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Audiophile USB cable anyone ?

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Post by WongKN on Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:12 pm

Put it this way. You are a small company just starting into audiophile equipment, say DAC. Now WHO is going to buy your product and not those big name products like Meridian, SONY, Bryston, etc. Well if your product sounds good it helps but it is likely a competent 'big name' DAC is likely to sound very good too, maybe even better (they have the sheer advantage of size). So you try to find an advantage. One of the areas not really exploited by the 'big names' (perhaps for good reasons) but is closely related to digital is computers. So what would your strategy ? Me, I would find something from the computer line, in this case, will usually be consumer/PC level (won't be surprised if someone starts to tap into the commercial, and then medical, aerospace and finally military line soon). I look and presto, the XXX is something the big names somehow neglected to use. But for the purpose of hifi and AV transfer it is inferior to alternatives like firewire and HDMI. No problem, not many people knows this plus most people knows about XXX since most have a PC. So I use hype, misinformation, techno-babble and sometimes even plain bullshit and I disparage the Firewire and HDMI and I promote XXX over them. People will think I am right. I can also use conspiracy theories to promote my file format over one of those favoured by the 'big names'. E.g. disparage DSD and promote XXXX. For e.g. DSD is a closed protocol and SONY does not allow it to be used for separate boxes, must be within 1 single box. Is that right or wrong ? Check the specs for SACD/DSD la.

Sorry for being so sarcastic. It comes with the job.

The Bryston BDP-1 / BDA-1 interface is by AES/EBU.
The SACD/DSD recommended transport to converter interface is by HDMI.
I think if I look, there are many other examples too.
The DCs Schubert and associated components (DAC, clocker, transport) features a firewire and HDMI interface.
And so forth.
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Post by jokiarch on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:37 pm

Wong KN is right, my external HDD & SSD connect to Bryston BDP-1 is via USB cable, which is the only offering Bryston provides, but this is not a bad thing in my case. Between BDP-1 and BDA-1, I am using AES/EBU.

I am happy with the use of USB cable to transfer data to my BDP-1, at the very least, the sonic performance is far superior than all my past experiences with other forms of digital music playback system.

I am just puzzled why the use of better USB cable, in Bryston's case, can contribute to better performance knowing very well that it is mere transferring data from external hard disc (not streaming).

I thank you all for your technical theory on the weakness of "USB cable", which is informative nonetheless. I am afraid all of you had missed what I was trying to say here. Perhaps if you have a chance to listen to my system, you would not had jumped the gun in saying that I have problem using it , which I don't honestly speaking; irrespective to the state of USB cable in this application, my system had never sounded any better.

JoKi
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Post by hasnul on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:57 pm

okaaayyy !! I assume these so called USB audiophile cables are a real deal aka. kick-ass !! So I think I will buy one soon. Now confused which one.....!
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Post by WongKN on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:59 pm

Jo,

I believe everyone here would be honoured to be able to listen to your system very soon, at the end of July at the KLAVS 2011 !! That's around 5 months away only.

As for the discussion related to the limitation of USB, I do believe the data has been transmitted intact from the HDD to the BDP-1. I remember you 'pre-load' the song into the BDP-1, then use your control console (a fancy I/T term for that notebook/software you use, bad habit from the job Very Happy ) to select the song for the BDP-1 to play. Then the BDP-1 physically reads the data from its internal memory, clocks it (not 're-clock' anymore because once the data goes into physical memory, it does not have any clocking property, just an 'order' - sequential order property, as in this bit comes first, that bit comes next, no timing information at all), then sends it to the BDA-1 for conversion via the AES/EBU link. In this case, Bryston just fell back on solid proven electrical technology - AES (American Engineering Society I think, MF correct me if I remember wrongly) defined EBU link standard, no hype or anything.

It would be a miracle if anyone here in this forum can find out a conclusive reason why a better USB cable makes the sound better. Because theoretically the data is transferred correctly using any competent cable. I certainly will NOT pretend I know for sure. But then again, I will NOT question your ears since I know you well. So there IS a difference, but why ? The reason why Bryston designed the music to be played this way (source into BDP-1 into BDA-1) is exactly because they know the ill effects of jitter and the limitations of standard streaming protocol as used in the standard transport-DAC configuration. That's why I told you I think Bryston did a great job in the design of the BDP-1/BDA-1 after I understood what they did.

IN THEORY, for the difference to exist, and given my understanding of the workings of the BDP-1/BDA-1, there IS some data error inside the BDP-1. But if the HDD-USB connection is implemented properly, as in standard consumer PC style, then there should NOT be any data error as the receiver is supposed to do parity check and other standard things and to re-read in cases of detected inconsistency. But a consistent result suggests that physically the data is different. Why ? That remains a question that I freely admit I do not know the answer to (after a number of years in I/T, the seasoned guy quickly learns to admit he does not know something, and NEVER to pretend otherwise ! ). Very Happy
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Post by jokiarch on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:20 pm

WongKN wrote:Jo,

I believe everyone here would be honoured to be able to listen to your system very soon, at the end of July at the KLAVS 2011 !! That's around 5 months away only.


Incidentally, KLIAV Show 2011 is officially launched at JW Marriotts today; I attended the media launch and Mr. Dick Tan stated the show spaces are more than 90% taken up! This has been one of the best so far.

My system has remained pretty much similar over the years, it is dedicated to LS3/5A and the Malaysian Club by the generosity of Dick Tan; the room has been given to me for free.

