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Is There an Audible Difference Between High End CD Transports and Modest/Cheap CD Players? - Page 6

post #151 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Or, he just listened to it on his TV?

I plugged my PC into my TV, using HDMI, to test a song. My setup for the test was; laptop> TV> Sony Pre-amp (used for the extra inputs)> my receiver.
post #152 of 177
Something that often gets "lost" in these discussions about what can be heard or not heard, listening to one component or another.... is this; How well does one hear? I mean when is the last time you had a HEARING TEST done?
post #153 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyopwak View Post

Something that often gets "lost" in these discussions about what can be heard or not heard, listening to one component or another.... is this; How well does one hear? I mean when is the last time you had a HEARING TEST done?

I've wondered about this also. I'm only 16 so I doubt my ears are bad, but I don't anything about hearing.
post #154 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Or, he just listened to it on his TV?

I plugged my PC into my TV, using HDMI, to test a song. My setup for the test was; laptop> TV> Sony Pre-amp (used for the extra inputs)> my receiver.

?? Why this routing? How do you connect the tv to preamp?
post #155 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyopwak View Post

Something that often gets "lost" in these discussions about what can be heard or not heard, listening to one component or another.... is this; How well does one hear? I mean when is the last time you had a HEARING TEST done?

I've wondered about this also. I'm only 16 so I doubt my ears are bad, but I don't anything about hearing.

Enjoy it while you can....someone posted some hearing tests recently but didn't subscribe to the thread....ah, here it is http://www.avsforum.com/t/1495984/how-good-is-your-hearing-take-the-test-and-compare-to-others

Haven't tested my 57 year old ears that have been abused since I was your age... smile.gif
post #156 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

?? Why this routing? How do you connect the tv to preamp?

Analog out. The pre-amp is just used for the extra inputs.
post #157 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyopwak View Post

Something that often gets "lost" in these discussions about what can be heard or not heard, listening to one component or another.... is this; How well does one hear? I mean when is the last time you had a HEARING TEST done?

Easy...once a year, every january as a requirement for my job. I don't recall my low frequency range limit from this past january, but my high frequency range was 19hz right ear, 18hz left ear. I am 38 years old.
post #158 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyopwak View Post

Something that often gets "lost" in these discussions about what can be heard or not heard, listening to one component or another.... is this; How well does one hear? I mean when is the last time you had a HEARING TEST done?

Classical hearing tests answer a different question than the one we usually ask about listening to audio.

Classical hearing tests are usually limited to 8 KHz and are tests of hearing threshold within limits set by the loudness of ordinary speech and the like.

In audio we are interested in hearing up to 16 KHz and listening is generally well above threshold.
post #159 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

I've wondered about this also. I'm only 16 so I doubt my ears are bad, but I don't anything about hearing.
Answer is simple. What did you use as final element in your audio path? What kind of speakers/headphones? Are those good enough for the task you give them?

All this bull about 'they sound the same' ignores this very important 'detail'. You cannot evaluate something that has 14-16 bit of resolution with tools that have at best 10 bit resolution (due to intrinsic THD+N values).
Is like trying to compare the inside traces of a integrated circuit (micrometers) using a carpenter ruler. And, when you cannot see any differences, claim that nobody can find one, because you couldn't.
You probably have better hearing than most people here, but if you use bad transducers, you are handicapping yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

I don't recall my low frequency range limit from this past january, but my high frequency range was 19hz right ear, 18hz left ear. I am 38 years old.
Hz, kHz, who cares... at least you know that you are always right(eous).
post #160 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post


All this bull about 'they sound the same' ignores this very important 'detail'. You cannot evaluate something that has 14-16 bit of resolution with tools that have at best 10 bit resolution (due to intrinsic THD+N values).

Be careful what standards you set, because I will now hold you to them! ;-)

Ever look at the THD numbers for some of the finest speakers out there? Granting them 10 bit resolution is an undeserved complement!

For example, take a look at the $22,000 a pair Watt puppy 8:

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/measurements/speakers/wilson_wattpuppy8/



There is an approximate (and this is giving it the benefit of many doubts) 50 dB difference between the speaker's output, and the distortion floor of the speaker at a mere 95 dB SPL which is 10 dB below reference level.

Do the math and you will find that 50 dB THD is the same as a little bit more than 8 bit resolution.

Think I'm cherry picking poor results?

