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post #16 of 37

CEL I don't have any bias between active and passive, but audiophiles should surely be trying to get the most accurate representation of the recorded track.  If this is true then you are aiming for a neutral DAC and a neutral driver, and IMO this means an audio interface and monitors.  AMPS/DAC's/Speakers can all impart a flavor on the digital recording, so aiming for studio grade equipment you are aiming for the most honest reproduction of what was recorded.  If you want to get into detail then you budget for room treatment should also be factored in, but the average audiophile would rather spend $200 on silver cables than $50 on base traps.... we can start playing psudo-science at any point but the truth is most people cant hear ANY difference :D

 

There is always going to be people defending how they spent their money, the answer is research and listen for yourself.   Once you buy what you enjoy LOG OUT OF THE INTERNET FOREVER :D

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tablix View Post

CEL I don't have any bias between active and passive, but audiophiles should surely be trying to get the most accurate representation of the recorded track.  

That might be your perspective, but I think it's pretty easy to disprove that audiophiles are all primarily looking for the most accurate reproduction (unless that's what you feel defines an audiophile). First, you can look around on head-fi see that people are not all choosing the most neutral sounding headphones. Quite the contrary, there appears to be a range of tastes represented in desirable headphone frequency response signatures. And let's not forget all the people that prefer tube amps for how they color the sound. I've also read other discussions on the web where there is evidence that people often prefer some kind of house sound EQ which is not flat. And all that aside, neutrality of frequency response is not the only measure of accuracy when it comes to speakers. Yet, that's the measure most often pointed to in these claims of pro audio equipment always being better in terms of accuracy.

So sure. Some audiophiles are looking for the most accurate reproduction that they can, but others are looking for what sounds best to them. That's not always the same thing smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tablix View Post

AMPS/DAC's/Speakers can all impart a flavor on the digital recording, so aiming for studio grade equipment you are aiming for the most honest reproduction of what was recorded.  

Actually, many audio science/engineers will tell you that most solid state amps, once you reach a certain level of signal to noise ratio and other specs, are transparent. And it happens at fairly low price points.

As for DACs, the ODAC ($150), which is regularly recommended on this forum, has measurements that show it's effects on the audio signal during analog conversion to be outside the audible range. So even if you have a pro audio DAC that measures better, it should not matter. They are both transparent already by any measure other than a listening test, which is not reliable.

So I'm not arguing that all pro audio or all home audio equipment is better than the other. I'm just disagreeing with gross generalizations that one entire audio market is inherently better than the other. It's an untenable claim, and yet people on Head-Fi are making it as if it were fact.
Edited by cel4145 - 9/13/13 at 12:30pm
post #18 of 37

This is the dilemma, do you want to hear what is recorded, or what sounds best to you.... 

 

If you are not listening to the recording then are you appreciating the music our your equipment?

 

If you listen to an singer in the flesh do you want to listen to that, or do you want to listen to some base inflated amplification of it run through a mixing desk and an amplifier to "improve" what was actually sung. 

 

Is auto-tuning in the studio good for music?

 

As a producer and music lover I want to record an artist and what they perform, as a listener I want to hear what was performed.

 

There is a HUGE assumption of ME, in there, what is an audiophile? what is perfection? its all subjective

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tablix View Post

This is the dilemma, do you want to hear what is recorded, or what sounds best to you.... 

If you are not listening to the recording then are you appreciating the music our your equipment?

If you listen to an singer in the flesh do you want to listen to that, or do you want to listen to some base inflated amplification of it run through a mixing desk and an amplifier to "improve" what was actually sung. 

Is auto-tuning in the studio good for music?

As a producer and music lover I want to record an artist and what they perform, as a listener I want to hear what was performed.

There is a HUGE assumption of ME, in there, what is an audiophile? what is perfection? its all subjective

Anytime you listen to a band, you aren't probably are never listening to what the musicians sounded like in the flesh with a studio recording. You are getting it filtered through a music producer's interpretation of it created in the mixing process. In good mixing, it is an artist's interpretation. And different producers would probably make it sound a little different, given the same master tapes (tracks).

Meanwhile, I think there are hundreds of millions of people out there (and millions now dead) that would disagree that they aren't listening to the music just because their setup is less perfect than yours wink.gif
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Really? 'Cause I know someone that bought into the active monitor hype. He's now selling his Mackie speakers--the ones listed in this thread--because they were muddy and have bad mid and highs compared to a pair of NHT SuperZeros and a Topping t-amp he just picked up. Granted, the SuperZeros really have to have sub.
****
The trick is one has to know what to buy. There are bad choices in both pro audio and home audio equipment, and there deals out out there if one is aware. For instance, ARX A1b or Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE with a t-amp will be equal to or better than any of the powered monitors listed in the first post. Emotiva Airmotiv 4s will equal or exceed any of the powered monitors on this page.

Yeah, I was looking at the NHT SuperZeros too, when I was looking for speakers. With a t-class amp they might give some terrific value for money. But i'd still any of these powered monitors are better choice than say, a basic av receiver and pair of typical low-end bookshelf speakers that a newb could go and buy from their local bestbuy..

