• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Raspberry pi3b usb output

Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
36
Likes
7
#21
If under controlled blind conditions I would wager that you would not recognise "what you enjoy" about one dac over another you supposedly didnt.
Similar architecture DACs indeed sound similarly. Without a blind test I can hear and describe few differences between, say, Micromega MyDac and RPi+Hifiberry DAC+ Pro, but even without a blind test I can see those differences are subtle, and would be interesting to see whether I can recognize them in a blind test. Because it is really similar, how they sound - it doesn't require a blind test to reach this conclusion.

As for the new, multibit no name DAC, by using musical samples of my selection then doing A-B, I'm 100% positive I could tell them apart in a blind test.

I would like if I could set valid, proper blind tests more easily, and preferrably alone myself (impossible, right?), because I don't like to steal else's time. However it takes some effort, like measuring volume from the output to set up identical loudness levels. Having some handy console for switching gear for the A-B would be helpful as well - I don't have such.

But the thing is...none of it is really important to me. I do trust that my own non-blind hearing is good enough for the purpose. After all, it's the way how I will be listening to my system in the end. If I don't enjoy the sound I won't be able to fool myself for a longer period of time. Also, if I call myself an audiophile, I should be able to identify and discern the points of dissatisfaction in the sound of my system, as well as specific difference between gear, when listened in my system. I really don't think I need a blind test for this as I really can describe the difference, unless it's so subtle that it's pretty much irrelevant whether it actually exists or not.

One more thing: my impressions are created through days and weeks of listening. It's not easy at all to set up the blind test that should last days and weeks. How do I set up such? I can be fooled by other things different to bias eliminated by a blind test, whether they are of subjective nature (how I feel at the moment of listening and the dynamics of it), or of objective nature (any possible fluctuation of a sound at the system as a whole, whether because of temperature change/instability or because of AC power quality fluctuation (voltage and noise from the AC network). So, only a long term listening experience should be able to minimize the effect of those. Blind test alone as being done in a realistic environment is simply not enough (not to mention that some blind test setups might be designed with a flaw - I can give an example in my next post).
 
Last edited:

March Audio

Major Contributor
Manufacturer
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
3,373
Likes
2,719
Location
Perth Western Australia
#22
Similar architecture DACs indeed sound similarly. Without a blind test I can hear and describe few differences between, say, Micromega MyDac and RPi+Hifiberry DAC+ Pro, but even without a blind test I can see those differences are subtle, and would be interesting to see whether I can recognize them in a blind test. Because it is really similar, how they sound - it doesn't require a blind test to reach this conclusion.

As for the new, multibit no name DAC, by using musical samples of my selection then doing A-B, I'm 100% positive I could tell them apart in a blind test.

I would like if I could set valid, proper blind tests more easily, and preferrably alone myself (impossible, right?), because I don't like to steal else's time. However it takes some effort, like measuring volume from the output to set up identical loudness levels. Having some handy console for switching gear for the A-B would be helpful as well - I don't have such.

But the thing is...none of it is really important to me. I do trust that my own non-blind hearing is good enough for the purpose. After all, it's the way how I will be listening to my system in the end. If I don't enjoy the sound I won't be able to fool myself for a longer period of time. Also, if I call myself an audiophile, I should be able to identify and discern the points of dissatisfaction in the sound of my system, as well as specific difference between gear, when listened in my system. I really don't think I need a blind test for this as I really can describe the difference, unless it's so subtle that it's pretty much irrelevant whether it actually exists or not.

One more thing: my impressions are created through days and weeks of listening. It's not easy at all to set up the blind test that should last days and weeks. How do I set up such? I can be fooled by other things different to bias eliminated by a blind test, whether they are of subjective nature (how I feel at the moment of listening and the dynamics of it), or of objective nature (any possible fluctuation of a sound at the system as a whole, whether because of temperature change/instability or because of AC power quality fluctuation (voltage and noise from the AC network). So, only a long term listening experience should be able to minimize the effect of those. Blind test alone as being done in a realistic environment is simply not enough (not to mention that some blind test setups might be designed with a flaw - I can give an example in my next post).
Unfortunately I don't have the time to run through your points at the moment, but you are making all the usual audiophile mistakes which prevent you from making accurate assessments of sound quality. You are even sort of admitting you are in denial. Long term assessments are of no use BTW.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
36
Likes
7
#23
Unfortunately I don't have the time to run through your points at the moment, but you are making all the usual audiophile mistakes which prevent you from making accurate assessments of sound quality. You are even sort of admitting you are in denial. Long term assessments are of no use BTW.
All I admit is that I don't care enough for the blind tests to actually put an effort to set them up, which is true.
Long term listening is the most realistic experience, because it's how you listen to the music/system usually.
You can fool yourself for a shorter period, but if you really enjoy the sound of your system your satisfaction with the sound of your system will persist.
No 'why, this objective graphs show it's perfect' mantra will sufice if it doesn't actually sound that well to your ears :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
113
Likes
46
#26
I'm just pointing out that confirmation bias comes from many sources. If we're going to try to be objective about our subjective preferences, we need to bear that in mind. It's just a wry cautionary note.

Just as someone might convince themselves their $70k DAC sounds great, we can convince ourselves that our beautifully clean-testing DAC sounds great.

I'd go for the clean-testing DAC every day, but I'd also remind myself that psychology is very strong...
 

BillG

Active Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
238
Likes
148
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#27
we can convince ourselves that our beautifully clean-testing DAC sounds great.
Such a device would sound great precisely because it is "clean-testing" though.

If we're going to try to be objective about our subjective preference...
You can really only speak for yourself in this particular instance, as I never sought your advice on my supposed subjective preferences. I have none by the way, unless you wish to erroneously attribute my confidence in independent, objective measurements (which anyone with a science and engineering background would have) to subjectivity when I make my purchasing decisions.

I'm not sure why I even bothered to engage you about this actually - I won't do so in the future... :facepalm:
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
36
Likes
7
#28
I'm just pointing out that confirmation bias comes from many sources. If we're going to try to be objective about our subjective preferences, we need to bear that in mind. It's just a wry cautionary note.

Just as someone might convince themselves their $70k DAC sounds great, we can convince ourselves that our beautifully clean-testing DAC sounds great.

I'd go for the clean-testing DAC every day, but I'd also remind myself that psychology is very strong...
I'd really like to be able to convince myself that my 200 USD DAC sounds as good as any, so I actually hear it this way.
If what I hear sounds beautiful to me (and that impression lasts), I don't really care if it comes from my bias or from system's objective quality.
The trouble occurs when it doesn't sound nearly that good to you. For whatever reasons.

My equipment is mostly not too expensive (by far most expensive are the speakers - ATC SCM19 v2 which I paid around 2000 GBP). I don't have really huge money to spend on hifi, even if I would want to. I really appreciate every cheap good sounding option I can get. However only certain cheap options sound that way to me...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
113
Likes
46
#29
my confidence in independent, objective measurements (which anyone with a science and engineering background would have) to subjectivity when I make my purchasing decisions
I'm an electronic design engineer. I like tests, and trust them to identify good devices. After all, I use the same sort of tests when I'm developing equipment.

But my point was that we can convince ourselves we like the sound of something due to confirmation bias; we are all vulnerable to this effect.

It's a very difficult problem; ideally, we'd do double-blind testing for all our choices, but, if we're having to buy stuff to test, that could get expensive. So we look to reviews, be they objective or subjective. As soon as we look to reviews, we're not blind testing.

What is euphonic to someone may not be determined by a perfect set of objective tests; I give you valve amps as an example. Lots of people like euphonic distortion. I think we're all looking for something that sounds nice, in the end. That might not be a perfect-testing device. If I'm designing a satcom receiver, I want the perfect-testing design; digital demodulators don't have euphonic preferences. Humans do, though.

You seem to be making much more of my initial throwaway observation than I intended; it wasn't meant to be a criticism of you, or your choices. It really was just meant to be a gentle reminder of the power of confirmation bias, and how it can affect us all. Whilst I was addressing a comment you made, my point was directed to us all, and not directed at you personally. I'm sorry that you have taken it personally.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
36
Likes
7
#30
What is euphonic to someone may not be determined by a perfect set of objective tests; I give you valve amps as an example. Lots of people like euphonic distortion. I think we're all looking for something that sounds nice, in the end. That might not be a perfect-testing device. If I'm designing a satcom receiver, I want the perfect-testing design; digital demodulators don't have euphonic preferences. Humans do, though.
Speaking of tubes...
It's true, tubes typical design/topology produces distortion based on even harmonics, so it has that euphonic effect, a kind of distortion that human 'ears' simply love.
However isn't it true that typical tube design as well produce low level of unpleasant distortion like non harmonic, or odd harmonics?
The latter is not euphonic by itself but simply...quality of tubes, right?
I say this because it doesn't seem fair to me that tubes are said to be liked by many simply only because they're euphonic. There is some objective quality present there as well.
However correct me freely if I'm wrong on this.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom