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post #31 of 39 Old 02-11-2020, 11:19 AM
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Awesome, the Focals look really nice. Comfortable too? I use EQ APO. Foobar is a player that supports wasapi/asio which bypass Windows audio drivers, as well as support other vst plugins for eq or w.e. You typically want "parametric" equalizers as theyre more customizable and accurate.
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post #32 of 39 Old 02-11-2020, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, the Focals look really nice. Comfortable too? I use EQ APO. Foobar is a player that supports wasapi/asio which bypass Windows audio drivers, as well as support other vst plugins for eq or w.e. You typically want "parametric" equalizers as theyre more customizable and accurate.
Yeah they are pretty comfortable on my big head, unlike the Arctis, which was too tight as it couldn't extend enough, I should have really returned them at the time but they were an upgrade from the Astros at least for gaming at the time. I did a bass test too, because I was shocked how low these get while still clean. I could hear the tone down to 10-12 hz myself, unreal! I have a PSA 1000v sub ($1000) downstairs that is the only other device i've heard get that low audibly. I know realisticaly anything under 20hz doesn't really matter for most things but still, impressive stuff. This is my first open back too, so its nice being able to hear stuff even with HiFi audio flowing through haha. So I set the amp to 12 o'lock on the 2nd gain, and tweak the volume from the DAC since it has a controller. Though it seems to not have many increments doing it that way, like with 5-7 notches down it gets quite a bit quiter. I suppose I could raise the knob on the amp and then have more to play with from the DAC. The DAC defaults to Fast Linear and Standard, but I was reading someone on a thread talking about how Brickwall is the only accurate preset for DAC's? Sorry, more loaded questions LOL!

I see, so EQ APO you assign to your out, so the USB DAC in my case, then EQ to my hearts content. I'll give it a shot!
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post #33 of 39 Old 02-11-2020, 01:46 PM
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The DAC defaults to Fast Linear and Standard, but I was reading someone on a thread talking about how Brickwall is the only accurate preset for DAC's? Sorry, more loaded questions LOL!
10hz distortion free on an open dynamic is niice

I use fast linear. Whats standard, apodizing fast? How can it be both O.o Minimum/linear slow can sound good.. Theyre filters, theres no accurate, youre adjusting rolloff, ringing, aliasing... tailor it to the headphones you're using, there are plenty of graphs of the different filters.

who said that about brickwall... Are you on ASR?

If you really wanna have fun use high quality upsampling to 384k on the pc and set the dac to bypass
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post #34 of 39 Old 02-12-2020, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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10hz distortion free on an open dynamic is niice

I use fast linear. Whats standard, apodizing fast? How can it be both O.o Minimum/linear slow can sound good.. Theyre filters, theres no accurate, youre adjusting rolloff, ringing, aliasing... tailor it to the headphones you're using, there are plenty of graphs of the different filters.

who said that about brickwall... Are you on ASR?

If you really wanna have fun use high quality upsampling to 384k on the pc and set the dac to bypass
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So it defaults to PCM Filter "Fast Linear" then for Sound, its "Standard" I should tinker with each one to see what sounds good to me I suppose. I love how Amazon Music HD shows device capability "24 bit 384 kHz" just nutty lol. Track quality seems to max out at 24 bit 96 khz, which lets be honest, we can't hear anything over 17-20k anyways right? lol
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post #35 of 39 Old 02-12-2020, 10:47 AM
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So it defaults to PCM Filter "Fast Linear" then for Sound, its "Standard" I should tinker with each one to see what sounds good to me I suppose. I love how Amazon Music HD shows device capability "24 bit 384 kHz" just nutty lol. Track quality seems to max out at 24 bit 96 khz, which lets be honest, we can't hear anything over 17-20k anyways right? lol
I couldnt find a manual, what other options are there besides standard?

Its interesting. So a 48khz sample rate would mean 24khz max frequency. We cant hear audible sound over 17-20khz, but does that mean we cant hear more than 20k samples/s? Its well established that theres an audible difference in a 30khz sample rate vs a 44khz sample rate, and not seemingly just in a 15khz to 22khz frequency range. We're able to hear a myriad of reflections and our brain builds an image based on all that information, which would indicate that while we cant hear higher frequencies, we are capable of hearing differences in higher sample rates or simply more information. Atmos and object based audio are a good example, where multiple speakers work to create localization of audio objects in a 3d space, if our hearing was so limited audio like this would be far less effective.

Think about how video myths have evolved over the years. "We cant see framerates higher than 24fps, 24 fps is all you need" Then it was 60fps, then 120fps. Turns out the nerves in our eyes fire at up to 1000 times per second. The air force did a study where pilots could consistently detect a 1/220th frame flash of an aircraft and be able to identify the aircraft. And it also took a sequential color refresh rate of over 700hz to eliminate our ability to detect color tearing, and some people still see it. So where did 24fps come from? Its a minimum framerate to resolve motion, how bout 60hz, a minimum framerate for desktop use or 50hz for live broadcast.

