210 posts / 0 new
Last post
Electro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 21 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 30/03/2011 - 11:34
Posts: 1220
RE: Audibly transparent

CnoEvil wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

PS I drove a Subaru Impreza for years because as a road car I think it was almost impossible to beat.  About as much fun as is possible with your clothes on.  A Ferrari is mad as a road car as is a Maclaren.

I was lucky enough to drive Subarus as well......didn't have the awful image of the Escort Cosworth.

Very nice car!

I have one,  a classic version 4 Sti redtop  japanese import that is currently broken awaiting a new forged engine when I can find the money and the time to do it Smile

Forget the Ferrari and the McLaren my choice would be a Noble M600  , a comparatively simple and basic piece of superb engineering that would suit me perfectly if I was lucky enough to win the lottery .

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jvHqB4ZxbU#t=13m15

I just watched the video and I need to go and lie down for a bit :grin:

Sorry to go off topic I could not help myself   :oops:   It is my other passion apart from music .

I just had to add this .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN7HSI1ERy4

Now if I was to sell the house    :shifty:

Main system .

Electrocompaniet EMC 1 up , Monarchy Audio DIP, ECD 1 dac , EC4.8 preamp , 2x AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC Pb1i speakers .

WinterRacer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 14/01/2009 - 14:47
Posts: 391
RE: Audibly transparent

byakuya83 wrote:

WinterRacer, I don't understand what the measurements mean.  What does +/- 0.1 dB mean with regard to frequency response?

 

+- 0.1db means that the frequency response if flat (doesn't vary in amplitude) to within +0.1db or - 0.1db.  No frequencies are articificically accentuated over others.  As someone else said earlier, I think this probably overly cautious...

 

byakuya83 wrote:

Are you able to link to a piece of equipment online and explain how to assess whether it is transparent or not?

Find some kit you're interested in, look at the specs and compare to Ethan's parameters.  Probably start with frequency response, S/N and THD of the kit you're interested in.  If it's digital look for jitter below 250ns (pretty much any digital transport meets this).

 

A good example of something that is audibly transparent is 16bit 44.1Khz PCM.  S/R is 96db (effectively more with noise shaping), frequency response is flat within the above parameters.  

What this means is buying a 'hi-res' recording with the final mix encoded at a sample rate over 44.1Khz or bit depth over 16bits  (e.g., 96Khz & 24bits) is pointless as it will sound identical to one encoded at 44.1Khz /16 (unless encoded from a different master).

byakuya83 wrote:

I'm a little confused - would this mean that using the same source and speaker that any combination of CD/amp would sound identical if both were considered transparent or had the same level of transparency?

Good question. You've hit the nail on the head,  yes.  Two CD players (or any components) that are audibly transparent will sound identical.

However, I've never seen a review or group review where the reviewer said two components sounded exactly the same.  IMO, this is because tests are sighted, subjective and written to be entertaining, not because there's nothing out there that is audibly transparent.  Try an ABX test on 320kbps MP3 vs. FLAC and let us know how you get on.

WinterRacer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 14/01/2009 - 14:47
Posts: 391
RE: Audibly transparent

CnoEvil wrote:

I have no problem with accuracy - for some that means striving to get as close as possible to what is on the record. For others (like me) it means getting as close as possible to the sound of the real thing (which is why I listen to music in the first place). This is a subtle but fundamental difference in the two approaches. The person with the absolutely "neutral" system may relish in the fact that (say) a quarter of their music collection sounds pretty dreadful, citing how accurate their system is; personally I revel in the fact of how good it all sounds.

FWIW. It wasn't me who described Jitter as a data error.

 

Hi Cno, I know it wasn't you who described jitter that way, I was just too lazy to find the right post to quote and thought I could kill two birds with one stone - sorry.  Smile

If I understand you correctly, the difference in the two approaches you describe is:

1. Accuracy = trying to get as close to the recording as possible

2. Accuracy = trying to get as close to the sound of real instruments, etc.

So, the second approach is trying to 'correct' recordings to make them sound more realistic by adding certain types of distortion.  Is that right?  If so, that seems like something that might work with a few recording, e.g., overly bright ones tamed with some bandwidth distortion, but will also ruin a good recording.

Why would an 'absolutely neutral' system render 25% of a record collection unlistenable?  I guess you're saying that you disagree with most recordings and feel they should be altered in some way?

