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post #31 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 01:53 PM
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foo_abx 2.0.6d report
foobar2000 v1.5.2
2020-04-26 21:40:27

File A: tr0430sDACd.wav
SHA1: b13ced990bde6228bab66aa745994f96a1d324e3
File B: tr0430sec.wav
SHA1: 2783dc8627da71672762b9dfb2ed971ac90f2370

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

21:40:27 : Test started.
21:42:27 : 01/01
21:43:06 : 02/02
21:44:32 : 02/03
21:45:29 : 02/04
21:45:55 : 02/05
21:46:59 : 02/06
21:47:50 : 02/07
21:48:13 : 03/08
21:49:19 : 03/09
21:49:42 : 03/10
21:50:17 : 04/11
21:50:50 : 05/12
21:51:19 : 06/13
21:51:47 : 07/14
21:52:23 : 07/15
21:53:02 : 07/16
21:53:02 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 7/16
p-value: 0.7728 (77.28%)

-- signature --
b659885908faffec5e12743fe154143c28ff22ff




-------------------------------------

Interestingly - the test seems to suggest I got better as the test went on. The main difference I was listening for was volume, rather than anything else.
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post #32 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JohnnyWilkinson View Post
Interestingly - the test seems to suggest I got better as the test went on. The main difference I was listening for was volume, rather than anything else.
Our first entry! (besides mine) Thanks for posting!

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post #33 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post
It's not about altering the sound as you say...it's that more detail can be achieved through other dacs.You provided a sample from 1 dac...what is there to compare it too?

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IMO both views are correct.

I think the point is that if you take the test and you are unable to pick out the same file more than 12/16 times then it proves that the two files are indistinguishable and thus the converter is “perfect”. IMO while this may have some value in the context of your own system/room, etc., it doesn’t really prove that one dac is more “perfect” than the other. While it is likely that this test will hold water in a large majority of systems, if you compare the same file//DACs with the same methodology in far superior system then the results will likely be different. YMMV.
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post #34 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fredstwofeet View Post
I think the point is that if you take the test and you are unable to pick out the same file more than 12/16 times then it proves that the two files are indistinguishable and thus the converter is “perfect”. IMO while this may have some value in the context of your own system/room, etc., it doesn’t really prove that one dac is more “perfect” than the other. While it is likely that this test will hold water in a large majority of systems, if you compare the same file//DACs with the same methodology in far superior system then the results will likely be different. YMMV.
There are two kinds of DACs:

A. "Perfect": Invisible. Transparent. Ideally Zero audible change to any listener, through any system, including price no object, with any music.

B. Imperfect: Makes some sort of change some listeners may deem desirable and others may not. For me, any alteration whatsoever is by definition undesirable. I don't want my gear to editorialize on the recording engineer's careful work to make the particular recording.

There's no rule people should seek out perfect ones although I certainly want just that. I want to hear what the recording artists intended me to hear and not the arbitrary adulterations of an imperfect DAC that has no idea what music I'm playing at any given moment and instead inserts a non-defeatable, fixed, arbitrary alteration to everything passing through it. But that's me. YMMV.

The pursuit of music reproduction accuracy has a name: "high fidelity". The very highest level is called "transparency", i.e. zero audible alteration to the signal as far as the ear is concerned. This ABX test is a test for that.
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post #35 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Benchmark, who make very well-regarded, professional, studio-grade DACs with some of the very best objective measurements out there, puts it well:

"High-Resolution Playback Begins with an External D/A Converter

SONICALLY-NEUTRAL STUDIO MONITORING

Benchmark converters are designed to be sonically neutral. This sonic transparency is absolutely essential in the studio monitoring chain.

Benchmark converters have become a standard fixture in many of the world's finest studios.
Bring the Studio into Your Living Room

When Benchmark's professional converters are used in hi-fi applications, studio-quality sound can be enjoyed in a home environment. Enjoy pure music without any coloration from the electronics. Hear the music exactly the way it was heard in the studio, and exactly the way the artists intended.

Discover the natural, uncolored, analog sound of Benchmark converters.
SIT IN THE PERFORMANCE SPACE

Transparent sound can go beyond replicating the studio experience. Recordings that have been produced with a natural and unprocessed sound can transport you to the performance space. Close your eyes and get ready to be transported!

