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Hi! I'm Patrick from the UK.


pjuk

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Greetings one n all from Lovely London!

I just thought i would take a moment to introduce myself here. I'm a big fan of all kinds of music. i can listen to anything and find something in it that moves me in some way! whether its a slow ballad or a full on electro attack, or a funky Hiphop joint.. you get the picture.

i have been browsing these forums for a little while now and feel that the time has come to join this community and educate myself further on the ins and outs of getting the most out of my music and equipment that is available. It seems there is a whole world of audio enhancements out there that i have been pretty much unaware of until i began frequenting this forum. SO with that in mind i hope to spend a little more time on here and connect with some of you.

I am mostly a home listener! meaning i like to come home from work in the evening, crack open a beer, recline my arm chair and be alone with my music!

i don't have a fancy expensive rig. just an iMac with a 1TB hard drive, where all my music is located. and a small micro stereo system that i will soon upgrade. i have been looking into things like dedicated music servers and high end systems. i may need to get a second or third job to pay for some of the stuff i would like to have! but all in good time :-)

i basically want to eventually build up a nice sounding high quality audio system in my home. and i feel if i spend some time around you guys on this forum i may just learn a thing or two about how to do that. if anyone would like to suggest where i should start my upgrade, feel free! looking forward to reading your suggestions!

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Welcome from just south of Austin, Texas, USA! That is pretty much how I started...music is a wonderful slippery slope to slide down. Keep finding amazement in the music and real audio happiness will follow.

 

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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Hi Patrick,

 

I started my 4th wave of Hi Fi 4 years ago. I am now on my 3rd DAC, second power amp, second computer, and about to build my third computer. Whilst the journey has been rewarding, I would have enjoyed more music more if I had gotten to where I am more directly

 

so in my humble opinion one needs to take into account / consider the following

 

- size of room

 

- flexibility in placement of speakers

 

- WAF and possibility of room treatments

 

- listening levels

 

- operating convenience

 

- hi fi philosophy - ultimate sound vs convenience vs looks

 

- sonic priorities

- PRAT and feet tapping

- timbre

- detail

- importance of low bass and slam

 

- willing and able to DIY ?

 

- total budget

 

depending on your priorities and your room & WAF constraints, then then are different road maps.

- the PCM road with room correction

- the DSD road with room treatment

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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Welcome from Plymouth in a not so sunny South Devon.. We have a relatively small UK contingent here, but growing all the time it seems. Enjoy your time here, ask questions when you feel the need and furnish information when you think others will be interestd. All very informal

MacMini 8Gb OSX > Pure Music / Bitperfect / Amarra / iTunes > Synology DS215J NAS > Schiit Wyrd > Stello U3 > Naim Uniti Atom, Harbeth P3ESR. Meier Corda Arietta Headphone Amp > Sennhieser HD650 Phones (Cardas rewire). Isol-8 Powerline Axis. Isotek GII Orion Power Conditioner. Cardas Clear USB Cable. Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable. All other cables by Mark Grant.

Vinyl still has it's place. Technics SL1200. Modified with Mike New Bearing, KAB Strobe Disable, MCRU 2 box PSU, Isonoe Feet, SME M2-9 Tonearm > Goldring 2400 >Rothwell Simplex Phonostage.

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Welcome and greetings from very frigid Boston! I have been on a 10+ year journey of various upgrades from cables to speakers since I got back into serious audio after a long hiatus due to constantly being on the road. It has been a process of evolution rather than revolution. Most of my equipment has been bought slightly used saving thousands of dollars. Some pieces did not last long in my system and were disposed of in said used market usually at no or little loss. A lot of trial and error! I have now pieced together a system that would retail for well over $30K for less than half of the sticker price and feel that I have reached a level that I can be happy with for a while. With that said technology is ever changing and keeping up with it all can be pretty time consuming to say the least. This forum has been very educational on many levels. Some threads can become a little technical at times and a little over my head but mostly things are kept on a level that even a layman like myself can follow. I think trying to define what the ultimate goal is within a certain budget is a good start as mentioned by Eurodriver above, but beware once you get into this cycle it is hard to stop at any given point. Any system is only as good as the weakest link so a well balanced system within whatever budget you have set for yourself is important. No use in wasting money on say a super expensive DAC if your speakers or amps are not up to the task. My journey really started with the speakers and I think this is the best place to start once you have an idea of where you want to end up. They are also very condusive to buying in the secondary market as there is really very little that can go wrong with them. You can get some very high end speakers for a reasonable amount of money this way.

In my quest there are three main parameters that I have boiled it down to for a system to become something special. On the front end jitter is your main enemy; dynamic range of the overall system is crucial; and low distortion speakers are a must!

I hope your journey will be as rewarding and fun (sometimes very frustrating though) as mine!

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Welcome Patrick,

 

As this site's name suggests, I mainly visit here for computer audio related commentary.

 

For more general audio information, I also visit the AudioAsylum.com and AudiogoN.com websites. The latter site had the following recent post with several thoughtful replies that you may find useful/interesting: http://http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?htech&1395846915&openfrom&1&4#1

 

While there are many ways to assemble an audio system, I'm of the opinion that speakers should be the starting point. You can't listen to too many speakers. There are many types: the usual cone and dome box speaker, open baffle, panels (including planar and electrostatic) and horns and combinations of some of these. In whatever price range that you choose, you should try to listen to more than one type. If you have a very limited budget, focus on the midrange. If the midrange is right, you can get away without extremly deep bass. Full range, superb speakers can get pricey real quick. However, the midrange is where most of the important information resides. In fact, at low budget levels, a correct midrange quickly separates poor speakers, from truly good transducers.

 

Based on your learned preferences, one type or another speaker should rise to the top of your list. If you can get away with using very high efficiency speakers that can be driven with flea watt amplifiers, that would be my first choice. However, there are always limitations, trade-offs and compromises. There is no best anything. There is what is best for your budget and preferences. But for the latter, it would behoove you to audition as much and as many components that you can (remember the 3-"L's: Listen, Listen, Listen). As with other subjective hobbies, ours is one that does take some time to get acquainted and accustomed to high fidelity playback, what floats your boat, what reproduces the music you like to listen to the best etc.

 

This website and others are invaluable. Just as with the aforementioned 3-L's, you can't read too much! In fact, it's a prerequisite to read as much as you can on this and other audio sites. You will find that patterns will emerge. That is, you will find some agreement amongst all the disagreement. When you do, pay attention and prioritize what equipment you want to listen to on a short list and have fun!

 

 

Cheers,

-Mike

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Hi from Dave in Australia! Welcome!

What a world we are in... UK, Australia represented on a US website.... I still find this amazing.

 

Yep, it's an understatement to say that the internet has been a godsend to folks with hobbies.

 

I've spent countless of hours reading posts on audio sites and in so doing, I have gleaned astoundingly good information and have met many wonderful folks and found superb equipment! For example, several years ago, I bought a Supratek pre-amplifier from Mick Maloney, a gentleman from your home country. I'm in the U.S. Not seeking the retail marketplace, Mick sold his creations via the internet. Later, I also bought another pre-amplifier (Aria Audio WVXL), turntable (Galibier Design) and DAC (Lampizator) via other manufacturers and this boutique equipment route. Each of these components have been superb, but before sites such as this, were just NOT able to be found!

 

So, I'm definitely in agreement with your "amazing" comment!!

-Mike

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Hi Patrick,

 

I started my 4th wave of Hi Fi 4 years ago. I am now on my 3rd DAC, second power amp, second computer, and about to build my third computer. Whilst the journey has been rewarding, I would have enjoyed more music more if I had gotten to where I am more directly

 

so in my humble opinion one needs to take into account / consider the following

 

- size of room

 

- flexibility in placement of speakers

 

- WAF and possibility of room treatments

 

- listening levels

 

- operating convenience

 

- hi fi philosophy - ultimate sound vs convenience vs looks

 

- sonic priorities

- PRAT and feet tapping

- timbre

- detail

- importance of low bass and slam

 

- willing and able to DIY ?

 

- total budget

 

depending on your priorities and your room & WAF constraints, then then are different road maps.

- the PCM road with room correction

- the DSD road with room treatment

thank you for your comment Eurodriver

there are a few terms mentioned above that i need clarification on. please excuse my ignorance.

WAF

PRAT

timbre

low bass and slam

 

when it comes to upgrading. there are people advising me to go the dsd route. as its supposed to be the bees knees in sound quality! however it seems dsd files are not so readily available.

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Welcome from Plymouth in a not so sunny South Devon.. We have a relatively small UK contingent here, but growing all the time it seems. Enjoy your time here, ask questions when you feel the need and furnish information when you think others will be interestd. All very informal

thank you Raym87

i am enjoying it already. i still feel a little lost with all the audio jargon but i'm getting there!

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Welcome and greetings from very frigid Boston! I have been on a 10+ year journey of various upgrades from cables to speakers since I got back into serious audio after a long hiatus due to constantly being on the road. It has been a process of evolution rather than revolution. Most of my equipment has been bought slightly used saving thousands of dollars. Some pieces did not last long in my system and were disposed of in said used market usually at no or little loss. A lot of trial and error! I have now pieced together a system that would retail for well over $30K for less than half of the sticker price and feel that I have reached a level that I can be happy with for a while. With that said technology is ever changing and keeping up with it all can be pretty time consuming to say the least. This forum has been very educational on many levels. Some threads can become a little technical at times and a little over my head but mostly things are kept on a level that even a layman like myself can follow. I think trying to define what the ultimate goal is within a certain budget is a good start as mentioned by Eurodriver above, but beware once you get into this cycle it is hard to stop at any given point. Any system is only as good as the weakest link so a well balanced system within whatever budget you have set for yourself is important. No use in wasting money on say a super expensive DAC if your speakers or amps are not up to the task. My journey really started with the speakers and I think this is the best place to start once you have an idea of where you want to end up. They are also very condusive to buying in the secondary market as there is really very little that can go wrong with them. You can get some very high end speakers for a reasonable amount of money this way.

In my quest there are three main parameters that I have boiled it down to for a system to become something special. On the front end jitter is your main enemy; dynamic range of the overall system is crucial; and low distortion speakers are a must!

I hope your journey will be as rewarding and fun (sometimes very frustrating though) as mine!

Thanks for your comment Bear

wow! 30k?? that sounds incredible to me! so over the past 10 years you have accumulated this 30k system?

also. what you said about it being difficult to stop at any given point once you get into it. im afraid of this too! haha! i am not a high earner. normal income bracket like most average people out there. so i would be in favour of searching for and finding good second hand gear that will serve my purposes to begin with. i'm now thinking about getting some new speakers and wondering where to start. my room is not huge. about 15 by 20 ft approx. a friend suggested i install a surround system which i quite like the idea of. could also be used for watching tv and gaming etc. any suggestions welcome!

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Thanks for your comment Bear

wow! 30k?? that sounds incredible to me! so over the past 10 years you have accumulated this 30k system?

also. what you said about it being difficult to stop at any given point once you get into it. im afraid of this too! haha! i am not a high earner. normal income bracket like most average people out there. so i would be in favour of searching for and finding good second hand gear that will serve my purposes to begin with. i'm now thinking about getting some new speakers and wondering where to start. my room is not huge. about 15 by 20 ft approx. a friend suggested i install a surround system which i quite like the idea of. could also be used for watching tv and gaming etc. any suggestions welcome!

 

to be realistic, if you're going to end up with some "good hi-fi" then going straight in with a surround "system" is not in my opinion the best way to start, especially if you're not oozing money...... I say this because it's possible to make an acceptable tv/gaming surround system from a very good 2-channel hi-fi, but it's not possible to make an acceptable (ie good) hi-fi system from the sort of surround system you'll be able to afford.

 

So I would prioritise the good 2-channel hi-fi. You can always add-on a cheap surround amp and satellite speakers later...

 

Don't get me wrong, it is possible to build a fine multi-channel audiophile system, several here have done it, but I think it'll cost you bucketloads of wonga.

 

Mike

Aurender X100L > Audiophilleo USB/SPDIF > Devialet 200 > Verity Audio Parsifal Ovation

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to be realistic, if you're going to end up with some "good hi-fi" then going straight in with a surround "system" is not in my opinion the best way to start, especially if you're not oozing money...... I say this because it's possible to make an acceptable tv/gaming surround system from a very good 2-channel hi-fi, but it's not possible to make an acceptable (ie good) hi-fi system from the sort of surround system you'll be able to afford.

 

So I would prioritise the good 2-channel hi-fi. You can always add-on a cheap surround amp and satellite speakers later...

 

Don't get me wrong, it is possible to build a fine multi-channel audiophile system, several here have done it, but I think it'll cost you bucketloads of wonga.

 

Mike

ok. bucketsloads of wonga i don't have! haha

i guess what you say makes sense. A decent surround system would cost a lot.

so you mean i could start with a good two channel system and later add components that allow extra speakers to make it like a surround system?

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Thanks for your comment Bear

wow! 30k?? that sounds incredible to me! so over the past 10 years you have accumulated this 30k system?

also. what you said about it being difficult to stop at any given point once you get into it. im afraid of this too! haha! i am not a high earner. normal income bracket like most average people out there. so i would be in favour of searching for and finding good second hand gear that will serve my purposes to begin with. i'm now thinking about getting some new speakers and wondering where to start. my room is not huge. about 15 by 20 ft approx. a friend suggested i install a surround system which i quite like the idea of. could also be used for watching tv and gaming etc. any suggestions welcome!

 

I do have surround sound speakers as well but one might say of secondary importance. My advise if music is really your thing to start with a pair of awesome speakers for stereo and then fill in later with center and eventually the surround sound speakers. With that said there are very good surround sound processors out there that can serve as your DAC and amplifier for a stereo system. You can then add as you go. I initially went this route. Started by adding amplifiers using the pre-outs on the receiver. Then added DAC only using the receiver as pre-amplifier in analog passthrough mode. At that point it bacame obvious that the receiver was holding me back so added a pre-amplifier with the receiver relegated to only surround sound hooked up to the pre-amplifier in bypass mode. I attribute the main reason for the receiver holding me back to dynamic range of the receiver. Although pretty good at around 90db it was dwarfed by the rest of the components 120+ db range. Sounds a little like an mp3 recording - tinny and just not all there if you may. Boy did that change when I added a separate pre-amp. With that said a receiver that can do double duty does not come cheap but if that is your ultimate goal it is not a bad place to start. You could probably however put together a very nice 2-channel system for same coin as a nice receiver and get, I think, much better stereo sound. As far as movies and TV goes a well executed 2-channel system sounds relly nice for this purpose as well. For surround you will need at least 5 speakers and these days you probably want 7. Then you need a subwoofer or two. The cost adds up rather quickly if you want good quality. In my mind better to drop that money on two real nice speakers for stereo. May I suggest a used pair of Acoustic Zen Adagio speakers. You should be able to pick up for around $2,000 used. Probably the lowest distortion speaker under $10K if not more. Just an amazing speaker that you can grow into. In slowly building my system I have come to the conclusion that there are three variables that seem to make biggest diffrence: jitter on front end, overall dynamic range os system and low distortion speakers. If focused on these the rest falls into place - just easier to not be too side-tracked by all kinds of performance data that have little bearing on ultimate results. Of course in the end your ears have to decide just keep in mind no system is better than the weakest link!

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great advice bear. thank you! 2000 sounds a lot to me even for used speakers! but at least now i know what to expect. i am sure if the sound is good i will consider it money well spent after a while! not at first though! haha. your reply has started me on a research and exploration journey online... good thing i'm not working tomorrow. it may be a late night with burned computer screen eyeballs!

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Patrick,

 

You may want to check out the following brands:

 

Peachtree Audio - great all in one solutions to get you started with excellent quality. All designed with computer based audio in mind. Their bookshelf speakers are also actually very good. Add a sub down the road and you are all set. Easy to integrate with a TV for great 2.1 channel audio.

Schiit Audio - they have really hit the market at budget prices with great sound quality.

Wyred 4 Sound - nice integrated solutions at reasonable prices with top sound quality.

 

All can obviously be picked up in secondary market at deep discounts compared to new with a a little patience.

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Best happiness per dollar / pound / euro investment is a subscription to a streaming music service.

 

Second best is good speakers. Spend and test as much as you can.

 

Amplifier / DAC / computer is pretty much an after-thought.

Streaming music service? that i have never considered? what exactly does that involve?

you mean spend as much money as i can afford and as much time testing beforehand i assume?

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Patrick,

 

You may want to check out the following brands:

 

Peachtree Audio - great all in one solutions to get you started with excellent quality. All designed with computer based audio in mind. Their bookshelf speakers are also actually very good. Add a sub down the road and you are all set. Easy to integrate with a TV for great 2.1 channel audio.

Schiit Audio - they have really hit the market at budget prices with great sound quality.

Wyred 4 Sound - nice integrated solutions at reasonable prices with top sound quality.

 

All can obviously be picked up in secondary market at deep discounts compared to new with a a little patience.

Thats exactly the kind of thing i wanted to hear! haha.

I'm searching those brands now!

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