Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 177 total)
  • Hi-Fi upgrades – worthwhile, or emperors new clothes? (turntable content)
  • Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Cool. Well, if you think it sounds nice now, it’ll sound even better with stands and a rack 🙂

    Enjoy!

    Sam

    [feeling more mellow today]

    brooess
    Member

    Truth about ‘Hi-Fi’, is that unless you have an acoustically optimised listening room, it’s not worth spending thousands on equipment, without knowing what works properly within the unique acoustic environment of you home etc. You could spend a lifetime ‘auditioning’ countless pieces of kit, then maybe find that a £500 set up actually sounds better than stuff costing 10 or more times than that. All the different surfaces, soft furnishings, materials etc will affect the acoustics, so it’s about finding the right balance for the kit you have, than throwing money at the ‘problem’. You can change how a set up sounds by moving or angling speakers by just a small amount, or moving furniture around, as well as replacing cheap chipboard shelving and the like with heavier mdf stuff. The type of plaster used in your walls has more effect on sound than many equipment ‘upgrades’ or modifications. Designing and making your own speakers can be far more beneficial than spending thousands on speakers made with totally different sets of acoustic parameters.

    I moved house recently. My amp and CD player are c 20 years old, the speakers I bought 2nd hand but have had them 8 years. My hi-fi has never sounded better – so much more detail and seperation – and I’ve lived in several places with this setup. I’ve no idea quite what it is but the lounge is a big room hard wooden floors with rugs rather than carpet and the speakers are miles away from any walls. I also took a tip from Rusty Spanner on this forum about putting coins beneath the spikes on the speaker stands to give a solid platform for them to sit on. 8x 5p coins, probably the cheapest upgrade ever 🙂

    slimjim78
    Member

    i read an interesting thread this afternoon on ‘proper’ use of spikes.
    to say its swayed my original understanding is an understatement.

    http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=165490

    sorry if not allowed to link here, please delete if so.

    That thread proves its easy to overthink hifi. Spikes just stop wobbling on carpets. Blu tack is much easier on hard floors.

    brooess
    Member

    That thread proves its easy to overthink hifi. Spikes just stop wobbling on carpets. Blu tack is much easier on hard floors.

    Excellent, I just got my 40p back 🙂

    It’s mad though, how much better the same set up is in a different room

    JCL
    Member

    Truth about ‘Hi-Fi’, is that unless you have an acoustically optimised listening room, it’s not worth spending thousands on equipment, without knowing what works properly within the unique acoustic environment of you home etc. You could spend a lifetime ‘auditioning’ countless pieces of kit, then maybe find that a £500 set up actually sounds better than stuff costing 10 or more times than that. All the different surfaces, soft furnishings, materials etc will affect the acoustics, so it’s about finding the right balance for the kit you have, than throwing money at the ‘problem’. You can change how a set up sounds by moving or angling speakers by just a small amount, or moving furniture around, as well as replacing cheap chipboard shelving and the like with heavier mdf stuff. The type of plaster used in your walls has more effect on sound than many equipment ‘upgrades’ or modifications. Designing and making your own speakers can be far more beneficial than spending thousands on speakers made with totally different sets of acoustic parameters.

    This X1000. It’s a load of toss. All people do with Hi-Fi is tweak frequency response.

    What’s worse is that in a blind A/B test people can’t tell the difference tween the stuff piled on top of each other on the floor or sitting on a £5000 rack with acoustically damped marble plinths and carbon/brass ultra spikes.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    I got a copy of the Nightfly for £3 recently – just had a look and my copy is mastered by Bob Ludwig. Can’t remember if holy light came down from heaven when I listened to it or not though. Guess I should have another listen and see

    😆
    I wouldn’t quite bestow God-like status on Mr Ludwig, but the man is a legend in recording circles for his ability to operate a mastering suite and get the very best from the master tapes. The Nightfly is an outstanding recording, the fact you’ve found an original first pressing means you’re going to get the best from it.
    The thing is, any pressing that doesn’t match what’s on the sleeve means it’s been mastered from stereo safety masters, basically second or third generation copies of the original studio stereo master; a copy of a copy, so obviously quality degrades at every stage. If you’re playing vinyl on a good system, then you need to get the very best vinyl possible to play on it.
    B&W were so impressed they had a special run pressed up with their own sleeves for dealers to demo with. My copy is one of those.

    Premier Icon pb2
    Subscriber

    Completely separate earth circuit ! It cost next to nothing to do and it made a huge difference. Expensive cables are just that, expensive and made very little difference.

    Set up was LP12 with Pink Triangle power supply,NVA pre amp,two power supplies and two mono blocks amps with those huge NVA speakers on stands made out of girders. LP12 was on a dedicated Target stand rawbolted to an external wall and there was no furniture in the room apart from the shelves the albums were in and a one of those classic Ikea seats and foot stools.

    It did not matter how shit my day had been (and some were very long and very shitty)30 to 45 mins in there and I came out calm and happy.

    Does this story have a happy ending ? Nope, at my vinyl peak I had circa 380 albums including some very rare ones and as a result of having a “clean” and somewhat analytical system bit by bit I stopped listening to the music and became focused and later obsessed by the quality of the sound engineering and recording and I ended up with a handful of albums I deemed worthy of listening to —- all very sad 😥

    Then the house suffered a serious fire (insurance claim came to £172k)but my hi-fi survived without any real damage, just needed cleaning but the albums didn’t do so well and ended up in a skip and as a result the system has now been in the loft for over 10 years.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    All people do with Hi-Fi is tweak frequency response.

    Actually some of us use hi-fi to listen to music.

    slimjim78
    Member

    Here you go fellas, result of the days tinkering. In the limited space in have available I’m happy with the positioning now.
    Speakers will be brought forward on stands in the coming weeks, then I’ll be pimping the turntable with some of Mr Lims finest.
    Stand mounted TT is sounding lovely already. Much more distinct bass notes, and stereo imaging improved. Even the Mrs is enjoying a bit of Robert Plant and sensational shape shifters with me.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    pb2 – Member
    Completely separate earth circuit ! It cost next to nothing to do and it made a huge difference

    Details pls.

    Premier Icon pb2
    Subscriber

    My music room was upstairs in a room with two external walls. From memory (I am going back to 2000) I drilled a hole through the wall and ran the largest diameter copper earthing cable I could find through to the outside. The cable was clipped to outside face of the exterior wall and I got a large steel spike knocked up by a blacksmith. The spike was hammered in to the ground so that only 3 or 4 inches were protruding and the earth cable was tethered to the spike. I cannot recollect the fine details of how I did the termination in the music room other the earth went in to something and the earth cables of the various components connected via a common rail to the junction box or what ever I used.

    In the same way that we isolate the TT and speakers from vibration and movement, I was in theory partially isolating the hi-fi from electrical interference. I was very tempted to have a separate power circuit for my hi-fi but the fire stopped that. The separate earth circuit is a simple and cheap experiment as long as you have access to an external wall and it follows, its easier and cheaper if your hi-fi is on the ground floor.

    JCL
    Member

    Actually some of us use hi-fi to listen to music.

    You can do that with an iPod. You don’t need a $500 record player made out of kitchen counter top and €1000 loud speakers with €50 drivers.

    It’s a total joke. Only medium psychic shows take the piss out of the public more.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Here you go fellas

    😀

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    You can do that with an iPod. You don’t need a $500 record player made out of kitchen counter top and €1000 loud speakers with €50 drivers.

    It’s a total joke. Only medium psychic shows take the piss out of the public more.
    As it happens, most of the time I’m listening to music (6Music via BBC iPlayer Radio app and 320Kb AAC) on my iPhone through a pair of £4.50 Apple EarPods knock-offs using EQu with the AAC’s to tweak the sound. I don’t want to wreck expensive earphones at work, although if I’m doing something noisy I use Etymotic ER6i’s with custom eartips.
    The music is all that’s important.

    thooms
    Member

    Best advice I saw on the subject was ‘save your money and buy music instead’. Yes.

    But, the gear! The wonderful gear!

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    To be fair it looks like OP has trod that line between budget bargains and overpriced stuff pretty well with that setup.

    Or you could buy a Hifi and buy loads of music too, it’s not mutually exclusive. I can say for certain that a good hifi is well worth having.

    Edukator
    Member

    Your earth circuit is the legal requirement for the earth circuit for every house (in France at least), pb2. The chassis of any component that doesn’t have an earth will probably benefit from earthing but earth is earth is earth and connecting all the other components to any component that has an earthed chassis will do the same. If no component is earthed then any metal water pipe in the house will do as they have to be connected to earth too.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    You can do that with an iPod. You don’t need a $500 record player made out of kitchen counter top and €1000 loud speakers with €50 drivers.

    Well as a front end I suppose an iPod isn’t all bad. Depends on the format of the files on it. I have no problem with the Apple Lossless files in iTunes on my mac as a source. However, you still need something to play the music through.

    slimjim78
    Member

    Speaker stands ordered today!

    Folks, I’ve been offered a Rega DAC for a good price. I literally know next to nothing about these devices, other than this Rega unit has some blinding reviews, plus I’m constantly being told I need a DAC.
    My idea is to store my entire CD collection in a lossless format, plus any downloads on a hard drive, and interrogate this via a tablet of some description, creating playlists to send to DAC.
    Therefore I think the Rega fits the bill – but is it overkill ?
    I like the idea of pairing it with my Rega TT, plus it seems to have plenty of I/O so compatibility with ether my old school marrantz amp or Cambridge Audio amp should be fine.
    Thoughts?

    epicsteve
    Member

    If you want a bargain DAC then there is a Maplin one that’s well worth a look:
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/digital-to-analogue-audio-converter-a14kf

    Not the most elegant looking thing but sounds surprisingly good.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Apart from, you know… I also absolutely recommend:

    http://www.isobluehifi.com/

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Actually, going back to what I said about The Music Works/ Audio Works stands that I like, that isoblue seems to follow a similar vein to their original racks. i.e. a certain amount of de-coupling and a lightweight, but very dead material.

    (Music Works started off with Quadraspire and kept modding).

    I’m assuming Mr Woppit has an affiliation, but as this seems to be a budget thread, I’ll have to leave the company I work for off 🙂

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    I’ve just gone out and bought a secondhand pair of Monitor Audio RS1’s because of this thread.

    Fancied a pair for years.
    Setting them up now.

    It’s my Christmas Prezzy, traded in my old Missions too. 🙂

    slimjim78
    Member

    nice one Rusty Spanner. Glad I could be of service 🙂

    i’ve had my stereo on pretty much non-stop for last three days. TV is dead to me now (although i nearly bought one of those Maplin DAC’s yesterday to get my TV signal to the amp – but plumped for a £10 jobbie on ebay instead)

    Don’t know anything about digital sorry. What stands did you go for?

    slimjim78
    Member

    Atacama Moseca 7 in white. Love the look, reviews are great. Will probably last me 20 years!

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    I’m in no position to change anything about my audio system, a Yamaha DXP-AX2 with Sony SA-VE835ED 5.1 satellites and sub, music sources are my Cambridge Audio DVD-99, an old Sony MDS-JB940 Minidisc recorder, and my Mac Mini, inputs from all of them into the amp are optical.
    I’ve wondered for some time whether any advantage is to be had from using a DAC, probably between the Mac and the amp, as that’s the primary music source.
    I don’t have the funds for anything fancy, something like the Maplins one would be optimum, so, any significant advantage to be gained, or is the Yamaha’s on-board DAC perfectly adequate for what I’m doing with it?

    slimjim78
    Member

    Santas visited early

    Edit: shit, someone’s gone and listed an RP25 minus arm for £200 on ePay.. I love the look of them, I wonder if my RB250 can do it justice?.. Would be a nice potential upgrade from my plinth and motor

    Thanks for that, I bought it……

    slimjim78
    Member

    Back to rub it in!

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    CZ – just buy it, open it carefully, try it and if you don’t like the sound, take it back 🙂

    slimjim78
    Member

    You’ll love this guys.

    A man of my virtues.. I only went and bought the RP6 mentioned earlier in the thread..
    ”rolling eyes emoticon”

    I carried out the upgrades on my trusty Planar 2, and after settling in the sub-platter has given me a better soundstage and much better lower and higher frequncy response – bordering on astonishing.
    But..
    I cant fit the twin belt arrangement, as when I do the suspended nature of my Planar motor means there is too much torque provided by both belts and the motor wobbles – visibly. Which in turns results in wow and flutter on playback.
    So..
    new 24v motor? new isolated motor mount, plus new TT-PSU? or for just a few more pennies.. a new Rp6 with even more theoretical performance to be gained (with TT-PSU included)

    I viewed the RP6, it looked simply marvelous, so the Planar 2 sell-off begins.

    What the hell. I can’t wait to spin some vinyl on it.

    CZ – the general consensus is that a DAC will improve the sound. Smaller and cheaper options specifically for computer based systems would be the Dragonfly. Again, had good reviews but I haven’t heard one myself.

    Personally, I sit somewhere in the middle of the hifi debate. I love the look of a lot of the more expensive kit and it is sometimes nice to go and listen. However, it all feels a bit like the laws of diminishing returns as yes, they can sound a “bit better” – bus it is better enough to warrant spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on it? My view is no. It helps that I don’t really have the cash to be able to do much about it anyway! Having said that, I did acquire a pair of B&W CM6 S2 speakers recently and I have to say that they really are very nice. I was surprised at myself as I have generally not been a fan of B&W at all. However, their new S2 speakers are significantly improved over their previous offerings and really rather good. During my demos I was playing music through my 19 year old Rotel amp and, all things considered, it did a bloody marvellous job. Yes, at some point I would like to change it but for now it is doing a very admirable job. I did contrast it with a new Arcam FMJ A19 and the difference was not very noticeable at all.

    However, spending “a bit” of money on reasonable hifi equipment will deliver a sound that helps you to appreciate the music more. You do miss out on some of the pleasure of music if you insist on listening through cheap equipment. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to get something that sounds very pleasing.

    slimjim78
    Member

    Question – what’s the best source for a quality DAC other than a PC?..

    I’m interested in going a DAC route, but don’t want to use a PC/laptop as the interface.
    Ideally i’d use a tablet or similar to create playlists etc, and access files via a portable hardrive.
    Is this a common set-up and easily achievable? What software is required?

    (oops, that’s 3 questions)

    What i’m getting at is (having never used or seen a DAC system set-up) I don’t understand how you categorise your music – review it – add to it – and stream it – unless you’re logged into a PC with a Media Player type program running.

    ransos
    Member

    Ideally i’d use a tablet or similar to create playlists etc, and access files via a portable hardrive.
    Is this a common set-up and easily achievable? What software is required?

    I’ve just bought one of these: http://www.whathifi.com/cambridge-audio/minx-xi/review

    Half price from Richer Sounds – £300

    It’s bloody great – you can use your phone to make playlists from a NAS or portable hard drive, stream internet radio and listen to iplayer/ podcasts. I downloaded a 24 bit album (Daft Punk) and it sounded fabulous.

    I also have my bluray and tv recorder connected via digital, and they sound great too.

    Typically the best “source” is a NAS device on your home network. That way it is always on and not dependent on your PC being switched on to access it. Most new streamers will happily read content from the NAS. The streamers have the DAC built in to them.

    The software bit for playlists etc can be either something provided by the NAS (that can be used to create playlists etc) or you use the app that is associated with the streamer / DAC you are using.

    Some streamers will provide a basic UI / screen interface that will let you scroll through the content it is finding on your NAS.

    All depends how far you want to take it really.

    For example my Yamaha AV receiver can connect to my NAS and play the music presented to it. However, I am not sure I would want to use it as a pure music player as the quality will be better going through a better DAC into my hifi ie I am not wowed by the quality. Not purchased yet but I anticipate buying a hifi based streamer at some point to allow me to stream from the NAS where I will have my CDs that have been ripped to FLAC.

    As a general observation I am not convinced that the DACs provided in most computers / laptops is all that good when compared to those dedicated to music systems.

    I am sure a host of more knowledgeable people will be along shortly to provide more detailed advice / observations. 🙂

    ransos
    Member

    Not purchased yet but I anticipate buying a hifi based streamer at some point to allow me to stream from the NAS where I will have my CDs that have been ripped to FLAC.

    I’ve started doing that – my observation is they do sound exactly the same as the original CD – whether good or bad. The 24bit recording is a noticeable step up though.

    slimjim78
    Member

    I am sure a host of more knowledgeable people will be along shortly to provide more detailed advice / observations.

    my god, if that’s the dumbed down version then i’m doomed.

    Where is the best place for idiots to learn all about DAC / NAS etc? Until last week I had no idea what DAC even stood for..

    I’m lead to believe the sound quality surpasses CD – and there is a considerable convenience factor to consider when set-up correctly. I just don’t know where to begin.

    I like the look (and probably the sound) of the REGA DAC for example. I was thinking about looking into one of these as an addition to my Hi-Fi – and a way to play my CD library once successfully ripped in high format.
    where does one access 24-bit files? what’s the associated cost? am I too old and curmudgeonly for all this? would a CD collection not easily suffice, or do I need to embrace DAC/24 bit for all its benefits?

Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 177 total)

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