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JIMV
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Relative Value

I was reading the

linden518
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
If Class
JIMV
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Re: Relative Value

But nothing says it will sound worse either...As sound quality is subjective, and in our subjective world class A is or is not Class A (again subjective)...One gets more Class A bang for the buck in digital...

Perhaps vinyl class A is more magic then digital Class A, but that requires an infinitely greater set of variables...ie; One needs to match and properly set up a turntable, cartridge, tone arm and phono amp all of which are squirrely and the proper setup is more emotional and mystic than scientific...and in no other category of audio gear is the matching as important.

Perhaps if one finds all the right gear for a setup, sets it up in all its mystic potential, and uses all the tweaks and magic rituals properly, sacrifice that chicken and chant all the right words, one can get sound that is, to all listeners better than class A digital. If even one vinyl ritual is off, then the sound is less than magic...

Now consider the vast cost of all that vinyl stuff...My $1000 vinyl front end does not sound 1/10 as good as my 1600 digital front end, and is far more dependent on the media to sound its best.

I like vinyl and freely admit I have never heard a first rate setup, but the price...the price...shudder!

linden518
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
Perhaps vinyl class A is more magic then digital Class A, but that requires an infinitely greater set of variables...ie; One needs to match and properly set up a turntable, cartridge, tone arm and phono amp all of which are squirrely and the proper setup is more emotional and mystic than scientific...and in no other category of audio gear is the matching as important.


You're definitely right on this. For me, still, it's really fun and educates me on so many levels... but I can see how it can get tiresome for a lot of people; but in the case of Rega TTs, etc., it's very set-it-and-forget-it. Even on my Platine, after I get all the parameters set up, I don't touch anything for months. Not bad.


Quote:
I like vinyl and freely admit I have never heard a first rate setup, but the price...the price...shudder!


I do have to admit, it's shudder-inducing. There are these ultimate class TTs for over $100K; even off the top of my head, I can count 6-7 of these exclusive beasts. Not to mention $15K carts, $25K phono stages... at the same time, I do believe you can set up a really good vinyl rig for under $2K. Might not be state of the art, but still will give you the good stuff.

gkc
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Re: Relative Value

"The price... shudder!" Not so fast, JIMV. The cheapest Basis, VPI, or Rega will get you 95% of the way to the insanely priced stuff. IF you simply listen around, find an arm compatible with the pick-up you like (Look. The various iterations of the Rega arm, for $500 to a grand, will track ANYTHING you can afford, seamlessly and musically...).

For 5 grand, TOTAL (turntable, arm, and pick-up), you can enjoy MUSIC (provided you have the discs to spin...), not SOUND, that NO digital set-up can approach. Not even the 5-6 figure stuff. Trust me. I know. I have both. I can afford it. So I can experiment.

I am single, childless, and looking for a constructive way to spend money, so there will be nothing left for the damm' gummint after I croak. And I am 70. And lucky to be there (I should have been blown up 35 years ago, so, in my view, I am on bonus time, and damned happy to be there). I love music, golf, wine, and poetry. My love of pussy is fading into sweet memories, but OHHHHH, what sweet memories...

So, yeah. I try everything. Why NOT? But only AFTER it passes muster at auditions.

So. Back to the point. Yes. $100,000 worth of vinyl will get you closer to the memory of Friday's live concert than $5,000. Yes, it WILL. But only if you love music enough to carefully choose what lifts you off the ground, and only if you spend another hundred large on speakers and amplification. But. $5,000 spent on vinyl will get you closer than ANYTHING you can buy that lights up a green display screen and is measured in bits or bytes. ANYTHING.

But only if you love live music. If you don't, then save yourself some money and take the wife to a spa in Hawai'i with what you saved. Hey. Life has its priorities... only you can decide what they are...

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value

You may be 100% correct but I have never heard a vinyl setup that compares with my $1600 digital one...I am sure they are out there, but no one I know and no store I have ever been in has had one...

Maybe it would have been better to have asked the question...Is a Class A vinyl setup no one has heard producing better class A music than the digital one folk have heard?

I would really like to hear a Class A system once in my life before I am too old to have the ears to appreciate it.

Good points

I got back into vinyl to hear the old music not available on digital again, not to get better sounding music. Also, I am low enough in the vinyl food chain tat I can still uy cheap tweaks that have an effect while my digital tweaks are pretty much done or are far more expensive.

