1 (edited by HIFI 2018-04-15 15:17:44)

Topic: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Will fit a power supply for ADI2 DAC. More clean power can improve the sound quality?
https://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/accessory-ipower/

2

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

No, it can not.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

But users noted a significant improvement in sound when connecting the battery. On laboratory measurements, the signal noise also apparently improved.

4

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

But not with an ADI-2 DAC.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Yes, but with ADI2 PRO.

6 (edited by ramses 2018-04-15 16:15:05)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Both units are very very similar, I think this won't make any significant difference.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

7 (edited by SpeakFriend 2018-04-15 16:44:58)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

HIFI wrote:

On laboratory measurements, the signal noise also apparently improved.

smile If they are laboratory measurements, no "apparently" would be needed, either it did or didn't. Would you be able to provide a link to these measurements?

8 (edited by HIFI 2018-04-15 17:38:49)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I'm surprised that few people read reviews on the site branded of the PME ! smile smile smile

Yeah, sure.On the page http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/adi_2-pro_ae.php here is this link http://prosound.ixbt.com/interfaces/rme-adi2pro.shtml

We tried to measure the second option, not from a desktop PC and a full-time unit, but from a laptop and an external battery to avoid possible earth loops. The results practically did not change ... Yes, the noise result increased by 0.4 dB and improved.

Power supply pulse in the set.
Noise level-118.8
Dynamic Range -118.5
Harmonic distortion 0.0002
Harmonic distortion + noise -109.4
--------------------------------
Battery     
Noise level    -120.1
Dynamic Range -119.1
Harmonic distortion 0.0001
Harmonic distortion + noise -111.3


I personally connected ADI2 DAT to a separate high-quality power supply unit on the transformer. The sound is much analogue and softer. It's deeper and the scene is wider. Of course you can not believe it. But I personally recommend replacing the power supply unit going in the kit (impulse) to any quality one.(I used a different power supply, not IFI iPower)

9 (edited by SpeakFriend 2018-04-15 17:20:44)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I never noticed all those links at the left before... yikes

Anyway, thank you for the link, your quoted figures are apples and oranges (4 dBu ref level with PSU vs 24 dBu ref level with battery). Even so as the text quoted says the noise measurement was 0.4 dB better... I wonder whether that would hold over multiple runs.

10 (edited by HIFI 2018-04-15 17:38:10)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Yes on the left side a lot of interesting things! smile
Yes, it's understandable 4 dBu ref level with PSU vs 24 dBu ref level with battery.Try it yourself with normal settings, create dimensions. However, regardless of the measurements, the sound changes greatly when replacing with a high-quality power supply(I used a different power supply, not IFI iPower). Apparently, the earth loops are removed and all the same noise is improved. What generally affects the overall sound quality.

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

HIFI wrote:

However, regardless of the measurements, the sound changes greatly when replacing with a high-quality power supply(I used a different power supply, not IFI iPower). Apparently, the earth loops are removed and all the same noise is improved. What generally affects the overall sound quality.

May I ask how your methodology was to test this ? Did you perform double blind tests ?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

12 (edited by pianopictures 2018-04-16 06:57:53)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Actually in that Russian review mentioned they just say "battery power make sense, not for sound quality, but for mobile use".

Added: ah, nevermind, later they say that because of "adapter condition" and extreme signal to noise ratios in this case they were able to see some signal harmonics that was previously masked by the noise.

I know that MC always say power sources don't make the difference, also the guys who knows "electricity" professionally say this "better power" devices usually don't make any sense data-wise. The point is that you should know exactly what problem you are solving, and all the electric signals, good or "bad" will be converted in the device anyways. So if the external component make the impact on the sound quality that should mean that the actual device have a poorly designed electric components.

Again, very curious if there is a chance MC is missing something and some pristine quality power adapters can actually make sense. Unfortunately I'm not able to fully understand the case, so like many others I could be a good target for manipulation here.

Audiophile grade SATA cables come to mind...

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

soo i am a little  confused  now  ,  Mc says   above   that  there  is  no improve ment  on sound  quality  with  an   other   cleaner power solution  like  ifi i power .

in the  Tipps  and  trick section  of  this  forum    Mc    says :    Topic: 12 V Battery Power Solutions
No matter if for mobile usage, measurement applications or High-End listening experience, there is demand for battery operation of Fireface UC, Babyface Pro, ADI-2 Pro and other RME units that are or can be powered by an external 12 V power supply. Let me give two tips on how to achieve this with the biggest ease, comfort and best real-world results.



soo  now   whats    the  Real  Deal ?  will adi  2  dac  have   improvment   in Sound  when you  use  a battery   or   other  power  plug        or  not ????



