Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › How to not be an audiophile
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to not be an audiophile - Page 3

post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post

So you came over here looking for ways to improve the sound of your system but after looking around a bit you find that it's kind of easy to become obsessed with this stuff.  You're noticing that audiophilia is a disease, and a very expensive one.  My advice is to set some ground rules for yourself and stick to them as long as you can.  Here are mine:

1) Stick to 256k mp3s.  These are the files you've already got.  They can sound awesome.  Resist the urge to even try some hidef. You will receive offers to try out hidef files for free.  Ignore them. 

2) Stick to $200 headphones.  There are plenty of great $200 headphones.  I want to try them all.  That's another problem.

3) Since I use a Surface 2, I'm sticking to portable, USB powered DAC-Amps, also under $200.  This is an interesting segment of the market with great new products arriving every 6 months. Possibly yet another problem.

I know it's tough to stick to these limits.  About a week ago I became obsessed with getting some HD650s and a Bottlehead Crack.  Fortunately, a quick look at my credit card balance brought me back from the edge.

Good luck and good (enough) listening.

You're not wrong to be honest.

1) I agree - 256k AAC VBR is, to my ears, effectively transparent - meaning that I cannot hear the difference between that and lossless - Although I do, as a matter of course, rip classical stuff to losless

2) Yep, I use Q701s, which can be found cheap these days, for home use, and the Senny HD-25 IIs as portables. Both can be had for around 200 - 300. With these two in my stable, I've come to realise that other, even more expensive, headphones sound different, but not necessarily better.

3) Again I agree. I use a FiiO E17 as a DAC amp combo almost exclusively with my Q701s, and I'm not left wanting. As for mobile use I find my iPod nano 7th Gen on it's own powers my HD 25s amazingly well.

I've had the opportunity to listen to some expensive gear over the last year, and to be honest, while I can appreciate the difference, it was just that - different, not better, not worse.

I'm in the fortunate position where I could go out today and simply buy the Senny HD 800 and HDVD800 amp dac for the best part of 4k without any money worries, but having heard them I would say that, for me at least, the difference between them and what I have now would in no way justify 4k.

You guys with your 200 buck DAC AMP and your 200 buck HPs basically have by far and away the best value for money in this game - you're 90% of the way there already. Going from 20 buck HPs to 200 buck HPs is a "woah", going from 200 buck HPs to 2000 buck headphones is more of an "oh" in comparison.

GAS is your greatest enemy in this hobby and it often gets you very little while at the same emptying your wallet of significant amounts.
post #32 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

You know why we do what we do, right? It's like what Sennheiser said, "Because good enough, is never good enough" :D

 

Like with my wife, I listen to Sennheiser all the time but we don't agree on everything.

post #33 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaphead View Post


...... you're 90% of the way there already.....

Thanks, Slaphead. I will turn to these words in moments of weakness.

post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post
 

My theory - If you are buying digital music - buy in lossless. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

 

How does one buy lossless?  I'd be open to that. I just ain't doing hidef.  Not gonna buy one album for the price of two.

I had missed the NO HIREZ caveat.  I was thinking HDTracks.  Price is higher for the 24/96 and even higher for the 24/192.  They do run sales regularly that vary from 10% to 20% off.  20% is rare, couple tomes a year on specific catalogues.  15% shows up 3 or 4 times a year.  I have experimented a little with a 24/96 FLAC transcoded to 24/96 ALAC and 24/48 ALAC, and I can't hear the difference.  I need to repeat with a transcode down to 16/44.1 (redbook resolution) just to know for myself if i can hear the difference.  My suspicion is not.  Most 24/96 albums from HDTracks run about $18, a little more than a rebook CD down at Best Buy or Beats or wherever.  You do get to buy the lossless file, and (very) arguably, the hires recording gets a bit more care in remastering.  That last bit is as much truth as it is wishful thinking, I think.  Still, I do buy from there to some degree.  Don't do this until you have a good data back-up system in place!  You can re-download from HDTracks, but that is the hard way!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDoe View Post


Depends on where you buy. For instance if you purchase from an artists storefront on bandcamp.com you can choose what format you want your download: FLAC, ALAC, 320, etc. also, many artists who sell through their own site offer lossless downloads.

I have not done this.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

You can also buy used CDs for cheap and rip in FLAC.

I do a lot of this.  The public library is also a nice option, if the CD's aren't too hammered.  Price is right, unless you have ethical issues with ripping borrowed CD's.


Edited by aamefford - 12/30/13 at 7:24am
post #35 of 64

Ripping cds from the library is legal in my country.

post #36 of 64

Also, check out the free FLAC thread here. There are a lot of artists on Bandcamp who give their music away for free. You can amass quite a library of free, legal FLAC if you don't mind listening to small artists you might not have heard of before. 

post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaphead View Post


going from 200 buck HPs to 2000 buck headphones is more of an "oh" in comparison.
 

 

I find this not to be the case for me. Going from Bose QC15 to Q701 was a 'wow' for me as well as from Q701 to HD800 despite of the lack of amplification. YMMV, but I don't think 200 buck cans can compete with 2000 buck TOTL

post #38 of 64

I remember reading in some sticky: "Never forget the reason we do this: to enjoy music. It can be done in in both $80 and $800 headphones" (Not verbatim) I think those words are quite true!

post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62ohm View Post
 

I find this not to be the case for me. Going from Bose QC15 to Q701 was a 'wow' for me as well as from Q701 to HD800 despite of the lack of amplification. YMMV, but I don't think 200 buck cans can compete with 2000 buck TOTL

 

Going from a good but not very good (many $100-200 closed models) to very good (several $200-$500 open models) is a necessary expense for certain genres. But the difference between HD600 and HD800, whilst considerable, is more a matter of preference and might not be worth an extra $1000.

post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

So you came over here looking for ways to improve the sound of your system but after looking around a bit you find that it's kind of easy to become obsessed with this stuff.  You're noticing that audiophilia is a disease, and a very expensive one.  My advice is to set some ground rules for yourself and stick to them as long as you can.  Here are mine:

 

1) Stick to 256k mp3s.  These are the files you've already got.  They can sound awesome.  Resist the urge to even try some hidef. You will receive offers to try out hidef files for free.  Ignore them. 

 

2) Stick to $200 headphones.  There are plenty of great $200 headphones.  I want to try them all.  That's another problem.

 

3) Since I use a Surface 2, I'm sticking to portable, USB powered DAC-Amps, also under $200.  This is an interesting segment of the market with great new products arriving every 6 months. Possibly yet another problem.

 

I know it's tough to stick to these limits.  About a week ago I became obsessed with getting some HD650s and a Bottlehead Crack.  Fortunately, a quick look at my credit card balance brought me back from the edge.

 

Good luck and good (enough) listening.

 

I think this is a brave and positive stand, I think the same about King Canute though...

 

Seriously though, you've highlighted the joys and dangers of this part of the net, and I'll be very impressed if you visit regularly and could honestly post the same in a year's time...

post #41 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc-k View Post
 

 

I think this is a brave and positive stand, I think the same about King Canute though...

 

Seriously though, you've highlighted the joys and dangers of this part of the net, and I'll be very impressed if you visit regularly and could honestly post the same in a year's time...

I'm not sure about everyone else, though I suspect the following holds for most of us - it does for me:

 

My name is aamefford, and I'm a gear slut.

 

"Hi aamefford, welcome, and sorry about your wallet..."

 

If not for that, I would be a quiet CharlesC, happy with the HD580's I bought and sold 5 years ago, and my old iPod video, and the Pico Dac/Amp I bought a little while after buying the HD580's.  Unfortunately, I'm a gear slut, and I buy and sell new to me stuff regularly, just to try it out.  Mostly mid-fi, but I go overboard every now and then....  It's not completely unfortunate - it is cheaper than racing dirt bikes, and I don't get hurt near as much.  This is a much safer hobby.

post #42 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Going from a good but not very good (many $100-200 closed models) to very good (several $200-$500 open models) is a necessary expense for certain genres. But the difference between HD600 and HD800, whilst considerable, is more a matter of preference and might not be worth an extra $1000.

 

I concur with the object in your statement here as I do believe HD600 is one of the greatest headphones ever made with no true successor, not even the HD800. But change the object in question, and we would have a completely different outcome. Say, DT880 vs T1 price/performance difference is much easier to justify than HD600 vs HD800.

post #43 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dc-k View Post

 

I'll be very impressed if you visit regularly and could honestly post the same in a year's time...

 

The implication being that the best way to remain happy with my gear would be to never look at head-fi.org. I agree. Life is messy.

post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

 

The implication being that the best way to remain happy with my gear would be to never look at head-fi.org. I agree. Life is messy.

I think if I had never discovered head-fi I would genuinely believe that my Cowon J3 and Shure 535 IEMs would be as good as sound could get on the move - is that a good or bad belief system? Discus...

post #45 of 64

Like many of us who have been around here for some years, I have gone through way too many FOTM headphones, DAC's, amps, and cables in pursuit of that "Nirvana" sound to which we all aspire.  What I have learned is that there is only a very marginal improvement when we open our wallets and the grass may not be always greener on the other side and sometimes leads to the seemingly never-ending need to 'upgrade.'  It took me a few years to realize that, and sometimes I have to catch myself and refrain from getting caught up in a multitude of highly positive reviews about a headphone or a piece of equipment.  So, one doesn't need to spend thousands to achieve that elusive sound, because it will always be elusive no matter how much we spend to reach it.  Be content with what you have; rip your music as best as you can, and spend more time listening to the music rather than your equipment.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › How to not be an audiophile