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The Teach-A-Newb Project

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm new to the audiophile scene, but got hooked quite quickly.  In the span of 1 month, I ended up buying the Creative Aurvana Live! (near clone of the Denon 1001K), Audio Technica M50, and Audio Technica AD700.  I guess I could count the Sennheiser 238's too, which I returned since it leaked too much for a portable phone.  

 

Before, I had really mediocre headphones and was blissfully ignorant of what I was missing.  After getting the above entry-level audiophile headphones, I was amazed at the differences.  However, one problem is that I have no memory of a song's characteristics on a headphone unless I immediately switch between two different comparable headphones (e.g. I still can't quite tell the difference between the M50 vs CAL!).  Another problem is that I can get a fuzzy idea of a difference, but can't really describe how.  This is probably because I haven't built up a repertoire of understanding of the terms, and while can understand the definition, can't match it to the sound.  

I've started doing my homework and read this thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/220770/describing-sound-a-glossary

 

But no examples are provided.  So, can you help out newbs like me by perhaps linking to high quality songs in the public domain, Youtube, streaming music, grooveshark.com, etc. and provide a description of what to listen for?  Something on the lines of..."In song A at 1:23, notice the highs are sparkling on the AD700 while it's muddled by the bass-heavy M50" or something like that.

 

I think this thread can really help hook and retain new members with quality contributions.   

post #2 of 4

You can go the pro way, get yourself something like 'golden ears' music production tutorial and start learning :)

 

I will tell you the first thing, without which all your perceived 'differences' can be totally invalid: get yourself a sound pressure level meter, and equalize the volume for your compared pieces of equipment by playing e.g. a 1000 Hz tone.

 

Then, start testing blindly, asking your friend to switch the equipment without your knowledge.

 

You will be surprised that there are not that many differences as you previously thought ;)

post #3 of 4

Playing with a graphic equalizer is a must in order to learn the frequencies, what are the low bass, mid bas, high bass, low medium, mid medium etc.

post #4 of 4

I think learning an instrument/singing helps a lot. When I was introduced to the audiophile scene I had already played quite a bit of piano and violin, and never had to make any effort to notice any impact made by sound.

 

Probably violin helped the most in my listening because my aim to improve the clarity and dynamics takes up a lot of effort..the process of listening to what I play then trying to improve, I guess, had something to do with being a more pedantic audiophile.

 

I don't think youtube offers any high-enough quality audio, but if you happen to obtain a lossless recording of Desperado by the Eagles then I could try.

 

Regardless of what seems effective, I think that if you concentrate on enjoying and appreciating the ability to hear things, a good degree of "acquired hearing" should arrive eventually, and has the best time/enjoyment ratio.

 

When I started browsing these forums I learnt the most common terminology by looking at reviews which describe what the song sounds like to them. My brain goes "aha! I know what you're talking about" and remember it like that. Maybe that helps

 

On that note, I hope anything I said has helped!

 

 

 

Ryan


Edited by vunique - 8/28/10 at 6:34am
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