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Truth, Lies and Fraud in the Audiophile World

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

Simplifi

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@skikirkwood/truth-lies-and-fraud-in-the-audiophile-world-a365e56c97c4

very interesting to read.
 
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raghupb

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This is an old article. And this topic has been flogged enough on this and other forums.
At the end of the day, people will choose what the believe in and reject what they don't believe.
Cheers,
Raghu
 

Enkay78

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@Simplifi

Visit www.audiosciencereviews.com also.
This site is only one I feel where experts/researchers in audio industry are members. Many of the members are techies, engineers with in-depth technical knowledge.

One can get very much educated about audio from this site. I highly recommend ASR.


(Look at the reviews of PSAUDIO DACs in ASR and read the comments from members including tec experts. And then compare with the thread in PSAUDIO forum. And then draw your own conclusions. I gurantee you - that you will be more 'inforned' about audio. )Which will help you pursue your hobby )
 

tuff

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Not so. The trouble begins where measurements end. You may see many audiophiles rave about speakers/amps DAC's that do not measure well at all, but sound really good. Speakers especially can be all over the place when it comes to measurements, but can sound highly musical. Subjectivity is a nightmare to figure out. Something that measures well need not sound good to all, and something that sounds good need not measure well. This hobby can be nutty if one applies logic to it.
 

dinesh1201

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Not so. The trouble begins where measurements end. You may see many audiophiles rave about speakers/amps DAC's that do not measure well at all, but sound really good. Speakers especially can be all over the place when it comes to measurements, but can sound highly musical. Subjectivity is a nightmare to figure out. Something that measures well need not sound good to all, and something that sounds good need not measure well. This hobby can be nutty if one applies logic to it.
And this is the principle I trust upon. We can't compare so many products before buying one. We read review which can be subjective, I used to read audiosciencereviews but then It's like should I buy what he scored best? another day he has some other DAC with more features and better measurements and I do not like wasting my time reading repeated things.
People read because it's like a fun, but buying what sounds good to them in terms of looks, audition and price.
Would one sell his schiit Multibit after he bashed it hard lol , no right!
 

Enkay78

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The only inconsistency with subjective reviews is this: it is inconsistent.

And many have debunked the 'subjective differences' under blind controls. Archimago has some funny findings which also highlight the inconsistency of the issue.


But yes, there is no denying music is personal and very subjective. However audio is not..... especially modern audio. It's technology and engineering.

I would , at this time in my life and the current techy world, give a benefit of doubt - that the world have a problem with conformational bias .....and it needs evidence base perception to counter it.


* Guys don't feel that I am harping for ASR. It just that I find the objective evidences more informative to me ...in making my decisions. Whether good/bad measurements sound good/bad is left to our own subjective perception.
 

greenhorn

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At least those tests of flac vs mp3 where people compared and ended up saying the MP3 was better - I have a theory.
I recall taking a test like that (don't remember the exact test)- In the older tracks, I remember being able to pick the uncompressed out of the two correctly - these were older songs which I were familiar with, or acoustic tracks where digital artefacts stood out like a sore thumb.
I had trouble distinguishing between the compressed and non compressed ones on newer tracks like black eyed peas and daft punk, where the music is somewhat indistinguishable from digital artefacting. If you take some old rock track, and add some tube distortion, I'm sure a lot of people would pick the tubey version - I do not think that is valid argument that people are unable to distinguish between a distorted and non distorted version - It's just that in a track where that sort of distortion is integral to the music, having a more distorted version presents itself as more authentic than the original.
Sort of like the charlie chaplin contest where Charlie chaplin entered a charlie chaplin contest and lost. When something is a defining and integral part of something, people percieve that the version with more of that is better.
 

kartikay

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@Simplifi

Visit www.audiosciencereviews.com also.
This site is only one I feel where experts/researchers in audio industry are members. Many of the members are techies, engineers with in-depth technical knowledge.

One can get very much educated about audio from this site. I highly recommend ASR.


(Look at the reviews of PSAUDIO DACs in ASR and read the comments from members including tec experts. And then compare with the thread in PSAUDIO forum. And then draw your own conclusions. I gurantee you - that you will be more 'inforned' about audio. )Which will help you pursue your hobby )
Big problem i see with ASR is myopic approach in testing and summarising technical capabilities of unit in THD+N/SINAD nos. If thats the most important param, all tube based units should sound horrible.But even in his one-liners subjective reviews Amir himself mentions he hears no difference in SQ between poorly measured (as per his tests) vs good measuring units. Also if you notice his PSaudio directstream DAC "review", he was measuring that unit at max volume, no one gonna use that unit as max volume, before hearing that measured distortion either your driver will go kaput or your eardrums.. I am not saying THD/Sinad isn't important, but dont treat it as panacea for audio..
 

