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Review and Measurements of Little Labs Monotor Headphone Amp

JohnYang1997

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#81
I see what you are saying.. Valid enough, but kind of a side point to what was actually being discussed on the previous posts. The pieces discussed were being held accountable to specific measurements by the reviewer, and the designer explained why he made certain design choices. He explained that he could have changed, or added things to the circuit to improve on those measurements, but that the diffence in those measurement disparities are inaudible, but the circuit changes needed to reach them would have degraded the sonic performance of the unit, as he is following a less is more, straight wire with gain philosophy.

He's been designing for 40 years, and knows what he's doing. He knows what he's after. The unit is praised for its natural, transparent sound. So again, using only measurement goals as the holy grail in circuit design has its shortcomings. Listening is equally important.

I read a review here on the Benchmark DAC3, which was praised for its measurements. When you talk to the peopl att Benchmark, all they talk about are measurements, and specs. That was he entire design approach apparently. It was a remarkably clean and detailed Dac, but the least musical of the ones I auditioned.
Read some more threads here. Especially the psychoacoustics and how to interpret measurements. This is audio SCIENCE forum. Everything is FACT based. Not philosophical.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #82
For sure, different capacitors, and resisters for example may have the same values, but sound completely different.
For sure they do not unless a circuit requires a specific type of capacitor.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #83
He's been designing for 40 years, and knows what he's doing. He knows what he's after.
No he doesn't. Designing audio gear is not the same as properly testing the sound that comes out of them. By your logic, a doctor with 40 years of experience doesn't need to conduct double blind tests to develop new drugs. Yet we know no drug is developed or approved without such bias controlled testing.

Remember, his skill is in designing electronics, not your perception of sound.

I have had that much experience and know the psychoacoustics and still, I have had catastrophic failures in detecting fidelity of systems. In more than one instance, I identified "big" differences in two sounds that were later proven to be identical. The latter is key: you need to be tested to know how good your hearing perception is. Self-grading may not apply I am afraid.
 
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#84
I feel you're not gleening the meaning of whats being said, and missing the point, and rather drumming home something that may true, but beside the point. Sure it's possible to measure almost anything. That wasnt the point to begin with.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #85
I feel you're not gleening the meaning of whats being said, and missing the point, and rather drumming home something that may true, but beside the point. Sure it's possible to measure almost anything. That wasnt the point to begin with.
Not really. Your arguments are classic lay intuition we hear every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Please put trust in what you can verify such as measurements I provided. That this guy has experience, components matter, etc. is all unreliable, anecdotal information of little value. Don't dismiss audio science while you believe in science elsewhere....
 
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#86
Not really. Your arguments are classic lay intuition we hear every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Please put trust in what you can verify such as measurements I provided. That this guy has experience, components matter, etc. is all unreliable, anecdotal information of little value. Don't dismiss audio science while you believe in science elsewhere....
I do not dismiss science. It's invaluable. It is my assumption that a great designer of audio gear, knows the science inside out, and of course utilizes testing and measurements, which are vital in the design process, otherwise he'd be a charlatan. I would have thought my points made would not have suggested otherwise. Still one can hit all the metrics they look for in a design, and get for instance, the lowest levels of distortion in all the areas they design for, and make a piece of gear that is indeed 'clean, but may be lifeless in its portrayal of sound - not get the wood tones in a cello right for instance. Can you measure for that? I don't know, but you can listen for it. Happens all the time. Ears play a important role. Indeed there is more than enough room for error in psycho-acoustics, so listening tests should be thorough, and as fool-proof as possible. I don't feel this undermines the importance of science.
 

JohnYang1997

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#87
I do not dismiss science. It's invaluable. It is my assumption that a great designer of audio gear, knows the science inside out, and of course utilizes testing and measurements, which are vital in the design process, otherwise he'd be a charlatan. I would have thought my points made would not have suggested otherwise. Still one can hit all the metrics they look for in a design, and get for instance, the lowest levels of distortion in all the areas they design for, and make a piece of gear that is indeed 'clean, but may be lifeless in its portrayal of sound - not get the wood tones in a cello right for instance. Can you measure for that? I don't know, but you can listen for it. Happens all the time. Ears play a important role. Indeed there is more than enough room for error in psycho-acoustics, so listening tests should be thorough, and as fool-proof as possible. I don't feel this undermines the importance of science.
Simple as this. Majority audio related products, regardless being incredibly cheap, are audibly transparent as long as the use condition falls under the condition it designed for.
This does in some way mean most audio manufacturers should go out of business. However, that doesn't make much sense. Hence they can exist but need to compete. If you sell products with premium, they gotta be more user friendly, more pretty, and has better performance.

It's not same circuit with different components sounding different but different circuits with different components can sound exactly the same.
 

solderdude

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#88
Still one can hit all the metrics they look for in a design, and get for instance, the lowest levels of distortion in all the areas they design for, and make a piece of gear that is indeed 'clean, but may be lifeless in its portrayal of sound - not get the wood tones in a cello right for instance
The woodtones are caused by the harmonic profile and decay of the individual fundamental and harmonics.
No (competent) amplifier will do that differently.
VERY easy to test as well for this both with static tests (test tones) as well as nulling.
There are no parts that 'favour' certain music structures more so than others (also cables can not).
If they did it would be called an equalizer and its effect is very audible.
When decay would be different this too is very measurable and verifiable with null testing.
 

solderdude

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#89
Real world load is not a pure resistance load like AP but also often has a capacitance as well. However this is “non-standard” test conditions, so they are often dismissed.
Real world load of a DAC usually is a power/headphone/control amp.
Their input resistance is purely resistive. In some cases there is a small capacitance in series with a small resistor to limit HF input garbage.
Also most DACs have output resistances below 100 Ohm, there are a few exceptions perhaps.
The input of the Monotor is purely resistive most likely.

The capacitive load on a DAC is mostly the RCA cable. Unless the cable is high capacitance and really long this isn't of any consequence within and well above the audible range.

With passive attenuators the output resistance does indeed vary but in normal listening conditions will be well below the input resistance value of the volume control.
In certain positions (volume at -6dB setting) and long or unusual high capacitance cables there can be measurable roll-off.

When real world loads have an impact on sources is when driving transducers and when digital or HF signals are not properly terminated.
 
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