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Can Amir, as a trained listener, spot audible difference between DACs?

Are you interested if Amir, as trained listener, spot audible difference between DACs?

  • Yes

    Votes: 30 37.0%
  • No

    Votes: 39 48.1%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 12 14.8%

  • Total voters
    81

Krunok

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#1
So, would you be interested to know if our host, as a trained listener, can spot a difference between one of the best measured DACs (whichever is available to him) and a DAC on the low end of the green tier DACs in a proeprly conducted blind test?

Or maybe even between one of the best measured DACs and one at the low end of orange tier DACs? :)
 
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#2
This is a great question. I've been lurking the forum for a while before creating an account and I've always kind of wondered why Amir keeps the Mark Levinson 360s (or is it 36s? my memory is not as good as it used to be) in his main system since the Topping D50s likely trounces it in terms of measurements.
 

mkawa

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#3
last i checked, he doesn't have an anechoic chamber to do end to end testing in. i'd rather interpret the measurements realistically against the rest of my stuff and give him time to post measurements of his device backlog..
 

Krunok

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#4
last i checked, he doesn't have an anechoic chamber to do end to end testing in. i'd rather interpret the measurements realistically against the rest of my stuff and give him time to post measurements of his device backlog..
You think valid DBT can only be done in an anechoic chamber?
 

solderdude

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#6
My son and I did this. I have a Matrix Audio X SABRE PRO MQA and a Dragonfly Red. He swapped them out several times playing different tracks from Tidal then I did the same for him and we both got 100% correct. They sound completely different.
level matched within 0.1dB (measured, not by ear) and both stayed within the maximum output level of the DFR ?
How was the latter determined and which speakers/headphones/amplifier were used
 

Krunok

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#7
My son and I did this. I have a Matrix Audio X SABRE PRO MQA and a Dragonfly Red. He swapped them out several times playing different tracks from Tidal then I did the same for him and we both got 100% correct. They sound completely different.
No offence, but conducting a proper DBT is not a simpel task. For example, have you took care to match levels precisely?
 
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#8
I would much rather do it with professed golden ears first. While new here, I don’t see that Amir has claimed to be a golden ear and his discussions have focused on objective data.
 

Sal1950

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#9
Only as a curiosity maybe but on a whole, no. IMO what we do here is determine the quality of a components technical design thru measurement..
Amir's hearing acuity is of little matter in that outcome and his personal preferences are only as valid as anyone else.
 

mkawa

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#10
You think valid DBT can only be done in an anechoic chamber?
no, absolutely not. i should have been clearer. at the extreme high end of the DAC spectrum. you have multiple units that can do > 118dB sinad. it should be nearly impossible to distinguish between them if the idealized measurements are accurate, and even that relies on having an end to end system that can match that performance and an ideal room or ear+nose+throat topology, which is _extremely_ difficult to assemble.. and/or be born with.

i agree that it would be hilarious to do lots of DBT with self-professed golden ears, but amir is not in that ego-centric club.
 

solderdude

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#11
I would much rather do it with professed golden ears first
We can ask if Guttenberg is available ?
I also don't see a point in testing Amir's hearing abilities.
As has been said this is not a requirement for performing electronic tests.
 

Krunok

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#12
no, absolutely not. i should have been clearer. at the extreme high end of the DAC spectrum. you have multiple units that can do > 118dB sinad. it should be nearly impossible to distinguish between them if the idealized measurements are accurate, and even that relies on having an end to end system that can match that performance and an ideal room or ear+nose+throat topology, which is _extremely_ difficult to assemble.. and/or be born with.

i agree that it would be hilarious to do lots of DBT with self-professed golden ears, but amir is not in that ego-centric club.
I am actually propsing that Amir does only 2 DBT: high end DAC vs low end green tier DAC and high end DAC vs low end orange tier DAC.
So basically, SINAD 118+ vs SINAD 100 and SINAD 118+ vs SINAD 90.
 

Krunok

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#13
We can ask if Guttenberg is available ?
I also don't see a point in testing Amir's hearing abilities.
As you said this is not a prerequisite for performing electronic tests.
The point is NOT to test Amir's hearing abilities - the point is to test if he, as a trained listener, can hear the difference across 20 and 30 SINAD points. So this test is not about testing Amir, but about testing DACs in a proper DBT. I'm proposing that Amir does it only because he has access to those DACs and I have confident he can do it properly.
 
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#14
I am actually propsing that Amir does only 2 DBT: high end DAC vs low end green tier DAC and high end DAC vs low end orange tier DAC.
So basically, SINAD 118+ vs SINAD 100 and SINAD 118+ vs SINAD 90.
It seems to me there would be two possible outcomes if he did this this, both confirmation bias:

1) He cannot identify a difference: The objectivists say see, innaudible, the subjectivetists say see, he is deaf.
2) He identifies a difference: The objectivists go through what triggered the differences, the subjectivists say see, we were right, measurements are baloney.
 

Krunok

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#15
It seems to me there would be two possible outcomes if he did this this, both confirmation bias:

1) He cannot identify a difference: The objectivists say see, innaudible, the subjectivetists say see, he is deaf.
2) He identifies a difference: The objectivists go through what triggered the differences, the subjectivists say see, we were right, measurements are baloney.
I don't think so. If he don't hear the difference we can't claim so easilly that he's not a good listener as I remember recently he posted 2 listening tests he took with flying colours.

If he could hear the difference that would simply mean that audible threshold is somewhere in between.
 
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#16
The point is NOT to test Amir's hearing abilities - the point is to test if he, as a trained listener, can hear the difference across 20 and 30 SINAD points. So this test is not about testing Amir, but about testing DACs in a proper DBT. I'm proposing that Amir does it only because he has access to those DACs and I have confident he can do it properly.
It generally takes several people to do a double blind test and you need a number of listeners to have any real validity.
 

Krunok

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#17
It generally takes several people to do a double blind test and you need a number of listeners to have any real validity.
I agree, but I would rather we have a test like this with a single tester than like now, when we don't have such test at all.
 

solderdude

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#18
Consider there is some correlation between SINAD and multitone performance but have seen DAC's with SINAD being close to that of another DAC but substantially different multitone results.
The multitone results seems far more important than SINAD at only 1kHz as this basically is a music content raised noisefloor that in some cases borders on audibility thresholds.

I assume Amir already did some listening comparisons for himself though with some DACs.
 

Krunok

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#19
Consider there is some correlation between SINAD and multitone performance but have seen DAC's with SINAD being close to that of another DAC but substantially different multitone results.
The multitone results seems far more important than SINAD at only 1kHz as this basically is a music content raised noisefloor that in some cases borders on audibility thresholds.
I agree, but I'm not sure if a list of multitone test results can be compiled to pick DACs on that criteria.
 

Krunok

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#20
Only as a curiosity maybe but on a whole, no. IMO what we do here is determine the quality of a components technical design thru measurement..
Amir's hearing acuity is of little matter in that outcome and his personal preferences are only as valid as anyone else.
When a trained listener is conducting a proper DBT the result is NOT his personal preference.
 
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