 

 

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 18 sec ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12111
RE: Audibly transparent

WinterRacer wrote:

Hi Cno, I know it wasn't you who described jitter that way, I was just too lazy to find the right post to quote and thought I could kill two birds with one stone - sorry.  Smile

If I understand you correctly, the difference in the two approaches you describe is:

1. Accuracy = trying to get as close to the recording as possible

2. Accuracy = trying to get as close to the sound of real instruments, etc.

So, the second approach is trying to 'correct' recordings to make them sound more realistic by adding certain types of distortion.  Is that right?  If so, that seems like something that might work with a few recording, e.g., overly bright ones tamed with some bandwidth distortion, but will also ruin a good recording.

Why would an 'absolutely neutral' system render 25% of a record collection unlistenable?  I guess you're saying that you disagree with most recordings and feel they should be altered in some way?

Hi WR

All my posts come from "my perspective", which is personal, and which I try not to impose on anybody else, as "fact".

Here are fairly comprehensive measurements of my amp, which has very low distortion, yet still doesn't make bad recordings worse: http://www.avhub.com.au/images/stories/australian-hifi/reviews/2011-03/Musical_Fidelity_AMS_35i_Amplifier_Review/musical_fidelity_ams35i_amplifier_review_lores.pdf 

I have tried a fair amount of amps in my time, and the "so called" neutral amps would make at least 25% of my music collection un-enjoyable....for my taste. 

I grew up with a mother who was a classically trained singer, and a father who was an amateur conductor for the local choral society....so I went to a lot of concerts; as well as playing a musical instrument in a school orchestra.......so this is my benchmark. 

How much of one's music is badly recorded is down to taste and luck.....I picked 25% out of the air, but made that clear with the word "say".

In this hobby, you cannot "role out" my experience as the rule book for everyone else......there are a lot of people on here who completely agree with me, just as there are a lot of people who just don't get where I'm coming from.....c'est la vie.

Are you saying that you should buy a system that's as "accurate" as possible to the recording, even if you don't like the way it sounds?.....or are you saying that you cannot understand people who go for a "life-like" presentation, in preference to this?

My outlook is one of "Live and let live"......if people find what I have to say is helpful, that's great; but I don't have an over-riding urge to to push my views on anyone who thinks I'm deluded. I try to respect all opinions, and not to deride people who have an opposing POV.

EDIT. The link isn't working, but if interested, does work from post 6 here: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/driving-proac-d38s?page=2 

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

WinterRacer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 14/01/2009 - 14:47
Posts: 391
RE: Audibly transparent

CnoEvil wrote:

I have tried a fair amount of amps in my time, and the "so called" neutral amps would make at least 25% of my music collection un-enjoyable....for my taste. 

Given your experience, my guess is that despite the marketeers describing their amps as neutral, they probably weren't particularly.

CnoEvil wrote:

Are you saying that you should buy a system that's as "accurate" as possible to the recording, even if you don't like the way it sounds?.....or are you saying that you cannot understand people who go for a "life-like" presentation, in preference to this?

I think accurate equals life-like, what else could it mean? I also find it unlikely than anything other than accuracy  will result in any kind of consistent satisfaction with a system.  I wouldn't suggest anyone should buy something they don't like.

CnoEvil wrote:

My outlook is one of "Live and let live"......if people find what I have to say is helpful, that's great; but I don't have an over-riding urge to to push my views on anyone who thinks I'm deluded. I try to respect all opinions, and not to deride people who have an opposing POV.

Definitely a good outlook and agree wholeheartedly.  I hope this hasn't come across as me trying to push my views on anyone, just hoping to have a mildly interesting debate.

 

 

 

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 18 sec ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12111
RE: Audibly transparent

@ WinterRacer

As it stands, you have been nothing but polite, and far from pushy.

I generally don't like Class D and many of the amps that are the usual recomendations as being neutral....in fact there are only a handful of AB amps that I've heard and liked. If you want to hear a Tube amp that sounds (to me) musical, dramatic and neutral....have a listen to VTL.

You gave the two possible descriptions of "accurate"......and "accurate to the recording" may be the ideal for many, but can be a mile away from life-like.

