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CHORD M-Scaler Review (Upsampler)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 327 90.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 9 2.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 7 1.9%
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    Votes: 20 5.5%

  • Total voters
    363
OP
amirm

amirm

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What I am talking about is the effect below. It is a behaviour not seen in electronics (other than expanders/compressors)
That is an illegal audio signal. You have a discontinuity at the start (and end). That means its spectrum goes to infinity. Depending on the ultrasonic bandwidth of the transducer, you get different responses. Such signals cannot be used as indication of audibility since our hearing has such a limited bandwidth and so does 44.1 kHz music distribution.
 

solderdude

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I know it is as illegal as a squarewave and needle pulse.

However, there is a distinct difference in the first few swings (30ms) of a 100Hz signal between the Stax and dynamics after that initial 'illegal' start.
That illegal start (and stop) would trigger filter ringing but is near Nyquist and not at lower frequencies so it is not seen.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Your example has headphones with clearly different frequency response and bandwidth. That is what is causing the audible difference and not anything to do specifically with timing or envelop. The tone burst has an exponential drop off in response. So all you are hearing is the convolution of that with frequency response (as opposed to an impulse which would give you a flat response).
 

raif71

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1658387142308.png
 

gavagai

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The measurement showed that the audible contribution of this device is zero.
Yes, but the oversampling thing is totally BS if you just think of it just two seconds.
Because a large part of the audio band is already oversampled, and not with "computed" or "reconstructed" but with real samples.
For instance, the piano's A0 fundamental is already oversampled more or less 1600 time (1600x).
On the other side, the C8 fith harmonic is not (1x).
So if Chord claims are true, that 16x "reconstructed" sample makes a clear difference in audio quality, how can 1600x real samples difference allow you to even recognize a piano ?
And remember, oversampling differences are here in the harmonic distribution in each note of the piano.
According to Chord, 44,1Khz is not a lesser audio quality : it's total chaos.
 

tritopia

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Rob Watts says:
44148.png


He says "104.25 MHz is an integer multiple of 48000 Hz and 41000 Hz."

104.25MHz / 48000 = 2,171.875...
104.25MHz / 44100 = 2,363.945...

How can this number be an integer multiple of 44.1 and 48?
 
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solderdude

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Rob Watts is wrong about multiple things. :)
Most likely he meant that with the used clock he can 'catch' both sample rates with 1 PLL and 1 clock generator.
 

Arnas

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I'm not sure if this was posted already, but I thought it was kind of interesting. Today YouTube was recommending that I watch this video, wherein an audio reviewer gave Rob Watts about a half hour of interview time to explain why those jitter numbers are no big deal:


Since I have no intention of buying an M-Scaler, I didn't watch the whole thing. But if there's one thing we can definitely say about Rob Watts, it's that he loves to talk about the devices he has engineered. So if you want the other side, it's definitely here.
Guy is more of a biased hypeman than a honest reviewer.
He goes reviewing stuff with extremely obvious bias to Brands.
 

bennetng

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So, if we divide 1,015,808 taps by what prime number do we share 44.1 and 48?
You have a misconception about tap count and sample rate. FIR filter is just a snippet of waveform (e.g. a flac or wav file) using a certain number of samples to describe an impulse response. The same way your flac and wav file don't need to have number of samples which are multiples of the sample rate.
 

Geert

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Thank you! I’m glad some people are willing to call out some of the inaccurate information in this thread, rather than just letting it run as it suits them personally.

As mentioned 2 weeks ago, we already have a thread discussing Watts 300dB story:


In that thread I made a breakdown of what he actually said:
At 11:08 Watts states you can hear noise floor modulation below the level of measurability.
At 11:29 he applies that theory to mains cables, so it's not only about filters in DAC's.
At 11:44 he repeats immeasurable small levels of modulated noise can be detected by the brain, which affects sound timbre.
From 13:00 on he explaines how distortion between -130 dB and -150 dB is easily audible. OK, not -300 dB but does -150 dB make more sense?
At 20:46 he states no matter how small an error in a small signal is, it's audible. (Error refers to small signal linearity I think, as he explained before). From here on he applies this small signal theory to the noise floor of noise shapers, and that's where the -350 dB refers to. Not filtering but noise shaping. This time there's an effect on perceived depth.
This is summarized at the slide at 23:10, which also states this theory explains why interconnects sound different.
At 28:20 he explains how noise floor modulation is responsible for the sound difference between different DAC concepts, like R2R DAC's.

A lot to unpack here. Nevertheless he repeatedly suggest immeasurable small non linearities in audio signals are audible, being it in mains cords, interconnects or DAC's. It's not realy clear if he attributes all of this to noise floor modulation.

Next to that, at 19:28 he explains how audio systems have a huge problem with depth, giving two examples (organ in a cathedral and barking dogs miles away). This is one of the problems he tackles with his -350 dB noise shaping.

At 17:30 in the latest Passion For Sound interview Watts repeats the amplitude of smalls signals need to be accurate to -301dB for good depth reproduction. At 18:16 he explains he doesn't know why, it's his experience from personal listening tests.

At 31:15 in the new interview he repeats his argument about unlimited sensitivity for noise floor modulation. Again, only supported by his listening tests.

