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High end audiophile converters
Old 18th September 2012
  #91
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🎧 5 years
I had almost exactly the same experience as rifftrax2.
A jazz cd on a high fidelity system. Almost life changing.

I have worked in a few very respectable studios with great monitoring, but it couldn't compare to this.

The music sounded so natural you would SWEAR the musicians were playing in front of you.

After that I fully understood why people would spend whatever it takes to get that experience in their own home.
Old 18th September 2012
  #92
I believe a lot of sounding realistic like that has to do with mating the right recordings with the systems on display, as well as a good "audiophile room" where a lot of time was spent getting the positioning of the equipment just right.

Here's a recording that gives that experience of being there on almost any half decent audiophile rig: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Vol. 1-Jazz at the Pawnshop
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #93
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➡️
I believe a lot of sounding realistic like that has to do with mating the right recordings with the systems on display, as well as a good "audiophile room" where a lot of time was spent getting the positioning of the equipment just right.

Here's a recording that gives that experience of being there on almost any half decent audiophile rig: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Vol. 1-Jazz at the Pawnshop
I don`t know. In my experience, a highend rig which sounds good with only one type of music wouldn`t really cut it in the audiophile world.

On the other hand, how realistic a recording can sound is always a function of the recording quality. A sh*tty and squashed recording will sound exactly that way on a highend system.

yours
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #94
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
SoSueMe, any large scale testing of converters is welcome since there is such a void of that info.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr ➡️
SoSueMe, any large scale testing of converters is welcome since there is such a void of that info.
Like anything, there are pluses and minuses, and what I'm doing is not an exception. My solution is entirely software-based, however it's very controlled in order to provide useful and relevant (and irrelevant) data. The other thing is actually finding ways to attract a large number of participants.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #96
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkr ➡️
I don`t know. In my experience, a highend rig which sounds good with only one type of music wouldn`t really cut it in the audiophile world.

On the other hand, how realistic a recording can sound is always a function of the recording quality. A sh*tty and squashed recording will sound exactly that way on a highend system.

yours
Yeah I agree. I wasn't referring to specific genres, but recordings that just happen to work unusually well based on the current state of the system, the room it happens to be in, and loudspeaker placement.

For example, how many times have you brought a system home to find out it doesn't sound anything like it did in the showroom? One very simplified theory: If a particular recording is relatively reverberant compared to other recordings, that recording may indeed fair better in a dryer room with heavy carpet on the floor, for example.

I don't think I've actually heard a high end audiophile system that does *everything* better than any other system I've heard, but maybe I just haven't heard enough of them.
Old 18th September 2012
  #97
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elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Some will find it interesting that the two life changing listening experiences above were sourced by a CD. That's 44.1/16. It doesn't surprise me at all - I've had many such experiences with CDs - but those who swear against CD-quality will struggle.
Old 21st September 2012
  #98
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo ➡️
Some will find it interesting that the two life changing listening experiences above were sourced by a CD. That's 44.1/16. It doesn't surprise me at all - I've had many such experiences with CDs - but those who swear against CD-quality will struggle.
I am not too surprised by that - Sometimes no matter the source things just are "perfect", so to speak.

I am actually more surprised that a thread with the term "Audiophile" I'm it has been so civil thus far.

Best,
Alexa
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #99
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elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aTelecine-Lex ➡️
I am actually more surprised that a thread with the term "Audiophile" I'm it has been so civil thus far.
No kidding! We/They are some of the most "mental" people on the planet, rarely able to agree upon the number of pennies in a dollar.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #100
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifftrax2 ➡️
I remember the most incredible experience I have ever had listening to music was visiting a very very high-end audiophile store that had a pair of Usher BE-20's hooked up to a pair of massive 500w antique soundlabs tube monoblocks (these were the biggest amps I have ever seen). I can't remember the front-end/conversion, probably DCS or something but as soon as the piece came on (some club jazz piece I hadn't heard before) I could very nearly almost "taste" the piano in the room in which it was recorded the sound was so startlingly real. I could immediately almost feel the presence of the players in the group and simply being able to "sense" someone being in the same room that most definitely wasn't there was actually quite eerie and nearly unsettling. By the end of the song I was in total disbelief. I didn't know what to think.

It was the same moment when I realized just why people go so crazy over this stuff (audiophiles). When you hear a recorded piece that sounds so real that it literally is totally indistinguishable from actually being there in that same room except that you can open your eyes and very clearly see that there are no actual performers in the room it's actually exhilarating. The effect was very "drug-like" and I don't think I have any memory at all that I remember so clearly as listening to that one song.

