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Master Thread: Are measurements Everything or Nothing?

Spkrdctr

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This is a bit of topic, but It may be worth pointing out that what we are talking about here is a form of manipulation of the customers/buyers. In that respect - as you point out - there is nothing new or special about the HiFi industry in particular. The perfect market is defined as: a market that is structured to have no anomalies that would otherwise interfere with the best prices being obtained. Perfect information is usually included as one of the conditions for a perfect market. BUT: It is generally not a good idea to be a seller in a perfect market, because prices are driven down so low that it is quite difficult to generate a reasonable profit. Consequently, many sellers seek out less perfect markets, where they can realize higher profit levels.
Mulder, Your statement is exactly what a street hooker explained to me about how the price is set. She used different words but explained the same thing. It is amazing how some people just "get it" through experience. Good post!
 

HarmonicTHD

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Mulder, Your statement is exactly what a street hooker explained to me about how the price is set. She used different words but explained the same thing. It is amazing how some people just "get it" through experience. Good post!
:D

I really would have been surprised if those would have been her words ….. but do tell us more…. :);)
 
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I've seen a few YouTubers talk about how certain DACs are warmer or more clinical in their output. It would be great to see if that were even measurable. I've personally only been able to detect the "harshness" of a DAC in the higher frequencies. I am not sure if a manufacturer would purposefully attenuate some of the higher frequencies to make a "warmer" DAC or if it is just a product of the manufacturing process.
 

solderdude

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It would be even more interesting if they would be able to show it while performing a level matched blind test :)
Of course, often depending on the selected/used reconstruction filter, or lack there-off, measurable differences can certainly be shown.
These in general are not the devices those 'youtubers' talk about.
 

krabapple

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I think the younger kids are being brainwashed. They have zero knowledge of critical thinking and buy most of what they are told hook line and sinker. That is why home schooling has become such a big deal.

And you think 'critical thinking' is taught better by homeschoolers?

I'd bet that what's taught by homeschoolers is what they believe is true. Which isn't the same as teaching 'critical thinking'.
 

Jim Taylor

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I've seen a few YouTubers talk

I've seen that the majority of YouTubers do exactly that; they talk. The don't give evidence, the don't prove, they don't disprove and they don't provide data. They just talk.

It would be great to see if that were even measurable.

I think so, too! ;)

I've personally only been able to detect the "harshness" of a DAC in the higher frequencies.

It would be interesting for you to conduct a disciplined double-blind test to see whether that "harshness" really exists or not. Might be nice for you to know.

I am not sure if a manufacturer would purposefully attenuate some of the higher frequencies to make a "warmer" DAC or if it is just a product of the manufacturing process.

Either way, it would show up in measurements.

Jim
 
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I've seen that the majority of YouTubers do exactly that; they talk. The don't give evidence, the don't prove, they don't disprove and they don't provide data. They just talk.



I think so, too! ;)



It would be interesting for you to conduct a disciplined double-blind test to see whether that "harshness" really exists or not. Might be nice for you to know.



Either way, it would show up in measurements.

Jim
I'm just coming up with ideas for Amir or anyone with an Audio Precision Analyzer :) . Audioholics has basically torn down the ideas of $5000 cables via measurements, and I want to see the truth (and extent of the truth) come out about how DACs sound from a sound signature perspective. Amir covers the same key points about a DAC to describe it's performance, but in the videos and written reviews that I've seen, there isn't a ton of talk about the sound signature (and maybe good DACs don't have a sound signature, maybe that is the point!).

As for my own testing for my own DACs, I've wired my Topping E50 (cheap but decent measuring DAC) and my PC audio into the Topping L50 headphone amp and need to switch back and forth on a routine basis. PC audio is really bad, so it's not anything special that I've been able to look down and notice why things sound so poorly. That being said, I honestly don't know how great a difference in "warmth" there would be between 2 actually good DACs, lol. I think we are on the same page about wanting repeatable and measurable data for whatever we are analyzing.

Also thank you Jim for the phrase by phrase breakdown of my post. I'm not really trying to make a point of argument, or even discussion, but rather a request to see these things measured.
 
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solderdude

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Consider this.
Having a sound signature would mean the signal is different. Otherwise there can not be a difference.
This, obviously, can be shown to exist by golden eared folks.
Let them perform this in front of an engineer that knows how to test and can measure or...
Use nulling.
The problem here is there will always be some differences when nulling and those nulling results would have to be analyzed.
Then the null difference should be added or subtracted from the file one of the signals and see if that can explain the difference.
A level matched AB(X) should be able to show this using the considered 'best' DAC that supposedly can 'resolve' the 'worse' DAC can't.

Will someone go through all the trouble and challenges just to prove they can hear the impossible ?
Most likely not... they know they can hear it and others know they are full of it.
 
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tonycollinet

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I'm just coming up with ideas for Amir or anyone with an Audio Precision Analyzer :) . Audioholics has basically torn down the ideas of $5000 cables via measurements, and I want to see the truth (and extent of the truth) come out about how DACs sound from a sound signature perspective. Amir covers the same key points about a DAC to describe it's performance, but in the videos and written reviews that I've seen, there isn't a ton of talk about the sound signature (and maybe good DACs don't have a sound signature, maybe that is the point!).

As for my own testing for my own DACs, I've wired my Topping E50 (cheap but decent measuring DAC) and my PC audio into the Topping L50 headphone amp and need to switch back and forth on a routine basis. PC audio is really bad, so it's not anything special that I've been able to look down and notice why things sound so poorly. That being said, I honestly don't know how great a difference in "warmth" there would be between 2 actually good DACs, lol. I think we are on the same page about wanting repeatable and measurable data for whatever we are analyzing.

Also thank you Jim for the phrase by phrase breakdown of my post. I'm not really trying to make a point of argument, or even discussion, but rather a request to see these things measured.
They already are measured.

The only things in the output of a DAC that can create a "sound signature" are frequency/amplitude (frequency response), noise and distortion. All of these are measured. Any genuinely audible difference has to show up in those measurements.

To put it another way - in a DAC that has flat frequency response, and inaudible distortion and noise (pretty much all those in the top half of the DAC chart), where do you think a "sound signature" can come from?
 

HarmonicTHD

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I'm just coming up with ideas for Amir or anyone with an Audio Precision Analyzer :) . Audioholics has basically torn down the ideas of $5000 cables via measurements, and I want to see the truth (and extent of the truth) come out about how DACs sound from a sound signature perspective. Amir covers the same key points about a DAC to describe it's performance, but in the videos and written reviews that I've seen, there isn't a ton of talk about the sound signature (and maybe good DACs don't have a sound signature, maybe that is the point!).

As for my own testing for my own DACs, I've wired my Topping E50 (cheap but decent measuring DAC) and my PC audio into the Topping L50 headphone amp and need to switch back and forth on a routine basis. PC audio is really bad, so it's not anything special that I've been able to look down and notice why things sound so poorly. That being said, I honestly don't know how great a difference in "warmth" there would be between 2 actually good DACs, lol. I think we are on the same page about wanting repeatable and measurable data for whatever we are analyzing.

Also thank you Jim for the phrase by phrase breakdown of my post. I'm not really trying to make a point of argument, or even discussion, but rather a request to see these things measured.
As solderdude put it. For difference to exist the signal must be different and the difference must be audible. There is research of human hearing abilities and yes there is a grey zone and the there is a zone beyond doubt that differences can be perceived under the very best circumstances, let alone for music reproduction. This might tell you more:


Also you can test your own abilities. The user pkane provides a webpage with hearing tests. It is humbling and most are far far away from even the above mentioned grey zone.
 

Spkrdctr

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Will someone go through all the trouble and challenges just to prove they can hear the impossible ?
Most likely not... they know they can hear it and others know they are full of it.
ASR wisdom right there! I will say almost all DACs sound the same. There I said it. Now anyone is free to prove me wrong. I'm waiting........


I hope our ASR regulars see the humor in that statement. I make the claim with zero evidence and put the work on the other side to prove me wrong. My level of work=zero. Their level of work is many hours or even days. I just might have audiophile blood in me. :)
 
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krabapple

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As for my own testing for my own DACs, I've wired my Topping E50 (cheap but decent measuring DAC) and my PC audio into the Topping L50 headphone amp and need to switch back and forth on a routine basis. PC audio is really bad,

It is?

What do you mean by 'PC audio'? A digital signal out to a DAC, or analog out from the PC's DAC? Neither should be 'really bad'.
 

Heat11

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Amir! i am working on some research regarding the audiophile discourse community and could use some feedback from you on this topic. let me know if you are interested. i sure hope he still reads this mammoth chain
 

Newman

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Click on the PM ‘envelope’ icon, see red arrow below, select “Start a new conversation”, type amirm in the Recipient box, and off you go?

7D8350DE-8A6D-4432-BC09-998B1CFE22FC.jpeg
 

jayking8

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Unfortunately for you nothing on the power side can have any influence on sound quality. It isn't possible, and you are therefore mistaken.
Unless you have sat in a room and done a blind test where somebody else controls the experiment, this is a totally ludicrous claim to make. Yes, I have heard the difference that power products can make in blind tests. I was also able to pick out when the conditioner was being used and when it was not. So there was obviously an audible difference.

Whether or not you consider the difference to be "better" is subjective. In some cases I thought it was much better.
 

Robin L

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Unless you have sat in a room and done a blind test where somebody else controls the experiment, this is a totally ludicrous claim to make. Yes, I have heard the difference that power products can make in blind tests. I was also able to pick out when the conditioner was being used and when it was not. So there was obviously an audible difference.

Whether or not you consider the difference to be "better" is subjective. In some cases I thought it was much better.
Measurements do not support what you are saying.

I think you might have wandered into the wrong forum. It's best you have some background on what to expect:

 

jayking8

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How do you know it wasn't subconscious biases influencing your perception of what you heard? What would be the theory behind such "massive" improvements?
Blind listening tests. I do not have a "theory" behind the improvements. But I was able to hear them and distinguish when the conditioners were being used.

Yes, we all want gear that measures well. But we want it to sound good too! So why not do unbiased blind testing to see if a product makes your ears happy? It costs you nothing but a bit of time.

Then again this forum is full of cranky people that want cheap gear with good measurements regardless of how it sounds. I am very lucky to have access to tons of gear to test and some of the stuff on hear that measures well sounds like crap in real life.
 
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