Found the exclusive mode setting on Tidal which bypasses all your device’s own sound processing software. The light on the DAC dropped from 96khz to 41khz but the detail in the sound jumped up several notches. Seems that the MacBook upsamples the stream but in doing so muddles the sound. Worth having a look at.
Bit like this little icon in JRiver Media Player. When the blue cog is illuminated all is well!
I don’t get what the upscaling is for. Is it a compatibility thing? Anyway it’s become clear that stated bitrates on equipment and streams count for very little by the time it gets to your ears.
Tbh I only just noticed that when I posted the pic.
I don't think it really is upscaling. I might see if I can find out why it claims 32bit output, despite saying "no changes are being made".
Anyhow. It sounds fucking rad and that's a great album as well.
Oh yeah 32bit. I guess that’s the file itself, does your kit support that or does the dac decode it to 24bit? I’ve found that so much depends on the original production meaning there’s a big spectrum of clarity on both 16/44 and 24/96 that there’s not much use paying attention to it.
I’m really enjoying this setup. I’m in that new-kit period where I’m listening much more to the sound than the music so I’m looking forward to getting past that but it’s just great being able to stream an almost limitless selection of music in properly exciting quality.
Now looking into portable DACs and open backed headphones for late night listening on the sofa. Chorus Mojo and Grado SR325s are now saved in my eBay search.
don't use optical out on a mac, it is jittery
Sorted! EBay cartridge arrived, really lucky I found an almost identical high compliance MC cartridge immediately at reasonable cost... Toddler protocol at maximum level from now on.
Nearly all my music is CD ripped to FLAC. The DAC can handle high res files; I've tried a few and I'm not convinced that they sound any better than a 16/44 version of the same original recording.
I also have a record player.
I have done back to back comparisons between CD via a high end CD player, FLAC via a fairly expensive dac, and LP.
The quality of the original recording is by far the most significant factor. After that, it's all in the margins.
Vinyl has a pleasing immediacy to it;
It's really hard (probably impossible) to distinguish between CD and FLAC;
High res audio is a waste of time
360kbs MP3 actually sounds fine
I listen to a lot of internet radio at various bit rates and just enjoy the music.
Yeah nah I'm using USB. And a jitter filter thing.
Yeah I'm with you on all of that.
I had the cricket on earlier, nice through a decent setup with the atmosphere mics sounding all spacious. I need to have a look at whether my 20yo Pure DAB deck sounds better than streaming through the DAC, although I've never been dissatisfied with it.
DAB should be better than internet radio, I would have thought.
Although neither can touch the glory days of FM. At one point, I had a Meridian tuner with an external aerial. It was amazing.
Edit: having done a cursory Google, it seems that there probably isn't much in it with 192kbs being quite prevalent across internet and DAB broadcasts. Although I read somewhere that BBC now uses 320kbs ACC.
So I guess it depends to which channels you listen to.
My HK430 does fine for FM with an attic digital antenna.
I think you've discovered the old mantra 'Garbage in, garbage out'
The LCD display on my cd player has stopped working overnight.
Have I got any hope of fixing it cheaply?
Im not even it's technically possible.
Will open it up and start with a good clean.
It's an old ish mini separate Denon F100.
I read somewhere that BBC now uses 320kbs ACC
I read somewhere that BBC now uses 320kbs ACC
BBC Radio 3 has been and remains the flagship for obvious reasons.
IIRC R3 on iPlayer delivers FLAC lossless at around 550kb/s for some broadcasts.
I've pulled the trigger on an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red and a mint pair of Grado SR125i on Ebay. Went down the rabbit hole of Grado mods on head-fi forums so I'm looking forward to a little project.
What's in the grado rabbit hole for the uninitiated?
Modifications to boost bass and balance the top end if you find them a bit harsh. These include swapping out the ear pads, punching holes in the membrane on the back of the driver, altering the grills on the back of the enclosure, sticking blu-tack on the magnet (!), then on to more involved stuff like changing the cable and replacing the plastic cups for wooden ones. Most of it is easy and reversible so you can tune them to your preference.
These Bronze BR1s arrived. They’re the speakers I want to live with, they’re prettier and smaller, but hey big surprise, they sound real lightweight after the big B2s which are an imposition on the worktop.
I would love a speaker this size which sounds like the biguns but I guess I’m going to be looking at 3x the new price of the BR1s for that. If anyone has any suggestions please shout up.
Could you go bigger?
I bought Dali Zensors as they have larger cones.
Rocking speakers. Great prices.
No, I really love the sound of the B2s, the only reason I’m changing them for the little BR1s is because they’re just not appropriate for the kitchen. When I first bought them they were on stands in the living room but then came kids and piles of clutter so the kitchen is the only practical spot for hifi. I’d never get the chance to listen anywhere else downstairs because CBBC is always on.
You could add a subwoofer... Fill out the bottom. Hide it somewhere.
Ha I wish... it would probably sound horrible, there’s not a soft surface anywhere.
It’s not really the bass at issue, fine details in the treble are lacking, especially at low volumes. It just doesn’t feel like an experience listening through these. If I hadn’t set it up with the big boxes first I would probably be happier. Still, headphones are coming tomorrow, hopefully that will do the job.
Would something like the Auratone 5c suit you? They might be in a different price bracket though.
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