Many other speakers tested here:

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16

After looking at 100's of lab test results from dozens of public and private labs as well as my own tests I can certify that the above results from the prestigious and excellent Canadian National Research Center (NRC) are very typical. There are some speaker drivers that do a little better - almost 60 dB (9 bits) but that is about it.

This is just one of several reasons why so many of us call BS when people claim to be able to hear differences between even just mediocre DACs with artifacts 100 dB down. It is all about those speakers that are 40 dB worse on the best days of their lives!
post #161 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

I've wondered about this also. I'm only 16 so I doubt my ears are bad, but I don't anything about hearing.
Answer is simple. What did you use as final element in your audio path? What kind of speakers/headphones? Are those good enough for the task you give them?

All this bull about 'they sound the same' ignores this very important 'detail'. You cannot evaluate something that has 14-16 bit of resolution with tools that have at best 10 bit resolution (due to intrinsic THD+N values).
Is like trying to compare the inside traces of a integrated circuit (micrometers) using a carpenter ruler. And, when you cannot see any differences, claim that nobody can find one, because you couldn't.
You probably have better hearing than most people here, but if you use bad transducers, you are handicapping yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

I don't recall my low frequency range limit from this past january, but my high frequency range was 19hz right ear, 18hz left ear. I am 38 years old.
Hz, kHz, who cares... at least you know that you are always right(eous).
Apologies, I typoed and should have been kHz in my post...that's what I get for posting while I was supposed to be working.

And sonic at least I am man enough to recognize my errors and don't keep posting strawman crap in a futile effort to maintain my flawed info I've posted.

Carry on with your futile efforts, you will never be able to prove anything, whereas the opposites side can easily provide evidence supporting claims. If only you were to attemp any kind of DBT yourself and open your mid.....

Also, if you dont have nothing new to add, why do you keep dredging up the same two or three topics and posting the same nonsense over and over again? Glutton for punishment? Masochistic tendencies? Just don't know any better? You know what they say about about people doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, right?
Edited by 67jason - 10/26/13 at 6:36pm
post #162 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

Answer is simple. What did you use as final element in your audio path? What kind of speakers/headphones? Are those good enough for the task you give them?

All this bull about 'they sound the same' ignores this very important 'detail'. You cannot evaluate something that has 14-16 bit of resolution with tools that have at best 10 bit resolution (due to intrinsic THD+N values).
Is like trying to compare the inside traces of a integrated circuit (micrometers) using a carpenter ruler. And, when you cannot see any differences, claim that nobody can find one, because you couldn't.
You probably have better hearing than most people here, but if you use bad transducers, you are handicapping yourself.
Hz, kHz, who cares... at least you know that you are always right(eous).

I own two pair of mid-range headphones, and I have a pair of mid-range Utah speakers paired with a powered subwoofer. Everything is plugged into my Technics SA-200 receiver that has .04 THD; since the receiver is class A the THD is the same even at full load. I did have a pair of "white van" speakers that believe it or not sounded great, but the cross over burnt out. My system isn't high-end or anything, but I know it's limitations so I always factor that in when I compare.
post #163 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by ärnyk" 
This is just one of several reasons why so many of us call BS when people claim to be able to hear differences between even just mediocre DACs with artifacts 100 dB down. It is all about those speakers that are 40 dB worse on the best days of their lives!

So you are saying that the speaker produces many times more distortion than a modern DAC and therefore it would mask the difference any modern DAC would likely make?
post #164 of 177
What he is saying is that DAC's all sound the same. There are no audible differences between them.
post #165 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ärnyk" 
This is just one of several reasons why so many of us call BS when people claim to be able to hear differences between even just mediocre DACs with artifacts 100 dB down. It is all about those speakers that are 40 dB worse on the best days of their lives!

So you are saying that the speaker produces many times more distortion than a modern DAC and therefore it would mask the difference any modern DAC would likely make?

Yes from the standpoint of nonlinear distortion.

The other potentially signficant thing that DACs do that can be audible is to change the frequency response. Again speakers have frequency response variations that completely wash out the difference that any good modern DAC would make. A good DAC has response within +/- 0.1 dB while speakers are in the +/- 2-5 dB range, and that presumes you clamp your head at the same place that you optimized response.

As you may know, one of my favorite demonstrations is to process audio signals with DACs again and again until an audible difference is created. For good modern DACs this takes from 5 to 20 repeated passes. Usually, it is small variations in frequency response that are inaudible in practical use that causes any possible audible difference.

Files to demonstrate this can be downloaded from here:

http://ethanwiner.com/aes/ (download the generations files)

A widely available free tool for comparing these files is Fobar2000 with the ABX plug in.

http://foobar2000.co/?gclid=CI7Z_t_GuboCFZGf4AodtAwAIQ

http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx

Please see a video about using it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt7GyFW4hOI
Edited by arnyk - 10/28/13 at 6:00am
post #166 of 177
Quote:
So you are saying that the speaker produces many times more distortion than a modern DAC and therefore it would mask the difference any modern DAC would likely make?
Not necessarily. Imagine comparing two DACs, one of which has a severe high frequency rolloff. It does not matter how flat your speakers' FR is. You will hear the effect of that rolloff, because one component will exhibit less HF energy than the other, even if the speakers are less than flat in that part of the frequency range. (Assuming, of course, that the speakers reproduce that part of the frequency range at all. But unless you're testing high frequencies on a subwoofer, that usually isn't a problem.)

As for nonlinear distortion, I think it would be unusual for a speaker's distortion to literally mask another component's distortion. Generally it's the clean portion of the signal that masks the distortion.
post #167 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
So you are saying that the speaker produces many times more distortion than a modern DAC and therefore it would mask the difference any modern DAC would likely make?
Not necessarily. Imagine comparing two DACs, one of which has a severe high frequency rolloff.

Hypothetically yes, in the modern world highly unlikely. Most of the DACs I know of with a potentially audible high frequency roll off are high end audiophile DACs with switchable reconstruction filters. I think that DACs with optional intentional roll-offs should not be a part of a discussion like this.

Through about 2003 there were onboard DACs in PCs that had severe high frequency losses, and the concern would be valid. These days the DACs in PC are far better than that.

If we were talking about PC ADCs, then it might be a different story. I've found fairly recent laptops with microphone inputs that have immense losses above maybe 5.5 KHz, as if they only sampled at about 11 KHz and upsampled internally. This might be done to eliminate hiss from cheap microphones, but its pretty weird.

A far number of PC internal audio interfaces to have asymmetrical performance, but few that I've found are that bad! Usually the area of differences between ADC and DAC is noise and distortion, with the ADC being far worse than the DAC.
Quote:
It does not matter how flat your speakers' FR is. You will hear the effect of that rolloff, because one component will exhibit less HF energy than the other, even if the speakers are less than flat in that part of the frequency range. (Assuming, of course, that the speakers reproduce that part of the frequency range at all. But unless you're testing high frequencies on a subwoofer, that usually isn't a problem.)

Agreed.
Quote:
As for nonlinear distortion, I think it would be unusual for a speaker's distortion to literally mask another component's distortion. Generally it's the clean portion of the signal that masks the distortion.

In our real world example there is > 40 dB or 100:1 more distortion in the speaker than the DAC. This is enough of a difference that the higher distortion component will surely mask every artifact of the lower distortion component.
post #168 of 177
Distortions produced by speakers and headphones at mid levels (before saturation) are fairly natural, linear progression, the brain is not bothered by them. Heck, most of the instruments are generating those harmonics anyway. Like I said, I am not listening to sine waves.
That's not the case with the not-linear harmonic products of a DAC - those can be heard easily, they don't fit in the musical program.
They might measure the same on a scope, but that tool doesn't care of how a sine wave sounds like.

However, I said many times that any test that uses speakers as final transducer is almost worthless. Only a good pair of headphones can reveal true differences.
Edited by SoNic67 - 10/29/13 at 5:05pm
post #169 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

Distortions produced by speakers and headphones at mid levels (before saturation) are fairly natural, linear progression, the brain is not bothered by them. Heck, most of the instruments are generating those harmonics anyway. Like I said, I am not listening to sine waves.
That's not the case with the not-linear harmonic products of a DAC - those can be heard easily, they don't fit in the musical program.
They might measure the same on a scope, but that tool doesn't care of how a sine wave sounds like.

However, I said many times that any test that uses speakers as final transducer is almost worthless. Only a good pair of headphones can reveal true differences.

I absolutely agree. With headphones on I can't stand to listen to bad recordings, but with speakers on it's no big deal.
post #170 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post



Distortions produced by speakers and headphones at mid levels (before saturation) are fairly natural, linear progression, the brain is not bothered by them.

False and misleading claim.

Nonlinear distortion is characterized by order and magnitude. The ear all by itself does not know or care how the nonlinear distortion comes to be, it is only sensitive to order and magnitude. It is possible for both speakers and headphones to have high order distortion at mid levels (before saturation) due to common faults such as a rubbing voice coil.

This also does not relate to the basic fact that the distortion in transducers is orders of magnitude larger than that in even mediocre modern DACs.
Quote:
However, I said many times that any test that uses speakers as final transducer is almost worthless. Only a good pair of headphones can reveal true differences.


For example, here is a technical report on highly regarded $1200 headphones:



We can see that THD is in the -40 to -60 dB range, much the same as I showed for fine high performance loudspeakers in an earlier post. Your claim that headphones are so superior to loudspeakers in terms of linearity that tests based on loudspeakers are "worthless" is thus falsified.

The data also falsifies similar claims related to frequency response should you wish to make them. Friendly advice: Don't go there! ;-)

This information was obtained from the following well known and highly credible web site:

http://www.innerfidelity.com

Inspection of that site will show that I did not "cherry pick" my results. They are typical. Your post appears to be uses invented and false facts to support your erroneous arguments.

Better results may be obtained using headphones, but the reasons are reduction of problems with room acoustics and external noise sources. International standards body recommendationis relating to l sitening tess such as BS 1116 and BS 1534 still recommend the use of loudspeakers.

http://www.itu.int/rec/R-REC-BS.1534-1-200301-I/e

http://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/bs/R-REC-BS.1116-1-199710-I!!PDF-E.pdf
Quote:
That's not the case with the not-linear harmonic products of a DAC - those can be heard easily, they don't fit in the musical program.

That is true of the obsolete R-2R DACs that you seem to favor, but it is not true of the Sigma-Delta DACs that are now the industry standard for mainstream audio.

For example the critical need for precise trimming in R-2R DACs is shown here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistor_ladder

"Resistors used with the more significant bits must be proportionally more accurate than those used with the lower significant bits; for example, in the R-2R network shown above, inaccuracies in the Bit4 MSB resistors must be insignificant compared to R/32 (i.e., much better than 3%). Further, to avoid problems at the 10000 to 01111 transition, the sum of the inaccuracies in the lower bits must be significantly less than R/32. The required accuracy doubles with each additional bit—for 8 bits, the accuracy required will be better than 1/256 (0.4%). Within integrated circuits, high accuracy R-2R networks may be printed directly onto a single substrate using thin-film technology, ensuring the resistors share similar electrical characteristics. Even so, they must often be laser trimmed to achieve the required precision. Such on-chip resistor ladders for digital-to-analog converters achieving 14 bits accuracy have been demonstrated. On a printed circuit board, using discrete components, high precision resistors of 1% accuracy may be employed for a 5 bit circuit, however with bit counts beyond this the cost of ever increasing precision resistors becomes prohibitive. Even for a 5 bit circuit, to achieve high accuracy, it will be necessary to select matched resistors or to adjust individual resistors to a common value by adding high value resistors in parallel."

In fact all by themselves Sigma-Delta DACs have no known mechanisms for nonlinear distortion. Try Googling for "nonlinear distortion in Sigma Delta DACs" You'll come up empty! Such distortion as they have is due to associated analog circuitry which is not an inherent problem of the basic technology. In my tests poorer Sigma Delta DACs (that are still orders of magnitude better than loudspeakers or headphones) demonstrate primarily elevated noise floors.

Here is a relevant white paper on the topic:

http://www.analog.com/static/imported-files/application_notes/292524291525717245054923680458171AN283.pdf

Figure 6.42 asserts my claim that Sigma Delta technology has "Inherently High Linearity". It is possible to use precise and expensive trimming to achive good linearity with R-2R DACs, but it is costly, time consuming and subject to human errors such as lapses in quality control.
Edited by arnyk - 10/30/13 at 5:38am
post #171 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post



I own two pair of mid-range headphones, and I have a pair of mid-range Utah speakers paired with a powered subwoofer. Everything is plugged into my Technics SA-200 receiver that has .04 THD; since the receiver is class A the THD is the same even at full load. I did have a pair of "white van" speakers that believe it or not sounded great, but the cross over burnt out. My system isn't high-end or anything, but I know it's limitations so I always factor that in when I compare.

Where did you get the idea that amp is class A? It's Technics "New Class A", which was just a marketing term thay used for their particular class A/B amps. Used to have the 202 back when they were new, it was the lowest powered receiver they offered at the time, as was the 200. Not that it matters.
post #172 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

Where did you get the idea that amp is class A? It's Technics "New Class A", which was just a marketing term thay used for their particular class A/B amps. Used to have the 202 back when they were new, it was the lowest powered receiver they offered at the time, as was the 200. Not that it matters.

Really!? I own a Technics SU-G50 that has the "new class A" badge, which sounds great, but I always thought Technics didn't come out with that till the late 80's.
post #173 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post



Really!? I own a Technics SU-G50 that has the "new class A" badge, which sounds great, but I always thought Technics didn't come out with that till the late 80's.

The 202 came out in 1980. I may have the name wrong, Technics used several marketing names for their amps, Class AA, Class A+, New Class A. I can't remember the order, it was a long time ago. But I do clearly remember that NONE of them were true class A amps, they were all class A/B. Which is probably why they didn't just call them plain class A.
post #174 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

The 202 came out in 1980. I may have the name wrong, Technics used several marketing names for their amps, Class AA, Class A+, New Class A. I can't remember the order, it was a long time ago. But I do clearly remember that NONE of them were true class A amps, they were all class A/B. Which is probably why they didn't just call them plain class A.

I know new class A came first. It actually seems BETTER than class A. Of course I'm going by there literature and what the very few people know about it, so I could be wrong.
post #175 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Well, the volume has changed. After I added the power amp and re-ran auto calibration

Doesn't appear that anyone picked up on this. He re-ran auto calibration. This could have a huge difference as to what he perceived. Nothing to do with amps sounding different.

JB
post #176 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

Everything is plugged into my Technics SA-200 receiver that has .04 THD;

Just because an amp is speced to have 0.04% THD doesn't mean that it has 0.04% THD as you use it. Most THD numbers are pure marketing. A good SS power amp has about 0.02% THD at the clipping point, and what the manufacturers do is push the amp into deeper clipping in order to get the power rating they desire. A power amp that is rated at 0.04% THD at 90 watts could be the identical same power amp as one rated at 0.04% at 100 watts, but as typically used (at power levels well below clipping) it has 0.01% THD or less.

THD is also a function of frequency. The power amp might put out 0.04% at 100 watts at 1 KHz, but its THD at 20 KHz might be0.1%.

Quote:
since the receiver is class A the THD is the same even at full load.

Unlikely. THD generally increases with increases in power and increases with decreases in load impedance, no matter what class it is. Class A power amps will have more distortion than class AB power amps all other things being equal because the optimal bias for a SS power amp is in the range that is used for class AB operation, and running a power amp class A involves overbiasing it and is suboptimal for low distortion.

That all said the SA 200 is well known (by people old enough to remember when it was introduced in 1980) to not be true class A. It was alleged to be a tricked up class AB. In reality it might have been a creation of marketing, not advanced technology.
post #177 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Just because an amp is speced to have 0.04% THD doesn't mean that it has 0.04% THD as you use it. Most THD numbers are pure marketing. A good SS power amp has about 0.02% THD at the clipping point, and what the manufacturers do is push the amp into deeper clipping in order to get the power rating they desire. A power amp that is rated at 0.04% THD at 90 watts could be the identical same power amp as one rated at 0.04% at 100 watts, but as typically used (at power levels well below clipping) it has 0.01% THD or less.

THD is also a function of frequency. The power amp might put out 0.04% at 100 watts at 1 KHz, but its THD at 20 KHz might be0.1%.
Unlikely. THD generally increases with increases in power and increases with decreases in load impedance, no matter what class it is. Class A power amps will have more distortion than class AB power amps all other things being equal because the optimal bias for a SS power amp is in the range that is used for class AB operation, and running a power amp class A involves overbiasing it and is suboptimal for low distortion.

That all said the SA 200 is well known (by people old enough to remember when it was introduced in 1980) to not be true class A. It was alleged to be a tricked up class AB. In reality it might have been a creation of marketing, not advanced technology.
"Just because an amp is speced to have 0.04% THD doesn't mean that it has 0.04% THD as you use it. Most THD numbers are pure marketing. A good SS power amp has about 0.02% THD at the clipping point, and what the manufacturers do is push the amp into deeper clipping in order to get the power rating they desire. A power amp that is rated at 0.04% THD at 90 watts could be the identical same power amp as one rated at 0.04% at 100 watts, but as typically used (at power levels well below clipping) it has 0.01% THD or less."

My Technics SU-G50 actually gives the THD across all frequencies, oddly enough it only goes down to 40 Hz but my setup only goes down to 50 Hz anyways smile.gif

I assumed linear distortion meant THD was the same regardless of power. I read up and that's incorrect.
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