Any Audio Fanatics Out There?

stocker08

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A lot of tension between Gophen fans over political issues. That can and will continue. But does anyone have any audio equipment stuff to talk about? It's always been something I've been interested in. Since starting to drive and putting crappy sub setups in my trunk to much more evolved 5-channel systems that centered around my front speakers with little emphasis on subs. Now I don't want to hack up my new cars with a bad audio install (wires hangings out everywhere) like I've done in the past. I still have my beastly chrome 5-channel Memphis Big Belle if I ever choose to try it again.

Anyways. Home theather? I'm sure some of you guys have some dope setups. Anyone have an Atmos setup? I've got the traditional 5.1 setup. Pioneer Elite Reciever and speakers all around. The sub I got off ebay, since it's a somewhat of a small room, it's only about four inches high including the wood grain cabinet. Slides perfectly underneath another media 'cart' and it does pretty well. I'm pretty happy with HT setup right now. It bangs when I need it too. Atmos is out of the question for now, due to the vaulted ceilings.

As for headphones. There are so many companies out there making headphones. I would like to suggest Bluedio. I've got several pairs of their headphones...and they put most of what you buy in the store for double cost to shame.

Finally...external amps and DACs. If you listen to music on your phone or computer, know that the sound card producing that is very cheap and very underpowered. I personally rip my own CDs with my own preferences. Typically end up with a 7-10MB file. Despite being and Mp3 or an M4A file....that all needs to be decoded and turned into something that we can hear. That is the part of the DAC (Digital-to-alalog converter). Purchasing an external DAC is far more important than spending a bunch on the stupidest new headphones. Start with the source. I bought a Sabaj D1 Headphone amp off ebay for about $12 six months ago. Even my $200 headphones sound better with it.
 

balds

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A lot of tension between Gophen fans over political issues. That can and will continue. But does anyone have any audio equipment stuff to talk about? It's always been something I've been interested in. Since starting to drive and putting crappy sub setups in my trunk to much more evolved 5-channel systems that centered around my front speakers with little emphasis on subs. Now I don't want to hack up my new cars with a bad audio install (wires hangings out everywhere) like I've done in the past. I still have my beastly chrome 5-channel Memphis Big Belle if I ever choose to try it again.

Anyways. Home theather? I'm sure some of you guys have some dope setups. Anyone have an Atmos setup? I've got the traditional 5.1 setup. Pioneer Elite Reciever and speakers all around. The sub I got off ebay, since it's a somewhat of a small room, it's only about four inches high including the wood grain cabinet. Slides perfectly underneath another media 'cart' and it does pretty well. I'm pretty happy with HT setup right now. It bangs when I need it too. Atmos is out of the question for now, due to the vaulted ceilings.

As for headphones. There are so many companies out there making headphones. I would like to suggest Bluedio. I've got several pairs of their headphones...and they put most of what you buy in the store for double cost to shame.

Finally...external amps and DACs. If you listen to music on your phone or computer, know that the sound card producing that is very cheap and very underpowered. I personally rip my own CDs with my own preferences. Typically end up with a 7-10MB file. Despite being and Mp3 or an M4A file....that all needs to be decoded and turned into something that we can hear. That is the part of the DAC (Digital-to-alalog converter). Purchasing an external DAC is far more important than spending a bunch on the stupidest new headphones. Start with the source. I bought a Sabaj D1 Headphone amp off ebay for about $12 six months ago. Even my $200 headphones sound better with it.

Most of this is way over my head. I have the bigger Bose Soundbar with the Subwoofer for TV. Very happy with it. Bose Sound Dock and an I phone for music. Nothing unique, but very happy with both.
 

stocker08

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Most of this is way over my head. I have the bigger Bose Soundbar with the Subwoofer for TV. Very happy with it. Bose Sound Dock and an I phone for music. Nothing unique, but very happy with both.

