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dumbo
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Transmitting Cleaner Ones & Zeros To A DAC

So from what I have gathered in past readings on the topic of Jitter it has been my understanding (or misunderstanding)that Jitter occurs during the D/A conversion process and not before. It has also been my understanding that this phenomena is mainly the result of differences in timing between the source signal and the DAC.

Assuming this is correct, is there anything that can be done prior to the D/A conversion process (ie..signal is still in the digital realm or just 1's & 0's) that can enhance sound quality besides the use of a Word Clock?

One thought that I have been tossing around but haven't tried yet was to see if plugging my Wireless Router into my high end Shunyata V-Ray would produce any noticeable results for the better in SQ. Can anyone see any benefits of providing a cleaner power signal to a Wired/Wireless router? Could this potentially make any difference for the better in the way it transmits the 1's & 0's to my source component that then hands off the signal to my DAC? I am using a Logitech Transporter for the record.

I read a recent article in Stereophile that talked about the reviewer plugging in his laptop to a power conditioner and that it produced noticeable results in SQ so since the router ultimately is responsible for transmitting the signal could it be a worthy candidate for the same treatment?

Thanks for any input you can provide.

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no way, no how. and external

no way, no how.

and external clocks are a myth, unless the device in question is a piss poor design. the only benefit is convenience/workflow. not sound quality.

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Ummmmmm...OK

Ummmmmm...OK

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That's a lot of opinion but

That's a lot of opinion but not a very serious argument...Why is this a bad idea??

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Is there anything that can be done prior to the D/A conversion?
dumbo wrote:

So from what I have gathered in past readings on the topic of Jitter it has been my understanding (or misunderstanding)that Jitter occurs during the D/A conversion process and not before. It has also been my understanding that this phenomena is mainly the result of differences in timing between the source signal and the DAC.

Assuming this is correct, is there anything that can be done prior to the D/A conversion process (ie..signal is still in the digital realm or just 1's & 0's) that can enhance sound quality besides the use of a Word Clock?

>>>>>>>>>>>Vibration isolation of the transport has a fairly well established track record. And there are any number of other things that can be done at the front end to improve performance including, but certainly not limited to, removing the mold release compound from the disc surface and ensuring the transport/disc is absolutely level during play.

Geoff Kait
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Yeah..

well, the main thing is that it is utter nonsense(you can't transmit "cleaner" ones and zeroes) and the clock myth is well documented.

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/14324/0/0/0/

if you want to run with Dr. DaDa above, feel free, but he will lead you into a hall of mirrors.

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Huh? Am I being stalked?

Why the latent hostility? I thought we were buds.

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"clean bits"

In digital electronics, a clean bit is one that can be correctly decoded. No more, no less.

If your wireless router is having power supply problems, get it fixed.

If this is about AC power, any router that has any such problem is just broken.

If this is about the digital audio stream, let's talk what you really intend.

And to ncdrawl's comment, any DAC that can't pull a clean clock out of an AES/EBU stream is broken. There have been some such DAC's made here and there, for sure, but the basic technology was built in the 1940's using 6SN7's by telcos, and should not be a mystery.

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Thanks for the comments

But for the record this post isn't referring to a broken Wireless router in any form (AC related or otherwise). Also, I am not referring to the DAC not being able to decode or convert the signal it receives.

Geoff's post was more closely addressing the question at hand in this thread.

What can be done, if anything, to the devices upstream of the DAC to enhance SQ? Specifically, in this case these devices are computer/network equipment that require power (usually straight from the wall) and are responsible for feeding the source the actual signal that is to be converted by the DAC. Since this signal is still in the digital realm I was curious if it is generally considered immune or unaffected by tweaks of any kind that are typically considered worth while using a standard Transport (ie.. buffering vibration, solid mounting ..etc).

Do the 1's & 0's care how clean the power is that the router is fed? Does the Wireless signal passing thru the air care how clean the power is that drives the antenna which directs the signal to the source? Would a more stable power source change the shape or form of the wireless signal that passes thru the air, thru the walls, thru the floor result in a more ideal signal for the source to hand off to the DAC?

O, and if anyone can answer why the sky is blue I would appreciate it also :)

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Pre D-A Conversion Processes

This seems like a good time to mention that the pre D-A conversion process is not entirely digital as was suggested earlier. The laser reading process is not digital, let's see, how would one define it? Analog? Perhaps one could say optical and mechanical. In any case, this is definitely an area that can be improved. And quite easily.

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Youve got it all wrong, my good man
geoffkait wrote:

Why the latent hostility? I thought we were buds.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

No hostility, good Dr. DaDa!

My uncle(in all seriousness) is a carnival barker, and I love him dearly!

Seriously, no hostility!

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...

so the OP has already come to a conclusion that "tweaks" and audio sorcery that rewrites the laws of physics is the path he wants to take.

my question is.. did he post merely to get some sort of affirmation from the ultrafidelistas?

there can be no improvement if the thing is not broken!!! it is BASIC stuff here, guy.

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errr...
dumbo wrote:

Geoff's post was more closely addressing the question at hand in this thread.

If vibration isolation of a CD transport makes what comes out of the DAC sound different, the transport is broken, the DAC is broken, or both.

Them's the facts. Take it how you like.

Oh, and it seems a bit odd for your data to be travelling through a router in any form. What is this setup, anyhow?

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stuff and nonsense

Provide proof, please.

And, by that, I mean testable, verifiable, repeatable proof that the bitstream out of the transport changes.

Until then, I call total, utter BS on your comment.

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Woof, Woof
ncdrawl wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Why the latent hostility? I thought we were buds.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

No hostility, good Dr. DaDa!

My uncle(in all seriousness) is a carnival barker, and I love him dearly!

Seriously, no hostility!

Barkers apparently run in your family, woof, woof.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Bitstream
j_j wrote:

Provide proof, please.

And, by that, I mean testable, verifiable, repeatable proof that the bitstream out of the transport changes.

Until then, I call total, utter BS on your comment.

>>>>>>>>Ah, you haven't done the proper experiments yet, eh? I think it's a shame that skeptics tend not to follow up and actually investigate these things, waiting for someone else to act. They're very good at the wailing part but not much good at the investigating part. Which is really the most important part.

"Never up, never in." - old audiophile addage

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Same old s***
geoffkait wrote:
j_j wrote:

Provide proof, please.

And, by that, I mean testable, verifiable, repeatable proof that the bitstream out of the transport changes.

Until then, I call total, utter BS on your comment.

>>>>>>>>Ah, you haven't done the proper experiments yet, eh? I think it's a shame that skeptics tend not to follow up and actually investigate these things, waiting for someone else to act. They're very good at the wailing part but not much good at the investigating part. Which is really the most important part.

"Never up, never in." - old audiophile addage

Geoff Kait
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You're making the assertion, YOU provide the proof.

Next, please.

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Thanks, ncdrawl, for posting the link.

There is no mystery here, no magic tweaks.

This is a mature technology. A properly designed DAC cares not a whit what it is fed as long as it is clean.

This is why those who design the equipment, like Dan Lavry, indicate it makes no difference.

Consider room treatment as a cost effective sound upgrade.

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unnecessary subject goes here
dumbo wrote:

O, and if anyone can answer why the sky is blue I would appreciate it also :)

Google for "diffusion in the atmosphere". You're welcome.

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Perfect sound forever
Elk wrote:

Thanks, ncdrawl, for posting the link.

There is no mystery here, no magic tweaks.

This is a mature technology. A properly designed DAC cares not a whit what it is fed as long as it is clean.

This is why those who design the equipment, like Dan Lavry, indicate it makes no difference.

Consider room treatment as a cost effective sound upgrade.

>>>>>>>>Well, it appears the anti-tweak council has proclaimed a mature technology. Horray, perfect sound forever!! Cough, cough....

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As always, Geoff, if you can offer something other than derision and smoke we are all interested. It would be a wonderful change.

There is nothing more powerful than facts.

Produce some and let us all take a look.

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Pre DAC processing

Elk, I previously mentioned vibration isolation as one means of improving the pre DAC processing performance. It has been 15 years since the introduction of the Vibraplane isolation stand (a modified electron microscope stand) to audio and the publication in Stereophile of the remarkable article on vibration isolation, Bad Vibes, by Shannon Dickson. Since that shot was heard around the world a wide variety of digital performance enhancements have been introduced. Most of these developments, including cryogenics, address the front end, pre-DAC performance of the system. I can certainly understand that many audiophiles may not be aware of these developments or, if they are, dismiss them out of hand, who may prefer the "pure sound" of the untampered machine. :-) I can even understand all the bashing and demand for proof.

Regards,

Geoff Kait
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`
geoffkait wrote:

I can certainly understand that many audiophiles may not be aware of these developments . . .

I doubt many here are unaware of these claims and the anecdotal stories that surround them.

