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Audiophools abound

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#1
With the intention of growing my acoustics consulting and speaker building business I've been joining various active online communities dedicated to hobbyist home audio reproduction. Some of the discussions are as you'd expect, and the advice is as you'd expect. But then I came across this on a FB group:

Good morning everyone.
I want to expand my system with external DAC. My goal is to clear midrande tones, maybe enchance a little bit bass.
As a source of sound I use sony x33es Cd Player and arcam cds27. Then cambridge audio cxa60 amplifier, and next monitor audio silver 100. Loudspeakers.
I want to buy cambridge audio dac magic plus.
Do you think this is a good choice?

This person believes the Cambridge Audio Magic Plus DAC will "clear [midrange] tone and maybe enhance a little bit of bass" versus his Sony ES and Arcam CD players' internal DACs.

Of course, as long as he is enjoying the hobby and isn't being taken advantage off by unscrupulous salesmen, he can do whatever he wants - in fact, more power to him. But he learned to believe to think this way from somewhere.
 

mzpro5

Well-Known Member
Famous
#2
I think there is a real psychological basis for something like this. A person strives for years to get the "perfect" sound believing there is always a nest step. Evend when they have excellent equipment and environment they still feel "there must be something I can do to make it just a bit better" . that and an unlimited budget of a few will cause those few to forever be searching.
 

Dentman

Well-Known Member
#3
You walk a fine line between educating folks and insulting them. It's a tough line to walk, but do it wisely for your business sake.
 

heeman

Well-Known Member
Famous
#4
I read the Dynaudio thread over at AVS quite often. There is typically more discussions on DAC's; Streamers; Cables and Power Cords than Dynaudio Speakers, most of the time.

In a way it is confusing to me, however I just think that they are so esoteric, that they just continue to drink the kool aid.
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#5
I was speaking to a long time audio nerd yesterday and enjoying the conversation about acoustics, speakers, room EQ and so on. Then he started talking about a uPNP server upgrade for his media library made a big difference with his streaming device. I was a little surprised, but some uPNP services also transcode, so I asked if he switched to or from a transcoding solution, and he absolutely swore that he was never transcoding and the data was bit for bit accurate as it moved from his library files to the media player. Now, think about that for a few minutes.
 

AndySTL

Well-Known Member
#7
I was speaking to a long time audio nerd yesterday and enjoying the conversation about acoustics, speakers, room EQ and so on. Then he started talking about a uPNP server upgrade for his media library made a big difference with his streaming device. I was a little surprised, but some uPNP services also transcode, so I asked if he switched to or from a transcoding solution, and he absolutely swore that he was never transcoding and the data was bit for bit accurate as it moved from his library files to the media player. Now, think about that for a few minutes.
If it was bit for bit in both the new and old system, how could it sound any better in the new one?
 

Randy

Well-Known Member
Famous
#8
I was speaking to a long time audio nerd yesterday and enjoying the conversation about acoustics, speakers, room EQ and so on. Then he started talking about a uPNP server upgrade for his media library made a big difference with his streaming device. I was a little surprised, but some uPNP services also transcode, so I asked if he switched to or from a transcoding solution, and he absolutely swore that he was never transcoding and the data was bit for bit accurate as it moved from his library files to the media player. Now, think about that for a few minutes.

I did...

And I still have no fucking idea what you just said! :shocked:
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#9
I did...

And I still have no fucking idea what you just said! :shocked:
A library sending files to a streaming media device these days uses a uPNP server to define the stream data, present the catalog on the library and so on. It is just one of many small pieces of software necessary for a network library to stream to a playback device and be controlled by a client like you'd see on a phone or tablet.

So, if the data being streamed is bit for bit identical to the original file when the first uPNP is being used and the same is true for the second uPNP server, then the data is identical at the player either way. The player has a large buffer which could hold anywhere from a second to 5 or 10 seconds of the data on it as it is being played out over the DAC in the player. So, how can this guy tell me about the audible benefits of one uPNP over another when the data is 100% identical???
 

Razz

Well-Known Member
#10
So, if the data being streamed is bit for bit identical to the original file when the first uPNP is being used and the same is true for the second uPNP server, then the data is identical at the player either way. The player has a large buffer which could hold anywhere from a second to 5 or 10 seconds of the data on it as it is being played out over the DAC in the player. So, how can this guy tell me about the audible benefits of one uPNP over another when the data is 100% identical???
Just for conversation, but, could one uPNP be stopping any "jitter" in the signal being sent to the player? Or does jitter only start once received at the player?
 
Last edited:

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#11
Could one uPNP be stopping any "jitter" in the signal being sent to the player? Or does jitter only start once received at the player?
The player is buffering the data at least half a second, but most buffer more. Then the player re-clocks the data as it is played from the buffer in a FIFO method.

Basically Jitter only exists as an issue when the streaming is synchronous, but darn near every DAC today reclocks the data and any jitter which could occur has to happen inside the DAC's clocking circuit.

Jitter was a very real issue 30 years ago. The really smart engineers who have been designing better and better DACs and Digital communications interfaces focused on eliminating it as an issue and for the most part it is not an issue today even in the cheapest gear and it has been that way for over a decade.

What's more, the uPNP server is not responsible for how bits get transmitted over the physical medium, be it an ethernet wire or a WiFi wireless modem and network. All the uPNP service does is send the data to the other service in the operating system which handles communications. It has no control over anything related to Jitter.
 
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