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Introduction and some advice if you may.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Good day to all.

First of all I'd like to thank all of you for this beautiful forum you got going on, helped me a bit.

So I am a Hi-Fi enthusiast, kinda just started. I've always loved music, even got a tattoo with it(one more to come), but sadly I've always been "satisfied" with what I had, never dreamt higher. But here I am, started reading Hi-Fi magazines, product descriptions, even thinking of taking an audio course in college to further increase my knowledge.

So here's my audio setup at the moment:

-- Harman/Kardon NC headphones (I got them at a deal from HK France, payed 180E instead of 300E).

-- Pioneer SA-940 Amplifier (my dad bought it before I was born ^^, came with 2 huge Sansui speakers, pick up, radio, cassette player; I'll try to reuse some of them, they've been dusting for years).

-- 2 Sony PCVA-SS1 computer speakers (they came with a Sony Vaio desktop system back in 2001).

-- LG Home Theater 5.1 system (it says 1000W on it, but I believe it to be peak power or smth, please correct me if I'm wrong, I couldn't find a good answer).

 

I use the computer/tablet as input that goes in the amplifier and from the amp into the LG. I know it's not much, but atm that's all I have. I really want to make a better system, but not just buy the most expensive stuff on the market, I want to learn how to create good acoustics and how they work to the core.

 

I like NC headphones, but my ears are very weird, because the NC are very comfy, but after 2 hours they start to annoy and after 3 hours my ears are bleeding(almost literally). I've never had a decent pair of over-ears that are comfy for longer periods of time. The only ones that don't hurt me are the in-ears, which I really dislike. I was looking into the LCD 3s, they are awesome looking and from what I've read, they are also very good. What I want to ask your owners or even fans of them, are they really worth 2-2.5k$? Is it really a huge difference between a 300$ headphone and a 2k$ one? My common sense says there is, but the NCs are the best headphones I've tried so far, so I wouldn't know. Also I've bought expensive headphones so I can walk around town and listening to my fav music w/o disturbance and good sound quality(I know the NCs are closed and LCDs are open, so it will affect my disturbance level). But currently I drive to work, work, come back home, turn on the audio system and watch movies with that, not the headphones. I am disappointed at myself for not using them. Is it possible to walk around town with LCDs-like? Or they are more for home use, considering their size?

Another question, when you get home and want to relax, do you turn on the system and bump the speakers, or use headphones?

 

A lot of questions, I know, but I'm all eyes and ears and I take criticism very very well.

Thank you for your time and help.

Kind regards,

Stephan.

 

PS: I don't think I have a shop in my town that has high end hi-fi stuff so I can try before buy and I am not going to buy LCD-like headphones just because they look good, I want them to represent me, to delight me and to wear them with pride, saying "here man, listen to this!" and smile when the other person starts banging their head.

 

Later edit: I realized I started a thread in the amp/dac subforum and I all talked about are headphones, but I really want feedback on the stereo system also as they are a part of my everyday life. Thanks.


Edited by elafrican - 1/26/14 at 2:07pm
post #2 of 11

Good day!

 

Now, I can't comment on the LCDs themselves, but I really would think about getting a closed backed headphone (maybe the LCD-XC?). My first serious headphones were the Audio Technica AD700s, which are open. While they sounded great, nearly everyone could hear my music, and worse, any disturbance at all from the outside would leak in! This severely limited the quality of the sound, and this is just on $100 headphones. I can only imagine that, without dead silent surroundings, an LCD-3 would be reduced to a $400 experience at best! Once I started using closed back phones (Mr Speakers Mad Dogs), there was virtually no sound leakage in nearly all office situations.

 

My work involves 50% desk work, 50% running and performing maintenance on large equipment, so when I'm at my desk, I go player -> small desk amp -> closed headphones. When I'm working on the machines, player -> closed headphones, and at home I use speakers. I would use headphones at home, but I spend little time there and am usually walking around when I am, so using a nice amp wouldn't be possible. Only if you spend a lot of time stationary at home would I recommend open headphones (and, in that case, I would recommend them strongly).

 

This is just my opinion, and it seems you're more experienced with music than I am, so take this with a grain of salt!

 

I hope this helps!

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank for replying.

I don't think I am more experienced in music, as I an just a person that couldn't live without music in it's life, but technology related, I'm at the start.