The problem is that the only "evidence" is anecdotal, without even a reasonable hypothesis behind it.

Consider, for example, the claim that placing a CD transport exactly horizontal physically changes the output data stream.

Audio CDs spin from 200 through 500 RPM, depending on the section of the CD is being read. The CD is physically held in place and most transports are designed to work at any physical orientation (consider PC CD drives for example).

To believe that a horizontal deviation of perhaps a degree (fairly great) changes the datastream and subsequent sound requires one to assume errors are thereby introduced. One must then additionally ignore the clocking circuitry, error correction redundancy built into the format and transports, and the inability of the DAC to address any minor clocking errors.

It also requires an acceptance that an object with uniform thickness and mass varies a somewhat high rotational speed with a minor horizontal deviation.

Another option is to believe that circuits behave substantially differently if they are operated at less than perfectly horizontal. I hope no one claims that manufacturing tolerances of circuit boards are this precise and that the precise horizontal placement of the board matters.

Now if you have evidence that relies on something other than faith we would love to see it.

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Pre DAC processing

Nice rebuttal. I couldn't help but notice you didn't address vibration isolation of the front end equipment or removal of mold release compound from CDs, which were the other two examples of pre-DAC enhancements I mentioned. Should I assume you are more or less buying into those two ideas?

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.....

OK, so lets assume for a second that the source doesn't use a spinning CD to read the music it transmits to the DAC for conversion. This transmission is taking place over a home network router or via a direct connection using a USB cable from a home PC. The music files are located on a hard drive. It could even be a SSD Hard Drive (Solid State Drive) that has no moving parts.

So at this point we are just dealing with information in the digital realm prior to the DAC process (ie..1's & 0's)

Is everyone still under the same general consensus that nothing can be done to the devices that interpret these bits of data to enhance SQ prior to it changing into an Analog signal?

Is information in the digital realm completely impervious to outside interference of any kind? This includes things like dirty power, EMI/RFI etc. Are you aware that a bit can be partially transmitted and partially deciphered without you ever knowing the issue took place? Take for example, copying a file from one PC to another. There are times that this process requires multiple transmission attempts before it finally succeeds in delivering the data and you would be non the wiser unless you analyzed the transmitted traffic. Depending on the size of the data set, this could be noticeable in the length of time it took to send the information.

Could a spike in power disrupt the signal transmission device (ie..USB port, Network Card..etc) ever soo slightly to cause the above scenario to take place resulting in the need for retransmission of data to the source? Do you believe that you will always be aware of or hear that the retransmission occurred?

Would it make sense that if the devices that are responsible for the interpretation of these 1’s & 0’s were better protected from potential power anomalies or other outside interference to result in better sound?

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the cd either plays or it

the cd either plays or it doesn't. with digital audio files, if the data is corrupt, the file won't play.. there isn't any in-between.

having a clean power source is always a good idea, but not to protect the device in question from "jitter fairies"

as JJ and Elk said, this is a very mature technology.

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~
geoffkait wrote:

Nice rebuttal.

Thanks, but do you have anything - even just a well-reasoned hypothesis - why a precisely level transport is going to physically change the datastream , let alone in an audible fashion?

Quote:

I couldn't help but notice you didn't address vibration isolation of the front end equipment or removal of mold release compound from CDs, which were the other two examples of pre-DAC enhancements I mentioned. Should I assume you are more or less buying into those two ideas?

Nope, not unless the vibration and/or mold-release compound significantly interferes with the transport's ability to read the CD. We have all heard data skips/dropouts with physical bumps and have had CDs that play poorly because are grubby or scratched.

There gets to be a point where the data redundancy and error correcting circuitry fails and we can hear degradation. This is not due however to minute power fluctuations and CD buffing.

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I hate inserting headings
dumbo wrote:

OK, so lets assume for a second that the source doesn't use a spinning CD . . . It could even be a SSD Hard Drive (Solid State Drive) that has no moving parts.

Is everyone still under the same general consensus that nothing can be done to the devices that interpret these bits of data to enhance SQ prior to it changing into an Analog signal?

Is information in the digital realm completely impervious to outside interference of any kind? This includes things like dirty power, EMI/RFI etc.

Well thought out question to ponder.

The datastream certainly can be corrupted; bad cables, exposure to large inductive fields, etc. can really do damage. But these are not subtle influences nor is the resulting bad sound.

Modern DAC chips are astounding in their ability to clock data. When you have the chance, read through the link ncdrawl provided. This is a discussion of this issue by the guys that design, build and use audio equipment at the highest level.

