Do I need a new, better, DAC? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 08:27 AM
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Unfortunately this post is in error, he can't possibly have done bias controlled tests on the components in question since the OP hasn't mentioned the model under consideration. And to make any assumptions about the test results of said component is rather unscientific and will confuse the above mentioned beginners, or as we like to call them, "newbies".
But see that's the great thing about science. We develop general principles that apply, well, generally. The physical world does not make an exception for certain brands of audio components.

In this case, we know generally what the physical capabilities of DACs are—even cheap DACs. And we know generally what the bandwidth and sensitivity limits of human hearing are. We line those two things up, and we discover that the distortions of even basic DACs (and, to anticipate the next audiophool objection, the analog sections of DACs) fall below the threshold of human detection. QED, as the nerds say.

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post #32 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Actually, you have no idea how I came to my conclusions. If you have nothing to add to answer the OP's question, perhaps you should just move along.
That's coming from an assumption that the comparison you did was objective and bias controlled. Flash news for you, just about all results from objective and bias controlled comparisons of properly functioning DACs contradict the results like yours. So there you have it.
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post #33 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 09:15 AM
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That's coming from an assumption that the comparison you did was objective and bias controlled. Flash news for you, just about all results from objective and bias controlled comparisons of properly functioning DACs contradict the results like yours. So there you have it.

This post doesn't make a lot of sense at least the first part, perhaps you could try again? And what results of mine are you refering to? At any rate, I'd like to read about some of these bias controlled tests, could you dig up four or five of them and provide links please?

Also, you seem to be in disagreement with Arnyk in post 10 where he says:

"Reality is that equipment has to be judged as a whole, and may perform better or worse than the sum of its pieces."

You seem to be saying that all equipment sounds the same. Could you expand on this?
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post #34 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 01:03 PM
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This post doesn't make a lot of sense at least the first part, perhaps you could try again? And what results of mine are you refering to?
I thought you would remember your own post better. Bolding is mine.
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Unfortunately this is the wrong forum if one is searching for components that may have superior sound qualities. This forum has many members who dogmatically believe that everything made today sounds the same with modern technology. Different brands using completely different techniques and materials with wildly differing budgets and design goals, but they all sound the same at this forum. Of course, that is not true, but you won't learn that here. I suggest you try a different forum like Audiokarma for instance.

As for your question, DAC chips may vary a little in sound quality, but far more important is the analog stage that the component has, among other things. a device that retailed for 2500 will have excellent parts and design and an analog stage that is head and shoulders above the Oppo 103. I've had the 103 since January and experimented with it. I connected it directly to a 7 channel amp and used the volume in the 103. In that configuration I also had the Oppo process the signal from my cable box. This revealed the Oppo's limitations and I found out after that Oppo does not recommend connecting it straight to amp. The sound was decent to a point but some tracks of music had weaknesses. Even my wife noticed issues with Michael Buble's vocals.

I also have the Oppo 95, which has superior design and a much better analog section. It was better than the 103, but of course it comes at a price. Anyway, the 2500 component you are looking at sounds pretty expensive even if it's at a big discount. Can you try it out first in your system? These components can have synergy in a system, but can also be a bad combination. Some will disagree or attack what I've said, but at the higher end of the audio world, all things are not equal.
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At any rate, I'd like to read about some of these bias controlled tests, could you dig up four or five of them and provide links please?
Why four of five? What's wrong with two or three? Or how about six or seven? There have been numerous links posted of electronics DBTs on this forum since you registered last year. Where have you been?
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post #35 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 01:18 PM
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At any rate, I'd like to read about some of these bias controlled tests, could you dig up four or five of them and provide links please?
Since you are taking the position that there are audible differences between DACs, why don't you show some bias controlled tests that show audibility? I mean, if it's so obvious, surely there would be a surfeit of positive tests? I'd sure like to read them.
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post #36 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 03:09 PM
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Why four of five? What's wrong with two or three? Or how about six or seven? There have been numerous links posted of electronics DBTs on this forum since you registered last year. Where have you been?
Well of course you don't have to provide any proof of your position, I was just curious about these tests regarding standalone DAC units. I hadn't seen any such direct comparisons with the double blind and or bias controlled tests. I'll keep my eyes open then. In the meantime, the Oppo 103, when running direct to amp, sounded worse than the Oppo 95, and the Onkyo TX XR876 now that I think of it.
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post #37 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 03:51 PM
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Well of course you don't have to provide any proof of your position, I was just curious about these tests regarding standalone DAC units. I hadn't seen any such direct comparisons with the double blind and or bias controlled tests.
That's what happens when you don't bother searching for it. Let me do it for you.

http://matrixhifi.com/pruebasciegas.htm

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_cd.htm

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I'll keep my eyes open then.
Better late than never.

