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Low vs mid vs high priced DACs? - Page 3

post #61 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

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*?

Whoosh? I would think even I would notice a "whoosh!"
And please do name names.
post #62 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

Whoosh? I would think even I would notice a "whoosh!"
And please do name names.
like I said, I know that I'm in some sort of die-hard objectivist den. explicitly calling names would gain me even more enemies. do you want me to have many enemies here so I can be easily belittled?
what system do you own, Theresa? knowing that it doesn't reveal differences between different CD pressings means it's not revealing enough. mine does not reveal those kinds of differences. I know that those differences exist and if your system does not reveal them it simply means that it's average at best. nevertheless, one can be happy with even a mediocre system as mine doesn't reveal them either and I can still listen to music on it. anyone reading this is free to not believe me. although I'd suggest them to actually audition some serious systems.
Edited by gn77b - 11/16/12 at 3:40pm
post #63 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?
Then how do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate?
post #64 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

SPL dB at listening position? I don't have a SPL meter neither does my friend.
... even 100 mV compared to 2V means 0.2 dB.
Without SPL meter, how would you know if it's 0.2 db or 2 db difference coming out of speaker/s? Also, the voltage difference and SPL differece from speaker vary depending on the efficiency of speaker.
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my personal experiments showed that even 1dB is generally inaudible with music.
I do have SPL meter and my personal experiments show otherwise.
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if I were to take a wild guess,
I wouldn't use wild guess as viable info on objective listening test setup.
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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.
What I see emerging from your replies is that you are basing your "Low vs mid vs high priced DACs" evaluation on anecdotal experience. We all know that such evaluation doesn't produce objective data.
post #65 of 232
Thread Starter 
let's pause for a second and let me ask you a question.
have you done actual objective comparisons between DACs the way you describe? if so, what were the components involved? if that's not a secret.
I can't imagine any reason why you wouldn't want to answer this.
Edited by gn77b - 11/17/12 at 10:54am
post #66 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

let's pause for a second and let me ask you a question.
have you done actual objective comparisons between DACs the way you describe? if so, what were the components involved?
Yes, I set through one and have read about many.
Components involved: level adjuster, digital music source, DACs, amp, speaker cable, speakers, interconnect cables, digital voltmeter, selector, SPL meter.

Now, your turn. How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else?
post #67 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Yes, I set through one and have read about many.
Components involved: level adjuster, digital music source, DACs, amp, speaker cable, speakers, interconnect cables, digital voltmeter, selector, SPL meter.
Now, your turn. How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else?
you're cheating.
I obviously wasn't asking you if the system involved included speakers or if you listened by brain implants. I was asking about the exact components involved, brands, models, price range. my 6k speakers don't reveal differences like between different CD pressing. I tried it, I wanted to hear it, did not happen. the system I witnessed this on contained 30k speakers and 25k amps which are likely superior in every way. that fact that you did not hear a difference on components of unknown quality, make or price simply tells me they were crap.
oh, and "read about many" amounts to nothing. I read many witnesses that confirmed what I heard too. the fact that it wasn't "DBT" does only make it false in your conception.
post #68 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

you're cheating.
I obviously wasn't asking you if the system involved included speakers or if you listened by brain implants. I was asking about the exact components involved, brands, models, price range. my 6k speakers don't reveal differences like between different CD pressing. I tried it, I wanted to hear it, did not happen. the system I witnessed this on contained 30k speakers and 25k amps which are likely superior in every way. that fact that you did not hear a difference on components of unknown quality, make or price simply tells me they were crap.
oh, and "read about many" amounts to nothing. I read many witnesses that confirmed what I heard too. the fact that it wasn't "DBT" does only make it false in your conception.
There's no cheating going on here. Others have done double blind test of DACs using headphone. The one I sat through was using speakers and I wanted to make that clear to you.

Now your turn. How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else?
post #69 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

There's no cheating going on here. Others have done double blind test of DACs using headphone. The one I sat through was using speakers and I wanted to make that clear to you.
Now your turn. How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else?
you're avoiding the answer.
what was the system composed of? you're not fooling anyone, differences in amplifiers that are obvious with some speakers are inaudible with others. I experienced it and others confirmed. what makes you avoid describing the system in detail? that can't be a secret, it's not like you signed a non-disclosure agreement or anything. and brand-bashing is not an excuse.

I'm not avoiding the answer, I'll answer after you describe the system that you tested DAC differences on. I don't care about cables, power conditioners and stuff like that. what DACs, what amp, what speakers.
post #70 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

like I said, I know that I'm in some sort of die-hard objectivist den. explicitly calling names would gain me even more enemies. do you want me to have many enemies here so I can be easily belittled?
what system do you own, Theresa? knowing that it doesn't reveal differences between different CD pressings means it's not revealing enough. mine does not reveal those kinds of differences. I know that those differences exist and if your system does not reveal them it simply means that it's average at best. nevertheless, one can be happy with even a mediocre system as mine doesn't reveal them either and I can still listen to music on it. anyone reading this is free to not believe me. although I'd suggest them to actually audition some serious systems.

I've posted about my system before. I don't hear a "whoosh," indeed I don't know what you mean by a "whoosh." Could you elaborate? As for this being an "objectivist den," a recent survey of members shows that more here believe they can hear a difference between amplifiers than those that don't. I do belong to the group that are objectivists, at least partially. Objectivists just ask for proof, proof in the form of blind listening tests and/or measurement. Audio testing is a mature science and judging by listening in a non-blind test has been proven to be futile over and over again. It's your money though and can be spent as you will, I will spend my money on music and video, not on a never ending search for subjective bliss.
post #71 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

I will spend my money on music and video, not on a never ending search for subjective bliss.
please note that the title of the thread is not "what should Theresa spend money on". and what in the world made you think I don't already spend money on music (I don't care for movies much and this is not about video)?
I think I said this a few times already in different ways. I simply can't understand what part of my initial post made you think that I want or need what you think to be "salvation". you're behaving like evangelists, ***why***???
also, one other issue needs to be clarified: it is absolutely irrelevant if the differences at question are large, minor, musically-relevant or not. I never asked how relevant you think them to be. that is, well, irrelevant to me. as long as many (I do mean it) people are happy with integrated laptop speakers, making subjective assessments about how important a certain difference is, is useless. because many people are satisfied with horrible sounding systems.

look at the guy who's asking me about level-matching procedure and how he fulfills my "prophecy": he desperately hopes to find something to pick on, anything at all. I threw the bait of "Chinese, inaccurate multimeters" and he ignored it, now he's picking on the "bitrate" (whatever that means). I'll answer him, don't worry, it's just that I want to be clear on an issue: the quality level of the system he compared DACs on. at this moment I have all the reason in the world to think that he did this on a cheap, unresolving system. do you agree that he has no reason to hide the brands and models of the components used?
post #72 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

what was the system composed of?

what makes you avoid describing the system in detail?
Why do you care? I told you about the double blind listening comparisons results from others that contradict yours but I haven't said anything about what I fond out from the one I set through.
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differences in amplifiers that are obvious with some speakers are inaudible with others.
That's not true for normally functioning transistor amps these days based on properly conducted double blind tests.
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I experienced it and others confirmed.
I've done that too and others who have also done casual subjective observation tell so as well. But when the levels are matched and time synced and double blind tested, they came up with different conclusion.


Now your turn. How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else? I'm asking this because it matters a great deal.
I'll answer about the system in DBT that I set through after you answer the above question.
post #73 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

look at the guy who's asking me about level-matching procedure and how he fulfills my "prophecy": he desperately hopes to find something to pick on, anything at all.
Questions are coming up because you haven't told much at all. All you've posted was some vague generalized description about your test procedure. The devil is in the details when it comes to DBT.
Quote:
now he's picking on the "bitrate" (whatever that means).
That's one of the ways to adjust output level.
post #74 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Why do you care? I told you about the double blind listening comparisons results from others that contradict yours but I haven't said anything about what I fond out from the one I set through.
I'm shaking my head in disbelief. are you serious? WHY DO I CARE? because, like I said above (do you have selective vision?) bad systems (speakers, especially, NOT amps) fail to reveal subtle difference in upstream electronics. do I have to use capitals, bold or bright colors so that you understand why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

That's not true for normally functioning transistor amps these days based on properly conducted double blind tests.
arbitrary assertion. as in "it is so because I say it is so".
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

I've done that too
as long as you don't give details, that conveys just as much information as does the phrase "I did something once".
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

and others who have also done casual subjective observation tell so as well.
is that so? whom and how?
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

But when the levels are matched and time synced and double blind tested, they came up with different conclusion.
random assertion again. any scientific proof to back that up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Now your turn. How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else? I'm asking this because it matters a great deal.
I'm not even sure what you mean by "bit rate", because in my book that means something completely different from what you imply. digital-domain attenuation would be a proper term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

I'll answer about the system in DBT that I set through after you answer the above question.
you'll be surprised how easily we can settle that: I'll simply never answer as long as you don't answer. if that means that I lose and you win, so be it. I have no problem with that. if it turns to be what I think it to be (internet penis size issue), I'll simply admit to having a "small internet penis". no problem, I don't care. you're right and I'm wrong, our lifes will go on just the same regardless of the conclusion of this.

