Can the hard drive on which you store files affect your sound?

pantechnicon

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Sorry to disagree, but no, it can't.

The role of a NAS is to produce a string of ones and zeros, the only variable is the speed at which it does it. If it's suitably specified and is capable of keeping the buffer on the streamer filled, then there is no possible way it can influence the resulting sound.

You might as well ask if your choice of hard drive would affect the numbers in your spreadsheet, or the colours in your holiday photos.
 

roger06

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I have to say, I totally agree.

However, I'm not in the camp that swears a £5 HDMI cable is the same as a £200 one as they're both 'digiital', yet that debate rages.

There are also people adamant that mains supply makes no difference to sound quality as it's just 'power'. But having had my dedicated spur for hi fi put on its own consumer unit and dedicated earth, I can tell you it makes an amazing difference.
 

Crossie

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While cables may or may not have subtle effects upon sound quality and are worthy of debate, NAS drives are not.

As long as the NAS drive is working correctly then it will have absolutely no effect upon sound quality. It is not often that I feel strongly enough to invoke absolutes about HiFi but this is one question which demands a resounding answer of NO. I thought the conclusions in the magazine article were weak.
 

The_Lhc

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Crossie said:
While cables may or may not have subtle effects upon sound quality and are worthy of debate, NAS drives are not.

As long as the NAS drive is working correctly then it will have absolutely no effect upon sound quality. It is not often that I feel strongly enough to invoke absolutes about HiFi but this is one question which demands a resounding answer of NO. I thought the conclusions in the magazine article were weak.

Weak? They were non-existent, the differences the participants were describing were so slight (they said so themselves) they were almost certainly imagined. The trouble with the way this works is that, unconsciously at least, people will be thinking "I'm going to look an idiot if I say I can't here any difference" so they find a difference, just so they have something to say.
 

amcluesent

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I had a situaion where the sound wasn't 'right', then it was pointed out I had a RAID1 setup! Obviously some data was being read from the 'audiophile' disk and some from the 'lesser' disk. Once that was sorted, even the wife asked what had happened to the hi-fi! :cheers:
 

The_Lhc

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amcluesent said:
I had a situaion where the sound wasn't 'right', then it was pointed out I had a RAID1 setup! Obviously some data was being read from the 'audiophile' disk and some from the 'lesser' disk. Once that was sorted, even the wife asked what had happened to the hi-fi! :cheers:

Utter rubbish. Sorry, but it is. What was it that you "sorted"? Change one of the disks? How did you know which was the "audiophile" disk? Never heard such rot in my life.
 
A

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The_Lhc said:
Weak? They were non-existent, the differences the participants were describing were so slight (they said so themselves) they were almost certainly imagined. The trouble with the way this works is that, unconsciously at least, people will be thinking "I'm going to look an idiot if I say I can't here any difference" so they find a difference, just so they have something to say.
Of course. WHF has already stated that they have no intention whatsoever to review the claims of their listeners ("we don't want to test our participants"), so what else could you expect?

There really is no difference between these tests and Nessie sightings...
 

amcluesent

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>How did you know which was the "audiophile" disk?<

Via a technique based on Bentham's hedonic calculus I'll be making available as an iOS app before Easter.
 

CnoEvil

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amcluesent said:
>How did you know which was the "audiophile" disk?<

Via a technique based on Bentham's hedonic calculus I'll be making available as an iOS app before Easter.

Now that's what I call an answer!
 

Frank Harvey

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I'm not going to contest the results of this test either way, and this post isnt really a reply to the topic as such, but I've been giving a lot of thought recently to what is and isn't possible.

Going by one of man's most famous faux pars, we once thought the world was flat. Fair enough, proof was supplied to the contrary, and now the truth is common knowledge. It was also thought that the atom was the smallest possible thing in the universe, until man split it. There's now questions being raised about Einstein's theory of relativity. And so on.

My point is that, we all know what we think we know, but there's still a lot out there that is still unknown to us, whether this is just because it's undiscovered, or because we don't have the right tools or methods to discover or analyse. We take for granted that 0's and 1's are 0's and 1's, and because they're digital they're untouchable, but how do we know that we know everything about 0's and 1's? There could be something undiscovered about them that might one day completely change what we think we know.

All I'm saying is that an open mind is needed. True, an open mind may be more open to being influenced, but it will also be more open to finding out something new. If everyone just stuck to what was known, nothing new would be discovered - it's those open to impossibilities that discover.
 

CnoEvil

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I'm not going to contest the results of this test either way, and this post isnt really a reply to the topic as such, but I've been giving a lot of thought recently to what is and isn't possible.

Going by one of man's most famous faux pars, we once thought the world was flat. Fair enough, proof was supplied to the contrary, and now the truth is common knowledge. It was also thought that the atom was the smallest possible thing in the universe, until man split it. There's now questions being raised about Einstein's theory of relativity. And so on.

My point is that, we all know what we think we know, but there's still a lot out there that is still unknown to us, whether this is just because it's undiscovered, or because we don't have the right tools or methods to discover or analyse. We take for granted that 0's and 1's are 0's and 1's, and because they're digital they're untouchable, but how do we know that we know everything about 0's and 1's? There could be something undiscovered about them that might one day completely change what we think we know.

All I'm saying is that an open mind is needed. True, an open mind may be more open to being influenced, but it will also be more open to finding out something new. If everyone just stuck to what was known, nothing new would be discovered - it's those open to impossibilities that discover.

Waiting for Godot, or the Higgs Boson particle....which ever comes first. :grin:
 

Petherick

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Do all solid-state amplifiers sound the same ? No! Do all portable music players sound the same? No! Etcetera, etcetera.

When will the 'experts' who keep stating that "it's all just ones and zeros" wake up to the fact that even if that were the simple case (which it's not) any electronics may affect the way the signal, whether analogue or digital, is presented to the listener. So if someone says they hear a difference they may not be gullible, suggestible or deluded; they may actually hear it.

Of course, this is just my opinion, BUT..
 

The_Lhc

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Petherick said:
Do all solid-state amplifiers sound the same? No!

They don't have any storage in them and they're analogue devices, irrelevant comparison.

Do all portable music players sound the same? No! Etcetera, etcetera.

Those differences are due to the onboard DAC and analogue stages, not the storage.

When will the 'experts' who keep stating that "it's all just ones and zeros" wake up to the fact that even if that were the simple case (which it's not) any electronics may affect the way the signal, whether analogue or digital, is presented to the listener. So if someone says they hear a difference they may not be gullible, suggestible or deluded; they may actually hear it.

Of course, this is just my opinion, BUT..

But it's wrong, storage CANNOT change the data, if it did no computer on the planet would work, that is stone cold fact, you can't argue with it.
 

Petherick

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But streaming using computers or DACs may change the data. Any number of known effects can occur. I realise it goes against generally held opinion, but 'digital' most definitely does not mean or guarantee 'perfect'. We could have an argument about it but I don't see any point. If people have heard a difference we should take time to find why, not dismiss them.
 

CnoEvil

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The_Lhc said:
But it's wrong, storage CANNOT change the data, if it did no computer on the planet would work, that is stone cold fact, you can't argue with it....
...not strictly true.

Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note does, and told me so over the phone when I asked him if he would ever release any form of streamer. He said that music cannot be considered in the same way as "book keeping figures" in a set of accounts". He said that ripping onto a hard drive and then playing it back, subtly alters the music. He even went on to say that they have tried making several rips of the same CD, and the rips sounded different to each other!

Now I realize that Peter is seen as a bit of a rebel in the hifi industry, with his different/back to basics approach, NOS Dacs, SET Amps and Speakers based on the old Snell designs....but there is no doubt, that despite his eccentricity, his products are some of the best sounding out there.

Maybe there is something to it after all. :shifty:
 

The_Lhc

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CnoEvil said:
The_Lhc said:
But it's wrong, storage CANNOT change the data, if it did no computer on the planet would work, that is stone cold fact, you can't argue with it....

...not strictly true. Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note doesn't, and told me so over the phone when I asked him if he would ever release any form of streamer. He said that music cannot be considered in the same way as "book keeping figures" in a set of accounts". He said that ripping onto a hard drive and then playing it back, subtly alters the music. He even went on to say that they have tried making several rips of the same CD, and the rips sounded different to each other! Now I realize that Peter is seen as a bit of a rebel in the hifi industry, with his different/back to basics approach, NOS Dacs, SET Amps and Speakers based on the old Snell designs....but there is no doubt, that despite his eccentricity, his products are some of the best sounding out there. Maybe there is something to it after all. :shifty:

I don't care who he is (and if I'm honest I've never heard of him) but if he's a hi-fi designer that doesn't mean he knows anything about computers and frankly, he's talking nonsense.
 

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