lol i think i confused myself with all of this as im new sry for my unclear view.i am not concerned with dacs as my asus xonar essence stx is the perfect source for the music i listen to(my opinion)i never listen to mp3 from my pc as i have a 3TB hdd which is full of only wav file music which i understand is the best quality i can get from my pc?.my main concern with the topic was about amps.do we really need a £1000 amp if the source and speakers are good enough.ive read reviews on the tri-path amps which you can pick up for about £30.people say they are fantastic for the price.in blind tests against amps costing 10x.20x more people cannot tell which is which.so if i love the sound i get now from my source would i be better off getting a cheaper amp and better speakers.sorry if i sound like a audiophile virgin i am just trying to get as much information as i can.
I'm by no means an expert on computer based music (I use iTunes which marks me as a lightweight to many!) but using wav files makes tagging far more troublesome - use flac files that imbed metadata in the file headers themselves that makes searching, tagging & organising music much easier. Flac is also a "lossless" compressed format so will take up less space than wavs if not by a huge amount.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds - the pessimist fears this is true."
James Branch Cabell
MAIN: Apple TV2, Mac Mini (controlled from various iThings using Remote), CA Azur 751BD & Panasonic P42V20B into audiolab M-DAC, feeding a Primare A34.2 class D power amp via XLRs, 2x 5m of Atlas Ascent 2 firing up Totem Arros. DALI Kubik Free in my kitchen
ON THE HOOF: iPhone 5S/Sennheiser MM450.
lol i think i confused myself with all of this as im new sry for my unclear view.i am not concerned with dacs as my asus xonar essence stx is the perfect source for the music i listen to(my opinion)
An external DAC will be better than a soundcard inside an electrically noisy environment such as a computer
i never listen to mp3 from my pc as i have a 3TB hdd which is full of only wav file music which i understand is the best quality i can get from my pc?
I agree with above comment about flacs - just as good as wav.
Yes, get the best speakers you can afford and an amp powerful enough to drive them to the levels you require - tri-path amps do not have much power and would not be suitable for a typical modern loudspeaker of relatively low sensitivity unless you want it quiet.
You mght want to try to borrow an external DAC and give it a go. The sound cards in PCs are almost always nasty and I'm prepared to bet you will notice a difference. And I'm one of those people round here who very vocally speaks out against voodoo bullsh**t so you can take that as a truth.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
It is no longer true that DAC's sound better than internal soundcards.
I bought an Asus DS card as a stopgap to a good DAC. Problem I have now is I can't find a DAC in the £200 price range to better this £35 soundcard.
So to say that DAC's are better than soundcards is a major generalisation. I'm either sticking with the DS, or I'm going to try the Essence ST if I can find a used minter.
The Asus ST and STX cards are genuinely high performance items, onboard noise is well suppressed, the clock is excellent leading to minimal jitter and the analogue out is of very decent quality, sufficiently good as to make the addition of a DAC in the £200 - 300 range somewhat hit and miss.
It is an article of faith among non computer based hi fi enthusiasts that a 'proper' add on dac will always give an increase in performance, but this is really no longer the case, with this soundcard anyway.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
First thing you need to do is to define what you are trying to do.
A thoughtful objectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original recording.
A thoughtful subjectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original performance.
Not at all the same thing.
I'll have to remember this when I'm wearing my subjective hat (& keep quiet when wearing my objectivist one)!
thanks that what i thought my sound card cost over £200 when i first bought it has an internal dac and headphone amp so this is why i thought i did not need a dac.it just gets so confusing for audiophile virgins.dacs.pre amps,power amps,intergrated amps,ect ect.everyone who has listened to my music through my soundcard and £70 speakers are amazed at the sound that is produces.im not taking any notice of frequency response for speakers either because mine are rated at 55hz-20khz but if i turn the volume up 2/3 you can feel the bass through your body or the bath as my misses has told me
your sound card is just fine. Going down the road of trying to get better sound with a DAC will lead to nothing but frustration, as you discover you'll need to spend a lot to better the sound you're getting now.
Ah fair shout! I thought it was just the basic standard thing which came on most computer's motherboards. As you were
If you want to improve your system then the place to start is with the speakers. Judging from the cost, I assume your speakers are simple computer/multimedia powered speakers, the simplest way forward is to replace them with a pair of 'proper' active models.
For little more than beer money the Studiospares/Seiwin 6 inch active system will give you a massive improvement. For less than £140 a pair you get a pair of two way active studio monitors with a 6 inch bass driver with an 80 watt amplifier plus a seperate 40 watt amp for the tweeters, phenominal value for money though they will sound rather different to what you are used to.
if more money is available then look at some of the more sophisticated models on their website, http://www.studiospares.com/headphones+speakers/studio-monitors/icat/heastudiomonitors
money is ok i can strech to £500 cause i got my marantzpm6004 already
the speakers i have are 6.5 inch 50watt per channel 36 for woofer 15 for twweter these are sold in pc shops as desktop speakers but they are huge and sound like hifi speakers thats why i am going for floorstanders ive made my mind up about that now but just got to choose the right ones
For those who subscribe to the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) magazine E & T, will know that the latest issue is an audio special.
One of the sections takes a look at some hifi "myths". They basically have said that there is no evidence that bi-wiring works and that equipment burn-in does not really improve anything either.Is this simply a bog standard Electronics Engineer not understanding the mysterious art of HiFi design or does the article have a point.
I know I was at a hifi show once and an exhibitor was demonstrating the sonic benefits of buying ever more expensive speaker cables;the only trouble is I could not hear any difference whatsoever.Are there other myths that we need to be wary of?
For those who have access to this magazine I urge you to read this audio special. It contains some great information from Studio recording technology to future hifi technology. There is also an excellent article on Vinyl.
I have not read this article, but is the author suggesting all amps sound the same?
The thing with amps, cd players, bi-wiring & interconnects and the like is the differences in sound are subtle, these are not night and day differences but fine detail, nuances. In a cubical of a venue hall is maybe not the best place to try to hear differences of such things amongst the other noises you can hear. I know amps have different characters and control speakers in different ways - from the stopping and starting of cones to the phase ( how far the sound can be 'thrown out' outside the speaker.) of a soundstage,
Thing I have noticed about those talking about myths and who are quick to jump to measurments/science is their reluctance to listen (.... and I do mean listen not just to 'hear') to various cables, amps etc. in a totally objective way and then trust what they hear.
a side story, I did a job in this blokes house he had a custom built valve amp(he did not like intergrated amps), he was driving a pair of Q accoustic 2020i, his source was his lap top - he marvelled in its sound and proceeded to give me a demo - not sure if it was the file but to my hears it sounded as dull and lifeless as a dull lifeless thing that had fallen asleep but that I suppose that was what he liked.(I'm sure a budget amp would have worked better with his speakers - the amp was not cheap ether)
so maybe it is all subjective.
Some people are reluctant to listen to equipment precisely because they do not trust what they hear.
There are huge numbers of properly conducted, scientific listening tests that prove quite conclusively that sighted listening tests are, by and large, useless when it comes to evaluating hi-fi equipment, particularly electronic components.
This does not mean that all amplifiers sound the same in the real world but in controlled testing where competent designs are run solely within their designed operating range you would not be able to tell the difference.
If you think otherwise I strongly advise you to take a blind or an ABX test to find out just how difficult it is.
The incredible power of expectation bias, placebo effect and the general ability of all listeners to 'hear' with their eyes is quite astonishing and, if you have never taken part in such a test, it is probably impossible to convince anyone of the truth of these statements.
Good luck, I think you're wasting your time though.
Synology NAS + ATV2 > ADM9RS
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