Audiophiles hi fi appreciation thread old and new

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  • That's going to sound phenomenal.

    For my Chromecast Audio I just use one of these https://audioengineusa.com/shop/componen­ts/d1-24-bit-dacheadphone-amp/

    I figure that anything streamed is already compressed enough that adding a DAC is a tiny benefit not a significant one. Just something a bit better than the built-in.

  • looks good - maybe one for @dbr to consider if he rates the DAC as making a difference.

    In my set up, it is playing flac files from a NAS and Tidal, via Roon on a fairly cheap windows laptop. The laptop has an Ethernet connection to the router. So in theory, no lossy compression.

  • Remembered I had a second CCA knocking around so I could do an easy comparison - one analogue out into pre-amp, one optical out into Chas' very generously lent super-DAC. Matched the dB levels perfectly and was pleased to find I could group the two CCAs to play the same source with no delay / offset between them.

    My source is just Spotify at the highest setting (256kbps AAC for Spotify Connect to CCA) and I'm delighted to say I couldn't tell the difference.

    This forum guy has a good breakdown:

    The unit itself has a very capable DAC built in and it can directly convert every single digital format it is designed to encounter and convert it to analog, music. Done.

    If using the Toslink digital out the incoming signal can again be anything under the sun which it is designed for however the Chromecast device will then have to CONVERT it to a digital signal which Toslink can then carry such as S/PDIF PCM. The signal now travels to the outboard DAC and gets converted to analog.

    Here's an example . Using an incoming Hi-Res signal such as 24-bit/96 kHz you then have to downgrade the signal, because Toslink can't carry it, to say SD [standard resolution] 16-bit/44 or 48 kHz PCM. So rather than taking the best signal possible and converting it to analog directly with [the internal] AKM AK4430 DAC, instead there is a [potential] loss of quality because of:

    A. - the conversion process from one digital format to another
    B. - the forced use of a lower resolution format to transfer the signal via optical.
    C. - an outboard DAC with inferior performance to an AKM AK4430 DAC, true of many even very expensive outboard DACs

    It's a shame the internet worries so much about digital stuff when it hardly matters. What matters is the speakers used, their position and aiming, and the room.


    So for me, in my use case, it doesn't make a difference or could even sound worse. He makes a good point at the end about real world acoustic changes. I'm happy to keep fiddling with things that are more my bag, building speakers, placement etc and leave the digital realm to someone else.

  • I noticed that my HD650 pads were so thin that the headphones were sliding all over my head. After wincing at the price I ordered a new pair of pads and headband. I replaced them yesterday and now I'm relistening to everything making faces like an olympic diver. They sound so much better it's insane. It's like I have two small treated rooms on my head. Love it.

  • So I've been down the rabbit hole and arrived at too many options paralysis. TV/Movies/Music stereo setup. The goal is to buy something easy to use, minimal in appearance and good sound quality. Also something that will not be wasted money on a product with only a single purpose i.e. a soundbar. I know it's a boring discussion but... I have 3 choices in my mind.

    KEF LSX - neat, relatively simple. Can connect to TV via Optical and they'll sit neatly next to the wall mounted TV on the mantlepiece. Has all the future-fi stuff I really need. Downside? No HDMI arc so volume will be a separate control. Budget allows me to add a sub for added sound scale.

    Bluesound Power Node - new 80 watt version. Good, but have heard it has terrible Lip-sync issues and it leaves me with the "What speakers?" which is another world of options in the sub $800 category. Plus, I'm not encouraged by reading the numerous "customer support" threads.

    Similar to the powernode, but no streaming and a hardware relative, the NAD D3045. Has all the connection I want, plus an acceptable MM phono stage. Still leaves me with the choice of what speakers but like the powernode allows for future flexibility.

    For the 2 amplifier/streamer options I could could get by with an old pair of Krix bookshelves until I choose the ideal speakers to pair with it.

    Thoughts?

  • Glad to hear that you have avoided the DAC wormhole!

    When I bought that DAC, which was quite a long time ago, I also had a Meridian CD player. I listened back to back CD / FLAC and couldn't tell the difference so sold the CD player.

  • Makes sense. I might change it up when Spotify HiFi eventually comes out. Been looking at HifiBerry + DAC, building it all into a custom pre-amp with phono stage but as far as I can see it won't have the convenience of voice control and Google Home integration.

  • I'm using Tidal + Roon which is a nice but expensive solution.

    To me, Tidal is better value than Roon but so far I'm too lazy to get rid of Roon and go back to something like JR Media Centre.

  • No HDMI arc so volume will be a separate control.

    Get a Harmony universal remote. Probably the best AV purchase I've made.

    Good, but have heard it has terrible Lip-sync issues

    Most TVs have an audio delay setting. Can be incredibly frustrating to set up though and you're never quite sure you have it right.

    Worth considering where things will be. If your tv isn't evenly between your speakers it will sound weird.

    I was looking for the same thing with a similar shortlist. My original plan was a Quad Vena II Play which is nice and neat with great reviews.

    I eventually ended up a Marantz PM6007, as I got a great deal with some Dali Oberon 1 speakers thrown in, and just use a Chromecast for the streaming stuff.

  • Thanks. I had thought of a universal remote. There is more appeal in buying seperates, but also need to keep it minimal as I'm trying to not have clutter and cables everywhere. Apparently, by mid October our shops will be open so I can actually listen to a few options then.

  • All my wiring is concealed in cupboards and run through the chimney breast so it's all nice and uncluttered with no visible cables.

    Universal remote is very useful in being able to customise stuff, getting it all to turn on and off together and seamlessly incorporating different components.

  • Cheap Tannoy Devons if anyone fancies a resto job.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274967685991

  • wow, tannoys are really going for silly money, aren't they?

  • Very ropey pair of Chevs just went for £1080 on eBay!

  • Second coat of oil + refurbing / recapping the crossovers today.


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  • Looking good. I know you're pretty deep into the joinery. Have you ever used or can you recommend a 'grain filler'? I've been looking to try it on my next varnished piece.

  • Never used one I’m afraid. My finishing consists of Osmo or Fiddes Clear Glaze, a large factor is that they just work and don’t require grain filler.

    Osmo water based fillers say they can be used as a grain filler but I’ve never tried it.

  • I've done tabletops with Manns gloss varnish before but it's never piano finish gloss. I've sprayed and sanded/buffed sprayed paint to piano finish for a piece before.

  • Kinda PSA

    I was speaking with a London based hifi dealer yesterday about purchasing a new cartridge (Sumiko or Nagaoka were my preferred choics) and he mentioned very long delays in getting new stock in. Like 3-6 months maybe. Obvs due to Covid-related backlog combined with global shipping disruptions.

  • Any super obvious things that would lead to one channel dropping in and out, then finally giving up (slowly over months) on an old Cambridge AV amp (rotary encoder type volume dial). Would occasionally pop back in and work fine if you just jumped the volume up to almost full parallel.

    Some sound still comes through the dead channel, would say its like hearing the stereo offset from the other channel in it if that makes sense. So figured it was maybe a grounding issue.

  • I was just routing around my 'vintage hifi and camera equipment' cupboard. I have a Rega Planar 3 with a NAD branded RB250 tonearm, and an (ugly green) acrylic mat on a MDF(?) platter. I packed it away when I got another turntable.

    Obviously I started looking at some small fixes and upgrades for it, before thinking maybe that wasn't necessary since it's definitely going back in the cupboard afterwards. Instead, I wondered if there was any interest here in finding it a new home?

    Sounds fantastic as is, I would argue the platter wants replacing with a clear or black acrylic one, but only for aesthetics.

  • i picked up a pair of these this week. most impressed with them. 7cm full range drivers in frugal horns. point source wins again.


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  • interesting look. what are they?

  • Noice. I’ve got a pair of the paper cone Alpair drivers in the attic. Never got around to building specific cabs for them. Crazy how well a good full range driver images.

    @ChasnotRobert they’re Alpair 7 drivers in a very fancy piano finish Frugal Horn kit build.

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Audiophiles hi fi appreciation thread old and new

Posted by Avatar for coppiThat @coppiThat

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