Author Topic: Audiophiles throwin' down!  (Read 3918 times)

Offline kenvanraas

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2019, 11:10:37 PM »
Incredible journey this,have fun and never,...ever look back sir  :dop:

Offline fdlsys

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2019, 11:52:11 PM »
I'll also address a rather strange comment I saw from fdlsys:

I guess you don't understand what the tester does and how it works, even though I showed not only a block diagram but even partial schematics.
Carefully chosen words. But even though you open with reserved "I guess", it still reads as an attack at the debate opponent. It definitely is not a response to an argument.
And arguments are a-plenty in my post, before and after the subtext that you quoted. You just decided to ignore them.

Let me assure you, your guess is incorrect.
I know what your Null Tester is SUPPOSED to do, how it works, I do understand the problem of the residual circuit noise and that components operating characteristics change attributable to thermal drift.

(a)   Circuit noise is not an excuse. It masks (to a great degree) the "imperfect Null" (sonic and visual) that Null tester produces but the remnants of the original signal are still present in "Null tester" video, every time you finish with Null tweaking and proclaim that Null has been achieved. Evidence of this further down.

(b)   Component thermal drift cannot be an issue after having the equipment powered for an hour (your words from the video). Unless the circuit design and thermal compensation are not up to intended usage. Using that as a reason why a significant signal residual becomes evident every time you swap the cables on Null Tester (assuming it's stable operating temperature) is just wrong. You do mention one of the correct arguments in the video (phase shift or as you called it "a delay"), but ever so briefly while swapping cables, without offering any further explanation. Why?

Or maybe you just skimmed instead of actually watch the video?
Indeed I did. 30 minutes of video built around +- 5 minutes of on-subject content is not my idea of fun.
However, your reply forced me to watch the whole thing (well, almost...) and I found that there is nothing in it that enforces your position.
However, even more evidence of the opposite came to light. More on that below.

I explain clearly why the null pot drifts between tests due to the incredibly sensitive nature of the test method and the tiny temperature changes inside the metal case.
Clearly understood and evident from my post. Last two paragraphs – a conclusion of my post. https://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,76854.msg900634.html#msg900634

You would do well to make an effort understand what is being shown, rather than go off half cocked with what is known in the trade as Argumentum Ignorantiam.
Ah, there we go... discredit the opponent by blatantly incorrect use and incorrect quote of the phrase.
Let's first correct your (intentional?) mis-quote of the Latin phrase "argumentum ad ignorantiam" and point to its meaning which has nothing to do with one's "knowledge" or "ignorance", but rather defines it as a (unfair) position of logic in a debate, position known as "appeal to ignorance".
Definition and examples:
https://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/ignorance.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

Ironically, "argumentum ad ignorantiam" is the exact position that vast majority of audio-Objectivists take when they state that unless there is scientifically acceptable evidence of Subjectivist's proposal, it must be false.
And THAT, and nothing else, is where ALL our disagreements and these futile debates originate from.

Kudos to you for stepping out of that typical Objectivist position by trying to prove your cable debate counter-proposal.
However, and as already stated in my original post, I remain unimpressed by your empirical results and unconvinced of the validity of your proposal.
Here's why.

Let’s fast forward to Null Tester calibration using the 400Hz sinewave.

“Null” is presented at 80db gain and unknown volume (directly related to what is displayed on-screen and heard in audio track).
I have to assume that visible/audible product of the ratio between chosen gain and volume attenuation is more-less the same for the rest of the video.

400Hz signal evident, Null pot tweaking begins.


and carries on for 8-9 seconds, with this being about the best achieved result in which the 400Hz component is still clearly evident.
Observe the peaks and dips. Compare it with previous snapshot and you will see that they 100% coincide with 400Hz test tone.


until sudden video editing cut leaving us wondering what the actual null looks and sounds like after the 400Hz has been fully null-ed out, because video follows with signal switch-off and “all right, now to actually test the wires…”

Note that right at the point of the cut (you can see the next video frame overlapping the previous), the on-screen still shows a recognisable 400Hz dips and peaks.
NB: red dots/lines scribbled over the graph on Ethan’s monitor are from me with intention of highlighting the amplitude extremes due to original signal cutting through the noise, or as in the later screenshots some frequency of the complex signal being superimposed over the residual circuit noise.

