High End Audiophile Thread Part 2

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by vbetts, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    14,878
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    GPU:
    Aorus 3090 Xtreme
    Hate it when that happens, especially after spending 5 hours changing the living room round only to find the sound is worse.
    I loved changing the living room round every 5 years or so, freshens the mind. But now it cant be changed because I now love my speakers much wider apart and sat further away, theres only one room setup for this :(


    A few things might be the difference for you:
    a) the surface was a good resonating board for the cavities inside and behind the table, adding the bass gains from those cavities.
    b) the speakers distance from the back wall may be further, closer makes bass resonance less deep but get it right and you can optimise a good resonance freq band.
    c) same for side wall(s), they also add gain to bass. Further away will change the bass response, too far and the gain is lost.
    d) the height may have changed. This could matter if the speakers are now above the height of furniture they can resonate with.
    e) there was an e), cant remember it atm, it might come back ...

    I took a hardcore approach and stood my speakers on DSP controlled subwoofers lol.
    Even then, some bass freqs dont make it across the room that well. For those theres my old BIG subwoofer adding mid bass 'feel' from behind the sofa. All that works surprisingly well for my VERY awkward bass vacuum living room.
    The subs are small enough not to be ugly but its not the best look. The bass integration is something else though :D

    Maybe a subwoofer will be the solution for you?
    It doesnt need to be big or near where you sit but on the same wall can help more in some situs.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2024
    tunejunky and Krizby like this.
  2. Krizby

    Krizby Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,520
    Likes Received:
    2,241
    GPU:
    Asus RTX 4090 TUF
    You are spot on with the resonating, I feel my wooden desk (it's a 75x250cm 2in thick hard wood desk) resonating with the sounds. That when I close my eyes and listen I'm less likely to tell where the sound are coming from.

    I have the KEF KC62 subwoofer but I prefer that it boosts the bass from the speakers, rather than replacing it (Crossover at 80hz I think).

    The KEF Connect app is very intuitive, I played around with it to find the best sound profile for me.
    1000010165.jpg
     
    tunejunky likes this.
  3. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    14,878
    Likes Received:
    2,844
    GPU:
    Aorus 3090 Xtreme
    Your desk and the cavities were effectively another subwoofer that you are no longer using.
    Adding another sub could work.
     
    tunejunky and Krizby like this.
  4. tunejunky

    tunejunky Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    3,590
    GPU:
    7900xtx/7900xt
    the Kef Connect is awesome.

    background: i used to tune rooms for high end trade shows (incl. CES), evolving much more with the introduction of home theater. i used analog frequency analysis with a calibrated mic and thermal printer readout. i then used capacitors and resistors to create bands of parametric EQ matching the room profile (most typically with a McIntosh Environmental Equalizer MQ-102 through MQ-112) with a goal of as flat a response as possible.
    and this took 1-2 hours...and i worked for the Japanese and refused to use the house brand.

    and now from a comfy chair you can do this with your phone
    this is real progress
     
    Krizby and Mufflore like this.

  5. mrk

    mrk Master Guru

    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    272
    GPU:
    Zotac 4090
    Bit of a review, bit of a hot take, bit of my own experience in my audio setup...

    As a reference point of comparison, my previous amps were Rotel RA02, NAD C320 Bee, NAD C325 Bee, Cambridge Audio (forgot exact model but it was aligned with the C325 but with worse sound!), NAD D 3020 v1, NAD D 7050, NAD D 3045, Topping DX3 Pro+ (headphones only), Fiio K7 (headphones only). All gone and now just using the Topping MX3s for everything. I also like that the music controls on the Topping remote controls whatever is playing on the PC since I'm connected by USB. Don't need to alt tab between apps, just press next to skip track or play/pause on the remote.

    Almost all of my audio listening is done at my workstation as I spend the most time here editing and WFH as well, so it made sense to get the best sound I can, but not in the sense of the most expensive stuff or biggest brand names etc, more in the terms of the style of sound I like, which is smooth and warm but very articulate and detailed in the vocal frequencies as my musical taste covers many genres with a strong focus on female vocals typically for acoustic music.

    upload_2024-5-27_1-31-27.png

    To that end, my speakers are KEF Q300 which I've had since launch, they kick out serious sound and stereo imaging/detail. I have not upgraded them even after trying the LS50 Meta and not liking them.

    upload_2024-5-27_1-33-30.jpeg

    There's something unique about the bass punch and detail from front firing ports in a mid-field setup with no consideration required for backing away from a wall due to those front ports.

