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Audiophile setup ruining music for me... anyone else?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

In the last few months I have bought my first audiophile setup. you can see my sig for what equipment I am running. 

I finally settled into the office after a long vacation and get my rig set up. slowly replacing my favorite music into FLAC and APE files. 

 

I am starting to hear so many bad recordings now. 

Becks new album Morning Phase has a slight background hiss to many of his tracks. Once I started to hear it, I can not stop concentrating on the hiss. Bad recording or bad rip? 

Battles' Gloss Drop has some funky distortion on the lower frequencies.

I am 99.5% sure it is not my set up. I have even skipped the amp/dac and just plugged my headphones straight into the laptop. While an obvious drop in SQ, the headphones are still detailed enough to pick up the hiss on Becks album. 

 

I have a few albums that I have listened to plenty of times that are as perfect SQ wise as I can tell. 

Pusicer (Conditions of my Parole) 

NIN (Hesitation Marks Audiophile Mastering)

These are my two albums that I know very well and my go-to test albums for different equipment/set-ups/ and situations.  

 

On my set-up there is zero hiss, zero distortion. I know their DR is not that great (both avg around DR5 and DR6) but DR is not something I am noticing nearly as bad as bad recordings, or they may just be bad rips I am downloading. 

post #2 of 27

You are not alone mate, you are not alone..

 

 

With a revealing audiophile setup it is much easier to pick up microscopic details that otherwise would have gone overlooked with non-revealing gear. Since I started this wretched hobby, there are tons of music I loved that I didn't listen to anymore due to bad recordings. I'm not saying this hobby is awful in every single way, when coupled with a great recording the experience is just sublime.. You just can't stop listening, instead it's the other way around, you would crave for more.

 

But as the saying goes, ignorance is a bliss.. In my opinion audiophilia is not something you can get out of once you are in. But If I can turn back time, I think I would not let myself be exposed to this hobby.

 

 

Though come to think about it again, those goosebumps from that shiver of excitement you got when you listen to a good recorded music, is really something to strive for :tongue:

post #3 of 27
A tube amp might help.

Let me give an example: I tried a record of Schubert trios played on period instruments using my old CD player,which was pretty good, together with an O2. I really did not enjoy this record, which bummed me out because the performers are usually very good. But it had no presence; it sounded lifeless. Last night, I tried it with tubes and voila--it sounded very pleasant. O2 and ODAC are good products so I'm keeping them, but they don't necessarily bring out the best in every record.
post #4 of 27

I totally agree with you guys.

 

Bad recording get so much worse on good equipment....a small hiss is now a loud and annoying hiss, as we get use to everything being so silent in the backround, with good recorded music.

 

I have been in the process of fixing my whole library and sorting it out....ripping everything to flac.

 

I also agree that when you find a well done recoring....it makes this hobby very well worth it.

 

I received Joe Bonamassa Live From Nowhere in particular last week, and sat there listening thru both cd,s with my mouth wide open.

post #5 of 27

It works the other way round too, cds that used to sound compressed...radiolike,

now has some sort of soundstaging on better gears, music being decompressed.

eg LAWRENCE of ARABIA...bought the cd out of curiosity, almost unlistenable on my initial setup;

but it has since been a "joy" to relisten to it again on my "better" gears...

just for the kick of listening to the camels running thru the duststorm.

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

It works the other way round too, cds that used to sound compressed...radiolike,
now has some sort of soundstaging on better gears, music being decompressed.
eg LAWRENCE of ARABIA...bought the cd out of curiosity, almost unlistenable on my initial setup;
but it has since been a "joy" to relisten to it again on my "better" gears...
just for the kick of listening to the camels running thru the duststorm.

Just curious: the original soundtrack or the new version on Naxos?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr34td3str0y3r View Post
 

In the last few months I have bought my first audiophile setup. you can see my sig for what equipment I am running. 

I finally settled into the office after a long vacation and get my rig set up. slowly replacing my favorite music into FLAC and APE files. 

 

I am starting to hear so many bad recordings now. 

Becks new album Morning Phase has a slight background hiss to many of his tracks. Once I started to hear it, I can not stop concentrating on the hiss. Bad recording or bad rip? 

Battles' Gloss Drop has some funky distortion on the lower frequencies.

I am 99.5% sure it is not my set up. I have even skipped the amp/dac and just plugged my headphones straight into the laptop. While an obvious drop in SQ, the headphones are still detailed enough to pick up the hiss on Becks album. 

 

I have a few albums that I have listened to plenty of times that are as perfect SQ wise as I can tell. 

Pusicer (Conditions of my Parole) 

NIN (Hesitation Marks Audiophile Mastering)

These are my two albums that I know very well and my go-to test albums for different equipment/set-ups/ and situations.  

 

On my set-up there is zero hiss, zero distortion. I know their DR is not that great (both avg around DR5 and DR6) but DR is not something I am noticing nearly as bad as bad recordings, or they may just be bad rips I am downloading. 

 

I remember the first time I heard the pop music I liked as a child on my father's hi-fi system many years ago. It was a shock.

 

When you say you are slowly replacing your favourite music into FLAC, are you re-ripping it or transcoding (converting the files) from mp3? 

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


Just curious: the original soundtrack or the new version on Naxos?

By Maurice Yarre...listening to it on my ModdedMikros now :P


Edited by Lorspeaker - 4/4/14 at 6:23am
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr34td3str0y3r View Post

I am starting to hear so many bad recordings now. 
Becks new album Morning Phase has a slight background hiss to many of his tracks. Once I started to hear it, I can not stop concentrating on the hiss.

I have tinnitus. Like my tinnitus, the imperfections of recordings are something I have taught myself to ignore, or it can drive one nuts. For example, sibilance in recordings which can be highlighted by some headphones and a very resolving DAC and headphone amp. One can start paying attention to it, and more attention to it, and hear it all over the place to where it starts to seriously impede the enjoyment of music. Or one can learn to ignore it by focusing on the music.

So I see the recording as just like the headphones or my equipment--they are all lenses through which I have to look through to see the music, and some are just better quality lenses than others. If I pay attention to the imperfections of the recordings, there's no way I can ever enjoy Artur Schnabel's early piano sonatas, recordings of Rachmaninov playing his own stuff, or early mono recordings of the blues. Or, just like when my glasses need cleaning and there's nothing to clean them with, I can tune out the imperfections.

However, if you want to make evaluating recordings part of your listening experience, this will be the price you pay.
post #10 of 27

Yeah Rush, Boston, Asia three of my all time favorite bands... unlistenable with my better stuff.  But thats where the KSC75 (modded of course!!) come to the rescue.  I have an SR60i incoming just for this kind of application.  (flame suit ON) I find my HD650 is good at sugar coating a lot of bad recordings.

post #11 of 27

I dont even have audiophile gear but i have the same issue. It seems you dont even need high end gear to hear how bad some music sounds.When i got my first good headphones i was amazed by the sound and clarity. Next i was amazed how bad majority of recordings sounded. I mean how can big record company's produce so badly mixed music.

I have to say i was kinda disappointed when i ventured into the world of better quality audio.

 

Some recordings were better than others, some of them were very good sounding.

Also i tend to listen to a lot of songs made by amateurs and the quality is what it is. At some point i was dreaming about high end audiophile gear but when i realised the truth about recording quality. I kinda stopped dreaming. Even with high end audiophile gear that crap doesent turn into gold.

 

 

cel4145 is spot on, you have to learn to ignore the imperfections and try to concentrate on the music itself. It took me a while to learn to live with the bad recordings and hear the music itself.

Now i can accept the bad recordings and enjoy the music, but it really did put a dent into my journey of high end audio.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notus View Post

cel4145
 
is spot on, you have to learn to ignore the imperfections and try to concentrate on the music itself. It took me a while to learn to live with the bad recordings and hear the music itself.
Now i can accept the bad recordings and enjoy the music, but it really did put a dent into my journey of high end audio.

Hendrix is what taught me to do it. It doesn't take much of an audio setup to start picking out the imperfections in how his music was recorded. You either grow beyond it, or you stop listening to a lot of his best stuff.
post #13 of 27

Sometimes the flaws are too much, too revealing. I had that when listening to garage quality thrash metal on KNS8400 even without an amp. But sometimes, it helps to have a distraction to overcome, such as the hiss on old piano records. It forces me to listen harder simply to listen through that, and I end up being more attentive to the music itself.

post #14 of 27
Nearly every band I listen to, most.of.their discography is well mastered.

Sent from my SPH-L300 using Tapatalk 2
post #15 of 27

Sometimes its just shame when you find good music and its so badly recorded, mixed. You can only scream in your head WHY OH WHY CANT IT BE BETTER QUALITY!?!

Well that's how i feel sometimes when i find really good amateur music. Sometimes its easy to ignore the flaws but sometimes it just take so much away from the enjoyment.

 

Quote:
 Hendrix is what taught me to do it. It doesn't take much of an audio setup to start picking out the imperfections in how his music was recorded. You either grow beyond it, or you stop listening to a lot of his best stuff.

 

For me i think it was some random mixed music i found in youtube. quality was horrible but enjoyed it anyway.

I have sometimes gone into almost ridiculous lengths to find better quality mixing of some songs in the internet.

Its quite hard when you dont actually know who has mixed the music.

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