The experience of "being there" can only happen when the entire audio chain is selected for maximum transparency"


See? Transparency is the goal of many. Not just me.
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post #36 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 03:55 PM
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Right...and higher transparency can be achieved with certain dac's...

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post #37 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post
Right...and higher transparency can be achieved with certain dac's...
I never said all DACs are the same under all conditions. Some are indeed not perfect. My claim is that this particular $7.99 DAC is totally transparent, i.e. perfect to the ear. So far all posted tests show this. Why don't you take the test yourself to show us if you can detect any flaws it might have?

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post #38 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I never said all DACs are the same under all conditions. Some are indeed not perfect. My claim is that this particular $7.99 DAC is totally transparent. So far all posted tests show it is. Why don't you take the test yourself to show us if you can detect any flaws it might have?
Z I'm not disputing the dac in the iPhone isn't transparent...I'm saying higher transparency can and could be achieved with other dac's.This isn't about adding color, distortion ect. That other dac's might add as you say.

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post #39 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I never said all DACs are the same under all conditions. Some are indeed not perfect. My claim is that this particular $7.99 DAC is totally transparent. So far all posted tests show it is. Why don't you take the test yourself to show us if you can detect any flaws it might have?
And I'm sure it sounds great...my point is listen to that same song through a few different dac's and if you pick up on details that just were not present through the iPhone dac well you just found a more transparent dac.Doesnt mean it was added...it was in the music all along it's just another dac brought it out more than another dac...through filtering or what have you.

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post #40 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 04:19 PM
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gonna have to take test on medication and not...see if drugs make life more accurate
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gonna have to take test on medication and not...see if drugs make life more accurate
They add a little distortion but what the heck...

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Z I'm not disputing the dac in the iPhone isn't transparent...I'm saying higher transparency can and could be achieved with other dac's.
So you agree it adds zero detectable change to the sound, however you feel other brands may add even more zero change to the sound.


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So you agree it adds zero detectable change to the sound, however you feel other brands may add even more zero change to the sound.



Adds...yes...it doesn't add anything...but a well designed dac doesn't Add...it reveals...your thinking is backwards to what I'm trying to explain.

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post #44 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Adds...yes...it doesn't add anything...but a well designed dac doesn't Add...it reveals...your thinking is backwards to what I'm trying to explain.
When you listen to FILE B, how exactly can you argue you are not listening to "what the $7.99 DAC can/can't reveal from the the digital file"?

Remember, you have traveled through thet $7.99 DAC at that point so if it fails to reveal something it will show up in the file:

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File A is a CD (actually a 30 second excerpt from one, also called a "digital file")

File B is that same digital file getting converted to analog through a $7.99 DAC, traveling though an analog wire, and then getting converted back to a digital file by an ADC. If both the DAC and ADC used in this step are indeed perfect to the ear, and acting like they should, then this new file will sound identical to File A, even through a price no object playback system.

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When you listen to FILE B, how exactly can you argue you are not listening to "what the $7.99 DAC can reveal from the the digital file"?
I'd be interested in your finding...but wait you didn't hear a change did you?

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I'd be interested in your finding...but wait you didn't hear a change did you?
My score sheet I posted shows I was unable to detect an audible difference to the generally accepted statistical significance level, correct.
What level were you able to achieve? Please show your work as I have.
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My score sheet I posted shows I was unable to detect an audible difference to the generally accepted statistical significance level, correct.

What level were you able to achieve? Please show your work as I have.
That's great...you proved that the iPhone dac sounds just like the digital file you posted...but what if I told you that same digital file might have details that your iPhone dac didn't pick up..that another dac could bring out?...wouldn't that shock you?..but that is a journey you need to take yourself...

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post #48 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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That's great...you proved that the iPhone dac sounds just like the digital file you posted...but what if I told you that same digital file might have details that your iPhone dac didn't pick up..that another dac could bring out?...wouldn't that shock you?
You mean there may be things in the music which the $7.99 DAC doesn't reveal? Then they won't exist in File B either since it is generated from the output of the $7.99 DAC:
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
File A is a CD (actually a 30 second excerpt from one, also called a "digital file")

File B is that same digital file getting converted to analog through a $7.99 DAC, traveling though an analog wire, and then getting converted back to a digital file by an ADC. If both the DAC and ADC used in this step are indeed perfect to the ear, and acting like they should, then this new file will sound identical to File A, even through a price no object playback system.
. . . so it should be easy to distinguish File A from File B when you listen to the two files through your higher grade DAC which will reveal all those things in the original File A which you claim the cheapo $7.99 DAC obscures/bottle-necks.
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You mean there may be things in the music which the $7.99 DAC doesn't reveal? Then they won't exist in File B either since it is generated from the output of the $7.99 DAC:





. . . so it should be easy to distinguish File A from File B when you listen to the two files through your high grade DAC which will reveal all those things in the original File A which you claim the cheapo $7.99 DAC obscures/bottle-necks.
Z I never said I own an Uber high end dac...quite the opposite...but it's not 7.99..the dac chip might be but not the unit...lol.Also yes there MAY be sounds in the recording that the iPhone dac doesn't reveal that another dac could.This is something you'll have to discover yourself.

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post #50 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 05:35 PM
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This is the dac I use...true there might be more transparent dac's but from what I hear it's great......my wallet has a limit...lol

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G28C7TS..._yGIPEb0ANDGCD

It uses these 3 chips for the D/A conversion.

D/A converter: CM6642 + CS8416 + CS4398

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post #51 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 05:36 PM
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That's great...you proved that the iPhone dac sounds just like the digital file you posted...but what if I told you that same digital file might have details that your iPhone dac didn't pick up..that another dac could bring out?...wouldn't that shock you?..but that is a journey you need to take yourself...

I think you are just arguing because you are afraid to have your preconceptions challenged. That's what it sounds like to me. You have access to the original, off-the-cd file that wasn't run through the iPhone DAC. Which means you have the ability to run the original file through whatever "more revealing of details" DAC you choose. The original file will be more revealing of details, if it really is. You can listen to the iPhone DAC recording through the same DAC you played the original through, and if the iPhone DAC is less revealing it will be immediately obvious in your ABX scores. All your objections to any flaws you think this test has are easily provable with those superior DACs you talk about. That's the whole point of providing the original. If you scoff at the iphone DAC, you can pit it against the DAC of your choosing. Take the test. As the saying goes, "put up or shut up".

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I think you are just arguing because you are afraid to have your preconceptions challenged. That's what it sounds like to me. You have access to the original, off-the-cd file that wasn't run through the iPhone DAC. Which means you have the ability to run the original file through whatever "more revealing of details" DAC you choose. The original file will be more revealing of details, if it really is. You can listen to the iPhone DAC recording through the same DAC you played the original through, and if the iPhone DAC is less revealing it will be immediately obvious in your ABX scores. All your objections to any flaws you think this test has are easily provable with those superior DACs you talk about. That's the whole point of providing the original. If you scoff at the iphone DAC, you can pit it against the DAC of your choosing. Take the test. As the saying goes, "put up or shut up".
I'm not arguing nor mad...you just seem inept to the fact that another dac MIGHT bring out details the iPhone dac doesn't.

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post #53 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Also yes there MAY be sounds in the recording that the iPhone dac doesn't reveal that another dac could.
Then if the $7.99 DAC fails to correctly reveal a detail, as you claim, which does exist in the original CD music file, then that detail never makes it to File B, even though it is in File A when heard through a revealing system . . . which would make File B sound different from File A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
File A is a CD (actually a 30 second excerpt from one, also called a "digital file")

File B is that same digital file getting converted to analog through a $7.99 DAC, traveling though an analog wire, and then getting converted back to a digital file by an ADC. If both the DAC and ADC used in this step are indeed perfect to the ear, and acting like they should, then this new file will sound identical to File A, even through a price no object playback system.
File A does not sound different from File B to my ear and I doubt anyone else's either. Anyone can prove me wrong showing they have better hearing/gear than me, by taking the test and posting a statistically significant score meeting the industry accepted agreed upon threshold.

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I'm not arguing nor mad...you just seem inept to the fact that another dac MIGHT bring out details the iPhone dac doesn't.
And if that's true you will hear it when you use that DAC to listen to File A, yet those "details" won't exist in File B because the $7.99 DAC didn't pass them along:
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
File A is a CD (actually a 30 second excerpt from one, also called a "digital file")

File B is that same digital file getting converted to analog through a $7.99 DAC, traveling though an analog wire, and then getting converted back to a digital file by an ADC. If both the DAC and ADC used in this step are indeed perfect to the ear, and acting like they should, then this new file will sound identical to File A, even through a price no object playback system.
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And if that's true you will hear it when you use that DAC to listen to File A, yet those "details" won't exist in File B because the $7.99 DAC didn't pass them along:
Why wouldn't they exist in file B?...if it's the same file just recorded through the iPhone dac...unless your assuming file B took out details from a dac conversion?

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post #56 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I am working on a video. Here is a sneak peek which may clear up some confusion about File B. Sorry if I didn't explain it well.

There is a mistake in the video though. I accidentally call the ADC I used a "DAC" when I first introduce it. [It has one of those in it too, but that's not how it was used in this test.] I correctly call it an ADC later though.


I also call an RCA analog cable a "jack" at one point too. Oops.

UPDATE 05/06/20: Here is a still pic of the extra steps File B goes through.

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post #57 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Why wouldn't they exist in file B?...if it's the same file just recorded through the iPhone dac...unless your assuming file B took out details from a dac conversion?
Yes, if as you say the $7.99 DAC fails to revel a detail then the signal traveling down the analog RCA cable also fails to have that detail and the ADC converts us back to digital without that detail. A removed detail never comes back so File B, made by the Behringer ADC won't have that detail yet File A does.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Yes, if as you say the $7.99 DAC fails to revel a detail then the signal traveling down the analog RCA cable also fails to have that detail and the ADC converts us back to digital without that detail. A removed detail never comes back so File B won't have that detail yet File A does.
You didn't hear a difference so how can YOU say it was missing or deleted?

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post #59 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post
You didn't hear a difference so how can YOU say it was missing or deleted?
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Yes, if as you say the $7.99 DAC fails to revel a detail then . . .
I wrote "IF as you say", showing if we were to examine your hypothetical scenario of the $7.99 DAC failing to reveal/reproduce details . . .

edit to add: "Reveal" is I believe the correct spelling. I'm lacking sleep.

Last edited by m. zillch; 04-26-2020 at 06:25 PM.
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post #60 of 524 Old 04-26-2020, 06:50 PM
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I am an Apple user and have an Apple Home, so I am not a Apple hater.

Bottom line Apple assumes you will be listening to music via headphones, earbuds or even worse bluetooth speakers.

Under those parameters the Apple system performs extremely well.

Now if you get completely out of the Apple ecosphere ie use no Apple product to listen to music.

I have a $55 Rpi 4 using a $315 Allo Signature One Player , with Moode operating system going out to $249 SMSl SU8 DAC via bnc feeding a $300 Crown XLS 1500 amp to my 20 year old Mission speakers. The music source is CD's ripped by Exact software to Flac files 16/45.

No one would say the above is a high end audiophile system.

Is there a difference between the above system and listening to the same music my IPhone thru $400 headphones - absolutely . Apple tend to accentuate base and there is very little sound stage.

My RPI system has a great sound stage, and yes you can hear more of the music that was on the original CD. Why because the two systems have different design goals. Apple values easy and convince using ear buds the RPI system values soundstage and maximizing all the sound that the original CD had available.

If your music needs reflect walking into a room and quickly playing a music playlist as you go about your normal life then go no further, Apple does that in spades. If you actually know where your sweat spot is in your listening room and turn your music on and sit there and listen to the music you two would here a difference.

Hope this gives you some perspective .
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Jim Meader

Audirvana on Win 10 PC, USB out to SMSL SU8 DAC, XLR out to Crown XLI 1500 amp, full range signal sent via RCA to 12 inch Klipsch sub, Audirvana accesses FLAC Music files on USB Drive
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