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Resolving Measurement Issues with SONCOZ SGD1 DAC

jasonhanjk

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In terms of best AP measurement system:

1st AP555
2nd AP2722 (0.0001x%)
3rd AP525

The new AP525 seems not getting a better result than the old 2722.
Also, proper grounding will effect the measurement.
Example grounding must use the AP's input (XLR) ground of AP, not it's output ground.
 

AndreaT

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About a week ago I landed on a thread on reddit where a few folks were making all kinds of wild accusations about me. I got engaged with one of them and probed into their claims. After a few back and forth, the poster says this:
View attachment 154483

I challenged him to tell me what specific measurements he was talking about and he linked to this thread on measurements of the SONCOS SGD1 DAC: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...coz-sgd1-asr-measurement-discrepancies.11115/

A challenge should always be among peers. In these day and age of easy com, those envious of your following and of your stellar reputation as a master tester (and excellent teacher) do not hesitate to present as facts their unchecked impressions. Ad maiora, Amir, or as Dante wrote in his Divine Comedy, “non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa” (Inferno III, 51)
 

Victoria

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This has another nasty side effect. If you don't respond in the thread and say, wait a couple of days, it disappears from top threads and no one cares! It is a total waste of time to post anything then.

It is a super weird social engineering and has the consequences as you mention. The loudest group think wins and that is it.

Correct, and what’s worse is that “days” is even a generous metric on more active subs since it’s entirely possible for a post to never even touch the first page of a given sub when everyone’s far too absorbed with reposting, parroting and upvoting whatever the current popular meme and narrative is as sanctioned by the herd.

I admire that you countered the claims and accusations in that Reddit thread . . . Although sometimes amusing and entertaining, Reddit has to be one of the least credible sources out there (IMO). I like the poster who said something about "alternate facts" -- if there is data that has been truly researched, tested, and scientifically documented, there are no such thing as alternative "facts" -- we live in some crazy times. Bravo, Amir, for putting in the extra work, debunking the naysayers, and maintaining the integrity of ASR !!!

Also to add onto my original reply to this comment, lol @ “alternative facts.” This just screams “alternative medicine” and that in turn reminds me of this little gem:

4F793D74-B568-47FF-9732-42264DA568E5.jpeg
 

HorizonsEdge

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Correct, and what’s worse is that “days” is even a generous metric on more active subs since it’s entirely possible for a post to never even touch the first page of a given sub when everyone’s far too absorbed with reposting, parroting and upvoting whatever the current popular meme and narrative is as sanctioned by the herd.



Also to add onto my original reply to this comment, lol @ “alternative facts.” This just screams “alternative medicine” and that in turn reminds me of this little gem:

View attachment 154929

Do you know what they call a dissembler using circular reasoning to achieve their goals? - Charlatan.

Sorry couldn't help myself. I am sure somebody somewhere actually knows who this triple-threat celebrity is but I am drawing a blank; Google did not do much better. Clearly a founding member of the Baghdad Bob Society.
 

aj625

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For those who say good measurements don't mean better sound quality, here is a multiple choice question. Sound quality is dependent upon - (1) price (2) quality of case work, heavier the case work specially metal extruded one, better is the sound quality (3) poorer the measurements better the sound quality (4) bought the product based on glowing subjective reviews so has to like it anyway despite poor measurements. (5) glowing subjective reviews lend some magical properties so that the equipment sound better even with poor measurements :)
 

pseudoid

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(1) price (2) quality of case work, heavier the case work specially metal extruded one, better is the sound quality (3) poorer the measurements better the sound quality (4) bought the product based on glowing subjective reviews so has to like it anyway despite poor measurements. (5) glowing subjective reviews lend some magical properties so that the equipment sound better even with poor measurements :)
May I recommend that you go back in history and read the "Bob Carver Challenge".

It may really impact the construction of your original question and the multiple choices provided, as they stand.
Here is my answer attempts at those choices: (1) Maybe; (2)Sometimes; (3)Highly Unlikely; (4)WhatEver; (5)Okay
 

JRS

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You can just as easily turn the whole thing around. How do we who read the posts in that other forum know that the senders do not have commercial or other interests that they pursue in secret? HiFi forums are probably no more free from trolls and deliberate misinformation than any other forum. In my opinion, the HiFi industry is often deeply unserious. I have noticed in other forums, where well-known HiFi retailers or industry professionals participate, that just objective measurement data and other more scientifically colored methods are perceived as extremely provocative. To question at all the evaluation of a pair of expensive cables, for example, which is performed on a Friday night sipping on a glass of whiskey, is considered pure blasphemy in some circles.
Nail into head: Like so much nonsense these days, the accusers are more likely than the accused to be guilty of said crime--it's called projection, sometimes subtle, sometimes not. Here blatant.

