Gut check for all the recent digital filtering chatter

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  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
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    Back when I had more hair there were glass TOSLINK cables but since plastic is so much cheaper and the LEDs and Phototransistors used for this app aren't fast enough to need anything better you can guess which became common.

    Is glass better? yes. Will it make a difference? Maybe for some people but it shouldn't when used within the spec.
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
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    Forgive me if this is not relevant to this topic because this stuff is awfully complex and technical but has anybody here tested their internet streaming for something called "buffer bloat". I was looking for a way to see if I could catch my 75/75 internet in the act of dropping a packet or two? But I think I need something that tests long term for an hour or so. I occasionally have a song skip to the next one with my SBT and I'm determined to find the cause. Anyway sorry if this is off topic but here are my results:

    https://www.waveform.com/tools/bufferbloat?test-id=3f4e03c6-7e00-4fbb-824b-0d7673b9b8a5

    8bs6vbx7ya2g.jpg
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    jbreezy5 wrote:
    The real issue is I wonder how many of us could tell appreciable differences, to the point of being able to accurately identify a specific piece of equipment (i.e. be it cables of any kind, dacs, disc spinners, pres, amps, you name it) in double-blind testing.
    treitz3 wrote:
    Unfortunately, very few.
    jbreezy5 wrote:
    What’s unfortunate about it?

    Well, it's unfortunate to some who may, at times, may have to rely on trusted ears for gear reviews/suggestions. I guess for the rest, this would be bliss and it definitely would help the ol' wallet out! That's for sure.
    jdjohn wrote: »
    I wonder if folks are confusing 'TOSLINK optical' with 'fiber optical'. TOSLINK cable has a single core with a 'common standard diameter' of 1.0mm. I would hardly call 1mm a 'fiber'. Fiber optical cable (like for networking) can have a 100 or more 'pairs' of glass fibers measuring fractions of a millimeter in diameter, all bundled together.

    I found a reference for TOSLINK that says it is a single transmitter, with a max rate of 125Mb/S, that can go 10meters. This limit may be a result of the S/PDIF interface. The reference mentions these are normally plastic fibers with a high attenuation.

    Fiber optic cable utilizes a DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) system that can (obviously) handle a LOT more throughput...I'll leave it at that.

    Thank you sir for that detailed and concise explanation. That makes complete sense to me and answers a lot of questions to observations that I have had over the years. I had always thought that they were the same (never was interested in learning about it after hearing TOSLINK in a couple of systems). I had always thought optical was optical was optical but recent listening of a familiar system with fiber optical had me questioning my observations over the years.

    The differences between the two in laymen's terms sounds like TOSLINK is a garden variety home 10 gallon aquarium pump hose and optical is the equivalent of a fire hydrant hose.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 1,141
    edited March 2023
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    jbreezy5 wrote:
    The real issue is I wonder how many of us could tell appreciable differences, to the point of being able to accurately identify a specific piece of equipment (i.e. be it cables of any kind, dacs, disc spinners, pres, amps, you name it) in double-blind testing.
    treitz3 wrote:
    Unfortunately, very few.
    jbreezy5 wrote:
    What’s unfortunate about it?

    [quote=“treitz3”
    Well, it's unfortunate to some who may, at times, may have to rely on trusted ears for gear reviews/suggestions. I guess for the rest, this would be bliss and it definitely would help the ol' wallet out! That's for sure.

    Why would anyone rely on, or trust, someone’s ears other than their own?

    Nothing wrong with suggestions, but just because a certain someone says “such and such is excellent/superior/etc.” doesn’t make it so. Same if said person(s) say “such and such sucks”.

    I’ve certainly experienced this paradigm countless times.

    Do trusted ears mainly recommend expensive equipment? If so, I’d question the listening acuity of the person(s) making the recommendation. Purchasing pride may be preventing them from recognizing how ridiculously good some affordable stuff is.

    Have the trusted ears making the suggestions proven superior listening skills as previously described by accurately and consistently identifying specific equipment changes in double-blind testing?

    How many of us have actually been subjected to such testing? [Usually, just about no one; and the one’s who have typically come out shocked at how wrong their pre-conceived notions were regarding their own ability to identify the subtle sonic differences they previously claimed they could hear. Many (most?) people listen with their eyes.]
    CD Players: Sony CDP-211; Sony DVP-S9000ES; Sony UDP-X800M2 (x2); Cambridge Audio CXC

    DACs: Jolida Glass FX Tube DAC III (x2); Denafrips Ares II (x2)

    Streamers: ROKU (x3); Bluesound Node 2i and Node N130 w/LHY LPS // Receivers: Yamaha RX-V775BT; Yamaha RX-V777

    Preamps: B&K Ref 50; B&K Ref 5 S2; Classe CP-800 MkII; Audio Research SP16L (soon)

    Amps: Niles SI-275; B&K ST125.7; B&K ST125.2; Classe CA-2300; Butler Audio TDB-5150

    Speakers: Boston Acoustics CR55; Focal Chorus 705v; Wharfedale Diamond 10.2; Monitor Audio Silver-1; Def Tech Mythos One (x4)/Mythos Three Center (x2)/Mythos Two pr.; Martin Logan Electromotion ESL; Legacy Audio Victoria/Silverscreen Center; Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1; SVS SB-1000 Pro; REL HT-1003; B&W ASW610; HifiMan HE400i

    Turntable: Dual 721 Direct-Drive w/Audio Technica AT-VM95e cart

    Cables: Tripp-lite 14ga. PCs, Blue Jeans Cable ICs, Philips PXT1000 ICs; Kimber Kable DV30 coaxial ICs; Canare L-4E6S XLR ICs; Kimber Kable 8PR & 8TC speaker cables.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 1,277
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    Pick out all your gear under double blind testing, and you will not be happy with the sound in the long term.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    Double blind testing is not the type of test that should be used for auditory differentiation. If you want to know why, DK (Darqueknight) did an entire peer reviewed paper on why. Look for it, there's a few entire threads dedicated here and on other audio boards.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
    edited March 2023
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    treitz3 wrote: »

    The differences between the two in laymen's terms sounds like TOSLINK is a garden variety home 10 gallon aquarium pump hose and optical is the equivalent of a fire hydrant hose.

    Tom

    Optical just means it used light to send bits. TOSLINK is a specific type of optical interconnect.

    Optical interconnects can be fast or slow depending on the cable type and the speed of the transceivers. TOSLINK is fairly slow where as some fiber optical links between continents can be terabits per second and the ones in computer rooms to connect storage in the gigabits range.

    So optical can be a fire hydrant hose but that's not always the case or a requirement.
  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
    edited March 2023
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    Forgive me if this is not relevant to this topic because this stuff is awfully complex and technical but has anybody here tested their internet streaming for something called "buffer bloat".

    Good question. And as you note this is a complex issue. Bufferbloat is only one potential cause of latency spikes but it you have high levels of bufferbloat in your router/modem there's a high likelyhood of audio issues when streaming. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bufferbloat

    Is your streaming device connected via WiFi? That's just asking for problems since many things can cause latency issues over it. Even if your device is hardwired to a switch or directly to the router latency will increase as traffic increases even if you use QoS protocols.

    The typical home network consists of a modem to connect to the internet provider, a firewall/router, a WiFi access point, and possibly network switches. Some or all of this can be collapsed into one device, but if it is, the device needs to be powerful enough to do all of this with adding latency or dropping packets. To make things work there is buffering going on at almost every step.

    Network devices are permitted to drop packets when they overload and the network protocols should recover, but can they do so before your streamer runs out of the data it's buffered and you hear a blip? How much latency your device can handle is a function of it's design/protocols.


  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
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    I would assume a more expensive streaming device will have enough "buffer and associated design protocols" to eliminate this kind of latency. Whereas a cheap streaming device may not.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
    edited March 2023
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    Depends on how much latency you design for. Worst case is you download the entire song or video before playing. If the network fails you won't notice until you reach the end. Not very practical but effective.

    Many device use a proactive form of buffering where they start out by meaasuring how long it takes for the transfers to happen and adjust how much they fetch ahead of the current point in the data to keep the buffer from underflowing. As conditions change so do they.
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 1,141
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    heiney9 wrote: »
    Double blind testing is not the type of test that should be used for auditory differentiation. If you want to know why, DK (Darqueknight) did an entire peer reviewed paper on why. Look for it, there's a few entire threads dedicated here and on other audio boards.

    H9

    I’m happy to read it if you can point me to it.

    Below is a link to an interview with Sean Olive whom was involved with NRC and now Harman Intl. with arguments in support of double-blind testing. He’s certainly an expert.
    CD Players: Sony CDP-211; Sony DVP-S9000ES; Sony UDP-X800M2 (x2); Cambridge Audio CXC

    DACs: Jolida Glass FX Tube DAC III (x2); Denafrips Ares II (x2)

    Streamers: ROKU (x3); Bluesound Node 2i and Node N130 w/LHY LPS // Receivers: Yamaha RX-V775BT; Yamaha RX-V777

    Preamps: B&K Ref 50; B&K Ref 5 S2; Classe CP-800 MkII; Audio Research SP16L (soon)

    Amps: Niles SI-275; B&K ST125.7; B&K ST125.2; Classe CA-2300; Butler Audio TDB-5150

    Speakers: Boston Acoustics CR55; Focal Chorus 705v; Wharfedale Diamond 10.2; Monitor Audio Silver-1; Def Tech Mythos One (x4)/Mythos Three Center (x2)/Mythos Two pr.; Martin Logan Electromotion ESL; Legacy Audio Victoria/Silverscreen Center; Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1; SVS SB-1000 Pro; REL HT-1003; B&W ASW610; HifiMan HE400i

    Turntable: Dual 721 Direct-Drive w/Audio Technica AT-VM95e cart

    Cables: Tripp-lite 14ga. PCs, Blue Jeans Cable ICs, Philips PXT1000 ICs; Kimber Kable DV30 coaxial ICs; Canare L-4E6S XLR ICs; Kimber Kable 8PR & 8TC speaker cables.
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
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    Thanks for that! My internet gateway (?) is a combination router and modem I believe because I only have the one unit, except for the box mounted on the basement wall. Verizon fios. I never used to have this problem of songs skipping to the next. No wifi, just hard wired ethernet from gateway to the SBT though a 15 ft Cat8 cable with shielding. I upgraded from a (I guess) Cat 5e cable that had broken latching clips. Didn't solve the problem.

    The thing is I never used to get these song skips until maybe 6 months or so. Wondering if I should complain to Verizon but I am not paying any rental for this box and I know any time they get involved what they propose will invariably mean rental charges and a higher monthly bill. Thanks.

    Oh, do you think there is any chance that the iFi Lan iSilencer might help since they say there is a zero jitter buffer in it?
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,042
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    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Double blind testing is not the type of test that should be used for auditory differentiation. If you want to know why, DK (Darqueknight) did an entire peer reviewed paper on why. Look for it, there's a few entire threads dedicated here and on other audio boards.

    H9

    I’m happy to read it if you can point me to it.

    Below is a link to an interview with Sean Olive whom was involved with NRC and now Harman Intl. with arguments in support of double-blind testing. He’s certainly an expert.

    did you forget the link? :/
  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
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    Oh, do you think there is any chance that the iFi Lan iSilencer might help since they say there is a zero jitter buffer in it?

    I'm happy to help but following good forum etiquette since this is off topic we should start a new thread or continue in PM's. This thread has already drifted far from the jdjohn's two questions.

    Difference between digital playback from streaming sources vs a local NAS.
    Which digital pathway really need filtering.
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 1,141
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    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Double blind testing is not the type of test that should be used for auditory differentiation. If you want to know why, DK (Darqueknight) did an entire peer reviewed paper on why. Look for it, there's a few entire threads dedicated here and on other audio boards.

    H9

    I’m happy to read it if you can point me to it.

    Below is a link to an interview with Sean Olive whom was involved with NRC and now Harman Intl. with arguments in support of double-blind testing. He’s certainly an expert.

    did you forget the link? :/

    Oops, yes. See below for the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/live/xEZkz4Li-0M?feature=share
    CD Players: Sony CDP-211; Sony DVP-S9000ES; Sony UDP-X800M2 (x2); Cambridge Audio CXC

    DACs: Jolida Glass FX Tube DAC III (x2); Denafrips Ares II (x2)

    Streamers: ROKU (x3); Bluesound Node 2i and Node N130 w/LHY LPS // Receivers: Yamaha RX-V775BT; Yamaha RX-V777

    Preamps: B&K Ref 50; B&K Ref 5 S2; Classe CP-800 MkII; Audio Research SP16L (soon)

    Amps: Niles SI-275; B&K ST125.7; B&K ST125.2; Classe CA-2300; Butler Audio TDB-5150

    Speakers: Boston Acoustics CR55; Focal Chorus 705v; Wharfedale Diamond 10.2; Monitor Audio Silver-1; Def Tech Mythos One (x4)/Mythos Three Center (x2)/Mythos Two pr.; Martin Logan Electromotion ESL; Legacy Audio Victoria/Silverscreen Center; Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1; SVS SB-1000 Pro; REL HT-1003; B&W ASW610; HifiMan HE400i

    Turntable: Dual 721 Direct-Drive w/Audio Technica AT-VM95e cart

    Cables: Tripp-lite 14ga. PCs, Blue Jeans Cable ICs, Philips PXT1000 ICs; Kimber Kable DV30 coaxial ICs; Canare L-4E6S XLR ICs; Kimber Kable 8PR & 8TC speaker cables.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    heiney9 wrote: »
    I would assume a more expensive streaming device will have enough "buffer and associated design protocols" to eliminate this kind of latency. Whereas a cheap streaming device may not.

