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WADAX: R Harley trying to explain a $220k streamer and DAC price….

DWI

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I do not know if this is directed at me or who, but I am not complaining about jack shit. Personally I am making fun of the claims, it is like reading comedy to me and actually very entertaining. I guess you need to be an engineer to understand why this is funny.

As far as price I could give a shit what it costs and who or who can not afford what, like I said not the point. Oh yea and I am not poor, but wtf does that comment have anything to do with this? If I was as rich as shit I still would not buy that garbage? Trust me I do not want to buy this, ever, I could be a trillionaire, not in the cards for me, I have a brain and it will not allow my hands to hand over the money for garbage electronics.
It wasn't aimed at anyone. I'm sure 99.9% of people who could afford it wouldn't buy it and one or two might actually decide not to buy it because of the marketing. All that matters is the 0.1% that do buy it.

Why does anyone even care for one iota about these sort of products?
 

Powerbench

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Let me put it this way, the Wadax components look a marriage between a 80s ghetto blaster (politically incorrect today not in the 80s) and a toaster oven.

There are people that can:
A. Afford it
B. Justify it
C. And a dealer who will stand behind them to collect what falls out from their pockets.

D.There are people in the world born into money. That does not make them smart or wise.

E.There are people who work hard and know the value of hard work and money.

F.Then there are people who covet more and more, rich, poor, middle class does not matter, who live in debt.

I am of the opinion that I choose my possessions but they don’t possess me. I understand that I do not need anything other than food,water, warmth and shelter.

I wonder how many audiophiles in Ukraine are worried about their next cable purchase?
 

phoenixdogfan

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Correct me if I am wrong but the data from a video game is probably waaaaay more complex playing over the internet with bit rates and speeds than music ie. playing BF3 with 100+ players online but must more data streaming than any music….
So, for that matter, is High Definition video from Pluto but somehow digital protocols were able to accurately render it to us from more than 4 billion miles away, and I doubt the A to D and D to A converters in New Horizons cost even half as much as the WADAX (not counting thermal insulation and radiation shielding, of cours).
 
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Mihalis

Mihalis

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I am sorry I asked the question. I was looking for an engineering viewpoint on whether these claims - and others from other dac manufacturers - make sense.

I have been an audiophile for years and never could hear a usb cable. I don’t buy anyone can hear the difference in double blind tests unless maybe the receiving device is faulty or poorly designed. Some of the best dac manufacturers have told me to use a “computer cable”.

However I am convinced of the differences I hear in dacs as I have done tons of double blind, a-b and non blind tests where my consistency (and that of all others in the room-this isn’t a claim of golden ears) was conclusive.

Maybe it wasn’t the dac portion but the analogue one - no idea. But I’m talking about devices where the measurements I believe exceed the levels that we all think here are audible. An accuphase d90 dac was consistently chosen as different than a Scarlatti DCS one. Both measure way better than we claim we can hear.

This can be dismissed in this forum but that would be unscientific. Reading the very strong view in this forum that a 600$ dac can’t be beaten I did look into double blind test psychology and there is certainly a view that the brain can act the opposite way during these tests and start to normalise what it hears so long as differences are small enough.

I don’t know - haven’t done the research but if we believe the brain plays games towards one direction it would not be mad to at least consider it can also play games the other way.

What I don’t understand is the vitriol here on things that are irrelevant to the scientific / engineering question or argument. Presumably we are all seeking the truth?
 

Beave

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I am sorry I asked the question. I was looking for an engineering viewpoint on whether these claims - and others from other dac manufacturers - make sense.

I have been an audiophile for years and never could hear a usb cable. I don’t buy anyone can hear the difference in double blind tests unless maybe the receiving device is faulty or poorly designed. Some of the best dac manufacturers have told me to use a “computer cable”.

However I am convinced of the differences I hear in dacs as I have done tons of double blind, a-b and non blind tests where my consistency (and that of all others in the room-this isn’t a claim of golden ears) was conclusive.

Maybe it wasn’t the dac portion but the analogue one - no idea. But I’m talking about devices where the measurements I believe exceed the levels that we all think here are audible. An accuphase d90 dac was consistently chosen as different than a Scarlatti DCS one. Both measure way better than we claim we can hear.

This can be dismissed in this forum but that would be unscientific. Reading the very strong view in this forum that a 600$ dac can’t be beaten I did look into double blind test psychology and there is certainly a view that the brain can act the opposite way during these tests and start to normalise what it hears so long as differences are small enough.

I don’t know - haven’t done the research but if we believe the brain plays games towards one direction it would not be mad to at least consider it can also play games the other way.

What I don’t understand is the vitriol here on things that are irrelevant to the scientific / engineering question or argument. Presumably we are all seeking the truth?

Did you remember to level-match when you did these comparisons? If not, it's certainly possible to pick one DAC from another in a blind test, or even in a non-blind test.
 

Darkscience

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From the engineering viewpoint, (I am not an electronics engineer but how I see it), the data comes in as bits, those 1's and 0's you see the robots using as sentences above. Think of those as no more then instructions, like a manual on how to put together a Lego pirate ship. If one of the bits was wrong, you would not be able to build the pirate ship. So when these instructions come in, the chip decodes the information and turns it into soundwave signal and that leaves your DAC on to the preamp/amp. The reason we were making fun of that is because if data got corrupted, you would not be able to rebuild the sound wave, just like your computer monitor would be sputtering different colors, the images from Pluto would have all kinds of anomalies etc. Data being fed to a DAC is no different, it is just data, sentences, instructions on how to rebuild something. If the data is getting corrupted it would be because the source device is sending it wrong, not because the receiving device is corrupted it.

As far as why the DACS sounded different, make sure they are precisely level matched to within .5db or better. This type of precision is hard to achieve by a novice. I would bet if in your tests your group got the levels matched under .5db or better and could magically change the signal from one DAC to another without delay, you would not even know that a change happened. But yea, the level matching needs to be identical for you to not hear a difference.

Lastly, just because something cost $100k+ does not mean it sounds better. It is pure marketing, the only place IMO that this type of expenditure could be warranted is on speakers. For electronics, its just not that complicated. Think about your computer CPU, mine has IDK like 16 cores and can do billions of calculations a second, it only cost me $500. My point being, Wadax is an expensive DAC claiming to solve made up issues that do not even exist. They are not inventors or genius scientists, they are nothing but salesman taking money from the rich.

You have to remember that a lot of the people I see talk on here are actual engineers. These guys went to school and learned, IMO, some hard shit to learn, I struggled through basic circuits class myself. I think you should put more weight into what they say, then the company trying to separate you from $200k+ for phony claims. Do those Wadax guys even have EE degrees? I doubt it, they would be to ashamed of themselves to make false claims.

Speakers are where the differences are IMO. Electronics, we have that licked. Just think about what today's CPU's can do next time someone tries to tell you you need to buy a $200k+ DAC because it fixes the Lego Manual instructions that were sent wrong by the source. Oh and while the CPU is doing billions of calcs a second, it makes no errors, probably like .0000000000000000000001 percent chance of an error idk. So decoding a FLAC is childs play.
 
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Mihalis

Mihalis

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Did you remember to level-match when you did these comparisons? If not, it's certainly possible to pick one DAC from another in a blind test, or even in a non-blind test.
Yes. By db and voltage.

My point isn’t that I’m sure-I can’t be. There may be biases that were introduced somehow (Eg we knew which equipment will be tested prior to the event). My point is that since this site doesn’t perform double blind tests, since double blind tests may themselves introduce psychoacoustics (?), and since tests are a simplification of reality, the level of absolutism is surprising. And I’m disappointed that instead of receiving technical answers I ended up triggering a self reinforcing insult fest.
 
