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Berkeley Alpha USB still relevant?


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5 hours ago, mansr said:

8/15 means you might as well have flipped a coin. It's the result I would have expected.


"I called it out right 8 out of 15 times...If at all, the Etir sounded more natural."


I read that as he know's it was guesswork. 

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6 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:


The quote on Berkeley's website has nothing to do with my comments. I couldn't care less if that quote was on its site or the Great Wall of China. 


Take step back. The reasons for that quote are that the device is spectacular. I have first hand experience with the device over several years. Can you see this through non-colored glasses and understand that my personal experience is contradictory to that of lowmidhigh and that's the reason for my disagreement?


Follow the chain of events. It didn't start with a quote on the Berkeley site. It started with me using the device for years.


Would you be willing to let Amir put the Alpha USB on the bench and get a baseline from the Audio Precision analyzer? Or maybe Archimago?


Also do you think this only works for some DAC's and not others? (We know that Schiit benefited when the Modi2 was used with a USB decrapifier)?


Amir benched, and owns, the RME ADI-2, and it looks like it's set the standard to measure everyone else buy, I wonder what it's performance would be with the Alpha USB. Given that the ADI-1 cost almost half the Alpha USB does I would be interested in seeing the A/B.

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20 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:


Makes zero sense to measure this product in 2018 given this sentence:


It is an older design and this review is based on a prototype unit prior to manufacturing. There is now a version 2 with better clocking, etc.”


The production version has been available for several years. Nobody can purchase the measured version or even repeat the measurements. 


It’s a very safe move to measure a product that doesn’t exist and has no effect on sales. 


I see this as a very self defensive post on your part Chris. What I think it actually speaks to is how well engineered products that are a few generations back measure. 


Do you believe the manufactured version of this would measure worse. 


In a nutshell you said Amir wasn't going to measure a product from a company he's established a commercial interest in. It's been proved otherwise. 


Just like when you accused Archimago of flogging his blog here, and then one of the best technical write ups I've seen about anywhere, hosted here by... Archimago.


You honestly confuse me sometimes. 

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16 minutes ago, Madra said:

One should be very careful with Amir and Audiosciencereview. Do a google search and you will get some perspective on the accuracy of his work and his motives.


I've yet to see Jude, or Atomic Bob, unseat Amir and his measurements. Now I've seen Atomicbob post graphs that are only good from 7500 to 14Khz. Hardly a ringing endorsement. 

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12 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

It isn’t cheap to get equipment measured. 


We'll as a matter of fact it's free. And Amir just purchased Audio Precisions flagship at $28,000. Reach out to him and set up a slot to get the Alpha USB bench-marked. 

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3 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I stand by my comment that he won’t publish measurements of a Berkeley product. That product was never sold, it clearly doesn’t count. 


I think you are missing the bigger picture: He's showing excellent output of a prototype model. What exactly is your complaint?

Can you expand on your thinking for me on this one?


3 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:


Your defensivism of Amir surprises me. He publishes a review of a product that’s never been sold to the public and it’s of a version of the product that no longer exists. Yet you applaude it, paying no attention to the clear bias. 


He's also shown measurements of a lot of products that are clearly competitive to what he sells. Also he seems quite enamored of a $999 RME that he seems to think redefines the bar. 


Your logic is circular on this one. 


3 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

This measurement isn’t of a product from a few generations back. It never existed. Prototype means prototype. 


Don’t you see the old guard move of measuring a component that can’t get you in trouble, can’t cause you to lose money, and isn’t possible to duplicate?


It’s no different than reviewing with weasel words such as, “some may say xyz” or “it has been said...” 


It's completely different. It was a prototype of a release product. I would say, in general release products are better then beta and alpha products. I know that's the way it generally works. 



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2 minutes ago, gadawg58 said:

Wow ... quite a bit of emotion in this thread since the last time I was here! I’ll add that it definitely depends on your Dac and it’s particular USB implementation as to whether or not the Berkeley or any other converter will make it sound better. Best to listen for yourself with your equipment in your system and decide what works best for you. While in my system the Berkeley made a huge difference over the ARC Dac9 usb input ... on my new EMM Labs DA2 Reference the Berkeley nor any other device could make any improvement on the usb implementation of the Meitner Dac. Same goes for the DCS Dac. Top notch usb. The ARC dac9 used a less than optimal usb card in their Dac thereby leaving the door open for almost any of the aftermarket converters to improve upon. I know they are working on an update for the Dac9 but it’s not available yet. Again ... demo in your system and decide for yourself. Not sure why some are so hell bent on quantifying everything and if they can’t measure it it doesn’t exist. Ever stop to think we may have not figured out every single thing to measure that our ears can detect? So ... sit back, listen and just enjoy and trust what YOU hear. 


Take care!




I think a lot of us are on this page. Better to get a properly designed DAC in the first place. I also believe what you hear (as in proven in bias controlled testing) can certainly be measured. 

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32 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I just get annoyed when people hold him up to be the altruistic objective guy he isn’t. 



I believe, ultimately, in meritocracy. If people find Amir's objective measurements problematic then they are free to point it out to me. I'll listen. 


UpTone railed against Amir for MONTHS until Alex had to admit that Amir's measurements of their own LPS1 were correct and it pointed to high impedance leakage currents. 


Couple that with other engineers that have duplicated what Amir has measured, couple that with other engineers that have failed at discrediting Amir's measurements. At the end of that you have what you have. 

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27 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’d take Ansel Adams with a disposable camera over an amateur with a gigapixel digital back any day.


I'd take Ansel Adams with his choice of modern equipment if that was his prerogative. 


27 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:


Amir’s CV and experience have been discussed here before. Looks good on paper, but I disagree with your conclusions. No worries. He also seems like a very nice guy when we’ve exchanged emails.


He's no Lavorgna. 

27 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

P.S. After purchasing my TAD CR1 loudspeakers I’ve had to take it easy on the HiFi purchases. 


Those I would love to get a long session on. 

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3 minutes ago, LowMidHigh said:

Worry not, that Chris will never concede. Shill is as shill does.

I don't think you're long for this board. Please tone it down and contribute more if you could. 


I like support like anyone else does but this isn't helping. 

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5 hours ago, firedog said:

Well, the iFi people basically implied he doesn't know how to use his measuring equipment properly. See their reaction to his measurements of their little PS. 


Amir already debunked that one. iFi doesn't know what they are talking about. 

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Just now, mansr said:

Their history of dealing with criticism means I simply don't trust that they are being truthful when accusing Amir of misusing the equipment. Maybe he is, but I'd like to hear that from someone else with experience using it.


This one has already been resolved. Amir answered them and showed iFi has no clue how to use the Audio Precision or properly setup it up in R&D mode. 

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