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Author Topic: John Kenny DAC  (Read 23951 times)
bhobba
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« on: July 21, 2011, 08:54:00 PM »

Hi Guys

This is about the John Kenny DAC I recently got:
https://sites.google.com/site/hifacemods/home/hiface-dac

I have posted it elsewhere but thought guys here may be interested in it.  Of particular relevance is the comparison and audition was done with the Truth.  I am firmly convinced it was one of the reasons we could so clearly hear the differences in the DAQC's

I got the DAC and have now popped it into my system - playing Celine Dion live through it right now. But when I picked it up from my acquaintance I had it shipped to he wasn't there, however some others I know were, and we had a chance to compare it to the Tranquility, Tranquility SE, and my Level 2 PDX with the JK Hiface input. This is the best Saber implementation I have heard - it blows away my WFS to my ears. The others there have heard the WFS and also agree - in fact none of them like the WFS but didn't mind this DAC. No upper mid-range/lower treble glare or sibilance issues. The SABER detail is there - in fact no other DAC is better at that - and also seems to also have the Saber trademark propulsive bass. However the sound is rather dry - not necessarily cold - dry is the word I would use. Some people describe the WFS's treble as being squeaky clean - too clean - like out of a freezer - I don't agree with that but that's what they say. This DAC to my ears is not like that - it is clean all right - but still it's not what I would call sweet - dry is the best word I can think of. If your tastes are for a more musical sweeter sounding DAC then other DAC's may suit you better. However there is no free lunch and in this price bracket you suffer in other areas such as bass control and detail retrieval. This dry quality is similar to the sound I heard in ME amps many years ago. The Tranquility was sweeter sounding (not as dry) but the bass was not as good and detail retrieval just a smidgen less. In fact this is the Tranquility's signature and why its such a tough nut to crack - its a NOS DAC with a NOS DAC's sweetness but detail retrieval of a non nos DAC - in fact close to Saber DAC's. Overall I would give it a tie - which is a very good showing since the Tranquility at about $1k and in my experience the leader in DAC's up to $1K (its on special at the moment for that price). The is the first DAC that I would judge its equal in that price bracket (just different) and the fact it is cheaper is a very fine achievement. I will also lay on the table my musical preferences - I prefer the sweeter presentation of the Tranquility since the music I mostly listen to such as Diana Krall doesn't have much bass for that aspect to shine. The Tranquility SE and PDX were clearly better - much more fluid, liquid, sweeter and well more musical. The SE is nearly 3 times the price and the PDX 7 times the price so that is what you would expect. I and some others thought this would be a game changer in its price bracket - I am willing to say that.

My new ordering of the upper echelon DAC's I have heard are JK Saber DAC, Tranquility, Tranquility SE, PDX, Killer. The fact it makes that elite company for that price is a fine achievement. I also want to add while these are the top echelon DAC's I have heard please be clear - they are not scary close - the JK Saber compared to the PDX or Killer is a joke - no comparison really. When we switched on the PDX after hearing the JK you simply would not want to go back. The reason I mention it is some reviews like the 6 Moons review of the Burson make claims like it was scary close to the best out there at any price - bollocks. However I have my own personal line above which I call DAC's upper ecelon - hardly any DAC's I know cross it and these are the DAC I have heard that do. For example the Rega DAC is a nice sounding DAC but it does not make the grade to my ears and many other DAC's do not as well.

Bottom line here is if you can afford the cost of a Tranquility SE (about 1.8k on special), the PDX (about 2.4K-4K) or Killer (about 2.5-6K) then get those - you will reap the benefits. But if that is a bit too much dosh then avail yourself of John Kenny's money back guarantee and the offer of a free trial of the Tranquility and decide which suits your tastes better. Also take them down to your local Hi Fi store and see if they have anything that comes close for the price - my bet is they won't - but to be sure check it out for yourself.

Thanks
Bill
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sonic
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 08:39:38 AM »

we had a chance to compare it to the Tranquility, Tranquility SE, and my Level 2 PDX with the JK Hiface input.
Did you listen to all of them at equal volume level? 
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bhobba
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 05:11:53 PM »

Did you listen to all of them at equal volume level?  

Yes - as much as possible.  It was not a blind test or anything like that with matched volume levels determined by an oscilloscope or anything like that.  They are actually hard to set up and in my experience not particularly valuable since the differences are usually obvious anyway.  I have done and participated in such blind tests in the past and it really didn't change anything for stuff this obvious.

Thanks
Bill
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jmudrick
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 06:01:24 PM »

Nice report, thanks. I just pulled the trigger on John's mk3 transport to use with my Audio-GD Ref 5. Seems he is doing some great work.
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sonic
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2011, 07:39:50 AM »

Yes - as much as possible.  It was not a blind test or anything like that with matched volume levels determined by an oscilloscope or anything like that.  They are actually hard to set up and in my experience not particularly valuable since the differences are usually obvious anyway.  I have done and participated in such blind tests in the past and it really didn't change anything for stuff this obvious.
If they are not matched to within 0.1 db tolerance, it skews the result by causing audible difference.  The way to match is to use voltmeter at the speaker terminal.  I've participated and read about others who have done it that way and the results are almost always indistinguishable unless the DAC was defective or made to sound different (not transparent) which isn't a good DAC to use.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 07:41:57 AM by sonic » Logged
DowdyLama
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 09:10:53 AM »

I'd swear that I thought this was the John Kerry DAC when I first started reading...
 Smiley

Jim
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Henry
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2011, 05:21:15 PM »

I'd swear that I thought this was the John Kerry DAC when I first started reading...
 Smiley

Jim

I had one of those in '04.  It was way over decorated and not very transparent.   Grin
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bhobba
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 05:51:51 PM »

If they are not matched to within 0.1 db tolerance, it skews the result by causing audible difference.  The way to match is to use voltmeter at the speaker terminal.  I've participated and read about others who have done it that way and the results are almost always indistinguishable unless the DAC was defective or made to sound different (not transparent) which isn't a good DAC to use.

I too have participated in blind tests level matched and I have found it is easy to tell differences.  Hell I can even tell the difference in output capacitors blind - Duelund VSF copper capacitors blow anything else I have heard away.  I participated in a blind comparison of two DAC's where the only difference was Solen Tin Foil and Duelund capacitors and it was night and day.  The interesting thing the guys who harp on about level matching have yet to address is in tests that are not level matched the piece of equipment that is louder should vary randomly and if that was skewing results the same equipment should not always come out on top - yet in my experience it does.

Db Audiolabs the maker of the Tranquility DAC use double blind level matched tests on a number of reference systems to design their DACs and cables.  They readily hear easily discernible differences in component and topology changes - even differences in USB cables are easily heard.

My theory, and this is borne out by my experience, is those that can't detect differences do not have a system that is revealing enough.  Check out for example:  
http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/news-blog-and-showcase/system-showcase/item/247-pete-ingleburn-nsw
'I used to be a 110% skeptic until a friend showed me the difference between speaker cables on his high-end system, and I became a believer!
I'm not absolutely convinced that my own system is good enough to reveal these differences, but I plan on upgrading my cables in future and seeing what I can (or can't) here. I'm using Morrow Audio interconnects at the moment, and will upgrade my speaker and digital cables soon.'

Up until a year ago I had not heard differences in cables.  I would not call those that heard differences deluded or suggest they would change their minds if subjected to a double blind test or anything like that.  To my mind such a reaction is very disrespectful and inconsiderate.  However when I upgraded my equipment to much more high end stuff I asked for a cable demo done blind.  It was easy to hear differences - night and day differences in fact.  I even had the trick tried on me of saying - changing cables now when they did not change them and did not fall for it - no difference was heard.  And it is not a golden ear thing - my sister who was with me at the time easily heard it as well.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 05:59:16 PM by bhobba » Logged
sonic
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 08:34:24 AM »

I too have participated in blind tests level matched and I have found it is easy to tell differences.  Hell I can even tell the difference in output capacitors blind - Duelund VSF copper capacitors blow anything else I have heard away.  I participated in a blind comparison of two DAC's where the only difference was Solen Tin Foil and Duelund capacitors and it was night and day.  The interesting thing the guys who harp on about level matching have yet to address is in tests that are not level matched the piece of equipment that is louder should vary randomly and if that was skewing results the same equipment should not always come out on top - yet in my experience it does.

Db Audiolabs the maker of the Tranquility DAC use double blind level matched tests on a number of reference systems to design their DACs and cables.  They readily hear easily discernible differences in component and topology changes - even differences in USB cables are easily heard.

