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My New Hobby


ramii19780529
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Hello,

 

This is my first post to this forum, as I have just revived my interest in higher quality audio.

 

This came about in an odd way. I recently remodeled my office to add more storage for my family. In doing this, my Alesis M1 studio monitors (fed by the sound card build into the gaming motherboard in my PC) could no longer fit in the room, at least not in an ideal listening position, so I had to start the search for something smaller, but I couldn't find anything that could be mounted to the wall that was less than 5 inches wide and had any chance of sounding good, so I decided to go another route.

 

I started to researched headphones, which lead to suggestions for amps, which lead to suggestions for DACs...

 

With a budge of about $800 I decided on the Schiit Jotunheim with the balanced DAC module, powering the Sennheiser HD600 headphones, and a balanced headphone cable from Custom Cans. I also purchased a USB cable from Schitt to connect the DAC to my PC.

 

Once everything came in, I hooked it all up and was blown away by how much clearer things sounded. But there was a problem... my music mostly sounded like crap. Much of it was ripped from CD into my FLAC collection, but then I learned that it has a lot to do with the mastering and mixing process. I started to look for some new music to listen to and tried a variety of genre, finally settling on smooth jazz being my favorite.

 

It's been about a month since my purchase and everything is starting to sound better. I don't have experience with this, and my ears are not trained, but the music just started to sound more open and full bodied if that makes any sense. After reading many posts about this subject, all of which seem to turn into arguments, I just want to say that I don't really care what it is that made it sound better, I'm just very happy that it does.

 

So, that's where I'm at now, and I have a few questions that I've searched for without finding specific answers.

 

I'm pretty handy, and I love DIY projects, so I decided to make my own headphone cables since the connectors to the HD600s on the Custom Cans wires are a bit too long; they hit my shoulders when I turn my head (other than that they are awesome).

 

Many people choose to use the wires found in the Mogami Neglex 2534s so I went with those as a starting point. The question is, why do people only use the wires, and not the entire cable? The cable is designed to minimizes the things that would effect the analog audio signal, such as capacitance and inductance, and it has what looks like well thought out dielectric and shielding. It's also within the optimum wire diameter to reduce the skin effect.

 

If headphones used speaker level signal strength, I would not be as concerned, but I think the relatively low signal strength over my required 7 foot run would benefit from keeping the cable together up to the point where it needs to split to each driver.

 

I'm new to this and learning as I go, so I may have this all very wrong, please let me know.

 

Is there a better wire I can use that would still produce an audible sound difference given the equipment I am currently using? I'm not looking for Teflon coated silver here...

 

And finally, does anyone have any suggestions for high quality smooth jazz recordings and where I can get them?

 

Thanks!

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Welcome to our obsession. Sorry about your wallet :-)

 

Your experience with bad sounding music is the audiophile dilemma. Now that you have a nicely revealing system you get to hear everything, warts and all.

 

Regarding wire check out Jeff Day's blog. He has written up one model of Belden cable that makes very good sounding IC's, much better than Mogami to my ears. He also describes some even better yet some remarkably reasonable Duelund DCA16 hookup wire that I now use for speaker cables, internal speaker wire, and some IC's.

 

http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/

 

Try some Chesky recordings for high quality recordings purchased from somewhere like HDTracks. Chesky now has a new 72 track sampler put out for their 30th anniversary that is a real bargain. Some great music on it.

 

Chesky 30th Anniversary Collection: Complete Set (1986-2016) | HDtracks - The World's Greatest-Sounding Music Downloads

 

Enjoy!


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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Welcome to our obsession. Sorry about your wallet :-)

 

No kidding with that statement. This stuff gets expensive fast!

 

Regarding wire check out Jeff Day's blog. He has written up one model of Belden cable that makes very good sounding IC's, much better than Mogami to my ears. He also describes some even better yet some remarkably reasonable Duelund DCA16 hookup wire that I now use for speaker cables, internal speaker wire, and some IC's.

Thanks for pointing me to this site. I read through several posts and I found it very interesting. I found a few posts mentioning the Belden cables used as interconnects but I couldn't find anything about using them as balanced headphone cables. I still have to research this a bit more.

 

As far as the Duelund wires - those look amazing! If I ever find room and money to buy speakers, I'll definitely check them out.

 

I also found another site, Head-Fi, that seems to be focused more on headphones, which I also found helpful.

 

Try some Chesky recordings for high quality recordings purchased from somewhere like HDTracks. Chesky now has a new 72 track sampler put out for their 30th anniversary that is a real bargain. Some great music on it.

I really liked many of the tracks found in this compilation. Being new to Jazz, I was supersized that I recognized a few of them. Thank you for the link to that site - I''ll be grabbing more music from there.

 

Thanks so much for replying!

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No kidding with that statement. This stuff gets expensive fast!

 

 

Thanks for pointing me to this site. I read through several posts and I found it very interesting. I found a few posts mentioning the Belden cables used as interconnects but I couldn't find anything about using them as balanced headphone cables. I still have to research this a bit more.

 

As far as the Duelund wires - those look amazing! If I ever find room and money to buy speakers, I'll definitely check them out.

 

I also found another site, Head-Fi, that seems to be focused more on headphones, which I also found helpful.

 

 

I really liked many of the tracks found in this compilation. Being new to Jazz, I was supersized that I recognized a few of them. Thank you for the link to that site - I''ll be grabbing more music from there.

 

Thanks so much for replying!

 

Head-Fi is great. I have been there since 2002. Another great place to empty your wallet.

 

According to Jeff Day Duelund will be coming out with a 20 gauge version of the wire which might work well for building IC's and balanced cables. Parts Connexion sells it.


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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I really liked many of the tracks found in this compilation. Being new to Jazz, I was supersized that I recognized a few of them. Thank you for the link to that site - I''ll be grabbing more music from there.

Thanks so much for replying!

 

Have you checked out Mapleshade's jazz collection? There are some really wonderful things there. I used to live near their "studio"--a giant, rotting anti-bellum plantation house in Maryland. :-) Got a look at Pierre's hand-built microphones and extensively modded analogue tape recorders. Fascinating.

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Mapleshade looks good. I randomly picked a few albums to sample from their spot light section, and a few more from their "Best of" albums. They sounded good, but the artists that I was allowed to listen too didn't have the feel that I was looking for and I wasn't sure if they offered any lossless compression formats for download. I'm not interested in buying any more CDs or creating an MP3 library.

 

Getting to see their equipment must have been pretty cool. I've never been to a studio before.

 

Thanks for pointing them out. I'll spend some more time exploring other artists over there too.

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Mapleshade looks good. I randomly picked a few albums to sample from their spot light section, and a few more from their "Best of" albums. They sounded good, but the artists that I was allowed to listen too didn't have the feel that I was looking for and I wasn't sure if they offered any lossless compression formats for download. I'm not interested in buying any more CDs or creating an MP3 library.

 

Getting to see their equipment must have been pretty cool. I've never been to a studio before.

 

Thanks for pointing them out. I'll spend some more time exploring other artists over there too.

 

Most of their albums are available on iTunes. But it is a more old-school style of playing, maybe not to your taste.

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