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Timbo21

DAC Off Part 2: Qutest vs RME ADI-2 DAC

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Super Dealer
1 hour ago, Camverton said:

What! Are you the audio messiah now :D.

Many folk here have thought, questioned, learned and chosen; it just so happens that they don’t necessarily choose what you happen to be selling. At least you are learning to admit, a few posts back, that what constitutes “hifi” is a matter of opinion. You now need to think and learn that your opinion is not definitive and that other people’s views are just as valid.

Deliberately adding distortion can never be high fidelity, you might enjoy the ‘effect’ of course, I m quite keen to re-visit multi channel with specifically m/c recorded music, I hope that this might recreate the original acoustic more accurately than just spraying sound around the room.

Keith

Edited by PuritéAudio

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59 minutes ago, Camverton said:

Anyway, enough of these amusing distractions. The question for me is whether I replace my 2Qute with a Qutest?

Has anyone done this and if so what was your experience? The RME might be a good choice but subjectively it would be like having a very naughty, not to say very irritating dealer in the room with me ;-)

I have compared both dacs.  In my system I still preferred the 2qute. The Qutest I found boring and thinner in the treble frequencies. The bass was much deep but not as tight as that of the 2qute. Piano and vocal  had much more presence and body with the 2qute, also much more seperation with instruments. 

I have to add my 2qute was using a linear power supply while I used the original that came with the Qutest.

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10 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

March Audio Dac1 £265, just a straight up excellent measuring USB dac.

Keith

So why do you sell other DACs? I don't understand if this is as good as it gets. 

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2 minutes ago, Nativebon said:

I have compared both dacs.  In my system I still preferred the 2qute. The Qutest I found boring and thinner in the treble frequencies. The bass was much deep but not as tight as that of the 2qute. Piano and vocal  had much more presence and body with the 2qute, also much more seperation with instruments. 

I have to add my 2qute was using a linear power supply while I used the original that came with the Qutest.

Did you try reducing the Qutest output to 2v and 1v? Any difference to the sound?

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31 minutes ago, savvypaul said:

Did you try reducing the Qutest output to 2v and 1v? Any difference to the sound?

Yes I tried all variables with the Qutest filters included and USB. Not much noticeable differences between 2v and 1.

Edited by Nativebon
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1 hour ago, TheFlash said:

it's just that the language you use to express those views is inappropriate to a peer-to-peer dialogue

But you see my good man, Keith does not view us as peers.  He also does not engage in dialogue, which is his right of course.  So unfortunately, you and I and others are frustrated because he is not meeting our expectations in regard to dialogue.  You have "caught" him in blatant hypocrisy more than once. (your features vs. improvements piece for one.) He does not respond.  He is either, in his mind, intellectually superior or at the very least deigns not to engage because of his ideological zealotry. 

Keith is a pedant who continually falls back on his oft regurgitated platitudes.  If I didn't know better it would be easy to make a case that he is in fact not a corporeal entity, but rather a computer borne A.I. program.  He banters about words like Hi-fidelity as if there is an absolute definition. He believes whatever may be on the recording must be replicated exactly, and only measurements will suffice as proof. But never is he able to embrace the minute differences/anomalies in human anatomical structure that tells us there is no way we can ever know exactly what other humans perceive.  In regard to HI-FI who knows if, during the recording process, the sound was changed to such an extent it no longer sounds like what the musicians heard.  These are just two examples, and you could come up with a myriad more, that show "Hi-Fi" is a reasonably general word that probably should apply to stereo equipment that sounds very good to the listener.

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, PuritéAudio said:

 Actually I am trying to to get people to think, question and perhaps learn, but it is an uphill struggle.

Keith

By insulting their intelligence?

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12 hours ago, Camverton said:
14 hours ago, savvypaul said:

Execution.

Shall we have a whip round?

Harsh but fair!

We could offer him a blindfold. I believe he's rather partial to one...

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1 hour ago, Nativebon said:

Yes I tried all variables with the Qutest filters included and USB. Not much noticeable differences between 2v and 1.

I found that my Qutest sounded best at 1v and that is with a passive pre amp. I  currently have the Mscaler on loan and have raised the setting to 2v to retain the same volume setting. The Mscaler has significantly improved the sound of the Qutest, especially with 16 Bit 44hz. The green filter sounds best on my system with or without the Mscaler.

