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Audioengine A2 with Audioengine D1 DAC and audioengine desktop speaker angled stands - Page 3

post #31 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

That's awesome! Bigger drivers make a difference smily_headphones1.gif

Sounds like you don't need a new DAC, either. Upgrading the D1 would provide only a very small increase in SQ.

I'm fairly sure I'm keeping my D1 DAC. I'm thinking its getting the job done good enough for the price and I can connect my headphones to them easily. One less power cord and wire to have going to power surge actually seems to be desired at this point.

 

I experimented with placing some books underneath the emotiva's and it does make a difference. I realized that due to the limited "depth" of my desk and that the speakers were so close, I decided to try them on the ledge that is already "raised" behind the desk. I now have the speakers on each far side of that and pointed pretty much at me. It actually looks really nice too. The tweeter is now exactly at eye/ear level (ledge is at least 5 or 6 inches above of desk) and it sounds amazing. I also think the sound sort of has more room to expand around me and develop a bit instead of being practically 1-2 feet from me. One speaker length back makes a difference. So now, no need to buy any stands. Works out well too because i have a little more real estate on my desk to work with.

post #32 of 75
Typically, optimal speaker setup is tweeters aimed at ear level for the listening position, speakers in a triangle with the listening position of equal distance from the listener and each other. Appears you got it pretty close to that smily_headphones1.gif
post #33 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Typically, optimal speaker setup is tweeters aimed at ear level for the listening position, speakers in a triangle with the listening position of equal distance from the listener and each other. Appears you got it pretty close to that smily_headphones1.gif

Hi cel

I'm happy with my speaker placement but I do believe I'm noticing some bass change/resonance issues with the ledge they are on, primarily at higher listening volumes. I'm trying to look at speaker pads (foam pads) and I found some on Amazon ranging from 20 - 50 dollars on higher. One guy on an amazon review recommended buying some cheap yoga blocks (which seem sort of thick and not too secure). Any ideas on exact material to maybe find at my local hardware store so that I can cut to fit exact size of my speakers? Or do you recommend just getting some for 20 or 25 bucks like aurelex mopad or adam halls and then cutting to size? Hard to find a perfect match and I don't want extra foam hanging over ledge on either size. I almost purchased them but decided to see if you knew a different brand or had a better solution that might be cheaper. Thanks

post #34 of 75
I don't have a good answer to that one. Definitely sounds like you need some foam. Maybe some acoustic eggshell foam or something similar: http://www.parts-express.com/cat/cabinet-damping-material/311
post #35 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I don't have a good answer to that one. Definitely sounds like you need some foam. Maybe some acoustic eggshell foam or something similar: http://www.parts-express.com/cat/cabinet-damping-material/311

Thank you! I looked over website and reviewed the eggshell looking foam, the regular acoustic foam, and the 3 layer foam. I opted for the 3-layer to ensure absolute sound barrier to the wood underneath the speakers. The ledge is the top of the wall its on and is hollow probably underneath the ledge which is what was making a difference from when the speakers were on thick solid granite of the desk. I got the 3/4 inch version which should be minimal height addition but without sound going through it. Whats amazing is that the 3 layer is 2.36 pounds of material in a relatively small square so it must be extremely dense. I plan to cut it very nicely to fit the approx 8 x 7 inch size of speakers. I should have a lot of extra material from the 24 x 18 square size. I picked it up off amazon for 19 bucks and 6 for shipping.

post #36 of 75
Thread Starter 

Here's a link to the new setup. I found some very thin foam from the box that the D1 dac came in. It is actually almost exact fit of speaker footprint. I've put it under speakers until the sonic barrier foam comes in. I upgraded my monitor which has a built in stand so its lower than a standard monitor even though its quite large. I didn't want to block the sound (hopefully) or my view. Rearranged laptop/docking station placement.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y9jceC5Nw4&feature=youtu.be

