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Digital transport brawler

Andrewjvt

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Anything goes
No offense taken
No offense intended
But let's sling it out here.

Only one rule: what happens in here stays in here and not carried into other threads (as I've also done)

So I'll start

How on earth do we turn 1s and 0s into super audiophile music files.

Before you stick a video with music playing on a very good system as proof I'll just say now that when I watch these videos with the change of equipment prompt and the explaining of what to listen for I also hear a difference.

When I listen blind I can't.
 
Without getting technical, I don’t see the whole digital thing as “improving” a known, existing digital quantity, I see it as “preserving” that known quantity as it passes through the numerous bits of circuitry between HDD drive of the media device/NAS drive/laptop etc and the analogue output of the DAC (including the cable connecting the two). Personally, I’m not of the opinion that a digital signal is bulletproof as I’ve heard too many things to the contrary.

Anyway, unless you use active speakers, no one will ever hear what that existing known quantity is. Of course, it doesn’t matter whether these active speakers are £20k or £200...

Signal integrity.
 

Andrewjvt

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Strictly Stereo said:
Are you asking why one digital transport might sound different from another?
A scientific answer/explanation to this question without manufacturers sales pitch if that makes sense.
 

Andrewjvt

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davidf said:
Without getting technical, I don’t see the whole digital thing as “improving” a known, existing digital quantity, I see it as “preserving” that known quantity as it passes through the numerous bits of circuitry between HDD drive of the media device/NAS drive/laptop etc and the analogue output of the DAC (including the cable connecting the two). Personally, I’m not of the opinion that a digital signal is bulletproof as I’ve heard too many things to the contrary.

Anyway, unless you use active speakers, no one will ever hear what that existing known quantity is. Of course, it doesn’t matter whether these active speakers are £20k or £200...

Signal integrity.
Ok David
Let's just stick to this one point.

Please explain what happens to the 1 or the 0 when it's not preserved correctly.
 

Andrewjvt

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And that other technical guy can't remember his name.
This could get interesting.

I'm also calling Vladimir to come out of retirement.
He knows I miss him dearly
 

Andrewjvt

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davidf said:
I don’t know, I’ve never researched that, as I presume manufacturers have done all that when designing the products they do. I just go by my experiences, 
Then surely a photo would not print correctly
Or a video on Netflix would make mistakes?
It's all data at the end of the day?

Are music files so complex/temperamental that they need special treatment.

What else in industry/science etc suffers the same problems as music files?

As it's all data surely there will be other examples.

If it's only music files then we need to ask, why?
 

CnoEvil

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IMO. You are doing your research ar$e about face.

Instead of listening first and then trying to understand/explain any difference you heard (if that was the case)....You start off with a very strongly held (biased?) view of what is and isn't Snake Oil and then reject anything that doesn't confirm to this standpoint....which is much easier to do if you haven't heard the components under discussion.

Once (if) you hear improvements, you can become more open to explanations.....personally, I haven't ever seen anybody change their mind until they have experienced something for themselves....so I think theoretical discussions should come after a practical demonstration.
 
Andrewjvt said:
davidf said:
I don’t know, I’ve never researched that, as I presume manufacturers have done all that when designing the products they do. I just go by my experiences,
Then surely a photo would not print correctly Or a video on Netflix would make mistakes? It's all data at the end of the day?
Has every single film you’ve watched on watched on Netflix been perfect from start to finish? No audio dropouts or frame stutter? Photo files etc are what USB was designed for, and is presumably well within its working specification. Has anyone printed a photo via USB that hasn’t quite come out right in some way? I don’t know, I don’t print photos. Like HDMI, USB connections and cables have had to change over the years because they can’t cover the minimum bandwidth or speed needed to do what they’re supposed to do. Has high quality audio ever been a consideration in this design? Some things are only ever designed to do a specific job.

We were told that DAB radio, being digital, either worked or it didn’t, so in theory you should either have a “perfect” signal, or none at all. So where does the boiling water noise come into that statement? Digital may be zeros and ones, but it’s not necessarily a case of it’s there or it isn’t.
 

Andrewjvt

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CnoEvil said:
IMO. You are doing your research ar$e about face.

Instead of listening first and then trying to understand/explain any difference you heard (if that was the case)....You start off with a very strongly held (biased?) view of what is and isn't Snake Oil and then reject anything that doesn't confirm to this standpoint....which is much easier to do if you haven't heard the components under discussion.

Once (if) you hear improvements, you can become more open to explanations.....personally, I haven't ever seen anybody change their mind until they have experienced something for themselves....so I think theoretical discussions should come after a practical demonstration.
Ok first guy to speak your mind
Respect

I have not been able to test them all but I have tested numerous transports/laptops and cd players into the same dac and I've not heard any difference at all.

That goes for my old Hegel and my benchmark dac.
Friend of mine brought an aries mini also same no difference between his Mac either.

I've spoken to technical chap in benchmark and he advised me to just carry on using laptop as the dac will sort any jitter out and if I test blind I wouldn't notice any difference in sq

I'm up for someone to prove me wrong in a blind test also

And before you ask I've said loads of time before that I'm very susceptible to placebo so I can't be trusted with sight or change prompt.

Also I'm looking for an explanation as to what happens to the data as people are saying it gets preserved better with expensive transport.

I don't think it's asking too much for a scientific explanation?
 

Andrewjvt

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davidf said:
Andrewjvt said:
davidf said:
I don’t know, I’ve never researched that, as I presume manufacturers have done all that when designing the products they do. I just go by my experiences, 
Then surely a photo would not print correctly Or a video on Netflix would make mistakes? It's all data at the end of the day?
Has every single film you’ve watched on watched on Netflix been perfect from start to finish? No audio dropouts or frame stutter? Photo files etc are what USB was designed for, and is presumably well within its working specification. Has anyone printed a photo via USB that hasn’t quite come out right in some way? I don’t know, I don’t print photos. Like HDMI, USB connections and cables have had to change over the years because they can’t cover the minimum bandwidth or speed needed to do what they’re supposed to do. Has high quality audio ever been a consideration in this design? Some things are only ever designed to do a specific job.

We were told that DAB radio, being digital, either worked or it didn’t, so in theory you should either have a “perfect” signal, or none at all. So where does the boiling water noise come into that statement? Digital may be zeros and ones, but it’s not necessarily a case of it’s there or it isn’t.
Of course when the internet goes slow etc your Netflix stops streaming or the resolution goes Gameboy graphics briefly.
But in a wired usb connection of an innous server to a dac, how could that happen?

And when last did the zennith stop playing and freeze in a similar manner.
It's not dependent on internet to play from it's hhd/ssd.

The printer is one of many electronic devices that don't need snake oil explanation to work
What about hospital equipment or aeroplanes?
 

CnoEvil

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I can only speak for myself and my experience.

I have no particularly strongly held views...until I eventually decide what is right for me, which is always done by listening first - Which is (I suspect) the same for Mac and many others.

My advise is always the same, which is, "This is what I heard...and if interested, try it for yourself."

I have no particular desire to prove that my opinion is anything other than an opinion...and don't feel the need to challenge anybody else to prove that they didn't hear what I heard.

If someone wants to discuss a particular component and how it will work in a system, I will give my advice/experience...but am quite happy if it is ignored.
 

insider9

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Andrewjvt said:
I've pasted his comments

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Fri, 2018-05-18 09:36 (Reply to #91) #92
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Andrewjvt wrote:
insider9 wrote:
I've heard differences between digital sources so there's no doubt in my mind they exist. Another question entirely would be whether they're big enough to warrant the price difference, or would the same amount spent somewhere else bring more benefit.

How did you
Come to hear difference in digital transport?
And
Do you think you could confidently tell the differences in a blind test?

We are talking transport now and same dac.

So let's say if blind folded with no sales pitch or clues
Do you think you could accurately tell the difference between a laptop and dedicated streamer?

Or even harder a zen from a zennith?

If I were blind folded I doubt I could but if I were sighted and listened to sales pitch I'm sure I'd hear a difference like all the others.
My point are those differences really real?

I don't want to give in to the typical
Audiophile reasoning that a data stream can be polished.

Yes, same DAC different transport. And no it wasn't a blind test and as I'm sceptical by nature I was surprised. Sure it could've been bias. There was no one influencing talking over what kind of differences you should hear. It was not a sales pitch.
As to blind tests. I'm not a fan. If a decision between two components requires a blind test then I can tell you straight away, I'm not interested. Minute differences don't appeal to me and it's not how I spend my money. I also evaluate components during extended listening sessions, not quick AB's, which are too limited for me to find them useful.

My system and currently testing...

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com

I never knew your forum wishes were more important.

This is something very important to me actually as ive been investigating this for over a few months and I'm yet to have any proof at all apart from just listen.

I also need to buy/build a streamer and I don't want to be suckered into spending money unnecessary because I've been tricked by a con artist or read a magazine.

What's the worst that could happen? I can be proved wrong and you can feel proud. What's the best? You can save money instead of waste it.

Not just mine...

Before trying the Innuous I had no preconceptions on the sq, I was really just interested in having a piece of HiFi that would be easy for me to rip CD's onto... I hadn't even spoken to a dealer about sound quality, but a short time of listening to the Mini I knew it was inferior to my existing sources.

Now 've got the Zenith on demo and able to switch between CD, Sonos and Innuous I am hard put to tell the difference... being visually impaired, I like to think my hearing is up to discerning the difference.

Just ignore me Andrew, you carry on your research and if you do find there to be no improvement between one digital source and another you can have the last laugh.

Mac

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Fri, 2018-05-18 11:00 (Reply to #94) #95
CnoEvil
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Mac, I believe you.
Mac, I believe you. Smile

It is impossible to prove to others (to their satisfaction), the perceived improvements you are hearing, on a Forum...that is something that they will have to do for themselves.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines." Nelson Pass

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Fri, 2018-05-18 11:01 (Reply to #95) #96
insider9
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Andrew
I wasn't trying to avoid the answer. The honest answer is, I don't know. I believe I could with the components I tried and I wouldn't be embarrassed to be proved wrong. As stated above it wouldn't be my favourite thing to do, but I'd be curious enough to do one of those once in a while.

I'm against snake oil just as much as you. A lot of it makes people in our hobby look like charlatans. But then there is another contrasting group of people who contribute to this also. These who claim nothing, ever makes a difference. According to some all amps sound the same, all DAC's sound the same, bit is bit, etc. I wonder how many people who commented that categorically there couldn't be a difference actually heard Innuos products.

Mac, I'm glad you're enjoying your new toy. Don't be discouraged by the comments. I've not heard Innuos but was sufficiently impressed by a quick listen to Melco.

My system and currently testing...

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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:04 (Reply to #97) #98
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The last comment
davidf wrote:
Andrewjvt wrote:

If someone technical can explain to me how this can be the case I'd appreciate it.

Auralic owner/designer insists the best sound quality comes from a Nas (ethernet cable) and then followed by internal ssd.

This would seem to contradict innous product.

Do you mean that is the order the Auralic designer rated the effectiveness of improvements? If so, I’m not sure how that contradicts Innuos. Innuos don’t do Ethernet cables (although I’d have thought you’d have taken issue with that one), and if the “NAS” itself makes the biggest difference, I’m presuming that encapsulates everything as a collective that’s inside the box other than the digital drives. The Innuos models have progressively better power supplies as you move up through the range.
[snip]
I think that much of the time, the arguments against cables and digital sources etc seem to be made from the approach that you can’t improve the signal, which isn’t necessarily the best way to look at it. Try it from the angle that you’re trying to “preserve” the original signal without any losses caused by something which is less than perfect - and let’s face it - no hi-fi is “perfect”. If it was, it’d sound like Bono was in your living room. God forbid.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve had a few people in about the Innuos products, and they’ve all taken home the ZENith to try out in their own system. All have purchased one model or another from that. One had a home demo of the ZENith SE after loaning my ZENith, and he bought the SE. Now one or two of these people, particularly the latter one I mentioned, are in the data industry in one avenue or another. More than once I’ve been told that they don’t understand how it sounds better as data is data, but there is definitely a difference. They also don’t seem interested in ‘why’ the difference exists, as they’ve heard it in their system. Granted, their systems are the type that are able to appreciate this level of source and show the differences between an SE and a non SE ZENith, but I wasn’t going to argue with him as he knows more about data transfer than I do.

I’ll have to see if I can get together with Innuos and hold an event to show that they do make a difference - maybe a direct comparison of the ZEN Mini against the Statement, or maybe even a standard NAS drive against a Statement - that sort of demo should present a definite appreciable difference for all (through a suitable system). Comparing neighbouring models will be trickier, what we’re trying to do is show that there is a difference, and we need to make this as easily appreciated as possible. Once a difference is confirmed, an individual is then free to research the difference between models they’re likely to purchase.

With AB demos though, many people expect to be blown away by differences, and that is usually the detail that makes for disappointing results. People expect to hear something that sounds totally different, and that’s rarely the case, with anything, particularly when the products are from the same manufacturer. This, I feel, adds a little weight to my theory that many people in demos only listen to tonal balance - the tonal balance between a range of the same manufacturer’s products is most likely to be the same, as it has been designed by the same person, and usually to a ‘house sound’.

My last comment in this thread because I don't want to upset the op

David:
How many that chose the zennith conducted a blind test?

And how do you manipulate a data stream to create 'a house sound?'

Data will either work or cause jitter?
If jitter can't be heard using a standard noisy laptop with a particular dac. How will adding better power supply improve the data files of music?

Last one
You've touched on very small differences but thats not whats being said by other website hosts.
A clear difference, night and day
Massive improvement
Is what's being said to describe the sound.

Is the dac not meant to handle and sort the data anyway to stop jitter?

I mean how can a innous zen mini be so bad that even a Sonos makes it sound flat?
Surely if that's the case they have done this on purpose so you immediately buy the expensive model? Perhaps

Why does my laptop sound just as good as high end cd player transport? (Into the same dac)
Sorry Mac

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Fri, 2018-05-18 11:56 (Reply to #98) #99
cheeseboy
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insider9 wrote:
insider9 wrote:
hese who claim nothing, ever makes a difference. According to some all amps sound the same, all DAC's sound the same, bit is bit, etc. I wonder how many people who commented that categorically there couldn't be a difference actually heard Innuos products.

in fairness I dont think I've ever met or read anybody who has ever said that. Usually there is the caveat that providing something is designed and built to a certain standard, then there shouldnt be any or minimal diffrerence. If there is a difference at that point, it's then the rabbit hole of how far does one want to go to work out why they heard a difference.

There's also the flip side to what you say - I'll totally agree that there will be a lot of people who may comment on something they have not heard. But the flip side is there are also a lot of people who seem to want to comment on things they haven't tried such as proper blind testing etc. So we get this wall where one side is saying "how do you know, you've never heard it" (the it being a peice of equipment or whatever) and the other saying "how do you know if you've never tried it" (the it in this case being things such as blind testing, measurements etc). I find that stance quite ironic as both sides are saying try it, but neither do Wink

So, like you say, it does cut both ways Smile

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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:03 (Reply to #99) #100
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cheeseboy wrote:
insider9 wrote:
hese who claim nothing, ever makes a difference. According to some all amps sound the same, all DAC's sound the same, bit is bit, etc. I wonder how many people who commented that categorically there couldn't be a difference actually heard Innuos products.

in fairness I dont think I've ever met or read anybody who has ever said that.

