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Thanks, now the OP will have a chance to respond.
 

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Discussion Starter #562 (Edited)
I did not want to debate this as some things are so subjective its not worth it to me.
That's like saying "It is subjective if one can see light (electromagnetic radiation) in the ultraviolet and infrared frequencies."
False. You either can or you can't and anyone claiming they can means nothing without backing evidence. A simple scientifically controlled test can determine if they truly can.

But, for one, any use of iTunes as a point of reference for imported sound is not good as iTunes is not bit perfect.
A. The original CD sound, File A in my test design, never travels through iTunes (nor the iphone) at all so you can't argue the higher quality "reference" sound has been compromised/mangled in any way. File A, the reference, also never passes through any other gear nor processing. Also you are actually incorrect that File B gets mangled by iTunes as I explain below in B, but even if it did theoretically get "mangled/distorted/compromised" it would only make the task of attempting to hear a difference, any difference at all, even easier not harder: In an ABX test you don't have to state what's "better" you only have to state if there is some difference. Any difference including "inadvertent test-design mangling".

The concern if all the many added steps used to create File B may have theoretically caused an audible difference (indeed possible) only comes into play if a listener can detect some difference. So far of the several people who have been brave enough to take the test not a single one has detected any audible difference whatsoever.

B. The sound of File B is PCM in WAV format (uncompressed), not iTunes' more typical AAC (compressed format), and it does not get re-encoded. If you watch my authentication video you'll see the file is dragged and dropped into the folder and it was not ripped from the CD using iTunes' normal method; I did it with EAC instead, Exact Audio Copy, in WAV mode which makes a bit perfect copy from the source CD song.
 

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That's like saying "It is subjective if one can see light (electromagnetic radiation) in the ultraviolet and infrared frequencies."
False. You either can or you can't and anyone claiming they can means nothing without backing evidence. A simple scientifically controlled test can determine if they truly can.


A. The higher quality sound, File A in my test design, never travels through iTunes (nor the iphone) at all so you can't argue the higher quality "reference" sound has been compromised/mangled in any way. File A, the reference, never passes through any other gear nor processing. Also you are actually incorrect that File B gets mangled by iTunes as I explain below in B, but even if it did theoretically get "mangled/distorted/compromised" it would only make the task of attempting to hear a difference, any difference at all, even easier not harder: In an ABX test you don't have to state what's "better" you only have to state if there is some difference. Any difference including "inadvertent test design mangling".

The concern if all the many added steps used to create File B may have theoretically caused an audible difference (indeed possible) only comes into play if a listener can detect some difference. So far of the several people who have been brave enough to take the test not a single one has detected any audible difference whatsoever.

B. The sound of File B is PCM in WAV format (uncompressed), not iTunes' more typical AAC (compressed format), and it does not get re-encoded. If you watch my authentication video you'll see the file is dragged and dropped into the folder and it was not ripped from the CD using iTunes' normal method; I did it with EAC instead, Exact Audio Copy, in WAV mode which makes a bit perfect copy from the source CD song.
You've won.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #565 (Edited)
You've won.:cool:
Why don't you take the test yourself and see if you can hear any difference between the the two files in the opening post, that is, the original, direct, unprocessed reference sound, called File A (tr0430sec), versus the version that has passed through the cheapo ($7.99) DAC, called File B (tr0430sDACd), and then post your score sheet? Who knows? Maybe you'll be the first to be able to audibly detect the difference we can clearly see in measurements, for example, the change between the two Dropbox images you'll see when you download the two files, I turned into an animated GIF:


. . . that is if your system and listening skills are up to the task to reveal such distinctions.
 

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Discussion Starter #567
I have excellent D/A converters in both my Bryson SP-3 and BDA-3 and I am content with their sonic signature.;)
Actually if a DAC has any "sonic signature" (a discernible sound of its own it imposes on the signal passing through it) it's a bad DAC if one's goal is accurate, faithful-to-the-source sound reproduction, also known as "high fidelity". Here the goal is 100% total transparency, the very highest level of fidelity there is.

My contention is this $7.99 DAC is indeed "perfect to the ear"--that's what this ABX test determines--however if one were to attempt this test with inadequate gear not capable of revealing subtle distinctions it is quite possible that no differences would be found because the user's system simply doesn't have what it takes.
 
