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-   -   Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/303345-blind-virtual-audition-headamps.html)

xrk971 6th February 2017 06:30 AM

Blind Virtual Audition of Several Headamps
 
10 Attachment(s)
Update Jan 8, 2017 - person who identifies the most clips with its respective amp gets a free Pocket Class A Headamp as a prize. Details here.


I have collected over a dozen headamp builds over the past few months, always in search of the ultimate sounding one. I frequently get asked via PM, which one is my favorite, or which one do I think is the best. Following a similar approach that I took over in the Fullrange Speaker forum for blind testing of speaker drivers using mp3 files recorded with the setup, I present here, the recorded sound clips of 8 different headamps for you to listen to.

They were all recorded using the same setup, same source, level matched to within 0.5dB, and using the same 270ohm resistive load meant to simulate my DT880-250 headphones.

The signal was provided and recorded by a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2G audio interface running at 48kHz and 24-bit wit the conversion to a 320kbit mp3 file done by Audacity.

The clip is an mp3 of Anne Bisson's September in Montreal (45 seconds long).

So the idea is that everything in the chain is constant except the DUT (device under test). So whatever you hear that sounds different has to be the result of the changes in the DUT.

Here is a photo of all the amps lined up on the bench getting tested.

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/atta...up-photo-1.jpg

From left to right (far left box in red is Focusrite Solo 2G audio I/O unit):

1. Agdr's Super CMOY 1688,
2. my Pocket Class A,
3. a brand new Fiio A5 (Muses02/LME49600 based),
4. Aksa's CFP with BF862-2SA1837,
5. SRPP with 4 pairs of BF862,
6. Salas' DCG3,
7. Aksa's CFP with BF862-BD140, and
8. Juma's BF862 preamp paired with an LU1014D source follower with an IRFP240 cascode.

Most of the amps can be found in the following threads:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...r-headamp.html

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headp...hout-heat.html

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headp...elay-pcbs.html

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headp...ml#post1130743

The sound clips are labeled only as A, B, C,.. H and will remain anonymous until the poll is over. The poll just asks you the simple question: "Which amp provides the presentation that you like the best?"

Also included is the reference mp3 source used for the test.

You need to change the extension .asc to .mp3 to listen.

Have fun...

EDIT Jan 7, 2017: Please use the sound clip for B found here - the one in Post 1 has an error (clipping artifacts).


Spoiler Alert: answer key here.

Max Headroom 6th February 2017 07:29 AM

According to Foobar peak meter file B is significantly higher level than the others.
One of the others (D ?) is slightly higher level too.

Dan.

xrk971 6th February 2017 07:36 AM

That's strange because I applied -0.5dB (forced final peak value) amplification on all files when processing. Let me look at it - thanks.

Max Headroom 6th February 2017 07:39 AM

I'm talking about the initial few seconds, I didn't scan all the way through or open the files in an editor.
What was your process please, you may be doing it wrong.

Dan.

weitian 6th February 2017 08:08 AM

What I will be hearing, is the effect of your amps on a pure resistive (270R) load, super-impose on my headphone amp driving my headphones.

Rating amps by such virtual audition is inaccurate, to say the least :rolleyes:.

AKSA 6th February 2017 08:14 AM

Inaccurate how, Weitian?
From the point of THD, yes.
From the point of music, rather than sound, is it meaningful?

HD

weitian 6th February 2017 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AKSA (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/303345-blind-virtual-audition-headamps-post4977966.html#post4977966)
Inaccurate how, Weitian?

It doesn't say anything about how those amps would drive reactive loads;
It doesn't tell if the amps may oscillate or not;
If those amps are bass light and my amp is base heavy, it ends up being right, impacting music perception;

Quote:

Originally Posted by AKSA (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/303345-blind-virtual-audition-headamps-post4977966.html#post4977966)
From the point of music, rather than sound, is it meaningful?

Definitely not for me, but we can disagree on this if you insist.

nicoch58 6th February 2017 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by weitian (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/303345-blind-virtual-audition-headamps-post4977954.html#post4977954)
Rating amps by such virtual audition is inaccurate, to say the least :rolleyes:.

well build all amp and test for yourself ! :D

AKSA 6th February 2017 08:44 AM

Never any point in trying to change a man's point of view when he thinks he is correct......!!

BTW, this is driving headphones, not speakers. The reactance issues, excepting electrostatics, are not so important.

Cheers,

HD

abraxalito 6th February 2017 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Headroom (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/303345-blind-virtual-audition-headamps-post4977928.html#post4977928)
According to Foobar peak meter file B is significantly higher level than the others.

Subjectively B sounds louder.


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