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Thread: Audio Equipment

  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by mubs View Post
    Thanks DD, these seem to be outstanding for the price! I've saved the info. These are out of range for now, since they need an amp to drive them pushing up the cost, plus there's no space for them near my monitor. Perhaps they'll be good to replace on my main stereo system, which is ~ 28 years old but still chugging along! 95% of my listening though is done at my PC using Logitech Z4 2.1 speakers, which are reasonably ok. Need of the hour is to fix the audio which is lo-fi, which made me revive this thread.
    What about the JBL LSR305 Studio Monitor? They seem to have decent reviews and come as an active monitor so you wouldn't need a separate amp.

  2. #452
    Serial computer killer Hairy Aussie CougTek's Avatar
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    It turns out that for this particular item, Amazon.com is willing to ship to Québec. The shipping and borders fees are high, but it's still way cheaper than buying it from their canayian site.

    So... what's the best affordable amplifier these days? Anything less than 300U$ standing out?

  3. #453
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    How about the Emotiva mini-X a-100 $219 USD? It's currently out of stock though.

    Review video in English...


    http://www.cnet.com/news/emotivas-sw...219-amplifier/

  4. #454
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    It indeed seems to be the best bang for the buck. Their XPA-200 also seems very nice, although twice as expensive, but it can push more power than the ELAC can accept, which is probably bad since I could blow up the speakers if I turn the nob too much.

  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougTek View Post
    It indeed seems to be the best bang for the buck. Their XPA-200 also seems very nice, although twice as expensive, but it can push more power than the ELAC can accept, which is probably bad since I could blow up the speakers if I turn the nob too much.
    You're better off with too much power than not enough anyway. I'd of recommended that amp but it wasn't in your listed budget range. I have the original XPA-5 which has more power (200W x 5) than my towers are rated for and I've never had an issue even when driving them to the point of hurting my ears.

  6. #456
    Storage? I am Storage! mubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    Have you played around with Audacity?
    SD,

    I spent quite a bit of time last evening / night finding and downloading plug-ins for Audacity, then I found this in the Audacity Wiki :(

    Limitations

    No real-time effects: Audacity cannot yet preview an effect while changing the parameters of the effect. Audacity cannot yet apply effects to audio while it is playing or recording.

    VST instrument (VSTi) plug-ins that generate sound are not supported. 64-bit VST plug-ins are not supported, nor are VST 3 plug-ins.
    This makes it difficult / useless for me to use plug-ins, I would think.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by CougTek View Post
    I'll show you something that deeply pisses me off.
    The B5 is available here, but at twice the US AMZ price. You're not alone, Coug; life is unfair!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    What about the JBL LSR305 Studio Monitor? They seem to have decent reviews and come as an active monitor so you wouldn't need a separate amp.
    Thanks Handy, info saved for future use. We are sorta veering off topic; I'm not looking for speakers / amps right now. Don't need them and no budget either. I am interested in sprucing up the sound, though.

  7. #457
    Storage? I am Storage! mubs's Avatar
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    After trawling the web, my assessment is that Aphex Exciter > Behringer Sonic Exciter SX3040 > BBE.

  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by mubs View Post
    SD,

    I spent quite a bit of time last evening / night finding and downloading plug-ins for Audacity, then I found this in the Audacity Wiki

    This makes it difficult / useless for me to use plug-ins, I would think.
    I'm not sure that it makes things unusable. I think it means you can't preview and adjust while it's playing, not that you can't adjust something preview it, adjust it again and preview it again. However, I don't have Audacity installed on this PC, so I can't test it to be sure either way.

  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    I'm not sure that it makes things unusable. I think it means you can't preview and adjust while it's playing, not that you can't adjust something preview it, adjust it again and preview it again. However, I don't have Audacity installed on this PC, so I can't test it to be sure either way.
    I realize that, but that much iteration for each number will kill me. I'll be dead before I'm done with a quarter of my stuff! :)

  10. #460
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    I'm a firm believer that the absolute top-end of audio gear is snake oil, but after using the line out from the Blue Yeti Mic for a while I put in a Schiit MODI 2 DAC and holy crap that is better.
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  11. #461
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    This DAC looks interesting, from the price-, audiophile- and geek point of view.

    http://www.henryaudio.com

  12. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    This DAC looks interesting, from the price-, audiophile- and geek point of view.

    http://www.henryaudio.com
    I agree it's neat that this allows you to hack with it given that they offer the source code.

  13. #463
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    Just for the heck of it I decided to try getting in on the Massdrop Sennheiser HD 6XX drop for $199.99 that opened this morning. They offered 5000 units and they all sold out in a short amount of time. Their servers were slammed with orders and lots of people had issues with timeouts, etc. I believe I was able to get in for one after refreshing my order for about 10 minutes.

    I think it was so busy because this deal made headlines on other known sites:
    https://www.cnet.com/news/get-a-spec...phone-for-200/
    http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/8/13...price-massdrop

  14. #464
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    I tried to get in and failed. There were openings, but my order wouldn't go through.

  15. #465
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    I played the two browser window game. I left one open and spinning as part of processing and refreshed the other getting the "Ooops" message. Eventually it went through after several tries. It looks like I got two orders to go through but I know they'll remove one of them because of the processing issues.

  16. #466
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    My Blue Yeti mic at home now has an annoying digital whine to it (kid has caused it to hit the floor many times). The mic is connected using a direct USB interface, so I'm assuming it must be within the mic itself. Does anyone have a recommendation for a mic with good quality, vibration isolation from the surface, and a USB interface?
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  17. #467
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    I also went with a Blue Yeti Pro as my microphone of choice. Maybe the audio-technica AT2020USB+? I've never used it so you may want to research it before pulling the trigger.



    An alternative depending on what you're doing and your budget might be a Rode NT1KIT Condenser Microphone with a usb mixer board like this BEHRINGER XENYX 302USB. This would give you more control and you could even get the mic onto a movable arm stand since it will use standard microphone stands. This might help keep it from being damaged from your kid. The mixer will show as a sound card under windows and give you a little more control. It's more expensive and more complicated so I don't know if it will fit your needs.

  18. #468
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    Looks like Rode also has a USB mic in the same price range as the Audio-technica called the Rode NT USB.

  19. #469
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Ended up picking up some more absurd stuff, I'll test it at home for now before it needs to be deployed.

    https://amzn.com/B00SLIUYL8
    https://amzn.com/B001PPXFAG

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  20. #470
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrueding View Post
    Ended up picking up some more absurd stuff, I'll test it at home for now before it needs to be deployed.

    https://amzn.com/B00SLIUYL8
    https://amzn.com/B001PPXFAG

    This worked great, but was absurd overkill for game comms. That equipment is now at a large venue serving as intended. I just went back to the Yeti.
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  21. #471
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    I did however just pick up a pair of HiFiMan HE-400i headphones. They are very good and absurdly comfortable.
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  22. #472
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    I have some HE-500's that I bought several years ago. They sound amazing. They're not all that comfortable though.

  23. #473
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    My Massdrop Sennheiser HD6XX came yesterday and I've enjoyed listening to them so far. I have a XDuoo XD-05 DAC/Amp coming (also from Massdrop) to help drive these headphones a little better. Even with the amp/DAC in my LG V10 they sound pretty good. I'm certainly curious to know more about how a Planar Magnetic headphones would sound when compared to a dynamic driver. Are the HE-560's a decent pair of headphones for this type of driver or are some of the other competitors like the Audeze LCD2 worth more consideration? I've read concerns of the quality of construction of both but perhaps they're just a few bad ones that people complain about.

  24. #474
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    Yes, the HE-560's should be very decent. I think it somewhat comes down to what sort of sound signature you prefer. I'm not sure if there are Head-Fi meets around you or any CanJam events where you could hear them and others.

  25. #475
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    That's part of what I'd like to learn more about. Without trying that style driver I won't know if I like the sound signature. That's a good thought about checking for meetups in my area to see if I can try them out.

  26. #476
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    That's part of what I'd like to learn more about. Without trying that style driver I won't know if I like the sound signature.
    Planar magnetic drivers don't really have an inherent sound signature. They have more of a lack of coloration of conventional drivers. I was referring more to whether you'd like the HE-560 or the LCD-2 with the sound signature comment. The HE-500 are a bit analytic somewhat like a studio monitor. I haven't heard the Audeze LCD-2. I have their EL-8 closed back headphones, which are much more studio monitor like than the HE-500. However, the EL-8 reportedly are the odd man out in the Audeze lineup compared to their other PM headphones being the only one with that sort of sound signature.

