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Can different CD *transports* sound different - when fed into the same DAC?

The important thing here is the OP's question. To which my answer is YES, some transports sound better than other, particularly as per my personal experience if we're talking about dedicated cd transport boxes.
Absolutely correct. No one here disputes your personal experience.
Everything else is noise from people triggered by the possibility that there might be differences in audio chain components that up until now can't always be properly represented through measurements.
This however is false. What you need to learn is that personal experiences depend on many factors, that is not not only your hearing sense, but also all other senses and your previous experiences and knowledge about the devices under test. To find out whether there really is an audible difference one has to disable everything except the hearing sense.

This is done by so called double blind testing with sound levels matched to less than 0.1 dB. If you hear differences repeatedly under these conditions you can be sure that they depend on the hearing sense alone and not on other senses, biases or knowledge, so they are audible to you, and others probably as well.

Time has shown that if those conditions are fulfilled many differences experienced otherwise somehow magically disappear (been there, done that). Having experienced this twice made me very humble WRT claims, and very critical regarding my own experiences. Remember: the person you can fool easiest is yourself.
 
It seems some people here behave at least as much as cult fanatics as people on the other end of the spectrum (the people who believe cable raisers make a difference, etc).

The reaction I got from people who obviously never tested any proper CD transports on a good enough system and particularly speakers that could ever relay any difference through their resolution capability is absolutely hilarious, its basically like being in a schoolyard and children arguing that a porsche isnt better than a ferrari when their experience is limited to NFS.

If your reference is based on either someone posting a VISUAL test with numbers and charts on the internet, you don't know what you're talking about. If your experience is based on trying out some budget cd players on budget speakers, of course you most probably can't tell any difference.

The important thing here is the OP's question. To which my answer is YES, some transports sound better than other, particularly as per my personal experience if we're talking about dedicated cd transport boxes.

Everything else is noise from people triggered by the possibility that there might be differences in audio chain components that up until now can't always be properly represented through measurements.
ROFLMAO. You hit all the letters on my bingo card!
 
Really? I have the “wife in the kitchen could hear it” one still open.
@Sgt. Ear Ache had already warned him off that one.

I remember having a visceral negative reaction to the first blind test I read about - the 1987 Stereo Review amplifier test I bring up from time to time. It doesn’t feel good to even suspect how much lying and collective illusion to which one has fallen victim.

Back in the 1980s, when I still had one foot in the high end audio tank, I hope I wouldn’t have blasted my interlocutors with cult accusations and sported my expensive ‘resolving’ equipment to save my fragile ego, but I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have. But then there was no internet, ready to reveal all the myriad ways I’d been wrong. AES publications would have been in some remote library, and internet compilations of blind tests nowhere to be found.
 
The originality of a statement is a non sequitur in this argument. The fact of the matter is that a more resolving system, particularly speakers, "resolve" more transparently audio information. If you don't think that is true, then, i have no reason to even argue about that :)). However that can be easily observed when one goes from a budget to a mote hifi system.

How "resolving" does a system have to be to reveal the details you think you're hearing? Do you think most of us are listening on gear that can't reproduce sound from say 30-20,000hz? For goodness sake...this site is all about measuring the performance of audio gear and highlighting products that do what they are supposed to do to, essentially, perfection. And if you believe perfection relates to price, I have a bridge something something something
 
What you need to learn is that personal experiences depend on many factors, that is not not only your hearing sense, but also all other senses and your previous experiences and knowledge about the devices under test. To find out whether there really is an audible difference one has to disable everything except the hearing sense.

This is done by so called double blind testing with sound levels matched to less than 0.1 dB. If you hear differences repeatedly under these conditions you can be sure that they depend on the hearing sense alone and not on other senses, biases or knowledge, so they are audible to you, and others probably as well.

Time has shown that if those conditions are fulfilled many differences experienced otherwise somehow magically disappear (been there, done that). Having experienced this twice made me very humble WRT claims, and very critical regarding my own experiences. Remember: the person you can fool easiest is yourself.
Thank you for this... not condescending, both on point and to the point.

In all likelihood others will continue loudly trumpeting "solved problem", sighted bias, and all the rest, but really nothing else needs to be said.
 
Which has nothing to do with non-broken digital transports.




Couldn't help but double down with the predictable insults thrown in for good measure...

You can call it a day in this thread.
Dang I wanted to know his system so I would know what's good enough. Maybe let him do one more post with that info. Then we don't need his next post which will be even with a good system we don't have good enough ears.
 
Dang I wanted to know his system so I would know what's good enough. Maybe let him do one more post with that info. Then we don't need his next post which will be even with a good system we don't have good enough ears.

It will have to remain a mystery...
 
How can one scientifically claim that some unmeasured user's cd transports should deliver the same signal?! It may be very unlikely, but then claiming the above for unknown, unmeasured devices is blind belief.
 
How can one scientifically claim that some unmeasured user's cd transports should deliver the same signal?! It may be very unlikely, but then claiming the above for unknown, unmeasured devices is blind belief.
The claim is not about the equipment. The claim is that the comparison is not done properly.
 
Dang I wanted to know his system so I would know what's good enough. Maybe let him do one more post with that info. Then we don't need his next post which will be even with a good system we don't have good enough ears.
You can see what he has here:
 
You can see what he has here:
Okay, let’s see here:

- Amp SINAD about 72, not particularly state of art, looks fantastic though!
- DAC: about 101 SINAD, not great either, probably good enough
- not much to be found on the speakers, so no comment

Given this I think this system is no more or less revealing than many systems of other forum members.
 
Okay, let’s see here:

- Amp SINAD about 72, not particularly state of art, looks fantastic though!
- DAC: about 101 SINAD, not great either, probably good enough
- not much to be found on the speakers, so no comment

Given this I think this system is no more or less revealing than many systems of other forum members.

I think I'd have to downgrade my "budget" gear to reach that level of resolution.
 
How can one scientifically claim that some unmeasured user's cd transports should deliver the same signal?! It may be very unlikely, but then claiming the above for unknown, unmeasured devices is blind belief.

It's not really so much about the specific transports in question here. I mean it's possible there's something wrong with something and maybe it's causing some sort of sound difference? Possibly? I'd think the difference would be along the lines of one sounding broken compared to the other though. The problem is with the stuff that's being suggested. How exactly would different performance of the transports improve things like soundstage? Why would a more expensive transport do that? Is there anyone anywhere who can point to the specific elements in sound reproduction that improve soundstage? If there's something about one transport that is imrpoving soundstage over another, we should measure the outputs of the two transports and compare so that we can pinpoint the magic. In the end, it's more of the usual audiophile mythology. It's stuff that can't be explained in any sensible way...
 
How can one scientifically claim that some unmeasured user's cd transports should deliver the same signal?! It may be very unlikely, but then claiming the above for unknown, unmeasured devices is blind belief.
Well it is partly the nature of how he determined what he heard. Partly the nature of the SPDIF interface. Plus a history of such devices when measured being that one rarely ever (nearly never) finds one that doesn't provide bit perfect error free output. In context of the totality of what is known, while one could not say 100% the devices would deliver the exact same signal it is highly unlikely that any difference would not result in glitches rather than subtle sound quality differences, the method of listening he used is one known to be highly unreliable, and all of that together makes it an extraordinary claim and those require extraordinary proof which was lacking.

Also this fellow claimed 3 CD transports all sounded different from each other. There is some small chance one could be different, that chance is much smaller that three would all sound different and be functioning correctly. If it is 99% likely to be operating correctly, then the odds 3 would all be different is at best 1 in 10,000, and I think 99% chance the output was correct is a low estimate.
 
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The answer to the OPs question is a simple yes. Yes, different transports CAN sound different when fed into the same dac.

But, 99.99999999% of the time they do not sound different and they measure identically.

Doesn't stop people thinking they hear differences though....
 
They are indoctrinated to expect differences, magazines, retailers and manufacturers, shameful.
Keith
 
They are indoctrinated to expect differences, magazines, retailers and manufacturers, shameful.
Keith
A mantra pushed for at least 40 years now is "Everything matters". They do mean everything. Cables, power cords, power conditioners, each and every aspect of each and every device in the chain and things around it (e.g. cable risers). With no limit and no end to what "might be" audible.
 
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