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This spot for sale or rent.
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You contend his content by contending the content of his system? I'm being contentious. [I think I might have broken something]
I think you're out of contention now.
 

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Discussion Starter #570 (Edited)
So far here is the running tally of everybody posting their scores. Obviously anyone claiming success at hearing a difference (a score better than 12/16, 12 out of 16 trials) needs to post their entire score sheet for verification, but people admitting they can't hear any difference we'll take their word for it.

Total: 11/16
Total: 7/16
I have messed around with your test and best I have done is 9 right with headphones.
Total: 10/16
I wouldn't expect to hear a difference anyways. Anyone who balks at doing an DBT after making the kind of claims they were designed for is simply a craven weasel and it's grounds to dismiss anything they say about what they claim to hear, period.
Total: 9/16
[NOTE: At his request, WGH instead used his first choice of hand picked material [Cowboy Junkies, Trinity Sessions] for his tests]:
That said I did 2 tests and both were 10/16.
Total: 10/16

Total: 10/16
my tower speakers first: 7/16

headphones: 9/16
---

9/16 but it was pretty much wild guessing 100% of the time.
I will attempt to update this post to show the running data collected so far as new entries are posted. My guess is there are people who have taken the test and failed to hear a difference but they don't post. The opposite however I find rather unlikely: most people would jump at the opportunity to demonstrate they can hear a difference so they'd have no reason to not speak up.

As of today, 07/14/2020, nobody through any setup can hear any distinction whatsoever. Not any flaw, coloration, deficiency, "inability to fully resolve", etc. with the $7.99 DAC being tested. That is, all current data shows its sound reproduction is perfect to the ear, aka "transparent".
 

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The Perfect DAC. Anything less is completely inaccurate distorted audio devoid of natural harmonics and decay.







 

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Discussion Starter #572 (Edited)
The Perfect DAC.
There are many audibly perfect DACs. Let's see if you can demonstrate by your ears alone that this $7.99 DAC isn't one of them, by taking the test in the first post, listening through whatever system you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #574 (Edited)

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I was afraid that it was actually only a DAC. I notice it has an improved SPDIF interface, to replace the 'less good' DAC builtin to the DAC chip. Speaking SPDIF is pretty blasé, it's a utterly basic function that tons of equipment, even very cheap gear, do with ease, but the SPDIF in an already ultra-highend chip isn't good enough? What's next, will they redesign ones and zeros, or maybe they'll have electronics that use only specially selected electrons that possess less jitter??
 

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Discussion Starter #577 (Edited)
9/16 but it was pretty much wild guessing 100% of the time.
Thanks, I'll add you to the running tally post, number 570 I believe, in a moment.

The notion (as I explained to torii at one point) is if you don't feel you can clearly hear a difference you should go with your gut. Who knows? Maybe your conscious mind can't hear any difference but your sub-conscious mind can and will help you with the test. It's like when my friend turned off his targeting computer:

Am I the only one who gets teary eyed from this scene? :eek:
 
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Thanks, I'll add you to the running tally post, number 570 I believe, in a moment.

The notion (as I explained to torii at one point) is if you don't feel you can clearly hear a difference you should go with your gut. Who knows? Maybe your conscious mind can't hear any difference but your sub-conscious mind can and will help you with the test. It's like when my friend turned off his targeting computer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuKqcfO31is

Am I the only one who gets teary eyed from this scene? :eek:
So my "gut" has a 56% accuracy. I have to get it replaced. What does an audiophile gut cost nowdays?
 

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I have excellent D/A converters in both my Bryson SP-3 and BDA-3 and I am content with their sonic signature.;)
Good for you!

Really, that's the goal, finding a DAC that provides the sound you find best at a price point that works for you.
 

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I find looking for a DAC, or an amp, with a "sound" to be a strange concept. I worked really hard to research, find, and trial the most neutral speakers I could get within my budget. I don't want any electronics coloring the sound, so they should be as neutral as possible as well. Meaning, flat from 20 - 20. So if flat is the sound, then I would agree yes that is the goal :)
 
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