So, why the cut?
IMO: Null tweaking was going on unsuccessfully right in front of us for too long so Director decided to "cut-to-the-chase".
Problem is that 400Hz is easily detected both on-screen and in the audio track, even though it’s coming from an inadequate for the purpose speaker used in the video to play the sonic effects of the null difference. Try pause-play-pause the youtube video during the 400Hz null put tweaking and you will easily hear the 400Hz tone on every "play".
If the test frequency was anything outside of the little speaker response range, we would not be able to hear it, but we would still see it on-screen.
But, 400Hz is not easily hidden and no amount of narration is going to change the fact that it was still present.

In the absence of the evidence of the better, let’s assume that the best (visually) achieved result of the 400Hz calibration would be something between the 20:52 and 20:53 screenshots. Fair?

Now, let’s move onto the actual cables test; first, comparing the no-name “black” and “grey” cables using the complex music content.

This is a screenshot at the moment when a “perfect Null” is proclaimed.
Does this look anything like the-best-null-screen from the 400Hz calibration?


Let’s analyse what we see and hear vs what narrator is telling us.
If we imagine that the previous 400Hz Null calibration was perfect, and the 400Hz has been completely eliminated from the output, the on-screen representation of noise would look like a static thick-ish “white noise” bar, representing peak-to-peak voltage and appearing almost as solid due to the nature of the noise components – many frequencies saturating the horizontal space between nearly flat lines of amplitude Max and Min, without any gaps or irregularities. That’s what circuit/component noise is supposed to look like. OK?
Consequently, in any other successful Null Test where the injected signal is fully cancelled (Null-ed), the on screen representation of remaining noise would look exactly the same - there would be no dips nor peaks, no long sinewaves indicating lower frequencies presence, no rhythmic changes (sinewaves "dancing" on screen).
We would be seeing exactly the same (imaginary) horizontal bar as in the “400Hz” screen snapshots, because according to the narrator, a perfect null has been achieved and there is nothing of the original signal left in the output.
All this is theoretical because perfect null has not been achieved during instrument calibration, but as I said - let's imagine it was.

... Is that what anyone sees in these few screenshots taken in quick succession? Same result as in 400Hz calibration test screenshots?



Probably the most obvious is this last one

where components of other frequencies are clear and obvious.

Now, let me touch on the sonic side of what we see, but not really hear – well… NOT on the inadequate little speaker used to produce the sonic difference…
While it’s very easy to hear a single frequency standing out of the noise crowd (400Hz calibration), it’s is VERY difficult to hear anything that can be clearly attributed to any specific frequency/instrument in the broad spectrum (music) signal that is presented to the Null Tester.
Why?
Because that’s exactly what the difference between the cables is expected to be. Not all frequencies will be affected in the same way, even if we only consider the only 3 parameters that audio science accepts as relevant to cables (L,C,R). As far as any number of other parameters that science doesn’t know/care about, but anyone can think (or dream) of, who knows???
Hence, for confirmation of differences between carriers passing complex signal, visual method is by far the easiest.
It’s as simple as – if you see ANY deviation from the expected uniform-near-solid-line of “white noise” (achieved during calibration), you see the cable difference. Rejoice. Or curse.

Then we move onto the “black vs white” cable test, the same one that Ethan took a clip from and included into his “Paul McGowan challenge” video.

Same narrator’s conclusions as in the “black vs grey” test – perfect Null achieved.
Snapshot of the moment when Null-pot tweaking was completed with screen still showing significant presence of complex signal.


More of the obvious differences in very quick succession.



And finally, the last screenshot in this series, taken from the “Paul McGowan Challenge”, which is the clip from the above “black-white test”, again, clearly showing the remnants of the complex signal and NOT just the noise.