 

My "active is the way to go" statement was a bit provocative, and it seems to have waken up some decent discussion, which is always a good thing ;D


Edited by Headzone - 9/15/13 at 4:58am
post #21 of 37

agree.I will be using for classical music listening, movies, games . i favor old stuff.thank you 

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post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headzone View Post

Yeah, I was looking at the NHT SuperZeros too, when I was looking for speakers. With a t-class amp they might give some terrific value for money. But i'd still any of these powered monitors are better choice than say, a basic av receiver and pair of typical low-end bookshelf speakers that a newb could go and buy from their local bestbuy..

My "active is the way to go" statement was a bit provocative, and it seems to have waken up some decent discussion, which is always a good thing ;D

Actually, BestBuy carries the Amazon.com: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, which have been getting amazing reviews. But then someone could walk out with a pair of Klipsch and not realize those could be horrible for nearfield use because many people even find them fatiguing in HT setups. And then an AVR bought on sale with a good set of passive speakers could be a better choice because of the bass management if someone wants to use a budget sub. But I agree. A lot of home audio stuff is overpriced at MSRP.

So yeah. Kind of depends. But then, like I said before, Guitar Center lets people shopping for powered monitors here in the US in this budget range get to compare and pick and choose. I think anyone should go there before buying any small satellite desktop multimedia speakers, and the Audioengines without being heard (which are definitely overhyped a little). Being able to hear multiple speakers in the same price range in the same location is definitely the way to go smily_headphones1.gif
post #23 of 37

Let me add the Neumann KH120. Got a pair last week and couldn't be happier. Very precise, neutral sound with a wonderfully detailed, deep soundstage. Analytic but never to the point of becoming unpleasant. Incredibly deep yet tightly controlled bass for the small size. Everybody ready to invest about 1200 euros/USD for a pair of compact speakers should at least listen to them somewhere before spending his or her money. 

 

And btw, they're made in Sennheiser's headphone factory in Tullamore, Ireland.

 

Did I say I couldn't be happier? There, I've said it. :-)

 

Ralf


Edited by fotoralf - 9/16/13 at 2:51pm
post #24 of 37

In the UK the Neuman would blow this budget out the window, coming in at over 1100GBP then you still need a DAC.  Sourcing in US just ONE speaker would be over the original budget by 50% coming in at $750ea from guitar center, you are now in the realm of adding serious studio gear like Genelecs or FocalSolo's.  Cant deny they are very nice speakers, but this price range has LOTS of other competitors that are just as good.

 

The OP was trying to offer a low budget entry into high quality playback, I think once you go beyond $1000 you are now out of the realm of low budget.

post #25 of 37

I would love to hear those KH120's against any of the Genelec 030's.

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tablix View Post

The OP was trying to offer a low budget entry into high quality playback, I think once you go beyond $1000 you are now out of the realm of low budget.

I know you mentioned subs before, but just to reiterate. I think this is also the budget range one should think carefully about whether or no 2.1 or 2.0 better fits their needs. Depending on what they kind of music they listen to with their speakers and whether or not they use it for any movie watching, 2.1 could easily be the better choice. There are $500 subs that puts one in the audiophile enthusiast sub class where the sub will produce more and better sounding bass than a $700 speaker can--and, I would argue, better than any mid-fi headphone can smily_headphones1.gif
post #27 of 37

This is a really good thread. It's a pity Maurico, the OP seems to have disappeared because it's worth keeping up to date.

 

If you spend a lot of time at a desk anyway nearfield monitoring is a revelation. More 'air', 'space' & 'separation' than even the best open back headphones, you are always in the sweet spot and since you are so close you don't much size and power, with all the potential problems they can bring. Doesn't need to be super expensive either. Which is the point.

 

That said it's a bit disappointing how little has changed in the 18 months the thread has been open.

 

If they prove to be as good as reports suggest and you live in the continental US the Emotiva 4 just about qualifies in the speaker category. So do the ADAM A3X and F5 elsewhere in the world.

 

On the USB DAC front the only obvious candidate I can think of is the Native Instruments Audio 2. ~$100 for 2 stereo channels out to either line or headphones would be a bargain even without the 'free' copy of Traktor.

post #28 of 37

Bump. As the question keeps coming up and most of the good info is already here.

post #29 of 37

Thank you for the explanation, I'd like to get a little more technical though.

What difference to I have to look for in speakers depending on which music genre I want to hear?

How does my soundcard affect the quality of the sound?

Also, is there any cheaper alternative to the emotiva 4?

post #30 of 37
 
What difference to I have to look for in speakers depending on which music genre I want to hear?

Kind of difficult question to answer. But in general a good speaker should be able to play all genres equally good IMO. Though all speakers sound a bit different, and it's up to you which sound you prefer..

 
How does my soundcard affect the quality of the sound?

A bad soundcard sounds bad. It may also have problems like hissing, static noise etc. good soundcards are transparent or perfect. Then there are soundcards or DAC's that change the sound on purpose, but stay away from them and the companies that make them.

 

The soundcards integrated in motherboards are usually bad. You can get a very decent one, depending how much you want to pay for the features and stuff, for 50-150$.

 

Quote:
Also, is there any cheaper alternative to the emotiva 4?

 Quality costs money. The Emotiva 4 is probably already probably one of the best speakers for it's price range

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