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Alpine Electrocats

Do expensive cd players sound much better than basic ones?

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6 hours ago, bhobba said:

Love these mostly measurement based reviews.

 

I agree with you on these sites,  it sorts the BS from the real thing and measurements don’t lie,   there not subjective either,  it tells you what you’re paying for.   

 

 If you read his report, the company refused to sell the ISO Regen to him when he ordered it.  How he ordered it he didn’t say.....  I wonder what motivate them with that decision.  That one he measured was from a member and send it to him to be measured.

 

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6 hours ago, Addicted to music said:

I agree with you on these sites,  it sorts the BS from the real thing and measurements don’t lie,   there not subjective either,  it tells you what you’re paying for.   

Yes, but you must interpret them properly.   Please see the following by Rob Watts:

 

The blind test IMHO is the ultimate arbiter and they are easy to do for just one person.  Unless of course you have learned to trust your ears - I personally do not do them, but if you are just starting out its a very good idea.   Walk out instantly from an store that will not do it for you,

 

What is probably going on and why I found the ISO Regen made a bit of difference,  but the linear supply into it an even bigger one is noise floor modulation talked about by Rob (amongst other things) and the Explorer 2 uses the power from the USB.   Just a guess - but with that DAC is was particularly noticeable.

 

It's a really interesting video - noise-floor of 130db vs 150db you would think isn't really audible - but it actually is - quite surprising.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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2 hours ago, bhobba said:

Yes, but you must interpret them properly.   Please see the following by Rob Watts:

 

The blind test IMHO is the ultimate arbiter and they are easy to do for just one person.  Unless of course you have learned to trust your ears - I personally do not do them, but if you are just starting out its a very good idea.   Walk out instantly from an store that will not do it for you,

 

What is probably going on and why I found the ISO Regen made a bit of difference,  but the linear supply into it an even bigger one is noise floor modulation talked about by Rob (amongst other things) and the Explorer 2 uses the power from the USB.   Just a guess - but with that DAC is was particularly noticeable.

 

It's a really interesting video - noise-floor of 130db vs 150db you would think isn't really audible - but it actually is - quite surprising.

 

Thanks

Bill

Theres one thing you should know about me is that i don't buy into sales pitch especially from a sales engineer like this guy. 

From the same site the Chord shows up impressive measurements but its no better than $500 Chinese made product: a Topping DX7....  It may sound better and sweeter to the ears but we are talking about Chord at $2700 to $500US!  Look at the resolution thats measured for both!

 

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-chord-hugo-2-dac-and-headphone-amplifier.2349/

 

https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-audio-gd-nfb-27-38-dac-and-headphone-amplifier.2486/

 

Edited by Addicted to music

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3 hours ago, bhobba said:

It's a really interesting video - noise-floor of 130db vs 150db you would think isn't really audible - but it actually is - quite surprising.

If 150dB, or 130dB below the peak signal level WAS audible.... it would blow all conventional understanding of physics out of the water.

 

 

..... but, it's not implausible that what is being referred to in the video IS audible....  but the explanation is that what they've measured is not actually what they're hearing .... but, rather the 'symptom' of some other thing they are hearing.

 

This is a very common scenario IME.   (eg. THD)

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2 hours ago, Addicted to music said:

Theres one thing you should know about me is that i don't buy into sales pitch especially from a sales engineer like this guy. 

 

Sure there is the issue of exactly what is more of a sales pitch than textbook truth.   I trust Mike Lenehan - but Rob I simply do not know personally well enough, although I have chatted with him on the internet.   I suspect he is on the up and up -  but sure there is no way to be certain.

 

Of course you can always trust a blind test.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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9 minutes ago, bhobba said:

Of course you can always trust a blind test.

Many would disagree with you (not me though)

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1 minute ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

Many would disagree with you (not me though)

So whats new?

 

BTW remember discussion of blind tests, by forum rules, is confined to the great debate section.

 

Thanks

Bill

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39 minutes ago, bhobba said:

So whats new?

 

BTW remember discussion of blind tests, by forum rules, is confined to the great debate section.

 

Thanks

Bill

Given that you’ve mentioned them multiple times already in this thread I guess the reminder is aimed at yourself, right :P

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4 hours ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

Given that you’ve mentioned them multiple times already in this thread I guess the reminder is aimed at yourself, right :P

 

Of course,

 

Ever read a book called Godel Escher Bach?  You should.

 

Thanks

Bill

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5 hours ago, bhobba said:

 

Of course,

 

Ever read a book called Godel Escher Bach?  You should.

 

Thanks

Bill

Yes! Read it many years ago. Terrific book

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6 hours ago, bhobba said:

 

Of course,

 

Ever read a book called Godel Escher Bach?  You should.

 

Thanks

Bill

Looks great, will check it out, thanks Bill hope you are well. :) 

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Yes expensive players/transports do sound much better than basic ones.
Far more insightful and detailed, better quality mechanisms and electronic circuitry etc.
If buying 2nd hand, determine original sale price as an indicator of quality pecking order, as a unit that was say $7k and then bought for 2k or less will sound excellent.
Example, a McIntosh sacd player is a noticeable step up from a Marantz sacd. That said a modern Marantz player is vvg indeed, but a bit conservative in bass oomph.
Last comment being there is so much information that CDs contain, it takes a few tweaks and a half decent player to obtain it.
PSAUDIO Directstream is worthy of consideration if buying new rather than 2nd hand.

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5 hours ago, Darren69 said:

Looks great, will check it out, thanks Bill hope you are well. :) 

This is off topic but just so people understated why I mentioned it, its about self reference.   We have a rule here about debate on blind tests is confined to the Great Debate Section.  But even mentioning that is discussing blind testing.   Its a strange quirk about English (and any other human language of course) that we as human beings sort that sort of thing out.   Here the key word is debate - we were not really debating it, I was just mentioning if you are worried do a blind test.   But if you wanted to debate it then you cant really do it in this thread.  

 

It takes you into strange realms like Godel's theorem and the halting problem - the fact you cant write a computer program to determine if another program will ever stop.

 

Thanks

Bill

Edited by bhobba

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21 hours ago, bhobba said:

Here the key word is debate - we were not really debating it, I was just mentioning if you are worried do a blind test. 

And if you're really worried about it make sure you've level matched what you're blind testing. And this is not open to debate.

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4 minutes ago, Satanica said:

 And this is not open to debate.

 

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On 12/07/2018 at 6:27 PM, Alpine Electrocats said:

Perhaps a dumb question to some, but i am wondering to what extent and expensive cd player or transport improves digital sound. Of course i know in audio that the law of dimishing returns applies, so i am expecting snall changes for big bucks....

Hello, and thank you for posing this question. I think that your comment, above, is on-the-money.

On 13/07/2018 at 7:26 PM, Alpine Electrocats said:

Thanks everyone, lots of really good answers here- 

most obvious to me is that a really good dac is the thing to get-it would cover all bases- for those of us streaming to thise of us with big files on our computers and those of us who play cds.

Again, I think that your logic is sound. Using a single DAC will provide more consistent sound from the various sources, especially in terms of volume level.

 

I have read the replies to this thread so far, and, frankly, I don't know what to say. You have been given the impression that there are limitless, audible improvements available, if only your wallet is deep enough. I will say that I strongly disagree and leave it at that.

 

I do think that a quality, well-engineered and well-built DAC is a good investment. It should give a flat and accurate output with a good current drive. The components should be chosen, and build should be quality, so that there is very little variation between units, if they were to be measured, and there is very good likelihood that the sound, and measurements, will stay at the same level for many years.

 

I have not been DAC shopping for ages, but if you cannot get a DAC, that meets the above requirements, for $1000-ish, I would be quite surprised. Perhaps some extra cost to allow for your need for a number inputs on the DAC, to accept your sources. Is there such a thing as a digital input selector unit? I doubt it: it may cause issues with DRM, digital rights management.

 

Beyond ensuring good general engineering quality, I cannot see a scenario where you have another $X to budget on hifi and it would not give you bigger improvements to spend it elsewhere in the system. There is an old truism that says garbage in, garbage out. But it is only true when you have garbage in. With modern digital audio, well-built and functioning, there is no garbage in, other than bad recordings, or bad connections and cabling. I fear that I may have invited debate, which I want to avoid, with that comment, but in committing myself to give my best understanding in replying to your thread, I could not leave it out with good conscience. There are still areas to seek and eradicate garbage entering your system, and this is not the best place to look for it. In no particular order, and excluding recordings, the main areas are: LP player behaviour, speaker behaviour, room behaviour, speaker placement and listening position, connections, potentiometers, failing electronics, voltage level matching, and channel matching. That is a lot of areas to attend to.

 

Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions, and I will do my best to answer helpfully.

 

Regards

Grant

Edited by Grant Slack

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2 hours ago, Grant Slack said:

I have not been DAC shopping for ages, but if you cannot get a DAC, that meets the above requirements, for $1000-ish, I would be quite surprised.

This comment explains...

2 hours ago, Grant Slack said:

I have read the replies to this thread so far, and, frankly, I don't know what to say. You have been given the impression that there are limitless, audible improvements available, if only your wallet is deep enough. I will say that I strongly disagree and leave it at that.

This comment...sigh...

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...and that is why I said I will leave it at that. Thanks for your feedback.


Regards

Grant

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On 14 July 2018 at 10:48 PM, ThirdDrawerDown said:

Well, at least you know source isn't an issue.  Pioneer! Still have a great liking for them ever since the EAD/ California Audio Labs tweaks of the Stable Platter.  I've got used to the Marantz but always feel nostalgic for putting a disc into the player upside-down!

 

Edited to add - speakers would be the topic for another thread...

Didn't understand your comment on the 'Stable Platter' Murray, saw it today online at CAV by one of the sales staff, sheer accident, what a hoot.... 

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