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Old 20th April 2012, 09:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
As someone interested in making a killing in the DAC market myself I don't agree.
I look forward to RocketScientist's review of your offering with relish.
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Old 20th April 2012, 09:43 PM   #22
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I am baffled by this thread. Is it a complaint against capitalism? If so, it belongs elsewhere. Surely anyone is free to make and sell anything which is legal in their marketplace. Even illegality (e.g. fraudulent CE marking) does not stop some people selling stuff to the unsuspecting.

You certainly don't need a load of test equipment to sell audio. Some suppliers even claim lack of equipment as a plus. Different buyers want different supporting evidence: some want measurements, some want a good story, some want a pretty box with wood/chrome/LEDs/meters/valves, some want a suitably low/high price tag, some just want to be part of the 'in' crowd, others want to avoid the mainstream and require eccentricity.

So what is the problem? Has someone stolen someone else's lunch?
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Old 21st April 2012, 01:04 AM   #23
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If it were a complaint against capitalism, I'd be entitled to make it here in the lounge.

I'm sorry that the argument escapes you, I'll try putting it a different way.

I don't like to see ivory poaching on the TV, but I understand that poachers are, in some cases, simply doing their best for their families. If you want to stop poaching you need to take a two-pronged approach. Enforce the illegality, but provide an alternate source of income for the poachers.

RocketScientist is doing a great job as an enforcer, but the way he has employed his prosperity, while undoubtedly making inroads into cleaning up a marketplace rife with malpractice, is at the same time reducing the diversity of choices available to customers by raising the cost of entry into the market for legitimate entrepreneur developers, in a way which could be avoided were he to take a different approach.
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Old 21st April 2012, 01:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by counter culture View Post
RocketScientist is doing a great job as an enforcer, but the way he has employed his prosperity, while undoubtedly making inroads into cleaning up a marketplace rife with malpractice, is at the same time reducing the diversity of choices available to customers by raising the cost of entry into the market for legitimate entrepreneur developers, in a way which could be avoided were he to take a different approach.
I don't see at all that legitimate entrepreneurs have a raised cost of entry. If they want to be objectivist in approach that's their choice - there is also the choice of going the subjectivist route, which is ultimately the more 'legitimate' one as audio products are designed to be employed for listening not measuring.
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Old 21st April 2012, 01:14 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by counter culture View Post
I look forward to RocketScientist's review of your offering with relish.
You and me both.
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Old 21st April 2012, 01:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by counter culture View Post
If you want to stop poaching you need to take a two-pronged approach. Enforce the illegality, but provide an alternate source of income for the poachers.
Au contraire, if you want to stop poaching, you have to make the commodity being poached so inexpensive that it isn't worth the economic effort to poach. My apologies, but my micro-economics instructor was a grad student of George Stigler, back on the Midway, and micro-economics has never failed me in the interpretation of human events. This even explains how Moses turned his staff into a snake.
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Old 21st April 2012, 10:31 AM   #27
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Is this a rough translation of what is going on? "I want to sell something and make some money, but someone else has produced a good product for that same market and is (almost) giving it away for free. He is also (unsurprisingly) criticising other products in that market. That's not fair!" Whoever said life was fair? This sounds like Microsoft whingeing about Linux.

"Someone's been eating my porridge", said Mummy Bear.
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Old 21st April 2012, 11:03 AM   #28
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
It is not necesarelly a money barrier.
I have blown $250 on a sound card with AKM AK5394 ADC (THD+N -110dB). If I buy some $100 software I think I can do the same audio measurements like the $10K tool from above.
As for new enterpises... fads are coming and going, only the sound remains the same.
My $350 sound card and $380 worth of software is very good. Better than hundreds of thousands of HP stuff when I was back in the lab in the 70's. Amazing as it is, it is still limited by "audio" frequency acquisition. I have used modern spectrum analysis hardware and there is no comparison. The real stuff is still orders of magnitude over PC based. Same problem with just a "basic" scope. To work an amp, you need at least a 100Meg bw. That requires external acquisition.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 09:36 PM   #29
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This is hard for me. I get that on the one hand some see what I'm doing as "ruining the fun of others". But I'm also just trying to share a lot of information that's already been out there but is mostly ignored or intentionally swept under the rug. I'm not making any of it up. I mostly base it all on credible articles by others and easily verified measurements and tests.

Many of the AES papers I reference are many years old. The great Audio Myths Workshop video has been around for years. Most of this stuff isn't new, but the ones who just politely point it out tend to be ignored or otherwise dismissed. So yeah, my style might be a bit more controversial. But I honestly don't know how else to get the message out there. Polite hasn't worked year after year.

I really believe the wine industry has some amazing parallels to high-end audio. The two industries have followed a similar path along a similar timeline. I discuss that more in my What We Hear article. For example, Robin Goldstein demonstrated over hundreds of tastings, when people know the price of wine they express an obvious overall preference for the more expensive wines. But when they taste blind the trend is exactly reversed, they prefer the cheaper wines. The same thing happens in blind audio testing except instead of "prefer" it's often "can't tell them apart".

Despite people like Robin Goldstein with their websites, blogs, books, podcasts, documentaries, etc. the high-end wine industry is alive and well. Robin has shouted from the rooftops you don't need to spend more than $10 for a really satisfying bottle--wines even the experts overwhelmingly prefer in blind tastings--yet there's still a booming market for much more expensive wines. Audio is, and will be, similar. I can only have a small influence on the big picture.

So I think it's a bit extreme to pretend my humble blog is going to totally change the rule book for all things audio and those who can't afford a five figure audio analyzer should just give it up. There will always be those who are in this hobby for non-objective reasons. They don't care about measurements or blind tests. And it doesn't matter what people like me publish, they'll just ignore it. And that's fine.

If the "Octave Thread" is referring to the Metrum DAC the thing is a train wreck in terms of objective measurements. It's really hard not to lump it in with other snake oil products like Brilliant Pebbles. More on that in my next article.

Abraxalito's attack on my transparency comment completely ignores all the research behind that comment. Does Abraxalito claim he can hear distortion and other anomalies that are -100 dB below the music? Can he prove he can? Plenty of people have demonstrated you can't. I've even provided links to test files made by Ethan Winer than demonstrate even the most dissonant obnoxious noise is readily masked by even soft acoustic music at -75 dB. Listen for yourself.

Ethan Winer defines and explains the required measurements for audio transparency in the video linked above. Then he provides many examples where you can listen for yourself. There are also links to supporting AES papers. What are Abraxalito's credentials? How can he credibly challenge all of the above? Where are his published peer reviewed AES papers?

Audio differencing (null testing) has shown that even using real music into real loads, amplifiers deliver performance that follows sine wave measurements. If null testing shows everything an amplifier is doing is below -75 dB can someone still credibly argue that amp somehow isn't audibly transparent? If so I'd love to see the credible evidence. I've presented numerous peer reviewed AES papers, a great video by a panel of experts complete with downloadable files you can listen to for yourself, other well documented blind tests, and much more.

I ask everyone: What credible objective data has Abraxalito, or any of my other critics, presented in support of their criticisms? I haven't seen anything. At some point, a reasonable person would agree you can define audible transparency under realistic listening conditions. That's all I've tried to do. And I've been conservative and gone way further than -75 dB in terms of the measurements in my definition.

It might also be worth pointing out those who believe a decent soundcard (or interface) and some free/cheap software is the equal of a real audio analyzer like and A.P. or dScope are mistaken. While it's true you can get sound hardware with a similar noise floor to some analyzers they're still limited in a great many ways in terms of what and how they can measure. For one, they're at the mercy of the operating system as they don't have any real-time measurement hardware on board. And they generally have no concept of absolute levels making many measurements either meaningless or only relative. They were not designed for making absolute measurements.

PC sound hardware lacks proper calibrated input conditioning circuitry and it's often difficult or impossible to accurately maximize the dynamic range of their A/D--at least without using other other external hardware. An analyzer has the ability to measure, and generate, signals in the digital domain while measuring/altering the digital signal parameters. A soundcard can't do any of that--like measure the jitter of an incoming S/PDIF signal. Analyzers can also make real time measurements including being able to listen to, and view, the residual distortion in real time. My RMAA article goes into a lot more detail.

And a lot of it is the software. Most PC soundcard-based software lacks the ability to do lots of critical things. It can't identify, flag, and and sum symmetrical jitter components. It can't apply all the required weightings and standards such as those from IEC, AES17, etc to make industry standard measurements. I've yet to see any such software that can even do a basic THD vs Output Level/Power sweep let alone some of the more advanced scripting the dScope and AP analyzers do.

Does someone have to measure all these things to have fun with audio? Absolutely not. But if someone wants to debate things like audible transparency, claim Product X is better than Product Y, etc. it can be a huge help. A huge benefit of making credible measurements, that conform with industry standard practices, is to allow others to verify your work. I've been at this for over a year, has anyone yet shown where I've been seriously wrong with any of my measurements or references? Instead my critics just like to stand back and throw rocks.

Finally, I like to use Bottlehead as a good example of how to have lots of fun without needing so much as a DMM. They've built a culture around their tube gear that's based on having fun rather than worrying about measurements. I'm fine with that. Unlike others, I don't see Bottlehead claiming their gear has higher fidelity, has 0.001% THD, is objectively better than Brand X, etc.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 10:18 PM   #30
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Is this a rough translation of what is going on? "I want to sell something and make some money, but someone else has produced a good product for that same market and is (almost) giving it away for free. He is also (unsurprisingly) criticising other products in that market. That's not fair!" Whoever said life was fair? This sounds like Microsoft whingeing about Linux.

"Someone's been eating my porridge", said Mummy Bear.
no, you see where it becomes a bit of an unfair thing, is because RS has all of the testing backbone of a fairly decent audio company (better in many cases), but has absolutely no concern about or a need for making it pay for itself, charges nothing for his time, or the designs, so the people who are selling it, have gotten their R&D done entirely free and owe no licensing on its production or distribution and neither does he owe anything for costs on said viral distribution and marketing.

still sound fair? notice i'm not even talking about objectively inferior products, even well engineered products, some would say ESPECIALLY well engineered products as they have higher costs to cover doing things properly. so this may well backfire, putting the well meaning start ups out of business whether they do their job well or not

sorry RS, i'm about to sleep, you and I have already talked about my position on this well before, and despite not being on entirely the same page, we at least knew what page each other is on; my position hasnt changed, I made attempts to communicate this to you in the past and i'm pretty sure we made ourselves understood. ive been meaning to PM you before this all got out of hand started from a comment that actually had slightly different connotations to what has been inferred. I also wanted to message you about the GB thread stuff before it all gets spun another way by your champions. i'll shoot you a PM tonight at some point, I dont have the time to reply properly to you or this thread just now either, its after 8am and i havent slept yet.

Last edited by qusp; 22nd April 2012 at 10:34 PM.
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