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Audiophile on the Cheap. Advice needed.
skamp
post Aug 25 2012, 17:47
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QUOTE (Nichtswisser @ Aug 25 2012, 17:14) *
How can someone provide objective evidence that the higher frequency's of a certain DAC are unpleasant to his ears?


RMAA's frequency response graph can give you some insight into what you're hearing, and qualifies (I think?) as "objective evidence". The FiiO E7 for instance, E17's older brother, is pretty neutral, with a very slight high frequency roll-off (likely inaudible though).

QUOTE (greynol @ Aug 25 2012, 17:24) *
Further off-topic discussion on the matter will be binned.


Does this qualify?

This post has been edited by skamp: Aug 25 2012, 17:52


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greynol
post Aug 25 2012, 18:00
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QUOTE (skamp @ Aug 25 2012, 09:47) *
RMAA's frequency response graph can give you some insight into what you're hearing, and qualifies (I think?) as "objective evidence".high frequency roll-off (likely inaudible though).

It does not qualify. TOS #8 is quite specific about what qualifies.

Even if this RMAA data was accepted, it fails to demonstare superiority over the the other DAC mentioned.

QUOTE (Nichtswisser @ Aug 25 2012, 08:00) *
The Fiio E17 DAC does as far as my ears can tell a much better job at converting digital signals into analog output than the Asus Xonar DX in my PC does. In the low frequency range the Xonar lacks power and presence, and on the other end of the spectrum the Xonar offers too much, the high frequency's get way to high and rather unpleasant and tiring, at least for my ears.


Does this second round of trying to circumvent TOS #8 qualify as being off-topic? Yes, Skamp, it is. I won't bin it but you're pushing your luck.

This post has been edited by greynol: Aug 25 2012, 18:32


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skamp
post Aug 25 2012, 18:33
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QUOTE (greynol @ Aug 25 2012, 19:00) *
It does not qualify. TOS #8 is quite specific about what qualifies.


My bad. I didn't remember HA was so ABX centric that such tests were the ONLY acceptable evidence. Graphs are objective evidence of a difference, just not of an audible one indeed.

Blah, bin this. I'm used to it by now ;-)

This post has been edited by skamp: Aug 25 2012, 18:39


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greynol
post Aug 25 2012, 18:38
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Oh FFS!

We've been over the acceptability of RMAA results plenty of times before. While it is not as black and white for hardware as it is for lossy encoding, you don't get to hide behind them when making claims about audibility.


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Aug 26 2012, 13:37
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QUOTE (skamp @ Aug 25 2012, 13:33) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Aug 25 2012, 19:00) *
It does not qualify. TOS #8 is quite specific about what qualifies.


My bad. I didn't remember HA was so ABX centric that such tests were the ONLY acceptable evidence. Graphs are objective evidence of a difference, just not of an audible one indeed.

Blah, bin this. I'm used to it by now ;-)



Actually TOS 8 says:

"8. All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.
"

While it does say ABX, it also says ABC/hr. There are in fact a lot of ways to do a proper DBT depending on the question you are trying to answer. Many of them have the disadvantage of being harder to do and/or less likely to yield positive results for a given number of trials, actual size of difference, etc. I wonder out loud what would happen if someone used some alternative method that was in fact just as blind and clear in terms of its results. I would hope that evidence would be accepted.

Graphs are specifically stated to be unacceptable. If you don't know why, or are just curious about why someone would say such a thing, why not post a polite question rather than post a reply that would look passive-aggressive to many people?
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Nichtswisser
post Aug 26 2012, 14:03
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Well I did my best to produce "objective evidence" even thought I still believe that such can not exist where subjective areas are concerned. Socrates would say that humans can not even be certain that 1+2 are truly 2. Yet let's jump to what I could come up with considering my limited equipment. I used footbar to play the sample file (Vox Populi - 30 seconds to Mars 16Bit 44100KHz FLAC-CD Rip). Since the E17 for some reason does not play 44100KHz native and upsamples 44100KHz input to 48000KHz, I used foorbar to upsample to 48000KHz up front for both devices to prevent possible upsampling related differences between the Xonar DX and the E17. For recording I had to use the Xonar DX since I don't have another suitable recording device. I have an old Audigity 2 somewhere yet Creative never released working win 7 driver for it I believe and I'm not bothering with trying to get it to run, I'm happy to have my PC free from creatives poor drivers!

I recorded over the line-in of the Xonar in 16Bit 48000KHz using an old version of Adobe Audition. So there were no changes in sample rate or dithering or anything else done for either the E17 or the Xonar DX apart from upsampling in foorbar to 48000KHz. Well, when I finished recording I normalized everything to 85% to get comparable levels of loudness (Xonar and E17 already were very close in loudness yet the source file was quite a bit louder).


