• 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). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Capacitor upgrade in crossover - You CAN'T handle the TRUTH! - Part 3

A800

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
734
Likes
583
Ah, I didn't realize Amir had measured one. I'll stipulate that his is a competent measurement suite . He rated it Recommended. So, that leaves the evidence of 'crap' sound that you refer to.

You are always subject to bias unrelated to sound, whether you are conscious of it or not. That's why sighted comparisons of the 'sound' of digital components like the U-phoria aren't considered valid scientific evidence. Got anything better?

Yeah, I know but let me explain.

First of all the output level is very low (by design).
Second the output is not truly balanced as one would assume, it is only impedance-balanced.
Third I had the unit for like a year and thought it was good before comparing it.

After a year of owning it I compared it to the onboard soundcard of a cheap 400 EUR hp laptop.
Same audio file, media player, level, same amp, same speakers...

I used the Behringer A800 which is a very precise amp.
The bass is usually tight, controlled and has precise physical impact on the high efficiency hybrid-horn subs I was using even at low listening volume.

So I used that cheap notebook DAC, it had the usual precise punch on that particular speakers/amp combination.
Highs were somewhat coarse but that is expected.

Next the U-Phoria.
I noticed a somewhat compressed sound right away.
Highs were much more refined and pleasing, but...
where is the precise bass gone?
Just a muddy uncontrolled something in comparison and like no physical impact.
Mids were also somewhat muddy.

I switched back and forth.
But always the same story.

Even when I turned the U-Phoria up (bass was there enough of it) but just not precise and it didn't really "punch you in the face" as I am used to from these speakers and amp even at significantly higher level than the cheap notebook DAC.

So I went on the net, someone must have experienced this also.
And yes, some thomann.de reviews mention exactly the same.
 

A800

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
734
Likes
583

March Audio

Master Contributor
Manufacturer
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
6,382
Likes
9,213
Location
Albany Western Australia
No idea.
Does it matter?
I doubt those people are lying.
Yes you are missing the point.

Yes it absolutely matters.

It's not about lying, it's about people making inaccurate judgements based on uncontrolled listening tests. Sighted bias, unmatched volumes etc. They are misleading themselves which makes their subjective feedback pretty worthless.
 
Last edited:

Speedskater

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,164
Likes
883
Location
Cleveland, Ohio USA
I just came across this blog that Dave Rich wrote about crossovers.

Crossovers
“In the old days, there was a lot of trial and error in designing a crossover. So, adding more than a few components was futile, since it wasn’t practically possible to optimize them. Simplicity yielded better optimizations”.
“The individual crossover components usually don’t have functions in a way that can be isolated. A crossover is a filter network that implements a transfer function as a result of all of its parts. Sometimes it is possible to generalize and say, Oh, this resistor adds damping. Or, This network compensates for a resonance. But, really, the better a crossover design is, the more the parts work together, symbiotically”.
Dave Rich
 

Xulonn

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
1,774
Likes
5,846
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
post: 387092 said:
if you don't select the components exactly when you replace them the difference you hear is due to the change of the crossover.
post: 387097 said:
But if your system is capable enough a lot can be felt.

I get an eerie feeling while reading this thread of being transported to a reading of The Absolute Sound with the ghost of Harry Pearson smiling in the background. Indeed, this thread reeks of unreliable, unconfirmed subjective claptrap about hearing differences where none may exist. If not confirmed by double-blind testing, the "claimed" sonic differences being promoted in this thread cannot be accepted as valid.

If you cannot hear differences without knowing in advance what you are listening to, your words are not worth their weight in manure.

There is a serious lack of knowledge and understanding of science - particularly psychoacoustics - being exhibited in this conversation.
 

A800

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
734
Likes
583
I get an eerie feeling while reading this thread of being transported to a reading of The Absolute Sound with the ghost of Harry Pearson smiling in the background. Indeed, this thread reeks of unreliable, unconfirmed subjective claptrap about hearing differences where none may exist. If not confirmed by double-blind testing, the "claimed" sonic differences being promoted in this thread cannot be accepted as valid.