Buddha
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Re: Relative Value

1600 dollars?

What are you talking about?

Oppo has a Class A+ player for 499.

1600? That's just throwing away money.

There's your relative value for you, I guess.

If you can, hunt around the interviews of the remaster master who did The Beatles release and while he says he's pleased with the outcome, they still don't sound as good as vinyl.

Dude, you have to get the RMAF!

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value

It is what I own...A Rotel 1070 driving a Benchmark DAC1..coupled with an old Audio Alchemy digital cable and New Transparent cables.

You could well be right, the Oppo might sound better or as good, but it is not what I own.

But cone on, admit it..I raise an interesting question...Is cheaper Class A digital as good sounding as ultra expensive Class A vinyl..? Is it even comparable?

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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
It is what I own...A Rotel 1070 driving a Benchmark DAC1..coupled with an old Audio Alchemy digital cable and New Transparent cables.

You could well be right, the Oppo might sound better or as good, but it is not what I own.

But cone on, admit it..I raise an interesting question...Is cheaper Class A digital as good sounding as ultra expensive Class A vinyl..? Is it even comparable?

It is a good question.

I think the Oppo thing points out just how quickly and efficiently digital has been able to advance.

Moving to your secific question, and I know I am going to catch Hell...

Those 100K plus vinyl rigs aren't made for people who love music more, or want the last drop of pleasure their records they can deliver. Those rigs are for people who want 100,000 dollar turntables.

(Anyone who gets upset by that, I didn't mean YOU, I meant the other guys with those tables, OK?)

That being said, I also think vinyl is still superior to digital.

There is something about live music that creates a sensation of hearing 'around' the sound that vinyl still provides better, for me.

Sometimes the vocabulary is tough in the comparison, and I apologize, but vinyl captures that frisson of live sound better. When that's there, I don't really hear pops or ticks, or even surface noise for that matter. The music on vinyl is apart from the noise. Now, for others, this may not be the case, so different strokes comes into play.

I think this phenomenon is also why some people can call 78's Hi Fi in the face of everything elses that 78's fail to do. Down below that whooshing, Art Dudley can hear the actual music to a degree that he makes those statements he does. Of course, he's also a crazy liberal iconoclast with text to sell, but I digress...

There may be people who just naturally have a preference one way or the other.

Relative value is tough. We all have a point where we look at something and think, "That's ridiculous," while at the same time a civilian hears you mention a 1600 dollar digital front end and thinks the same thing.

(But, yes, the trend toward these affectation pieces like 350,000 dollar amps and the like is ridiculous, and I think I smell the Audio Stockholm Syndrome at play with some people.)

Disclaimer: I also don't think Domaine Romanee Conti burgundies are worth 30,000 dollars per bottle or that a Rolls Royce Phantom Convertible is worth "starting at 434,000 dolars." So maybe I am just not set finely enough to 'appreciate' the value of these things.

There is a 250,000 dollar plus purse by Chanel, and I'm sure their equivalent of the 100K turntable crowd gets upset if people complain about its price, too.

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value

The car, the wine, the art all grow in value over time...does any piece of audio gear, including the $100K toys?

KBK
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Re: Relative Value

Some do.

MA cotter MC transformers. Some sell (mint) for twice their original price. Other items as well. Dynaco Stereo 70's. Etc.

linden518
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Re: Relative Value

Yup. Not only the Cotter, but even more pricy are some Jorgen Schou transformers and Western Electric 618Bs...

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-X-Vintage-Western-...id=p3286.c0.m14

Not to mention Garrard grease-bearing 301s, etc. I have to say, these equipments that do last long and fetch exponentially more than they did are mostly analog items, not digital... just to name a few, EMT 927 or 930, Micro Seiki stuff, Fidelity Research fr 66 tonearm or Audiocraft 4400 tonearm, ad nauseum, yadi yada... For me, the holy grail is the Neumann DST cart... maybe one day...

But this brings up a very important point. Why do these vintage items fetch astronomic prices? I'm talking about Western Electric stuff, RCA, Klangfilms, certain Marantz pre's and tuners, etc. Go ahead, and check the recent market prices of JBL Hartsfields or Paragons, Tannoy Reds and Silvers.... First of all: they have LASTED. To the point that many still believe they haven't been bettered. Second of all, aesthetically speaking, they're just built to a high standard that a lot of new stuff can't match. No matter how sleek that new Burmester stuff looks now, they'll look aged in a few years. For some reason, some of the gear from the past, the Jensens, the Vitavoxes, the Electro-Voices, just look more substantial and more lovingly aged. Signs o' the times, I guess; in this hyper-capitalism society, every product comes with a strong streak of commodification. When Art becomes commodified, it just becomes a bitch you regret to see in the rearview mirror (oh, and I'm not talking about AD here ).

Another issue is that these vintage items, like the Garrards and Marantz 7Bs and vintage McIntosh & Jensen gear, seem to have started to escalate in value after the Asian audiophiles noticed their excellence, and fetishized these items to the n-th degree. Good for them. But shame on us. From my conversations alone, it seems that an average East Asian audiophile is better versed in anything related to those heyday U.S. hi-fi items of the past... in fact, I learned much of what little I know from those people, and from what I read in the Asian audio press.

I hope there's a certain revival of culture here. I'd love to see more retrospective pieces here at Stereophile, too (I know that JA would kill to have space for pieces like that.)

Welshsox
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Re: Relative Value

Jim

A TT will blow away a digital source, not even close

Alan

KBK
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Re: Relative Value

Oh Happy day. Alan and I agree. I'm going to go and have a drink now. And I'll drink one for you too, Alan.

Oh yes, get thee to Ireland, Welsh. They need the help. As Al Capone said, Vote Early..and Vote Often!

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
Jim

A TT will blow away a digital source, not even close

Alan

That opinion answers half the question..what of the other half...Will a dollar spent on vinyl buy as much sound as a dollar on digital...There lies the rub.

As to audio gear going up in value over time...is not most of that simply the device staying current with inflation?

linden518
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Re: Relative Value


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Will a dollar spent on vinyl buy as much sound as a dollar on digital...There lies the rub.


With vinyl, almost every parameter you change, there's a noticeable change in sound. It's just a more delicate medium, so you spend some here and there, the dividends are way more noticeable than with some digital gear - whether that change is for the good or for the worse, that's for each listener to struggle with and work out. Digital's definitely more set-it-and-forget-it. Which also means that there's a finite set of what you can do to a DAC or a CDP.


Quote:
As to audio gear going up in value over time...is not most of that simply the device staying current with inflation?


I'm sure you just want to play the contrarian, but the answer is no. Just bust out some internet inflation calculator and do the math.

tom collins
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Re: Relative Value

it seems to me that with digital, unless you are very knowledgable about the inner workings, your upgrade options are new powercords. at least, that is how it worked out for me.
with vinyl, the options are many. cartridges, tone arms, platters, mats, wiring, vibration control. the list just goes on and on. of course, some of these can backfire, but i think there is much improvement to be had.
also, a huge difference is that used vinyl can mostly be had for silly cheap money. my son was out and about last week and came upon 2 cartons of LPs behind the local record store out for the trash. included were some Deutche Grammopones and other assorted goodies. after donating the yucky christmas albums and other detrious to good will, I'll come away with 20 or 30 good albums, and the ones i have tried so far clean up and play well. but even when you have to pay, its often the cost of an i-tune download for one song.
food for thought.

flatmap
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Re: Relative Value

I had the benefit of getting my TT from a local dealer, so it had been set up properly. As soon as I saw that this was the right investment for me, I upgraded (still modestly) to a nice cartridge and suitable phono preamp. Right from the start, this combination has been terrifically enjoyable and in some ways quite unmatched by the various digital sources I'm familiar with. Although an analog front end can be seen as fiddly -- once set up, it requires very little attention -- at least in my experience.

On the other hand, I would not get rid of my (computer-based) digital system. It is way too enjoyable, convenient, and fun. And when I'm listening to digital I don't fault it for not having what my vinyl system has. It's terrific in its own way and the one experience doesn't detract from the other. Each has its strong points and I'm glad to have both.

Computer-based digital is one of the most exciting areas in home audio. New online stores, high resolution files, better DACs, progress in playback software, and -- well just amazing amounts of fun.

And yet, my perfect evening of home hi-fi, is a selection of LPs, low lighting, and a comfy chair. Can't be beat... so far. Still, there's no doubt, I'll be totally content when vinyl is surpassed in favor of digital -- after all, these thousands of LPs do take up a lot of room.

