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Question about mesurements...

PenguinMusic

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Hi,

Searching for a device to replace my current DAC + Headephone amp combo, I came across this device made by a brand I like and offering good looks, features I am looking for and so I thought I might go for it, given it's decent price (OK, I know, there are probably better and less expensive choices out there, but please do not tell that, as it is not my question).
http://en.auneaudio.com/index.php?s=/Home/Article/detail/id/569.html

Looking at the device specs, AUNE Audio is kind enough to give it's own measurements on AP device.
Here's how it looks...
http://en.auneaudio.com/index.php?s=/Home/Article/detail/id/569.html

Maybe there is something that I am overlooking, but given the number of devices that offer a THD+N score of about 120dB, is it just an impression or are the numbers displayed on their own wbsite really bad/ppor ? I can't imagine that if those are so poor they'd publish them... So I must be missing something. But what ?

If anyone could explain, I'd be happy...

Regards.
 

staticV3

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is it just an impression or are the numbers displayed on their own wbsite really bad/ppor ?
They are not. Using Line out at 3.5Vrms, the S9c Pro has a THD+N of 0.000216%, or in other words, 113dB SINAD:
S9C-1080-EN_19.jpg

That would put it here in the rankings:
best balanced stereo dac review.png
 

solderdude

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So I must be missing something. But what ?
When you buy it you won't be missing something anymore and will be perfectly happy.... for a while :).
This device is already way below any audible thresholds so completely 'transparent'.
It has a nice headphone out (no idea how good it is) and connectivity.
 
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PenguinMusic

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Hi guys,

Thanks for your replies.

So if I decide to get this device, it should sound decently good... And with 5W output it should be able to feed even the most demanding headphone I think :)

Regards.
 

fpitas

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PenguinMusic

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Yes. Be careful with your hearing. Seriously.
Hi,

Thanks for the advice.

It might sound a little absurd, but I do not even listen to music at specifically high levels.
I listen mediium-loud...

But I am under the impression (or maybe pure opinion) that if you use lower levels then you have less pollution in sound (don't know the name : distorsion, ripping, jitter, clipping...) so I am convinced that if I can turn volume to 25% I'll get better sound than if I crank it up to 95% to reach my listening levels.
 

fpitas

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Hi,

Thanks for the advice.

It might sound a little absurd, but I do not even listen to music at specifically high levels.
I listen mediium-loud...

But I am under the impression (or maybe pure opinion) that if you use lower levels then you have less pollution in sound (don't know the name : distorsion, ripping, jitter, clipping...) so I am convinced that if I can turn volume to 25% I'll get better sound than if I crank it up to 95% to reach my listening levels.
It's good to have power available for musical peaks, which in some cases can be 30dB above the average. Usually the peaks don't exceed 15dB. Some headphones can deliver excessive output, enough to cause hearing damage, with little distortion. So, it's easy to turn the volume up too high. With most speakers the distortion gets bad before such levels are reached.
 

solderdude

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It might sound a little absurd, but I do not even listen to music at specifically high levels.
I listen mediium-loud...

You'll probably never use more than a few mW in that case unless you have some really inefficient ones (Susvara, K1000, HE6).
5W is only really needed (and available in 32ohm balanced loads) when you use inefficient headphones with a substantial bass boost at impressively loud levels.
At normal levels (medium to medium loud) the same inefficient headphones only draw 10-50mW peaks.

But I am under the impression (or maybe pure opinion) that if you use lower levels then you have less pollution in sound (don't know the name : distorsion, ripping, jitter, clipping...) so I am convinced that if I can turn volume to 25% I'll get better sound than if I crank it up to 95% to reach my listening levels.
You probably will not use more than a few % at most. The rest is headroom that will remain unused. What you are talking about (experiencing) is gain, not so much power.
Also noise+distortion is lowest near maximum output power which you will likely never reach.

You can accidentally blow up sensitive headphones. There are quite a few models rated for 20, 30 or 50mW.

That said having endless amounts of power on tap will ensure that in all circumstances if you detect distortion you can be sure it is in the recording (most likely culprit) or in the headphones (when playing very loud)
 

DVDdoug

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But I am under the impression (or maybe pure opinion) that if you use lower levels then you have less pollution in sound (don't know the name : distorsion, ripping, jitter, clipping...)
You get clipping when you try to get more than 5W out of a 5W amplifier.* It's the most common kind of distortion.

Otherwise if you aren't clipping the sound quality can get better at higher levels because by increasing the signal level you are improving the signal-to-noise ratio. But it's not going to be audibly better unless you are hearing noise at lower levels.

Or if the noise is coming from before the amplifier (not generated inside the amplifier itself) lowering the volume will lower the noise making it less audible. Or, higher gain tends to boost the noise. An amplifier with higher output capability doesn't necessarily have higher gain.

If you aren't overdriving an amp into distortion, noise is usually the biggest concern (hum, hiss, or whine, in the background).




* With a headphone amplifier clipping is actually more-related to voltage because power (wattage) is related to voltage and impedance together, and headphone impedance varies. But it's the same thing... Squared-off/limited waves.
 
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PenguinMusic

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You'll probably never use more than a few mW in that case unless you have some really inefficient ones (Susvara, K1000, HE6).
5W is only really needed (and available in 32ohm balanced loads) when you use inefficient headphones with a substantial bass boost at impressively loud levels.
At normal levels (medium to medium loud) the same inefficient headphones only draw 10-50mW peaks.


You probably will not use more than a few % at most. The rest is headroom that will remain unused. What you are talking about (experiencing) is gain, not so much power.
Also noise+distortion is lowest near maximum output power which you will likely never reach.

You can accidentally blow up sensitive headphones. There are quite a few models rated for 20, 30 or 50mW.

That said having endless amounts of power on tap will ensure that in all circumstances if you detect distortion you can be sure it is in the recording (most likely culprit) or in the headphones (when playing very loud)
Hi SolderDude,

I am really puzzled by what you're writing.

I use the Sony MDR-Z1R as headphones. I think that those are not considered as highly demanding headphones.
But with an AUNE S6 that is supposed to have an output of 242mW at 300Ohm, it have to crank up volume up to 66% to get just decent sound level.
And if I connect the Dan Clark Aeon Closed, then, at 100% volume I have just decent sound volume.

So if only a few mW are needed, how comes I have to go that far up the volume level to reach decent volume ?

But of course, what I may consider "sufficient" may be "Super loud" for others... And I'll probablyt be deaf in a couple of months ;-(
 

AnalogSteph

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I use the Sony MDR-Z1R as headphones. I think that those are not considered as highly demanding headphones.
But with an AUNE S6 that is supposed to have an output of 242mW at 300Ohm, it have to crank up volume up to 66% to get just decent sound level.
So you are using the balanced headphone out? The 246 mW spec only applies to that, it's 72 mW single-ended (which is still quite respectable).

I suspect that your problem may have more to do with low levels on the digital side, i.e. not enough gain rather than actually running into output limits. What does the signal chain look like before the DAC? I suspect that you might have a PC-side system volume control in addition to the DAC's own.

What does 66% mean in this case? DAC volume scales are often shifted dB scales, in which case you would have plenty of headroom... but I suspect this may not be the case here. Roughly how big is the difference between 66% and 100% in dB? (Perhaps using the REW signal generator as a reference.)
And if I connect the Dan Clark Aeon Closed, then, at 100% volume I have just decent sound volume.
13 ohms @ 92 dB/mW vs. 64 ohms @ 100 dB/mW... that's 111 dB/V vs. 112 dB/V. In theory and on an ideal voltage source, both should be about equally loud, which leads me to suspect that the S6 has substantial non-zero output impedance. That is not too surprising... Given that output power is only specified into 300 ohms, I rather suspect that the output may be geared more towards higher-impedance cans in general. And compared to 13 ohms, it doesn't take much to drop levels a fair bit.

In any case the Aeon Closed is a somewhat unfriendly load for your average headphone amplifier due to how low the impedance is combined with its sub-standard efficiency (well, it's a planar). A Topping L30 II / L50 should handle it no problem, but that is not a given for every amp! The S9c seems to sport a healthy amount of power at least. I couldn't find a good set of measurements for its headphone output performance though. I would think it ought to be substantially better than the old S6 though, performance standards have moved quite a bit since 2017.
 
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