Originally Posted by ondes
I have the Behringer Ultramatch SRC 2496 and other DAC (the MOTU HD 896, the MSB modified, and others through digital firewire audio cards like for example the Terratec Phase 24). I can state just the contrary !
ondes, I like to compare DAC's and CD players using headphones with a good headphone amp. I have on occasion noticed some fairly obvious differences between some pretty well-made DAC's and CD players. I think it is a bit easier to tell differences with headphones (particularly if hooked up to a good headphone amp as opposed to a receiver's headphone output). While some times the differences have been subtle and I've had to wonder what differences I am really hearing, the differences between some DAC's are pretty noticeable, especially when listening to musical selections with which one is intimately familiar. So generally, I would agree with you that DAC's, even well-made ones, can sound different.
OTOH, there are three kinds of people in this world. Those who have heard differences with their own ears and question the results of reports of blind testing that says there are no differences. Those who believe that the science and blind testing confirms that there are no differences. Those in the middle who aren't sure.
It's pretty rare for people to move from the first camp into the second, and from the second into the first, no matter what is said on these threads. It seems that the primary purpose of these threads, therefore, is a fight between camp one and camp two to persuade those in camp three.
However, by the third or fourth post in the thread, the OP (who often appears to be in camp three) or others in camp three, have abandoned the thread (presumably for lack of interest or because they tire of the squabbling -- most of which quickly loses sight of the OP's initial inquiry), and the rest of the thread is just constant back and forth between camp one and camp two. And most of it is to no purpose, since no one in those camps is going to change their mind. Thus, many threads in the CD Players forum don't deal much with the topic posed in the thread so much as they are platforms for those in camp one or camp two to launch another round of missiles carrying their "agenda." You can see this on multiple threads. It's pretty funny actually, and somewhat amusing (or tragic depending on how you look at it) to observe human nature in this regard.