Merv's Politically Incorrect Audio Blog

Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    50,319
    Dislikes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    The current state of the art is class D with DSP. A top notch film screening room that supports Dolby Atmos will use a stack of Crown DriveCore XLS series amps in the rack (not the better CDi series because those are way more expensive, and if you have a reasonable Atmos installation of 30-some speakers, the costs add up.)

    Anyway, the XLS series lists THD as <0.5% at rated power (CDi is 0.35%). IMD (60Hz and 7kHz at 4:1) from full rated output to -30dB is listed at <0.3%. By these measures, the extremists would consider them a fail. Again, we are not talking about a local theater that sounds pretty good, we are talking about the top mix stages in Hollywood.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    ultrabike and Psalmanazar like this.
  2. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,040
    Dislikes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Reliable PA stuff. I bet the amps sound fine there for theatrical speakers and Dolby. A lot of the older design class AB amps audiophiles like are much worse sounding than those Crowns and all the STMicroelectronics and TI chip amps audiophiles bitch about. The TI ones sound very good honestly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    bixby likes this.
  3. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,696
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I think what Bruno is doing with Class-D is pretty interesting, if we're not limiting ourselves to headamps.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    50,319
    Dislikes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Finally having heard the TOTL n-core stuff, I'm honestly not impressed and would rather get a Crown XLS or CDI proamp for 1/10 of the price if I wanted 1000W. Way way too much hype on the Hypex.
     
    dmckean44 and bixby like this.
  5. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    967
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Finland
    In my system the the Crown XLS is no match for the Hypex.
    I had a shootout with them just too see if I could live with the XLS.
    I assume it might be the DSP section that lets the XLS down.
    The XLS does offer a lot more functionality in a light, robust package.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    Priidik likes this.
  6. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Estonia
    Would you describe the specifics? Only bass use? Soundstage? Dynamics?
    I know that UcD is quite meh compared to Ncore, for full bandwidth use.
    I'd be interested on how well does the various pro amps hold against the boutique hi-fi class-D for bass (bi-amp, sub).

    @purr1n I remember you saying stuff about some old Crown class-H amps. Are the new (D) ones better or just different sounding?
     
  7. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,696
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I use UcD400's for my subs, couldn't stand them for full range. I also believe the input modules were left up to Monacor, which they might've messed up. Other implementations I've heard of UcD180 were pretty comparable to Sony/Marantz/... class AB amps of late 80ies.
     
    Priidik likes this.
  8. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    967
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Finland
    I tried them fullrange.
    I have the Crowns XLS2502 and the Hypex amps are DIY UCD400HG/SMPS400 monoblocks.

    - The Crown had a notably higher noise floor
    - The Crown is more damped sounding and less detailed.
    - The Crown sounded more unrefined and grainy.

    It depends what UCD's you have heard. OEM versions do not sound that same as the DIY modules.
    My experience has been that N-cores are maybe slighly better than the latest versions of the UCD's, but if you do not like the UCD's I doubt that the NCore's will change your mind. I have tried both and could not justify the extra expense.


    The Crown XLS are the cheapest Class D that Crown offers. Higher-end modules most likely offers better sound- quality, and defeatable DSP's.
     
    dark_energy and Priidik like this.
  9. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

    Friend BWC Executed
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,745
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Read again big guy.

    There are two conditions that I clearly laid out. Both would need to be met in order to be fraudulent.

    Simply creating a 130dB DAC is not the issue, given that you see it is an engineering feat. Even creating such a product and believing it sounds better than tube amps is not the contradiction.

    However, claiming that human auditory limits top out at some some arbitrary point below where your product performs and then claiming that your device is the OneTrueBox would be hypocritical at the least. An honest person (who believed that) would tell people to buy the cheapest box they could find and then use their engineering knowledge to build houses for homeless kids or whatever
     
    Josh83 and The Life like this.
  10. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

    Friend BWC Executed
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,745
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    As far as I can tell, these are the most common positions to maintain on the spectrum of subjectivist to objectivist:

    A: "measurements are mostly showing us random noise and have almost no bearing on the audio performance of a component"

    B: "measurements roughly correlate with audio performance. measurements (at least with their current methods) are inadequate to completely characterize an audio component. we can use subjective listening to gather more info of how a component performs"

    C: "measurements are the only valid way to gather information on an audio component. Any subjective listening can be explained by an existing* measurement tool/method. If not, there is likely a cognitive bias at play.

    D: "measurements are the only valid way to gather information on an audio component AND subjective listening is so fraught with pit falls that it should be disregarded completely"

    * There may be sincere disagreement within group C based on whether measurements can ever fully characterize a component, or whether measurements have already surpassed human limits.

    Feel free to poke holes.
     
    Josh83, Richgard, Wilson and 7 others like this.
  11. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,176
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    Measurements provide significant information on component behavior under static conditions.
    Listening evaluations provide information on component behavior including dynamic performance but is subject to the foibles of human perception.

    A major step toward reconciliation would be development of dynamic performance measurements and standard listener training with well defined, consistent terminology used by all.
     
    toddrhodes, Josh83, k1arg and 16 others like this.
  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,070
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NOVA
    Home Page:
    After having fooled around with the Harman "How To Listen" application for shits and giggles, I will personally state that this is quite difficult. Not only does it get exceedingly tedious at times, but I also found it mentally fatiguing. I could only stand about four 20 minute sessions. It's hard work.
     
    Lyander, Psalmanazar and atomicbob like this.
  13. trung225

    trung225 Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Likes Received:
    149
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I'm an EE myself, but I am always unable to understand the "absolute objective" crowd in audio.

    Firstly, when someone said " this amp has SINAD of 80, so they are bad and not recommended", he must assume that human's ear or listening perception works like an audio analyzer, so the result of audio analyzer can be an indicator of judging an audio equiment, but in fact it is not true. We have different sensitibity to frequencies different sensitivity to each harmornic distortions and different sensibility at different sound levels. And our listening perception still need to research more. So the result in absolute terms of audio analyzer can not be used to judge the quality of audio equipment.

    Secondly, even when someone thinks "better specs amp/DAC is an better amp/DAC", when putting on the context of sound system, there is something wrong. There is no speaker in this world has THD+N under 0.1% throughout all the hearing frequency range, so even when you have 0.0005% THD+N in DAC, 0.001%THD+N in Amplifier, your system still not accurate at all, what you hear is only a clean music signal plus the horrible (in absolute terms) of speaker distortion. Keep in mind that speaker distortion tends to raise rapidly only in bass or near crossover frequencies, so it is more audible than the amplifier/ DAC distortion, which happens at all frequencies. So in sound system context, worse measured audio equipment can mask the distortion of the system better than the 0.000x% THD audio equipment.

    Thirdly, what is the purpose of audio equipment and audio industry in general? It's purpose is to create good sound and satisfy the customer's ear. If the audio equipment sounds good to the wide variety of people and in different systenms, it is good one no matter how good or bad measurment it has. If it don't sound good, then even if it is measured spectacularly, it still fails as an audio equipment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    Josh83, Overkill Red, obsiCO and 12 others like this.
  14. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,176
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    Well said. Yes, it IS hard work. ABX testing is also hard work. Well done sighted AB testing is hard work.

    Well done, reliable, valid measurements are also hard work.

    Wannabe tracking, mix, mastering, FOH, cue mix, live sound engineers take note: these too are hard work.

    It is much easier to be the audience and enjoy the music. Lately I've been more in the mood for this than any of the previous. Found myself some listening chains that score high on my preference meter and think twice about hard work vs. listening and beverages.
     
    Josh83, pavi, Lyander and 7 others like this.
  15. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

    Friend BWC Executed
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,745
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Is there any reason to spend time and effort on proper double blind ABX tests? Outside of proving yourself to some naysayer? (Who will inevitably move the goalposts)

    Once you have more than an iota of listening experience to be sure you're not fooling yourself, an informal sighted AB comparison is just as useful for evaluation.

    I think the reason objectivists would always demand the rigors of an controlled DB ABX test before any statement can be made on an internet forum is that they want us to be as miserable as they are. Just ignore them. We owe them nothing. They might not even be real people. Russian bots....

    I'm not going to tell the bartender to put a blindfold on me before I sip on my flight of craft beers. I'm just gonna drain those glasses and order a pitcher of the best one. We can do the same for headphones.
     
    Johnston98, Josh83, Cspirou and 3 others like this.
  16. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,176
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    "A number taken by a 'monkey' with a caliper is useless" :D:D I'm stealing that line @Priidik
     
    Lyander likes this.
  17. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,176
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    In the hobby, probably not. I share measurements and testing results on forums for the readers' entertainment. But in my corporate life, rigor is important to regulatory agencies when designing audio systems for class 3 medical devices.
     
  18. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

    Friend BWC Executed
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,745
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    I can walk up to a showroom booth and literally before my hands have released the tensile pressure of the headphone band I know if the sound is Gucci or crapola.

    Or you rolling with your boys into certain hotel rooms during THE show and the whole gang pulls one of these:

    tumblr_lkqm0enAZt1qh59n0o1_500.gif
     
  19. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    Likes Received:
    744
    Dislikes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Saving money? :)
     
    PTS likes this.
  20. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,040
    Dislikes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I have a Dangerous Source. The noise floor on it is only -93db unweighted. That seems like it is not very competitive yet it smokes all cheaper interfaces for detail and resolving ability. The Focusrites, Steinberg, Presonus, and Audient stuff can't hang for d->a despite measuring better. Neither can the spec chasing Apogee, UAD, and Benchmark stuff. The stuff I've heard that just outresolves it (Prism Sound, the RME ADI 2 DAC/Pro, etc) measures significantly better but those manufacturers do not seem to be chasing the dragon with any specs other than jitter reduction and lowering distortion compared to Apogee, UAD, and Benchmark.

    These all inclusive measurements overall seem a poor quantification of human auditory perception. Better specs sounding better or more resolving seems to be the case up to a point (maybe slightly beyond the cd redbook standard?) and slightly beyond but extreme spec chasing is illogical. That would imply that a better quantification of reality means a better reality, which is clearly not the case. Such is the objectivist rationalization, a poor explanation of the realities of human perception.

    When the best stuff at a show is Amphion limp dick towers cuz ATC didn't bother showing up...
     
    treboR likes this.

Share This Page