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what exactly makes hi-fi audio high-fi?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
what makes the music "high-fi" sure i understand useing a lossless codec but what hardware actualy makes it better? is it because you can have 96khz sampleing music? is that what makes it sound better? is there something else im missing? if its just because of the sampleing/bit/bitrate that makes high quality music sound better why not just have a spdif card on my onboard? yes i know people say it sounds like carp but if thats all it is whats wrong with the digital onboard?

ok then let the flameing begin.
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grandma's rig.
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post #2 of 6
The purest definition of Hi-Fi would obviously be "high fidelity", so hi-fi purests try to keep the output music as close as possible to the original recording. Lo-fi components introduce a lot of artifacts to the music, degrade the quality of the source, and add color to the music that wasn't in the original recording, by using hi-fi equipment you can avoid that.

Though today the term hi-fi is rather a misnomer. Albeit we are maintaining the quality of the music through lossless encoding and high quality components in our DACs, amps, and headphones, the music is often times colored to suit our each individual tastes.
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post #3 of 6
hi-fi is a word that's thrown around quite a bit. It can be used relative to the terms low-fi and mid-fi, or it can be used to designate the ultra high end in audio.
hi-fi has also been used as a marketing term from time to time.

If we're going to be perfectly honest my setup is really mid-fi and I've spent several times more on my setup than most members here have even considered spending. lol. my headphone rig is quite nice and could probably considered fairly high end, except for my source (even though it can compete with CDP in the sub $2k category)

A true audiophile/audio purist strives to achieve sound that is the same as the original recording. With this goal nothing short of the original will really ever be good enough... thus the money pit I've fallen into Honestly, there are areas where I want to improve my system, but when all is said and done if you can put together a reasonably (ahem) priced system that will give you hours upon hours of listening pleasure then you're on the right track. For some people this can be achieved with mid-fi gear, I've never known anyone to be truly happy with low-fi gear, but mid-fi to lower hi-fi has some very good components that are indeed values for the money (even if they cost several times more than the average person would think about spending)

So I guess going back to your original question about recording technique and bitrates, it all depends on the medium you're looking at. To many records are old and they would consider them low-fi, but that's absolutely not the case. A good TT and some clean records and you'll only have a few pops and cracks, if that. And the resolution and soundstage is great, a good analog setup can compete with the best digital setups and many would argue sound better. For the average listener who just wants to pop some music in and listen then vinyl probably isn't for them, but there's something about spinning vinyl that is enjoyable, and sounds pretty damn good too (now I just need to get my TT to work! )

There are several things you can do w/o spending a lot of money. First when you rip music back it up in a lossless format such as FLAC, or if you want to use mp3, use EAC and use LAME v0 or 320kbs. Buy CD's this is a good way to support your favorite artists, you'll be introduced to more of their music than just their radio hits and you'll have a lossless recording on hand. If you join music clubs like yourmusic, or use amazon CD's are really about the same price as buying the download, and often cheaper (in the case of yourmusic) Be willing to spend some money. You don't have to spend a small fortune, but get a nice pair of headphones for your portable setup and instead of spending $100 on a 5.1 surround setup for your computer, spend the same amount on a 2.1 setup and you'll get much better sq for your money. (it only makes sense that if you take $100 and you're getting 6 speakers and an amp it would have to use cheaper components than 3 speakers and an amp...) I could go on, but I've got lots to do on my to do list... including a headphone cable and a couple amps that need some finishing touches!
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post

Honestly, there are areas where I want to improve my system, but when all is said and done if you can put together a reasonably (ahem) priced system that will give you hours upon hours of listening pleasure then you're on the right track.
Lol. Reasonable once you've been bit by upgraditis .

Really terrific post Jacob, it sums up our (the audiophile's) essence of logic and passion. We spend and spend and spend because we yearn for perfection. Personally the journey has been worth every penny for me, and I've barely scratched the surface of what lies within this hobby.

Can we guarantee that you'll enjoy the path to HiFi? Not really. It's worth a shot though if you already enjoy music and are looking for quality above what many people have grown accustom to.
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
yep thats about what i figured. lol im prepareing to dive into the "money pit" so to speak... hopeing to get a pair of ATH-A700s off of head-fi hopefully i can get them fairly cheap.
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grandma's rig.
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i5-3470  MSI Z68A-G43 (G3) msi 980ti 6GD5T OC armor x2 gskill trident 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500gb aaks +aavs lg super multi BD drive  stock  win 7 pro 64 bit  
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asus vw228 Levetron Clicker  coolmax zx-600 G500s 
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aura View Post
Lol. Reasonable once you've been bit by upgraditis .
ahhhhh, it gets me every time.
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