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Rank in matter of importance - Page 2

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

excellent lists so far.  great analysis and  point counter points.  please keep  em coming.

i am surprised so far by how  high eq is.  and im shocked by how low amps  are.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eargasmo View Post

i am surprised so far by how  high eq is.  and im shocked by how low amps  are.

 

Having read many of discussions around here I am somewhat surprised too, but looks like the common sense is still alive and well. The often very vocal group that preaches "pure" sound as their religion is the same people who don't mind certain sound coloration introduced by the hardware, be it a DAC, amp or the headphones - in fact some search for certain characteristics that suit their tastes, purchase operating amps or tubes that modify these characteristics etc. I'm not sure how much better the results are when compared to pushing a slider or two on an equalizer. But maybe it's me that's missing something, so I don't want to launch another crusade.

 

Regarding my view on what impacts the sound quality:

1. Start with a good recording. Contrary to what others have stated, I started disliking certain recordings just because of poor technical quality and find myself returning more frequently to recordings that are technically sound.

2. Headphones - and not only for the sake of their sound reproduction ability: comfort is a major factor too. I have been very surprised how well some $20 headphones sound when driven and equalized properly. On the other hand, some of the $500 and more headphones are uncomfortable enough to dislike them, despite their superior sonic qualities.

3. Amplifier. Depending on the headphones, the way they are powered can greatly enhance or ruin the experience. I don't think that the difference between the best and good amp is as significant as between best and good headphones, but a good amp is a must in my book.

4. Equalizer. I am happy to use a software equalizer, although not all of them are made equal (pun intended). This is meant not so much to colour the sound, as to compensate for the headphones having less than perfect frequency response characteristics. The difference it can make is amazing, although when scores are high on points 1, 2 and 3 this is less critical.

5.Player software - in particular ability to use ASIO or WASAPI, although usability factors also matter.

6. DAC. I don't need the best DAC in the world, but a really bad one can have as much impact as a bad recording.

7. Regarding cables, I'd make a distinction between digital and analog connections. For digital, as long as the cable can carry the signal reliably, it won't make any difference. Poor analog cables may pick up some interferences or introduce hiss, so that's a bit higher on my priority list.

post #18 of 19

well i preach the use of the eq eheh. although my friend stays purist as ever :( anyway i feel eq is 'unleashing the true potential of your headphones' since they will suit your taste, genre, and headphone better (bad tuning will retard the headphones however, there is a 1000 ways to do that) 

i managed to get my HD202 to sound similar in listening experience to a far superior DR150 just by very careful tuning of a 10 band standard ISO frequency graphic eq and cotton to back of earcup pad (intelligent trail and error tuning for almost 1 year) 


Edited by streetdragon - 9/7/12 at 12:14am
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

 

Having read many of discussions around here I am somewhat surprised too, but looks like the common sense is still alive and well. The often very vocal group that preaches "pure" sound as their religion is the same people who don't mind certain sound coloration introduced by the hardware, be it a DAC, amp or the headphones - in fact some search for certain characteristics that suit their tastes, purchase operating amps or tubes that modify these characteristics etc. I'm not sure how much better the results are when compared to pushing a slider or two on an equalizer. But maybe it's me that's missing something, so I don't want to launch another crusade.

 

Regarding my view on what impacts the sound quality:

1. Start with a good recording. Contrary to what others have stated, I started disliking certain recordings just because of poor technical quality and find myself returning more frequently to recordings that are technically sound.

2. Headphones - and not only for the sake of their sound reproduction ability: comfort is a major factor too. I have been very surprised how well some $20 headphones sound when driven and equalized properly. On the other hand, some of the $500 and more headphones are uncomfortable enough to dislike them, despite their superior sonic qualities.

3. Amplifier. Depending on the headphones, the way they are powered can greatly enhance or ruin the experience. I don't think that the difference between the best and good amp is as significant as between best and good headphones, but a good amp is a must in my book.

4. Equalizer. I am happy to use a software equalizer, although not all of them are made equal (pun intended). This is meant not so much to colour the sound, as to compensate for the headphones having less than perfect frequency response characteristics. The difference it can make is amazing, although when scores are high on points 1, 2 and 3 this is less critical.

5.Player software - in particular ability to use ASIO or WASAPI, although usability factors also matter.

6. DAC. I don't need the best DAC in the world, but a really bad one can have as much impact as a bad recording.

7. Regarding cables, I'd make a distinction between digital and analog connections. For digital, as long as the cable can carry the signal reliably, it won't make any difference. Poor analog cables may pick up some interferences or introduce hiss, so that's a bit higher on my priority list.

I agree with pretty much everything you said.  The original mastering/remastering/recording is damn important.  I find modern songs are more wall of sound.  Some of the older songs played around with balance(L/R balance, not spectrum balance).  And that makes listening to some of the older songs a lot more fun.  There are still some amazing studio people, but seems they prefer that the trend is in your face wall of sound.

 

Equalization used to be taboo a decade ago and prior.  The argument was that you were entering a lower-quality component into your signal flow and letting that weak link alter the sound of your higher-end equipment.  To be honest, before digital technology, that may have been the case.  But today's software equalization is so damn good.  There is a reason why I paid $30 for the Cowon Jet Audio player rather than using a free player.  FLAC support was one, but I'm such a huge fan of BBE and jet audio equalization.  


Edited by Eargasmo - 9/7/12 at 12:37am
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