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Is There an Audible Difference Between High End CD Transports and Modest/Cheap CD Players? - Page 2

post #31 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

I dont know what kind of source you are using and what sort of speakers you have, but there is no way in the world a Technics receiver (I've owned two, one used with a top of the line Technics power amp) is the perfection achieved. The consumer division of Technics went out of business almost 20 years ago.
Are you saying that there will be no audible difference between your system and the likes of this? I am only trying to understand this "There comes a point where a receiver isn't going to sound better".

Actually not out of business, just started marketing under the Panasonic line in the US. Technics made some fine mid-range equipment. Still have a pro-logic receiver of theirs in-use at my mother's vacation house.
post #32 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

You could upgrade from those blows to white van specials and have improved sound.

"BLOWS"! You made my day. Never heard that before. You summarized them well. Your term or overheard? Thanks a lot in any case.
post #33 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Actually not out of business, just started marketing under the Panasonic line in the US. Technics made some fine mid-range equipment. Still have a pro-logic receiver of theirs in-use at my mother's vacation house.

No argument there. I've owned one receiver of theirs I can't recall. I used it with a SE-A1010.



The other receiver was SATX-50, THX-certified.



Both were gorgeous and sounded great. If they supported HDMI and had latest decoders I would only upgraded to a power amp and speakers. Fine units!
Edited by grigorianvlad - 10/6/13 at 8:43pm
post #34 of 177
Quote:
Are you saying that there will be no audible difference between your system and the likes of this?
If the amp he's using now is capable of driving his speakers, then a bigger amp will offer nothing in the way of audible difference. There have been a lot of listening tests of amps over the years, and they all pretty much come down to this conclusion. There are reasons why, in casual usage, you might think that two amps sound different, but they won't in a rigorous comparison.
post #35 of 177
Thread Starter 
Absolutely. There are some benefits in having an external amp (as opposed to AVR's own amplification), but if they are of the same power level the benefits will not be audible. I agree.
I heard a considerable difference, but my situation is different. I had to upgrade my old speakers (8Ohm, 91db sensitivity) to a higher level power hungry (4Ohm, 87db sensitivity) speakers. My AVR was rated at 150W per channel. I added a 300W per channel power amp and the difference was very obvious. But suppose my power amp was a mass market 150W amp. I am sure there would have been no benefit in adding one in that case.
post #36 of 177
You heard an obvious difference because you expected to hear an obvious difference. Unfortunately, our brains deceive us all the time. We call it hearing bias when it involves hearing. Your AVR would sound the same in a level matched bias controlled listening test. That is what others have been trying to tell you.
post #37 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

You heard an obvious difference because you expected to hear an obvious difference. Unfortunately, our brains deceive us all the time. We call it hearing bias when it involves hearing. Your AVR would sound the same in a level matched bias controlled listening test. That is what others have been trying to tell you.

Well thank god there are people who can tell me what I have heard or did not hear! Next time I listen to a track I will be sure to ask them if what I hear is real. Unbelievable.
post #38 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

I added a 300W per channel power amp and the difference was very obvious.
Did you listen at matched volume?
post #39 of 177
Quote:
Well thank god there are people who can tell me what I have heard or did not hear! Next time I listen to a track I will be sure to ask them if what I hear is real. Unbelievable.
It's very believable if you knew anything about the science of perception.
post #40 of 177
This is the most laughable topic ever.
A bunch of 'ABX' believers started to congratulate each other of how smart they are by using the PC drives or $20 players. None of them ever listened one of those players that they are talking about (and of course no real testing was done) but they 'bet' they will sound the same like their sorry ass Walmart players.

Clock, jitter, digital filter/upsampling method, analog stage filtering, power supply, DAC chips... Who cares? As long as you self-esteem is tickled it's all good... It's easy not to hear differences when you WANT not to hear any.
post #41 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

This is the most laughable topic ever.
A bunch of 'ABX' believers started to congratulate each other of how smart they are by using the PC drives or $20 players. None of them ever listened one of those players that they are talking about (and of course no real testing was done) but they 'bet' they will sound the same like their sorry ass Walmart players.

Clock, jitter, digital filter/upsampling method, analog stage filtering, power supply, DAC chips... Who cares? As long as you self-esteem is tickled it's all good... It's easy not to hear differences when you WANT not to hear any.

