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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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Posts

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hah, interesting. Is 3.1 just 2 centers, 1 surround and 1 sub?

    Any links for a good receiver? Do they all pretty much do their job or do they varying qualities like DACs or amps.

    I probably should read up a review on some.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    3.1 is Front Right, and Front Left, a Single Center, and Powered Sub.

    5.1 is Front Right, Front Left, Center, Powered Sub, Rear Right, Rear Left

    7.1 adds two more speakers that are directly to your right and left.

    Pirusu on
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    3.1 is a center and your left and rights, the .1 is always the sub (every now and then you'll read about a .2 set up, that has two subs). Surrounds need to be balances which is why most configurations are an odd number (baring a stereo setup and the fucking weird 6.1 set up where there is a rear center)

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    I have to buy my speakers by tonight, so any input on Monitor 30s vs 40s (one driver vs two) would be greatly appreciated

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Oh nice, yeah I'd probably go with a 3.1 setup then. 5.1 is probably overkill.

    Time to read some reviews.

    Is bower and wilkins considered a good brand in the speaker world?

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    And as much as I love wires, wiring for surround sound is such a pain in the ass.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Bowers and Wilkins are considered good speakers, but to me they are a bit overpriced and maybe a little overrated. I've heard a few pairs, and own a pair that I bought used to use in my dorm room years ago (a pair of lowly DM302's), but I've yet to hear a speaker form them other than those in the 800 series that I really liked when compared to the equivalent Paradigm, Focal, Totem, and others. However, B&W does make some of the best looking speakers I have ever seen, and you're paying more for those good looks.

    Skoal Cat, are you getting a sub to use with the speakers? If you aren't getting one right away I think the 40's are a better buy, but if you are planning on getting a sub now or in the near future get the 30's and put that money towards a sub and/or a better receiver.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    I have a powered Onkyo sub and a decent Onkyo receiver as is. I guess I should go with the 30s since I can use my sub. Also, smaller speakers would be a bit easier to place in this apartment of mine.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Cormac wrote: »
    Bowers and Wilkins are considered good speakers, but to me they are a bit overpriced and maybe a little overrated. I've heard a few pairs, and own a pair that I bought used to use in my dorm room years ago (a pair of lowly DM302's), but I've yet to hear a speaker form them other than those in the 800 series that I really liked when compared to the equivalent Paradigm, Focal, Totem, and others. However, B&W does make some of the best looking speakers I have ever seen, and you're paying more for those good looks.

    Hmm, what's your recommended 3.1 setup or brands?

    I have probably around a $300-$500 budget, but I'm not sure how much a decent setup would cost.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Do you have a receiver? Polk and Klipsch are pretty well regarded for cheap but good quality speakers. Newegg often puts them on sale if you keep an eye out/sign up for their e-mail blasts.

    Here is a MartinLogan 5.1 kit originally $1000, but $330 with a promo code
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882981013&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL062311&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL062311-_-EMC-062311-Index-_-HomeAudioSpeakers-_-82981013-L0B

    For the budget you (and I) are working in, we can't avoid cheaply made in China crap unless we buy used speakers from godknowswhere, but we'd need to know more about speakers to do that well.

    edit: I got my Polk center off of www.sellout.woot.com by just keeping an eye out for it.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hmm, I don't think newegg ships to australia though.

    My budget is pretty flexible, seeing that I don't really need one right away, but it's probably not going stretch to far out of $500. $700 maybe.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Do you have a local shop you can go visit? We went to a home theater/automation store, and even though the guy never ended up getting back to us, he did give us the whole overview, and what was available in our price range, and let us listen to stuff for a good long while.

    (We were looking at some Klipsch floors, and some Paradigm bookshelves at the time)

    Pirusu on
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Oh, Australia... find a local store? No clue for online vendors.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, there are some good shops around, but I just like to research known brands online before going to store for inquiries.

    Plus I've heard of some stores play dirty by giving demos with music or sound files engineered specifically to make that setup sound good, but I've never really experienced that myself. Still pays to know which brands or products are considered good first though.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, so if you've got a receiver and the a sub you'll be fine with the 30's.