Correction, it would be MY HONOUR in having everyone here. As for the speakers and audio industry, I am humbled by a lot of new speakers released recently, the only drawback is the asking price is getting rather ridiculously high.

JoKi
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Post by Ron on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:21 pm

I'm currently using kimble kable's usb cable connecting my notebook to bel canto's usb link(which in turn connected to Naim Supernait Amp). I did a comparison before with normal usb cable and I can clearly hear the difference. Hence from my experience, it works.

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Post by WongKN on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:54 pm

OK, my best attempt at GUESSing at what is happening here.

First let me explained that I have been using the USB to transfer data between storage devices (HDD, thumbdrives, etc) and my notebook for work and I have never encountered any wrong data so far. This involves actual raw data, in character or binary and formats which are sensitive to bit errors (like compressed zipped files) as well as software (the software I deal with can be hundreds of gigabytes in size). So for use in its properly designed situation, the USB works properly. It is NOT FLAWED. Please don't be mistaken that I am saying the USB is flawed and that you cannot trust the data that has been transferred using a USB connection WHEN used in its designed environment.

The main issue now lies in what in HIFI (and A/V), the actual format of the data that is being transferred between the source (HDD, SSD, and so forth) via the USB link and into the receiver (i.e. the Bryston BDP-1, or that Bel Canto, etc) is. If it is not in the format of a standard Windows, Linux, or Mac data file and if the devices doing the reading/receiving are not using standard I/T implementation (along with device drivers and standard error detection and possibly correction algorithms), then all those assurances of data integrity are off. The bets are off.

Again, I have not studied the Redbook CD data format in detail though MF has posted the error detection algorithm name. As far as I can see, the music data that is stored in a CD is not the standard Windows/Mac/Linux type data file format. For e.g. a 16bit word size suggests ALL the bits in both bytes are used. In that case, the standard ASCII 7-bit parity based error detection scheme cannot be used anymore. So in theory, if the standard 7-bit parity error detection mechanism is not used and an inferior alternative is used, then there CAN be errors in the transmission that may not be detected. And this will happen no matter what connection is used, though a more robust connection like HDMI or Firewire may mitigate that risk.

Similarly the files being transferred from JoKi's HDD into the BDP-1, I can see that they are .DAT or .FLAC or some even .MP3. But what kind of software is actually running inside the BDP-1. If it is based on Windows/Linux/Mac then it would be using those O/S' functionality and it should perform similarly to the case of a standard data file - no data errors. But if it is proprietry, then it may not implement the error detection/correction algorithms completely. In such a case, errors can creep in.

Of course as I am a full analogue guy and not yet into the digital medium (I only use CD in their normal form - a CD Player) I have not studied the specifications in detail. They are NOT EASY to understand. The FLAC specification and storage format is available on the net because it is promoted by a user group. I have browsed through it and it is frame based like MPEG. But it is also very comprehensive and it will take days or even weeks to even just do a prelimary understanding !

If anyone is using one of those Korean TVX media player, an experiment can be done. The TVX media player actually runs on Windows internally. When you power on, it is setup such that Windows comes on and then a program is launched which controls the media player. Now when you play a movie or music off a HDD connected via a USB cable, it -IN THEORY- should not make a difference as the data from the HDD is read off by Windows in the TVX (though I suspect we will again be shocked). Perhaps someone can do this experiment and report the results ?
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Post by WongKN on Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:14 am

OK, I can see that because the Reed-Solomon coding scheme is used for error detection and recovery, it allows the use of all the bits in a byte and still implement parity-based error detection and checking.

(see, I can really do some good techno-babble, along with the best out there !! Laughing But don't laugh too much, everything I wrote is correct).

This Reed-Solomon coding scheme is quite complex and is based on mathematic principles and requires a lot of processing power. It also provides for the use of interpolation for cases where the actual data cannot be reconstructed but error is known to have occurred. Crucially, the scheme allows a 'graceful degradation' for such instances.

So if there is any difference between using a normal versus an audiophile USB cable, it must still be due to data error and in this case, the Reed-Solomon scheme as implemented in RB-CD is supposedly quite robust and it is not easy to corrupt the data.

So we are back to the beginning. In theory, it should not make a difference but in real-life many can hear that it can. Just like in theory, the RB-CD format of 14/44.1 is beyond the hearing ability of humans but in real-life, many can consistently hear better sound from 24/192 for e.g.
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Post by mugenfoo on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:24 am

AES/EBU bitstream is similar to S/PDIF but it is NOT the same.

Some of the bit arrangements are different like the copy-protection flags and some control bits.

Also, AES/EBU can take up to 24bit resolution, and no specific limit on the sampling freq.

I2S is not popular due to the added complexity of more electronics needed in the product. In this market of lowest-dollar efficiency & economies of scale, I2S took a back seat compared to the common formats.
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Post by elhefe on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:30 am

I kind of agree with sflam. USB is not the best connection to stream digital music. I currently use USB from iMac to rDAC, and the sound is very bloated and mumbly. Eventhough optical also is not the best connection, but it is much better sounding compared to USB.
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Post by moderneagle on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:37 am

May I ask us to look at this phenomenon from an alternate angle altogether? 
Assumption: There is really no difference AT ALL in the digital 1's and 0's being transmitted by one USB cable to another, and therefore ALL USB cables of quality build regardless of price SHOULD sound the same if put through the same system. Hang with me on this, ok? 
But but... our hearing tells us THERE IS a difference. 
There can only be one logical explanation: Our ears are lied to by the rest of our senses and our minds. 

