• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Audibility thresholds of amp and DAC measurements

AresHarvest

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
115
Likes
55
John was, I believe, referring to distortion when listening to music. Two sine waves at 1.5 and 19 kHz isn't comparable, though. Masking plays a huge role when listening to the former, not so with the latter.
 

j_j

Senior Member
Technical Expert
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
332
Likes
350
Location
My dining room.
John was, I believe, referring to distortion when listening to music. Two sine waves at 1.5 and 19 kHz isn't comparable, though. Masking plays a huge role when listening to the former, not so with the latter.
Well, it's easy to do distortions that get either IM'ed or aliased down. Do remember that.

And, yes, my example was chosen to be an extremum, and shows why 90dB might not be enough.
 

rwortman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
121
Likes
82
And yet us oldsters found massive enjoyment listening to our 60db S/N vinyl records and still do. Even when it's easy for a nearly deaf person to hear the difference, the listening experience can still be enjoyable.
 

j_j

Senior Member
Technical Expert
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
332
Likes
350
Location
My dining room.
And yet us oldsters found massive enjoyment listening to our 60db S/N vinyl records and still do. Even when it's easy for a nearly deaf person to hear the difference, the listening experience can still be enjoyable.
It all depends on the signal and error spectrum.
 

DonH56

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
2,927
Likes
3,391
Location
Monument, CO
My great-grandfather found joy using a quill pen and inkwell but happily changed to a ballpoint pen when it was available.

Pretty sure we all, oldsters or not, could come up with a lot of other analogies.

I loved my records and many are still better mastered than the many "remastered" CDs that have the dynamic range squeezed out of them. But warps were annoying, ticks and pops very annoying, and I don't miss the cleaning and setup rituals.
 

Krunok

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
3,574
Likes
1,838
Location
Zg, Cro
Wrong.
My probe signal is a 19khz sine wave.
My noise signal is a 1.5kHz sine wave.

If you play the 19kHz sine wave back at 90dB SPL (assuming your system can do that), at what level can you hear the 1.5kHz sine wave?

You think it's inaudible at 30dB SPL?

Really? No.

You can do the same thing, give or take, with a 40Hz sine wave and a 3kHz sine wave as the 'error' signal.

Once you stick strictly to SNR (ThD, whatever) and don't specify the actual error spectrum, you've really widened the requirements, and yes, then you need to simply stay below absolute threshold of hearing, give or take.
I can't hear 19kHz at all - well, at least for last 10 years. :D

But even when I could I don't really think there was much to hear on a typicall recording of the music I listen to. Maybe your example is a little too extreme? :)
 

Krunok

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
3,574
Likes
1,838
Location
Zg, Cro
Maybe thid graph can serve as an illustration what is ging on in a room (assuming my room is typically noisy):

THD graph vs noise, 85dB @1m:

Capture.JPG


As you can see, although my speakers are not low THD champs their THD (black) is pretty much burried in the ambient noise (brown) for the whole freq range. Btw, this was recorded when there was minimal outdoor noise, usually noise level is 5-10dB higher.

P.S. my guess is that relatively low THD at LF is due to their transmission line design. @Cosmik , there is a chance you would fancy their sound as although they are narrow floorstanders they are also of infinite baffle design. :)
 

Attachments

Last edited:

rwortman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
121
Likes
82
My great-grandfather found joy using a quill pen and inkwell but happily changed to a ballpoint pen when it was available.

Pretty sure we all, oldsters or not, could come up with a lot of other analogies.

I loved my records and many are still better mastered than the many "remastered" CDs that have the dynamic range squeezed out of them. But warps were annoying, ticks and pops very annoying, and I don't miss the cleaning and setup rituals.
I was not suggesting any superiority, just that even high levels of noise and clearly audible distortions don't always make for a horrible listening experience. Indeed, even if one can tell the difference between two DAC's in ABX testing it doesn't follow necessarily that one is subjectively worse sounding than the other.
 

j_j

Senior Member
Technical Expert
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
332
Likes
350
Location
My dining room.
I can't hear 19kHz at all - well, at least for last 10 years. :D

But even when I could I don't really think there was much to hear on a typicall recording of the music I listen to. Maybe your example is a little too extreme? :)

The question being answered was "at what point are you SURE you're safe, using only SNR".
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom