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Low vs mid vs high priced DACs? - Page 2

post #31 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

LOL I don't even have a garage. Slapped together doesn't exactly describe the process. I'm not even a carpenter. I bought ready made cabinets and paid someone to cut the baffles. It was fun and I continue to enjoy listening to them. I don't know how I got into such a "manly" hobby, it doesn't fit my persona.

if it makes you feel any better, my wife is an audio nut, and she has very few other "manly" characteristics... smile.gif
post #32 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I'm not sure "funny" does justice to the feeling that describes watching a bunch of people trying to convince themselves that their blatantly false creeds are the absolute truth.
I really think you should all meet and make out.
look, I really want to thank you and I'm not joking. you made me understand where you're coming from and what sections to avoid. thanks a bunch, really.
keep enjoying your small universe and don't refrain from posting, I may eventually have a bad day and need a comic relief.

Your really, really strong opinion doesn't constitute evidence. Until you have some, I'd be careful about calling actual evidence "false creeds".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
amazing how the data resides on the side of the "blatantly false"...
provide evidence... we will be waiting for you... but not holding our breath...
hint: if "we" wanted (or thought it would be effective) a multi-thousand dollar dac, "we" would own one... click on the link in my sig if you doubt that...
sorry... i've known bfreedma for awhile, and although he's a good looking guy, he's not my type... tongue.gif

Well that's a relief eek.gif Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
post #33 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

if it makes you feel any better, my wife is an audio nut, and she has very few other "manly" characteristics... smile.gif

That does make me feel better. I've had a few friends who've been "audio nuts," but very few women. For me it started with my dad letting me help build Dynakits. I learned how to solder at 12 years old.
post #34 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
provide evidence... we will be waiting for you... but not holding our breath...
why are you behaving like I am the one trying to prove a point? you are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

hint: if "we" wanted (or thought it would be effective) a multi-thousand dollar dac, "we" would own one... click on the link in my sig if you doubt that...
LOL

please don't make me laugh. I met people spending thousands on the latest video technology who at the same time listen to music on plastic computer speakers.

as for the speakers, you made some home-theater system using Seas Excel drivers. so what? that doesn't prove a thing. you can spend thousands on parts and still make crappy sounding speakers.

the fact that you can afford buying good gear doesn't prove that you are actually capable of hearing that difference.


but please, keep acting like I'm the one who needs to prove something, although my original post was simply asking a question.
post #35 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Your really, really strong opinion doesn't constitute evidence.
why would I care to prove to delusional strangers that they're wrong?

the fact that you're all behaving like my original post was trying to prove something really tells tales about you. having a defensive personality is not something to brag about. why do you keep doing it?

look, I'm convinced that there won't ever be any exchange of information here. you're simply contradicting what actual scientists who happen to also be AES fellow members (what are your credentials BTW?) proved a long while ago. would you try to discuss differentials with someone who has major difficulties multiplying small numbers?
post #36 of 232
<---Spent 17 years designing and testing DACs and associated circuitry (power supply, output filters/buffers, etc).

When there is an audible difference, it's usually a level matching issue. If there's still a *real* audible difference once that is accounted for, then it's a result of one DAC or the other being screwed up in some way.

Competently designed (ie, meeting basic specs), and then level-matched, DACs will sound the same.

And regardless of how much you spent on your stereo, it will pale in comparison to what was spent on the equipment in the lab I worked in. True story.
post #37 of 232
Quote:
you're simply contradicting what actual scientists who happen to also be AES fellow members (what are your credentials BTW?) proved a long while ago
Name them, and point us to the papers where they proved that differences between DACs are audible.