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Super Dealer
1 hour ago, sunbeamgls said:

By insulting their intelligence?

Well, you won’t use a microphone to acoustically measure, or to confirm whether your ‘bass’ ( almost certainly not)  traps are actually doing what you want them to do, being able to hear the difference between USB and digital cables that’s Nick mind so he has a good excuse as a foo salesman, it does make me wonder.

Keith

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Super Dealer
1 hour ago, ChemMan said:

But you see my good man, Keith does not view us as peers.  He also does not engage in dialogue, which is his right of course.  So unfortunately, you and I and others are frustrated because he is not meeting our expectations in regard to dialogue.  You have "caught" him in blatant hypocrisy more than once. (your features vs. improvements piece for one.) He does not respond.  He is either, in his mind, intellectually superior or at the very least deigns not to engage because of his ideological zealotry. 

Keith is a pedant who continually falls back on his oft regurgitated platitudes.  If I didn't know better it would be easy to make a case that he is in fact not a corporeal entity, but rather a computer borne A.I. program.  He banters about words like Hi-fidelity as if there is an absolute definition. He believes whatever may be on the recording must be replicated exactly, and only measurements will suffice as proof. But never is he able to embrace the minute differences/anomalies in human anatomical structure that tells us there is no way we can ever know exactly what other humans perceive.  In regard to HI-FI who knows if, during the recording process, the sound was changed to such an extent it no longer sounds like what the musicians heard.  These are just two examples, and you could come up with a myriad more, that show "Hi-Fi" is a reasonably general word that probably should apply to stereo equipment that sounds very good to the listener.

I hate to be a pedant but it hardly matters what the musicians did or did not hear because the only artefact we have is the record.

Keith

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7 minutes ago, sunbeamgls said:

By insulting their intelligence?

But Keith believes incorrect things as do many parroting 'objectivists' who fail to understand the finer context of most research. In Keith's world Toole doctrine, measurement data and the idea of transparency-is-all reign supreme. I was once the same.

Here's a rundown of some talk summaries from the 145th AES Convention in 2018:

"A subjective listening test was designed to directly compare different types of audio coding and was performed with Mandarin Chinese and German speaking listeners. Overall comparison showed largely consistent results, affirming the validity of the proposed test method. Differential comparison indicates preferences for certain artifacts in different listener groups, e.g., Chinese listeners tended to grade tonality mismatch higher and pre-echoes worse compared to German listeners, and musicians preferred bandwidth limitation over tonality mismatch when compared to non-musicians. Convention Paper 10030"

Hmm, seems we don't all have the same preferences in sound quality characteristics, even if we are broadly similar. IIRC, Keith once posted here on the Wam that he believes we do all hear the same. We don't. Assuming two similar units with design slants on different SQ characteristics, it is understandable how some people may opt for one unit over another on perceived SQ. It depends on what characteristics they value in the reproduction. 

"Method for Quantitative Evaluation of Auditory Perception of Nonlinear Distortion: Part II—Metric for Music Signal Tonality and its Impact on Subjective Perception of Distortions—Mikhail Pakhomov, Victor Rozhnov, SPb Audio R&D Lab, St. Petersburg, Russia In the first part of the paper we have noticed that the impact of audible nonlinear distortions on subjective listener preference is strongly dependent on the spectral structure of a test signal. In the second part we propose a method for considering the spectral characteristics of a test signal in the evaluation of the subjective perception of audible nonlinear distortions. To describe the tonal structure of a music signal, a qualitative characteristic, tonality, is taken as a metric, and tonality coefficient is proposed as a measure of this characteristic. Subjective listening tests were performed to estimate how the auditory perception of nonlinear distortions depends on the tonal structure of a signal and the spectral distribution of the noise-to-mask ratio (NMR) Convention Paper 10032"

So it's not just better non-linear distortion measurement give better subjective perception. In other words, THD/IMD measurements (as Toole found in 2002) doesn't correlate directly to better perceived subjective sound quality. People are much more nuanced in what they detect via the signal itself. Combine this with the first item above, and things start getting complicated because the diversity among people on perceived SQ will go up.

"Investigation into the Effects of Subjective Test Interface Choice on the Validity of Results—Nicholas Jillings, 1 Brecht De Man, 1 Ryan Stables, 1 Joshua D. Reiss2 1 Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK 2 Queen Mary University of London, London, UK Subjective experiments are a cornerstone of modern research with a variety of tasks being undertaken by subjects. In the field of audio, subjective listening tests provide validation for research and aid fair comparison between techniques or devices such as coding performance, speakers, mixes, and source separation systems. Several interfaces have been designed to mitigate biases and to standardize procedures, enabling indirect comparisons. The number of different combinations of interface and test design make it extremely difficult to conduct a truly unbiased listening test. This paper resolves the largest of these variables by identifying the impact the interface itself has on a purely auditory test. This information is used to make recommendations for specific categories of listening tests. Convention Paper 10034"

Who knew listening tests were so important? And, why are they still used is more the point? (Hint: it has something to do with perceived sound quality maximization being the goal, not raw measurements chased for raw measurements sake - and even Toole says the same in his Sound Reproduction book). That is, you only know you are progressing the art of audio reproduction when repeated subjective listening tests show you are. The idea that 'my new design has lower distortion, but test subjects preferred the higher distorting unit, so they must be stupid' is not scientific. Rather it shows that something is missing in understanding correlations between measurements and subjective perception of SQ. 

What is interesting about using subjective listening tests to validate research is that it conveys that listening is the arbiter of validation, not measurements. It is not the case that if a listener prefers something unexpected that the listener is wrong/stupid because the test item measures well. You might call an emphasis on different tonal aspects an 'effect' if you wish, but really its just a different quantitative emphasis on certain characteristics during reproduction. 

And with all that, it therefore remains valid that audio devices have 'house' sounds, and the top article proves there may well be a thing such as the 'Japanese sound' and the 'German sound' in hifi, because they focus on different SQ characteristics more favoured by people of that nation. 

It's not just about measurements - it's all far more nuanced than that, because people are far more nuanced and cannot all be bundled into the one-option suits everybody idea that some so-called 'objectivists' have where measurements tell all. It just isn't the case.

Measurements, where they are correlated to perception do matter. And all measurements exists to help guide generally in the right direction. BUT, where there is evidence that there are groups of people hearing differently, or preferring certain sonic characteristics in different ranked order to others, then by necessity, you move away from a pure 'transparency suits all' doctrine.

Do I think Keith will change? I doubt it. I doubt he'd admit that such research demonstrates a move away from his simplistic views into greater complexity. It would necessitate his business carrying a wider range of equipment for different subjective tastes rather than sticking to the concept that a well measuring device must be best, or that transparency is all.

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1 hour ago, PuritéAudio said:

Deliberately adding distortion can never be high fidelity, you might enjoy the ‘effect’ of course, I m quite keen to re-visit multi channel with specifically m/c recorded music, I hope that this might recreate the original acoustic more accurately than just spraying sound around the room.

Keith

What is this distortion you speak off? Define please.

You have not heard my speakers in my room so you are not in a position to comment on my system and certainly not in a position to pronounce whether or not It is high fidelity, which in any case is not a definitive term. All speakers, unless you listen in an anechoic chamber, interact with the room, even the ones you sell. Perhaps you should lock yourself in an anechoic chamber, then we won’t be subject to your nonsense! Although I have to admit that your nonsense is, up to a point, quite entertaining.

 You say you have heard MBL speakers at shows and not liked them and that is your prerogative but have you heard them carefully set up in a domestic environment? I have yet to hear any equipment sound it’s best at an audio show. I have heard one of the makes of speaker that you misuse these discussion forums to sell in my room. It presented a superbly detailed picture of the recording at the end of my room. Switching back to my speakers was as though the wall at the end of the room disappeared to reveal the performers before me. As visitors have remarked it is like listening to the real thing. As to which is high fidelity is a matter of opinion and interpretation not fact. 

Bottom line, this is a discussion forum where we express our opinions, not a forum for dealers to sell, however unintelligently, their wares by being rude about other products. 

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Super Dealer

Subject and object  is in the title.

Keith

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