The detrimental effect of wi-fi on SQ

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Pastafarian, May 10, 2019.

  1. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    My usb to usb DAC up sampling to 24/192 connection does seem to deliver more pleasing sound than my usb to optical S/PDIF at 24/96 to DAC connection.
     
  2. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Please explain how high bit digital data is influenced by electrons and circuitry over flow which is the case with galvanic isolation. Electrons don't know squat about digital bits.
     
  3. D700

    D700 Active Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    [
    usb is still a metal to metal affair.
     
  4. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    So HiRez bit data touches the metal of the USB before or after the ADC (which doesn't know anything about HiRez data upstream once it's converted to analog electrons)? How do you connect Hibit with electrons when it travels through metal? How does HiRez bit data benefit from galvanic isolation?

    I downloaded Black Sabbath's 2009 remaster of War Pigs at 24/92kHz off Qobuz just to see if I could tell the difference in sound quality between the Amazon mp3 and the downsampled to CD Standard rez from the HiRez version. A/B'ing I can barely hear any difference on my Sony headphones and I assure you I can hear quite a bit of detail on a wide range of musical styles.

    The only difference I heard was right after I edited the HiRez version in Audacity by dropping the pitch 1 semitone and applying an EQ that added bottom end to the kick drum and made the guitar sound like it did in the original '70's live recording of this song. To compare I applied the same edit to the CD rez version and the only difference I heard was the cymbal and snare drum hits were a bit brighter on the HiRez version but there was an artifact in one of the kick drum hits that sounded overly muffled. Just one hit. I listened very carefully because even on headphones there was barely any difference in the overall sound. The mp3 was just a tiny bit murkier than the edited CD version.
     
  5. D700

    D700 Active Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Analog noise ( EMI, RMI ) can occur alongside a digital signal on a metal wire...with most properly grounded devices it’s usually not a problem but potential is there. PCs (as is OP’s situation) can be problematic.

    Here’s a more thorough explanation I found for you. See the tip box.
    Do the Differences Between Coaxial and Optical Cables Matter?

    That’s why I suggested optical; it’s an easy quick fix if equipment supports.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  6. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Someone else will say Coaxial, typical Hi-Fi, can't remember where but very long article with lots of graphs conclusion Coaxial.

    At the moment I've got my friend's Marantz 60005CD, as I'm thinking Computer fronted Hi-Fi is probably were CDP was until 16 years after it's release, we shall see how digital output to my DAC compares.
     
  7. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well that didn't take long, just played Little Feat - Sailing Shoes, John Martyn - Inside Out and Jake Xerxes Fussell - What in the Natural World and the question now is which transport I should buy, another thread could be on it's way.
     
  8. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Have you tried PC HDMI to Oppo 205? Curious how that compares. We have same multichannel preamp and digital front end (Oppo) by the way...

    Edit...and similar three way speakers although I use them for the rears.
     
  9. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    If you can't tell the difference between mp3 and FLAC 16.44, then something is seriously wrong.
     
  10. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    I can only tell during editing which means each format will exhibit a slightly different live sound as the edits are applied. For example Black Sabbath War Pigs 2009 remaster will audibly exhibit scratchier sounding high frequencies in snare drum hits and cymbal taps bringing that detail out with a 32 band EQ on an mp3 vs CDrez and 24/92kHz. That means I have to back off the EQ on the mp3. Now if I'ld applied the EQ to the HiBit and CDrez first, saved it and then applied it to the mp3 then there would be an even more pronounced audible difference.

    As it is HiBit data sent through an ADC/DAC system without editing won't sound any different from the other formats. If it does then that system is basically applying edits on its own and thus not honoring the original digital data. It's just simple logic that computer scientists will back me up on.
     
  11. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
  12. I'm a computer scientist and I'm not going to back you up on that. But then I also studied human factors and psychology so I have some appreciation for the human element in listening.

    A big problem is the headphones you are relying on and believe allow you to hear "everything" in the music and recordings. The Sony MDR V6 is very good at letting you hear ticks and pops and sibilance. So good for editing work. But the MDR V6 is really *really* bad at letting you hear the space and layering and depth and imaging and all of the sorts of audiophile things that are in the recording. A good portion of the sonic differences between lossy and lossless are in that second part that deals with hearing space and imaging.
     
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  13. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    I don't believe you're a computer scientist because I have no way of verifying that.

    I'm going by the computer scientists from MIT that state online HiRez data is pointless to use as a listening source. Editing? Yes, it's helpful. But then I don't believe Qobuz or any other HiRez data download site actually captures in high rez from the original master tapes any of there songs they list. They're doing basically what anyone can do in Audacity which is to upsample which isn't adding any NEW data. But then again, no way of proving any of this on either side of the argument.

    And as for my Sony V6 headphones, you're wrong on that as well. In fact my Sony's don't exhibit enough sibilance that I end up adding too much in edits, but then that only shows up playing the song on my Polks in my car which have metal tweeters and are quite bright. It's totally different on my '72 Sansui receiver amp and mylar tweeters on my Norman Labs so as it always is YMMV according to the system you listen on. I also go by what others are hearing in their descriptions of YouTube music on SHF and we're pretty much hearing the same thing. Besides you can't prove you know anything what I hear on my Sony headphones.

    Attributing HiRez as the source in the improvement in sound is not measurable and can't be proven.

    The only way I could see the benefits of HiRez data is if the audio system had a 32 band EQ upstream to adjust the sound to make it sound better before it outputs to speakers.
     
  14. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Don't let facts get in the way of your beliefs.
     
  15. I own the Sony MDR-V6 headphones. I'm very well familiar with them and how they sound and what their faults are.

    The Sony V6 is just really really bad at imaging. It is so bad at imaging that it is one of the few headphones that messes up binaural sound. It can't do binarual. Play the virtual barbershop binaural recording and the V6 won't/can't position the sounds where they are supposed to be. The whole binaural effect gets ruined. For a headphone to not be able to play binaural sound correctly or adequately is an incredible and amazing failure for the headphone. The V6 gets high marks for its objective performance. However, it's subjective performance for music listening is absolutely the worst. For a headphone not to be able to do binaural well is the ultimate failure for a headphone.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  16. You aren't the first to notice that transports can sound better than computers.
     
  17. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    On the contrary I question the effectiveness of Blind Tests, as many people tend to switch too quickly and it encourages reductive thinking about music rather than something more akin to the basic gestalt idea of the whole. Anything that you attach some numbers to brings forth those who's belief system is science, as though a number makes it 'true'.

    Mp3 can sound very good and were it does it wouldn't cause someone to cry mp3 but I find it hard to believe you'd enjoy the album as much.
     
  18. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A Computer scientist has told you how music sounds(?).

    My first impression of 24.96 is that there is a improvement not massive but there on all the albums that I've also got in 16.44 in fact that's one of the big pluses of computer fronted hi-fi. Today I intend to give the computer a fighting chance, as I'll compare CD-R to 24.96 along with direct 16.44 comparisons, as I really don't want to spend any more money but yesterday told me it's a no brainer
     
  19. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yesterday I had a day off so lots of time to listen, I began with the computer (wi-fi off), just selecting albums by chance. As I've said before it can sound fantastic and it was, so back to Little Feat's - Sailing Shoes to see how it sounds. I've always found Sailing Shoes a sonically challenging album, with it distorted guitar and Lowell belting it out, on Friday I had to turn it off as it was so wrong and painful.

    However yesterday it was different a big improvement, whilst still not totally convincing and I wondered if it's a burn in issue (?). I'm agnostic regarding a DAC and burn in but just in case I had left it running all over weekend.

    Playing it with a critical ear, to try and identify why It wasn't quite there and it's something akin to a high frequency smearing.
    But it's something different than that, it's as though when things get 'difficult' there's a high frequency haze around the whole block of sound rather than smearing of a identifiable instrument or voice.

    Via the transport the guitars have distortion, which sounds analogue and the swarm of bees have flown away.

    This isn't a hit you in the face and I wouldn't be surprised if someone not used to my system, may even pick up on. We're talking the improvement a good interconnect or a mains cable can make.

    So I'm not rushing to buy that transport, I'll live with the computer for now to see if things improve more, some people say 200 hour burn in for the Rega DAC, which seems extreme I'm around 100 at the moment.

    I certainly don't want to spend the money on a transport, it'll be a question of can I happily listen to the computer and enjoy the experience.

    As far as a transport goes I've heard good things about the Cambridge CXC including SH member Richard Austen's review on Dagogo, which I can acquire for £300 and it may be an improvement on the Marantz. I know any 'normal' person would say crazy to spend £300 on the difference I'm hearing but we're talking long term satisfaction and not wanting to have a upgrade itch.
     
  20. Warszawa

    Warszawa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    UK
    Apologies if this has been suggested (TL;DR) but have you tried putting a few ferrites on the the USB cable? Seems to me your laptop is transmitting RFI picked up by the Wi-fi card, causing the bright/brittle sound. As someone already suggested, Toslink would be less prone to this. Some DACs will be better than others at isolating this noise but it's a good advert for buying a dedicated streamer.
     
  21. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A friend has offered me a no longer used Audioquest usb cable, hopefully I'll be able to try that next week and it's free if I want it.
     
  22. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Most blind tests allow the participant to “switch” at whatever rate they like.

    “Night and day” differences between formats or described by (for instance) changing out a power or USB cable always seem to paradoxically vanish during DB testing.

    That isn’t an indictment of the method, but rather an indication of hysteria.
     
  23. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's a different thread but DB is a stupid idea, as it's so far removed from just listening to music in a relaxed state, totally different with a abnormal variable introduced, as in useless.

    In my experience cable improvement is nowhere near night and day, hyperbole if that's what's being reported
     
  24. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Like Schrodinger cables.
     
  25. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Another thread but bad science, as the cat ate the cable.
     

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