....or that you are determined to hear such since you were sold on it or read a glowing review for it or spent $$$ on it so it must be better, etc. You are welcome to buy your $12000 disc drive in any case, or a $12000 amplifier or $12000 cables if it floats your boat. Look at the pro market and see if they're buying this stuff for the reasons you are.
post #42 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Did you listen at matched volume?

Well, the volume has changed. After I added the power amp and re-ran auto calibration it changed default front channel level from 0db to -3db. So, the amp added 3 decibels. (150W extra). But the short answer is yes, I have listened to my favorite tracks at my loudest tolerable level (-20 to -10). If I set it any louder it becomes uncomfortable, my ears will start to bleed.
The difference was not qualitative ("better" or "worse"). It was quantitative. I could hear additional before indistinguishable background sax, background vocals, etc. I could count them, tell you which part of the track they showed up in for the first time. The change in imaging and instrument positioning was also remarkable.
But all of that does not matter. What I have learned is that you can tell a person that what he hears or sees isn't real, but you cannot convince them. Nor would I want to be convinced even if you were right. I got a power amp that improves my listening experience. The experience is subjective, not objective. You can perform any bias controlled test you like, but it will matter as much as me telling my son not to date a particular girl because she happens to be of the same height, weight and face features as any other girl and therefore she is completely unremarkable.
The beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I wish there were a hundred of other audio components that will deceive my brain just as much, if not more. I would get them as well. Would not pay attention to anybody's "objective" tests even for a second.
Edited by grigorianvlad - 10/7/13 at 10:32am
post #43 of 177
3dB difference isn't necessarily 150w. Did your new power amp have a rating of 300w at 4 ohm? or at 8 ohm? If you're only listening at -20 to -10 you are likely not even tapping into the extra power. With 87 dB sensitivity (need to know the spec, if it's 2.83v at 4 ohm that's effectively 2w and not 1w). Assuming even 2 w that means at 4 w you are getting approx 90 dB at the same distance, 8w 93 dB, 16w 96dB, 32w 99dB, 64w 102dB, 128w 105 dB (105 is very loud).....and usually a power amp is rated higher at 4ohm than 8ohm...

If you are hearing new things that's great but I don't think the amp is the reason. I've got several high power amps and they never "revealed" more, just supplied more power....
post #44 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 it changed default front channel level from 0db to -3db. So, the amp added 3 decibels. (150W extra). But the short answer is yes, I have listened to my favorite tracks at my loudest tolerable level (-20 to -10). If I set it any louder it becomes uncomfortable, my ears will start to bleed.
The difference was not qualitative ("better" or "worse"). It was quantitative. I could hear additional before indistinguishable background sax, background vocals, etc. I could count them, tell you which part of the track they showed up in for the first time. The change in imaging and instrument positioning was also remarkable.
But all of that does not matter. What I have learned is that you can tell a person that what he hears or sees isn't real, but you cannot convince them. Nor would I want to be convinced even if you were right. I got a power amp that improves my listening experience. The experience is subjective, not objective. You can perform any bias controlled test you like, but it will matter as much as me telling my son not to date a particular girl because she happens to be of the same height, weight and face features as any other girl and therefore she is completely unremarkable.
The beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I wish there were a hundred of other audio components that will deceive my brain just as much, if not more. I would get them as well. Would not pay attention to anybody's "objective" tests even for a second.
Thanks for letting us know how you've arrived to such conclusion. You aren't alone. People commonly do that. They compared amps at different volume levels and heard the difference. Even 2 of the same amp will sound different if you listen to them at different volume. In such case, the difference one hears is due to volume level differences. If you listen to the amps you mentioned at matched levels within 0.1 db without knowing which one is being used and still heard the difference, then there may be something uncommon.
post #45 of 177
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the post, diomania.
Like I wrote above "...I have listened to my favorite tracks at my loudest tolerable level (-20 to -10)". So, it was at and well above my normal listening level of -40 to -30. Once again, the difference had nothing to do with volume. I have listened to these tracks a thousand times before at any volume and these details were not audible. The receiver is sophisticated enough to bring almost any details forward even at -70, even out of ALC, even without the power amp.
Congrats on rendering the entire power amp industry irrelevant. Just one more click of the volume knob to the right and you got yourself a McIntosh MCK2W.
What you are saying is that extra dB notwithstanding this


.. is equal to this



Are you sure?
Edited by grigorianvlad - 10/7/13 at 12:03pm
post #46 of 177
Quote:
Once again, the difference had nothing to do with volume.
You do not know what you are talking about. As has been said, even the exact same amplifier will sound different if levels are not precisely matched. Unless you've matched that carefully, you can conclude nothing from your comparisons.
post #47 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

You do not know what you are talking about. As has been said, even the exact same amplifier will sound different if levels are not precisely matched. Unless you've matched that carefully, you can conclude nothing from your comparisons.

May be I don't understand this. Explain it to me, please.
The same amp will play the same track differently at different levels. They have to match 100% (with and without a power amp) to make an accurate comparison. Is that what you are saying?
Thanks.
post #48 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

. None of them ever listened one of those players that they are talking about (and of course no real testing was done) but they 'bet' they will sound the same like their sorry ass Walmart players.

You seem to know a lot about us. I wonder where you found your information. One thing we know for sure is that you have never done a bias controlled test. Nor has Vlad. It seems curious that those without experience would rudely criticize those who have. Do the tests. Then come back and we'll talk.
post #49 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

....or that you are determined to hear such since you were sold on it or read a glowing review for it or spent $$$ on it so it must be better, etc. You are welcome to buy your $12000 disc drive in any case, or a $12000 amplifier or $12000 cables if it floats your boat. Look at the pro market and see if they're buying this stuff for the reasons you are.
I have found my level of price/quality, and is not at $12K, thank you very much for the concern. But my level also excludes any cheapo players that are on shelf of Walmart. Saying that Accuphase will sound the same like those is just wishful thinking - read the fable about fox and grapes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

You seem to know a lot about us. I wonder where you found your information.
I asked many times for your tests and didn't see any responses; I assume that you have none to show. The only concrete example of testing was the Boston Society one and I didn't see any Accuphase in there...
post #50 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Congrats on rendering the entire power amp industry irrelevant. Just one more click of the volume knob to the right and you got yourself a McIntosh MCK2W.
What you are saying is that extra dB notwithstanding this


.. is equal to this



Are you sure?
Yes, unless McIntosh MCK2W isn't built to meet the transparency requirement.
Quote:
Once again, the difference had nothing to do with volume.
Are you sure?

You mean you've done your way of listening comparison and the one I mentioned (level matched to 0.1db and blind), then realized that your method validated your notion that the difference had nothing to do with volume?
post #51 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

You seem to know a lot about us. I wonder where you found your information. One thing we know for sure is that you have never done a bias controlled test. Nor has Vlad. It seems curious that those without experience would rudely criticize those who have. Do the tests. Then come back and we'll talk.

FMW, if this was addressed to me - it was never my intention to criticize anybody (rudely or not). If this is the impression I left then I apologize.
post #52 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Yes, unless McIntosh MCK2W isn't built to meet the transparency requirement.
Are you sure?

You mean you've done your way of listening comparison and the one I mentioned (level matched to 0.1db and blind), then realized that your method validated your notion that the difference had nothing to do with volume?

Not, have not done that.
What I have done is this. I listened to the first track from a Rich Buddy SACD at -20. I then disconnected the power amp and connected fronts directly to the AVR. Listened to the same at -20, -23, -17, even 0! The difference for the better with power amp is still there. I understand this is not a blind test and I am by far a partial participant. I cannot call this an unbiased test by any stretch of imagination.
But still, there is a difference even after this test.
post #53 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

FMW, if this was addressed to me - it was never my intention to criticize anybody (rudely or not). If this is the impression I left then I apologize.

No it was addressed to Sonic. If the tests aren't blind, they aren't valid when it comes determining sonic differences. We've all been where you and Sonic are. But we've done the tests and learned from them.
post #54 of 177
Quote:
You seem to know a lot about us. I wonder where you found your information. One thing we know for sure is that you have never done a bias controlled test. Nor has Vlad. It seems curious that those without experience would rudely criticize those who have. Do the tests. Then come back and we'll talk.
Please ignore all trolls.
post #55 of 177
Quote:
May be I don't understand this. Explain it to me, please.
The same amp will play the same track differently at different levels. They have to match 100% (with and without a power amp) to make an accurate comparison. Is that what you are saying?
Long answer, so bear with me:

Imagine that we have two identical power amps. Using a steady-state tone, we set their output levels to be several tenths of a dB apart. They will sound different.

