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The Truth of "Computer Audiophile"


PeterSt

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Hi Folks,

 

Warning in advance : This is going to be a bit pretentious. ;)

Second warning plus request : As we know I do not always come across all that clear, so please quote my text and ask where you are in doubt. Thanks !

 

This is to be a serious subject and I hope it can be dealt with it like that;

What I notice lately is that more and more of traffic generating subjects are being put up, and I wondered why. The "This I Believe" thread is an example of that, such threads often accompanied by a poll like this one in this case :

This I believe - - View Poll Results

 

And there we have it : Unintentionally some statistics show from it. Quite interesting, I must say.

The figures this poll shows are not significantly different (if any) from two weeks ago, so say that what we see today is fixated. 138 persons participated the poll. I know, not all that many for real statistical analysis but let's say that the some times steamed discussions in the thread itself represent the figures. Or the other way around.

What I now try to do is explain the very similar heated discussions about DBT's, false negatives unfound, people being sure about no differences can exist with mostly the reason of that they don't perceive any themselves, and so on and so on.

And by now this comes to at least me as "how the heck can this be ?!". And this brings the question :

 

What actually is a "Computer Audiophile" ?

 

1.

A good start is the 119 persons (86.23% out of the 138) who voted that Great audiophile sound does not have to be expensive.

But not more than a good start, because what is "expensive".

 

2.

Then there is 5 persons (3.62%) who voted for Only the most expensive gear can be considered "high end";

This should not tell the most because I myself probably would not vote for this, no matter that I would not vote for "does not have to be expensive". In other words, this "most expensive" looks exaggerated, although it could be a best choice when nothing in there is better for you. That is, disregarding the option to not vote at all for what this is about.

 

3.

But now we enter the danger zone with the option A really good audiophile quality system can be put together for $1500;

54 people (39.13%) voted for that.

 

I numbered the above three key options for my little subject 1, 2, 3, so we can more easily refer to them.

If I am not mistaken, then these three options are not mutually exclusive. Or look at it like this : 119 + 5 + 54 = 178 and since this is 40 votes more than the total of 138 voters, 40 persons must have been affirmative in more than one of these three options. Well, the 5 votes for #2 will really be mutually exclusive over the other two options, which leaves 138 - 5 = 133 votes for those other two, #1 and #3. And for me it is obvious that those who vote for #3 also will vote for #1, that is, assumed that we all consider $1500 to be not expensive. OK ...

 

So we have 133 votes for #1 and #3 together - and we know that 119 voted for #1 and 54 voted for #3. We can assume that all votes for #3 also went to #1 (with the idea that everybody who took the poll voted for one these "key" options to begin with). This would leave 119 - 54 = 65 voters for #1.

But to justify this, #1 has to be rephrased now into something like : Great audiophile sound does not have to be expensive but will cost more than $1500.

I am not sure whether this part would be correct :

Because of the 133 (see emphasis above) we'd have to do something with that and the 133 - 119 = 14 difference can be added to the #1 votes when rephrased as I did it. So 79 now.

 

The result now is this :

 

1.

Great audiophile sound does not have to be expensive but will cost more than $1500

79 votes = 57.24%.

 

2.

Only the most expensive gear can be considered "high end"

5 votes = 3.62%.

 

3.

A really good audiophile quality system can be put together for $1500

54 votes = 39.13%.

 

Last thing to do is make some sense out of #2 and this can be done by means of adding #1 and #2 together and rephrase #1 again somewhat. Now this is left :

 

1.

Great audiophile sound will cost more than $1500

84 votes = 60.86%.

 

3.

A really good audiophile quality system can be put together for $1500

54 votes = 39.13%.

 

Forgive me the rounding error of 1 bit. :)

 

All this math, of course, was not necessary in order to see that over 1/3 of "Computer Audiophiles" consider a Good audiophile quality system to cost less than 1500$.

But to be fair the math was needed so we now can say that no 2/3 of Computer Audiophiles consider such system to cost more than 1500$. And I think the implied emphasis of "no 2/3" is justified to what I made of this statement and I regard it to be very much on the safe side (read : that better had be 100% in my view).

 

So there we are. A thread full of participants, often the same as in those pile of similar threads. And more than 1/3 of those same people use expensive speaker monitors or whatever it exactly will he.

