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CD Player Questions

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Anonymous
December 4, 2004 2:01:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Hello All,
I am constantly amazed by the prices people pay for a CD player
(>$1000!!!) and wondered if maybe the wisdom of the group could help me
out again. As I had suspected, there is no quality improvement from
using expensive cables vs. lamp cord, I now ask the same question about
CD players: is there any reason why any cd player is better than my $20
Walmart special DVD player? Now I understand that there could be
allegations that the DAC circuitry is terrible in the cheaper players,
but shouldn't a $150 DAC such as the Behringer Ultramarch or DIO solve
all such problems and even be overkill? I absolutely fail to see how
there can be a difference.

Furthermore, for the price that people spend on some CD players you can
get a computer, the free EAC software, a good external soundcard or DAC,
_and_ have money left over. The EAC software pretty much guaratees
perfect copies of CDs and you would be able to store them all on the
computer to boot, no more fooling with CDs. Hrm, maybe a new product
idea for audiophiles with too much money?

Thanks
Mike

More about : player questions

Anonymous
December 4, 2004 5:48:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Michael Dombrowski" <legodudenein@hammycorp.com> wrote in message
news:coqr8l0kuh@news2.newsguy.com...
> Hello All,
> I am constantly amazed by the prices people pay for a CD player
> (>$1000!!!) and wondered if maybe the wisdom of the group could help me
> out again. As I had suspected, there is no quality improvement from
> using expensive cables vs. lamp cord, I now ask the same question about
> CD players: is there any reason why any cd player is better than my $20
> Walmart special DVD player? Now I understand that there could be
> allegations that the DAC circuitry is terrible in the cheaper players,
> but shouldn't a $150 DAC such as the Behringer Ultramarch or DIO solve
> all such problems and even be overkill? I absolutely fail to see how
> there can be a difference.
>
> Furthermore, for the price that people spend on some CD players you can
> get a computer, the free EAC software, a good external soundcard or DAC,
> _and_ have money left over. The EAC software pretty much guaratees
> perfect copies of CDs and you would be able to store them all on the
> computer to boot, no more fooling with CDs. Hrm, maybe a new product
> idea for audiophiles with too much money?
>

In addition to DAC quality (Wolfsan, for example), their can be substantial
differences in power supply size and quality, transport quality and
reliability, vibration isolation, efi shielding, the quality of passive
parts, and especially analog output design and quality. Where the
"leveling" point is open to debate, but it sure ain't at the $20 Wal-Mart
level.

As to computers, some people go that way. A lot aren't so inclined, and if
music is their main interest, a quality CD or CD/DVD-A/SACD player makes
sense.
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 7:54:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:
> "Michael Dombrowski" <legodudenein@hammycorp.com> wrote in message
> news:coqr8l0kuh@news2.newsguy.com...
>
>>Hello All,
>>I am constantly amazed by the prices people pay for a CD player
>>(>$1000!!!) and wondered if maybe the wisdom of the group could help me
>>out again. As I had suspected, there is no quality improvement from
>>using expensive cables vs. lamp cord, I now ask the same question about
>>CD players: is there any reason why any cd player is better than my $20
>>Walmart special DVD player? Now I understand that there could be
>>allegations that the DAC circuitry is terrible in the cheaper players,
>>but shouldn't a $150 DAC such as the Behringer Ultramarch or DIO solve
>>all such problems and even be overkill? I absolutely fail to see how
>>there can be a difference.
>>
>>Furthermore, for the price that people spend on some CD players you can
>>get a computer, the free EAC software, a good external soundcard or DAC,
>>_and_ have money left over. The EAC software pretty much guaratees
>>perfect copies of CDs and you would be able to store them all on the
>>computer to boot, no more fooling with CDs. Hrm, maybe a new product
>>idea for audiophiles with too much money?
>>
>
>
> In addition to DAC quality (Wolfsan, for example), their can be substantial
> differences in power supply size and quality, transport quality and
> reliability, vibration isolation, efi shielding, the quality of passive
> parts, and especially analog output design and quality. Where the
> "leveling" point is open to debate, but it sure ain't at the $20 Wal-Mart
> level.

Okay, but does any of this actually make a difference? IE, has anyone
tested the digital output on a $20 DVD player vs. an expensive one and
compared them? I strongly suspect they would be identical, or identical
save errors so infrequent that it makes no difference in sound quality.
Basically my question is there anything that differentiates a cheap
player from an expensive player other than the DAC (which, after a
point, I don't think even makes that much of a difference)?

Have you ever heard a Wal-Mart player? One with an external DAC?

Mike
Related resources
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 8:03:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"In addition to DAC quality (Wolfsan, for example), their can be
substantial differences in power supply size and quality, transport
quality and reliability, vibration isolation, efi shielding, the quality
of passive parts, and especially analog output design and quality. Where
the "leveling" point is open to debate, but it sure ain't at the $20
Wal-Mart level."

How about at the audibility level, as of yet undemonstrated for those
things you claim make a difference?
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 11:02:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
digital output.


---MIKE---
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 11:30:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/4/04 11:54 AM, in article cosq4e02fkg@news1.newsguy.com, "Michael
Dombrowski" <legodudenein@hammycorp.com> wrote:

>> In addition to DAC quality (Wolfsan, for example), their can be substantial
>> differences in power supply size and quality, transport quality and
>> reliability, vibration isolation, efi shielding, the quality of passive
>> parts, and especially analog output design and quality. Where the
>> "leveling" point is open to debate, but it sure ain't at the $20 Wal-Mart
>> level.
>
> Okay, but does any of this actually make a difference? IE, has anyone
> tested the digital output on a $20 DVD player vs. an expensive one and
> compared them? I strongly suspect they would be identical, or identical
> save errors so infrequent that it makes no difference in sound quality.
> Basically my question is there anything that differentiates a cheap
> player from an expensive player other than the DAC (which, after a
> point, I don't think even makes that much of a difference)?
>
> Have you ever heard a Wal-Mart player? One with an external DAC?

