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How much difference in sound quality will you hear between qutest and tone board ?

JohnYang1997

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#4
This may be controversial
But Qutest/hugo2 would sound less energetic than tone board. It seems like tone board has stronger bass and highs. But at the same time it's less coherent through out the frequency range. Qutest/hugo2 would be more natural.
I would take cheaper akm based dac like m300 dx3pro, which sound wide precise and smooth. For the price, the performance gain in sound quality even though could be audible, it is very marginal.
 

Xulonn

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#5
This may be controversial
No problem if you conducted robust double-blind testing - but if you did not, it's not controversial, it is simply psycho-acoustic b.s.

LINK
 
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#6
In one of Zeos’s reviews he mentioned that he blindly compared the Qutest to a much cheaper DAC (Geshelli ENOG2, I believe) and could tell no difference.

I know Zeos is an acquired taste but it won’t cost much to take a flyer on the Tone Board. Worst case scenario if you don’t like it, you could sell it close to cost on EBay since a buyer may prefer quick shipping rather than waiting 3 weeks from Asia.
 

Calexico

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#7
Some believes no difference some will notice differences.
Some don't care about the differences because of the great specs or just they listen and don't care.
Some have preferences and don't care the specs.
It would be wonderful if the members on this forum that have a lot of dacs could do a/b tests and give the results and to compare them with the specs.
To my mind scientist listeners are as much afraid (if not more) of a/b testing than audiophiles as they want to believe that there is no difference.
 

andreasmaaan

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#8
Absolutely no difference.

I’m on the phone now so I can’t find it easily, but there’s a thread here with recordings of some music samples that have gone through DA (and AD) conversion 8 times via the tone board. Listening to these against the originals will give you an idea of the levels of distortion we’re talking about here.
 

solderdude

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#9
@Ron Texas @flipflop @andreasmaaan = +1

@Calexico = :facepalm:

Both the Chord and Khadas are good DACs and ruler flat and thus there is no 'has stronger bass and highs' in any of them.
The one that plays louder (has a higher output voltage) will definitely be preferred as 'better sounding and have stronger bass and highs' for certain in any non-level matched comparison or AB-test.
 

Ron Texas

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#10
@Ron Texas @flipflop @andreasmaaan = +1

@Calexico = :facepalm:

Both the Chord and Khadas are good DACs and ruler flat and thus there is no 'has stronger bass and highs' in any of them.
The one that plays louder (has a higher output voltage) will definitely be preferred as 'better sounding and have stronger bass and highs' for certain in any non-level matched comparison or AB-test.
Blind tests are supposed to be level matched.
 

Calexico

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#11
@solderdude

they have totally different output stages. I believe it can make differences of how it adapts to the amp or preamp and changes in volume listening.
Also filter technology is totally different and as no one did a/b tests on these filters we cannot conclude too fast.
Arguing the louder one will be feeled the better is not a good argument.
Usually i find music more enjoyable at low levels. And in my tests i didn't always prefer the louder dac.
Maybe the ones that like highly compressed music with low dynamic range will like the louder sounding dac but i don't think they have credibility.
 

Calexico

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#13
Hello

Edit
I first had some preferences on the sounds of the tracks and after retry with another headphone what's the more abvious about the tracks is that it's tipically the kind of mastering i don't like.
As i don't like the original sound it was difficult to choose.
Then i say they all sound ugly :)
I think it's too much compressed music.
 
Last edited:

solderdude

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#14
Blind tests are supposed to be level matched.
Yes, properly conducted blind tests are supposed to be level matched but I am quite sure some folks test 'blind' but do not level match. They just let someone 'switch' between 2 inputs and call it a blind test ;)
 

Blumlein 88

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#15
Hello

Edit
I first had some preferences on the sounds of the tracks and after retry with another headphone what's the more abvious about the tracks is that it's tipically the kind of mastering i don't like.
As i don't like the original sound it was difficult to choose.
Then i say they all sound ugly :)
I think it's too much compressed music.
Two tracks have zero compression applied at any point. I think that is true of a third one, but am not certain. Two have compression and many more types of processing done to them.
 

solderdude

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#16
@solderdude
they have totally different output stages. I believe it can make differences of how it adapts to the amp or preamp and changes in volume listening.
Also filter technology is totally different and as no one did a/b tests on these filters we cannot conclude too fast.
Arguing the louder one will be feeled the better is not a good argument.
Usually i find music more enjoyable at low levels. And in my tests i didn't always prefer the louder dac.
Maybe the ones that like highly compressed music with low dynamic range will like the louder sounding dac but i don't think they have credibility.
You are absolutely right... they have different output stages, different filters, different output voltages, different output impedances, different chips, different processing, different brands, different looks, different power supplies, different PCB"s, different layouts, different inputs, different enclosures, different capacitors and resistors, different test results, different subjective reviews.

They ARE different... so they MUST sound different as well.
 
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#17
You are absolutely right... they have different output stages, different filters, different output voltages, different output impedances, different chips, different processing, different brands, different looks, different power supplies, different PCB"s, different layouts, different inputs, different enclosures, different capacitors and resistors, different test results, different subjective reviews.

They ARE different... so they MUST sound different as well.
Yes but by how much ? Should a dac convert data not change it.
 

Blumlein 88

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#18
Yes but by how much ? Should a dac convert data not change it.
A DAC is converting from digital to analog so by definition it is something of a change. So question is can a DAC do this well enough with low enough change from the input signal that you can't tell the difference? The two you ask about in your original post are both very good. Both do such a good job of doing digital to analog conversion it is very unlikely you'll hear any difference at all even though both use different methods to accomplish the same goal of putting out accurate analog signals.
 

Calexico

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#19
If most people doing measurement here thinks every well engeneered dac sound the same why doing some comparative table of measurements then? the reviews should be more simple and with only two parameters:
- render sound as it should
- alter the sound.
It would be enough.
And then the comparative would be the cheaper one that are 'render sound as it should the better.

What's the goal of comparing sinads at unhearable levels ?? Or measuring dynamic range of 100 dbs when most records are below 20db of dynamic range.

If all dacs sounds the same most of this website is pointless. That's the paradox of ASR.

Those claiming transparency of most dac should then claim inutility of the reviews.
 
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