*Waveform of the source file 16Bit 44100KHz


*Waveform E17 16Bit 48000KHz


*Waveform Xonar DX 16Bit 48000KHz

The waveform of the source file very visible shows that distinctive cut off look at the ends that is archived usually in the last phase of the recording and mixing process by cutting the dynamic range down a bit (usually inaudible) to gain the maximum possible level of loudness. The recording of the E17 shows the same thought not quite as distinctive. Whenever the slight differences to the source file is because of the E17 itself or was added by the recoding process with the Xonar I can't say. It's just something to keep in mind. Last is the waveform of the Xonar DX which almost completely lacks that distinctive cut off appearance common for modern recordings. That file is clearly visible not very true to the source.

That won't prove that audible differences exist, yet it proves that the Xonar DX output is far less true to the source material than the output of the E17 DAC. I can upload the different sample files if needed. Right now they are a little big with almost 90MB yet converting them to FLAC should get the size down a little.

Edit: And the waveforms prove at least partly what I wrote before "on the other end of the spectrum the Xonar offers too much, the high frequency's get way to high and rather unpleasant and tiring". The DX is clearly getting more dynamic range from somewhere, and it's not the source material.

Here are the samples: http://www.speedshare.org/download.php?id=4FE5D38E1

This post has been edited by Nichtswisser: Aug 26 2012, 14:48
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[JAZ]
post Aug 26 2012, 15:23
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QUOTE (Nichtswisser @ Aug 26 2012, 15:03) *
Well I did my best to produce "objective evidence" even thought I still believe that such can not exist where subjective areas are concerned.

We need objective (repeateable, not influenced by external factors) evidence that a subjective perception is real (as in what is perceived and what is said to be perceived are the same).

I am not sure how to qualify the screenshots you've posted. Aside of showing that there could be problems related to volume (on the DAC and or the ADC), why are you showing the waveform to talk about frequencies???


QUOTE (Nichtswisser @ Aug 26 2012, 15:03) *
44100KHz

It is either 44.1Khz or 44100Hz. You've wrote it wrong all the time in the post
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db1989
post Aug 26 2012, 16:01
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If you wanted to demonstrate a difference in frequency response, donít you think a spectogram would be more relevant? Either way, Iím glad you acknowledge that visual appearance need not correlate with audibility, even if it the former is detectably different in this case. Letís try to find out why the Xonar alters the output, but letís not reel off any more silly clichťs like appeals to philosophy/authority; nobody asked you about Socrates.
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skamp
post Aug 26 2012, 16:23
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QUOTE (Nichtswisser @ Aug 26 2012, 15:03) *
the E17 for some reason does not play 44100KHz native and upsamples 44100KHz input to 48000KHz


Since the E7 accepts 44.1 kHz just fine, I really doubt the E17 doesn't.


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greynol
post Aug 26 2012, 18:07
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TOS #5 is another rule that should be taken into considration.

This discussion is not about trying to save face from a TOS #8 violation by posting waveform plots which raise more questions than they provide answers. Other than to demonstrate how not to assess a quality of a DAC, how is this helping the OP?



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Porcus
post Aug 26 2012, 22:03
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QUOTE (Nichtswisser @ Aug 26 2012, 15:03) *
even thought I still believe that such can not exist where subjective areas are concerned.


Actually, you are wrong.


Suppose I show you two amplifiers. One looks like something I soldered together as a first project, the other has a $20 000 price tag. We play the cheap one, we play the expensive one. A certain listener is convinced that the expensive one sounds better. Until I reveal that I cheated -- I played from the same amp all the time.

We then know something about the difference in subjective perception: we know that it is a mindtrick. That is fairly objective knowledge, isn't it? We know for a fact that such effects exist, and that they affect the human mind. That is objective knowledge about subjective perception. Google 'placebo'. It is universally accepted in science (though certainly not on every audio forum on the 'net), and it is standard procedure in e.g. drug testing that test subjects (i.e. patients) get treatments that appear to them as the same -- once you start feeding them apparent differences (e.g. a price tag!) this will affect how they report their well-being.


In this case, you claim that A sounds better than B. But are you really able to tell them apart, in a controlled enviroment where you cannot look up the solution? This forum wants to protect itself against the noise of unfounded claims that might just as well be artifacts of mindtrick rather than a real difference, hence item #8 in the terms of service. TOS #8 is this party's policy on a certain set of mind-altering drugs; you are free to like it or not, but if you don't comply, there are bouncers ready to tell / force [delete as appropriate] you to do your tripping somewhere else.


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spicymeatball77
post Aug 28 2012, 03:49
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My Fiio D3 DAC arrived today and honestly I couldn't be happier with the $21 I spent on it. It has such a better sound than whatever DAC my Realtek sound card was using. So I'm all set. Here's the final setup / tally.

  • Behringer 9-Band EQ- $65
  • Creek OBH-11 Headphone Amp- $99
  • Grado SR-80i headphones- $99
  • Fiio D3 DAC- $21


$284 listening station. Running Foobar2000 using FLAC files, only using a Crossfeed DSP. Thanks again.
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greynol
post Aug 28 2012, 05:41
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Will you be providing objective evidence in accordance with TOS #8?


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