Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1726
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Plus you get to help the Winklevoss twins get a bit richer. Bonus!

  2. #1727
    Quote Originally Posted by ssully View Post
    Audibly? No.


    I have to disagree quite strongly. Every year during the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach (this year in Los Angeles instead of Newport), a bunch of us get together to double blind test some aspect of audio.

    Last year it was 44.1 vs 192 vs DSD.

    This year is was 4 different DACs, starting at $349 (iFi Audio Micro iDAC2), $900 (Gustard X20), $3500 (Bryston BDA-3) and at the high end the Bricasti M1 at $9000.

    Levels were matched, equipment was hidden, person switching had no idea which DAC she was switching to. Rest of the equipment was all high end (Pass Labs amps, Wilson Alexx, etc).Music was almost exclusively classical and jazz, sourced from CD, 44.1, 192 and DSD files.

    The sample was small, about 25 people, so the results are probably not the most accurate. But the Bricasti came out on top of almost every test, for most people.

    Imaging and soundstage were the most obvious differences for me (but there were other noticeable differences, also). The Bricasti had a soundstage that extended further outside the speaker's edges, deeper and musicians were placed precisely within it. Almost everyone's comment was similar.

    There was a woman among the listeners, a non-audiophile, who is a violinist for the Pacific Symphony, who was able to discern the differences at an amazing rate.

    Sometimes I get the idea that a lot of derision aimed toward the high end of audio, has a bit of 'sour grapes' involved. Sure, there is some snake oil in high end, but that does not mean that there aren't legitimate audible differences between gear at various price ranges.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  3. #1728
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    I have to disagree quite strongly. Every year during the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach (this year in Los Angeles instead of Newport), a bunch of us get together to double blind test some aspect of audio.

    Last year it was 44.1 vs 192 vs DSD.

    This year is was 4 different DACs, starting at $349 (iFi Audio Micro iDAC2), $900 (Gustard X20), $3500 (Bryston BDA-3) and at the high end the Bricasti M1 at $9000.

    Levels were matched, equipment was hidden, person switching had no idea which DAC she was switching to. Rest of the equipment was all high end (Pass Labs amps, Wilson Alexx, etc).Music was almost exclusively classical and jazz, sourced from CD, 44.1, 192 and DSD files.

    The sample was small, about 25 people, so the results are probably not the most accurate. But the Bricasti came out on top of almost every test, for most people.

    Imaging and soundstage were the most obvious differences for me (but there were other noticeable differences, also). The Bricasti had a soundstage that extended further outside the speaker's edges, deeper and musicians were placed precisely within it. Almost everyone's comment was similar.

    There was a woman among the listeners, a non-audiophile, who is a violinist for the Pacific Symphony, who was able to discern the differences at an amazing rate.

    Sometimes I get the idea that a lot of derision aimed toward the high end of audio, has a bit of 'sour grapes' involved. Sure, there is some snake oil in high end, but that does not mean that there aren't legitimate audible differences between gear at various price ranges.
    I love my Bricasti M1. Wonderful sounding DAC.

  4. #1729
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    I love my Bricasti M1. Wonderful sounding DAC.
    Great!


    The surprising thing was, how great the Gustard X20 (from China) sounded. It outperformed the $3500 Bryston on about half of the listeners scoring.

    It seems to be considered a real giant killer on the forums.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  5. #1730
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    I have to disagree quite strongly. Every year during the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach (this year in Los Angeles instead of Newport), a bunch of us get together to double blind test some aspect of audio.

    Last year it was 44.1 vs 192 vs DSD.

    This year is was 4 different DACs, starting at $349 (iFi Audio Micro iDAC2), $900 (Gustard X20), $3500 (Bryston BDA-3) and at the high end the Bricasti M1 at $9000.

    Levels were matched, equipment was hidden, person switching had no idea which DAC she was switching to. Rest of the equipment was all high end (Pass Labs amps, Wilson Alexx, etc).Music was almost exclusively classical and jazz, sourced from CD, 44.1, 192 and DSD files.

    The sample was small, about 25 people, so the results are probably not the most accurate. But the Bricasti came out on top of almost every test, for most people.

    Imaging and soundstage were the most obvious differences for me (but there were other noticeable differences, also). The Bricasti had a soundstage that extended further outside the speaker's edges, deeper and musicians were placed precisely within it. Almost everyone's comment was similar.

    There was a woman among the listeners, a non-audiophile, who is a violinist for the Pacific Symphony, who was able to discern the differences at an amazing rate.

