Please help. I want to enjoy music again.

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by scottter140, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I own Shure's SE 215 bigger brother, SE425 - these are very good. 215 are good deal at $100 and a steal at $85 https://www.massdrop.com/buy/shure-se215-earphones

    But I think IEMs are only fitting for some situation, but not relaxing at home listening to fav music with glass of wine/beer/scotch. For these occasions you need something more comfortable.

    "The ATH M50x is well regarded in "headphoole" circles for bang for the buck. It's on the Innerfidelity.com Wall of Shame." FTFY. IMO They are hugely bass boomy and imo only their mother hip-hop enthusiast may like these.

    Get sennheiser - I mean any sennheiser and you've just bought great phones for the money. This includes even stuff like these: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/370597-REG/Sennheiser_HD_201_HD_201_Circumaural.html
    Obviously HD558 are better phones - have better sound, materials, fit and finish, but my point is even cheap HD201 are not bad. Much better than you'd expect for this tiny price.
  2. STC Audioholic Intern

    STC
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    When I damaged my AKG, I replaced it with Superlux. Cheap and very good sounding.
    STC,
  3. VMAT4 Enthusiast

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    I see on the Best Buy site that the HD 558 do not require an amp. If those sound anywhere near as good as the HD 598 do, those would be well worth $80. I own a pair of the HD 598 and could not recommend them because of their need for an amp. I just could not think of an inexpensive, open back, efficient headphone off the top of my head. Thanks lovinthehd and BoredSysAdmin.

    I also noticed the K553 are reasonably priced. The discontinued K550 got a lot of attention until the NAD VISO HP50 stole the spotlight when it was introduced. So, I imagine it is quite good as well for a closed back.
  4. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    As per the recommendations (Bucknekkid started it when I first joined here) on this forum to rip CD's to FLAC format, I have since done so and it does sound good. I still buy CD's and keep them in perfect condition otherwise. What prompted me to do so was this new desktop pc has a cd player dealie like you would find in a laptop and it's vertical, which annoys me to no end and trying to find that little center, which is away from me, more so yet. Especially with welder's eyes. So, once I get that dude in there, it gets ripped.

    I did get the paid version of Pandora and I enjoy it more than the Spotify and I'd rather buy CD's than pay Tidal's prices. I thought Pandora's free version was much less forced with the ad campaign and that's why I chose it. I thought Spotify's trial version was miserable, comparatively. Not a good way to get me to buy something.
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  5. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    LOL! Welcome to the 21st century ;)

    Yeah, just the convenience of FLAC, not needing to handle CDs, and being able to easily take your entire collection with you, it's worth it!

    My 2nd system, I still use a 100 Disc Pio Changer. It's old, but I love that thing!
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  6. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    I tend to agree here.

    But, if you have never used high quality headphones for an extended time, then there are 2 huge advantages to headphones that should not be ignored.

    1) High end headphones can be purchased at a fraction of the price of high end speakers! They still may be expensive, but not in the same league as high end speakers.

    2) Headphones completely remove the in-room response variables from the equation!
  7. highfigh Audioholic Warlord

    highfigh
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    You seem to be trying to put lipstick on a pig.

    First, a Discman isn't made to sound good, it's made for convenience. The first ones were pretty good, but they cost $300 in 1983 dollars so, you can adjust for inflation to find the equivalent. They were built far better, the circuitry was far better, they sounded much better and part of the reason is that they didn't run on a couple of AA batteries. You could use the best headphones and it still wouldn't sound great.

    I hate to rain on your parade, but there's an issue with your speakers. That's an ad and it's wrong. I have never heard a pair of Thrusters that impressed me. I would recommend hitting the local thrift stores and Craig's List for something better. Older Infinity, JBL, Polk, EPI, Advent, KLH and many other brands can be had for a decent price.

    WRT your basement room- if it's untreated, it can't sound good. It must be brutal when you play your guitar, if it's electric and you play it loud. Been there, hated it. Put up some moving blankets and try to absorb some of the sound.

    The Sonos Play 3 and sub sell for $299 each and $699. You're comparing an old pair of speakers with new ones that sell for close to $1300. HTIB speakers aren't made for good sound, either. Again, it's simple setup and convenience.

    If you want to use headphones and have internet access, I would recommend using the receiver (pick the best-sounding one) and look for a better set of speakers. This way, you can take your time and build something better, from the ground up. For portability, rip your music at the highest res possible and, while it will limit the number of songs in the music player or phone, it will sound better. As long as you have internet access, you can move around.
  8. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    I agree that these AT 50 are over-rated. They are comfortable at least.

    After comparing them a bit more with my Senn 598, I'm not so sure that it's boomy bass. It may be a mid-bass bump instead.

    On many tracks, they sound great and I don't really notice this. On some tracks, it sounds completely unnatural and is offending to the critical listener!

