Tim F

Cheap versus expensive dacs

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A host of measurements here,

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/master-index-of-audio-hardware-reviews.8184/#post-202519

If you really want a valid comparison between DACs, you will need to level match ( if necessary) and compare unsighted.

Keith

This is an excellent and reliable resource, great find Kieth! 

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Keith dosent love his wife because he can't measure that feeling, it's subjective and therefore false, it's based on belief rather than physical evidence and Amir hasn't produced a forum entry for it yet.

Seriously? Personally attacking somebody's marital choices just to wank your ego is extremely poor taste. If I were you I'd seriously consider offering an apology the Kieth as you've clearly pushed the humour line over to offence.

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Super Wammer
 

They are not near perfect, the majority of contemporary oversampling designs  are audibly transparent so ‘perfect’, unless of course the designer chooses to not make them so.

Keith

A very sweeping statement.

For the sake of clarity, please can you back up your assertion that these are “audibly transparent so ‘perfect’ “.

What are the parameters used to judge whether one dac is audibly transparent whilst another dac is not?

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Super Wammer
 

This is an excellent and reliable resource, great find Kieth! 

I can’t tell whether you are being sarcastic or that is a straight up comment of yours. 

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Super Wammer
 

You’re right of course that if the signal from the source is poor quality there is nothing which even the most accomplished amplifier and speakers can do to improve it. But the same could be argued anywhere along the playback chain eg. if the speakers are compromised then no amount of money thrown at the source is going to make the system sound better. I guess the skill is in identifying the weak point in any playback chain and dealing with that.

Erm, did you miss the bit about not confusing capability with cost?

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Super Wammer
 

Erm, did you miss the bit about not confusing capability with cost?

Yes, but misphrased my response. I should have said “no quality of source” rather than “no amount of money”. Sorry 

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I can’t tell whether you are being sarcastic or that is a straight up comment of yours. 

Departing from my usual cynicism and boyish wit, this was a straight up comment.

I've looked into this site a few times after fettling around with Rpi based streamers to get an idea on how top-hat/I2S DAC's rate against the woefully poor audio performance from a vanilla pi. It's a straight up, no frills bench test and not sound quality review but it fills a niche for some. 

Edited by Strider
I forgot the 's' on fills...
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Super Dealer
 

A very sweeping statement.

For the sake of clarity, please can you back up your assertion that these are “audibly transparent so ‘perfect’ “.

What are the parameters used to judge whether one dac is audibly transparent whilst another dac is not?

A more interesting question would be how ‘bad’ does have a dac have to be before it is not audibly transparent , Amir says you can actually hear a difference with say the PS Audio unit.

To answer your question gather a handful of fine measuring ( oversampling , low distortion etc etc ) components and compare them level matched and unsighted, I wouldn’t expect to hear a difference.

Keith

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In my experience, a good Hi-fi dealer will stock a range of different sounding components at different price points. They'll ask your budget and your particular taste in music and what type of sound you like in general (because yes, this is subjective). They will then suggest a couple of suitable products, pop the kettle on and let you settle down for a listen with your favourite tunes. They will then ask what you think, perhaps offer a home demo. 

Plenty of these dealers stock PS Audio products and plenty of customers choose them over products that produce better measurements, without said dealer passing judgement.

You won't find these dealers posting in threads like this, because they're too busy.     

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If all dacs are near perfect, and therefore sound the same, how come the insertion of a upsampling re-clocker like the Wyred4Sound Remedy is instantly and beneficially audible? Was at a bake-off, and it was tried on a variety of DACs, all there heard it work on a succession of gear and I subsequently bought one.

I'm foo-sceptical and dislike parting with money without result, nevertheless coughed up...not a small difference.

I'd have coughed up after about a month at home.

Sitting from afar as I do now, I had forgotten how irrational some of the audio business appears to outsiders. I saw in Stereophile that GP Audio are selling a rack for $25k and nearly spat out my stir fry!

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Super Wammer
 

Serge or ‘Pluto’ both really know their stuff, one year he ran an unsighted comparison on bit depth ?

Very interesting.

Keith

Interesting indeed. Who exactly ran the unsighted comparison? Assuming Serge is in fact 'Pluto'.

He is certainly somewhat mercurial.

Either way, vous parlez de votre uranus et je reste ma valise!

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Super Dealer

No they are quite separate and both post over at ASR.

Check it out you may learn something.

Keith

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So to summarise answers from my original question

  • Some think measurement is everything and the best can be had as long as it measures well. This means you can go out and get really cheap DACs, which will be the best in class.
  • Others can't heard the difference between DACs
  • Others believe measurement is helpful but listening is more important as things that don't measure well can still sound good

B| I think given this info I'm going to have to try some more DACs. 

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Super Dealer
 

So to summarise answers from my original question

  • Some think measurement is everything and the best can be had as long as it measures well. This means you can go out and get really cheap DACs, which will be the best in class.
  • Others can't heard the difference between DACs
  • Others believe measurement is helpful but listening is more important as things that don't measure well can still sound good

B| I think given this info I'm going to have to try some more DACs. 

I think that sums it up pretty succinctly, if you just want audibly transparent, state of the art devices can be purchased inexpensively.

You can choose a poorly measuring component, and thanks to John Atkinson, Amir, Archimago etc you now know that it’s ‘difference’ will be down to added noise, jitter, distortion whatever.

Keith

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