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Newbie Question: How do I learn the "audiophile" technical language?


Roadsong66

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I am a lifetime music lover, hobbyist musician, and working man's audiophile.

 

That being said, I get a lot of great information off of this site, but am admittedly illiterate to most of the technical terms and technical considerations I need to know before investing in a quality audio system to integrate into my home office.

 

What resources can you recommend to learn about audio in general?

 

What considerations do I need to account for when attempting to make my home office my "listening room" via my computer?

 

 

 

 

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I am afraid you ask questions which are too difficult to answer. And you tried so hard ... :-)

 

Maybe one of the most important things is learn "Googling". I mean, I can assure you that even the most experienced need Google everyday to learn about something another is blathering about. Just too much going on, and too many new things every day.

 

Ok, the latter is kind of non-sense for someone just wanting to do as normal as possible, but the point is that the things you read (e.g. in here) are about kind of random (new) things, and you can't differentiate.

So, another skill is to learn and see what is actually important for you. How to do that ? Well, "knowing" about the person who writes about whatever it is, already helps. And that takes time again. I'll try to give an example of this :

 

Suppose I would say that in a certain situation USB is the best connection (remember, just suppose) then this would be in the context of knowing what to do, hence what are the prerequisites to *let* USB be the best connection. So, I can get that done, just because of my experience, but that doesn't say you can get it done. And, if you'd know what all the ins and outs are, you better not had started with USB at all. Did you anyway, you will find yourself in a lot of subsequent problems, unless you were so lucky to setup a system that fulfills all the needs right from the start.

 

This is not to scare you away, but it tries to tell that you have to read and read and read and draw conclusions. Your own. Don't listen to just everyone or the first random post that seems to answer your question, but learn about the people behind it, and when you feel confident about someone, trace him/her and learn from there.

 

Is this something for an answer ? maybe not. So let's hope someone else comes up with a more direct guideline. But I think that is difficult ...

 

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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More importantly...how can I forget them?

 

Seriously, it is all of little use. My advice is to start simple and just listen. Rip some tunes to iTunes or the format/software of your choice, run a line out from your computer to your audio system and listen. If it sounds great, you're done. Congratulations. If you hear noise, you may want to run digital out of your computer into an external DAC to get the processing out of the noisy environment found in some computers. Is the noise gone? Now you're done. Does it matter if the cable that ran the digital signal to your DAC is optical, coax, balanced, etc? Does it matter if the DAC was made in China, strictly according to the chip manufacturer's guidelines or assembled by elves in Wales with a tube output stage using only French NOS tubes made on westward facing sides of the Alps in the golden years following WWII?

 

Not if it sounds great to you.

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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Haha Tim,

 

If you hear noise, you may want to run digital out of your computer into an external DAC to get the processing out of the noisy environment found in some computers.

 

It would be great if we were able to catch "noise" like you described it for that reason. But I'm afraid this won't produce any noise as such. Just bad sound.

Maybe hum, but that's another thing.

 

Btw, I took it that the quoted part was in the serious half of your post. So I took the liberty of responding seriously.

Your less serious half is more than true though. Hehe

 

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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My entire post was meant seriously. Especially the part about virgin goat's milk.

 

By noise, I wasn't referring to distortion of the signal, but noise inherent in the busy electronic and not all that well-sheilded environment of many PCs. Hum? Perhaps. But it doesn't all sound the same and it doesn't all sound like hum. The really serious part of my post is about using your ears, enjoying the music and avoiding the most obsessive (and expensive) elements of the audiophile disease if at all possible. It is very easy, in this hobby, to find yourself spending fortunes to gain improvements that you must train yourself to hear (which should make you question their existence, or at least wonder if you're listening to gear instead of music...). It is even easier to put together a great-sounding system for a very reasonable sum of money and enjoy the music. That should be the objective. MHO. YMMV.

 

Tim

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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