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Trust your ears


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1 hour ago, Teresa said:

I have a question: why is a thread called Trust your ears in the Objective-Fi forum?

 

I must say that the same question crossed my mind, and I was somewhat concerned that my replies might be Off Topic. 🙂

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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3 hours ago, Teresa said:

 

I don't have any friends as rich and extravagant as your friends.

 

 

I agree, I trust my ears (with long term listening) even when the results don't seem logical! Such as preferring music from my $254 Yamaha Blu-ray / SACD universal player more than digital files played through my $800 Teac UD-501 DSD USB DAC. I have no doubt that the DAC in the cheap Yamaha player is much cheaper than the DAC in the 3 times more expensive Teac DAC. It doesn't make sense to me, still I have to go with my ears and enjoy the music. 

 

 

I'm also totally content with my audio / video system. I'm a subjective, however I have zero interest in upgrading fuses or trying out $1000 power cables. Please don't put all subjectives in the same basket.

 

No one has ever challenged me, no one tells me I have to upgrade my equipment. If they did I wouldn't feel the need to do what someone else tells me to do, I do what I want. Thus, I have no problem with extravagant spendthrifts whither they are spending on audio equipment, cables, $1,000+ perfumes, purses, body creams or $100 hamburgers.

 

I'm perfectly happy with my $30 per pair Monster cable interconnects, $3 per foot Monster speaker cables, and stock power cords. Music through my system when playing the best engineered and mastered recordings sounds very realistic. In short I am thrilled with my audio / video system. 

 

What other people spend or don't spend on anything doesn't bother me as it is their money. BTW I paid $1 for my perfume from Dollar Tree.

 

And that makes perfect sense. Our contentment lies not in fuses or cables, but within us. When we are balanced and at peace, everything sounds awesome. How much was spent, a lot or a little is irrelevant. Trust your self.

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11 hours ago, skikirkwood said:

 

But the Bluesound Node has a built-in DAC, doesn't it? So are you bypassing that and just sending the digital output to the Modi?

 

I would love to test the sound of a Schiit Yggy, but don't want to pay the restocking fee should I not hear a difference in sound quality. If I ever get down to L.A. from Palo Alto I would love to drop by the Schiitr and do some sound comparisons of their DACs, amps and preamps.

 

Good questions!  I did this a year ago, so you've forced me to go back and double check my memory.

 

The Bluesound Node 2i DAC is bypassed when one uses the COAX OUT, which I do.  But I was wrong about my choice of DAC--I have the Bifrost on my second system, not the Modi.  The original source on the secondary system was ripped CDs on an SSD from a Mac Mini with Amarra, stripped down and using a USB decrapifier (I cannot remember which one, I've had several).  It was easy to choose the Bifrost DAC over the internal Bluesound DAC last year.  But with both sources using the Bifrost into NAD C326BEE and B&W CM-1 with REL T5 sub; I would not assert there's a significant difference in sound from streaming Qobuz on the Node compared to the ripped CDs on the Mac.  This matches your experience.  But as I wrote before, it was easy to dismiss the Node from my more expensive system--Naim Uniti Core, Yggy, Mc C22/MC275, B&W 805 w/DB3D sub. 

 

On the restocking fees--it's funny where price sensitivity kicks in for different people (and I include myself in this boat).  A few hundred dollars is less than the sales tax on the price of your speakers, but physically painful (haha) as a penalty if you don't like the DAC.  I've risked restocking fees 3 times on highly reviewed products unavailable at my local dealer, and kept the products twice.  Given the Yggy's rave reviews, the price delta vs the Modi from the same company, and your great amp/speakers, I think there's an excellent chance you will keep it if you try.

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3 hours ago, PeterG said:

 

Good questions!  I did this a year ago, so you've forced me to go back and double check my memory.

 

The Bluesound Node 2i DAC is bypassed when one uses the COAX OUT, which I do.  But I was wrong about my choice of DAC--I have the Bifrost on my second system, not the Modi.  The original source on the secondary system was ripped CDs on an SSD from a Mac Mini with Amarra, stripped down and using a USB decrapifier (I cannot remember which one, I've had several).  It was easy to choose the Bifrost DAC over the internal Bluesound DAC last year.  But with both sources using the Bifrost into NAD C326BEE and B&W CM-1 with REL T5 sub; I would not assert there's a significant difference in sound from streaming Qobuz on the Node compared to the ripped CDs on the Mac.  This matches your experience.  But as I wrote before, it was easy to dismiss the Node from my more expensive system--Naim Uniti Core, Yggy, Mc C22/MC275, B&W 805 w/DB3D sub. 

 

On the restocking fees--it's funny where price sensitivity kicks in for different people (and I include myself in this boat).  A few hundred dollars is less than the sales tax on the price of your speakers, but physically painful (haha) as a penalty if you don't like the DAC.  I've risked restocking fees 3 times on highly reviewed products unavailable at my local dealer, and kept the products twice.  Given the Yggy's rave reviews, the price delta vs the Modi from the same company, and your great amp/speakers, I think there's an excellent chance you will keep it if you try.

 

I've seriously considered getting a Yggy. Right now I have two Modi's - an older multi-bit I use in my main stereo room and a standard one paired with a Magni for headphone listening. I just got an Apple CCK to output digital audio from my iPad to the Modi/Magni to test out Dolby Atmos from a free trial of Apple Music. Some of the Atmos tracks, like Nora Jones, are really incredible. It's easy with this setup to turn Atmos on/off quickly and it's been a lot of fun comparing the standard stereo and Atmos tracks.

