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Old 13th February 2012, 11:12 AM   #2121
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Why the source before the amp? The average digital source outperforms the average power amplifier by a substantial margin. I understand the intuitive logic which says that "the signal comes from the source and if it's wrong there nothing will fix it" but the rest of the list is written in the order of which mucks the signal up most, not which gets to muck with it first.

In practice, swapping converters usually makes a smaller difference than swapping amps, unless at least one or both converters is flawed by design.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:24 AM   #2122
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Originally Posted by Bruno Putzeys View Post
Why the source before the amp? The average digital source outperforms the average power amplifier by a substantial margin. I understand the intuitive logic which says that "the signal comes from the source and if it's wrong there nothing will fix it" but the rest of the list is written in the order of which mucks the signal up most, not which gets to muck with it first.

In practice, swapping converters usually makes a smaller difference than swapping amps, unless at least one or both converters is flawed by design.
Don't agree; the "digital source" is not entirely "digital"; most if not all digital source equipment have analog output stages which account for much of the sonic fingerprint, which is not to say that there is something wrong.
And there is still a (growing again) number of people listening to LP's....
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:30 AM   #2123
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OK. The analogue stage of the average digital source outperforms the average power amplifier by a substantial margin.

If mr_pp had issues with a sonic signature in his system whilst playing LP's but not CD's I'm sure he would look there first.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:35 AM   #2124
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trying to sell another amp Bruno? you don't fool me. joking
well it's a long discussion.
I remember when I had the occasion of doing instant switching from a DAC connected to a relatively cheap CD player to direct CD output. cheapish speakers too, huge class A amp that by the looks seemed in the 5k-10k price range. can't remember the details, it was a while ago. the owner said that he did a lot of trial and error until finding the optimum speaker placement to give the best sound. the DAC was in the 200-300 eur/$ range. I don't think one realizes the extent of the difference a piece of gear makes until one does instant switching with the remote while sitting on the sofa.
well to put things mildly I was struck by it. the sound was not bad directly from the CD but the sensation of huge sound stage and texture emerging instantly was to die for. definite OMG moment.
after that we switched to my UCD amp. both me and the owner agreed that apart from more bass from the class A amp the differences were undetectable.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:36 AM   #2125
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OK. The analogue stage of the average digital source outperforms the average power amplifier by a substantial margin.
Maybe, but nevertheless each type of analog stage has it's own sonic fingerprint. Do you think that the numerous threads here on I/V converters for example are there because they all measure perfect and sound the same??
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:37 AM   #2126
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after that we switched to my UCD amp. both me and the owner agreed that apart from more bass from the class A amp the differences were undetectable.
So in theory the nCore should solve the bass issue. Correct?
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:41 AM   #2127
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Do you think that the numerous threads here on I/V converters for example are there because they all measure perfect and sound the same??
No, I think they are there because most of the alternative designs have some serious flaw that is easily measurable and predictable, but which sounds euphonic and sends the whole tribe off into a hitherto unexplored new religion. The whole of professional audio relies on converters that are more or less transparent from AD input to DA output. If something as basic as an I/V converter can still make as much difference as some of those DIY ones do, it can't be because they're approaching the goal, but because they're giving it a wide berth.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:41 AM   #2128
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So in theory the nCore should solve the bass issue. Correct?
the problem with my system is not the bass. the system I mentioned above was completely different, different room etc. I have to admit that the added bass sounded better in those conditions. it happened maybe 6 or 7 years ago so I don't remember the sensation itself but only the way I verbalized it at the moment.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:53 AM   #2129
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No, I think they are there because most of the alternative designs have some serious flaw that is easily measurable and predictable, but which sounds euphonic and sends the whole tribe off into a hitherto unexplored new religion.
I can understand how some can dread the prospect of finding a satisfactory (to avoid the term perfect) sounding system. provided that'll ever happen to me (unlikely) I'd buy a new motorbike, others may not have enough interesting hobbies
I think we need to discuss global warming and we'll have pretty much covered all off topic subjects
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Old 13th February 2012, 12:03 PM   #2130
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No, I think they are there because most of the alternative designs have some serious flaw that is easily measurable and predictable, but which sounds euphonic and sends the whole tribe off into a hitherto unexplored new religion. The whole of professional audio relies on converters that are more or less transparent from AD input to DA output. If something as basic as an I/V converter can still make as much difference as some of those DIY ones do, it can't be because they're approaching the goal, but because they're giving it a wide berth.
You know perfectly well that we are not speaking of designs which have "some serious flaw that is easily measurable and predictable, but which sounds euphonic etc....". I actually regard that as a statement of the typical "electronic engineer" telling his pupils to "listen" only with the oscilloscope and distortion meter... Differences between the various options are small and subtile but nevertheless, once again, cause sonic differences too, also in the professional field (which you confirm by saying that AD/DA converters are "more or less" transparent). Just these minor and often not so minor differences are responsible for a particular sound, and I still would put more effort here than in a good (neutral) sounding power amplifier.
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