Interestingly, one will not sound louder than the other. You need at least a full dB of difference for that. But they will sound tonally different. Why? Because our ears are more sensitive to midrange frequencies than highs and lows, but how much more sensitive depends on volume. At very low volume, midrange frequencies dominate. As the volume goes up, the sound balances out somewhat.

So, in our amp example, the amp that’s marginally louder will appear to have better highs and lows than the other.

Whenever you compare two amps (or DACs or anything else) and you don’t match output levels to within 0.1 or 0.2 dB, you leave open at least two possible explanations for any difference you hear:

1) There really is a tonal difference between the two.

2) There isn’t a tonal difference, but your ears/brain are being fooled by the level difference to think there is.

Whenever there are two or more possible explanations for a phenomenon, we cannot conclude that any one of them is the correct one. Hence, absent careful level-matching, we cannot conclude that two amps really sound different, even if they seem to.
post #56 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Long answer, so bear with me:

Imagine that we have two identical power amps. Using a steady-state tone, we set their output levels to be several tenths of a dB apart. They will sound different.

Interestingly, one will not sound louder than the other. You need at least a full dB of difference for that. But they will sound tonally different. Why? Because our ears are more sensitive to midrange frequencies than highs and lows, but how much more sensitive depends on volume. At very low volume, midrange frequencies dominate. As the volume goes up, the sound balances out somewhat.

So, in our amp example, the amp that’s marginally louder will appear to have better highs and lows than the other.

Whenever you compare two amps (or DACs or anything else) and you don’t match output levels to within 0.1 or 0.2 dB, you leave open at least two possible explanations for any difference you hear:

1) There really is a tonal difference between the two.

2) There isn’t a tonal difference, but your ears/brain are being fooled by the level difference to think there is.

Whenever there are two or more possible explanations for a phenomenon, we cannot conclude that any one of them is the correct one. Hence, absent careful level-matching, we cannot conclude that two amps really sound different, even if they seem to.

This is clear once explained properly. Thank you for that.
Let me summarize what I've learned here.
A power amp upgrade does not result in cleaner sound. It does not open up power hungry speakers. It simply adds more power and that is it. Since I could only listen to my AVR at 70%-80% volume at the highest, I really didnt need to buy a power amp. I had too much power as it was. The difference in sound quality is actually my unconscious mind trying to justify the purchase.
You guys have done similar upgrades in the past and may (or may not) have had the same wrong impression, a non existent change for the better with the power amp.
If a proper test is done the difference will simply disappear.
Is that it? Did I miss anything?
post #57 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Did I miss anything?
Perhaps this: http://webpages.charter.net/fryguy/Amp_Sound.pdf
You will find more results like that online if you search.
post #58 of 177
Thread Starter 
Thank you.
post #59 of 177
Quote:
A power amp upgrade does not result in cleaner sound.
Not quite. (I was only answering your question about level matching.) If your existing amp isn't up to the job of driving your speakers as loud as you want them to go—if it is audibly distorting—then of course upgrading to a more powerful amp will result in cleaner sound. (But you'd be surprised how little power you need in most cases to avoid audible clipping.)
Quote:
Since I could only listen to my AVR at 70%-80% volume at the highest, I really didnt need to buy a power amp.
Define "70%-80% volume." If your AVR was clipping audibly at that level, then you did need a larger amp. But given what you've said about it, you probably didn't.
Quote:
The difference in sound quality is actually my unconscious mind trying to justify the purchase.
That is one possibility. (Wine drinkers get fooled the same way.) Not matching levels is another. We can demonstrate that your mind is probably fooling you. We can't tell you how it is doing so.
Quote:
You guys have done similar upgrades in the past and may (or may not) have had the same wrong impression, a non existent change for the better with the power amp.
Yep, I'll bet pretty much all of us thought upgrading amps made sense at one time.
Quote:
If a proper test is done the difference will simply disappear.
Based on past results, that would be my prediction. I'm always willing to be proven wrong, however.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with upgrading amps even if there is no proven audible benefit. You get more margin for error, you get a much cooler piece of kit, it's fun!
post #60 of 177
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the answers, Mcnarus.
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