And FWIW, a fine 17 y.o. single malt enhances most audio equipment IME; of course in many states newly legal psychotropics will enhance the experience an order of magnitude more. It works best if such occasions are relatively rare and fully savored.
 

Rottmannash

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Here we go again with pure retardation.

Let's assume the guy hurling the accusation made a correct claim about Amir receiving a sample that measured better. On what planet would someone take this to be a case of fake measurements? Do these people read reviews of other reviewers and then say to some big reviewers: "you're cooking the results". Lol of course not. If anything, better measurements form Amir than retail samples demonstrate something about the company (either sending golden samples, or inept at QC). Imagine if every reviewer of all sorts of other products (like imagine someone reviewing TV's had to contend with a moronic user-base that questions the integrity of the reviewer because full grey uniformity, or color calibration out of the factory varies from sample to sample... That means said reviewer would always have to retest the product multiple times every time there is an inconsistent review elsewhere. Now imagine if one applied this to subjective tests LOL. All reviewers would have to be retesting music purchases, or devices.

The thing is, Amir (for whatever reason) likes to waste his time with these buffoons and has to explain here the reviews where a potential conflict of interest exists are such reviews where he points that out (thus the poster demonstrates he doesn't actually read most reviews, as those sorts of disclosures happen periodically). The guy is armchair mouthing off about some standard of professionalism (I see no such standard written in any books nor espoused by anyone with explicit detail), this is the first red flag one should take about engaging with these sorts of lunatics. That sort of behavior is what I would expect out of some accredited laboratory, or private business that has to conform with legal requirements concerning operations within a jurisdiction that has laws local governmental agencies police.

Does that moron not understand Amir is just some guy who's been in the industry a while, and purchased a measurement device and posts his findings for people to see? He's not a certification center, or a test lab lol.. Like if Amir was the architect of the AP, and he also ran the testing center AP hypothetically had and guaranteed product standards - then I'd somewhat see the validity in the complain that moron has.

But here's the rich part. You know all those devices that are sent for safety certifications to various governmental agencies before they can be sold under certain conditions and such? Yeah, that test happens only once. There's NOTHING that stops companies (beyond fear of getting caught, or simply a desire not to be scum bags) from sending out golden samples for certification, or sending out a device that is eventually changed silently after a few months (due to cost cutting and populating PCB's with different parts due to some parts perhaps being discontinued). So if anyone has a reddit account, please tell that moron his complaints would be far better served at mouthing off about those agencies and their "professional standards". Oh wait, that's right - even a buffoon of his stature could see they would NEVER pay any mind to some random clown. Even if these companies (labs, certification centers, and the company submitting the products) all had a gentlemen's agreement on not rocking the boat and keeping up with these sorts of deceptive practices, they would never bother to change unless that sort of guy on reddit amassed a hoard of attention to the issue, and even then it would get mostly ignored.

The funniest part of the post was the beginning, the same old, tired complaint about headphone testing challenges, and since Amir hasn't solved such issues, that's Amir's unprofessionalism. :facepalm:

Am I living in Looney Tunes land or something??? Helloooo? Someone tell this guy to send those brand spanking new pads (and send your old worn pads for good measure because next thing you know, some decedent/friend of his that will bitch about the inverse and say later on: "oh well he tests only brand new headphones, what about burning in the drivers first, and then seeing what effect that has on new pads, and also what effect that has with worn pads, but also don't forget to test worn pads with pre-burned in drivers as well").

It's the same crap I used to see here more often in the past here (about burning in speakers, or wires). Why would anyone waste breath with these people who's ideas have been buried and (should be ignored) before they were even born? Talking with these people never feels like a debate or discussion, it feels like some forced one-way exercise in education.
Well said.
 

JRS

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Aside from thr somewhat symbiotic nature between the parties, where Amir gets cool content, and the company gets a free AP555x report of their product (and user interest if it ends up going well). Theres been cases of flaws fixed before release to retail. But to me, its pretty interesting to see how good the conpany is with respect to their ability to build a product when we know the protitype should perform its best due to being a unit theyre actively giving attention to as opposed to retail units that may never be touched by the development team.

Though I think as ive mentioned before, therr should be some risk for the manufacturer when they send out prototype units since most people default to good intentioned perception. Prototypes/pre release units I think should at least privately have teardown images published the moment retail units go live. This again stems from I believe SMSL not disclosing differening hardware that people eventually got. It would bea good thing to have on record, even if there are minor board changes, its something users can reference months down the line if there sre revisions and performance discrepancies present.


