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Found 22 results

  1. First of all the subject of this thread isn't my idea. I borrowed it from another forum But I love it! I'm a big fan of audio and maybe even bigger fan of speakers which IMO are the most important component of any audio system. I know this statement is debatable for some but for me speakers plus speakers-room interaction (room acoustics, matching speakers' bass performance with the room size etc) taken together are responsible in 85% for any audio system's sound. BTW I'm not an extremist here, a well known in my country ex-audio journalist and audio gear distributor claims for him it's 95%.. This absolutely doesn't mean that I don't care about DAC's, amp's, cables', power conditioner's etc. quality - I do 'cause obviously they all influence sound quality. Yet, for me these are loudspeakers which are the 'royal' component of any audio system! What are the best sounding speakers you've ever heard.? What sound qualities made you love them so much? What were the other components of the system? And least but not last what music was played by them? Let's have fun!
  2. Holidays: a sound quality test? I’ve been away on holiday for a couple weeks and during this period I only listened to a bit of music on the car system. It’s a nice feeling, being back home, and I was eager to listen to a bit of music. I think it’s a good test, turning on one’s system after an prolonged absence. Mine sounded beautiful, and the shortcomings are no longer as evident as before. I wonder how long it’ll take before they start to annoy me… Anyway, there were sad times when the inverse happened, when the system didn’t sound “right” upon my return. I must be going in the right direction.
  3. I bought a microrendu 2 days ago and I feel I have to get a lot of accessories to make a "simple" system "complicated". The reason to choose microrendu is due to its simply design. Now I have to play with router / NAS / Music Servers / Extensions and worry about degrade of sound quality. My original plan is Sotm SMS1000Q WE (or any other optimized PC, like CAD, Mojo etc). For more details about an optimized PC : any PC with low power assumption (generate less noise), separated power supply to USB, low noise circuit design, internal power filter and linear power supply ,EMI isolation, low jitter clock etc. Any kind of optimized PC can feed signal to USB DAC with highest bit rate support via STABLE PHYSICAL connection. [PC - USB DAC + linear power supply]. How about Microrendu? I was attracted by the CA reviews and bought it. Now I realize the system is not simple at all and the system may have inferior SQ due to ethernet transport parameters, plus, the routers and photoelectric conversion modules of those systems are not audiophile grade. [Music Server / Router / Microrendu / USB DAC / Several linear power supply / Maybe Ethernet Switch / NAS]. How could I convince myself to invest further in microrendu system because I could not see any advantage now. How about SOUND QUALITY? Thanks for any suggestions.
  4. There are lots of articles out there (mags/websites etc) debating the virtues of dsd vs pcm 'High-Res' quality etc. I'm trying to understand how it is that my eight year old (Win XP) laptop can play DSD files when a 'DSD' compatible DAC is 'required' to decode/playback DSD files. The laptop doesn't have an 'audiophile' soundcard, and I'm not claiming the sound is better than an external DAC, but I can clearly hear the difference between various formats (.mp3 Vs FLAC vs DSD etc). Why are DSD DAC's required when any pc (or Mac with the right software) can already play these files?
  5. Hi folks! Does anyone have experience with wav downloads from Juno? I bought couple of wav tunes from them and I am quite disappointed about the sound. First, I do not hear any difference between them and Mp3s (with Sennheiser IE8 earphones) and second - they sound awful compared to vinyl (my speakers are nothing fancy, but still quite good). Is my phone music palyer to blame for the bad sound or is there something wrong with the recordings? I will appreciate your ideas... Ivon
  6. Hi all, I have decided to build a Windows based dedicated HTPC/Audio-Video Server, something that’s flexible to swap out components if/when needed. I have a fake partial wall in the living room, behind which a HTPC (even a tower) can be invisible. Slightly larger Form factors and quiet fans are acceptable. As it will be likely on 24/7, power consumption is an issue. Whilst I will stream music and Video over the network the priority is Sound Quality to the directly attached HiFi in the living room.Budget $500 - $2000. I need build suggestions on any/all following. Thanks so much for any help OS Presently W7 64bit MEDIA CENTRE I will use Jriver for servers (native and DLNA),music organiser,TV + DVR.I am aware of other options for SQ but want to focus on hardware. GRAPHICS Thinking of the GTX650ti or GTX660ti as this seems to be the best for gatting the most from MadVR and video.HDMI to TV. SOUNDCARD I am thinking of a quality soundcard, hopefully with and AES/EBU balanced output on XLR to feed directly into my vintage Mark levinson DAC 30.6. Perhaps spif output as well (into the Levinson) ? At least [email protected] for PCM. Obviously DSD would be an advantage but not critical. Min 2 channels. Does such a thing exist? I have seen the Lynx AES 16e but don't need 16 channels output (or expense?) My issues here are Jitter handling - I am not sure whether the Levinson DAC reclocks the signal. Of course I can go for a newer tech asynchronous usbDAC but do not want to eliminate the levinson. DSP - Maximally bypassing all operating system DSP Driver - Should the soundcard come with an ASIO driver? Buses - Do buses make a difference (usb,PCI,whatever) ? Any issues with jitter/clocking, speed/ bandwidth, RF/EMI/other interference, unnecessary signal electrical conversions between different buses etc ?? CPU/MOBO I am thinking a Haswell i5 maybe for its low power consumption.Want eSATA and usb3 connectivity and at least two full sized SATA internal drives. CASE and PSU To match the above. Cheers, David
  7. I have a gaming PC that I built last year. I built it for both gaming and as my stereo for listening to music in a lossless audio format. I have just wiped my computer clean for a fresh start after encountering some issues with Windows 10. I am in the process of transitioning from Google's Android service to Apple. I will be ripping my audio CD collection to Apple Lossless Audio Compression (ALAC) for listening to the music on the computer at home and to iTunes Plus format for iPhone and iPad while traveling. I am aware that audio converter software can alter audio file properties in both sound quality and data structure such as bit-rates and sample-rates and Equalizers can affect sound quality during audio playback. I am also aware that audio files could be lost or destroyed due to factors such as viruses, bad hard drives, and reformatting the computer. However, when I was reinstalling Windows 10, these questions came to mind and I hope someone can answer them. 1. Can applying custom operational or functional settings to Windows 10 (maintenance, security, hibernation, etc.) permanently alter the audio properties (bit-rate, hertz, etc.) or sound quality of my music files? 2. After reinstalling the operating system, can Windows 10 permanently alter the audio properties or sound quality of my music files stored on either the internal hard drive or the external backup hard drive during the copy process to or from the PC? I know these may sound like ridiculous questions, but I intend to put my audio CDs into storage at my local storage unit (which is climate controlled) after I have ripped them to ALAC. I want to retain and protect the original sound quality from the CDs both so I can create lossy copies from the original source and so I do not have to dig out the CDs again to regain the original sound quality. Also, I use an audio analyzer called Fakin' The Funk to both verify that my music files match their stated audio properties and to locate possible corrupted music files. It seems reliable, but does anyone know of an alternative program which may be more reliable for analyzing and inspecting my music files? Thanks.
  8. Dear Audiophiles, Is a good pair of headphones for vocal records and mixing supposed to sound like shit? What I mean by that is, I am starting to assume that you actually want studio headsets for recording/mixing vocals to sound as flat and boring as possible so you can then make the correct adjustment and add the correct effects yourself (so if the audio then sounds good from TRASH cans, it should sound awesome when doing playback from anything else). Is this assumption correct? Why am I even asking this question? Well, EVERYONE seems to swear by various Sennheiser models, Sony MDR-7506 and Beyerdynamic 770... For studio headphones under $300. But when you listen to this audio sample from 1:20 comparing popular budget candidates from popular brands. You can CLEARLY hear that the Sennheiser HD280 is bland/tinny, the Sony MDR7506 is flat/boring. Neither have any reverb (which is natural in real life, especially concert halls), only the Audio-Techinca ATH-M40x is close to the original sign signature, but still not as good as the original sound signature. If the Sony MDR7506 are as good as all reviews make them out to be. Then the irony of the sound sample is that the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (which in this case CLEARLY sound the best for casual music listening) is actually the worst for recording/mixing out of the three, because the sound signature is already coloured, right? That would also mean that the ATH-40x are actually stereo or hi-fi headphones NOT studio or monitor headphones as advertised, correct? As for why people who refer to a boring/flat sound (from e.g. Sony MDR7506) as an 'accurate' sound, I have NO IDEA because there is nothing natural about it. Conclusion, is a bland headphone better for vocal recording and mixing of audio due to the reasons stated above or are 90% of people hearing impaired, including self proclaimed producers who seem to swear by the cheap Sony MDR7506. If you can be bothered to listen to this sound sample at 1:20 You can hear that the more expensive Beyerdynamic and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x also sound worse than Audio-Technica ATM-M40x (as far as a natural sound goes), because they lack the clarity. The Beyer are muddy and M50x have an over exaggerated base. Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong I'm not a Sony hater, infact I own a Sony phone, laptop and Bluetooth headset. They are all great products for the price, I just don't understand the positive reviews of the MDR7506 when comparing it to the Technica ATH-M40x for audio playback is like comparing night and day. PS: Sorry if I sounded harsh but I felt it was necessary to be blunt to eliminate confusion.
  9. Hi all! First post here, so nice to meet you all My dilemma is the following: I've a pair of Bose QC25 that I use for everything: phone, music listening, gaming, isolate myself from the outside world.. Everything. I was wondering, is there a way to make them wireless and keep a decent quality? I recently bought this: Sony SH20 which is a bluetooth device where you can plug any headphone you want, but the quality is awful! Any suggestion on how to sort it out? Anyone with the same (solved) problem I'd possibly need something that has a mic, or, even better, use the bose's mic! Thanks a lot! Lollo
  10. I had a squeezebox touch that was connected to a MF M1Dac So I am looking for a replacement for the squeezbox .. But .. maybe I can replace the M1Dac with M1Clic than I might have the streamer I’m looking for + the Dac in one unit. Another option for me is to leave my MF M1DAC as is and buy a Bluesound Node, but I find no comparison about the audio quality between these two possibilities The only thing I know is that the Bluesound (on ipad app) will give me Internet radio stations that cover image imparting played song or album Example: http://radioparadise.com/m3u/mp3-192.m3u Another thing is that cover-art coming from ripped flac files on Nas can be increased does anyone have experience with this
  11. Starting this thread for people (like me) wanting to extract the best possible SQ from their dedicated music streamer set-up; particularly the Auralic Aires, which is discussed at; http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/auralic-aries-hardware-impressions-and-information-21261/ but this thread is specific to sound quality tweaks and comparisons; e.g. USB input vs. network, wifi vs. LAN, SSD vs. HDD, linear PSUs, cables, whatever. Observations with other dedicated streamers/renderers are relevant but this is not about PC-based solutions. Thanks in advance
  12. As I have started discussing here I have replaced my main audio system and have been upgrading it over time. My first post about AC systems seems to have started a bit of a firestorm here and I was unsure if I would even continue writing here. So with a bit of trepidation here goes! Just over a year ago I had an experience that led me to do a lot more research on AC power. --------- One Sunday evening in November 0f 2016 I was working at my computer in my basement office and my son was playing a game on his computer when we heard this rather pronounced 60 cycle buzzing sound. That is NOT good! The circuit breaker on the furnace circuit was buzzing madly when the furnace kicked into high fan. You could feel the panel as well as hear the breaker buzzing, ouch! So rocking the breaker a bit the buzzing diminished. But it took a trained person to actually fix the problem. Over time the wiring in the circuit panel had some loose connections. Seventeen breakers needed tightening and five neutral lines needed the same treatment including two that were physically loose. I have been told that this is a common issue with electrical panels due to vibration being induced in the wiring. I have no evidence to prove that this is a general problem just my one instance. A couple of days later I went to listen to the system to start evaluating a possible cable change… The system sound had changed. I listen to a group of about 25 tracks as a sort of baseline before I change something. It takes me a while to make sure things are in my mind. The world had flipped, the sound was better on the “before” test! After about two hours of listening there was more detail a bit more bass and some stage improvements. The change was noticeable but not earthshaking. I had changed nothing and the system sound changed, WAIT we did change something; one of the loose wires was on the living room circuit where the stereo is. At this time the system was setup with the Mac Mini running Roon, an ARCAM rDAC, the Rotel gear and a pair of B&W Matrix 805 speakers. There was an older power conditioner on the system and all bog standard IEC power cabling. This is mostly a wake up call for us to check our home electrical systems for safety. I am pretty sure that this problem was responsible for some issues with a couple of GFCI devices in my home opening up sort of randomly. I caution against this being a DIY project. The AC panel is not something to work with lightly. Seek professional help if you think there are issues! --Bob
  13. I am trying to figure out if there is a term for the difference in audio quality between these two versions of the same song. The second version sounds significantly more rich and full, for lack of a more specific description, than the first version. I'd also like to know what is responsible for the difference. Is it something to do with particular frequencies being to high or low? Is it related to audio channels? Etc. I specifically need to know what the term is because there is another song that has the same "hollow" sort of sound to it that the 1st upload below has, which I'm trying to compensate for. If I know the term, I might be able to see if and/or how I can fix it. The two versions are listed below: 1st version/Low Quality 2nd vesion/High Quality Thanks in advance for any help!
  14. Hi all, I'm new here and I need some advice. I've been using for sometime now an "old" 2007 MacBook Pro running Lion and Fidelia Advance. The Mac is connected to an Stello Signature DA100 through optical and then the DAC is balanced connected to an SPL Phonitor Headphone Amplifier. The last link of the chain is the sennheiser HD800. I really like how everything sounds and also think Fidelia is an excellent software in terms of sound quality and stability, I guess my only complain is the iPhone/iPad remote app which I found sometime useless when dealing with long names in classical music.... anyway, finally my question...I'm thinking is about time to get a new MacBook Pro, and I was wondering if the solid state storage in the Retina model will some how make any improvement SOUND WISE in my setting or not at all? Thanks!
  15. We recently conducted some controlled double-blind listening tests and measurements on six popular headphones to study the relationship between perception and measurement of headphone sound quality. The question we posed was can listeners agree on what headphones they prefer based on sound quality? And can their headphone preferences be predicted based on a set of objective measurements? I've post a summary of the paper with a link to the slides we presented at the recent AES Convention: Audio Musings by Sean Olive: The Relationship between Perception and Measurement of Headphone Sound Quality
  16. Hello. I am confused about what is the best means (sound quality wise) of moving digital music files to a DAC. I read all about USB DACs using asynchronous connections so that the DAC takes over clock duties from the Pc (is that something to do with jitter?), how the various types of connections can be limited in the music file's maximum bit depth and sampling frequency etc etc. How does ethernet fare up sound quality wise? I assume it is unlimited when it comes to the music file's bit depth and sampling frequency, but what about jitter, clock ownership? Please, can someone out there tell me what the best connection is, technically? I am assuming that the best connection technically will also be the best connection for outright sound quality?? Many thanks.
  17. Hello everyone, my name is Joaquim and I'm 19 years old. As a huge pink floyd fan I got myself over the time a few vinyl records, just for collecting them really, since I never had a turntable...( Sadly the world tends to do this thing so called evolving and these are not so popular as I believe they used to). Well this Christmas my mother fondly got me one to allow me to listen to these records as I so much desired. It was very generous of her because although surely it's price is no way near your guy's equipment I know it was not very easy for her to pay. That said you're probably guessing right that is not a high end one, I'll post a link at the end(but if I can't it's a ENCODER TURNTABLE ‘MEMPHIS’ (BLACK)) The problem here is, as someone who religiously dedicates a time of the day to calmly listen to .flac files on the computer I tend to be a little bit picky when it get to music. I obviously don't want to tell her "its not very good and I don't want it" but I want to make a good use of it. The reason for me coming to ask for help being how can I in any way that does not involve spending much money improve it's sound quality? I am aware that turntable put out a little bit of static noise however it feels like its a little bit too much, I am assuming its not the records, since they were never played before, nor the speakers that it has incorporated since i get a lot of static in the headphones aswell... Is there anything I can do? Do I need to be more specific in anyway? Thanks in advance I'll be waiting for a reply. Encoder Turntable ‘Broadway’ (Red) | Bigben EN
  18. Hello, I'm in the process of optimising my MacMini to serve as my sole audio source to the rest of my system. I've been reading here two contradictory approaches: 1. Run as few apps as possible. If possible only your player (A+ in my case). Everything interferes with the SQ. vs 2. Use something like Splashtop to control the MacMini remotely and get rid of display, mouse and keyboard. Since Splashtop (or whatever) has to transfer everything happening in the MacMini screen to the remote client, I'd say it must do quite a lot of screen scrapping, even when you're not interacting with it. Has anyone found that a headless MacMini (running the inevitable screen scrapping server) sounds worse than a MacMini with display and bluetooth mouse and keyboard? Cheers, Nuno
  19. Hi guys, I currently own a very cheap, thin black 3.5mm to phono cable, which is running between my amp and my Macbook Pro. I think it's probably time to upgrade as there is no reason I should have such a cheap cable in my chain. I'm ideally still looking for a value cable, just one that isn't £1; the max i'd be able to spend is between £15 and £20 but ideal would be £10. Would I notice any discernible difference with a new cable at this price? Also my setup is: Macbook Pro > Audirvana Plus > Fiio E10K > Pioneer A-676 (Old) > Monitor Audio BR2's > BK XXLS400 As you can see it's a fairly basic system. The Fiio is being delivered as I type this and I just didn't want a cable to be holding the whole thing back. Any advice would be welcomed, thanks .
  20. Hello, I recently got a new computer and realized that they did not have any speakers in them. I have set of apple ear pods that i usually use but sometime i don't feel like wearing them so I went looking of a set of second hand speakers. I stumbled this set of Acoustic Research speakers somewhere and they look like a decent set of headphones, but i'm not sure if i should get them because they are pretty old. I'm not sure what model it is either do any of you recognize it? I also read somewhere that Acoustic Research made high end equipment but was told that it was 12 years old so i'm not too sure how much long it will last. Some others that i have asked have said that it looked like it was 30 years old which make me a bit more pessimistic. the seller said: "Speakers are in good condition but do have a few small marks. All speaker drivers are working well. Connected to a phone the speakers sound great." What is the model/sku of these speakers? How much should this set of they worth? How much longer should they last? Should i get them? Are they even good? So many questions, i know, sorry about that. I'm not really an audiophile so my what seems like a nice set of speakers may not actually be nice. Please let me know if they are not. Thankyou
  21. Hello everyones, I live since a month in a new house, and i love my new setup and sound quality here... for the first time in my life, i can really blast my music like i want The floor on my right speaker is higher then on the left one (old house). I adjusted the spikes like i could on the left to try to aligned the tweeters on both, but it seems that there is still around one inch difference on them... they are about 10 feet apart and i listen on sofa at maybe 13 feet. My question to be simple since i won't move anything is... Should i don't bother with an inch difference between the 2 speakers at 13 feet distance?? or should i remove the spikes on the right one to be aligned with the speaker on the left still with his spikes?? Is tweeter height is more important for my hearing or it will change for less to have one speaker on spikes and the other directly on floating wood floor. Thank you for reading, RunHomeSlow.
  22. I am hoping this is sufficiently different from other threads to interest people. Perhaps you have experienced that sinking feeling of playing great hits from our past only to find them non-listenable. Most of The Stones, for me, immediately comes to mind. Note: There are heaps of past hits that sound terrible; still great hits in their own right. We want 'classic hits' (let's just say most of us would have heard) from the past (say more than 10 years old) that must impress you as having *great SQ* for the day and *still* sound great today. They don't have to be "audiophile reference" standard, just sound great.They are out there and can sound better than many modern recordings.The aim is to find gems. Covers are welcomed if you think they are exceptional (and could be recorded today so long as the original was more than 10 years old). I am confident we all have our favorites. I have kicked things off - and I have picked some songs from (off-topic) suggestions made in other threads (where I got the idea for this new dedicated thread). David Edit: Feel free to "Upvote" (click on that little up arrow at the bottom of the post). To work in the future, this will require *one* song per post. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fever – Elvis Presley – recommended by myself. Rrecorded as part of the RCA “Elvis is back” sessions when Elvis was discharged from the army. Recorded to 3 track, one track dedicated to his voice. Studio Session for RCA, April 3-5, 1960 Studio : RCA Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee Producer : Steve Sholes/Chet Atkins Engineer : Bill Porter You can hear the reverb, but still a worthy playlist contender. For those that are Peggy Lee Fever Fans: http://www.deezer.com/us/album/15428844 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He Needs me - Nina Simone – From her debut album "Little Girl Blue" 1957, Ryan Smith-remastered SACD 2015 – Recommended by Alex Crespi https://www.discogs.com/Nina-Simone-Little-Girl-Blue/release/8989665#images/25068589 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Love in Vain – The Rolling Stones - Stripped Album 1995 – Recommended by Jud. Album includes some acoustic versions of previous hits. ---------------------------------------------------------- American Woman - The Guess Who - Recommended by Peter St
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