Our money and effort is much better spent tweaking speaker positioning, addressing room acoustical anomalies and the like. Much less sexy but astoundingly effective.

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CD Level, Mold Release Compound & Isolation
Elk wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Nice rebuttal.

Thanks, but do you have anything - even just a well-reasoned hypothesis - why a precisely level transport is going to physically change the datastream , let alone in an audible fashion?

>>>>>>>No, sorry, I don't.

Quote:

I couldn't help but notice you didn't address vibration isolation of the front end equipment or removal of mold release compound from CDs, which were the other two examples of pre-DAC enhancements I mentioned. Should I assume you are more or less buying into those two ideas?

Nope, not unless the vibration and/or mold-release compound significantly interferes with the transport's ability to read the CD. We have all heard data skips/dropouts with physical bumps and have had CDs that play poorly because are grubby or scratched.

>>>>>>>>>Well, as I opined previously, the optical process has some problems. Sounds like you might be agreeing with me on this one.

There gets to be a point where the data redundancy and error correcting circuitry fails and we can hear degradation. This is not due however to minute power fluctuations and CD buffing.

>>>>>>>>>>>Well, the physical data is very minute so it wouldn't take much to cause degradation. IMO. The question is at what point even minor degradation is audible or noticeable to you. Assume for a moment there is degradation during normal play compared to an ideal sound. That's what you're used to, the "undegraded" sound. So, chances are good you would not consider it degraded.

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Crocksology Praise DaDa from

Crocksology

Praise DaDa from whom all SciFi flies
like OJ and his alibies
Praise him above ye audiophile dreck
Praise Quantum Fairies, Myths and skin effect

A----AAAA____AAAAA MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN

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Junior Stalker Alert!
ncdrawl wrote:

Crocksology

Praise DaDa from whom all SciFi flies
like OJ and his alibies
Praise him above ye audiophile dreck
Praise Quantum Fairies, Myths and skin effect

A----AAAA____AAAAA MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN

>>>>That's very nice. I'm giving serious consideration to elevating you from Junior Stalker to Associate Troll. Welcome aboard!

Geoff Kait
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~
geoffkait wrote:

Well, as I opined previously, the optical process has some problems. Sounds like you might be agreeing with me on this one.

I don't agree that the optical reading of the physical disc has problems. It is accurate, repeatable and stable.

Of course, like any medium, it can be damaged to the point that it fails. But given the data redundancy contained on a CD and error checking routines this takes a lot of physical damage. The data reading process is robust.

Quote:

Well, the physical data is very minute so it wouldn't take much to cause degradation.

I am not sure I am following. Are you stating that since the pits and lands are small they are fragile? Not only is this not the case, there are the above safeguards.

Quote:

The question is at what point even minor degradation is audible or noticeable to you. Assume for a moment there is degradation during normal play compared to an ideal sound. That's what you're used to, the "undegraded" sound. So, chances are good you would not consider it degraded.

However, the resulting files from a release compound covered CD and a cleaned CD are bit-identical. If they are bit identical they will sound the same. I don't see a way around this.

I think you are absolutely correct however in that what one accepts as "correct" or the best is always subject to challenge by that which is better. As you know, I am also a firm believer in using whatever tweaks that one likes, feel improves the sound, etc. I like Aurios, especially under tube equipment. It's a hobby and we should enjoy it. :)

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Good engineering sense
Elk wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Well, as I opined previously, the optical process has some problems. Sounds like you might be agreeing with me on this one.

I don't agree that the optical reading of the physical disc has problems. It is accurate, repeatable and stable.

Of course, like any medium, it can be damaged to the point that it fails. But given the data redundancy contained on a CD and error checking routines this takes a lot of physical damage. The data reading process is robust.

>>>>>I'm not referring to the system breaking or gross distortion, but degradation that can range from subtle to not so subtle. Since the sound of the CD can be improved by addressing optical issues, it seems reasonable to conclude the error correction process is not perfect, not at all.

Quote:

Well, the physical data is very minute so it wouldn't take much to cause degradation.

I am not sure I am following. Are you stating that since the pits and lands are small they are fragile? Not only is this not the case, there are the above safeguards.

>>>>>>>I'm not saying they're fragile, I'm saying they're nanoscale in dimension (miniscule), and so is the laser width. So it shouldn't take too much to put the laser go off target. For example, the laser assembly is subject to structural vibration of certain low frequencies (it's mounted on a spring suspension), so that low frequency vibration can force the laser to point in the wrong direction. If the index of refraction of the clear media layer (polycarbonate) is changed slightly by MRC, the carefully worked out geometries of the laser reading process may also change.

Quote:

The question is at what point even minor degradation is audible or noticeable to you. Assume for a moment there is degradation during normal play compared to an ideal sound. That's what you're used to, the "undegraded" sound. So, chances are good you would not consider it degraded.

However, the resulting files from a release compound covered CD and a cleaned CD are bit-identical. If they are bit identical they will sound the same. I don't see a way around this.

>>>>Please point me to a test of CDs with and without mold release compound. I would be interested in seeing it, including how the testers removed the MRC from the CD and how they confirmed it was actually removed. Was it Clark Johnsen who ranked 20 different paste, gel and liquid CD enhancers? Some methods are more effective than others. And there's a multitude of positive reviews and testimony -- could they all be mistaken? Auric Illuminator CD enhancer is a Stereophile Recommended Component. So is Nordost Eco 3 Anti-static Spray CD treatment.

I think you are absolutely correct however in that what one accepts as "correct" or the best is always subject to challenge by that which is better. As you know, I am also a firm believer in using whatever tweaks that one likes, feel improves the sound, etc. I like Aurios, especially under tube equipment. It's a hobby and we should enjoy it. :)

Vibration isolation makes "good engineering sense" and is therefore easier to accept than some other techniques.

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If the smallness of CD's pits

If the smallness of CD's pits and lands concern you, DVDs must really freak you out at less than half the size of CDs.

Even worse is Blu-Ray.

Then there are hard drives - space there is so tight that a major leap forward was the ability to store the electrical charges perpendicular to the platter, rather than horizontal. The saved space increased hard drive storage capability substantially. Talk about tiny data.

CD technology is solid, reliable stuff. 30 years ago it was consumer ready (I have a 30 year old player that still works fine in my garage.) Modern transports are near bullet proof.

When was the last time you brought a CD player in for a routine manufacturer recommended adjustment/tune?

The bit stream from a CD transport is not going to change as the result of a few tweaks.

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Do you ever yearn?

If the smallness of CD's pits
Posted: December 13, 2010 - 6:24pm

If the smallness of CD's pits and lands concern you, DVDs must really freak you out at less than half the size of CDs.

Even worse is Blu-Ray.

>>>>>>>Thanks for mentioning DVD and Blu Ray as they have optical problems, too, some related to the nanoscale dimension of the data (AND the laser). Alas, could designers be more blissfully unaware? The more things change the more they stay the same. :-)

Then there are hard drives - space there is so tight that a major leap forward was the ability to store the electrical charges perpendicular to the platter, rather than horizontal. The saved space increased hard drive storage capability substantially. Talk about tiny data.

>>>>>>>>>Yes, and?

CD technology is solid, reliable stuff. 30 years ago it was consumer ready (I have a 30 year old player that still works fine in my garage.) Modern transports are near bullet proof.

>>>>>>>>>>I never said CD doesn't *work* fine, what I'm trying to do is differentiate between mass market mid fi sound and one that is exceptional. Bose and Kenwood are solid and reliable stuff and work fine, too. Gee Whiz, aren't we trying to obtain sound quality well above mediocre, better than something that simply works fine, something beyond a "garage" sound? Do you ever yearn?

When was the last time you brought a CD player in for a routine manufacturer recommended adjustment/tune?

>>>>>>When was the last time you heard a CD player that didn't sound dull, compressed, two dimensional, irritating, unengaging, a papier mache imitation of the real thing?

The bit stream from a CD transport is not going to change as the result of a few tweaks.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Isn't it pretty to think so. If it weren't for tweaks, innovations, perhaps they would all sound the same. Take the Nachamichi Dragon CD Player for example, with it's vaccum sealed enclosure for the transport, offering considerable vibration isolation from structureborne vibration. Once the CD was placed on the tray and inserted into the player, a vaccum is formed in the enclosure. The Nachamichi Dragon CD Player did not sound like other, off the shelf players. Far from it. There's another CD player, I think it's Italian, the entire area surrounding the laser assembly of which is laquered a bright turquoise green color. Hmmmm....

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Useless subject that I must add.
geoffkait wrote:

If it weren't for tweaks, innovations, perhaps they would all sound the same.

So, your evidence that "tweaks, innovactions" all create something that results in a materially different audio signal radiated from the speakers, to the extent it doesn't sound the same, is where, now?