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Mihalis

Mihalis

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From the engineering viewpoint, (I am not an electronics engineer but how I see it), the data comes in as bits, those 1's and 0's you see the robots using as sentences above. Think of those as no more then instructions, like a manual on how to put together a Lego pirate ship. If one of the bits was wrong, you would not be able to build the pirate ship. So when these instructions come in, the chip decodes the information and turns it into soundwave signal and that leaves your DAC on to the preamp/amp. The reason we were making fun of that is because if data got corrupted, you would not be able to rebuild the sound wave, just like your computer monitor would be sputtering different colors, the images from Pluto would have all kinds of anomalies etc. Data being fed to a DAC is no different, it is just data, sentences, instructions on how to rebuild something. If the data is getting corrupted it would be because the source device is sending it wrong, not because the receiving device is corrupted it.

As far as why the DACS sounded different, make sure they are precisely level matched to within .5db or better. This type of precision is hard to achieve by a novice. I would bet if in your tests your group got the levels matched under .5db or better and could magically change the signal from one DAC to another without delay, you would not even know that a change happened. But yea, the level matching needs to be identical for you to not hear a difference.

Lastly, just because something cost $100k+ does not mean it sounds better. It is pure marketing, the only place IMO that this type of expenditure could be warranted is on speakers. For electronics, its just not that complicated. Think about your computer CPU, mine has IDK like 16 cores and can do billions of calculations a second, it only cost me $500. My point being, Wadax is an expensive DAC claiming to solve made up issues that do not even exist. They are not inventors or genius scientists, they are nothing but salesman taking money from the rich.

You have to remember that a lot of the people I see talk on here are actual engineers. These guys went to school and learned, IMO, some hard shit to learn, I struggled through basic circuits class myself. I think you should put more weight into what they say, then the company trying to separate you from $200k+ for phony claims. Do those Wadax guys even have EE degrees? I doubt it, they would be to ashamed of themselves to make false claims.

Speakers are where the differences are IMO. Electronics, we have that licked. Just think about what today's CPU's can do next time someone tries to tell you you need to buy a $200k+ DAC because it fixes the Lego Manual instructions that were sent wrong by the source. Oh and while the CPU is doing billions of calcs a second, it makes no errors, probably like .0000000000000000000001 percent chance of an error idk. So decoding a FLAC is childs play.
Thank you for this explanation. It’s a long time ago but we were marching to 1db I think. I find it very hard to believe that this 0.5db can make such a definitive difference but if I ever do this again I will certainly focus on that. I say that because at some point level matching became less tight and yet results didn’t change. I don’t mean 5db but we stopped double checking etc. And when I use dsp I’m not able to discern corrections of 1db - within limited band ranges obviously.

For me the educational degrees of people are not relevant. In fact I posit that this is a similar bias to knowing what dac is playing.

What matters is the argument. I take the point about 0.5db and will try it next time.

Thanks again. M.
 

RHO

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An accuphase d90 dac was consistently chosen as different than a Scarlatti DCS one. Both measure way better than we claim we can hear.
Maybe your statistics are wrong.
Can you give us the results of the blind test so that someone knowledgeable can calculate the chance that you actually were hearing a difference.
I've participated in blind tests where the conclusions were clearly at odds with what a statistician would tell you the conclusions should be.
 
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Mihalis

Mihalis

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Maybe your statistics are wrong.
Can you give us the results of the blind test so that someone knowledgeable can calculate the chance that you actually were hearing a difference.
I've participated in blind tests where the conclusions were clearly at odds with what a statistician would tell you the conclusions should be.
I can’t. This was a few years ago and the results were obvious to us so we didn’t keep records subsequently but it was something like 70-75% success ratio in choosing the correct dac amongst five listeners all of which were “experienced”.

However I am open as I have said before to arranging a definitive session which can be set up with whatever is considered to be the best possible set of tests. The issue is that when I proposed this asking for help with the specifics the answers were : it has been done, no point.

I am also looking to understand my point about double blind tests possibly having the opposite effect of normalizing results. And additionally to understand this phenomenon: people will listen to something new in their system and will be convinced they hear differences. Then over some time they hear something else. Audiophiles explain this as breakin which I find one of the more bizarre things to conclude. But the other side which says that your brain plays games and then for some reason later stops playing them or plays different games doesn’t convince me either. Or if it means the brain learns to reduce the impact of a new sound then that can work against the results of listening tests that claim to have same results for different equipment.

It can be that evolutionarily we first pay a lot more attention to a new sound profile (to make sure it isn’t a new kind of predator about to pounce on us) and then less so.

I have not found answers to these questions. I’m sure they exist. But I feel they are valid questions as they go to the heart of what double blind tests do or not. M.
 

iMickey503

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I should make a cable with a LCD display so you can counts the bits to make sure you get every one of them you paid for.

As a budget option? I should make one with incandescent bulbs.
 

FrantzM

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In a realm where an 8 foot AC power cable can cost more than $15,000.oo, $220,000.oo for a DAC/Streamer is par for the course. HEA absurdities are numerous and documented. When an HEA company achieves some degree of recognition, considerable amount of money is made by people with the smarts and absence of ethics to pull it off. The perpetrators need accomplices. This is what we are witnessing. They are fully aware of the BS they're spewing, fully aware that the product may not even be the equal of a Raspberry Pi4-based streamer coupled with a $100.oo DAC but their interests don't lie with the truth.
The few, who can afford it, will buy it and and convince themselves of its superiority and theirs, since they belong to this category of people for whom $200,000 is pocket change. Anyone willing and able to buy this abomination will not go broke from the transaction. Wadax, likely makes "lesser" DAC and streamers for those who cannot swing that much. Wadax will make a ton of profit while not advancing in any way the art and scene of Audio reproduction of audio ... That part does bother me. A lot. Liars, con men and thieves should be punished in my book. Nothing of the sort will happen to these perpetrators.. A bummer :(
 

FrantzM

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I should make a cable with a LCD display so you can counts the bits to make sure you get every one of them you paid for.

As a budget option? I should make one with incandescent bulbs.
The one with incandescent bulbs shall be better than the original because it will sound warmer, more luminous. :rolleyes:

Peace
 
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Mihalis

Mihalis

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I think that's quite low to be conclusive. As far as I know you need to be above 90% to be fairly certain.
I think further detail would be needed because for example it may be that on some tracks the differences are more obvious than on others - if there were any. So possibly one would need to zoom in on the tracks which best demonstrate the differences (whatever one is comparing) and then seek a closer to 100% result. I don’t know what methodology Toole used for example but I have to think that the best way would be for the methodology to be disclosed and repeated or improved on. M.
 

jsrtheta

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If anyone of these companies could objectively prove their equipment was superior to their competitors, they would take out full page ads in every major audio magazine.
Actually, I doubt that. People in the market for this nonsense don't believe in DBTs.

Now, if you said "ancient astronauts" designed the stuff, sales would indeed soar.
 

jsrtheta

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The disks likely sounded different due to timing jitter. Today’s good DAC’s are pretty much immune to it. All that stuff about digital waveform shape is horse hockey. I spent the last 17 years of my career working for an optical telecom company. The waveform has to degrade pretty significantly to cause errors. That’s how we can send a signal down 50+ mile optic fiber before we need to amplify. The test for whether the waveform is good enough is bit error rate(BER). If this hardware did anything they should be able to tell us the BER improvement. What they are trying to tell us is that, in two systems with essentially zero bit errors, one will sound better because its ones and zeroes look better on an oscilloscope. This is very expensive nonsense. What I want to know is do the engineers working at this company really believe this stuff?

The disks likely sounded different due to timing jitter. Today’s good DAC’s are pretty much immune to it. All that stuff about digital waveform shape is horse hockey. I spent the last 17 years of my career working for an optical telecom company. The waveform has to degrade pretty significantly to cause errors. That’s how we can send a signal down 50+ mile optic fiber before we need to amplify. The test for whether the waveform is good enough is bit error rate(BER). If this hardware did anything they should be able to tell us the BER improvement. What they are trying to tell us is that, in two systems with essentially zero bit errors, one will sound better because its ones and zeroes look better on an oscilloscope. This is very expensive nonsense. What I want to know is do the engineers working at this company really believe this stuff?

He hasn't proved they actually sounded different in the first place. This is Harley we're talking about here.
 
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