You said it. Now put up or shut up.
post #38 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

<---Spent 17 years designing and testing DACs and associated circuitry (power supply, output filters/buffers, etc).
what DACs? what company if it's not a secret?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

When there is an audible difference, it's usually a level matching issue.
so, it took you 17 years to be able to level-match the two channels?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

If there's still a *real* audible difference once that is accounted for, then it's a result of one DAC or the other being screwed up in some way.
interesting. this "screw up" seems to be a black white thing.
what is black and what is white?
what noise level on the power supply? what PSRR does the output stage need to have? does it matter if it's frequency dependent or not? what jitter level is acceptable? which oversampling filter is black and which is white? linear phase, minimum phase, apoziding? what jitter reduction scheme is best? what is the best PLL out there? is the best PLL analog or digital? how much distortion is acceptable on the output stage? does it have to be mostly second harmonic or it doesn't matter? what noise distribution for dithering is the least audible?
c'mon, "competently designed" is a true/false thing, what is the yardstick and who decides what's good enough?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

And regardless of how much you spent on your stereo, it will pale in comparison to what was spent on the equipment in the lab I worked in. True story.
I used to use a 20k Yokogawa scope at work. and once actually touched a Lamborghini. what does that have to do with anything?


ok, I'll play along and I can go on forever. why not? you are making it fun.
Edited by gn77b - 11/12/12 at 2:32pm
post #39 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

look, I'm convinced that there won't ever be any exchange of information here.
gn77b, for exchange of information sake, when you did your level matched test, to what decibel accuracy did you match and what device did you use for doing it?
post #40 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

You said it. Now put up or shut up.
again, what's the exact part in my original post that made you think I'm the one trying to prove something? do I have to explain basic logic too? tell me, I'll point you to the relevant literature.

this is an enlightening thread. I can imagine how it went when they were designing the first audio DAC. listener: "but it sounds bad". engineer: "no, it doesn't. it's all science. you're imagining things."

"but it has electrolytes!"
post #41 of 232
Alright guys... you're all pretty, now move on.
post #42 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
you're simply contradicting what actual scientists who happen to also be AES fellow members (what are your credentials BTW?) proved a long while ago
Name them, and point us to the papers where they proved that differences between DACs are audible.

You said it. Now put up or shut up.

yes, the relevant papers would be nice to see...
post #43 of 232
To the poster who heard big differences in your DACs, I suggest you check out www.whatsbestforum.com. You will have LOTs of agreeable company. Most of those use science when it meets their objectives and dismiss it when it conflicts with their conclusions. But you surely won't be bashed as much.

Just a thought.
post #44 of 232
gn77b, why do you refuse to exchange information on level matching? Do you have something to hide?
Let me ask you again, when you did your level matched test, to what decibel accuracy did you match and what device did you use for doing it?
post #45 of 232
^^^

i would just settle for links to the papers he's referencing...

although the excuse has now changed from "you can't afford it" to "you don't know what you are doing"...
post #46 of 232
Out of curiosity I checked out the AES site. I don't have a login so I wasn't able to reach most of these... just the abstracts. The documents returned from the following url seem to indicate there is still plenty of actual research in this area. Of course, one could argue that the researchers are mincing to keep their area of study alive but since there was interest in the papers.... btw one of the fully available papers was from a conference (portland 95) in where a bunch of "meter readers" and "golden ears" got together... (their words not mine!!)

FWIW I also found this PPT to be kinda interesting (though labels on some of the axis would have made it a bit more understandable to me). He gives some basic info A>-D->A and where the math meets the bio-mechanics but stops short of conducting actual tests.

For the record, I'm not drawing any conclusions from these papers (other than the fact that there appears to be active interest in the area) much less taking sides on this; just sharing some of the "citations" I came across that gn77b may have been referring to.
post #47 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

gn77b, why do you refuse to exchange information on level matching? Do you have something to hide?
Let me ask you again, when you did your level matched test, to what decibel accuracy did you match and what device did you use for doing it?
what makes you think I have any interest in trying to prove something to someone who behaves like he has his mind already made up?

the way these discussions evolve is so predictable it's not even funny. even if I described the level-matching procedure, you'd make all the efforts to prove it faulty. you'll nitpick until you'll finally think that you found some error. even if I told you I used the best DMM out there, you'll ask me when was the last time it had been verified/calibrated by a specialized company. so nothing will change, you'll still have your mind made up. believe me, it has do to with psychology more than anything else. statistically, "discussions" like this one evolve the way I described it above. I've seen it happen before too many times.

my only mistake is not realizing that I'm in an objectivist wasp hive. it's not that I have anything against objectivists (I'm one myself), I have something against the ones who think they know it all. I'm not the cable-listening type of guy but when a difference is there and it is obvious, I simply have to admit it. you, on the other hand clearly behave like you're afraid of anything that might shatter your little universe made of preconceived ideas.
post #48 of 232
Thread Starter 
PS: any person who considers themselves a scientist would notice that this discussion has no defined scientific grounds. and the impossibility of defining those grounds was obvious when the first person responding said that all DACs sound the same. no more, no less but *all*. no attempt was ever made to define what "all" actually means. does it mean "all" DACs costing more than $10? all current DACs? all "well-designed" (and now we have the ramification of defining what "well-designed" means) DACs? I remember the sound card on my first PC ever. it sounded like it was 8 bits, not 16. you could hear the hiss from meters away and the distortion was unbearable. but it's a DAC, isn't it? and it sounds just like a Meitner, and that's simply because *all* DACs sound identical. it's so simple.
Edited by gn77b - 11/16/12 at 10:59am
post #49 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

what makes you think I have any interest in trying to prove something to someone who behaves like he has his mind already made up?
the way these discussions evolve is so predictable it's not even funny. even if I described the level-matching procedure, you'd make all the efforts to prove it faulty. you'll nitpick until you'll finally think that you found some error. even if I told you I used the best DMM out there, you'll ask me when was the last time it had been verified/calibrated by a specialized company. so nothing will change, you'll still have your mind made up. believe me, it has do to with psychology more than anything else. statistically, "discussions" like this one evolve the way I described it above. I've seen it happen before too many times.
my only mistake is not realizing that I'm in an objectivist wasp hive. it's not that I have anything against objectivists (I'm one myself), I have something against the ones who think they know it all. I'm not the cable-listening type of guy but when a difference is there and it is obvious, I simply have to admit it. you, on the other hand clearly behave like you're afraid of anything that might shatter your little universe made of preconceived ideas.

A while back you mentioned AES papers supporting your position. Have you located them so that you can post the links?
post #50 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

what makes you think I have any interest in trying to prove something to someone who behaves like he has his mind already made up?
the way these discussions evolve is so predictable it's not even funny. even if I described the level-matching procedure, you'd make all the efforts to prove it faulty. you'll nitpick until you'll finally think that you found some error. even if I told you I used the best DMM out there, you'll ask me when was the last time it had been verified/calibrated by a specialized company. so nothing will change, you'll still have your mind made up. believe me, it has do to with psychology more than anything else. statistically, "discussions" like this one evolve the way I described it above. I've seen it happen before too many times.
my only mistake is not realizing that I'm in an objectivist wasp hive. it's not that I have anything against objectivists (I'm one myself), I have something against the ones who think they know it all. I'm not the cable-listening type of guy but when a difference is there and it is obvious, I simply have to admit it. you, on the other hand clearly behave like you're afraid of anything that might shatter your little universe made of preconceived ideas.
You are the one who expressed your displeasure with not having the info exchange:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

look, I'm convinced that there won't ever be any exchange of information here.
So I tried to turn the discussion around. Lets have some exchange of information here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

the outputs were matched
Down to what decibel, 2db, 1db, 0.75db? And what device was used, your ears, SPL meter or something else?
post #51 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

A while back you mentioned AES papers supporting your position. Have you located them so that you can post the links?
I only mentioned the AES papers. I never said I have any intention of locating them only because you want me to. I have nothing to gain from locating them for you. I have no idea of any sort of prize involved.
give me one serious reason and I'll give you few such papers. hint: one reason for me to link such papers is any trace of willingness from your part to accept that you don't know everything, just as I don't know everything and I'm not ashamed of admitting it. behaving like you're inherently superior will only help your ego.
post #52 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

You are the one who expressed your displeasure with not having the info exchange:
So I tried to turn the discussion around. Lets have some exchange of information here.
Down to what decibel, 2db, 1db, 0.75db? And what device was used, your ears, SPL meter or something else?
ok, I'll give that to you and see what happens, just because.
generating sines in CoolEdit, burning them as RedBook, playing those and measuring both DACs output with a digital multimeter good enough? I do the same when comparing amplifiers in my system even when it's not a blind test because I admit that there is bias and I try to get as close to objectivity as possible.
post #53 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

You are the one who expressed your displeasure with not having the info exchange:
that was the direct result of the sweeping statements of the responders. I can't imagine scientists resorting to words like "all" when they're clearly out of place.
post #54 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I only mentioned the AES papers. I never said I have any intention of locating them only because you want me to. I have nothing to gain from locating them for you. I have no idea of any sort of prize involved.
give me one serious reason and I'll give you few such papers. hint: one reason for me to link such papers is any trace of willingness from your part to accept that you don't know everything, just as I don't know everything and I'm not ashamed of admitting it. behaving like you're inherently superior will only help your ego.

Gotcha - You claim to know of papers that support your position, but refuse to produce them.

Nothing more need be said.
post #55 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Gotcha.
smile.gif
incredible. if you were capable of seeing things from a perspective different from yours you'd understand that seems like a proof *only* because you *choose* to look at it that way.
this would only stand in a court if my life depended on it. as far as i know none of you have any authority over me and my life doesn't depend on providing those papers. moreover, I have *nothing* to gain from it, financially or otherwise. it doesn't function like this, X asks for Y and gn77b provides it, just because X wants it. especially when X tells gn77b that he already knows the answer.
like I said, if you'd display the slightest trace of sincere interest in an actual discussion, I'd provide them. some are on my PC, some I need to look for on the net because I haven't archived them. so this would involve an *effort*. effort expended to convince *strangers* that *never* displayed any real interest in expanding their knowledge horizons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Nothing more need be said.
false and I'll correct it. it should go: "bfreedma thinks there's nothing more to be learned about sound differences in DACs". this magically changes when you simply switch perspectives, not because it's objectively true.
Edited by gn77b - 11/16/12 at 11:37am
post #56 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

smile.gif
incredible. if you were capable of seeing things from a perspective different from yours you'd understand that seems like a proof *only* because you *choose* to look at it that way.
this would only stand in a court if my life depended on it. as far as i know none of you have any authority over me and my life doesn't depend on providing those papers. moreover, I have *nothing* to gain from it, financially or otherwise. it doesn't function like this, X asks for Y and gn77b provides it, just because X wants it. especially when X tells gn77b that he already knows the answer.
like I said, if you'd display the slightest trace of sincere interest in an actual discussion, I'd provide them. some are on my PC, some I need to look for on the net because I haven't archived them. so this would involve an *effort*. effort expended to convince *strangers* that *never* displayed any real interest in expanding their knowledge horizons.
false and I'll correct it. it should go: "bfreedma thinks there's nothing more to be learned about sound differences in DACs". this magically changes when you simply switch perspectives, not because it's objectively true.

You completely misinterpreted my post. "Nothing more need be said" referred to your refusal to produce supporting evidence and what that's indicative of, not that there was nothing left to be said about the technologies.

You raised the issue and claimed to have supporting AES papers. Now you're upset that members are asking to see them?
post #57 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Now you're upset that members are asking to see them?
I don't claim to be blameless but try to understand where my reluctance comes from, especially when the *first* reply contained a sweeping statement *and* that *most* of the following responders seemed to adhere to similar conceptions. what type of audience am I addressing to? if I had the slightest reason to believe that I'm discussing with people that don't have their minds made up and are simply interested in learning *if* the differences are real or not, there would be a point in continuing. but I have all the reasons in the world to thinks I'm addressing a different audience. *you* need to convince me of the opposite because, for the nth time:
a) my initial post was interrogative
b) it's you who behave like it was affirmative and tried to prove you a point

*I* am the one who should be convinced to make concessions (concessions = linking papers) because I did not start a debate, you did. I could simply go to a subjectivist forum and ask the same question, the mere fact that I described the level-matching procedure is already a concession.

summarizing:
I will ***NEVER*** provide AES papers ***UNLESS*** I have serious reason to believe that I'm addressing people that don't know the answers. people who already know the answers (disregarding if they're false or correct) should just be happy with their current DACs/CD players/turntables and any interest they may pretend to have in the debate is because of a desire to stir waters. ***I think that*** pretending to try and protect uneducated customers from bad purchase decisions be means of involvement in this debate is hypocritical. the portion in red is take it or leave it, not negotiable.
Edited by gn77b - 11/16/12 at 12:23pm
post #58 of 232
Thread Starter 
I'll tell you one more anecdote.

there was this supposedly high-end system on display at a dealer. ~100k total asking price. I heard a lot of people praising it. being a skeptic myself I did not believe them. ok, there was a bias, even if subconscious (high price and unverifiable reviews by audiophiles). so I went and listened to it. first the dealer played an old vinyl. nice sounding by 60s standard by not impressive by any means. then he switched to recently recorded CDs, classical etc. very different already. revelation came on "Money for Nothing" which i know pretty well on my system. it was a game changer, I could not believe what I was hearing, all stayed clear regardless of volume, sounds jumping from the sound stage and all the stuff audiophiles talk about.
then he stopped the song and inserted a bootlegged copy of the same CD. I was almost *angry* that I heard an obvious difference. the one you'd hear when half-deaf, tired, drunk and suffering from a cold. the "why have you switched to the $50 speakers?" kind of difference. dynamics especially, they were gone. snare drum as opposed to cardboard box hit with a pen kind of difference.
I didn't want to hear it because it meant there are large resolving differences between systems caused by apparently minor things. that's unfortunate because I don't have 100k to spend on a stereo. yes, it is unfortunate, I can't afford most likely I never will.
last bit of hope was shattered when he ripped both CDs on a laptop with Exact Audio Copy and the resulted files were identical.
it was an epiphany but a depressing one. I could not listen to music for two weeks. interesting enough, previous audiophile experiences never caused revelations of the kind, even with relative expensive equipment, I could still return home and be happy with my stereo.
the departed Julian Dunn of Audio Precision (an objective company since they make measurement equipment, not reproduction gear, no one can listen to an AP2) must've been right for investigating the source of audible differences between different pressings of CDs. I really wished he'd been full of crap.
so I really can't help but ask myself, what kind of systems have people here actually listened to? I'm convinced that there are many similarly resolving systems out there.


ok, and I decided to make a "free" half-concession. how about oversampling filters? even some very vocal and rather well known objectivists (I won't call names) admitted that there are audible differences caused by the pre-ringing of linear-phase filters. I agree, they are audible and very annoying, that well-known whoosh. I played with such filters in MATLAB (MATLAB makes it very easy to manipulate .wav files and is very flexible) while at the university.
interesting enough, such oversampling filters were and are used in DACs. are linear-phase filters part of or outside the definition of *all*?
Edited by gn77b - 11/16/12 at 1:25pm
post #59 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

generating sines in CoolEdit, burning them as RedBook, playing those and measuring both DACs output with a digital multimeter good enough?
Thanks for answering some of the questions. What about the remaining question which is just as important? Down to what decibel precision was it matched to, 2db, 1db, 0.75db?
post #60 of 232
Thread Starter 
SPL dB at listening position? I don't have a SPL meter neither does my friend.

all I recall is that the difference was in the order of tens of millivolts, the RMS level being of of the volts order. even 100 mV compared to 2V means 0.2 dB. if I recall correctly, there is no consensus that differences of the kind are audible. my personal experiments showed that even 1dB is generally inaudible with music.
if I were to take a wild guess, 0.2 dB can't be responsible of sound stage emerging from a vague mix of sounds. this is because on my system I see no significant changes in sound stage, except when levels are so low that the sound falls below the absolute threshold of hearing, many instruments and details being at least partially masked.
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