Nowhere, that's where it is.

You've made a variety of testable statements in your last paragraph, or at least the paragraph you've incompetently typed at while failing to use the quote function accurately.

I submit that your intrangensence in providing testable, verifiable results for your outrageous claims, coupled with your unwillingness to make use of the most simple quoting tags possible shows your contempt for both the readers here and for Stereophile itself.

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Further intransigence
j_j wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

If it weren't for tweaks, innovations, perhaps they would all sound the same.

So, your evidence that "tweaks, innovactions" all create something that results in a materially different audio signal radiated from the speakers, to the extent it doesn't sound the same, is where, now?

>>>>>>>The evidence of the pudding is in the eating. Apparently you haven't tried the pudding yet. Hey, don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger. I did not create the problems in the sound, I did not create this reality.

Nowhere, that's where it is.

>>>>>>Nowhere is pretty final. Hey, reminds me of a Beatles tune...Nowhere Man, keeping trying....la la la :-)

You've made a variety of testable statements in your last paragraph, or at least the paragraph you've incompetently typed at while failing to use the quote function accurately.

>>>>>>>Hey, so I bypassed the system,a thousand lashes? Testable claims - you mean the ones skepics refuse to test? I'm pretty sure I know why, too.

I submit that your intrangensence in providing testable, verifiable results for your outrageous claims, coupled with your unwillingness to make use of the most simple quoting tags possible shows your contempt for both the readers here and for Stereophile itself.

When you use big words it would help your case to spell them correctly. Fel free to test o verify my claims. Nothing would please me more.

Geoff Kait
Machismo Exotica

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geoffkait wrote:

I never said CD doesn't *work* fine, what I'm trying to do is differentiate between mass market mid fi sound and one that is exceptional.

A laudable goal, but tweaks to the digital bitstream will do nothing to improve the sound. Such tweaks are irrelevant to the DAC.

Similarly, modern CD transports are not struggling to read the data off of a CD. They do not need any tweaks to work. The resultant data is the same. Every time.

Consider for a moment: if the data were demonstrably different, CD player manufacturers would be demonstrating this and advertising this fact. "Our player consistently produces a more accurate datastream - see this proof."

If you can in any way establish otherwise please let us know.

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geoffkait wrote:

>>>>>>>The evidence of the pudding is in the eating.

You have no "pudding".

I would suggest, further, that you use the quote function properly. Failing to do so, in my opinion, is showing disrespect for both Stereophile and those who read this board.

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Perfect Sound Forever
Elk wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

I never said CD doesn't *work* fine, what I'm trying to do is differentiate between mass market mid fi sound and one that is exceptional.

A laudable goal, but tweaks to the digital bitstream will do nothing to improve the sound. Such tweaks are irrelevant to the DAC.

Similarly, modern CD transports are not struggling to read the data off of a CD. They do not need any tweaks to work. The resultant data is the same. Every time.

>>>>So you keep repeating. Problems in the optical reading process have not been addressed by manufacturers, and why should they be? -- apparently everybody's happy.

Consider for a moment: if the data were demonstrably different, CD player manufacturers would be demonstrating this and advertising this fact. "Our player consistently produces a more accurate datastream - see this proof."

>>>>>>>>>Are you aware that Reed Solomon error correction codes do not correct all types of errors? Perhaps you aren't.

>>>>>>>>As I said already, manufacturers of commercial off the shelf equipment are apparently not aware of the problems.

If you can in any way establish otherwise please let us know.

>>>>>>>>>>>It is not difficult to demonstrate these concepts in listening tests.

Geoff Kait
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geoffkait wrote:

So you keep repeating. Problems in the optical reading process have not been addressed by manufacturers, and why should they be? -- apparently everybody's happy.

Geoff, I repeat it because it is true. Once again, do you have any data that shows differently?

I've done some experiments in the past, capturing the data stream off of one of my players. It's an easy experiment. The files were bit identical regardless if it was the original CD, a burned copy and the original cleaned with Optrix.

All the same. I think we can agree that if the files are the same they will sound the same, yes?

Quote:

Are you aware that Reed Solomon error correction codes do not correct all types of errors? Perhaps you aren't.

No need to be insulting, Geoff.

CIRC is very powerful, but there are naturally limits. CIRC can correct up to about a tenth of inch of corrupt data on a track of a CD, IIRC. This is a seriously damaged CD.

This is not a limitation of the medium; no data retrieval system works well when heavily damaged.

Quote:

It is not difficult to demonstrate these concepts in listening tests.

