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Help with improving current setup.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi there!

 

I am looking for some help improving my current audio setup..

 

My current "setup" (if you can call it that...):

 

* Sources: Asus G60j laptop/iPod touch 3rd Gen

* Old Grundig stereo my parents gave me with two rather big column speakers

* Sony MDR-V6 headphones/Sennheiser MX 160 Earbuds (I can't wear IEMs, the vaccuum they create makes me really really really uncomfortable..)

 

Right now I plug the stereo into my laptop via an RCA cable and switch it to the V6 whenever I need to not make as much noise (nighttime, etc.), since the headphone output in the stereo is busted.

 

Also since I work away from my home town I travel by bus for 3+ hours twice almost every weekend and there I just plug the V6 or the MX160 into the iPod.

 

Is there a way of improving both my mobile and stationary audio playing situations?

 

The budget depends on what I actually can change here for the better...

 

I'm not really sure if I can get any more from either of the situations without getting better headphones or different sources :|

I really could use a little more bass in the stereo, specially since I use it for movies as well.. The built-in EQ isn't that customizable as it has a bunch of presets that don't really change much from each other..

 

Also are there any better alternatives to these earbuds that aren't IEMs? 

 

I'm also in the process of changing my music collection to better audio quality files such as FLAC and 320kbps mp3 when I can't find a FLAC source. Re-tagging most of my music so the FLAC player can do its job is still bumming me out so this is a slow process for now, but I'll eventually get there.. itunes can be a real pain in the ass sometimes :|

 

If you think it will help I can post some pictures of the actual setup when I get home (I'm at work now). I couldn't find any info on the stereo online.. 

 

Thanks in advance, if you need any extra info just say so :)

post #2 of 27

Ok. I am really confused about what you are asking for.

 

In order to get more bass from stereo speakers, a sub woofer would be just about the only option besides EQ.

 

Can you elaborate on what exactly you are looking for? New iem/hps? Solution for your stereo speakers? Sorry, but I'm just confused.

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

eheh sorry :)

 

I was wondering if there was any way of improving the sound I have now when:

 

1 - I connect the laptop to the stereo or to the V6

2 - I connect the iPod to the V6/MX 160

 

I have no clue how the technical part of this works so I just dropped everything I thought would be helpful.. guess it was too much xD

post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pteixeira View Post
 

eheh sorry :)

 

I was wondering if there was any way of improving the sound I have now when:

 

1 - I connect the laptop to the stereo or to the V6

2 - I connect the iPod to the V6/MX 160

 

I have no clue how the technical part of this works so I just dropped everything I thought would be helpful.. guess it was too much xD

 

An amp in between your setup will benefit V6 and your stereo. A cheap portable one like E11 would help get the bass out a bit more.

post #5 of 27

From my experiace using a laptop as a source upgrading only with an amp won't improve SQ much. You need also a DAC as in laptops there are usually very low quallity DACs. I tried with Fiio E10, but was still unsatisfied. The first real noticable change in SQ was when I bought a desktop with a dedicated sound card (Asus D2X). Maybe a DAC amp combo like O2 ODAC might help.

 

As for earbuds I honestly don't know any other alternative then the IEMs (but maybe on-ear headphones). I never experianced any vacuum though, so they don't bother me. Have you tried different eartips?

post #6 of 27

Oh, if you are disturbed by the vacuum caused by iems, you should get iems with pressure vents. They allow air to flow though, causing much better comfort and none of that feeling that air is being sucked out. You can also try foam tips. Foam doesn't cause vacuum, only silicon does.

post #7 of 27

After going to meets and store demo rooms and buying lots of gear, here is what I use:

 

Sansa Clip zip running rockbox(easy to install). Price is around $30. Heard Sansa Fuze+ has same audio quality and is probably closer to $20 at times

 

O2 headphone amp, $150 assembled, cheaper to build yourself. Powers even my K701 and 600 ohm DT990. The creator wrote many good articles on audio. I think O2 delivers the power and transparency he claimed and I also think he was right about the Sansa players having top notch performance. I don't really feel like I need to amp the low impedence phones all that much. 

 

Yamaha Pro 400-My current fav headphone. Great all-arounder, good soundstage, real sounding drums, capable of reproducing subwoofer type bass that vibrates the earcups when a song possesses it, clear but no piercing highs, very accurate string and wood instrument timbre, gets plenty loud without an amp, and doesn't leak as much sound as other sealed phones. Sometimes goes for $150 new or used on amazon.comfort could be better.

