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jazzfan
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music


Quote:

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With a slight caveat for the fact that this is an initial impression based on one evening's listening I have to admit that I have as yet been unable to discern any differences whatsoever between the Touch's digital and analog outputs when feeding the Grace m902.

This thing is good, for $300 it's very good.

Wow! The Touch seems to be comfortable in the company of some very fine stand alone dacs. And a touch screen to boot!

Struts thanks for taking the time to give your much valued impressions. I'll order up!

I've had my Touch connected to my Headroom Desktop amp via the digital outputs and the analog outputs and when switching between the levels are perfectly matched. I've been playing back music leaving the input selector set to either analog or digital for long periods of time and I can't tell which input is which. Yes the Touch's analog output is very good. I haven't compared the Touch against the Transporter but I will do so shortly.

The Touch has the potential to bring music streaming into the big time.

Elk
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music

Very impressive.

Thanks for the report, Jazzfan.

RGibran
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music

Thank you Jazzfan.

This is the way I prefer to compare. All that switching back and forth is fatiguing and boring. I suspect you will do the same with the Transporter.

What I find interesting in all the user reports of comparisons with multiple popular dacs is the conclusion there is no difference. I could understand 'no better' but would expect some 'flavor' differences. Perhaps the digital playing field gets more level every day?

Look forward to your future comparisons.

struts
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music


Quote:
This is the way I prefer to compare. All that switching back and forth is fatiguing and boring.


It's certainly not the way I prefer to listen, but when comparing components I find it's good at highlighting differences. The flipside is that it's much harder to get an overall sense of the SQ of a component. In this case I was driven to it by my apparent inability to detect any differences under normal listening!


Quote:
What I find interesting in all the user reports of comparisons with multiple popular dacs is the conclusion there is no difference. I could understand 'no better' but would expect some 'flavor' differences. Perhaps the digital playing field gets more level every day?


I agree, this is fascinating, as well as slightly worrying for those of us who have reported it! If everyone's observations are correct then the implication of A==B and A==C is that B==C, or in this case B==C==D==E==F== etc... Could it possibly be so?

So either the market really is converging or there are still differences but people are just not detecting them. There are a variety of possible explanations for the latter, none of them particularly flattering to the card-carrying audiophile:

  • Tester has cloth ears
  • Tester doesn't notice/appreciate differences
  • Test system is masking the differences
  • Test environment is masking the differences
  • Test programme doesn't reveal differences
  • etc.

Jeez, it's almost as hard to tie cause to effect when you don't hear a difference as when you do! It certainly turns the whole placebo/expectation bias debate on its head when mutliple independent testers all of whom, one can reasonably assume, are expecting to hear a difference don't!

Since my first report I have continued to listen, although I'm now comparing with my home-brew DAC rather than the built-in DAC in the Grace. I have the digital out of the Touch feeding my DAC which then drives the Grace via the balanced inputs and the analog out of the Touch feeding the Grace's unbalanced inputs. Unfortunately in this scenario levels are no longer matched which introduces a significant new variable. The Grace has no facility to trim the gain for different inputs individually so switching entails adjusting the volume each time. The problem here is that I suspect that very small differences in volume may be perceived more as a difference in sound quality than as a difference in loudness so accurate level matching is really critical. Thank goodness for the 0.5 dB calibrated gain control on the Grace.

I can certainly hear differences between the two (phew!), although they are far more subtle than I would have expected. I'll report in more detail when I have had the opportunity to put a few more hours on this.

In the meantime I stand by my initial impressions (with the only caveat being that all my listening so far via the analog outs has been via headphones, with all that entails - on both sides of the ledger). The SQ of the Touch via both digital and analog outs is first rate. Given its modest price and the fact it plays hi rez material without decimation I think it's a stone cold bargain. Very much looking forward to hearing jazzfan's impressions compared to the Transformer, as well as your own RG.

I hate to think I have cloth ears but I have to get to the bottom of this!

jazzfan
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music

Struts,

Don't worry about having cloth ears since I'm beginning to believe that the modestly priced Touch is quite a bargain and very similar in that regard to the equally modestly priced Oppo blu-ray player. Hopefully Logitech will make an OEM version available to other manufacturers so that Lexicon can release a $3,000 "Power Touch". Then the high end community can safely enter into the world of streaming audio.

RGibran
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music

Touch in da house!

struts
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music

I'll be interested to hear your impressions RG, especially since I feel partly responsible for pushing you over the edge!

jazzfan
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music


Quote:
Thank you Jazzfan.

This is the way I prefer to compare. All that switching back and forth is fatiguing and boring. I suspect you will do the same with the Transporter.

What I find interesting in all the user reports of comparisons with multiple popular dacs is the conclusion there is no difference. I could understand 'no better' but would expect some 'flavor' differences. Perhaps the digital playing field gets more level every day?

Look forward to your future comparisons.

I'm so impressed with the sound of Touch via the stereo in my computer room that I'm afraid to hook it up to my main stereo system where the Transporter is located. But don't worry the forecast calls for rain for the next few days which means that I won't be out riding my bicycle (I've ridden over 300 miles since Sunday) and the NJ Devils are out of the NHL playoffs so I will definitely have a chance to hook the Touch up to the big rig. Yes a head to head comparison with the mighty Transporter. Should be interesting, to say the least.

In any event the Touch is still very impressive and well worth the $300 price, which was the list price of the Squeezebox Classic, the unit that the Touch is replacing.

RGibran
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music

I'm reserving my comments until I get those two caps properly burned-in

RGibran
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music


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I'm so impressed with the sound of Touch via the stereo in my computer room that I'm afraid to hook it up to my main stereo system where the Transporter is located

Probably because you know it has no sound, just like the Transporter. Gets the hell out of the way. If it's this or that it's because it's on the recording. Perhaps a touch (pardon the pun) more recessed than the Porter. $300.00 bucks? Are you kiddin' me?

More later...

struts
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Re: PC Audio and Classical Music


Quote:
I'm reserving my comments until I get those two caps properly burned-in


Burned in? I assumed you would have whipped them out before you even turned it on!

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