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perfect sound
Will I get PERFECT sound quality with the following setup?
Lossless music on laptop  - connect via HDMI to a perfect receiver which in turn connects to perfect speakers.
What can go wrong?

perfect sound
Reply #1
Nothing is perfect. Especially the speakers or headphones.
FLAC -> JDS Labs ODAC/O2 -> Sennheiser HD 650

perfect sound
Reply #2
Mine are

Or let's assume they are for the sake of the argument. Besides the speakers and the receiver, is there anything in this setup which would prevent me from getting perfect music?

  • saratoga
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perfect sound
Reply #3
Mine are

Or let's assume they are for the sake of the argument. Besides the speakers and the receiver, is there anything in this setup which would prevent me from getting perfect music?


Nope.  But like pretty much every situation, it'll be the speakers that determine what your hear.

  • mzil
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perfect sound
Reply #4
You also need perfect microphones, perfectly placed, a perfect hall, a perfectly engineered recording, perfect hearing, and those perfect speakers' placement must be perfect (within your room with perfect acoustics).

  • slks
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perfect sound
Reply #5
"Perfect" in this context is really only applicable as long as the signal remains digital. With digital data, it's possible for it to be "bit-perfect", that is, identical. But the signal must be converted to analog at some point to drive the speakers.

Once the signal is analog, there's no such thing as "perfect". At this point we begin talking about "transparent", which means that no audible distortion is introduced into the signal. But once it goes analog, the concept of "perfection" goes out the window; there will always be distortion at some level.

Keeping the signal digital until it gets to the amplifier (by using HDMI or another digital interconnect) is good practice to minimize the places in the signal chain where distortion could creep in.

The #1 determining factor in sound quality is, of course, the speakers. They are what actually converts the electrical signal into sound waves. If you have poor speakers, nothing else in the signal chain matters.

  • Woodinville
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perfect sound
Reply #6
You can't do perfect sound with 2 channels. Next, please?
-----
J. D. (jj) Johnston

perfect sound
Reply #7
Woodinville, why 2 channels? I think my proposed setup can support up to 8 channels. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  • tnargs
  • [*]
perfect sound
Reply #8
This thread is bizarre.

"If I buy a perfect car, will it be perfect?"

Are you actually asking "If I use front end 'X', will its output produce audible inaccuracies?"

perfect sound
Reply #9
Things are only "perfect" until the next best thing comes along.

  • Roseval
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perfect sound
Reply #10
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • Brand
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perfect sound
Reply #11
Room acoustics is an often overlooked factor, but it's probably something that you should spend the most time on, if you're after the "perfect" sound.
All your "perfect" equipment is wasted if you don't take care of that.

  • dhromed
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perfect sound
Reply #12
Room acoustics is an often overlooked factor


Yes. Which is weird, since its influence is so immediate and obvious. I guess it's a bikeshedding problem.

perfect sound
Reply #13
Are you actually asking "If I use front end 'X', will its output produce audible inaccuracies?"


That what it sounds like he's asking.  I'm still confused as to whether or not sound cards introduce some sorts of inaccuracies and if they differ much.

perfect sound
Reply #14
Mine are

Or let's assume they are for the sake of the argument. Besides the speakers and the receiver, is there anything in this setup which would prevent me from getting perfect music?


The recording is imperfect. It was made in an imperfect way with imperfect equipment. The mics are the worst part of that end of it.

  • DVDdoug
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perfect sound
Reply #15
Quote
Woodinville, why 2 channels? I think my proposed setup can support up to 8 channels. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
If you have an 8-channel recording, you should use 8 speakers.    When you start adding channels (soundfield effects, etc.) to a two-channel recording you are altering the sound, perhaps in a pleasing way, but that makes it "less-perfect", since the sound reporduction does NOT accurately represent the original recording.

Quote
That what it sounds like he's asking. I'm still confused as to whether or not sound cards introduce some sorts of inaccuracies and if they differ much.
They can.  Digital-to-analog converts have an (imperfect) analog output.    However, if you don't hear noise (or some other defect) the soundcard is probably better than human hearing and a "better" soundcard won't improve the sound.    With a digital connecton (i.e. HDMI) the D/A converter is in the receiver, so the soundcard doesn't come into the picture.    (As far as I know, no properly functioning digital system has any audible jitter.)

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
perfect sound
Reply #16
HDMI can be pretty high on jitter: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/...DMI_connect.htm

Considering that this forum is particularly interested in things that are audible, please explain how this is of any value.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • pisymbol
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perfect sound
Reply #17
HDMI can be pretty high on jitter: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/...DMI_connect.htm

Considering that this forum is particularly interested in things that are audible, please explain how this is of any value.


From various research papers, I had always thought that jitter (in the digital domain) at certain thresholdsis most certainly audible and a factor to consider when using unreliable clocks.

I think what he is really asking is the following...

Does HDMI as a bus transport offer certain intrinsic advantages over other tranports such as USB, SDPIF etc. etc.?

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
perfect sound
Reply #18
Care to cite any studies showing the amount of jitter that needs to present in order to be audible that is also backed with double-blind testing?

Throwing out numbers and saying, "watch out" doesn't exactly make the grade, sorry!
  • Last Edit: 24 September, 2012, 03:59:41 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Batman321
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perfect sound
Reply #19
And of course you'll need perfect albums made by perfect bands, like the Beatles 

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
perfect sound
Reply #20
Perfect Beatles albums? You just might have to settle for vinyl.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • eahm
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perfect sound
Reply #21
Perfect Beatles albums? You just might have to settle for vinyl.

I don't think saying this is right either but maybe I didn't get it.
  • Last Edit: 24 September, 2012, 07:36:43 PM by eahm

  • pisymbol
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perfect sound
Reply #22
Care to cite any studies showing the amount of jitter that needs to present in order to be audible that is also backed with double-blind testing?

Throwing out numbers and saying, "watch out" doesn't exactly make the grade, sorry!


Like you, I will say Google it.  There are several on AES's website.  I believe it was around >220ps (don't hold me that, its from memory, I may be off).

Clearly there are thresholds of jitter that everyone on this forum could DBT.

I would like to throw in the original posters did not phrase his question perfectly and I am pretty sure the responses thus far aren't perfect either.  He is in quite a predicament.
  • Last Edit: 24 September, 2012, 11:02:08 PM by pisymbol

  • Woodinville
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perfect sound
Reply #23
Woodinville, why 2 channels? I think my proposed setup can support up to 8 channels. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Well, that's a matter of dispute. The wavefield synthesis people would say 8 is not enough, probably.

I think one can manage inside of 8, at least for reproducing realistic sensation in the horizontal plane.

But it's not "perfect" it's still a kind of perceptual coding.
-----
J. D. (jj) Johnston

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
perfect sound
Reply #24
don't hold me that, its from memory, I may be off.

How convenient.  I'm adamant about this particular point because very little substantiation has been made on this forum about the elusive boogie man that is jitter.

Regarding digging up facts, I do when people ask me after I've made a questionable claim unless I have already done so personally in a previous discussion on this forum, yes.  The ball is in your court this time around.
  • Last Edit: 26 September, 2012, 02:09:54 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.