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Is it audiophoolia to care about SINAD differences which have no correlation in blind listening tests? H2/H3 distortion 'enriches the sound'?

Cbdb2

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Most of the variability found in DACs and amplifiers wouldn't correlate with findings in blind listening tests. Research even shows lower order distortion can be a good thing for some ('Recent studies have clearly shown the human PREFERENCE for THD distortion of low order or at higher amplitudes. These are viewed subjectively as enriching the sound', Earl L. Geddes & Lidia W. Lee, 2008).
Not very scientific. "most of", "can be", "low order or at higher amplitude" ??? so one OR the other?
Very click bait.
How much distortion? What harmonics? What SPL? What type of music? Whos preference?

The thicker the music the more distortion turns it to mud. So some is great on a solo vocal, not so good on full orchestra or heavey metal.
 

Mikig

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Più spessa è la musica, più distorsione la trasforma in fango. Quindi alcuni sono fantastici in una voce solista, non così buoni in orchestra completa o heavey metal.
I agree!
in fact, if you notice, now the preference of music listened to by the "audiophile people" is jazz with small ensembles.

Even at fairs, the “trick” is now to demonstrate system only with pieces with a maximum of 3 or 4 components.

Everybody likes it? in my opinion, no, but it's very easy to listen to, if you don't fall asleep ;), and play it decently.

The problem comes, as you say, when you go up in level, but above all in impact. Great rock and orchestral classical.
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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It's like having a heavily contaminated water source then making decisions about which tap to buy in your kitchen based off of how far below the detectable threshold it adds contaminants to the water. After which drinking the water from a cup which imparts orders of magnitude more contamination (the speakers and the room) than the tap. Most modern kitchen taps don't add enough contaminant to have a detectable effect on the taste of the water we drink. There might be kitchen taps which add enough contamination to the water that you can taste it. Some people might prefer that taste. Many of us would want to avoid that. Fortunately the majority of kitchen taps don't add much contamination to the water so you can buy them confidently looking more at whether they meet your specs for things like water pressure and usability. How different are DACs and amps in relation to distortion and noise?
OK, there were two questions. I was responding to the question about wanting distortion far below the threshold of audibility rather than just below the threshold of audibility. Your analogy is to the question about added distortion. I didn't address that.
 

Sokel

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That's an Audio Research LS28 pre,did a quick and dirty measurement couple of hours ago:

AR.PNG

(unbalanced I/O )

Now quiz:
You think I could tell it apart compared to a straight 110db SINAD DAC?
(they both fed a purifi and the speakers were about 100db sens. ,levels with multimeter,blind,music,not tones,etc,the works BUT it took my friends about 1 minute to swap them)

Edit:I have to go so I have to confess that there's a catch 'cause fed with -15db signal looks like this:

AR -15db.PNG

(don't think you have to guess anymore)
 
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JiiPee

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I would not call SOTA SINAD chasing audiophoolia, as I think there is a difference.

Imho, an audiophool is like a person who believes in homeopatia, astrologia etc..., whereas a SINAD-zealot is like a person who has such a fixation on impurities, that he demands to live in a ISO 14644-1 Class 1 specified cleanroom and drinks only distilled water.
 

Cbdb2

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And one more thing. Distortion increases perceived volume. And we all know volume is a large part of preference. So testing for preference with distortion is skewed.
 

Cbdb2

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I agree!
in fact, if you notice, now the preference of music listened to by the "audiophile people" is jazz with small ensembles.

Even at fairs, the “trick” is now to demonstrate system only with pieces with a maximum of 3 or 4 components.

Everybody likes it? in my opinion, no, but it's very easy to listen to, if you don't fall asleep ;), and play it decently.

The problem comes, as you say, when you go up in level, but above all in impact. Great rock and orchestral classical.
Yea, I never got using "Fast Cars" as the main reference track, its too easy to reproduce. Sure use it, but also use music with a lot more going on.
 

JohnBooty

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if you notice, now the preference of music listened to by the "audiophile people" is jazz with small ensembles. Even at fairs, the “trick” is now to demonstrate system only with pieces with a maximum of 3 or 4 components.
Is this really true, or is this just how equipment tends to be demonstrated at audio shows?
 

krabapple

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Most of the variability found in DACs and amplifiers wouldn't correlate with findings in blind listening tests. Research even shows lower order distortion can be a good thing for some ('Recent studies have clearly shown the human PREFERENCE for THD distortion of low order or at higher amplitudes. These are viewed subjectively as enriching the sound', Earl L. Geddes & Lidia W. Lee, 2008).
All due respect to Earl Geddes, but these papers were not 'published' in peer reviewed journals; they are self-published. The 2008 'paper' link is to is a thread on diyaudio.
 

MAB

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All due respect to Earl Geddes, but these papers were not 'published' in peer reviewed journals; they are self-published. The 2008 'paper' link is to is a thread on diyaudio.
Yes, formatting an online quote as if it is peer-reviewed science journal is not OK. Thanks for reinforcing this, OP pushing back repeatedly, but doesn't understand who citations work.
Imagine someone lifting every quote Einstein made, or every thing I posted online, and dressed them up as if they were cited references.
 

krabapple

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I posted before I read the thread, where the OP was called on the carpet about this. So no need to relitigate, I guess. It is the first thing that struck me, though (an academic myself)
 

phoenixdogfan

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The way I look at it is based on the ceteris paribus model. Basically what that means is "all other things being equal", I'm going to prefer the gear with the highest SINAD numbers. Do I know where a lower SINAD becomes audible and/or detracts from my experience? Not really. Really doesn't matter because I have found gear which is reasonably affordable, sounds transparent and whose feature sets dovetail perfectly with the requirements of my use case(s), and that's all I have to know.

Add to that the fact that these ASR reviews have forced manufacturers to bring their "A" game in terms of engineering quality, and I think the entire approach used by Amir is more than solid. And given that these high SINAD levels are achievable in even gear costing l.t. $200, it befuddles me why anyone wants to ask if maybe we ought to go back to listening to what is by definition less transparent gear even if the incremental levels of 115 db over, say, 85 db SINAD are barely, possibly not audible.

Sometimes overkill is good. Real good!
 
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BobbyTimmons

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I posted before I read the thread, where the OP was called on the carpet about this. So no need to relitigate, I guess. It is the first thing that struck me, though (an academic myself)
You ought to know there was absolutely nothing wrong with citing a quotation by using quotation marks and writing the names of the people you quoted in brackets . There's nothing wrong with using quotations as "evidence" when you are writing a forum post. I'm wondering where you learnt otherwise. There was nothing that says it is a paper when you write the names of the people who wrote a quote in brackets. There is nothing that says it was a paper in the quote itself which is written in all caps. Even the criticism about listing both their names turned out unfair as the quote was from their "gedlee" joint account. The problem with you and the couple other pedants seems to be that I shouldn't have had the grace to give any information about the quote at all. It's a case of no good deed goes unpunished. You would complain less if I left the quote unattributed.
 
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BobbyTimmons

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Yes, formatting an online quote as if it is peer-reviewed science journal is not OK. Thanks for reinforcing this, OP pushing back repeatedly, but doesn't understand who citations work.

At no point did I format a quote written in all caps "as if it was peer-reviewed science journal". Saying I formatted the quote as if it is a "peer-reviewed science journal" is a sign you don't understand how citations work. Quoting someone doesn't mean they were writing a peer-reviewed journal. The majority of quotes are not from peer-reviewed science journals. I removed the word "article" from MarnixM's attribution and left the name and date which is the correct format for quotes.
Imagine someone lifting every quote Einstein made, or every thing I posted online, and dressed them up as if they were cited references.
Quoting Einstein, writing the name and date in brackets is common in academic articles. In internet posts people usually won't be graceful enough to give you the date of the Einstein quote.

A lot of quotes by Einstein are taken from his private letters. Quoting from a public post by a couple summarizing their opinion is not only normal, it's expected. If Geddes and Lee ever became as famous as Einstein, those posts would be famous. The citation format when people quote from those posts would be just like MarnixM used except without the word "article" which was removed from it.
 
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ahofer

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You misleadingly copied the text from a DIY audio thread, not a study: https://www.diyaudio.com/community/threads/geddes-on-distortion-perception.121253/

In the two studies Geddes made with his wife, one of them included subjective testing and showed a very low negative correlation to THD. "Clearly shown" is an overstatement. Geddes never returned to the topic seriously.

THD, IMD, MTD, the list goes on, are complex physical measurements, not based in subjective or perceptual criteria. Anything a person can conclude based on available studies of those measurements is tenuous if you want concrete, detailed answers. What they allow is broad generalization. There's no comprehensive model of audibility of nonlinear distortion yet.

Klippel did a good job presenting certain thresholds:
Always read the links. It's tiresome, but you see it again and again.
 