Greetings  Gozi

14 (edited by ramses 2018-06-12 19:49:30)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Isn't the answer herein ?! https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopi … 35#p129335
If somebody should have ground loop issues... This refers also to "quality".

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

@ramses     omg    sorry  ii  should  have  read  the  tipps  and  tricks   thread   till the  end   my  fault :-(     now  absolut  all is  solved

Grettings  Gozi

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I tried ifi iPower, Teradak 12v and superteddyreg (Teddy Pardo's regulator) based PSU with my ADI-2 pro. Sonically the best among I tried was superteddyreg followed by an ifi DC iPurifier. iPurifier made an immediately recognizable improvement over just superteddyreg, and I think they are better than an iPower. I think ADI-2 benefits from a lower noise PSU than well regulated one.

17 (edited by ramses 2018-06-13 20:07:48)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

gracky wrote:

I tried ifi iPower, Teradak 12v and superteddyreg (Teddy Pardo's regulator) based PSU with my ADI-2 pro. Sonically the best among I tried was superteddyreg followed by an ifi DC iPurifier. iPurifier made an immediately recognizable improvement over just superteddyreg, and I think they are better than an iPower. I think ADI-2 benefits from a lower noise PSU than well regulated one.

Sorry but may I ask regarding the test methodology ?

  • Could you directly A / B between the 2 different setups (with power supply / with battery) ? If not, how long did it take to change between A and B ?

  • Did you know during the tests whether its the setup with battery or not ?

  • Did both setups (one ADI-2 Pro with battery, the other with the RME power supply) connect to the same Amp using the same volume ?

  • Did you test alone or with somebody else ? Did the other person know whether its A or B ?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

18 (edited by gracky 2018-06-14 02:51:46)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

My gear rolling was not test, I never did A/B or blind test (and I never tried batteries). Times with each gear were varying from some hours to some weeks.
But I'm quite certain about the impact of DC iPurifier upon superteddyreg (I repeated pulling it off and putting it in some times). Impressed with it, I added other ifi items (iSilencer and AC iPurifier) to my system but they were at best subtle although i'm keeping them.

19

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

> But I'm quite certain

...is not enough. The reason why external power supplies make zero difference in 'sound' is explained in detail in the manual, chapter 6, Power Supply.

Technically the only improvement you could get is through perfect galvanic isolation to prevent AC leakage currents, a typical side-effect of switching power supplies. A linear one will not show that phenomenom. BUT the effect (if it shows up at all, simple grounding already removes it completely) is nothing more than a low level hum at around -130 dB. Not audible, and not causing mysterious jitter effects or similar which could change the 'sound' as such.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I think that the supplied AC adapter is not as bad as it is told. Immediately after starting to use it was an accented sound, but after a few days of energizing and the high heat generation of the AC adapter ceased, it became much better.
I also have iPower 12V / 1.8A, but I'm not sure if I can hear a clear difference in the blind test.
Perhaps, it may be due to my shitty ears. wink

In any case do not assume that it is bad from the beginning, and I encourage you to try using the attached one for a while.

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Why did nobody make a blindtest?
You should hear adifference 10 of 10, otherwise it might, could, ......

22 (edited by ramses 2018-07-19 07:27:37)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

jjking wrote:

I think that the supplied AC adapter is not as bad as it is told. Immediately after starting to use it was an accented sound, but after a few days of energizing and the high heat generation of the AC adapter ceased, it became much better.

Sorry but what you tell is absolutely impossible.
You can not remember over days how the sound was exactly.

Even audio engineers for Mixing and Mastering recommend

1. not to sit for too long on the same project, but instead of that to switch after a while between projects, so that this effect, that the ear accomodates to a sound is being eliminated.
2. that an A/B comparison has to be immediate without too much delay between it.

The way your ears / brain work its absolutely impossible that you can recognize over days that the sound becomes better.

It appears to me that you are simply a victim of psychoacoustic effects: The more your hear the sound of your devices you become more and more accomodated to it. Additionally your brain has already a certain expectation that the sound becomes better, as you obviously heard already about it, that taking a better power supply shall make the sound better.

So the accomodation of your brain/ears to your devices sound plus the expectation, to get better sound with the "better" power supply results into these "well known" psychoacoustic effects.

Its the same about "HiFi Voodoo cables" for speakers and the newest trend is digital Voodoo cables, with maybe nicer looking Zeros and Ones in it wink

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

23 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-22 22:58:38)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I was under the impression the "zeros and ones" in a digital cable are actually represented as an analog waveform?

