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Silly me! just noticed this thread headed Topping D90 with 14 pages of comments, so I thought excellent, this will be a good read with lots of comparisons of the new D90 to other DACS in various price

Two user reviews in a couple of weeks appear to have killed the thread, usually this is where things really ramp up.   proof that most people in the thread would rather speculate and try to

That's not true. That's also not true. Measurements give a good guide to what gear will sound bad. If a DAC measures well it will not have a unique "sound". It will simply provide acc

34 minutes ago, was_a said:

I'm sorry, but I have to chime in again. This discussion about modern DAC chips is irrelevant. Experienced audiophiles know that analogue output stages and power supplies dictate sound quality. .

And technical professionals with electronics qualification who calls themselves audiophiles and  have done some measurements to clarify distortion levels will say if you want impressive SQ, colour it with a valve unity gain stage or something similar etc  :thumb:   Didn’t I say that b4 or are you not listening! 

 

34 minutes ago, was_a said:

Audio Science Review it's the blind leading the blind. I'm hoping for a more balanced approach on Stereonet.

Wrong!  

 

If we didn’t have ASR Review we will be totally blind!   When are you get that engineering requires reference measurements to gauge performance of a product, when you finally realised this you will understand why measurements determined performance, it doesn’t have to agree with what you like to hear and that’s a given!  

Edited by Addicted to music
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23 hours ago, Steve M said:

Its just a guess and please don’t take umbrage, but I think that Amir (and a lot of his membership) are not able to express clearly or with some imaginative prose ’how something sounds’.

What it is.... is that they don't want to....   Doing so would contradict their understanding of how the world works.

 

They think that if they heard a difference between two devices, and those devices measured "very close" that, then they must have "imagined" their experience of the difference in sound.

 

 

There are lots of "lose" terms used here by me, which need definition to take the discussion further  (how close is close?, which measurements?, etc. etc.

 

There is a LOT of evidence to support their perspective.

 

I think many many audio people disbelieve that.... because they've had an experience where to "supposed to be closely measuring" things, sounded very different.   Too different for it to be imagined (perhaps even "the person in the next room could tell").....   and, so, they conclude that the whole thing is BS.    "Not everything sounds the same, and these ASR-types must be deaf".

 

... but they didn't check the frequency response, levels, distortion, clipping, etc.    There WAS something different between the devices which made them obviously different (which is obviously why they heard something) ..... but if used differently, the devices would have performed as their datasheets indicated.   ie. "identically".   Clipping and output loading is a huge issue in speaker amplifiers that can get missed by the "test bench".

 

23 hours ago, Steve M said:

he may not have had extensive experience with hearing a lot of hi-end audio equipment and just doesn’t go there or have any belief in these things from first-hand encounters

I think many people are afraid to say:

 

I've listened to a lot of high end equipment, and I have found that all good equipment sounds identical.... and when it doesn't there is a reason which can be found (eg. frequency, distortion, level, etc.)   

 

To a whole tribe of people you instantly "lose all credibility".    Inexperienced, deaf, ignorant.

 

 

... and then you get the "subjective people" falling over themselves about a system which uses DAC, amps, and speaker drivers, which each cost less than a bottle of very cheap wine.... and saying it's the best thing they've ever heard (all they know is it costs $20k).  Teehee.

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I think many 'Measurements Rule' folk are afraid to acknowledge the infinite variables in sound quality from component to component. 

 

Getting back to the D90. It's a lot of money for a very small DAC, and in my experience with Topping products and other similarly specced DACs, at RRP I would pass. Because a lot of that RRP is marketing - including the touting of AKM's latest chip.

 

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

D10 is on sale at US$65.00 by Drop right now.

 

There seems to have been an ESS distortion hump issue with the implementations with these chips that is hard to rectify.

Some real engineer has made an attempt to fixed that “ESS Hump” on a particular product.  He claims that turning of the registry for distortion  compensation made no difference.....was wondering that you need to do a full reset power off/on for that registry to take effect?    Let’s assume that he’s tried that, So it’s not a software/firmware fix but rather a hardware solution by changing the feedback cap and resistor values on certain Opamps.

 

Love his work:

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-fix-ess-hump-on-sgd1-and-la-qxd1.10502/

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14 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

Some real engineer has made an attempt to fixed that “ESS Hump” on a particular product.

 

Love his work:

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-fix-ess-hump-on-sgd1-and-la-qxd1.10502/

Awesome! 

 

It's not just buggy software that manufacturers rush to market; it can be anything these days.

 

It's comforting to see a flash of the open source spirit spread to this area, and it is a pleasant surprise from China!