    Antihippy, I have to admit I don't have current knowledge of where good subs start, but when I last bought a sub it was around $250-300. I don't know how far technology and value has come in the past 6 years, but you might be able to get something decent for $200. I bought a HSU Research STF-1 that served me well until the amp blew out and since I do most of my listening through headphones now I've yet to replace it. FWIW, 8in is about a small as you'll want to consider, but you'd be best off getting something in the 10-12in range if you can afford it.

    In the $300-500 range, Polk, Klipsch, and Paradigm come to mind first. I am a big fan of Paradigm myself, and the Atom speakers are great. If movies and TV are your main priority, not music, then most models from a dedicated speaker manufacturer are going to be good. If it all possible go listen to speakers in person and bring your own music with you.

    Off topic but sorry about the massive run on sentence in my last post.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    I am now tempted to get a set of
    Polk-Audio-Monitor60-Series-II-Floorstanding-Loudspeaker.png
    But I'm not sure I can justify to myself spending more than twice what I was originally going to.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    On the one hand, having awesome speakers is, well, amazing. On the other, the sticker shock can be rather brutal.

    Pirusu on
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    And speakers can last generations. And one square foot foot print floor standing? That would be pretty easy to find a place to put them actually.
    THIS IS NOT GOOD

    We are also comparing $90 to $240. I think I'll just spend the $90 for now... :cry:


    edit: Monitor 30s have been ordered. So excited.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Woohoo!

    This is gonna be my next purchase.

    Maybe for the wedding in October...

    Pirusu on
  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    Ahh, okay. Its pretty straightforward. You have three major types of speakers for home theater use. Centers, surrounds, and subwoofer. One can't replace the other. Centers need to be centers, etc.
    Centers are the most important for TV watching, as most dialogue is center channel. For music listening, most stuff is mixed for stereo using the center and rears but not nearly as much as the front left and rights. For $X I would personally rather have all of it go into a 3.1 rather than parse money out for a 5.1. Anything more than 5.1 is silly unless you have a huge room.
    You want opposite speakers to match, so you want your left and rights to be the same so that one isn't throwing off different sound which fucks with your sound field. You want your rears to match too, for a similar reason. Rears should be the cheapest as lets face it, there ain't a lot of shit happening behind you.

    Some clarification here, there is no real qualification as to what a "center" channel is, it's just a speaker that you're using for that purpose. Yes they sell center channels that are horizontal and meant to serve that purpose but you can really use any speaker as your center channel. In fact a lot of people now recommend using 3 of the same speakers as your front stage if you can do it (but many cannot).

    I'm not sure why skoal is saying the rear surrounds aren't important, as they basically ARE your surround sound. All that background noise and bullets whizzing around your head MAKES it surround sound so don't cheap out. There's a reason every blu-ray and DVD is encoded with 5.1 surround sound at the minimum.

    I posted this setup before, here's what I have going on and all told it cost me about 600 bucks (including my Pioneer AVR) and sounds phenomenal, I'd put it up against anyone's home theater and could hold my own I'm sure.
    Allforce wrote: »
    I've been updating my HT audio recently as I'm doing a basement theater build so I wanted all new stuff from what I had upstairs in the living room. I'm no audiophile but I like clear and concise sound from all channels for what amounts to be about 90% films and 10% music.

    I read really good things about Jamo and decided to bite on their S606 set at Vanns through Amazon. I had wanted a set of Polk speakers before but decided for this price and the overwhelmingly glowing reviews around all the usual AV sites I'd jump on them. (MSRP 399.99)

    800x800.aspx


    I have an old Advent 12" powered sub I've used for the past 5 years which has served me well, but I'm ready for something new so I think I'm ordering a BIC F12 in the next few weeks to go with the Jamo set. (approx. 200 bucks)
    F-12.jpg

    Allforce on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    And speakers can last generations. And one square foot foot print floor standing? That would be pretty easy to find a place to put them actually.
    THIS IS NOT GOOD

    We are also comparing $90 to $240. I think I'll just spend the $90 for now... :cry:


    edit: Monitor 30s have been ordered. So excited.

    Next week, when you break down and buy the floor models, those 30's will make good rears. :wink:

    mcdermott on
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hmm, just wondering, is it totally valid to get a 2.0 system first and then upgrade from there? Like, have 2 speakers first, then go from there by adding a subwoofer or center or whatever?