  27. #477
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    I'm curious to understand that if planar magnetic headphones lack a sound signature, then what is happening in the varying degrees of cost in some of these headphones? I understand some have very beautiful woodwork but is it varying degrees of the lack of audible coloration that happens as you get into the more expensive headphones? Is it also the size and bass response or all of the above?

  28. #478
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    For the ones I was looking at, the differences seemed to be about frequency response range, weight, and impedance. The audio profile on the 400i is very flat (almost like shooting video in a flat colorspace), but I quickly grew accustomed to it.
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  29. #479
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    This thread suggests that Hifiman is no longer shipping replacement parts for their products. Customers need to ship their headphones to China for service if something breaks.

  30. #480
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    Well, I guess I won't be buying any more HiFiMAN products.

  31. #481
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    I spent a fair bit of time on Sunday at CES listening to various headphones. Unfortunately many of the conditions were not ideal (noisy show floor). I really liked the Audeze LCD-4. I was less of a fan of their LCD-3, the LCD-X and the LCD-XC. The Sine and iSine didn't really light my fire either. I gave the HiFiMAN Edition X v2 a listen and thought they did well, but had limited familiarity with their source material. The Sony MDR-Z1R were good, but maybe had a little too much high end emphasis for my taste, but again I had limited familiarity with their source material. Their new noise cancelling headphones were very good at noise canceling, even people talking, not just constant noises. They sounded good with music too. I heard the Audio Technica ATH-W5000 headphones, the Technics EAH-T700 also. Neither were slouches, but I liked some of other headphones I heard more.

    The $70k ELAC speakers were amazing! Dayton Audio / Parts Express had a really amazing sounding pair of speakers designed by Don Keele they were showing off. The CBT-24 in their "Epique" line up. thread Amazing sound for $1500 a pair. They sounded the same as you moved around the room. Even as you walked closer to them. Don Keele was there running the demo. He's a legend in the industry.

    Ultimately, I ran out of time to audition things.

    Now I've got to go to work rather than blowing the day off and "working" from home after taking the red-eye home because management is in town and wants meetings and no one told me before when I was making my flight schedule.

  32. #482
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    Sounds like a nice event; I'd like to do a trip out to CES some year. Did you get to listen to the ELAC Adante AF 61 floor speakers or the AS 61 bookshelf?

  33. #483
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Sounds like a nice event; I'd like to do a trip out to CES some year. Did you get to listen to the ELAC Adante AF 61 floor speakers or the AS 61 bookshelf?
    I heard these: https://elac.com/product/concerto-product-1/. I didn't hear and of their other speakers.

  34. #484
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    Wow that tweeter is really interesting looking. Nice to hear they have a serious flagship floor standing speaker I'd of loved to hear them in person.

  35. #485
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    I'm not sure how far you are from NYC, but this event could help you find what you like and/or don't like: http://www.head-fi.org/t/820039/canj...#post_12858781

  36. #486
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    I looked into it when you mentioned it earlier. I would like to go but I don't know if I'll be able to make it. I'm probably 200 miles North of NYC (3-4 hours drive) which isn't that bad. Are you going to this event?

  37. #487
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Are you going to this event?
    No, I'm not.

  38. #488
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    So while I was at CES I played with the Sony NW-A35 Walkman in their booth driving their MDR-1000X headphone demos. I was quite taken with it. I was not thrilled when I found out it's not released in the US yet. I would have grilled them on US availability had I known.

    http://www.sony.com/electronics/walkman/nw-a30-series

  39. #489
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    I was walking through my local BestBuy and I strolled through their Magnolia section just to see what they had and in one of their back rooms, they have two pairs of the Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 speakers connected up through some giant configuration of McIntosh amps and a turntable in what looked like the room was very well treated on the walls with acoustic panels. I didn't have time to ask for a demo but at some I'd love to hear what these things sound like. They're quite impressive in person to see. They look very well made.

  40. #490
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    I've been spending a little more time at Head-Fi lately again since I was looking into the Sony NW-A35/36/37 Walkman. The collective delusions run STRONG over there. They talk about the differences in sound quality of different portable players like they were comparing the flavor of different fruits, and I'm not talking about a Gala apple grown in WA vs. MI, but a Lemon vs. a Apple vs. a Banana.

    I was able to get a little useful information like what people think of player responsiveness, easy of use, etc. but oh my...