My theory, and this is borne out by my experience, is those that can't detect differences do not have a system that is revealing enough.  Check out for example:  
http://www.digitalaudioreview.net.au/index.php/news-blog-and-showcase/system-showcase/item/247-pete-ingleburn-nsw
'I used to be a 110% skeptic until a friend showed me the difference between speaker cables on his high-end system, and I became a believer!
I'm not absolutely convinced that my own system is good enough to reveal these differences, but I plan on upgrading my cables in future and seeing what I can (or can't) here. I'm using Morrow Audio interconnects at the moment, and will upgrade my speaker and digital cables soon.'

Up until a year ago I had not heard differences in cables.  I would not call those that heard differences deluded or suggest they would change their minds if subjected to a double blind test or anything like that.  To my mind such a reaction is very disrespectful and inconsiderate.  However when I upgraded my equipment to much more high end stuff I asked for a cable demo done blind.  It was easy to hear differences - night and day differences in fact.  I even had the trick tried on me of saying - changing cables now when they did not change them and did not fall for it - no difference was heard.  And it is not a golden ear thing - my sister who was with me at the time easily heard it as well.
As I mentioned already, there can be audible difference ("coloration") between DACs.  If you understand the term hi-fi (high fidelity), you don't want those DACs.  Same it true with cables.  Any one of those making audible difference in DBT against the standard products out there is caused by "coloration" and they are nothing to be praised about.  That is unless one prefers low-fi.  BTW, personal preference is one's own and it's his/her business.  Knowing where it stands in audio fidelity spectrum can tell whether to spend money on it or not.
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bhobba
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 05:59:36 PM »

As I mentioned already, there can be audible difference ("coloration") between DACs.  If you understand the term hi-fi (high fidelity), you don't want those DACs.  Same it true with cables.  Any one of those making audible difference in DBT against the standard products out there is caused by "coloration" and they are nothing to be praised about.  That is unless one prefers low-fi.  BTW, personal preference is one's own and it's his/her business.  Knowing where it stands in audio fidelity spectrum can tell whether to spend money on it or not.

I understand the term Hi Fidelity quite well - I have only been immersed it it for nearly 40 years and in the last year even more so since I am formally retired.  All pieces of audio equipment colour sound - even those 'standard products' you mention - whatever they are.  You reason why you considerer them the standard against how things are judged should be very enlightening.  My standard, and the standard of those that joined me for that comparison, is how close it is to real life.  I have bad arthritis so going to live events is not really practical for me these days although I do it whenever I can.  But some of the people that joined me for that comparison go at least once a week to practice sessions of the local philharmonic.  It is the reproduction of those instruments as close as possible to what is heard live that is our standard.  For example reproducing a piano correctly is very difficult.  A standard track we use to judge that is Dianna Krall Live In Paris - Track 11 - Case Of You.  This also has a number of coughs that are hard to get correct by which I mean sounding like real coughs.  On the better equipment you can hear the foot pedals in the piano - on lesser equipment you can not.  For example an acquaintance from down in Melbourne who owned a PDX wanted to upgrade his PDX to the version that had Duelunds so came up to the makers factory on the Gold Coast.  Because I was friendly with the guy I joined him for the listening session.  We played the track 11 - his eyes went wide - he heard the coughs distinctly where before that were muffled.  We switched back to the version without Duelunds - they were muffled and indistinct.  I also want to add since then a modified M2Tech USB to I2S has been added to that DAC.  With that input, even without Duelunds, we can hear the coughs distinctly and even the foot pedals on the Piano.  A Wadia used as transport did not allow you to hear any of that stuff.  Indeed the piano had noticeable TIM through the Wadia that was absent via the USB.  

This is how the equipment was judged - now please detail how you judge equipment?  I hope not by measurement because that will only give you part of the story - for example it will not show up the differences in the sound of capacitors - they measure the same (well mostly anyway - the better capacitors have very low DCR - an acquaintance recently measured some Duelund VCF Copper capacitors and the DCR was very low indeed) - why they sound different is a bit of a mystery - the low DCR only partly explains it - it is thought to do with micro-phonics - but people are not 100% sure.

Now reading between the lines I think one of those standard products you refer to is the Benchmark DAC.  I, and others I know, have heard it and to be blunt it is a joke - cold, analytical, un-involving, bright, harsh, and strident.  Now if, as I suspect, this is one of your standard DAC's why do you think it is a standard against which other DAC's should be judged?  Is it because guys like Peter Aczel, whose views I think you have been influenced by, go right off over it based on measurements?

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 06:35:18 PM by bhobba » Logged
sonic
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 08:48:21 AM »

All pieces of audio equipment colour sound - even those 'standard products' you mention - whatever they are.
They do measure different but the audibility of those small differences is practically non-existent when level matched and time synced DBT was performed.  Current crop of DACs are all capable of high performance at even low price.  Except for small percentage of esoteric design in the market, they are all as transparent as our ears can detect.  It's been demonstrated time and time again.

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You reason why you considerer them the standard against how things are judged should be very enlightening.  

My standard, and the standard of those that joined me for that comparison, is how close it is to real life.  I have bad arthritis so going to live events is not really practical for me these days although I do it whenever I can.  But some of the people that joined me for that comparison go at least once a week to practice sessions of the local philharmonic.  It is the reproduction of those instruments as close as possible to what is heard live that is our standard.  For example reproducing a piano correctly is very difficult.
It may be so with inadequate speaker and room acoustics.  But the recording / mastering of it isn't.

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A standard track we use to judge that is Dianna Krall Live In Paris - Track 11 - Case Of You.  This also has a number of coughs that are hard to get correct by which I mean sounding like real coughs.  On the better equipment you can hear the foot pedals in the piano - on lesser equipment you can not.  For example an acquaintance from down in Melbourne who owned a PDX wanted to upgrade his PDX to the version that had Duelunds so came up to the makers factory on the Gold Coast.  Because I was friendly with the guy I joined him for the listening session.  We played the track 11 - his eyes went wide - he heard the coughs distinctly where before that were muffled.  We switched back to the version without Duelunds - they were muffled and indistinct.  I also want to add since then a modified M2Tech USB to I2S has been added to that DAC.  With that input, even without Duelunds, we can hear the coughs distinctly and even the foot pedals on the Piano.  A Wadia used as transport did not allow you to hear any of that stuff.  Indeed the piano had noticeable TIM through the Wadia that was absent via the USB.
It doesn't sound like the comparison was level matched and time synced DBT.

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This is how the equipment was judged - now please detail how you judge equipment?  
I'll get to that later.
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I hope not by measurement because that will only give you part of the story - for example it will not show up the differences in the sound of capacitors - they measure the same (well mostly anyway - the better capacitors have very low DCR - an acquaintance recently measured some Duelund VCF Copper capacitors and the DCR was very low indeed) - why they sound different is a bit of a mystery - the low DCR only partly explains it - it is thought to do with micro-phonics - but people are not 100% sure.
Current sound measurement technology can measure everything we can hear and beyond.  I'll take it back if you can present an example or two of the sound human can hear but can't be measured with devices currently available.  I don't mean something people think they hear (perception) rising out of placebo effect.  

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Now reading between the lines I think one of those standard products you refer to is the Benchmark DAC.  I, and others I know, have heard it and to be blunt it is a joke - cold, analytical, un-involving, bright, harsh, and strident.
I suspect that this result was not obtained through level matched time synced DBT.  Was it?

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Now if, as I suspect, this is one of your standard DAC's why do you think it is a standard against which other DAC's should be judged?
There are many CD/DVD/Blu-ray players around $100 that can be considered standard DAC and there are many cables available at places like monoprice or bluejeans cables that can be considered standard cables.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 08:50:04 AM by sonic » Logged
bhobba
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2011, 06:12:40 PM »

They do measure different but the audibility of those small differences is practically non-existent when level matched and time synced DBT was performed.  Current crop of DACs are all capable of high performance at even low price.  Except for small percentage of esoteric design in the market, they are all as transparent as our ears can detect.  It's been demonstrated time and time again.

That is simply wrong.  The audibility of even minor changes such as output capacitor is HUGE.  No 0.1 db level matching is required - and it is unimportant anyway because random variation between listening tests averages it out.

It may be so with inadequate speaker and room acoustics.  But the recording / mastering of it isn't.

For your information these comparisons were done on ML Reference speakers (ML1 or ML3) which are ultra accurate, and ultra revealing.  Since this is Ed's forum and he sells his fine horn speakers I am loath to mention other speakers but feel in this case I must.  The ML's are in a totally different price bracket so really they are not the type of speaker you would normally compare against ED's speakers.  For example ML3's are a two way with stuff like $3.5k (and that's wholesale price) of Duelund capacitors alone and the cabinet is lined with steel.  The closest speaker people in the US market would be familiar with is the Sason:
http://www.stereomojo.com/SasonReview.htm

Except with the Duelunds, which are only available as an option with the Sason's, it is likely to be even better.  I mention this so it is understood the stuff we are hearing this on easily shows up audible differences - even minute ones - it is that revealing.  A friend and I easily heard differences for example between Ed's Truth and direct connection to an amp - it was a night and day difference.  And we varied the volume around so each was higher and lower with exactly the same result - the volume level made zero difference to what was heard.

The comparisons were done at a place where a lot of room treatments were done - not at my home where I have not done any due to practical problems of my situation.

Current sound measurement technology can measure everything we can hear and beyond.  I'll take it back if you can present an example or two of the sound human can hear but can't be measured with devices currently available.  I don't mean something people think they hear (perception) rising out of placebo effect.

It can not for example measure the audible effects of capacitor differences.  Another thing it can not measure is the audible effect of a lot of global negative feedback.  Doing that can give you spectacular distortion measurements but when you listen to it, it sounds like the life has been sucked out of the music - which is why high quality manufacturers do not do it even though it will measure better.

I suspect that this result was not obtained through level matched time synced DBT.  Was it?

Again, as I have pointed out, this level matching issue is a furfy.  It is taken into account by the averaging out of the results of a number of tests.  No that particular test was not done blind or double blind.  I have however participated in such tests and the results are exactly the same - the better DAC's were judged better and in exactly the same order as when it was not done blind.  Because of that, and the difficulty in setting up such tests, it is not something I usually do because, to be blunt, in my experience it is a waste of time.

There are many CD/DVD/Blu-ray players around $100 that can be considered standard DAC and there are many cables available at places like monoprice or bluejeans cables that can be considered standard cables.

If that is your standard then I can assure you, even in the blind tests I have done, they are soundly and easily beaten by a big margin.  I suspect you are far too influenced by guys like Peter Aczel who claim double blind tests show you can not tell the difference between any competently designed piece of gear.  Well I, and others I know, have done double blind tests level matched that tell a different story.  For example check out:
http://www.customanalogue.com/jlti_el34_shootout.htm

And as I have pointed out Db Audiolabs do it all the time and can easily and readily hear difference not only between DAC's but between the same DAC with a small change in circuit topology or output capacitor.  I conjecture the reason Perter Aczel types can't hear differences is the equipment they use is simply not revealing enough. On highly revealing equipment double blind tests level matched easily show up differences.  I have done it, DB Audio Labs do it all the time, and the claim double blind level matched tests show that all competently designed equipment sound the same is simply wrong.  I will only be too happy to demonstrate this to you, or anyone else for that matter, if they can make it up to the Gold Cost/Brisbane area here in Australia.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 06:38:46 PM by bhobba » Logged
sonic
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2011, 09:12:28 PM »

That is simply wrong.
What is simply wrong?  Non-existent when level matched and time synced DBT was performed, current crop of DACs are all capable of high performance at even low price, small percentage of esoteric design or it's been demonstrated time and time again?

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The audibility of even minor changes such as output capacitor is HUGE.
It would be if you change the value of capacitance which alters the frequency response or output voltage depending on which capacitor you change.  Former would compromise transparancy and latter would require volume adjustment to compare with others.