What "concepts?" You haven't established a way to improve the datastream as it makes its way to a DAC. There isn't one. The receiving DAC doesn't care.

Plus, there is no difference to hear - the files are the same.

Finally, as I recall, you don't even have an audio system, correct? If not, how do you hear these differences?

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Strawman Alert!
Elk wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

So you keep repeating. Problems in the optical reading process have not been addressed by manufacturers, and why should they be? -- apparently everybody's happy.

Geoff, I repeat it because it is true. Once again, do you have any data that shows differently?

I've done some experiments in the past, capturing the data stream off of one of my players. It's an easy experiment. The files were bit identical regardless if it was the original CD, a burned copy and the original cleaned with Optrix.

>>>>>>Did you find Optrix to improve the sound, I mean aside from the fact that the files were identical? Just curious. Same for the burned copy, did it sound different to you, or the same?

All the same. I think we can agree that if the files are the same they will sound the same, yes?

For the purposes of this thread I think the files would be different. At the same time, I don't think the files would have to be "significantly different" as measured for the sound to be different. It depends on who's listening and on what system.

Quote:

Are you aware that Reed Solomon error correction codes do not correct all types of errors? Perhaps you aren't.

No need to be insulting, Geoff.

>>>>>>I wasn't intending to be insulting; in any case, the Reed Solomon codes were implemented by the designers to correct certain types of errors only (such as fingerprints and certain types of scratches). But the codes are not as good at correcting, or intended to correct, other types of errors (which the designers were unaware of or perhaps felt were inconsequential).

CIRC is very powerful, but there are naturally limits. CIRC can correct up to about a tenth of inch of corrupt data on a track of a CD, IIRC. This is a seriously damaged CD.

This is not a limitation of the medium; no data retrieval system works well when heavily damaged.

>>>>>>>If you don't mind too much, can I point out that you have constructed a strawman argument? I'm not referring to heavily damaged discs, I'm referring to - once again, with feeling - problems in the optical process resulting from vibration affecting the laser assembly stability and scattered laser light making its way into the photodetector along with real signal.

Quote:

It is not difficult to demonstrate these concepts in listening tests.

What "concepts?" You haven't established a way to improve the datastream as it makes its way to a DAC. There isn't one. The receiving DAC doesn't care.

Plus, there is no difference to hear - the files are the same.

>>>>>>>That's another strawman argument. I am not saying the files are the same. I'm saying they are not the same. Get rid of the vibration and/or the background scattered laser light and the sound will improve, so there must be a problem with the files.

Finally, as I recall, you don't even have an audio system, correct? If not, how do you hear these differences?

>>>>>>>>Ouch, that really hurt! You can be quite insulting when you want to. :-)

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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School for Skeptics?
j_j wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

>>>>>>>The evidence of the pudding is in the eating.

You have no "pudding".

I would suggest, further, that you use the quote function properly. Failing to do so, in my opinion, is showing disrespect for both Stereophile and those who read this board.

That's very cute. But I really expected more from someone so relentless in his pursuit of controversial tweak manufacturers, such a self-proclaimed Man of Science. If there's such a thing as a remedial school for Skeptics, I suggest you take a few courses. There's nothing quite so hapless as a Skeptic without a whole lot to say. If you like I'd be happy to send along a copy of Zen and the Art of Debunkery.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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unnecessary mandatory title added
geoffkait wrote:
j_j wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

>>>>>>>The evidence of the pudding is in the eating.

You have no "pudding".

I would suggest, further, that you use the quote function properly. Failing to do so, in my opinion, is showing disrespect for both Stereophile and those who read this board.

That's very cute. But I really expected more from someone so relentless in his pursuit of controversial tweak manufacturers, such a self-proclaimed Man of Science. If there's such a thing as a remedial school for Skeptics, I suggest you take a few courses. There's nothing quite so hapless as a Skeptic without a whole lot to say. If you like I'd be happy to send along a copy of Zen and the Art of Debunkery.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

It's a "science fiction double feature"!

Weiss? Schmeiss!
You'd better watch out, Janet Weiss
Your apple pie ain't so nice!

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alright gentlemen

so in summary:
1. Original Post: "What can be done, if anything, to the devices upstream of the DAC to enhance SQ?"
2. Everyone Else: "Nothing much. This is a mature technology"
3. Geoff: "These tweaks"
4. Everyone Else: "Show us the science that those tweaks work!"
5. Geoff: "I can't. The difference is too small. You can only hear it."
6. Everyone Else: "That's blasphemy. Show us the science or else we won't believe you."