I can go on forever you know smile.gif only you can make this advance on a meaningful way. just tell us what the components were.
post #75 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Questions are coming up because you haven't told much at all. All you've posted was some vague generalized description about your test procedure. The devil is in the details when it comes to DBT.
That's one of the ways to adjust output level.
I don't know if you'll ever tell us (not me, others are reading this too) what the components were.

oh, and you also failed to notice that I brought up digital attenuation and its audibility. you also failed to prove how that is audible (since you're picking on it). where does it start to be audible, does dither matter, how much does it matter (what noise shaping etc)? Ethan Winer itself, the God of objectivists, said dither is not audible. but I'm not even saying it is audible, I'm just emphasizing that you're picking up on random facts, without even attempting to back anything up.
post #76 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

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.

 

I don't know the answers. I am very willing to learn though. Can you provide these links to AES papers just for me please - I would be interested to read them and to learn from them. Thanks.

post #77 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I don't know the answers. I am very willing to learn though. Can you provide these links to AES papers just for me please - I would be interested to read them and to learn from them. Thanks.
I will.
post #78 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I don't know the answers. I am very willing to learn though. Can you provide these links to AES papers just for me please - I would be interested to read them and to learn from them. Thanks.
I will.

That would be very helpful in enabling me to understand the differences between DACs - thanks. I'll look forward to it.

post #79 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I'm shaking my head in disbelief. are you serious? WHY DO I CARE? because, like I said above (do you have selective vision?) bad systems (speakers, especially, NOT amps) fail to reveal subtle difference in upstream electronics. do I have to use capitals, bold or bright colors so that you understand why?
I am shaking my head in disbelief! So, DBT I set through failed to reveal subtle difference in upstream electronics? I haven't said a word about the result of it. rolleyes.gif
post #80 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I don't know if you'll ever tell us (not me, others are reading this too) what the components were.
oh, and you also failed to notice that I brought up digital attenuation and its audibility. you also failed to prove how that is audible (since you're picking on it). where does it start to be audible, does dither matter, how much does it matter (what noise shaping etc)? Ethan Winer itself, the God of objectivists, said dither is not audible. but I'm not even saying it is audible, I'm just emphasizing that you're picking up on random facts, without even attempting to back anything up.
I don't know where and how you adjusted the output levels when you compared DACs because you haven't told me, so I asked you about it. Looks like you are unable to comprehend what "Adjust bit rate or something else?" is. Either that or pretending to be in an attempt to dodge it.

Looks like you didn't match the volume levels closely enough which explains why you heard the difference and people report so all the time even when they used cheap speakers.
post #81 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

you again are assuming things about the system that was used. you seem to know what speakers were used without me telling you anything about them.
Really? How funny!
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

gn77b, just like your "test" report, others have posted their "test" reports online. What I see is that yours is in conflict with others who have done level matched double blind comparison. Their experiences tell the absolute opposite of yours. What would you tell them?
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I'd tell them that most likely the test conditions were inadequate to say the least.

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Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I repeat: are you sure you know what bit-rate means?
I guess you can't comprehend the question, "How and where do you adjust to match the output levels? Adjust bit rate or something else?".
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after that you admit that you only participated in one test
Is that true?
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

let's pause for a second and let me ask you a question.
have you done actual objective comparisons between DACs the way you describe?
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Yes, I set through one
That's right, one, between DACs the way I describe. And then:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I experienced it and others confirmed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

I've done that too and others who have also done casual subjective observation tell so as well.
I don't remember saying this is the end of my list. You may have a memory problem. Either that or ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

that is called corroboration my friend and is many times used in some sort of wishful thinking mental process that creates the illusion of being right. I really thought that you participated in many tests, but you admitted yourself that isn't so. so you read about many tests that confirmed it, I read about many reports that confirm my findings with regard to differences in DACs, audibility of different CD pressing etc. you think you're "more" right than I am, because you blindly believe in the DBT God. I, on the other hand, believe in my ears.
look, your internet penis just grew one more inch.
Do you consume alcohol when visiting this forum? Because your behavioral pattern (short memory, making things up, difficulty with comprehending simple sentence...etc.) resembles those who do.
post #82 of 232
still no links to the relevant papers... frown.gif
post #83 of 232
What is the best method for level matching various dacs?
post #84 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

still no links to the relevant papers... frown.gif

 

He promised me in post 77 that he would provide them. I'm sure he is a man of his word, so I'm expecting to see them RSN.

post #85 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

He promised me in post 77 that he would provide them. I'm sure he is a man of his word, so I'm expecting to see them RSN.