    Because looking around just 2 speakers and an av receiver is going break my budget right open.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Antihippy wrote: »
    Haha, yeah, that's one of the few tracks I like to use to test out the bass and sub-bass. Nice to hear that the AD700's can at least do frequencies that low. Though I'm surprised that you said they were bassy.

    Also seriously nice equipment Cormac. Though I'm honestly curious if having the LOD being silver actually does much to change the sound.

    I imagine they're not all that bassy, but simply they're bassier than any of the cheapo headsets, earbuds, on-ears, superleetgamingheadsets I've previously owned/heard.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • symbolsorsymbolsor Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Antihippy wrote: »
    Hmm, just wondering, is it totally valid to get a 2.0 system first and then upgrade from there? Like, have 2 speakers first, then go from there by adding a subwoofer or center or whatever?

    Because looking around just 2 speakers and an av receiver is going break my budget right open.

    This is exactly what I'm doing right now. It's definitely better than TV sound and gives you some breathing room when you need to buy new speakers. The next HT piece I'm going to buy is a center channel and/or sub.

    symbolsor on
  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Everytime I see audiophile threads it makes me miss having HD650s


    this could be bad for my wallet :(

    Weretaco on
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at irc.slashnet.org
  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'm starting to think I should get a sound-card (as opposed to onboard) first rather than upgrading my headphones. I think my primary issue with the current sound is lack of clarity.

    Enig on
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    Steam (Ansatz) || GW2 officer (Ansatz.6498)
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Allforce wrote: »
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    Ahh, okay. Its pretty straightforward. You have three major types of speakers for home theater use. Centers, surrounds, and subwoofer. One can't replace the other. Centers need to be centers, etc.
    Centers are the most important for TV watching, as most dialogue is center channel. For music listening, most stuff is mixed for stereo using the center and rears but not nearly as much as the front left and rights. For $X I would personally rather have all of it go into a 3.1 rather than parse money out for a 5.1. Anything more than 5.1 is silly unless you have a huge room.
    You want opposite speakers to match, so you want your left and rights to be the same so that one isn't throwing off different sound which fucks with your sound field. You want your rears to match too, for a similar reason. Rears should be the cheapest as lets face it, there ain't a lot of shit happening behind you.

    Some clarification here, there is no real qualification as to what a "center" channel is, it's just a speaker that you're using for that purpose. Yes they sell center channels that are horizontal and meant to serve that purpose but you can really use any speaker as your center channel. In fact a lot of people now recommend using 3 of the same speakers as your front stage if you can do it (but many cannot).

    I'm not sure why skoal is saying the rear surrounds aren't important, as they basically ARE your surround sound. All that background noise and bullets whizzing around your head MAKES it surround sound so don't cheap out. There's a reason every blu-ray and DVD is encoded with 5.1 surround sound at the minimum.
    [/QUOTE]

    I did not know that about center speakers. I wonder if a speaker designed to sit vertically would sound weird set sideways... probably not?

    What I meant about rears being unimportant is that, and this may be personal preference, if I was building a system from the ground up, I would prefer to spend my entire budget on better front speakers and piece in the rears later, than to take away from the fronts and wind up with rears. A good 3.1 system can seem like surround pretty well.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Weretaco, if you're okay with buying a used pair of HD650's there's almost always a pair up for sale on Head-fi for $250-280. That's still a lot of money but it's better than $450 new.

    Enig, if you want a really good but really cheap sound card, the Asus Xonar DG is $25 after rebate at Newegg.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    There's nothing wrong with using a vertical-oriented speaker (on it's side or not) for your center channel, tough you'll want to position it so the sweet spot isn't over the viewer's head. A lot of inexpensive multichannel speaker kits are identical bookshelf speakers plus a sub. Center channel branded speakers often have multiple midrange drivers while a bookshelf might only have one (important for a center channel as all the dialogue and most of what gets mixed to go through the FR/FL mains also go through the center).

    You wouldn't want to mix your $500/box fancy mains and center with $25 a piece computer speakers for the surrounds, but I think you can cheap out a bit on the surrounds as most of the sound is coming through FR/FL/C and sub, and the surrounds provide mainly environmental sound effects. I spent about 1/3rd on my surrounds as I did on the FR/FL mains, but the brand I purchased (Paradigm) puts the same drivers in the surrounds as the speakers I was using for FR/FL, there were just fewer of them. How much you want to lighten your wallet to provide ancillary sound is a personal choice, but if I'm going to make compromises I'll put more into the 3 main speakers in front of me.

    Djeet on
  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Cormac wrote: »
    Weretaco, if you're okay with buying a used pair of HD650's there's almost always a pair up for sale on Head-fi for $250-280. That's still a lot of money but it's better than $450 new.

    Enig, if you want a really good but really cheap sound card, the Asus Xonar DG is $25 after rebate at Newegg.

    Oh I know.. I've had them at least twice and sold em.

    Some situation always came up where I needed to offload them. Now I miss them terribly and continue using my MS-1s

    Weretaco on
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  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Maybe you should try some other headphone seeing that you already have to unload the HD650 a few times already? :P

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Alright, got a Xonar DG. $30 is a really easy impulse buy. Hopefully I will be blown away, but we'll see.

    Enig on
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  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Well, mostly it'll just clean up your signal and maybe make some harder to drive headphones drivable? I'm not sure if you'll be blown away as such, but I'm not very familiar with the xonar line other than the Essence ST.

    What headphones are you using?

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Sennheiser 428 is my current headphones. They could probably do with an upgrade themselves, but anything to improve the clarity is a step in the right direction.

    Enig on
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    Steam (Ansatz) || GW2 officer (Ansatz.6498)
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, if you feel that you'll be happy with the improvements with the Xonar DG, just enjoy it.

    But if you ever feel the urge to upgrade...

    Don't resist it. It's useless to resist. :mrgreen:

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Antihippy wrote: »
    Maybe you should try some other headphone seeing that you already have to unload the HD650 a few times already? :P

    I've messed around with too many different headphones in the $100-$600 range.

    Out of all the ones I've tried I still prefer the HD650s and would go back to them.

    Weretaco on
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  • TehSlothTehSloth Hit Or Miss I Guess They Never Miss, HuhRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    So, I've got a pair of AD700s that I love, but I'm looking for something that doesn't carry as much. I was kinda tempted to try out the A700s since I'm assuming the closed design will help with that, but was wondering if anyone had any other recommendations in the sub $150 range. I've been really pleased with the sound from what I'm using now, just want to try something new, maybe even something that isn't a giant set of cans. I've loved the sound from the AD700s and they're extremely comfortable, but they're just too loud to use in quiet settings.

    Portability/durability would be great too. If I can toss it in my messenger bag with my netbook and not worry about the plastic frame getting smashed that'd be great. My current pair have put up with a lot of abuse and undergone a lot of surgery to continue being usable. I think the right half of the frame is more silicon caulking, glue, and tape than it is the original frame, and I have a pile of bent 3.5mm jacks I've had to strip off.

    EDIT: Kinda looking at the Audio Technica M50s and the Beyerdynamic DT770s, the latter only really has the Pro model in cost I'm willing to spend and I'm not sure how well 250 ohm headphones would work without an amp, any ideas? I mean, when I'm plugged into my laptop at work with my current 32 ohm phones I need to have the volume about as low as it can go without being off to keep them from being to loud.

    TehSloth on
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  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    You definitely need an amp for the DT770 from what I know, and not one of those portable amps either.

    Plus they are not what I would define as as portable.

    The M50 is probably more portable but I'm not sure if you'd want to deal with a 3m cord. Even anything that has a 1.5m cord is a huge hassle to me portability wise.

    If you want portability and closed cans at that price range I can vouch for the ES7s as sounding pretty good. If you want to spend up to $200 (assuming you live in the USA) I can vouch for the sennheiser HD25s as sounding fucking fantastic, durable and very easy to carry around.

    Though be warned that these closed cans are going to sound pretty different to your AD700s. They are more intimate and engaging whereas the AD700 is more airy with a bigger soundstage.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    One day I will own an electrostat system, but that will be a very, VERY faraway day in the future.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afkYRJU0Dlw&feature=player_embedded#at=676

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited July 2011
    Monitors came today. :D!!!

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
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