If you cannot hear differences without knowing in advance what you are listening to, your words are not worth their weight in manure.

There is a serious lack of knowledge and understanding of science - particularly psychoacoustics - being exhibited in this conversation.

LOL!
Maybe I worded the above^^a little vague.
What I meant was precise tactile physical punch from woofers and/or subwoofers.
The good thing, the sense of pressure on the body is not as easily fooled as hearing ability.
 

b1daly

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
210
Likes
351
It is virtually impossible to do unbiased audio comparisons in sighted testing. Even if you know you are being biased and actively try not to be it will affect perception.

This experience of otherwise indistinguishable audio sounding different is not an “illusion.” Subjective bias really makes a difference in your audio perception.

There are other factors that render sighted, informal AB testing invalid:

- Short-term audio memory is poor. If you have to unplug and replug to make a comparison, by the time you make the switch you will have forgotten the sound you are comparing to.

- level difference, levels need to be matched to at least .1db, this can’t be done by ear, measurement is required. Louder signals will generally be perceived as “better.”

- interface/control bias. Perception of the quality of a device with gain control will be influenced by the physical characteristics of the actual control, and the taper of the control. (This applies not so much to AB testing, but informal perceptions of audio quality in real world usage)
 

A800

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
734
Likes
583
I agree.
Human senses are fooled easily.
And so is memory.
 

dualazmak

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
1,708
Likes
1,864
Location
Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
You put words in my mouth I've never said. o_O
Once again, my measurements have shown that replacing intact components does not improve the sound quality.
This was shown in the first part by comparing a high-end film capacitor with old standard foil capacitors. There is not the slightest indication that the replacement would somehow improve the sound quality.
OK, I got your point in your measurement environment, even though I have an opposite conclusions through actual experiences with my audio system and environment. I mean that the overall sound improvement is audible after some renovation of SP's "LC-network+attenuators" including the new coils and overhauled attenuators.

Just for example, in my system/environment, the difference in actual sound between MUNDORF E-CAM 47 uF and MUNDORF MCAP250-47t is clearly and reproducibly audible by using a simple switching circuit. I do not know the difference could be objectively measured or not, though. I believe no further discussion on this tiny point would be needed since your testing system/environment is not identical to mine.

In fact, I'm currently working on an active DIY project that has to meet specific radiation requirements. The simulations are promising. If it doesn't sound like a crap, I'll (in a few weeks) introduce it here...
Good luck for your new project. I am looking forward to hearing your progress....
Now, I go back to my mutli-channel multi-amplifier project.
Thank you again for our discussion here.
 

tomelex

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
964
Likes
536
Location
So called Midwest, USA
Not everything can be measured.

in the simple world of audio signals I would have to disagree with that statement. maybe you were kidding, I don't know. Don't shoot me :)
 

tomelex

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
964
Likes
536
Location
So called Midwest, USA
It is virtually impossible to do unbiased audio comparisons in sighted testing. Even if you know you are being biased and actively try not to be it will affect perception.

This experience of otherwise indistinguishable audio sounding different is not an “illusion.” Subjective bias really makes a difference in your audio perception.

There are other factors that render sighted, informal AB testing invalid:

- Short-term audio memory is poor. If you have to unplug and replug to make a comparison, by the time you make the switch you will have forgotten the sound you are comparing to.

- level difference, levels need to be matched to at least .1db, this can’t be done by ear, measurement is required. Louder signals will generally be perceived as “better.”

- interface/control bias. Perception of the quality of a device with gain control will be influenced by the physical characteristics of the actual control, and the taper of the control. (This applies not so much to AB testing, but informal perceptions of audio quality in real world usage)

yeah, agree, simple test of ear/brain interface: play a song you like once, then immediately play it again, the second time you will notice more details etc, and if you like the song it will sound better the second time, and if you don't like the song it will sound worse the second time, now what changed.....
 

Xulonn

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
1,774
Likes
5,846
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
LOL!
Maybe I worded the above^^a little vague.
What I meant was precise tactile physical punch from woofers and/or subwoofers.
The good thing, the sense of pressure on the body is not as easily fooled as hearing ability.

I understand your subjective reaction to such listening sessions. Even today - 40+ years later - I will never forget a particular demo session with a pair of JBL L65 "Jubal" speakers at the Cal Stereo showroom in Oakland, California. The demo track - vinyl of course - was James Taylor's "Fire and Rain". Something happened with the particular synergy in everything involved to create that impression of the percussion literally thumping me in the chest. Even with my big JBL S8 custom speakers back in those days, I never felt "punch" like that one experience.

JBL Jubal.jpg


Sound is the movement of air, regardless of frequency and whether those sound waves are striking your tympanic membranes or your chest. If one audio system configuration with a capable bass response has enough power in the bass region to "punch" you harder while mid and high frequencies are the same, then overall the frequency response has been altered or bass response levels are not matched.
 

EB1000

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
484
Likes
548
Location
Israel
I could not hear ANY difference in the A/B test clip... Even if there was a difference, if it's not obvious, than the upgrade is not worth it...
 

CedarWind108

Member
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
23
Likes
45
Location
USA
I heard a big difference between the two crossovers in the video, and seems from the comments that most people did, not knowing ahead of time which is which.
 
OP
C

ctrl

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
1,275
Likes
4,254
Location
.de, DE, DEU
I could not hear ANY difference in the A/B test clip... Even if there was a difference, if it's not obvious, than the upgrade is not worth it...

You are not alone :)

Had my problems with it too. But the frequency analyses always show the difference in sound pressure of the two crossover versions, which I described in the first post.

Curious discovery, I think Ron from NewRecordDay once mixed up the order of the crossover versions.
When comparing the frequency analyses of crossover A and B I get two times deviations are from 1 - 2.5kHz on average +0.7dB and from 2.5kHz to 9kHz about -0.2dB and once the exact opposite.
Nobody seems to have noticed this when listening to the examples on Youtube ;)
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
5,817
Likes
17,444
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
No idea.
Does it matter?
I doubt those people are lying.

The purpose of the controlled testing isn't to weed out all the 'liars.' Seems odd that you would still make that argument as if that is what ANYONE is saying.

It is that our own brains are 'lying'...or rather it is including a lot of information in the listening process (assuming no controls) that will lead to less than useful results.
 

Xulonn

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
1,774
Likes
5,846
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
I heard a big difference between the two crossovers in the video, and seems from the comments that most people did, not knowing ahead of time which is which.

So why are people afraid to measure a frequency response variation that is obviously very large - if levels are indeed matched to <0.5dB?
Certainly, changing crossover components can change a loudspeaker's sonic signature, but sonic signatures can be measured - and are regularly to a high level of sophistication by Amir with his Klippel system. If the differences are audible, they are certainly measurable.

But what really tweaks my sensibilities is when people claim that something makes the sonic signature "better" when they really mean that the changes created a different sonic signature that, at least for the moment, they prefer over the previous signature. Sonic signatures are discussed regularly in the loudspeaker threads here - in a far more interesting manner, because there is a big effort by participants in several threads to reconcile measurements and what people perceive.

Cognitive Bias - 01.jpg
 

A800

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
734
Likes
583
The purpose of the controlled testing isn't to weed out all the 'liars.' Seems odd that you would still make that argument as if that is what ANYONE is saying.

It is that our own brains are 'lying'...or rather it is including a lot of information in the listening process (assuming no controls) that will lead to less than useful results.

Yes, I get that now.
 

ROOSKIE

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,448
Likes
2,514
Location
Minneapolis
I heard a big difference between the two crossovers in the video, and seems from the comments that most people did, not knowing ahead of time which is which.
You sure? Try playing the tracks in different orders so the "better" crossover is not always second. The 2nd time you might simply hear more details because it is the second time. Ordering tracks to ones advantage is an old method to create perceived preferences. As well switch back and forth from the tracks at the same points so the transition is seamless. Once I did these things I could no longer tell you with any consistency which was which.
 
Top Bottom