 

I'm totally content with the sound of my main system, but it's a good question if I did want to do an update, where should I start? Step one is getting a big rug - my stereo room is all hardwood floors. I had to upgrade from my 22 year old Bryston pre-amp due to it dying and being beyond the 20 year warranty. Extremely happy with my Schiit Freya - never had anything with tubes before. So the question is, would I get a bigger improvement adding a Yggy, or upgrade the power amp. And if it's the latter, then I'd have to decide do between a Vidar or Aegir, and then would it make sense to get two to run as mono-blocks. With the sensitivity of my B&W speakers I'm concerned the Aegir might. not have enough power, but perhaps as mono-blocks that wouldn't be an issue.

 

I have three music sources connected to my Freya. The Modi multi-bit, a Pi with an Allo BOSS I2S DAC attached, and an older Pi with an IQAudio I2S DAC. It's interesting comparing the sound of all three. The IQAudio is the oldest DAC, and still sounds good, but definitely a notch below the BOSS and Modi. But comparing the BOSS and Modi, I can't really say one sounds better, they just sound different. Not a huge difference, but definitely different. Adding a Yggy would make for an interesting experiment.

 

And getting back to the story in my original post, I did hook up my Squeezebox to my Freya a few months ago. It still works, and sounds good, but all of these new DACs sound a whole lot better.

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4 hours ago, Allan F said:

 

. Expectation or confirmation bias can work both ways. If someone, by reason of "a scientific background", is convinced that there are no differences to be heard, he/she may not hear them notwithstanding that they do, in fact, exist. While graphs and charts may indeed prove something, the lack of them hardly equates to "nonsense".

That's why you do double blind tests and have controls where therexare known differences (or not)

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5 hours ago, Allan F said:

 

You apparently believe, wrongly IMO, that subjectivists will always hear differences because of expectation or confirmation bias. The subjectivists that I know neither insist nor expect to hear differences with every change they make to their systems. 

Well always is an exaggeration, but the simple fact is that without controls in place, the individuals opinions should be treated with great caution.

 

Here is an example pertaining to speaker evaluation.

 

 

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9 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

Any and each object, or thought, or feeling appears in our subjective knowing only. There is no other way for us to know it. As such perception is subjective.

 

Does that mean that objective reality doesn't exist and we shouldn't attempt to know or understand it? You can sit forever in Plato's cave and assume that the shadows you perceive represent the best reality you can hope for, and that you'll never be able to break the chains. Or you can try to break out into the light and work towards seeing the world the way it really is. Your choice.

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1 hour ago, Allan F said:

 

Your analogy is bogus. There is no reasonable dispute regarding climate change or the misinformation regarding vaccines or COVID-19. Those are all matters of fact. OTOH, the debate between subjectivists and objectivists regarding whether differences can be heard is both a matter of opinion and one of reasonable dispute, regardless of the latter group insisting that only they can be right.

 

Im afraid that's simply not true.  There has been probably 100 years of objective scientific research into what we can and cannot hear.  It is very far from mere opinion.  How do you think lossy formats such as mp3 and AAC were developed.

 

Subjective opinions can be analysed in an objective and scientific way to obtain accurate data and conclusions.  See the Floyd Toole video above. The problem arises when there are no controls put in place and the influences of bias steer the conclusions.

 

The potential influence of bias is not questioned in any field, except seemingly by some audiophiles.

 

BTW, objectivists don't insist they are right, they just look at actual evidence to form conclusions.  This very much includes subjective analysis - when that data can be trusted.

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On 6/18/2021 at 7:07 PM, opus101 said:

 

Just do a search on 'nocebo effect'.

 

that's just side effects from pills - you give somebody a pil and they have a positive expectation of a side effect, so they report side effects

 

got anything relevant to this?

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2 hours ago, March Audio said:

Im afraid that's simply not true.  There has been probably 100 years of objective scientific research into what we can and cannot hear.  It is very far from mere opinion.  How do you think lossy formats such as mp3 and AAC were developed.

 

Subjective opinions can be analysed in an objective and scientific way to obtain accurate data and conclusions.  See the Floyd Toole video above. The problem arises when there are no controls put in place and the influences of bias steer the conclusions.

 

The potential influence of bias is not questioned in any field, except seemingly by some audiophiles.

 

BTW, objectivists don't insist they are right, they just look at actual evidence to form conclusions.  This very much includes subjective analysis - when that data can be trusted.

Actually, regarding frequency response -- I'd like to see any articles on parametric effects for detecting HF beyond normal sine wave perception.  I have a reason for this, and it is related to my own odd detection of frequencies that I cannot normally hear.

 

Here is what I mean by 'parametric effects', which can be similar to how UHF/SHF amplifiers used to have to work, since there were very few direct amplifying devices that would work well.  A lot of older satellite receivers needed to use 'parametric amplification' because even if there were devices that could work at the high frequencies, they were more noisy than the parametric method.  (noise comes from resistance, not capacitance or inductance.)

 

Parameteric amplification can happen by the 'power supply' being energy from other frequencies instead of being a normal DC source.   The amplification can result from either a 'mixing with gain' or a negative resistance type amplification.

 

Most of the time, measurements appear to be of certain kinds of signals, esp sine wave.   For gain less than one, but still getting past the 'processing problem', the pump frequencies can even be less than the 'out of range' signal.

 

Again, I am just wondering because of my own experience.   I am NOT talking about 'sounding different', but actually detecting a sound that is similar to what I remember that 18kHz signals used to sound like.   I believe that there is room for experimentation (I mean, REAL expermentation, not anecdotal like my own experience.)

 

John

 

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