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In the meantime, the Oppo 103, when running direct to amp, sounded worse than the Oppo 95, and the Onkyo TX XR876 now that I think of it.
Most likely due to level mismatch.
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post #38 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by spkr View Post
That's what happens when you don't bother searching for it. Let me do it for you.

http://matrixhifi.com/pruebasciegas.htm

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_cd.htm

Better late than never.

Most likely due to level mismatch.
Uh, the first link is in some other language, sorry but I was looking for english, I should have said that. The other one compares a DAC and a cd player. I was asking for comparisons between DACs? Like several at once, sort of a double blind test? Anyway, thanks for the effort.

On the idea that the difference between the two Oppo's was level mismatch, perhaps you should contact Oppo. As I've repeated, they are the ones that said not to connect the 103 directly to an amp. The Oppo 95 is fine with being connected directly to an amp.
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post #39 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by audio4life View Post
Uh, the first link is in some other language, sorry but I was looking for english, I should have said that.
Anyone with average or higher wit would have copy/paste that link to online translation site.

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The other one compares a DAC and a cd player. I was asking for comparisons between DACs?
You mean CD players don't have DAC in... oh, I see what your problem is.

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Like several at once, sort of a double blind test?
Sort of?

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On the idea that the difference between the two Oppo's was level mismatch, perhaps you should contact Oppo. As I've repeated, they are the ones that said not to connect the 103 directly to an amp. The Oppo 95 is fine with being connected directly to an amp.
You don't even know what level matched DBT is, do you.
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post #40 of 129 Old 08-25-2014, 06:27 PM
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I just remembered this with this guy. Ai yai yai...
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post #41 of 129 Old 08-28-2014, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by spkr View Post
That's what happens when you don't bother searching for it. Let me do it for you.

http://matrixhifi.com/pruebasciegas.htm
I am sure everyone is indebted to you for that search. A DIY test by somewhere on the Internet universe is the sum total of our "unbiased scientific" tests on this topic? How many drug companies have that kind of evidence for the efficacy of their medication?

Did you miss the first report there?



Two CD players playing the same CD hence the difference being their DACs produced different results. Your explanation is what for that result?

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post #42 of 129 Old 08-28-2014, 03:08 PM
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Anyone with average or higher wit would have copy/paste that link to online translation site.
The real wit would have been shown if one had actually done the machine translation. Once there, you would have been presented with such translation:

The next step occurs when the subject claims notice any difference appears and proceeds to plug the equipment and perform various tests more. It is the second phase of the TEST PILOT. The subject will discover the device every time it issues a reply, in this way, see their successes / errors and incidentally, allows you to continue training the alleged difference between a device and another. Some subjects to ensure that they hold several mistakes, decide to take the test stating that NO DIFFERENCE.

I think I understand Swahili better than this.

Let's skip to the results, shall we?

RESULTS

Of the 14 subjects:

- 10 said the PILOT TEST NO PERCEIVED DIFFERENCES.
- Four decide to take blind test and of those four, 1 leaves the 4th test to err 2 times and the other 3 reach the end of the sequence with a score equivalent to chance errors. Therefore, we can conclude that there is NO DIFFERENCE between the two converters.


So out of 14 subjects, 10 of them stopped at sighted part of the test saying they could not hear differences. This violates half a dozen provisions of Geneva Convention on properly doing audio tests. . There better be positive controls where the listeners know what to listen for and also to show the transparency of the system to show these kinds of flaws. That control can then be used to throw out the votes of people who are not critical listeners. Lacking that, we can go ahead and throw out 10 of the listeners for now. Another person seems to have given up on taking the blind test so we are now down to three people. The scores for those three people are not given. We only have a declaration of "NO DIFFERENCE." This is not remotely how we document such tests. Or run them.

This is the problem with non-professionals thinking such tests is all about a switcher and a set of headphones.

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You don't even know what level matched DBT is, do you.
I assume you do and still put that test forward?

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post #43 of 129 Old 08-28-2014, 07:54 PM
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I am sure everyone is indebted to you for that search. A DIY test by somewhere on the Internet universe is the sum total of our "unbiased scientific" tests on this topic? How many drug companies have that kind of evidence for the efficacy of their medication?


Did you miss the first report there?



Two CD players playing the same CD hence the difference being their DACs produced different results. Your explanation is what for that result?
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The real wit would have been shown if one had actually done the machine translation. Once there, you would have been presented with such translation:

The next step occurs when the subject claims notice any difference appears and proceeds to plug the equipment and perform various tests more. It is the second phase of the TEST PILOT. The subject will discover the device every time it issues a reply, in this way, see their successes / errors and incidentally, allows you to continue training the alleged difference between a device and another. Some subjects to ensure that they hold several mistakes, decide to take the test stating that NO DIFFERENCE.

I think I understand Swahili better than this.

Let's skip to the results, shall we?

RESULTS

Of the 14 subjects:

- 10 said the PILOT TEST NO PERCEIVED DIFFERENCES.
- Four decide to take blind test and of those four, 1 leaves the 4th test to err 2 times and the other 3 reach the end of the sequence with a score equivalent to chance errors. Therefore, we can conclude that there is NO DIFFERENCE between the two converters.


So out of 14 subjects, 10 of them stopped at sighted part of the test saying they could not hear differences. This violates half a dozen provisions of Geneva Convention on properly doing audio tests. . There better be positive controls where the listeners know what to listen for and also to show the transparency of the system to show these kinds of flaws. That control can then be used to throw out the votes of people who are not critical listeners. Lacking that, we can go ahead and throw out 10 of the listeners for now. Another person seems to have given up on taking the blind test so we are now down to three people. The scores for those three people are not given. We only have a declaration of "NO DIFFERENCE." This is not remotely how we document such tests. Or run them.

This is the problem with non-professionals thinking such tests is all about a switcher and a set of headphones.


I assume you do and still put that test forward?
The first link I posted shows Mark Levinson amp making no audible difference to other much cheaper amps. I see that you sell Mark Levinson gears. No wonder you are in attack mode.
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Your links are next to useless unfortunately. I wasn't expecting that this is the best that your side has to offer but really, I'm not surprised.
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post #45 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 06:42 AM
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The first link I posted shows Mark Levinson amp making no audible difference to other much cheaper amps. I see that you sell Mark Levinson gears. No wonder you are in attack mode.
Your comments were not worthy of any attack. It was typical Internet banter where you post a link you didn't read yourself. You are continuing that by getting personal with off-topic remarks about amplifiers to boot. We may not be very smart but we are not that stupid to not notice these stunts.

Spend less time antagonizing members and more time learning the topic. Your comments otherwise are not constructive and simply raise the noise floor of the forum.
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post #46 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 07:39 AM
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Your links are next to useless unfortunately. I wasn't expecting that this is the best that your side has to offer but really, I'm not surprised.
How many attempts have you made to search on your own ever since you made the statement quoted below? Let me guess, 0.
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Well of course you don't have to provide any proof of your position, I was just curious about these tests regarding standalone DAC units. I hadn't seen any such direct comparisons with the double blind and or bias controlled tests.
You were trying to argue about something that you are unprepared for and that's why you failed.
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post #47 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 07:46 AM
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Unfortunately this post is in error, he can't possibly have done bias controlled tests on the components in question since the OP hasn't mentioned the model under consideration. And to make any assumptions about the test results of said component is rather unscientific and will confuse the above mentioned beginners, or as we like to call them, "newbies".
I tested the digital gear available 15 years ago since that is what was available when we did the tests. We were unable to find any audible difference in any DAC's regardless of brand or price.

it would be non intuitive to assume that there has been a decline in digital technology so the assumption that there is still no audible differences in DAC's is perfectly legitimate until someone proves things have changed. It is your post that is in error.
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post #48 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 07:51 AM
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Your comments were not worthy of any attack. It was typical Internet banter where you post a link you didn't read yourself. You are continuing that by getting personal with off-topic remarks about amplifiers to boot. We may not be very smart but we are not that stupid to not notice these stunts.

Spend less time antagonizing members and more time learning the topic. Your comments otherwise are not constructive and simply raise the noise floor of the forum.
I only raised the veil in front of your sales pitch.

Another test showing Mark Levinson amp not making audible difference to much cheaper amp. http://webpages.charter.net/fryguy/Amp_Sound.pdf
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post #49 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 08:09 AM
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I only raised the veil in front of your sales pitch.
You said you felt attacked by me explaining that your first link was a test that had huge execution flaws, and the second actually pointed to the opposite of what you claimed regarding equipment sounding the same. Instead of taking the time to read the information presented you did get personal. And you repeat the same here.

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Another test showing Mark Levinson amp not making audible difference to much cheaper amp. http://webpages.charter.net/fryguy/Amp_Sound.pdf
Yes, it is another test you have not read. On a topic not related to this thread.