Enkay78

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I was more concerned about the 'ethicality' of the manufacturers......and the reason that they put (including Ted's the designers) when it was pointed out that the Transformer was the culprit behind the noise and distortions.

I am no one to question the subjective perception of music...... reviewers or consumers....tube or non-tube or SS. As it can be gathered there are as much those who like tubes as those who don't like.

I was also enthused about owning a tube amp....but thanks to @celester340 I got a very timely advice from him...so I have stop considering that path.

Any way it's very informative and enlightening to be at a neutral camp and observe all these opposing camps. I am hoping I can get some grains from the chaffs.
 
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Even if subjectivists disapprove importance of good mesurements, ASR definately helps to choose value for money audio components/ equipments. And this certainly helps in avoiding Snake-Oil products.
 

LobsterB

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Also if you notice his PSaudio directstream DAC "review", he was measuring that unit at max volume, no one gonna use that unit as max volume, before hearing that measured distortion either your driver will go kaput or your eardrums..
What is the ideal volume to set for the DAC when it is connected to an amplifier? I was under the impression that 0dB is the ideal volume when an external volume control in analog world is available. Or am I mistaken?
 

Enkay78

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What is the ideal volume to set for the DAC when it is connected to an amplifier? I was under the impression that 0dB is the ideal volume when an external volume control in analog world is available. Or am I mistaken?
Line out means 0db. I don't think you are mistaken.
 

kartikay

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What is the ideal volume to set for the DAC when it is connected to an amplifier? I was under the impression that 0dB is the ideal volume when an external volume control in analog world is available. Or am I mistaken?
I was talking about the latest review of Steller gain DAC, its a DAC/preamp.. not just a DAC no one will use a preamp and output 4vRMS out of it, unless you want to blow up your speakers.. so ideal volume will depend upon how you are planning to use it.. FYI, i am not defending PSaudio dac, I have heard one of their DACs and didnt like it at all. I am just pointing out that conditions used in ASR tests vary and may not mimc actual usage..
 

kartikay

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I was more concerned about the 'ethicality' of the manufacturers......and the reason that they put (including Ted's the designers) when it was pointed out that the Transformer was the culprit behind the noise and distortions.

I am no one to question the subjective perception of music...... reviewers or consumers....tube or non-tube or SS. As it can be gathered there are as much those who like tubes as those who don't like.

I was also enthused about owning a tube amp....but thanks to @celester340 I got a very timely advice from him...so I have stop considering that path.

Any way it's very informative and enlightening to be at a neutral camp and observe all these opposing camps. I am hoping I can get some grains from the chaffs.
again, myopic approach of attesting issues with a unit to topologies/technologies used. I right now have soekris DAC, hqaudio dac (uses lundhal trafo in passive output stage), and a loaner chord mojo sitting with me.. guess which DAC out of these sounds like even with best measuring results.. And regarding tubes, I was in the same camp that tubes color sound.. but recent demo session of Apex teton amp changed that view..
 
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LobsterB

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I was talking about the latest review of Steller gain DAC, its a DAC/preamp.. not just a DAC no one will use a preamp and output 4vRMS out of it, unless you want to blow up your speakers.. so ideal volume will depend upon how you are planning to use it.. FYI, i am not defending PSaudio dac, I have heard one of their DACs and didnt like it at all. I am just pointing out that conditions used in ASR tests vary and may not mimc actual usage..
Thanks, I was just trying to validate my understanding that 0dB has potentially the best audio performance for a given DAC as digital volume controls typically work by truncating bits to reduce volume. Btw, I also feel that 4V output at 0dB is a bit unusual, but still won't the performance of the DAC part only "degrade" (theoretically) if it is measured at a lower volume?
 

kartikay

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Thanks, I was just trying to validate my understanding that 0dB has potentially the best audio performance for a given DAC as digital volume controls typically work by truncating bits to reduce volume. Btw, I also feel that 4V output at 0dB is a bit unusual, but still won't the performance of the DAC part only "degrade" (theoretically) if it is measured at a lower volume?
Some DAC chips like ESS sabre ones, do support digital volume control without affecting bit accuracy. Though i am not sure how PSaudio is handling attenuation in Stellar gain DAC. Btw for so called 24bit and high bit depth nos. actual bit resolution is much less and will most be depending on other stages in the DAC, PSU, IV/buffer stage, LPF filter etc..
 
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