I had a Moon i7 on home dem for a few days and hated it for classical music. Is it a bad amp?...no, but I didn't like it. I preferred the Coda CSi and MF M6i, but the AMS 35i was in another league imo.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

oldric_naubhoff's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 11/03/2011 - 23:54
Posts: 1166
RE: Audibly transparent

CnoEvil wrote:

Here are fairly comprehensive measurements of my amp, which has very low distortion, yet still doesn't make bad recordings worse: http://www.avhub.com.au/images/stories/australian-hifi/reviews/2011-03/Musical_Fidelity_AMS_35i_Amplifier_Review/musical_fidelity_ams35i_amplifier_review_lores.pdf 

thanks CNO for the link. I must say this Australian Hi-Fi mag provides the most comprehensive reviews I've seen so far! (well, maybe with exception from Audio Critic. but they have very narrow line of reviewed products).

BTW I'm totally on your side on this one accuracy thing. an accurate system has no other choice but to sound stunning with a well engineered recording. you could even use term " life-like". the remaining 5%-95% of recordings in ones collection, depending mainly on musical tastes, will sound awfully mainly because they were engineered awfully. not because the system was not accurate enough or some other similar BS.

one more thing. I value measurements a lot. but even more I value design philosophy. measurements can be easily manipulated to look well in the spec sheet. but if you start with solid foundations you can't go wrong. that's why I'd rather call "more accurate" a pentode valve amp which THD never exceedes inaudible 0.5% in every case than a class D SS amp which may measure to vanishingly low 0.0001% THD (or something like that) @ 1kHz @ max output. but when you take a closer look at THD spectrum you'll see 2% THD into <1W power or into >16kHz....

lindsayt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 10 hours ago
Joined: 08/04/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 1116
RE: Audibly transparent

CnoEvil wrote:

Hi WR

All my posts come from "my perspective", which is personal, and which I try not to impose on anybody else, as "fact".

Here are fairly comprehensive measurements of my amp, which has very low distortion, yet still doesn't make bad recordings worse: http://www.avhub.com.au/images/stories/australian-hifi/reviews/2011-03/Musical_Fidelity_AMS_35i_Amplifier_Review/musical_fidelity_ams35i_amplifier_review_lores.pdf ...

EDIT. The link isn't working, but if interested, does work from post 6 here: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/driving-proac-d38s?page=2 

 

I've had a look at their review of MF AMS35i amp. Yes, they do indeed include more measurements than most reviews.

 

However they only include measurements for THD at 1 watt and 35 watts. That equates to 103 dbs and 117dbs through my speakers and about 88dbs and 102dbs through typical coned and domed speakers. Whilst I might hit these sort of levels on transient peaks when I've got my system, they're not the sort of volumes I do most of my listening at - which would be 30 to 80dbs.

 

Where are the THD+N measurements for microwatt to milliwatt power levels?

 

On the basis of these measurements I have no way of knowing how transparent this amplifier would sound in my system at my usual listening levels.

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 18 sec ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12111
RE: Audibly transparent

oldric_naubhoff wrote:

thanks CNO for the link. I must say this Australian Hi-Fi mag provides the most comprehensive reviews I've seen so far! (well, maybe with exception from Audio Critic. but they have very narrow line of reviewed products).

BTW I'm totally on your side on this one accuracy thing. an accurate system has no other choice but to sound stunning with a well engineered recording. you could even use term " life-like". the remaining 5%-95% of recordings in ones collection, depending mainly on musical tastes, will sound awfully mainly because they were engineered awfully. not because the system was not accurate enough or some other similar BS.

one more thing. I value measurements a lot. but even more I value design philosophy. measurements can be easily manipulated to look well in the spec sheet. but if you start with solid foundations you can't go wrong. that's why I'd rather call "more accurate" a pentode valve amp which THD never exceedes inaudible 0.5% in every case than a class D SS amp which may measure to vanishingly low 0.0001% THD (or something like that) @ 1kHz @ max output. but when you take a closer look at THD spectrum you'll see 2% THD into <1W power or into >16kHz....

I believe this is a case where measurements and listening experience truly coincide, and make a convincing case for the sonic superiority of true Class A.  :shifty:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

lindsayt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 10 hours ago
Joined: 08/04/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 1116
RE: Audibly transparent

WinterRacer wrote:
Distortion: At least 100 dB (0.001%) below the music while others consider 80 dB (0.01%) to be sufficient and Ethan’s own tests confirm that. -

Noise: At least 100 dB below the music - .