 

and

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cenkuoWKVkk

post #37 of 75
Thread Starter 

The acoustic triple layer sonic barrier foam came in. Looks like great stuff. Much larger square than I expected. I could probably cut enough for 6 or 8 airmotiv 5's. I'll probably begin cutting it tonight or tomorrow. Speakers seem to be working great still. I'm slowly building up my music collection and I have a subscription to MOG which, from what I've read, is one of the better internet music sites to utilize. Supposedly all of their tracks are at 320. I wasn't too thrilled with spotify. I do occasionally use pandora since I don't know what to look up at times and I can randomly hear different things and write down tracks I like. I've been looking into different DAC's but still not sure what is worth the money and what is not. For high quality music I think the airmotiv's really reproduce music with clean flat response that fills my ears with great sounds. I think the only thing that could be even better is perhaps larger woofers, larger ribbon tweeters, more powerful amps, and even more solidly built cabinets with possibly the addition of some dampening materials within the walls of the box. The emotiva stealth's 8 probably sound magnificent but at a much steeper price. I really like the specs of the asus xonar 1 dac but its a bit costly. It boasts some big features which some reviewers may or may not believe helps. The emotiva dac now that I've read up on it long enough is actually a very huge product dimension -wise. No place for it on a desk. That is meant for a stereo rack of some sort. I've read so many reviews on people judging dacs now that I'm not sure how one 800 dollar dac can sound so remarkebly different from 1500 dollar one to a 500 dollar one.....its sort of amazing that such discerning features can be distinguished. I just read something on wilson sophia 3 twenty thousand dollar speakers and this guy reviewed them and he has what he says more costly equipment in the room than the speakers, which means he probably has 30,000 dollars of amps, wires, preamps, dacs, cd player, wall dampening equipment, etc....and great speakers in there prior, but when he put the sophias in their place he could hear new levels of bass, details, that "he couldn't hear before" and I sort of just feel like laughing. It seems unbelievable.

post #38 of 75
Yep. If you took an extra $500 and put it into better speakers, you would definitely notice more SQ improvement than spending it on upgrading your DAC with $500. The return is just not there. You could even get an SVS SB-1000 to add to what you have, and that would give you much more bass response and be a bigger improvement. It has an 80hz high pass filter built in so you can run the output from your DAC to it, and then hook the speakers to the line out on the back.

But if you want to upgrade the DAC, look into the ODAC. It is considered transparent sounding and it is tiny! Then pair it with whatever headphone amp you want (if you need one). Probably won't notice a huge difference over the D1.
post #39 of 75
Thread Starter 

I visited the links. Thanks. Sub looks great but probably more bass than I need. The airmotiv 6 prob would have been absolutely perfect but the footprint is large enough that they would stick out from the ledge the airmotiv 5's are on. The stealth 8's by emotiva look magnificent but even larger. I've been reading up more on the odac. I like the odac version from headnhifi (could be misspelled) out of Switzerland? europe. They carry an xlarge version with rca's in the back along with usb in the back allowing for a cleaner look. Has a faceplate in front with simple LED. I'm going to think about it a little more. Not sure how long it would take to get but I'm assuming over a week. Shipping is a little pricey. I read that you are supposed to use computer software to adjust volume which seems a bit counterproductive to other things i read. Nwaudioguy I think says it makes no audible difference because dac uses 24 bit handling....

 

I am tempted to get it. I can still return my D1 dac.

 

What happens when you play a track with specs higher than what your dac can support. Does it just read it at lower level or is there sound distortion that takes place?

post #40 of 75
Thread Starter 

I returned my audioengine d1. I've been writing to a guy named joseph from audiopoutine...in canada. I almosttttttttttttttt bought the odac. What troubles me is that there has been a post or two related to jitterness, sound quality issues with various computer's, and with overall differences in sound quality depending on source files. All in all, most people do observe great transparency but I think I've read that there is nothing more, nothing less to the music, or to the speakers. I just have a gut feeling that, in a way, people are satisfied with the ODAC but that they are finessing their review to allow approval and acknowledgement of the hard work navaudioguy put into his research, and yet keep in mind the limitations of what the ODAC can/cannot do. What also bothered me a bit is the lack of people commenting and comparing the ODAC to other systems. I'm wondering why there isn't a review on innerfidelity. I did see amazing feedback for the headamp portion but for peoples responses on the ODAC only, its very limited and peculier. Well, I starting looking at other dac's like dac magic, bitfrost, the new zdac by parasound, andmusichall. I see the contradicting reviews on zdac compared to xda-2, and xda-2 compared to zdac as well as copared to bitfrost. I made a "faith" decision in the review of the XDA-2 being that it had the stuff we like seal of approval from at least one reviewer, that it holds it own against all the dacs (and I'm assuming ODAC) within that ball park prices of sub 4 or 5 hundred. I also liked that it had a headamp and is a preamp. I may move it into my home theater area one day.....after I build one! I dislike the size. I rearranged my desk again. I will be putting it underneathmy laptop docking. I like the fact that you can turn off bitperfect or async mode on/off. And I'm putting some faith overall in the company who makes the speakers I am very happy with. I like that it gets 24/192 from USB. Just like my speakers I get a 5 yr warranty and 30 day money back guarentee. I will be happy to let you know how it all turns out! And once again, I'm happy with returning back a probably overpriced dac such as audioengine. I also like the idea of having a seperate power for the DAC from a large power supply with torridial something or other. I'm hoping jitter is down and hopefully lower than what the ODAC would have been. From what I can read...I don't believe anyone else has reproduced navguy's numbers and not on file formats greater than the 44 hz I believe he was using which is something to do with half the bitrate speed of source due to the fact that odac can only do certain frequency's...I hope I have that right. Either way, I';m confident that the XDA will be good. Oh the other problem is that I didn't like having to turn the software down on the ODAC and being able to use an analog switch on it. Regardless of "perceivable difference" I'm certain that bit loss has to occur when the software volume goes down. For someone like me who listens often at low volumes while I'm studying/working.....I'l like to leave software maxed out so that full bit rate remains, and then allow my dac to control power to speakers. Talking to emotiva they recommend not having speakers at 100 percent but to put down around 10 or 15 percent from max.

 

I'm excited. Thank you again for all your recommendations and assistance.

post #41 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Yep. If you took an extra $500 and put it into better speakers, you would definitely notice more SQ improvement than spending it on upgrading your DAC with $500. The return is just not there. You could even get an SVS SB-1000 to add to what you have, and that would give you much more bass response and be a bigger improvement. It has an 80hz high pass filter built in so you can run the output from your DAC to it, and then hook the speakers to the line out on the back.

But if you want to upgrade the DAC, look into the ODAC. It is considered transparent sounding and it is tiny! Then pair it with whatever headphone amp you want (if you need one). Probably won't notice a huge difference over the D1.

Just setup the XDA-2. I can hear the difference which suprises me. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to. Bass is different immediately. Everything sounds a bit different, and I really don't even know how to describe the change. My remote seems to not work on I head to email support at emotiva. Everything else works great. Very solid piece of equipment. Headphone sounds different. It seems like the audioengine exaggerrated the bass or low end. I suppose flatter would be a good wood to describe the xda-2. Cleaner. The lead stays lit at 192 khz which I suppose the files that aren't at that rate; it up's it to that. Didn't come with a usb cord, I had to dig around a box of wires I had in a closet to find a way too long white one. Power cord for the dac is very thick, looks high quality; thicker than speaker power wires. I may one day get the xlr input cords so that output power can increase. Maybe there would be a slight tweak in sound. I still need a longer power cord for one of my speakers. Im using an extension cord for it right now. Overall, I'm very pleased. I've invested around 850 in audio equipment from emotiva and a 15 dollar rca cord from radio shack and I'm getting some amazing sound. Oh and 20 bucks for the dampening material. Its great stuff. Probably would work well underneat a sub thats on hard floors.

post #42 of 75
That's where I found out about the dampening material. I was planning a project to build a sub isolator platform (like a Sub Dude), but never got around to it. People that had built their own recommended putting that stuff on the underside to stop much of the downward bass transfer.

Sounds like your journey with this system is complete. Now that you are an Emotiva fan, the bad thing is that you'll be tempted to buy their amps for building an HT setup wink.gif
post #43 of 75
Thread Starter 

I took everything out of the box so quickly I didn't see a sticker on wrapper of remote saying to remove a insulator peice from battery. I had to remove 6 screws and remove that insulator peice and it works geat now. Remote is a heavy large peice of metal. Very impressive looking. I think if I dropped it it would make a hole in the floor! I ended up putting the xda underneath my desk along with computer. I bought a shorter gold plated usb cord at radioshack. I bought longer rca's. Now I have a clear looking desk area - most of everything is out of sight except wires coming from speakers and one hdmi for monitor. I can use the remote for xda easily bc it doesn't matter about being directly in front of IR> it still picks up well no matter what way I face remote. Probably bounces off wall's floor etc... too.

 

Are the emotiva amps not good or just very expensive? They are pretty large. That sub dude configuration makes a lot of sense. I have tile underneath my desk and I'm sure I would need something if I ever did get a sub. My desk itself is a very thick peice of granite secured to walls with a wood setup underneath. I don't think that would vibrate much but I'm sure the walls which are hollow to an extent would. That in turn would carry vibrations to other parts of the house. A good sub would make sense for the home theater setup where more than likely me and my sig other would be watching something together and can enjoy a movie at louder volumes with subsequent bass.

post #44 of 75
The Emotiva amps are considered a very good SQ value for power amps, one of the best.

The reason I abandoned the idea of building a sub isolator is that what it accomplishes seems to be questionable. After reading an explanation from a speaker designer I know on another forum, it became clear that a lot of the user testimonials citing how much it improved bass are probably more wishful thinking/listener bias than reality. It can stop sub mechanical vibration from going into the floor, but that's minimal compared to the bass sound output that will still be carried through your house. And if you have a good heavy sub, you probably don't have any vibration being transferred unless the sub is unlevel. A piece of carpet can often cure that.

But yeah. A good sub makes a lot of sense for an HT setup. Just as Emotiva is well known for amps and their Airmotivs, Rythmik Audio, SVS Sound, HSU Research, Outlaw Audio (Outlaw also makes good amps), and Power Sound Audio are equivalent Internet direct vendors for buying subs. You can spend twice as much on a sub at MSRP in a brick and mortar store, and it still might not equal the performance value these subs are. Or if you want the king of subs, look into Seaton Sound's Submersive HP. Fantastic SQ and amazing output power in one package:




It really is amazing that there are Internet direct audio products now that are such better values than what traditional audio companies produce. Makes sense, though, since they don't have to pay a middleman.
post #45 of 75
Thread Starter 

Got the emotiva XLR internconnects - They sound great!!!!! Sounds cleaner than the radioshack rca's which I returned.

 

Got their longest length because 6 ft isn't enough. Used a 10 percent off coupon. They send them out by email, secret coupon they call it.

 

I'm also using their rubber feet supplied with speakers. Honestly, I think they work better than the acoustic foam  I bought. My last and final purchase for my computer area setup will be the emotiva power interconnects. I'm waiting for their next sale.

 

Everything just sounds so crisp now. They are supposed to get more output from the xda2 dac using xlr's compared to rca's. They look beautiful too. The back of my speakers are exposed to our kitchen. Not the "greatest" in terms of placement aesthetics but for sound they give it is optimal placement for listening when I'm at the computer. Plus I can always turn them around when I'm cooking.

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