    Sometimes I get the idea that a lot of derision aimed toward the high end of audio, has a bit of 'sour grapes' involved. Sure, there is some snake oil in high end, but that does not mean that there aren't legitimate audible differences between gear at various price ranges.
    Thatís great, but without coherent speakers and a room with controlled acoustics, the DAC doesnít matter.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  6. #1731
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    ALL OF THE PIECES would have to be in place before something like a DAC made a difference. These people are talking about stereos that cost more than my house.

    I can't compete with anything like that.

  7. #1732
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    ALL OF THE PIECES would have to be in place before something like a DAC made a difference. These people are talking about stereos that cost more than my house.

    I can't compete with anything like that.
    Nope. They can hear it. And the differences in speaker wire. And you know those 0s and 01s won't align themselves properly without high end HDMI cables...
    (snicker)

  8. #1733
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    Nope. They can hear it. And the differences in speaker wire. And you know those 0s and 01s won't align themselves properly without high end HDMI cables...
    (snicker)
    I'm still searching for a green marker that won't smear from the edge of my CDs after they come out of the freezer.

  9. #1734
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    ALL OF THE PIECES would have to be in place before something like a DAC made a difference. These people are talking about stereos that cost more than my house.

    I can't compete with anything like that.

    I was responding the claim that different DACs do not make an audible difference. Which, through double blind testing, 25 or so people provided evidence that this claim was incorrect.

    The fact that extremely expensive, and accurate gear was used for the test is not a factor in my refutation of the claim being made.

    I do, however, believe that the differences can be heard with substantially lower priced gear (like my system), just not as obviously as we heard. And since source components (CD players, DACs, TTs) are almost as important to a system as speakers, it is worthwhile not skimping on a DAC. And the time spent comparing a few DACs in one's price range, is not wasted.

    The post I was responding to, made the claim that "a DAC is a DAC", which if believed by those less educated and experienced, may lead someone to buy something inferior, believing that it doesn't matter.
    Last edited by simon moon; 12-27-2017 at 04:41 PM.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  10. #1735
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    Nope. They can hear it. And the differences in speaker wire. And you know those 0s and 01s won't align themselves properly without high end HDMI cables...
    (snicker)

    Yes, in our test, we heard the differences.

    Not sure what cables were used, or if they would have made any difference (probably not). That wasn't part of the listening test.

    I'm still searching for a green marker that won't smear from the edge of my CDs after they come out of the freezer.

    Yeah, lets take a 30 year old example of a small fringe of audiophiles, and paint the entire hobby with the same broad brush. That sure is reasonable addition to the conversation.
    Last edited by simon moon; 12-27-2017 at 04:39 PM.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  11. #1736
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    Yeah, lets take a 30 year old example of a small fringe of audiophiles, and paint the entire hobby with the same broad brush. That sure is reasonable addition to the conversation.
    point taken - I really don't have anything to add to an audiophilia discussion and should rethink commenting. Not all audiophiles are tweakers but the tweakers believe that they are audiophiles. Audiophilia isn't the only adult hobby with its "expensive tastes and finer points". I guess I'm too pragmatic to ever own an A/V system that costs as much as my car or drink whiskey that costs more than $30 or $40 a bottle, etc. But that's just like my opinion man, it doesn't mean that people who like to spend lots of money on their hobbies are bad people or even dumb people. My apologies for poking my nose in a thread when I don't believe in the concepts or tribal rituals of audiophilia.

  12. #1737
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Some people in any hobby are reasonable. Some people believe in "A" while some people believe in "Z". All of that is OK. It's when the "A" people and the "Z" people are so adamant about their opinion that they can't even start to listen to the points the other is making. That's where we get turbulence and turmoil, and that's where most of us tune out. Fortunately most people have lived a life where they understand compromise is necessary to maintain friendships, regardless of the opinion of others and how it gels or contradicts your own.

    It's only when someone becomes a zealot for a cause that we have issues. Nothing more polarizing than the political atmosphere these days, and look where that's gotten us. So lets learn from the stupidity of our elected leaders and try and avoid all that in our hobby forums. We're not here to change the world, but to help each other enjoy the hobby. So accept what others think, then give your opinion and realize that others may think differently. It's all good - whatever works for you.

    And if you come across a hard head there is always the ignore feature. I've used it on a few myself and my anxiety about this hobby and forum has decreased significantly.
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  13. #1738
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Nothing more polarizing than the political atmosphere these days, and look where that's gotten us. So accept what others think, then give your opinion and realize that others may think differently. It's all good - whatever works for you.
    The difference is: politics is mostly opinion and, as you imply, all opinions are roughly equal.

    High-fidelity -- on the other hand -- is measurable, scientific, reproducable(!) and therefore subject to concrete tests. These would include which components have the lowest distortion, which components pass a signal most accurately, which stereo systems most accurately reproduce the source signal. This is not opinion, it's irrefutable fact.

    If it's not measurable it's not factual. And if it's not factual it's merely "opinion" -- and opinions about facts are sheer sophistry.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 12-28-2017 at 06:51 PM.

  14. #1739
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    ... and that is why you are on my ignore list Carlberg.

    Happy New Year
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  15. #1740
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    You can lead a horse to water...

  16. #1741
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    My approach to purchasing speakers has always been to try to get as close to high end sound on the cheap. I went from NHT Super Zeros to Athenas. I'm reasonably happy with the Athenas, but I've been curious about a couple of manufacturers who take the same approach, namely Elac and Emotiva. I'm particularly curious about the Elac UF5 and the Emotiva Airmotiv T2. Does anyone have any opinion, or better yet, experience regarding these manufacturers or models?

  17. #1742
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    You can lead a horse to water...
    I bet you and Skullhead are real treats at a party
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  18. #1743
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Nobody ever invites me

  19. #1744
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    ...namely Elac and Emotiva. ... Does anyone have any opinion, or better yet, experience regarding these manufacturers or models?
    I felt burned by Emotiva when I bought one of their earlier subwoofers -- the X-ref 10 -- and, finding it to be an excellent, musical small sub for a smaller room and wanting to add another for a dual-sub setup, found that the company had discontinued it prematurely and announced only that there were no more and that there would be new subs "in the future."

    On the other hand, it's a fine performer in its class and has worked reliably for some 6 years now.

    Emotiva did the same thing with their Airmotiv line of powered studio monitors -- discontinued them without follow-up. It's unclear to me how well the company supports these abandoned products down the line, but it would be a concern for me if I were to consider buying anything else from them.

  20. #1745
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Nobody ever invites me
    You can come to my place, right after I move away.
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  21. #1746
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I'll bet it still smells like cabbage and lentils

  22. #1747
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    I felt burned by Emotiva when I bought one of their earlier subwoofers -- the X-ref 10 -- and, finding it to be an excellent, musical small sub for a smaller room and wanting to add another for a dual-sub setup, found that the company had discontinued it prematurely and announced only that there were no more and that there would be new subs "in the future."

    On the other hand, it's a fine performer in its class and has worked reliably for some 6 years now.

    Emotiva did the same thing with their Airmotiv line of powered studio monitors -- discontinued them without follow-up. It's unclear to me how well the company supports these abandoned products down the line, but it would be a concern for me if I were to consider buying anything else from them.
    I'm actually thinking that if I make a change, I'm more likely to go with the Elac, even though it costs half as much. The site I buy Audio gear from has 5 reviews for the UF5, and they all give it 5 out of 5 stars. Problem is, you don't know what they're upgrading from...

  23. #1748
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I'm actually thinking that if I make a change, I'm more likely to go with the Elac, even though it costs half as much. The site I buy Audio gear from has 5 reviews for the UF5, and they all give it 5 out of 5 stars. Problem is, you don't know what they're upgrading from...
    Folks at Absolute Sound have said the UF5 Elacs are as good as speakers down their hall which were $10000. Where they donít excel in, is enormous deep bass. The more recent speaker does go there with an unique design which has an active driver inside a tuned cavity and the output is from a passive radiator. Andrew Jones is a genius and the concentric mid/tweeter configuration is awesome.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  24. #1749
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    I like this review:
    Simply put, the Elac UF5 does deliver fantastic sound for the price. I say this owning the Elac B6, and many other speakers. The primary strengths of the UNIFI Concentric driver design are its transparency and sound stage capabilities. Which means, the cymbals and voices sound extra clear, extended and un-colored. And if you position the speakers in a thoughtful manner, they can virtually "disappear" and a holographic audio soundstage will come into focus between, behind, besides and in front of the speakers. Close your eyes, point to the singer and she will be in between the speakers, magically. Now, most if not all high-end speakers will do this to varying degrees, but the UNIFI Elacs do it very well, especially considering the economical price. Also, the frequency response from high end down to low bass is quite smooth. No frequency overpowers another. This is why at $1,000 per pair they deliver great bang for buck. You would typically have to spend $2,000-$3,000 to find other floor standers that sound this smooth and transparent. The UF5 contains the exact same drivers as the UB5 bookshelf version except for the addition of 2 additional, identical bass drivers. This makes the speaker capable of higher volume before distortion, which makes them better for bigger rooms, whereas the UB5 is perhaps better suited for dens and bedrooms.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  25. #1750
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Thanks, that's encouraging. Several of the reviews I read likewise mentioned the speakers "disappearing."

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