So in essence, the placebo effect. 
My questions:
1. How does the scientifically inclined go about dispelling or disproving such effect? Double blindfold? Waveform recording and analysis? 
2. Has any such studies been done before by the unbiased and by that I mean those who are fine with the resultant findings either way (so that rules out manufacturers, dealers, endorsees, magazine editors, online reviewers and users who have invested significantly into exotic USB cables) here or elsewhere that you guys are aware of?

My simple take is this, if the placebo effect is proven beyond a shadow of doubt to be NOT the cause, then the earlier assumption made that all USB cables, exotic or otherwise, built to specifications DO sound the same is wrong and there are reasons beyond what we can prove scientifically now that account for the sonic differences. And it'll be alright to spend to taste meaning splurge on USB as much as budget allows. 

If such studies however proves the placebo effect is at play, then we can all save ourselves some pretty pennies and spend the savings on a better DAC or LV bag for the missus instead. I'm actually fine either way. 

Yours, hypothesising at an ungodly hour, moderneagle. 

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Post by bimmerman on Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:51 am

To deepen the mystery, both hard disks used by the esteemed Mr. Jo Ki does indeed sound different and not only that, when Jo used a damper on one of his hard disks, again, it made a difference with and without damper.

So, somehow or rather the data transferred from hard disk to the bryston has been seemingly altered. Am I correct to say that data is transferrered to the Bryston rather than streamed? Anyway, in Jo's case, if the data was altered in any way, it was definately for the better! Jo's system is so finely balanced and sensative, one can indeed hear every minor change done. But as always with Jo's setup, heavenly!!!
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Post by mugenfoo on Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:10 am

To add fuel to the fire ....

Even just by listening to a system with nothing changed, right after another ... a difference can also be "heard" by the listener.

A brief explanation is as such:

1. Such is the nature of psychoacoustics. The human ear is highly adaptive to its environment. Case in point: After attending a rock concert, and driving on the way home... your car will seem to be super well insulated from road noises just like a Lexus LS460, although it may just be a Civic or Altis. But hop into the car the next morning, the Cvic/Altis is back to its usual self again, can hear the road noise, tyre noise, engine roar .. etc etc.

2. other external factors are also at play here. Power fluctuations can play a part. So unless the A/B test is done with as much monitoring of the external power supply etc etc, .... who's to say anthing ?

3. Hifi equipment, even within a listening session will change its "sound" with time as the session progresses. We all know that a warmed up amps (especially tube types) will always sound smoother, than one that's just powered up which will be harsh and edgy. Same situation also happens with speaker coils .... after a good session of blasting, the coils would have heated up notably, and its characteristics would also have changed. In an extreme example, overheated (voice coil) speakers would sound very congested, compressed and lacking in dynamics.

All these A/B/C/X test is very interesting and intriguing... and even more intriguing when people start to analyse-analyse and over-analyse what could be the reasons behind it... Issit that the USB cable's bits have changes ? Is it that XYZ method of -damping or isolation changed the digital signal ... But one must realise that these are only the factors that one would see within the the listeners eyes in his listening room.

There are just too many other external factors at play here, within the insides of the hifi equipment & speakers, the listener's own ears, and external factors like incoming power supply, even ambient temperature & humidity would affect the listener's "mood" and/or the equipment's behaviour! etc etc...

So when one hears a difference ... don't be so quick to pin-point it to just a cable or some accessory in your hifi system. There are just too many variables in the value-chain.

That being said , but if you are willing to invest a heck load more time and do your own testing with repetitious A/B testing with-and-without over a considerable timespan and the results are CONSISTENT with the change, then one can safely conclude that "ok, yes ... this XYZ-Accessory or something is affecting the sound" in a consistent and repeatable manner.


Just another point for everyone to consider here.
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Post by adrian4454 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:15 am

Lovely, the mystery has deepen.
IMO, it is just the simple effect of EMI and vibration(Or so called Micro surface Discharge)... Like I mentioned before all metal, will be effected by this devil. As long as data is transferred to metal.. there is where the EMI in place.
I am very sure HDD/SSD to the Bryston BDP-1 transfer through the USB cable is bit perfect, be it the standard USB cable or Audiophile grade. As all the protocols in work would have whatever error resend/reread again until it is perfect. Timing isnt at issue at all, logically, the BDP-1 will have it own circuit to work it out admirably.

I am very sure, the Audiophile grade has taken extra step in screening EMI and common noises on it data and power channel. And I believe, micro vibration transmit through metal to... mechanically. And some form of dampening took place in the wire sleeve and jacket of the Audiophile grade cable. And these, very much may make the different in sound.
So I totally believe Jokiarch saying that vibration isolation on SSD and HDD make audible different; because vibration get transmitted through the USB cable.. I suspect.

This is very unconventional... and it is my own thinking to be mentally straight over this phenomenon. As I've myself experience something that might not work, but it does.

In the same context, Bryston would have been foolish to have a metal casing, well isolated transfomer, and other forms of EMI reduction circuit on it BDP-1, as it only deal with bit perfect processing... no point at all it should worry on all these devils interference. I am very sure, they know the interference may not trouble the bits too much but it will get transmitted or transferred further down the stream..to the power amp as( harmonics distortion?), and finally to the speaker.

