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Audiophile in training

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey guys new member here and aspiring audiophile.

I love listening to music but I am a complete newb when it comes to pretty much everything. I'm pretty much that person who just plugs in a pair of headphones into their ipod and listens to music. I won't bother mentioning what headphones I use because I don't know any better and would get flamed for them. Lol

But now I really wanna get the most out of my music and get the best quality possible.

I don't really know where to start. Any advice/tips for someone like myself would be gratefully appreciated.

And btw no need to apologize to my wallet as it ready hates me tongue.gif
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post #2 of 19

Start the climb up the ladder if you want to go this way, which I assume you do by joining the site.  Start with easy to drive cans for your portable device, and move up to lossless material on your computer / cd player, and upgrade from there.  Your biggest moment of enlightenment will be by getting a good easy to drive pair of cans to use even with your ipod, even with low quality music, you'll notice a lot more in your music, especially going from apple earbuds or something.  You don't even need a trained ear for that first decent headphone purchase imo.  My first pair of headphones that made me come here were AKG k540s that I bought on a trip to Europe because my crappy Sony iems died.  Just ask around about your music type & price range.  You'll get some good recommendations, then you'll want to try everything!

post #3 of 19

I just picked up a pair of superlux 688b and xonar dg, I can tell you I am not an audiophile but there is a huge difference in sound quality comming form headphones I used before. I can tell you which music I have is recorded in 128kb and which is recorded in higher, and I can hear sounds in songs I listened to hundred if not thousands of times before I never heard of before.

 

I also will say this, listen to the advice of others and ask questions. It paid off for me and with any luck for you as well.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolomonPierce View Post

Start the climb up the ladder if you want to go this way, which I assume you do by joining the site.  Start with easy to drive cans for your portable device, and move up to lossless material on your computer / cd player, and upgrade from there.  Your biggest moment of enlightenment will be by getting a good easy to drive pair of cans to use even with your ipod, even with low quality music, you'll notice a lot more in your music, especially going from apple earbuds or something.  You don't even need a trained ear for that first decent headphone purchase imo.  My first pair of headphones that made me come here were AKG k540s that I bought on a trip to Europe because my crappy Sony iems died.  Just ask around about your music type & price range.  You'll get some good recommendations, then you'll want to try everything!


What exactly are cans you are referring to? I'm guessing headphones? The best pair of headphones I have right now are some beats by dre(don't hate me). Anyways I was actually looking into getting the ATH-M50 to start. Are they good for rap music and bass?

Also I use itunes so am I able to convert all my music already on my computer to lossless or do I need to re import them (which I won't be able to do anyways because I bought them all from itunes)

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post #5 of 19

lol yes Cans = Headphones = Kopfhorer tongue.gif

 

Nope itunes sells mp3s... lossless ".flac (free lossless audio codec)/ .alac (apple lossless audio codec)" has to be ripped from a CD.  mp3s have a limit of 320 kb/sec.  320 is good but not lossless.  You can use Foobar2000 to rip cds to flac (that's the preferred audiophile music player).

 

No experience with ATH's... I usually tend toward German cans but seeing as most of them other than Beyer and Flagships of Senn / AKG are not actually made in Germany (Austria for AKG), I could care less.  Nothing against Japanese companies really, I wouldn't turn down a Stax setup wink_face.gif... Just a "Deutschephile".

 

Also if you're serious about getting into the game, sell the Dre's now while they're still a hot item, they won't be worth jack after the fad is over.  If they're the "pros" then they are actually kind of decent imo, just grossly overpriced.  Anything under those and any audiophile upgrade will be night and day difference for the better I believe.  I've heard the beats line up at best buy and they didn't do anything any of my ~$150 cans (read: headphones) couldn't do better.

post #6 of 19

The ATH-M50's will be a really solid start especially if you're used to a lot of bass as it is (which the Beats do have =P )

 

Do you have Beats Studios?  In my opinion, the M50's sound very close to the Beats Studios (at half the price mind you), so if you want a more significant upgrade, I might jump to the Denon D2000's, Audio Technica A900X's or experiment with another flavour (open cans maybe?).  For R&B and bass heavy songs, the headphones I listed are some of the better pairs for handling bass.

post #7 of 19

Should've mentioned, the DT770 pro (80 ohms) is great for bassy music at a fairly low price (though they are better with an amp of some kind).  I don't care for them because I don't listen to enough bassy music, but they're decently detailed and have plenty of bass, just don't do anything for me.  I'm a classical / classic rock guy so the akgs / sennheiser hd598 do both better, it's a shame because the dt770s are very nice and well built.  Made in Germany too none the less.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
The beats headphones I have are just the Tour in ear headphones that I have had for like 2 years. I don't even know what the studio's sound like, so I'm sure anything I get will be a significant upgrade for me.

And as far as covering my music to a lossless file, since I have no CDs is it even possible for me to do?

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post #9 of 19

Nope no way to convert a nonlossless to lossless.  You'd be trying to add what isn't there.  Formats like mp3 have been compressed and thus remove bits of audio to make the files smaller.  You'll have to buy CDs or go for a sail on the seven seas if you catch my drift.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolomonPierce View Post

Nope no way to convert a nonlossless to lossless.  You'd be trying to add what isn't there.  Formats like mp3 have been compressed and thus remove bits of audio to make the files smaller.  You'll have to buy CDs or go for a sail on the seven seas if you catch my drift.

Looks like I got a lot of work ahead of me if I wanna become an Audiophile but I believe it will be worth it in the end. Luckily I only have about 1000 songs so I will make sure all future purchases are CDs.

 

Seeing as I still have so much to learn, is there an article or thread I can read for beginners that explains the basics and what not? Or is it just something I learn through experience? 

post #11 of 19

There are certainly threads regarding choosing headphones, though most of the topics in the headphones / amp / source sections are about choosing gear nevertheless.  As for learing to listen to the music, it just comes from experience, you can search for topics regarding certain things you might not understand however.  Also there is a page somewhere describing terminology you should know / understand when describing / understanding descriptions of sound, though I forget where it is exactly, perhaps someone could direct you to it.  The one thing that's difficult about reading about headphones without trying them is that it's like trying to explain sound to a deaf person.  You might get a sense of what the descriptions tell you, but what you imagine the sound of a certain pair to be can be completely different as to how you perceive it when you actually hear it.  Also choosing a sound signature that fits you is very subjective and you just have to figure it out for yourself what you like / don't like.  Be sure to remember what things about certain headphones you like / dislike and report them on here if you have questions.  Other than that I think it's mostly experience and still try to enjoy the music lol.  You can still use headphones to listen to your music, you don't have to always use music to listen to your headphones. 

 

Final word, despite liking rap, if you want to truly experience all your gear has to offer, you'll have to move on to other music forms.  Rap / pop is generally not all that well recorded, depending on the studio / editing, there are exceptions to the rule.  But hearing soundstage and the range of instruments that your headphones can reproduce, you'll need other genres particularly classical, vocal, and acoustic.  It's hard to listen and see if something sounds realistic if there's nothing real to begin with. Lots of modern music use synthesizers and computers to generate the sounds you're listening to, therefore you can't judge if say a piano sounds like a piano because it may be a computer.  Only orchestras / live performances / overall acoustic music, can truly let you experience if the sound is true.  If you could care less about this then this site might not be for you haha.  If you appreciate realistic sound then I think you can still enjoy it here either way.  Even rap can be better on better headphones, but you will here the imperfections in the recording and might not like everything you hear.  Other forms of music like acoustic will let you hear good things in a good recording e.g. hearing the creaking of chairs in a orchestral song or the tapping of a musicians foot in others.  Some of the thing you can hear will be for the better and help to immerse you, other things will be bad i.e. imperfections.  It's up to you if you want to hear it all wink_face.gif

 

Sorry for the wall o' text

post #12 of 19
post #13 of 19
Don't be an "audiophile", be a music lover who enjoys nice gear. You'll be happier, I promise you.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

Don't be an "audiophile", be a music lover who enjoys nice gear. You'll be happier, I promise you.

Agreed 100%, just pointing out the pitfalls of caring about gear, I still listen to my music for enjoyment, but it seems plenty of people get lost in the technobabble and only care about the sound quality rather than the realism and emotion better gear can produce.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolomonPierce View Post

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

 

here it is

Thanks for all the info! I do listen to other genre's beside rap, its just my favorite(and it sounds better in my car system :p). I will definitely make sure to take full advantage of my gear when I get it by listening to all kinds of music and see what I've been missing out on all these years.

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