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Mark Levinson 519 measurements

Mivera

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Mivera

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Mivera

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How are these guys getting by? Why are people buying these? How is anyone supposed to know how they sound? This is insanity!
 

Mivera

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#4
Let's have a look at what MSB used to use for marketing before they wised up and realized it doesn't mean nothing.

IMG_0346.JPG
 

Cosmik

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#5
I don't know about their specs, but audiophile misery is fully catered for.
Three digital filter options are available in the Mark Levinson Precision Link DAC...
....
These filters are selectable because there is no one correct filter choice. Some listeners are sensitive to pre-ringing on transients and believe it sounds unnatural. A digital filter with pre-ringing exhibits excellent frequency response behavior precisely because of its transient behavior. Other listeners might be more sensitive to the relatively long period of ringing exhibited by the Minimum Phase filter and therefore would prefer the Fast or Slow filter. More likely, though, is that listeners will prefer different filters with different genres of music, and they have that option with the № 519.
As if the audiophile imagination isn't already working overtime fabricating differences between clocks, cables, shakti stones, and all the rest. They now have three imaginary filter sounds to worry about, that they are encouraged to change dynamically between (or even within?) tracks.

I have designed 'stuff'. One trick I know about is that you disguise weaknesses in your 'offer' by giving the user options. The advantages to you are many. For example, if you know that there is no configuration that doesn't suck in one way or another, you offload the problem onto the customer so that the problem becomes theirs - and they think you're doing them a favour.

Options can be almost free to provide, but seem to miraculously multiply the capabilities of the device. But like the low power setting on a vacuum cleaner, they may never be used.

In a world of imagination like audiophilia, options can be mental catalysts. All DACs sound the same (sorry - they do) and so by giving the user something to fiddle with actively, their imagination can be channelled and focused onto a talisman - one that they feel they have actually discovered themselves thanks to their good judgement and golden ears. The option allows them to access the same mental state at a later date.

But fiddling with it is also irresistible, especially when told "listeners will prefer different filters with different genres of music", leading inevitably to audiophile self-doubt and despair - that can only be assuaged by spending another huge wadge of cash on more Walter Mitty products.
 

Mivera

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#6
So does that mean Harman's flagship line sounds worse than something like a $79 DAC that shares more measurements?

Seems elaborate specs are mostly found with budget gear. Does this mean the higher up you go, the worse the sound?

Did MSB DAC's start sounding worse after they stopping using numbers to market?
 

Mivera

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#7
For example say you were a big MSB fan before they decided to drop the sharing of measurements. And you were such a fan that you even owned an MSB t shirt. Would you burn the t shirt now that they quit publishing specs?
 

Mivera

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Blumlein 88

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#9
Let's have a look at what MSB used to use for marketing before they wised up and realized it doesn't mean nothing.

View attachment 8457
The thing I notice is the lying in the ad. A 1 million point FFT with a line at 190 db claiming 173 db (hum harmonics maybe) is not 28.5 bits dynamic range. It is more like 19-20 bits. Quite exemplary no need to exaggerate.
 

Mivera

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The thing I notice is the lying in the ad. A 1 million point FFT with a line at 190 db claiming 173 db (hum harmonics maybe) is not 28.5 bits dynamic range. It is more like 19-20 bits. Quite exemplary no need to exaggerate.
So does that mean it sounds like crap? Or just no better than a $79 behringer?
 

Mivera

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Hey I think I have it figured out. It all clued in after Blumlein's post. Perhaps they are tired of audiophiles nitpicking the numbers without actually listening to the gear. Hey after all if there's no specs to nitpick, the only other option is to actually listen.

That's genius!! No wonder Harman is a $5 billion a year company!
 

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The thing I notice is the lying in the ad. A 1 million point FFT with a line at 190 db claiming 173 db (hum harmonics maybe) is not 28.5 bits dynamic range. It is more like 19-20 bits. Quite exemplary no need to exaggerate.
They have a 70 db gain stage:



Have to do the math to see if the FFT process gain is more than this.
 

Mivera

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#13
They have a 70 db gain stage:



Have to do the math to see if the FFT process gain is more than this.
Then you'll know how it sounds?
 

amirm

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#14
Then you'll know how it sounds?
Well, it will sound like whatever music you put through it!

If you mean how much it distorts that sound, you need to learn to read that graph. How much of it do you understand?
 

Mivera

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Well, it will sound like whatever music you put through it!

If you mean how much it distorts that sound, you need to learn to read that graph. How much of it do you understand?
Oh well that's what I look for in a DAC. When I can't pin any sound characteristic specific to a particular piece of gear, you have the holy grail. Not an easy feat to pull off. But I think MSB has with the Select.
 

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Oh well that's what I look for in a DAC. When I can't pin any sound characteristic specific to a particular piece of gear, you have the holy grail. Not an easy feat to pull off. But I think MSB has with the Select.
That is the sure way to confusion in audio.
 

Mivera

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#17
That is the sure way to confusion in audio.
More like the way to satisfaction. I did a little blind test last night with Roon and my Purestream DAC. My sister who's not an Audiophile at all had to pick her favourite upsampling filter. Roon has the choice of Smooth Minimum Phase, Smooth linear phase, Precise linear phase, and Smooth minimum phase.

First thing I did was put on a track she was familiar with and has very good sonics. Bruno Mars 24 Karet Magic. I toggled through the filters for about 30 seconds on each one. She basically said yes or no to what she preferred. First one was Smooth linear Phase. She had no opinion yet at this point as she hadn't heard the other ones yet for comparison. Then I switched to precise linear phase. Right away she liked it better. Following that we went to precise minimum phase. She turned her nose up at that one within a second. Then we got to smooth Minimum phase and she liked it better but wasn't quite sure if she liked it better than precise linear phase. So she said go back to the one I liked. I did and she went "yes this is the one" hands down better. I also happened to agree.

So next I randomly toggled through the complete cycle 5 times and asked her to vote on which one was precise linear phase. Every one of the 5 times she picked the correct one!
 
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amirm

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I did a little blind test last night with Roon and my Purestream DAC. My sister who's not an Audiophile at all had to pick her favourite upsampling filter. Roon has the choice of Smooth Minimum Phase, Smooth linear phase, Precise linear phase, and Smooth minimum phase.

First thing I did was put on a track she was familiar with and has very good sonics. Bruno Mars 24 Karet Magic. I toggled through the filters for about 30 seconds on each one. She basically said yes or no to what she preferred. First one was Smooth linear Phase. She had no opinion yet at this point as she hadn't heard the other ones yet for comparison. Then I switched to precise linear phase. Right away she liked it better. Following that we went to precise minimum phase. She turned her nose up at that one within a second. Then we got to smooth Minimum phase and she liked it better but wasn't quite sure if she liked it better than precise linear phase. So she said go back to the one I liked. I did and she went "yes this is the one" hands down better. I also happened to agree.

So next I randomly toggled through the complete cycle 5 times and asked her to vote on which one was precise linear phase. Every one of the 5 times she picked the correct one!
Putting aside the implausibility of a non-audiophiles sitting through all these iterations, given the fact that you were the proctor, you are in dire need of learning about Clever Hans:

 

Mivera

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#19
Putting aside the implausibility of a non-audiophiles sitting through all these iterations, given the fact that you were the proctor, you are in dire need of learning about Clever Hans:

She did. She wanted to know what sounds better. The difference between the sounds of the filters with a system as resolving as this was night and day. Wasn't a struggle in the least to pick them out.

Just don't try with anything but a pure DSD DAC though. Because the internal filters and modulators in SDM chips pretty much kill any of the differences between them.
 

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