Always read between the lines and draw your own conclusions

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by wadec22, May 17, 2020.

  1. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    So quick TLDR; I am having coffee and review bias is irritating the shit out of me. If you are not up for some raw soap boxing, save yourself some time...

    Basically I think the reviewer in this case received a RME unit free of charge in exchange for review and it colored the analysis. I actually like the RME unit (although I feel it is over priced for what it is by that is subjective).

    Most of my complaints are in the details and the slight coloring or lack thereof in much of the analysis. Comparing the two reviews:

    MOTU 624
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/motu-624-audio-interface-review.9824/

    RME ADI-2 FS
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...version-2-dac-and-headphone-amp-review.13379/


    SINAD:
    • MOTU at 10.3 vrms – “Distortion product land around -130 dB which is in the absolutely inaudible range”
    • RME at 6.9v “The distortion level now is state of the art with levels at -130 dB (15 dB better that best case human hearing.”


    Dynamic Range:
    • MOTU - "At full level, you have dynamic range of 21 bits which is excellent. At 4 volt output it falls shorts by state-of-the-art performance of some of our consumer DACs, "limiting" us to 19 bits. That still matches our dynamic range of our hearing so no audible concern either way. Any noise you hear will be a function of the amplifier than this DAC"
    • RME – actually performs worse in his test – so he simply makes zero comments

    Jitter:
    • MOTU has one spurious tone that jumps up to approx -135db and he says “Jitter test is a bit less than perfect with some spurious tones” – ALL BELOW 135db!!!! WTF?!
    • RME – has one tone that jumps to -139db “There is tiniest hint of jitter (hugging our main tone of 12 kHz and a pair at 6.2 and 17.8 kHz) but at -140 dB and lower, are utterly inaudible”

    ADC:
    • the MOTU measures at -107db and he calls it disappointing?! – RME lacks any ADC, so no comparison obviously
    • He further criticizes the ADC for jitter that jumps up to -125db….. yadda, yadda, yadda

    THD+N vs frequency:
    • MOTU – he calls out rise in distortion, which at 10k is at roughly -98db “Nothing major, but losing to a consumer audio interface”
    • RME – at 10k is at roughly -99db, 1db different “THD+N is low but not as perfect as it could be”

    Now these two product measure fairly close to one another, except the 624 at lower outputs had one channel not as strong as the other (even though flaws are obviously inaudible) why is the MOTU seemingly brushed off? “I am going to refrain from giving or not giving it a recommendation”.

    RME gets a glowing recommendation. It costs much more and has less functionality…

    The other thing that nags at me is the first review of the RME unit Amir was openly critical of the clunky, hard to use interface. Now there is no mention of it? It comes across to me as the unit getting a pass, as the RME is now free to him, rather than Amir having to live with the flaws of a very expensive unit.

    These are all small things, but they add up an awful lot. Rose colored glasses and inconsistencies…. Careful with what you read and make sure you draw your own conclusions and context. Do not just read someone’s conclusions/summaries. FAR too much bias….

    Anyone else notice that one of the Topping designers spends a TON of time on there and does not have any kind of vendor designation? Fucked up….

    Science requires consistency and zero bias.

    Okay, I feel better. More coffee should help as well. Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    After an overdose of HF you stop believing and start asking questions.

    Even with scientific methods, scientific standards and infinite tests you have to know who made the thing, why and how.

    Then you have to deal with early adopters and reviewers, find out their preferences and how they listen and/or interpret what he/she hears.

    If it does not work, it does not work. If you do not like it, you do not want it.

    Save yourself the headaches, this hobby is demanding enough.
     
  3. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    Amen on early adopters. The honeymooning force is super strong and clouds one's vision. Lol
     
  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    For the sake of your sanity, and ours, stay away from Amirland!
     
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  5. OldDude04

    OldDude04 Friend

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    Spending any time at that place is an exercise in self flagellation.
     
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  6. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    I rarely log in to ASR anymore. That site is toxic (no doubt they feel the same way about SBAF:) I have T.M. Noble from Schiit and amirm's profiles bookmarked. I just check those profiles weekly to see what's up. It is interesting that T.M. has not posted at ASR in two months.
     
  7. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Pyrate BWC MZR
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    That site exists for people who want to be told what to think or wish to receive confirmation instead of understanding and questioning the possibility of their own lack of ability.

    Difficult even with the best of intentions, but certainly not even close to happening on that site.
     
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  8. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    i think the struggle is that as a hobbyist there is so much gear to check out, users try to get as much info as possible before spending hard earned money. obviously some info requires more sifting than others, i don't love the source, but i do find some measurements that interest me.
     
  9. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Then you should take what you want and run.

    These days, I am very much a lurker in this, my now only audio forum. I don't have enough hearing left to have audio as an active hobby. But when I did, and became interested in headphones, I joined the flock at the usual-suspect forum. SBAF not only opened my eyes to the nature of that forum, but I ceased to enjoy it anyway. I have not been back since long before I bought my last piece of audio kit. Some find it good for buying/selling: fine, take what you want and run away.

    I never frequented audiosciencereview, but I had the misfortune to meet Amir at yet another audio forum. It was an experience that I knew I did not want to repeat. Amir came here, and, rather than take him on in an argument that he would never let end, the attitude of SBAF folk was more like, Oh, it's you: we're not interested. Like dealing with a cold caller by putting the phone down. That is the only way to deal with the so-called-science reviewers. And the CrazyComputer audiophiles who hear the difference between hard disks.

    Will there never be anything useful to be found in such places? Must be something. And we don't have to all think the same way all the time either: I used to enjoy hydrogenaud.io, which is an objectivist site that doesn't hold much appeal for a lot of SBAFers.

    The whole wide internet is there and free for us all. But some of it comes with a health warning, and it is no good coming here and complaining if you catch something nasty.

    Hey, this post is getting like a sermon. Do please excuse. Perhaps I should have kept it short and just said, Amir people: yes, we know already.

    Next time you go there, wear a better mask. Perhaps full PPE :)
     
  10. will_f

    will_f Friend

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    Bias is a fact of life, even for people with the best of intentions. I worry a lot less about it with audio equipment than I do with politics, legal proceedings and in-laws.

    It’s important to teach critical thinking to everyone and it’s unfortunate that so many people want the opposite. It’s such a powerful tool for spotting B.S.
     
  11. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    1. ASR is full of shit. Gearslutz is pro audio head-fi with no restrictions on what dealers can say. So RME dealers shill RME because the drivers work on unoptimized PCs and are faster at 44.1khz, which often the converter chips don’t natively run at. Less returns on higher mark up products with a lower bom. Thus more profit for everyone involved. RME and UAD have paid advertising despite greatly inferior products. Amphion incentivizes people to shill their speakers in the Amphions are beautiful thread that has gone on way longer than those fragile metal driver speakers deserve. They just suck ass compared to under 2k passive ATC if you’re fine with something relatively bass light.

    • RME uses crappy AK4113 codec chips for their low latency performance. There are better AKM and Cirrus codecs used in a ton of products. The interfaces can’t even come close to the mediocre ADI 2 Pro line up. The Focusrite Dante products that use the same AK4113 sound and run a lot better with the Audinate pcie card. Much, much better sound and more headroom but still not very detailed. I like them way more than the ADI-2 Pro. That thing sucks ass for what it costs compared to even multichannel competition around the same price.
    MOTU, like Focusrite, Apogee, Steinberg, and Lynx, requires that PC CPU throttling, selective suspend, and all power saving options be turned off. Unfortunate many customers of these companies are incapable of following step by step guides. Especially the type of guys dumb enough to drop thousands on amp sims and UAD plugs instead of just getting hardware.

    MOTU’s AVB web drivers are far easier to use than RME if you select “audio interface” for the mode upon set up and don’t use AVB. This disables the digital mixer. It’s much easier than RME’s TotalMix. Only the Apple partnered Apogee and UAD stuff is simpler and those are very limited. They don’t have nearly the expansion and routing capabilities. MOTU, for those who can set it up and switch their buffer for different tasks, simply sounds better and runs better than RME. The bang for buck ones are the Ultralites, 828es, and especially the 16a with 16 analog ins and outs on case-mounted TRS jacks, no dsubs that need a patch bay, and it doesn’t collapse when maxed out like a lot of Apogee products. There’s not really anything more bang for buck in the USA. Real competitors are things like Lynx Aurora N (much more expensive), SPL Madison (needs an additional interface), Burl Mothership, DAD Avid stuff, Focusrite Rednet, Metric Halo, Lavry Blue, etc. Not RME. The RME cards and dongles are good but the analog interfaces still suck ass. If you want to stick with German products, you’re much better off getting an RME Madi card and an SPL Madison. RME sound is a lofi joke.

    MOTU just doesn’t advertise like RME and UAD. They also don’t have a big importer markup like RME and SPL in the USA. If they advertised, they would cost more. If they were Apple partnered, they would cost more and be dumbed down like an iPad app for Logic.
     
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    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Take the SINAD plots from Audio Ayatollah. Avoid his words. Then divide by price of item. SINAD per dollar. There, you are all set. You actually won't get any complaints from me. It's very valid method given the sea of Internet opinions.

    Again, it's not SINAD. It's SINAD / dollar that you want to look at.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  13. wadec22

    wadec22 Almost "Made"

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    He should actually implement the metric. It may inspire some of chi-fi stuff to become more appropriately priced for what it is. ;)
     
  14. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Friend

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    Doesn't help that he sells audio solutions.
     

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