Repeat parts 5 & 6 a bunch.

I think its time to move this conversation elsewhere. If Geoff doesn't have the science to back up his suggestions but feels he hears a difference, he is entitled to express this. Forum members are also entitled to let the OP know that his suggestions may be whack b/c he can't provide the science.

This conversation appears to have run its natural course. If anyone has a new piece of information to help the OP or that would serve as productive, let us know!

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Can the data be altered upstream of the DAC - Some Measurements

Here is a review from the two PhDs at 6 Moons of the Nespa and the original Intelligent Chip. This review, which includes some actual data, might shed some light on the dodgey subject of whether or not the data upstream of the DAC can be altered.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/photoncannons/photoncannons.html

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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geoffkait wrote:

Did you find Optrix to improve the sound, I mean aside from the fact that the files were identical? Just curious. Same for the burned copy, did it sound different to you, or the same?

Frankly, I wanted them to sound different given all the reports of how well Oprix works and the benefits of a burned copy. I was disappointed to find they sounded the same.

This is what led me to check if there was an actual physical difference in the files. If there was a physical difference I would be faced with trying to determine what differences are audible, etc.

I have used Optrix and burned copies to rescue bad CDs that have been scratched, clouded or otherwise physically impaired. Cleaning and polishing a bad CD and EAC can resurrect an otherwise unplayable CD.

Geoff further wrote:

... the Reed Solomon codes were implemented by the designers to correct certain types of errors only (such as fingerprints and certain types of scratches). But the codes are not as good at correcting, or intended to correct, other types of errors (which the designers were unaware of or perhaps felt were inconsequential).

Can you explain what you mean by "other types of errors?"

CIRC "looks at" the data stream and determines whether it is accurate or not through redundancy checks, etc. If the data as read is inaccurate it fixes it so that the retrieved data stream matches the original.

All that is present on a CD is data. If the data is accurately retrieved what "other errors" can there be that "the designers were unaware of or perhaps felt were inconsequential?"

(I am assuming you are not referring to jitter as you appear to be stating that the resultant files themselves are different in some way.)

Thanks.

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Data alteration upstream of the DAC

Rather than attempt to repond to your last couple of questions, I'm posting this again since it got buried somewhere in the thread last night. If you had seen this already a thousand pardons.

Here is a review from the two PhDs at 6 Moons of the Nespa and the original Intelligent Chip. This review - which includes some CD measurements - might shed some light on the dodgey subject of whether or not the data upstream of the DAC can be altered.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/photoncannons/photoncannons.html

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Them Ol' Cosmic Science Friction Blues

[quote]It's a "science fiction double feature"!

Weiss? Schmeiss!
You'd better watch out, Janet Weiss
Your apple pie ain't so nice!

[/quote}

Now, that makes a whole lotta sense. (Sarcasm) I can only imagine it's some sort of Skeptical Society inside joke. Am I right? Am I close?

Science fiction? Ha Ha Right pew, wrong church. Science Friction makes more sense. Don't you "skeptics" ever get curious, you know, ever investigate?

Geoff Kait
Machination Exotica

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Answers?
geoffkait wrote:

Here is a review . . .

I've seen the review before, but I read it again. It doesn't answer my questions.

They are correct that C1 and C2 errors are inaudible and, in fact, [i]all[/i] CD errors are inaudible but for uncorrectable E32 errors.

However, no replicating house will accept a CD with E32 errors and, as the review notes, none of the original CDs nor any their many burned copies contained E32 errors, the only audible errors there are.

As they note:

Measurement results varied "for C1 and C2 errors, between original and copies. But those are just indicators of the working of CIRC and, again, not audible." "None of the tested CDs displayed uncorrectable E32 errors."

Again: If the data is accurately retrieved, what "other errors" can there be that "the designers were unaware of or perhaps felt were inconsequential?"

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Rocky?
geoffkait][quote wrote:

It's a "science fiction double feature"!

Weiss? Schmeiss!
You'd better watch out, Janet Weiss
Your apple pie ain't so nice!

[/quote}

Now, that makes a whole lotta sense. (Sarcasm) I can only imagine it's some sort of Skeptical Society inside joke. Am I right? Am I close?

Science fiction? Ha Ha Right pew, wrong church. Science Friction makes more sense. Don't you "skeptics" ever get curious, you know, ever investigate?

Geoff Kait
Machination Exotica

Great SCOTT!

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