OK, I am glad that we are in the 21 century... explanation as outrageous like mine will have me beheaded or lock down in the dungeon for years, if we are now in the 18 century Smile
I have no scientific base to support my explanation.. you are free to ignore this~

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Post by adrian4454 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:27 am

Hi Mugen,
After a good session of Blasting.. the Audiophile punya Audiophile capability will reduce by 50%, due to ringing in the ear ..hahahaa.

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Post by bimmerman on Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:25 pm

Ear ringing. Unless of course you're listening to Jo Ki's system. I listened for almost 4 hours straight and not a hint of fatigue. There was no need to play at high volumes as his system was so transparent, so free and effortlessly detailed that you get drawn into the music. I got goosebumps listening to Jose Carreras Misa Creolla. The presentation was so real I kept looking over my shoulder to see if Jo had hidden some surround speakers behind but nothing. No trickery of any sort. It was just the LS3/5a. Truly amazing!
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Post by mugenfoo on Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:33 am

Try listening to just 2 hours in real life of a Rammstein concert, then come and say again if you won't suffer hearing fatique or otherwise...

Even if it's not Rammstein, try sitting through 2 full hours of Carmina Burana, Flight of the Valkyries, and other similar genre grand-scale pieces' live performance.

And this is all of course "LIVE SOUND", which is to put it another way, "The Absolute Sound".


One could also listen to a pair of JPW Sonata speakers for 4 hours straight and not suffer any "hearing fatique" problems.
(Actually, any type of speaker also will qualify, if you don't turn the volume knob more than the 8 o'clock position.) Guarantee that even listening for 24 hours non stop also won't get ear ringing. You might be bored to tears though. Or as VS126 puts it earlier, try listening to MJ: Beat It on these speakers .... you will quite literally want to cry in agony and disenchantment.

Rolling Eyes
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Post by bimmerman on Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:39 am

If you listen to Rammstein you'll want to crank it up otherwise where got puas? Very Happy Ear ring and tinnitus is part of the Rammstein equation. Me, i'm more of a Alice Cooper dude. but same same ya.

Well courses for horses bro. Well if it's Live Sound one is after then you don't have a choice. You'll need to emulate the Live DB with a system capable of delivering it. Me, I prefer to scale it down a little and forgo the "Live" a little just as long as all the other aspects of the performance is not lost.

Last night I sat through Nirvana unpluggeded and then Clapton unplugged with a sense of being there but dialed down to keep tinnitus at bay. Works for this old boy.

Anyway, courses for horses Mugen. By the way, I expect to have a music room ready by april. Long overdue. You came for a listen ya. Very Happy
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Post by mugenfoo on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:00 am

sure thing beemie, .... long overdue ... your listening room !
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Post by adrian4454 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:23 am

I still remember during my college day, I been to Disco once with my friends..
And there was this stadium type of loudspeaker in the enclosed dancefloor... I believe the size of a voluminous freeze. The loudness was truly ear deafening. I do believe, only a JBL Everest could match that level of madness.

Man, it was like been in a torture chamber, the 1 hour spent in there... had my ear ringing for 1/2 hour after leaving that place. I still remember seeing those mostly high on some "drugs", had their heads shaking less than 1ft away from the beast..wonder they are now on some sort of hearing aid already or not.

In order to get to the level of ear ringing, you need to be like standing 2 ft away from continuous exploding red fire cracker for a duration 5 minutes or more. Now, that kind of loudness, most of our hi fi speaker can't match.



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Post by moderneagle on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:31 am

By the way Adrian, any good food to eat in Melaka nowadays? I'm here today. Sorry to go out of topic.

Yours, hungry, moderneagle

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Post by adrian4454 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:44 am

PM u already. Please PM me your email..

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Post by tycham on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:28 am

adrian4454 wrote:PM u already. Please PM me your email..
 Audiophile USB cable anyone ? - Page 2 Ot10

Hey! I'll be there tomorrow. Would appreciate if you can also PM me your recommendation?
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Post by WongKN on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:39 am

DEI !!! Got good food places to recommend, don't you all dare to PM here and PM there. Put it out into the public domain so that anyone else (including me) who might be going to Melaka in the future will also get to enjoy lar. Or else I go to your house and take away your hi-res music and replace all of them by low-bitrate MP3 then you know !!! Laughing
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Post by adrian4454 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:29 am

How can...? My system hi res to 16 bits only..haha.. I dont think there is a different between hi res Mp3 and mine..haha

So what should I do? Which Public domain you want me to Publish? Forgive me, I am not Axian 788 leh. Have not been scouting for foods in Melaka for some time already.

Anyway, I can PM to those of you that request. Dont blame me if it isnt your taste or below the standard you are looking for. Because local foods are very cultured taste~ like Valve and Transistor~

hmm... I wonder whether I can charge advertising fees from those hawker or food stall sellers that I recommend or not Smile

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Post by samn on Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:28 pm

Adrian, better charge than never! btw, pm me also leh Smile
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Post by tycham on Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:12 pm

WongKN wrote:Or else I go to your house and take away your hi-res music and replace all of them by low-bitrate MP3 then you know !!! Laughing

Since got replacement SSD back from distributor on Monday, had not been able to load OS properly(NTFS got alignment problem) so no hi res music - only got a radio to listen to. If you can spare some MP3 music would be better than listening to Sanyo radio.
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Post by Nil on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:26 pm

bimmerman wrote:Ear ringing. Unless of course you're listening to Jo Ki's system. I listened for almost 4 hours straight and not a hint of fatigue. There was no need to play at high volumes as his system was so transparent, so free and effortlessly detailed that you get drawn into the music. I got goosebumps listening to Jose Carreras Misa Creolla. The presentation was so real I kept looking over my shoulder to see if Jo had hidden some surround speakers behind but nothing. No trickery of any sort. It was just the LS3/5a. Truly amazing!

