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Is There an Audible Difference Between High End CD Transports and Modest/Cheap CD Players? - Page 3

post #61 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Perhaps this: http://webpages.charter.net/fryguy/Amp_Sound.pdf
You will find more results like that online if you search.

This is one fascinating reading. I am 80% through. One question so far. In the article, do they compare power amp vs power amp connected to the same source? For example they mention a Pioneer receiver at 45W per channel. Was it used as a source or as an amp (which it can be)? The reason I am asking is that if they compare power amp vs another power amp and state that there isn't much difference between the two, then I am completely sold on this. But my upgrade is from AVR + Speakers to AVR + Power Amp + Speakers. It is a different situation. The power amp wasnt in the mix before. I will finish the reading, but if you can answer this question I would really appreciate it.
post #62 of 177
Thread Starter 
Never mind. The answer was right there. The Pioneer was used as an amp, not a source.
post #63 of 177
Thread Starter 
Done reading. Never knew there was such a study. Nevertheless, I stand where you guys stood ages ago, when you just got your first power amp. I cannot unhear or unbelieve. I know that you... backspacing the "may be" and replacing with "are" ... 100% right.
Chances are time will change my opinion as well.
For now let me ask you this question.
lespurgeon, mcnarus, FMW, diomania, SoNic67, lovinthehd, bradman, kbeam418, CruelInventions, Skullbros, arnyk, how many of you used to have a power amplifier but had sold it because it does not make any difference for the better?
Thank you for the show of hands.
post #64 of 177
I've owned power amps galore ranging up to $5000. They were very nice and I enjoyed them. But they didn't make any difference to my listening. I'm not likely to buy another one simply because I don't listen at SPL's that cause pain and discomfort. Now I use an ordinary AVR.
post #65 of 177
Understand, Vlad, that we have no stake in what you like or what you buy. We just try to give people information so that their decisions are based on knowledge rather than ignorance. I spent almost 3 years doing bias controlled tests with a local audiophile group. Arny has done years worth of them as well. We try to get others to get involved but it is difficult. People don't want to get involved in something that attacks their beliefs. Sonic is one of those. He will go his way and we'll go ours. We've been his way but he will never go our way. It has been like that with audiophiles for as long as I can remember.
post #66 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I've owned power amps galore ranging up to $5000. They were very nice and I enjoyed them. But they didn't make any difference to my listening. I'm not likely to buy another one simply because I don't listen at SPL's that cause pain and discomfort. Now I use an ordinary AVR.

Thank you, FMW. Who else?
post #67 of 177
previous:
Bryston 4Bst, 4B, 2B, BP 20 with active amping through behringer deq 2496/dcx 2496 to kefs 104/2/diy compund loaded sub.

Now feeding from a dedicated diy 'puter with asus p6t ws mobo/M-audio 1010lt sound card and various hdds - internal and peripheral - via spdif a hypex AS 2.100 amp with build in DAC and DSP driving klipsch heresies and diy compund loaded sub w/bash 300 amp. Running all audio files and streaming through foobar2000 player - imho the best there is.
Missing nothing but a awfully heavy rack full of audio paraphernalia

post #68 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraut View Post

previous:
Bryston 4Bst, 4B, 2B, BP 20 with active amping through behringer deq 2496/dcx 2496 to kefs 104/2/diy compund loaded sub.

Now feeding from a dedicated diy 'puter with asus p6t ws mobo/M-audio 1010lt sound card and various hdds - internal and peripheral - via spdif a hypex AS 2.100 amp with build in DAC and DSP driving klipsch heresies and diy compund loaded sub w/bash 300 amp. Running all audio files and streaming through foobar2000 player - imho the best there is.
Missing nothing but a awfully heavy rack full of audio paraphernalia


Thank you. Very impressive. Foobar200 rocks! Do you still use a power amp though?
post #69 of 177
post #70 of 177
Quote:
how many of you used to have a power amplifier but had sold it because it does not make any difference for the better?
Well, "fortunately" I was never affluent enough to spend the kind of money I wished I could spend on audio gear. I upgraded from a stereo receiver to an integrated amp at one point—and had to admit I didn't really hear any difference, which is what set me on the path to my present understanding. But I didn't ditch that amp until it started to go south on me. It may have been a (modest) waste of money, but it was a sunk cost, so there was no reason to get rid of it as long as it was working.
post #71 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

We just try to give people information so that their decisions are based on knowledge rather than ignorance.

I have no doubt that you only want to help. And I appreciate it. But you see, knowledge is subjective. For example, when I posted a question on this very site "here is my setup, what should I upgrade next?". Speaker cabling, clean power supply, etc. The answer was get a power amp. Those people were 100% honest and based the suggestion on their beliefs. You guys telling me the power amp was money down the drain. I am sure you are just as straightforward as they were.
I am only trying to ascertain which opinions are based on actual experiences, as opposed to hearsay. It does not matter if the opinion is diametrically opposed to mine at the time. If an opinion comes from an expert (which you guys clearly are!) chances are mine will change eventually. Making mistakes is a vice (talking about myself, of course). Learning from them is a virtue. smile.gif
Edited by grigorianvlad - 10/7/13 at 6:41pm
post #72 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

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.

That's why I said see me list... My speakers are rated at 40 watts @ 8 ohms, if I had a 200w Mcintosh it would not benefit me because speakers can't handle that sort of power.
post #73 of 177
Quote:
I am only trying to ascertain which opinions are based on actual experiences, as opposed to hearsay.
And that's where you're being led astray. The key point of what I've been trying to say to you is that we cannot trust our experiences. Our experiences involve comparisons where we know which unit is which and our perceptions are influenced by that knowledge. Or where we confuse differences in level for differences in tonal quality. I don't trust experiences—my own or anybody else's. I trust empirical research, aka the scientific method, with research designs that isolate hearing perception from confounding influences.
post #74 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Done reading. Never knew there was such a study. Nevertheless, I stand where you guys stood ages ago, when you just got your first power amp. I cannot unhear or unbelieve. I know that you... backspacing the "may be" and replacing with "are" ... 100% right.
Chances are time will change my opinion as well.
For now let me ask you this question.
lespurgeon, mcnarus, FMW, diomania, SoNic67, lovinthehd, bradman, kbeam418, CruelInventions, Skullbros, arnyk, how many of you used to have a power amplifier but had sold it because it does not make any difference for the better?
Thank you for the show of hands.

My experience? Okay I'll play.

My first separate amp was a Carver M500 (2 ch, 200w/ch at 8ohm). I got this along with a Hafler preamp kit and a separate tuner....I wanted to try separates over the stereo receiver I had previously (a nice Fisher that I inherited from dad, then died many years later). I still have the amp, purchased new in the early 80s.

My second and third separate amps were Carver M500t's (2 of them) along with a C-1 preamp and Carver Amazing Speakers that I bought from a friend who was upgrading to multi channel at a great price; he had bought them around '85 IIRC, I got them in the early 90s. The 500t's were setup in bridged mode, that's why there were two of them. At the time I hadn't looked into amps much and my buddy who was upgrading assured me they needed that much power (which later killed the speakers when a friend of mine turned them up, without me being around, all the way to "11" after too many beers from a kegerator and fried 'em). I still have the amps. Until a few months ago they were in my living room's 7ch setup powering the front three Sierra-1s I have. I was starting to worry about those amps getting on and capacitor aging and other stuff you read about and thought well its time to get 'em recapped or maybe even sell them. So I got two Crown XLS1500 amps. The caps visually look fine in the Carvers. I really couldn't say there's any SQ difference but I didn't even try an ABX or AB matched level test of any sort.

So currently have 5 relatively high power 2ch amps, 3 in use, but haven't sold anything.....will probably find another room to setup first. I have a bunch of equipment not in use and might be moving to a larger place soon. Selling stuff is somewhat a pain and usually I find more useful to keep around than the big depreciation hit you take on selling.

In the future for a given amp output would I get a separate power amp? Probably won't need to. If you need it for your speakers and output desired, go for it. I just wouldn't expect consistent sonic characteristics that you could count on by brand or price point etc.
post #75 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

And that's where you're being led astray. The key point of what I've been trying to say to you is that we cannot trust our experiences. Our experiences involve comparisons where we know which unit is which and our perceptions are influenced by that knowledge. Or where we confuse differences in level for differences in tonal quality. I don't trust experiences—my own or anybody else's. I trust empirical research, aka the scientific method, with research designs that isolate hearing perception from confounding influences.

Interesting. My philosophy is completely different. My own experience is what counts. I am very interested in other people experience as well, but only as long as they walked the path I am about to walk. I want to know the pitfalls, caveats, gotchas because those will cause me spending more money or wasting time. Other than that, I don't think there is some absolute truth that cannot be argued either way or supported by unbiased research of some kind. There isn't any.
These matters are impervious to logic. This is a matter of how our minds work and what we see day to day.
post #76 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

how many of you used to have a power amplifier but had sold it because it does not make any difference for the better?
One amp, fortunately. It could have been more if it wasn't for that one fateful day which stopped me from going further in the wrong direction in search of quality sound: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1445724/to-dac-or-not-to-dac/30#post_22807292
post #77 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

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.

Since you brought up this analogy of a girl being judged by her looks (pretty shallow advice IMHO), take that a step further. When you're in lust as a male for a female, logic is often cast aside and then later you wonder what the heck was I thinking....
post #78 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Since you brought up this analogy of a girl being judged by her looks (pretty shallow advice IMHO), take that a step further. When you're in lust as a male for a female, logic is often cast aside and then later you wonder what the heck was I thinking....

You didn't take it seriously, did you? It is an analogy.
post #79 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Since you brought up this analogy of a girl being judged by her looks (pretty shallow advice IMHO), take that a step further. When you're in lust as a male for a female, logic is often cast aside and then later you wonder what the heck was I thinking....

You didn't take it seriously, did you? It is an analogy.

So's mine smile.gif Still think you should encourage your young man, for all the good it will do in the short term, to look for more qualities than "looks". smile.gif
post #80 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Interesting. My philosophy is completely different. My own experience is what counts. I am very interested in other people experience as well, but only as long as they walked the path I am about to walk. I want to know the pitfalls, caveats, gotchas because those will cause me spending more money or wasting time. Other than that, I don't think there is some absolute truth that cannot be argued either way or supported by unbiased research of some kind. There isn't any.
These matters are impervious to logic. This is a matter of how our minds work and what we see day to day.

Not different. We all trust our experiences and we should. The problem is that the scientific community has determined that audio listening comparisons that aren't bias controlled and level matched play to our emotions, expectations and biases and not just to our ears. In other words those are experiences we cannot trust. It isn't the same as saying "in my experience the car corners well." In that case you are talking about the performance of the car. If the car did not corner well, it would slide off the road. With audio you are tallking about a perception - the performance of your brain and our brains fool us all the time. Two products may perform the same but we perceive them differently.

Watch a TV program called "Brain Games." You will get a better understanding of the shortcuts our brains take.

If I were to put you in a bias controlled test so that you didn't know which product was performing at any given moment and raise the volume slightly for one one them, you would prefer the one that was slightly louder. If I were to make the other one slightly louder than the one you preferred, you would change your preference to that one. This is true of everyone. If they were the same level I could change your preference by stating that one of them was the one you would expect to sound better. If I were to influence you the same way with the other one, you would prefer the other one. That is how our brains work. It has nothing to do with how audio products work.

This perception problem arises in audio when sonic differences are very subtle or non existent. You ask your ears and brain to make a comparison. Your ears and brain will give you an answer based either on the sound or on your biases, whichever works best at the moment. Gross sonic differences don't suffer from this problem because it is easy for the brain to make the comparison. Those sonic differences will come out in a bias controlled test just as they do in a sighted test. Modern solid state amplifiers do not have gross sonic differences so our brains take the only road they can when we ask them to compare and rate. Speakers have gross sonic differences because they have audible distortion and audible bumps in frequency response. Your brain can tell one speaker system from another easily and you will get the same result either sighted or blind. The brain doesn't have a problem with the comparison so it provides the right response. That is why we always recommend people deal with speakers (and room acoustics which also have gross audible differences) when they want an improvement in sound.

If you conduct some bias controlled tests as we have, you will understand perfectly. We wish all audio people would do it but it is a fussy, time consuming and boring process and it is more fun just to let our biases run wild as we buy shiny new toys. An entire industry is based on those biases. It is truly amazing how people will cling to their biases when faced with scientific evidence.
post #81 of 177
Their theory say that the amp sounding LOUDER will be perceived as sounding better.
My case is that a really better amp will sound better even if the volume is lower than the other. 3dB volume error will not influence the perception. Those ear hearing curves are basically parallel at those differences. 20-40dB sure, maybe will affect ear bandwidth...

That's more in life than bandwidth linearity. Two amps can reproduce identical ONE sine wave, but when you over impose TWO (or more) sine waves (aka music), they will start to inter-modulate them. One can be better than another, and the IMD products can be clearly heard, regardless of small differences in original volume. There are other aspects that influence the final result - like power lines sagging and recovery, thermal coupling, increased THD at lower levels (<5% of max)...
But simple minds like explanations that are simple and ego-boosting. Like: 'My $100 Pioneer sounds the same like that $3000 Denon, therefore I am smart by not having a better job and money'. They will even subconscious deny they hear any differences, because that would make them feel bad about themselves.
Edited by SoNic67 - 10/8/13 at 4:03am
post #82 of 177
OP, please be aware of audiophools selling you on myths. Pay attention to what FMW had to say, he is pretty much spot on.

If you have no problem convincing yourself to chase nonexistent rabbits down the hole then I suppose you could folliw what that other poster has to say, but your fantasy reality won't be the provable scientific reality.

Try for yourself, take a dbt and open your mind.
post #83 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

Their theory say that the amp sounding LOUDER will be perceived as sounding better.
My case is that a really better amp will sound better even if the volume is lower than the other. 3dB volume error will not influence the perception. Those ear hearing curves are basically parallel at those differences. 20-40dB sure, maybe will affect ear bandwidth...

That's more in life than bandwidth linearity. Two amps can reproduce identical ONE sine wave, but when you over impose TWO (or more) sine waves (aka music), they will start to inter-modulate them. One can be better than another, and the IMD products can be clearly heard, regardless of small differences in original volume. There are other aspects that influence the final result - like power lines sagging and recovery, thermal coupling, increased THD at lower levels (<5% of max)...
But simple minds like explanations that are simple and ego-boosting. Like: 'My $100 Pioneer sounds the same like that $3000 Denon, therefore I am smart by not having a better job and money'. They will even subconscious deny they hear any differences, because that would make them feel bad about themselves.

I must say, SoNic67 has a point there. Indeed, I start hearing those differences at -60. So, your subtle volume difference has nothing to do with them. I understand that are a figment of my sick imagination and there is an excellent study (thank you diomania for providing the link, BTW) to prove that point. I cannot possibly doubt the methodology of that Stereo Review double blind and triple secret ironclad unbiased test. Nor I want to.

My day to day work is high technology. I read a ton of highly technical presentations and side-by-side performance tests. The tests absolutely and unequivocally prove (don't postulate, mind you, prove!) that the presenter's product is the best there is. There are hundreds of them. All the best there is. Do I doubt the methodology of those tests? Not really. You see, even if a product performs well in some artificially created test environment, it does not mean it will perform equally well in my company's data center with our customers (even ALL our customers equally well or poorly). We take the product and test it for months or years before we actually buy it. Our data center is full of super-servers provided gratis by manufacturers and even software companies to lure us in and lock into a contract. If I signed up for a product (I don't have such an authority, BTW, just as an argument) only because there was a an ironclad unbiased test without proving that it serves our needs in eight different respects at least two years in the future, I would be fired the next day (and rightfully so).

I am not saying you are selling me or anybody else anything by any means. What you extend is an offer of knowledge and experience, which is a gold mine. I am immensely appreciative of that. They say that help offered without any expectations of a payback and even with a chance of being scolded for it is the most pure help. All of that is true. You had as much of a secret agenda when you pointed out that power amps do not contribute as the other guys on this very site that said power amp is the way to go. There isn't any agenda.

Here is the thing, though. I don't live in a test. This is real life. When I listen to music there isnt any additional equipment for me to compare to. There aren't any blind studies. There aren't any toggle switches between different products. There aren't 388 different different perceptions, just one and it happens to be mine. There isn't even an option to go back to my previous setup without re-connecting/recabling, which will take a good hour. I have done that in any case and still prefer the power amp version. There are just my speakers and me. My perception (however biased or hallucinogenic) is what I hear and experience. Everything else is something I've read and know to be true, but not more than that. smile.gif

As my boss tells a sales rep in a sales presentation: "We don't buy unbiased studies. We buy what works".
Edited by grigorianvlad - 10/8/13 at 11:17am
post #84 of 177
What sonic says is nonsense. It isn't a theory. If you do a blind test and one of the components being tested is slightly louder than the other, the listener will choose the louder one - every single time. No exceptions. He doesn't know this because he hasn't done the tests. It is not a theory. It is a test result. He has the nerve to look down on us and make comments about our income without even knowing what our income is. Sorry, but that is pure idiocy. If you like his comments then accept them and reject mine. It is nothing to me. I'm just providing information. Obviously there is no point in my providing any more information to this thread. Take care.
post #85 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

What sonic says is nonsense. It isn't a theory. If you do a blind test and one of the components being tested is slightly louder than the other, the listener will choose the louder one - every single time. No exceptions. He doesn't know this because he hasn't done the tests. It is not a theory. It is a test result. He has the nerve to look down on us and make comments about our income without even knowing what our income is. Sorry, but that is pure idiocy. If you like his comments then accept them and reject mine. It is nothing to me. I'm just providing information. Obviously there is no point in my providing any more information to this thread. Take care.

Thank you for contributing, FMW.
post #86 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

OP, please be aware of audiophools selling you on myths. Pay attention to what FMW had to say, he is pretty much spot on.

If you have no problem convincing yourself to chase nonexistent rabbits down the hole then I suppose you could folliw what that other poster has to say, but your fantasy reality won't be the provable scientific reality.

Try for yourself, take a dbt and open your mind.

On a completely different topic. Your signature has this link "Why you wouldn't want to join this forum". This was another piece of fascinating reading (after the study). Was it you who posted in the mean spirited Polk forum? I am completely amazed at the patience of that person! Insult after insult and he is totally cool and collected. Thanks.
post #87 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

OP, please be aware of audiophools selling you on myths. Pay attention to what FMW had to say, he is pretty much spot on.

If you have no problem convincing yourself to chase nonexistent rabbits down the hole then I suppose you could folliw what that other poster has to say, but your fantasy reality won't be the provable scientific reality.

Try for yourself, take a dbt and open your mind.

On a completely different topic. Your signature has this link "Why you wouldn't want to join this forum". This was another piece of fascinating reading (after the study). Was it you who posted in the mean spirited Polk forum? I am completely amazed at the patience of that person! Insult after insult and he is totally cool and collected. Thanks.
No I did not participate in that thread. I was subject to ridicule for the brief time that I was a member of that forum. After realizing how asinine that forum is I opted out of it. The links in my signature is my way of sharing with others the nature of that forum, and hopefully steers others away from it and onto more productive venues for learning about the various aspects of this hobby.
post #88 of 177
I'v said before that the essence of audiophile mythology is willful ignorance. This thread provides the perfect example. You patiently explain the science, and he just doesn't want to know. It's pathetic, really.
post #89 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

You patiently explain the science, and he just doesn't want to know. It's pathetic, really.

I asked, he explained (thanks for the explanation). Now I know.

Posting threads, replying with suggestions and adopting them - all of it is optional.

It is interesting how emotional you guys get if someone doesn't adopt your point of view. Why so?
Edited by grigorianvlad - 10/8/13 at 8:02am
post #90 of 177
Quote:
I asked, he explained (thanks for the explanation). Now I know.
But you choose to believe the fairies instead. frown.gif
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