That is a good point. The basic assumption is that for the things a
transport does - present the digital data properly interleaved with the
clock signal, at a accurate 75 Ohm output, with data that is read of the
disk with little/minimal jitter - cannot be done for under a certain price
point. Decent transports from OEM's tend to cost more than $20 - has a Wal
Mart no-name broken some price barrier with no gegradation of quality? If
so, as an audiophile we ought to know - after all if we spend $20 on a
transport, we would have a couple of hundred dollars, minimum, left for more
recorded music!

I have my doubts, but hey, why shouldn't it work OK? It probably used a
DVD-ROM drive - or a CD-ROM drive from a computer - and as long as the rest
of the circuitry is A-OK it should work? I am having a hard time to think
that in large volume even, that a $20 retail price is gaing to give high
qulaity - assuming that Wal Mart is using it as a loss leader or selling it
at a break even, that BOM is likely to be <$15 which again is kinda
difficult to think it is designed with anything but cost in mind.
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 2:55:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

---MIKE--- wrote:
> I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
> for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
> there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
> Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
> very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
> digital output.
>
>
> ---MIKE---

It does, optical and digital. At least, the three that I've used have
had them both. As well as component output. Why would it not hold up as
well? The ones I've bought are still going strong. And at $20/piece,
does it matter that much if it holds up only half as long as a player
costing six times as much?

Mike
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 2:56:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/4/04 3:02 PM, in article cot54502r9d@news1.newsguy.com, "---MIKE---"
<twinmountain@webtv.net> wrote:

> I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
> for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
> there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
> Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
> very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
> digital output.

Some transport mechanisms would cost more than $130 - so I am not so sure it
is all horses for all courses. And given the way the US dollar is plunging,
that $130 is likely to cost $180-200 before too long...
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 2:56:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 4 Dec 2004 20:02:13 GMT, twinmountain@webtv.net (---MIKE---) wrote:

>I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
>for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
>there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
>Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
>very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
>digital output.

However, before offering such opinions, it would be good to check your
facts. If it does indeed have a digital output, a $20 Walmart CD
player may indeed be the equal of a $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference'
transport, if used into a genuinely competent DAC such as the
Benchmark DAC-1. OTOH, if it doesn't have a digital output, this would
be a problem.............
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 7:49:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 4 Dec 2004 23:56:17 GMT, B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>On 12/4/04 3:02 PM, in article cot54502r9d@news1.newsguy.com, "---MIKE---"
><twinmountain@webtv.net> wrote:
>
>> I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
>> for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
>> there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
>> Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
>> very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
>> digital output.
>
>Some transport mechanisms would cost more than $130

I'm not aware of any, aside from idiocies like the belt drive mech
used by Burmester. It's worth remembering that under all the shiny
alloy of the $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference', lies the same $50
Philips mech that you'll find in the CD jukebox in your local bar.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 7:50:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 4 Dec 2004 23:55:31 GMT, Michael Dombrowski
<legodudenein@hammycorp.com> wrote:

>---MIKE--- wrote:
>> I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
>> for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
>> there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
>> Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
>> very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
>> digital output.

>It does, optical and digital. At least, the three that I've used have
>had them both. As well as component output. Why would it not hold up as
>well? The ones I've bought are still going strong. And at $20/piece,
>does it matter that much if it holds up only half as long as a player
>costing six times as much?

Good point. And if it does indeed have a coax digital output, then
combining it with say the Benchmark DAC will give you a truly SOTA CD
player with which you can really irritate your 'high end' friends! :-)
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 3:25:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:
>"Michael Dombrowski" <legodudenein@hammycorp.com> wrote in message
>news:coqr8l0kuh@news2.newsguy.com...
>> Hello All,
>> I am constantly amazed by the prices people pay for a CD player
>> (>$1000!!!) and wondered if maybe the wisdom of the group could help me
>> out again. As I had suspected, there is no quality improvement from
>> using expensive cables vs. lamp cord, I now ask the same question about
>> CD players: is there any reason why any cd player is better than my $20
>> Walmart special DVD player? Now I understand that there could be
>> allegations that the DAC circuitry is terrible in the cheaper players,
>> but shouldn't a $150 DAC such as the Behringer Ultramarch or DIO solve
>> all such problems and even be overkill? I absolutely fail to see how
>> there can be a difference.
>>
>> Furthermore, for the price that people spend on some CD players you can
>> get a computer, the free EAC software, a good external soundcard or DAC,
>> _and_ have money left over. The EAC software pretty much guaratees
>> perfect copies of CDs and you would be able to store them all on the
>> computer to boot, no more fooling with CDs. Hrm, maybe a new product
>> idea for audiophiles with too much money?
>>
>
>In addition to DAC quality (Wolfsan, for example), their can be substantial
>differences in power supply size and quality, transport quality and
>reliability, vibration isolation, efi shielding, the quality of passive
>parts, and especially analog output design and quality. Where the
>"leveling" point is open to debate, but it sure ain't at the $20 Wal-Mart
>level.

How would you know this? Have you tested one?

>
>As to computers, some people go that way. A lot aren't so inclined, and if
>music is their main interest, a quality CD or CD/DVD-A/SACD player makes
>sense.

I bring this up as an issue because of my experience in the late 80s. In the
last half of that decade I taught an economics class sponsored by Ameritech the
the Regional Bell Operating Companies and other industry groups like other
local operating telephone companies and Bellcore.

To illustrate telephony technology embedded in consumer products I used the
then-new compact disc (negative feedback, transistor, information theory,
integrated circuits...) and gave away a player (which I paid for out of my own
pocket) at each class. I purchased all of them one at a time from retail
outlets and never paid more than $100 for any single player. The least
expensive was about $60 at that time.

