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Author Topic: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset  (Read 16584 times)

mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2011, 01:48:13 pm »

Well, it'll be interesting to see if they get their patent, if it covers the things the designer and I have discussed, and if he's proven right.
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2011, 01:55:58 pm »

Without having heard the MP, is it not possible listeners are merely reacting to the Tube DAC, with some nice subtle coloration of tube distortion, Class A, zero feedback, yada yada?

Not to suggest the digital side can't sound better than other high end transports.

I just shot out a cheap shit Hosa SPDIf cable versus a nice Canare. Was not too hard to hear the difference, (I am after all, a pro) pretty close to nothing though. (Canare won, a little fuller, clearer).

Back to my point, if I AB'd SS versus Tube DAC, I'd notice much greater differences.

bab

mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2011, 01:57:22 pm »

Mine has no tube. Its what he calls direct-to-DAC. Come hear it.

Not today, taxes. Maybe tonight.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2011, 01:58:57 am »

Aaaaaaaaaaaand my thread has been hijacked by people debating miniscule sonic differences between converters.

I have an admission to make. When it comes to the delivery medium, I can't tell the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96. I can't even tell the difference between a 192 kbps MP3 and linear 24/96 most of the time. I can tell the difference between digital and tape, but digital is pretty much ALWAYS vaguely unsatisfactory.
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #64 on: February 16, 2011, 07:28:58 am »

Fenris Wulf wrote on Wed, 16 February 2011 06:58

Aaaaaaaaaaaand my thread has been hijacked by people debating miniscule sonic differences between converters.

I have an admission to make. When it comes to the delivery medium, I can't tell the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96. I can't even tell the difference between a 192 kbps MP3 and linear 24/96 most of the time. I can tell the difference between digital and tape, but digital is pretty much ALWAYS vaguely unsatisfactory.


What about digital sampled from analogue tape?
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mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #65 on: February 17, 2011, 01:23:46 pm »

Fenris Wulf wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 22:58

Aaaaaaaaaaaand my thread has been hijacked by people debating miniscule sonic differences between converters.

I have an admission to make. When it comes to the delivery medium, I can't tell the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96. I can't even tell the difference between a 192 kbps MP3 and linear 24/96 most of the time. I can tell the difference between digital and tape, but digital is pretty much ALWAYS vaguely unsatisfactory.

Fenris, I suspect that your monitoring systems are probably the cause. There's a reason that most people don't care about full-res vs. mp3. They probably shouldn't.

Even when I couldn't stand listening to CDs on my main system, I never minded listening to them on headphones. I enjoy AACs and mp3s on my iPod. Actually, I enjoy mp3s on the Memory Player too. They're different but I enjoy them. Some bootlegs, that's all you can get. I'm listening lately to the Fabs Decca audition tape, with the great Pete Best on drums.
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Andy Peters

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2011, 12:50:46 am »

mgod wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 11:32

Jon Hodgson wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 10:05

You seem to be taking my response out of context... I was not saying it sounded the same as any other computer running iTunes.

I responded to Chuck's question
"how different than a computer reclocking data from memory is the memory player"
in the context of his previous comments, which is specifically referring to the claims about reclocking.

Now, if you're in a position to judge my knowledge on this matter, and thus accuse me of answering innaccuratetly and more insultingly, "untruthfully", then please elaborate.

We both know you're not.

Lets try it this way - strictly in the limits of how you interpret Chuck's question (which btw is not how I read the question). Is there only one possible way of reclocking? Is it an absolute necessity that if the MP is reclocking data from memory that it has to be identical to iTunes?


Reading correctly from memory is a solved problem, and has been for ages. If it did not work, you wouldn't be able to post messages on Internet forums.

There is no "reclocking" happening.

-a
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mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2011, 11:01:32 am »

Up is down.

Jitter was a solved problem, because it didn't exist. And certainly didn't affect the internet.

Then it did, and explained why things could sound better, and knowing that, was addressed. But it was solved before it was found.

But, what the hell: down is up.

All known knowns are known.
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2011, 11:56:30 am »

mgod wrote on Fri, 18 February 2011 16:01

Up is down.

Jitter was a solved problem, because it didn't exist. And certainly didn't affect the internet.

Then it did, and explained why things could sound better, and knowing that, was addressed. But it was solved before it was found.

But, what the hell: down is up.

All known knowns are known.


What are you talking about Dan?

Jitter is an obvious issue for anyone who looks at the mathematics (or even the basic process) of sampling, it's a given, samples have only two parameters, level and time (within the stream, not absolute time). It's a bit hard to not notice the importance of it, so if you think for one moment that nobody knew about it, you're very much mistaken.

However I don't know where you think the internet comes into it.
Unless you're talking about transmission jitter that is so great that it exceeds the ability of any buffering to absorb it, but once again that's an obvious issue (it's actually an issue with the streaming of any data, or indeed the streaming of anything at all, physical objects included), and it's also a rather different issue to that of jitter in the DAC.

Some things are known, some are basic common sense. Low level jitter is an issue in sampling, at two points, and two points only, the point at which the sample is taken, and the point at which the sample is used to reconstitute the signal. In between those the only way it matters is if it results in two systems being so out of sync that the data isn't there when it's needed, but electronically speaking that's quite a big error (you don't get a slightly wrong sample, or a sample at slightly the wrong time, you get a complete garbage sample or no sample at all), and the very fact that you're reading this tells us it's not happening over the net.

Think of it like this. Let's say you like milk on your cereal every morning, and so you have the milkman deliver milk (don't know if you get that in the States). So every morning you get up at 6 am, open your door, and there's a bottle of milk on your doorstep, you take it, pour it on your cereal and into your coffee and so you're happy.

Now, it doesn't matter whether that milk arrived on the doorstep at 5:59 or at 1 am, it doesn't matter if it was delivered to the milk depot at midnight or 6 pm the previous day, all that matters is that it's there when you open the door, every morning.

Now if one morning it's not there on time, this isn't a subtle thing, your cereal won't be slightly less milky, it'll be dry cereal, this is a catastrophic failure.

Now, let's extend it and say that rather than drinking the milk yourself, you're giving it to a baby, and this baby by some strange genetic quirk has a super accurate internal clock and likes its milk at exactly 6:30 am.... get it right and it'll be nice and quiet, the more you deviate from it, the louder it will cry.

So you check the time on your watch, and give the baby its milk every morning at 6:30 on the dot, according to your watch. Your watch however isn't perfect, it loses a bit one day, gains a bit another, on average it's right, but it drifts, it has jitter.

So the baby cries, this is where the degree of jitter matters beyond that of pass or fail, get a better watch and it will cry less.

But note that though it's crucial what time you feed the baby, it still makes no difference what time things happened further on up the line. The milkman could have arrived at the last moment or hours early, you see a package passing through a system has no memory of jitter happening in the various stages of its journey, whether it's a bottle of milk or a piece of electronic text or a sample.

To claim otherwise is to enter the realms of fantasy and metaphysics.
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2011, 12:48:23 pm »

On the subject of how long people have known about jitter, specifically as it relates to the sampling and reconstruction of audio.

There is an AES paper from 1971 which refers unambiguously to that very issue, so that's documentary proof that it's been at least 40 years... but as I said it's pretty obvious anyway, when you have something (a sample) which has only two variables (level and time) you've got to be pretty slow not to notice if errors in either are an issue.

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mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2011, 03:47:55 pm »

I just posted a long response and am deleting it. At this point I can't talk any more about this.
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Andy Peters

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2011, 08:06:46 pm »

mgod wrote on Fri, 18 February 2011 13:47

I just posted a long response and am deleting it. At this point I can't talk any more about this.


Dan, taking your marbles and going home isn't going to help you understand what Jon and I are trying to explain.