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Re: Relative Value

Interesting questions and comments. Vinyl is certainly more futzy, we are talking about angstroms in measuring the encoded information, and we use a mechanical retrieval system, so it requires more user involvement for sure.

My digital and analogue front end cost about the same, neither is overly impressive! I have a Denon universal player that cost me about $1300 and a rega/bellari/grado vinyl system. They both put out enjoyable music and have different strengths I think.

The Denon has no pops, is easy to play, and has surround sound. The Rega is rich sounding, plays the vinyl I have that is not yet ripped or I did not buy on digital, and is fun to play.

For me, the equalizer of sorts is my computer. 24 bit 96kH wma files sound great from my computer. They are not quite as full sounding as the rega, but I can edit out the pops and the convienence is killer.

I need them both. But my PS3 is pushing the Denon on movies.

Trey

KBK
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Re: Relative Value

The interesting part is that the more you educate yourself about audio gear through reading, researching, listening, and being generally 'handy' in those areas..the bigger the bargain you find.

Point being, if you ain't got the cash..and you find yourself twiddling your thumbs...then research-research, research! Do your homework, it pays off handsomely. If you are having fun, it cannot be termed as time wasted, IMHO.

Life always demands that you invest something. in the case of wanting the best you can get at the lowest price, that tends to involve the trade-off of time and effort..done with applied practical experience and intelligence.

At that point you can get very close to Class A sound for a very decent price.

As an example, there are many well steeped engineers on DIY forums who have made stunningly well built turntables, on their own.

If looked at in a clear fashion with all variables weighted, it will be shown that their investment is far greater than buying a similar (performance wise) turntable with cash alone. They had to go to school, and do practical work overt time, make prototypes, research bearings and materials, motors, vibration, etc. So their practical level of investment is off the charts, into the $50-100k (or higher)level - with everything in.

Most audio manufacturers are in the same boat. They love it so much they turned the hobby (combined with their backgrounds, which may be extensive) into the career. In fact, the majority of the audio manufacturers out there do it for the love of music, combined with their innate desire and compulsion to fiddle.

absolutepitch
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
Interesting questions and comments. Vinyl is certainly more futzy, we are talking about angstroms in measuring the encoded information, and we use a mechanical retrieval system, so it requires more user involvement for sure.

...

If you don't already know, you might be surprised at the small levels of movement in the eardrum at the threshold of hearing.

absolutepitch
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Re: Relative Value

Great post KBK. I see a lot of what you wrote in my own experiences, in that I looked for the great deals, built what I can, experiment with what I don't know, and have loads of fun learning from it. And I get a job unrelated to audio to pay for the after-work fun.

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Relative Value

Jim,
I agree you can get pretty close to Class A with a fraction of the money calculated for Class A, but you will have to spend more than a grand.

I think you'd great really close with a Rega P5, a Groovetracer Reference Subplatter for the Rega, and a Grado Reference Sonata (or a Dynavector 10x5 if the thought of Grado hum was too much to allow you to sleep at night) cartridge and you'd be about at about two grand. I really think this would sound better than most any CD based system I could think of..

BillB
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Re: Relative Value

I would say that you have answered your own question. You used a reasonable method of sampling recommended products and their prices - so yes, I think you can get class A digital for less $ than class A vinyl.

Glotz
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Re: Relative Value

Remember that the question is a loaded one from the get-go. The assembled system is not a Recommended SYSTEM. They are Recommended components, and it take the reader and the listener to design a SYSTEM. Moreover, the components listed here in the current listing of RC, do not include all current and past components, nor do they include wonderful Class A-level components not yet reviewed, which may indeed be cheaper. Remember that many components are removed for time or a variety of reasons.
There is also the fact that vinyl playback takes far more investment inherently, as there are many more components that require individual investment and matching to each component. Chinese components have also driven down the cost of digital, and not that of vinyl, as they don't have the same investment of time into that area of manufacturing- vinyl playback. But perhaps this the one area that digital was successful- in consolidating the costs of a playback system into one component and therefore reducing the chassis and labor costs that go into each component manufactured.

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value

Plus digital is a one box buy...Class A with one purchase...Vinyl...Table, cartridge, tonearm, amp. Inherently more expensive and, with 4 bits, far more prone to system incompatibility.

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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
1600 dollars?

What are you talking about?

Oppo has a Class A+ player for 499.

1600? That's just throwing away money.

There's your relative value for you, I guess.

If you can, hunt around the interviews of the remaster master who did The Beatles release and while he says he's pleased with the outcome, they still don't sound as good as vinyl.

Dude, you have to get the RMAF!

1600 is throwing the money away...hell, you arent using the onboard DAC... so any player that will pass the requisite number of bits to the DAC is fine.

samsung hd-841

toshiba 3960

if you use the onboard DAC, etc..yeah, youd have a to spend more to get a really good unit..but if you are using an extrenal DAC..there is no reason to spend a lot on a cd/dvd player..

Buddha
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Re: Relative Value

Philips Progressive Scan DVD Player w/ 1080i Upconversion, DVP3962/37

40 Bucks, baby!

In DBT, sounds exactly like a 40,000 dollar DarTZeel player - once they get the DarTZeel fixed.

Orb
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Re: Relative Value

I am still not sure at what point a CD Player/Transport is clearly identified as being perfect.
The case for and against can come down to the results of DBT ABX we see published, to the technical engineering and potential for differences, which does not necessarily mean the two always match up with results on the net, or logically with each other.

However there is one clear example of CD mech units not being perfect; The producer of RipNAS/dBpoweramp has clear practical experience where many drives used to rip CDs actually are anything but perfect, furthermore I know others in those forums have had similar experiences.

Now this is interesting because the ripping software has much more leeway in correcting errors than a traditional CD-player/transport that is playing in realtime to the listener due to relying less on error masking-interpolation, but still it seems that with ripping you are not guaranteed bit perfect when the rip is analysed.
How much of an issue this is does not matter and I hope is not going to be cause for argument, the point is that even when time sensitivity is mostly removed there is still no such thing as perfection as shown on their forums.
Here is one post on the subject there:
http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?t=17274

So if errors are appearing in ripping, how much greater are those errors/interpolations when playing a CD in realtime, and how much of an impact does the mechanism actually have on this?

I would say though we all put a different priority emphasis on what is important with regards to Cd Player used as a transport for a DAC (especially if its at each end of the spectrum; quality bargain say as DACMagic to expensive such as Wadia or dCS/etc).

One part though that potentially stands out to me is the quality of the BNC/RCA connection and digitial output circuit of the mechanism, along with power supply.
Although I am a fan of superb engineering feats to reduce read errors as well but is this really as noticable as a bad circuit design/connector.

So to me, it isnt so clear cut that a $200 is actually equal to say a $2,000.
But then I must admit that if I spent 2k to use the CD player as a transport I would be looking at it more from an engineering perspective such as the Esoteric X-05 and its mechanism (that unfortunately is substantially over 2k).
Please dont take this as a recommendation though that we all should be purchasing very expensive players to connect to DACs, because I am like many others wondering the same (how much of a difference is there really), and at what thresholds diminished returns kick in (if it exists).

Cheers
Orb

Orb
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Re: Relative Value

The one thing that really miffs me though, how the hell can anyone charge more for the transport product than the CD-player?
It seems nearly all manufacturers charge a lot more for a dedicated transport mechanism than say the CD-player that seems to share the same product platform.

Cheers
Orb

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
Philips Progressive Scan DVD Player w/ 1080i Upconversion, DVP3962/37

40 Bucks, baby!

In DBT, sounds exactly like a 40,000 dollar DarTZeel player - once they get the DarTZeel fixed.

That sounds like the thing I tried with my Benchmark DAC and it sounded God awful...Bits is not bits...

ncdrawl
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Re: Relative Value

[quoteThat sounds like the thing I tried with my Benchmark DAC and it sounded God awful...Bits is not bits...

..oh, but they are, you see. there is nothing else for them to be. I challenge anyone here(yep, anyone) to point out differences between two players , when said players go digi out in to a DAC.. there will be no difference..at least no sonic difference.

Orb
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
[quoteThat sounds like the thing I tried with my Benchmark DAC and it sounded God awful...Bits is not bits...

..oh, but they are, you see. there is nothing else for them to be. I challenge anyone here(yep, anyone) to point out differences between two players , when said players go digi out in to a DAC.. there will be no difference..at least no sonic difference.

Well we know there is a difference with regards to bits is not not bits; as I said by the experience of those who compare rips using dBoweramp, but you could be right that sonic differences are not noticable, or at least it may require certain music for differences to show (which may be a small % of a collection).

Regarding DACs, the potential for sound difference these days is increasing as more develop or use a diverse range of filters and processing power (enabling greater and more complex algorithms); a classic example is the nth order noise shaping, steepness of slopes,etc.

With regards to sound difference due to errors and quality of circuit-transport-mech design/components, that is part of those never ending debates as we already have seen with the 50+ pages of previous topics.

Some will feel there are no differences in sound while others will disagree, and others will consider the engineering aspects where the is a major difference in terms of a $200 CD Player and possibly a $2000+ player (depending upon the manufacturer).
There is a lot of engineering behind that slot tray in a transport/mech of a cd player.

Cheers
Orb

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Re: Relative Value


Quote:
There is a lot of engineering behind that slot tray in a transport/mech of a cd player.

Rumor has it there is a lot of engineering behind The Intelligent Chip!

absolutepitch
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Re: Relative Value

What about misread bits that are not fully error-corrected?

I never quite forgot my first look at CD players, years ago. Comparing brand A to Brand B (not mentioning names) I clearly heard difference between the two. One sounded more real than the other. I was surprised and near shocked, after hearing that 'bits is bits' line of advertising. I asked the salesman, why do they sound *so* different?

(edited for spelling 10/4/09)

Poor Audiophile
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Re: Relative Value

And what did the salesman reply?

ncdrawl
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:

There is a lot of engineering behind that slot tray in a transport/mech of a cd player.

Cheers
Orb

There may be a lot of engineering, but once the signal is sent out to the DAC, any differences are negated.

until I see anyone prove otherwise(and not with unproven theories and speculation), I am firmly in the camp that it doesnt really matter whether or not one gets an uber expensive or a cheap player. in fact, I dont understand why people buy 10,000 dollar players only to have the damn things going digi out into another kagillion dollar DAC.. craziness..........

Orb
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:

Quote:

There is a lot of engineering behind that slot tray in a transport/mech of a cd player.

Cheers
Orb

There may be a lot of engineering, but once the signal is sent out to the DAC, any differences are negated.

until I see anyone prove otherwise(and not with unproven theories and speculation), I am firmly in the camp that it doesnt really matter whether or not one gets an uber expensive or a cheap player. in fact, I dont understand why people buy 10,000 dollar players only to have the damn things going digi out into another kagillion dollar DAC.. craziness..........

OK speculation aside, do you disagree with what the maker of dBpoweramp and also posters there seeing that what is read from the CD is not correct when analysed?
In fact it seems many of the drives available to rip CDs do not read perfectly, and this solution does not rely on real time streaming constraints on read operations as say listening to a cd player.

So even before being sent to the DAC we are "potentially" (stressing this point as the extent of this affect is debatable and speculation by everyone) starting with errors.
The affect of this who knows or even cares, but, there is a reason why the Phillips Pro mechanisms cost a small fortune compared to their cheaper off the shelf OEM offering to manufacturers.

Just curious how you feel its speculation though to suggest that the different filters/Nth noise shaping/etc?

Regarding the mech-transport not sure how its speculation to consider laser pickup/error correction circuitry and coding, and on top of that the digital output circuitry/BNC-RCA connectors quality (I appreciate these are mechanics in how the sound is reproduced and not necessarily the same as what your views are on price vs sound quality).
In a similar way is it speculation to look at the engineering principles of negative feedback designs and potential differences/impact say between implemnenting 6db and 40db of feedback for amps, or those designs that dont rely on negative feedback, use wide bandwidth, effects of open loops,etc?
This is to me what helps to keep audio design interesting, as the goals may be the same but the path to it with their respective challenges and experiences are different, including the potential of sound differences (whether due to as examples sound quality such as circuit noise/low negative feedback design issues or mechanics such as filters/error correction/more complex DACs with greater processing power, etc)

But I guess we see different factors in what defines a CD Player or CD Transport, and thats good I feel as neither of us are wrong.

Counting the engineering factors as speculation unfortunately though means accasionally missing some of the bargain engineering designed products available.
While I mentioned Esoteric and their x-05 that uses a pretty stunning SACD bespoke solution, at the real bargain end there are products such as Cyrus CD XT or 8SE CD players that take into account what I briefly summarised and much more.

Anyway I would like to stress I am not arguing with your position, as to be honest what I may be interested in is not what you are (music aside ).

Cheers Orb

JIMV
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Re: Relative Value


Quote:

Quote:

There is a lot of engineering behind that slot tray in a transport/mech of a cd player.

Cheers
Orb

There may be a lot of engineering, but once the signal is sent out to the DAC, any differences are negated.

until I see anyone prove otherwise(and not with unproven theories and speculation), I am firmly in the camp that it doesnt really matter whether or not one gets an uber expensive or a cheap player. in fact, I dont understand why people buy 10,000 dollar players only to have the damn things going digi out into another kagillion dollar DAC.. craziness..........

Which does not explain why different CD players and transports sound different in the same DAC...

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Re: Relative Value


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Quote:
There is a lot of engineering behind that slot tray in a transport/mech of a cd player.

Rumor has it there is a lot of engineering behind The Intelligent Chip!


And rumour has it there is a lot of engineering behind a simple metal blade in a jet turbine!

And without this "simple" bit of engineering a jet plane would find that the engine would fall to pieces due to melting (the materials inside this environment operate at temperatures beyond their melting point, was a bit shocked when found out discussing this with an ex Rolls Royce design engineer)
Think of that next time your flying

Clearer picture of its design:

Quote:

The desire to produce a high engine efficiency demands a high turbine inlet temperature, but this causes problems as the turbine blades would be required to perform and survive long operating periods at temperatures above their melting point.
These blades, while glowing red-hot, must be strong enough to carry the centrifugal loads due to rotation at high speed.

To operate under these conditions, cool air is forced out of many small holes in the blade.
This air remains close to the blade, preventing it from melting, but not detracting significantly from the engine's overall performance.
Nickel alloys are used to construct the turbine blades and the nozzle guide vanes because these materials demonstrate good properties at high temperatures.

Cheers
Orb

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Re: Relative Value


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[
Which does not explain why different CD players and transports sound different in the same DAC...

they don't. because they can't. not possible.

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Re: Relative Value


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OK speculation aside, do you disagree with what the maker of dBpoweramp and also posters there seeing that what is read from the CD is not correct when analysed?

all that stuff is interesting and all, and certainly keeps audiophile hearts aflutter, but we've had the technology to read cds perfectly for a very long time.

there are two things that matter.

analogue output stage
quality of the DAC.

using an external DAC these issues are eliminated entirely.

if there are "Stunning" differences...either one "transport"(god, I hate that damn word..one of those dumb-assed audiophileisms that I wish would die) is broken, or the listener is under the spell of audiophile magick.

Orb
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Re: Relative Value

[

Quote:

Quote:
OK speculation aside, do you disagree with what the maker of dBpoweramp and also posters there seeing that what is read from the CD is not correct when analysed?

all that stuff is interesting and all, and certainly keeps audiophile hearts aflutter, but we've had the technology to read cds perfectly for a very long time.

there are two things that matter.

analogue output stage
quality of the DAC.

using an external DAC these issues are eliminated entirely.

if there are "Stunning" differences...either one "transport"(god, I hate that damn word..one of those dumb-assed audiophileisms that I wish would die) is broken, or the listener is under the spell of audiophile magick.

Ah maybe that is the crux of this; stunning differences.

IMO and in my experience stunning differences cannot be applied to CD players/transports (and even comparing well designed and built amps), but what there can be is subtle differences that when all taken together do affect our preferences.
For some this may seem a stunning difference because logically they clearly prefer product A over product B, hence then to them it is a large difference.
For others they are aware of what (maybe all) subtle differences affect their preference, so terms of subtlety applies in their world.
And at the other end of the spectrum for some there are no differences in terms of being aware of subtleties or indeed preference between two like products.

Personally each has their own experiences so are any wrong?

I have to keep reminding myself that unless ones ears are trained to identify certain sound traits it may go by without us being aware of them, and it requires something to trigger that awareness, in practical world it could be a worse case scenario that makes it noticable.

As an example I am sure you have an album that has some trait you really dislike; could be an unnatural reverb/hiss/sibilance/etc, and yet when your friends listen to the same album they do not notice this.
However once you point it out to them, they start to pick it out more and more (and probably will be annoyed if they liked the album )
Another time is that one album you have not played in a long time raises certain traits due to the excessive nature of it on the album and now all of a sudden you identify similar but with the affects more subtle on other albums you do listen to often (and can add to it being a niggle-distraction).
This then makes you realise that the system you auditioned and lived happily with at home for 6 months never once presented this niggle, until now and to a certain extent with a small % of albums you have been listening to repeatedly over the last 6 months and also when auditioning.

Both of these I have experienced, and hopefully others have as well.

Ok this has nothing to do with the discussion per se regarding CD players/DACs, but does tie into one aspect raised and is part of the discussion; specifically audible perception and value weighted against quality difference (whether some see it as stunning difference/no difference/subtle difference).

Cheers
Orb

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Re: Relative Value


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Quote:
Which does not explain why different CD players and transports sound different in the same DAC...

they don't. because they can't. not possible.

You don't believe in word clock jitter?

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Re: Relative Value


Quote:

Quote:
[
Which does not explain why different CD players and transports sound different in the same DAC...

they don't. because they can't. not possible.

That sounds a lot like Obama proclaiming jobs saved and created every month as the unemployment numbers rise. One can say it is not so but folk listening know better.

It sounds like you may be in the wrong hobby

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Re: Relative Value


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I have to keep reminding myself that unless ones ears are trained to identify certain sound traits it may go by without us being aware of them

ill go with you on that..but only to support my point.. once ears are trained, once the wheat is seperated from the chaff, the magick doesn't work anymore...... This is the creme de la creme of Ear training courses..ive been using it for 3 years

Orb
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Re: Relative Value


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Quote:
I have to keep reminding myself that unless ones ears are trained to identify certain sound traits it may go by without us being aware of them

ill go with you on that..but only to support my point.. once ears are trained, once the wheat is seperated from the chaff, the magick doesn't work anymore...... This is the creme de la creme of Ear training courses..ive been using it for 3 years

Fair enough, although my point was that I do not believe you can prepare yourself to hear every trait that diverse audio equipment/hardware components-design and importantly the massively diverse range of music with their sound combinations throw up when put all together.
It seems though, that you may feel differently.

Edit:
Just curious though, have you tried to compare different DACs/CD players that are not using the same filter-dac algorithms and if so did they sound identical or not?
Or was the discussion more with regards to mechs-transports?

Cheers
Orb

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Re: Relative Value


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Just curious though, have you tried to compare different DACs/CD players that are not using the same filter-dac algorithms and if so did they sound identical or not?

Yes, I have heard variations amongst players using the analogue out, as you said the filter slopes/implementation/analog output stage can impact the sound...BUT I do not believe at all that once the signal leaves the player and is sent to an outboard DAC that any differences can be heard between one player and another(assuming they are both working correctly)

absolutepitch
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Re: Relative Value


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And what did the salesman reply?

He had no clue and could not offer any explanation.

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Re: Relative Value


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Yes, I have heard variations amongst players using the analogue out, as you said the filter slopes/implementation/analog output stage can impact the sound...BUT I do not believe at all that once the signal leaves the player and is sent to an outboard DAC that any differences can be heard between one player and another(assuming they are both working correctly)

So, back in the real world- where we all actually listen through a variety of digital equipment and interfaces, bits would not appear to be just 'bits'. There's a lot more at play here; and if the industry is JUST figuring out pre- and post-ringing artifacts in digital players (not to mention jitter), paying attention to all aspects of the digital playback chain, and getting to the very heart of the bit has been 90% of the journey. To the use the argument bits is bits in such a theoretical statement does no help to the pursuit of figuring out what else is affecting the bit, nor does it assist the nature of the original post, which was about the value of Class A components.

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Re: Relative Value


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
[
Which does not explain why different CD players and transports sound different in the same DAC...

they don't. because they can't. not possible.

That sounds a lot like Obama proclaiming jobs saved and created every month as the unemployment numbers rise. One can say it is not so but folk listening know better.

It sounds like you may be in the wrong hobby

Perhaps the time should be spent reading Stereophile and The Absolute Sound, and reviewing the measurements JA provides in the reviews. Try reading TAS August 2009 (the entire Meridian 808.2 review and interview), or Stereophile March 2009 (the DACMagic review and manufacturer response with measurements- Aug. 2009), or this month's Further Thoughts of the Benchmark DAC1 Pre of TAS.
All of these articles clearly show proven differences not only from transport but also the power supply's affect on digital, as well as pre-ringing and post-ringing, and other forms of timing jitter on the data stream. This affects not only the transport and the DAC, but also the cable connecting them, whether it be Firewire, USB, or anything for that matter.
Keep yr politics out of audio debate- wrong hobby, indeed! Pretty hypocritical to say the least.

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