Sunday musings, digital sound. What am

I hearing?

I am playing with digital sources at the moment and have a sqbox duet, Node 2 (current model) and an Auralic Aries G1, all with a Qutest Dac.

Mrs Bruss came in from walking the dogs and immediately noticed the Aries had been connected. The comment was that sounds clearer, there’s no background noise. This with just the radio and a discussion. Music came on and the same comments that the singer was clearer and the lyrics could be heard.

I find the sound the same but I am not sure if I like it. It is almost too clear, too up front. So what is happening with the electronics?
The sqbx sounds fine, the node sounds much clearer, the aries is clearer again. Am I now hearing the result of the better electronics releasing the sound that the production engineers/artists laid down, or am I hearing the sound of filters applied and frequency manipulation by the box builders?

Could be you are hearing your source, which may be outclassed by your 552dr/300dr.
David

Oh, absolutely the source is being presented well by the 552. However at what point am I hearing a ‘better’ source against a manipulated one? Am I getting to the point where I’m just buying in to an expensive graphic equaliser and convincing myself (with help from the manufacturers marketing) its better hifi?

Relative to what - what source were you using before?

Node 2/qutest.

Possibly the Aries is rendering the sound more accurately (I’ve no idea if that is possible trchnically), or if perhaps you are hearing the effect of its different RF component (superimposed on the signal, or modulating the ground plane), thereby changing the modulation of analogue audio within Qutest, something RF is said to do in DACs even with filtering and galvanic isolation in place.

Yes, I have no technical understanding or electronics but something is being ‘done’ that is different. Mrs Bruss is tuned to this more than I am having had a lifelong small hearing deficit where sounds can be difficult to separate. The difference she describes as sitting in the front row of the audience rather than at the back of a theatre. Background noise is missing, in a good way.

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