• QuadraphonicQuad welcomes you and encourages your participation! Treat all members with respect. Please keep all discussions civil, even when you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.

    Do not offer for free, offer for sale, offer for trade, or request copies or files of copyrighted material - no matter how rare or unavailable to the public they might be. We do not condone the illegal sharing of music. There are many places on the internet where you can participate in such transactions, but QuadraphonicQuad is not one of them. We are here to encourage and support new multichannel releases from those companies that still provide them and as such the distribution of illegal copies of recordings is counter-productive to that effort. Any posts of this sort will be deleted without notification.

    Please try to avoid discussions that pit one format against another. Hint for new users: make liberal use of the search facilities here at QuadraphonicQuad. Our message base is an incredibly rich resource of detailed information on virtually all topics pertaining to surround-sound. You will be surprised at what you can find with a little digging!

I Can Hear The Difference Between Some DACs

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

ssully

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Messages
2,691
Location
in your face
Sorry dude... say what you will about the method, but what I heard was not a difference that was as simple as a level mismatch or a sighted AB comparison. It wasn't anywhere near that close.
Yet it's not merely me 'saying what I will'.

Sighted, poorly level-matched methods are simply insufficient to support your speculations, much less prove your case. That's what scientific method 'says', not me. Proof requires actual measurements and bias controls to avoid the errors your methods are prone to.

DBT of hardware is hard. But you could at least try this (a measurement): digitize the outputs of the same musical sample, played by the 'different sounding' units. Compare frequency vs level of the resulting files. You can post them to me and I will do the analysis for you if you like.

'Rolled off' commonly means significantly tilted treble-to-bass balance in one presentation verses the other, and that is very measurable. If you see that in measurements, then you have a basis for investigating why it's happening.
 

LuvMyQuad

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
2,287
Location
Western NY
Yet it's not merely me 'saying what I will'.

Sighted, poorly level-matched methods are simply insufficient to support your speculations, much less prove your case. That's what scientific method 'says', not me. Proof requires actual measurements and bias controls to avoid the errors your methods are prone to.

DBT of hardware is hard. But you could at least try this (a measurement): digitize the outputs of the same musical sample, played by the 'different sounding' units. Compare frequency vs level of the resulting files. You can post them to me and I will do the analysis for you if you like.

'Rolled off' commonly means significantly tilted treble-to-bass balance in one presentation verses the other, and that is very measurable. If you see that in measurements, then you have a basis for investigating why it's happening.
I cant do any of that anymore. The B&K is long gone. That piece of equipment is 20 years old now. Its old technology.

I'm an engineer. I fully understand bias and matching levels, and I fully agree with your remarks.

But I had to use the tools I had at hand. There was no way I could perform DBT. I did spend time setting levels. It was painstaking, but ill bet I was well within a dB or so. And if there was any bias at all, I was biased that the B&K would sound better, and it didn't. I was very surprised, but that didn't change the outcome.

When I did the same type of comparison between the Marantz player and the Oppo, the difference was diminished to a point where your arguments make sense. My choice of the Oppo being slightly better certainly could have been due to a small level mismatch or a bias on my part, but then again, that difference wasn't worth the effort to pursue because it was so small. Should I have also done DBT and meticulous level setting to assure they sounded the same? Sounds like a waste of time to me.

This was not a difference in HF extension like you might strain to hear when changing out a power amp or (god forbid), a wire. This was more akin to turning a treble control a quarter turn. It was obvious, and I should have noticed it much sooner than I did.

What makes you think beyond a shadow of a doubt that B&K wasn't trying to soften up what was considered, in that era to be "harsh", digital sound?
 

ar surround

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
1,797
Location
New Joisey
I'm leaving this discussion after this post because it's really a moot point for me. I'm sticking with playing all my music from hard drives through the Oppo 205 DAC. It's just too convenient and enjoyable vs. shunting discs. The Surround Master is coming:SG which will push the Marantz deck out of the system anyway.

