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head fi really is a wallet drainer - Page 3

post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

(heightened by how no USB audio device has the capabilities of a proper X-Fi card), along with constant 60 FPS.

 

Heya,

 

You'd be surprised what some AV receivers are capable of by Yamaha and Pioneer in regards to 3D surround sound with headphones. No USB needed. You can use optical output to avoid any processing on the PC itself and just use SPDIFF pass through. They're just fancy sound cards with bigger parts, more outputs, it's own LCD panel, and a neat box that sits external of the PC. Just set the sound config to 5.1 or greater, whatever you like, and use SPDIFF output. I've done it and didn't notice much of a difference between that and using a soundcard with dolby headphone or a soundcard with an X-Fi chipset for surround. But then again, most headphone users these days don't think of AV receivers as headphone stations or gaming devices for sound either. So yea, something to think about.

 

Then again, a lot of people over look receivers in regards to headphones these days anyways.

 

 

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/20/12 at 11:23pm
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
You'd be surprised what some AV receivers are capable of by Yamaha and Pioneer in regards to 3D surround sound with headphones. No USB needed. You can use optical output to avoid any processing on the PC itself and just use SPDIFF pass through. They're just fancy sound cards with bigger parts, more outputs, it's own LCD panel, and a neat box that sits external of the PC. Just set the sound config to 5.1 or greater, whatever you like, and use SPDIFF output. I've done it and didn't notice much of a difference between that and using a soundcard with dolby headphone or a soundcard with an X-Fi chipset for surround. But then again, most headphone users these days don't think of AV receivers as headphone stations or gaming devices for sound either. So yea, something to think about.

 

Then again, a lot of people over look receivers in regards to headphones these days anyways.

 

There's more to it than that.

 

With me being so interested in older PC games that had hardware sound acceleration via the DSPs on sound cards of the day, the only way I can get proper sound on those games to begin with, reverb, chorus, occlusion, and all those effects intact, is to have that sound card hardware in place. In other words, there's a synthesis aspect to it that no external DAC/DSP can provide, especially when you go back to the DOS/Win9x era of gaming. People over at VOGONS have plenty of discussion on what sound cards, MIDI daughterboards, etc. are the ones to get because of this.

 

That said, I've considered A/V receivers as headphone surround processors for consoles before, specifically the Harmon Kardon AVR 254/354 (which have Dolby Headphone instead of some in-house tech like Yamaha's Silent Cinema). I just find them a bit bulky and overkill for that specific purpose, and the headphone surround processing wouldn't go through the front left/right speaker outputs anyway, which would make use with my Stax system much easier.

 

(And as an aside, I actually have this Onkyo TX-SV515PRO sitting on my computer desk right now as a family hand-me-down. It's a 1980s receiver that has no built-in DAC, let alone all the other frills of modern A/V receivers. Predictably, it serves as an oversized headphone amp just because it provides that speaker-level output I need for my Stax system, while also bearing a 6.3mm jack on the front for more conventional dynamic/ortho headphones.)

post #33 of 35

 I guess I'm guilty of buying and keeping many pairs of headphones and spending way too much money. But honestly, I enjoy all but one pair and try to use them all evenly. So now I've gone and purchased a tube amp .... a Woo Audio WA6se. At the moment, I'm running off a Beyer A1 ss amp but after doing tons of reading here, I've become intrigued by tube amps. The amp will be delivered in 2-3 weeks. It'll be fun to do some tube rolling ... an expression I learned recently via these forums. At least most tubes are fairly inexpensive. My source is an Oppo-95. I recently upgraded from a 93 because of the dedicated analog outputs and superior DAC. So soon after buying the 95, I hear that Oppo will be releasing a new 105! Ugghhh. I'm not buying it! I love the sound of the 95.

 And then we have the option of upgrading power cables, interconnects, DAC's and the list goes on and on and on and on ..... and then the music .... all these remastered SACD's and box sets are wonderful but sure do get expensive. Then of course we'll have to buy a bigger house to fit all this new stuff! Ha!

 Catscratch mentioned camera equipment. I'm a wildlife photographer (as a hobby) and I've gotten to the point where I'm very happy with my present gear (all Canon ... 5D Mark ll and 3 Canon lenses ... macro, 400mm, and wide angle, so I've no desire to spend any more on camera gear unless something fails. It's cool though ... I can sit in my back yard, listen to my cans, and photograph birds at the same time.
 

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

...Oh god, you brought up camera equipment. As much as I'd like to have a DSLR, the bodies are stupid expensive, and the lenses doubly so. Then there's that whole Foveon (Sigma) vs. Bayer (everybody else) sensor debate, and this is before we get into medium/large film format, expensive brands like Leica and Hasselblad, etc.

Meanwhile, I picked up this old Pentax Spotmatic in nice condition from a thrift store for a mere $15.75. I'd need to shoot and develop a whole lot of 135 film rolls before it approaches the cost of an entry-level DSLR that probably has worse image quality in the end, if more convenience due to digital.

Being constrained to M42 screw mount lenses does limit my lens options (K mount would have really helped since it's still in use today), but on the other hand, it's said that a lot of those vintage lenses are actually pretty good for the money if you don't mind not having auto-focus.

...Crap, I think I just derailed the thread with that tangent. Point is, it's not just headphones; any hobby will suck your wallet dry if you're not careful.

I like the idea of Foveon sensors on paper, but at this point they're at least several years behind everybody else, at least in low-light performance and noise levels. Also Bayer sensors are getting up there in resolution to the point where you (almost) don't need an anti-aliasing filter. On the other hand if you extrapolate the performance Foveon sensors could have have given equal research and development, then you can see a lot of potential. I've been wanting the SD-1 for years, but I don't really need one, and Sigma needs to get its act together and release some better image processing tools for it before it really becomes an attractive option. Too bad, because the resolution really is stellar...

Oh yeah, thread derail. Amtrack-style.
post #35 of 35

It's not that bad of a wallet drainer in my opinion, no. Funnily enough, it's made me wiser on how I use my money. I used to be a bit of a waster, but know I waste a lot lot less. Yep, it's done my wallet, overall, more favours than calamities. 

 

I remember my mate who started off with £100 in a casino and won all the way up to £27,000. He betted that one more time. And lost it all. Afterwards he said to me that it really didn't matter as he would have just wasted it all on stuff he doesn't need. In other words it would have disappeared pretty fast (expensive meals/woman/clothes/holiday) with no way of recovering anything significant from them expenditures if the need arose.

With very niche market electronic stuff like this, the resale value on a lot of the equipment is very high, sometimes even allowing one to net a healthy profit. Most helpful wallet-wise though, is that with headphone purchasing and related equipment I find it very easy to monitor and track purchases. It's like it's forced upon you really. I mean you could go for a £30 meal, £20 drinks, £30 to watch sports, £20 on travel....and that's a £100 gone. At the end of the day it's just a memory where as them £100 headphones are always there physically making it pretty easy to remember how much they cost. If they were to become redundant, sell them and get at least 3/4 of it back.

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