Anyway, I tried all the iFi devices (USB purifier, DC purifier, iPower) on my old Dac and eventually returned them all. On the iPower which I tested the most, I found it sucked the energy out of the music, analogous to making a color picture a bit more greyscale. I wound up preferring the sound with the SMPS on my old Dac. YMMV

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

"USB purifier"... It makes 0 and 1 more pure? big_smile
Save your money to buy music... And if a power supply really changes the sound of your device, your device is really poorly designed...
Try blind testing, you will be surprised by the psycho-acoustic bias... "This expensive and really well packed cable really improves the sound".. No it does not... But before blind testing it you were sure. After blind testing is another story.

Don't waste time listening cables, PSU or CD drives...

25 (edited by ramses 2019-01-23 12:15:38)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

I was under the impression the "zeros and ones" in a digital cable are actually represented as an analog waveform?

You have a strange idea about digital technology. In digital technology there is no analog waveform. There are defined voltage states in electronics that can be used to map zeros and ones. In an oscilloscope this would be seen as rectangular pulses. Just like in this picture, to give a vivid example.

https://www.distrelec.de/medias/workbench-t-and-m-T-2017-0208-img-1.jpg?context=bWFzdGVyfHJvb3R8MzQ0ODV8aW1hZ2UvanBlZ3xoY2QvaGQwLzkzMjYxMjU1NDc1NTAuanBnfDEzOTBhYTViNzBlOTVkMDMyZmIwYzc0ZmZhZDQ3YWIwMTJjNTJmNmQxNWVjMWUzODQ5ODY5NGIxNDZmMmU0MGE

Then it's no wonder you're prone to believe that an expensive Vodoo USB cable and other things would enhance digital sound.

Even with quite a junk cable, the electronic circuitry is still able to distinguish a zero from a one, even if the square-wave signals may not be as steep or anything. The main thing is that the circuit logic can still logically separate zero and logical one cleanly from each other.

In this respect, expensive USB cables are just something for the eye.

Of course you shouldn't buy cheap junk, but just reasonably good cables with good plugs, which have a good fit to avoid problems.

But even then the whole thing usually behaves very binary, works or doesn't work.

Fortunately you can verify this in the RME Driver Settings dialig, if there are CRC errors or not.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I can generally tell a difference with audio equipment when using linear power supplies vs. switch mode.

With the RME ADI-2 DAC, I've tried 3 or 4 good linear power supplies and an atomicbob Noise Nuke.

None of them made an audible difference.

USB is another area where the ADI-2 DAC is one of the only devices I'm happy to use without some other solution (usually a PCIe S/PDIF converter).

It's just an all-around well-designed, well-implemented device.

27 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-29 17:40:36)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

ramses wrote:
Robertm394 wrote:

I was under the impression the "zeros and ones" in a digital cable are actually represented as an analog waveform?

You have a strange idea about digital technology. In digital technology there is no analog waveform. There are defined voltage states in electronics that can be used to map zeros and ones. In an oscilloscope this would be seen as rectangular pulses. Just like in this picture, to give a vivid example.

https://www.distrelec.de/medias/workbench-t-and-m-T-2017-0208-img-1.jpg?context=bWFzdGVyfHJvb3R8MzQ0ODV8aW1hZ2UvanBlZ3xoY2QvaGQwLzkzMjYxMjU1NDc1NTAuanBnfDEzOTBhYTViNzBlOTVkMDMyZmIwYzc0ZmZhZDQ3YWIwMTJjNTJmNmQxNWVjMWUzODQ5ODY5NGIxNDZmMmU0MGE

Then it's no wonder you're prone to believe that an expensive Vodoo USB cable and other things would enhance digital sound.

Even with quite a junk cable, the electronic circuitry is still able to distinguish a zero from a one, even if the square-wave signals may not be as steep or anything. The main thing is that the circuit logic can still logically separate zero and logical one cleanly from each other.

In this respect, expensive USB cables are just something for the eye.

Of course you shouldn't buy cheap junk, but just reasonably good cables with good plugs, which have a good fit to avoid problems.

But even then the whole thing usually behaves very binary, works or doesn't work.

Fortunately you can verify this in the RME Driver Settings dialig, if there are CRC errors or not.


Are you claiming this guy is wrong:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N66aDb7LZaM

"The quasi-square wave, which is analogue in nature, can and will be distorted when sent from one device to another."

Further discussion with illustration on how digital signals can be distorted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grzoqEb2KMk

28 (edited by ramses 2019-01-29 19:47:16)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I only watched 5 minutes, that was enough. I find him spreading dangerous half-knowledge as truth.
I think he is still entrenched in analog technology and still doesn't understand enough about digital transmission.

The square wave form is simply a representation of "logical 0" and "logical 1" during digital data transmission over USB.
The analog waveform of the square does not need to be perfect as long as the receiving circuit can still recognize / distinguish "zeros" from "ones".

