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NAD Receiver beats LD MKIVse?? - Page 9

post #121 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
Actually that was what I meant--not that they haven't ever plugged into the NAD, but that their impressions were hopelessly tainted by all they'd read on HeadFi and other forums: that they heard, in fact, exactly what they expected and had been told they would hear. Or, as you suggest, they liked what they heard but no way were going to admit it on a forum of happy Opera Corda owners. Or--the most likely scenario--they liked what they heard so assumed that a dedicated amp had to be at least three times better. That's one I've fallen into myself, but no more.
I fell into that trap with portable amps. I bought 3, 2 under $100 and one over. None are significantly better than the iPod and one is significantly worse. All of them have too much gain for portable headphones. I can't get the volume low enough. It's made me leary of $200 plus home amps.

I use one of the portables as a home amp at work, plugged in instead of off of the battery. Hopefully, it'll be replaced soon with a hybrid that I'm building for under $100.

OT: Anyone notice the new smiles. Not appropriate to this thread, but I really like this one
post #122 of 191
Somebody might have mentioned this already...

It's a lot easier to figure out if an integrated amp has a good headphone jack than with dedicated headphone amps.

Even the small town I live in has a store that has at least 10 different receivers. If I drive north to Indianapolis (90 minutes) there are five major chains and at least two high end stores. If I cared enough to do it I could spend a day plugging my headphones into at least 50 different receivers. Sony, HK, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, NAD, Marantz, Cambridge are all represented. The only problem is that I might feel like a bit of a fool with my over sized headphones.

If I want to test a dedicated headphone amp I just have to drive to Headroom (1600 miles). Or maybe Chicago (232 miles) to test out the CI audio. I might feel like a fool walking around with huge headphones in all the stores around here, but I'll probably feel like a bigger fool when I pay $30 to ship back my dedicated amp because it sounds the same or slightly better than an integrated amp.

A emoticon for the road.
post #123 of 191
I got my Starving Student Millet Hybrid working and I must say it matches tfarney's description of the Glow amp. So far I've listened with a Sextett and Yamaha HP-1. There's an obvious difference with the Sextett when I A/B them. Either the mids are elevated with the SSMH or recessed with the NAD. It's not as obvious with the Yamaha. With the Sextetts, there's a little more fullness to the mids as well. I'm planning on using it as my work amp and I doubt that I'll miss it at home.

It's a great little cheap amp. I spent about $75 in parts, only because I bought double of everything assuming I would screw something up and I did. I fried both mosfets, one when trying to close the lid for the first time and the other trying to figure out what I did I also ruined the first case I tried to drill because of not knowing what I was doing. So $75, with spare tubes seems a pretty good price to me. It's still 5 times the price of my NAD.

BTW, I'm running it off of the tape out of the NAD.
post #124 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
I got my Starving Student Millet Hybrid working and I must say it matches tfarney's description of the Glow amp. So far I've listened with a Sextett and Yamaha HP-1. There's an obvious difference with the Sextett when I A/B them. Either the mids are elevated with the SSMH or recessed with the NAD. It's not as obvious with the Yamaha. With the Sextetts, there's a little more fullness to the mids as well. I'm planning on using it as my work amp and I doubt that I'll miss it at home.

It's a great little cheap amp. I spent about $75 in parts, only because I bought double of everything assuming I would screw something up and I did. I fried both mosfets, one when trying to close the lid for the first time and the other trying to figure out what I did I also ruined the first case I tried to drill because of not knowing what I was doing. So $75, with spare tubes seems a pretty good price to me. It's still 5 times the price of my NAD.

BTW, I'm running it off of the tape out of the NAD.
I even doubt my own ears about the recessed mids thing. The thing is, I hear recessed mids when the recording recesses them. I hear forward mids when they're mastered that way. Now if I had a bunch of different cans hanging around here to compare, it may vary a bit more. I remain convinced that 90% of audio reproduction is recording and transducers, and we're tweaking the last 10% with everything else.

Still, there's something to tubes and midrange.

Tim
post #125 of 191
I was switching back and forth with the same music, so it wasn't just the recording. I didn't level match, so it's an imperfect comparison. I did turn the NAD up so that it's volume was higher just to make sure it wasn't lower volumes that was causing the difference and it didn't appear to be volume related.

It was a very small difference. I didn't notice it on music that I wasn't very familiar with.
post #126 of 191
"I remain convinced that 90% of audio reproduction is recording and transducers, and we're tweaking the last 10% with everything else."

Totally agree, I've never heard as big a difference in any CD player or amp as I hear between CDs. And I believe that's where the real gains are yet to be made, though somehow SACD and DVD-A haven't quite done it for me (or anyone else apparently).
post #127 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
"I remain convinced that 90% of audio reproduction is recording and transducers, and we're tweaking the last 10% with everything else."

Totally agree, I've never heard as big a difference in any CD player or amp as I hear between CDs. And I believe that's where the real gains are yet to be made, though somehow SACD and DVD-A haven't quite done it for me (or anyone else apparently).
I don't think it has anything to do with SACD or DVD-A. There seems to be plenty of potential in redbook cds. It's the recording and mastering. Really great live recordings, or very simple, clean studio recordings, can have a wonderful sense of space and great realism in tone, texture and dynamics, even played back on pretty modest electronics (and really good transducers). Harsh, compressed, noise-reduced, heavy-handed eq...it actually sounds worse on better equipment. I suspect it would sound worse on higher resolution formats as well.

If you want to hear what redbook is capable of, chase down the original Warner Brothers cds (not the remasters currently being sold) of Van Morrison's "It's Too Late To Stop Now," or Bill Evans' "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" (this remaster is great). These are straightforward live recordings made by people who thought the best thing to do would be to capture the performance, not futz with it. The tone, texture and sense of the ambient space is wonderful. Even in headphones it's not bad.

Tim
post #128 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
"I remain convinced that 90% of audio reproduction is recording and transducers, and we're tweaking the last 10% with everything else."

Totally agree, I've never heard as big a difference in any CD player or amp as I hear between CDs. And I believe that's where the real gains are yet to be made, though somehow SACD and DVD-A haven't quite done it for me (or anyone else apparently).
Research has been done about this. At normal listening levels people cannot tell the difference between a 24 bit 192 khz and 16 bit 44 khz if the conversion is done well. It only becomes apparent, because of the difference in dynamic range, at volumes well beyond what most people would listen to. Of course, I think that applies when the dynamic range hasn't been compressed in the first place.

There's even some stories floating around about how music companies would purposefully downgrade the quality of the CD layer on SACD so that people could tell the difference and declare the superiority of SACD.
post #129 of 191
Thread Starter 
Well I have to admit I didn't like to say/admit that my NAD sounds bette then my MKIVse, especially when I look what I paid for it... But maybe its good to let people know that there are also different opinions about 'what is better'
post #130 of 191
Actually listening to James Taylor and I have to admit that my DT990 sounds really good out my NAD...
post #131 of 191
I thought I posted in this thread already . I sold my Corda Arietta and Laconic Lunchbox because I liked the sound of my NAD 7220PE better. It was like 60 bucks shipped.

My father's 7600 sounds even better, but those go for over 300 bucks.

The HD600 sounded better out of my Arietta, but I don't really like them anyway.
post #132 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
I don't think it has anything to do with SACD or DVD-A. There seems to be plenty of potential in redbook cds. It's the recording and mastering. Really great live recordings, or very simple, clean studio recordings, can have a wonderful sense of space and great realism in tone, texture and dynamics, even played back on pretty modest electronics (and really good transducers). Harsh, compressed, noise-reduced, heavy-handed eq...it actually sounds worse on better equipment. I suspect it would sound worse on higher resolution formats as well.
Well, I've now heard about 5 SACDs and not liked any of them. They're distant and mushy with a rolled off treble: I've actually preferred the Red Book cut on the disc. When I post about this on audiophile forums they invariable ask what recording it is and then say, "Oh yeah, that is a crap recording. You ought to try...." Fact is, I don't think SACD or DVD-A cut the mustard and hence their slow demise. I won't be buying any more. Of course, it could be, and probably is, that they only come into their own in multi-channel format, but that's not much good to an exclusive headphone listener, right? I want a two channel format that removes the digital nasties from redbook CDs, and SACD ain't it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
If you want to hear what redbook is capable of, chase down the original Warner Brothers cds (not the remasters currently being sold) of Van Morrison's "It's Too Late To Stop Now," or Bill Evans' "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" (this remaster is great). These are straightforward live recordings made by people who thought the best thing to do would be to capture the performance, not futz with it. The tone, texture and sense of the ambient space is wonderful. Even in headphones it's not bad.

Tim
Sorry, Van Morrison isn't quite my bag. Vaughan Williams maybe.

But hey, you say it's a great recording and I'm sure it is, but I've heard redbook recordings of live performances that--as you suggest in your first paragraph--sound like you're on stage, so to what degree is SACD going to improve on that? Yes, it's all in the recording/mastering. I just think there aren't enough really talented people around in this area. Listen to some old 60s/70s recordings and you think, wow, why can't they do that now? And given that equipment has to have improved over the period, they should be doing much better.
post #133 of 191
Thread Starter 
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post #134 of 191
Just as a follow-on from my SACD comments, I'm currently listening to an SACD disc whose SACD cut is about 15db below the redbook level. Has anyone else struck this? Plus when I go to record the SACD cut onto my minidisc deck I find there's some kind of copy protection and I get nothing. Wow, what great incentives will they come up with next to persuade us to move to the new format?
post #135 of 191
Um, in my humble opinion, my brand new LD Mk II has just clobbered my NAD C352 driving a pair of AKG K701s on sound quality. It's just the extreme bass that seems reduced in level on the Mk II, which is still being broken in BTW.
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