You can never go wrong with Bose speakers. There's a reason why they are highly thought of. I've have several sets of Bose headphones and (not several sets) home theater speakers. I'd say that they are are a little overpriced based upon their name alone....but....the speakers sound really good.....and are built like tanks.
 

Gophers_4life

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Maybe things have changed ... but I doubt it, why would they? At least back when I was looking at home theater speakers over a decade ago, Bose HT speakers were very poorly regarded by HT communities. Low-quality build materials, low quality electronics, cheap quality overall. Rather, there is a lot of psycho-acoustic trickery involved by their salespeople. Much higher margins that way.

If I was going to spend a good chunk of change on HT, would definitely recommend by separate amplifier and speakers (whether 5.1 7.1 or whatever the best is now, 9.2?)

Otherwise, maybe look at a high quality soundbar?
 

stocker08

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Maybe things have changed ... but I doubt it, why would they? At least back when I was looking at home theater speakers over a decade ago, Bose HT speakers were very poorly regarded by HT communities. Low-quality build materials, low quality electronics, cheap quality overall. Rather, there is a lot of psycho-acoustic trickery involved by their salespeople. Much higher margins that way.

If I was going to spend a good chunk of change on HT, would definitely recommend by separate amplifier and speakers (whether 5.1 7.1 or whatever the best is now, 9.2?)

Otherwise, maybe look at a high quality soundbar?

Well....for the money...I wouldn't personally suggest Bose. But whoever said low build quality and low quality electronics was probably just a hater. One of the big knocks on Bose is that they accentuate the highs and lows while cutting on the mid range frequencies. It sounds great to the average rube....but the more attuned audio fan will pick up on it. But yeah....I'd still say that Bose is quality equipment....you just have to pay a premium for it.

For the money....you'd do much better buying your HT system piece by piece. Start with the receiver. It's the key component to any setup. Great speakers will sound dull if you are powering them with a lousy receiver. I'd rather have a really nice receiver and junk speakers than the other way around.

Never do home theater in a box. That is.....unless it's a very high end one. If you are spending less than six or seven hundred.....it's probably all marginal equipment that will end up sounding......well......marginal. For that money....buy a nice receiver and spend the remainder on surround speakers. There are plenty of good deals on both.
 


Gophers_4life

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Well....for the money...I wouldn't personally suggest Bose. But whoever said low build quality and low quality electronics was probably just a hater. One of the big knocks on Bose is that they accentuate the highs and lows while cutting on the mid range frequencies. It sounds great to the average rube....but the more attuned audio fan will pick up on it. But yeah....I'd still say that Bose is quality equipment....you just have to pay a premium for it.

For the money....you'd do much better buying your HT system piece by piece. Start with the receiver. It's the key component to any setup. Great speakers will sound dull if you are powering them with a lousy receiver. I'd rather have a really nice receiver and junk speakers than the other way around.

Never do home theater in a box. That is.....unless it's a very high end one. If you are spending less than six or seven hundred.....it's probably all marginal equipment that will end up sounding......well......marginal. For that money....buy a nice receiver and spend the remainder on surround speakers. There are plenty of good deals on both.

Correct on the main unit being the most critical. Some people even have separate main unit and amplifier. You can spend whatever dollar figure you want to on HT, like many things in life.

Maybe what I should've said re:Bose is lower quality, for the money, rather than just low quality.
 

stocker08

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Correct on the main unit being the most critical. Some people even have separate main unit and amplifier. You can spend whatever dollar figure you want to on HT, like many things in life.

Maybe what I should've said re:Bose is lower quality, for the money, rather than just low quality.

Right. The source unit is most important. Amplifier is dependent on your situation. Speaker power handling and impendence will play a part there.

And again...I wouldn't say lower quality. Since for most people....it's actually pretty high quality. It all depends on how much you plan to spend.
 


Donovan

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I’m also a bit of an audiophile. Steve Guttenberg is pretty fun/unique reviewer who now has a YouTube channel. Here’s a good example of one of his videos:
 



Donovan

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Next price point, a $1,250 system:
 

stocker08

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Thanks for sharing. Now....that can't be the Steve Guttenberg that I'm thinking of. If so....he looks horrible.

And for anyone looking for budget headphones that WAY outproduce their price point....I have several pairs of Bluedio headphones. I know that I mentioned it in my OP....but I've bought a few more since then. Couple sets of wireless earbuds with charging cases....each under $20....and a second set of over ear headphones for just under $40. If you are looking for something just to play with or don't care to spend much on headphones....look into them. The newer pair of wireless earbuds and the overears have this new feature that I've never seen where if you remove and earbud or take the headphones away from your ears....they automatically pause whatever you are listening to until you replace them. Not exactly a feature that you need....but you get the idea. And the over ear are really nice and lightweight. Sold me because they have the metal frame so they should be pretty durable and the cans swivel 45 degrees which is great if you are taking off your headphones at all. Typical cans are uncomfortable to have around your neck because of the size of the cans protruding upwards into your neck. These are great for that reason as well....since they hang comfortably flat on your chest.
 

Bad Gopher

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I’m also a bit of an audiophile. Steve Guttenberg is pretty fun/unique reviewer who now has a YouTube channel. Here’s a good example of one of his videos:

Thanks for those vids!

I'm not an audio fanatic, but I did buy some in-ceiling speakers when we built our new house, and I was happy with what we ended up with for the price. We went with Yamaha, and I think they sound great. I'm sure you could spend eight times as much for an incremental improvement, but these were the right price point for us. The imaging is good, and the bass is precise and punchy. Highly recommended.
 

stocker08

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Thanks for those vids!

I'm not an audio fanatic, but I did buy some in-ceiling speakers when we built our new house, and I was happy with what we ended up with for the price. We went with Yamaha, and I think they sound great. I'm sure you could spend eight times as much for an incremental improvement, but these were the right price point for us. The imaging is good, and the bass is precise and punchy. Highly recommended.

Unless things have changed in recent years......Yamaha has always been solid audio equipment.

And I am very very tempted to buy these Planar Magnetic Headphones from Massdrop. But I really do not need more headphones.....

https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-hifiman-he4xx-planar-magnetic-headphones

Just bought a few new pairs of budget earbuds from aliexpress. Only got the RY4Ss so far. Really solid and super comfortable after messing mostly with in ear buds for the past multiple years now. The Monks have gotten lots of love from the Head-Fi community.....so I'm sure that they will sound nice as well. Doesn't hurt to have a little headphone amp to give them a little extra juice.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32820438211.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.6c2a4c4du4gZU0

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32417311324.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.6c2a4c4du4gZU0

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32844964644.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.6c2a4c4du4gZU0
 



jamiche

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I'm going to be upgrading my HT and I'm considering Bowers and Wilkins or Klipsch speakers. Any thoughts?
 

stocker08

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I'm going to be upgrading my HT and I'm considering Bowers and Wilkins or Klipsch speakers. Any thoughts?
If you can afford B&W....I don't see how you could possibly go wrong. Given I haven't heard a whole lot of them....but they pretty much only deal in really high end equipment, do they not?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

jamiche

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If you can afford B&W....I don't see how you could possibly go wrong. Given I haven't heard a whole lot of them....but they pretty much only deal in really high end equipment, do they not?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

I'm just starting to do some research and they definitely aren't low end. However, they seem to have a range of price points, some of which work for me and some of which don't. I'm trying to determine if the quality matches the reputation and I don't know much about the industry. It's probably been ten years since I last did this (Bose) and I can see where somebody can go crazy with this stuff. I'm not an audiophile and the technical aspects don't interest me. I just want a rich sound with a really good center channel at a reasonable price.
 



stocker08

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I've begun re-ripping my CD collection. Storage space has improved so much, and the cost has also dropped a ton, that my previous VBR mp3 of around 225 kbps doesn't make sense to continue with. I'm doing everything in FLAC now. And if the masters are available to the public....I'm re-buying the albums in 24bit. With a good DAC, amp, and headphones.....you can absolutely tell the difference between a four minute 225 kbps mp3 (around 6 - 8 MB), FLAC CD rip (30 - 40 MB), and a 24bit master (anywhere from 80 - 500 MBs).

Of course this means that I'll be moving on from using my Note (my phone) as a music player. Yes....I bought a new DAP (digital audio player).....also known previously as an mp3 player. Unlike the ipods of yesteryear....these can play almost any lossless audio codec around. Many can stream Hi-Fi music from services that offer it. I subscribed to Qobuz. Offered a free month. Also, unlike some of the other services, they offer single track purchases rather than full albums.

Thought a $250 budget would suffice....and quickly tossed it out. The more research I did...the more things I felt my DAP needed. I finally landed on the Fiio M11 Pro. Familiar with the company and have a couple of their products (one bluetooth receiver and one bluetooth amp). The M11 Pro has dual DACs, 2.5, 3.5, 4.4mm outputs, DSD support, transmission and reception of lossless audio support, etc. I was a little bummed that the Pro didn't have dual microSD slots like the M11. The internal memory upgrade from 32GB to 64GB won't suffice. So I bought a 256GB microSD with it. I have a feeling that I'll need to get something larger as I continue to rip my CDs.

Even with the upgrade in the internal amp, I can max out the volume when I pair the M11 Pro with my Hifiman HE4xx Planar Magnetic headphones (awesome headphones. drop.com always has great stuff available). Those suckers are tough to drive. Neither my phone nor computer could handle the job. Got a JDS Labs Atom amp to help. Still need to nearly max it out.

But right now I'm watching the NBA Finals. Rocking the much less demanding Koss KPH30i overears (also purchased from drop).

361A1725_20171024125853.jpg
 

stocker08

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I'll need some home theater advice pretty soon. Anyone have any experience with Atmos? I've heard conflicting reports on whether it's worth investing in or not.
 

stocker08

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As far as listening to music....getting the Fiio M11 Pro DAP and starting to repurchase my music in the 24bit master quality has been the best thing I've ever done. Wish I would have done this MUCH MUCH earlier.
 

Nokomis

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I've begun re-ripping my CD collection. Storage space has improved so much, and the cost has also dropped a ton, that my previous VBR mp3 of around 225 kbps doesn't make sense to continue with. I'm doing everything in FLAC now. And if the masters are available to the public....I'm re-buying the albums in 24bit. With a good DAC, amp, and headphones.....you can absolutely tell the difference between a four minute 225 kbps mp3 (around 6 - 8 MB), FLAC CD rip (30 - 40 MB), and a 24bit master (anywhere from 80 - 500 MBs).

Of course this means that I'll be moving on from using my Note (my phone) as a music player. Yes....I bought a new DAP (digital audio player).....also known previously as an mp3 player. Unlike the ipods of yesteryear....these can play almost any lossless audio codec around. Many can stream Hi-Fi music from services that offer it. I subscribed to Qobuz. Offered a free month. Also, unlike some of the other services, they offer single track purchases rather than full albums.

Thought a $250 budget would suffice....and quickly tossed it out. The more research I did...the more things I felt my DAP needed. I finally landed on the Fiio M11 Pro. Familiar with the company and have a couple of their products (one bluetooth receiver and one bluetooth amp). The M11 Pro has dual DACs, 2.5, 3.5, 4.4mm outputs, DSD support, transmission and reception of lossless audio support, etc. I was a little bummed that the Pro didn't have dual microSD slots like the M11. The internal memory upgrade from 32GB to 64GB won't suffice. So I bought a 256GB microSD with it. I have a feeling that I'll need to get something larger as I continue to rip my CDs.

Even with the upgrade in the internal amp, I can max out the volume when I pair the M11 Pro with my Hifiman HE4xx Planar Magnetic headphones (awesome headphones. drop.com always has great stuff available). Those suckers are tough to drive. Neither my phone nor computer could handle the job. Got a JDS Labs Atom amp to help. Still need to nearly max it out.

