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Audiophile GAF

Rathalos

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I just ordered a Creative X3 DAC/Amp, it should arrive tonight (gotta love Same Day delivery). I wanted something gaming focused to go with my new headphones, this is without a doubt the best audio setup I've ever had and I'm really looking forward to testing it out.
 

tsumake

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Bit depth is really important. Going from 16 to 24 already makes a huge difference in the dynamics with a proper setup.
Not so sure about sample frequency. Maybe if you go up to 96000Hz and the recordings was also done with that in mind.

It is also not to easy to find productions in this quality or even above. Of course depending on your choise of music.

I love electronic music quite alot. The more niche the better but mixing and mastering quality is mostly average in this genre.
I'm exaggerating a bit here.

"Nomad's Revenge" from Billain and "Exit the Void" from Broken Note are both available in 24bit - 48000Hz and both are mixed and mastered very well.
My prime examples of extreme electronic endeavours that sound crystal clear without being compressed to death.

Other genres are definitely better suited for the availability of high end audio quality.
But it is not common.



Just some thoughts.

From what I understand, higher sample rates help with aliasing (apparently even audio has aliasing) since there are more samples to measure the curve, which also means less need of a filter. I assume it’s akin to having a higher resolution picture (less jaggies) vs taking a lower res image and applying antialiasing.

Of course, if a recording is bad you can’t retrieve information that’s not there. But...


Apparently upsampling helps in certain cases?
 

Maiden Voyage

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I just ordered a Creative X3 DAC/Amp, it should arrive tonight (gotta love Same Day delivery). I wanted something gaming focused to go with my new headphones, this is without a doubt the best audio setup I've ever had and I'm really looking forward to testing it out.
Let us know your impressions! A pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50x's were my first exposure to really caring about the sound. I started hearing instruments or sounds I hadn't noticed before in songs. It's been a journey since.
 
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regawdless

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Let us know your impressions! A pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50x's were my first exposure to really caring about the sound. I started hearing instruments or sounds I hadn't noticed before in songs. It's been a journey since.

Same here! They are very good beginner headphones.
 
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tsumake

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HD6XX Update:

After several days of listening, I think HD6XX has had some burn in. It doesn’t seem to “struggle” as it did before, if that makes sense.

Again, I dinked around with EQ. Part of me says to accept the sound signature as is, part of me wants better sound through software. Ambivalence. I tried the eq in Foobar Just to make slight adjustments. I looked at the frequency response curve on RTINGS and noticed it was depressed at 14khz compared to the Harman Target. I boosted 14hz and a few others which I thought brought the vocals out more. But then I asked myself, is this right? For me it felt like it was going against the intention of the recording. I’m not looking for super accuracy but I want to stay in the ballpark. I loaded up Peace and AutoEQ - after the burn in it was noticeably nicer with autoeq, without the perceived distortion. I’m learning to not heed the siren song of the V shape curve.

I know some argue that the Harman Target curve is v-shaped. Does anyone else use the Harman Target to tune their equipment or something else?
 
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Rathalos

Banned
Sep 9, 2019
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Let us know your impressions! A pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50x's were my first exposure to really caring about the sound. I started hearing instruments or sounds I hadn't noticed before in songs. It's been a journey since.

Right so I've been playing with the Creative X3 and I'm not a massive fan of the software, it was a ballache to setup. Super XFI sounds awful, like I'm in a toilet. SBX sounds better. I think the best is direct sound with Dolby Atmos spatial audio. It's definitely better than the onboard.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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HD6XX Update:

After several days of listening, I think HD6XX has had some burn in. It doesn’t seem to “struggle” as it did before, if that makes sense.

Again, I dinked around with EQ. Part of me says to accept the sound signature as is, part of me wants better sound through software. Ambivalence. I tried the eq in Foobar Just to make slight adjustments. I looked at the frequency response curve on RTINGS and noticed it was depressed at 14khz compared to the Harman Target. I boosted 14hz and a few others which I thought brought the vocals out more. But then I asked myself, is this right? For me it felt like it was going against the intention of the recording. I’m not looking for super accuracy but I want to stay in the ballpark. I loaded up Peace and AutoEQ - after the burn in it was noticeably nicer with autoeq, without the perceived distortion. I’m learning to not heed the siren song of the V shape curve.

I know some argue that the Harman Target curve is v-shaped. Does anyone else use the Harman Target to tune their equipment or something else?
I tried the Harmon Target in Foobar a few years back and decided it was not for me. I enjoy the differences in each headphone so I prefer to general just leave them as is. There are a few songs where I would maybe eq for specific headphones but not really a generic setting for all songs.
 

tsumake

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I tried the Harmon Target in Foobar a few years back and decided it was not for me. I enjoy the differences in each headphone so I prefer to general just leave them as is. There are a few songs where I would maybe eq for specific headphones but not really a generic setting for all songs.

Yeah, I think I’ll be going back and forth on using EQ. I get that you should leave them as is. But I like the Autoeq settings. Speaking of which:

 
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Maiden Voyage

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I've got a little less than half of my vinyl collection ripped into GarageBand. I need to go through and cut/export each individual track. This is going to be quite the undertaking but I am really looking forward to having rips on the home network I can stream whenever.
 
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tsumake

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I've got a little less than half of my vinyl collection ripped into GarageBand. I need to go through and cut/export each individual track. This is going to be quite the undertaking but I am really looking forward to having rips on the home network I can stream whenever.

What kind of equipment did you use to rip it?
 

Godzilla Emu

Banned
Mar 25, 2019
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I just unsealed a 1999 Opeth record and played the second LP on an old ~2000 era stereo system. Hot damn. Major eargasm. Well mixed metal sounds epic on decent "old" audio equipment. Confirmed :messenger_beermugs:

... GAF, if I wanted to upgrade to a more modern turntable/record player - what would you recommend?
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I’ll be curious about your results. I have an lp60 and am thinking about ripping an lp using a Zoom h4n.
I dunno how the lp60 sounds but I love the AT LP120 for what it is. I swapped out the original cartridge for the VM540ML. It's quite the upgrade at $200 (considering the entire TT was $300). The sound is much clearer, especially in the mids & high frequencies. I've done some conversion songs (from GarageBand to WAV) and it sounds identical to listening to the record. I try to avoid pops & clicks but it happens. I'll re-record if there are any issues present. I do need to get a record cleaner at some point. For now I just use the anti-static brush to clean off surface debris.

I just unsealed a 1999 Opeth record and played the second LP on an old ~2000 era stereo system. Hot damn. Major eargasm. Well mixed metal complements great audio equipment. Confirmed :messenger_beermugs:

... GAF, if I wanted to upgrade to a more modern turntable/record player - what would you recommend?
Depends on budget. Best thing to look for regardless is if it has an adjustable counterweight on the back. This helps to avoid excess wear and tear. Tonearm build quality is another.

The other thing I would look for is making sure the cartridge or stylus are replaceable (and with one that is of interest). The stylus is responsible for the majority of the sound output.

If you're in the $500 and less ballpark, I would look at U-Turn Orbit (can add in phono stage or buy external), Pro-ject Essential III (needs an external phono stage), Fluance RT85 (needs external phono stage), or Audio Technica LP-120 (has built-in phono stage).





Each of these brands are reputable. I have only owned the LP120 from AT. I am sort of itching to upgrade at some point, but it will be years down the line.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I've also been thinking about getting into SACDs and CDs in general since standard CDs are going for cheap lately. It pains me that I divested my 800+ collection like 15 years ago. :(
 
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Con-Z-epT

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I've also been thinking about getting into SACDs and CDs in general since standard CDs are going for cheap lately. It pains me that I divested my 800+ collection like 15 years ago. :(
Not just cheap, it feels as if they are dying out.

It does depend on genre. Seems like "everything" is streaming these days.

As much as i love downloads it feels really cool to have some of your favorite music on a physical medium.

Have you ever tried SACD? I don't...

How does it sound?
 
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Maiden Voyage

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Not just cheap, it feels as if they are dying out.

It does depend on genre. Seems like "everything" is streaming these days.

As much as i love downloads it feel really cool to have some of your favorite music on a physical medium.

Have you ever tried SACD? I don't...

How does it sound?
I don't mind streaming at all. I switched over to Apple Music from Spotify recently. I'm bummed that after 10 years with Spotify (joined when they only had paid membership back in 2011), they are finally introducing a CD quality option later this year. Oh well.

I've not heard SACDs before, which is why I think it would be interesting to have access to. SACDs are more expensive than vinyl from what I can tell.

CD would mostly just be to build up my digital library. It would be 'fun' to have an album on several formats that I could listen back and forth on to see what differences I notice. I've read that there are sometimes different masters or mixes depending on the format.
 
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Con-Z-epT

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SACDs are more expensive than vinyl from what I can tell.
Availability is also a thing. As with highend quality downloads the SACD is also kind of limited compared to the standard CD's.
It would be 'fun' to have an album on several formats that I could listen back and forth on to see what differences I notice.
Yup this feels good. I have some albums on CD, Vinyl and different digital formats. A bit obsessive but i don't have a lot. And the ones i have i really love.
I've read that there are sometimes different masters or mixes depending on the format.
I didn't know this.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I didn't know this.

Yeah, basically to optimize for each format.

There was an interview a while back that I watched where a German producer was talking about mixing for Spotify. He discussed how they would master their Spotify releases to be overall louder specifically because the curated playlists had better listener retention on tracks that mixed louder. I cannot for the life of me find again though. I thought maybe it was a John Darko interview but I must be wrong as I cannot find it on his channel.
 
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tsumake

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Yeah, basically to optimize for each format.

There was an interview a while back that I watched where a German producer was talking about mixing for Spotify. He discussed how they would master their Spotify releases to be overall louder specifically because the curated playlists had better listener retention on tracks that mixed louder. I cannot for the life of me find again though. I thought maybe it was a John Darko interview but I must be wrong as I cannot find it on his channel.


The podcast, they talk about the process of mastering. I remember them mentioning that the Apple music master was a minor decibel boost.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I've been watching interviews with audio engineers from some of the well-known companies. I found them quite interesting.


 
Feb 20, 2021
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HD6XX Update:

After several days of listening, I think HD6XX has had some burn in. It doesn’t seem to “struggle” as it did before, if that makes sense.

Again, I dinked around with EQ. Part of me says to accept the sound signature as is, part of me wants better sound through software. Ambivalence. I tried the eq in Foobar Just to make slight adjustments. I looked at the frequency response curve on RTINGS and noticed it was depressed at 14khz compared to the Harman Target. I boosted 14hz and a few others which I thought brought the vocals out more. But then I asked myself, is this right? For me it felt like it was going against the intention of the recording. I’m not looking for super accuracy but I want to stay in the ballpark. I loaded up Peace and AutoEQ - after the burn in it was noticeably nicer with autoeq, without the perceived distortion. I’m learning to not heed the siren song of the V shape curve.

I know some argue that the Harman Target curve is v-shaped. Does anyone else use the Harman Target to tune their equipment or something else?
No burn in. Your brain is getting used to what your ears are hearing.
 

Maiden Voyage

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Sep 5, 2014
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I found my vinyl storage solution:

I've been debating making my own but I haven't much in the way of blueprints/designs that I actually like. I like that I can get the cube product above without any finish or clear coat so I can stain it and then apply a clear coat. I've got a good theme going on in the living space that I don't want to fuck up.

 

Maiden Voyage

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Sep 5, 2014
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I had a $100 gift card to Amazon and now that I have those storage cubes on the way, I picked up some more records for my collection:
  • The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  • Middle Kids - Lost Friends
  • Colter Wall - Western Swing & Waltzes and other Punchy Songs
  • Frank Turner - Poetry of the Deed
  • Frank Turner - Love Ire & Song
I also managed to snag that Viagra Boys album I was looking for. It’s due to arrive this afternoon.

edit: and just like that the VB album was at my doorstep.
 
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Korranator

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Best HD streaming service, and why do you think so?

I'm currently using Amazon Music HD and no complaints so far, but my free trial is ending soon.

Thoughts, suggestions?
 
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tsumake

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Best HD streaming service, and why do you think so?

I'm currently using Amazon Music HD and no complaints so far, but my free trial is ending soon.

Thoughts, suggestions?

Default answer is Tidal or Qobuz, depending on your music tastes. Though I hear that Amazon Music HD has the highest minimum format (lossless) whereas Tidal and Qobuz both have a minimum format of 320kbps MP3. Spotify has a highest quality of 320 kbps mp3, but they announced a “HIFI” option (lossless). Apple Music has issues with content.

I use Spotify for its library and curated playlists, and will probably upgrade to HIFI. Tidal is supposed to be great but you need a dac or player that supports MQA decoding to get the most out of it.
 

Maiden Voyage

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Best HD streaming service, and why do you think so?

I'm currently using Amazon Music HD and no complaints so far, but my free trial is ending soon.

Thoughts, suggestions?
I did a trial w/ Amazon HD as well. I was quite impressed. I felt the Flaming Heads album 'American Head' in particular sounded leaps better in Flac. I considered getting a sub, but ultimately I decided to just seek out the tracks in Flac (or vinyl) for the albums I felt would make a difference.

I hear great things about both Tidal & Qobuz. If I had to pick one platform right now, I would probably go with Tidal or wait for the CD quality tier from Spotify.
 
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tsumake

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I did a trial w/ Amazon HD as well. I was quite impressed. I felt the Flaming Heads album 'American Head' in particular sounded leaps better in Flac. I considered getting a sub, but ultimately I decided to just seek out the tracks in Flac (or vinyl) for the albums I felt would make a difference.

I hear great things about both Tidal & Qobuz. If I had to pick one platform right now, I would probably go with Tidal or wait for the CD quality tier from Spotify.

How did you listen to Amazon HD? On your computer, mobile, etc?
 

tsumake

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So I’m wrangling Windows 10 get the best sound. Everyone’s saying “go bit-perfect,” which means using WASAPI exclusive or ASIO (actually, just ASIO for purists). The catch is, you can’t use a system wide equalizer (like equalizer APO) with either of those drivers. I use Equalizer APO because it’s a free parametric equalizer that recognizes the autoeq presets. You can, however, use WASAPI shared and use the equalizer. But, people say that driver is no better than the original mixer/directsound. But, that last point depends what how your audio sources are set up.

So, I set up Foobar with the SRC resampler component and set it to best sinc, with a 4x upsampling. I initially didn’t hear a difference, until I changed the Windows sampling rate from 44.1/24 to 176.4/24 (4x 44.1). That will make it on par with most of my music (44.1) and any of the higher res music will simply be downsampling to 176.4. I’m assuming Windows can’t fuck up downsampling audio (too much). If I’m wrong, let me know. It’s a learning experience.

So, when I changed it to 176.4, I heard a noticeable improvement. I guess that’s what they mean by less of an antialiasing filter.
 
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Con-Z-epT

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Long vid but might be of interest if you're skeptical of MQA. Never heard MQA myself.
I have not watched the video but to reply in some way i still have a hard time to wrap my head around MQA.
In my eyes it is more a way to compress high quality audio in the best way and deliver it as good as possible.

Many of my acquaintances preach that this is the best thing ever, yet i'm sure that it is solely dependent on the source material.

I don't want to diminish the whole concept of MQA but i would like to be realistic about it.
 
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Con-Z-epT

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Completely of topic but the remote for my 5.1 surround system is dying.

I already contacted the manufacturer just that he tells me they have no exchange and are not able to repair it.

Do you guys have any experience with universal remote controls? Is that even the correct term?

I think i have to buy one to keep my system going.
 
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tsumake

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I have not watched the video but to reply in some way i still have a hard time to wrap my head around MQA.
In my eyes it is more a way to compress high quality audio in the best way and deliver it as good as possible.

Many of my acquaintances preach that this is the best thing ever, yet i'm sure that it is solely dependent on the source material.

I don't want to diminish the whole concept of MQA but i would like to be realistic about it.


I think people are dancing around the argument that it’s snake oil.

With today’s bandwidth, what would be most feasible is lossless 44.1/24. You can still label it as “high res” and still get excellent quality. Higher sample rates is a waste for streaming.
 
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tsumake

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Long vid but might be of interest if you're skeptical of MQA. Never heard MQA myself.


So this guy makes a good argument against the Magnius - I would prefer a discrete amp myself. Anyone have experience with the Magnius? Should I just aim for a Jotunheim?
 

Korranator

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So this guy makes a good argument against the Magnius - I would prefer a discrete amp myself. Anyone have experience with the Magnius? Should I just aim for a Jotunheim?
I was able to have a very limited demo on a modius / magnius stack inter connected with balanced cables. Although, I was only able to test the single ended output, so I wasn't able to hear the full potential of this stack. That said, you could hear a instant upgrade versus a modi /magi stack, and it was close to the asgard. I'm going by memory here though, so someone with more time with that stack would obviously have better advice.
 

tsumake

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I was able to have a very limited demo on a modius / magnius stack inter connected with balanced cables. Although, I was only able to test the single ended output, so I wasn't able to hear the full potential of this stack. That said, you could hear a instant upgrade versus a modi /magi stack, and it was close to the asgard. I'm going by memory here though, so someone with more time with that stack would obviously have better advice.

Hmm, thanks. In terms of upgrade, I’m thinking either:

- get a Magnius, pair with Modi 3 until I get a Modius or

- get a Jotunheim, pair with a Modi 3 until I get a multibit dac card for the Jotunheim

Thoughts?
 

Korranator

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Hmm, thanks. In terms of upgrade, I’m thinking either:

- get a Magnius, pair with Modi 3 until I get a Modius or

- get a Jotunheim, pair with a Modi 3 until I get a multibit dac card for the Jotunheim

Thoughts?

Depends on what type of sound you prefer R2R multibit or Delta sigma, and how much money you are willing to spend. The Jotunheim with a MB is an extra $200 over the modius / magnius stack.
 
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tsumake

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Depends on what type of sound you prefer R2R multibit or Delta sigma, and how much money you are willing to spend. The Jotunheim with a MB is an extra $200 over the modius / magnius stack.

Therein lies the rub: should I just skip the magnius/modius route and go for the next step up?

I’ve never heard an R2R, but I think I would like it.
 
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