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Rega DAC or Cambridge DacMagic - Page 2

post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Diablo View Post

Jeez, I still check into this forum from time to time and thought these useless flame wars would've died down a bit by now, but no.

This is obviously not the place for a discussion of 2 ch music reproduction. It seems best price and constant blathering about the mostly useless abundant new features that you see constantly discussed in the AVR and TV forums are the only acceptable topics of discussion in this place these days.

All CD players sound the same. All DACs sound the same. All amplifiers sound the same. All cables sound the same. There are no real meaningful differences so save your money and get the cheapest you can find.

Turn your living room into a treated padded crazy room and buy the most expensive speakers you can. Tether the speakers to the cheap aforementioned gear, and don't worry about how revealing the speakers are of your upstream components. There is no meaningful differences no matter what you think you hear.

Everything about audio that can be known... is known, and can be backed up with measurements and blind testing.

Nothing to see here, move along.
post #32 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesseract67 View Post

All CD players sound the same. All DACs sound the same. All amplifiers sound the same. All cables sound the same. There are no real meaningful differences so save your money and get the cheapest you can find.

Turn your living room into a treated padded crazy room and buy the most expensive speakers you can. Tether the speakers to the cheap aforementioned gear, and don't worry about how revealing the speakers are of your upstream components. There is no meaningful differences no matter what you think you hear.

Everything about audio that can be known... is known, and can be backed up with measurements and blind testing.

Nothing to see here, move along.

The law of diminishing returns is at play here. It largely applies to electronics where a two channel amp or DAC can drive a $300 set of bookshelf or a $30,000 set of floors standers.

Again, take a $10K budget, You go blow $4K of it on electronics (source/amp etc) and I'll blow $1K of it on electronics. The rest goes to speakers. Get your Pass-Aleph/Odyssey/Monarchy amp, get your Rega, Benchmark, Wyred DAC, Get your Parasound, Classe pre-amp... Get your MIT/AQ/Cardas/Kimber...

I will absolutely race you for pink slips anytime in that scenario.

Name the time and the place C.O.N.U.S... We'll each bring our receipts.
post #33 of 97
You would probably spend dough on room treatments while I would spend on speakers that don't require them.

P.S. I am wearing a Stereophile t-shirt as I type this.
post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesseract67 View Post

You would probably spend dough on room treatments while I would spend on speakers that don't require them.

Good luck with your search.
post #35 of 97
Well, yes - I tend to agree that it is best to put most of your money into great speakers. That is a once in a decade plus purchase (Paradigm Active 40s purchased in 2000) for a guy like me.

But the topic of Rega DAC Vs Cambridge DAC Magic is a valid one for discussion, IMO, and the lectures from the "know-it-all" sceptics gets tiring.
post #36 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Diablo View Post
Well, yes - I tend to agree that it is best to put most of your money into great speakers. That is a once in a decade plus purchase (Paradigm Active 40s purchased in 2000) for a guy like me.

But the topic of Rega DAC Vs Cambridge DAC Magic is a valid one for discussion, IMO, and the lectures from the "know-it-all" sceptics gets tiring.
I would say get one of each. I would say cold, with aural memory being what it is, you could leave the room for 5 minutes and fail at picking which DAC is which when switched up a number of times.

It doesn't take a know it all to fail at this sort of evaluation. Hell, I'm not a skeptic about sound differences. I'm a skeptic about aural memory letting you reliably pick the Rega vs the DacMagic.
post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

. . . with aural memory being what it is . . . .

Could you explain what you mean by this?
post #38 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post

Bob, could you explain what you mean by this?

LMGTFY

My name is not Bob.
post #39 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

LMGTFY

Thanks. I just wanted to make sure that others who happen upon this thread aren't deceived by your cryptic statement regarding "aural memory," and your response above will enable them to discern for themselves whether there is any merit in your argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

My name is not Bob.

Sorry. I misread your ending quote as a signature.
post #40 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post

Thanks. I just wanted to make sure that others who happen upon this thread aren't deceived by your cryptic statement regarding "aural memory," and your response above will enable them to discern for themselves whether there is any merit in your argument.


Hmmm... What is cryptic about Aural (hearing) and Memory Not sure how two words can 'deceive' any one.
post #41 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Hmmm... What is cryptic about Aural (hearing) and Memory Not sure how two words can 'deceive' any one.

What is cryptic about the statement "aural memory being what it is"? That statement can mean a lot of different things. For example, there are tests that show that people have difficulty retaining memory of specific short-duration test tones. Were you referring to those tests? Or were your referring to other tests, data, or studies regarding aural memory? You haven't explained at all what you mean by "aural memory being what it is." You may have a very good, cogent explanation of your point. But just saying "aural memory being what it is" is cryptic (i.e., marked by perplexing brevity). Similarly, if we were discussing the current economic situation in the U.S. and I was arguing that the debt limit should not be raised, and I said in support of my argument nothing more than, "the financial markets being what they are," that would be cryptic.

What is arguably deceptive about it, or at least potentially deceptive? The "objectivists" like to trot out all the time statements about "aural memory being short," but the tests or data upon which they typically rely (e.g., the tests regarding test tones) are not analogous to listening to music on a high-fidelity audio system. I'm not saying that there isn't relevant data or testing under such conditions; I'm just saying that what many "objectivists" typically reference are studies that are not analogous. And when you go to Google, you typically find all sorts of results or links that are not at all related to the issue at hand. So I think it is arguably deceptive to say that someone cannot remember the difference in sound between a Rega DAC and DAC Magic because of "aural memory." They may indeed not be able to tell the difference, but I don't believe that this conclusion is compelled by what Google results say about "aural memory."

In any event, that is why I asked what you meant. You may have knowledge of studies or data regarding "aural memory" that establish that someone cannot remember, given a certain passage of time or other parameters, the difference in sound between two different audio sources. But just saying "aural memory being what it is" is not particularly illuminating regarding the issue at hand.
post #42 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesseract67 View Post

All CD players sound the same. All DACs sound the same. All amplifiers sound the same. All cables sound the same. There are no real meaningful differences so save your money and get the cheapest you can find.

Turn your living room into a treated padded crazy room and buy the most expensive speakers you can. Tether the speakers to the cheap aforementioned gear, and don't worry about how revealing the speakers are of your upstream components. There is no meaningful differences no matter what you think you hear.


I realise you said this in jest (I think..??)... but I have had an interesting experience building a HT system and a dedicated 2ch system that utilize the same front poweramp and L/R speakers in my room via a A/B RCA switch from the AVR or 2ch pre-amp.

The HT system consists of a midrange Yamaha AVR and a Sony blu-ray player. The 2ch system is a Marantz CD player with analog out to a Perreaux pre-amp. Both then can go to a Perreaux poweramp and psb Imagine B speakers.

I was genuinely surprised at how much better my CDs sounded with the 2ch system than playing through the blu-ray player and AVR. I had kind of believed the "everything sounds the same" notion from my time reading internet forums. I had only tried the 2ch pre-amp out of curiosity after having it in storage for a short while as it came with the poweramp, but I wasn't interested in using it initially as I mistakenly believed "everything sounds the same" so it wouldn't offer any advantage.

But man was I wrong! I get an incredible sound with my 2ch system. Imaging fills the room with believably real sounding vocals and piano and such. A plain old CD actually sounds much better on my 2ch system that what the same song does on a SACD or 96/24 in the blu-ray player and AVR. The only music that sounds as good as the 2ch system on my HT system - is a good blu-ray concert disk like Roy Orbison's 'black & white' or Leonard Cohen's 'songs from the road' BD in 5.1.

If amps and CD players "all sound the same"... then how come there is such a difference in my two setups...???

I am currently looking for a DAC so I can get 96/24 downloads from my PC to my analog 2ch system without going anywhere near the AVR.
post #43 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post

What is cryptic about the statement "aural memory being what it is"? That statement can mean a lot of different things. For example, there are tests that show that people have difficulty retaining memory of specific short-duration test tones. Were you referring to those tests? Or were your referring to other tests, data, or studies regarding aural memory? You haven't explained at all what you mean by "aural memory being what it is." You may have a very good, cogent explanation of your point. But just saying "aural memory being what it is" is cryptic (i.e., marked by perplexing brevity). Similarly, if we were discussing the current economic situation in the U.S. and I was arguing that the debt limit should not be raised, and I said in support of my argument nothing more than, "the financial markets being what they are," that would be cryptic.

What is arguably deceptive about it, or at least potentially deceptive? The "objectivists" like to trot out all the time statements about "aural memory being short," but the tests or data upon which they typically rely (e.g., the tests regarding test tones) are not analogous to listening to music on a high-fidelity audio system. I'm not saying that there isn't relevant data or testing under such conditions; I'm just saying that what many "objectivists" typically reference are studies that are not analogous. And when you go to Google, you typically find all sorts of results or links that are not at all related to the issue at hand. So I think it is arguably deceptive to say that someone cannot remember the difference in sound between a Rega DAC and DAC Magic because of "aural memory." They may indeed not be able to tell the difference, but I don't believe that this conclusion is compelled by what Google results say about "aural memory."

In any event, that is why I asked what you meant. You may have knowledge of studies or data regarding "aural memory" that establish that someone cannot remember, given a certain passage of time or other parameters, the difference in sound between two different audio sources. But just saying "aural memory being what it is" is not particularly illuminating regarding the issue at hand.

Nope, no studies to cite at hand. Just two threads on two different enthusiast forums where in those instances I offered to send out two sets of line level cables to the 'objectivist' crowd. One set burned in with pink noise and another not. All randomly labeled. Generally the same people that go on and on about the huge swing in sound from an expensive vs reasonably priced DAC.

Again, if something like the Benchmark DAC1 USB simply sounds 'better' any believer local to me should come over with it and let me level match to my 1212m and they should be able to pick it cold.

And because you quoted and replied out of context:

"I would say cold, with aural memory being what it is, you could leave the room for 5 minutes and fail at picking which DAC is which when switched up a number of times.

I think I defined one context of 'aural memory' being what it is. So, no cryptology involved with what I said.
post #44 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

I realise you said this in jest (I think..??)...

See my first post in this thread for clarity.

Quote:


The HT system consists of a midrange Yamaha AVR and a Sony blu-ray player. The 2ch system is a Marantz CD player with analog out to a Perreaux pre-amp. Both then can go to a Perreaux poweramp and psb Imagine B speakers.

If amps and CD players "all sound the same"... then how come there is such a difference in my two setups...???

My Marantz universal player with 6 DAC's slays my budget Sony SACD player with 1 shared DAC between channels. Makes sense, yes?

Quote:


I am currently looking for a DAC so I can get 96/24 downloads from my PC to my analog 2ch system without going anywhere near the AVR.

I am too, although I need speakers first. Look for one that formats up to 192/24.
post #45 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Nope, no studies to cite at hand.

Yeah, that's kind of what I figured when you referred me to Google instead of providing any support for your statement. Thanks for being honest about it.

I won't comment on the rest of your post, as I think the same arguments about cables, DAC's, DBT's, etc. will just be rehashed again and again, to no avail. I just wanted to address the "aural memory" issue, as I find it intriguing (and somewhat ironic).
post #46 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Again, take a $10K budget, You go blow $4K of it on electronics (source/amp etc) and I'll blow $1K of it on electronics. The rest goes to speakers. Get your Pass-Aleph/Odyssey/Monarchy amp, get your Rega, Benchmark, Wyred DAC, Get your Parasound, Classe pre-amp... Get your MIT/AQ/Cardas/Kimber...

I will absolutely race you for pink slips anytime in that scenario.

Name the time and the place C.O.N.U.S... We'll each bring our receipts.

Thinking about what you have said here is perhaps typically true... but let me share my experience.

With poweramps and pre-amps and even DACs there is not a lot that goes wrong with them and you can safely look at the 2nd hand market as a viable option to get good gear for your budget.

Like for me, my new Yamaha RX-V1065 cost $1300 NZD (all amounts will be in my countries New Zealand dollar) which was on sale down from ~ $1900.

The 20-year-old Perreaux pre-amp and poweramp was $750 2nd hand. New back then in the late 80's they would have been ~ $4000.

Speakers - I was looking at PSB Synchrony Two that retitle for $5600. Though when I auditioned a pair, they didn't do much for me. The soundstage wasn't that wide and appeared to extend back behind the speakers. Treble and other high frequency details were rather subtle and you had to listen for them. They didn't jump out at you.

Then I got a listen to a set of PSB Imagine B bookshelfs. The sound was much more how I like it. A forward soundstage with details that jump out at you and a very real believable sound to them. Cost, $1499.

I am loving the sound of my Imagine B's and Perreaux pre-amp/poweramp in my smallish lounge. The Perreaux pre-amp throws a much more dynamic soundstage and sound than what the Yamaha AVR does. Straight 2ch stereo on the AVR always sounded a bit flat and I found myself using its '7ch stereo' mode to spice 2ch material up a bit. But I now prefer 2ch CD material through the Perreaux pre-amp as it sounds more dynamic than the AVR's surround sound mode.

If I had ended up with only the AVR and more expensive but laid-back Synchrony Two speakers... I wouldn't have known what I was missing.

I believe different components do sound different to some extent and you really need to listen for yourself in order to build a system in the direction you want to go with it.
post #47 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

build a system

This is it right there, it's a system.

One should not indiscriminately kludge together electronics, tack on their favorite speaker and call it good.
post #48 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post

Yeah, that's kind of what I figured when you referred me to Google instead of providing any support for your statement. Thanks for being honest about it.

I won't comment on the rest of your post, as I think the same arguments about cables, DAC's, DBT's, etc. will just be rehashed again and again, to no avail. I just wanted to address the "aural memory" issue, as I find it intriguing (and somewhat ironic).

It comes down to me adopting a subjectivist point: That is I either heard or believe I heard the difference and that is good enough for me.

If the subjectivist doesn't have to cite anything then I quite honestly feel fine having not citing any thing after having offered:

1. To send out cables that are burned and non-burned in randomly labeled for the cable burn in subjectivist. No takers in two different online forums.

2. Offer the person that can pick out my Parasound vs my Crown amp walk out the door with the Parasound after successfully picking it due to it's 'audiophile' sound in a 10 round random A/B.
post #49 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post
It comes down to me adopting a subjectivist point: That is I either heard or believe I heard the difference and that is good enough for me.
Well, since the goal in listening to music on a high fidelity system is subjective enjoyment or pleasure for many of us, and since many of us judge a system by how it sounds to our brain, not how it looks on a graph or data set, it is not surprising that some adopt a subjectivist point of view. Personally, I tend to be a subjectivist with my food also, among other things. But I'm fine if others base their judgments on audio or other things that can provide enjoyment or pleasure on scientific data that they think is compelling. Live and let live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post
If the subjectivist doesn't have to cite anything then I quite honestly feel fine having not citing any thing . . . .
You've touched on the point that I find ironic. Oversimplifying the matter a bit, a subjectivist doesn't have to cite anything because he cares about what he hears with his ears, not what some scope says or some test taken by others supposedly reveals.

OTOH, objectivists typically root their arguments in science and data. At the same time, however, some will sometimes causally toss around phrases like "aural memory is very short," etc., without pointing to any studies, if and they point to anything at all, the studies would not be accepted by any serious scientist as supporting the conclusion they wish to draw.

If one is going to take the "scientific" or "objective" approach and insist on hard data and objective testing that is probative of the matter under discussion, then one should not casually toss out phrases regarding scientific phenomena or rely on studies that are supposedly instructive, without any basis for so doing. It just seems to me to be very "unscientific" and "unobjective." Mind you, I'm not directly this at you specifically; your post just reminded me of what I've seen when these things are discussed. And it find it interesting, and somewhat amusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post
. . . after having offered:

1. To send out cables that are burned and non-burned in randomly labeled for the cable burn in subjectivist. No takers in two different online forums.
I don't find this particularly relevant to a discussion regarding whether CD players or DAC's sound different. But in any event, let's assume for the sake of argument that I think that audio product X (be it a cable or DAC or whatever) improves the sound of my system. Why should I have to prove it to you that it does? I think the system sounds better to me. If you want to have a very inexpensive system with inexpensive DAC's, cables, etc., because you believe a better quality or more expensive system will not sound better, that's cool. You can spend your money elsewhere. Again, live and let live.

But why do you (using "you" here to refer to skeptics in general) have to prove to me that I am not having as much enjoyment from my system as I subjectively think I am? Why do you care?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post
Offer the person that can pick out my Parasound vs my Crown amp walk out the door with the Parasound after successfully picking it due to it's 'audiophile' sound in a 10 round random A/B.
Not a big fan of many DBT's. I'm not saying they are not informative or worthy of serious consideration. I just don't find such tests (especially those conducted by people I don't know) absolutely conclusive on the issue vs. my own ears, for a variety of reasons. But again, I don't want to rehash here the same old arguments on both sides of that issue. That horse is dead and maggots are all over it.
post #50 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty View Post
Well, since the goal in listening to music on a high fidelity system is subjective enjoyment or pleasure for many of us, and since many of us judge a system by how it sounds to our brain, not how it looks on a graph or data set, it is not surprising that some adopt a subjectivist point of view. Personally, I tend to be a subjectivist with my food also, among other things. But I'm fine if others base their judgments on audio or other things that can provide enjoyment or pleasure on scientific data that they think is compelling. Live and let live.


You've touched on the point that I find ironic. Oversimplifying the matter a bit, a subjectivist doesn't have to cite anything because he cares about what he hears with his ears, not what some scope says or some test taken by others supposedly reveals.

OTOH, objectivists typically root their arguments in science and data. At the same time, however, some will sometimes causally toss around phrases like "aural memory is very short," etc., without pointing to any studies, if and they point to anything at all, the studies would not be accepted by any serious scientist as supporting the conclusion they wish to draw.

If one is going to take the "scientific" or "objective" approach and insist on hard data and objective testing that is probative of the matter under discussion, then one should not casually toss out phrases regarding scientific phenomena or rely on studies that are supposedly instructive, without any basis for so doing. It just seems to me to be very "unscientific" and "unobjective." Mind you, I'm not directly this at you specifically; your post just reminded me of what I've seen when these things are discussed. And it find it interesting, and somewhat amusing.


I don't find this particularly relevant to a discussion regarding whether CD players or DAC's sound different. But in any event, let's assume for the sake of argument that I think that audio product X (be it a cable or DAC or whatever) improves the sound of my system. Why should I have to prove it to you that it does? I think the system sounds better to me. If you want to have a very inexpensive system with inexpensive DAC's, cables, etc., because you believe a better quality or more expensive system will not sound better, that's cool. You can spend your money elsewhere. Again, live and let live.

But why do you (using "you" here to refer to skeptics in general) have to prove to me that I am not having as much enjoyment from my system as I subjectively think I am? Why do you care?


Not a big fan of many DBT's. I'm not saying they are not informative or worthy of serious consideration. I just don't find such tests (especially those conducted by people I don't know) absolutely conclusive on the issue vs. my own ears, for a variety of reasons.
I have never minded the subjectivists that appends "In my opinion". Just bumped against too many that perceive their opinion for fact and stated thus.

The cable burn in was simply an example of the mind set that I have typically dealt with. That the faith of their conviction breaks down in the adversity of even a minimally blind test that I'm not even there to conduct in this particular scenario.

I agree that every one should use their own ears. And just maybe rely on someone swapping out the new/old components while they leave the room. One thing is to pick it out and KNOW you hear the difference, another thing entirely to fail at reliably picking it out. If it is actually that nuanced that you statistically fail at following the bouncing ball then it most likely, IMO, falls under a realistic threshold of perception.
post #51 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

I have never minded the subjectivists that appends "In my opinion". Just bumped against too many that perceive their opinion for fact and stated thus.

I hear thee. (Seinfeld reference.) Too often in this debate, opinion is presented as fact, and both "sides" of the debate make this mistake too often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

I agree that every one should use their own ears. And just maybe rely on someone swapping out the new/old components while they leave the room. One thing is to pick it out and KNOW you hear the difference, another thing entirely to fail at reliably picking it out. If it is actually that nuanced that you statistically fail at following the bouncing ball then it most likely, IMO, falls under a realistic threshold of perception.

I think I generally agree with you, although I would offer the caveat that the particular way one does the A/B comparison can possibly impact the results.

I would also submit that some differences may be more obvious under some circumstances than other circumstances. I do almost all of my listening through a high-end headphone system (high-end headphone amp, high-fidelity headphones, etc.), and IMO the differences between certain DAC's or CDP's when listening through good headphones are quite apparent. I have not had much difficulty passing A/B tests. I'm not sure, however, that I could tell the difference between the same set of DAC's or CDP's if I was listening through speakers.

So my experience with headphones -- which are often quite revealing and which can shut out all other external stimuli -- may predispose me to a certain point of view, but my experience may not be fully applicable to the environments in which many people listen. So . . . , when people say "all DAC's sound the same," I am 100% certain based on my own experience that this is not true -- at least not under the somewhat unusual conditions under which I listen. OTOH, if someone said, if one were to listen to the two DAC's referenced in this thread with moderately priced speakers, chances are that they could not really hear a difference, I'm not sure I could dispute that or deny that.

Which I think returns me somewhat to your initial point. I think when people offer comments on this issue, they should avoid making dogmatic and absolute statements, and avoid suggesting that the matter is free from debate no matter what equipment, circumstances, or persons are involved.
post #52 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

To send out cables that are burned and non-burned in randomly labeled for the cable burn in subjectivist. No takers in two different online forums.

This topic was discussed to death in another thread. And it was brought up here at AVS around 5-6 years ago. You say that there are no takers, but you did not say why. I won't rehash it here, but there are two sides to this. One part of the cable burn in point of view that I will apply to the topic being discussed in this thread:

Singular equipment (or cable) changes that by themselves are hard, if not impossible to hear, can make an audible difference when summed.

Note I did not say "better", I said "different".
post #53 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesseract67 View Post

can make an audible difference when summed.

Does this summing include speakers and room acoustics?
post #54 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesseract67 View Post

This topic was discussed to death in another thread. And it was brought up here at AVS around 5-6 years ago. You say that there are no takers, but you did not say why. I won't rehash it here, but there are two sides to this. One part of the cable burn in point of view that I will apply to the topic being discussed in this thread:

Singular equipment (or cable) changes that by themselves are hard, if not impossible to hear, can make an audible difference when summed.

Note I did not say "better", I said "different".

Wouldn't you kind of have to do all those changes at once to have a chance at hearing the audible difference? Assuming there's some validity to that summation thing, it kind of assumes that things would have to move in similar directions over similar regions or maybe in opposing directions over different regions of the spectrum, no? Maybe it'd just be easier to change the furniture around.
post #55 of 97
I guess the point I would like to get across to the OP:

If you can get both units. If there IS a performance delta and IF you can pick it out 9/10 times with a random A/B then go with your preference.

For whatever higher powers sake at least put yourself in a position that you KNOW there was a difference and that you spent your money wisely. This whole thing with 'Summed differences' (also call 'Synergy') is usually nothing more than Source/Pre/Amp/Cable roulette.
post #56 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesseract67 View Post

This is it right there, it's a system.

One should not indiscriminately kludge together electronics, tack on their favorite speaker and call it good.

System building 101:

Demo as many speakers as you can in your room. Paying attention to proper placement as to each speakers design and what the room will allow.

Put as much $$ into the speakers as possible.

When you decide on the speakers that you like then look at their specs. Purchase a quality amp from one of any dozen manufacturers that meet that speakers spec. Again if you can get in home units for demo great... Just don't expect the same difference that you heard with speakers.

If going dedicated DAC get units for in home eval if you can. Just don't expect the same difference that you heard with speakers.

Sources: Get as many units for in home demo as you can. Since sources can vary from Vinyl, to CDP, to Computers or dedicated digital transports evaluate as many in home as you can.


Interconnects: Purchase from a well known entity like Blue Jeans cable. They won't break the bank, BJC won't steer you wrong.

My Kludge is a Computer with a mastering studio grade sound card>Amp>Speakers. Less is More.
post #57 of 97
I actually agree with this, but also do not dismiss the idea of sound differences. This is why I have some issues with the 'ABX' type of DBT testing. If you did an A/B test with 10 different CDs and every time picked the Rega DAC as a favorite, you could very easily fail to identify the Rega DAC in your test as outlined below. I think that choosing B as a preferred sound 100% of the time would clearly indicate a difference...even if you came out 50/50 in the "identify which is which" procedure of an ABX test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post
I would say get one of each. I would say cold, with aural memory being what it is, you could leave the room for 5 minutes and fail at picking which DAC is which when switched up a number of times.

It doesn't take a know it all to fail at this sort of evaluation. Hell, I'm not a skeptic about sound differences. I'm a skeptic about aural memory letting you reliably pick the Rega vs the DacMagic.
post #58 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I actually agree with this, but also do not dismiss the idea of sound differences. This is why I have some issues with the 'ABX' type of DBT testing. If you did an A/B test with 10 different CDs and every time picked the Rega DAC as a favorite, you could very easily fail to identify the Rega DAC in your test as outlined below. I think that choosing B as a preferred sound 100% of the time would clearly indicate a difference...even if you came out 50/50 in the "identify which is which" procedure of an ABX test.
You make the point and potentially miss it at the same time. If the difference is there in a fast a/b but not there with you leaving the room for five minutes. Where A cost 2-3X as much as B. I would say for ME personally that the difference in that scenario wouldn't justify the costs.

Now I can tell the difference no matter how much time I spend out of the room when comparing either my JBL el90's or Zaph ZDT3.5's vs my Statements. That being after the speaker we are clearly talking about a point of diminishing returns. It's not a metric I care to get hung up on.

It's one of the primary reasons I spent 7 months (two hours here, two hours there) building my Statements. There was nothing else I could possibly do in the chain that did what these speakers do. Regardless of their costs. No matter what AMP, DAC, CDP, Pre etc... I threw in the chain on my ZDT's they were never going to do what the Statements do with solid, well engineered, affordable gear.

I spent $1070 on my speakers from start to finish. Another $550 on my computer that includes the 1212M PCIe, DC-DC ATX converter, DC Regulated Linear PSU from Tripplite, 96GB SSD, Asus Brazos based MB, and RAM.

Another $199 on a Crown XLS 402D that after a few days of A/B to the Parasound I am leaving the Crown in place because it has more headroom when getting on it. The Parasound simply runs into the wall a little sooner, otherwise a fine amp. Both have great imaging and sound stage (although that is primarily a function of speakers, placement, and source material).
post #59 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I think that choosing B as a preferred sound 100% of the time would clearly indicate a difference...even if you came out 50/50 in the "identify which is which" procedure of an ABX test.
If you are picking B 100% of the time blind as a preference, then you would also be able to correctly identify X each time. Not sure you understand how an ABX test works.
post #60 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post
I guess the point I would like to get across to the OP:

If you can get both units. If there IS a performance delta and IF you can pick it out 9/10 times with a random A/B then go with your preference.

For whatever higher powers sake at least put yourself in a position that you KNOW there was a difference and that you spent your money wisely.
Does it really matter whether you KNOW there is a difference, as long as you THINK there is a difference?

If I THINK the Mahi-Mahi at Outback Steakhouse tastes the best, and I am willing to pay $1 more to enjoy what I think is the better fish, does it really matter that I couldn't tell in a blind taste test if it is actually better than the Mahi-Mahi at Fridays? I don't want to pick where I eat that way. Why should I be compelled to pick my audio equipment that way?

For some, what might be important is whether they are spending more $$ for a difference that is verifiable in an objective or scientific sense. If so, they should conduct an A/B test. For some, what might be important is whether the $$ they are spending is increasing their enjoyment of the music -- in a personal and subjective sense. If so, they should listen to both DAC's and pick the one that sounds best to them or gives them the most pleasure.

Who can say what approach is best for another person?
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