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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Periodically, the simple question is posed here at AVS about which Digital to Analog Converters sound best. DACs are Big Business at the moment and Big Art as well, with design teams putting their efforts into creating something worth the listener's dollar or pound. And some of this stuff costs pounds of dollars!

AVS Forum posters chime in with their favorites and crunchy, sticky ear candy seems to be everywhere. Then there are inevitable counter-posts aiming to Stop the Madness, citing research, studies, and possibly a Masters Thesis. Suddenly the multicolored audio wonderland is turned on its head and becomes a land where all equipment that is competently designed sounds pretty darn good and differences are purely those of cosmetics and build quality. "Change in your pocket!" cries one camp, while the other says "Your ears will know!" and cites its superior design and handpicked components tested by a guy who grew up in Bavaria.

ABX testing? That follows an established methodology, but it's not the way we listen, is it? I would suggest bringing a DAC that interests you into your own system. Make no other changes. Live with it for a day or how ever many days your dealer's return policy allows (maybe you can ply them with some dark chocolate). Listen at different levels and with speakers, headphones, or both. Take your time. Did you immediately hear a difference compared to your original DAC? Are you hearing the same thing a day or two later? Now, return your system to its original state and ask yourself if the "old sound" has returned. If you heard little or no difference, then you saved yourself some cash and had an interesting weekend. If you're pining for the sound of your guest component, pay the dealer and enjoy better sounding music.

Maybe this only makes sense to me :confused:. (It wouldn't be the first time.)
 

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Don't you get it? It's a fun, DIY project! The "trick" is a method, a strategy, possibly a lost weekend...


LOL yes I get it, I was busting balls being sarcastic, as people always look for definitive answers instead of exactly what you state, especially in such a subjective world as musical appreciation and critical listening. Well and true advice, although I still have fun getting into the science and its in my nature to always learn compare and relearn if possible on anything science related. Sometimes we just have to enjoy the music, instead of worrying about the sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I still have fun getting into the science...
There may be science to this that hasn't been explored. Maybe people perceive things in the sound (differences in equipment, peripheral bits, etc.) that aren't reflected in measurements because we're not measuring the right things.

A hundred years ago, scientists insisted that something called The Ether ran throughout the universe, which explained how light traveled in the vacuum of space. Then somebody figured out an entirely different explanation and myth of The Ether was busted. (I can't believe nobody ever named a rock band "The Ether.")
 
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