I was thinking to myself today as I was arranging the speakers in the living room that I am a headphones person, I love them, but when I'm home I like to listen to speakers, to dance or to do chores( I do them sometimes with iPhone and headphones, but I like speakers better). But then again, I see myself on a chair with headphones on, eyes closed and listening to music. Tough choice. Also do open headphones sound bad in a room where it's just you for the purpose of listening to music? I have closed noise cancellation ones for outdoors.

I found out today that my amp is broken, when I turn it past volume 2, the speakers start to blurr, like car speakers from a ricer car. I will send it to a repairman. I will look also for a DAC and an amp if I can't fix this one. I'll search the forum for good starting gear, but you can also suggest what's on your mind. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't wait it the easy way, someone to tell me what to do, but I like to talk to people who are new in this field so we can exchange some knowledge and stuff.

 

Take care and have a wonderful music day!

 

 

edit: I just realized that, even if I searched for an intro subforum and couldn't find it, I posted in a wrong section. I truly apologize for it and if a mod can move it please. Thank you.


Edited by elafrican - 1/27/14 at 12:52pm
post #4 of 11

It really is a tough choice between speakers and headphones! And, honestly, if you have the budget, I would have both available. I inherited a Phillips surround sound system, and though it cost several times what my headphones did, it doesn't have nearly the detail, balance, or (of course) intimacy of my phones, but they are the best for wandering around (or dancing!) and you don't have to deal with the discomfort of wearing something all day. In the end, it just comes down to your preferences, I guess!

 

Slightly more on the forum's topic: have you considered getting a new source? I can't imagine a computer or tablet would be very practical in terms of portability... I recently got a portable player with a very good DAC and amp built in, and I've seen a lot of improvement with my headphones, and I also use it with my speakers. It was definitely worth it!

 

Also, I hope your amp can be repaired; that Pioneer looks like a very nice piece of kit!

post #5 of 11

I can't speak to the headphones...but get those Sansui's hooked up to that Pioneer...do you know what model Sansui's ?

 

Your pioneer is 70wpc and a nice unit. You could run a CD player into it as well as a nice DAC

 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Raguna I've seen your Fiio X3 and I am damn impressed about it! It's even here in my country, so I'll buy one(or I'll read more about similar ones and fall in love with another, I'll see).

 

I want to make the whole Pioneer system back, just for the looks mostly, as I don't really listen to radio(but you never know) and I'll sure try to see how vinyl sounds considering I was too little to like it when my dad stopped using it.

I'll def buy a DAC for the amp.

 

Thank guys for giving me hope, I'm smiling to my ears now, and being all excited like a child on Xmas eve, because I'm going to make the best system I can with what I have!

Cheers.

post #7 of 11

Glad we could help! Yes, I like the Fiio X3 VERY much, it's a very impressive player, especially for the price. Just a thought: the X3 (and similar) have very good DACs incorporated in them, and, assuming your Pioneer has RCA inputs, a 3.5 mm to dual RCA cable from the Line Out of the player to the input of the Pioneer will let you use the player's music and DAC! Of course, there are higher quality solutions, but it's certainly not a bad start.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hmm yes, yes I will try it.

Arco I will look for the model when I get home, I'm out of town atm.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by elafrican View Post
 

Hmm yes, yes I will try it.

Arco I will look for the model when I get home, I'm out of town atm.


I think you'll be surprised at what the combo will do. One note...PAY attention to speaker placement - It is important.

 

This is the most basic method (there are even more detailed methods but this works for your test). This should give you a great soundstage

 

http://www.cardas.com/speaker_placement.php

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcorob View Post


I think you'll be surprised at what the combo will do. One note...PAY attention to speaker placement - It is important.

This is the most basic method (there are even more detailed methods but this works for your test). This should give you a great soundstage

http://www.cardas.com/speaker_placement.php

The Sansui are S-711.



Do you think the small dents will mess the sound? Is there a way to repair them?
post #11 of 11
Nice.. They will do well.

it will not hurt as they are dust caps but what I do if I find that...carefully use a vacuum hose to gently get it to pop back out. Do not touch..but get as clse as you need

some people use a pin and a spot of glue to repair. Don't. If they don't pop with the vacuum, leave em alone
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