But if you want to go there, here is a counterexample from the very site you liked to earlier:





You do believe the work of our own Arny more than the people in that magazine, right?
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post #50 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 08:21 AM
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I tested the digital gear available 15 years ago since that is what was available when we did the tests. We were unable to find any audible difference in any DAC's regardless of brand or price.

it would be non intuitive to assume that there has been a decline in digital technology so the assumption that there is still no audible differences in DAC's is perfectly legitimate until someone proves things have changed. It is your post that is in error.
You specifically didn't test the Oppo 103 or 105. You want to assume that because you tested some digital gear 15 years ago, everything today will sound the same since no declines of technology occurred? Talk about a huge assumption! 15 years is a century as far as technology advances go. What about ADVANCES in technology, breakthroughs that some companies may make? We'll never know if we take your word for it sadly.
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post #51 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 08:51 AM
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You specifically didn't test the Oppo 103 or 105. You want to assume that because you tested some digital gear 15 years ago, everything today will sound the same since no declines of technology occurred? Talk about a huge assumption! 15 years is a century as far as technology advances go. What about ADVANCES in technology, breakthroughs that some companies may make? We'll never know if we take your word for it sadly.
It is a perfectly valid assumption. If you have a scientifically valid indication that things have changed, let me know. I pay pretty close attention to this stuff and I haven't seen a thing.

What advances are you talking about in digital audio? I'm not aware of any that result in audible differences. Differences in specifications and measurements to be sure. but not audible differences. Feel free to bring your Oppo and I'll prove to you that it sounds exactly like a 15 year old DAC. I have a couple in my audio storage closet. I'll use bias controlled techniques that obviate opinion and hearing bias. If you want the proof, come on ahead. I'd be happy to provide it.
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What? It's okay to make assumptions in science? So now not only do all electronics sound the same, they also sound the same for the last 15 years? And the reason is, it's because 15 years ago you may have tested some gear? Okay, thanks for that update.
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post #53 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 09:03 AM
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What? It's okay to make assumptions in science? So now not only do all electronics sound the same, they also sound the same for the last 15 years? And the reason is, it's because 15 years ago you may have tested some gear? Okay, thanks for that update.
Science is all about making assumptions and then proving them or disproving them. I take your commenbts as a rejection of engaging in tests that will prove or disprove what I said. Nothing surprising there. Your best bet is to sit at your keyboard and fling nonsense at me. No risk in that. Take care.
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post #54 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 09:15 AM
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What? It's okay to make assumptions in science? So now not only do all electronics sound the same, they also sound the same for the last 15 years? And the reason is, it's because 15 years ago you may have tested some gear? Okay, thanks for that update.
One reason why so much electronics sounded the same 15 years ago is that the technical differences that existed then were far below what was known to be the Just Noticable Differences (JNDs) for the each of the various kinds of technical differences in performance that were known to exist.

Since then audio gear measured performance has generally improved both across the board and in most specific cases, so it is even more probable that no audible differences can be found.

When I invented ABX testing almost 40 years ago, I was surprised at how differently much equipment measured, but still we couldn't hear any differences. I was amazed that so many components with such large measured differences in performance ended up being sonically indistinguishable.

Frankly, most knowledge about the JNDs of various kinds of distortion that has been discovered since then has revised our models of hearing to indicate vastly reduced sensitivity compared to what we thought is was 40 years ago.

40 years ago the amounts of lossy data compression that are acceptable and in common use today for high quality applicataions would have seemed to be ridiculous.
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When I invented the internet 37 years ago for the US army, the scientists there all agreed that you don't make assumptions in science, you let the results guide you, not assumptions. Frankly, I'm not sure what we have here is true science.
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post #56 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 09:59 AM
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When I invented the internet 37 years ago for the US army, the scientists there all agreed that you don't make assumptions in science, you let the results guide you, not assumptions. Frankly, I'm not sure what we have here is true science.


They were incorrect. Every theory makes assumptions. The investigation and testing is what moves those assumptions to the realm of accepted fact. Oh, and Arny actually did invent ABX testing, for your information. I'm afraid you are over your head in this forum. Again, best of luck to you.
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post #57 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 10:11 AM
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When I invented ABX testing almost 40 years ago,...
I thought we agreed you were the co-inventor (builder?) of the switch box, no?

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I was surprised at how differently much equipment measured, but still we couldn't hear any differences. I was amazed that so many components with such large measured differences in performance ended up being sonically indistinguishable.
You are sure that was not due to hearing damage you suffered in the Army per this post?