  41. #491
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    That Sony Walkman looks interesting. Thanks for looking into it for us. Maybe we can sent one to Merc (when available in U.S.) to get him to come back here or give us an update on WTF is going on.
    - 3770k, 212 EVO, Z77X-UD4H, 32GB, 660w, Titan, 840 Pro/256GB, 2TB & 1TB, Define R4, P4317Q & ZR24w, Unicomp/104, Win7 Pro x64.

    - Nikon D610 w/grip, 50mm/1.4G, 16-35mm/4G, 105mm/2.8G micro, 200-500mm/5.6E.

  42. #492
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowhiker View Post
    That Sony Walkman looks interesting. Thanks for looking into it for us.
    Hopefully DHL will be delivering mine tomorrow. I ordered one from HK.

    Maybe we can sent one to Merc (when available in U.S.) to get him to come back here or give us an update on WTF is going on.
    That might make his head explode. Or, maybe he already fell in love with Sony and he's afraid to show his face here now.

  43. #493
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    So my Lexar 200GB microSD card turned out to be bad and is on its way back to B&H. I've been chasing DHL around on the delivery of the case and NW-A35. Customs delayed their delivery by a day, and I had to call DHL this morning since they were apparently not going to deliver the player today, but tomorrow after trying yesterday while I wasn't home. I'm not very happy with the way this is going.

  44. #494
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    My DHL packages were waiting for me when I got home from work. The Sony NW-A35 is very slick. The 3.1" 800x480 IPS screen is great. Very crisp and clear.

    Unfortunately, with my Earwerkz Supra IEMs it has some background hiss. FWIW, they're extremely sensitive and hiss in pretty much everything though. They're unusable due to the hiss without an my FiiO E12A amp in between with all the other devices I own (tablets, phone, laptop, etc.). The amount of background hiss with the NW-A35 isn't distracting with music playing, but you do notice it when the tracks fade out or nothing is playing. I'd guess it would be inaudible over the background noise level in a plane, train, car, or other moderately noisy environment.

    All the other headphones and IEMs I have aren't nearly so sensitive, so the player is nice and black with those. It can drive my HiFiMAN HE-500 headphones to a nice listening level though it has to be turned up nearly all the way ~110 out of 120. My other headphones are more sensitive, so they can be driven no issue.

    I tried Bluetooth playback to my SRS-XB3 speakers and it worked great. Both support LDAC, so the audio bitrate is much higher than SBC. The player's volume controls will adjust the volume of the speakers over Bluetooth. The NW-A35 also has NFC so you can tap it on the top of the SRS-XB3 to pair it which is handy.

  45. #495
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    I agree it's neat that this allows you to hack with it given that they offer the source code.
    Ended up getting a Chord Mojo, at about twice the price of the Henry. Tidal to Chord to Sony XBA-Z5 IEMs, sounds fantastic. Getting about 7 hours of battery life with Tidal Masters (desktop app doing the partial unfolding and outputting @96kHz)

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/784602/chor...aq-in-3rd-post

  46. #496
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    Tidal masters...

    MQA seems to be a scam. They boost the high frequencies with noise. See: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-aud...l#post49910017

  47. #497
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    And here's Linns view on MQA. Not very technical, but it makes sense to me.

    https://www.linn.co.uk/blog/mqa-is-bad-for-music

  48. #498
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    Looks like Spotify is testing lossless audio. The article doesn't say anything about the technical aspects, but I hope they don't believe that MQA is lossless.

    http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/1/147...ess-audio-tier

  49. #499
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    Has anyone claimed that MQA is lossless? It's clearly applying compression when compared to a 24 bit / 96kHz encoding. Seems more like a potential option if you are in a bandwidth limited scenario.

    Anyway didn't want to create the impression that MQA is some kind of miracle, the reference was more to give an indication of battery life of the Mojo when playing 96kHz content. I'm getting longer life playing back standard 44 kHz audio.

  50. #500
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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    And here's Linns view on MQA. Not very technical, but it makes sense to me.

    https://www.linn.co.uk/blog/mqa-is-bad-for-music
    This part "End customers, having paid a premium for MQA music via licensed content providers, will also have to buy MQA certified players at increased cost, with a license paid for each unit shipped".

    The former doesn't make sense when there is no cost premium to access the MQA encoded songs on Tidal, if you are paying for the hires subscription. Seems like more options for the same price.

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