Used to be, the Benchmark made and lived on its jitter-rejection reputation. Nowadays, there are
more players, most good DACs with USB inputs deal with jitter-rejection (and thus do so on all the
inputs). I have a Benchmark up in my living room, and I recently got a Lynx HiLo in the studio. They
both sound great, to my ears. I got the Lynx because it's a new generation of multi-use digital
interfaces, extremely useful and versatile. I didn't sell the Benchmark gear in the studio because I
didn't like, rather because it didn't have the functionality of the Lynx.
But like I said, the DAC choice for home listening has expanded in the last couple of years. I read
that the little AudioQuest Dragonfly plug-in USB DAC fixes jitter from the computer just fine, all
for $250! So you see where this is going, it's becoming ubiquitous. Thus you have a wide array of
choices and you can select to your own taste and budget.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
> Hi, Tom. I have enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to your
> presentation at ARSC-New York on Feb. 21 (I expect to be there). Re the
> post below, I'd be interested to know what jitter-correcting DAC's you
> John Haley
> On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:52 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Hi Steve:
>> To this day, things that measure the same sound differently to different
>> trained ears. This is why TRAINED EARS are essential to the ART of audio
>> engineering, just as clear understanding of those measurements, how they
>> were derived, why they matter and why they don't catch every difference in
>> two sounds are essential to the CRAFT of audio engineering. Meter-jockeys
>> and knob-turners never do good audio, but I've known plenty of people
>> without engineering degrees and who can't understand the typical AES
>> Journal article who can make great recordings and mixes, because they have
>> good ears and good taste.
>> Then there are measureable problems that go unfixed until people complain
>> about hearing the obvious problem (and at first get ridiculed for it). The
>> latest example of this is jitter from USB (computer) sources into DACs. It
>> took one or two generations of DACs for equipment makers to admit that the
>> bits coming down the USB were full of jitter. Then many DACs started adding
>> re-clocking and jitter-rejection and all of a sudden what came out of the
>> computer sounded as good as what came out of a well-designed disc player
>> (or better). To this day, some USB outboard DAW interfaces don't address
>> this issue.
>> The longer I work in digital audio, the more I think that (properly
>> managed) bits are bits, but there are all kinds of problems that happen
>> often between bits and moving air. It's the same on the other end, it's not
>> so easy to turn moving air into electrical current into bits. So the "bits
>> is bits" statement is dumb, it doesn't matter if you can copy the same bits
>> all over the place, put them on various playback media, stream them over
>> the interwebs, etc. What matters is, did the bits capture what was in front
>> of the mic and, when the bits get played back, do the sound like what was
>> in front of the mic? In between (when bits is bits) is the easy part!
>> BTW, anyone who thinks ANY analog recording chain was "transparent" or
>> output equalled input has tin ears or is in denial. All sorts of things
>> happen with disk recording and even with the best tape recorders, and both
>> media are far from "silent" or "transparent." Eye-opening at ARSC Rochester
>> was Nick Bergh's demonstration of how good the audio was going to a Victor
>> cutterhead in the 1930s. Find me a pressed 78 or even most laquers or metal
>> parts from that era that have that kind of fidelity. In later times (70s
>> and 80s), I heard enough pre-tape and post-tape monitoring in professional
>> studios to know how much tape changes the sound. To my ears, digital is
>> much less sound-changing but you have to be very careful that you capture
>> everything on the front end and then play it all back on the back end. The
>> fact that DAC and ADC design and technologies continue to evolve proves my
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 11:55 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>> I recall being present at a couple such presentations to the National AES
>>> by Lipschitz, etc.
>>> There may have been tests and papers by others on this general topic, but
>>> my recollection of Lipschitz' work boiled down to, paraphrased, "If you ear
>>> tells you one thing and the meters another, believe the latter." The
>>> overall concept was known as "bits is bits." His work was not held in high
>>> regard by some.
>>> In L's defense, at the time there were few devices available to the
>>> engineering public that could measure digital phenomena in sufficient
>>> detail to quantify what was going on with sufficient accuracy to allow
>>> results specific enough to be meaningful.
>>> In those days, my seat companion at such events was a acoustical
>>> psychologist (not the right term) to whom I would describe what I was
>>> hearing and which he would then relate to known phenomena in his academic
>>> world. L's tests were clearly based on an a priori conclusion to us both.
>>> More interesting was a shootout of a bunch of data compression
>>> algorhythms from maybe 10 parties. Even on conference speakers the losses
>>> in each were almost all clearly audible. There was only one- I think
>>> Philips in an early iteration- that had a minor but passable loss. Again,
>>> he didn't need me to tell him what was what. In part, the different flawed
>>> approaches were a reflection of what was patentable. Late 1970s? I can't
>>> recall his name at the moment either. I think he died in the 1990s.
>>> Steve Smolian
>>> -----Original Message----- From: Goran Finnberg
>>> Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 3:28 AM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>>> And now for some fun reading:
>>> Best regards,
>>> Goran Finnberg
>>> The Mastering Room AB
>>> E-mail: [log in to unmask]
>>> Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to
>>> make them all yourself. - John Luther
>>> (")_(") Smurfen:RIP