@Tks Yeh, has been since that whole blind testing shitshow thread

Never saw the conclusion to that, last I recall he offered to blind test some expensive DAC. Did everyone really botch it up and have the guy get baited into getting himself banned? Or were people following Amirs lead on the ordeal because I recall there was some serious grilling.
[/QUOTE]
Hear, hear! Things are better now, but it was absolutely infuriating when Stereophile pulled that crap--poor review=the original unit turned out to be defective in some way, and when retesting another unit, things got a whole lot better, if not magical. You'd think a high stakes game such as uber expensive, low volume gear in the days of the "objective" vacuum (Stereo Review, Audio, High Fidelity having all died), makers would personally fly there equipment out, and check it prior to review (I prefer store bought samples myself but recognize this stuff is expensive and often hard to find).

It happened so often as to be laughable. When John Atkinson came aboard the ship seemed to tighten, tho that may my aging memory at work. His speaker reviews which incorporated exhaustive objective testing along with subjective impressions that correlated well--as they should! Sad that his reviews are now subjective only, but I still trust his ear and ability to describe speaker shortcomings. I suspect that because he is a musician, producer, and technophile, he has a significant advantage over the average sage of the day.
 

MaxBuck

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I don't much care for tribalism, whether elsewhere or here. Excusing it with essentially saying, "they started it first" is hardly beneficial to anyone.

There are plenty of tribal comments on the other site that are ripe for criticism, but there's also plenty of valuable information there for those who can look past them. And self-improvement often requires listening to those we disagree with, for they can have insights we lack.

In any event, I'm very happy that ASR exists, and I'm very thankful to Amir that he set it up. But I'm also happy that That Other Site exists, even though some of its posters are unreasonable SOBs. Because even some of the unreasonable SOBs are knowledgeable.
 

Tks

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Btw folks, don't discount reddit entirely, we got some good folks on the Headphone subreddit.
Well said.
Reading it back now, I'd somewhat disagree - seems I got caught at a bad time. It's like I cranked it up to 11 with the insults a bit :confused:

Kinda childish, so be it.


Never saw the conclusion to that, last I recall he offered to blind test some expensive DAC. Did everyone really botch it up and have the guy get baited into getting himself banned? Or were people following Amirs lead on the ordeal because I recall there was some serious grilling.
Hear, hear! Things are better now, but it was absolutely infuriating when Stereophile pulled that crap--poor review=the original unit turned out to be defective in some way, and when retesting another unit, things got a whole lot better, if not magical. You'd think a high stakes game such as uber expensive, low volume gear in the days of the "objective" vacuum (Stereo Review, Audio, High Fidelity having all died), makers would personally fly there equipment out, and check it prior to review (I prefer store bought samples myself but recognize this stuff is expensive and often hard to find).

It happened so often as to be laughable. When John Atkinson came aboard the ship seemed to tighten, tho that may my aging memory at work. His speaker reviews which incorporated exhaustive objective testing along with subjective impressions that correlated well--as they should! Sad that his reviews are now subjective only, but I still trust his ear and ability to describe speaker shortcomings. I suspect that because he is a musician, producer, and technophile, he has a significant advantage over the average sage of the day.

John's alright, but my whole thing with subjective reviews is that I want portions that a measurement device can't offer any insight on to be the aspects that a reviewer gives a subjective take. So things like build quality, feel, quirks, or interesting tidbits of how it made their lives easier or experience more enjoyable when interfacing with the product or with their existing setup.

What I find to be somewhat waste of time, is the descriptors about aspects of a device's capabilities which measurement devices outpace our powers of observation. I don't care in the slightest about how you think it sent you to the moon when you heard some obscure Bach recording you treasure from your childhood or a recent random pickup in some hole-in-the-wall music shop. The only time I need a reviewer's take that uses their ears, is just to make sure there's nothing blatantly wrong (like turning the thing on, and hearing an annoying high pitched sound or some buzzing due to some fatal flaw of the device). But the actual output of the device? Why would I want to hear about this? Just post whatever measurements you can muster and I'll be more than happy to make do with that as it tells me most of what I need to know from a sonic perspective and operational perspective (power and such, unless of course you're going to really call yourself an apex subjectivist and think that power should be subjectively experienced as well, and by that I mean closing the loop and shocking yourself and telling us how crystal clear the new GaN-based power supply within the unit is so much more efficient and the new standard of experience your music powered by a more pure energy source).
 

sq225917

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I actually don't mind reviewers talking about things relating to stage width, depth, height etc. I know it's room dependant but it's an area where measurements don't tell us what's going on.
 

pseudoid

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"The Vacuum Tube Logic Book" by David Manley/VTL
From the opening of the book "Quotations - Reverent and Irreverent"

  • "All amplifiers sound the same." -Peter Walker
  • "Amplifiers do sound different." -Martin Colloms
  • "My amplifier sounds like straight wire." -David Haffler
  • "But not like MY wire." -George Cardas
  • "I can make my amplifier sound like your (any) amplifier." -Robert Carver
  • "Maybe - but definitely not like my amplifier." -David Manley
  • "My Dad is a better designer than your Dad." -Luke Manley
  • "'Views' which cannot be disproved are often perpetuated by the industry and Press as facts." -Martin Colloms
  • "Wipe it!!! It sounds boxy." -Ernest Fleischmann
  • "God is in the details." -Mies vd Rohe
  • "If you can hear it, I can measure it." -Anon. Scientist
  • "The audio industry as a whole must learn to rely more on the evidence of experienced ears less on expensive lab equipment." -Martin Colloms
  • "Who stole the bass?" -Anthony Cordesman
  • "No one stole the bass." -Martin Colloms
  • "It wasn't there to be stolen." -David Manley
  • "Kindly desist from pouring molten lead down my back." -Anon. Plumber
  • "The dream of every musician who loves his art is to involve listeners everywhere." -Aaron Copeland
  • "Sound must come first and specification second." -Martin Colloms
  • "The virtues of vacuum tubes have a lot to do with music." -William Conrad
  • "Four-layer Reusun-Shielding (in cables carrying less than 500mV) is required to isolate electrical interference into the mega-cycle range; frequency response should easily extend to half that." -Standard Studio Cable Requirements: EMT Wilhelm Franz GMBH, circa 1956
  • "No statistical differences could be found." -AES Spokesman [much later]
 

musicforcities

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Especially the fall:

"In light of this criticism, Carver went on to design the Silver Seven, the most expensive and esoteric conventional amplifier up to that time."
If Carver was actually successful in his challenge blind tested, it is actually a decent reverse argument for measurement. And eq/dsp. Because if you can figure out how to reproduce a effect of a sound signature without replicating the circuit…well that suggest the emperor may not be quite naked but that he sure has very specific tastes that are not neutral.

Carver is a strange figure with all these discrete analogue circuits, sort of hardware based fixed dsp without the d. like sonic holography.

I have one of his sunfire 300 amps with the tracking down converter that is pretty inventive and relatively neutral. It’s a impressive amp and it measured decently I think. Basically an amp inside a AB amp that rides the signal to vary the voltage of the main rail as needed. Very efficient, runs cool no matter what and current out the wazoo. So more than a gimic. But carver must have his gizmo gimics anyway so it has an set of extra speaker posts with a massive 1ohm resistor across the positive and negative that carver clained created a “tube like sound”. It does do that by jacking up the output impedance, thus reducing damping and behaving more like a “voltage” source with current limiting, fuzzing the high frequency with harmonics. In other words, making it perform worse in terms of measurements. The manual suggest bi wiring the tweeters to these posts and the woofer to the normal post as a sonic experiment. Well at least it Offers a measurable reason, however weird or bad, to biwire. But hey man, dig that warm diffused tube effect. Lol. I never use those jacks.
 
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EJ3

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If Carver was actually successful in his challenge blind tested, it is actually a decent reverse argument for measurement. And eq/dsp. Because if you can figure out how to reproduce a effect of a sound signature without replicating the circuit…well that suggest the emperor may not be quite naked but that he sure has very specific tastes that are not neutral.

Carver is a strange figure with all these discrete analogue circuits, sort of hardware based fixed dsp without the d. like sonic holography.

I have one of his sunfire 300 amps with the tracking down converter that is pretty inventive and relatively neutral. It’s a impressive amp and it measured decently I think. Basically an amp inside a AB amp that rides the signal to vary the voltage of the main rail as needed. Very efficient, runs cool no matter what and current out the wazoo. So more than a gimic. But carver must have his gizmo gimics anyway so it has an set of extra speaker posts with a massive 1ohm resistor across the positive and negative that carver clained created a “tube like sound”. It does do that by jacking up the output impedance, thus reducing damping and behaving more like a “voltage” source with current limiting, fuzzing the high frequency with harmonics. In other words, making it perform worse in terms of measurements. The manual suggest bi wiring the tweeters to these posts and the woofer to the normal post as a sonic experiment. Well at least it Offers a measurable reason, however weird or bad, to biwire. But hey man, dig that warm diffused tube effect. Lol. I never use those jacks.
Kind of like "That's not a glitch, it's a feature!" Well, for those that want to play with that "tube sound", I guess it is.
 
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