it is bad. It is a form of self-selection and will make the forum whatever it wants to be. Being able to wear both hats, I can and do participate as you see. So it is an issue for me. But for the rest of the members, they are missing on another point of view, and wealth of experience.

'Experience' is not created equal. Anecdotes from sighted 'experience' of audio quality do not count, to me, as information.


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Putting that aside, I have to object again as I have repeatedly on your point mattering in the discussion. Who cares what other people who are not here have said? How is it meaningful to anything you and I would discuss? You all need to put aside your past ghosts and live in the present. Convince me, one of your own, that your point of view has merit. That it is not easy, has a more concrete message in it than your point!

Hey, if you want to be an occasionally crusader for downtrodden subjectivists of AVSF, that's your prerogative. If the best you can muster is that sometimes, under some conditions, with some material, you might hear a difference that is typically obscure to the point of nonperception -- e.g., that with a pair of statuesque Revels and multi-thousand dollar ampage , you can finally hear a bit of HDMI jitter without headphones -- I personally think that's weak beer, but it might cheer the 'philes up. They LOVE it when you need super-extra-special gear to join the 'I heard it' club.


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I wouldn't if the man asked to run more tests and he was refused. You get one shot at making your point. That would have been a great one. Test him as much as you needed and declare him a fool for not getting it right. Instead, you test him in one phase, he does way, way better than the group as a whole and no one says, "oh, let's test him for another round and two and see if he is really that good?"

So no, I will take this as a victory for him and audiophiles. He "won" the argument even if he didn't win the war of statistics. Don't challenge your opponent unless you are willing to a) finish the battle and b) live with the consequences.

I agree that outliers should be retested in such cases. I also think 5/5 is not dispositive. (Nor do I think any testing is required to demonstrate that Michael Fremer is foolish.) The rest of your take is, well, funny. I doubt the AES folk are kept awake at nights wondering how they can live with the 'consequences'

Now, here's another story about retesting: once upon a time, John Atkinson blind-compared two amps, one a pricey tube amp he liked the sound of, and another a solid state amp he was inclined to be skeptical of, and the result was : no evidence for audible difference. So he went with the SS amp. Some time (weeks?) later, dissatisfied, he played the tube amp, and immediately preferred the sound. His conclusion: blind testing isn't useful.

That's the story he told his audience at an audiophile convention I attended a few years back. He calls it his Damascene event, IIRC.

Now, I'd think that if weeks of acclimation actually WAS needed to sensitize him to a real difference -- a common audiophile trope -- then confirming the difference with another blind trial would be both straightforward and dispositive -- not to mention valuable to the 'amps sound different' cause. But he chose not to go there.


Anyway, I think that 10% you and JJ disagree on would probably be a more interesting conversation than any of this.
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post #381 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 09:04 PM
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And btw, amirm, since you won't read Meyer's account of the recordings used for the Meyer and Moran's tests, I'll quote the relevant part from that nasty SA-CD thread

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All [source programs] were recorded with modern microphones and electronics. Many claims of the superiority of high-resolution audio tout its audibly improved performance even with reissues of old analog recordings. Nevertheless, to address this question we added up all the trials where the original sources were very recent recordings touted as being of demonstration quality from their labels (Chesky, Telarc, ECM, Turtle and Kimber Kable). The average correct score for this group was 45.4% (109/240), slightly lower than our overall average. There were no scores above the 95% confidence level for any listener.

from page 6 of this:
http://www.sa-cd.net/showthread/58757
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

But there are economies of scale that a mass market mfr can employ that a boutique can't.

How many CE companies have you visited Krab? I have been to all of them from Korea to Japan and back. Have you worked for a CE company? I have, for five years for Sony. I can tell you that your generalization is completely misapplied to this topic.

Much of what we are talking about in this thread comes not from VLSIs but great attention to details in analog design and in some cases, the cost of getting there. Boutique companies have an incredible advantage here: Cost is not a driver. Weight is not a driver. Size is not a driver. Getting BestBuy to carry is not a driver. As an engineer and a manager who has had to live within bounds, I can't tell you how many shortcuts one has to take to live within this barbed wired jail.

Mass market companies get incredible advantage when it comes to latest VLSI, software stack for it, etc. So if we were talking about who was going to get to HMDI 1.X faster, you would be very right. But a power supply design for a DAC? Clock circuit and PLL? Nope.

Now, being a high-end company doesn't mean you know what you are doing and many don't. They lack test equipment to even measure some of the things we are talking about. Unfortunately, mass market companies are no better as there is no marketability in the stuff we are talking about. It is not a logo to slap on the front of the box. So it doesn't matter. If the box performs well, is more of an accident than attention to design. Look at Pioneer's latest AVRs taking a step backward on jitter.

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And even if that didn't make for better DACs on average, in the end, it's about what's audible, and under what conditions they are audible, right?

Let's try a fresh angle on this age old question. If you bought a TV, and its color was shifted 5% to green, do you still get enjoyable pictures out of it? Answer is sure. Millions of people watch such TVs.

As you know, folks who care about the best picture quality get their set calibrated to correct settings and avoid display that cannot calibrated. We want to comply with SMPTE 709 for HD images. We have a metric of what is right in that standard.

By the same token, I advise people to buy audio equipment that meets the minimum measured specifications. And I don't pick high targets. I just say let's get an honest 16 bits of fidelity at 44.1 Khz. 30 years after the introduction of the CD, we should not reward companies that routinely butcher the last 1-3 bits of such samples. A lazy specification for this 500ps peak to peak. Think of this as SMPTE 709 for digital audio.

Many times this doesn't require spending more money although sometimes it does. In this thread, I have suggested an option of a USB bridge that takes a $500 PC and elevates it to the status of $30,000 transports. And level of convenience that simply does not exist with those products. Normally this would be time to go and celebrate but instead, we have 7 pages of debate. Why would you not want to have superlative jitter spec out of your PC when the whole package costs so little???

Your argument is if you can't prove it is audible, I don't want to listen to you. I find that inconsistent with the video analogy I used. I enjoy CSI the same amount whether the screen is 5% green or not. But I like the color correct if I can get it. When a skin tone comes on screen and it is off, it bothers me. You can't come and tell me it shouldn't because it is happening to me, some of the time, with some content and not under blind test criteria. It is my money and if I am searching for the best -- which this forum is designed for -- I should be able to use the measured criteria to choose the right product.

Of note, I am not trying to as you to adopt this philosophy. I am OK with everyone making their own choice. What I am not OK with is stopping every discussion and demanding audibility tests. I tell you that I want to use measurements and you can't tell me I shouldn't. After all, you are not going to argue that equipment that measures better is worse, are you?

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Is this the case, and if so, what loudspeakers did NOT prove so revealing?

No speakers. As I shared with him in PM, at the time I was deeply in DAC testing, I would use my headphones exclusively because I could do that at work and home and not bother anyone. Lack of usage of speakers by me is not indicative of anything other than how I could get my testing done.
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And does it say something that it requires a setup of THAT calibre for even someone with YOUR fine hearing, to perceive the difference?

No it doesn't. All the major audio codecs in the world are tested with corner cases which heavily accentuate compression artifacts. By your logic, we should not use them since it might indicate we are deaf otherwise, or that other music doesn't have such characteristics. That is not how the real world of audio evaluation works.

Given a job, we want it to be as easy as it can be. I am always looking for the most challenging material to use DUT (device under test) and pair it up with other equipment that is as transparent as it can be. Such an approach does not mean that without such choices, the problem goes away. You can't invert something and always expect it to be true.

Besides, these choices aren't always expensive. I have tested components recently with the Revel M22s which are $2,200 speakers and they are amazingly transparent and scary close to the performance of Salon 2s in the mid and highs. I would use them happily to test DACs and such as much as high-end gear. Sure, I would not detect differences in bass as much as I can with Salon 2s. And perhaps I lose a bit of detectability in the other region too. But work can still get done and get done well.

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Interesting. Currently I play all my music from external HD --> laptop optical S/PDIF out, to my AVR, (which 'FAILED' the miller jitter tests, btw, but it sounds pretty good to me...). My AVR accepts USB audio input directly. I only ever stream 2-channel LPCM, or multichannel DTS/Dolby lossy compressed bitstreams, not multichannel LPCM. Is there a good chance the fidelity of the signal from laptop to AVR output would be higher using the USB connection than the S/PDIF?

You should test it. All else being equal, I expect it to actually be worse than S/PDIF due to similar issues reported in the TI USB DAC. USB jitter spectrum is awful and as I have noted time and time again, that is often more important than the single number jitter value.

If you are on the PC, pop up the sound device manager. Start playing something and then change which device that is the default and while that is switching over, do the same on the AVR. This will still mean a multi-second delay but is livable. WMP will usually continue playing so you don't need to restart it. Ideally you would have two PCs playing the same track so that switchover is instantaneous. I am actually building a version of this at work.

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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

And btw, amirm, since you won't read Meyer's account of the recordings used for the Meyer and Moran's tests, I'll quote the relevant part from that nasty SA-CD thread

I don't know what you wanted me to get out of that . I asked if you had spectrum proofs as Bruce does. I see no images there. If you have an argument, and think Ethan wasn't qualified to make it on WBF, by all means, join up and continue to thread. But be forewarned, Bruce knows his music spectrum cold! He has had to rip these tracks since for downloads and knows what is in them.

A funny story here . SACD and DVD-A had just come out. I went out and tried to compare the formats using the same titles. I found that Chesky had the same title in both. I do some blind testing and found that SACD was slightly better. I go to the famous AES conference where the big blow out happened with Stanely Lipshitz and John Vanderkooy showing SACD doesn't work. I am stymied given my experience.

Then the next session comes up and it is a round table with David Chesky. They do their talk and open up to questions. I raise may hand and ask how he had produced the two versions of the title in question. His answer? He had produced the title using 24bit/96Khz and the DVD-A version was the native and SACD version was the converted! I asked him if he would be surprised to hear that I preferred the SACD version and he said no.

So here I was, in a blind test I preferred the transformed version. You want to think such tests bring out the truth? I think not!

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post #384 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

I listen in on a mailing list that has lots of pros, including 'name' equipment designers, on it; it's fascinating and very 'grounding' to read their takes on the things audiophiles consider important.

And we used to own Pacific Microsonics who sold its HDCD DAC/ADC to all the majors and there were large number of producers who were anal as any audiophile and then some. Not only that, they had talent which absolutely demanded such or they wouldn't use their shop. And we have examples on top of the heap in the form of "Prof" Keith Johnson of Spectral and Reference Recordings who recently won a well deserved Grammy:




Here is Michael Bishop using crazy expensive MIT Oracle cables: http://www.mitcables.com/excellence/michaelbishop.html. So let's not generalize a point where such generalization doesn't exist.

I don't hang out in pro forums but a few times I have landed in them, I find the food fight every bit as intense as the ones we ague about. Or else, they would all by the cheapest and only DAC.

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But I can't agree I 'ran off' with your comment; compared to the marathons you've been posting on this thread, my 'graf there is just a baby step.

Oh, you don't give yourself enough credit . There is not a jitter thread where I don't eventually hear from you. If you don't enjoy mud wrestling, why did you show up in your bathing suit? Sure, you are much more polite than AJ and Arny. And for that, I am appreciative.

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I find 'audiophiles' pretty detrimental, overall, for the S/N ratio, and there are PLENTY of forums where they run riot. And I find that the overwhelming bulk of sheer gibbering audio nonsense on AVSF comes from the 'audiophiles', as elsewhere.

And I find arguments from your side boring. How many times will you bring up the same old points? What is to be learned by the fiftieth time an ABX demand is made or the same one or two blind tests shoved in front of people's nose? I know I don't learn a darn thing. No one leaves more capable to buy something because all of the bickering your camp brings.

I want to hear people's varied experiences. If they try to run a crusade, then sure, I object as much as the next guy. But if they are just minding their own business, asking which interface is better from their PC than another, the right answer is not to stop them and demand their IQ card and how many ABX tests they have run. And worse yet, do it in the non-respectful manner as Arny did in this thread.

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And worse yet, do it in the non-respectful manner as Arny did in this thread.

His work on exposing your deceptions must have been really effective because you still can't move on.
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post #386 of 584 Old 04-19-2011, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

And btw, amirm, since you won't read Meyer's account of the recordings used for the Meyer and Moran's tests, I'll quote the relevant part from that nasty SA-CD thread
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All [source programs] were recorded with modern microphones and electronics. Many claims of the superiority of high-resolution audio tout its audibly improved performance even with reissues of old analog recordings. Nevertheless, to address this question we added up all the trials where the original sources were very recent recordings touted as being of demonstration quality from their labels (Chesky, Telarc, ECM, Turtle and Kimber Kable). The average correct score for this group was 45.4% (109/240), slightly lower than our overall average. There were no scores above the 95% confidence level for any listener.