But right now I'm watching the NBA Finals. Rocking the much less demanding Koss KPH30i overears (also purchased from drop).

361A1725_20171024125853.jpg
Wow...a lot of product codes & acronyms in there; I have no idea what you're talking about. As someone who enjoys music, I am severely deficient in my audio technology know-how. I guess I just don't have the time, energy, or money to keep up on it. Maybe that's one of the reasons I've reverted back to records -- just plop & play.
 

stocker08

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Wow...a lot of product codes & acronyms in there; I have no idea what you're talking about. As someone who enjoys music, I am severely deficient in my audio technology know-how. I guess I just don't have the time, energy, or money to keep up on it. Maybe that's one of the reasons I've reverted back to records -- just plop & play.

Lol. Just a little more in depth info on your typical mp3s. I also enjoy tossing on a record. Nice warm sound. Unfortunately my record collection is pretty small. And I can't justify spending $20+ on new records when I still need the CD.
 

Nokomis

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Lol. Just a little more in depth info on your typical mp3s. I also enjoy tossing on a record. Nice warm sound. Unfortunately my record collection is pretty small. And I can't justify spending $20+ on new records when I still need the CD.
Why do you still need the CD? If it's to get the digital format, most new releases come with a free digital download. So you kind of get 2 for the price of 1 - record plus digital download.
 

stocker08

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Why do you still need the CD? If it's to get the digital format, most new releases come with a free digital download. So you kind of get 2 for the price of 1 - record plus digital download.

As I said...I like to rip the CDs onto my computer in a particular format. Now I'm going completely lossless. I'll have to check to see if the digital copies are offered that way. They may be these days. In that case....I probably would just buy the vinyl.

Thanks for the tip. I'd love to have some of the vinyls of some of the newer releases.
 

stocker08

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Anyone have any strong feelings on turntables? I need a new record player. The one I have is junk.

Also...strong recs on the Klipsch The Sixes powered speakers. Basically a sound system all in one....no need for a receiver. Loved my first pair so much that I bought a second.

 

stocker08

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Anyone looking for cheap bluetooth earbuds.....


Bluedio used to be a very reputable headphones manufacturer ten years ago or more...before cheap manufacturing took them into the garbage. My original 'Vinyl' headphones still hold up against Bose and Apple headsets that cost double (today).

But anyone looking for an inexpensive pair of bluetooth earbuds? Don't know if they've changed things up in the past couple of years.....but the ones I've got still hold a very good charge and sound pretty good for a sub-$20 set.
 

stocker08

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I like to check in on Drop every once in while to see what they have available. For those who don't know what Drop is....it used to be Massdrop....they collaborate with audio companies to provide custom versions of headphones, amps, dacs, etc......that are funded by the community. Sometimes it's just a custom tuned pair of earphones, sometimes it's a significantly different version of the headphone.

Anyways, bought a pair of these for fun, as I'm not really in the market to replace my top end IEMs. The cool thing about the cheaper headphones on the site, is that they are typically FAR better than their price suggests. But that's how they find their way onto the site. Community finds these way under the radar earphones (many times Chinese companies that are more available on sites like Aliexpress) and drop reaches out.

For $25.....it's highly unlikely you find a better pair of earphones. You'd be spending over $100 for IEMs this good if you walked into a Target or Best Buy. One issue is the cord. It's bad. But that's why the ear pieces have the detachable cord. If you like them enough, you replace it with something better.

 

stocker08

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Bit the bullet and shelled out the cash for a JDS Element II. I've been using a JDS Atom as my headphone amp when I'm not using my Fiio M11 Plus. The Atom is a really great amp.....but I like the extra power and the integrated DAC of the Element. Bought the Sennheiser HD6xx cans as well. Hopefully they are a little easier to drive than my HIFIMAN HE4xx phones.
 





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