View Full Version : Analogue output Quality

Mark Jenkins
2004-11-24, 16:21
Guys.  It is not controversial that interfaces introduce jitter and that jitter affects sound quality.  It is just that some of you do not operate in the areas where this knowledge is being developed.  I suggest you search at audioasylum and audiogon, where you will find endless discussions on this, most of it poorly informed, but with the occasional very good reference to leading papers on the subject.  Watching it discussed here is painful.

Yes audiophiles are a bunch of suckers that easily fall for pseudo-scientific drivel.  That does not mean that none of the issues raised by audiophiles as important to their musical enjoyment are self-delusional.  I can see where the dis-believers are coming from.  If you believe that all devices conform exactly to their mathematical models - ie all resistors have no inductance, all capacitors have no dialectric absorbtion, all PLLs are perfect, all coax digital cables transmit perfect square waves, all circuit board layouts are perfect etc, then you wonder what it is that audiophiles are on about - if the thing is properly designed it will work perfectly.  The thing is they are not perfect.  Your opinion that the difference is at a level where noone could possibly hear the difference is an untested hypothesis, not a fact.  You may very well be right and all audiophiles are deluded.  That seems to me to be putting your head in the sand.

I agree with the poster that this is not the place to get deeply into these debates.  As an audiophile who has also designed and manufactured various audio pieces, I think it useful to contribute here about how audiophiles would look at using and benefiting from the Squeezebox, since that might aid its development and success.  But it is likely to be counter-productive if we have to have existential-level debates whenever an opinion about sound quality is stated.  In many of the audiophile forums, the learned behaviours are  1.  to report your experiences and your insights and let others judge their credibility on the weight (or otherwise) of presented evidence  2.  avoid being dogmatic  3.  avoid disrespecting anothers reported experience/insight, just let the statement stand and express your alternative experience/insight if you wish.  Many posters litter their contributions with 'in my experience', or 'in my system', or 'your mileage may vary' so that they can contribute their experience without theorists leaping down their throats about how 'that cannot be' - not that it always works.

My suggestion is that you not drive the audiophiles away from these forums, but that we keep their contributions short and to the point of how they might benefit more from the SB and its development.  I further suggest that telling them they are deluded is only going to either drive them away or inflame them into debates that are unresolvable.  This requires both the audiophiles and non-audiophiles to just tolerate each other a bit better, and not start competitions about who is right.

So if X hears a difference and Y does not, just leave it as two observations representing the diversity of SB customers.  Stop trying to prove one is wrong.


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