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Audiophiles, teach me your ways!

post #1 of 22
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The more I learn about high-end audio, the more I realize that I am in WAY over my head! However, I want to become one of you. I want to learn. Teach me your ways that I may join your order and enjoy only the clearest, most well-represented sounds possible!
post #2 of 22
Really good audio isn't at Best Buy. It's at specialized retailers.

Always make a list of speakers in your price range, and try all of them. Don't be influenced by what reviews or the store salesperson may say, though you may use that information as guidance.

The best way to good stereo is:

Good Source --> Good Preamp/Amp or Integrated Amp --> Good speakers.... don't forget the wiring (general standard is 10% of the system, but SUPER expensive wiring can be a waste of money)

You weren't super precise with your question, so that's all for now
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post #3 of 22
For headphones, hop over to http://www.head-fi.org/ and READ READ READ. Its how I tend to spend my free time.
    
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post #4 of 22
As a general rule you can get better SQ for less money out of headphones. Headphone amps and headphones cost less than speaker amps/speakers. So if you want to start down the hi-fi road then headphones might be good for you.

Senn HD595's are a good beginner headphone. They aren't spectacular, but they're good enough to give you a taste. They were my first real can.
Grado SR 60's/80's are also a good starting point. Many say the sr 60's are the best bargain, but I personally feel that the sr 80's are worth the extra $30.

There are a few things we'll need to know before we can recommend anything too specific. Like, what music you listen to, will you mostly listen to music, movies or games? Do you currently have a stereo or surround sound system that you would like to build off of? Do you prefer headphones or speakers? Do you have a price range? Myself and others can help point you in the right direction, but the beautiful thing about audio nirvana is that everyone's ears are different and what your perfect setup might be is different from my perfect setup. which btw, I don't mind sharing with you

I went to a regional head-fi meet not too long ago, and was playing with some of my cables the night before. I was burning in my Silver 16 IC and after it hit about 40 hours it started to open up and I was in heaven.
Transport: Marantz CD5001
Source: Zhaolu 1.3 (upgraded)
Amp: Little Dot II+
Headphones: Senn HD580 (HD600 grills & upgraded cable)
Power: OneAC power conditioners
IC: BJC digital coax, Soloz Audio Silver 16, Soloz Audio Senn, Boulder CAble Power\\

That was it, I hit audio nirvana listening to Massize Attack: The Man Next Door. I almost didn't go to the meet because I knew I would find something else I wanted and sure enough... My new amp that I desperately want is a Single Power PPX3 Slam, configured the way I want is about a $1K amp. so, I won't have one for some time. But I did sell a couple silver cables to other head-fier's that came so it wasn't a total bust. lol.

But I share this to say, listen to whatever you can. A good budget system is nto hard to put together. Nothing in my system cost more than $300 each, so you can piece together a system from scratch if you have to.

I'm not sure where Nottingham PA is, but you're welcome to come over sometime and listen to my setup.
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post #5 of 22
Check out these forums

Audioholics.com

Audioasylum.com

They have some great info
     
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post #6 of 22
I don't know, I kind of just grew up building audio systems and stuff. Mostly because of my dad though, he used to be in a band for a few years and he was also a professional soundman and DJ for a while so between the two of us we own close to 20 paris of speaker cabs.
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post #7 of 22
Some basic rules:
With audio, you really do get what you pay for. (The exception is equipment that you build yourself, which can sound incredible).
Digital audio will never have the warmth of tubes and analog tape.
Gain and Volume are very different.
A VGA is not just a D-SUB video plug.
Compressor-limiters are very important when running at high wattage.
Wattage has little to do with volume, but SPL (sound pressure levels) do.
Always drain filter capacitors.

One of the best places to buy equipment is www.Sweetwater.com
www.audioasylum.com has lots of good information, as does
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post #8 of 22
Well I agree on the digital audio thing because I think digital audio is kind of a gimmick anyway, but wattage does make a huge difference for maintaining clarity and power at high volumes. And personally, I don't like compressor-limiters because it kills dynamics.
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post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronman View Post
Well I agree on the digital audio thing because I think digital audio is kind of a gimmick anyway, but wattage does make a huge difference for maintaining clarity and power at high volumes. And personally, I don't like compressor-limiters because it kills dynamics.
By digital audio, I'm guessing you mean Mp3s and such... CDs are digital, and personally I don't buy into the whole "Tubes and Vinyl are Best"... it's a different sound, which most agree is warmer, and some will say more natural...

I find that a good CD paired with a good CD player is damn near unbeatable. My opinion.
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post #10 of 22
don't compress your music


ANyways vacuum tube pre-amps are the best. The 12ax7 12at7 are the most common and each has a different tone. Vacuum tubes are warmer then solid state and in my opion analog audio is currently better. As for vacuum tubes themself that dictates alot. The newer crappy ones don't have as good of a sound as the old ones. The old ones are more expensive. ALways look for "matched pairs of tubes. The best old one brands are mullard telefunken....

Hope this helps.
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