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No 0.1 db level matching is required - and it is unimportant anyway because random variation between listening tests averages it out.
0.1 db evel matching in DBT is absolutely required in order to obtain meaningful result.  If not, it skews the result.  You should look up the standards established through years of study and experiments by the industry experts.  http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=5549
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For your information these comparisons were done on ML Reference speakers (ML1 or ML3) which are ultra accurate, and ultra revealing.
I wasn't talking about the speakers you used.  I'm talking about reproducing a piano correctly not being difficult for recording and or mastering part of it.  It isn't difficult in signal domain (at least not anymore these days).
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It can not for example measure the audible effects of capacitor differences.
Of course it can measure what you hear.  After all, it the air molecules vibrating.  Even a basic RTA can do the job.
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Another thing it can not measure is the audible effect of a lot of global negative feedback.
Haven't you seen FFT program showing harmonics signatures?
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Again, as I have pointed out, this level matching issue is a furfy.  It is taken into account by the averaging out of the results of a number of tests.
It doesn't matter how many trials you perform and average things out, if each trial is not level matched, the results are useless in gathering objective data.  If you want volume difference between DACs, that's fine.  You don't have to shell out $$ to do that.  Just use the volume control knob.
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No that particular test was not done blind or double blind.  I have however participated in such tests and the results are exactly the same - the better DAC's were judged better and in exactly the same order as when it was not done blind.  Because of that, and the difficulty in setting up such tests, it is not something I usually do because, to be blunt, in my experience it is a waste of time.
Your claims are contradicted by others who have conducted level matched DBT.  
http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_cd.htm
http://66.196.80.202/babelfish/translate_url_content?.intl=us&lp=es_en&trurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.matrixhifi.com%2fcontenedor_dac1.htm
http://66.196.80.202/babelfish/translate_url_content?.intl=us&lp=es_en&trurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.matrixhifi.com%2fcontenedor_pcm.htm
http://66.196.80.202/babelfish/translate_url_content?lp=es_en&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.matrixhifi.com%2Fmolingordo5_pc_dac1_beh.htm&.intl=us
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/03/dac-listening-challenge-results.html
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in my experience it is a waste of time.
Level unmatched comparison is a waste of time if you are trying to draw any knid of meaningful result in sound quality.
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If that is your standard then I can assure you, even in the blind tests I have done, they are soundly and easily beaten by a big margin.
Based on your non-objective comparison result?
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Well I, and others I know, have done double blind tests level matched that tell a different story.
It wasn't matched to 0.1db tolerance, was it?
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The link shows amplifier shoot out, not DBT.  Plus, they used SPL meter attempting to match level.  It isn't precise enough to achieve 0.1db tolerance.
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I conjecture the reason Perter Aczel types can't hear differences is the equipment they use is simply not revealing enough.
Try a proper level matched and time synced DBT in a revealing system of your choice and see what happens.  I'm saying this because your replies so far suggests that you haven't done it.
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and the claim double blind level matched tests show that all competently designed equipment sound the same is simply wrong.
That is your claim and you are free to do so.  But do you have any evidence to back it up?  When I say evidence, I don't mean one's opinion or flawed tests.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 09:16:29 PM by sonic » Logged
bhobba
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 12:01:54 AM »

That is your claim and you are free to do so.  But do you have any evidence to back it up?  When I say evidence, I don't mean one's opinion or flawed tests.

We are getting nowhere.  I have given my reasons and explained them carefully.  You are the one that has labeled them as opinion and flawed tests.  That is your right to do so and it is my right to say I disagree.  For example I claimed in many tests certain components always seem to come out on top and since random variation in volume differences mean it will not always be such to favor that component it is obviously not a level matching issue.  Yet to you that is not a valid argument - well respectfully I disagree - and I think any reasonable person would see what I am saying.

Your claims are contradicted by others who have conducted level matched DBT.

Having engaged those of your ilk on quite a few occasions this really makes me laugh.  You are aware aren't you of other listening tests that contradict your claims:
http://www.stereophile.com/features/113/index.html

This test was conducted by John Atkinson of Stereophile in response to the infamous David Clarke test. The results overall show a slight bias towards an audible difference, however the important point is certain individual results show that certain individuals clearly could pick a difference. It highlights the importance of looking at individual results. If not for certain individuals, the results could be subject to debate.  The key thing here is experienced audiophiles can pick differences.  In my experience any person once exposed to the proper gear can do it.

'When he called a few months later asking if I'd organize a double-blind test at the AES, I jumped at the opportunity. I worked long and hard, with help from many people in the audio community, to set up a test that would satisfy the measurement freaks, and I believe we did. I took my own test just once (like every other participant) with David Clark in the room, and scored five out of five correct identifications. Not only did I correctly identify "same or different," I volunteered which amp was which and got that right four out of five times as well.'

In my opinon what the person above said goes to heart of claims like you make.  It takes a lot of work to set up double blind tests to the standard people like you want.  But when its done and it gives results at variance then it is ignored or nit-picked like you did with my link.  See the screen in the picture?  That made it a double blind test.  And exactly where is your evidence level matching by a db meter is not accurate enough?  Not that I think its a real issue for reasons explained previously.  And yes I have participated in double blind tests - not a lot due to how hard they are to set up - but I have participated in them.  And like the link to the amp shootout it was easy to hear differences.

It would be if you change the value of capacitance which alters the frequency response or output voltage depending on which capacitor you change.  Former would compromise transparancy and latter would require volume adjustment to compare with others.

I claimed capacitors sound different - in fact they sound HUGELY different.  Obviously I meant exactly the same value.  Now if the same value but a different type/make of capacitor sounds different (eg Duelund VSF Copper capacitors vs Solen Tin Foil), then you can have two pieces of equipment measuring exactly the same sounding different.  Do you agree with that or not?  Until we sort that out I think discussing other stuff is not really worthwhile because we will probably just go around in circles.  So lets just pick one thing and see if some kind of resolution can be had on that.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 07:44:38 AM by bhobba » Logged
sonic
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2011, 08:16:10 AM »

We are getting nowhere.  I have given my reasons and explained them carefully.  You are the one that has labeled them as opinion and flawed tests.  That is your right to do so and it is my right to say I disagree.  
I've read your explanation carefully and tried to get to the bottom of it.  That's why I asked you series of questions.  We are free to have opinion but what I'm wondering is where it's coming from.  One can base his opinion on his imagination or some anecdotal experience.  What good does that do in searching for proof?  Proof in this case needs to be repeatable and its test procedure reviewed by the experts.  AES paper covers that and there is large body of data gathered over the years that contradicts what you (and some audiophiles) are claiming.

Quote
For example I claimed in many tests certain components always seem to come out on top and since random variation in volume differences mean it will not always be such to favor that component it is obviously not a level matching issue.  Yet to you that is not a valid argument - well respectfully I disagree - and I think any reasonable person would see what I am saying.
Evidence is not something that “seem” certain way.  Confirmation is what's needed with your assessment mentioned here.  Until you try precisely level matched and time synced DBT of DACs (and amps if you like), you are merely guessing at this.

Quote
Having engaged those of your ilk on quite a few occasions this really makes me laugh.  You are aware aren't you of other listening tests that contradict your claims:
http://www.stereophile.com/features/113/index.html

This test was conducted by John Atkinson of Stereophile in response to the infamous David Clarke test. The results overall show a slight bias towards an audible difference, however the important point is certain individual results show that certain individuals clearly could pick a difference. It highlights the importance of looking at individual results. If not for certain individuals, the results could be subject to debate.  The key thing here is experienced audiophiles can pick differences.  In my experience any person once exposed to the proper gear can do it.
Oh, yeah, John Atkinson, the editor of a magazine that profits from selling advertisement spots to high price audio gears including mega-buck cables and sells subscription by reviewing those gears.  He has to be supportive of subjective listening habits otherwise they would go out of business.  Yes, I know who he is and what he does.  You should know better about what he writes.  He may be a nice guy as a person but what he puts out in public domain is geared towards his business, pure and simple.

If you want to shift the focus to amp DBT, here are some results that contradicts what John Atkinson is trying to portray.
http://www.hometheaterfocus.com/receivers/amplifier-sound-quality.aspx

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”scored five out of five correct identifications.”
5 tries is not enough to draw a meaningful result in DBT.  The author wanted to do more but couldn't due to schedule constraints during that event.

Quote
I claimed capacitors sound different - in fact they sound HUGELY different.  Obviously I meant exactly the same value.  Now if the same value but a different type/make of capacitor sounds different (eg Duelund VSF Copper capacitors vs Solen Tin Foil), then you can have two pieces of equipment measuring exactly the same sounding different.  Do you agree with that or not?  Until we sort that out I think discussing other stuff is not really worthwhile because we will probably just go around in circles.  So lets just pick one thing and see if some kind of resolution can be had on that.
I'm trying not to go around circle so I'm going to ask you some questions to clear things up.
1. What type of capacitor are you talking about, passive crossover, active crossover, power supply, coupling capacitor, ...etc?
2. How was the “same value” ensured?  Was it by what's written on the capacitors or was it measured?  If latter, what device was used to measure it?
3. When you say “measuring exactly the same” where was the measurement taken from, at the output terminal of a device that has this capacitor, in front of the speaker driver, at the listening spot, or somewhere else?  And what kind of measurement, frequency response, farad, DC voltage, hum level, pulse measurement or something else?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 08:17:41 AM by sonic » Logged
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