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post #121 of 223 Old 08-04-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by don480 View Post

I had the chance today to audition 3 dacs: Jolida, benchmark, and rega. Honestly I couldn't tell them apart. They all sounded the same pretty much.

That's good. You haven't let your hearing bias carry you off into a fit of audiophilia. DACs are DACs. They do the same thing in the same way. The DAC in your DVD player works the same way and does the job. None of them have any sound at all. This isn't an opinion, incidentally. It results from bias controlled testing. Don't spend your money on a stand alone DAC. Spend it on better speakers or room treatments. Those will actually affect the sonics of your system.
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post #122 of 223 Old 08-04-2013, 10:41 PM
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This isn't an opinion, incidentally. .
I disagree.
QED. smile.gif
Please provide a link to the study that shows that these three DACS sound identical in proper ABX double blind testing,
If you are applying a general principle, then you are providing an opinion.
I do agree that DACs are not great bang for the buck components.
http://www.stereomojo.com/JKenny%20Ciunas%20DAC%20Review/JKennyCiunasDACReview.htm
This just annoys the heck out of me... I understand that there needs to be a profit margin, but this is like selling air...
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post #123 of 223 Old 08-05-2013, 01:53 AM
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No, it isn't an opinion. I have never tested these three DAC's but I have tested enough other ones with proper bias controlled methods to be convinced that DACs have no sound of their own. You want me to quote some test that involved these three DACs and I'd bet these three DACs have never been involved in such a test. That doesn't mean that one cannot infer that they sound the same or don't sound at all based on tests of other DACs. You can call it opinion if you like. I do not because it is based on tests done by me and a group interested in the subject. I'm not saying I don't think DACs have a sound. I'm saying I've tested a bunch of DACs using reasonable bias controlled methods and none of them ever had a sound. So my advice to the OP stands. Don't spend your money on outboard DACs. It is a part of the industry, just like cables, that requires hearing bias to believe in sonic differences. If you believe in outboard DACs, that is your privilege. The OP appears not to have that belief.
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post #124 of 223 Old 08-05-2013, 05:41 AM
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No, it isn't an opinion. I have never tested these three DAC's but I have tested enough other ones with proper bias controlled methods to be convinced that DACs have no sound of their own. You want me to quote some test that involved these three DACs and I'd bet these three DACs have never been involved in such a test. That doesn't mean that one cannot infer that they sound the same or don't sound at all based on tests of other DACs. You can call it opinion if you like. I do not because it is based on tests done by me and a group interested in the subject. I'm not saying I don't think DACs have a sound. I'm saying I've tested a bunch of DACs using reasonable bias controlled methods and none of them ever had a sound. So my advice to the OP stands. Don't spend your money on outboard DACs. It is a part of the industry, just like cables, that requires hearing bias to believe in sonic differences. If you believe in outboard DACs, that is your privilege. The OP appears not to have that belief.
Then you would have to make the argument that basing a hypothesis on inference and presenting the hypothesis as a fact is free from opinion. But if you believe that your hypothesis is beyond opinion, I would suggest that you now have your own expectation bias when you listen to DACs. As you say: you are '...convinced that DACs have no sound of their own." A conviction is not the same as a fact, regardless of how reasonable the conviction may be. Convictions can lead to lots of interesting things, including new technology - and better snake oil...
I have not questioned your advice to the OP. I believe my link to a $700 matchbox sized DAC would affirm your observation that an outboard DAC may not be a good value ("part of the industry"), as it would be difficult to stuff enough components in the cheap little box to make it a good value.
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post #125 of 223 Old 08-05-2013, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 2obed View Post

Then you would have to make the argument that basing a hypothesis on inference and presenting the hypothesis as a fact is free from opinion. But if you believe that your hypothesis is beyond opinion, I would suggest that you now have your own expectation bias when you listen to DACs. As you say: you are '...convinced that DACs have no sound of their own." A conviction is not the same as a fact, regardless of how reasonable the conviction may be. Convictions can lead to lots of interesting things, including new technology - and better snake oil...
I have not questioned your advice to the OP. I believe my link to a $700 matchbox sized DAC would affirm your observation that an outboard DAC may not be a good value ("part of the industry"), as it would be difficult to stuff enough components in the cheap little box to make it a good value.

I stand firmly by what I said. You can accept it or reject as you see fit. It matters not to me.
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post #126 of 223 Old 08-05-2013, 07:23 AM
 
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This isn't an opinion, incidentally. .
I disagree.
QED. smile.gif
Please provide a link to the study that shows that these three DACS sound identical in proper ABX double blind testing,

This is in essence asking for a proof of non-existence. More specificifally it is a request for evidence of a lack of evidence.

An old proverb says "An absence of evidence is not evidence of an absence."

It looks like an attempt to fallaciously turn the argument onto its head. The actual argument was that there is an audible difference between the dacs.

Therefore, you should be looking for a link shows that these DACS sound different in proper ABX double blind testing,

You are also asking the wrong person. The most logical person to do the ABX tests is someone who already has the DACs in their prosession who seems to be avaiable.
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If you are applying a general principle, then you are providing an opinion.

Not necessarily.

If a general principle is applied in a way that is clearly appropriate, then we are not talking about opinions.

For example if I apply the general principle that water naturally flows from a higher level to a lower level, to a waterfall, my statement that water is flowing over the waterfall due to that principle is hardly a unique personal opinion. It is acceptable to just about anybody as a statement of truth.
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post #127 of 223 Old 08-05-2013, 10:47 AM
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About a dozen years ago I spent months with a group of 10 audiophiles doing bias controlled listening tests. Apparently Mr. Kreuger has also done them. Folks like us have been through hearing bias time and again. We understand it intimately. It is very hard for us to have patience with those who have done nothing to control or even understand the hearing bias from which we all suffer. I started my project when someone suggested to me that a digital cable had a sonic signature. That was so outlandishly illogical I had to understand why someone would think that wire or fiber optic could change the value of digital data as it passed through. Well I did bias controlled tests with my wife and discovered that it was outlandishly illogical because it was wrong. The data was the same on both sides of every single cable every single time. Not one bit was ever out of place. I read up on "jitter" which claimed that timing errors could cause data errors. I went through an immense amount of trouble working on measuring that. I needed a physics professor and a programmer to help me get it done. In the end, the "jitter" was of such short duration that it represented an infinitesimal length of time compared to the time required to transmit a single bit. The numbers were in nano seconds - millionths of millionths of a second. No way does jitter cause data errors. I've been through this stuff over and over and over. If you would like to put some time into it in order to find out for yourself, I'd be pleased to help you design a test. I'll bet Mr Kreuger would as well. In the meantime you aren't in any position to criticize my position because my position didn't develop from faith and opinion. It developed from bias controlled testing and measurement. Hearing bias is real and it is powerful.
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post #128 of 223 Old 08-09-2013, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

This is in essence asking for a proof of non-existence. More specificifally it is a request for evidence of a lack of evidence.

An old proverb says "An absence of evidence is not evidence of an absence."

It looks like an attempt to fallaciously turn the argument onto its head. The actual argument was that there is an audible difference between the dacs.

Therefore, you should be looking for a link shows that these DACS sound different in proper ABX double blind testing,

You are also asking the wrong person. The most logical person to do the ABX tests is someone who already has the DACs in their prosession who seems to be avaiable.
Not necessarily.

If a general principle is applied in a way that is clearly appropriate, then we are not talking about opinions.

For example if I apply the general principle that water naturally flows from a higher level to a lower level, to a waterfall, my statement that water is flowing over the waterfall due to that principle is hardly a unique personal opinion. It is acceptable to just about anybody as a statement of truth.

Thanks Arny,
It is always good to be reminded of some of the general principles of Newtonian physics. Mass, gravity, communicating vessels, all dacs sound the same.
Or perhaps the S in AVS stands for something other than Science?
I have nothing against objectivism, quantitative stuff, scientific method. This is all good and valid inquiry.
I do have a problem with double standards and blanket statements. Especially the ones that contain the phrase: I tossed a blanket over all the equipment and it all sounded the same. Or even better: the meta blanket statement coined by out Australian friend: "I did not need to cover the equipment to know that both amps sounded identical."
If amps (operating within their limits and within spec, bla bla bla) sound audibly different unless they are meticulously volume matched to within 0.1 dB, how can they sound the same to quasi-objectivists who do not level-match? If they sounded the same without level matching, they would be expected to sound different if the levels had been matched.
I may well be missing something, so look forward to a reasonable explanation, if there is one.
Cheers!
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post #129 of 223 Old 08-09-2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

About a dozen years ago I spent months with a group of 10 audiophiles doing bias controlled listening tests. Apparently Mr. Kreuger has also done them. Folks like us have been through hearing bias time and again. We understand it intimately. It is very hard for us to have patience with those who have done nothing to control or even understand the hearing bias from which we all suffer. I started my project when someone suggested to me that a digital cable had a sonic signature. That was so outlandishly illogical I had to understand why someone would think that wire or fiber optic could change the value of digital data as it passed through. Well I did bias controlled tests with my wife and discovered that it was outlandishly illogical because it was wrong. The data was the same on both sides of every single cable every single time. Not one bit was ever out of place. I read up on "jitter" which claimed that timing errors could cause data errors. I went through an immense amount of trouble working on measuring that. I needed a physics professor and a programmer to help me get it done. In the end, the "jitter" was of such short duration that it represented an infinitesimal length of time compared to the time required to transmit a single bit. The numbers were in nano seconds - millionths of millionths of a second. No way does jitter cause data errors. I've been through this stuff over and over and over. If you would like to put some time into it in order to find out for yourself, I'd be pleased to help you design a test. I'll bet Mr Kreuger would as well. In the meantime you aren't in any position to criticize my position because my position didn't develop from faith and opinion. It developed from bias controlled testing and measurement. Hearing bias is real and it is powerful.
Are you referring to Arny as "Mr. Kreuger" (sic) to make Mr. Krueger sound like an authority? That is fine with me, I do not question Arny's credentials. But if you do this to make the point that an authority shares your opinion, it does not change your opinion to a fact.
If you were to say: We expect these dacs to sound the same, I would have no difficulty with your statement.
Right now, all I understand is that in your opinion your opinion is not an opinion.
You are most certainly entitled to your opinion smile.gif
And I am not at all challenging your expertise either. That was never the point. Perhaps the forum should be called AVTechnology...
Making authoritative statements is different from presenting data that resulted from tests designed to attempt to disprove a hypothesis.
In the meantime, I will repeat that my expectation of the sound of these dacs is not different from yours. I have not criticized your position, only your presentation of your position.
Apologies if I have been wasting your time.
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post #130 of 223 Old 08-10-2013, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

I was under the impression that most (all?) of the workstations to edit DSD are converting to DXD as an intermediate format for processing, then spitting out DSD at the end. So if it's been converted to PCM (DXD is just 24-bit 352.4kHz PCM) in the editing stages, who cares if you're converting to PCM in the player/DAC?

And if you record to DXD directly, rather than recording to DSD and then converting to DXD, there's a lot less high frequency noise - DSD is an inherently noisy format because it relies on a lot of noise shaping to work.

And I think all DSD-equipped devices are required to have a 50kHz lowpass filter on output anyway, as noise above that can introduce distortion with amplifiers & loudspeakers, which is effectively reducing you to the equivalent of 100kHz PCM anyway (PCM can sample signals up to half its frequency) which is basically no different from 96kHz... and our range of hearing is only up to 20kHz anyway, with most adults being considerably lower than that.

It just seems like the introduction of some new DAC chips in the last 6-12 months that can decode DSD natively are being used as a new selling point, rather than actually offering any real benefit. I could be wrong.

Just being respectful, Mr Optimist. I was just sharing experiences. Sorry I wasted your time.
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post #131 of 223 Old 08-10-2013, 04:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2obed View Post


If amps (operating within their limits and within spec, bla bla bla) sound audibly different unless they are meticulously volume matched to within 0.1 dB, how can they sound the same to quasi-objectivists who do not level-match?

It is very easy to do a listening test where no differences are heard. One proven technique is to not properly pay attention. ;-) There are people so biased that they don't see things that are clearly there.

It's like looking for something that is lost. I'm horrible at this. The object is there, and I can't find it. I get my wife to help me find it and she does. It's been this way for the decades that we have been married.

I have no doubt that there are people who have so thoroughly psyched themselves into believing that there are no differences when anybody who tries can easily hear a difference.

I've personally seen this happen. We've looked for it while setting up listening tests for publication. If we as test organizers detect this, we take steps to disregard this person's test results.
Quote:
If they sounded the same without level matching, they would be expected to sound different if the levels had been matched.

Equipment that is not adequately level matched should always sound different to an attentive lisener. It is easy enough to mismatch levels, do a ABX test and detect the people who aren't succeeding at hearing something that is obvious. Mismatch by 3 dB, mismatch by 1 dB, mismatch by 0.5 dB. The first test is obvious and nobody who fails to hear it should be in any test. The second test can sneak by most people if the music is very dynamic. But if the music is of a kind where detecting level differences is easy, then there you go.

Now that AVRs have calibrated volume controls that are quite accurate, you can easily do a slighted test of these various level mismatches. What do you hear?
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post #132 of 223 Old 08-10-2013, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk@pcavtech View Post

It is very easy to do a listening test where no differences are heard. One proven technique is to not properly pay attention. ;-) There are people so biased that they don't see things that are clearly there.

It's like looking for something that is lost. I'm horrible at this. The object is there, and I can't find it. I get my wife to help me find it and she does. It's been this way for the decades that we have been married.

I have no doubt that there are people who have so thoroughly psyched themselves into believing that there are no differences when anybody who tries can easily hear a difference.

I've personally seen this happen. We've looked for it while setting up listening tests for publication. If we as test organizers detect this, we take steps to disregard this person's test results.
Equipment that is not adequately level matched should always sound different to an attentive lisener. It is easy enough to mismatch levels, do a ABX test and detect the people who aren't succeeding at hearing something that is obvious. Mismatch by 3 dB, mismatch by 1 dB, mismatch by 0.5 dB. The first test is obvious and nobody who fails to hear it should be in any test. The second test can sneak by most people if the music is very dynamic. But if the music is of a kind where detecting level differences is easy, then there you go.

Now that AVRs have calibrated volume controls that are quite accurate, you can easily do a slighted test of these various level mismatches. What do you hear?

Thanks Arny.
I do not dispute that psychoacoustics play a role. I think the exact nature of that role bears further examination.
Placebos help a lot of people feel better - even when they are told that they are taking a placebo. WTF?
We think of psychoacoustics as a passive process - an inevitable interpretation that changes our experience/perception of the sound that is presented to us. It may be more complex than that.
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post #133 of 223 Old 08-10-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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It may be more complex than that.
Which means it also may not be. Get back to us if you find something. Thanks.
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post #134 of 223 Old 08-10-2013, 09:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2obed View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk@pcavtech View Post

It is very easy to do a listening test where no differences are heard. One proven technique is to not properly pay attention. ;-) There are people so biased that they don't see things that are clearly there.

It's like looking for something that is lost. I'm horrible at this. The object is there, and I can't find it. I get my wife to help me find it and she does. It's been this way for the decades that we have been married.

I have no doubt that there are people who have so thoroughly psyched themselves into believing that there are no differences when anybody who tries can easily hear a difference.

I've personally seen this happen. We've looked for it while setting up listening tests for publication. If we as test organizers detect this, we take steps to disregard this person's test results.
Equipment that is not adequately level matched should always sound different to an attentive lisener. It is easy enough to mismatch levels, do a ABX test and detect the people who aren't succeeding at hearing something that is obvious. Mismatch by 3 dB, mismatch by 1 dB, mismatch by 0.5 dB. The first test is obvious and nobody who fails to hear it should be in any test. The second test can sneak by most people if the music is very dynamic. But if the music is of a kind where detecting level differences is easy, then there you go.

Now that AVRs have calibrated volume controls that are quite accurate, you can easily do a slighted test of these various level mismatches. What do you hear?

Thanks Arny.
I do not dispute that psychoacoustics play a role. I think the exact nature of that role bears further examination.

Psychoacoustics has been examined well enough to take advantage of it to a great and useful degree. That's one reason why essentially nothing but lossy encoded music and voice graces internet and broadcast world.

I used to feel bad about all the things that we couldn't hear in ABX tests, but the revelations about psychoacoustics that happened after the early 1990s helped me understand. One word: masking.
Quote:
Placebos help a lot of people feel better - even when they are told that they are taking a placebo. WTF?

Some studies show that placebo medicines have a ca. 33% cure rate. But that statistic has a caveat or two... Placebos don't stick as well as real solutions.
Quote:
We think of psychoacoustics as a passive process - an inevitable interpretation that changes our experience/perception of the sound that is presented to us. It may be more complex than that.

Two relevant books are Zwicker and Fastl's Psychocacoustics Facts and Models, which is a advanced university text and pretty tough going for many, and This is your Brain on Music, which is still a little deep for many but was at least intended for the general public.
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post #135 of 223 Old 09-11-2013, 12:09 PM
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Planning on buying an oppo 105 this week and came across this thread. Seems everyone wants to tell the other they are right about something.

If you like AVRs then of course you wouldn't see the point of an oppo 105. I completely understand. For someone running an older amp or a tube amp the oppo 105 makes much more sense. I love the idea of having one box with an awesome dac, video processor and can managed all my media thru. Run one output to my integrated tube amp and call it a day. Makes for a very minimalist setup that will look great and sound great.

As far as the mystical mumbo jumbo in the audio world I try to ignore it but at the same time some things are just going to sound better(to me). When it comes to dacs I am a huge cheerleader for them. A $500 dac is going to outperform the audio output in a device where audio quality was not first priority. Whenever a friend is first getting into audio I tell them the first thing to get is a good dac. A good dac can make cheap speakers sound better then high end speakers with a **** dac. Great example, my smart phone plugged into my apex glacier dac and hooked up to $15 skull candy ear buds sounds better then my sennheiser momentums plugged directly into the phone.

Someone mentioned the mystical audio cables. This is a subject I try to avoid because I make audio cables and just don't want to argue over it. If someone thinks the cables I made sound better then I am happy. But I don't charge ridiculous prices and make things that are aesthetically pleasing. I personally don't find a huge difference between $20 rca cables and $200 rca cables. Speaker wires on the other hand I find a good $500 pair makes a huge difference. I even tell my customers this, strangely I sell alot more rca and xlr cables then I do speaker cables.

As luck would have it I first came across the oppo 105 when a customer wanted me to make the wires for his system. oppo 105 into a 5.1 tube amp. I was very impressed with the system so I am getting one myself now. biggrin.gif
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post #136 of 223 Old 09-11-2013, 12:26 PM
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The Oppo is a fine product with a DAC as good as anybody else's
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post #137 of 223 Old 09-11-2013, 12:30 PM
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Planning on buying an oppo 105 this week and came across this thread. Seems everyone wants to tell the other they are right about something.

If you like AVRs then of course you wouldn't see the point of an oppo 105. I completely understand. For someone running an older amp or a tube amp the oppo 105 makes much more sense. I love the idea of having one box with an awesome dac, video processor and can managed all my media thru. Run one output to my integrated tube amp and call it a day. Makes for a very minimalist setup that will look great and sound great.

As far as the mystical mumbo jumbo in the audio world I try to ignore it but at the same time some things are just going to sound better(to me). When it comes to dacs I am a huge cheerleader for them. A $500 dac is going to outperform the audio output in a device where audio quality was not first priority. Whenever a friend is first getting into audio I tell them the first thing to get is a good dac. A good dac can make cheap speakers sound better then high end speakers with a **** dac. Great example, my smart phone plugged into my apex glacier dac and hooked up to $15 skull candy ear buds sounds better then my sennheiser momentums plugged directly into the phone.

Someone mentioned the mystical audio cables. This is a subject I try to avoid because I make audio cables and just don't want to argue over it. If someone thinks the cables I made sound better then I am happy. But I don't charge ridiculous prices and make things that are aesthetically pleasing. I personally don't find a huge difference between $20 rca cables and $200 rca cables. Speaker wires on the other hand I find a good $500 pair makes a huge difference. I even tell my customers this, strangely I sell alot more rca and xlr cables then I do speaker cables.

As luck would have it I first came across the oppo 105 when a customer wanted me to make the wires for his system. oppo 105 into a 5.1 tube amp. I was very impressed with the system so I am getting one myself now. biggrin.gif[/quote

I have to say I have been purchasing audio gear and selling as a hobby. I recently got into dacs and have to say different dacs sound different where some might argue that its all in my head. I have had the opportunity to own a dac that had the ESS SABRE32 and I have to say I love the chipset but I know its more than just the chip that affects sound. I was once a skeptic but I feel every component of a sound system plays a vital role. One can have a nice dac and a cheap amp and the sound will more than likely not sound too good thus being the weakest link. I have owned cheaper amps and have auditioned cheap amps and can tell the difference in sound quality and distortion vs nicer amps. Anyways not trying to stir anything up in this room. It is an on going debate. I remember reading in one of these forums someone saying an amp won't change the sound quality but I beg to differ. I think after a certain point of high quality expenisive audio gear; the margin for improvement becomes less and less noticeable except speakers of course. All speakers have their signature sounds. I am not an audio expert. This is just my opinion. Anyways I almost purchased the Oppo 105 but decided to save a few and purchased the Sony blu ray player s790 for 249. Got pretty good reviews from Whathifi and CNET and by consumers. Prior I had my PS3 hooked up and then another Sony blu player s590 and I can notice a difference in audio between each but seems more differences in gain. However, I really did like the sound of the s590...seemed a little more layed back sound with slightly rolled off highs which I like softer highs. I currently have Paradigm Reference Studio speakers and they have bright tweeters. Anyways sorry for rambling so much. Hope I didn't bore you. Just stating my opinion and just an opinion. smile.gif I am sure you are going to love your OPPO 105.
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post #138 of 223 Old 09-11-2013, 12:39 PM
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Anyways sound is all subjective and whatever makes you happy go for it smile.gif
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post #139 of 223 Old 09-11-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by turboman808 View Post

Planning on buying an oppo 105 this week and came across this thread. Seems everyone wants to tell the other they are right about something.

If you like AVRs then of course you wouldn't see the point of an oppo 105. I completely understand. For someone running an older amp or a tube amp the oppo 105 makes much more sense. I love the idea of having one box with an awesome dac, video processor and can managed all my media thru. Run one output to my integrated tube amp and call it a day. Makes for a very minimalist setup that will look great and sound great.

As far as the mystical mumbo jumbo in the audio world I try to ignore it but at the same time some things are just going to sound better(to me). When it comes to dacs I am a huge cheerleader for them. A $500 dac is going to outperform the audio output in a device where audio quality was not first priority. Whenever a friend is first getting into audio I tell them the first thing to get is a good dac. A good dac can make cheap speakers sound better then high end speakers with a **** dac. Great example, my smart phone plugged into my apex glacier dac and hooked up to $15 skull candy ear buds sounds better then my sennheiser momentums plugged directly into the phone.

Someone mentioned the mystical audio cables. This is a subject I try to avoid because I make audio cables and just don't want to argue over it. If someone thinks the cables I made sound better then I am happy. But I don't charge ridiculous prices and make things that are aesthetically pleasing. I personally don't find a huge difference between $20 rca cables and $200 rca cables. Speaker wires on the other hand I find a good $500 pair makes a huge difference. I even tell my customers this, strangely I sell alot more rca and xlr cables then I do speaker cables.

As luck would have it I first came across the oppo 105 when a customer wanted me to make the wires for his system. oppo 105 into a 5.1 tube amp. I was very impressed with the system so I am getting one myself now. biggrin.gif

Ugh. What a load of bad information. I feel sorry for your customers if they follow your advice.

Is DAC price an indication of performance? What if that $500 DAC is the same chip used in an AVR, just repackaged in a nice looking box and charged an outrageous price? Will you proclaim it sounds better because it costs $500?

How is the DAC going to make cheap speakers sound any different?

Next, explain how speaker wires affect the sound, and why a $500 pair "makes a huge difference."
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post #140 of 223 Old 09-11-2013, 04:58 PM
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.....oh crap......
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post #141 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Ugh. What a load of bad information. I feel sorry for your customers if they follow your advice.

Is DAC price an indication of performance? What if that $500 DAC is the same chip used in an AVR, just repackaged in a nice looking box and charged an outrageous price? Will you proclaim it sounds better because it costs $500?

How is the DAC going to make cheap speakers sound any different?

Next, explain how speaker wires affect the sound, and why a $500 pair "makes a huge difference."

I'm guessing a poorly implemented design could degrade the quality of a DAC. No comment about cabling though.
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post #142 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 05:51 PM
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Poorly or sub-optimized in order to hit a price point. I am not saying grossly mis-engineered, just "constrianed"
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post #143 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post

Poorly or sub-optimized in order to hit a price point. I am not saying grossly mis-engineered, just "constrianed"
Then those can easily be weeded out through simple measurements that aren't difficult or expensive. A decent soundcard such as an MAudio 24192 and free software can determine if any of them are designed this way.