 

Who knows but we may have some form of an open-hardware, or open-hifi, movement, as it were, in future.

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31 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

Awesome! 

 

It's not just buggy software that manufacturers rush to market; it can be anything these days.

.

Software/Firmware updates is a cost effective solution, and in most cases very effective, however some problems are just “masked”  because of real hardware issues....  be interesting to see the response from ESS...  

 

34 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

.

It's comforting to see a flash of the open source spirit spread to this area, and it is a pleasant surprise from China!

 

There are some real knowledgeable people on that site, and they don’t make generalisations...  some of them are in the industry and take a lot of time explaining the workings.....  They are from all over the globe,  China is the manufacturing capital of the world, yep great to see that you’ve acknowledge he’s from China....  check his lab out!    But if you get on that site long enough you can really learn....  I have!  

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14 hours ago, was_a said:

I'm sorry, but I have to chime in again. This discussion about modern DAC chips is irrelevant. Experienced audiophiles know that analogue output stages and power supplies dictate sound quality. Inexperienced audiophiles focus on the chip and measurements thereof. On Audio Science Review it's the blind leading the blind. I'm hoping for a more balanced approach on Stereonet.

I’d make two comments. First, ASR doesn’t measure chips, they measure the DAC. This means the analog output stages and power supplies too. 
Second, I’ve only ever heard “subjectivists” saying that DAC chips have a “sound”. It’s not something a “measurement” person would say (unless of course the could measure it)

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16 hours ago, was_a said:

I think many 'Measurements Rule' folk are afraid to acknowledge the infinite variables in sound quality from component to component. Even identical models can sound different from one another. 

I've never heard it under correctly controlled conditions.... so no .....  actually the opposite.

 

I am however, afraid to say what I just did..... lest my "credibility" be attacked.  ;) 

 

16 hours ago, was_a said:

It's a lot of money for a very small DAC

Why does the physical size have anything to do with it?    That just means that it doesn't use large values of capacitance or induction.

 

16 hours ago, was_a said:

a lot of that RRP is marketing

... but marketing is just a component of typical business.   What would you have them do?  No marketing?

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12 hours ago, Addicted to music said:

Software/Firmware updates is a cost effective solution, and in most cases very effective, however some problems are just “masked”  because of real hardware issues....  be interesting to see the response from ESS...  

I can tell you what it will be.....  just what I said a page back.

 

Loading of an (amplifier) output is critical.

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6 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Second, I’ve only ever heard “subjectivists” saying that DAC chips have a “sound”

They can in the sense that one design/model of DAC chip may cause various circuit designers to end up with the same problem (hence the same sound defect).

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17 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

They can in the sense that one design/model of DAC chip may cause various circuit designers to end up with the same problem (hence the same sound defect).

makes sense

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3 hours ago, was_a said:

sounds like you're all certain

No, just letting you know my experience so far..... do I detect some sarcasm?!.... if so, the ad hominem is a nice touch.   Like I said.....

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On 29/12/2019 at 10:23 PM, was_a said:

Thanks for the link. 

 

This is a review and detailed measurements of the Topping D90 Balanced USB DAC 

 

But there's no review, just measurements! After which the OP heartily recommends the D90 because of its low noise and distortion. There's no mention of sound quality or that he even listened to it!

 

I couldn't get through all the enthusiastic responses on the subsequent 10 pages of the thread, I was laughing too hard.😃

 

That's cult of ASR, they don't actually listen to gear, they just look at the graphs. 

 

The craziest part is the guy who runs it is a crank who doesn't know what he's doing. 

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1 hour ago, redrich2000 said:

That's cult of ASR, they don't actually listen to gear, they just look at the graphs. 

Really? No. They actually do listen to gear. Loads of their reviews include listening impressions. 
 

1 hour ago, redrich2000 said:

The craziest part is the guy who runs it is a crank who doesn't know what he's doing. 

He’s doing measurements and mainly blind listening tests. Are you saying he’s doing them wrong?

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22 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Really? No. They actually do listen to gear. Loads of their reviews include listening impressions. 
 

He’s doing measurements and mainly blind listening tests. Are you saying he’s doing them wrong?

Yes, possibly intentionally. He's been exposed and banned from both head-fi and SBAF because he refuses full transparency of his methods and will not explain why his measurements often differ from those done by multiple other sources and generally follow a pattern of promoting certain manufacturers over others. He started his own website so he'd be free from scrutiny and has found a blindly willing following amongst gamers and tech folks who've become interested in headphones.

 

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/tutorial-lies-damn-lies-and-usb-dac-technical-measurements.5770/

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/measurements-are-hard.5159/

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40 minutes ago, redrich2000 said:

Yes, possibly intentionally. He's been exposed and banned from both head-fi and SBAF because he refuses full transparency of his methods and will not explain why his measurements often differ from those done by multiple other sources and generally follow a pattern of promoting certain manufacturers over others. He started his own website so he'd be free from scrutiny and has found a blindly willing following amongst gamers and tech folks who've become interested in headphones.

 

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/tutorial-lies-damn-lies-and-usb-dac-technical-measurements.5770/

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/measurements-are-hard.5159/

His die hard supporters will make excuses and defend him, as that is how people try to retain their beliefs.

 

But I'd like to thank you for saying it like it is :thumb: if it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck, It's usually a bloody Duck.

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7 hours ago, redrich2000 said:

Yes, possibly intentionally. He's been exposed and banned from both head-fi and SBAF because he refuses full transparency of his methods and will not explain why his measurements often differ from those done by multiple other sources and generally follow a pattern of promoting certain manufacturers over others. He started his own website so he'd be free from scrutiny and has found a blindly willing following amongst gamers and tech folks who've become interested in headphones.

 

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/tutorial-lies-damn-lies-and-usb-dac-technical-measurements.5770/

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/measurements-are-hard.5159/

There’s the same accusations  on the link you provide,  they have also have been found manipulating figures to cover up shortfalls....

Both sites have tested the same DAC same product, same version only one site on this product showed shortfalls, only one site has no affiliation to that company, so pick your poison.

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7 hours ago, redrich2000 said:

Yes, possibly intentionally. He's been exposed and banned from both head-fi and SBAF because he refuses full transparency of his methods and will not explain why his measurements often differ from those done by multiple other sources and generally follow a pattern of promoting certain manufacturers over others. He started his own website so he'd be free from scrutiny and has found a blindly willing following amongst gamers and tech folks who've become interested in headphones.

 

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/tutorial-lies-damn-lies-and-usb-dac-technical-measurements.5770/

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/measurements-are-hard.5159/

Actually he’s gone to great lengths to explain differences in measurements and has made his measurement files available for people to scrutinise. 
 

As for getting banned from those sites, it’s no real surprise. Many of the products he has measured are made by sponsors/advertisers on those sites. 

 

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7 hours ago, Muon N' said:

His die hard supporters will make excuses and defend him, as that is how people try to retain their beliefs.

 

But I'd like to thank you for saying it like it is :thumb: if it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck, It's usually a bloody Duck.

Speaking of ducks. A witch-hunt indeed 

 

 

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On the contrary, the ASR site are 'witch-hunters' when it comes to 'assessing' products from Schiit, PSAudio and others. Amir's followers are parrots with no understanding or experience in hi-fi. This is fuelled by Amir's simplistic and misleading claims that $100 products are superior to $2500 products etc. For budget hi-fi-ers, this idea is wonderful! 

 

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, was_a said:

On the contrary, the ASR site are 'witch-hunters' when it comes to 'assessing' products from Schiit, PSAudio and others. Amir's followers are parrots with no understanding or experience in hi-fi. This is fuelled by Amir's simplistic and misleading claims that $100 products are superior to $2500 products etc. For budget hi-fi-ers, this idea is wonderful! 

 

 

 

 

A number of Schiit products have been”recommended”. Hardly evidence of a witch hunt. 
The poor measurements of the products that measure poorly are not a matter of opinion. They are simply measurements. 
 

As for $100 products......indeed.  I replaced a ~$3k DAC with a $100 dac. There was no audible difference to me in a system that conventional wisdom claims is “very revealing” of upstream components. 

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19 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

A number of Schiit products have been”recommended”. Hardly evidence of a witch hunt. 
The poor measurements of the products that measure poorly are not a matter of opinion. They are simply measurements. 
 

As for $100 products......indeed.  I replaced a ~$3k DAC with a $100 dac. There was no audible difference to me in a system that conventional wisdom claims is “very revealing” of upstream components. 

What absolute rubbish. If that's true, then you need to get another hobby. You wasted your $100 too. Just plug some turtle beach into your computer and go find some other forums to troll.

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1 hour ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Actually he’s gone to great lengths to explain differences in measurements and has made his measurement files available for people to scrutinise. 
 

As for getting banned from those sites, it’s no real surprise. Many of the products he has measured are made by sponsors/advertisers on those sites. 

 

No he actually hasn't. And at least those sites are transparent about their sponsorships. 

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31 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

As for $100 products......indeed.  I replaced a ~$3k DAC with a $100 dac. There was no audible difference to me in a system that conventional wisdom claims is “very revealing” of upstream components. 