So indeed he didn't claim he can hear -300dB noise, but there are other statements that raise the eyebrows. And you just need to take his word for it, because the effects can't be measured and all he has to show for are his own observations. I would love to see an independent blind test.

More on topic; in that same thread I also posted a part of an interview on 6moons.com where Watts explaines why we need a device like the M-Scaler:

"As Rob explained, the inter-aural-delay neural network of our brain measures time delays between our ears. It operates at ~4µs for a biological 250kHz sample rate. That's far in excess of Redbook's own 22µs timing. Rob's contention is that a FIR filter akin to our brain's processing power would require 1'000'000 filter taps. That's still beyond current tech. But Hugo's WTA filter already uses 26'368 taps which rely on 16 paralleled 208MHz DSP cores. Hence Chord's refusal to work with commercial chips. Their 150-250 taps are far too low-rent to keep up with the bio DSP of our human brains".

Again very strong claims, unless anyone knows of any research that supports his ITD biosampling theory.

On 28:08 in the new interview they dive into this subject again, only this time they discuss transients in relationship to the envelope of a sound, which has nothing to do with his theory of ITD. You can recognise the envelope (and timbre) of a sound with 1 ear. So the M-Scaler works on transient shape (timbre) as well as timing (depth), or what's the takeaway? And non of it can be measured?

Can't say this new interview made me any wiser. What I did learn is Watts adopted Paul's strategy of making recordings himself, so they're now suddenly authorities of everything audio. I always thought recording was a profession that you need to learn.
 
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the_brunx

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I am not 100% sure, but I think I found a sneak peak of the rumored awaited Chord M-Sucker 2
247E860A-57A0-4033-B90C-41F37A9CA5C6.gif
Rob Wallets is still working on it, don’t judge before you pay to hear.
Also with updated user manual: Connecting it to any analyzer voids the warranty. Just ask Rob to tell you how it performs.
 
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Jimi Floyd

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As mentioned 2 weeks ago, we already have a thread discussing Watts 300dB story:


In that thread I made a breakdown of what he actually said:


At 17:30 in the latest Passion For Sound interview Watts repeats the amplitude of smalls signals need to be accurate to -301dB for good depth reproduction. At 18:16 he explains he doesn't know why, it's his experience from personal listening tests.

At 31:15 in the new interview he repeats his argument about unlimited sensitivity for noise floor modulation. Again, only supported by his listening tests.

So indeed he didn't claim he can hear -300dB noise, but there are other statements that raise the eyebrows. And you just need to take his word for it, because the effects can't be measured and all he has to show for are his own observations. I would love to see an independent blind test.

More on topic; in that same thread I also posted a part of an interview on 6moons.com where Watts explaines why we need a device like the M-Scaler:



Again very strong claims, unless anyone knows of any research that supports his ITD biosampling theory.

On 28:08 in the new interview they dive into this subject again, only this time they discuss transients in relationship to the envelope of a sound, which has nothing to do with his theory of ITD. You can recognise the envelope (and timbre) of a sound with 1 ear. So the M-Scaler works on transient shape (timbre) as well as timing (depth), or what's the takeaway? And non of it can be measured?

Can't say this new interview made me any wiser. What I did learn is Watts adopted Paul's strategy of making recordings himself, so they're now suddenly authorities of everything audio. I always thought recording was a profession that you need to learn.
Great post. RW talks are bovine manure and his puppets trying to cancel out the evidence cannot do it here, memory is important.
 

Ronnie99

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Too bad many Forums on the Internet fail to exchange useful information in favor of promoting Herd Mentality.

What I find particularly odd are the pages of positive Reviews from around the world that sing the M SCALER’s praises. It’s unlikely Rob Watts bribed/baffled them all with technical jargon.

And I’m assuming the vast majority of those on this Forum have never heard DAVE/TT2 with M SCALER to be making a truly informed comment.

I never met Albert Einstein and was going off Google to be the authority here on that particular comment regarding what can or can’t be counted. I thought it was appropriate.

I understand people not liking something for a variety of reasons, I get that.

Unfortunately, no one has been able to build a device to measure what is considered to be "sound quality".

I know what I’ hear and what I like and THAT is what matters most to me.

Cheers.
 

Wunderphones

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I understand people not liking something for a variety of reasons. And unfortunately, no one has been able to build a device to measure what is considered to be "good sound quality".

I know what I’ hear and what I like and THAT is what matters most to me.

Cheers.

This is true in the sense that no universal consensus exists concerning what we mean by "good sound quality." But if one posits that "good sound quality" means "the output sounds like the input," people have definitely built devices that can measure this far, far better than our ears and brains.
 
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dc655321

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Too bad many Forums on the Internet fail to exchange useful information in favor of promoting Herd Mentality.

What I find particularly odd are the pages of positive Reviews from around the world that sing the M SCALER’s praises. It’s unlikely Rob Watts bribed/baffled them all with technical jargon.

And I’m assuming the vast majority of those on this Forum have never heard DAVE/TT2 with M SCALER to be making a truly informed comment.

I never met Albert Einstein and was going off Google to be the authority here on that particular comment regarding what can or can’t be counted. I thought it was appropriate.

I understand people not liking something for a variety of reasons, I get that.

Unfortunately, no one has been able to build a device to measure what is considered to be "sound quality".

I know what I’ hear and what I like and THAT is what matters most to me.

Cheers.

Still convinced you’re a bot.
 
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