First, all voodoo aside, the ONLY clock that matters in a digital audio system based on oversampling converters is the modulator clock, which runs at a multiple (256x, 384x, 512x, depending on the modulator) of the sample frequency. 512x 48 kHz is 24.576 MHz, which is common. The jitter on this clock matters.

And there really is nothing magical or special about reading audio data from memory and writing them to an audio device, whether in a PC or in an old-school portable CD player (the whole "anti skip" thing) or in an iPod Touch.

The memory bus on a PC is orders of magnitude faster than what is needed by a two-channel audio device. So the problem is reduced to reading a buffer's worth of data from main memory at the memory bus speed (hundreds of MHz) and storing it in a FIFO, and data are read out of this FIFO, using a clock synchronous to the converter. It is a simple matter to ensure that this FIFO never goes empty because  we can always write data to it faster than the converter can read it out.  We never have to worry that the converter will be starved for data.

On the FIFO read side, which is in the converter clock domain, you can use a high-quality, low-jitter oscillator as the time-base to clock the converter and read data samples out of the buffer, serialize them (oversampling converter interfaces are serial) and present them to the converter. Anyone skilled in the art, as they say, of synchronous digital circuit design can whip this up in an hour. Really. It is not difficult, it is not magic, it is not snake oil, and it's most certainly not patentable. The point, again, is that this high-quality clock is the only one used to clock the converter. Neither it nor the data are "regenerated."

So perhaps this is what you might think of as "reclocking." I don't know what you mean by that term. But the data are not reclocked.

-a
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mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #72 on: February 19, 2011, 12:21:06 am »

Andy Peters wrote on Fri, 18 February 2011 17:06

Dan, taking your marbles and going home isn't going to help you understand what Jon and I are trying to explain.

-a

Not what I'm saying. I hope Jon understands. I think he does. I haven't signed an NDA, but I have to respect the conversation I've been let in on. We've reached the end of what I can discuss here.

And I wasn't talking about reclocking at all, I was responding to other's questions.

Enjoy the marbles, they're all yours.

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mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #73 on: February 19, 2011, 11:53:04 am »

Andy, I want to add - I don't want to be or sound like I'm being dismissive or disrespectful. The re-clocking thing was brought up by Chuck, I think from reading the MP's website. He asked about it vs. iTunes and Jon jumped in, asserting knowledge. This is where re-clocking came from in this thread, not from me. Beyond that Jon, IIRC, got into what else could be going on and I just can't talk about any of it. I deleted a response that got too much into things I can't discuss.

You and I once had a long talk about power cables. I've had some unpleasant encounters in this forum i.e. the audible effects of power supplies, but I can direct you to a very knowledgeable source for information as to why you can hear power supplies "warming up" over 3 days. But the folks whom I had that encounter with have no real desire to know more than they already "know".

For many years I've used a Theta CD system and found it less-than-engaging. I changed the power source for my whole system and the sound of the Theta was transformed. Much of what I disliked about it went away -  instantly, after more than a decade. I know many designers who think that shouldn't be the case, that they design with properly regulated supplies, and yet its a hearable effect that there is something that regulating a supply doesn't accomplish. Its there - no theoretical arguments can make it go away. But if you haven't heard it, you have no reason to doubt the theory. The guy who designed the power source is now talking about what its doing that other similar devices don't do and I'll be damned if I understand why that matters. You probably would. Or you might think he's full of it. But that doesn't stop it from working.

We can talk theory until the cows come home and leave again, but its udderly pointless until you have an experience that causes you to know that something has happened. I'm not the guy to have the theoretical debate about the cause of the change. I just know its there.

We're all in our own ivory towers.
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svs95

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2011, 10:28:29 am »

We can't totally discount the placebo effect. If you change something (power supplies, for example), there is a powerful expectation there may be audible consequences, and the mind alters its response to certain stimuli in order to satisfy that expectation.

Not saying that is what happened - just that it very well could be. Anecdotal stories are no substitute for falsifiable testing and analysis - even when the matter being investigated involves human perception.
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