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kingnothing83's picture
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Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

I've just upgraded my B&W 685's to CM5's. Loving the clarity and soundstage, a massive improvement! However I've already thought my speakers were damaged about 5 times whilst listening to music...

On several tracks I've heard a crackle or clipping, sometimes through the left, sometimes through the right. I attempted to isolate the problem but could feintly here it with my old speakers. The final test was using my iPhone and P3 headphones, where the same crackle was there, just incredibly feint, almost inaudible to me.

So it seems proven that this crackle has always been there on some audio tracks, just the new speakers make it extremely obvious. I guess it's something i'll have to get over to stop having the fear everytime I hear a crackle. Unless there's any suggested ways I can dial the problem out? Currently listen to audio with my av amp using audyssey flat settings, to my ears this sounds better than the direct or pure direct setting on the Marantz SR5007.

Bottom line is, I love the new speakers and it brings life to previously dull material, football for example sounds much more 3D! But occasionally in a movie or a music track I find the crackle annoying 

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RE: Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

This is a generalization that doesn't really apply in every situation.

There are amps/speakers which have a very forward, revealing and analytical nature; and there are amps/speakers that have a smoother presentation, which though detailed, don't accentuate the negative.

Remember, the amp (and it's synergy with the speakers), has ime a big effect; and the source / source material has a bigger impact than some people realize. Then when you add room acoustics and set up into the equation, it can all become a bit of a minefield.

If the source / source material starts off compromised, then the rest of the system will not improve on it.....though some systems will shine a spotlight on this more than others. Also, if an amp can't control the speakers properly, this will give a muddled sound.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

I agree with what you're saying. In my situation I wouldn't actually go as far to say as it is less enjoyable, just that I have to adjust and get over less enjoyable details. The sound is the opposite of muddled so I think the amp is doign a good job, I did have a rotel RA08SE hooked up but sold it on as to my ears the SR5007 was better musically (that's probably a controvertial view but this AV reciever is very musical, potentially because audyssey flat EQ seems to do a great job of sorting out room acoustics). So I think this is down to source material as much as anything

Does anyone use spotify in extreme quality mode (320kbps)? If so listen to Goldfrapp - Tales of Us - Jo. There's a particularly audible and annoying crackle from the left speaker at 23,27,29,33, bascially every 4 seconds following the beat. Similarly on (don't judge me this was a 90's party playlist!) Reef - Together - The Best of - place your hands.  This time the right channel from the first second and lasting a few seconds.

I guess potentially spotify is at fault here? Spotify is how I listen to the majority of music these days, I know you give up a little in quality but the difference between this and FLAC is a worthy trade off to have so much music at my disposal

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RE: Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

The one thing I try not to do, is judge, either people's taste in music or equipment preferences, and if I came across as patronizing, I apologize.....but it's hard to know where someone's knowledge base starts.

320 kbps can sound very good, provided it has been mastered well. A quick listen to Linn Radio will confirm this, as it sounds better than some of my Red Book quality material.

Though for serious listening, I would always revert to FLAC through a Linn Streamer......but that's just me.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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You didn't sound patronising

You didn't sound patronising at all Smile Thanks for the input!

I still listen to the odd FLAC but not as much as I'd like to

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RE: Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

Just trying the Goldfrapp track, I had been playing the Goldberg Variations (played by the Amati string trio) so pretty similar....... Wink

Apart from some pretty over the top processing on Alison's voice I could not get any strange noises....... :?

As always I recommend a step by step approach, start off with you system in it's simplest possible configuration in both hardware and software terms and see if you can replicate the issue, then try different things, one at a time to see if you can find out what is causing the problem. 

Be aware that this might be a streaming problem, so try other sources if you can.

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Hmm interesting that you

Hmm interesting that you can't hear the issue...what's your setup?

I can hear it through my speakers and also through my iPhone and headphones so the only common factor here is spotify through my iPhone (that's the source in both cases).

Maybe I should download the track in FLAC and see what difference it makes!

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RE: Hmm interesting that you

kingnothing83 wrote:
Hmm interesting that you can't hear the issue...what's your setup? I can hear it through my speakers and also through my iPhone and headphones so the only common factor here is spotify through my iPhone (that's the source in both cases). Maybe I should download the track in FLAC and see what difference it makes!

Interesting.

Macbook>optical>fiio dac>active monitors. Nothing obvious along the lines you describe. 

Do you have another source, to eliminate the iPhone? Mrs DDC has the iPad with her, so I can not check if it is an iOS issue.

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thanks for checking it out

thanks for checking it out with your setup!

no other source, but i'll try downloading a flac/mp3 tonight and streaming it from the laptop/headphones into laptop

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RE: Hmm interesting that you

Yes, 

          Concur with DDC here, I also played Jo and could not here any cracke  noise,

I listened FLAC > SBT > into Supernait, with no problem at all, agree with the over processing though, sounds like your source mate....................

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RE: Hmm interesting that you

Either i'm going mad (possible) or I'm hearing something noone else is Smile

I've just paid 99p to download it from iTunes and I hear the same from my work pc with different headphones! Now nothing is in common with the thing I originally heard

How about this...Lou Reed - Romeo Had Juliette. First hear some crackle from the left channel at 54 seconds. Let me know if you hear anything or the voices are in my head Wink

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RE: Hmm interesting that you

I was intruiged by this , so I just tried out the tracks you've mentioned on Spotfy Premium.  Sorry, no crackle at all  :?

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RE: Hmm interesting that you

either I have incredibly good hearing (not likely) or this is a source problem (spotify premium from an iPhone on extreme quality setting)

I just downloaded the Lou Reed track (only 128kb) and it plays without crackling on my speakers and headphones! But on spotify it's very audible on my speakers and just about audible on headphones Smile

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RE: Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

I just listened to the Goldfrapp piece on a pair of AKG  K545s and heard the clicking, something I couldn't hear with my Grado SR60s. It sounds like a problem with the sample, like they haven't edited out another sound before it well enough. Not much you can do about this song , but it sounds like the CM5s are very revealing of faults in your recordings.

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RE: Better speakers = less enjoyable listen?

Great, good to know it's not me hearing things and that my speakers are doing a good job! 

Those other two tracks I mentioned are far worse and I think in both cases it's spotify as from other sources the recording is clear 

never had issues with spotify but it's being shown up by my new speakers, might try another streaming service 

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Yup, can hear it loud and

Yup, can hear it loud and clear on the ovators although it's not really a crackle, more a double plucked string or similar which I suppose does sound a little odd if not properly resolved. Quite easy to hear what it actually is even from spotify via the unitilite into the nait xs.

Regards

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