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Hi Keith - I actually installed the solid state drive into Winston Ma's MacBook music server for the show in Vegas. I haven't spent enough time listening to computers with SSD v. HDD to render an opinion that I can stand behind. I have my own guesses about what the outcome should be and why, but so does everyone else. I need to spend more time on this one. I have three SSDs here right now :-)

 

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I have a first generation MacBook Air, regular hard drive,

and a first generation MacBook Air SSD, along with a 16 month old

iMac, and an 18 month old MacBook Pro. Some of these machines

are supplied by my employer ( I am not entirely over the edge ).

 

I use all of them to serve music, to my ~$12,000 system, after

the Macs. They all sound exactly the same, as I would only expect

that they would. The SSD Air is faster than the regular hard drive Air,

when in the Mac Finder, no question, but past that ... makes no difference

at all in terms of enjoying music, from one of the four machines to the other.

I'm curious why anyone would suspect that it

would, given through-put reqs, which are tiny in regard to audio

by USB standards? Let alone optical? Seriously, what are the presumed

issues here?

 

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A part of the audiophile community believes that system activity induces sample jitter in the sound card. A spinning hard disk with its moving heads is one of the offenders.

- media players loading a whole track in memory to avoid disk access during playback,

- killing as many system processes as possible,

- low power processors running Linux

are a couple of counter measures justified by this assumption.

 

If you think the electrical activity of the motor and the heads has a negative impact on sound quality then a SSD is one of the answers.

People who believe so do have a point, if you reduces system activity to zero (shut down) you do have zero jitter!

 

 

 

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"A part of the audiophile community believes that system activity induces sample jitter ..."

 

Which 'part of audiophile 'community' "believes"? Who are these people,

what are their names, and where do they live? Please point me to

data that supports your assertion. And what exactly do you mean by 'sample jitter'?

Please also make reference to a URL that defines that term exactly

as you mean it. The intertubes are large, this should not be too much an effort.

 

"If you think the electrical activity of the motor and the heads has a negative impact on sound quality then a SSD is one of the answers."

 

Who 'thinks the electrical activity of the motor and the heads has a negative impact on sound quality'? I don't happen to. So who is "you"? Please be explicit in this regard. Vague references are not helpful. "You" is a vague term as you've used it in this context, and

'you've' made assertions that it is your responsibility to supply footnotes for.

This is why god created footnotes, way back then.

 

"People who believe so do have a point ..."

 

People who have 'beliefs' have every right to them.

That's all they have though. They have no 'point', they simply

have their beliefs. There's nothing wrong with beliefs.

That they suggest others should accept their beliefs as 'points', well,

lay on the evidence, I'm ready.

 

Sorry, but your post is the kind of off-the-cuff opinionating that

really needs to be called on the carpet for. You have *every right*

to your opinion and feelings, and everyone owes you that respect.

But you have no right to assert tru-isms without footnotes at

the very least. It is *your responsibility*. :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 64GB SSD drives used in the early MacBook Air were not very fast compared to the new Samsung MLC 256GB drives. Yes MLC!

 

Wavelength Silver Crimson/Denominator USB DAC, Levinson 32/33H, Synergistic Research Cables and AC cables, Shunyata Hydra V-Ray II with King Cobra CX cable, Wilson Sasha WP speakers with Wilson Watch Dog Sub. Basis Debut V Vacuum turntable/ Grahm Phantom/Koetsu Jade Platinum. MacBook Pro 17\" 2.3GHz Quad Core i7, 8GB RAM, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, AudioQuest Diamond USB Cable.

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Chris,

 

I discovered that the Samsung 256GB SSD is about the fastest drive out there and is MLC. I think we are going to see more drives with MLC and excellent specs in the future.

 

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/63158.html

 

You have a great site. Thanks for keeping it civil.

 

Wavelength Silver Crimson/Denominator USB DAC, Levinson 32/33H, Synergistic Research Cables and AC cables, Shunyata Hydra V-Ray II with King Cobra CX cable, Wilson Sasha WP speakers with Wilson Watch Dog Sub. Basis Debut V Vacuum turntable/ Grahm Phantom/Koetsu Jade Platinum. MacBook Pro 17\" 2.3GHz Quad Core i7, 8GB RAM, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, AudioQuest Diamond USB Cable.

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I currently use a macbook bought in Jan 07 and I plan to buy a new computer soon mostly dedicated to music:

- is a macbook pro better for music than a macbook? ( ssd option is attractive but is available with both)

 

DAC: several people mentionned M-Audio Transit, Echo Audiofire 2 is a similar cheap dac that sounds fine, especially compared to Dacmagic

 

Chris, in your twitter you mention bel canto as the second ipod digital feed (after wadia): what about the Krell kid? Do you plan more reviews of dac/usb cables so that your cash list has a few (or at least 1) product at each price level?

thanks

martin

 

 

 

Dac202/LebenXS/MagicoV2 Stealth cables www.bluedy.com

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"A part of the audiophile community believes that system activity induces sample jitter in the sound card. A spinning hard disk with its moving heads is one of the offenders."

 

They do. Of course to get there, you have to believe that the levels of jitter found in common audio devices is audible, and the data doesn't support that. Then again, data can be wrong and if those with the money and time want to spend it further reducing jitter, more power to them.

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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To mpmct

 

I’m a bit surprised at the fierceness of your reaction.

Visit a couple of audiophile forums and you will find a lot of claims like these (and even bolder ones).

Maybe my mastery of the English language leaves something to be desired for but I thought by using the words ‘believe’ , ‘think’ etc. it should be clear that this is what it is, a description of claims made by a part of the audiophile community.

Not to be mistaken for ‘truth’, ‘fact’, ‘recommended practice’, etc.

Fact is that people do spend their money on something like a memory player and report improvements in sound quality.

Fact is that other people think this claims are spurious.

I don’t think that mentioning these ‘facts’ means that I endorse this claims.

 

 

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If you want to see if playing back from solid state sounds better in your system, try loading a small library on your USB memory stick. I've done so, and can't say it was any improvement; it's loading the data into ram just like your regular drive does. Try as i might, I'm just not getting any joy finding tweaks that work on the computer end of the system. Maybe that's a good thing? Nevertheless, my Macbook Pro sits on Rollerblocks that sit on a BDR shelf for Source as well as my external firefire 800 drives, just in case, lol. I do wonder about jitter and how audible it is in our systems; or if it's just audiophile nervosa.

 

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I do wonder about jitter and how audible it is in our systems; or if it's just audiophile nervosa

 

Both.

Jitter itself can be measured, send a signal to a DAC and measure the analogue output. An ideal DAC would yield the same signal. In practice you will see a raise in the noise floor and side bands (small peaks left and right of the signal). If these become to high, they will become audible.

I haven’t found much scientific research about the audibility of jitter.

Values mentioned in literature ranges from 250 ns to as incredibly low as 20 ps depending on the frequency and the architecture of the DAC.

 

http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/KB/BitPerfectJitter.htm

 

 

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Dr Chris Smith posted some modelling on Jitter using the latest Wolfson WM8741 and its digital receiver on this Forum quite recently. The receiver reduces it to a point where it is not significant. He argued that using Sample Rate Conversion, as we and most Pro Audio DACs do, to remove it altogether, is a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

 

I'm no expert but I sat at lunch with the editor and technical editor of Sound On Sound to be told that jitter was only an issue when the signal was either being A to D'd or D to A'd.

 

As far as our own experiments go, most modern DACs claim to be largely immune to jitter, but if there is some, the noise floor can rise slightly, if rarely to the level seen in most amplifiers, or for that matter loudspeakers that are a great deal worse.

 

Another problem facing audiophiles is recognising jitter. In the old days with multi bit DACs, distortion would rise, which you may hear, but not know the cause. Lots of factors cause distortion and a major one that is never discussed is residual RF on the DAC outputs. This is really can make a difference. Noise you probably won't hear because there is more in the rest of these system.

 

Audio requires only a tiny amount of processor space these days, so is unlikely to be an issue.

 

If you consider the levels of distortion and noise in hi fi amplifiers and loudspeakers and compare them with the performance of the best DACs, you'll find most are much worse and yet this thread is discussing the handling of noughts and ones in a computer. It seems to be that it might be a good idea to give all these different rather esoteric theories a percentage to indicate their impact on sound quality might be compared to the really big known problems in the rest of a system.

