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The Audiophile Thread

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ΣΓ
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#1

Posted A week ago Edited by ΣΓ, A week ago.

I thought about creating this topic for a while now. This is a place to share your hi-fi, HD, reference\studio audio equipment (speakers, headphones, DACs, and so on). It doesn't have to be anything expensive.

I started investing in better audio equipment in the last few years and the nice thing about this stuff is that you can get an exponential (or 2-3 times) increase in sound quality without breaking the bank. There are budget speakers and headphones out there that sound great. I recently started watching this Z Reviews guy on YouTube and his reviews are quite informative (I bought a pair of IEMs today because of him).

My audio equipment so far is pretty basic. I own a Fiio E10K that I use as a phone DAC & amp (and temporary PC interface as well) and a couple of pairs of headphones. I briefly owned a pair of AKGs (the K-612 Pros) that I sadly had to return because they were hard to drive and had poor bass response. After returning those I decided to upgrade from my $50 Sony in-ears to a pair of Meze 12 Classics based on this review. For the $30 dollar price difference (actual price was 84 euros, but they are cheaper in the US) I got a pair that actually sounded HD and comes quite close to the AKGs that I owned in terms of detail. I bought these because after testing the AKGs for a while my Sonys began to sound muddy to me and I really wanted to have that detailed sound with me all the time. The Mezes don't disappoint in that regard but perhaps the bass is a bit lacking (much like the K-612 Pros). However, that is something that can be easily fixed with the bass boost knob on my Fiio (I definitely do not recommend using these without a portable DAC\amp).

I thought about buying a new pair of in-ears every 6-12 months, increasing my budget by 50% every time (or doubling it) but I will probably have to upgrade to a better portable DAC as well at some point. I'm also considering getting a pair of AKG K-712s at some point for studio use as well as studio monitors (most likely Yamaha HS8s). I think I'll get this desktop DAC & amp to pair with the AKGs since this has a $100+ converter unlike more expensive sound interfaces (which have converters as cheap as $10 *cough Focusrite*).

What is your audio set-up like? What would you like to buy next?
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Shaytan
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#2

Posted A week ago

Cool thread idea, a shame it didn't got much attention.

I don't have really that much physical format audio neither "enthusiast-grade" equipment, because even though I love to listen to music I got used to the practicality of music streaming. I do have a turntable from my father (one of fancier ones with a sapphire point, whole speaker system and such) but never even seen it working because I don't have space for it (plus it must be damaged by now, too, at least the rubber belt gotta be). To complement it I also have quite a collection of LPs, also from my father. My personal CD collection is rather small consider I really only buy them when it'd an album I really like.

I'm considering getting a set of quality headphones, not only to listen to music with better quality but also for gaming and for practicing guitar; I've been looking for the model Marshall released a couple years ago but to be honest it's more because I like the design more than anything, although I'd prefer a model with replaceable wire for durability reasons (well, if someone has any sub $100 suggestions, they're welcome).

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#3

Posted A week ago

mine is a very old Pioneer DCS323  600w home theater that i now just use to listen music or play games from the computer. i cant say if its good or bad compared to newer things out there but its been good enough for me for more then 8 years.

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sivispacem
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#4

Posted A week ago

I'd totally missed this thread. I grew up with a father who was a serious audiophile (a tonne of Cyrus and AVI kit and an original Linn Sondek LP12 comprise his hi-fi setup). It's something I've neglected a bit in the last couple of places I've lived, but I aim to remedy that fairly soon when we finish renovating the dining room.

The extent of my high end gear, headphones excluded, at the moment is a range of AudioEngine desktop bits attached to my PC. Pair of A2 active speakers plus a D1 DAC and headphone amplifier fed via Toslink optical straight from my PC. I've been looking at swapping those for carbonised bamboo passive P4s driven from an N22 desktop amplifier for my PC system, but buying a silly monitor took priority.

For the dining room, my current thinking is a second-hand Rega Elex-R driving AVI DM5s or something similar, plus something to enable streaming.
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Andreaz1
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#5

Posted A week ago Edited by Andreaz1, A week ago.

I like good audio but I'm not too fancy. On my laptop I use Sony MDR-1A's as I like their bass. I have them plugged in to a Dragonfly Black v1.5 which makes everything a lot more vibrant and just... nicer.
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ΣΓ
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#6

Posted A week ago Edited by ΣΓ, A week ago.

I'm considering getting a set of quality headphones, not only to listen to music with better quality but also for gaming and for practicing guitar; I've been looking for the model Marshall released a couple years ago but to be honest it's more because I like the design more than anything, although I'd prefer a model with replaceable wire for durability reasons (well, if someone has any sub $100 suggestions, they're welcome).

I'm taking a lot of suggestions from Z Reviews on YouTube. There's a Philips pair that he likes quite a bit for about $60. He has other recommendations in this guide: https://www.reddit.c...r37&sh=cf457d4e

Closed headphones are recommended for a start since you get a decent bass response which people generally prefer. Open headphones have better stereo image\sound stage (which is actually useful for gaming as well) but sometimes lack in bass (or just sound neutral).

I'd totally missed this thread. I grew up with a father who was a serious audiophile (a tonne of Cyrus and AVI kit and an original Linn Sondek LP12 comprise his hi-fi setup). It's something I've neglected a bit in the last couple of places I've lived, but I aim to remedy that fairly soon when we finish renovating the dining room.

I didn't think this would turn into a vinyl thread. I kinda laugh at audiophiles that spend too much time obsessing about vinyl. It's not even better in any measurable way than digital (signal amplitude is limited and it's a degrading sound "storage" solution). I'm more about signal purity and flatness (though absolute flatness would probably sounds boring to most people).

I actually bit the bullet and ordered a pair of AKG K-712 Pros from Thomann.de today. Got them for ≈$275 (including shipping), which I think is much lower than what it typically sells for in the US, but I got a B-stock version which was slightly cheaper (fingers crossed that I don't get a pair that's f*cked in some way; it was obviously returned by someone for some reason). I'm not expecting it to perform too well on my Fiio E10K but hopefully it won't be too bad until I decide to buy either another portable DAC\amp (I'm looking enviously at an OPPO HA-2, high end DAC\amp) or my dream desktop DAC, from Audio.gd (which is also a high end DAC\amp).

I've been listening to my Meze 12 Classics for a few days now and the amount of detail in well produced songs is astounding (you can literally separate and focus on individual sounds). Hi-hats are no longer torturing my ear-drums. In fact they are very soothing to listen to (on well mixed songs). They remind me a lot of the AKG K-612 Pros that I returned. They have a similarly sized soundstage but lack some of the detail of the AKGs. I'm sure the K-712 Pros will be even more amazing. I'm a big fan of being able to hear individual sounds clearly and have a clear sense of where they are coming from.

I like good audio but I'm not too fancy. On my laptop I use Sony MDR-1A's as I like their bass. I have them plugged in to a Dragonfly Black v1.5 which makes everything a lot more vibrant and just... nicer.

Those seem nice but I was briefly considering a pair of Shures in that price range (in fact cheaper) but the AKGs will be the last headphones for me (at least for 4 years or so) unless I really want a closed reference pair as well. Now I'm more interested in investing in IEMs for portable use. I don't use headphones at home much (if at all) unless I start mixing\mastering stuff.
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Shaytan
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#7

Posted 6 days ago

I'm considering getting a set of quality headphones, not only to listen to music with better quality but also for gaming and for practicing guitar; I've been looking for the model Marshall released a couple years ago but to be honest it's more because I like the design more than anything, although I'd prefer a model with replaceable wire for durability reasons (well, if someone has any sub $100 suggestions, they're welcome).

I'm taking a lot of suggestions from Z Reviews on YouTube. There's a Philips pair that he likes quite a bit for about $60. He has other recommendations in this guide: https://www.reddit.c...r37&sh=cf457d4e

Closed headphones are recommended for a start since you get a decent bass response which people generally prefer. Open headphones have better stereo image\sound stage (which is actually useful for gaming as well) but sometimes lack in bass (or just sound neutral).


Actually I listen to pretty much just Rock and Heavy Metal (I'll spoiler 3 example songs of the kind of music I use to listen to for you to get a better idea, down bellow) so I believe bass isn't a thing for me? I really don't listen to techno, dance, dubstep or even those much heavier metal bands so I think the open headphones would be preferred for me but as you might've noticed I'm a complete noob on the matter (I do know moderate bass on digital EQs work the best for me, and my guitar experience tells me my music preference is richer in mids). About your Phillips suggestion, they seem really cool and I know prioritizing looks over sound quality is the wrong way around, but the thing I love about the Marshall Major II (that's the model I was referring to) is it's vintage looks and I'd really like having something like that over a more modern design.



Thanks btw!

ΣΓ
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#8

Posted 6 days ago

Those Marshall ones look a little small. Z recommends another pair of Philips for open headphones under $100: https://www.amazon.c...52cda0fbcba8f59

Oh, and those have removable cable. Be aware that open headphones don't isolate outside sounds, so they're not really meant for listening in public (unless you don't mind people looking at you weirdly).
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