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Looking for a consensus on Wiim Pro Plus and DACs

kemmler3D

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Just be be clear I agree with this. But is then confusing to read in the Pro+ review here-" Plus version nicely ups the performance by a good mile, essentially matching that of our low cost DACs in $100 to $120 range'.
I take from that the DAC's performance (as opposed to some set of features peripheral to SQ) is on par with other cheap DACs. And with the the implication that more expensive ones are better still, as DACs. Maybe it's semantics, but if the review stated, "Plus version nicely ups the performance by a good mile, essentially matching that of all other well designed DACs), that would be unambiguous. Isn't that what all the testing data show?
It's funny wording to be sure... perhaps they're leaving the door open to marketing their own ProUltraMega+++ version with a fancier DAC and 6-12dB more SINAD in the future. I wouldn't overthink it.
 
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radix

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It's funny wording to be sure... perhaps they're leaving the door open to marketing their own ProUltraMega+++ version with a fancier DAC and 6-12dB more SINAD in the future. I wouldn't overthink it.
Those were Amir's words in the Conclusion of his review.
 

kemmler3D

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Those were Amir's words in the Conclusion of his review.
:facepalm: My bad.

Amir likes to praise the $100-200ish DACs since they regularly hit close to maximal SINAD numbers. Now that I understand what I'm responding to, I read that as simply pointing out that the Pro+ hits performance numbers that are as good as stand-alone DACs that are also considered excellent.
 
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bec143

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:facepalm: My bad.

Amir likes to praise the $100-200ish DACs since they regularly hit close to maximal SINAD numbers. Now that I understand what I'm responding to, I read that as simply pointing out that the Pro+ hits performance numbers that are as good as stand-alone DACs that are also considered excellent.
I totally appreciate the wealth of data on this site- just learning how to interpret conclusions regarding "how good" something is in terms of SQ being touted, based on how it measures (understanding that members don't all think monolithically). The rest of it- features, build, etc is subjective and personal.

While professional very data driven, I come down somewhere in the middle with my audio. I spent years trying to get a multitude of early Squeezebox-DAC-PS- AIFF/Apple Lossless/FLAC iterations to sound as good as my simple Naim CD5/Hicap. It never happened and I mostly switched to a SB-based second system and later Sonos, I cared more about all the content and it was good enough. The one exception- I never could tolerate any MQA implementation, although I think it was mostly due to the mastering.

I am all for compromises, just want to understand the conclusions, especially if someone else is going through all the trouble to measure and post.
 
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radix

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I totally appreciate the wealth of data on this site- just learning how to interpret conclusions regarding "how good" something is in terms of SQ being touted, based on how it measures (understanding that members don't all think monolithically). The rest of it- featured, build, etc is subjective and personal.

While professional very data driven, I come down somewhere in the middle with my audio. I spent years trying to get a multitude of early Squeezebox-DAC-PS- AIFF/Apple Lossless/FLAC iterations to sound as good as my simple Naim CD5/Hicap. It never happened and I mostly switched to a SB-based second system and later Sonos, I cared more about all the content and it was good enough. The one exception- I never coudl tolerate any MQA implementation, although I think it was mostly due to the mastering.

I am all for compromises, just want to understand the conclusions, especially if someone else is going through all the trouble to measure and pot.


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I think most people (everyone?) here recognizes that people have personal preferences. The goal of the site (in the words of a newb here) is to share objective data to help people make informed choices. I don't think anyone (a few?) would say to buy something based only on the specs. I guess there are some 100% objectivists. There is some disagreement on exactly where noise and distortion become imperceptible, but it's well below where competent -- and not very expensive -- gear performs.

I think most also recognize that some people have aesthetic preferences and will pay more for non-functional features or for non-SQ features (e.g. the remote, UI, service, made in country Z, I/O choices). Some will not pay anything extra for that.

THD/noise/SINAD/FR/etc. all look like horse races with the numbers and rankings, but really most horses that run fast enough are winners, not just the fastest. There's been some scatterplots of $ vs measurement, and there's not much correlation. You can have cheap stuff with great measurements (and sound IMO) and expensive stuff with poor measurements (e.g. some tube amps). Amir works around the horse race some by having a "recommended" or "not recommended" or "no recommendation" ranking. But those too need to be taken with a grain of salt, as he sometimes considers the price point or intended use, not just the measurements and his subjective impression.
 

kemmler3D

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just learning how to interpret conclusions regarding "how good" something is in terms of SQ being touted, based on how it measures (understanding that members don't all think monolithically).
A good way to get a sense of what SINAD means in real life:

Download Audacity (or any other audio editor) and load up a music track. Listen to it at a comfortable volume.

On another track, add pink or white noise at the same peak level as the music.

At 0dB attenuation the noise will sound subjectively louder than the music.

Gradually lower the noise - from -10dB, -20, -30, and eventually to -60 and even -90 or -100dB. Keep the music the same as you do this.