 

Ash

 

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Coops I'd do a search on it because I don't think they will. It's my understanding that coping with the "dying" by small pieces at a time is an issue and one that has delayed their introduction as well as making them quite pricey. Long term I'm sure they will be superior to HDs in all respects, but they won't last forever even then.

 

Ash

 

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All electrical signals are analogue.

No clock is perfect (a good VCXO can have a cycle to cycle jitter of 3 ps but 3 ps is not 0)

Jitter is unavoidable.

 

I'm no expert but I sat at lunch with the editor and technical editor of Sound On Sound to be told that jitter was only an issue when the signal was either being A to D'd or D to A'd.

Correct. Inside the digital domain we are not talking audio, we are handling bit streams / files. Jitter itself is important in computer design simply because when it become to high it will result in bit flipping. In this case the computer is no longer bit perfect.

 

As far as our own experiments go, most modern DACs claim to be largely immune to jitter

More and more DACs simply recover the time base using their own clock. These are the ones to go for. I have the feeling that there are still a lot of DACS out there build according to the traditional paradigma, reproducing the input as faithful as possible. If this input has a high jitter content, they will reproduce that.

 

It seems to be that it might be a good idea to give all these different rather esoteric theories a percentage to indicate their impact on sound quality might be compared to the really big known problems in the rest of a system.

 

You are talking DACs. This sounds like the traditional outboard DAC as know in the audio world.

A lot of people are using a sound card. In principle a inboard DAC.

In practice we talk about products to designed for driving a couple of PC speakers.

We talk about products not necessarily designed with top quality audio in mind.

We talk about products operating in a electrical very noisy environment.

We talk about products not even able to deliver bit perfect output by design ( http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/Intro/SQ/Driver.htm )

We talk about price range 20,- to 800,- euro (professional card by Lynx/RME)

You might ask yourself whether this is really as esoteric as you think.

But you do have a point, the audiophile world is full of esoteric claims.

Suppose an audiophile tells you that he got an improvement in sound quality by using bi-amping, would you believe him……..

 

 

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this site for a couple of months now and let me say this:

I`m really sorry it`s gone so wrong and IMO it`s a pity that so many will be driven away by the audiophile neurosis that has all but bankrupted this Industry.

 

 

 

 

White Macbook - Apple Airport Express - AVI ADM 9.1[br]AVI ADM 9 Owners Club

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Roseval

 

We don't see DACs as a stand alone device but of part of a system, in our case Active Remote controlled Monitor loudspeakers that contain both preamplifier and DAC. However Computers have been used for producing the music we all buy since the early nineties and they've improved dramatically on the sound quality achieved by old studio gear at a fraction of the price. Computer Audio is old and well established and many of our questions are answered in Pro Audio Journals.

 

Bi-amping a two way system cannot make a worthwhile difference because the tweeter only does about 5% of the work.

 

As a manufacturer we have to chase established markets and that is not for computers with internal cards because such things are divorce inducing. Most use Apple, Sonos or PS3's. http://www.teac.com/esoteric/documents/10_reasons_the_playstation_3_000.pdf

 

I think the most important point I made is that the distortion and noise figures for most amplifiers are a great deal worse than for, say and M-Audio 2496 in a PCI slot and loudspeakers are very very much worse still.

 

Out of curiosity I recently bought and tried an M-Audio Transit that quotes -96 dB distortion and -104 dB S/N and capable of up to 24/192 inputs. The sound quality was extremely good which isn't surprising considering the company's credentials.

These figures are better than most people's amplifiers and it costs under £50. I recommend anyone thinking of buying an esoteric hi end DAC use one together with a laptop to compare it with, so he can see how much improvement he'll be paying for.

 

Ash

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This reminds me of the famous quote by a hotel porter who upon entering Georges Best's ( famous irush footballer ) bedroom, where he found George Best lying on the bes with the then Miss World, the bed was covered with money and empty champagne bottles, the porter uttered the immortal words, 'where did it all go wrong George'

back story George had just been fired by Man Utd football club.

 

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I don't think it has all gone wrong just yet, but it is rather dangerous territory. We have a few esoteric tweakers, a few audio pragmatists, a few hard-core skeptics. If they all manage to maintain a sense of humor and understand that all of this is pretty subjective, we should be fine.

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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