    I also had the HD650 since 2014 and recently ran through a rabbit hole of buying headphones I thought would be decent upgrades, the HD660S2 and HiFiMAN Sundara. The Sundara ended up being too bright, and uncomfortable due to the round earcup shape and shallow earpads, the 660S2 ended up feeling too veiled and not enough articulation like what I was used to on the HD650. Bear in mind my 650s were also Custom Cans mass-load modded:

    upload_2024-5-27_1-34-7.jpeg

    It's a shame as I really liked the comfort of the HD6??? series earcups and headband, they are so light and become invisible really quickly.

    And much to my annoyance, HiFiMAN don't seem to understand how to make a comfortable headband, so I took it upon myself to dramatically mod the Ananda Nano with quick release fastener buttons and an elasticated headband suspension strap from a Logitech headset which works beautifully.

    upload_2024-5-27_1-39-30.jpeg

    upload_2024-5-27_1-39-46.jpeg

    I then upgraded the cheap feeling earpads with £20 Voarmaks velour memory foam pads and removed the fabric filter that covers the drivers since the Ananda Nano already has a fabric filter attached directly onto the earcups and I didn't want additional veiling of higher frequencies since memory foam and the higher quality inner and outer pleather would absorb and change the sound slightly anyway.

    The sound from these pads has resulted in a reduction of the peaky brightness that HiFiMAN planars are known for. The Nano is less bright than the Sundara, but still has peaks of brightness in the highs on some types of music. These velour memory foam pads control that peak brightness now and they sound more aligned to the Sennheiser level of treble in the HD650/660S2, just combined with the epic soundstage of planars and stereo imaging detail.

    [​IMG]

    The HiFiMAN cable is also stupid, it's not pliable enough, it's too long, it;s too heavy and the jack end is right angled which makes for awkward cable tension at the desktop. So I bought a Linsoul lightweight shorter cable with paracord wrapping. Much nicer and super light like my Custom cans cable I had for the Sennheisers.

    I think with all this now my setup has reached a level of zen I could call end-game for my needs. The Ananda Nano cups are comically massive, but that's ok, the planars being so large means that sound also has native verticality which the smaller driver Sundara and Senns never had. These sound like I've basically strapped speakers to the side of my face, they look it too lol.
     
    Maddness and tunejunky like this.
  6. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,069
    Likes Received:
    54
    GPU:
    4070 super
    smaller.jpg


    Been using the Hifiman EF499 for a about 2 or 3 weeks with both my Hifiman Sundara I had for years and then the Sennheiser HD660 S2 that I got at the same time as the EF499. All I can say is both headphones sound really good with it. I'm enjoying my sundara all over again, while also liking how the HD660 s2 and EF499 sounds together. The sundara didn't pair well with the Fiio K11 I had prior
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2024
    jaggerwild and tunejunky like this.
  7. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    18,502
    Likes Received:
    7,253
    GPU:
    TiTan RTX Ampere UV
    My next Pair of HP :p

    Now have:
    Audio-Technica ATH-AD1000X
    HiFiMan SUNDARA

     
    jaggerwild, Maddness and tunejunky like this.
  8. tunejunky

    tunejunky Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    3,590
    GPU:
    7900xtx/7900xt
    :D
    the Q300 own that price range - you're even using them as near-fields
    you can outgrow a lot of electronics with that speaker. i mean you actually will hear the sound differences between gear
    it's predecessor Q250 lives on w/ my nephew as he's gone from a Denon receiver to a Naim
     
  9. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,842
    Likes Received:
    1,750
    GPU:
    Nitro 5700XT/6800M
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/375042118412

    I'd like to introduce OnnA to my endgame headphones :) Link is MP's Ebay storefront.
     
    jaggerwild and OnnA like this.
  10. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,356
    Likes Received:
    821
    GPU:
    MERC310 RX 7900 XTX
    I had the ATH-AD2000 a ways back, and I kinda regret selling it off as it did (still do) female vocals better than any other cans I've had the pleasure to own or audition, simply no comparison at all. The thing that convinced me then, to sell it was the high treble energy, I like sparkle but even my ears felt somewhat fatigued by the sparkle. My only remaining Audio Technica can is the excellent ATH-A900X LTD.
     
    jaggerwild and OnnA like this.

  11. vestibule

    vestibule Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,488
    Likes Received:
    1,704
    GPU:
    Zotac sff rtx4070s
    I had one of those. I seem to recall trashing it on the beach. I forgot I had it in my shorts and including my car keys went for a swim.
    As the Italians say, "what a mistake'a to make'a".
    Luckily the Mrs always takes the spare set with her and we got home.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2024
    tunejunky likes this.
  12. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    18,502
    Likes Received:
    7,253
    GPU:
    TiTan RTX Ampere UV
  13. vestibule

    vestibule Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,488
    Likes Received:
    1,704
    GPU:
    Zotac sff rtx4070s
    I like the way they blow your hair.
    That is of course if you have any.
    I had some monitor audio with front ports years ago and they used to give you a healthy waft from 3.5 mtrs away. :)
     
    tunejunky and mrk like this.
  14. AuerX

    AuerX Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    3,157
    GPU:
    Moravec's paradox
    Put the old OG Topping D30 back in use, still a very nice sounding DAC.

    From the gear closet:

    Nikko NR-715
    ElectroVoice EV-4

    Very affordable vintage setup that sounds great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2024
  15. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    18,502
    Likes Received:
    7,253
    GPU:
    TiTan RTX Ampere UV
     
    mikeysg likes this.

  16. Alexandre

    Alexandre Member Guru

    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    53
    GPU:
    GTX 650
    In my opinion, Polk, B&W, JBL and KEF are all very overrated for the sound they usually produce.
    From Polk, I don't know of any speaker that sounds really good to my ears.
    For new speakers, I would recommend Infinity and ELAC. The ELAC DFR52 is really nice for the price.

    This is how my old Infinity speakers currently sound after many years of use:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pkv-QqQjMVRs4Pya32fwjSmSRb3DdtiY/view
     
    tunejunky likes this.
  17. AuerX

    AuerX Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    3,157
    GPU:
    Moravec's paradox
    Which Polk, B&W, JBL and KEF speakers did you try out and found over rated?
     
  18. tunejunky

    tunejunky Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,932
    Likes Received:
    3,590
    GPU:
    7900xtx/7900xt
    Infinity Alphas are fine speakers.
    not to my taste as i prefer a "British" sound over an "American" sound (i'm American). i did own a pair of PSB's that i liked, but i've long since used exclusively studio monitors (real ones, not speakers called that). the last pair of "home" speaker's i've owned were Meridian M-80's that i had for 20 years.
    my current home stereo has ATC sc20 (the ones owned and used by Pink Floyd, Adele, Muse, & Bruce Springsteen among others), if i had "rockstar money" i'd own the floor standing self powered ones (everything is made in house from drivers to amps) but those are $20k

    for my DAW system i use Tannoy Gold 7. Tannoy is the oldest speaker company on Earth (and the Brits use the word generically for PA speakers).
    they made the very first studio monitor in the 1920's and the first coaxial speaker (Dual Concentric) in the 1940's. ELAC, KEF, and others emulate the point source speaker
    but in my mind nothing can touch the Gold 7 as a self powered bi-amped studio monitor until you get to double the price of a pair, at which point Focal starts rocking, and you're almost at ATC pricing.
     
  19. AuerX

    AuerX Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    3,157
    GPU:
    Moravec's paradox
    I thought Elac and/or RCA made speakers before Tannoy.

    Tannoy is owned by Music Tribe (Uli Behringer) these days.

    ELAC is privately owned.
     
  20. Alexandre

    Alexandre Member Guru

    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    53
    GPU:
    GTX 650
    In many HiFi stores you get explanations about amazing technologies. Equipment that can upscale standard CDs to SACD and many other equipment that can improve quality.
    Often this is just nonsense although some people really believe this and purchase the products as a result of the seller's explanation.

    Polk always makes stories of genius technologies they come up with that make them much better than the competition.
    'The Polk SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) is a patented technology developed by Polk Audio in the 1980s to improve stereo imaging and soundstage.'

    Of Polk's dozen models each with exotic technologies, there is nothing that has made me feel like I am listening to the best high-end audio.
    I have always felt that the worst Infinity (Hi-Fi) speaker models ever produced may still have sounded much more detailed and pure than the best Polk has ever put on the market.

    From JBL I have a few budget speakers and it is also popular with people I know. But it's the same story as Polk. The JBL budget speakers often all have the same supercheap timbre and none of their speakers I've heard sounded musical. It's really striking as far as I'm concerned.

    Then you have KEF and in my opinion this is really purely for design that this brand exists. There is an Indian brand F&D that produce super cheap speakers. My guess is if you use e.g. the F&D T-300X in a blind test that most people are going to prefer it over +- 70% of the much more expensive KEF speakers. The sound of the F&D T-300X is simply 'more clinical' in many areas than the sound coming out of many KEF speakers which is shocking.

    B&W is a brand that is popular in my country and many acquaintances have it and so I have heard these speakers several times. However, I never got the idea that these speakers produce very good sound.

    Then there is also Klipsch which are 'horn speakers' that are thus much less precise than Infinity.

    Depending on the country you live in, the KEF Q300 can be about as expensive as an ELAC DFR52.
    Purely in terms of sound, I think the ELAC DFR52 is two or three levels higher than the KEF Q300.

    The situation may have several explanations. Perhaps many of these brands want to cut hardware production costs so much that good sound simply cannot come out of the speakers.
    There may also not be the necessary QC in these companies.
    The engineers may also be intellectually incapable of understanding how to develop a speaker that has high musical quality.
    Any of these things could be an explanation.
     

Share This Page