I emphasize : this does not tell a thing about those who are in the "no 2/3" group of whom it is known that they too just as well can perceive no differences etc. and what all the traffic is about. But it should tell something about the 1/3 of whom it mostly is not known what "system" they have, but participate the discussions just the same.

 

Of course it is clear that it is my suggestion that by no means any system with "audiophile qualities" can exist for under $1500. However, about "Computer Audiophile" qualities I start to wonder.

 

Do the participants concerned use their computers for the convenience of playback means and next call that "audiophile" ?? And next largely obfuscate all the real audiophile talk, btw whatever that latter exactly is (just saying) ?

 

All rephrased into my own perception of this : over 1/3 of "Computer Audiophiles", at least in this forum and derived from this poll ... are no audiophiles at all. Nah, wait. That is too strongly put because even with an el cheapo system I am sure one can have audiophile pleasure *and* aspirations. But in my humble view it has to be in another league as those with the 3K+ speakers. And, as some will understand, differentiating it like that (3K for speakers only) won't make any sense, so I just drew some line above the $1500. The point could thus be that maybe is it not much justified so to speak, that 1/3 should not be mixing in the same discussions of those who spent a bit more.

So discrimination should be in order ? hell no. But if I read about persistent "no cables will make a difference !" then I really wonder what is going on. Some say that cables can not make a difference for all the technical reasons the same persons put forward, and some could say that cables can not make a difference for all the technical reasons the same persons put forward, while they use a $1499 complete system which won't show any difference anywhere to begin with.

 

This is not about cables (please no !), but it could be about many persons who don't even take the next ($$) step because of their own thinking and same technical reasons.

 

I have no questions. I posed a few things though and it could be nice if we all think of this possible background of people (over 1/3 of us all ??). So this thread can just as well be closed right away, unless people like to point out how wrong I am - and so I, plus maybe others can learn from that. Open minded and no snobbish thinking in sight (please).

 

Peter

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Peter, would a system using headphones rather than speakers qualify? What about in-ear-monitors (IEMs)?

 

Regarding DACs - DIY?

 

Let's say you already own an adequate computer.

 

So, a system using Miska's DSC1 as the DAC, HQPlayer as the software, and in ear monitors: In $US, the DSC1 materials cost is I believe between $300 and $400. I forget what HQPlayer costs, but for the sake of round numbers let's say $200 and $400 for the DSC1. Very good IEMs, let's say $500. So now we're at $1100. We probably can't get a really fine off the shelf headphone amp for the remaining $400 (DIY? How much would a gainclone for phones be?). So whatever the cost of the amp, plus cables.

 

But it all depends on whether you think a system using IEMs rather than speakers can be "audiophile."

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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No real surprise here, you are explicitly stating what has been implied by numerous CA members numerous times (i.e. "Of course you can't hear this difference, your system is crap!" - ok, maybe not that clear and cold but we have all seen the hidden messages).

 

However, you do open an interesting door - what is the entry point for being a Computer Audiophile? I would guess there's a minimum acceptable hardware threshold combined with a minimum years of experience threshold. Thoughts?...

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Peter, would a system using headphones rather than speakers qualify? What about in-ear-monitors (IEMs)?

 

Regarding DACs - DIY?

 

Let's say you already own an adequate computer.

 

So, a system using Miska's DSC1 as the DAC, HQPlayer as the software, and in ear monitors: In $US, the DSC1 materials cost is I believe between $300 and $400. I forget what HQPlayer costs, but for the sake of round numbers let's say $200 and $400 for the DSC1. Very good IEMs, let's say $500. So now we're at $1100. We probably can't get a really fine off the shelf headphone amp for the remaining $400 (DIY? How much would a gainclone for phones be?). So whatever the cost of the amp, plus cables.

 

But it all depends on whether you think a system using IEMs rather than speakers can be "audiophile."

 

I would think DIY would count as high end (when done properly). Also remember the "High Fidelity System on a Budget" thread (can't remember the exact name - sorry) where members were providing serious bang for the buck options from the used market.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Peter,

 

 

My apologies for the lack of your requested "Quote/Response" format.

 

I am often fascinated by the various systems posted in signatures here on CA. In reading the posts, it's not terribly difficult to approximate people's level of commitment and knowledge about audio in general, as well as the staggering amount of NOT so general pieces of the audio puzzle (room correction, the many things that change a sound wave after leaving a speaker, etc etc). I wonder how many post their system as a disclaimer, as I do. I think we can all agree on one thing: the best way one can put a system together requires "in person" audition of each piece. Affordability aside, two reasons come to mind: 1. No two people hear alike, and 2. No two people share the same perception of ANYTHING (especially on the questions of what is good vs. mediocre vs. bad, etc). And I'm not at all speaking figuratively.

 

So... while it's interesting to read the opinions of other folks here about "What Is Audiophile?" (and believe me, I do find a lot of very interesting posts, many of yours included - especially the ones I can half-way decipher;), I believe the only meaningful answers to these questions must come from within.

 

OTOH, that can be SO boring (not to mention lonely).

 

 

Gary

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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Peter, would a system using headphones rather than speakers qualify? What about in-ear-monitors (IEMs)?

 

Regarding DACs - DIY?

 

Let's say you already own an adequate computer.

 

Hi Jud - good question. Several answers are possible and maybe I am not as extensive as can be :

 

a.

Computer Audiophile eh ?

How witty I am. ;) Of course I understand your perception and how legal it might be to let out the computer, but ehm ...

Well, the one I use (Windows) costs ~2150 USD today (and that is only because the euro is so low now).

Of course this is the commercial price I determined myself (we sell it), but parts cost ~1300 and it is two days of work to build it, excluding all the work to create the OS one time (think AO). It also excludes the work of weeks of sourcing parts to keep it totally silent and cool at the same time, and the trial purchases of parts which in the end did not fit.

Btw, your Mac (any kind) won't be much cheaper and then it is still "a Mac".

So leave that out, even if put together DIY ? what do you think yourself ? not fair I'd say.

 

b.

I can't judge about the price of a good headphone amp and to be honest I also can't judge about headphones, or worse - ear buts, because I myself can not regard this "challenging" so to speak. So maybe we can recognize that any speaker system is way way more difficult to get right, but it also will give way way more satisfaction and realism when it *is* right (whatever that exactly is). One example : standing waves. It is one of the profound exhibits of things being wrong, and with headphones you will not be bothered by it (hey, IEMs even less I'd say ;)). Of course we could draw the conclusion that thus headphones and such are always for the better compared to speakers, but ... I think that would be a wild conclusion.

 

c.

DIY ...

The PC example is one already, but if you "DIY" as I do, then it only costs MORE. But careful now, because I expect some kind of real quality level of my DIY work and this is usually not copying something which shows up in DIYAudio. I said "usually" and of course we can pick the better deals out of there and DSC1 could be an example of it. Still careful, because why is someone working on a DSC2 ?

Anyway, the "more" emerges from trialing when you want it right. $40 caps here, $20 resistors there, burn one such and put in $$ wires instead, etc. And next hope that it all measures OK, although for sure it will sound different compared to what you had. Count in the oscilloscopes and worse would be more fair for comparison.

 

With #c being a bit doubtful, already #a makes it sheer impossible and next you can add #b to *also* make it sheer impossible. I mean, DIY the speaker now and the amp and preamp if you think you need it, ... no way that I can see this happening. Btw, also not with a GainClone (just saying :)).

 

Assumed I can hold up my #a anyway, do not forget to add interlinks and other cabling (yes, mine still being in the 1$ realm but this is quite exclusive to me alone coincidentally), continue with the Paul Pang, cards don't forget the interface cables and when you think you are done you are sure you need LPSU's everywhere.

 

Or ?

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Peter, would a system using headphones rather than speakers qualify? What about in-ear-monitors (IEMs)?

 

Good point! I abstained from voting affirmative re: "good system can be built for $1500". First you need to define "good". If I define it as a good system for a college student, I can imagine the $200 Pioneer speakers designed by Andrew Jones, a Dragonfly, and a PIPO X7, leaving maybe $700-800 for an amp (not sure what I'd do there, probably something used). That would probably sound pretty good but a LONG ways from the best.

 

OTOH, I imagine that a Pono player plus some $500 Sennheiser's would sound even better w/o breaking even the $1000 barrier.

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Hi Jud - good question. Several answers are possible and maybe I am not as extensive as can be :

 

a.

Computer Audiophile eh ?

How witty I am. ;) Of course I understand your perception and how legal it might be to let out the computer, but ehm ...

Well, the one I use (Windows) costs ~2150 USD today (and that is only because the euro is so low now).

Of course this is the commercial price I determined myself (we sell it), but parts cost ~1300 and it is two days of work to build it, excluding all the work to create the OS one time (think AO). It also excludes the work of weeks of sourcing parts to keep it totally silent and cool at the same time, and the trial purchases of parts which in the end did not fit.

Btw, your Mac (any kind) won't be much cheaper and then it is still "a Mac".

So leave that out, even if put together DIY ? what do you think yourself ? not fair I'd say.

 

Just addressing this particular part of the comment. :)

 

A $600 mac is perfectly suitable for audiophile quality playback. Can it be made better, yes. Does it have to be? No. At least not for most people.

 

You are assuming the music server has to be a big beefy Windows beast. Not so, an average $400 PC with Linux - or even stock Windows - and a $100-$150 very low power and very low noise network based player can easily achieve audiophile quality sound, with a product like HQPlayer.

 

Also, many folks feel that the high power beefy computer should be a network server, where audio components make no difference. Not when the server can easily be stuffed away in a closet somewhere, or ran on a VM, etc. A low power player dedicated only to audio makes a lot of difference in this case.

 

Lastly, have you tried to feed your NOS1 with a Linux machine? I wonder if you might not get fantastic results from that, without the need for massive OS surgery that you find on Windows?

 

Yours,

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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So... while it's interesting to read the opinions of other folks here about "What Is Audiophile?"

 

Hi Gary - Nice response !

 

I think the question you pose is part of the problem, because as I implied : Even people with the lesser systems I envision as audiophile as I today see myself (FW the latter IW). So for example, when I was young (and I implied 10 years of age) I too was fighting at my best to achieve my father's fine system's level. Of course that could not work but I tried forever. "Built" the stereo amps out of two old radios, mounted spare Peerless speakers in a baffle (yes, one, horizontally) which "box" I could easily close between two other horizontal shelves ... built my own turn table, and only a bit later bought my first cassette deck (an Akai) which of course had to be tweaked for a fade out because no 40 minute LP would for on the 30 minute per side because the shorter tapes were thicker and of better quality. I was 11 then.

 

But when my father was out I played my first bought LP (1st of Black Sabbath) on his system (and btw he too made being an audiophile part of his life, being a musician for the remainder).

 

So my message should be totally clear : A die hard audiophile can have a two-radio old Philips radio just the same. But it doesn't mean he will be able to "communicate" over that to my father, so to speak.

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Good point! I abstained from voting affirmative re: "good system can be built for $1500". First you need to define "good". If I define it as a good system for a college student, I can imagine the $200 Pioneer speakers designed by Andrew Jones, a Dragonfly, and a PIPO X7, leaving maybe $700-800 for an amp (not sure what I'd do there, probably something used). That would probably sound pretty good but a LONG ways from the best.

 

OTOH, I imagine that a Pono player plus some $500 Sennheiser's would sound even better w/o breaking even the $1000 barrier.

 

It makes me a little nervous that people are taking that poll so seriously. Statistically, one cannot really draw *any* conclusions from it, so this to me is bantering about in fun and exploring ideas.

 

As for a good system for $1500, it does depend on the individual. I think most anyone can get a good system together for $1500, and with computer audio, it is trivially easy. Someone else might think that impossible. The one thing the poll did show is that we all have various opinions on these subjects. None of which are inherently wrong. :)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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A $600 mac is perfectly suitable for audiophile quality playback. Can it be made better, yes. Does it have to be? No. At least not for most people.

 

Hey Paul,

 

Valid points in itself, But I feel this little "problem" is not to be addressed this way. Why ? because right away you make it subjective to your own ideas about it (which will include your own ears) and now we all need to visit you to see the real merits of it. And no, again please, let's not make this again an objectivist thread vs the other side, although I'll admit that it will be tough to avoid. But one thing that undermines your ideas about this :

 

Only the sheer fact that I would be using HQPlayer would be quite destructive compared to what I have here. And this, while you were so dead sure of your fine proposition. So see ?

And no, this is nothing about products and this time *my* ears. But hey, again nothing to express about because now you'd need to visit me. So we can't express it like this and it is exactly what we are all trying to do all the time (and which does not seem to work out to anything useful).

 

I can go into all your further in itself good points but I can again debunk them all. So Paul, we'd *have" to avoid such judgments and counter arguments, because all would run off topic.

Maybe I didn't even realize that exactly this $1500 put limit would encourage so much to indeed work this all out, but ...

But let's try to stick to the general idea of the impossibility of that $1500 (which is my claim) and which can't be debunked by hooking up a Linux player to a NOS1. I mean, that NOS1 exceeds the 1500 limit a little. :)

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1. Great audiophile sound will cost more than $1500

84 votes = 60.86%.

 

2. A really good audiophile quality system can be put together for $1500

54 votes = 39.13%.

 

Peter: Many of us approach this question with two systems in mind: (A) our main system for serious listening which was an audiophile system long before there was a computer in it, and (B) our desktop system, which was basically a computer that grew up to get better and better speakers or headphones until it began to approach audiophile status.

 

I personally don't think you can have a great sounding (A) system for anything near $1500 inasmuch as I view the loudspeakers as the single most critical item and I am of the view that you probably need to spend at least $3-4,000 just to get speakers that give you "great audiophile sound" filling a room. So a great audiophile (A) system is much more likely to run $10-15,000 or more.

 

But if you start with system (B), especially if as Jud mentioned, you already have a decent computer, and then say: "How close to the sound of my (A) system can I get here on the desktop?" If you are willing to go for headphones rather than speakers, the $1500 may still be a bit on the low side, but certainly at or near $3,000 you can get to a system that pleases your brain musically at very near the same level as the (A) system, especially given that you may need to be at that desk for long periods of time.

 

What I find interesting about this site is how much (other than speakers) the components in systems (A) and (B) are growing more similar over time.

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Hey Paul,

 

Valid points in itself, But I feel this little "problem" is not to be addressed this way. Why ? because right away you make it subjective to your own ideas about it (which will include your own ears) and now we all need to visit you to see the real merits of it. And no, again please, let's not make this again an objectivist thread vs the other side, although I'll admit that it will be tough to avoid. But one thing that undermines your ideas about this :

 

Only the sheer fact that I would be using HQPlayer would be quite destructive compared to what I have here. And this, while you were so dead sure of your fine proposition. So see ?

And no, this is nothing about products and this time *my* ears. But hey, again nothing to express about because now you'd need to visit me. So we can't express it like this and it is exactly what we are all trying to do all the time (and which does not seem to work out to anything useful).

 

I can go into all your further in itself good points but I can again debunk them all. So Paul, we'd *have" to avoid such judgments and counter arguments, because all would run off topic.

Maybe I didn't even realize that exactly this $1500 put limit would encourage so much to indeed work this all out, but ...

But let's try to stick to the general idea of the impossibility of that $1500 (which is my claim) and which can't be debunked by hooking up a Linux player to a NOS1. I mean, that NOS1 exceeds the 1500 limit a little. :)

 

(grin) Well, then, change the limit to whatever you wish. It really was a figure pulled out of the air, one I tended to think was a good budget to setup a small system.

 

Try this then as a counter to a $2100 Windows computer hooked up to a $5K DAC. No Mac involved. :)

 

 

 

In any case, you are under $1500, and playing some mighty fine audiophile quality sound. This is more of a computer grown up to play in the audiophile world than something that meets the requirements of a traditional audiophile system.

 

That's just one configuration, there are quite a few more possibilities.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Peter: Many of us approach this question with two systems in mind: (A) our main system for serious listening which was an audiophile system long before there was a computer in it, and (B) our desktop system, which was basically a computer that grew up to get better and better speakers or headphones until it began to approach audiophile status.

 

Now sdolezalek, that I'd call a useful answer. And to some extent an honest one as well;

 

What you say here is something I myself "feel" often, as in : this can be the only explanation, but now why. So what yu almost say is : "sure, we communicate through our office PC systems over this all on the forum, but no way I'd let loose a PC on my main system". No no, you did not say that, but somehow ...

 

Look at the IKEA bamboo board thread; what you see there is the OP who is a Phasure customer. In between the lines he briefly explains that he is using a NOS1a in his main system, to next hop over to the real subject : the bamboo boards and how they end up under his "office system". No word about the same application for his main system.

I just don't get this, now even from my own customer.

 

So yes, this is what I often feel, but it won't go into my head that people might vote for the $1500 and do not think about their main system.

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In any case, you are under $1500, and playing some mighty fine audiophile quality sound.

 

Yes, but now again my ears will need to compete with yours.

 

And Paul, continuing this we would really need a definition of audiophile first. Not that I can do this easily but it doesn't work by means of declaring a system that suits you (possible for the argument only) and next say that I am that audiophile in my by now older day.

I suppose I had rather died yesterday when I had such a system.

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XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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I have a pair of A2+ on a computer downstairs, they are nice speakers but I'll never be immersed by them, certainly not listening to Mahler.

 

Maybe we should spin this another way. Rather that trying to put a price tag on equipment we should be thinking of the music,and adequate volume levels, an audiophile system should be able to produce.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Maybe we should spin this another way. Rather that trying to put a price tag on equipment we should be thinking of the music,and adequate volume levels, an audiophile system should be able to produce.

 

Could be a good idea. And then add the amount of time being able to listen to it without getting tired and being hurt of nasty highs, what the levels of the highs needs to be anyway - the same with the level and lowest end of the spectrum without distortion and such.

And your wife is not allowed to leave the room all this time and her vote counts twice.

 

This was not sarcastic at all. It could work, but will not so easy to be defined.

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Yes, but now again my ears will need to compete with yours.

 

And Paul, continuing this we would really need a definition of audiophile first. Not that I can do this easily but it doesn't work by means of declaring a system that suits you (possible for the argument only) and next say that I am that audiophile in my by now older day.

I suppose I had rather died yesterday when I had such a system.

 

Oh, this is where I am missing what you are saying. I automatically think the same is true with a perfect NOS1 system. Or *any* system really. One might like it or not, but I misdoubt that two people will hear and or like/dislike it for the exact same reasons.

 

In reference to the thread and poll you mentioned, it was very much meant to be a "This I believe..." type of statement, not needing to be backed up with evidence because it is and was a simple belief. The $1500 figure can be anything you like, it was meant to be "a figure ridiculously low by average audiophile standards." Certainly not meant to be a hard limit, or to be all inclusive.

 

As to a definition of an audiophile - there is an old thread on the system somewhere where that was chewed over well. I think that the end consensus was something like "a music lover who cares about the quality of the reproduction of their music." Some folks do believe that to be an audiophile, you have to spend a particular amount of money. Some think you can only be an audiophile if you listen exclusively to vinyl. :)

 

Takes all kinds. :)

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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As to a definition of an audiophile - there is an old thread on the system somewhere where that was chewed over well. I think that the end consensus was something like "a music lover who cares about the quality of the reproduction of their music." Some folks do believe that to be an audiophile, you have to spend a particular amount of money. Some think you can only be an audiophile if you listen exclusively to vinyl. :)

 

Takes all kinds. :)

 

Someone nutty enough to chase that flying unicorn to the end of the happy rainbow of perfect sonic bliss.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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As to a definition of an audiophile - there is an old thread on the system somewhere where that was chewed over well. I think that the end consensus was something like "a music lover who cares about the quality of the reproduction of their music."

 

Yes, I know that thread. I think I was one of the first in there and mentioned something with "obsessive" in it.

 

The $1500 figure can be anything you like, it was meant to be "a figure ridiculously low by average audiophile standards." Certainly not meant to be a hard limit, or to be all inclusive.

 

But Paul, you now mentioned this "can be anything you like" a couple of times and I understand that, but I don't see the relation with this thread here. It just took your nice poll's results (FWIW of course) and in there it's 1500. Next people voted to that. That's all.

And not meant to be all inclusive ? it did not say that, and so we assume it was meant to be that. And of course, "ridiculously low" !! So good thing again, because over 1/3 of people voted for that.

I think these are facts (though too few people to really work with the numbers when the stakes would be high) and I see no reason at all to, for example, to put out another poll with better choices. These are just very very fine ... for my subject.

 

Peter

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Hi Jud - good question. Several answers are possible and maybe I am not as extensive as can be :

 

a.

Computer Audiophile eh ?

How witty I am. ;) Of course I understand your perception and how legal it might be to let out the computer, but ehm ...

Well, the one I use (Windows) costs ~2150 USD today (and that is only because the euro is so low now).

Of course this is the commercial price I determined myself (we sell it), but parts cost ~1300 and it is two days of work to build it, excluding all the work to create the OS one time (think AO). It also excludes the work of weeks of sourcing parts to keep it totally silent and cool at the same time, and the trial purchases of parts which in the end did not fit.

Btw, your Mac (any kind) won't be much cheaper and then it is still "a Mac".

So leave that out, even if put together DIY ? what do you think yourself ? not fair I'd say.

 

 

Something like what sdolezalek was talking about, I first got into computer audio because I already had an audio system and two computers, so why not put the latter to good use with the former? The desktop I built myself, same as every desktop I've ever owned. I fully recognize many, probably most, people in the forum aren't going to do this, but to me building my own computer is trivial - I wouldn't think of *not* doing it. You are probably right, it isn't fair to leave the computer out of the cost, and likely not to consider only the DIY cost either, but for me that was certainly part of the attraction. (This was helped along by the fact that my first disc player, a Theta, gave up around then. I replaced it with an Oppo that I didn't think sounded quite as good.)

 

Here is a selfish question that is a little OT, but I hope you will answer, speaking of computers and whether particular ones are capable of being part of an audiophile system: My desktop easily has the specs to do a nice job running XXHighEnd, while my laptop is limited to Windows 7 and 8GB of RAM. However, my desktop is upstairs in my office, while my laptop can be anywhere, including where I can plug it into my DAC in the main system downstairs. I can *run* the desktop from downstairs with Remote Desktop or whatever. But is there a way to get the *bits* from the desktop downstairs into the main system?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Here is a selfish question that is a little OT, but I hope you will answer, speaking of computers and whether particular ones are capable of being part of an audiophile system: My desktop easily has the specs to do a nice job running XXHighEnd, while my laptop is limited to Windows 7 and 8GB of RAM. However, my desktop is upstairs in my office, while my laptop can be anywhere, including where I can plug it into my DAC in the main system downstairs. I can *run* the desktop from downstairs with Remote Desktop or whatever. But is there a way to get the *bits* from the desktop downstairs into the main system?

 

Run HQP on your desktop upstairs and send it to a NAA attached to your DAC via USB.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Could be a good idea. And then add the amount of time being able to listen to it without getting tired and being hurt of nasty highs, what the levels of the highs needs to be anyway - the same with the level and lowest end of the spectrum without distortion and such.

And your wife is not allowed to leave the room all this time and her vote counts twice.

 

This was not sarcastic at all. It could work, but will not so easy to be defined.

 

It's an interesting experience to listen to a system capable of 120db transient peaks with a smooth, near flat FR and very low harmonic distortion. There's virtually no fatigue at all........but compared to a set of 6" midwoofer two ways with no LF reinforcement, 95 db sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard!

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I have a pair of A2+ on a computer downstairs, they are nice speakers but I'll never be immersed by them, certainly not listening to Mahler.

 

Maybe we should spin this another way. Rather that trying to put a price tag on equipment we should be thinking of the music,and adequate volume levels, an audiophile system should be able to produce.

 

It's been my recent years worth of work solving the desktop speaker dilemma where i quickly found for myself that conventional systems are the completely wrong approach. More to follow once prototyping begins but a think piece thread will appear sooner.

 

......but in a nutshell, nearfield listening sucks!

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It's been my recent years worth of work solving the desktop speaker dilemma where i quickly found for myself that conventional systems are the completely wrong approach. More to follow once prototyping begins but a think piece thread will appear sooner.

 

......but in a nutshell, nearfield listening sucks!

 

Are you going to go with the big headphone approach? And of course monitoring in studios for mixing is often nearfield. I have found nearfield listening of big panels works much better than using conventional speakers.

 

I look forward to your ideas on a desktop speaker though. I find myself in need of some good ones currently.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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