So back to audio. Is there a benefit to higher sample rates? Personally Ive heard some astounding sound quality from material recorded and played back(on a capable system) at 24/96, as well as 384khz upsampling, and dsd512 upsampling. And that upsampling has been especially beneficial to the real time binaural rendering when using measured room impulse responses, where rendering reflections and timing is critical to providing an externalized and natural sound, as well as the noise quantization with dsd. I feel Im measured in my observations, somethings I hear/see a difference, some I dont. I still just feed my dac 48khz because thats oodles of processing to do all that upsampling.

I dont treat any of this as "beliefs" and certainly not with a supremacist absolution though. Best to keep an open mind as our knowledge isnt absolute. Some people would call the components you chose snake oil and audiophool fooey, but you hear a drastic improvement in sound quality over other equipment you have.
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post #36 of 39 Old 02-13-2020, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I couldnt find a manual, what other options are there besides standard?

Its interesting. So a 48khz sample rate would mean 24khz max frequency. We cant hear audible sound over 17-20khz, but does that mean we cant hear more than 20k samples/s? Its well established that theres an audible difference in a 30khz sample rate vs a 44khz sample rate, and not seemingly just in a 15khz to 22khz frequency range. We're able to hear a myriad of reflections and our brain builds an image based on all that information, which would indicate that while we cant hear higher frequencies, we are capable of hearing differences in higher sample rates or simply more information. Atmos and object based audio are a good example, where multiple speakers work to create localization of audio objects in a 3d space, if our hearing was so limited audio like this would be far less effective.

Think about how video myths have evolved over the years. "We cant see framerates higher than 24fps, 24 fps is all you need" Then it was 60fps, then 120fps. Turns out the nerves in our eyes fire at up to 1000 times per second. The air force did a study where pilots could consistently detect a 1/220th frame flash of an aircraft and be able to identify the aircraft. And it also took a sequential color refresh rate of over 700hz to eliminate our ability to detect color tearing, and some people still see it. So where did 24fps come from? Its a minimum framerate to resolve motion, how bout 60hz, a minimum framerate for desktop use or 50hz for live broadcast.

So back to audio. Is there a benefit to higher sample rates? Personally Ive heard some astounding sound quality from material recorded and played back(on a capable system) at 24/96, as well as 384khz upsampling, and dsd512 upsampling. And that upsampling has been especially beneficial to the real time binaural rendering when using measured room impulse responses, where rendering reflections and timing is critical to providing an externalized and natural sound, as well as the noise quantization with dsd. I feel Im measured in my observations, somethings I hear/see a difference, some I dont. I still just feed my dac 48khz because thats oodles of processing to do all that upsampling.

I dont treat any of this as "beliefs" and certainly not with a supremacist absolution though. Best to keep an open mind as our knowledge isnt absolute. Some people would call the components you chose snake oil and audiophool fooey, but you hear a drastic improvement in sound quality over other equipment you have.
It's like "original, standard, rich 1,2,3 tube 1,2,3 crystal 1,2,3". Nothing seems to change the sound THAT much so far, so I just leave the defaults. I do think the Elex are extremely resolving and sharp. I should try to xcounter that sharpness some how. it sounds great, but it can be a bit "too good" if you will, sometimes you just want to listen and chill. It is fantastic for critical listening and the bass extension is unreal. I'm thinking I should try a planar! What do you think?

Yeah the video myths are so funny. I can tell a huge difference even 120 hz to 240 hz, diminishing returns but still, funny how people thought over 60 was unnecessary at one point ha! For sound though, we've been further ahead for years. I am a very bias confirmation type of guy, I seek out my pro views on things, and I want to believe the money I spent on this gear and to be able to play up to 24/384 is worth it BUT the last couple of years I've been branching out, purposely looking at opposing viewpoints on literally any and everything. I hate to say it, but this was one of them recently, and I was shocked there has even been double blind studies with audiophiles in 1, where they picked the correct track 48% of the time. Literally the same statistically of a group randomly choosing. I guess the reason at the beginning of the digital era with the spec for CD's, was chosen 16 bit 44.1kHz because of our hearing capabilities, they didn't see a reason to go above that audibly.

My understanding for SACD is that it sounded better because they were new masters and done in newer more efficient, precise processes, not exactly what bit depth or sampling it was at. I've also read alot lately from some great sources talking about how the higher sampling rates of course have more data there due to more samples, but the resolution is so high above what we already cant distinguish that it literally doesn't matter. Even golden ears, they believe actually are more critically listening trained than actually can hear differences, like some dudes who can tell which encoder was used back in the 90's lol. That's not resolution/sampling, thats just errors in the signal. With all that said though, if it makes us, myself included feel better knowing that we have the highest quality possible, and that makes the experience more enjoyable, its all good! I just hope that the potential negatives of having such high frequency (hearing errors/things we shouldn't in the higher ranges) never come to fruition.

