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post #16 of 24

250 ohms is pretty high in terms of impedance for headphones, but there are higher.  High-quality Sennheisers are 300 ohm, but some Beyers are 600.  You need high gain for headphones such as this.  You're not going to hear the noise floor of the amp when using higher gains in situations such as this because the impedance of the load (the headphones) means the amp is following a different performance curve.  (That's why they test amps at different load impedances.)

 

As for Foobar, I've used it for years in all sorts of devices and venues.  I stay away from the WASAPI/ASIO stuff - makes things too dicey, depending on the hardware and rips as some have commented.  IMHO, the best thing you can do is make sure you always have the latest Foobar revisions, then add more codecs such as Monkey Audio, etc.  Definitely download the LAME FLAC decoder and set it up so that Foobar can use it.  Stick with FLAC if you want the best sound quality.  Rip your CD's using EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and then use Foobar + Lame to convert the wav files to FLAC.  Keep the Monkey Audio decoder if you download instead of/in addition to ripping from CD's.

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

250 ohms is pretty high in terms of impedance for headphones, but there are higher.  High-quality Sennheisers are 300 ohm, but some Beyers are 600.  You need high gain for headphones such as this.  You're not going to hear the noise floor of the amp when using higher gains in situations such as this because the impedance of the load (the headphones) means the amp is following a different performance curve.  (That's why they test amps at different load impedances.)

 

As for Foobar, I've used it for years in all sorts of devices and venues.  I stay away from the WASAPI/ASIO stuff - makes things too dicey, depending on the hardware and rips as some have commented.  IMHO, the best thing you can do is make sure you always have the latest Foobar revisions, then add more codecs such as Monkey Audio, etc.  Definitely download the LAME FLAC decoder and set it up so that Foobar can use it.  Stick with FLAC if you want the best sound quality.  Rip your CD's using EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and then use Foobar + Lame to convert the wav files to FLAC.  Keep the Monkey Audio decoder if you download instead of/in addition to ripping from CD's.

When you say to download the FLAC decoder, I haven't added any FLAC stuff specifically on top of the default install, but almost all of my music is in FLAC and playing well. Are you saying I should add something else, or should I assume I have what I need?

 

Also, I've got a few albums that show up as Monkey's Audio and the bit rate is 375 kbps. I was under the impression MA was lossless?

 

Thanks for the info :)

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toonsnstuff View Post

Well ideally you want the lowest gain, but +6 or +12 dB isn't a ton, and depends on how hard it is to drive the 990s. Initially I think you'll be fine and it will much better than computer audio card or an iPod, but once you step into the world of more powerful amplifiers, you will see what you might have been missing. 


I can see that this is going to get expensive in a hurry. bigsmile_face.gif

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rylo View Post

When you say to download the FLAC decoder, I haven't added any FLAC stuff specifically on top of the default install, but almost all of my music is in FLAC and playing well. Are you saying I should add something else, or should I assume I have what I need?

 

Also, I've got a few albums that show up as Monkey's Audio and the bit rate is 375 kbps. I was under the impression MA was lossless?

 

Thanks for the info :)

My understanding is the Monkey Audio is lossless as well.  Foobar will show you the bit rate on any file if you choose to show it in the "columns."  375 sounds a bit low, but it may be OK for Monkey Audio.

 

The FLAC decoder is needed if you rip your own CD's.  The EAC CD ripper program I mentioned is free, but like every other ripper, it rips to wav files, first.  You can easily load the wav files into Foobar temporarily and then tell Foobar to convert them to FLAC.  However, Foobar needs the FLAC decoder and that's where LAME comes in.  It's also a free download from SourceForge.

 

So, I don't think anything I mentioned will cost you more money. wink.gif

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

250 ohms is pretty high in terms of impedance for headphones, but there are higher.  High-quality Sennheisers are 300 ohm, but some Beyers are 600.  You need high gain for headphones such as this.  You're not going to hear the noise floor of the amp when using higher gains in situations such as this because the impedance of the load (the headphones) means the amp is following a different performance curve.  (That's why they test amps at different load impedances.)

 

As for Foobar, I've used it for years in all sorts of devices and venues.  I stay away from the WASAPI/ASIO stuff - makes things too dicey, depending on the hardware and rips as some have commented.  IMHO, the best thing you can do is make sure you always have the latest Foobar revisions, then add more codecs such as Monkey Audio, etc.  Definitely download the LAME FLAC decoder and set it up so that Foobar can use it.  Stick with FLAC if you want the best sound quality.  Rip your CD's using EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and then use Foobar + Lame to convert the wav files to FLAC.  Keep the Monkey Audio decoder if you download instead of/in addition to ripping from CD's.

What is the point of trying to get a bit for bit audio file and then run it through the Windows mixer? A Fiio E07K will have no problem with WASAPI support, ASIO can be funky though I agree with that. 

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by toonsnstuff View Post

What is the point of trying to get a bit for bit audio file and then run it through the Windows mixer? A Fiio E07K will have no problem with WASAPI support, ASIO can be funky though I agree with that. 

In my experience, "Windows mixer" is far from a problem in sound quality.  If you're implying that the magnitude difference in lossless file vs lossy files is equivalent to corrupting it by the Windows OS, you're way off base.

 

Glad to see you joined yesterday so you could claim that. wink.gif

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

In my experience, "Windows mixer" is far from a problem in sound quality.  If you're implying that the magnitude difference in lossless file vs lossy files is equivalent to corrupting it by the Windows OS, you're way off base.

 

Glad to see you joined yesterday so you could claim that. wink.gif

It's equivalent to getting a free refill, I don't need it, but why would I say no?

 

Well more like I joind and happened to find this thread. I have been meaning to join for a while...

post #23 of 24

But I don't want to get off topic...

 

I think the point is to try it out and whatever sounds best is what you should roll with. 

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by toonsnstuff View Post

it is most likely the 88.2 kHz that is messing with your sound card.


This.  From my research and (albeit limited) experience, budget DACs that support "up to 96k" often won't support 88.2.  My FiiO E17 definitely doesn't, so I wouldn't be surprised the E07K doesn't either.  I suggest you look it up and re-sample your files if need be.

It's a bit of a shame- I had to downsample my Random Access Memories FLACs because they were in 88.2. As far as I've read, though, the impact shouldn't be big at all- especially when using entry-level stuff, and especially considering that downsampling to 44.1 will still give you CD quality.  There are a bunch of good threads on this topic, but my advice is to treat it as a minor inconvenience for now and worry about it when and if you upgrade to some mid-tier gear (like a 192kHz capable DAC).

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