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
When I served in the US Army (drafted) in the 1960s they had no clue about hearing protection. I qualified with 3 different firearms, worked on firing ranges, and worked routinely for about 30 months in a very noisy environment. While any damage that may have related to those experiences did not seem to hurt my hearing acuity that much when I was younger, these days things are far worse.

I now struggle to hear the effects of an 8 KHz brick wall filter at normal listening levels. So while Floyd Tooles comments may relate to Amir and you John, some of us did not have such protected lives, no fault of our own.
So 10 years back you had damaged your hearing which may explain the lack of discrimination in blind tests.

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Frankly, most knowledge about the JNDs of various kinds of distortion that has been discovered since then has revised our models of hearing to indicate vastly reduced sensitivity compared to what we thought is was 40 years ago.

40 years ago the amounts of lossy data compression that are acceptable and in common use today for high quality applicataions would have seemed to be ridiculous.
Do you have some references to back this Arny?
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post #58 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 10:15 AM
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When my audio buddy (who has better ears than I do) came over last November for his semi-weekly visit, after a while, he asked me what had I done?

I played dumb. What do you mean?

He claimed the highs were sweeter, the bass deeper, etc.

I took the black paper off the new DAC that obscured the extra lights that made it look exactly the same as the old one in the dimmed lighting of the room.

Science be damned! (sometimes)

I'll be back later...



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post #59 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
Oh, and Arny actually did invent ABX testing, for your information.
Ah. You must have other data than I have. This is what I know:

1. An entire paper introducing/explaining the ABX protocol was in the Journal of Audio Engineering Society written by Clark, lacks any reference to inventions by Arny. The only reference to Arny is thanking him for his contributions: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=3839

On the contrary, he points out some of the flaws in the switchboxes as built by the hobby society Arny was contributing to:

"REFINEMENTS TO THE A/B TEST

The author's first experience with double-blind audibility testing was as a member of the SMWTMS Audio Club in early 1977. A button was provided which would select at random component A or B. Identifying one of these, the X component was greatly hampered by not having the known A and B available for reference. This was corrected by using three interlocked pushbuttons, A, B, and X. Once an X was selected, it would remain that particular A or B until it was decided to move on to another random selection.

However, another problem quickly became obvious. There was always an audible relay transition time delay when switching from A to B. When switching from A to X, however, the time delay would be missing if X was really A and present if X was really B.


Not so complimentary to whatever invention created by Arny.

2) This is the only reference I have ever found that talks about an invention, written by one of Arny's co-workers: http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx.htm

The ABX Company designed, manufactured and sold the ABX Double Blind Comparator System, which made possible scientifically valid self run subjective comparisons of audio components. The information on these pages is historical. This web site documents the ABX Comparator System and lists the subjective test results obtained by the company and the Southeastern Michigan Woofer and Tweeter Marching Society, SMWTMS. I was one of six partners who formed and ran the ABX Company from 1980 to 1987.

May 7, 1977 SMWTMS did the first ever audio double blind subjective listening tests. An argument over the audibility of differences between amplifiers at a club meeting in November 1976 resulted in an agreement that a double blind test could settle the question. Just six months later, Arny Krueger gave a lecture on his design of a double blind comparator and the first three double blind tests were done. The results include the first three listed in the Power Amplifier Comparison Table in the data. Thus we credit Arny Krueger and his opponent in the argument, Bern Muller, as the inventors of the ABX Comparator. The agreement to create a company to manufacture comparators was informally made the following summer.


So it says that Arny was a co-inventor, not the sole inventor. Further, it says that they invented the ABX comparator. That is a box, not a methodology.

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I'm afraid you are over your head in this forum. Again, best of luck to you.
He is in good company unfortunately. But maybe you can dig us out of there by providing more information than I have on Arny's invention. Because I have not been able to get clarity from Arny on any of this.
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post #60 of 129 Old 08-29-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
They were incorrect. Every theory makes assumptions. The investigation and testing is what moves those assumptions to the realm of accepted fact. Oh, and Arny actually did invent ABX testing, for your information. I'm afraid you are over your head in this forum. Again, best of luck to you.
Thanks so much for your earlier posts, they help me understand your biases better which of course color your approach to the issue. I'm glad that you have tested some gear 15 years ago and that in your mind, the electronics still sound the same today because of that result. I suggest you might want to one day revisit your simplistic assumptions, as technology advances have transformed our hobby(there is something called Audyssey and blu-ray discs now), but not if it makes you uncomfortable.
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