    H9

    All one has to do to test the buffer is to run the system as normal and disconnect one of the Ethernet cables. The music should stop playing within 3 or so seconds. However long it takes for the music to stop playing is your buffer time.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
    edited March 2023
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I would assume a more expensive streaming device will have enough "buffer and associated design protocols" to eliminate this kind of latency. Whereas a cheap streaming device may not.

    H9

    All one has to do to test the buffer is to run the system as normal and disconnect one of the Ethernet cables. The music should stop playing within 3 or so seconds. However long it takes for the music to stop playing is your buffer time.

    Tom

    In the test for buffer latency I posted above it was around an additional 30ms with my internet connection (40ms with heavy data movement vs 10ms otherwise). I'm pretty sure I can't hear that. Anything else above that would probably be in your downstream audio equipment. But what I was really looking for was a test for packet losses or dropped packets over an extended time period, because maybe that has gotten worse and my SBT is not sophisticated enough to handle it.
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    stevep wrote: »
    I'm happy to help but following good forum etiquette since this is off topic we should start a new thread or continue in PM's.

    We, at Club Polk, are experts at going with the flow with regards to off topic posts.

    Speaking of "experts", even "experts" can be misleading/incorrect. Here's a good example. Paul McGowan with PS Audio. If you ever watched one of his videos about streaming? You most likely wouldn't take anything he says seriously (I sure don't)....even though he is an "expert".

    There is a former forum member here that is now considered an, "expert", even though just a few years ago, he was one of us. Just a regular guy who loved the hobby and does the same thing some of us have been doing for decades.

    Caelin Gabriel, owner of Shunyata Research is an expert, yet a recent comment he made was incorrect when it came to one of his cables. I know this because of first hand experience in my own rig.

    Danny Ritchie is a well known and respected "expert" but if you paid me to listen to one of the speakers he designed day in and day out, I would pass on the opportunity.

    IMO/IME, the word "expert" is highly controversial. Again, this is just MY opinion. With that said, I mean NO ILL WILL toward the aforementioned people/companies. I just didn't know (or didn't think of) any other way to make my point. Experts is a highly overrated term in my book.

    It would be nice if, instead of going to PM? Simply make another thread. We are all learning and enjoying this hobby together and the discussions bring out the knowledge and experience of everyone who reads/contributes to threads like these.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,080
    edited March 2023
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    OMFG - so I am really slow in implementing changes. Mostly because I don't want to do it haphazardly and many times it means a fairly involved session of disassembly and reassembly and time. I just don't have the spare time I used to for messing with my audio hobby.

    I recently bought a EtherRegen for the main rig, not yet installed.......... :#

    I also bought a USB REgen for the office rig sans power supply. I found the exact PS UpTone Audio supplied with the USB Regen and had to wait for that.

    Today I finally had some time to install the USB REgen and sit and evaluate the office rig.......OMFG.

    The changes are not subtle. More meat on the bone, more clarity, more definition, more decay & just general space around the music.

    I am a bit floored, but really not surprised. Everything matters in this hobby even on a modest rig.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
    edited March 2023
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    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    Why would anyone rely on, or trust, someone’s ears other than their own?

    Nothing wrong with suggestions, but just because a certain someone says “such and such is excellent/superior/etc.” doesn’t make it so. Same if said person(s) say “such and such sucks”.

    I’ve certainly experienced this paradigm countless times.

    Why? You have to realize that not everyone lives near major metropolitan areas that have a plethora of high end shops to where you can get your ears on a particular piece of gear. I speak with people across the globe (and I'm not the only one to do this) about audio and things that may be readily available to them are scarce on this side of the big, blue marble and vice-versa to them. It may not even have to be across the world. Some folks may not want to fly from one end of the country to the other, just to listen to a piece of gear.

    This is why, sometimes, I and others rely on trusted ears.
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    Do trusted ears mainly recommend expensive equipment? If so, I’d question the listening acuity of the person(s) making the recommendation. Purchasing pride may be preventing them from recognizing how ridiculously good some affordable stuff is.

    Not necessarily. I've had some recommendations for gear/parts as little as fifty bucks that rocked my world and I still use today. I have even had a trusted ear (in this case, a well known and respected manufacturer) give me advice, steering me away from his ultra high end gear to something at a substantial cost savings. Substantial being an understatement, in this case. (Like, over $$,$$$ kind of substantial)

    Most of the people whom I trust for an "informed decision", I have been speaking to for a very long time. Of those, there are only a select few that have earned the "trusted ear" status to me. Those who have earned that status have yet to steer me wrong, throughout my entire audio journey. No, I will not say who they are. Yes, some of them are on this forum.

    I steer away from those who I can tell "listen" to the name of gear. I have no interest at all to hear what they have to say. I won't point them out but after you get to know some folks, they can be pretty easily spotted. They almost remind me of many audio reviewers. EVERYTHING they get in was more expensive than the last and "blows away" the last thing that "blew away" the last.....ad nauseam.
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    Have the trusted ears making the suggestions proven superior listening skills as previously described by accurately and consistently identifying specific equipment changes in double-blind testing?

    Hell no.

    Anyone who can't hear what happens without double blind testing or subscribes to placebo effects are also worthless to me.
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    How many of us have actually been subjected to such testing? [Usually, just about no one; and the one’s who have typically come out shocked at how wrong their pre-conceived notions were regarding their own ability to identify the subtle sonic differences they previously claimed they could hear. Many (most?) people listen with their eyes.]

    I can't speak for others but I can certainly speak for myself. I have been subjected to such testing multiple times. In every case, I mention that I hear something or noticed something between A and B and then I got asked to do a double blind challenge because they all thought I was full of it. So far, I have come out on top with every one I have had. Some tests were with 3-4 people in the room as witnesses, other tests, there have been up to 32 or so witnesses in the room.

    No one else in the room heard what I heard and they were perplexed at how I could successfully and consistently pass the test. It was when I pointed out to them exactly what I was hearing, that "all of a sudden", people recognized what I was hearing. TBT, I think some of them were just BSing with me while others clearly heard what I heard when I pointed out what I heard, where it happened, what frequency it was at and described in detail what I was hearing. After that, they, themselves could successfully point it out....even though they didn't notice it before.

    I'll put it to you this way....and I think this just boils down to experience, not some "golden ear" crap. I was done playing pool (Billiards) at an audio event about a decade ago and I walked downstairs and walked through the LR, where about 2 dozen or so people were critically listening to a pair of Carver Amazings....either that or a pair of Platinums.....doesn't really matter. They were all critically listening in complete silence at a pretty good volume level.

    As I was walking through, I stopped and mentioned that there was an issue with the L channel.

    Almost everyone in the room turned their head and started laughing, saying I was full of it. I just shook my head. I told everyone that there WAS an issue with the L speaker and that I could point it out to them. So, I walked over to that L speaker, pointed about 4" down from the top of the ribbon and stated, "Here - right here - *pointed* - Do you hear that crackle?"

    No one heard it.

    So I grabbed someone up from their chair and walked them up to the speaker. I pointed again and had them listen at the same levels they were listening at, this time with their ears right up against the ribbon. Now, he heard it. Bewildered, other people started to get up out of their chair and walk up to the speaker. It was clear that those that walked up and at this point, others that were sitting down, listening to the others that heard it, describe the sound they heard (crackle)....well, they heard it too.

    They mentioned that they would keep listening until they could get/overnight order a replacement.

    I walked out to go smoke a cigarette and 4 minutes later, someone came out onto the deck and informed me that the L speaker went out. Blown capacitor.

    Even at LSAF a couple of years ago, folks would go into and out of the Raven room. I went in and the owner/rep left to go do something in another room and he allowed me control of the system. I noticed that something was off with the imaging and that the volume levels were not equal on each channel. There was also a higher noise floor on one speaker than the other.

    I mentioned this to (I forget the dude's name) and he went to listen and investigate. After about 3 to 4 minutes, he discovers that I was correct and that there was no way that could happen because of the design parameters or something to that effect. Well, it happened and after I pointed it out, he verified it. Then, he pulls out a pencil with an eraser and starts lightly tapping the tubes. Sure as ****, there was a microphonic tube as well.

    He told me (right before someone came in) that he was surprised no one at the event picked on this before and either did he (although in his defense, he was off to the side, usually operating the computer that offered that system music) . At that point someone walked in to give that system a whirl, so we both immediately stopped our conversation and I left the room.

    My point is that you do not need double blind testing to verify what you hear is what you hear. All one has to do is listen. Like, really listen and simply pay attention. Not to the name or brand but to the end result as to what hits your ears.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    stevep wrote: »
    I'm happy to help but following good forum etiquette since this is off topic we should start a new thread or continue in PM's.

    We, at Club Polk, are experts at going with the flow with regards to off topic posts.

    Speaking of "experts", even "experts" can be misleading/incorrect.

    It would be nice if, instead of going to PM? Simply make another thread. We are all learning and enjoying this hobby together and the discussions bring out the knowledge and experience of everyone who reads/contributes to threads like these.

    Tom

    You have really confused me Tom. Did you start partying early?

    After 15 years here I'm well aware of how threads here tend to drift off topic but I'm trying to be polite. That's why I suggested a new thread to get others involvement but if someone wants to discuss without others drifting the discussion I can do that too.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    stevep wrote: »
    You have really confused me Tom. Did you start partying early?

    No sir, I am stone cold sober (for now :) ). Just happy to not be working. Long work week.
    stevep wrote: »
    After 15 years here I'm well aware of how threads here tend to drift off topic but I'm trying to be polite. That's why I suggested a new thread to get others involvement but if someone wants to discuss without others drifting the discussion I can do that too.

    A new thread would be great. I think this one is shot to "you know what" and I don't really see it getting back on topic. I would like to chat about the NAP being wired -vs- over Wi-Fi though. We both do not see eye to eye on that but did not want to stray this thread any further than it already has. (Would appreciate further thoughts from you on that one)

    Tom

    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • jbreezy5
    jbreezy5 Posts: 1,141
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    Why would anyone rely on, or trust, someone’s ears other than their own?

    Nothing wrong with suggestions, but just because a certain someone says “such and such is excellent/superior/etc.” doesn’t make it so. Same if said person(s) say “such and such sucks”.

    I’ve certainly experienced this paradigm countless times.

    Why? You have to realize that not everyone lives near major metropolitan areas that have a plethora of high end shops to where you can get your ears on a particular piece of gear. I speak with people across the globe (and I'm not the only one to do this) about audio and things that may be readily available to them are scarce on this side of the big, blue marble and vice-versa to them. It may not even have to be across the world. Some folks may not want to fly from one end of the country to the other, just to listen to a piece of gear.

    This is why, sometimes, I and others rely on trusted ears.
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    Do trusted ears mainly recommend expensive equipment? If so, I’d question the listening acuity of the person(s) making the recommendation. Purchasing pride may be preventing them from recognizing how ridiculously good some affordable stuff is.

    Not necessarily. I've had some recommendations for gear/parts as little as fifty bucks that rocked my world and I still use today. I have even had a trusted ear (in this case, a well known and respected manufacturer) give me advice, steering me away from his ultra high end gear to something at a substantial cost savings. Substantial being an understatement, in this case. (Like, over $$,$$$ kind of substantial)

    Most of the people whom I trust for an "informed decision", I have been speaking to for a very long time. Of those, there are only a select few that have earned the "trusted ear" status to me. Those who have earned that status have yet to steer me wrong, throughout my entire audio journey. No, I will not say who they are. Yes, some of them are on this forum.

    I steer away from those who I can tell "listen" to the name of gear. I have no interest at all to hear what they have to say. I won't point them out but after you get to know some folks, they can be pretty easily spotted. They almost remind me of many audio reviewers. EVERYTHING they get in was more expensive than the last and "blows away" the last thing that "blew away" the last.....ad nauseam.
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    Have the trusted ears making the suggestions proven superior listening skills as previously described by accurately and consistently identifying specific equipment changes in double-blind testing?

    Hell no.

    Anyone who can't hear what happens without double blind testing or subscribes to placebo effects are also worthless to me.
    jbreezy5 wrote: »
    How many of us have actually been subjected to such testing? [Usually, just about no one; and the one’s who have typically come out shocked at how wrong their pre-conceived notions were regarding their own ability to identify the subtle sonic differences they previously claimed they could hear. Many (most?) people listen with their eyes.]

    I can't speak for others but I can certainly speak for myself. I have been subjected to such testing multiple times. In every case, I mention that I hear something or noticed something between A and B and then I got asked to do a double blind challenge because they all thought I was full of it. So far, I have come out on top with every one I have had. Some tests were with 3-4 people in the room as witnesses, other tests, there have been up to 32 or so witnesses in the room.

    No one else in the room heard what I heard and they were perplexed at how I could successfully and consistently pass the test. It was when I pointed out to them exactly what I was hearing, that "all of a sudden", people recognized what I was hearing. TBT, I think some of them were just BSing with me while others clearly heard what I heard when I pointed out what I heard, where it happened, what frequency it was at and described in detail what I was hearing. After that, they, themselves could successfully point it out....even though they didn't notice it before.

    I'll put it to you this way....and I think this just boils down to experience, not some "golden ear" crap. I was done playing pool (Billiards) at an audio event about a decade ago and I walked downstairs and walked through the LR, where about 2 dozen or so people were critically listening to a pair of Carver Amazings....either that or a pair of Platinums.....doesn't really matter. They were all critically listening in complete silence at a pretty good volume level.

    As I was walking through, I stopped and mentioned that there was an issue with the L channel.

    Almost everyone in the room turned their head and started laughing, saying I was full of it. I just shook my head. I told everyone that there WAS an issue with the L speaker and that I could point it out to them. So, I walked over to that L speaker, pointed about 4" down from the top of the ribbon and stated, "Here - right here - *pointed* - Do you hear that crackle?"

    No one heard it.

    So I grabbed someone up from their chair and walked them up to the speaker. I pointed again and had them listen at the same levels they were listening at, this time with their ears right up against the ribbon. Now, he heard it. Bewildered, other people started to get up out of their chair and walk up to the speaker. It was clear that those that walked up and at this point, others that were sitting down, listening to the others that heard it, describe the sound they heard (crackle)....well, they heard it too.

    They mentioned that they would keep listening until they could get/overnight order a replacement.

    I walked out to go smoke a cigarette and 4 minutes later, someone came out onto the deck and informed me that the L speaker went out. Blown capacitor.

    Even at LSAF a couple of years ago, folks would go into and out of the Raven room. I went in and the owner/rep left to go do something in another room and he allowed me control of the system. I noticed that something was off with the imaging and that the volume levels were not equal on each channel. There was also a higher noise floor on one speaker than the other.

    I mentioned this to (I forget the dude's name) and he went to listen and investigate. After about 3 to 4 minutes, he discovers that I was correct and that there was no way that could happen because of the design parameters or something to that effect. Well, it happened and after I pointed it out, he verified it. Then, he pulls out a pencil with an eraser and starts lightly tapping the tubes. Sure as ****, there was a microphonic tube as well.

    He told me (right before someone came in) that he was surprised no one at the event picked on this before and either did he (although in his defense, he was off to the side, usually operating the computer that offered that system music) . At that point someone walked in to give that system a whirl, so we both immediately stopped our conversation and I left the room.

    My point is that you do not need double blind testing to verify what you hear is what you hear. All one has to do is listen. Like, really listen and simply pay attention. Not to the name or brand but to the end result as to what hits your ears.

    Tom

    Tom, I’m sorry, but I have to point out that there are many straw man responses and contradictions above.

    The most glaring being when you state that the few trusted ears that you accept suggestions/recommendations from “have never steered me wrong”; that would mean a 100% rate of success for system updates/upgrades from said persons. In the next paragraph you talk about people whom you don’t listen to b/c every new thing added to their system is better than the last, which was better than the last before that... That would then mean you would be one such person if you’ve never disagreed with a suggestion/recommendation from one of your trusted listeners.

    This eliminates the concept of system synergy, trial and error, reaching one’s own conclusions. Suggestions are just that; I wish I could believe that it is possible that every recommendation you’ve received from trusted ears worked out, but it’s not plausible, even if it were possible.

    It’s also not plausible that you’ve never gotten a double-blind test wrong.

    I mean come on.

    CD Players: Sony CDP-211; Sony DVP-S9000ES; Sony UDP-X800M2 (x2); Cambridge Audio CXC

    DACs: Jolida Glass FX Tube DAC III (x2); Denafrips Ares II (x2)

    Streamers: ROKU (x3); Bluesound Node 2i and Node N130 w/LHY LPS // Receivers: Yamaha RX-V775BT; Yamaha RX-V777

    Preamps: B&K Ref 50; B&K Ref 5 S2; Classe CP-800 MkII; Audio Research SP16L (soon)

    Amps: Niles SI-275; B&K ST125.7; B&K ST125.2; Classe CA-2300; Butler Audio TDB-5150

    Speakers: Boston Acoustics CR55; Focal Chorus 705v; Wharfedale Diamond 10.2; Monitor Audio Silver-1; Def Tech Mythos One (x4)/Mythos Three Center (x2)/Mythos Two pr.; Martin Logan Electromotion ESL; Legacy Audio Victoria/Silverscreen Center; Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1; SVS SB-1000 Pro; REL HT-1003; B&W ASW610; HifiMan HE400i

    Turntable: Dual 721 Direct-Drive w/Audio Technica AT-VM95e cart

    Cables: Tripp-lite 14ga. PCs, Blue Jeans Cable ICs, Philips PXT1000 ICs; Kimber Kable DV30 coaxial ICs; Canare L-4E6S XLR ICs; Kimber Kable 8PR & 8TC speaker cables.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
    edited March 2023
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    Trusted ears are well earned.

    So far, a 100% rate has been achieved from said trusted ears.

    I speak of what I want and and am looking for before asking advice. I am specific in my request.

    LOL on that last comment. Anyone who was there is welcome to say something otherwise but you won't find anyone. It is what it is.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,327
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    If you live near Charlotte, NC?

    You are more than welcome to come and hear my results for yourself. Let YOUR ears be the judge.

    I cannot convince you otherwise.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • stevep
    stevep Posts: 328
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    In the test for buffer latency I posted above it was around an additional 30ms with my internet connection (40ms with heavy data movement vs 10ms otherwise). I'm pretty sure I can't hear that.

    Anything else above that would probably be in your downstream audio equipment.

    But what I was really looking for was a test for packet losses or dropped packets over an extended time period, because maybe that has gotten worse and my SBT is not sophisticated enough to handle it.

    George, That was just the buffering latency the bufferbloat test measured. Tom's test was how to measure the Network Audio Player buffering. How much does it store/buffer to avoid disturbances in the force.

    I don't have Verizon FIOS and from what I've read the ONT box on the basement wall can provide either a COAX or Ethernet output but I didn't see a way for you to get any statistics from it. You mentioned you have one other box from Verizon.

    How is it connected to the ONT, COAX or Ethernet?

    That would be the next place to try and get statistics from. If you network link is anything like mine you would be surprised at how many bad actors are knocking at your door 24x7 and the router/firewall has to read and toss everything you didn't ask for weeding your traffic from the rest.

    A couple of questions about how you use your SqueezeBox Touch since I don't have one:

    Do you have any local storage on it, if so does your song skipping ever happen doing it?
    Do you stream from other local NAS and if you do what server software are you using, does your song skipping ever happen doing it?
    When you stream off the internet, what are you streaming from? Roon, Tital, Spotify, etc. Does that make any difference with the issue?
    Does the issue ever happen when you use the SBT's DAC as well?

    The docs I can find imply there is a plugin that can provide some network diagnostics from the SBT for both the server and player but that means you have to be running LMS somewhere. Network and Server Health.

    Logitech suggests that any response times greater than 0.5 seconds (500ms) is an issue and high Control Connection time an indication of network congestion.


  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,004
    edited March 2023
    Options
    I read in one of Gardenstater's (George's?) earlier posts that he is using a Cat8 ethernet cable for his SBT. He doesn't mention the brand, but if it is generic, I would recommend trying a higher quality cable, or wi-fi, if possible. As has been discussed in several other posts here, generic ethernet cables often have faulty pinouts, which will *technically* work, but with latency issues.

    I have a few SBT in-house myself, and remember having a similar latency issue a few years ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember exactly how I fixed it, but I *think* it may have been by using a better ethernet cable. @msg might have some thoughts here.

    I would recommend trying an ethernet cable from BJC, since those are custom-made with Fluke meter testing results included. They offer Cat5 and Cat6 cables. A 15ft cable from them would be fairly cheap, but I have a 25ft BJC cable that I'm happy to karma.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
    edited March 2023
    Options
    Yes it is Cat8. I didn't get any resolution of the intermittent skip problem when I replaced the Cat5e I had. It didn't happen any more often or any less often. Audio quality improved however!

    I'm currently running the smokeping test for % packet loss at DSLReports. Of the 3 servers, the Michigan (Liquidweb data center) one has given me 0.47% packet loss avg. over 3 hours so far. California and Virginia (both Amazon data centers) are flawless at 0.00%. Seems to be an issue with the MI server and not my internet service, at least so far.

    http://www.dslreports.com/smokeping

    I need a test that can ping the servers at TIDAL and Qobuz. TIDAL seems to be giving me less problems but not 100% certain yet.

    My buffer setting in the SBT is the default one currently and seems to be 30s as per treitz3's unplugging test. The other buffers are stated to be somewhat experimental and did not solve my occasional skipping problem.

    Now I've corrupted this thread further :#
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,004
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    Don't worry about corrupting this thread...all good.

    Regarding the cable, I'm not questioning the *standard* of Cat5 vs Cat8, but rather, the quality of the actual cable, or in particular, the connectors, and/or the pinouts. That's where a BJC cable might come into play, since those are tested and certified. Cables from Amazon and/or big box stores are NOT tested and certified.

    I highly doubt that the Tidal or Qobuz servers are the problem, but rather, something in the connectivity between your modem/router and the SBT.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,184
    edited March 2023
    Options
    I don't ever have a problem when playing music stored on a network storage drive. Tends to make me not suspect the cable, along with the fact that the character didn't change one iota in switching cables but I'm certainly not ruling it out and thanks!

    Pretty sure TIDAL is giving less problems, which would tend to absolve the cable as well.

    The truth is out there!! lol

    PS: the other possibility is that the jack on either the router/modem is the issue or the jack on the SBT. I believe I cleaned them with contact cleaner but I should do it again. Also, there are other jacks on the router/modem and I could try a different one. The thing with this theory is that when it skips to the next song there is no difficulty in playing that one, which if it were in an intermittent contact mode, there would be at least sometimes. :)
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Crown D150 amp
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14awg, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform