Message from discussion A Sound System as Resonant as a Concert Hall
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Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:14:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Audio_Empire <audio_emp...@comcast.net>
Subject: Re: A Sound System as Resonant as a Concert Hall
Date: 19 Sep 2012 23:14:07 GMT
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In article <abttujFa6d...@mid.individual.net>,
Andrew Haley <andre...@littlepinkcloud.invalid> wrote:
> Audio_Empire <audio_emp...@comcast.net> wrote:
> > DACs all do sound different, It's pretty subtle (kind of like the
> > differences between decent amplifiers) but definitely there. Another
> > interesting result (And I've thought about this several times since
> > the test) was the fact that in spite of a broad disparity between
> > the ages and ethnic and cultural makeup of the 12 listeners, that a
> > consensus was independently reached by each listener separately, and
> > without any of us knowing how the other was "voting".
> How come? Were you physically separated?
No. we were marking paper forms and were encouraged not to look at
anyone else's paper.
> > In fact if ANYTHING about that "DAC shootout " was "fishy" it was
> > that aspect of it. Since then, I've heard of several tests of
> > popular DACs performed by other audio groups such as the LA Audio
> > Society where clear differences were heard between DACs and one held
> > in Germany, where no differences were heard.
> I don't want to labour a point, but if this is true, then scientific
> knowledge about thresholds of hearing and maybe even the physiology of
> the ear is itself wrong. The distortion products of high-quality
> audio DACs are so low that they are at or below the threshold of
> hearing in silence; they certainly would be masked by the rest of the
I suggest that something else is happening. I don't know what it is. it
could be different amounts of jitter in different DAC brands. Could be
quantization error, could be poor vs good error correction, etc. I don't
claim to know.
> I greatly regret that these people testing audio DACs don't get
> together with hearing researchers to overturn completely current
> theories about the working of the ear. I suspect, however, that these
> researchers would point out what the audio enthusiasts are doing
While it's possible, It would seem to me that once levels are matched to
less than a DB or so, there's not much "wrong" that a correctly set-up
DBT or ABX test can do.