I like your absolution thought too, I'm in IT, and can't tell you how many escalations for various issues I've received from our different groups that they are just so sure, and talking absolutes that they missed something super simple or automatically ruled out, out of their philosophy. Anyways man, I appreciate all your help, you've been great helping me figure all this out. Learned a ton, and have to revisit some. I did test out the Elex downstairs last night. The Denon has a bassy hum, not super bad, but obnoxious, but once movies start playing its all good (used headphone jack). I just need to get a longer cable, looking at periapt cables, as I keep seeing them thrown around forums and youtubers, seem like solid cables, though pricey from what I gather.
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post #37 of 39 Old 02-13-2020, 04:48 PM
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If you find the Elexs a little sharp at times I would try a couple things before a planar, because planars have that very revealing quality to them as well.
-Try a simple treble roll off first, reducing all that sibilance presence and air by a few dbs can soften things up without losing detail. When Im using my EL8s without OOYH I bell 4khz by a couple dbs and roll off over 8khz by a couple and it effectively reduces some fatigue while still being very detailed
-Put that revealing quality to use with binaural rendering, try Waves NX and Out of Your Head, with OOYH you really have to flatten out the headphones response and then give it some volume though. I use OOYH 99% of the time listening to music, glorious.
-Try an older Audio-GD amp with wolfson chips or r2r/multibit, as it may be the amplifier(feedback distortion of transients has that sharp etched sound).
You may like the Mobius though, I find it to be very detailed without the hyper revealing qualities of my desktop setup. Whether using the binaural rendering or not, but i only use them via ldac bluetooth.

The periapt cables can be a little bulky, but the higher gauge is probably good for a longer run.

Alot of what we hear in headphones as more transparent, more detailed, revealing, etc. is either a lack of ringing, resonance, high frequency distortion, and/or an improved response, how quickly the driver returns to a resting state. Are these qualities actually masking samples in the audio signal or compounding with them? If we can hear these qualities amidst the audio signal that would also seem to indicate that our brains are able to perceive more information. But I agree, I mean really, 40000 samples per second already sounds like an absurd amount of information. For recording, some of the best recordings Ive heard I didnt attribute to a higher sample rate but due to the use of ac mains isolation for the recording equipment ;]

I dont have any bias towards sample rates though, no difference, fine, yes difference, fine, something else to try and enjoy. One instance that suprised me was someone mentioned using dsd512 upsampling with OOYH on the headfi thread, and when I tried it the presets with more reverberant rooms became much more natural sounding, less fatiguing, and more externalized. I tried to share this observation in the Smyth Realiser thread on head fi not knowing that dsd was a trigger word for faux objectivists, and was met with the usual regurgitated tripe (like brownies[re sprites lol] with tiny spears pouring out of the woodwork), so I linked them to archimago blogs just to occupy their time confuse them and save me from trying to have a discussion with someone firmly planted in belief.

Like look at ASR, ooo soo objective soo factual. Yet Ive seen several occassions now where Amirs measurements were innaccurate compared to measurements from no less than 5 other sources. When you actually read his posts you see that he'll put a balanced unit in high gain and test the single ended outputs at max volume, alters graphs, etc. etc. Theres a reason hes banned from here, headfi, and every other av forum over the last 20 years. People would try to instruct him on how to measure certain types of noise, and how that noise effects audio rendering, which doesnt show up as distortion or jitter, and still affected the audio despite a low SNR, and he would just keep repeating "output of the dac output of the dac" Its like comparing dlp to lcd. Sure the gamut measures the same on a static pattern. But the actual video rendering is drastically different.

On that forum they frequently accost people who mention liking non feedback or multibit as liking distortion more then accurate audio(separate of an actual house sound where 3rd order harmonics are tweaked). Yet theyre completely ignoring feedback distortion, it doesnt even exist to them. Audible distortion doesnt exist and inaudible distortion is for the audiofools. Makes no sense. I dont know what the deal is, steering people towards specific equipment? a bias towards other equipment? But now the way its presented and the rabid fan base its heavily influencing the markets and trends, which leads me to conspiracy, you have a group of people who intentionally yes men each other and it eventually leads to ad revenue and sponsorship.

But that level of blatant supremacy and absolutionist behavior and at the same time they present themselves as the good guys, you know who else did that? the nazis. =/ Ive seen to much contradictory "fact" from these types over the years on changstar, whats best, here(no the behringer uca202is not the end all be all of digital audio... !!), asr, headfi, etc, even toms with their pc motherboard audio is just as good as a benchmark and a fully double blind ab test, just no. I also dont really read any audio reviews or impressions, mainly just technical papers. I look at the technology and then try what interests me.