This was back when even the inexpensive major brands cost $400 apiece. In
listening comparisons with up-scale Marantz, Sony and ES models I never found a
single cheap player that sounded any different from the more expensive players.

Of course, I have little feedback on the reliability of those products so I
can't say they weren't as stoutly built I can say the the off-the-shelf sound
quality was deficient in any way. Maybe that's true about the Wal-Mart
products. As far as I could tell in the late 80s the transports and user
interface of the cheap products were alarmingly similar to more expensive
products of the time.
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 3:33:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cove760fdl@news2.newsguy.com>,
Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:

> On 4 Dec 2004 23:56:17 GMT, B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> >On 12/4/04 3:02 PM, in article cot54502r9d@news1.newsguy.com, "---MIKE---"
> ><twinmountain@webtv.net> wrote:
> >
> >> I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
> >> for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
> >> there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
> >> Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
> >> very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
> >> digital output.
> >
> >Some transport mechanisms would cost more than $130
>
> I'm not aware of any, aside from idiocies like the belt drive mech
> used by Burmester. It's worth remembering that under all the shiny
> alloy of the $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference', lies the same $50
> Philips mech that you'll find in the CD jukebox in your local bar.

I wonder if the DAC and electronics were different. Depends on how big
the Reference is, I guess.

Wasn't the same mechanism was available on ARC and Rotel players?

Is this the one?

http://siber-sonic.com/audio/swingarm.html

Stephen
Anonymous
December 7, 2004 3:38:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 6 Dec 2004 00:33:40 GMT, MINe 109 <smcatut@mail.utexas.edu>
wrote:

>In article <cove760fdl@news2.newsguy.com>,
> Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:

>> It's worth remembering that under all the shiny
>> alloy of the $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference', lies the same $50
>> Philips mech that you'll find in the CD jukebox in your local bar.
>
>I wonder if the DAC and electronics were different. Depends on how big
>the Reference is, I guess.

It's purely a transport, it doesn't have a DAC. The matching ML
'Reference' DAC is $17,000! And it isn't as good as the $900 Benchmark
DAC-1.................

>Wasn't the same mechanism was available on ARC and Rotel players?
>
>Is this the one?
>
>http://siber-sonic.com/audio/swingarm.html

That mechanism was indeed very good, but it went out of production
about ten years ago as the CDM-9 (all the stock was bought up by
Naim). Modern Philips-based players all use variants of the CDM-12
linear sled mechanism, which is much like the classic Sony CDM-14 in
principle. The Mark Levinson uses the 'industrial' version, which is
designed for heavier duty than the standard version, and can be found
in 'CD jukeboxes' in bars all over the world.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 7, 2004 3:39:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

.....I think all this discussion is moot. Nobody can convice anybody else of
his/her own opinion just by writing about it. If Mr. Dombrowski has listened
to a real high end system and cannot hear any difference when compared to
his $20 Walmart player, then it means that for him ther is no difference -
end of the story.
I personally can hear quite noticeable differences between CD players, even
between CD transports, provided that the quality "step" is large enough (and
I don't think the $130 Pioneer multi-format player is good enough to really
make a difference).
Quite frankly, I doubt that anyone trying to convice him/herself and others
that there cannot be audible differences between CD players has never
actually listened to a really good one, and is just trying to find a
rational justification for his decision not to spend more money...

Just my 2 cents.

Marco

"Michael Dombrowski" <legodudenein@hammycorp.com> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:cotipj0lbr@news2.newsguy.com...
> ---MIKE--- wrote:
> > I would suspect that the $20 Walmart player would not sound as good as,
> > for example, the pioneer DVD/CD/SACD player for $130. I don't think
> > there is any point in paying more than that for any player. If the
> > Walmart player DID sound good when new, it probably would not hold up
> > very well. As far as using an external DAC with it, I doubt if it has a
> > digital output.
> >
> >
> > ---MIKE---
>
> It does, optical and digital. At least, the three that I've used have
> had them both. As well as component output. Why would it not hold up as
> well? The ones I've bought are still going strong. And at $20/piece,
> does it matter that much if it holds up only half as long as a player
> costing six times as much?
>
> Mike
Anonymous
December 8, 2004 3:36:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cp2u1a0305c@news4.newsguy.com>,
Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:

> On 6 Dec 2004 00:33:40 GMT, MINe 109 <smcatut@mail.utexas.edu>
> wrote:
>
> >In article <cove760fdl@news2.newsguy.com>,
> > Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >> It's worth remembering that under all the shiny
> >> alloy of the $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference', lies the same $50
> >> Philips mech that you'll find in the CD jukebox in your local bar.
> >
> >I wonder if the DAC and electronics were different. Depends on how big
> >the Reference is, I guess.
>
> It's purely a transport, it doesn't have a DAC. The matching ML
> 'Reference' DAC is $17,000! And it isn't as good as the $900 Benchmark
> DAC-1.................

Gosh, you could have an Elgar or a Meridian or something.

> >Wasn't the same mechanism was available on ARC and Rotel players?
> >
> >Is this the one?
> >
> >http://siber-sonic.com/audio/swingarm.html
>
> That mechanism was indeed very good, but it went out of production
> about ten years ago as the CDM-9 (all the stock was bought up by
> Naim). Modern Philips-based players all use variants of the CDM-12
> linear sled mechanism, which is much like the classic Sony CDM-14 in
> principle. The Mark Levinson uses the 'industrial' version, which is
> designed for heavier duty than the standard version, and can be found
> in 'CD jukeboxes' in bars all over the world.

Or, to put it another way, most Levinson competitors employ mechanisms
not good enough to use in 'CD jukeboxes' all over the world.

Stephen
Anonymous
December 8, 2004 3:39:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 7 Dec 2004 00:39:58 GMT, "Marco Raugei" <m.raugei@tin.it> wrote:

>....I think all this discussion is moot. Nobody can convice anybody else of
>his/her own opinion just by writing about it. If Mr. Dombrowski has listened
>to a real high end system and cannot hear any difference when compared to
>his $20 Walmart player, then it means that for him ther is no difference -
>end of the story.
>I personally can hear quite noticeable differences between CD players, even
>between CD transports, provided that the quality "step" is large enough (and
>I don't think the $130 Pioneer multi-format player is good enough to really
>make a difference).
>Quite frankly, I doubt that anyone trying to convice him/herself and others
>that there cannot be audible differences between CD players has never
>actually listened to a really good one, and is just trying to find a
>rational justification for his decision not to spend more money...

OTOH, many of us with long experience, and who have actually compared
such things in blind testing, would suggest that the real truth is
that there is no sonic difference, and that you are simply trying to
justify an expensive 'big boys toy'.

BTW, if you can hear differences among transports, then you are using
a very poor DAC! By definition.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 8, 2004 3:47:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Marco Raugei" <m.raugei@tin.it> wrote in message
news:cp2u4u03085@news4.newsguy.com...
>...... Quite frankly, I doubt that anyone trying to convice him/herself
>and others
> that there cannot be audible differences between CD players has never
> actually listened to a really good one, and is just trying to find a
> rational justification for his decision not to spend more money...
>

Quite frankly, I doubt that anyone trying to convince him/herself and
others that there can be audible differences between CD players has
never actually compared players based on sound quality alone (with
psychological bias controls implemented) and is just trying to find a
justification for his decision to spend more money...
....Which is only natural and, normatively speaking, irrational I might
add. When people have hard time distinguishing bettween alternatives,
they pick one and then they construct post-hoc "reasons" that support
their choice. It's about cognitive dissonance reduction.... very-well
explained theoetically and empirically.
December 9, 2004 4:07:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Speaking of CD players I am truly surprised that many "High Enders" fail to
explore the world of "professional" CD players.

For instance the Marantz "professional" model PMD325 CD player offers
features
that are not even available in $3,000 to $5,000 high end consumer models,
such as balanced XLR output, a dedicated (not a system) remote control,
"Index Search" useful for playing "early" CDs that incorporated indexes, and
a rugged Philips transport since these players must stand up to commercial
use. This just mentioned CD player can be purchased for as low as $369
including shipping within the uSA.

However the above mentioned model is by no means the only one, because there
are quite a number of both Marantz and Denon models which might serve
extremely well in a high end stereo system. Some of these cost even less
than the above mentioned model, and some cost somewhat more, but none of
them anywhere near approach the astronomical prices of so-called dedicated
high-end products.

Addtionally it should be mentioned that many of the major significant
portions of most CD players are purchased from only very few "silicon"
providers.
Anonymous
December 10, 2004 5:00:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On Sat, 04 Dec 2004 23:56:39 +0000, Stewart Pinkerton wrote:

> However, before offering such opinions, it would be good to check your
> facts. If it does indeed have a digital output, a $20 Walmart CD player
> may indeed be the equal of a $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference'
> transport, if used into a genuinely competent DAC such as the Benchmark
> DAC-1. OTOH, if it doesn't have a digital output, this would be a
> problem.............

Excuse me, but have I not seen you (and others) write, essentially, that
even a mid-priced DVD/universal player has all the sound quality you can
get from red-book CD? Does that not make a $975 stereo DAC quite
over-priced?

I'm not trying to offend, I'm just trying to make an intelligent decision.
Thanks for any help.
Anonymous
December 10, 2004 7:42:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 10 Dec 2004 02:00:46 GMT, Sigmond Freud <Siggy@shrinks.net> wrote:

>On Sat, 04 Dec 2004 23:56:39 +0000, Stewart Pinkerton wrote:
>
>> However, before offering such opinions, it would be good to check your
>> facts. If it does indeed have a digital output, a $20 Walmart CD player
>> may indeed be the equal of a $10,000 Mark Levinson 'Reference'
>> transport, if used into a genuinely competent DAC such as the Benchmark
>> DAC-1. OTOH, if it doesn't have a digital output, this would be a
>> problem.............
>
>Excuse me, but have I not seen you (and others) write, essentially, that
>even a mid-priced DVD/universal player has all the sound quality you can
>get from red-book CD? Does that not make a $975 stereo DAC quite
>over-priced?
>
>I'm not trying to offend, I'm just trying to make an intelligent decision.
> Thanks for any help.

My goodness, a voice from the grave! Yes, Sigmund, you have indeed
seen me make such a statement, but many people have multiple digital
sources, so that a common $975 state-of-the-art DAC may seem a
reasonable investment - especially given that Mark Levinson will
charge you $17,000 for an inferior version..................

--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 3:55:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However, if
you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!

Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5. The
sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It blows
my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
have to listen to my system.

Have you ever listened to top end hifi?



"Michael Dombrowski" <legodudenein@hammycorp.com> wrote in message
news:coqr8l0kuh@news2.newsguy.com...
> Hello All,
> I am constantly amazed by the prices people pay for a CD player
> (>$1000!!!) and wondered if maybe the wisdom of the group could help me
> out again. As I had suspected, there is no quality improvement from using
> expensive cables vs. lamp cord, I now ask the same question about CD
> players: is there any reason why any cd player is better than my $20
> Walmart special DVD player? Now I understand that there could be
> allegations that the DAC circuitry is terrible in the cheaper players, but
> shouldn't a $150 DAC such as the Behringer Ultramarch or DIO solve all
> such problems and even be overkill? I absolutely fail to see how there can
> be a difference.
>
> Furthermore, for the price that people spend on some CD players you can
> get a computer, the free EAC software, a good external soundcard or DAC,
> _and_ have money left over. The EAC software pretty much guaratees perfect
> copies of CDs and you would be able to store them all on the computer to
> boot, no more fooling with CDs. Hrm, maybe a new product idea for
> audiophiles with too much money?
>
> Thanks
> Mike
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 4:41:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/14/04 7:55 PM, in article cpo21e019jd@news3.newsguy.com, "Kevin
Smith" <KevinSmith@shiraz-time.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

> I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However, if
> you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
> real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
>
> Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5. The
> sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It blows
> my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
> have to listen to my system.
>
> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?

There are a number of skeptics that haven't and figure that for $20 you are
getting everything that there is to offer in audio electronics. I have
heard different, and it doesn't take particularly good hearing to tell the
difference.
December 15, 2004 5:03:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Kevin Smith wrote:

> I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However, if
> you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
> real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
>
> Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5. The
> sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It blows
> my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
> have to listen to my system.
>
> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?

Everyone has some anecdotes. A year ago a colleague had me over to his
house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called a
Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player whose
brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on a lark I
hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my sack. When he
came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no idea he was
listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool yourself in these
matters.

michael
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 7:26:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"michael" <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:cpo6220e7@news4.newsguy.com...
> Kevin Smith wrote:
>
> > I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However,
if
> > you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
> > real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
> >
> > Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5.
The
> > sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It
blows
> > my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
> > have to listen to my system.
> >
> > Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>
> Everyone has some anecdotes. A year ago a colleague had me over to his
> house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called a
> Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player whose
> brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on a lark I
> hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my sack. When he
> came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no idea he was
> listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool yourself in these
> matters.
>

What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect dishonesty.
Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not really switched, just
seemingly so. Proponents say this "proves" that things sound the same and
that only expectation bias is at work. I say the expectation bias
overwhelms whatever differences do exist...simply because people in either
of these circumstances are not expecting fraud.
December 15, 2004 7:28:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D wrote:

> On 12/14/04 7:55 PM, in article cpo21e019jd@news3.newsguy.com, "Kevin
> Smith" <KevinSmith@shiraz-time.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However, if
>> you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
>> real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
>>
>> Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5. The
>> sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It blows
>> my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
>> have to listen to my system.
>>
>> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>
> There are a number of skeptics that haven't and figure that for $20 you are
> getting everything that there is to offer in audio electronics.

Can you show me a post where someone said that for $20 you are getting
everything there is to offer in audio electronics? Seems like an obvious
strawman to me.

> I have
> heard different, and it doesn't take particularly good hearing to tell the
> difference.

So you think you can tell them apart, if you are using the digital outputs?
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 4:13:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Kevin Smith wrote:
> I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff.
However, if
> you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100
(yes,
> real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!

Or perhaps, my friend, you need to hang around here a bit more and
understand what is being said.
>
> Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio
CD3.5. The
> sonic difference was immediate.

Course it was. But could you tell them apart if you didn't already know
which was which? That's the money question. I'll bet you never tried.

> I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It blows
> my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home
and
> have to listen to my system.

So what you're saying is that, in different systems, in different
rooms, these two CD players sound different. How extraordinary!
>
> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>
Sure. Have you ever studied electronics? How about perceptual
psychology? A little background in both those disciplines would help
you understand why some of us don't believe YOU could tell the
difference between a well-made but inexpensive CD player and a
big-ticket number. (Unless, of course, the expensive one is defective!)
bob
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 4:14:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Kevin Smith <KevinSmith@shiraz-time.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However, if
> you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an ?1100 (yes,
> real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!

Or, perhaps, there's no audible difference.

> Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5. The
> sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It blows
> my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
> have to listen to my system.

> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?

Have you ever heard of perceptual bias? Have you ever perceived a
strong audible difference only to realize that there *could not* have been one,
because you hadn't really changed anything? Have you ever done
comparison of digital sources blind?
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 4:15:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:


>"michael" <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
>news:cpo6220e7@news4.newsguy.com...
>> Kevin Smith wrote:
>>
>> > I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However,
>if
>> > you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
>> > real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
>> >
>> > Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5.
>The
>> > sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It
>blows
>> > my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
>> > have to listen to my system.
>> >
>> > Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>>
>> Everyone has some anecdotes. A year ago a colleague had me over to his
>> house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called a
>> Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player whose
>> brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on a lark I
>> hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my sack. When he
>> came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no idea he was
>> listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool yourself in these
>> matters.
>>
>
>What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect dishonesty.
>Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not really switched, just
>seemingly so. Proponents say this "proves" that things sound the same and
>that only expectation bias is at work. I say the expectation bias
>overwhelms whatever differences do exist...simply because people in either
>of these circumstances are not expecting fraud.

Expectation bias that expects a difference every time is overwhelmed by getting
the same sound twice in a row? So people can't tell when they are listening to
2 identical presentations and are psychologically forced to hear "difference"
when none exists?

It is true that the human sensory/intepretation/decision-making system does
operate on an expectation of differences (as does the simple act of comparison)
but how could that possibly "mask" differences and also have people report 2
identical sounds as being different?

Expectation bias doesn't mask anything, if it did, then people would never
report differences when given 2 identical sounds. This bias "invents"
psychological differences with no acoustical cause.

Perhaps that's why listeners will answer "different" about 2/3 of the time when
given "same" presentations in a same/different protocol. Or will report a
"preference" for 1 of 2 identical sound presentations instead of a "no
preference" 3/4 of the time.

But there is no evidence that receiving 2 stimuli can mask difference, indeed
it will exaggerate any possible differences that do exist. That people will
report differences when given 2 identical stimuli only highlights that
differences heard under other circumstance have an unusually high instance of
exaggerated 'difference' reporting. IOW when someone reports that a cable
changed the sound its nearly 100% likely that the report was exaggerated.
December 16, 2004 4:17:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:

> "michael" <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
> news:cpo6220e7@news4.newsguy.com...
>> Kevin Smith wrote:
>>
>> > I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However,
> if
>> > you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an £1100 (yes,
>> > real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
>> >
>> > Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5.
> The
>> > sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It
> blows
>> > my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
>> > have to listen to my system.
>> >
>> > Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>>
>> Everyone has some anecdotes. A year ago a colleague had me over to his
>> house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called a
>> Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player whose
>> brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on a lark I
>> hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my sack. When he
>> came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no idea he was
>> listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool yourself in these
>> matters.
>>
>
> What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect dishonesty.
> Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not really switched, just
> seemingly so.

So you are saying that those people are conditioned to report a
difference when they know that the source has changed? In other words,
regardless of whether there is a sonic difference, people will say
something has changed?

Proponents say this "proves" that things sound the same and
> that only expectation bias is at work. I say the expectation bias
> overwhelms whatever differences do exist...simply because people in either
> of these circumstances are not expecting fraud.

So let me understand what you are saying, since this is a new admission
from you, a claimed subjectivist:

1. You are saying that expectation bias often overwhelms any difference,
if there is a difference at all.

2. People will report difference if they know that something has changed.

Sounds like you agree well with the objectivist's position. You are well
on your way to becoming an objectivist! And I am really glad that you
did not mention that thing about a different part of the brain needs be
engaged to detect differences, or that long-term relaxed state is
necessary... :) 

BTW, since you agree that expectation bias needs to be removed if real
differences are to be discerned, why do you object to controlled testing
that removes expectation bias, such as DBT?
December 16, 2004 4:18:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:
> "michael" <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
> news:cpo6220e7@news4.newsguy.com...
>> Kevin Smith wrote:
>>
>>> I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff.
>>> However, if you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player
>>> and an £1100 (yes, real money) player, then perhaps an ear
>>> syringing could be in order!
>>>
>>> Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio
>>> CD3.5. The sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a
>>> naim CDS. It blows my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's
>>> depressing when I return home and have to listen to my system.
>>>
>>> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>>
>> Everyone has some anecdotes. A year ago a colleague had me over to
>> his house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called
>> a Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player
>> whose brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on
>> a lark I hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my
>> sack. When he came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no
>> idea he was listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool
>> yourself in these matters.
>>
>
> What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect
> dishonesty. Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not
> really switched, just seemingly so. Proponents say this "proves"
> that things sound the same and that only expectation bias is at work.
> I say the expectation bias overwhelms whatever differences do
> exist...simply because people in either of these circumstances are
> not expecting fraud.

Harry is right, to be sure about this matter it would be necessary to switch
from one player to the other level matched and compare them. This is easy
with digital (optical or coax) outputs as they will automatically create the
same level in the external DAC.
I use a Behringer "Ultramatch Pro" and it has an optical and a coax digital
input (along with a XLR AES/EBU) and a pushbutton to select the input on the
front panel. This makes an easy A/B tester.
--
ciao Ban
Bordighera, Italy
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:37:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:cpoedo01lvs@news1.newsguy.com...
> "michael" <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
> news:cpo6220e7@news4.newsguy.com...
> > house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called a
> > Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player
whose
> > brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on a
lark I
> > hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my sack.
When he
> > came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no idea he was
> > listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool yourself in
these
> > matters.
> >
>
> What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect
dishonesty.
> Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not really
switched, just
> seemingly so. Proponents say this "proves" that things sound the
same and
> that only expectation bias is at work. I say the expectation bias
> overwhelms whatever differences do exist...simply because people in
either
> of these circumstances are not expecting fraud.

You're quite right. People don't expect fraud, and I agree that such
a test is not valid. I would not expect a person, under these
circumstances, to immediately say, "Hey, wait a minute, that doesn't
sound like my Sound Labs." So how long should it take a person to
uncover the fraud? Surely there must be some time limit beyond which
one can say that the benefits of the expensive gear are all in the
mind. A day? 2 days? 4 days? A year?

You might say, "Sure, but the owner gradually gets used to the new
inferior sound, and it provides a new benchmark which he mistakenly
associates with the high priced player." To that I suggest that
changing back to the expensive unit will then sound worse!

There has to be some point where expensive gear justifies itself
sonically, or this is all just a game. A fun game, to be sure, but a
game nonetheless. There have been persistent attempts to test high
end stuff for audibility in such a way that the results will be
persuasive to high-enders. There's always been some objection, right
up to the actual claim that the mere fact that it's a test obscures
the differences. So, if failing to tell the subject that he is being
tested is fraud, and telling him ruins the test, what is one to do?
This is a serious question, by the way.

Merry Xmas,

Norm Strong
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:46:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/15/04 8:15 PM, in article cpqnjs0aj3@news3.newsguy.com, "Nousaine"
<nousaine@aol.com> wrote:

> Expectation bias that expects a difference every time is overwhelmed by
> getting
> the same sound twice in a row? So people can't tell when they are listening
> to
> 2 identical presentations and are psychologically forced to hear "difference"
> when none exists?
>
> It is true that the human sensory/intepretation/decision-making system does
> operate on an expectation of differences (as does the simple act of
> comparison)
> but how could that possibly "mask" differences and also have people report 2
> identical sounds as being different?

Herein lies a basic issue with all these sorts of testing - perception is a
slippery thing and not easily measured - it is not well understood, too.

It would be good for those that are interested to read both _Mind Wide Open_
as well as _Mind Hacks_ for an understanding of how the mind works.

From a read of the former and beginning the latter, I think it is both
possible to hear a difference where NONE exists, as well as not hear a
difference, when one DOES exist.