Odds are the noise is going to be hard to hear around -60dB, and not too far beyond that you'll probably struggle to pick it out.

The N in SINAD is basically this, so you can get a general sense of how a -60dB vs. -97dB vs. 103dB DAC sounds. If you try it, you'll see why a lot of members don't see the point in paying attention to SINAD beyond 90 or so.

One other thing I would note: If you expect to hear something, you're going to hear something. Many members on this site (including seasoned professionals) have stories about tweaking a knob on an EQ or filter and being disappointed with the change in sound. Later they realize that the EQ wasn't even active. It's happened to me more than once. The same thing happens when comparing gear. You plug in a different box and your brain expects a different sound. That doesn't mean the sound is actually different, but you hear it anyway. Depending on who you ask, this phenomenon drives something like half the industry.
 
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bec143

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A good way to get a sense of what SINAD means in real life:

Download Audacity (or any other audio editor) and load up a music track. Listen to it at a comfortable volume.

On another track, add pink or white noise at the same peak level as the music.

At 0dB attenuation the noise will sound subjectively louder than the music.

Gradually lower the noise - from -10dB, -20, -30, and eventually to -60 and even -90 or -100dB. Keep the music the same as you do this.

Odds are the noise is going to be hard to hear around -60dB, and not too far beyond that you'll probably struggle to pick it out.

The N in SINAD is basically this, so you can get a general sense of how a -60dB vs. -97dB vs. 103dB DAC sounds. If you try it, you'll see why a lot of members don't see the point in paying attention to SINAD beyond 90 or so.
Don't disagree at all- we did similar testing with different tools back then- and dumped a lot of cables and power supplies and components etc when they all sounded the same, I don't have the patience for that now, thus the desire to understand this site. I would say that I don't have the interest too, but here I am.

So the Wii Pro+ stays as a good addition. My major other additions this month is something you all hate here- I am getting rid of my 20 year old Audio Physic Virgo 1's for new ATC SCM40s. I know you trash them - but I have listened to lot of speakers in my large and tricky room, and they sound great. I actually think that of anything in a competent system, nothing is more influential or personal than speakers, which are often left in the dust in the more source-first fora

So I score +1on the Wiim, but -1 on the ATCs for objectivity. So a philosophical wash, but not financial.
 

kemmler3D

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I actually think that of anything in a competent system, nothing is more influential or personal than speakers, which are often left in the dust in the more source-first fora

So I score +1on the Wiim, but -1 on the ATCs for objectivity. So a philosophical wash, but not financial.
In general people are not as prescriptive on speakers here as they are with electronics. You'll find most regulars agree with you here. There is more subjectivity and there are more actual, unpredictable variables when it comes to speakers.

So, AFAIK no the ATC SCM40s spins don't look as good as some other speakers in the same price range, but if you like them, then by all means enjoy them! I don't think they're considered bad so much as possibly overpriced if you only look at measurements. But you are definitely not the only ATC fan around here.

Really the only time the knives come out about speakers here, is when someone says XYZ speaker is objectively better than ABC speaker and they cite some bogus piece of non-evidence like a reviewer's opinion on it. Most people will tell you to listen to speakers before you buy them if possible, because it really is a matter of opinion.

Also, source-first fora are getting it totally backwards IMO, and I think we're almost all in agreement on that here. :D The usual piece of advice is "allocate as much of your budget to speakers as you can, without getting truly inadequate electronics".
 
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bec143

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In general people are not as prescriptive on speakers here as they are with electronics. You'll find most regulars agree with you here. There is more subjectivity and there are more actual, unpredictable variables when it comes to speakers.

So, AFAIK no the ATC SCM40s spins don't look as good as some other speakers in the same price range, but if you like them, then by all means enjoy them! I don't think they're considered bad so much as possibly overpriced if you only look at measurements. But you are definitely not the only ATC fan around here.

Really the only time the knives come out about speakers here, is when someone says XYZ speaker is objectively better than ABC speaker and they cite some bogus piece of non-evidence like a reviewer's opinion on it. Most people will tell you to listen to speakers before you buy them if possible, because it really is a matter of opinion.

Also, source-first fora are getting it totally backwards IMO, and I think we're almost all in agreement on that here. :D The usual piece of advice is "allocate as much of your budget to speakers as you can, without getting truly inadequate electronics".
I agree with all of that! I have a room problem and the ATCs do the trick- and I have auditioned a lot at home Here is a test day (I know too close to each other etc). But it's real life!
 

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bec143

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Not even the best and most expensive equipment in the world can improve the sound of Bob Dylan. :p
It is mostly a paperweight (as are most CDs), but this a Blond and Blond live recreation by OCMS that is worth a listen. Spotty in places but good.
 

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Count Arthur

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It is mostly a paperweight (as are most CDs), but this a Blond and Blond live recreation by OCMS that is worth a listen. Spotty in places but good.

I was kidding, I don't like his voice; I'm not that keen on harmonica either, which makes Dylan a bit of a no-go area for me. :)
 
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