Jump to content

So what WAS I hearing

Recommended Posts


I've never completed any jitter tests. Maybe I'd learn something by doing so, maybe I wouldn't. Sounds as exciting as watching paint dry which I guess is at least a little better than ironing.


Was I hearing jitter then or something else; my old CD player, a Rotel RCD-02, it always sounded so bright. I sold it after buying a Mac Mini which I connected to a KingRex UA-01 DAC (model no. may be incorrect) recommended by somebody on CA.


Part of what you'll read next is due to the compression of the song itself but, I always found that a track would start off sounding really good; a decentish soundstage, clear vocals, a crisp guitar ... but during the chorus I'd have to turn the volume down as it just became too harsh.


Whilst certain tracks that have been poorly mastered/compressed still have that affect, it's to a far lesser extrent on my computer based setup.


So, my question is, what was I hearing ? Was that jitter ? Poor error correction ? What caused it ?



HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

Link to comment

'Twas the Guinness, boyo, the abomination that is Guinness. It's just melted down peat, you know. Crude oil with mayo no top!




Engineer whacks the volume/compression up in the chorus to make it stand out. Something clips. Yuk! When I've been able to isolate this sort of thing in the past it has always been down to something, somewhere, overloading. Our old friend, distortion. And it's that synergy thing. When you moved to the Mini, you maybe now have a lower output voltage than the Rotel chucks out.


My DAC has adjustable output voltages, either 1,2 or 4 volts. Set to 4 the overall sound seems to have more dynamics and pace but, on certain parts, it overloads the amp and clips slightly. Comes across as a harsh grain to the music. It's easiest to isolate on sparse tracks with a bit of belty female vocals. Switch down to 2 volts and the music seems more 'polite', if you like, but no clipping. As Tim has said in the past, once you eat up what headroom there is, the only thing left is distortion.


I think. ;)


Link to comment

Cheers Bob,


Had never even thought of output voltages and the Rotel certainly seemed loud when the amp was set low.


I actually read you reply only yesterday feeling a little ill from the "night before" and at that time, you crude oil/mayo description was enough to put me off Guiness forever.


Well, nearly. ;o)


HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...