Since listening to music can be emotionally involving, mood affects
enjoyment, and so on, I would agree with you - there is a lot of pressure
where someone will all but think they are hearing a difference (looking at
some optical illusions, it can also be that there may be auditory illusions
as well) when there isn't one. I think the reverse might be true as well -
that someone could swear up and down there is no difference when there is
one (I mean this well above the supposed audibility threshold) due to equal
pressure to NOT hear a difference.
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:46:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/15/04 8:18 PM, in article cpqnps0b6m@news3.newsguy.com, "Ban"
<bansuri@web.de> wrote:

>> What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect
>> dishonesty. Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not
>> really switched, just seemingly so. Proponents say this "proves"
>> that things sound the same and that only expectation bias is at work.
>> I say the expectation bias overwhelms whatever differences do
>> exist...simply because people in either of these circumstances are
>> not expecting fraud.
>
> Harry is right, to be sure about this matter it would be necessary to switch
> from one player to the other level matched and compare them. This is easy
> with digital (optical or coax) outputs as they will automatically create the
> same level in the external DAC.
> I use a Behringer "Ultramatch Pro" and it has an optical and a coax digital
> input (along with a XLR AES/EBU) and a pushbutton to select the input on the
> front panel. This makes an easy A/B tester.

Except that there is an expectation bias still - either the person is a
curmudgeon and thinks there is no audible difference and therefore isn't
going to hear one, or they are super gullible so will always hear a
difference.

Given human perceptions, and the nature of musical enjoyment, I am not sure
of any sort of testing (ABX, viewed, non viewed) that have any kind of
absolute relevance.
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:47:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/15/04 8:14 PM, in article cpqngq0a8r@news3.newsguy.com, "Steven
Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

>> Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
>
> Have you ever heard of perceptual bias? Have you ever perceived a
> strong audible difference only to realize that there *could not* have been
> one,
> because you hadn't really changed anything? Have you ever done
> comparison of digital sources blind?

How about the other way - have you ever decided not to hear a difference
when everyone else could hear one and equipment could measure one?

Listening bias can work both ways - and blind testing while may be an
improvement in some ways, may not block against those that are biased
against hearing differences.
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:47:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 12/15/04 8:17 PM, in article cpqnmu0ath@news3.newsguy.com, "Chung"
<chunglau@covad.net> wrote:

> BTW, since you agree that expectation bias needs to be removed if real
> differences are to be discerned, why do you object to controlled testing
> that removes expectation bias, such as DBT?

If you are biased against hearing a difference, how could DBT remove *that*
bias?
December 16, 2004 7:29:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D wrote:
> On 12/15/04 8:17 PM, in article cpqnmu0ath@news3.newsguy.com, "Chung"
> <chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
>
>
>>BTW, since you agree that expectation bias needs to be removed if real
>>differences are to be discerned, why do you object to controlled testing
>>that removes expectation bias, such as DBT?
>
>
> If you are biased against hearing a difference, how could DBT remove *that*
> bias?

You are missing a key point. DBT's are most useful if someone believes
there is a difference, and is interested in finding out if the
difference is real. That's why so many of us ask the cable and the
stones believers to take a DBT. Note that no one asked Randi to take a
DBT; he is asking the reviewer who claimed differences to take it. DBT's
are the most accurate when someone is really trying hard to tell
differences.
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 7:49:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D wrote:
> On 12/15/04 8:17 PM, in article cpqnmu0ath@news3.newsguy.com, "Chung"
> <chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
>
> > BTW, since you agree that expectation bias needs to be removed if
real
> > differences are to be discerned, why do you object to controlled
testing
> > that removes expectation bias, such as DBT?
>
> If you are biased against hearing a difference, how could DBT remove
*that*
> bias?

Well, there is no evidence that people are "biased" against hearing
differences, in the sense that we've been using the term. But if you
mean that some people might be determined to attest to "no difference"
no matter what they actually hear, or if you think people might be so
sure there will be no difference that they won't bother listening very
closely before rendering a judgment, there's nothing we can do about
that--except find other subjects who aren't so predisposed. And they
are legion. Unfortunately, none of them seem interested in debunking
the debunkers.

bob
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 7:50:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D wrote:
>
> Given human perceptions, and the nature of musical enjoyment, I am
not sure
> of any sort of testing (ABX, viewed, non viewed) that have any kind
of
> absolute relevance.

Fortunately for the advancement of knowledge, the people who actually
study human perception take a somewhat different view. And I suspect
they know more about the subject than you do.

bob
December 17, 2004 7:53:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

normanstrong wrote:

> You're quite right. People don't expect fraud, and I agree that such
> a test is not valid. I would not expect a person, under these
> circumstances, to immediately say, "Hey, wait a minute, that doesn't
> sound like my Sound Labs." So how long should it take a person to
> uncover the fraud?

I was not trying to perpetrate fraud in my "test". I simply wanted to
hear what my Panasonic portable sounded like. What I thought interesting
was that we had a set up that no one would not consider 'high end'. I
mean, the mono amps by themselves (despite their goofy looking
appearance) cost as much as a high tech, high powered Italian motorcycle!

The conclusion: when a then 2 year old battery powered less than $100.00
CD player was inserted into the chain there was no recognition of this
fact by the owner. On this newsgroup I read about people who, owning
lesser high-end gear, write in a very casual and self-evident manner
that at any given time one cd player "blows away" another. That sure
wasn't our experience.

But, to answer your question--my guess is that if I could have somehow
placed the Panasonic into the expensive cd player the "fraud" would
never have been discovered. As I said, I think it is very easy to
delude oneself in these matters.

michael
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 12:17:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:
> "michael" <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
> news:cpo6220e7@news4.newsguy.com...
> > Kevin Smith wrote:
> >
> > > I have no idea what you are talking about with half this stuff. However,
> if
> > > you can't tell the difference between a $20 Cd player and an ?1100 (yes,
> > > real money) player, then perhaps an ear syringing could be in order!
> > >
> > > Many years ago, I changed my NAD5440 CD player for a naim-audio CD3.5.
> The
> > > sonic difference was immediate. I regularly listen to a naim CDS. It
> blows
> > > my 3.5 out of the water. In fact, it's depressing when I return home and
> > > have to listen to my system.
> > >
> > > Have you ever listened to top end hifi?
> >
> > Everyone has some anecdotes. A year ago a colleague had me over to his
> > house to listen to his new Sound Labs driven by something called a
> > Wolcott tube amplifier and an expensive French high end CD player whose
> > brand I cannot now recall. When he was out of the room and on a lark I
> > hooked up a portable Panasonic player I had with me in my sack. When he
> > came back Pat Barber was singing and my friend had no idea he was
> > listening to a 100 dollar portable. It's easy to fool yourself in these
> > matters.
> >

> What it shows is an expectation bias .... people don't expect dishonesty.
> Same goes for doing an "a-b" where the source is not really switched, just
> seemingly so. Proponents say this "proves" that things sound the same and
> that only expectation bias is at work. I say the expectation bias
> overwhelms whatever differences do exist...simply because people in either
> of these circumstances are not expecting fraud.

