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Talk about your mp3 players, stereo systems, turntables, headphones, etc.

Just now I realized that my 6th gen iPod is 4.5 years old and still working just fine. I found out that this is actually not everyone's favorite iPod gen. Also the average lifespan of iPod is supposed to be around 3-4 years, so it's pretty badass that mine exceeded that. Sure the power/lock button is a bit loose, and some time ago it had glitches, but just the kind that can be fixed with a restart (and it doesn't have those glitches anymore). It does get heavy use. But I suspect that maybe the reason why it's still in good condition (despite drops, scratches, & chips) is because 1) I use a silicone case that protects it from drops/bumps 2) I don't have an iPod charger, I charge it by plugging it to the computer or the stereo dock 3) I always remove the device safely from the computer rather than taking the plug off right away.

I also have a Sharp stereo (CD player, iPod dock, audio in, USB flash disk in, radio, & cassette player). Got it for less than $150, but sounds great and well-designed with . I don't really know what more expensive & high end stereo (like Bose) should sound like compared to this, but my Sharp sounds around as good as my Audio Technica A700 & AD700 headphones, so who's complaining. I can't exactly take it with me when I move away next year, but I wish I can find a very similar stereo system in the future.

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Headphones?

Headphones.

Right now I'm rocking the HiFiMAN HE-400 as my primary headphones of choice. As you can see, they're the open-back, over-ear style of headphones which I have come to prefer since my first purchase spurred by bonsaijodelfisch and Ito of the Sennheiser HD518 7 months ago. I'm enjoying these puppies immensely. I didn't know there was so much that goes into a headphones purchase so I'll try and talk about a few of the selling points quickly which makes the ones I have my primary recommendation for people willing to spend $300 to $500 dollars on headphones.


    [*:c3jixic1] The HE-400's use planar magnetic drivers. I'm not going to bore you with the details but if you want to read about how they work, click here. What I will say is that these headphones handle everything that I throw at it with one caveat: the source has to be high quality. Stuff badly ripped from cassettes and vinyls or even things recorded on a shoe-string budget sound terrible compared to songs and albums that receive proper treatment in the studio and were ripped properly. For example, a single by an indie visual band that's been around for a few years (like SCREW) would release something that sounds acceptably good sonically when put through my headphones. Something by
    ? Even better. A black metal demo from 1984? Not so good. There's a pretty simple formula that describes this phenomenon:
    crap in = crap out
    I hope I don't need to explain that. :wink:
    Normally, your sound card also influences how the output sounds but I have a DAC+AMP combo to circumvent my crappy onboard sound card so all I get is crisp, clean music.
    [*:c3jixic1] The HE-400's were designed by Dr. Fang to be efficient. With 93dB of sensitivity, these good-sounding headphones can be plugged straight into any portable media player and get the same benefits more or less. In addition, I've heard it scales well although I haven't been able to get my hands on higher-quality equipment to test. But basically put it sounds good on my iPod. It sounds better on my DAC. If I got a dedicated amp, I'd probably see even more detail come out of it. And lots of detail comes out of it already.
    The efficiency also means that I don't even need an amp! (although I found that having one only helps).
    [*:c3jixic1]SO MUCH DETAIL! I'm going to describe things that sound weird now but make sense when you hear it. The detail is so great, I can hear clearly when the hands on a guitar slide over the strings. I can hear the air breathe between the strings when a violinist is playing. I can feel the thud of a bass pedal deep in the mix when the drummer is double bassing and I can also hear and distinguish the snares and hi-hats up top when they're hit. The 400's do a great job of separating layers in music and bringing out more layers that I haven't been able to hear before. Putting on some records felt like I was listening to a whole new band. It's a great way to rediscover your library!
    Keep in mind that they're open headphones. It allows for a wider soundstage but it doesn't isolate music much at all. Everyone can hear what you listen to and you can hear everything that goes on around you. Not so bad if you're chilling in your room. Kinda bad if you're on the train.
    Unless you don't care. Then it's not bad at all!
    [*:c3jixic1]The 400's deliver a warmer, brighter sound signature than "neutral" headphones but I prefer my music with those qualities. It does a really great job of getting you into the music!

I can go on and on but I'm sure you get the idea and I don't want to ramble too much. Basically, good soundstage + high amounts of detail + warm sound signature = winner in my books. Any more descriptions that I could give would be akin to Samsung distributing pictures of it's new HDTV's resolution capabilities - it just doesn't work unless you experience it firsthand. Hopefully my praisings of HiFiMAN get people to take it seriously as a headphones manufacturer (and stop leaving them out when people bring up headphones) and also I hope to get someone interested enough to consider buying a pair.

I'm also waiting for WhirlingBlack, sai, Yasu, bonsaijodelfisch and Valicious to tell me all about their headphones and Ito about all of his headphones and speakers. We must spread the love.

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Great thread! It's a great way to promote music players and headphones :) I will promote my pair of headphones in this thread as well. Why? Because my headphones are greatly underrated and deserve much more love.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you; the AKG K518 DJ.

akg_k518dj.jpg

Did I just say DJ? Yes, I totally did. These AKG headphones were originally created for DJs, but they are so much more than just your regular Skrillex gadget. I purchased these headphones in 2010 when I bought my first guitar, mainly for using it on my amp so I wouldn't disturb the neigbours with my horrendous playing. After I got bored with my guitar after only a week, I started using the headphones on my music player.

I noticed how great these headphones were when I used them on my iPod Touch and my MacBook Pro. These headphones + my MacBook's sound card + a 320 rip = ultimate eargasm. Not to mention that they sound great on my iPod as well!

The thing about AKG is that they make headphones that are mainly rock-oriented, which is also the reason you hardly hear the name of this brand when people speak about headphones. The advantage of this pair is that even though it is designed for DJs, it still has that rock-oriented sound that AKG is known for. It has a stronger bass than most AKG headphones because of the DJ design, but it's not like the Dr. Dre BEATS, that just drones the bass like an idiot and completely forgets about all other elements a song has. The bass is stronger and more audible, but melts in more with the rest of the instruments. That way you can still distinguish the bass lines in a song, but they won't be up front too much.

With a good audio rip, these headphones can give you enormous eargasms. They make the different song layers audible, which makes sure you can hear every little thing that is going on in a song. For an album like D's 7th Rose these headphones are perfect and make the album even better than on an initial impression. I can hear everything, from HIDE-ZOU's little gimmicks to Tsunehito's enchanting bass lines.

When it comes to comfort it might get a little tricky. The AKG K518 DJ is easy to adjust to fit in the height of your ears, but if you just bought the pair they might start to press on your ears or the top of your head a bit too much. However, once you've owned them for a little while, that will disappear.

Another disadvantage might be the length of the wire. That thing is enormously long, but like I said, they were originally designed for DJs. Just watch out you don't trip over them when walking around wearing them on your head. That might also be a nice thing to know: the AKG K518 DJ does a great job at cancelling out noise from the outside. Sitting in a Ryanair airplane with these headphones on pretty much blocks out all the noises that the aircraft makes. Also, you can listen to it on a pretty high volume and no one in your direct surroundings will be bothered by it. Great sound isolation.

They are easy to carry around because you can actually click the headphones to a small bundle. It's a nice little feature that avoids them getting broken when you carry them around in your backpack or bag.

Now the price. For the great quality that you get with these headphones, the price is astounding: 50 euros, around 65 dollars. Yes, under 70 dollars for a pair of great quality headphones. My pair partly died last week unfortunately, after going through hardships with me for two years (luckily my dad had the same pair and he didn't mind using half-broken headphones lol). Now that I have the exact same pair again (yes, got another pair of the AKG K518 DJ) you can definitely hear that the sound quality of the headphones goes down a bit after long and continuous use. I'm actually surprised they survived for so long.

One disadvantage is that AKG is not a very famous brand, therefore not many stores sell their headphones. The K518 DJ model is also really hard to come by nowadays, especially since most stores that do sell AKG sell their more expensive ones. No clue why, because clearly even the more expensive headphones are inferior in quality to the K518 DJ. For 10 euros more, you can also buy the limited edition. There is no change in quality, just the fact that they have a cooler design that come in six different colors. If you don't care about looks, then the regular edition should be just fine.

So if you find a pair while browsing the stores for new headphones, I'd definitely recommend you to buy them. You'll be very happy with them and they'll stick around for a pretty long time.

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ok, this is going to take a while...

-----------------------------------------

headphones:

as for how to look for good headphones for reasonable prices i already rote quite a bit in the headphone-thread so imma just quote that here

quality sound can really open new worlds for the intelligent and good looking music-enthusiast ^^

you can already get some good earplugs somewhere in the 20-40 bucks pricerange, the problem is to identify quality products.

so this is what one can do.

take your ipod with some of your favorite albums to the sound-shop of choice (the bigger the selection of headphones, the better)

then listen to some of your favorite tracks on the most expensive headphones they have there.

after that grab all the headphones of your pricerange of choice and compare, which one comes closest to that ridicculously pricy headphone of before.

key trick is to pay close attention to the bass-frequencys, because that's where the most bogus happens.

i don't know what kind of music you listen to, but assuming it's somewhere in the heavy-rock-genre focus on the bass drum.

if you happen to put on a headphone where you think "jolly unicorn-testicles, now that is a lot of bass!!!" put them down and immediately cross them of your list

this is usually a gain-raise in the somewhere not-so-bassy-frequencys to distract from the actual lack of real low-frequencys.

assuming the mix of your song of choice is top notch, the most prominent sign of quality is to actually still hear the kick-drum in the really loud parts

not just the stereotypical metal 4khz 'klacklack', but in some bass-range that if heard live or over huge speakers would punch you in the stomach.

in the twilight of recent personal events i want to add a little to that now.

backstory:

my new flatmate owns a pair of closed headphones, he told me he as not that happy about them, but they're supposed to be ok.

turns out they are some of those "beat by dr.dre" heads and since i've never tried them i instantly compared them to my pair of grado sr80's.

since the grados are a bit of the selfmade-music-producer-heads of choice i obviously already expected the beats to suck in comparison and that is what they did.

they had like no high frequencies at all, think about it as listening to a loudspeaker but not from in front of it but from behind, muffeled and like through some kind of foam.

the "no idea at all" flatmate told me that they are for hiphop and dubstep and therefore are more focused on the bass.

...

.

bullshit

having more bass =/= having no highs, they just sounded cheap like a kitchen radio with additional toys'r'us-subwoofer.

but since they weren't a complete mess like the oiginal ipod-heads or the skullcandy crap i told them that they'd be ok still not knowing their price and thinking about like 20bucks the pair or so.

they're frickin' 200€ (approk 250$)!!

fuck me, keep your hand of these, they're the worst that has happened to headphones since a long time, since they push the image of being quality heads, people actually (want to) believe that and blindly keep that position, while they actually sound like a wet dog farting in your ears.

this leads me to said addition:

so now you've checked for a pretty decent bass-response from your heads by focusing on the kick in some loud brickwall heavy mixes, next choose a song where there isn't that much going on but with a nice acoustic drumkit like some old-school hiphop, indierock ballds, funksongs and the like.

important thing here are the cymbals. on the chosen outofthisworld-heads they should sound nice and open, just "real" if you want to call it that way (talking about sound is always the worst shit i can think of, i sound like a fuckin' hippie....)

now once more look for the head in your price range, that comes closest to that open-ness in sound and with the least of that "listeningfrombehindthespeakers"-phenomenon.

if you got those two points covered pretty good you should've found yourself some pretty nice heads

also one of the main points to figure out for yourself is if you want open or closed heads (or anything inbetween).

generally speaking and maybe therefore being terribly off in some rare cases, open heads will always sound better than closed ones, period. exclamation mark!

that is because with open heads your ears stay in a pretty normal state just like naturally listen to sounds. that way listening is much less tiring than on closed ones. closed ones always have that "head under water" effect since they, well, are closed. so instead of listening to sound it feels more like sound being forced into your ears ith the closed ones.

that being said there still are some pretty kick-ass closed heads around and the pro's of the closed design are obvious:

  • [*:2psbgym3] you don't have to worry about other people around being annoyed by you heads-sound (only if you turn them up ridicculously loud, but then people around are the least of your worries, you could be happy to actually be able to hear even a fraction of the frequence-scale in that case)
    [*:2psbgym3] you don't have to turn them up that loud when it's loud around, because that noise obviously gets blocked out.

so if those two are of concern (like using heads on your workplace etc.) look for closed ones, otherwise, don't.

Ito might have something to say about closed heads, since he recently just got a pair if i remember correctly.

-----------------

also, this headphones list+review was posted by zess in the heads-thread, i don't know all the heads there, but the ones i do are described pretty spot on so i think it is pretty reliable,

BUT STILL: C O M P A R E ! ! !

link: here

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

so for my heads then:

i own a pair of grado sr80 prestige

--------

sr80i_g1.jpg

--------

going by that description pdf posted above they are in the kind of entry-level audiophile-heads and that might be true or even a little understated.

since i study at an audio-engineering high-school i had the chance to compare them to tons of different heads (mainly sennheisers but still) and i have to say, they piss in the face of everything in their pricerange by how good they sound, and they even keep up to almost everything up to the 300€-level.

i really can not stress enough how good they sound so always keep that in mind.

since i already stated how stupid describing sounds is (think about nonsensical adjectives like "rich","full","warm","heartwarming","sparkling","blowjobesque" and the likes...) i won't try to describe how they sound, they are just good in every aspect, there isn't a thing not to like about it.

there are exactly two problems that you buy that magnificence with, which are:

  • [*:2psbgym3] they're open design, so even if you listen to music at moderate levels everybody around you will hear it, if you're an asshole like me you won't care a bit :P
    [*:2psbgym3] the cups are not completely surrounding the ears, but instead place upod the ears, that means that after about 3 hours of heaving them on you ears are starting to hurt and you'll have to make a ~20min pause before the next 3 hours

besides the already mentioned great sound there are two pretty important down-to-earth advantages to these heads aswell:

  • [*:2psbgym3] you can get them for "only" 80 bucks, and even treated roughly those are tanks. they may not seem like it and maybe at some point you need to fix the connection between the cup and the bow with some glue, but they are extremely simple-design bricks.
    mine are at least 5 years old and i got them second hand so they may be a lot older and still good as new. and even if you manage to kill them it's still "only" 80 bucks so the world won't end like it would if you'd crash your 400+ audiophile headorgasm-cups of glory.
    that means you can take them anywhere on runs on trains in the rain and whatnot without worrying to much, because honestly, if you listen to good heads at some point, you won't want to go around listening to crappy ones anymore.
    [*:2psbgym3] goes into the same direction, but they are low-impedance unlike lots of other high-end heads, that means you can power them simply at the plug of you ipod ithout the need of an additional headphone-amplifier, which makes said "transportability" of the heads possible in the first place.
    additionaly i really dig that 80's like design of the heads so yeah, i guess one could call me biased perhaps, but hell, i know the reason why :D

also i might add, whilst i haven't listened to the heads that sai proposed, i have heard only good things ABOUT them by people hom i trust pretty much in the judgment of sound, so seconding her recommendation.

soooooooooooo, that was long for the heads, i guess i wrap up this post here before i go on with the sound-systems, speaker- and room-setups etc. don't want a forum-/computer-/internet crash eating up all that text.

see you in a minute for part 2..................

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welcome back for

:glitter::starry: STEREOS :starry::glitter:

actually the placement of the speakers and the setup of the room are very much more important than the system itself, so i attempt to make a description and setup guide here that is usable for pretty much everybody even with extremly limited budget and sorta crappy soundsystems.

let's begin with the reasons why listening to a well set up stereo is better than listening to music on heads (and in advance i apologize for maybe using some of those disgusting sound-description-terms, try to understand them in their most rational way instead of the seemingly esotheric one...)

  • [*:1zf6i98o]1. having room around.
    now this actually is the main disadvantage aswell, but hang in with me, a well set up room helps you literally get a little distance to some really direct mixes, and lets face it, a lot of mixes these days are really pushy.
    no idea what i'm talking about? no problem, let me give an example:
    think about someone whispering directly in your ear, this is a very unnerving and potentially dangerous situation (all that has to do with evolution and stuff...)
    someone whispering about 2 meters away? not so much i guess
    (and i don't mean that in terms of loudness, but distance)
    you get sort of the same effect with a drumkit set up on you earbuds :P (again, i don't mean loudness)
    additionally that room helps the mixes to be sort of glued together into one setting, which evens out a lot.
    so actually after all room around is especially a help for not perfect or quite harsh mixes, but trust me it also helps even with the great ones.
    [*:1zf6i98o]2. freedom!
    yup, exactly that. the brain is a delicate thing, and it doesn't like unnatural things.
    moving your head and still hearing the exact same sound is a thing your brain doesn't like (and doesn't understand).
    this is something that again goes into the tiring-aspect of listening to music (just like the "close-mix" one before.)
    having sound "glued" to your head has a negative effect, think of it as motion-sickness-light
    [*:1zf6i98o]3. physicality
    that point is actually A LOT more important than one might first think. and i'm not talking about earthshattering volumes, but about your average listening volume.
    with speakers you feel (in the literal way, no hippie "feel the music, dude"-way) the sound even if it's just a little.
    everything around you vibrates, resonates, reacts, even you yourself, your shoulders reflect the sound once again into your ears etc.
    although in terms of sound itself and perfect performace of the files every headphone will most likely be a bazillion times better than a lot of all the crappy placed stereos obviously, but a 30hz boom in a bassdrum will NEVER come anywhere near a moderately decent stereo in terms of impact even on the best heads ever.

never!


but...

that is obviously speaking for devices that are at least sort of up to par. . .

laptop-speakers, handy-speakers, beats-headphones and the likes are not considered music-devices at all, they are disturbances to everything that is good and beautiful and should be eradicated from the surface of planet earth alongst with their users.

so starting with the setup for music-enthusiast glory.

budget = 0

i guess most people know this or maybe figured it out anyways but it's no shame not to know it, but the ideal placement for your speakers is as follws,

acoustics_and_psychoacoustics_combined_fig1.jpg

so as you can see the distance between the speakers, and from each speaker to your head are all the same. actually the distance from the speaker-pair to your head can be varied quite a bit, but it is mandatory that the speakers both are almost the same distance from your head.

i'll explain just a few sentences later.

also imperative is, that both speakers are placed at the same height and facing towards your listening spot, ideally with the high-frequency speaker at the height around where your head/ears will be (because the higher the frequency, the more directional it is projected, meaning going out of the line-of-fire of a high-speaker equal you don't hear a thing of it, whilst subwoofers can be placed almost wherever...).

having one speaker on the floor and another on the table or something like that is a nogo and should qualify for torture by stepping on lego

so why is that so important?

think about this, what are the most important elements of every song, electric, rock or acoustic?

it's the bassdrum, the snare, the vocals and maybe the bass.

all of those elements are usually placed in the middle of a mix!

but it looks like exactly in that middle we don't have a speaker, which is why it is called the phantom middle when something is played equally played through both speakers and appears to be in that middle.

so when you screw the placement of the speakers too much you screw up your stereo-panorama and therefore kill the most important pats of the music that grant the songs stability and power, ending up in only having a bunch of noise somewhat wandering around the space.

of course everyone has to make some compromises with ones rooms and tables and whatnot so an ideal placement is pretty much always out of the question, but as long as one tries to be as close as possible it'll work out.

so for the room itself,

this'll be hopefully a lot shorter because it is actually quite simple.

first of all, despite all the booya about stereo's above i have to say, if your room is a really tiny cube (let's say 3m x 3m) it is almost impossible with no matter what kind of system to make it sound even bearable in there, so back to the headphones it is :P

if your room is ok in terms of size (i can not tell numbers here since i have no idea here the border is, but it really doesn't have to be huge...) there are just two very simple rules to follow:

  • [*:1zf6i98o] put stuff in it
    and lots of. seriously if you're room looks like a futuristic 2045 design by apple it's gonna sound like shit, if it a wasted mess with tons of crap it's gonna be great. well yeah, it doesn't have to be messy, but the more chairs, curtains, carpets, cupbords, teddybears, tables and anything else there are the better.
    remember what i said about reflecting sound earlier and how it's good?
    yes it is, but if you have geometrical structures
    (let's say: parallel walls. woohooo, those are rare...)
    those reflections are going to repeat over and over (like echoing) which is something that you need to avoid at all cost.
    try to interrupt these repeating reflections with stuff :D
    weapons of coice: curtains, carpets, teddybears (fluffy stuff in general)
    [*:1zf6i98o]fiddle with the positions to avoid frequency bumps
    i know this is the most not realistic point, but in some cases it helps to gt id of sometimes extremely annoying room-habits.
    thing is:
    each room has it's own personal frequency-bumps, which are determined by its volume and the distance between the walls.
    for example my room (3,5m x 5m -ish) has an annoying over-representation of 60hz and 120hz (yup exactly double, which is the usual. 240hz is also prominent but it gets better the higher it is...). actually a few more, but those are the most recognizable ones.
    as a matter of fact this is the note B, so everytime i have a song in the key B or if my guitar is tuned in drop B it's going to have really annoying droning, humming and whatnot.
    now this can be significantly eased out by maybe just moving the speakers (or the table with them on?) by perhaps even just 50cm, or by turning the table by 90°.
    if droning/humming is a real problem try that out first, if it still keeps annoying you try googeling for "basstrap" but i won't explain that here, that'll go to far.

i for myself can live with that frequency bump since it's still bearable,

the point is:

there is just shit happening in the room, that no speaker in the world can avoid, so before getting pricy speakers in the fist place, try to sort that shit out :P

so, maybe i'll add a little bit about my stereo aswell a little later, but it'll be (hopefully) a short one, since i haven't that much to say about it anyway ^^

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so, for the last part of my "completely missing the point" contributions to the thread :

my stereo

Image

sorry for crappy mobile-pic

the speakers are nubert nuBox380's two-way passive loudspeakers.

Image

http://www.nubert.de/index.php?action=p ... category=1

nubert is a really small hifi-company in southern germany and these speakers in particular have won numerous awards for affordable compact-loudspeaker comparisons.

they are relatively cheap, because nubert doesn't use any distributors and marketing, but ship directly from the factory and publicity only comes from tests and mouth-to-mouth recommendation.

new those ones are 190€ each or 380 the pair (hence the name? no idea) wich is pretty much without competition. i shot them for 100 each online so i got an amazing pair of speakers for 200 bucks.

i also got a pair of it's smaller brothers

Image

(nuBox311, 140€ new, i payed 150€ for the pair used)

which now are placed in the kitchen but i used them for a long time as studio-monitors aswell, and the difference in sound is really small i have to admit.

the main advantage about those speakers is the nubert philosophy of having pretty neutral speakers even if they are labeled as hifi-speakers so they serve also well as studio-monitors whilst still sounding great.

i have done all my mixes with them and had the possibility to compare the mixes also on studio-monitors like

  • [*:3h5vzolp]
PMC IB2i (about 10.000 each)
[*:3h5vzolp]geithain rl 906 (about 1300€ each)
[*:3h5vzolp]myro whiskey (8000€ each)

and while those obviously sounded better and clearer there was never a point where i had to say "wow, i haven't heard this aspect on my own speakers, dang..." so my little nuberts do a pretty darn good job for me.

i want to add, that in entry level quality hifi-speakers like those try to go for only two-way compactboxes, because naturally with the more speakers you add you increase problems with the border-frequencys, distance and whatnot, and unless the whole thing is really checked out enormously good like in several €-classes above multiple-speaker setups tend to be crappy. 2way-speakers are just fine

(and don't think about getting a suboofer, that is only good for movie watching or impressing your douchebag-friends but it sucks at producing quality music. worst thing are those 2.1-systems for 100bucks. stabbing knifes in your ears will sound more pleasant than that)

-----------

as for the amplifier the one i got is a SONY TA FE 330 R

Image

can't really say much about it, it is from the early 2k's (2001 i think) and i bought it new then for what is now around 150€. never had any problems with it, it does just what it should.

if you go for an amp just look for something really simple, avoid buttons like "loudness","fat","deep","3D" and the likes. just let the signal be amplified unchanged and let the speakers and room do their earcandy thing.

looking into amps get only interesting when you start to go really anal with the audiophile thing and by then one should start ith the speakers anyways :P

additionaly for my system i have a nubert speciality which is called the

ATM-381

Image

what that is is a kind of pre-amp specifically for my speakers and what that does is adding a whole octave on the low end of the speakers.

i'm not talking about boosting something, but whilst at first it just isn't physically possible to produce 20Hz on those speakers, with the module it is, so it changes the low-end from 40Hz to 20Hz. that might not sound like much keep in mind that frequencies progress exponentially, so those 20Hz difference are the same as the 10.000Hz difference between 10kHz and 20kHz.

i have no idea what kind of physical voodoo is going on there to trick the speakers to doing that kind of thing, but it is just great and really natural. like i said it's no boost but only helps to clear things up in the low end and to actually produce these really gutty booms.

at a price of about 210€ i'm not that sure if i would buy it again, since it cost me more than the speakers themselves, but it's a great thing to have anyways :D

i should write a book i guess...

EDIT: just to do a little summing up on the pricerange, if looking around a bit you can get a decent stereo-setup + heads like the described new for:

Grado sr80i: 90€

2x nubox 311: 280€

random amplifier: ~120€

------------

total: 490€, and that's all new

if you look around a little on ebay or in some hifi-forums i'd say you could get all that or even better stuff (bigger speakers) for ~250€ (for the amp look in your dads garage, everybody has an old amp lying around somewhere :P)

that is probably cheaper than most of the complete systems by philipps/sony/panasonic etc. and infinite times better than those. simple setup, two speakers and a simple amp, nobody listens to radio and CD's anymore anyways :P

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Back to the topic of headphones. This is a really good discussion and I read all of your reviews for future decisions.

@Zess:

SO MUCH DETAIL! I'm going to describe things that sound weird now but make sense when you hear it. The detail is so great, I can hear clearly when the hands on a guitar slide over the strings. I can hear the air breathe between the strings when a violinist is playing. I can feel the thud of a bass pedal deep in the mix when the drummer is double bassing and I can also hear and distinguish the snares and hi-hats up top when they're hit. The 400's do a great job of separating layers in music and bringing out more layers that I haven't been able to hear before. Putting on some records felt like I was listening to a whole new band. It's a great way to rediscover your library!

That sounds amazing! (literally) I'm definitely going to save up for that pair, or something close to its superior audiophile quality, but I don't have hundreds of dollars in hand yet. Also, what amp do you use?

Yesterday afternoon I purchased a new pair. My first pair was actually the same set that bonsaijodelfisch uses, and to my understanding, they're very bassy, and good for rock and metal music. This time, I wanted to try something completely different, and I was under a tight budget (needed something under 100 USD.) I ended up purchasing the Koss ProDJ100 Headphones from amazon.

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These cans were only 80$.

Contrary to the Grado's, these headphones aren't what you'd be looking for if you want good bass, but instead they're known for being well-balanced, their crisp and clear mids and highs, and are great headphones when it comes to vocal detail. Of course, there are pros and cons with every set of headphones, and these don't just end at weak bass. Many reviewers say that these aren't the most comfortable headphones. Many people are buying the Audio Technica ATH-M50 pads, to replace the pads that came with the ProDJ100. They claim it will improve comfort and soundstage. I will probably let you guys know what I think of these when they arrive, also I'll probably upgrade my amp as well. :P

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Already mentioned the headphones I use in the other earphones/headphones thread which are

Panasonic RP-DJS400-K DJ style

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They're easily some of the best headphones I've tried in the affordable price range of $30. They beat out other higher end headphones I've tried and unlike other headphones their frequency response is actually accurate. 10hz-27khz. Good mids, highs and even bass. And not the kinda of bass that muddies up everything else, the good type of bass.

Other then this, I use $10 gummy earbuds. I have no use for super expensive headphones that cost a couple of hundred of dollars. That's what my sound setup is for. And there's no way in hell I would ever take such expensive headphones out.

Currently my CPU soundcard is a M-Audio Audiophile 2496. Much better than the stock soundcard the computer came with. There was an instant increase of sound quality without any other changes.

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I've also been running some BOSE speakers for the last couple of years. They're pretty decent. For the most part they get a good balance. Tons better than any stock computer speakers.

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I've currently been looking into upgrading to some studio monitors for some mixing. I was looking into getting some KRK"s but ditched the idea. I've narrowed down my choices to these:

JBL LSR2325P

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Fostex Powered Studio Monitor Pair

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Tannoy Reveal 501A Channel

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Maybe even some Yamaha's

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I'd like to try the nuBox380's, but I haven't found these in the states. Also bonsaijodelfisch did an excellent job explaining the importance of sound treatment to a room and speaker placement.

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Guest Magatsu

Alright I use:

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Just for going outside, riding my bike, sitting in bus & train.

Very great sound. I can even notice if it are old or new ripped songs.. :P

Then I have cheap headphones bought at Mediamarkt years ago for 10 Euro.

vivanco-sr95-stereo-b%DCgel-kopfh%D6rer.jpg

nice sound.

And then I have for my PC:

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But with only 2 speakers. (at least I think so... this one is already eh.. 6 years old.)

So that's what I use.

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I've currently been looking into upgrading to some studio monitors for some mixing. I was looking into getting some KRK"s but ditched the idea. I've narrowed down my choices to these:

JBL LSR2325P

pic

Fostex Powered Studio Monitor Pair

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Tannoy Reveal 501A Channel

pic

Maybe even some Yamaha's

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i don't know the tannoy+fostex monitors, and unfortunately only heard the JBL's in a really shitty room (think: bathroom type) but i know a bit about the yamahas since my former flatmate used/uses these and i've seen/heard them in various other locations aswell.

they are sort of THE most chosen and widespread entry level studio-monitors i know. almost everybody has still a pair of those (or it's predecessors NS10) perhaps as Alt-Monitors. so they have earned their rightful place and they represent all the sounds really direct and clear to you.

so they are pretty good for what they're supposed to do showing every detail of the mix.

that said they have a little disadvantage. that is they sound like crap :P

well not like crap, but they have incredibly harsh highs, which is good for mixing but a little hurtfull to the ears, so it's not exactly a joy to listen to music on those (especially bad mixes).

But if one manages to make a mix that sound ok on those, it will most likely sound great on any other stereo aswell, since most of the time and in the process it won't be that much earcandy it can get a little frustrating though.

if it's strictly for mixing purposes these very "honest" speakers are pretty good, and probably the best value for the bucks...

EDIT: oh, and thanks a lot for the praise :oops: good to know that all that text didn't just go down into the nirvana :P

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I'm not too well-versed in the world of speakers/'phones/whatever, so this will be short. xD I have a Panasonic Surround System (with 5 Panasonic speakers), but I mostly listen to music on my PC where I have these beauties:

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Dunno anything about it, except that it sounds awesome! :lol:

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325is.JPG

I am listening to my Grado 325i headphones as I type this. No matter how much I listen to them, I am continually blown away by how amazing they make the music sound. It really sounds as if you are sitting on-stage with the band, being surrounded and lost in music. The treble is clear as a whistle, and the bass is so vibrant and defined.

One main difference between the SR80i described earlier and the SR325i is upgraded drivers. When selecting manufactured drivers for the 80is, Grado allows for a 1% variation in driver matching. The 325is only allow for a .05% variation. The frequency response is 18-24 compared to the 20-20 on the 80i. What this translates to is more detail and crispness on the highs and the lows.

Getting away from the numbers, some of the differences that you'll notice right away is a leather rather than vinyl headband, aluminum air chambers rather than plastic, and a much thinker cable. The cable has been upgraded to UHPLC copper voice coil wire. This higher purity copper wire will improve the quality and stability of sound in the upper and lower frequency range. The aluminum air chambers help cut down on transient distortion, and the leather headband just feels super comfortable. :)

Grado SR325is cost $299 new, but some great deals can be had by buying them used. I found mine used but in perfect condition on Head-Fi for only $199

Different Grado models come with different cushions as stock.

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S-cush - these come stock on the 60i, 80i, and 125i. I have never tried them, but the lack of a direct pathway between the drivers and your ear can muffle sound a bit is what I've read.

L-cush - these come stock on the 225i, 325i, RS2, and RS1. They can also be bought separately for about $20. Sound quality is drastically improved since there is now a n unobstructed path between your ears and the drivers. I've read reports that they are quite a bit more comfortable than the S-cush pads, but I still found them to hurt my ears after a few hours as they sit on top of your ear rather than around it.

G-cush - These are what I currently use on my 325is. They are much bigger, so they create a larger soundstage. They are the most comfortable thing I have ever put on my head. I can wear these for 8 or 10 hours at a time, and I even often forget I'm even wearing them. They cost $45 on Amazon.

There is an easy mod that you can do to increase the sound quality of the S-cush pads. Take a quarter and place it in the center, and then cut around it with a boxcutter or something to create a hole.

I have fallen in love with Grados and audio in general. I never knew music could sound this good, and I am now continually on a quest to find the best sound possible. Grados can also be modded like crazy to improve their sound and feel, no other headphones even come close in that area. With just a few cheap and easy mods, even the lowest model- the SR60i- can rise to the equivelent of other pairs that cost several hundred dollars.

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Jeez, this thread's been inactive for so long but there's no actual reason not to revive it, is there?

 

I've recently updated my stereo setup to a pair of Jamo C93s, plugged into the SMSL AD18 amp which connects to my pc via USB (although I'm thinking about trying a fibre optic cable). I'd like to buy some speaker stands soon, because as everything's set up right now, I'm sitting way too close to the speakers :,D And I'm afraid they'll blow my ears off.

 

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For headphones I'm using the AKG K712 PRO with the FiiO E10K Olympus 2 headphone amp (as seen above).

 

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Reviving the thread again. What portable players do everybody use or would recommend? I am using Cowon Plenue D, which is small and solid enough for me to go jogging with. The sound seems to be just fine but I'm not hearing anything special about it

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iPod Classic. 

I can't deal with the fact that they're dead now. It was the only portable player with such a big native capacity storage. I first owned a 120GB and when it died several years ago I bought a 160GB without hesitation (well, I had some problems in the end, but I bought another one anw, it was the best offer). When this one will die too, I just have no idea what I'm gonna take next, today they're nothing with heavy native storage for a reasonable price.

When I look at Amazon, all that I see is brands that I don't know shit about (AGPTEK?) and when it's Sony it's overpriced (100€ for 4GB storage and 150€ for 16GB? b y e).

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That's the problem I have with most portable players as well. I used to use the iPod Classic 160GB and have switched to Cowon Plenue D for better sound and more flexible storage. The Plenue D has an internal storage of 32GB but you can stick a microSD of any size on top. So potentially you can have 288GB (internal 32GB + external 256GB)

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11 hours ago, eiheartx said:

iPod Classic. 

I can't deal with the fact that they're dead now. It was the only portable player with such a big native capacity storage. I first owned a 120GB and when it died several years ago I bought a 160GB without hesitation (well, I had some problems in the end, but I bought another one anw, it was the best offer). When this one will die too, I just have no idea what I'm gonna take next, today they're nothing with heavy native storage for a reasonable price.

When I look at Amazon, all that I see is brands that I don't know shit about (AGPTEK?) and when it's Sony it's overpriced (100€ for 4GB storage and 150€ for 16GB? b y e).

Depending on how much you want to spend, there are a few daps that can take 2 128GB microsd cards.

 

Also there is a mod for the ipod classic where you can stick an ssd on there.

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