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post #61 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

Also factor in higher priced DACs have different connection options. As is stated in the Recommended Audio Products sticky.
Honestly, read it. I wrote most of the DAC sections. All this talk is avoided if you follow the guide.
The thereshold for source tranparency starts at the ODAC, however others have more connections and features, such as thinner design / more portability (CEntrance DACport LX for example) that separates them.
I only recommend sources that have scientific backing.
Some human hearing theresholds (off the top of my head, will correct later if slightly wrong):
Frequency: 15Hz - 22,000Hz
(Most people are really 20 Hz - 19000Hz. The lowest I can hear is 24Hz. Anything over 17kHz is painful at regular volume, plain annoying sharp screeching sound at low volumes. Most music is 40Hz - 14,000 Hz)
You 'feel' anything below 15Hz and yes, it can make you sick and very disorientated.
Real sub-bass is really 60Hz and below (i.e. 'Thud' instead of 'boom').
Intermodulation distortion and THD: 0.003% (~ -90.5dB).
-90dB is like taking the sound of jet engine at takeoff and pushing down the volume knob so much that it sounds like a whisper.
Crosstalk: -40dB (Crosstalk is really a non-issue these days, even with onboard sound)
Channel balance: 0.1dB (most people are really 0.2 - 0.3dB)
Ain't even factoring environmental factors into play such as room size and associated things such as reverb and first reflections, objects in the way between the source of the sound and your ears, the shape of your ear and head, the angle you wear your headphones at, the angle at where your speakers are lined up realtive to you, the fit of your earphones affecting isolation and bass response, how the eartip fits inside your earcanal afffecting frequency reponse....

Excellent post. Yes, more money can afford you better design/features but not necessarily better sound if the lesser-budgeted part is performance-optimized (perhaps even if both parts are performance-optimized).

If you're throwing down more than a couple of hundred on a DAC, you're almost certainly putting much of that money into stuff other than sound. Connectivity, features, form-factor, design, et al.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

The question is with 400 dollars can you assemble a DAC that is [audibly] better than one you can assemble with 200 dollars?
Or could a 400 dollar DAC be constructed to be superior to the 200 dollar DAC AUDIBLY?

To be blunt and direct, there is no evidence suggesting audible differences and there has been none for the past several decades. Ergo the burden of evidence lies upon those claiming that a difference exists, to-date of which there is no such evidence.

To be fair, the ODAC is actually a sub-$100 circuit. Consider the cost of the circuit id ipse rather than the cost of enclosure, labor and the ever-present "audiophool"/"hi-fi" tax. How much money do you think a DIY Benchmark DAC1 or something similar actually costs once you boil it down to the PCB and circuitry parts?
Edited by friend'scatdied - 9/4/12 at 9:08am
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post #62 of 121
Topping D2 looks like a well made DAC with 4 different types of input with 1 amplified headphone output and 1 L n R RCA out put. Does more than just USB.



http://www.mightybigword.com/tnt/2012/03/topping-d2-dac-review/
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post #63 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonDa5 View Post

Topping D2 looks like a well made DAC with 4 different types of input with 1 amplified headphone output and 1 L n R RCA out put. Does more than just USB.
http://www.mightybigword.com/tnt/2012/03/topping-d2-dac-review/

For the price that looks like a very nice semi-portable/desktop DAC & amp.
post #64 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

To be blunt and direct, there is no evidence suggesting audible differences and there has been none for the past several decades. Ergo the burden of evidence lies upon those claiming that a difference exists, to-date of which there is no such evidence.

To be fair, the ODAC is actually a sub-$100 circuit. Consider the cost of the circuit id ipse rather than the cost of enclosure, labor and the ever-present "audiophool"/"hi-fi" tax. How much money do you think a DIY Benchmark DAC1 or something similar actually costs once you boil it down to the PCB and circuitry parts?

I would like to see what you've based your opinion on. I'd like to see these scientific proofs you've laid out for us.

I would also love to pay for the price of my home for just the materials that went into it and not having to pay for the design by the architect, the labor, the time went into assembling everything, and any added price for the area it's in. Or for that matter, anything else I own. I think you're understanding why arguing 100 dollars gets you perfect audio is silly. It would be like arguing $100,000 dollars gets you a mansion.

I don't suspect I'll be seeing any proofs though. So far I've only heard that audio is expensive for it's performance...when compared to the ODAC.

Take the ODAC out and all of a sudden, the argument of can I have perfect audio under 200 really disappears quite fast. That said the ODAC isn't perfect audio so..
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post #65 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

I would like to see what you've based your opinion on. I'd like to see these scientific proofs you've laid out for us.
I would also love to pay for the price of my home for just the materials that went into it and not having to pay for the design by the architect, the labor, the time went into assembling everything, and any added price for the area it's in. Or for that matter, anything else I own. I think you're understanding why arguing 100 dollars gets you perfect audio is silly. It would be like arguing $100,000 dollars gets you a mansion.
I don't suspect I'll be seeing any proofs though. So far I've only heard that audio is expensive for it's performance...when compared to the ODAC.
Take the ODAC out and all of a sudden, the argument of can I have perfect audio under 200 really disappears quite fast. That said the ODAC isn't perfect audio so..

I'll quote myself from another forum:

To return to this question, here is a small subset of a large number of published literature on this topic:


Masters, Ian G. and Clark, D. L., "Do All CD Players Sound the Same?", Stereo Review, pp.50-57 (January 1986)

Pohlmann, Ken C., "6 Top CD Players: Can You Hear the Difference?", Stereo Review, pp.76-84 (December 1988)

Pohlmann, Ken C., "The New CD Players, Can You Hear the Difference?", Stereo Review, pp.60-67 (October 1990)

CD Player Comparison, The Sensible Sound, # 75, Jun/Jul 1999.

CD Player Comparison, The Sensible Sound, # 74, Apr/May 1999.

Moore, BCJ. An Introduction to the Psychology of Hearing, Fourth Edition. San Diego: Academic Press, 1997.

David Rich and Peter Aczel, 'Topological Analysis of Consumer Audio Electronics: Another Approach to Show that Modern Audio Electronics
are Acoustically Transparent,' 99 AES Convention, 1995, Print #4053.

Tom Nousaine, ' The Great Debate: Is Anyone Winning?' Proceedings of the AES, 8th International Conference, 1990.

Masters, Ian G. 'Do All Amplifiers Sound the Same?' Stereo Review, Jan 1987, pg 78-84.

Baxandall, Peter J. 'Audible Amplifier Distortion is not a Mystery, Wireless World, Nov 1977, pg 63-66.

Colloms, Martin 'Amplifier Tests on Test-2, The Panel Game,' Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Nov 1978, pg 114-117.

Hope, Adrian 'Amplifier Tests on Test-1, Without Prejudice,' Hi-Fi News& Record Reviewe, Nov 1978, pg 110-113.

Walker, P. J. 'Positive Feedback: Rational Amplifier Testing,' Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Jul 1977, pg 135.

Greenhill, L. & Clark, D. 'Equipment Profile,' Audio, Apr 1985, pg 56-60, 82-97.

Holman, Tomlinson 'Amplifier Design & Sound Quality,' Audio, Nov 1996, pg 26-31.

Rich, David, 'Reasonably Priced Pre amplifiers for the Reasonable Audiophiles,' The Audio Critic, #18, Spring/Summer 1992.

Amp Tests, Boston Audio Society Speaker, Vol 21, No.2, pg 18-20, Sep 1997.

As for statistical significance, experiments with sample sizes in excess of 500 confirm no difference. There has been no literature suggesting differences under properly controlled settings. The challenge has been left unanswered by audiophiles for the past couple of decades. Publishing contrary results are as simple as submitting a paper to http://www.aes.org/ (plenty of good literature on the topic here as well).

You folks act like this science is only about the equipment measurements, charts or graphs. It's not, that's an oversimplified debasement of what science is. Moreover, published studies often involve unbiased test subjects looking for differences between the equipment in a controlled environment.


"With regard to amplifiers as of May 1990 there had been such tests. In 1978 QUAD published an erxperiment with 576 trials. In 1980 Smith peterson and Jackson published an experiment with 1104 trials; in 1989 Stereophile published a 3530 trial comparison. In 1986 Clark & Masters published an experiment with 772 trials. All were null."

There's a misconception that blind tests tend to have very small sample sizes. As of 1990 the 23 published amplifier experiments had a mean average of 426 and a median of 90 trials. If we exclude the 3530 trial experiment the mean becomes 285 trials. The median remains unchanged."

-Nousaine, https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/rec.audio.high-end/JBOWz_SdC9w

Refer to 4 and 10 in the "10 Biggest Lies in Audio" here: http://www.theaudiocritic.com/back_issues/The_Audio_Critic_26_r.pdf

Once again, a wealth of scientifically-sound evidence backing the theory of equivalent sound. Not a single study suggesting otherwise, for many many years. The burden of proof lies on those claiming the difference.

To be direct, the ODAC is a top-of-mind reference of a well-designed circuit. It is possible to achieve equivalent sound for less. However in terms of audible measurement I don't believe it's possible to achieve better sound for more based on outstanding evidence.

I think people need to familiarize themselves with how DACs (and ears) work before they trust what the marketers and audiophiles tell them.
Edited by friend'scatdied - 9/4/12 at 10:23am
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post #66 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

I would like to see what you've based your opinion on. I'd like to see these scientific proofs you've laid out for us.
I would also love to pay for the price of my home for just the materials that went into it and not having to pay for the design by the architect, the labor, the time went into assembling everything, and any added price for the area it's in. Or for that matter, anything else I own. I think you're understanding why arguing 100 dollars gets you perfect audio is silly. It would be like arguing $100,000 dollars gets you a mansion.
I don't suspect I'll be seeing any proofs though. So far I've only heard that audio is expensive for it's performance...when compared to the ODAC.
Take the ODAC out and all of a sudden, the argument of can I have perfect audio under 200 really disappears quite fast. That said the ODAC isn't perfect audio so..

I'll quote myself from another forum:

To return to this question, here is a small subset of a large number of published literature on this topic:


Masters, Ian G. and Clark, D. L., "Do All CD Players Sound the Same?", Stereo Review, pp.50-57 (January 1986)

Pohlmann, Ken C., "6 Top CD Players: Can You Hear the Difference?", Stereo Review, pp.76-84 (December 1988)

Pohlmann, Ken C., "The New CD Players, Can You Hear the Difference?", Stereo Review, pp.60-67 (October 1990)

CD Player Comparison, The Sensible Sound, # 75, Jun/Jul 1999.

CD Player Comparison, The Sensible Sound, # 74, Apr/May 1999.

Moore, BCJ. An Introduction to the Psychology of Hearing, Fourth Edition. San Diego: Academic Press, 1997.

David Rich and Peter Aczel, 'Topological Analysis of Consumer Audio Electronics: Another Approach to Show that Modern Audio Electronics
are Acoustically Transparent,' 99 AES Convention, 1995, Print #4053.

Tom Nousaine, ' The Great Debate: Is Anyone Winning?' Proceedings of the AES, 8th International Conference, 1990.

Masters, Ian G. 'Do All Amplifiers Sound the Same?' Stereo Review, Jan 1987, pg 78-84.

Baxandall, Peter J. 'Audible Amplifier Distortion is not a Mystery, Wireless World, Nov 1977, pg 63-66.

Colloms, Martin 'Amplifier Tests on Test-2, The Panel Game,' Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Nov 1978, pg 114-117.

Hope, Adrian 'Amplifier Tests on Test-1, Without Prejudice,' Hi-Fi News& Record Reviewe, Nov 1978, pg 110-113.

Walker, P. J. 'Positive Feedback: Rational Amplifier Testing,' Hi-Fi News & Record Review, Jul 1977, pg 135.

Greenhill, L. & Clark, D. 'Equipment Profile,' Audio, Apr 1985, pg 56-60, 82-97.

Holman, Tomlinson 'Amplifier Design & Sound Quality,' Audio, Nov 1996, pg 26-31.

Rich, David, 'Reasonably Priced Pre amplifiers for the Reasonable Audiophiles,' The Audio Critic, #18, Spring/Summer 1992.

Amp Tests, Boston Audio Society Speaker, Vol 21, No.2, pg 18-20, Sep 1997.

As for statistical significance, experiments with sample sizes in excess of 500 confirm no difference. There has been no literature suggesting differences under properly controlled settings. The challenge has been left unanswered by audiophiles for the past couple of decades. Publishing contrary results are as simple as submitting a paper to http://www.aes.org/ (plenty of good literature on the topic here as well).

You folks act like this science is only about the equipment measurements, charts or graphs. It's not, that's an oversimplified debasement of what science is. Moreover, published studies often involve unbiased test subjects looking for differences between the equipment in a controlled environment.


"With regard to amplifiers as of May 1990 there had been such tests. In 1978 QUAD published an erxperiment with 576 trials. In 1980 Smith peterson and Jackson published an experiment with 1104 trials; in 1989 Stereophile published a 3530 trial comparison. In 1986 Clark & Masters published an experiment with 772 trials. All were null."

There's a misconception that blind tests tend to have very small sample sizes. As of 1990 the 23 published amplifier experiments had a mean average of 426 and a median of 90 trials. If we exclude the 3530 trial experiment the mean becomes 285 trials. The median remains unchanged."

-Nousaine, https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/rec.audio.high-end/JBOWz_SdC9w

Refer to 4 and 10 in the "10 Biggest Lies in Audio" here: http://www.theaudiocritic.com/back_issues/The_Audio_Critic_26_r.pdf

Once again, a wealth of scientifically-sound evidence backing the theory of equivalent sound. Not a single study suggesting otherwise, for many many years. The burden of proof lies on those claiming the difference.

To be direct, the ODAC is a top-of-mind reference of a well-designed circuit. It is possible to achieve equivalent sound for less. However in terms of audible measurement I don't believe it's possible to achieve better sound for more based on outstanding evidence.

I think people need to familiarize themselves with how DACs (and ears) work before they trust what the marketers and audiophools tell them.

That honestly sounds like something ripped off nwavguys website and I'm not head over heels with everything he says.
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post #67 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

That honestly sounds like something ripped off nwavguys website and I'm not head over heels with everything he says.

What does? I think you need to read some of those articles before you pass judgment on the issue. Why? Because the literature constitutes evidence which is sorely lacking from the opposing perspective.
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post #68 of 121
My blind testing says different.

As for the Audio Critic, I do agree with some of what he has to say, the rest is complete garbage.
post #69 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Face76 View Post

My blind testing says different.
As for the Audio Critic, I do agree with some of what he has to say, the rest is complete garbage.

Assuming your testing methodology is scientifically sound, and assuming you have a stable of unbiased subjects to replicate trials, you should consider publishing your findings to aes.org. It would certainly be the first of it in recent history.

Unfortunately most amateur DBT is methodologically flawed. Refer to some of Nousaine's topics on the subject for a bulletproof method.
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post #70 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Face76 View Post

My blind testing says different.
As for the Audio Critic, I do agree with some of what he has to say, the rest is complete garbage.

Assuming your testing methodology is scientifically sound, and assuming you have a stable of unbiased subjects to replicate trials, you should consider publishing your findings to aes.org. It would certainly be the first of it in recent history.

Unfortunately most amateur DBT is methodologically flawed. Refer to some of Nousaine's topics on the subject for a bulletproof method.

Out of curiosity, what do you have to say to Nwavguy's own acknowledgment that his ODAC and O2 are not the best, but are comparable to the DAC-1 in performance? He's already acknowledged that better is attainable. That was never the issue. His goal was to have excellent performance comparable with the Benchmark DAC-1 at a very reasonable (even cheap) price point and he's done a great job at that, there's no doubt, but according to his own admissions it's not the best product out there.

While it's a great product and I highly recommend it to people anywhere near it's price point, especially for typical headphone/audio setups, if people have the money, I can still recommend other, better choices, especially in the AMP area. While the DAC is really really good, the amp is a bit..underwhelming, but of course for the price it's a very good choice.

That said, there are definitely sonic changes that people prefer in other DACs. I know many people prefer Lavry DAC's to the Benchmark DAC-1. I know many people prefer Peachtree Nova over both, I know many people prefer Wyred 4 Sound over Peachtree Nova. And I'm sure there's a DIY DAC like the Buffalo III that's probably better than the ODAC, but really I'm going to stay out of the DIY market as I resort to my audio minion Jacobthellamer for DIY stuff. I'm sure he could easily find a DIY option that's superior to the ODAC, but that's not to say that the ODAC is bad. I think it's an amazing product for the price and that's why I bought it.

http://www.weiss.ch/dac2/dac2.htm perhaps?

http://www.dcsltd.co.uk ?
Edited by Simca - 9/4/12 at 1:40pm
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2nd Gig
(24 items)
 
Sayonara
(20 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Asus M4A79T Deluxe NVIDIA GTX 670 FTW OCZ Platinum 4GB 1600 DDR3 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 90GB & Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Scythe MUGEN-2 Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Dell UltraSharp u2410 & Samsung 2333SW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 OCZ GameXStream 700w HAF 932 Advanced Logitech G300 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Denon AVR-1912 Harman Kardon Infinity Primus P153  HIFIMAN HE-400 Vsonic GR07 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Shure SE-535 Limited Edition Beyerdynamic DT880 ODAC/Objective 2 Amplfiier Audio Technica AD700 
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