Why would expectation bias overwhelm whatever differences do exist, in
a 'phantom switch' situation where no fraud is expected, but *not* in
a real comparison situation where no fraud is expected? The psychology
literature says that indeed it *is* operating in both
cases , and that's why it needs to be accounted for. Hence
blind protocols as the preferred means of gleaning truth.

Let's look at it another way:
From a skeptical POV, claims about the distinct 'sound' of
high-end cables, amps, transports have the same truth value
as the sort of 'fraud' perpetrated by a 'phantom switcher'.
If two things *actually* sound the same, there is no effective
difference between the 'trickster' who *knows* his claim of
difference is false, and the high-end marketer who sincerely
believes in the audible difference of his product.




--
-S
Your a boring little troll. How does it feel? Go blow your bad breath elsewhere.
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 12:17:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D bromo@ix.netcom.com wrote:


>On 12/15/04 8:17 PM, in article cpqnmu0ath@news3.newsguy.com, "Chung"
><chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
>
>> BTW, since you agree that expectation bias needs to be removed if real
>> differences are to be discerned, why do you object to controlled testing
>> that removes expectation bias, such as DBT?
>
>If you are biased against hearing a difference, how could DBT remove *that*
>bias?

There is little evidence that such a bias exists at least at as strong a level.
I've conducted an experimemt where subjects were given 10 pairs of short A/B
presentations and asked to express a preference for A or B or to have No
Preference.

5 of the presentations A and B were identical to each other and in the other 5
either A or B was 1-dB louder than the other.

There were 31 subjects ranging from female college students, men-in-the-street,
audio enthusiasts (one of who was a doctor who firmly believed that all amps
sound the same) and audio prfessionals who each listened singly over
headphones.
Surprisingly when A and B were identical subjects reported a "preference" for A
or B (instead of No Preference). There no signifcant differences between
subject vocation (including the person mentioned above). So AFAIAC the simple
act of comparison invokes expectation of differences which most probably
overrides no-difference bias.
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 12:19:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 16 Dec 2004 02:47:42 GMT, B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>On 12/15/04 8:17 PM, in article cpqnmu0ath@news3.newsguy.com, "Chung"
><chunglau@covad.net> wrote:
>
>> BTW, since you agree that expectation bias needs to be removed if real
>> differences are to be discerned, why do you object to controlled testing
>> that removes expectation bias, such as DBT?
>
>If you are biased against hearing a difference, how could DBT remove *that*
>bias?

You keep banging on about this, but have you ever heard of *anyone*
who is determined *not* to hear a difference? Essentially, it's
against human nature. Speaking for myself, I *still* hear differences
in sighted comparison of amplifiers which I *know* to be
indistinguishable in blind testing.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 12:29:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

This is somewhat off topic but it shows how common self delusion is. A
friend has a satellite dish for TV. During a recent wind storm, the
dish was moved enough (It is on a 4 X 4 post set in the ground) so he
had no reception. A service tech came, set the post in concrete, and
re-aimed the dish. My friend insists that he now gets a much sharper
picture. This is not possible since with satellite systems, you either
have a picture or you don't. Quality is not an issue.


---MIKE---
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 6:55:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

michael pm279@bellsouth.net wrote:
>normanstrong wrote:
>
>> You're quite right. People don't expect fraud, and I agree that such
>> a test is not valid. I would not expect a person, under these
>> circumstances, to immediately say, "Hey, wait a minute, that doesn't
>> sound like my Sound Labs." So how long should it take a person to
>> uncover the fraud?
>
>I was not trying to perpetrate fraud in my "test". I simply wanted to
>hear what my Panasonic portable sounded like. What I thought interesting
>was that we had a set up that no one would not consider 'high end'. I
>mean, the mono amps by themselves (despite their goofy looking
>appearance) cost as much as a high tech, high powered Italian motorcycle!
>
>The conclusion: when a then 2 year old battery powered less than $100.00
>CD player was inserted into the chain there was no recognition of this
>fact by the owner. On this newsgroup I read about people who, owning
>lesser high-end gear, write in a very casual and self-evident manner
>that at any given time one cd player "blows away" another. That sure
>wasn't our experience.
>
>But, to answer your question--my guess is that if I could have somehow
>placed the Panasonic into the expensive cd player the "fraud" would
>never have been discovered. As I said, I think it is very easy to
>delude oneself in these matters.
>
>michael

Sure; those who "believe:in high-end sound will argue with you as the day is
long but you've discovered the truth about CD sound. Don't ever ley some one
squeeze money out of you wallet chasing sound quality better than you already
have :-)
December 19, 2004 2:33:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Nousaine wrote:

> Sure; those who "believe:in high-end sound will argue with you as the day is
> long but you've discovered the truth about CD sound. Don't ever ley some one
> squeeze money out of you wallet chasing sound quality better than you already
> have :-)


Alas, my Sound Lab busting Panasonic portable recently developed laser
tracking error. But, after four years of being tossed around in a sack
that's not too bad. And after reading all the posts here about
expensive high end CD players I'm convinced that that's the way to go.
From here on out cost will be no object...I've decided to break down
and spring for the $90.00 shock resistant waterproof model. :-)

michael
!