As long as you stay within the specs this is possible even with a non-expensive USB cable.
The RME driver settings dialog will inform you about CRC errors. If there are non, then there is no issue.

If things would be so worse, how would you get i.e. a reliable data transfer between the PC and an external USB disk for backup ?

Go to an IT shop and tell them you need an audiophile audio cable to get a better wave form to produce a better backup of your data ... They'll laugh at you.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

29

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

'This guy' is not a reference at all.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I don't want to get into an argument about cables because it always winds up with one person, who is certain they hear a difference, being told they are hearing wrong based on theory x, y, and z, which to me, may or may not be an accurate or complete theory/understanding of what's actually going on in a cable... as scientific knowledge is not absolute.

Personally, on my old Dac (haven't tried it on the ADI2), I genuinely noticed a difference between the cheap Microcenter USB cable and the Audioquest cable. Among other things, I noticed less noise and distortion. It wasn't a scientifically valid comparison, where I didn't know which cable was which, but it as enough for me.

It doesn't seem like a huge stretch to me that cable construction will influence sound quality. Certainly that is the case between types of cables. My XLR cables on the ADI2 sounded different than the RCA cables ... it's not much of a stretch to me that within the same type of cable, the materials used may also influence the signal and the sound quality.

The cables argument will never be solved because it always boils down to one person sure they hear a difference and another telling them from a theoretical basis why their perceptions are wrong.

31

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

The changes in sound that you experienced can be explained in a technical and valid way without going the esoteric audiophoolism route, excluding the cable as cause.

> My XLR cables on the ADI2 sounded different than the RCA cables

That is the kind of statement that upsets techies quickly. You had a valid test setup that excluded anything else from the sound change? Or isn't it true that the whole setup (different outputs and inputs, different cables) sounded different, and your statement is an illegal generalization and simplification?

If a sound difference exists than it would take only a few measurements with professional tools to find the cause. On the ADI neither cable quality nor balanced / unbalanced matters, it is all the same. But you have a level difference which makes comparison hard, and what your other device makes from unbalanced/balanced is completely unknown.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

32 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-30 00:20:15)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I mentioned already that it wasn't a scientifically valid test. I'm not trying to convince anyone here, either. I'm trying to improve my understanding. At the same time, I'm not ready to accept blanket statements like "USB cable quality has no effect on sound quality" when my perceptual experience differs.

Further, the cable manufacturers like Audioquest do give technical reasons for their design choices. Here's an example:

"Proprietary metal-processing technology protects the wire's surface at every stage of drawing and fabrication. When high-purity low-oxide copper is kept as soft, pure, and smooth as possible, it becomes a wonderfully low-distortion conductor. In a conventional cable, electrical and magnetic interaction between strands is one of the greatest sources of distortion, often causing a somewhat harsh, dirty sound."

Are you going to say what's in the statement above is complete B.S.? If so, how do you know? Where is the proof and evidence that they are wrong?

I'm not committed to one point of view or another. But my EXPERIENCE indicates to me that there probably is some variation in sound quality with different cables.

For MC, because I'm very pleased with the quality of your product, I don't doubt your expertise as an engineer. I chose the ADI2 Dac after reading reviews of a number of products (Gungnir, etc.). I tend to believe pro products have to meet certain criteria by professionals to be considered high quality vs. consumer audiophile products, and so I have gravitated towards pro grade products like the ADI2 and Adam speakers. That said, my opinion based on experience only, is that cables can make a difference in sound quality.

33

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Sorry, Robert, but so far what I have seen from Audioquest was BS and snake oil nonsense. Do a Google search for 'audioquest snake oil' for more background, and please no cable discussions in this forum.

My point is a different one. Your statement 'My XLR cables on the ADI2 sounded different than the RCA cables' did not come with the now added disclaimer and as such was highly misleading. Such things cause misinformation and wrongly based opinions throughout the web. A more careful way to discuss sound differences would be helpful in many cases.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

I mentioned already that it wasn't a scientifically valid test. I'm not trying to convince anyone here, either. I'm trying to improve my understanding. At the same time, I'm not ready to accept blanket statements like "USB cable quality has no effect on sound quality" when my perceptual experience differs.

Quite in line with our post-factual world, but no, for many reasons explained above, your personal "experience" does not alter facts.

There may possibly be a certain merit to discussing purely analog cables and whether or not they could have an influence on sound (coat hanger vs. Monster cable...). At least these things actually transmit audio. USB cables do not transmit audio. Not even digital audio (where a difference in "sound quality" can already be ruled out, e.g. in SPDIF transfers). They transmit data. As long as none of the data is corrupted, and each and every 1 and 0 recognized correctly, there is NO way any gradual difference in data transmission could have a specific, reproducible, and recognizable effect on the audio signal ("stereo width", "stage", "spaciousness/localization", or whatever other voodoo criteria). Otherwise, you would have to be able to explain which changes to bits in a USB connection would have which specific influence on the embedded audio signal without affecting the reliability of the USB data connection....

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

35 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-30 03:43:19)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Hmm, perhaps my point was not expressed clearly originally. My point was simply the following:

My XLR and RCA cables sounded different. It's acknowledged that this is due at least in part to a +6dB gain in the XLRs. This indicates, a priori, that the construction of an audio cable can cause some variation in the sound.

Therefore, to me, it's not a stretch to surmise that other aspects of a cable's construction can also affect the sound quality. In other words, it's reasonable to me that different materials will affect a signal in different ways, and that these differences could be audible. This also aligns with my own experience trying different cables.

That's all. As I said earlier, I didn't want to get into a debate about cables because it always winds up being the same with one person claiming they hear something and another telling them it's not possible based on x, y, z technical reason.

36 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-30 03:49:18)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

RME Support wrote:
Robertm394 wrote:

I mentioned already that it wasn't a scientifically valid test. I'm not trying to convince anyone here, either. I'm trying to improve my understanding. At the same time, I'm not ready to accept blanket statements like "USB cable quality has no effect on sound quality" when my perceptual experience differs.

Quite in line with our post-factual world, but no, for many reasons explained above, your personal "experience" does not alter facts.

There may possibly be a certain merit to discussing purely analog cables and whether or not they could have an influence on sound (coat hanger vs. Monster cable...). At least these things actually transmit audio. USB cables do not transmit audio. Not even digital audio (where a difference in "sound quality" can already be ruled out, e.g. in SPDIF transfers). They transmit data. As long as none of the data is corrupted, and each and every 1 and 0 recognized correctly, there is NO way any gradual difference in data transmission could have a specific, reproducible, and recognizable effect on the audio signal ("stereo width", "stage", "spaciousness/localization", or whatever other voodoo criteria). Otherwise, you would have to be able to explain which changes to bits in a USB connection would have which specific influence on the embedded audio signal without affecting the reliability of the USB data connection....

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Maybe. No one is omnipotent here either. Maybe there are additional relevant facts that you're not aware of, haven't considered, or are not yet known science. Audioquest (based on their website) would tell you that cable materials affect variables like jitter, distortion, etc. 

Look, if I observe something, and you tell me I didn't because of technical reason x, I'm going to tend to think you're missing something rather than that my perception is off. A few hundred years ago, it was "known" that the earth was flat. Plenty of things are scientifically "known" that later turn out to be false.

Point is, let's not act like science is equivalent to perfect and absolute knowledge. Besides, the Audioquest crowd will give you their own set of "technical facts" for why their cables work. You may disagree, fine. I don't see any definitive proof from either side yet.

Personally, I've found changing my cables makes a modest difference in sound quality. That's all I'm saying. I'm not asking you to believe it, I'm not trying to prove it to you, I'm merely reporting a subjective impression, which by definition is not falsifiable.

37

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

Hmm, perhaps my point was not expressed clearly originally. My point was simply the following:

My XLR and RCA cables sounded different. It's acknowledged that this is due at least in part to a +6dB gain in the XLRs. This indicates, a priori, that the construction of an audio cable can cause some variation in the sound.

Therefore, to me, it's not a stretch to surmise that other aspects of a cable's construction can also affect the sound quality. In other words, it's reasonable to me that different materials will affect a signal in different ways, and that these differences could be audible. This also aligns with my own experience trying different cables.

That's all. As I said earlier, I didn't want to get into a debate about cables because it always winds up being the same with one person claiming they hear something and another telling them it's not possible based on x, y, z technical reason.

Your experience cannot indicate anything a priori. Basing an argument on experience makes it a posteriori.

However, let me give you an a priori argument for cables potentially causing different sound.

The construction of a cable determines its electromagnetic properties which give rise to its unique transfer function. However, it is possible that differently constructed cables have the same electromagnetic properties. This will result in different transformations of the same waveform being passed through differently constructed cables if and only if the cables have different electromagnetic properties. Thus, for any two cables the differing construction of which gives rise to different electromagnetic properties, fidelity to the original waveform differs among the cables.

How does this translate to sound potentially being different? For the same succeeding devices with their own transfer functions, the total transfer function of the cable and the succeeding devices being different depends on the properties of the transfer functions of the succeeding devices.

Now, what are those succeeding devices? DACs, amplifiers, speakers/headphones, the room, ears and/or the brain?