The purpose of my participation in this discussion was mainly to determine if I would hear an improvement with the $4000 exaSound DAC vs. the Oppo 205 DAC...And if that improvement would be worth $4000 to me especially since I just got the Oppo 205 this past September. Some say yes. Sully seems to say that "it depends" and I'd have to do precise level matching and double blind A/B tests to make a judgement.
 

markshan

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
1,211
Location
Pittsburgh PA
So, you believe everything manufacturers claim in their sales pitches. That makes life easy for them, and you. Congrats.

See, I can do it too!
I'm not the one who said every piece of electronic equipment is flat and sounds the same.
 

LuvMyQuad

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
2,287
Location
Western NY
I'm leaving this discussion after this post because it's really a moot point for me. I'm sticking with playing all my music from hard drives through the Oppo 205 DAC. It's just too convenient and enjoyable vs. shunting discs. The Surround Master is coming:SG which will push the Marantz deck out of the system anyway.

The purpose of my participation in this discussion was mainly to determine if I would hear an improvement with the $4000 exaSound DAC vs. the Oppo 205 DAC...And if that improvement would be worth $4000 to me especially since I just got the Oppo 205 this past September. Some say yes. Sully seems to say that "it depends" and I'd have to do precise level matching and double blind A/B tests to make a judgement.
Going so soon AR? :LOL:

Like you, most of the time when I handle a disc now its to rip it. And I was also wondering about that exaSound DAC the same way you seem to be. Great minds apparently think alike,

I would expect, given how good most digital gear is these days, that the audible difference would be minimal. Especially in my case, since pretty much everything I decode is simple PCM. But I do wonder if there might not be a significant difference between the HDMI connection I use now and the USB connection available on the exaSound.

Maybe you should audition one for us? :phones

I am convinced you will get your fill of non debatable, fully perceptible, bona fide audio goodness from the SM. You wont need to test blindly to hear that effect.

As for me, I'm undertaking my first serious journey into DSP room correction. Not that automatic Dirac Live or Audassy stuff..... I'm using REW and 11 bands of PEQ , like a real man does it. I'm a measuring animal now... o_O
 

markshan

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
1,211
Location
Pittsburgh PA
I agree with ssully. In all honesty, I have to say I am actually quite surprised that this thread hasn't been deleted as yet, like the discussion on cables that was completely expunged, for inexplicable reasons to me.
Sadly, someone used that thread as an opportunity to slander a well known mastering engineer who wasn't around to defend himself (there's one in every crowd). I wish they had simply removed all of those tangential posts, but understand why a mod would feel it not worth it and just nuke the whole thread.
 

markshan

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
1,211
Location
Pittsburgh PA
I'm leaving this discussion after this post
I will say this as succinctly as I know how then will likely follow suit. I have been argued with by "both sides", but for me it is simple. Music reproduction, like music itself, is part science and part art. I have zero time for people who completely reject science out of hand and I have zero time for people who reject the artistic endeavor completely out of hand as well. I think those people have made themselves abundantly clear here.
 

Clint Eastwood

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
Messages
11,452
Location
Int Space Station
I will say this as succinctly as I know how then will likely follow suit. I have been argued with by "both sides", but for me it is simple. Music reproduction, like music itself, is part science and part art. I have zero time for people who completely reject science out of hand and I have zero time for people who reject the artistic endeavor completely out of hand as well. I think those people have made themselves abundantly clear here.
It's a balancing act...although science is definitive...it's not all encompassing...because each of us is a variable...we are blessed or cursed with different hearing...different listening environments...different equipment...there can't be duplicates among us...there will always be differences...and in that vein....science can't cover everything....
 

Franklin

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Messages
1,509
Sadly, someone used that thread as an opportunity to slander a well known mastering engineer who wasn't around to defend himself (there's one in every crowd).
Who says he wasn't around? The thread got nuked quick enough, and is it slander if the blog writer referenced his claims?
 

markshan

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
1,211
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Who says he wasn't around? The thread got nuked quick enough, and is it slander if the blog writer referenced his claims?
I'm not doing this. I only made that post to explain to blue why the thread disappeared. Because of posts that had nothing to do with the subject at hand. Are you intent on making this one go away as well?
 

Franklin

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Messages
1,509
Nope, only defending you bringing it up. There was no need for it to be mentioned otherwise.
 

Franklin

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Messages
1,509
Repeatedly stating you're not bringing something up again is kind of bringing it up again. If I'm going to be accused of slander I think it's reasonable to respond.
 
Last edited:

bluelightning

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
506
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
As for me, I'm undertaking my first serious journey into DSP room correction. Not that automatic Dirac Live or Audassy stuff..... I'm using REW and 11 bands of PEQ , like a real man does it. I'm a measuring animal now... o_O
Are you using a miniDSP along with REW then ?
 

bluelightning

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
506
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
I'm not doing this. I only made that post to explain to blue why the thread disappeared. Because of posts that had nothing to do with the subject at hand. Are you intent on making this one go away as well?
markshan,
Thank you for the explanation. I thought we were all getting along just fine, but I didn't see any of the posts in question. While I agree with you that there is art in the music making process, I also agree there is significant art in the design of the aesthetic/build aspects of electronic equipment, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the aspect of art being involved in certain audiophile aspects of this.
 

bluelightning

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
506
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
Repeatedly stating you're not bringing something up again is kind of bringing it up again. If I'm going to be accused of slander I think it's reasonable to respond.
He didn't mention you by the name. He was polite enough to not take any names. What he stated was merely his impression of how things went. I didn't see any of the posts in question.
 

ssully

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Messages
2,691
Location
in your face
I cant do any of that anymore. The B&K is long gone. That piece of equipment is 20 years old now. Its old technology.

I'm an engineer. I fully understand bias and matching levels, and I fully agree with your remarks.

But I had to use the tools I had at hand. There was no way I could perform DBT. I did spend time setting levels. It was painstaking, but ill bet I was well within a dB or so. And if there was any bias at all, I was biased that the B&K would sound better, and it didn't. I was very surprised, but that didn't change the outcome.

When I did the same type of comparison between the Marantz player and the Oppo, the difference was diminished to a point where your arguments make sense. My choice of the Oppo being slightly better certainly could have been due to a small level mismatch or a bias on my part, but then again, that difference wasn't worth the effort to pursue because it was so small. Should I have also done DBT and meticulous level setting to assure they sounded the same? Sounds like a waste of time to me.
The waste of time is trying to match levels to 'well within a dB or so' by ear, as the matching needs to be well within 0.5 dB, really, in the most sensitive part of the spectrum, to avoid having a biasing effect.

This was not a difference in HF extension like you might strain to hear when changing out a power amp or (god forbid), a wire. This was more akin to turning a treble control a quarter turn. It was obvious, and I should have noticed it much sooner than I did.
Except turning the treble a 'quarter of a turn' would have an obvious effect on a frequency graph.

You're an engineer. What mechanism could possibly have that effect yet not produce a notable measurable difference?

So, let's suppose that difference *was* measurable. What would you attribute that difference to?


What makes you think beyond a shadow of a doubt that B&K wasn't trying to soften up what was considered, in that era to be "harsh", digital sound?
I'm asking you to provide better evidence that it was. Was it never measured in Stereophile or another journal?
 

ssully

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Messages
2,691
Location
in your face
I'm leaving this discussion after this post because it's really a moot point for me. I'm sticking with playing all my music from hard drives through the Oppo 205 DAC. It's just too convenient and enjoyable vs. shunting discs. The Surround Master is coming:SG which will push the Marantz deck out of the system anyway.

The purpose of my participation in this discussion was mainly to determine if I would hear an improvement with the $4000 exaSound DAC vs. the Oppo 205 DAC...And if that improvement would be worth $4000 to me especially since I just got the Oppo 205 this past September. Some say yes. Sully seems to say that "it depends" and I'd have to do precise level matching and double blind A/B tests to make a judgement.
Or, someone, not necessarily you, could post measurements that would indicate (or not indicate) a likely audible difference. Like this guy does .
 

ssully

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Messages
2,691
Location
in your face
It's a balancing act...although science is definitive...it's not all encompassing...because each of us is a variable...we are blessed or cursed with different hearing...different listening environments...different equipment...there can't be duplicates among us...there will always be differences...and in that vein....science can't cover everything....

....but belief can, and often does....not accurately, of course....but a true believer don't care about that.
 
2
Top