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Am I deaf? And what is the next step up?

Soria Moria

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This thread proves that measurements don’t tell you what you might prefer
We don't really know how the test was conducted and it was probably not rigorous to account for everything. It doesn't prove much of anything except maybe to be cautious about what people say online.
 

DSJR

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The CCA has a bit perfect digital output on it according to tests done by at least two people, so what happens if the CCA digital feed (via a common specialist cable is sent to the Topping? Does all the 'added charm' disappear then?
 

Holdt

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So I'm curious. The Chromecast Audio Google Home app has a setting, Full Dynamic Range, which is off by default to not overwhelm less than full range speakers. You have to switch it on manually.

Have you changed the setting to FDR, or is it still default?
This setting changes between 1.2 V (normal) and 2.0 V (FDR) It isn't compressing the dynamic range with either setting as it is just an output voltage setting.
 
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voodooless

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The only proof accepted on this forum is if you can show measurements that show something is somehow ‘better’.
Eh no… proof can be many things. Why don’t we start by proving that one is capable of actually hearing a difference at all. Next we can worry about “better”.
This thread proves that measurements don’t tell you what you might prefer.
No, it proves no such thing.
How does this typically get responded to when similar preferences are shown…well usually the OP is gaslighted by being informed he in fact cannot hear a difference…
Well, based on all the science, that is one possibility, and a very likely conclusion.
or he’s done the test wrong.
Why is that a problematic conclusion? In many cases that is a very valid outcome
Hence just not worth discussing.
It’s wort discussing if we have a properly done test. Otherwise, we’ll discuss the test procedure first.
 

Greenman

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Eh no… proof can be many things. Why don’t we start by proving that one is capable of actually hearing a difference at all. Next we can worry about “better”.

No, it proves no such thing.

Well, based on all the science, that is one possibility, and very likely conclusion.

Why is that a problematic conclusion? In many cases that is a very valid outcome

It’s wort discussing if we have a properly done test. Otherwise, we’ll discuss the test procedure first.
QED
 

fpitas

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fpitas

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SuicideSquid

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The only proof accepted on this forum is if you can show measurements that show something is somehow ‘better’. This thread proves that measurements don’t tell you what you might prefer. How does this typically get responded to when similar preferences are shown…well usually the OP is gaslighted by being informed he in fact cannot hear a difference…or he’s done the test wrong. Hence just not worth discussing.
If measurements show an audible difference, no one here will argue against the proposition that you can't actually tell what any given random person might prefer between two devices, even if one measures "objectively" better. Preference is, obviously, personal and subjective.

If measurements show no audible difference and someone claims a preference anyway, there's one of two things going on: Either we're measuring the wrong things, or that person is deceiving himself. Your ears aren't magic, and there's nothing you can hear that can't be measured - in fact, our measurement devices are often far more sensitive than your ears. Occasionally we do discover that we were measuring the wrong things and missing something - this is discovered by people doing blind tests and consistently showing they can tell the difference between two devices when they measure similarly. The overwhelming majority of the time though, if two devices measure similarly, you will be unable to tell the difference in a properly controlled test, and any perceived difference in an uncontrolled test is because levels are different, settings are different, or (as is the case with cables and 99% of audiophile "tweaks") the listener is just fooling himself.

If you actually look through the responses in this thread, people are genuinely interested in why the OP perceived a difference and are suggesting possibilities - the most obvious being that there's a setting on one DAC that is compressing dynamic range. No one is telling the OP he's crazy or stupid or just wrong.
 

fpitas

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People looking for Audio Anecdotes Review always end up here, so confused.
 

Greenman

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If measurements show an audible difference, no one here will argue against the proposition that you can't actually tell what any given random person might prefer between two devices, even if one measures "objectively" better. Preference is, obviously, personal and subjective.

If measurements show no audible difference and someone claims a preference anyway, there's one of two things going on: Either we're measuring the wrong things, or that person is deceiving himself. Your ears aren't magic, and there's nothing you can hear that can't be measured - in fact, our measurement devices are often far more sensitive than your ears. Occasionally we do discover that we were measuring the wrong things and missing something - this is discovered by people doing blind tests and consistently showing they can tell the difference between two devices when they measure similarly. The overwhelming majority of the time though, if two devices measure similarly, you will be unable to tell the difference in a properly controlled test, and any perceived difference in an uncontrolled test is because levels are different, settings are different, or (as is the case with cables and 99% of audiophile "tweaks") the listener is just fooling himself.

If you actually look through the responses in this thread, people are genuinely interested in why the OP perceived a difference and are suggesting possibilities - the most obvious being that there's a setting on one DAC that is compressing dynamic range. No one is telling the OP he's crazy or stupid or just wrong.
Good response…and I agree with much of what you say..but this isn’t my thread so I won’t elongate a pointless argument, we may as well get back the the OPs queries.
 

Frank2

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At the moment I use two DACs, one is the Chromecast Audio Analog Output (3.5mm) and the other is the Topping E30. Okay, so far so good. I balanced both with the multimeter and listened blindly against each other. Ok, there were differences, but I didn't do the test to hear the differences, I did it to find out which one I preferred. And every time, I preferred the Chromecast Audio. It's not that I don't know that the CCA has worse measurements, but I find that the sound is much nicer than the E30, even though I know that the E30 has better measurements. Am I deaf or do I just have different preferences? But let's consider that as a fact, what does that mean in terms of improvement? What would be a DAC I could try if I wanted to improve?
How did you balance them with a multimeter? A small difference in output voltage can yield a small difference in music volume level which could explain the difference you hear.
Also, you can adjust bass and treble on a chromecast using the google home app. Could this be the answer?
I also wonder if you can describe the difference you hear in more detail, how they are connected, and what you use as source material. If you connect the chromecast digital out to the topping, for instance, the difference could be due to Full Dynamic Range always being switched on in the chromecast digital output signal while it may be switched off in the analog output of the chromecast: https://support.google.com/chromeca...ref_topic=6373879&sjid=5377644423943454560-EU
 

MRC01

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Well it's called Audio Science Review so I think you're incorrect there. What people here want is proof. I do want to hear what these properties are though.
I believe that in principle, everything we hear can be measured. Yet you have to know what and how to measure. Some aspects of what we hear are due to interactions of multiple factors that aren't captured in simple single measurements.

For example, testing the SNR or SINAD of amps is usually done at full volume. Nobody actually listens at full volume, so you get an optimistic number that is misleading and unrealistic. As you turn down the volume to normal listening levels, you'll get something less. But how much less? Different amps behave differently, how much that number drops varies, depending on how their gain and volume controls are designed. Of course Amir addresses this by also testing at 50 mV. But many places do not address this.

Another example: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...tube-amplifier-review-and-measurements.44020/
Here, frequency response varied depending on amplitude. Each tested separately might not reveal the issue, yet their interaction sheds some light on why this amp sounds so unique.

Regardless of what constitutes maximum fidelity to the source, I would never tell anyone to listen to anything other than what they prefer. Regardless of the basis for that preference, real or imagined. Life is too short to get disquieted by someone else's psychoacoustics.
One of the drawbacks to the subjective approach ("if it sounds good, who cares how it measures") is that distortions or non-linearities that sound "better" on some recordings or equipment, may sound "worse" on others. One of the reasons measured neutrality and transparency is a goal is because it is more likely to treat all recordings and systems equally.
 

voodooless

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One possibility solution to an audible difference may be that the CCA is 1 dB down at 20 kHz:


Now the OP is 53, is the likelihood that he can hear this is quite remote, but not impossible.

Another thing may be the higher noise floor, that in some cases may be perceived as more pleasant. But the you’d be able to hear the hiss wen playing a silent track.

And to want to know if your any good at detecting distortion:

 
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May Kasahara

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OK, I think I've got it. I'm not getting anywhere here. No numbers, no protocols, no evidence, so, nothing. I also think the test, for whatever reason, was incorrect. Not helpful but eventually I'll look again for the error or just stick with the CCA. Anyway, thanks for your time and sorry for the wasted bytes.

I really wonder how many of you own DACs that are more expensive than a couple of bucks when there is no audible difference anyway (other than features and connections)!? It really seems that almost nothing of what is measured here has any effect on the audible result!
 

voodooless

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OK, I think I've got it. I'm not getting anywhere here. No numbers, no protocols, no evidence, so, nothing.
Aren’t you the one that’s supposed to provide these things? Without these the best we can do is come up with some hypothesis and ways to try to (dis)prove these. What kind of an answer were you expecting?
I also think the test, for whatever reason, was incorrect.
The point is, we don’t know, but we can help you find out. Some pointers were given already, questions were asked.
It really seems that almost nothing of what is measured here has any effect on the audible result!
An argument from incredulity isn’t a very good argument..
 
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