Even an inexpensive Behringer design, the UCA202 (I paid $20 posted for mine) can produce audibly transparent results.
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post #144 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 06:27 PM
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Just because they can be weeded out doesn't mean they do not exist. If your benchmark DAC is something tat retailed for less than $500, how do you know that the grass is not greener? Just saying, you could be missing out.
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post #145 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post

Just because they can be weeded out doesn't mean they do not exist. If your benchmark DAC is something tat retailed for less than $500, how do you know that the grass is not greener? Just saying, you could be missing out.
Good grief. I just showed you an example of an audibly indistinguishable DAC for $20. How much greener are you expecting? Once THD and noise are below -100dB, which is just about everything, then there are no differences, unless the designer deliberately engineered, eg crap (and unnecessary) tube buffer or skewed FR. These can easily be filtered by measurements.
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post #146 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post

Just because they can be weeded out doesn't mean they do not exist. If your benchmark DAC is something tat retailed for less than $500, how do you know that the grass is not greener? Just saying, you could be missing out.

 

Benchmark's fine products certainly have better measurements some other DAC's. However, as A9X-308 points out, if they're audibly indistinguishable, as is the case with Behringer's UCA-202 (and -222), the customer doesn't get better sound by spending 25 to 100 times as much. I think that's his point.

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post #147 of 223 Old 09-29-2013, 09:57 PM
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The question that I answered was how can the same DAC chip sound different from one box to another. I answered it.

By your logic the spec sheets posted by manufacturer or 3rd party are the only things that matter and if all the numbers on the measured spec list are the same, then the two DACs MUST be the same. I disagree. There is a reason that Hollywood uses equipment from companies such as NAGRA...they are better all around units. The if a DAC does a crappy job, you are going to hear it. Standard tests may not be designed or detailed eough to highlight the nuances between 1 DAC and another. I seriously doubt that designers focus on THD and S/N figures only. I am not saying you have to agree with me (kinda doubt you will smile.gif ) but ask yourself if it is possible that the spec sheets that you use at a tool could be flawed due to marketing reasons or do not provide all of the measurements needed that a designer has access to? Has anyone asked the folks that design the state of the art DACs what the differences are? I am not talking about asking the sales guys, but lets see if we cannot figure out who a DAC guru might be and then ask them.

This is supposed to be a fun hobby isn't it? smile.gif
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post #148 of 223 Old 09-30-2013, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post


This is supposed to be a fun hobby isn't it? smile.gif

Do you consider spending money on things that don't improve sonics to be fun? If not then these are valid discussions. Back in the late 90's when we did our bias controlled tests we couldn't tell Radio Shack portable CD player (highly touted by Stereophile at the time) from a $3000 outboard DAC and $3000 was worth more then than it is now. If I were about to buy the $3000 DAC I would want to know that. The outboard DAC business is still in business only because of hearing bias and the media and and marketing that fuels it. You don't think that is important to the hobby? For me it is not only important but also fun.
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post #149 of 223 Old 09-30-2013, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Do you consider spending money on things that don't improve sonics to be fun? If not then these are valid discussions. Back in the late 90's when we did our bias controlled tests we couldn't tell a Radio Shack portable CD player (highly touted by Stereophile, by the way) from a $3000 outboard DAC and $3000 was worth more then than it is now. If I were about to buy the $3000 DAC I would want to know that. The outboard DAC business is still in business only because of hearing bias and the medai and and marketing that fuels it. You don't think that is important to the hobby? For me it is not only important but also fun.
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post #150 of 223 Old 09-30-2013, 07:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post

Just because they can be weeded out doesn't mean they do not exist. If your benchmark DAC is something tat retailed for less than $500, how do you know that the grass is not greener? Just saying, you could be missing out.

One can get a good estimate of whether their DAC is adding or subtracting something from the sound quality of their system without testing every DAC that is or ever will be. All you have to do is get a good ADC and set up this test:



I submit that this test will show you whether or not the DAC under test has any audible flaws with your system, your source, and your ears. If you engage enough other people in tests with really good audio systems, you have some kind of an idea of the sonic qualities of the DAC under test.

The punch line is that tests like these are old hat for some of us.

You say, what about the ADC, won't it affect the sound? It turns out that finding an ADC that will confound everybody is pretty easy. It turns out that finding DACs that confound everybody is pretty easy. It turns out that you can cascade like a dozen ADCs and DACs in a row and still confound everybody. Of course you have to do the test level-matched and bias controlled, because if you do this as a sighted test, hardware that is good enough to confound anybody is pretty hard to find.
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