If you evaluate your cables between the DAC and the speakers by hearing, the waveform produced by the DAC is being transformed by the cables but also by the active speakers, the room, your ears and your brain. Even if the first three devices succeeding the cable preserve the waveform difference (or lack thereof) from the different cables, if the properties of the brain's transfer function are not the same for the different cables, whatever difference (or lack thereof) you perceive is not the difference (or lack thereof) due to the cables. 

Thus, knowing the restrictions of one's perception and how to counteract them is crucial to conduct proper testing of audible differences. Any conclusions derived from tests not satisfying the condition that all transfer functions of the succeeding devices have the same properties regardless of the cable being used, do not describe reality and are thus of no utility in determining sonic differences between cables.

38

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

Maybe. No one is omnipotent here either. Maybe there are additional relevant facts that you're not aware of, haven't considered, or are not yet known science. Audioquest (based on their website) would tell you that cable materials affect variables like jitter, distortion, etc.

If there are additional relevant facts about electromagnetism not incorporated in the physical theory of electrodynamics, Audioquest or any other "high-end" cable vendor should demonstrate this by a scientific experiment and have the corresponding article subsequently published in a scientific journal.

Robertm394 wrote:

Look, if I observe something, and you tell me I didn't because of technical reason x, I'm going to tend to think you're missing something rather than that my perception is off. A few hundred years ago, it was "known" that the earth was flat. Plenty of things are scientifically "known" that later turn out to be false.

Point is, let's not act like science is equivalent to perfect and absolute knowledge. Besides, the Audioquest crowd will give you their own set of "technical facts" for why their cables work. You may disagree, fine. I don't see any definitive proof from either side yet.

Do you really think your perception is epistemologically superior to the scientific method?! 

Science is the best predictor of reality conditional on the totality of objective observations and the degree to which it is not perfect decreases the more objective observations are made. While conclusions based on objective observations may turn out wrong as more objective observations are made, the observations giving rise to the wrong conclusion are themselves not falsified and any new conclusion must also be based on them. 

To think that your perception can even come close to matching the predictive capabilities of science without even a basis of objective observation and thus no reliable footing in reality is ludicrous.

A lack of a difference can never be proven while the presence of a difference can easily be demonstrated.

Thus, it is upon the "Audioquest crowd" to demonstrate the existence of the difference they claim.

Also, if definitive proof is your standard, your perceptions will not do either.

Robertm394 wrote:

Personally, I've found changing my cables makes a modest difference in sound quality. That's all I'm saying. I'm not asking you to believe it, I'm not trying to prove it to you, I'm merely reporting a subjective impression, which by definition is not falsifiable.

Good for you (and Audioquest).

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

My XLR and RCA cables sounded different. It's acknowledged that this is due at least in part to a +6dB gain in the XLRs. This indicates, a priori, that the construction of an audio cable can cause some variation in the sound.

Hardly. XLR cables are not "louder", neither can a cable produce "gain"....

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Here is an interesting thought....
If you normally listen at a certain volume, you can have a whole new listening experience, more then with any new DAC, by just upping the volume  1db. Or moving your listening position a little bit closer.
Or if you listen on the loud side in general, reducing the volume, will make the sound less harsh instantly.
In a way it is more about waking up the brain to listen afresh.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

Maybe. No one is omnipotent here either. Maybe there are additional relevant facts that you're not aware of, haven't considered, or are not yet known science. Audioquest (based on their website) would tell you that cable materials affect variables like jitter, distortion, etc.

As long as digital data can be reconstructed without errors, it will be every bit (pun intended) as good as the original. Digital audio data can not gradually decrase in quality. It will either be bit perfect or corrupt.

Analog cables may transmit signals differently. Whether any of that is audible is up for discussion. But you conveniently ignored my question which exact bits in a USB data transfer would and could affect the embedded digital audio signal's "distortion" or whatever. Your personal experience, which is likely heavily influenced by expectation bias, is not akin to a scientific method.


Look, if I observe something, and you tell me I didn't because of technical reason x, I'm going to tend to think you're missing something rather than that my perception is off. A few hundred years ago, it was "known" that the earth was flat. Plenty of things are scientifically "known" that later turn out to be false.

There are plenty of people today who "know" the earth is flat, against demonstrable scientific evidence. I also didn't tell you you did not observe something, but there are well known mechanisms that would distort that observation to fit your expectation.

And let me just quote this again, this is what things boil down to...

jiw wrote:

Do you really think your perception is epistemologically superior to the scientific method?! 

(...)

To think that your perception can even come close to matching the predictive capabilities of science without even a basis of objective observation and thus no reliable footing in reality is ludicrous.

A lack of a difference can never be proven while the presence of a difference can easily be demonstrated.


Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

MC wrote:

Sorry, Robert, but so far what I have seen from Audioquest was BS and snake oil nonsense. Do a Google search for 'audioquest snake oil' for more background, and please no cable discussions in this forum.

My point is a different one. Your statement 'My XLR cables on the ADI2 sounded different than the RCA cables' did not come with the now added disclaimer and as such was highly misleading. Such things cause misinformation and wrongly based opinions throughout the web. A more careful way to discuss sound differences would be helpful in many cases.

Amen!!!

And we can read same BS about Ethernet audiophile directionnal cables by audiofool brand AudioQuest... Sad sad world...

And for those who can hear differences between cables, help yourselves, you can become rich: https://gizmodo.com/james-randi-offers- … ove-305549

43 (edited by N00b 2019-01-30 12:41:55)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

And many audiofool's legends fall very fast with double blind testing...
http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm

And don't forget: what you can hear, you can measure... But you don't necessarely hear all that you can measure.

44 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-30 21:38:09)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:

Hmm, perhaps my point was not expressed clearly originally. My point was simply the following:

My XLR and RCA cables sounded different. It's acknowledged that this is due at least in part to a +6dB gain in the XLRs. This indicates, a priori, that the construction of an audio cable can cause some variation in the sound.

Therefore, to me, it's not a stretch to surmise that other aspects of a cable's construction can also affect the sound quality. In other words, it's reasonable to me that different materials will affect a signal in different ways, and that these differences could be audible. This also aligns with my own experience trying different cables.

That's all. As I said earlier, I didn't want to get into a debate about cables because it always winds up being the same with one person claiming they hear something and another telling them it's not possible based on x, y, z technical reason.

Your experience cannot indicate anything a priori. Basing an argument on experience makes it a posteriori.

No kidding. Because you didn't read the post correctly. The point I was making is that if the sound from XLR cables varies (including in decibel level) from the sound from RCA cables, due to the different construction of the XLR cable, then A PRIORI, construction of a cable can influence sound quality. It has nothing to do with "my experience." Always fun to be corrected by someone who can't even read the post correctly.

However, let me give you an a priori argument for cables potentially causing different sound.

The construction of a cable determines its electromagnetic properties which give rise to its unique transfer function. However, it is possible that differently constructed cables have the same electromagnetic properties. This will result in different transformations of the same waveform being passed through differently constructed cables if and only if the cables have different electromagnetic properties. Thus, for any two cables the differing construction of which gives rise to different electromagnetic properties, fidelity to the original waveform differs among the cables.

The above is a longer version of the point I made in my original post which you misread. 

How does this translate to sound potentially being different? For the same succeeding devices with their own transfer functions, the total transfer function of the cable and the succeeding devices being different depends on the properties of the transfer functions of the succeeding devices.

Now, what are those succeeding devices? DACs, amplifiers, speakers/headphones, the room, ears and/or the brain?

If you evaluate your cables between the DAC and the speakers by hearing, the waveform produced by the DAC is being transformed by the cables but also by the active speakers, the room, your ears and your brain. Even if the first three devices succeeding the cable preserve the waveform difference (or lack thereof) from the different cables, if the properties of the brain's transfer function are not the same for the different cables, whatever difference (or lack thereof) you perceive is not the difference (or lack thereof) due to the cables. 

Thus, knowing the restrictions of one's perception and how to counteract them is crucial to conduct proper testing of audible differences. Any conclusions derived from tests not satisfying the condition that all transfer functions of the succeeding devices have the same properties regardless of the cable being used, do not describe reality and are thus of no utility in determining sonic differences between cables.

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Some of the far more knowledgeable here can correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 6db difference in balanced vs. unbalanced outputs due to the electronics that comes before and after the cable, and not due to anything intrinsic to the RCA vs XLR cables, themselves?

46 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-30 22:18:25)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

RME Support wrote:
Robertm394 wrote:

Maybe. No one is omnipotent here either. Maybe there are additional relevant facts that you're not aware of, haven't considered, or are not yet known science. Audioquest (based on their website) would tell you that cable materials affect variables like jitter, distortion, etc.

As long as digital data can be reconstructed without errors, it will be every bit (pun intended) as good as the original. Digital audio data can not gradually decrase in quality. It will either be bit perfect or corrupt.

Analog cables may transmit signals differently. Whether any of that is audible is up for discussion. But you conveniently ignored my question which exact bits in a USB data transfer would and could affect the embedded digital audio signal's "distortion" or whatever. Your personal experience, which is likely heavily influenced by expectation bias, is not akin to a scientific method.


Look, if I observe something, and you tell me I didn't because of technical reason x, I'm going to tend to think you're missing something rather than that my perception is off. A few hundred years ago, it was "known" that the earth was flat. Plenty of things are scientifically "known" that later turn out to be false.

There are plenty of people today who "know" the earth is flat, against demonstrable scientific evidence. I also didn't tell you you did not observe something, but there are well known mechanisms that would distort that observation to fit your expectation.

And let me just quote this again, this is what things boil down to...

jiw wrote:

Do you really think your perception is epistemologically superior to the scientific method?! 

(...)

To think that your perception can even come close to matching the predictive capabilities of science without even a basis of objective observation and thus no reliable footing in reality is ludicrous.

A lack of a difference can never be proven while the presence of a difference can easily be demonstrated.


Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME


I did not ignore your question about it being bit perfect. I said:

Audioquest (based on their website) would tell you that cable materials affect variables like jitter, distortion, etc.

In other words, THEIR argument is that there are other factors involved in sound quality resulting from USB signal transfer such as:

Solid conductors eliminate strand-interaction distortion and reduce jitter.

Is this true? I have no idea. You guys are the Dac designers so I'll defer to your knowledge here.

jiw wrote:

Do you really think your perception is epistemologically superior to the scientific method?!

You need to stop misinterpreting my posts. Did I say my perception is "epistemologically superior" to the scientific method? No.
I simply said, it matters TO ME if I hear a meaningful difference between cables.

I also stated I'm not trying to prove it to you or anyone else here. At the same time, I haven't heard anything here that gives me a definitive reason to believe that cables can't influence sound quality. In fact, I'm now reading some tacit acknowledgement that in terms of analog cables, it MAY be possible.

Let's put it this way: If I go on the Schitt forum and they tell me for technical reasons x, y, and z, their Gungnir Dac is going to sound better than the RME, but my PERCEPTION indicates to me that the RME sounds better... who do you think I'm going to listen to? My own listening impressions, or a couple forum experts? 

That's not to say I'm 100% sure it's not psychoacoustic effects based on expectation. It certainly could be. But FOR ME, again, not to prove it TO YOU, I'm satisfied that I have noticed enough of a meaningful difference in sound between cables to make it worthwhile to try "better" ones.

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

rpgroman wrote:

Some of the far more knowledgeable here can correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 6db difference in balanced vs. unbalanced outputs due to the electronics that comes before and after the cable, and not due to anything intrinsic to the RCA vs XLR cables, themselves?

Even if so, which may be true, I've read that the way the signal is transmitted in an XLR cable helps with noise rejection resulting in a better, less noisy signal. If this is true, it still proves the basic point that cable design can influence sound quality.

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

Robertm394 wrote:
rpgroman wrote:

Some of the far more knowledgeable here can correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 6db difference in balanced vs. unbalanced outputs due to the electronics that comes before and after the cable, and not due to anything intrinsic to the RCA vs XLR cables, themselves?

Even if so, which may be true, I've read that the way the signal is transmitted in an XLR cable helps with noise rejection resulting in a better, less noisy signal. If this is true, it still proves the basic point that cable design can influence sound quality.

Are we now back to the topic "Voodoo cable make sense" ?

Would be very kind if you could inform yourself what the difference is between balanced and unbalanced connection.
Wikipedia and other webpages / online magazines will contain information.
Please take your time to read and understand it.

Then re-think and re-phrase, many thanks.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

49 (edited by Robertm394 2019-01-30 22:32:04)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

ramses wrote:
Robertm394 wrote:
rpgroman wrote:

Some of the far more knowledgeable here can correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 6db difference in balanced vs. unbalanced outputs due to the electronics that comes before and after the cable, and not due to anything intrinsic to the RCA vs XLR cables, themselves?

Even if so, which may be true, I've read that the way the signal is transmitted in an XLR cable helps with noise rejection resulting in a better, less noisy signal. If this is true, it still proves the basic point that cable design can influence sound quality.

Are we now back to the topic "Voodoo cable make sense" ?

Would be very kind if you could inform yourself what the difference is between balanced and unbalanced connection.
Wikipedia and other webpages / online magazines will contain information.
Please take your time to read and understand it.

Then re-think and re-phrase, many thanks.

What I think is there are a lot of people online who act like experts but who aren't. If you have a point to make to what I said, you're free to do so, if not, I've already made my point. No one is going to convince anyone else here, that much is obvious.

50 (edited by ramses 2019-01-30 23:14:03)

Re: iFi Audio Accessory iPower 12V/1.8A

I think my point was very clear, google for "balanced vs unbalanced audio connections".
Please inform yourself 1st before coming to wrong conclusions, thanks.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Nuendo 8.3, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB