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  1. #1
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Oppo BDP-105 - Measurements up!

    As promised in the MEASUREMENTS thread... Nice unit!

    Realize that the Transporter came out in September 2006 - >6 years ago; I'd say it's still very competitive to the latest generation of Sabre DAC's from a measurement perspective.

    http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/02...o-bdp-105.html

  2. #2
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    How do I listen using my eyes? I've not worked this out yet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Julf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by probedb View Post
    How do I listen using my eyes? I've not worked this out yet.
    Some of us spent years and years at university just to learn to read graphs like those, and we still keep learning new things. They don't replace listening, but complement critical, controlled blind listening.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by probedb View Post
    How do I listen using my eyes? I've not worked this out yet.
    Nobody's asking anyone to listen with eyes... Like Julf said it's complementary. IMO, when it comes to audio tech, good engineering comes first then lets validate with the ears, not the other way around if I'm going to be putting my money down. I shudder at the thought of gear being tested just by ear (http://nwavguy.blogspot.ca/2011/02/n...c-2-drama.html)...

    If it weren't for the measurements, I'd be very hard for the ears to prove:
    1. XLR cables clearly better than RCA in my noisy i7 computing environment down below -100dB with just a 3' length of cable.
    2. My ASUS Essence One has some really strange frequency response spectra (including up to 24/192 in the ultrasonic range).
    3. Crazy high jitter with that MUSE NOS DAC.
    4. The TT3 mod doesn't change the noise level or improve dynamic range even with screen off, WiFi off, parameters optimized, etc...
    5. With the Touch, WiFi on does not add to noise.
    6. Even a 15' length of USB cable doesn't cause major jitter with the Oppo.
    7. There were small differences in stereo crosstalk between one of my AudioQuest vs. Tributaries cables and let me chose which was better.
    8. The stock Touch analogue output has minimum jitter (even through WiFi).

    These are just 8 observations found in these tests (essentially off the top of my head) which I would likely never have known or been able to prove with ears (though some of the above would be logical). In this day and age where instrumentation is part of our daily lives, it's just mind boggling that audiophiles do not seem to appreciate that audio gear these days are capable of achieving results BEYOND human hearing in many/most parameters.
    Last edited by Archimago; 2013-02-26 at 12:41.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Julf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archimago View Post
    In this day and age where instrumentation is part of our daily lives, it's just mind boggling that audiophiles do not seem to appreciate that audio gear these days are capable of achieving results BEYOND human hearing in many/most parameters.
    This one is a good primer (that also debunks some old digital audio myths): Xiph.org: Digital Show & Tell.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Lovely link Julf! Watching it right now... Great demonstration of dither, noise shaping and the Gibbs phenomenon. Definitely required viewing for audiophiles who want to understand digital audio and start replacing magic with some 'sound' science.

    There is of course one example of stairstepping analogue output he hinted at - zero-order-hold DAC's - aka NOS DAC's. Outdated technology but still well loved :-|

    http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/02...4-nos-dac.html
    Last edited by Archimago; 2013-02-26 at 13:37.

  7. #7
    Great..the jitter graph looks really nice. Thanks Archimago. So does better measurements correlate with better sound subjectively ? Otherwise, it might be just a waste of engineering effort. Maybe the companies are building over-speced pieces just to justify the high-price of the equipment.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by probedb View Post
    How do I listen using my eyes? I've not worked this out yet.
    Listen to or trough your hifi ( to the music )

    This tells you that the oppo is pretty much transparent to the source material
    . Hence if you gonna pay more than this for a player it has to do better.

    If your listening to your hifi all bets are of on what's constitutes good for you.
    Last edited by Mnyb; 2013-02-26 at 19:10.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftwireEngineer View Post
    So does better measurements correlate with better sound subjectively ? Otherwise, it might be just a waste of engineering effort. Maybe the companies are building over-speced pieces just to justify the high-price of the equipment.
    That's of course a very important question.

    In order to answer this question, we must be sure we're measuring the correct variables which make audio sound good. I think it's quite clear that a full frequency response, low noise floor, good stereo separation, minimal harmonic and intermodulation distortion are all quite important... Others like DAC linearity, phase distortions, square wave performance could also be important but not something I can easily measure with the RightMark suite (actually phase measurements are done but I haven't focused much on them yet). Also, jitter is not part of the RightMark suite which is why they have to be produced separately with WaveSpectra in my measurements.

    Obviously different pieces of equipment will have different variables to explore (eg. slew rates, power vs. THD in amps).

    IMO, I think we do know the relevant variables to measure for sound quality and the correlation between measurements and perceived quality is likely quite high. After all, it is out of this science that we can produce excellent sounding lossy compressed audio for example (a nice marriage of digital sampling theory + perceptual psychoacoustics).

    Over the years, whenever I've brought up measurements, many audiophiles will say stuff like there's "great measuring gear that sound bad!" When I ask them to show me one, they'll usually get all vague and talk about "Sansui gear from the 70's". I dunno, were there articles showing this in the 70's and 80's that I missed (maybe this is a reference to high power ratings but poor distortion back in the day)? Reading Stereophile, I've seen many instances of the subjective reviewer liking a piece of gear but the objective measurements showing poor performance; or both confirming that the gear sounds bad/good...

    However, has anyone yet seen a recent article where a broad measurement suite points to *fantastic measurements* but the gear is said to sound bad subjectively?

    Last year, when John Atkinson measured the AudioNote CD player (the measurements were crappy), he said "The CD-4.1x is a paradox: does it sound good because of how it measures or despite it?" I'd love to see an article where he says "This piece of gear measures like state-of-the-art gear but despite that, it sounds like crap!" Now that would be a fun read :-)
    Last edited by Archimago; 2013-02-26 at 21:12.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Julf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftwireEngineer View Post
    Great..the jitter graph looks really nice. Thanks Archimago. So does better measurements correlate with better sound subjectively ? Otherwise, it might be just a waste of engineering effort. Maybe the companies are building over-speced pieces just to justify the high-price of the equipment.
    They are. Absolutely. I think most people in the audio business, unless they have drunk the audiophool kool-aid (or are trying to sell to the kool-aid crowd) acknowledge that apart from the speakers and the room, all other parts of a modern digital hi-fi audio chain is way beyond any audible differences. It is all light years better than the vinyl and tape stuff of 30 years ago - remember when we used to think cassette tape recorders (as long as they had dolby) sounded pretty good... The equivalent of, oh, maybe 10 bits of resolution on a good day, and jitter in fractions of seconds instead of picoseconds...

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