Author Topic: The Lair of the Audiophile!  (Read 12234 times)

Offline Crixx_Creww

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 08:59:52 PM »
http://www.amazon.com/Grado-Prestige-Series-Stereo-Headphone/dp/B000G3LCQC?&tag=lifehackeramzn-20&ascsubtag=[referrer|lifehacker.com[type|link[postId|5949489[asin|B000G3LCQC[authorId|5716553178370339807

Carigamers

Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 08:59:52 PM »

Offline Kraeoss

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2014, 09:50:36 AM »
very informative thread, albeit light years away from what i can afford :)
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Offline W1nTry

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2014, 02:35:56 PM »
very informative thread, albeit light years away from what i can afford :)
Nah man? serious? so you saying you can afford $60USD games but not a $45usd headphone? remember like a PC you don't have to go hard immediately, you can start with just the headphone which can be night and day difference I assure you. Then when yuh save a bit, get the p2p amp. Combined its the same as 2 AAA games.

Offline AR!

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2014, 03:31:56 PM »
Watch those sales...never know what you might find. I am currently trying to palm off my HD518 onto my bose-happy pops, so I can find an excuse/funding to splurge on the much lauded ATH-M50.

Offline Berzerk

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2014, 07:05:29 PM »
own an athm50  awesome pair of phones.



Carigamers

Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2014, 07:05:29 PM »

Offline W1nTry

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2014, 11:33:23 PM »
So I received my Schiit combo today and let's start with the packaging quality. It was as expected shipped as one parcel with 2 separate boxes in side for each item. The internal packaging was all cardboard, sturdy and compact. All items landed with no damage and within 9 days of purchase. They accept paypal and ship to freight forwarders with no issue.
All in all the total package was ~ 230USD + $71TT shipping (courtesy Caribox). Each item has a solid feel to it, all Aluminium body, silver, very easy on the eyes. It comes with 4 rubber legs that you apply at will on each device. I opted for the 6" PYST RCA cables which at $20usd (included in total above).
The devices as per pics below are made to be stacked, with the Modi DAC on the bottom as there are perforations on the top of the Magni to allow for cooling of the AMP. The Magni gets slightly warm after constant use, but the all aluminium body as well as the vents more than provide adequate cooling (unless you live in a furnace).
Setup is as easy as the website alludes, there are NO drivers to install. My Windows 8 PC recognised the DAC without so much as a notification and sure enough connected via USB it just WORKS. The AMP has a small power switch at the back and the both of them have a white front LED to indicate they are powered. The AMP uses a 6.35mm (1/4") stereo connector and it fits snugly. All components feel snug and well seated. When purchasing the AC adapter for the AMP you can select your region power connector (US, Europe, Japan, etc).

Now the real meat, the SOUND.... before I get to it i'll give a little history of how I got to where I am now (aka beginner audiophile - stress on beginner). I've owned several different audio devices throughout my life. I was a early believer of dedicated sound card in the Pentium 3 days when onboard was truly atrocious, so from Creative Sound blaster 16 to Audigy, Audigy 2 ZS Platinum, back to onboard (by this point it had become 'good enough'). I own Logitech Z2300, Z5500, LS21 and more recently a G45 gaming headset and other speakers along the way I can't remember (altec lansing, etc). I also own the nigh indestructable Sharkoon Gaming headset.
I basically went from normal PC speakers to power PC speakers, to powerful 5.1 PC speakers, to console/PC compatible positional gaming headset, PC gaming headset and now finally to an Audio-Technica ATH-M30 and Schiit Modi and Magni DAC and AMP.
All along the way there was an improvement in some form or fashion. Sometimes it was just raw power output, sometimes it was 5.1 and finally it was clarity. The jump from desktop speakers to the Sharkoon was fueled by the need for positional audio in FPS games. When I first used my Sharkoons I was surprised at how much details I was missing in games. I was amazed but the ambient sounds you would just never notice with stereo, or on even the Z5500 unless the volume was enough to get me evicted. I was satisfied with this for some 2-3 years but truth be told they are not great for full bass and they are HEAVY. Heavy enough that I am certain daily use has thinned my hair a bit (according to the hear dresser)  :ph34r:
So I finally opted for a light weight headset and with my re-surgence in PC gaming I thought what the heck. Enter Logitech G45. From the minute I used these I realized the Sharkoon were definitely dated. Apart from my HAIR thanking me for the 5oz headset my EARS were awakened yet again (much in the way the Sharkoon originally did). Heights were cleaner, bass deeper and more full body. I could HEAR AGAIN (again).
Skip forward to now. Courtesy of Crixx and Messiaah and they incessant audiophile tongue lashings I opted to take on crixx suggestion (it doesn't happen unless mercury and Uranus align I assure you) and chance a 47USD headset. The Audio-Technica ATH-M30 (with 2 year insurance no less  (+)).
So ~$47USD + $20TT shipping and about 2 weeks later they were on my head yet again awakening me to the difference in quality I had surely been missing. Truth be told the difference in perceived quality between the M30 and the G45 is surely less than the Sharkoon and G45. To put it another way:
Desktop speakers -> Sharkoon == Night and day
Sharkoon -> G45 == Night and day
G45 -> M30 == Mid morning to evening
M30 -> M30 + Schiit combo == Dawn to mid day (sound is brighter, even cleaner and bass is even more full body)

Let me try to put into words what I perceive as the difference:
Clarity - you HEAR words, notes, instruments you didn't even KNOW were there. You wonder at the completeness of sounds even as the volume increases without distortion.
Depth - Bass is full, more body (akin to a good subwuffer without the large box). Depending on the headphones you get more punch to the bass. It's concise and not a blur of heavy vibrations like you're in a fete.
To expand on the last comparison of dawn to mid day. Think of when you're driving at dawn/dusk. It;s neither bright nor dark. So your headlights make little difference and the sun isn't up enough to light the way. This is the best comparison I can think of, as once its midday, its bright and clear. You can see further and more easily. In the same way the combo has made the sound even more crisp, clear and deep. And consider its a CHEAP headset. I have my eye on something to come, but that will be in time.

Would I recommend spending money on better audio? a resounding YES. Would I recommend the Schiit, a resounding YES. Would I recommend it to EVERYONE, a resounding NO. Like all hobbies you eventually hit the wall of diminishing returns. Its the same for cars, PCs, audio, etc. This is something you have to have an interest or passion for. Will your ears thank you for it? HELL YES. Will you find such a distinct difference between your run of the mill $30TT headset and my current setup YES. Will you feel you are justified moving from say a G45 to my setup maybe not. For me YES, but as with everything quality based mileage will vary.

I am quite happy with what I have but I WILL be moving onto a proper $200-$300USD pair of headphones at SOME point in time.

Other points to note:
In addition to improving the quality of your hardware, it is ESSENTIAL you move to improved sources. mp3-FLAC is NIGHT and DAY. Using a good player like JRiver or even AIMP (the successor to winamp). You can't overhaul your car engine intake and exhaust and continue to just run on good ole super. You would be intentionally hampering your gains. Using WASAPI - bypassing windows sound processing allowing your sound card or DAC to covert the digital format back into analog sound.

I used a DAC as my PC is an HTPC and I do NOT have space for another PCIe card. Hence I needed to move to USB. A good sound card could suite you very well if you have the space. So the jump you make need not destroy your pocket.
 
Lastly go to Head-fi.org and READ READ READ, oh and also ask anyone on the forum who you see actively participating in these types of discussions.











« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 11:47:14 PM by W1nTry »

Offline woodyear99

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2014, 11:54:01 PM »
Hmm impressive. Makes me want to at least get a decent pair of headphones.

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Offline W1nTry

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2014, 12:00:11 AM »
Hearing is believing though, I just switched back to the G45 after listening whole evening to my Schiit setup... to make it fair in terms of what ppl normally listen to, I was listening to youtube... OMG the difference is MILES... I can almost appreciate crixx and messiaah statement of penis in ears.... it's THAT noticeable.

Offline MessiaaH

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2014, 12:01:10 AM »
Ah boy, audigy 2 zs, i remember those days, epic! :)

Z5500 provide many hrs of audio enjoyment as well.
Also owned a judgement altec lansign sub, dual 6", that rocked in it's day.

Drop on flaw laughing @ "incessant audiophile tongue lashings" bhrbharhahha

@ I opted to take on crixx suggestion (it doesn't happen unless mercury and Uranus align I assure you):  breheheheheheheh

Good review man.

This is really a hobby, and once you start, you'll start creeping your way to better gear. Great that this thread and discussion was useful to you in providing a 'cheap' path to enter with noticeable gains.

In audio there most definitely are diminishing returns the higher you go. But keep in mind, technology also advanced significantly over the last few years. creeping your way from entry to say midrange, would be small steps. But once you hit a proper $400~ headphone, your mileage will dramatically increase. And once you move from that to flagship status, say $1000~ phone, there will be another dramatic jump. It sounds hard to believe. When you enter hifi, the music sounds so good, so clear, so wonderful, its hard to imagine it possibly sounding any better. But remember the first time you heard the sharkoon, im sure your brain told you the same thing. There's a lot,....I stress... ALOT more to be enjoyed. Have fun on your journey. (The new headphones you're considering would be significantly better than what you have now, then you'll understand a bit more on what I've just said.)

Also, some impressions in gaming would be appreciated when you get chance.

Hope to have a listen to your gear some day.

GG, WP! Hifi to the world!  :banana:




Offline MessiaaH

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2014, 12:02:56 AM »
Hearing is believing though, I just switched back to the G45 after listening whole evening to my Schiit setup... to make it fair in terms of what ppl normally listen to, I was listening to youtube... OMG the difference is MILES... I can almost appreciate crixx and messiaah statement of penis in ears.... it's THAT noticeable.

Ahhhh, I was waiting on that. the moment when you SWITCH BACK! that is when the difference is most noticeable. Your brain does get accustom to nice thing, and is only when you try to go back do you notice the "dirty penis in ears".

Go listen to the sharkoon....:laughing7:

Offline woodyear99

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What Does It Take To Turn The PC Into A Hi-Fi Audio Platform?
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2014, 05:23:44 PM »
Relevant....

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733.html

Most hi-fi audio is stored in digital form. With advancements in lossless compression, bit-perfect ripping/streaming, HD audio formats, multi-terabyte storage, and PC-friendly DACs, has the PC earned a place among high-end audio gear? At what price point?

Hi-fi stands for high-fidelity. Specifically, the high fidelity of a reproduced audio signal compared to its original source. Recording and reproducing sound introduces artifacts, and your listening environment has an effect as well. So, playing back recorded audio never sounds exactly the same as the original. You can get pretty close, though.

McIntosh MC275 50th Anniversary: A $6500 amplifier with no DAC capabilitiesMcIntosh MC275 50th Anniversary: A $6500 amplifier with no DAC capabilities

Hi-fi often is often associated with exotic (and expensive) equipment. Tube amplifiers. Silver cables. Gold-plated interconnects.

Yet, unless you own a dozen shelves of 180-gram vinyl records, most of your hi-fi audio is probably stored in an affordable digital format, either on optical media (like CDs, DVDs, SACDs, and LaserDiscs) or magnetic storage, in the form of files on your hard drive.

In order to play back that content, you need a few different components. You need something to access the information (a CD reader, perhaps). You need to convert the digital signal back into an analog one using something called a Digital to Analog Converter, or DAC. You need an amplifier. And finally, you need something to create sound pressure waves in the air around you at the right frequencies set by the signal (speakers or headphones).

Offline MessiaaH

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2014, 10:59:02 PM »


Currently on sale for $3950...hmmmm....
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 11:17:25 PM by MessiaaH »

Offline MessiaaH

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2014, 05:54:29 PM »

Offline woodyear99

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2014, 12:07:03 AM »
EDIT: Well based on the recommendation in this thread I ended up ordering the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x for $69. I've never bought such expensive headphones before, hope my ears thank me.....The last headphones I had was the Turtle Beach PS3 Ear Force P11.

Are these any good? Seeing them for $49 (Don't want to spend more than $50)

Audio-Technica ATH-M35
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M35-Closed-Back-Dynamic-Headphones/dp/B00242J0XU/ref=pd_cp_MI_2

What's the difference between the M35 and the M30?

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M30-Professional-Closed-back-Headphones/dp/B00007E7C8/ref=pd_cp_MI_0
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 12:33:43 AM by woodyear99 »

Offline Mickey

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Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2014, 04:34:10 PM »
so you guys into diy stuff as well it is the best way to get super cool gear at a super cool price there are even vintage remakes, tube bessness for cheap

Carigamers

Re: The Lair of the Audiophile!
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2014, 04:34:10 PM »

 


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