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BobbyTimmons

BobbyTimmons

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The way I look at it is based on the ceteris paribus model. Basically what that means is "all other things being equal", I'm going to prefer the gear with the highest SINAD numbers. Do I know where a lower SINAD becomes audible and/or detracts from my experience? Not really. Really doesn't matter because I have found gear which is reasonably affordable, sounds transparent and whose feature sets dovetail perfectly with the requirements of my use case(s), and that's all I have to know.
If depends if other things are equal. If you have a choice between two products. One has lower THD+N than the other both inaudibly. How much weight should you give to that? Probably not much as it makes no difference to what you hear. It depends if you think the products are equal in more important things like mean time between failures, warranty policy or features. Those things would be difficult for a reviewer to test though.

Add to that the fact that these ASR reviews have forced manufacturers to bring their "A" game in terms of engineering quality, and I think the entire approach used by Amir is more than solid. And given that these high SINAD levels are achievable in even gear costing l.t. $200, it befuddles me why anyone wants to ask if maybe we ought to go back to listening to what is by definition less transparent gear even if the incremental levels of 115 db over, say, 85 db SINAD are barely, possibly not audible.

Sometimes overkill is good. Real good!
Engineering quality is related to goals. If you hit the audibility threshold, is it better engineering to go beyond that? Maybe if the investment is not taken away from more important areas like reliability and warranty policy.
 
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Curvature

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If depends if other things are equal. If you have a choice between two products. One has lower THD+N than the other both inaudibly. How much weight should you give to that? Probably not much as it makes no difference to what you hear. It depends if you think the products are equal in more important things like mean time between failures, warranty policy or features. Those things would be difficult for a reviewer to test though.


Engineering quality is related to goals. If you hit the audibility threshold, is it better engineering to go beyond that? Maybe if the investment is not taken away from more important areas like reliability and warranty policy.
Which audibility threshold? For what kind of transducer? At what playback level, for what frequency range, in what kind of environment?

The same kind of questions can be asked of fluctuations in FR magnitude and EQ. For example, it took serious research to show that prevailing "audibility thresholds" represented by third-octave steady state measurements were not representative of room responses, speaker responses or hearing. Same goes for saying foolish things like 90dB is enough (90dB of what?) or that FR +/- 3dB is fine (for a speaker).

The answer to all this stuff is in becoming a more informed consumer. Manufacturers will make unjustifiable products that you, equipped with enough knowledge, should be able to ignore. Consumer ignorance, upgraditis or audiophilia nervosa are all problems that disappear with enough clarity of thought, good advice and research—as long as the right data is available through measurements. Jumping from one piece of gear to the next for foolish reasons equally includes stuff like cryogenically treated antivibration whatever and SINAD chasing. If you understand how your gear works and its capabilities and your hearing, then you will be far less tempted to bother with new gear.
 

Mikig

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If you understand how your gear works and its capabilities and your hearing, then you will be far less tempted to bother with new gear.
Done!!;)

you're absolutely right!!

a big problem: understanding if, where and how to update the system.
Very often when you don't know a clear end point, you spend years looking for useless solutions, it's like you say continuing to buy without a logical sense....
 

krabapple

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You ought to know there was absolutely nothing wrong with citing a quotation by using quotation marks and writing the names of the people you quoted in brackets .


I followed your link; it led me to a diyaudio thread with a post by Earl. This is not what I expect to find when presented a link to what 'research even shows', with a cite attached

Most of the variability found in DACs and amplifiers wouldn't correlate with findings in blind listening tests. Research even shows lower order distortion can be a good thing for some ('Recent studies have clearly shown the human PREFERENCE for THD distortion of low order or at higher amplitudes. These are viewed subjectively as enriching the sound', Earl L. Geddes & Lidia W. Lee, 2008).


There's nothing wrong with using quotations as "evidence" when you are writing a forum post. I'm wondering where you learnt otherwise. There was nothing that says it is a paper when you write the names of the people who wrote a quote in brackets. There is nothing that says it was a paper in the quote itself which is written in all caps. Even the criticism about listing both their names turned out unfair as the quote was from their "gedlee" joint account. The problem with you and the couple other pedants seems to be that I shouldn't have had the grace to give any information about the quote at all. It's a case of no good deed goes unpunished. You would complain less if I left the quote unattributed.

Petulance, never a great look.
 
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krabapple

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And FWIW, I don't pay SINAD much mind beyond the 'OK' level , even though the argument now seems to be "BUT THEY MIGHT ADD UP!".

'OK' THD+noise is vanishingly low compared to audible defects routinely introduced by e.g. room acoustics, speakers. Utter electronic SINAD purity beyond that is way down the list of things to be chased after.
 
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