My analysis remains the same. Except that in “black vs white” test, cable differences after the “perfect null was achieved” are even more pronounced. Clearly there’s a bigger difference between the “black” and “white” than there was between “black” and “grey”, which allows us to conclude that there is also a difference between “grey” and “white”.

Now, to really twist the knife handle…
I have and occasionally use a “null device”. A NAD Monitor Series 1300 preamp. A well-built and great sounding class-A phono+line preamplifier with two unusual features: “Mono” signal mix button and “Null” button that achieves the same as your null tester. Except that I have no interested in chasing the cable-difference unicorns; I use it for mundane, but far more practical purposes - to set as-perfect as-possible balance between channels when testing various components and to identify sonic/level differences between the channels, typically from TT cartridges & tape playback...

So, I know all well how difficult it is to get to a perfect null. You demonstrated that difficulty in your video, by not showing us a screen with perfect null result.

To conclude by returning to your opening salvo:
I'll also address a rather strange comment I saw from fdlsys:

if you focused on actual points from my post instead of choosing to shoot from the hip, maybe you would have picked up on the humour regarding the futility of such test exercise (given the circumstances) and leading to the “… What now?” question. No, I’m not asking for an answer – it’s already given:
One just cannot trust the imperfect measurement devices, perhaps even less the off-the-shelf consumer audio components.
Small changes in anything, including temperature - maybe even cables, often make a measurable difference.
So, one has to live with that or … get a Null tester so that you can dial in a perfect “L”/“R” null during a DSOTM playback as many times as you wish! :point: <-- (warning, some humour included)
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline fdlsys

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #62 on: January 13, 2019, 12:00:46 AM »
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline fdlsys

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #63 on: January 13, 2019, 12:09:04 AM »
My point exactly - yes, I have heard differences when nothing has changed, except perhaps my mood? :thinking:
But also; if you persist scratching and digging for possible causes, you might find that something has indeed changed.
Plugs corroded. Humidity. Air pressure. Temperature. Temporary or permanent components drift. Ageing; both ones ears and equipment. Audio equipment too...  :giggle:
If the change is related to a suspended chassis turntable - there's probably draft coming from somewhere  :point:
If you have copious amounts of room treatment fluff in your space; cockroaches might be having a loud party in there.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline fdlsys

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2019, 12:14:32 AM »
... I have done this exercise many times over with objectivists ( trained /qualified scientists/engineers, hifi shop owners, etc, where they even can't hear basic simple things in a soundstage),.....

Interestingly, I have done the same with professional musicians. They typically can't hear a difference between anything, no matter how big the difference is, because that is not what their brain listens for. As you said - we are all wired differently.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline Katji

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #65 on: January 13, 2019, 12:57:15 AM »
 :o jo! I think I've never seen a post with so much work put into it!   ;D

Offline fdlsys

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #66 on: January 13, 2019, 02:15:57 AM »
:o jo! I think I've never seen a post with so much work put into it!   ;D
Serious subject ...
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline AlleyCat

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #67 on: January 13, 2019, 06:57:49 AM »
Fdlsys  (Mike ), RESPECT!
"Not everything meaningful is measurable, and not everything measurable is meaningful" - Floyd Toole

Offline BJ

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2019, 07:15:11 AM »
WOW.....someone should send Donald the link to this thread...

There is a lot of Grey matter roaming this Sh_t Hole.....
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 07:17:16 AM by BJ »
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline AlleyCat

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2019, 07:34:01 AM »
My entire system changed in 2018. DAC, speakers, and amplification. Yes, they were all big changes. I’m still running QED Silver Anniversary, and guess what- I’m looking at upgrading. It’s a difficult proposition. I know there is snake oil out there. I don’t have money to waste. But I know there is a reasonably priced cable which is going to bring out just that little more space, detail and resolution. I merely have to find it.

And yes, I have to scientifically determine what room treatments I need. My adventure continues.