No, because they only live on the internet!
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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:16 #101
Andrewjvt
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Mac my friend
I started another thread as to not spoil your new toy.
I'd be just as excited as you if one was on its way to me

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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:27 (Reply to #101) #102
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Andrewjvt wrote:

My last comment in this thread because I don't want to upset the op

David: How many that chose the zennith conducted a blind test?

None as far as I know, but I know one changed from a Melco.
Quote:
And how do you manipulate a data stream to create 'a house sound?'
That was more referring to things like amplifiers, but depending on the design brief, its not inconceivable that a range of digital components will naturally have some sort of signature to it, even if it was down to the tech being used.
Quote:
Data will either work or cause jitter? If jitter can't be heard using a standard noisy laptop with a particular dac. How will adding better power supply improve the data files of music?
How close do you think a laptop can get to recreating exactly what is on the digital file? How close can it get to a dedicated digital source that has had time and effort put into isolating circuitry, choosing the right components for the job, ensuring correct heat dissipation, reducing noise, etc etc. Most laptops are a jack of all trades that are designed to a budget - they’re like AV receivers - features are more important than quality. I’ve had a few laptops over the years, all Toshiba, and all have been very reliable. My earlier ones were usually between £1k-2k type laptops of 10/15 years ago, with Hartman Kardon sound system which sounded very, very good for a laptop, and build quality was excellent. My current one was £450 about 6 years ago, and whilst it’s been the workhorse that the others have been, the sound is bloody awful, and whilst built well, it’s nothing like the others, and half the weight. I’ve not used any of these as digital sources, but I wouldn’t for one moment expect my current laptop to be able to compete, and not that I’d want it to anyway, as it gets enough use as it is - the last thing I want to do is leave it on 24/7 - it’s noisy enough as it is.
The only good thing a laptop has going for it is that it’s power supply is separate.

Quote:
Last one You've touched on very small differences but thats not whats being said by other website hosts. A clear difference, night and day Massive improvement Is what's being said to describe the sound.
Perception. Expectation. I’ve said before that as individuals, we perceive a difference, whatever that might be. How big that difference is influenced by our perception of the difference and our expectations. We then use our own subjective words to describe this difference and it’s magnitude. Others will read that, perceive it in their own way, and create an expectation in their own mind. This then has an effect on how they perceive the differences they get to hear. To some people, a small difference can have a large affect on how convincing their system sounds. It might just be a shimmer of cymbals, which those listening to tonal balance won’t notice, but that shimmer just opens up a layer of reality to their favourite music. That’s too small a difference for some - they suddenly want to feel the kick drum in their pants, which is quite an unreasonable expectation for two products that sit next to each other in the grand scheme of things.
Quote:
Is the dac not meant to handle and sort the data anyway to stop jitter?
Regardless of source, why do Chord’s DACs keep winning awards if they all sound the same and eliminate jitter?
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Fri, 2018-05-18 13:39 (Reply to #102) #103
cheeseboy
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davidf wrote:
davidf wrote:
How close do you think a laptop can get to recreating exactly what is on the digital file? How close can it get to a dedicated digital source that has had time and effort put into isolating circuitry, choosing the right components for the job, ensuring correct heat dissipation, reducing noise, etc etc. Most laptops are a jack of all trades that are designed to a budget - they’re like AV receivers - features are more important than quality.

with all due respect, you've fallen in to the folly that a lot of audiophiles do. the laptop can re-create exactly what is on the digital file, because it's digital. When you are talking about the digital domain it has very very strict rules. These rules are not open to interpretation or analogue audio best practise. Once you pass off that file to process of coverting to analogue, then yes, the things you mention will matter, but purely in the digital domain, it's all the same.

As I've said before, transmitting digital data either works or it doesn't. Please don't forget that it wasn't that long ago most people's internet traffic was literally converted to an audio analogue signal, then sent down the crappy copper wires as an audio analogue signal to be received as an audio analogue signal and then re-converted back to digital. But becasue it's digitial you can do that, as it's either on or off. Similarly so, I could take a piece of music, convert it in to base64, literally print it out on to paper, send it to you via normal snail mail, you could then scan those pages in to a computer and convert it from base64 back in to the music file and will be identical to the file that I used to send to you. If anything goes wrong, the file will not work. There won't be a loss of resolution etc.

Sadly, a lot of audiophiles have tried to shoehorn the best practices they used in the analogue domain to the computer domain, but it just doesn't work like that.

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Fri, 2018-05-18 13:40 (Reply to #103) #104
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davidf wrote:
davidf wrote:
]Regardless of source, why do Chord’s DACs keep winning awards if they all sound the same and eliminate jitter?

...and who is giving out these awards? Wink

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Fri, 2018-05-18 13:44 (new) (Reply to #104) #105
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Cheeseboy
cheeseboy wrote:
davidf wrote:
How close do you think a laptop can get to recreating exactly what is on the digital file? How close can it get to a dedicated digital source that has had time and effort put into isolating circuitry, choosing the right components for the job, ensuring correct heat dissipation, reducing noise, etc etc. Most laptops are a jack of all trades that are designed to a budget - they’re like AV receivers - features are more important than quality.

with all due respect, you've fallen in to the folly that a lot of audiophiles do. the laptop can re-create exactly what is on the digital file, because it's digital. When you are talking about the digital domain it has very very strict rules. These rules are not open to interpretation or analogue audio best practise. Once you pass off that file to process of coverting to analogue, then yes, the things you mention will matter, but purely in the digital domain, it's all the same.

As I've said before, transmitting digital data either works or it doesn't. Please don't forget that it wasn't that long ago most people's internet traffic was literally converted to an audio analogue signal, then sent down the crappy copper wires as an audio analogue signal to be received as an audio analogue signal and then re-converted back to digital. But becasue it's digitial you can do that, as it's either on or off. Similarly so, I could take a piece of music, convert it in to base64, literally print it out on to paper, send it to you via normal snail mail, you could then scan those pages in to a computer and convert it from base64 back in to the music file and will be identical to the file that I used to send to you. If anything goes wrong, the file will not work. There won't be a loss of resolution etc.

Sadly, a lot of audiophiles have tried to shoehorn the best practices they used in the analogue domain to the computer domain, but it just doesn't work like that.
Andrew, you've copied this digitally and it came out as a mess. What's happened?

It looked nothing like it before :)
 

Andrewjvt

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with all due respect, you've fallen in to the folly that a lot of audiophiles do. the laptop can re-create exactly what is on the digital file, because it's digital. When you are talking about the digital domain it has very very strict rules. These rules are not open to interpretation or analogue audio best practise. Once you pass off that file to process of coverting to analogue, then yes, the things you mention will matter, but purely in the digital domain, it's all the same.

As I've said before, transmitting digital data either works or it doesn't. Please don't forget that it wasn't that long ago most people's internet traffic was literally converted to an audio analogue signal, then sent down the crappy copper wires as an audio analogue signal to be received as an audio analogue signal and then re-converted back to digital. But becasue it's digitial you can do that, as it's either on or off. Similarly so, I could take a piece of music, convert it in to base64, literally print it out on to paper, send it to you via normal snail mail, you could then scan those pages in to a computer and convert it from base64 back in to the music file and will be identical to the file that I used to send to you. If anything goes wrong, the file will not work. There won't be a loss of resolution etc.

Sadly, a lot of audiophiles have tried to shoehorn the best practices they used in the analogue domain to the computer domain, but it just doesn't work like that.
 

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insider9 said:
Andrewjvt said:
I've pasted his comments

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Fri, 2018-05-18 09:36 (Reply to #91) #92
insider9
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Andrewjvt wrote:
insider9 wrote:
I've heard differences between digital sources so there's no doubt in my mind they exist. Another question entirely would be whether they're big enough to warrant the price difference, or would the same amount spent somewhere else bring more benefit.

How did you
Come to hear difference in digital transport?
And
Do you think you could confidently tell the differences in a blind test?

We are talking transport now and same dac.

So let's say if blind folded with no sales pitch or clues
Do you think you could accurately tell the difference between a laptop and dedicated streamer?

Or even harder a zen from a zennith?

If I were blind folded I doubt I could but if I were sighted and listened to sales pitch I'm sure I'd hear a difference like all the others.
My point are those differences really real?

I don't want to give in to the typical
Audiophile reasoning that a data stream can be polished.

Yes, same DAC different transport. And no it wasn't a blind test and as I'm sceptical by nature I was surprised. Sure it could've been bias. There was no one influencing talking over what kind of differences you should hear. It was not a sales pitch.
As to blind tests. I'm not a fan. If a decision between two components requires a blind test then I can tell you straight away, I'm not interested. Minute differences don't appeal to me and it's not how I spend my money. I also evaluate components during extended listening sessions, not quick AB's, which are too limited for me to find them useful.

My system and currently testing...

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com

I never knew your forum wishes were more important.

This is something very important to me actually as ive been investigating this for over a few months and I'm yet to have any proof at all apart from just listen.

I also need to buy/build a streamer and I don't want to be suckered into spending money unnecessary because I've been tricked by a con artist or read a magazine.

What's the worst that could happen? I can be proved wrong and you can feel proud. What's the best? You can save money instead of waste it.

Not just mine...

Before trying the Innuous I had no preconceptions on the sq, I was really just interested in having a piece of HiFi that would be easy for me to rip CD's onto... I hadn't even spoken to a dealer about sound quality, but a short time of listening to the Mini I knew it was inferior to my existing sources.

Now 've got the Zenith on demo and able to switch between CD, Sonos and Innuous I am hard put to tell the difference... being visually impaired, I like to think my hearing is up to discerning the difference.

Just ignore me Andrew, you carry on your research and if you do find there to be no improvement between one digital source and another you can have the last laugh.

Mac

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Fri, 2018-05-18 11:00 (Reply to #94) #95
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Mac, I believe you.
Mac, I believe you. Smile

It is impossible to prove to others (to their satisfaction), the perceived improvements you are hearing, on a Forum...that is something that they will have to do for themselves.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines." Nelson Pass

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Fri, 2018-05-18 11:01 (Reply to #95) #96
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Andrew
I wasn't trying to avoid the answer. The honest answer is, I don't know. I believe I could with the components I tried and I wouldn't be embarrassed to be proved wrong. As stated above it wouldn't be my favourite thing to do, but I'd be curious enough to do one of those once in a while.

I'm against snake oil just as much as you. A lot of it makes people in our hobby look like charlatans. But then there is another contrasting group of people who contribute to this also. These who claim nothing, ever makes a difference. According to some all amps sound the same, all DAC's sound the same, bit is bit, etc. I wonder how many people who commented that categorically there couldn't be a difference actually heard Innuos products.

Mac, I'm glad you're enjoying your new toy. Don't be discouraged by the comments. I've not heard Innuos but was sufficiently impressed by a quick listen to Melco.

My system and currently testing...

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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:04 (Reply to #97) #98
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The last comment
davidf wrote:
Andrewjvt wrote:

If someone technical can explain to me how this can be the case I'd appreciate it.

Auralic owner/designer insists the best sound quality comes from a Nas (ethernet cable) and then followed by internal ssd.

This would seem to contradict innous product.

Do you mean that is the order the Auralic designer rated the effectiveness of improvements? If so, I’m not sure how that contradicts Innuos. Innuos don’t do Ethernet cables (although I’d have thought you’d have taken issue with that one), and if the “NAS” itself makes the biggest difference, I’m presuming that encapsulates everything as a collective that’s inside the box other than the digital drives. The Innuos models have progressively better power supplies as you move up through the range.
[snip]
I think that much of the time, the arguments against cables and digital sources etc seem to be made from the approach that you can’t improve the signal, which isn’t necessarily the best way to look at it. Try it from the angle that you’re trying to “preserve” the original signal without any losses caused by something which is less than perfect - and let’s face it - no hi-fi is “perfect”. If it was, it’d sound like Bono was in your living room. God forbid.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve had a few people in about the Innuos products, and they’ve all taken home the ZENith to try out in their own system. All have purchased one model or another from that. One had a home demo of the ZENith SE after loaning my ZENith, and he bought the SE. Now one or two of these people, particularly the latter one I mentioned, are in the data industry in one avenue or another. More than once I’ve been told that they don’t understand how it sounds better as data is data, but there is definitely a difference. They also don’t seem interested in ‘why’ the difference exists, as they’ve heard it in their system. Granted, their systems are the type that are able to appreciate this level of source and show the differences between an SE and a non SE ZENith, but I wasn’t going to argue with him as he knows more about data transfer than I do.

I’ll have to see if I can get together with Innuos and hold an event to show that they do make a difference - maybe a direct comparison of the ZEN Mini against the Statement, or maybe even a standard NAS drive against a Statement - that sort of demo should present a definite appreciable difference for all (through a suitable system). Comparing neighbouring models will be trickier, what we’re trying to do is show that there is a difference, and we need to make this as easily appreciated as possible. Once a difference is confirmed, an individual is then free to research the difference between models they’re likely to purchase.

With AB demos though, many people expect to be blown away by differences, and that is usually the detail that makes for disappointing results. People expect to hear something that sounds totally different, and that’s rarely the case, with anything, particularly when the products are from the same manufacturer. This, I feel, adds a little weight to my theory that many people in demos only listen to tonal balance - the tonal balance between a range of the same manufacturer’s products is most likely to be the same, as it has been designed by the same person, and usually to a ‘house sound’.

My last comment in this thread because I don't want to upset the op

David:
How many that chose the zennith conducted a blind test?

And how do you manipulate a data stream to create 'a house sound?'

Data will either work or cause jitter?
If jitter can't be heard using a standard noisy laptop with a particular dac. How will adding better power supply improve the data files of music?

Last one
You've touched on very small differences but thats not whats being said by other website hosts.
A clear difference, night and day
Massive improvement
Is what's being said to describe the sound.

Is the dac not meant to handle and sort the data anyway to stop jitter?

I mean how can a innous zen mini be so bad that even a Sonos makes it sound flat?
Surely if that's the case they have done this on purpose so you immediately buy the expensive model? Perhaps

Why does my laptop sound just as good as high end cd player transport? (Into the same dac)
Sorry Mac

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Fri, 2018-05-18 11:56 (Reply to #98) #99
cheeseboy
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insider9 wrote:
insider9 wrote:
hese who claim nothing, ever makes a difference. According to some all amps sound the same, all DAC's sound the same, bit is bit, etc. I wonder how many people who commented that categorically there couldn't be a difference actually heard Innuos products.

in fairness I dont think I've ever met or read anybody who has ever said that. Usually there is the caveat that providing something is designed and built to a certain standard, then there shouldnt be any or minimal diffrerence. If there is a difference at that point, it's then the rabbit hole of how far does one want to go to work out why they heard a difference.

There's also the flip side to what you say - I'll totally agree that there will be a lot of people who may comment on something they have not heard. But the flip side is there are also a lot of people who seem to want to comment on things they haven't tried such as proper blind testing etc. So we get this wall where one side is saying "how do you know, you've never heard it" (the it being a peice of equipment or whatever) and the other saying "how do you know if you've never tried it" (the it in this case being things such as blind testing, measurements etc). I find that stance quite ironic as both sides are saying try it, but neither do Wink

So, like you say, it does cut both ways Smile

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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:03 (Reply to #99) #100
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cheeseboy wrote:
insider9 wrote:
hese who claim nothing, ever makes a difference. According to some all amps sound the same, all DAC's sound the same, bit is bit, etc. I wonder how many people who commented that categorically there couldn't be a difference actually heard Innuos products.

in fairness I dont think I've ever met or read anybody who has ever said that.

No, because they only live on the internet!
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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:16 #101
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Mac my friend
I started another thread as to not spoil your new toy.
I'd be just as excited as you if one was on its way to me

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Fri, 2018-05-18 12:27 (Reply to #101) #102
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Andrewjvt wrote:

My last comment in this thread because I don't want to upset the op

David: How many that chose the zennith conducted a blind test?

None as far as I know, but I know one changed from a Melco.
Quote:
And how do you manipulate a data stream to create 'a house sound?'
That was more referring to things like amplifiers, but depending on the design brief, its not inconceivable that a range of digital components will naturally have some sort of signature to it, even if it was down to the tech being used.
Quote:
Data will either work or cause jitter? If jitter can't be heard using a standard noisy laptop with a particular dac. How will adding better power supply improve the data files of music?
How close do you think a laptop can get to recreating exactly what is on the digital file? How close can it get to a dedicated digital source that has had time and effort put into isolating circuitry, choosing the right components for the job, ensuring correct heat dissipation, reducing noise, etc etc. Most laptops are a jack of all trades that are designed to a budget - they’re like AV receivers - features are more important than quality. I’ve had a few laptops over the years, all Toshiba, and all have been very reliable. My earlier ones were usually between £1k-2k type laptops of 10/15 years ago, with Hartman Kardon sound system which sounded very, very good for a laptop, and build quality was excellent. My current one was £450 about 6 years ago, and whilst it’s been the workhorse that the others have been, the sound is bloody awful, and whilst built well, it’s nothing like the others, and half the weight. I’ve not used any of these as digital sources, but I wouldn’t for one moment expect my current laptop to be able to compete, and not that I’d want it to anyway, as it gets enough use as it is - the last thing I want to do is leave it on 24/7 - it’s noisy enough as it is.
The only good thing a laptop has going for it is that it’s power supply is separate.

Quote:
Last one You've touched on very small differences but thats not whats being said by other website hosts. A clear difference, night and day Massive improvement Is what's being said to describe the sound.
Perception. Expectation. I’ve said before that as individuals, we perceive a difference, whatever that might be. How big that difference is influenced by our perception of the difference and our expectations. We then use our own subjective words to describe this difference and it’s magnitude. Others will read that, perceive it in their own way, and create an expectation in their own mind. This then has an effect on how they perceive the differences they get to hear. To some people, a small difference can have a large affect on how convincing their system sounds. It might just be a shimmer of cymbals, which those listening to tonal balance won’t notice, but that shimmer just opens up a layer of reality to their favourite music. That’s too small a difference for some - they suddenly want to feel the kick drum in their pants, which is quite an unreasonable expectation for two products that sit next to each other in the grand scheme of things.
Quote:
Is the dac not meant to handle and sort the data anyway to stop jitter?
Regardless of source, why do Chord’s DACs keep winning awards if they all sound the same and eliminate jitter?
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Fri, 2018-05-18 13:39 (Reply to #102) #103
cheeseboy
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davidf wrote:
davidf wrote:
How close do you think a laptop can get to recreating exactly what is on the digital file? How close can it get to a dedicated digital source that has had time and effort put into isolating circuitry, choosing the right components for the job, ensuring correct heat dissipation, reducing noise, etc etc. Most laptops are a jack of all trades that are designed to a budget - they’re like AV receivers - features are more important than quality.

with all due respect, you've fallen in to the folly that a lot of audiophiles do. the laptop can re-create exactly what is on the digital file, because it's digital. When you are talking about the digital domain it has very very strict rules. These rules are not open to interpretation or analogue audio best practise. Once you pass off that file to process of coverting to analogue, then yes, the things you mention will matter, but purely in the digital domain, it's all the same.

As I've said before, transmitting digital data either works or it doesn't. Please don't forget that it wasn't that long ago most people's internet traffic was literally converted to an audio analogue signal, then sent down the crappy copper wires as an audio analogue signal to be received as an audio analogue signal and then re-converted back to digital. But becasue it's digitial you can do that, as it's either on or off. Similarly so, I could take a piece of music, convert it in to base64, literally print it out on to paper, send it to you via normal snail mail, you could then scan those pages in to a computer and convert it from base64 back in to the music file and will be identical to the file that I used to send to you. If anything goes wrong, the file will not work. There won't be a loss of resolution etc.

Sadly, a lot of audiophiles have tried to shoehorn the best practices they used in the analogue domain to the computer domain, but it just doesn't work like that.

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Fri, 2018-05-18 13:40 (Reply to #103) #104
cheeseboy
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davidf wrote:
davidf wrote:
]Regardless of source, why do Chord’s DACs keep winning awards if they all sound the same and eliminate jitter?

...and who is giving out these awards? Wink

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Fri, 2018-05-18 13:44 (new) (Reply to #104) #105
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Cheeseboy
cheeseboy wrote:
davidf wrote:
How close do you think a laptop can get to recreating exactly what is on the digital file? How close can it get to a dedicated digital source that has had time and effort put into isolating circuitry, choosing the right components for the job, ensuring correct heat dissipation, reducing noise, etc etc. Most laptops are a jack of all trades that are designed to a budget - they’re like AV receivers - features are more important than quality.

with all due respect, you've fallen in to the folly that a lot of audiophiles do. the laptop can re-create exactly what is on the digital file, because it's digital. When you are talking about the digital domain it has very very strict rules. These rules are not open to interpretation or analogue audio best practise. Once you pass off that file to process of coverting to analogue, then yes, the things you mention will matter, but purely in the digital domain, it's all the same.

As I've said before, transmitting digital data either works or it doesn't. Please don't forget that it wasn't that long ago most people's internet traffic was literally converted to an audio analogue signal, then sent down the crappy copper wires as an audio analogue signal to be received as an audio analogue signal and then re-converted back to digital. But becasue it's digitial you can do that, as it's either on or off. Similarly so, I could take a piece of music, convert it in to base64, literally print it out on to paper, send it to you via normal snail mail, you could then scan those pages in to a computer and convert it from base64 back in to the music file and will be identical to the file that I used to send to you. If anything goes wrong, the file will not work. There won't be a loss of resolution etc.

Sadly, a lot of audiophiles have tried to shoehorn the best practices they used in the analogue domain to the computer domain, but it just doesn't work like that.
Andrew, you've copied this digitally and it came out as a mess. What's happened?

It looked nothing like it before :)
I fixed the mess but you had no patience
 

cheeseboy

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davidf said:
Has every single film you’ve watched on watched on Netflix been perfect from start to finish? No audio dropouts or frame stutter?
actually, that's the point when people say bits are bits are trying to make. When you get a problem with digital you get things like audio dropout and frame stutter, not a slight decrease in resolution, or a bit less bass.

davidf said:
Photo files etc are what USB was designed for, and is presumably well within its working specification.
Sorry to be a pedant, but it's kind of important in these types of converstations. USB wasn't designed for a specific purpose like that, it was designed to, well, I'll copy and paste from wikipedia because it says it better than I can. - USB, short for Universal Serial Bus, is an industry standard that was developed to define cables, connectors and protocols for connection, communication, and power supply between personal computers and their peripheral devices. That's why it was called universal - IE it wasn't limited to a single use.

davidf said:
We were told that DAB radio, being digital, either worked or it didn’t, so in theory you should either have a “perfect” signal, or none at all. So where does the boiling water noise come into that statement? Digital may be zeros and ones, but it’s not necessarily a case of it’s there or it isn’t.
I'd hazard a guess at singal interference. just like you can get power line interference through digital devices. It doesn't make the actual sound any different, it adds noise to it, and sometimes to the point it overpowers the original signal.
 

cheeseboy

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CnoEvil said:
Once (if) you hear improvements, you can become more open to explanations.....personally, I haven't ever seen anybody change their mind until they have experienced something for themselves....so I think theoretical discussions should come after a practical demonstration.
does that include blind testing? ;) I belive in both ways as it were. Not sure if that makes me a bi-audiophile or something :D
 

Andrewjvt

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Couldn't bear to scroll back up and find/quote your last comment.

I respect what you say and I'm not trying to convince you or anybody
I'm looking for answers myself.

As for just listening
That does not work for me as I always hear a difference so I can't be trusted
 

CnoEvil

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Andrewjvt said:
Couldn't bear to scroll back up and find/quote your last comment.

I respect what you say and I'm not trying to convince you or anybody
I'm looking for answers myself.

As for just listening
That does not work for me as I always hear a difference so I can't be trusted
...and imo right there is the quickest way to drive yourself mad.

How do you even pick a Hifi system, if you constantly won't believe what you are hearing...or do you only believe what you are hearing, if it's from components that you believe make a difference? Do your ears only fool you on those things that know can't make a difference...or could the difference you hear be actually there?

This is the road to insanity. :)

Like I9, I like to live with a component for a while in order to assess its worth.

I also think bias works both ways ie. You can convince yourself you are Not hearing a difference, just as easily as the other way round.
 

ellisdj

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every time you listen to a hifi system sighted the experience is biased - so even if you select the components to it in a blind fashion every listening session experience is biased.

You have to trust your ears at some point - however exercising due diligence in certain areas is essential - Room Acoustics - thats the main science the hifi enthusiast should be paying attention to.
 

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