And yet, I did the comparison very similar to you and it made a huge difference to me. Go figure?

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7 minutes ago, was_a said:

Sir Sanders is talking about the Topping D10, I believe. Another Dessert With Topping from the ASR site.

My 2 were the topping D50 and the same 3K dac.

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I have not heard his relentless products but have heard his momentum...

theres a difference approached between a DAC and an amplifier.  Even though he plays with circuits and tuned them by ear,  and claims that the best measures may not sound the best yet  his relentless have better measurements and does sound better, only because it’s a full balanced design and the capability is also different.  

Each to there own,  if you’re into something that sounds impressive and cost X in your price range then buy it, no one is forcing people here to by a $100 DAC.

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2 minutes ago, redrich2000 said:

I don't believe you TBH. I think that like ASR, you have an agenda or are just a troll. I've had a bunch of different DACs over the years, in the $1-500 range. I always set them up to AB using an RCA switch. There is ALWAYS a difference between them, even if it's just in tonal balance.

 

If you honestly can't hear the difference, you really are wasting your time and money in this hobby. 

So is it wrong to let go a $xxx product if you can’t hear the difference?    

Thats why people are on this thread looking for something that guarantees performance and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg..  this is what this thread is about...

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6 minutes ago, redrich2000 said:

I don't believe you TBH. I think that like ASR, you have an agenda or are just a troll. I've had a bunch of different DACs over the years, in the $1-500 range. I always set them up to AB using an RCA switch. There is ALWAYS a difference between them, even if it's just in tonal balance.

 

If you honestly can't hear the difference, you really are wasting your time and money in this hobby. 

You're quoting the wrong person. He said there was a difference.

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1 hour ago, redrich2000 said:

What absolute rubbish. If that's true, then you need to get another hobby. You wasted your $100 too. Just plug some turtle beach into your computer and go find some other forums to troll.

wow :(

 

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2 hours ago, was_a said:

On the contrary, the ASR site are 'witch-hunters' when it comes to 'assessing' products from Schiit, PSAudio and others.

Rubbish. Schiit and PS Audio products were measured exactly the same way as all the other brands. Amir is only critical of the products that performed badly. He is brand agnostic. He has not been critical of all Schiit and PS Audio products, only those  that measure poorly. He has been just as critical of many other brands including Audio GD

2 hours ago, was_a said:

Amir's followers are parrots with no understanding or experience in hi-fi.

Again a completely baseless statement. Amir and most ASR readers, including me, have a long history of involvement in HiFi. 45 years in my case. I've had countless DACs in that time and I can tell you that spending more does not necessarily equate with better sound. Interestingly, the DAC that I found to sound clearly worse than all others was from Audio GD, products which ASR has found problems with. Most of the other DACs I've had have sounded so similar as to be virtually indistinguishable from each other.

2 hours ago, was_a said:

 

This is fuelled by Amir's simplistic and misleading claims that $100 products are superior to $2500 products etc. For budget hi-fi-ers, this idea is wonderful! 

Again you are being deliberately misleading. Amir does not say $100 dollar products are superior to $2500 products. He and the other contributors measure products from all price ranges but the results speak for themselves and are price agnostic.

 

I just can't understand why people get so worked up about facts. If you want to ignore them well good for you but to claim there are ulterior motives in the ASR measurements is real "conspiracy theory" stuff.

 

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1 hour ago, redrich2000 said:

What absolute rubbish. If that's true, then you need to get another hobby. You wasted your $100 too. Just plug some turtle beach into your computer and go find some other forums to troll.

Have you heard the D90? What were your thoughts on the D30 that you owned and what dac are you using now? Just trying to get my head around some of your thoughts.

In my experience as well differences between dacs is minuscule. I would be hard pressed to spot the difference between a lot of them. I did have a Primare Dac 30 in my system that retailed at around 2k and that was so dull and boring I hated it. 🤷‍♂️

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For the moment let's leave aside your habit of quoting people out of context to make your arguments - often citing the odd exception to the rule! Your main point is that Amir is only critical of products that 'perform' badly, but this is the main issue for me. Because he is confining this complex criterion to a few sine wave measurements. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just now, Pops110 said:

Have you heard the D90? What were your thoughts on the D30 that you owned and what dac are you using now? Just trying to get my head around some of your thoughts.

In my experience as well differences between dacs is minuscule. I would be hard pressed to spot the difference between a lot of them. I did have a Primare Dac 30 in my system that retailed at around 2k and that was so dull and boring I hated it. 🤷‍♂️

I've given my thoughts on this twice already earlier in the thread. 

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