Distortion and noise at 100db below the music?

 

What volume does he listen at?

 

130dbs?

 

Is he DEAF?

 

If you have a really quiet listening room, background noise will be about 20dbs. Many rooms will have 30dbs of background noise.

 

If I listen really loud and hit 110db peaks then -90 dbs for noise and distortion would be more than good enough for me. Chances are -70 to -80dbs would be fine too. Hey, even -50dbs would be fine for my usual listening levels.

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 18 sec ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12111
RE: Audibly transparent

lindsayt wrote:

On the basis of these measurements I have no way of knowing how transparent this amplifier would sound in my system at my usual listening levels.

On the basis of my assessment, you would find this amp very transparent!  Wink

(It was HFW's best integrated amp a couple of years ago, and a Stereophile "A list" product.......not that any of this is likely to impress you! )   :shifty:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

lindsayt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 10 hours ago
Joined: 08/04/2011 - 01:18
Posts: 1116
RE: Audibly transparent

It may well be a relatively transparent amp. Your listening assessment counts for far more to me than the measurements given in that review.

SpursGator's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/01/2012 - 16:29
Posts: 233
RE: Audibly transparent

WinterRacer wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

FWIW. It wasn't me who described Jitter as a data error.

 

Hi Cno, I know it wasn't you who described jitter that way, I was just too lazy to find the right post to quote and thought I could kill two birds with one stone - sorry.  Smile

 

Just to be clear, it was WinterRacer who said that jitter could cause data errors. Once on Friday...

WinterRacer wrote:

Below a certain level it doesn't result in data errors and can be considered completely inaudible.  Above that, errors can be detected and corrected.

And then again on Saturday...

WinterRacer wrote:

btw - someone said jitter is not a data error, or something like that.  Jitter is a temporal distortion, if it's bad enough you'll get a data error, if not, they'll be no data error, but really I don't want to derail the thread with picking on individual insignificant bits (pun intended).

Jitter CANNOT cause data errors. From a data perspective, inaccuracies in timing are irrelevant. Either the bits arrive, or they don't. Timing is only relevant when you are converting the stream of data words to music. If there is inconsistency in the timing of that stream, the reconstructed music (the ANALOGUE signal) can be smeared.

Now, yes, it sounds like I am bit-picking, but I think it illustrates our disagreement over DACs. You see them as some kind of digital black box, data devices mostly, that as long as they don't do anything to muck up the signal, do their job and that's it. I see DACs as sources, an analogue source (at least to the 'eyes' of the amplifier) each of which reproduces the music (and interacts with an amp) slightly differently.

The fact is, jitter, by definition, is something that exists only in an analogue signal, even if it is caused by a digital artifact (imperfect timing). It's a minor error, but it is illustrative of how you seem to forget that one whole 'side' of a DAC is analogue, with all of its associated vagaries - and it's the part that interacts electrically with the amp. I guess if you really believe that all human hearing can be defined by four rough measurements, then this is not significant. I disagree and think that, when you look at the DAC analogue stage -> cable -> amp input stage -> amp output stage -> cable chain (everything in front of the speakers), you have a system sufficiently complex that, not only can you not do a binary transparent-or-not judgment on it, not only can you not reduce it to four measurements, but in fact you would almost need to resort to chaos theory to explain what comes out the other side, given the large number of variables in each link of the chain.

WinterRacer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 14/01/2009 - 14:47
Posts: 391
RE: Audibly transparent

SpursGator wrote:

The fact is, jitter, by definition, is something that exists only in an analogue signal, even if it is caused by a digital artifact (imperfect timing). 

 

I doubt anyone else is interested in this and I suspect you've already made your mind up how all this works.  Just one thing, jitter is, as you point out, imperfect timing in the clock used in the encoding of the digital data.  Distortion is what results in the analogue signal.  

 

 

Native_bon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 26/11/2008 - 10:58
Posts: 922
RE: Audibly transparent

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

Reminds me of religion Smile

(no offence to anyone who is religious, of course)

 Really like this one! ROFL

 OPPO 105EU, Arcam AVR450, Boston Acoustics M340. Dac: Musical fedility V90.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments