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Confessions of a failing audiophile - Page 9

post #121 of 168

I personally find that the law of diminishing returns is also just as big an effect as aging ears. The jump from iBuds to real headphones is pretty much unmatched. Another problem is the full setup. Any bad component in a high-end setup will degrade the entire setup. Unless you have a computer with a good DAC, any external DAC should help.

post #122 of 168
I was just messing with everyone with that round robin that showed the AKG's being ultimately superior to themselves. '>' meant superior, not an evolution of taste. Sorry for the confusion.cool.gif
post #123 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post




Agreed with everything you say, except this part.  I am finding that with proper tuning to fit each type of music my system can be made to sound good with all kinds of music, hi or lo-fi.  As for differentiating mp3s, well, a pair of phones that can only reproduce sounds above 10kHz would probably allow anyone to tell any mp3 encoded at any bitrate from the source wave while they proceed to rape their ears.  On the other hand, not being able to tell low bitrate mp3s from wavs in normal listening situations does not prevent me from improving the system to sound better with source files of all bitrates.

 


Actually I don't think we are in disagreement here, I agree bad tracks can be made to sound pleasant or even good. But obviously it wouldn't beat a well recorded track.

 

post #124 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshooter View Post

Good stuff in your post.  I guess you could count me as one of these newbs with that kind of set up. (iphone w EQu>LOD >Fiio E11>JH16 when they get here.) Right now I'm using SE530 and it sounds pretty d@mn good IMO, for what that's worth (see my sig). 

 

I think it's important for people like me not to gush about new equipment just because they are excited about it, or think it's the end all be all.  I don't expect audio nirvana, but about as close as I can get in a truly portable setup that can make my work grind as pleasant as possible for 40hrs a week without my coworkers asking too many questions about my weird expensive equipment. Also I can go walking without lugging along a separate DAC and Amp strapped to my iphone, and take calls without trying to work around giant rubber bands holding everything together. 

 

One small amp sitting on the desk to clean up and improve the sound a bit while I am sitting at the computer isn't going to stick out too much.   However a giant stack of gear held together with rubber bands and weird fancy cables, and a big set of cans is going to attract alot more attention than I want.  And probably I will need some big expensive open back cans to match what the JH16 or even SE530 can give me in terms of separation, detail, and over all SQ.   (And I don't want my coworkers knowing I listen to Enya or Mr. Mister sometimes, so open back cans are a no-go biggrin.gif)  So the IEM customs route was the way to go for me. Also I like to listen while I am going to sleep.   So it's not like everyone that has an iphone/IEM setup is doing it without some reasoning behind it.  I would not compare it to a desk top set up with a top notch set of cans.  I have not experienced that yet, I'm sure it is great,  for me it's just not the most effective use of audio money to suit my lifestyle, though I am sure it may be superior in some ways.  I just wouldn't be able to get as much use out of it.

 

 



 


I agree sometimes the only way to go is portable and there is no way around it. At one point in my life I'm home late most of the time and my speaker setup is pretty much useless, and even now my IEM actually got more ear time and my speaker or my full size cans.

 

post #125 of 168

Sorry, once you join the cult you can never leave. Your family will never love you as much as the latest, hottest DAC will. Perhaps you're not sufficiently devoted to cable swapping. Maybe you're weak in the face of ground loop hum. We're all human and all the graphs show we are born with Original Sound Coloration. Keep trying and buying. We know where you live. ;-)

post #126 of 168
Foie, I listened to your bassoon sample and I would never be able to tell on a track like that.

I could tell the differences with very loaded music. I somehow came across a very cool piece of music that was later revealed to me to be from Star Trek but all redone in an electronic studio. I have had it since late 1997. It was encoded in mp3 back then and there is a huge quality difference between then and where 'lame' has gotten to today, or even in the early 2000's. So the encoding matters and the particular track matters. I have very rarely found regular bitrates of classical or live acoustic music to ever be discernable from the more superior encodings.

With a loaded piece like U2's 'Lady With The Spinning Head' remix, it is obvious at times even at 192 or 256.
post #127 of 168

Even using my W5000s, I can't actually tell a difference...this is disappointing and depressing...

post #128 of 168

Cmon you lot - no-one is holding a gun to our heads and saying 'Spend half your life trawling Head-Fi and other forums trying to find the combination that will guarantee Nirvana !' ....

 

To me, listening to music is like anything, including chocolate and sex : you CAN have too much of a good thing, particularly when you feel the need to 'listen critically' to music you once simply enjoyed. I'm not prepared to throw the baby out with the bathwater because a few people are disillusioned with their purchases. This hobby is way cheaper than any form of motor sport I can think of, and I dont see anyone complaining that they just destroyed 30K worth of audio in the course of an 8-second life-or-death blast  ;)

 

fire.jpeg

post #129 of 168

Yeah I'm in a similar boat, I guess as an "audiophile" I'm supposed to try and get as close to neutral frequency response, clarity, detail, stuff like that, but I don't try to at all.

 

I like bass, and treble. I prefer them to be at the forefront with somewhat recessed mids as evidenced by how I like my EQ (Which goes way against the audiophile code of less software and neutral frequency response already)

On my iPod (Yes, iPod, which a lot of people here consider a sin to listen to through it's wimpy headphone out): 

ae5y6a.png

I have a pair of audio technica ath-cks90 basshead IEM's which are perfect for me at my pricepoint, and I've gone to stores and tried headphones 4 times the price (turbines, shures, klipsch x10s) and I still prefer my cks90's, although I liked the x10i's which were similar sounding to me at a more attractive form factor.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say with this post is that you should just go for what you think sounds the best, not what other people say you should look for in audio equipment, because only when you get what you want will you enjoy your music, which is what we are trying to do here.

post #130 of 168

Hiya everyone. I have been lurking here for a while but decided that it was time I chipped in with what I have personally experienced.

 

I just wanted to tackle the word 'audiophile' because I think that it has been incorrectly used in some of the forums in here.

 

For years, I thought I was an audiophile because I was very fussy and demanding with my 'sound'. It has only been in the last few years that I can truly say that I am an audiophile. Before that, I have since learned that I was just a fussy and demanding music listener. Let me explain the difference. When I THOUGHT I was an audiophile, I was looking for music with a lot of clarity and sharpness (which I have since learned is actually a dose of over brightness!). I also enjoyed a healthy extension of bass and the mid range had to sound like the singer was live / in the room. I am sure a lot of you can relate to and enjoy this type of sound.

 

Now, years later, and having just totally rebuilt my main hi-fi and head-fi systems, I can call myself a true audiophile. I am no longer searching for a sound. I am searching for the TRUTH. What I want to hear is what was recorded and to be able to hear the truth, you need to start with a detailed, neutral recording of music that use real instruments (as opposed to synthesised instruments).

 

What opened my eyes was the fact that I started to go to a lot of live classical music, jazz and opera concerts. At these concerts, the music is not amplified so you are hearing the real sound of the instruments with all of their romance and faults. When I got back from these concerts and tried to play CD's of similar performances, I started to notice how different they sounded on my old system. In a nutshell, they sounded more 'exciting' on my older system than the real instruments did at the live performance. That was when it dawned on me that what I had been listening to was not hi-fi but simply, a system that would excite the demanding, sound conscious, but not audiophile listener.

 

With that knowledge, I then started to audition systems all over again to find something that could give me a truer replication of the sounds of a live, unamplified performance.

 

To cut a long story short, if you have heard what real instruments and singers sound like in a venue with good acoustics, and you have paid careful attention to it, then your hunt to recreate that exact sound (in terms of speed, lack of coloration, transparency, soundstage, etc) at home, with nothing more and nothing less, is what being a true audiophile is all about.

 

It does not mean that you will enjoy the sound, which is often less exciting. But it is a quest for the truth - true high fidelity.

 

And on that note, I must say that the last IEM I purchased, the PFE + iBasso T3, is truly excellent bang for your buck (not the best you can get but definitely more neutral and natural than many others at its price) but for true hi-fi, there is no going past a real set of speakers and a proper CD player + amp.

post #131 of 168

ob2kenob, I like your telling.

 

I fully admit now that I'm a wannacallmyself audiophile and not the real thing. I also realized a little while ago that if I can forget what I'm missing and I don't have a way to A/B things to death, then I can actually enjoy what I'm listening to. Example: Headphones at home, IEMs at work, I'm on the train between the two with iBuds. It's fine and I can still enjoy most (not all) of my music through them. So if I can't compare them to my AKG's or run the sound through my laptop into my IEMs, then after about two minutes I don't care anymore and I'm into my music.

 

It makes me want to slow down with the head-fi stuff and put money into dampening the sound in the rooms where I've got tile on the floor so I can enjoy my stereo system more. The boomy echo is something I just cannot get used to and hiding in my headphones to avoid it isn't very practical.

post #132 of 168

Just like the test driver from some high end auto maker can sense the handling difference when adding a sunroof to the car. Not everybody can do that. So, yes, you are definitely not alone.

post #133 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by miyinan View Post

Just like the test driver from some high end auto maker can sense the handling difference when adding a sunroof to the car. Not everybody can do that. So, yes, you are definitely not alone.


Couldn't agree with you more honestly. Loving that car example
post #134 of 168

Compared with my Desktop, SB X-Fi Titanium HD -> Fiio E9 -> Sennheiser HD 598 and i don't hear much differences in it at all. It's not my kind of music that i listen to but the differences to me are very subtle and i have hard to spot them.

http://www.mediafire.com/?nrcpq0n3l7rno6w (Flac)

http://www.mediafire.com/?7we9rfabmd9ieza (128kb MP3)

post #135 of 168

Why don't you use the IEMs on the train? confused_face%281%29.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmeister View Post

ob2kenob, I like your telling.

 

I fully admit now that I'm a wannacallmyself audiophile and not the real thing. I also realized a little while ago that if I can forget what I'm missing and I don't have a way to A/B things to death, then I can actually enjoy what I'm listening to. Example: Headphones at home, IEMs at work, I'm on the train between the two with iBuds. It's fine and I can still enjoy most (not all) of my music through them. So if I can't compare them to my AKG's or run the sound through my laptop into my IEMs, then after about two minutes I don't care anymore and I'm into my music.

 

It makes me want to slow down with the head-fi stuff and put money into dampening the sound in the rooms where I've got tile on the floor so I can enjoy my stereo system more. The boomy echo is something I just cannot get used to and hiding in my headphones to avoid it isn't very practical.



 

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