 

I also like Amperior, K550, HD25-1, K701, RS-1, HD558, and a few others. But I mainly listen to my Yamahas. You can search my posts for a lot more info.

post #8 of 27
Can you find some pictures on the web of your Grundig stereo setup and provide a link so we can see them?

If the speakers are REALLY old vintage speakers, could have or rotten surrounds on the drivers. There are repair kits for that. If that's the case, your driver's bass could definitely be non-existent. Research on the web, and you can find out how to test for that and what your repair options are.

The O2/ODAC is a good combo. But if you don't need the smaller, transportable size, the Schiit Modi/Magni dac/headphone amp stack should provide equivalent quality for a cheaper price.

Finally, specifying any kind of maximum range budget would really help people to help you better. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by cel4145 - 9/19/13 at 10:05pm
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

hi there!

 

thanks for all the replies!

 

the stereo is this one:

 

http://www.hifiengine.com/library/grundig/m-7.shtml

 

I tried researching the Schiit Modi/Magni but can't find it in Amazon.co.uk.. I'm in Europe if that makes any difference..

No hits on the O2/ODAC as well... Only FiiO products show up for some reason >_>

 

also thank you for the foam tip for the IEMs tip (eheh).. I've only seen IEMs with silicone tips, so that's probably the cause of the vaccuum..

 

As for budget, I might be able to push to 150$ for the "solution". If it can achieve similar effects with the laptop and the iPod even better, if not I prefer what has a better effect on the iPod and I'll improve the laptop situation further down the road :)


Edited by pteixeira - 9/20/13 at 2:59am
post #10 of 27

You can order Shiit products directly from the producer. They ship all around the world. I belive, that there is only a tax that you must pay.

http://schiit.com/products

 

Same thing about O2/ODAC

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=48

 

As for foam tips, you can find them on amazon uk.

Just check on their website the right model

http://www.complyfoam.com/

 

For these solutions you would need to increase your budget to about 250 EUR. First you might want to try buying something like the Senn's CX300 II with the comply t400 eartips. The Senn's are about 40 EUR and are great value for the money in my opinion.

 

Hope this helps.

post #11 of 27
The ODAC and O2 are available from Epiphany Acoustics in the UK. Might be better pricing than JDS Labs.
post #12 of 27

there was another place in Switzerland I think that had O2s available which you could order in different colors. I was never able to find the link in my bookmarks though. Has the Schiit stuff been measured by anyone? I'm sure you guys have read the story where the Schiit amp messed up the AKG driver. Think it was a video of it out there. Even if they fixed the problem, I don't have a lot of confidence in most of these amp makers since the majority of them don't provide measurements of their own stuff(if that's changed in recent times, I'm not aware). 

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fateicon View Post
 

there was another place in Switzerland I think that had O2s available which you could order in different colors. I was never able to find the link in my bookmarks though. Has the Schiit stuff been measured by anyone? I'm sure you guys have read the story where the Schiit amp messed up the AKG driver. Think it was a video of it out there. Even if they fixed the problem, I don't have a lot of confidence in most of these amp makers since the majority of them don't provide measurements of their own stuff(if that's changed in recent times, I'm not aware). 

 

What kind of measurement are you talking about? Schiit's website has most measurements with their own amps.

post #14 of 27

just the standard stuff. I've never seen Schiit's site. Most likely I won't be buying more amps, so I tend not to remember the names of categories and what not. Frequency response, output impedence, various types of distortions, etc. It's not just measurements that's an issue. If these amps were all inexpensive, it would be one thing. So many of them have very big price tags and unverified performance and construction. You just about have to be some sort of engineer like the O2's designer to find the real flaws with a lot of this stuff. He found stuff that no one else was able to uncover in a few amps. A lot of people have found problems with a lot of amps as it is, I just thought the O2's designer really demonstrated expertise beyond the average lay person. Guess it depends what you want the amp to do. A lot of people want amps to do more than amplify. I've decided that I no longer have an interest in subscribing to that idea because it had created situations for me where certain amps were useless with the majority of my phones.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimvictor View Post

What kind of measurement are you talking about? Schiit's website has most measurements with their own amps.

Not really. The data that they provide--and lots of good stuff--is generally specs, not measurements. Measurements show the thing being measured with graphs. For example, here are the specs and some measurements for my speakers. Or consider Innerfidelity's headphone measurements. And here's an example of an integrated amplifier measurements.
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