The reason WHY A&H sounds warmer than Pioneer - Page 11
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  1. #101
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    I cant comment on the eq's, but we replaced the cross fader in a nuo 4 with an innofader. It wasn't too bad. But yeah, everything else seemed ridiculous. Ecler's do sound pretty amazing.
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reticuli View Post

    Anyone with an analog A&H should be able to duplicate it, though. All Xone 62 and 92s I've used sounded woolly to me compared to the Biamps, Ranes, and even the Mackies. Granted, that's not low end phasing issues, but they seem to all have a similar tone. And I remember the 62s imparted a bit of grit on top, a kind of subtle texture to the highs that got worse when the EQs were engaged. .
    This is entirely a subjective opinion, wrapped up in confirmation bias. Youve certainly not proved this claim:

    "The A&H have mushy, phasey low-end."

    You might want to read up a bit on psychoacoustics, and why its experimentally worthless doing non controlled tests on audio gear.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImNoDJ View Post
    This is entirely a subjective opinion, wrapped up in confirmation bias. Youve certainly not proved this claim:

    "The A&H have mushy, phasey low-end."

    You might want to read up a bit on psychoacoustics, and why its experimentally worthless doing non controlled tests on audio gear.
    So you're saying the Xones testing inferior in RMAA and on TrueRTA was making me erroneously hear woolly lows and a bit of grit on top?

  4. #104
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    First of all, congratulations on an absolutely EPIC necrobump. 4 years has got to be a record. And I probably haven't posted in almost that long.

    Second, if I'm reading this correctly, you're comparing several mixers (Tascam X-9, A+H 62, Pioneer DJM-800, and who knows which Ecler, Rane or Mackie) that are all discontinued, some for well over a decade. That's cool in the abstract but you appear to make blanket statements about the brand whereas the Xone 92 is for example a completely different beast than the DB2 or even the PX5 which I think is based on it. If you've measured something specific, be specific about which mixer it applies to. Personally I've not heard the 62, but I have heard the 92 a few times, though not under ideal testing conditions. But I've owned a DB4 for years and I doubt you'll measure any distortion as it's purely digital; I certainly haven't noticed any. I tried to do a sound shootout between the DB4, Ecler Evo 5, and Behringer DDM4000 and while the latter sounded noticeably different than the first two, I couldn't tell the difference between the DB4 and Evo5 (and I tried to) -- they were both fantastic. I also had extensively listened to the Denon X1700 alongside the Evo5 and they both sounded great to me. There are surely differences in the sound of DACs but I think on decent equipment those differences have been minimized significantly. And while analog paths create more distortion than digital, I'm not convinced that the phono preamps are going to sound much different on equipment of that class either.

    I tend to think the original topic of this thread - that the A+H mixers and the Pioneer mixers sound different as a class due to different EQ crossover points rather than any significant difference in coloration - makes a lot more sense as an explanation for "warmth" than that the A+H sounds "mushy." It's certainly possible that there is measurable distortion on the 62 (and I'm sure there are fans of that mixer that would be interested in the data, or even in trying to replicate your results) but that hardly invalidates the entire line.

    As for Ecler - the Evo5 still today would be my top choice of mixer if they could fix a few things in the firmware to make it more configurable. I do love what I see in the recent Ranes (and I've always loved the Rane sound), but a pure rotary just isn't my preference ergonomically.
    Last edited by djproben; 04-06-2017 at 11:48 PM.
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by djproben View Post
    First of all, congratulations on an absolutely EPIC necrobump. 4 years has got to be a record. And I probably haven't posted in almost that long.

    Second, if I'm reading this correctly, you're comparing several mixers (Tascam X-9, A+H 62, Pioneer DJM-800, and who knows which Ecler, Rane or Mackie) that are all discontinued, some for well over a decade. That's cool in the abstract but you appear to make blanket statements about the brand whereas the Xone 92 is for example a completely different beast than the DB2 or even the PX5 which I think is based on it. If you've measured something specific, be specific about which mixer it applies to. Personally I've not heard the 62, but I have heard the 92 a few times, though not under ideal testing conditions. But I've owned a DB4 for years and I doubt you'll measure any distortion as it's purely digital; I certainly haven't noticed any. I tried to do a sound shootout between the DB4, Ecler Evo 5, and Behringer DDM4000 and while the latter sounded noticeably different than the first two, I couldn't tell the difference between the DB4 and Evo5 (and I tried to) -- they were both fantastic. I also had extensively listened to the Denon X1700 alongside the Evo5 and they both sounded great to me. There are surely differences in the sound of DACs but I think on decent equipment those differences have been minimized significantly. And while analog paths create more distortion than digital, I'm not convinced that the phono preamps are going to sound much different on equipment of that class either.

    I tend to think the original topic of this thread - that the A+H mixers and the Pioneer mixers sound different as a class due to different EQ crossover points rather than any significant difference in coloration - makes a lot more sense as an explanation for "warmth" than that the A+H sounds "muddy." It's certainly possible that there is measurable distortion on the 62 (and I'm sure there are fans of that mixer that would be interested in the data, or even in trying to replicate your results) but that hardly invalidates the entire line.

    As for Ecler - the Evo5 still today would be my top choice of mixer if they could fix a few things in the firmware to make it more configurable. I do love what I see in the recent Ranes (and I've always loved the Rane sound), but a pure rotary just isn't my preference ergonomically.
    Interesting.

    Evo 5 seemed to have come out kind of late on the scene not to have digital inputs. Seemed like an oddball design to me. I meant the analog Eclers that I liked the sound of a lot but did not like the internal layout of components and ease of getting to stuff. I've never used any of their digital units.

    I used to be obsessed with rotaries. I even used a 4 channel passive one for a while. Years later, though, the way I mix with multiple faders and the EQs now makes their smooth 2 channel rotary blends increasingly moot, but I like the idea of having it as an option if I want it. More on that later. The Xone 62, Formula Sound, and Rodec studio faders on some of their mixers I actually kind of miss. I'm frequently tempted to buy a bunch of studio fader caps to switch all my current mixers to.

    I agree with you there's much less difference in sound between 24bit digital mixers with digital ins/outs than we've ever been spoiled with before.

    The dn-x1700 was a bit of an anomaly. Twin power supplies. Discrete component headphone jack and phono preamps. Very high end stuff. I wonder if anyone's going to be trying something like that anytime soon. The new Rane attempt at that kind of super high end didn't exactly save that company.

    The OP and I are talking about the analog A&H mixers, not the DBs, which I believe were actually designed/co-designed by/with Denon. And if people are comparing mixers' sound differences because they're running them with the EQs up all the time like they're the gain knob, then they've got other problems.

    Oh, and I have much envy and lust for the DB4, if nothing else it finally implements what I'd been asking for years on some of these DSP mixers: the option to flip the channel effect/filter/wet-dry knobs with the volume faders. Not so sure about going from the 1700's discrete phono stages to a shared line-level and soft RIAA phono stage, but it's got to be a step up from their analog mixers' high capacitance inputs for most cartridges.

    PX5 is an analog design with a sound card, kind of like the Mackies. Those Mackie IEEE1394 soundcards are really sweet sounding, but I digress. (I have a D4 in my collection I still can't part with.)

    BTW, for people who might ask the question, the new InMusic Denon DJ is not that Denon, either. It's the DJ brand name and some reps Numark brought over. The old products are discontinued and will not be improved. Different company. The X1800 appears to be a revamped version of the never-released X7 prototype. I assume it will also be excellent sounding. I don't fault Jack O'Donnell buying the branding to get some hidden Numark ideas out into the wild with a new face/name/rep. Denon DJ wasn't doing well financially and I suspected Numark had some good stuff in the works.

    FWIW, I wish them well. I'm rooting for their success. I'm not pointing out the DJ brand separation from D&M Holdings or pointing out A&H working with Denon on their digital mixers as any backhanded comment. I think it's all good and, like I said, I like digital mixers. I think it's harder to make great, transparent analog mixers that are so good as to be nearly indistinguishable from each other. I also don't hate the A&H analogs even if I think they're a little flabby, gritty, and veiled compared to the most transparent analogs or the 24bit digital ones we're spoiled by now.
    Last edited by Reticuli; 04-07-2017 at 12:33 AM.

  6. #106
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    Evo5 has digital input through Firewire, but I know that's not what you mean... And while it can't pull that rotary switch trick the DB4 can, it has a separate wet/dry crossfader that is just incredible to use. For me the killer feature of the DB4 is the filter mixing. I can emulate that using the Evo5 and Traktor, but I like to play actual vinyl most of the time so that doesn't work that well for me.

    As for the analog differences, I can't speak for the 62 or really for the 92 other than that they have many fans who love the sound. I love the sound of Rane (I owned and abused a TTM-56 for many years, and have toyed with the Empath), as well as the pure analog Eclers I've heard, but I'm not convinced I'd hear much differences in blind tests. Certainly I can't hear differences using the mixers I have listened closely to (which are digital but I used analog sources so I'm hearing whatever distortion the analog path in the preamp brings).

    Which is all to say I think analog preamps are a mature technology and have been for many years; at a certain price point they are pretty much the same and any differences you hear you need the aural equivalent of a microscope to pick out. The rest of the circuitry is designed by engineers who are not trying to "color" the sound in any particular way; their goal is to create electronics that get out of the way of the sound. Whereas the argument that the different EQ cutoffs can make these mixers sound different is persuasive to me. And it stands to reason that those cutoffs are similar across most A+H mixers or Pioneers, which could account for differences that seem more noticeable. (BTW I don't think the OP was just talking about boosting the EQs; turning them down similarly will change the sound of course).

    I used to believe the audiophile "everything matters" mantra, but I'm far less convinced of that these days. And perhaps it does but if it does, it doesn't matter enough to matter
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

  7. #107
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djproben View Post
    First of all, congratulations on an absolutely EPIC necrobump. 4 years has got to be a record. And I probably haven't posted in almost that long.
    He is the king of necrobumps
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  8. #108

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    Hail to the king, baby.

    I agree that the state of line-level analog pre-amps is somewhat more consistent at price points. I think the differences are larger for phono stages, as those signals are much weaker, there are many ways of designing them, and teeny tiny things like just the RFI filtering and loading caps are capable of causing deviations in the response of low inductance MM cartridges. Maybe your two digital mixers used opamp ICs with similar topologies and capacitor loading (the cables also figure into this!), but try putting a NCE on a vintage Biamp and compare it to a 62. I would guess the difference would shock you. I recall the Xone sometimes not even revealing overt, known right-channel IMD groove damage. Mint records sounded blah... all very inoffensive, pleasant, forgiving, and lacking nuance. It was like everything was being run through a Dolby noise cancellation filter. High output moving coils were more revealing and balanced, but the Xone phono gain was too weak to be practical with them. I think only the Shure Whitelabels' treble peak could kind of spoof past that blandness AND get loud enough overall. I wouldn't call it extension, but at least the high hats had some sparkle. I also remember the 500ALII being a nice tonal match, but again, not a particularly loud signal. Outboard phono preamps (I have a pair of discrete designs in storage) tended to make all the mixers sound much more alike, and the bland Xone sound more like the Biamps (relatively speaking, 62 still sound polite overall). I assume that the studio gear head obsessions with microphone preamps derives from similar variation. Of course, your mileage may vary, and at this late date we're all more hearing impaired than when we started this stuff.
    Last edited by Reticuli; 04-07-2017 at 08:53 PM. Reason: topologies had spell corrected to typologies

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reticuli View Post
    So you're saying the Xones testing inferior in RMAA and on TrueRTA was making me erroneously hear woolly lows and a bit of grit on top?
    "Wooly lows" "bit of grit" are subjective opinions not measurements of anything. Blind testing is required in audio to be able to make claims about relative sound quality. Non blind testing is completely worthless because of human bias. I just dont understand why so many audiophiles dont get this.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImNoDJ View Post
    Non blind testing is completely worthless because of human bias. I just dont understand why so many audiophiles dont get this.
    Non-blinded testing is more prone to error and human bias, but is not automatically worthless.

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