I don't have a dac, that is the reason for finding this thread. I have been looking in the 2013 music direct catalog and a dac can run from less then $300, up to $4,000. Am I to believe that there is no real difference in what they can do to improve the sound stage of music from digital files, cd's, computer down loads and so on? I'm also looking for an education on DAC's. And I don't have a budget of $4,000.
post #86 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOOM ZOOM View Post

Am I to believe that there is no real difference in what they can do to improve the sound stage of music from digital files, cd's, computer down loads and so on?
If you look at properly done double blind tests (not some botched one like gn77b's), you will learn that the audible difference could not be detected by our ears unless something was wrong with DAC or designed by incompetent designer. Most if not all DACs including the cheap ones these days are audibly excellent.
Quote:
I'm also looking for an education on DAC's. And I don't have a budget of $4,000.
Do a search on DAC on audio section of this forum. There are tons of explanations posted on it. Also, do a search on acoustic treatments and speaker quality as they do affect the audio quality including sound stage of music more than any DAC can ever do.
post #87 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn77b View Post

I currently own what would be considered an entry-level DAC made by a local company. I compared it with the similarly priced Arcam rDAC and the former won by a small margin, I'd say that it was a matter of preference which one was better - better focus but narrower sound stage and a bit more presence. otherwise I'd say they were identical.
while I had the luck to listed to few high-end systems in the past, what I always missed were actual comparisons ("let's try this amp now and see what it does to the sound").
I know what even a $150 DAC can do to the sound compared to lesser sources (enough to quality as a "WOW" kind of difference) and since I believe that sound can be textually described to a point, I was wondering what kind of differences the higher priced DACs bring.
real, first-hand experience and examples would be much appreciated, thanks.

My suggestion to you would be to get a really thick skin or learn how to use the forum "ignore" function. I'd say there are about a handful of people who will try to beat you down about hearing a difference between anything electronic. Once you've blocked those people I think the responses you get might be more manageable, if not few and far between.

I believe the correct answer (to the above situation) would be more aggressive moderation, but that has never been a component of AVS. The "same" people feel it necessary to say the same thing in thread after thread and often do so without tact or courtesy. I've seen it over and over again.

As for your actual question: There is no telling what you would hear with a more expensive outboard DAC. Borrow, buy or go into a local shop and compare for yourself--almost always the best recommendation. And, if you feel lucky, you can write about it and let us know what you think.

As for level matching it is quite easy to do. Hook up the transport into the DAC and feed a constant tone (probably off a test disc) to a preamp and set the volume control to a comfortable level and measure the output from the preamplifier with a volt meter. Then set the volume on the preamp so it measures the same with the 2nd DAC. Keep the volume at these levels when listening back and forth.

It isn't blind, but the levels will be closely matched.


Good luck,

B.
post #88 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

My suggestion to you would be to get a really thick skin or learn how to use the forum "ignore" function. I'd say there are about a handful of people who will try to beat you down about hearing a difference between anything electronic. Once you've blocked those people I think the responses you get might be more manageable, if not few and far between.
I believe the correct answer (to the above situation) would be more aggressive moderation, but that has never been a component of AVS. The "same" people feel it necessary to say the same thing in thread after thread and often do so without tact or courtesy. I've seen it over and over again.
As for your actual question: There is no telling what you would hear with a more expensive outboard DAC. Borrow, buy or go into a local shop and compare for yourself--almost always the best recommendation. And, if you feel lucky, you can write about it and let us know what you think.
As for level matching it is quite easy to do. Hook up the transport into the DAC and feed a constant tone (probably off a test disc) to a preamp and set the volume control to a comfortable level and measure the output from the preamplifier with a volt meter. Then set the volume on the preamp so it measures the same with the 2nd DAC. Keep the volume at these levels when listening back and forth.
It isn't blind, but the levels will be closely matched.
Good luck,
B.
Brian, do you feel that audio facts are useful when shopping for DAC?
post #89 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Brian, do you feel that audio facts are useful when shopping for DAC?

Who says it is just about audible differences?

Audiophiles love owning expensive cool looking things so they can brag that they own such and such in interweb forums. There are plenty of $10k CD players and even more expensive and fancy looking turntables in many homes. Sound quality isn't the only reason why we all buy such things.
Edited by kiwi2 - 11/20/12 at 2:28am
post #90 of 232
Very true.
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