Besides personal preference , fatigue or not depends on the condition of one's hearing or level of acceptance to highs or low and volume level.
Our hearing tends to deteriorate in the region of high and low frequency sound due to age, level of sound volume exposure, prolonged exposure to excessive sound volume & etc.
For example, one with less sensitive to low bass hearing will always request more bass from his already bass heavy sound and vice versa. But it may be fatiguing to normal people with good hearing level.
Therefore it is very important to protect our hearing in order to enjoy more music.

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Post by jokiarch on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:33 pm

mugenfoo wrote:Try listening to just 2 hours in real life of a Rammstein concert, then come and say again if you won't suffer hearing fatique or otherwise...

Even if it's not Rammstein, try sitting through 2 full hours of Carmina Burana, Flight of the Valkyries, and other similar genre grand-scale pieces' live performance.

And this is all of course "LIVE SOUND", which is to put it another way, "The Absolute Sound".


One could also listen to a pair of JPW Sonata speakers for 4 hours straight and not suffer any "hearing fatique" problems.
(Actually, any type of speaker also will qualify, if you don't turn the volume knob more than the 8 o'clock position.) Guarantee that even listening for 24 hours non stop also won't get ear ringing. You might be bored to tears though. Or as VS126 puts it earlier, try listening to MJ: Beat It on these speakers .... you will quite literally want to cry in agony and disenchantment.

Rolling Eyes
Mugenfoo, I get what you are saying..... got it mate.

Now just what are the characteristics of "Live Sound" or The Absolute Sound that you so aptly implied?

What is your opinion of the destine or the absolute purpose of home audio system?

JoKi

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Post by jokiarch on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:52 pm

bimmerman wrote:Ear ringing. Unless of course you're listening to Jo Ki's system. I listened for almost 4 hours straight and not a hint of fatigue. There was no need to play at high volumes as his system was so transparent, so free and effortlessly detailed that you get drawn into the music. I got goosebumps listening to Jose Carreras Misa Creolla. The presentation was so real I kept looking over my shoulder to see if Jo had hidden some surround speakers behind but nothing. No trickery of any sort. It was just the LS3/5a. Truly amazing!
TQ Bimmerman for your assuring comment. I am pleased in knowing that we listened the same and we share similar aspiration to sound reproduction.

This USB cable topic is really going quite off-course. The misconception arises with the assumption that I have had sonic problems in my system because of the USB cable. Fact is, this is not the case. In fact, even running it using the generic USB cable that comes free with my hard disc makes my system sounded all time best! It is better than my CD playback system you last heard.

Jo Ki
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Post by mugenfoo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:38 am

jokiarch wrote:
Mugenfoo, I get what you are saying..... got it mate.

Now just what are the characteristics of "Live Sound" or The Absolute Sound that you so aptly implied?

What is your opinion of the destine or the absolute purpose of home audio system?

JoKi


Joki , since u are asking for an opinion, so here's one, which is just an opinion.

Must there be any certain "characteristics" to live sound ? This is like akin to asking "What is the meaning of life?"

Live sound is just as its name implies... LIVE SOUND ! How does one really DEFINE "LIVE SOUND" except for what it really is??

Some types of live sound are nice and harmoniously pleasing the the ears, while some can be a medical hazard and lead to permanent hearing disabilities.


Back to talking about systems now:
Replayed thru a home audio system, if it is to be true to its original intention (although it may come close to doing a good job , or not , to varying degrees and depending on the owner's own opinion which is also subjective to say the least) would be how well it could mimic the LIVE SOUND. But then again, who's really to know how well would a system be able to copy the original "LIVE SOUND" also ?

But really, is there also any absolute destiny of a home audio system aside from burning a big hole in people's wallet or bank account , but yet u can still get a nice feeling of having such a system ? (type 0)

For some people, its absolute destiny is to: try and approximate as close as possible the original "LIVE SOUND" illusion. Like the above example (type 1)

For others, its just a fancy jigsaw puzzle for them to tweak and tune and then tweak and tune again to their hearts content. (type 2)

Yet still others, its a system for them to enjoy music in whatever form it may come. (type 3)

Yet still some others, lets say for the home DIY hacker, its to mutate their home audio system into a super sophisticated Expresso machine that will brew a mean cup of coffee (while still playing music as well of course). (type-...N).

Feel free to add to the list.... creativity is always interesting and amusing to know.

So again... is there really any absolute purpose of a home audio system, nor should it NEED one ?

If there is one thing that is for sure .. it's that it's all relative.

Now, the champion of the notion that LIVE SOUND would be the ABSOLUTE SOUND, this one u got to ask & refer to our dear @WongKN ... I'll let him take it from here...
Very Happy
WongKN wrote:
Of course la, I also need to explain that vinyl believers like me are not fools to continue to prefer what some tries to call a grossly 'inferior' medium. Because there is no one medium which is superior to every other medium. Not even master tape. In a way, eventhough I don't like that guy, Harry Person is correct after all. The ABSOLUTE SOUND is LIVE SOUND !
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Post by WongKN on Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:48 am

Me ? I have already explained it many times before so I won't explain it too much anymore. The notion of live sound is real live listening experience of real instruments and performances. However, how much one wants to focus on the semantics as well as the tiny details is entirely up to the individual of course. For e.g., I have heard real violins, including a stradivari. I have also played a real, though normal violin before. So those represents the definition of a live sound as far as the violin is concerned. So when I play a violin concerto on the system, like the Butterfly Lover's Concerto, I know what I want the violin to sound like. This is the definition of the 'live sound' as it was originally meant to mean. Others might want to take live sound to mean the ACTUAL sound that was recorded. They have their right to do that as well. My only advice would be to try to always remember what is the actual and original intention you decided to indulge in this hobby in the first place. That defines how you approach the hobby itself.
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Post by mugenfoo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:15 am

i couldn't have explained it better myself ... Surprised
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Post by carz on Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:52 pm

Mugen,
what type category do you belong to ? Type 0 , type 1 ...etc ?

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Post by mugenfoo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:07 pm

Some days, type-25, other days, type-58...

How about yourself?
Smile
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Post by moderneagle on Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:55 pm

69 tak layan?

Yours, horny type, moderneagle.

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Post by jokiarch on Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:37 pm

mugenfoo wrote:

Joki , since u are asking for an opinion, so here's one, which is just an opinion.

Must there be any certain "characteristics" to live sound ? This is like akin to asking "What is the meaning of life?"

Live sound is just as its name implies... LIVE SOUND ! How does one really DEFINE "LIVE SOUND" except for what it really is??

Some types of live sound are nice and harmoniously pleasing the the ears, while some can be a medical hazard and lead to permanent hearing disabilities.

Back to talking about systems now:
Replayed thru a home audio system, if it is to be true to its original intention (although it may come close to doing a good job , or not , to varying degrees and depending on the owner's own opinion which is also subjective to say the least) would be how well it could mimic the LIVE SOUND. But then again, who's really to know how well would a system be able to copy the original "LIVE SOUND" also ?

Thank you for trying, and I can see the struggles you have, or anyone else for this matter, in describing 'Live Sound' in "Absolute" term; "feel free to add to the list" you say? May be by the time I finished, as well as all the members here, we could have rounded up & exhausted the entire vocabulary of audio-pedea we have! And yet we still could not describe in a simple straight forward statement about it. See, there is no absolute way to describe what 'Live Sound' is, so it is simply a misconstrued terminology from poor understanding in this hobby.

FYI, I did not raise this issue, you did. And you followed up with the argument giving example of using JPW speakers regarding listening fatigue.. bored to death... remember?

However, so true is your statement of "Characteristics of Live Sound"...

IMHO, if a system could reproduce a realistic sonic cues of a piece of music, it is none other than the system has the capabilities to mimic live sound in its character. Yes, we could never know what the Live Sound is like for the piece of music because we were never there during the recording, BUT based on our subconscious mind, if the sound is having such quality that it is "in agreement" with our composited yet rationalised past collations of live music, we know that it is!

Our mental collation of aural memory in subconscious level is superior. When someone listened to a system that have "goosebumps" sensation, it is the results of a multi-facetted levels of disbelieve between actual insitu contextual realm vs. our past aural memory experiences, so that there is this spooky "information" disagreement between two over Time and Space, and yet both call forth our unbiased intelligence which represent the extremes of both worlds that does not co-relate to each other - Live Experience!

A voice, faint as it can be, at broad daylight (need not be at wee hours of the night) coming in front of you can gives you goosebumps if it sounded so very real.

Yet, a voice, as loud as it can be, in fully dynamic and energy in wee hours of the night coming behind you or above your head, do not give you goosebumps.

JoKi

Bimmerman, Thank you for all your good words about my system, they are re-assuring for me and I know better now that I am heading the right direction. I hope I got the chance to also listen to your system.
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Post by jokiarch on Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:43 pm

moderneagle wrote:69 tak layan?

Yours, horny type, moderneagle.
Haha... Laughing very funny this one...
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Post by mugenfoo on Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:14 pm

jokiarch wrote:
Thank you for trying, and I can see the struggles you have, or anyone else for this matter, in describing 'Live Sound' in "Absolute" term; "feel free to add to the list" you say? May be by the time I finished, as well as all the members here, we could have rounded up & exhausted the entire vocabulary of audio-pedea we have! And yet we still could not describe in a simple straight forward statement about it. See, there is no absolute way to describe what 'Live Sound' is, so it is simply a misconstrued terminology from poor understanding in this hobby.

FYI, I did not raise this issue, you did. And you followed up with the argument giving example of using JPW speakers regarding listening fatigue.. bored to death... remember?

However, so true is your statement of "Characteristics of Live Sound"...

IMHO, if a system could reproduce a realistic sonic cues of a piece of music, it is none other than the system has the capabilities to mimic live sound in its character. Yes, we could never know what the Live Sound is like for the piece of music because we were never there during the recording, BUT based on our subconscious mind, if the sound is having such quality that it is "in agreement" with our composited yet rationalised past collations of live music, we know that it is!

Our mental collation of aural memory in subconscious level is superior. When someone listened to a system that have "goosebumps" sensation, it is the results of a multi-facetted levels of disbelieve between actual insitu contextual realm vs. our past aural memory experiences, so that there is this spooky "information" disagreement between two over Time and Space, and yet both call forth our unbiased intelligence which represent the extremes of both worlds that does not co-relate to each other - Live Experience!

A voice, faint as it can be, at broad daylight (need not be at wee hours of the night) coming in front of you can gives you goosebumps if it sounded so very real.

Yet, a voice, as loud as it can be, in fully dynamic and energy in wee hours of the night coming behind you or above your head, do not give you goosebumps.

JoKi

Bimmerman, Thank you for all your good words about my system, they are re-assuring for me and I know better now that I am heading the right direction. I hope I got the chance to also listen to your system.

Joki, sorry, but kinda lost you there for a while ..... Goosebumps and all !
hahaha.. jocolor

OK, re: Live sound.
Live sound / Absolute sound also wasn't mine to begin with, it was WongKN's ...

If i would take a stand. I would say all hifi sound is FAKE SOUND. Or that it would be as real as can be on the same comparison as how "real" would the image of an aeroplane (lets say, watching the movie TOP GUN) would be on a big screen projector or 60" flatscreen. Yes it can seem "very very real" indeed, but alas ... its just a big canvass unlike if you were actually at an airshow event. Correct or not ?



Not really struggling or trying anything here. But of course, there are others who would spend countless hours and time into tuning / tweaking, or changing multitudes of equipment brands and combination and further tuning their systems and delving into the realm of the supernatural or subconscious and other new frontiers.... so, why not ? Different strokes for different folks and if it makes them happy, it each his own! And perhaps this forms a big part of the hobby as well. Trying new and different combos everyday !


And yes, using a pair of JPW Sonatas to whack some Rock performance or some grand scale Orchestra... well, you get the idea ! Laughing
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Post by bimmerman on Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:15 pm

jokiarch wrote:
Bimmerman, Thank you for all your good words about my system, they are re-assuring for me and I know better now that I am heading the right direction. I hope I got the chance to also listen to your system.

Jo, you're most welcome. Thanks for having me over for that long session. Only mahjong sessions can last longer or be so engaging. Very Happy It was truly one of the most memorable auditions ever and so easy on the ear too. To my ears, it's just as real as it gets. You had width, depth, tone timbre, texture and all the good stuff going. And somehow you have banished digital glare. And man can those LS3/5A image! So, does that mean that the flatfish will meet the frying pan? Ha ha! Not that I can afford.

I hope to have my setup ready by mid to end April. Getting a simple renovation done. Can't afford room treatment so I hope some curtains will do for the time being. No equipment rack too so Ikea will have to do. Unfortunately it will still be redbook but slightly better at 24/44.1Khz. So far those who have heard it in my bedroom say it's not half bad.

Very Happy
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Post by WongKN on Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:41 am

As I have posted, if one wants to adopt the 'live sound is absolute sound' concept, then it is of utmost importance to avoid getting worked up over the semantics and the literal meaning of the statement. For e.g. strictly speaking and according to semantics, it is not 'live' sound that we are talking about from the actual musical performance at the actual time and actual place, etc. As the sentence suggests, it should rightfully be that it is the 'actual sound' that we consumers will never know (re: the arguement by MF).

The main idea of using 'live sound' as the reference standard is that most people have listened to 'live sound' before, e.g. I am intimately familiar with the guitar, classical and steel-stringed. I have learned the violin before. My nephew and niece plays the piano and I have listened to them playing extensively before. I make an effort to listen to various other musical instrument in the 'live' environment, e.g. a drummer with his drum supporting a singing act at a function, I intentionally sit behind the group so that I can listen to the actual sound of the drums and not through the PA system. So I have experience with the tonal characters of these instruments, their unique sonic signature and so forth.

Therefore, the meaning of 'live' sound is similar to the concept of seeing something 'live', like going to a stadium to watch a football game, versus watching it on the TV. So one will know that the real 'live' atmosphere in the football stadium is different from that in a mamak stall for e.g.

Therefore when listening to a reproduction of a piece of music, say a solo guitar rendition, being familiar with the tonal richness and unique sonic signature of a hand-made classical guitar, I then make a mental comparison between the reproduced music and what my experience tells me a guitar should sound like. In this case, the details of the recording are not important because a solo guitar recording is typically close miked. In any case, while the environment may influence the sound to a degree, those who have listened to a classical guitar rendition will know that it won't go to the extent that it will change the finer details in the sonic characteristic of the instrument.

So, again my recommendation/ advice, whatever one may want to take it as, is simply to not go overboard with the semantics and literal meaning of it all.
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Post by adrian4454 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:34 am

Hi Jo,
I would like your opinion over why a better USB cable contribute a better performance? Which is exactly the "thing" we all should be discussing about. I truly appreciate your view in this.

Because, your "experience" is more valid than anyone who said they heard a difference, And I totally agree that there isnt pyscho-acoustic happen, since your opinion is articulate. So I totally believe that the better USB made a change in sound. But what did? what have taken place?

I am not professor of any kinds. But truly acknowledge that the HDD/SSD transfer at what you are having now; is truly bits perfect. and time accurate in the later stage in the BDP-1. So, what has or have you think took place?

I believe in the uncharted water...please encourage me to get deeper.. Smile

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Post by sflam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:53 am

adrian4454 wrote:
I would like your opinion over why a better USB cable contribute a better performance? Which is exactly the "thing" we all should be discussing about. I truly appreciate your view in this.

Because, your "experience" is more valid than anyone who said they heard a difference, And I totally agree that there isnt pyscho-acoustic happen, since your opinion is articulate. So I totally believe that the better USB made a change in sound. But what did? what have taken place?

I am not professor of any kinds. But truly acknowledge that the HDD/SSD transfer at what you are having now; is truly bits perfect. and time accurate in the later stage in the BDP-1. So, what has or have you think took place?

I believe in the uncharted water...please encourage me to get deeper..

adrian4454, what is mystifying abt the differences joki hears when using an audiophile usb cable is that he is using the cable to connect an external hard disk to the bryston digital player.
he is not using the usb to connect the player to the dac (in any case, the bryston player does not hv a usb output anyway). so his system is set up such that the bryston digital player is linked to the bryston dac with an aes/ebu cable.
he changes the usb cable from the external hard disc to a better usb cable and he notices the difference in sound.
in theory, this shld not happen.
in theory and practice the quality of the usb cable between the digital player i.e. laptop and the dac can affect the sound, but from external hard disc to digital player is another story altogether.

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Post by cmboy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:17 pm

I somehow more confident of data integrity of those thicker, sturdy and short cables that come with some reknown brand of external HDD's rather than those tiny weeny flimsy looking ones that come with usb related accessories like hubs, memory readers and those sorts. I prefer short and sturdy cables for best possible integrity.
Having said that, although not entirely related, I found funny problems using 3rd party cables with my Garmin gps to the PC. Using some 3rd party cables although it looks good (some supplied with DCams) resulted in sudden loss of connection between PC and GPS for no logical explanation I can arrive.
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Post by bimmerman on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:30 pm

Well my feeling so far is that better USB cables can improve audio streaming. But only if you're streaming the audio data and not when you're transferring the data. So in theory any USB cable used from hard disk to DAC in data transfer mode should sound the same because the data transferred would be the same. But in practice, it is found not to be the case and this is the mystery that remains to be answered.
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 Audiophile USB cable anyone ? - Page 2 Empty Re: Audiophile USB cable anyone ?

Post by adrian4454 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:54 pm

Hi sflam,
I well understood the HDD to BDP-1 through USB cable. If you did read what I was replying about since the 1st reply on this topic.

That's why I need to know, what have been taken place? what make the sound change. I've shared by opinion on why... which I believe, no one agree. Neither do I agree on jitter took place in the HDD to BDP-1, as concept between these 2 devices are not data streaming SP/DIF transfer. Jitter isnt important here.

Not when you have the BDP-1 through DAC using the AES/EBU cable, jitter is very very important here. I believe, this is SP/DIF data streaming without re-read capability anymore. Theoritical, AES/EBU is a superior transfer medium.. but if the ground is not being subject to balanced current treatment... it is just as good as a coxial digital cable only...right?

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 Audiophile USB cable anyone ? - Page 2 Empty Re: Audiophile USB cable anyone ?

Post by moderneagle on Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:12 pm

I believe you Adrian, you speak the truth about the good food locations in Melaka.

Yours, food is easier to digest than USB, moderneagle


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 Audiophile USB cable anyone ? - Page 2 Empty Re: Audiophile USB cable anyone ?

Post by sflam on Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:34 pm

adrian4454 wrote:
I well understood the HDD to BDP-1 through USB cable. If you did read what I was replying about since the 1st reply on this topic.

That's why I need to know, what have been taken place? what make the sound change. I've shared by opinion on why... which I believe, no one agree. Neither do I agree on jitter took place in the HDD to BDP-1, as concept between these 2 devices are not data streaming SP/DIF transfer. Jitter isnt important here.

Not when you have the BDP-1 through DAC using the AES/EBU cable, jitter is very very important here. I believe, this is SP/DIF data streaming without re-read capability anymore. Theoritical, AES/EBU is a superior transfer medium.. but if the ground is not being subject to balanced current treatment... it is just as good as a coxial digital cable only...right?

that is the mystery. afaik the data flows from the exernal hard disk and is sent to a buffer chip in the bryston digital player which then streams it via aes/ebu to the dac.
in theory there shld be no difference in sound quality when the usb cable is changed cos the issue of jitter in this connection is not vital.
i do not know the answer.

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Post by adrian4454 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Hi sflam,
If you want to believe the unknown... this is what I believe happen.
The only faint proof that I have is: when I use Telo cap with Teflon sponge inside to cover my DAC SP/DIF input (As I use Toslink for CD to DAC.).
Guess what, there is an immediate audible different(No pyscho-acoustic on this one, as I . The damn digital only input is being troubled by an EMI and RF cap. I dont believe the Telo cap is doing resonance control or grounding filtering, so the logical answer is it keep stray EMI and RF to get into the digital coxial in signal.

Which lead me to believe, EMI and RF travel in all metal... no matter, the circuit run in digital or not...; no matter it is block or high sampling filter.. this one can't be filtered, because it is most likely within the banwidth of the operating data.

In fact, if I still recall correctly, digital doesnt travel as discrete 1v or 0v... it is basically a frequency.. denser or less dense... but dont remember it is implemented in here or not.

Cheer...

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Post by mugenfoo on Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:23 pm

S/PDIF uses a bi-phase mark coding as its encoding scheme.
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