As Shonver opined above, you looking in the wrong place, it's upstream or downstream, maybe it's in your amp - a cap, a diode, a resistor, maybe it's the wrong transformer or in your...., that's not giving you "little more space, detail and resolution." It's definitely not in the cables!?
"Not everything meaningful is measurable, and not everything measurable is meaningful" - Floyd Toole

Offline Tzs503gp

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 694
  • Total likes: 88
  • HiFi- trust your ears- eyes lie
Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2019, 08:23:51 AM »
Fdlsys  (Mike ), RESPECT!

Thank you Mike

Offline Tzs503gp

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 694
  • Total likes: 88
  • HiFi- trust your ears- eyes lie
Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2019, 08:30:15 AM »
As Shonver opined above, you looking in the wrong place, it's upstream or downstream, maybe it's in your amp - a cap, a diode, a resistor, maybe it's the wrong transformer or in your...., that's not giving you "little more space, detail and resolution." It's definitely not in the cables!?

Edit: No comment
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 08:47:26 AM by Tzs503gp »

Offline VALVAGLO

Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2019, 09:46:28 AM »
@fdlsys , What a brilliant post. Kudos to you sir
Proving that you are not just a pretty face.
"A man without tools is like a fish without a bicycle" Quote from Jim Gore

Offline blizzard

  • Trader
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,197
  • Total likes: 11
  • Science is a Living thing! It is never Concluded.
Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2019, 10:16:33 AM »
Well done Mike! That's what you call hitting the pall out the park  :clap: :clap: :clap:
In my own experience of dealing with Mr Winer ,I found that the more complex your argument becomes,the less response there will be.
In my case when I brought in direct findings and statements from multiple DAC manufacturers, as well as some technical challenging questions, the post was then just ignored and later dissapeared from the forum  :thinking:
Good luck with this one  :rubhands: 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 10:21:03 AM by blizzard »

Offline Shonver

  • Trade Count: (+8)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,592
  • Total likes: 57
  • Criss-cross rhythms that explode with happiness
    • Elipse (under construction)
Re: Audiophiles throwin' down!
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2019, 10:17:47 AM »
As Shonver opined above, you looking in the wrong place, it's upstream or downstream, maybe it's in your amp - a cap, a diode, a resistor, maybe it's the wrong transformer or in your...., that's not giving you "little more space, detail and resolution." It's definitely not in the cables!?

I'd say this: if changing cables is causing your amplifier to amplify better or worse, you have a problem amplifier.

People are arguing over the one thing that is proven to have no effect _in_the_audio_band_. There are other bands. RF, to be specific. Amplifiers - especially high-performance exotic ones - contain semiconductors that essentially are capable of operation well into the RF range. If designers do not look at how their equipment behaves above the audio frequency range they might end up with a product that is unstable. The effect of instability in the RF range has an impact down in the audio range. The effect could manifest from something as obvious as hiss to a very subtle vagueness of detail, and even overheating and thermal runaway. Your first clue to RF effects is the need of a Zobel network at the output of most amplifiers. Next clue is input filters to try and control the admittance of RF signals.

What the man in the street does not appreciate (forgivably so, as this is a technical matter) is that the audio band spans 3 decades of bandwidth (20Hz - 200Hz; 200Hz to 2kHz; 2kHz to 20kHz), at least. In all fields of electronics, this is exceptional. Even your radio receiver is broken down into individual bands. Inside TVs, too, there are separate circuits for handling different tuning bands. So don't be misled into assuming that getting it right is as simple as choosing the right tube or tweaking until you discover the right exotic cap or cable. Simply put, if the designer in his/her process gives up before exhaustively addressing every possible risk factor ("what can go wrong?"), you will end up with the situation we have here. (Subsequent trimming away of ostensibly "unnecessary" components by bean counters could still sabotage a good design, though).

Nobody who has invested enough money to feed a family for a year into the purchase of an amplifier thinks to question the one component that indeed has the ability to change sound. I've only addressed the one audio component that I have experience of designing (together with some significant years of work in a design environment), but the principle extends to the development of any other electronic device. There is no magic in engineering.
________________

DON'T PANIC
Capie