External DAC with Connect



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@constructionguy,
Do yourself a favor and don't bother... You can't win.
@constructionguy,
Do yourself a favor and don't bother... You can't win.


Finally! 😃
With the advent of active speakers like the play units/Sub and third party offerings from both the hifi and pro audio makes, external DACs will go the way of the dodo anyway. Even for someone not convinced of the DAC in the Connect, many actives now incorporate DACs as well as amps matched to speaker drivers with DSP based eq that does a better job of sound customisation to rooms than traditional tone controls on amps. These actives are priced highly enough to meet audiophile price point needs as well as to meet the needs of those that seek higher SQ than what the play units deliver.
Sounds to me like a better alternative than to play around with Connect mods and external standalone DACs.
Finally! :D

The "trust you ears" crowd really hate it when they're asked to provide proof of their claims, probably because they know there is none.
I don't know if it is cultural or innate, but there is a major difference in our tolerance for differences of opinion about what we have seen and and what we have heard. If two of us are viewing the same scene and make different observations, both of us are comfortable discussing our differences of opinion. We don't get into never ending, flaming discussions about "I can't believe she likes pink -- blue is obviously the best color". We seem to seek out and enjoy optical illusions and misdirection (the magician's stock and trade).

Aural experiences, on the other hand, are right or wrong -- there is no middle ground and the other guy is ... er ... wrong, ignorant, misguided, perceptually limited, and on and on. There is no charity and always the implication of superiority -- "if you were good enough, you would agree with me".

On these forums one side accuses the other of not being able to hear the "obvious" and the other side is accused of not being willing or able to explore while using the simple rigor of logic and scientific method.

As has been the case in so many other human endeavors, perhaps we can't yet give up "magic" while discussing an aural experience.
The "trust you ears" crowd really hate it when they're asked to provide proof of their claims, probably because they know there is none.
A problem is that subjectivists so often won't trust their own ears to hear differences, in a situation where sound is the one and only stimulus. Bereft of the sight or knowledge of their Brilliant Pebbles they're in the dark, so to speak.
The "trust you ears" crowd really hate it when they're asked to provide proof of their claims, probably because they know there is none.

The "trust your ears" crowd don't trust their ears at all. If they did, they'd be doing ABX tests. Instead they trust glossy magazines, salesmen, shiny knobs and dials, and pricetags.
The "trust your ears" crowd don't trust their ears at all. If they did, they'd be doing ABX tests. Instead they trust glossy magazines, salesmen, shiny knobs and dials, and pricetags.

If "audiophillia" was about audio quality, rather than snobbery and elitism, the audiophiles would be cheering over the news that hi-res formats can actually be detrimental to audio quality.

I don't see much cheering...

Cheers,

Keith
If "audiophillia" was about audio quality, rather than snobbery and elitism
Apart from those two traits that exhibit in abundance, the other thing is that it caters to the need to keep tinkering with equipment and the consequent upgraditis syndrome - merely listening to music is too passive an activity for some. Human nature then dictates that the results of this tinkering has to allow beliefs of having made an improvement. One reason why Sonos isn't popular with audiophiles is that it results in a situation that the Quad founder's son discussed over twenty years ago. When asked why Quad kit isn't popular with many equipment enthusiasts he said it leaves them with nothing else to do but listen to the music, an intolerable state of affairs for many.
Well, I must confess a weaknness for shiny knobs and dials. ;)

http://chicksolutions.com/ak/Marantz/2235B/IMG_20141109_084358.jpg
Well, I must confess a weaknness for shiny knobs and dials. ;)

Good looking kit - what vintage? How many wpc? If in good working condition, my guess is it sounds as good as a current model.
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Interestingly that whenever anyone posts that they hear a difference they inevitably get lambasted with the usual stuff.. did you ABX it DBT it XYZ it and so on.. In other words what they hear simply isn't good enough..

But consider the actual recordings we listen to, consider how they're made.. It's engineered, produced and mixed with someones EARS! there's no DBT or ABX'ing in a studio..Bernie Grundman or Bob Ludwig don't sit there doing blind a-b tests.. they use their ears and listen.. in fact they actually use different speakers and equipment to decide how it should sound, how they or the artists decide it should sound.. So the actual recording that we listen to, the sound quality of those recordings of any recording are determined subjectively....Because there is really no other way to make a record, except to listen, to use ones ears..


A problem is that subjectivists so often won't trust their own ears to hear differences, in a situation where sound is the one and only stimulus. Bereft of the sight or knowledge of their Brilliant Pebbles they're in the dark, so to speak.
But consider the actual recordings we listen to, consider how they're made.. It's engineered, produced and mixed with someones EARS! there's no DBT or ABX'ing in a studio..Bernie Grundman or Bob Ludwig don't sit there doing blind a-b tests.. they use their ears and listen.. in fact they actually use different speakers and equipment to decide how it should sound, how they or the artists decide it should sound.. So the actual recording that we listen to, the sound quality of those recordings of any recording are determined subjectively....Because there is really no other way to make a record, except to listen, to use ones ears..
Entirely valid points, but nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not two sounds really are different, or whether it's merely wishful thinking.

Look, if you're happy to spend pots of money on something just because someone told you it would be better that's fine. Scientific arguments have a hard time countering faith. And let's be under no illusion: faith influences perception. Been there, done that.

Personally I'm now happy to be convinced by blind testing that the latest gizmo does not improve things. I can spend my money on something else.

But consider the actual recordings we listen to, consider how they're made.. It's engineered, produced and mixed with someones EARS! there's no DBT or ABX'ing in a studio..Bernie Grundman or Bob Ludwig don't sit there doing blind a-b tests.. they use their ears and listen..


Err, two things:

a) What would they DBT/ABX against?

b) What on earth does the process of mixing and mastering, which is a creative process, have to do with the technical characteristics of hardware?

Cheers,

Keith
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My point is that in the final analysis what we hear is what should decide if something sounds good or not.. If one feels that the only way to determine that is by ABX'ing or DBT more power to them, but to constantly deride folks that base their decisions on just listening when the basis for the recordings we listen to are decided the same way, seems rather narrow minded..I mean if I'm changing the position of my speakers and it sounds better do I really need to go back and forth and DBT that they sound better? I don't think so.. If I change my amp and it sounds better, or worse do I need to DBT what I'm hearing? I can understand that measurements and science matters a lot in designing good gear.. but in the end how it sounds is what matters.. and how it sounds to me is really all that matters because I'm not listening with your ears :-)

I mean if I sit down in your living room and listen to your setup and it sounds crappy to me but you think it sounds great, then that's all that matters .. and that determination on sound quality is subjective, it can't be anything else. nor should it be.. If one goes out and buys a system based on reviews or specs and hooks it all up and it sounds mediocre then how does one go about making it sound better.. I'd say by listening to other gear to decide what does sound good to you..My point is it's ones ear that are the final arbitrator.. How you get there really doesn't matter, as long as it sounds good to you.

I mean if I sit down in your living room and listen to your setup and it sounds crappy to me but you think it sounds great, then that's all that matters .. and that determination on sound quality is subjective, it can't be anything else. nor should it be..


So what you are saying is that when someone claims that a particular component (cable, amplifier, DAC, etc.) sounds better to them, that is a purely subjective view that doesn't apply to anyone else.

In other words, those sort of opinions aren't worth a damn?

I would totally agree with you.

The question then becomes, why are people who hold such opinions so keen to share these worthless views, and are so often so insistent that their own subjective views will apply to others? And why they insist that anyone who doesn't share such views must be defective or delusional?

Cheers,

Keith
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Entirely valid points, but nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not two sounds really are different, or whether it's merely wishful thinking.


Ratty, surely that's a false dichotomy - and, I think, the fundamental reason why this long-running argument continues.

As Erik's excellent post points out, hearing is an entirely subjective experience. Whether or not "two sounds really are different" is completely moot. (I'd go so far as to say it might be meaningless, depending on what you mean by a sound. If you mean what can be measured by a microphone, it's a fair enough statement but still not directly relevant.) What matters is whether the human listener has a different auditory experience. There are plenty of reasons why that might be the case other than the slightly pejorative "wishful thinking".
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The question then becomes, why are people who hold such opinions so keen to share these worthless views, and are so often so insistent that their own subjective views will apply to others? And why they insist that anyone who doesn't share such views must be defective or delusional?


Probably for the same reason that "objectivists" tend to suppress any discussion of effects that can't be reliably detected by DBT/ABX. That is, everyone likes to put forward their point of view and influence others.

By the way, not all people who believe in audible differences that don't satisfy objective criteria insist that their subjective views must be shared by others, or that others are defective or delusional.

Live and let live, is all I'm saying. Put another way, it would be nice not to have potentially interesting discussion suppressed. Surely everyone can put forward their point of view on the basis that that's exactly what it is, not some absolute notion of "the truth"? Otherwise it will all get very boring very quickly.
There are plenty of reasons why that might be the case other than the slightly pejorative "wishful thinking".
I was being colloquial. The formal term would be confirmation bias.
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I was being colloquial. The formal term would be confirmation bias.

Sure, but my point stands.
Whether or not "two sounds really are different" is completely moot.

It isn't when people or companies are making claims about equipment sounding different. That is totally relevant.

It's also something which is something which can be scientifically tested.

Cheers,

Keith
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"So what you are saying is that when someone claims that a particular component (cable, amplifier, DAC, etc.) sounds better to them, that is a purely subjective view that doesn't apply to anyone else."

Of course.. unless they have also listened to it and come to the same conclusion.. at that point there are two folks who agree..

"In other words, those sort of opinions aren't worth a damn?"

Depends of who's opinion it is and how it's derived..

"The question then becomes, why are people who hold such opinions so keen to share these worthless views, and are so often so insistent that their own subjective views will apply to others? And why they insist that anyone who doesn't share such views must be defective or delusional?"

I don't know. Maybe the same reasons that the hard core Objectivists feel the need to rant that their view is the only right one and that the Subjectivists are all audio-fools..

Seems to me that this accomplishes nothing for anyone..

The Objectivist gets so locked into thinking that the only thing that matters is specs or DBT, or that listening is a flawed way to evaluate a component.

The Subjectivists won't consider that specs do matter, or that sometimes things do sound the same, or that maybe they are fooling themselves into hearing things that aren't there..

No one wins, and everyone is the less for it.
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It isn't when people or companies are making claims about equipment sounding different. That is totally relevant.


When people (individual listeners) claim that equipment sounds different surely it must be interpreted as "sounds different [to me]" which is inherently subjective.

When companies make such claims that might be a different matter, I agree, since the implication is that it "sounds different [to anyone]".
Probably for the same reason that "objectivists" tend to suppress any discussion of effects that can't be reliably detected by DBT/ABX. That is, everyone likes to put forward their point of view and influence others.

The difference is one is based on Science and Engineering, and the other is based on pseudo-science and old-wives tales.

There's an obvious parallel with medicines (hence the "snake oil" phrase often used).

By the way, not all people who believe in audible differences that don't satisfy objective criteria insist that their subjective views must be shared by others, or that others are defective or delusional.

Live and let live, is all I'm saying. Put another way, it would be nice not to have potentially interesting discussion suppressed. Surely everyone can put forward their point of view on the basis that that's exactly what it is, not some absolute notion of "the truth"? Otherwise it will all get very boring very quickly.


But there are very many people who like to make these claims. Words like "night and day" are bandied around for things which could, at best, have a very subtle difference.

And these sort of claims tend to escalate and be amplified and become desired by people who are suggestable and who lack the knowledge or skills to critically assess these claims. This is the essence of how confidence tricks work.

It's really guerilla marketing used by the snake-oil salesmen because there is a risk of being sued for false advertising when they make these claims themselves.

If you want to buy a cable, or component, or whatever and you believe it to be superior in whatever fantastic way you want, that's up to you. But the moment you start propagating such claims, that is the moment I have the right to challenge it.

Live and Let Live works both ways.

Cheers,

Keith
When people (individual listeners) claim that equipment sounds different surely it must be interpreted as "sounds different [to me]" which is inherently subjective.

When companies make such claims that might be a different matter, I agree, since the implication is that it "sounds different [to anyone]".


I disagree.

When someone (for instance) extols the benefits of (say) cables, equipment brands, or hires audio, they are acting as an advocate for the companies that are selling such things. They become an extension of that corner of the industry's marketing in a form that is much more potent than anything the company could produce themselves.

"Word of mouth" marketing is a huge deal for companies. It is far more effective than almost anything else because:

a) It leverages the personal trust relationships we have with others

b) It isn't subject to the same regulation and scrutiny that direct marketing is.

In addition, such advocacy is rarely without vested interests. For example, hires supporters have been trying to bolster support for hires for years because, if successful, it benefits them directly in the form of new shiny stuff to buy.

This advocacy seems to be at any cost, even lies of omission: for instance, I have seen several threads about hires audio where some pro-hires participants have grossly misunderstood the nature of hires audio, but none of the advocates corrected them. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that the advocates are happy to allow false information and misunderstandings in order to drive the market in the direction they want. Their focus is on satiating their own desires, not on helping or educating others.

Another example: when an article was produced which, quite scientifically, described why hires audio was actually more likely to degrade audio, instead of applauding it for helping them to avoid a costly mistake, it was widely derided by audiophiles because it was contrary to their "more is better" belief system. The same people will often gladly accept the flimsiest of explanations for something that involves paying more.

If the audiophiles were (in general) prepared to take a more balanced and considered view; if they were prepared, for instance, to recognise that DBT/ABX testing of equipment has a valuable role to play rather than inventing reasons to attack it's efficacy; if they were will to acknowledge that the human brain is poor at remembering and good at inventing sounds (especially when influenced by external factors); if they were prepared to acknowledge that the decades of scientific study and understanding of the human auditory system might, perhaps, trump the glossy marketing brochures from their favourite vendors, perhaps then we could have a more balanced discussion.

Cheers,

Keith