    I sold my AT, kept the Senns!
  9. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Music is (if it's worth a damn to begin with) such, that it is worthy of dedicating a specific time for the experience it should be, just like any other art. The modern need for near constant entertainment is worrisome. It should not be so convenient.

    The earbud thing has become, as stated earlier somewhere in this topic, rude. I am always answering someone I think is talking to me and they are doing it in my space. Then when you do answer, there is that moment of awkwardness, as if you have just invaded 'their' privacy. Other than that, I am always having to get in someone's face to get their attention and this also means I have to repeat myself a lot.

    If you have to put the music (or any entertainment, for that matter) down for a spell, like when at work or outdoors, it gives you something to look forward to that you should be passionate about that you can't wait to get home to. That's a worthy daily goal. If more people did this, they would find their lives and experiences much more enriched and with a lot less hardware.
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  10. yepimonfire Audioholic Samurai

    yepimonfire
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    The best earbud type headphones I've come across is Etymotic HF5's. They're extremely flat all the way down to 5hz and very durable. For regular headphones, I really like Sennheiser, doesn't have to be their studio headphones, in fact, the only headphones of theirs I don't like is their HD 280 pros, they have a bloated bass section and muted highs. For home use, AKG K701s or Q701s are extremely good sounding and very accurate, For spacious sounding headphones with an outside of the head sound with fantastic imaging, you can't go wrong with Audio technica's ATH-AD 700x/900x series. Also some of the most comfortable headphones I've worn. I would strongly suggest using a FiiO amp for phone use. A majority of phones analog sections are not only noisy as hell, but also fail to have a near zero output impedance, which can alter the frequency response of headphones (often for the worst) that don't have a flat impedance across the frequency range.
  11. scottter140 Enthusiast

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  12. yepimonfire Audioholic Samurai

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    Not a fan of klipsch headphones, they're inaccurate and have bloated bass. Do you carry anything by KRK? The KNS series sound fantastic. Where do you work?

    Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
  13. yepimonfire Audioholic Samurai

    yepimonfire
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    320 vorbis at that. Vorbis is transparent at 192kbps in my experience with abx tests. Pandora sucks. 64kbps aac and max 192kbps mp3 if you pay and only on pc. I used to like Pandora simply for discovery but spotify has done an even better job with their weekly discovery, the fact the related artists are actually related etc. I listen to music most people don't even know exists like black metal and spotify has even made several sub genre specific playlists for the genre and updates them weekly with new stuff.

    Tidal offers lossless but their features for discovery suck, and they're $20 a month. On AAC, MP3, and Vorbis, pretty much anything 256kbps or greater is psychoacoustically transparent.

    Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
  14. -Jim- Audioholic

    -Jim-
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    Thanks for the info. I'll leave the available headphones to others who have more current units. I think you could start putting together something low cost system wise beginning with "the newer Sony receiver" you mentioned. My receivers never seem to die, and I just retire them (or give them away to family or friends) as I want to move to new features. Can you advise the model for the Sony receiver?

    As for speakers, of course I wouldn't expect miracles with those Panasonic Thruster model SB-800 (1" soft dome tweeter, dual 8" inch drivers and a 12" passive radiator) but I'd try them with the Sony if you could get them up to ear level about 8 feet apart. (Why not - nothing to lose.) Some vintage speakers (those are about 1979) are amazing. What are the models of the other 5 panasonic speakers . By the way, did the Diskman you bought have a line out jack, or do you have a BluRay or DVD Player in the house you can connect to the Sony? (Model numbers on everything are so helpful.) Have you listened to music on the 5.1 Definitive setup?

    For the record, my opinion is a true Audiophile wants the best sound they can obtain (afford). Lossy formats MP3s, AAC, etc., are distinguishable from the original source material by almost all folks (by ear - not just electronic measuring devices) and therefore not Audiophile in nature.

    Don't get me wrong, I have about 400 GB of MP3s, with almost all at 320 kbps, which I typically put on USB Sticks to use in my car. (It doesn't play FLAC). All Streaming Audio Services I have investigated push compressed lossy formats. And don't get me started on Satellite Radio (absolute crap). Folks compromise for convenience, and I do too, but if you really want to "hear" the music as the artists and producers intended, or get as close to concert realism as possible, lossy formats are simply not the way to go.

    So please continue to post (with model numbers) and more info so we can help you hear the best sound possible from the equipment you have (or can afford). By the way, you'd be amazed what audio equipment people give away for free on places like Craigslist. Check it out.
  15. scottter140 Enthusiast

    scottter140
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    The receiver is a Sony STR-DG720. The speakers came from a Panasonic sa pt660 system but the DVD player and sub are no more. I've listened to music on the definitive speakers but haven't tried a CD yet.


    The Diskman just has a headphone jack... Even after some googleing, I am ashamed to admit, Im still confused about what a line out jack is... I think I know what your getting out though... connecting the diskman to the receiver through the headphone jack to RCA probably wont result in a great sound. Probably the best thing to play cds for that room would be to connect my computer with HDMI.


    To explain that room a little better: my friend owns the house and I pay him a small amount of rent. I have a small section of the basement taken up for my guitars and recording stuff, a carpet, a couple tables with speakers, computer monitors, the receiver, a couple guitar amps, a couple keyboards and stuff like that. I thought about hanging blankets around my area to improve the acoustics but that seemed a little disrespectful and silly (like I was building a fort).


    I also have a Tascam UR22, a Macbook Pro that has HDMI but no CD drive and an older Windows laptop that does have a CD drive and HDMI, its just old and kind of slow and has barely been used since I got the Mac 3 years ago. I did download some software to rip CDs to it and will be getting to that project soon.
  16. lovinthehd Audioholic Spartan

    lovinthehd
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    Might try this discussion about the differences in line level output jack (rca/xlr generally) vs a headphone 3.5mm or 1/4" jack output...
  17. -Jim- Audioholic

    -Jim-
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    The Link lovinthehd posted does explain where I was going on a Line Level output from your Diskman into the Receiver.

    The Sony STR-DG720 Receiver should be just fine to start out with. It won't get you into Dolby HD or DTS HD (on BlueRay Disks) but you can get decent sound out of it from many other sources. It will decode:

    dts® Decoding: Yes
    Dolby® Digital Decoding: Yes
    Dolby® Digital EX Decoding: Yes
    dts®-ES Decoding: Yes
    dts® 96/24 Decoding: Yes
    dts® NEO:6 Decoding: Yes
    Dolby® Pro Logic® Decoding: Yes
    Dolby® Pro Logic® II Decoding: Yes
    Dolby® Pro Logic® IIX Decoding: Yes
    Digital Cinema Sound™ Technology: Yes

    Those speakers however are not up to the task, and it may be prudent to look for something in the used arena. Are you are just looking for 2 channel, or do you want to move into a Home Theater set up? (I assume the definitive speakers aren't yours or available to you / or are hooked up into someone else's system.)

    Using the Windows Laptop via HDMI to play CDs could be a no cost solution. If you can re-set it, I'm certain that would speed it up, but playing CDs is not very intensive for a PC. (Most Windows Laptops come with a reset partition so you can reset it back to it's factory original status in just a couple minutes. Folks are often amazed how much this improves performance in a single step. Of course you'll need to copy off all data before you begin. If your lucky it will be Windows 7.) A model number here may be useful.

    Of course if it was me, I'd try the Panasonic Thruster model SB-800 speakers with the Sony and laptop => just to make certain things will work. before buying anything.
  18. scottter140 Enthusiast

    scottter140
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    No, its really just for music. My roommate owns the definitive speakers but I get plenty of time with them too. There's two sections of the basement: a small finished area that has the definitive speakers, a 65 inch sony XBR-65X850D and a Yamaha RX-A660 and the unfinished side that has basement crap, laundry and my stuff. The finished side is kind of our community livingroom. Up stairs we a living room but no tv, just sonos and a fireplace


    Its a NV75S02u. Ive already reset it using the restoration disk and it seems to be doing ok. I've started to rip cd's using EAC

    I have done this before and everything works. I really just have it set up that way because, I guess, I could? I got the thrusters for I think 20 bucks on craigslist. I keep tinkering around with trying to record music and I just wanted something quick and cheap to playback music. Then I got the other speakers for free and figure I'd throw them into the mix for the hell of it.
  19. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    MrBoat,
    I feel a rant coming on so I'll be brief. I agree with your points. Listening to music is worthy of being its own activity. Somehow we devalue the music when we have a constant background of elevator music playing in our ears.

    I had one of my adult daughters over the other evening to hear my new Salk Songtowers (its ok. its the first time today I have mentioned them by name). Women are notorious for not placing much value on great sounding music. When we were a couple of tunes in she said "wow, you think when you are at home and listening on your ipod or whatever you have that you are hearing the music. I guess you don't realize what it really sounds like until you hear it like this ".

    I had a proud father moment. My daughter just didn't like my speakers, she realized perhaps for the first time that listening on purpose on a dedicated system was a pretty cool thing. We're going to do it some more.

    I have to go before the rant takes over. Hey ! You kids ! Get off my lawn.........
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  20. rojo Audioholic Samurai

    rojo
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    I love reading about people's first audiophile experiences -- the wonder and awe of that first life-changing epiphany in front of a proper system. I'd like your post twice if I could Buck. I bet your daughter's ready for you to hand her down your SongTowers so you can upgrade to a pair of Soundscapes. :)
    rojo,
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