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[Official] OCN Headphones and Earphones Club - Page 2454

post #24531 of 38528
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Regardless of how it all works and what's true, I think I'll put it this way: most people hanging around on audio equipment forums and subforums are not of the persuasion that the electronics make minimal differences. There's a self-selection bias—without as much motivation to be interested in the "peripherals" there is less reason to stick around.

Anyway, some people say they like O2/ODAC with higher end headphones, some citing HD 800. Others don't. Connect the dots yourself.

It'd be better if you had the opportunity to hear these things for yourself (hopefully under more controlled conditions, as friend'scatdied will attest to).

Excellently said.

It's probably virtually impossible to reliably distinguish differences between upstream gear unless the equipment is deliberately designed to muck around with the signal. Not every upstream electronic is actually flat 20Hz-20KHz with non-audible distortion. "Hi-fi" gear may have audible frequency response aberrations or odd-order harmonic distortion.

Those devices aside, you'll only run into trouble if your amplifier runs out if undistorted current or undistorted voltage for a given load at a given level. In this sense, the O2 + ODAC will offer the HD 800 virtually "ideal" performance.

That's ideal as far as the headphone is concerned, anyways. Some may seek to mask the features of the headphone (brightness, etc.) with poor upstream choices but it's probably more efficient to do some of those foam mods and EQ to taste.

Audio stores and meets are terrible for getting an idea of upstream "differences" due to some amalgamation of groupthink, expectation bias and poor environmental conditions. You can use them to see if you like how a headphone sounds, but you might be surprised at how subtle/nonexistent "differences" are when ABing level-matched (within 0.2dB) upstream gear at home with a buddy.
Edited by friend'scatdied - 4/15/14 at 6:00am
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post #24532 of 38528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkwizzie View Post

Audio is a funny topic. It's the only technology-related area of discussion I've been to that has so many conflicting opinions. Audio is subjective but aren't graphics as well? Like this monitor vs that monitor. The Odac/amp from Mayflower has not shipped yet, so it won't be here in time for me to try them with HD800s in the shop. I'm going tomorrow, I'm excited. The place is more of a high-end home theater/audio place in Mountain View. Kind of think that my friend and I will be the only young kids over there, standing out while everybody else is all rich and everything. sniper.gif

I watched Linus and Barnacules, and both of them have reviewed the Odac/amp and the HD800s (although Linus' review of HD800 is actually an unboxing. God, I don't get why people watch unboxings) and they both seem to be under the impression that Odac/Amp is really all you need and any more is overkill. Specifically, Barnacles compared the Objective to his Wooaudio Firefly tube amp and he couldn't tell a difference in the sound at all. Barnacles is no uber audiophile, but to him the difference between headphones is much, much larger than the difference between this DAC and that DAC. And so that is my impression. I could probably try out different DACs while I"m trying out the HD800s though. 

Sorry if I post too much. Before I buy anything I often spend a long time thinking about it. And I change my mind a lot.

If it was a better SS amp, I'd believe barnacles but it's a tube amp and it should have some coloration, so if he couldn't tell then he probably went in confident there would be no difference, meaning he didn't hear any differences because he wasn't looking for them. That kind of bias is just as common and misleading as upgrading a DAC and expecting a difference in sound. True blind testing is needed.
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post #24533 of 38528
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post



Audio stores and meets are terrible for getting an idea of upstream "differences" due to some amalgamation of groupthink, expectation bias and poor environmental conditions. You can use them to see if you like how a headphone sounds, but you might be surprised at how subtle/nonexistent "differences" are when ABing level-matched (within 0.2dB) upstream gear at home with a buddy.

I can say I will try to be as objective as possible, but obviously if bias can be fixed simply by flicking a mental switch, there wouldn't be these problems in the first place. Short of an audio meet and greet however, I don't see many other alternatives.

 

What if I go in tomorrow and I found zero difference between every single headphone? :lachen:They'll probably kick me out of the shop.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by phillyd View Post


If it was a better SS amp, I'd believe barnacles but it's a tube amp and it should have some coloration, so if he couldn't tell then he probably went in confident there would be no difference, meaning he didn't hear any differences because he wasn't looking for them. That kind of bias is just as common and misleading as upgrading a DAC and expecting a difference in sound. True blind testing is needed.

It is not a true blind test that is true. But he did buy the Firefly for himself. The reason why he looked at the Objective was because he was sent a free one to check out. He was surprised himself about what he was hearing. At one point in the video he asks himself whether he just wasted $1000. He actually never returned the Firefly, I think he's keeping it because he thinks it looks absolutely baller. (Is that even a word?)

So in terms of actual expectation bias, it's a bit reversed as he expected the amp to completely beat the Objective in terms of sound. He was convinced in his mind before the review that the Firefly is king of the hill, that listening at like 32bits is best, etc etc. He's no crazy audiophile, he's just a regular person that games and enjoys music. So I bet his original idea was, Firefly looks cool, is recommended by audiophiles, is hefty, looks cool, can do 32 bits, costs a lot, and is therefore the best. So in that respect, changing his mind about the Firefly and not going back and trying to justify his $1000 purchase by lying about any differences he heard, I respect his honesty. Regardless of whether he is actually right or wrong, I appreciate that.

 

Granted it is not a blind test, that is the best, but that's also the hardest to come by.


Edited by Darkwizzie - 4/15/14 at 6:12am
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post #24534 of 38528
Better tube amps will sound like solid state amplifiers. But since this is WooAudio we're talking about, I don't expect a very well-performing design.

He's probably right that only headphones are worth it. With upstream choices, you'd be paying extra for something unreliable and random (presuming it even sounds different) when consistent, predictable performance is cheap and right in front of you.
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post #24535 of 38528
I have been wondering how I could add a mic to my HE-400... Without a Modmic which is overpriced imho (and pure pain to order from 'murica because of the customs + 24% taxes).
1$ chinese mic and some cable tie can do wonders, but the design of the HE-400 is a bit tricky. You need to get the cheap mics as close to your mouth as possible.

Hmm... Use cable ties to attach a 3.5mm extension cable to the steel earcup holder-thingie, that could actually work as most of the mics have an angled 3.5mm plug.
Edited by Tiihokatti - 4/15/14 at 7:40am
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post #24536 of 38528
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

Better tube amps will sound like solid state amplifiers. But since this is WooAudio we're talking about, I don't expect a very well-performing design.

He's probably right that only headphones are worth it. With upstream choices, you'd be paying extra for something unreliable and random (presuming it even sounds different) when consistent, predictable performance is cheap and right in front of you.

It's a shame you live on the west coast. I can actually get my hands on that Mcintosh amp and a few others to prove to you why you are wrong. (other than the woo audio problem. Woo audio does indeed suck).
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post #24537 of 38528

Maybe you can get better performance with a better Amp/Dac, but I think we're talking WAY more expensive. Double minimum price of O2, triple the price? My opinion, anyways. I think in terms of value and all around solid performance, O2 is good. Again, my opinion. I have not blind abxed a line of DAC/amps.

 

And aren't tube amps often bought to color the sound rather than to get objective sound?

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post #24538 of 38528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

It's a shame you live on the west coast. I can actually get my hands on that Mcintosh amp and a few others to prove to you why you are wrong. (other than the woo audio problem. Woo audio does indeed suck).

Sorry, that's not the case. McIntosh amps are actually frequently featured in controlled DBT (search the MC275 on AES for example). The results are null (i. e. no audible difference).

It's possible you're playing it by ear or not properly controlling for and blinding the variables. In the former case, if you level match by ear the resulting error will be audible by ear. In the latter case, expectation bias.

Proper scientific controls are essential.
Edited by friend'scatdied - 4/15/14 at 8:34am
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post #24539 of 38528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkwizzie View Post

Audio is a funny topic. It's the only technology-related area of discussion I've been to that has so many conflicting opinions. Audio is subjective but aren't graphics as well? Like this monitor vs that monitor. The Odac/amp from Mayflower has not shipped yet, so it won't be here in time for me to try them with HD800s in the shop. I'm going tomorrow, I'm excited. The place is more of a high-end home theater/audio place in Mountain View. Kind of think that my friend and I will be the only young kids over there, standing out while everybody else is all rich and everything. sniper.gif

I watched Linus and Barnacules, and both of them have reviewed the Odac/amp and the HD800s (although Linus' review of HD800 is actually an unboxing. God, I don't get why people watch unboxings) and they both seem to be under the impression that Odac/Amp is really all you need and any more is overkill. Specifically, Barnacles compared the Objective to his Wooaudio Firefly tube amp and he couldn't tell a difference in the sound at all. Barnacles is no uber audiophile, but to him the difference between headphones is much, much larger than the difference between this DAC and that DAC. And so that is my impression. I could probably try out different DACs while I"m trying out the HD800s though. 

Sorry if I post too much. Before I buy anything I often spend a long time thinking about it. And I change my mind a lot.

displays are measured using a colourimeter.
    
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post #24540 of 38528
I think the point is that the attitudes and approaches tend to be a bit different on average (with many exceptions, of course), and there may be more conflicting messages**. You bring up colorimeters, for one. Most people with high-end displays or projector setups, home theater buffs, etc. are calibrating very expensive display equipment. You frequently don't see audiophiles EQing their high-end setups, especially with headphones.

** well, you apparently do find this stuff in every enthusiast group, but possibly not to the same extents.
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