Griff500

DAC / Pre Amp setup for SCM40A

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ASR should, and in a limited way sometimes is, a useful resource. Sadly it has become a breeding and training ground for attention seeking audio trolls to go out and preach their dogma, and preachers don’t really do discussion. If you look at the m-scaler “debate” it is largely about displays of slavish worship of an ideology which misses out on the fundamental check on using measurements, and that is continual checking against practical use which involves listening. We hear a lot in these threads about blind testing but little about the methodology and validity of any conclusions reached. It has become a banner to be waved in support of a conclusion that has been prejudged.

As for the m-scaler I am hoping to try it out when I have got the rest of my system sorted out; a slow process in these covid times. Enough decent people whose opinions I trust have spoken favourably of it so I have little doubt that it has the potential to make improvements. The real question is whether I can discern such differences with my ageing ears and if so whether such gains are important to me personally and worth the money. The only way I’ll find out is to try it for myself, preferably at length in my own system.

Edited by Camverton
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Super Dealer

Absolutely try it in your own system, but ask a friend to switch it in and out of circuit, otherwise cognitive bias takes over.

ASR is a fabulous resource, you can easily see why Bs manufacturers hate it.

Keith

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2 hours ago, MartinC said:

Indeed but I'm doubtful there are many situations where the streamer would have a better interface, and very often it will be inferior. Not that I'd want to use a laptop wired into my hifi as the music source. I did that for a while and I'm much happier with a streamer.

Regarding Roon I agree that to me it's major appeal seems to be for people who want to use one or more streaming services in conjunction with locally stored files. It does though have many fans which is why I mentioned it as an option to investigate. This wasn't why I mentioned Roon but for info. it does also provide some EQ functionality. I think a downside with Roon is you may need an additional bit of hardware to act as the 'Core' though. The discussion was about UIs and Roon generally seems to have the reputation of being the best, hence it being mentioned :).

Well some work better on my streamer and some such as Amazon are better on a desktop or laptop. Deezer desktop for example could not do gapless. It really depends how they have been developed and how they work with your computer, some people have had problems with Win10. Deezer is better on my Node 2 than my desktop by quite a long way, Amazon is the opposite. Qobuz I would say is better on my streamer. Tidal not sure about, will be trying again. Don't think the App. will be the same as the desktop software or the webplayer, there are clear differences. Going from a computer to a streamer has been an improvement for me, no interference for one thing, noise for another, control, less dropouts/freezes  and running cost.  Deezer had many issues when using the PC but it worked fairly well on the Node 2. 

I looked into Roon but the consensus it was of little use if just streaming from Qobuz/Tidal.

Edited by StingRay
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2 hours ago, PuritéAudio said:

Baloney.

Keith

They say there are no audible differences unless the DAC is broken. Yet the measurements are different, hence the different scores.

Yet they are not measuring music, just one frequency at a time. 

Edited by StingRay
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10 minutes ago, Camverton said:

ASR should, and in a limited way sometimes is, a useful resource. Sadly it has become a breeding and training ground for attention seeking audio trolls to go out and preach their dogma, and preachers don’t really do discussion. If you look at the m-scaler “debate” it is largely about displays of slavish worship of an ideology which misses out on the fundamental check on using measurements, and that is continual checking against practical use which involves listening. We hear a lot in these threads about blind testing but little about the methodology and validity of any conclusions reached. It has become a banner to be waved in support of a conclusion that has been prejudged.

As for the m-scaler I am hoping to try it out when I have got the rest of my system sorted out; a slow process in these covid times. Enough decent people whose opinions I trust have spoken favourably of it so I have little doubt that it has the potential to make improvements. The real question is whether I can discern such differences with my ageing ears and if so whether such gains are important to me personally and worth the money. The only way I’ll find out is to try it for myself, preferably at length in my own system.

Agreed. Get it in your own system and have a listen. There are plenty of us who can hear what it does and many of us have aging ears. It does not depend on being able to hear top frequencies anyway as what does applies throughout the frequency range. Indeed a lot of people first notice the improvement to the bass.

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23 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

I have only heard the ‘dave’ and m-scaler at a clients, there isn’t really a discussion because a high percentage of contributors at ASR actually understand the technology, understand measurements and how more importantly  they correlate to sound quality.

Re streamers I am not suggesting you use a laptop although it is by far the most versatile, but that there  will be no difference in SQ between a £30 Pi or a £12k or whatever ‘streamer’ if both connected to the same properly engineered dac.

Before I started PA I was just like everyone here, believed everything the dealer/manufacturer told me, I didn’t consider for a moment that they wouldn’t be telling the truth.

Keith

Keith, it's really quite rude to say that everyone here believes all marketing from manufacturer's. It sounds like you used to be quite naive.

So you listened to the DAVE with and without the M-Scaler and you noticed absolutely no difference in the sound? Or you just heard them together?

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Super Dealer

I don’t believe everyone  here believes every scrap of marketing but may lack the technical knowledge to separate marketing from the elements that actually affect sound quality.

@stingray, when you measure you are effectively comparing input to output if there is something added to the output that is distortion, the interesting question is how much distortion has to be added before you can actually discern a difference, the human ear really isn’t that sensitive .

Keith

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I think tidal and Spotify used to have differences between their web players and apps on different platforms which could make a definite difference (e.g. gapless playback or different resolutions). Wonder if there's much in the way of difference now.

A laptop can sound perfectly good as a source (I listen on mine for most of the working day) but I wouldn't choose one as an audio player unless I was sat at it for work anyway. Noise from the fan can be annoying, and sometimes light from the screen. I'd go for a fanless PC if I wanted flexibility, or a steamer if I wanted simplicity...Have a fanless PC in the lounge system

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4 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

I don’t believe everyone  here believes every scrap of marketing but may lack the technical knowledge to separate marketing from the elements that actually affect sound quality.

@stingray, when you measure you are effectively comparing input to output if there is something added to the output that is distortion, the interesting question is how much distortion has to be added before you can actually discern a difference, the human ear really isn’t that sensitive .

Keith

Yes but on that ASR site the distortion figures are different for each DAC, if they were all the same I may believe you. Also that is just at one frequency, what about if you measured 100 different frequencies at the same time?

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5 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Agreed. Get it in your own system and have a listen. There are plenty of us who can hear what it does and many of us have aging ears. It does not depend on being able to hear top frequencies anyway as what does applies throughout the frequency range. Indeed a lot of people first notice the improvement to the bass.

Thanks Nick. I find that I am sensitive to some aspects of sound reproduction more than others. I can cope with a wayward frequency response, as an example, but I do seem to hone in on how well transients are reproduced. Reproducing that frisson in the air you get at a classical concert is important, perhaps why I like the exceptional transient response of electrostatics throughout the frequency range. The real trick with hifi is getting that without harshness.

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3 minutes ago, StingRay said:

Yes but on that ASR site the distortion figures are different for each DAC, if they were all the same I may believe you. Also that is just at one frequency, what about if you measured 100 different frequencies at the same time?

Loudspeakers which are transducers ( turning one form of energy into another) turn electrical impulses into frequencies.

Keith

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3 minutes ago, jon said:

I think tidal and Spotify used to have differences between their web players and apps on different platforms which could make a definite difference (e.g. gapless playback or different resolutions). Wonder if there's much in the way of difference now.

A laptop can sound perfectly good as a source (I listen on mine for most of the working day) but I wouldn't choose one as an audio player unless I was sat at it for work anyway. Noise from the fan can be annoying, and sometimes light from the screen. I'd go for a fanless PC if I wanted flexibility, or a steamer if I wanted simplicity...Have a fanless PC in the lounge system

I don't know about Spotify and Tidal but there are certainly differences between Deezer and Qobuz desktop app and webplayer and then again if you use BluOs software. I was surprised how large the differences are but that seems to be development. I had to use both on Deezer and Qobuz. Deezer would not even play at times on the App. but it plays without a problem on the BluOs. 

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39 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Griff, best you hear it for yourself and make up your own mind. I have heard it with Chord Qutest, TT2 and Dave.

You might as well flog a dead horse as ask K which DACs he has heard it with. I may be proved wrong but I very much doubt that he has had any demo of the Mscaler.

I am going to, I was just curious to see what double-blind tests Keith had done to determine that the M-Scaler does nothing, as it was quite a bold statement. It seems that his statement is based on the thread at ASR.

I doubt it will do nothing but, as ever, whether it is worth having is entirely subjective. I think that is what this focus on measurements misses - they are trying to make this entirely objective but we are talking about listening to music and it has to be a subjective decision, albeit that some measurements could be useful. Some machines speak to us and connect with us on a level that's not intellectual and some people are more sensitive to these things than others.

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3 minutes ago, Griff500 said:

I am going to, I was just curious to see what double-blind tests Keith had done to determine that the M-Scaler does nothing, as it was quite a bold statement. It seems that his statement is based on the thread at ASR.

I doubt it will do nothing but, as ever, whether it is worth having is entirely subjective. I think that is what this focus on measurements misses - they are trying to make this entirely objective but we are talking about listening to music and it has to be a subjective decision, albeit that some measurements could be useful. Some machines speak to us and connect with us on a level that's not intellectual and some people are more sensitive to these things than others.

There are some really knowledgeable posters on ASR but on that m-scaler thread, assuming we are talking about the same one, the rant and preach brigade completely dominated. As with any forum the trick is getting to know whose views are worth considering. Personally, I like a balance of understanding the science (enough to refer to the measurements in a meaningful way) and ability to listen in a way that I find relevant for my needs.

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26 minutes ago, Camverton said:

There are some really knowledgeable posters on ASR but on that m-scaler thread, assuming we are talking about the same one, the rant and preach brigade completely dominated. As with any forum the trick is getting to know whose views are worth considering. Personally, I like a balance of understanding the science (enough to refer to the measurements in a meaningful way) and ability to listen in a way that I find relevant for my needs.

I am sure there are plenty of people with excellent technical knowledge there, but the ranting and what appeared to be a predetermined opinion that they set out to prove was a bit off-putting. 

The bit in bold is the most important bit and something we should all agree on. We all have different ears and different sensitivities and if someone finds a particular component works for them then they are right. If it doesn't work for someone else then they are also right. ;-) 

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