After bringing a new DAC into my headphone setup at work (Music Fidelity MA HPA + M1 DAC) I went crazy yesterday after listening to a new CD. The misses has asked me to come along to the impending Pink concert so I thought I had better listen to a few CDs just so I know what to expect as is is not one of my preferred Artists.
So, part way through the CD I swear I'm going crazy and I'm hearing some strange distortions and keep jumping back to my favorite auditioning tracks to make sure I don't have a setup problem. The end of a long story is that I open up the track in Sonic Visualizer and straight away I can see the waveform clipping off the top. Now, I have then started reading about the Loudness War and where this has all come from but here is my question and its driven by lack of understanding I think.
My headphone rig, although fairly good, I personally i love it, it must be lesser quality than the equipment that sound engineers use. To me the clipping and associated distortion causes some horrific sound to be produced through both my T70's and HD650's. Is it my equipment that is just very unfavorable to this type of mastering or are these tracks tuned for the masses who probably don't have equipment where it is very noticeable?
Hope someone can help me understand a little more about sound engineering and the decision process they make as I have never met one to ask the question to, I'm really interested to learn more about their process.