Im more in the extended listening and acclimation camp. AB with AV is very difficult due to our memory and several other variables specific to how the test is actually conducted. I was experimenting with power supplies on a component way upstream(the uptone usb regen that was in front of a breeze duu8 that sent optical to an audiogd nfb11) and was able to hear very clear differences when listening over time. One supply was detailed yet fatiguing(meanwell SMPS), one was less detailed and non-fatiguing(ifi ipower a low noise smps), one was detailed and non-fatiguing(jameco lps). These observations directly correlated to the different properties of these supplies. The meanwell smps is high noise low output impedance, the ifi ipower is low noise high output impedance, and the jameco lps is low noise low output impedance. A quick ab and "trying" to hear a difference didnt yield such observations, only in just listening over time. It sounds stupid, a 0.5a power supply on an over-engineered usb hub, yet I went back and forth for months and the results were consistent. The noise caused the sound to be fatiguing despite a very low snr, and the higher output impedance masked detail, despite a 12khz fft looking exactly the same. It was the same with quadrapole cables and digital components, due to the varied current draw a noise generating voltage develops across the inductance of the cable, solved with $1 of wire, doesnt show up on any measurements outside of putting an isolated probe to the actual cable, should be a non issue due to SNR, but really improved imaging and transparency.

Heres another one, that I briefly mentioned about electrically connected components, and a very anecdotal but interesting observation, I think.

So when you have an electrical connection between two or more components, leakage loops form through the AC mains, power supplies, DC output of power supplies, interconnects (analog and digital) to other power supplies and back through the AC mains, this is separate from ground loops. This current generates noise, and higher impedance connections(as simple as surge suppression) increase that noise. With my mutli channel system, putting the entire system on a low interwinding capacitance isolation transformer, with filterless distribution and using mm om3 fiber to break electrical connections to the pc and projectors, did a few things.

Technically, it reduces common/traverse mode noise by 140db / 70db, provides movless surge suppression, the filterless distribution provides low impedance connections for all the components in the sound system(avr, 2ch amp, 3 mono amps) reducing noise from leakage loops, and the fiber extenders break leakage loops to the pc and projectors.

Subjectively, imaging and transparency improved dramatically, especially atmos tracks so much more height depth and localization. What was interesting though, my gf watches stuff on youtube during the day, and specifically content like people walking around a city alot of the backround noises, road/traffic, wind, crowds, would all sound very nondistinct, brittle, fatiguing, and she would keep the volume very low and use alot of range compression. After the power tweaks though she uses a much higher volume, uses the surround upmixer, less range compression, and frequently commented(completely unsolicited I might add) on how much more detailed and comfortable the audio was. When you look at ultra high end recording/mixing studios, screening/listening rooms etc, they all use some type of isolation from ac mains, fiber for digital signal transmission, and filterless distribution.

Holy crap this got long... !
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post #38 of 39 Old 02-14-2020, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Haha no worries, nice hearing different perspectives and experiences. Its amazing the changes in power sources can have on audio. I have PFC Sine Wave UPSs on everything from PC to recievers, even new DAC and amp. I k ow its not the dame as a power filter vut love the snappiness of switching to battery. Scared ****less of brownouts. My PC is running an EVGA 1000 watt Platinum rated for efficiency, 10 year warranty, so its solid built at least, though not titanium datacenter rated hehe.

I have found that after 24 hours the Elex seems to have broken in some how. I dont get the fatigue or anything just fantastic sounding. I do remember the amp being ice cold and even the Elex when first using it which I was kind of worried about. I even had to disavle the 3 db bass boost. It really is fantastic, and reminds me of some great speakers but on my head.

Do you think the deep hum when plughing into the headphone jack can be solved with a nicer cable? I assume bot, so wondering if it would be if I RCA'd it to the amp and used balanced?
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post #39 of 39 Old 02-15-2020, 12:26 PM
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I use the sine wave ups on everything as well. smps are very susceptible to surges so those ups' should do well in protecting alot of equipment from power supply failure. Same pc psu too evga plat ;]

I always wonder about burn in as well as components sounding different after reaching thermal equilibrium. I have a pair of he400is that sounded overly bright and etched and lacking bass, let them play overnight, and it relaxed significantly. Was it me? Was it actually burn in?

Youd have to try, its possible that hum will go right through the amp.

I would maybe try putting an audio extractor in line somewhere i guess before the receiver, send optical to a separate dac, then you only have to move the amp back and forth. Optical will break any ground loops and should avoid any other noise(aside from phy noise) from the av system.
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