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I don't know what you wanted me to get out of that . I asked if you had spectrum proofs as Bruce does. I see no images there. If you have an argument, and think Ethan wasn't qualified to make it on WBF, by all means, join up and continue to thread. But be forewarned, Bruce knows his music spectrum cold! He has had to rip these tracks since for downloads and knows what is in them.

By referring again to the spectral graphs, are you stating in a roundabout way that even those recordings Meyer described above as (at the time of the test) "very recent" and apparently described by Chesky, Telarc, etc., as "demonstration quality" also fell into the similar "barely above resampled Redbook quality" category?

In other words, I take it then that if one were to dig through every page of that thread on your forum, Bruce has also posted damning spectral graphs for at least a few, preferably several or more, of these "very recent", "demonstration quality" high resolution recordings as well?

This would be useful to know, since Meyer presented these titles (and their still very unremarkable associated listening test results) in response to criticism that some of the other titles were barely above Redbook. But if these too in the "45.4% (109/240)" scoring group weren't well-representative of at least average-to-better high resolution SACD/DVD-A recordings, then Bruce's critique or attempted "debunking" might have some real teeth, after all.

Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post


Hey, if you want to be an occasionally crusader for downtrodden subjectivists of AVSF, that's your prerogative. If the best you can muster is that sometimes, under some conditions, with some material, you might hear a difference that is typically obscure to the point of nonperception -- e.g., that with a pair of statuesque Revels and multi-thousand dollar ampage , you can finally hear a bit of HDMI jitter without headphones -- I personally think that's weak beer, but it might cheer the 'philes up....

Having read a few very long Amirm-participatory threads over the last few years, it's interesting to watch as individuals from the primarily-subjective camp chime in with their support for Amirm and his posting contributions, which has occurred a few times within this thread as well. Given how voluminous and vigorous Amirm can be in arguing a position sympathetic and more typically aligned to their cause, i.e., jitter audibility issues, it has the appearance that he would share many of their views.

But as he has often stated, Amirm sees himself primarily an "objectivist" most of the time as it pertains to audio matters (though I sometimes have my doubts about that self-assessment). He more or less argues around the edges, a seeming self-appointed mission to "keep the objectivists honest". By lending their support, the subjective-leaning types are actually suffering a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. But I'm not sure they are able to recognize it as such. In essence, Amirm is damning them with faint praise.

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Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post

By referring again to the spectral graphs, are you stating in a roundabout way that even those recordings Meyer described above as "very recent" and apparently described by Chesky, Telarc, etc., as "demonstration quality" also fell into the similar "barely above resampled Redbook quality" category?

Based on my *casual* read of Bruce's argument, yes. The link was posted above. Please see and evaluate yourself. I am just a messenger .

As I noted, Bruce makes a living ripping SACDs and DVD-As for online downloading. And he has been famous in trying to expose such farces. Here is one example: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...sampled-SACD-s

"So what's everyones take on this practice? I'm finding more and more labels that take the RBCD layer and just upsample it to DSD and call it an SACD. I've checked almost a hundred today for HDtracks and over half are upsampled. Go figure...."

Some have threatened to sue him for exposing such data!

I once tested the claims of a guy here who insisted to have authored his Blu-ray at 96 Khz. I showed the spectrum it with a sharp drop off at 22 KHz. At first he denied it left and right. Then he came back and said the content was purchased loops which of course, were at 44.1/48Khz, not 96 KHz. So while I have not done the research Bruce has done, I tend to think he is right in his assertions.

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post #389 of 584 Old 04-20-2011, 01:02 AM
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Sifting through that thread, if you were referring to the "Two unresolved issues" thread, I can only find two disc samples presented by Bruce, towards the very beginning. And those seem more to do with addressing player quality or lack thereof and not as much about the quality of recordings used.

Then much later in the thread, he posts a couple jpgs which may or may not be pertinent, but you can only see them if you are a forum member.

Unless you are referring to an altogether different thread??

Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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post #390 of 584 Old 04-20-2011, 01:30 AM
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No, it is the right thread. And no, I don't know more than I have already said. Register and ask Bruce. I know he is convinced the test was faulty.

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