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Is basic as good as uber expensive - Page 2

post #16 of 34
There's no such thing as "more transparent", as far as audibility is concerned. It's either audibly transparent, or it's not. There is no point in spending more money on gear that measures well beyond audibility (e.g. the $1,500 Benchmark DAC1, used as a reference by NwAvGuy), if all you're going to do is listening to music. And a fair point could be made that spending $250 on the O2/ODAC is already kinda excessive, unless you have very specific needs that aren't all met by cheaper gear (like the FiiO E7, for instance).

Personally, I justify my purchase like this:
1) My FiiO E7 started having contact issues on the headphone jacks after only a couple of months of use. I wanted something with much better build quality.
2) I wanted a good amp with near 0Ω output impedance, so that it would work with headphones / IEMs with a non-flat impedance curve (like my Shure SE425s).
3) I wanted an amp that could power headphones with very low sensitivity, should I ever buy a pair.
4) I wanted an amp with enough headroom, power wise, because I use a lot of digital attenuation to the signal (Replaygain, subtractive EQ).
5) I wanted overkill, for the warm fuzzy feeling, and peace of mind.

I'm not saying it's 100% justified wink.gif
Edited by skamp - 1/25/13 at 3:48am
post #17 of 34

Overkill isn't a bad thing anyway... at least its true that expensive gears can indeed be more "Hi-Fi" on paper, putting aside audibility

post #18 of 34

I agree with kn19h7... a music shop staff that did his own music put it this way to me... theres under performance that is you arent getting quality gear, satisfactory performance that you are matching performance vs the quality of output or over kill which generally is for extremists or people who feel they must make sure the bad quality is not equipment-quality related.

 

Mostly the problem with overkill i guess if you are starting to get into areas where power is a large concern and it might not be practical for an overkill device to be portable in the same sense, sure... it might be easy to 'carry' but requires power source that the ipod will never match for various reasons that only make sense once you see the gear.

 

i also agree with skamp, i think i see it this way... you want top end gear for best portability use with a ipod... thats probably not a bad thing imo you dont wanna be replacing gear every 3-4 years if its possibly avoidable i think thats a rationale i'd use at that point low end gear tends to start failing or do weird stuff probably isnt engineered to handle some of the abuses other top end gear for portable ipod use can handle.

post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post

Overkill isn't a bad thing anyway... at least its true that expensive gears can indeed be more "Hi-Fi" on paper, putting aside audibility

 

If I want a warm feeling of security, I pet my dog. All I want audio equipment to do is sound good. What I hear matters. I don't care about specs beyond my ability to hear.

 

My dog might care though. He can buy his own sound equipment.

post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

If I want a warm feeling of security, I pet my dog. All I want audio equipment to do is sound good. What I hear matters. I don't care about specs beyond my ability to hear.

 

My dog might care though. He can buy his own sound equipment.


But I see nothing wrong with those who care.. seeking for technological advancement is always a good thing.

 

Things won't get better if everyone keep thinking "this is good enough" and refuse to move further.

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

If I want a warm feeling of security, I pet my dog. All I want audio equipment to do is sound good. What I hear matters. I don't care about specs beyond my ability to hear.

 

My dog might care though. He can buy his own sound equipment.

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ +1

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post

Overkill isn't a bad thing anyway... at least its true that expensive gears can indeed be more "Hi-Fi" on paper, putting aside audibility

 

What does this mean? How can any piece of equipment be more, (or less), HiFi? Price is a useless yardstick for determination of audio "goodness". Behind the "bling" of that billet hewn faceplate, how do you know it's "better"?

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roly1650 View Post

What does this mean? How can any piece of equipment be more, (or less), HiFi? Price is a useless yardstick for determination of audio "goodness". Behind the "bling" of that billet hewn faceplate, how do you know it's "better"?

 

Lower noise, lower distortion, and so on?  These things can be independently verified with a few benchmarks.

 

That would be higher fidelity in some widely-recognized sense, though of course "HiFi" these days doesn't necessarily mean high fidelity.  And benefits may or may not be useful or relevant at all for home audio playback.

post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

If I want a warm feeling of security, I pet my dog. All I want audio equipment to do is sound good. What I hear matters. I don't care about specs beyond my ability to hear.

 

My dog might care though. He can buy his own sound equipment.

I imagine thats a good way to see it but your impression is that you are well versed in what security is to you.

 

I cant imagine someone starting out would have that impression from the start without the experience or trying out pro gear just for the sake of interest if not even for purchasing.

 

I couldnt gain security in my area without having seen the differences between dismal to supreme/bleeding edge.

 

The only downfall is with nich markets there is little expertise beyond expensive pro help to assist in problems because gear is so technical it really does demand a lot of labour to assist but the advantages equally are more impetus to make sure there is a lot of quality equipment put into the gear.

 

if we let technology slip then we end up micro managing things we don't really want to have to do, markets will become feature rich and equipment poor and enthusiasts even if they are seen as extremists will be told to lump it or find their own custom made gear from ground up.

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post

Loudness is not sound quality.


X 2.

 

I find the opposite is true. The more you can hear at a LOWER volume, the better the speakers/headphones.

post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post

Things won't get better if everyone keep thinking "this is good enough" and refuse to move further.

There are LOTS of ways to improve sound quality, and they don't involve spending large amounts of money improving technical specs beyond the range of human hearing.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post


X 2.

 

I find the opposite is true. The more you can hear at a LOWER volume, the better the speakers/headphones.

I feel that too.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post


There are LOTS of ways to improve sound quality, and they don't involve spending large amounts of money improving technical specs beyond the range of human hearing.

Maybe our definitions on sound quality are different..

 

To me technical specs are the fundamental of sound quality, I definitely appreciate efforts of creating new devices with better specs.

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post

I feel that too.

 

 

Maybe our definitions on sound quality are different..

 

To me technical specs are the fundamental of sound quality, I definitely appreciate efforts of creating new devices with better specs.

 

The point is that our ears aren't getting any better (worse, in fact), until cybernetic or biological superhuman ear systems are developed that we can tie into our brains (cochlear implants aside).

 

If you can't tell the difference in blind testing between an amplifier (or DAC, or cables) and an identical-appearing one that has slightly lower distortion - is there any point to buying the "better" one?  Would it not be a waste of money for you when you could spend that extra money on such things as equalization, room treatment, a quieter apartment, better headphones or speakers, etc. - things that are proven to help sound quality - or even looks, which are most certainly important?

 

Embracing technical improvements is definitely a good thing, but cost-effectiveness absolutely should be accounted for.

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackbeardBen View Post

Embracing technical improvements is definitely a good thing, but cost-effectiveness absolutely should be accounted for.

In sound science, maybe, but not in the rest of the forum. tongue.gif

post #29 of 34

Perhaps it's good for people's peace of mind to have headphones with sound only bats can hear. I sure don't understand it though.

post #30 of 34

There's real gas in these tubes!  Do you know how rare tube amps are?  They reproduce frequencies only dogs can hear! 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Perhaps it's good for people's peace of mind to have headphones with sound only bats can hear. I sure don't understand it though.

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