Help - Sloppy Sound?
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poorimpulsectrl

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I'm not sure what forum to put this in because I don't know what the source of my problem is.

Recently my setup has started sounding "sloppy". It seems to take more volume on my amp to produce the same perceived loudness. Bass sounds poorly defined/controlled, unimpressive. Things sound muddy.

I am going from foobar2000 -> M-Audio Sonica -> Markertek mini cable -> tangent meta42 -> Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones .

I have checked my volume control panel and there is no change there. There hasn't been any significant changes to my computer or anything that might affect sound playback. No cables are loose.

What could be the source of this problem? It's putting me at a loss why things are all of a sudden sounding different.
 
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refault

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It could be a software side issue.. have you tried using Winamp or Foobar with default settings? Maybe (if you have tweaked Foobar settings) the CPU load is affecting the sound?
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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I don't have any other applications running at the moment. I thought maybe something got messed in foobar, so I upgraded to the latest version and assume if there were any software problems that would have resolved it. I can try reconfiguring foobar from scratch and seeing if that makes a difference.
 
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wallijonn

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Or, your hearing is getting better and you're outgrowing the DT770. Nah, chances are you need a better amp. Does it sound the same through other music programs? Are they the same CDRs you recorded?
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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My amp is a maxed out meta42 - the exact specifications are in my profile. I haven't had problems with it up until now, so I'm not sure if something has gotten messed up with it. I can't see that being the case because it's not as if it were dropped or anything. Just normal use (turning the power off when not in use, don't even move the volume knob that much).

I'll give it a shot through other music programs as well as try playing some CD's to see.
 
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John Reeves

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Hi,

I think that maybe the problem is with your amp, maybe even it's power supply. Generaly with sound cards I've found they either work or they don't. (IMHO). Have you tried plugging the cans directly into the sound card? This may indicate if it is the amp.

The next step would be to remove the sound card drivers using the control pannel, re-boot and then re-load the drivers using the sound card installation disk. Try out, then install any driver up-grades.

Last resort, take your cans and amp to a friend and try out on their machine. I know the sound will be different, but this could still give an indication of where the fault lies.

Hope this is of assistance,
regards
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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My headphones are fairly high impedence (250ohm) so I think if I plug them in directly to my soundcard they'll sound muddy because they're underpowered (i.e. I'm not sure this will reveal the source of the problem).

In the interim I've just cranked the volume on my soundcard (Sonica) driver as a stopgap solution. But I can't understand why all of a sudden at the same volume level that I normally listen to, things would sound underpowered and muddy.
 
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pedxing

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Try using a different source with your tangent meta42 amp. If you get the same sloppiness, its probably your amp.

Otherwise it might be your sound card. My guess its probably the sound card. I have experienced similar problems you are now having with every single sound card I have owned and tossed out. The analog output gets sloppy, weak, and distorted after several years of use.
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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seems like it was a driver related issue. uninstalled the driver then reinstalled, tightness/volume seems to be a bit better. Might need more testing to validate.
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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Well, I've increased the volume on my Sonica and it appears to have brought the high end and midrange more in balance with the bass. These higher end sounds are fine - they still sound detailed and coherent. But there are still songs where the bass sounds a bit sloppy. I don't know if its just my perception or if something has gone wrong here.

Can anyone give me some criteria that would help to troubleshoot this problem?
 
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