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post #61 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:05 AM
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As a scientist, you must have compared all amplifiers and all speaker combinations under all conditions and all types of music, or have peer-reviewed research comparing all amps and speaker combinations under all conditions to support that statement. Otherwise it would just be reckless unsupported opinion.
Nah, before you get to "hard fact" you have stages above "reckless unsupported opinion" that include hypothesis and theory. Available evidence supports a hypothesis that most speakers work fine with most amps. That evidence? Decades of professional reviews and user experience with speakers and amps. A preponderance of evidence points to the conclusion, so we can go right to theory. I'm not gonna say it's "common sense" but... part of it is. Anyhow, there's tons and tons of empirical evidence to suggest as long as you are not clipping an amp, and you follow guidelines for impedance matching when it comes to the speaker/amp combo, that most speakers will work fine with most amps.

Anyhow, a scientist would recognize this and not sweat it too much, unless someone was PAYING for the study and then the scientist is who you'd want running the experiments, since that's what they went to school for, ya know? To learn how to run valid experiments and develop hypothesis into something more.

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post #62 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:15 AM
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Can you safely say all modern day kitchen ovens can cook a baked potato? If you haven't tested every single oven on the market then any proclamation one way or the other would be a reckless unsupported opinion.
You could not possibly pick a worse example to make your case. Every functioning oven will cook a potato -- that's true -- but every single oven will cook it slightly differently based upon design differences of each brand and model -- distance of the elements, temp variations, circulation, etc. How can you try to draw a parallel between not needing "proof" that all ovens will get hot enough to cook a potato and not needing proof for the blanket statement that all amps sound exactly the same??? You don't need to research of every model for a binary yes or no determination of whether the thing will do what it is supposed to do -- you do need proof, and lots of it, to proclaim that all things of radically different designs will behave exactly the same under all circumstances.

Your proclamation that all amps sound the same is based upon nothing. You don't have any research to cite and you apparently haven't done any testing in your own environment.
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post #63 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:18 AM
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Nah, before you get to "hard fact" you have stages above "reckless unsupported opinion" that include hypothesis and theory. Available evidence supports a hypothesis that most speakers work fine with most amps. That evidence? Decades of professional reviews and user experience with speakers and amps. A preponderance of evidence points to the conclusion. I'm not gonna say it's "common sense" but... it is. Anyhow, a scientist would recognize this and not sweat it too much, unless someone was PAYING for the study and then the scientist is who you'd want running the experiments, since that's what they went to school for, ya know? To learn how to run valid experiments and develop hypothesis into something more.

Good point, the issue is that some are begging the question here. That being the necessity of any particular home demo AB test, however controlled or uncontrolled it might be.





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post #64 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:21 AM
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Your proclamation that all amps sound the same is based upon nothing.
Please don't put words in my mouth. Quote what I wrote (you disagree with) including any qualifications I made at the time.
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post #65 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:23 AM
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P.S. You don't honestly think you could identify by taste alone what brand/model of modern day oven cooked your baked potato, do you?

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post #66 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:29 AM
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You could not possibly pick a worse example to make your case. Every functioning oven will cook a potato -- that's true -- but every single oven will cook it slightly differently based upon design differences of each brand and model -- distance of the elements, temp variations, circulation, etc. How can you try to draw a parallel between not needing "proof" that all ovens will get hot enough to cook a potato and not needing proof for the blanket statement that all amps sound exactly the same??? You don't need to research of every model for a binary yes or no determination of whether the thing will do what it is supposed to do -- you do need proof, and lots of it, to proclaim that all things of radically different designs will behave exactly the same under all circumstances.

Your proclamation that all amps sound the same is based upon nothing. You don't have any research to cite and you apparently haven't done any testing in your own environment.

He did not say all amps sound the same. He said most; and said the ones he considers, based off of decades of research as to what matters. That is not a proclamation that all amps sound the same.

This is another strawman argument where you take a statement and distort to make it easier for criticism. More simply put, it’s also called lying.

Are you claiming that two things can measure the same using all know measurement benchmarks available yet still potentially sound different?



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post #67 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:32 AM
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Nah, before you get to "hard fact" you have stages above "reckless unsupported opinion" that include hypothesis and theory. Available evidence supports a hypothesis that most speakers work fine with most amps. That evidence? Decades of professional reviews and user experience with speakers and amps. A preponderance of evidence points to the conclusion, so we can go right to theory. I'm not gonna say it's "common sense" but... part of it is. Anyhow, there's tons and tons of empirical evidence to suggest as long as you are not clipping an amp, and you follow guidelines for impedance matching when it comes to the speaker/amp combo, that most speakers will work fine with most amps.

Anyhow, a scientist would recognize this and not sweat it too much, unless someone was PAYING for the study and then the scientist is who you'd want running the experiments, since that's what they went to school for, ya know? To learn how to run valid experiments and develop hypothesis into something more.
"Available evidence supports a hypothesis that most speakers work fine with most amps."

"... tons of empirical evidence to suggest as long as you are not clipping an amp, and you follow guidelines for impedance matching when it comes to the speaker/amp combo, that most speakers will work fine with most amps"

So your proof point for all amps sounding the same is that some people tested some amps, with some speakers, and all the amps functioned and most speakers will work with most amps. And we all know that third-party research with equipment that is not the same as yours, with speakers that are not the same as yours, in conditions that are not the same as yours, in very short-term testing absolutely obliterates first-hand experience with your own equipment and your own speakers and your own conditions when you've had years to evaluate it because, you know, bias. Nothing wrong with your data of dissimilar equipment in dissimilar environments -- but god help us if anybody listens to anything.

Please, I beg of you for the sake of science, please stop using the word science.
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post #68 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:50 AM
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Other than power and impedance requirements, the notion that "some amps pair better with some speakers than others" is predominantly audio mythology, spread by the magazines and dealers, or you are dealing with pathetic amps lacking a proper, flat response.
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For the most part, solid state class A/B amps (good ones I'd buy at least) don't sound different. That's a myth. Other than power and low impedance capability, and perhaps the level of the faint hiss I'd only hear if I placed my ear directly next to the tweeter, that is.
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Please don't put words in my mouth.
??????????

Ok, to be fair, you said "good" amps in the second statement, so you only need to test something like 90% of all amps with all speakers to support your statement, otherwise it's unsupported subjective opinion.

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P.S. You don't honestly think you could identify by taste alone what brand/model of modern day oven cooked your baked potato, do you?
Again, this is a crazy twist that has no bearing on the question at hand. How do you to get from different ovens cooking a potato slightly differently because of the design differences I already mentioned, which isn't debatable, to "can you tell which brand and model of oven" it is by tasting the potato?
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post #69 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:50 AM
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"Available evidence supports a hypothesis that most speakers work fine with most amps."

"... tons of empirical evidence to suggest as long as you are not clipping an amp, and you follow guidelines for impedance matching when it comes to the speaker/amp combo, that most speakers will work fine with most amps"

So your proof point for all amps sounding the same is that some people tested some amps, with some speakers, and all the amps functioned and most speakers will work with most amps. And we all know that third-party research with equipment that is not the same as yours, with speakers that are not the same as yours, in conditions that are not the same as yours, in very short-term testing absolutely obliterates first-hand experience with your own equipment and your own speakers and your own conditions when you've had years to evaluate it because, you know, bias. Nothing wrong with your data of dissimilar equipment in dissimilar environments -- but god help us if anybody listens to anything.

Please, I beg of you for the sake of science, please stop using the word science.
Is this word salad a deliberate attempt to create drama or something? Did I even claim that all amps sound the same? I think the stereophile/Bob Carver challenge covers some of the finer points that could be had in a rational discussion of the topic, which I feel is not something that you are prepared to have.

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post #70 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 09:58 AM
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Is this word salad a deliberate attempt to create drama or something? Did I even claim that all amps sound the same? I think the stereophile/Bob Carver challenge covers some of the finer points that could be had in a rational discussion of the topic, which I feel is not something that you are prepared to have.

It’s really hard when that built in defense wasn’t based in reality. No one is saying everything sounds the same. No one here is saying all amps sound the same.

It’s just more lying.


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post #71 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:06 AM
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All fascinating, but the question is: What mechanism do you use at home to compare one amplifier to another?
Ya know how you can buy/download a copy of Road and Track, look at a car test report's 0-60 mph in seconds, and that tells you, at least under standardized conditions, how quickly the car can accelerate on a typical road surface? I can do that sort of thing but with amplifiers. [Of course I realize you can't boil down a car's performance into just one spec, nor an amplifier's performance, but I'm using it as an illustrative example.]

I also can test some stuff myself, at least for some parameters, however I of course need to have the amp on hand first so I've already bought it. Here, for example, are some tests I ran recently on my inexpensive Yammy AVR, a TSR-7810, but I already knew I was keeping it. That is, the test had nothing to do with "selecting it compared to others" as your question posits.

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post #72 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:06 AM
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Is this word salad a deliberate attempt to create drama or something? Did I even claim that all amps sound the same? I think the stereophile/Bob Carver challenge cover some of the finer points that could be had in a rational discussion of the topic, which I feel is not something that you are prepared to have.
The "scientists" are the ones that create the drama by attacking anybody who makes a comment about, for example, differences they experienced in amps.

Since you are all critical of listening to amps and commenting on the results, the question remaining in your court (this is an "all play" for all claimed scientists) is:

1. What mechanism do you use at home to compare one amplifier to another?

2. If you don't bother to compare amplifiers at home when you buy a new one, why not?

PS: Why would you think that Carver example, or any collection of individual tests, would be an all-encompassing referendum on all amps? That's a level of extrapolation that doesn't exist in science.
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post #73 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:11 AM
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The "scientists" are the ones that create the drama by attacking anybody who makes a comment about, for example, differences they experienced in amps.

Since you are all critical of listening to amps and commenting on the results, the question remaining in your court (this is an "all play" for all claimed scientists) is:

1. What mechanism do you use at home to compare one amplifier to another?

2. If you don't bother to compare amplifiers at home when you buy a new one, why not?

PS: Why would you think that Carver example, or any collection of individual tests, would be an all-encompassing referendum on all amps? That's a level of extrapolation that doesn't exist in science.


Begging the question regarding the necessity of listening comparison.

As for Carver comment again, you are saying Bigfoot exists until we prove he doesn’t.

I’m really sorry you flunked logic 1010 at whatever diploma mill gave you an EE degree.


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post #74 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:18 AM
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The "scientists" are the ones that create the drama by attacking anybody who makes a comment about, for example, differences they experienced in amps.

Since you are all critical of listening to amps and commenting on the results, the question remaining in your court (this is an "all play" for all claimed scientists) is:

1. What mechanism do you use at home to compare one amplifier to another?

2. If you don't bother to compare amplifiers at home when you buy a new one, why not?

PS: Why would you think that Carver example, or any collection of individual tests, would be an all-encompassing referendum on all amps? That's a level of extrapolation that doesn't exist in science.
Nah, moving on to something else. We've already derailed the thread, I should have stopped a few comments back. Enjoy yourself.
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post #75 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:18 AM
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Ya know how you can buy/download a copy of Road and Track, look at a car test report's 0-60 mph in seconds, and that tells you, at least under standardized conditions, how quickly the car can accelerate on a typical road surface?
I would strongly encourage you to test drive a Subaru BRZ and a Porsche Macan Base model. Both cars accelerate from 0 to 60 in exactly 6.3 seconds. When you are done, tell me if that 0-60 spec told you anything about how the cars accelerated.

Answer Key: You will not believe they have the same 0-60 time. They feel nothing alike while accelerating, yet controlled measurements prove they hit at 60mph at the exact same time.
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post #76 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:25 AM
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They feel nothing alike while accelerating, yet controlled measurements prove they hit at 60mph at the exact same time.
So my stopwatch would say it took the same period of time but my sense of time would disagree? I don't believe you.
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post #77 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:31 AM
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They feel nothing alike while accelerating,.
So I guess the moral of the story is "We can't use stopwatches to test a car's acceleration, 0-60mph, because they don't reflect what you actually feel about how much time has elapsed once you know the car's weight, price, seated height off the ground, etc.. . . . Ban stopwatches!"

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post #78 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:43 AM
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So my stopwatch would say it took the same period of time but my sense of time would disagree? I don't believe you.

No, your sense of time would obviously not change. Drive both cars around town and it will be immediately obvious that they are totally different in the way they accelerate. The 0-60 spec gives virtually no insight into how the cars accelerate even though they both have the same spec.
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post #79 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 10:54 AM
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No, your sense of time would obviously not change. Drive both cars around town and it will be immediately obvious that they are totally different in the way they accelerate. The 0-60 spec gives virtually no insight into how the cars accelerate even though they both have the same spec.
I knew you would say that so I preemptively covered that:

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[Of course I realize you can't boil down a car's performance into just one spec, nor an amplifier's performance, but I'm using it as an illustrative example.]
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post #80 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 11:03 AM
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Getting back on topic -- given that today many people have standalone DAC's, and DAC's built into AVR's, and DAC's built into stereo amps, you would think that somebody would produce an affordable CD transport. There are plenty of transports available on the very high-end, but it's bit surprising nobody has produced a mainstream transport now that so many people aren't even using the DAC built into their CD player.
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Getting back on topic -- given that today many people have standalone DAC's, and DAC's built into AVR's, and DAC's built into stereo amps, you would think that somebody would produce an affordable CD transport. There are plenty of transports available on the very high-end, but it's bit surprising nobody has produced a mainstream transport now that so many people aren't even using the DAC in their CD player.
Super high quality, completely audibly transparent in any real world use situation DACs are so dirt cheap that a manufacturer would be shooting themselves in the foot designing an inexpensive product which lacked an internal DAC, because there are lots of people who rely on products having internal DACs. Eliminating that vast market to save a few pennies in production costs makes little sense.

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post #82 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 11:12 AM
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Getting back on topic -- given that today many people have standalone DAC's, and DAC's built into AVR's, and DAC's built into stereo amps, you would think that somebody would produce an affordable CD transport. There are plenty of transports available on the very high-end, but it's bit surprising nobody has produced a mainstream transport now that so many people aren't even using the DAC built into their CD player.

Because any optical driver can be a transport. A $99 DVD player...

I have no legitimate reason to believe that any particular one won’t suffice for the transparent reading of a disc.


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post #83 of 99 Old 02-10-2020, 11:34 AM
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Super high quality, completely audibly transparent in any real world use situation DACs are so dirt cheap that a manufacturer would be shooting themselves in the foot designing an inexpensive product which lacked an internal DAC, because there are lots of people who rely on products having internal DACs. Eliminating that market to save a few pennies makes little sense.
Agreed on the cost, and the whole CD player market is a tough space anyway, but seems like a hole that should be filled by a manufacturer. I'm not concerned about audio quality differences in transports (though I would never make any statement one way or the other about audio impact of anything I haven't tried to evaluate), but I'd love to get a better built transport if one existed at a reasonable price.

I'd like to have a tiny CD transport that I can hide in a small cabinet (WAF) under my 2-channel system. I've been tempted to get a Shanling Tempo eC1B CD player from Asia to use as a transport. It's rare that I pull out CD's these days, so I've been on the fence.



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Hey folks,
Is there any claim that certain mid to "hi-end" CD players with advanced DACs such as 192kHZ/32bit could reproduce the sound from a CD at 44.1kHZ/16bit with added clarity? Meaning, some companies claim that their advanced chips really add extra detail to the base 16bit CD information, and interpolate extra bits for added resolution. So a CD played in their machine will sound better than a CD played from a laptop computer or blu-ray player. I'm not trying to throw gasoline on the fire here in this already contentious forum discussion, I would really like to know. Thank you all in advance!
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post #85 of 99 Old 02-12-2020, 08:58 AM
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Hey folks,
Is there any claim that certain mid to "hi-end" CD players with advanced DACs such as 192kHZ/32bit could reproduce the sound from a CD at 44.1kHZ/16bit with added clarity?
Claims? Yes. Evidence conducted under proper scientific protocols? Little if any.

There are zillions of claims that CD players and DACs sound vastly different from each other and this myth is propagated by much of the audio press [which accepts advertising dollars from the makers of these upscale CD players so what does that tell you?]

In actual practice as long as you exceed certain, easy to meet basic performance criteria, even achieved by certain "free" DACs such as the one some cellphones might use, they all sound either exactly the same or at least awfully close in any real world use situation.

Is good sound important to you? Then worry about speakers, their placement/aimimg, room acoustics, and the quality of the microphone technique, recording methods, and mixing/mastering which went into the music you buy. Those things matter.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Claims? Yes. Evidence conducted under proper scientific protocols? Little if any.

There are zillions of claims that CD players and DACs sound vastly different from each other and this myth is propagated by much of the audio press [which accepts advertising dollars from the makers of these upscale CD players so what does that tell you?]

In actual practice as long as you exceed certain, easy to meet basic performance criteria, even achieved by certain "free" DACs such as the one some cellphones might use, they all sound either exactly the same or at least awfully close in any real world use situation.

Is good sound important to you? Then worry about speakers, their placement/aimimg, room acoustics, and the quality of the microphone technique, recording methods, and mixing/mastering which went into the music you buy. Those things matter.
Thank you M. Zillch, I was hoping to get a response from you specifically.
I understand and agree with your arguments about CD transports, speakers, speaker placement/aiming, acoustics, etc etc. I don't think your cellphone "free" DAC argument holds water though, unless DAC tech has improved dramatically from ten years ago. From experience, I know plugging an iPod via analog connection (using the internal "free" DAC) into your home stereo will definitely sound different verses a digital connection using a "not so free" DAC.from your AVR. Not to be distracted, this is not my main argument, and don't I wish to argue about this DAC topic specifically.
What I was trying to say originally is not about the CD transport or the quality of the DAC itself in the CD player, but the "bit interpretation", the sound processing the CD player does. Adding a higher bit resolution (namely 32 bit) to the original base 16 bit will produce higher sound quality. Has anybody tested the claims that these CD players actually add bits to the sound? I think that it would be very difficult to argue that higher resolution sound (32 bit) would not be better than 16 bit, and I know that some folks out there are willing to pay the price for the difference in sound. So, in addition your recommendation (speaker placement, etc), folks interested in listening to their CDs at higher resolutions, could purchase a CD player with these qualities, as opposed to a cheap DVD player. Thanks again.
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post #87 of 99 Old 02-12-2020, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Beerman43 View Post
Thank you M. Zillch, I was hoping to get a response from you specifically.
I understand and agree with your arguments about CD transports, speakers, speaker placement/aiming, acoustics, etc etc. I don't think your cellphone "free" DAC argument holds water though, unless DAC tech has improved dramatically from ten years ago. From experience, I know plugging an iPod via analog connection (using the internal "free" DAC) into your home stereo will definitely sound different verses a digital connection using a "not so free" DAC.from your AVR. Not to be distracted, this is not my main argument, and don't I wish to argue about this DAC topic specifically.
What I was trying to say originally is not about the CD transport or the quality of the DAC itself in the CD player, but the "bit interpretation", the sound processing the CD player does. Adding a higher bit resolution (namely 32 bit) to the original base 16 bit will produce higher sound quality. Has anybody tested the claims that these CD players actually add bits to the sound? I think that it would be very difficult to argue that higher resolution sound (32 bit) would not be better than 16 bit, and I know that some folks out there are willing to pay the price for the difference in sound. So, in addition your recommendation (speaker placement, etc), folks interested in listening to their CDs at higher resolutions, could purchase a CD player with these qualities, as opposed to a cheap DVD player. Thanks again.
Sony I believe sells some such digital media players (you would have to rip your CDs to a computer file first to hear the results).

I don't think it will sound any better but I have no direct proof. Usually people consider the sound "bottle necked" at whatever the lowest resolution the sound was ever stored at. Translating it to higher sampling rates, word lengths, bit depths, etc. just increases the file size so you no longer can store as many songs on the same hard drive.

Your idea to listen to your ipod by plugging into your stereo to compare the DAC to other disc players is a good one however in such tests it is critical the volumes are carefully matched in level. There is a tendency for humans to hear small, barely even perceptible changes in volume as "quality" changes even though it is merely quantity. I have never owned an ipod but I assume it is like my iphone where unfortunately the volume is not truly infinitely variable and instead jumps in level quite a bit between, say, volume level "maximum" and one tick lower than maximum. Unfortunately to achieve precise level matching for a proper test you need finer steps than that so you would need to introduce other devices in the signal path such as a passive stepped attenuator or an active preamp. The test must also be blind so a friend/housemate would need to do the switching without telling you. Otherwise you may hear what your subconscious mind wants to hear.
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post #88 of 99 Old 02-12-2020, 11:34 AM
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In my limited experience with my newly acquired CD player a few weeks ago, I have not heard any real discernible sound difference between what I call a "high end" CD player (~$800) to a 15 year old "mid-grade" DVD player. I did not do any volume level matching, nor do an A / B comparison between the two machines. I did not hear any additional details through the CD player with it's claimed higher bit rates. If there are sound differences, they are subtle at best. Perhaps my speakers are the weak link in not hearing any additional sound details (I have a pair of Klipsch RF-83). When I use the machine, as opposed to any other disc player, I am just assuming that the CDs are being played at the highest resolution possible that my hears can detect and the equipment can produce. I do enjoy the CD player, she's a keeper, but folks should not expect dramatic sound differences with these "high end" CD players. BTW - trying listening to music through the new Dolby Surround up-mixer, it sounds awesome and is a dramatic sound difference!
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post #89 of 99 Old 02-12-2020, 04:54 PM
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Beerman, you asked!

Ahhh, digital recording and the hows/whys it is what it is and Redbook and so on. To shorten the world history, the first digital recordings were done in the early 1940's as a way Roosevelt in the US and Churchill in England could communicate without the Germans breaking the code. Yep, the first digital recordings were for the spoken word and a colaboration between the US and England. Cost? I dunno, but very interesting. In the early 1960's, the US Air Force wanted an optical disc to store computer data--cold war thing. They paid big bucks to the American company, Magnavox to develop the optical disc--then stopped after a few years (cold war thing) Eventually, Magnavox got bought out by Philips in the Netherlands that liked the idea of an optical disc to hold digital recordings for (amazingly) music storage! Their major problem was the digital to analog convertor so they hopped in bed with Sony (Japan) as they were more advanced with that sort of thing. They had to solve what bit depth was "perfect" for human hearing and how long the CD should be--how much did it need to store. The storage capacity was simple, 74 minutes because the CEO of Sony wanted to hear Beethoven's 9th without interuption--how dat for a powerful CEO? Have no idea how many millions was spent to figure out human hearing, research about sound perception etc. but it was not cheap! The Sony CEO got what he asked for, after all--he wanted to listen to music on plane flights on cassette and told the engineers to build him a small cassette deck that ran on batteries so HE could tune out other passengers. They did as asked (at a rather large expense) and the CEO was happy. Hmmmm, I wonder if other people would want such a small battery operated cassette deck that you listen with headphones--already paid for the R&D sooo.... the idea of the Walkman came AFTER they built the thing for one guy!

The rest they say is history--Sony at the time was the leading edge and they either had a wild success (CD, Walkman, Trinitron tubes, Playstation) or staggering failures (Beta, MiniDisc, DAT, 8mm) Can't win them all--It is very interesting to see where the tech came from though...but think about it.

Did the original researchers get 16 bit "wrong"? They were not driven by marketing or new and improved--they wanted to know what the truth was right at the start. The other thing to ask yourself is has human hearing become "better" over the past 30 to 40 years? Has the acoustics of a typical room in a house become quieter, required less acoustic treatment than older homes and have humans that purchase such things now show better hearing ability? Our medical pals will laugh at you if you think that human hearing has evolved or improved so that is out. Sure, you can do 16, 24, 32 or 64 bit--you can keep "improving" data rates to insane levels (I believe the SNR for 32 bit is 144dB) The bit rates exceeds the abilities of even modern electronics to stay that low--what is the max? What is the minimum performance that human hearing can detect? At what point does the source exceed the rest of the system to reproduce the signal? To answer that is easy, the highest distortion generated is the speakers, since the room creates a mess--that inaccuracy is distortion, your room creates distortion from what signal is attempted to play. It can also be caused by incorrect setup, poor toe-in (if required) and all sorts of problems.

Be aware the profits from CD was staggering--a dream for the music companies as people replaced their records, 8 tracks and cassettes with CDs. Good times! However, by 1990, music sales softened, audio equpment sales started to drop and the boom was over. Basically, the people that wanted/needed CD already had one--or two. Time for CD in the car, CD in the boombox, portable CD players and so on--but CD sales were softening as that boom was over. The music companies TRIED to create new formats, MiniDisc was one of them as a great format for mobile audio and you could record on it! Sony, since they bought out a music company created the push but CD for the most part was all people needed. The computer industry created CD-R then MP3 and the rest we know is history.

The CD for the music companies was a blessing at the beginning which became a curse--it don't wear out if you don't physically damage the thing. Then transfer it bit perfect to computers, put them on MP3 players or downloads--the curse arose. The music companies must "obsolete" the CD, the world moved on and they can choose whatever works for their file needs--be it CD, download, streaming or whatever. The attempt to "obsolete" the CD did not work very well as downloads took off. Now they need to "obsolete" 16 bit--with 24 bit or 32 bit or whatever "high rez" format they wish to push. After all, all those original research and development people were wrong and our new gizmo (SACD, 24/32 bit, MQA or whatever) is the "truth". How is that working for you? Hmmmm... I'm not saying music companies are in it for the money, it is all about the art...

To test it is rather simple, compare the waveforms between CD or whatever then ask "Does it matter?" Sure, a person could always push to get more zeroes, get higher rates or more power but does it matter? Well, the "does it matter" part is also know, many decades of testing about what numbers matter and what does not. Luckily, human hearing has not evolved at a drastic rate although we wish it did. Does 24 bit sound better than 16 bit? All those questions have been tested many times because there is MONEY in the answer! After all, if something could be improved that is noticeable then big bucks are to be made--it is the 1980's all over again! Buy--buy--buy! Alas, that has shown not to be the case and the money has shifted to other things like TV screens, computers, cell phones and the like. Looking at audio sales, consumer speaker sales fell in 2019 by 12 percent--double digit drops so I don't see a big audio surge anytime in the future. The only consumer growth in speaker sales was in China, they are the growth market so the shift continues.

As far as CDs, CD players, DACs and the like--those have been tested over the years. The first link is for Tom over at Tom's Hardware Guide. He is a PhD in computer CPU design and he was the guy that figured out Intel muffed the first Pentium back in the 90's in reguards to math processing accuracy--yeah, THAT guy. You could say he is a pretty smart cookie and he noted a bunch of chatter about DACs sucking up precious bandwidth on his forums. Normally, his forums are computer specific and he wanted to answer the question once and for all. You can tell he is the "sciencey" type as he used testers that had their hearing tested/verified, used some serious equipment and BENCH TESTED the DACs before he tested them on humans. Yeah, he found issues that were measureable with the chips on the bench--but could humans hear the difference? Yep, he purchased a 2,000 dollar DAC himself--he wanted to see if it mattered. He also purchased a few sound cards, even ran a motherboard that had built-in sound and threw that in the test also. Granted, he would not test this himself because his hearing was not as good as the testers, he was around 45 or 50 years old at the time--young man's game. Here is his test results, enjoy all the charts/graphs that he generated.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...o,3733-19.html

Another test was done with over 30 audiophile type folks--they have a club. They took the "best" CD transport, DAC, amp and interconnects (including power cord!) put it on audiophile furniture and compared it against a very inexpensive studio amp, cheapest DVD player they could pick up at the big box joint, used interconnects they bought from a gas station and threw that mess on a folding chair. Both of the systems drove the same speakers and were switched physically by hand so the audiophiles could not blame the switch. They blew a weekend, tabulated the results and left who won or whatever to you. Yep, you have to figure out the results for yourself.

http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm

Sure, if you don't like the statistics you could claim the speakers didn't "resolve" enough although getting over 30 people to agree on anything is world class! Maybe their speaker wires, amps, audiophile bricks, cable hangers or magic pebbles taped to the interconnects would of mattered. Personally, I know who ATC is and have heard them in a studio... accuracy is what they do. No, they didn't test all speakers with all amps, all wires and every conceivable situtation but they did blow a weekend.

Personally, I don't understand why people will blame everything on performance for the money they spend. Seriously! I like audio equipment that is built a certain way, looks a specific way and some of it (for me anyway) looks "cool". My wife thinks (knows!) I'm an idiot but boys and their toys. I have amplifiers that has more power capability than I can use, speakers that can generate far, far higher SPLs than I can stand and my subs are more powerful than my drywall. (oops!) I am about to build some surrounds that have output capability far higher than I can use (117 to 119dB) for surrounds Never know, in a few years we might move and I'll have a huge basement I "need" to provide reference SPL so I "need" beastly surrounds! It can happen! In reality, since I have to build the things--might as well go overkill, absolute overkill so no matter what happens I won't be doing that again! I can go into denial and claim that surrounds so powerful generate less distortion--very true but in reality, I am going overkill with surrounds. I am doing that because I want to, part of the hobby but I won't justify myself with claiming I'll get a drastic difference or even a difference at all if I used smaller/less costly surrounds.

I don't care what people blow their money on--hobbies tend to do that. Cars and boats are famous money pits, audio is the same for some people. Some people that are 60 pounds overweight will spend monster money on car parts to save 10 pounds of weight--for performance. Uhhhhh.... ya know, removing weight from the driver's seat does the same thing... My brother had a boat, good times but he kept track of cost VS actual time and realized chasing hookers would of been a cheaper hobby with no dock fees. I have a very expensive bicycle (recumbent type) but I evaluate anything I'm about to purchase, to "check myself before I wreck myself". Since I am in no way ever going to set a world record, that reality dictates what tires, brakes, shifters, gearing and whatever I can blow money on for the rig... besides, you can't ride a recumbent in the Tour De France even if I could (and I can't!) I have seen 70 year old men on bicycles using the very delicate racing parts--to save an ounce or two. Uhhhh, such are hobbies but I do find it rather odd to see old guys racing like it mattered and their lycra shows the real place they need to "lose weight".

As my wife states, "Boys and their toys"... pretty much, she does have more shoes than I do and what does she need with four purses?
Granted, I own more speakers than she has purses so... hmmm. At least she does not claim one purse has higher performance than the other or her golden wallet fits in her dumpsterphile purse better. She liked the purse, thought it was cool looking and bought it. Me? I can spew out charts, graphs, statistics, SPL and enough audio jibber-jabber to put my wife to sleep, I learned that is a waste of time. Basically "It will work better" works but it had better work better that SHE can hear! For this reason, when I make a change it is a real change and so far... she has acknowledged it has done something. Oddly enough, she does like subwoofers although she won't admit it--she does not have a poker face and sub bass makes her grin.

In summation, we all have our toys and yes--I'll be the first to admit I blew money on audio kay-rap that did not improve performance. However, the main thing is to know the difference. As in all hobbies of mine over the years, the first thing you should do is educate yourself on what matters, what does not and to become knowledgeable enough to tell the difference. Works with audio, cars, boats, bicycles, motorcycles, camera/video equipment, computers, cell phones and all sorts of things not required to survive life. Throwing money at a problem eventually will lead to you running out of money and still having the problem. Well, unless you are the government that is... At the end of the day, it is just a hobby and in the greater scheme of things in life--purses and shoes are higher priority in the real world so relax, kick back and enjoy this goofy hobby.
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post #90 of 99 Old 02-12-2020, 08:44 PM
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About 2 years ago when i was putting together a 2 channel rig for records and CDs, started with fully active Dynaudio Focus 20XDs. Already had a nice turntable so all that was left was the CD player. Tried out a few newer models as well as a few models i had used in years gone by going back to early days of CDs. The model that i liked most due to looks, features and sound - Marantz SA-14S1.
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