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Article: The Denafrips Design Philosophy Part 1


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Great question and great response! 

 

The description of why best measurements don't equate to best sound is not controversial among audiophiles, but is heresy to the ASR crowd. I bought one of the highly touted, measurement-pristine DAC's that objectivists love, and it sounded like crap.

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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Agreed with Zhao's point of view.

Measurement method is just one way of assessing an equipment. Take it with a grain of salt.

Trust your ears.

 

Michael Tan

Melbourne

PowerConditioning: PS Audio UPC-200; Hdplex 300W

Server: Windows 2019-CORE+AO3+Jriver24/HQPlayer 

Source: Mytek Brooklyn Amp: Audio-GD C501, AVA Set 120

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13 minutes ago, mourip said:

 

It has been controversial enough here that we had to create a separate forum for "Objective-Fi" so that the rest of us could move on. That was one of the best moves that ever happened on AS.

Sorry, separate forum? Could you please explain? I guess I'm outdated

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44 minutes ago, firedog said:

Not so impressed. There mostly isn't an "original analog recording". There's a digital recording. So there's no analog record to reproduce, just a digital one to undergo D/A conversion.

And if there is an analog recording such as a tape, please don't tell me that tape recording isn't distorted and full of noise by definition. It was that way before it was digitized.

 

Simplistic measurements don't tell the whole story. But better designers do more sophisticated measurements that tell them more.

 

There's a lot of equipment that measures horribly and is regarded as "good sounding" or even "audiophile". I don't buy it. Why pay good money for someody else's euphonic distortion? 

 

This post sounds in part like an excuse for people who can't properly engineer equipment. 

 

I want products that measure well AND sound good. The best equipment does that. That's real accuracy. Anything else is substandard, and you are fooling yourself that you are listening to something that's "high fidelity". You aren't. You are listening to something inaccurate  that "sounds good", but doesn't actually properly recreate the original.

 

 

Wow, tell us what you really think :~)

 

I enjoy publishing stuff like this because it gives everyone helpful insight about products. The info is useful to people who agree with the approach and for those like you who don’t. 
 

I think you may be reading into things a bit or at least taking decades of audiophile experience and piling it into one response, whether it fits or not. 
 

The gist I got from reading this is that Zhao doesn’t believe measurements are everything. Only a data point. 
 

We should also keep in mind that English isn’t his first language and I adjusted many sentences for grammar. I don’t believe that changed anything he said, but audiophiles tend to hang on every word and that should be done carefully here. 
 

Anyway, thanks for the honest reply. No product is for everyone. I like having options. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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4 minutes ago, mitch751 said:

a) Good Measure / Good sounding (audiophile)

b) Poor Measure / Good sounding (audiophile)

c) Poor Measure / poor sounding (audiophile)

d) Good Measure / poor sounding (audiophile)

 

Which one to pick ?

That I don’t understand, but I’m willing to be educated so I get the joke :~)

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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38 minutes ago, Rexp said:

Unfortunately the delicate analog signal is often destroyed in the A to D or mastering process. The question is, can hardware/software fix the damage. I don't think so. 

 

I would disagree ... of course, 😜. The 'delicacy' is in fact fully captured, in the A/D step - the information is completely available, in the stored numbers. What goes awry is that the playback chains allow too much self-induced, and other interference noise to intrude - and the 'delicacy' is completely absent, in the listening.

 

It only takes competent playback of a recording given up as a disaster, to appreciate how much damage is done to the SQ by inadequate reproduction setups, 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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[quote]Does the low-cost DAC sound better than the higher cost DAC?[/quote]
 

“Sound better” to whom, the designer?

 

There’s no such thing as a universal “sounds better”... It’s a personal, subjective call, a matter of preference.

 

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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6 minutes ago, StreamFidelity said:

 

Do you mean Denafrips? Then take a look at Amir's measurement results: https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/denafrips-ares-ii-usb-r2r-dac-review.11166/

 

His conclusion: 

 

I have great respect for engineers who think outside the box and are humble. And that's what this article is about, as I understand it: Not everything we hear in reality can be measured. 😉

Again, I made no comment about Denafrips equipment. I was reacting to the ideas expressed in the post, which were general and also didn't specifically reference his DACs.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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9 minutes ago, StreamFidelity said:

Not everything we hear in reality can be measured. 😉

Especially expectation bias.:D. Very hard to measure.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I always enjoy insights provided by an audio engineer's description of how things are measured.  

 

My father brought me into the world of audio more than 40 years ago.    When he helped me purchase my first system his advice was don't believe the specs.   We spent days going from stereo store to stereo store in downtown Toronto auditioning systems.  Ended up with a system with lousy specs but great sound for an entry level receiver.  

 

Now I look at expensive "stuff" but it's still about the audition.   I have dodged the bullet many times by auditioning systems with good reviews and manufacturing pedigree and ending up passing for something else.   My audio ears/brain/tastes are unique.

 

Looking forward to PART 2.

 

Cheers

 

 

Mac Mini 2007: 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo, 3 Gig RAM, 500 Gig 5400 RPM HD[br]OSX 10.6.6, TimeMachine Off, Airport Off, Dedicated to Music[br]HAGUSB USB-->S/PDIF[br]Players: Audirvana, ITunes[br]Music Library: RedBook 16/44 WAV[br]Bryston BP26DA Preamp/DAC[br]Bryston 3BSST Amp[br]B&W 804s Loudspeakers[br]

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I enjoyed the essay, since I think I was able to follow it on the whole.  Quite often I am left behind when reading such articles written by electronic experts.  I am looking forward to reading the following parts.

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