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Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
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View Poll Results: Which amp provides the presentation that you like the best ?
A 1 5.00%
B 7 35.00%
C 1 5.00%
D 1 5.00%
E 2 10.00%
F 4 20.00%
G 2 10.00%
H 2 10.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 8th February 2017, 01:29 PM   #41
abraxalito is online now abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Location: Hangzhou - Marco Polo's 'most beautiful city'. 700yrs is a long time though...
Based on the simplified schematic in the DS, the LME49600's transistor count looks to be at least 9.
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Old 8th February 2017, 03:12 PM   #42
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
Default Free Pocket Class A Headamp for Best Ears

I hope more folks participate in the poll. I can see a minimum of 21 file downloads for the sound clips. I bet I can make this a bit more exciting and encourage participation and critical listening skills. Whoever can guess the most amps correctly, will get a free fully-built and tested Pocket Class A headamp as a prize. The caveat is that they need to identifiy at least 4 of sound clips and its respective amp correctly and put their answer in writing (not posted in the open) but sent to me as a PM before the poll closes. Keep a copy of the PM and time stamp for proof. The moderators and their friends and family are of course, not allowed to participate as they have been given the answer key.

As background - on my speaker driver threads there have been people with golden ears who have identified 8 out of 8 blind test drivers correctly.

In the event that there is a tie, person who submitted answer first wins based on PM timestamp. Runner up gets a free Pocket Class a headamp PCB.
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Old 8th February 2017, 04:55 PM   #43
stellarelephant is offline stellarelephant  United States
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I look forward to participating in the poll when I have a bit to sit down and quietly listen and compare over my nearfield monitor setup. I may try over headphones too, but my my speakers are much more accurate and resolving.

To those naysayers who contend that the sound signatures of our listening gear will be getting in the way of this test--you are correct. But as X has mentioned, as long as we hold that variable constant, we should be able to detect differences anyway, and I think that these differences are valid and useful. One caveat is the issue of synergy... The sound signatures of our own gear interacting with the recorded sound signatures of the different amps might cause us to form opinions of these amps that we might not necessarily form if we listened to the amp itself through headphones.

To illustrate the usefulness of an exercise like this, however, I'll point to a similar blind A/B test conducted via SoundPure, a recording gear retailer, in 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUqsQrr-RTI They used this test as a way to market a Neve preamp clone, which I guess they thought sounded very similar to the real thing. Participants were supposed to listen to the same guitar performance recorded through a real Neve and the clone (high resolution sound clips were available on their website, too, as I recall) and then e-mail listening impressions to the SoundPure marketing guy. Pretty smart way to hook customers, IMO. Anyway, I was clearly able to identify that one of the two recordings contained a much sweeter (bell-like?) harmonic profile, and when I e-mailed my impressions to SoundPure, the guy replied that I preferred the true vintage Neve.

Long story short--differences in amplification can be captured in recordings, and can be apparent even through the sound signatures of the equipment used to listen to these recordings.
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Old 8th February 2017, 09:22 PM   #44
adydula is offline adydula  United States
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I listened to all the files with Beyer T1's and Agdr's ODA amp.

I honestly dont hear hear any real differences at all?!?

Alex
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Old 8th February 2017, 09:33 PM   #45
pcgab is offline pcgab  United States
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Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
I listened and voted, though after more listening a few hours later, I realize my initial vote was a bit off. I'm not going to say either way until the poll is over, etc.

Now as to figuring out which is which, beyond a wild guess, I don't know. But I am quite interested to find out!

Thank you X for taking the time to put these tests together, clips, polls, etc. It's a fantastic way to not only 'audition' different gear, but a nice exercise in critical listening and analytical evaluation. At least it is for me!
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:00 PM   #46
adydula is offline adydula  United States
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If its this hard to hear real world differences, what does that tell you?

Alex
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Old 8th February 2017, 10:26 PM   #47
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
I don't think it's hard to hear - quite obvious if you know how to listen. Your gear is up to it that's for sure. Listen to short 7 second passage over and over. Put clips on a playlist so you can jump back and forth to AB them instantly. Listen for changes in articulation, attack, pressure of bass wave, overall sensation of smoothness, sibillance, fatigue, but easiest of all is simply what is most enjoyable over and over.
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:38 PM   #48
adydula is offline adydula  United States
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Well sir what it tells me I have crappy hearing...LOL.

Been doing blind listening for years and I have done exactly that played similar 7 seconds or so over and over over....they all sound about the same....which is fine to me.

I'll bet that when you publish which amp is associated with what file our subjective side will kick in and say "hey I can hear differences...now"....again big smile here.

My gut tells me most "good" amps, "well designed", with good specs....beyond human hearing probably sound pretty good...

I wonder if you throw in a tube amp like the Crack would I hear differences......I do hear between my SS amps and the crack with the T1's...

Alex
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Old 8th February 2017, 11:59 PM   #49
abraxalito is online now abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Location: Hangzhou - Marco Polo's 'most beautiful city'. 700yrs is a long time though...
I downloaded and listened and could barely tell any difference at all. Then I listened to the reference track and it sounds really poor - in particular hardly any depth but also the HF sounds like its been mashed up by going through a really bad S-D DAC. Which mp3 encoder did you use X?

I went over to Amazon to see if they allowed sampling this track but they don't - the reviews are pretty much all saying what an awesome demo disk this is for audiophiles but I'm not getting that at all.
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Last edited by abraxalito; 9th February 2017 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 9th February 2017, 01:04 AM   #50
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
It's the default Encoder with Audacity - "lame" or something like that. I have a high Rez flac of this track as well.
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