Question about DACs - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 546 Old 02-12-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

this thread may have outlived its usefulness....

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If you locked it from future updates, I for one wouldn't feel hurt. OTOH, the same interchange will probably show up in another thread within days or hours...

while the thread remains open, kindly limit further posts to technical issues

please take the high road in every post
if you see a problematic post, please do not quote it or respond to it: report it to the mods to handle
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post #542 of 546 Old 02-12-2012, 09:57 AM
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I have read the paper.

I do not find it surprising that different opamps sound different.

The question is which opamps were tested. Were they old, were they new, were they cheap, were they expensive? Which ones measured best? Which ones measured worst? Which ones were preferred? What was the correlation, if any, between age, cost, measurements and other factors, and preference?

I do think it is interesting that the study concluded that opamps which had more distortion were preferred. What was the nature of the distortion in those opamps which were preferred?

The paper would appear to suggest that chasing the best possible numbers does not always result in the "best" possible sound, where "best" is determined by preference.

Perhaps all of those Harman DBTs have resulted in amplifiers and speakers being unleashed on the market which were not those that had the best measurements, but which nevertheless were preferred by trained listeners.

Some may be interested in owning equipment which has the best possible measurements regardless of how it sounds. Others may be interested in owning equipment which sounds best to them, regardless of measurements. Think tube vs. solid state, analog vs. digital, USB vs. S/PDIF, negative feedback vs. no negative feedback.

Do you want to own a DAC or use a digital interface which has lower jitter but sounds worse than a DAC or digital interface with higher jitter?

Should you offer equipment for sale to your customers which has better measurements or which sounds better? Should they be offered a choice?

Which equipment has better performance - equipment which measures better or equipment which sounds better?
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post #543 of 546 Old 02-12-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophilesavant View Post

I have read the paper.

I do not find it surprising that different opamps sound different.

The question is which opamps were tested. Were they old, were they new, were they cheap, were they expensive? Which ones measured best? Which ones measured worst? Which ones were preferred? What was the correlation, if any, between age, cost, measurements and other factors, and preference?

I do think it is interesting that the study concluded that opamps which had more distortion were preferred. What was the nature of the distortion in those opamps which were preferred?

The paper would appear to suggest that chasing the best possible numbers does not always result in the "best" possible sound, where "best" is determined by preference.

Perhaps all of those Harman DBTs have resulted in amplifiers and speakers being unleashed on the market which were not those that had the best measurements, but which nevertheless were preferred by trained listeners.

Some may be interested in owning equipment which has the best possible measurements regardless of how it sounds. Others may be interested in owning equipment which sounds best to them, regardless of measurements. Think tube vs. solid state, analog vs. digital, USB vs. S/PDIF, negative feedback vs. no negative feedback.

Do you want to own a DAC or use a digital interface which has lower jitter but sounds worse than a DAC or digital interface with higher jitter?

Should you offer equipment for sale to your customers which has better measurements or which sounds better? Should they be offered a choice?

Which equipment has better performance - equipment which measures better or equipment which sounds better?

I think you bring up a very interesting discussion point with your last sentence perhaps the best way of summing up the subjectivist vs. objectivist debate.

For me, the ultimate goal has always been to reproduce the sound as intended from the artist/producer/etc. That means adding / subtracting nothing. So the key is, how can I know that's what I'm getting. The answer I always come up with is, how the heck will I ever know what was in the mind of those that made the recording? I don't think I ever will so I settle on what seems logical, try to stick with equipment which passes through the source without modification, which leads me to look at measurements and where they deviate, the audibility of those deviations.
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post #544 of 546 Old 02-12-2012, 12:58 PM
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[quote="stereoeditor"]

"The decision to use the distortion selective amplifier configurations rather than a more conventional circuit implementation was made in order to maximize the listener's ability to hear a shift in character for the op- amps. The test configuration increases the level of the op-amps' inherent characteristic distortion, allowing listeners greater differences to assist with the discrimination tests.
[quote]
Did we really need a listening test to show us that if you isolate and amplify the distortion of various opamps which are measurable different we can eventually hear those differences? Would it not be enough yo just say they measure differently and use logic to show the above? And conversely, if we are curious whether opamps can cause audible distortions under normal (reasonably well designed) implementations, what usefulness is the above test?

Quote:


Although somewhat exaggerated, these are the same types of differences that might be heard with more conventional circuit implementations.

It appears the authors have now made a leap not at all supported by the test they devised. I see this often in all sorts of journal articles so it isn't uncommon.

I'll hold further comments until I've had a chance to read the paper. Perhaps I'm missing something critical not captured in these quote snippets.

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post #545 of 546 Old 02-12-2012, 01:33 PM
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Thanks Arny. I was wondering about the high price of this DAC product. I am using a Xonar USB piece also by ASUS...but it seems to be pretty awkward and accident-prone...already popped the cover off..

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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

A number of people have tested this product. If you search on "Asus Xonar Essence One Rightmark" (without the quotes), you will find a bunch of them.

There are a ton of good-sounding USB DAcs starting at well under $100. This looks like an audiophile product - for people who are obsessive about having the best even though you can easily get as good sound for maybe 1/10th the price.

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post #546 of 546 Old 02-12-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

this thread may have outlived its usefulness....

Ya think?
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