If I could "mix" music in an environment like that... I can only imagine it would be like pure heaven.
+1
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #101
Gear Maniac
 
orpheus_'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➡️
I believe a lot of sounding realistic like that has to do with mating the right recordings with the systems on display, as well as a good "audiophile room" where a lot of time was spent getting the positioning of the equipment just right.
I agree... I've had the same experience with a Krix 5.1 surround system in Harvey Norman (Munno Para, South Australia). The DVD was an Eric Clapton concert and the system cost including amp was around $3,000. It felt like I was there.

Going back to the OP's original question - "has anyone compared ADs from the pro and audiophile world..." What I don't understand, is even if you have the best ADs in the world, the recording is still only as good as the original DAs used to capture the equipment.

Not only that, the equipment I listen on (Yamaha HS80m and/or Auratone 5C with Crown XLS 1500 amp - especially the Auratone) tend to immediately highlight problems with the recordings such as distortion/clipping I hadn't heard on other equipment, EQ balance, levels that I probably wouldn't have settled on, etc. There are also recordings which sound flawless and you couldn't change a thing.

Anyway, I agree, the gap between audiophile and pro studio equipment is pretty small. But, I don't think price is a good indication. I've heard incredible reproduction from a Yamaha A100 amp (from memory) + NS-10Ms, and an unknown pro audio card back in 1996, then I've heard very mediocre reproduction from the Digi 002r which I've heard says is a must have for a small studio.

And then if it sounds amazing through your equipment, but was recorded on crap DAs (by todays standards) - what does that mean??
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #102
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orpheus_'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➡️
I believe a lot of sounding realistic like that has to do with mating the right recordings with the systems on display, as well as a good "audiophile room" where a lot of time was spent getting the positioning of the equipment just right.
Actually - thinking more on this, I would argue "nice equipment" has been a far easier task for me than "getting the room sounding nice"... seeing as when you're listening to a speaker you're really listening to speaker + room, this is really critical.

I've spoken to Audiophiles about their $200k of equipment, but I've never heard them mention the room? Then again I've spoken to 2 audiophiles
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #103
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➡️
I believe a lot of sounding realistic like that has to do with mating the right recordings with the systems on display, as well as a good "audiophile room" where a lot of time was spent getting the positioning of the equipment just right.
There's a lot of truth to this. While it's true that a "better" system will generally sound "better" all-'round, there are particular technologies that benefit particular types of music*

Here are some general truths I've observed (assuming no budget constraints):

Classical/opera aficionados tend toward single-ended triode amplifiers for their "sense of space" (imaging) and midrange accuracy.

Electric guitar (Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, etc.) buffs love push-pull pentodes (like KT88 amps) 'cause that's how electric guitar is usually reproduced to begin with (in a guitar amp).

House/techno/drum'n'bass guys (and gals) have to have solid state (with a fair amount of NFB for damping factor) to "get the bass right".

Sparse acoustic arrangements (think Indigo Girls rock, or late 60's jazz recordings) seem to do very well on no-negative-feedback Class A MOSFET stuff (a la Krell, Pass, etc.)

Hard rock likes a stiff power supply and (preferably) bipolar outs (early Adcom, G.A.S., old Crown D.C. series etc.)

...and that's just amplification - don't get me started on speakers!

*(I'm basing this on two things: the fact that I design "audiophile" equipment for a living, and the fact that I used to sell a good amount of gear at a high end audio store).
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #104
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by orpheus_ ➡️
I've spoken to Audiophiles about their $200k of equipment, but I've never heard them mention the room? Then again I've spoken to 2 audiophiles
Really? I've met quite a few "audiophules" who've had their listening rooms custom-designed (and expensively treated) for audio. Some even have a designated "listening chair" which they've forbidden their family to move.

That being said, aside from bass traps and some wall treatment, I've done very little to augment (or should I say diminish?) my own listening environment; (but then I built most of my gear and didn't spend six figures on it!)
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #105
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elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by orpheus_ ➡️
Actually - thinking more on this, I would argue "nice equipment" has been a far easier task for me than "getting the room sounding nice"... seeing as when you're listening to a speaker you're really listening to speaker + room, this is really critical.

I've spoken to Audiophiles about their $200k of equipment, but I've never heard them mention the room? Then again I've spoken to 2 audiophiles
Either they don't understand the importance of a quiet room, can't do anything about it (The Wife Factor), or have already treated it. Acoustic management isn't very exciting so it's not unusual to ignore this topic.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #106
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DSD_Mastering's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by orpheus_ ➡️
this is really critical.

I've spoken to Audiophiles about their $200k of equipment, but I've never heard them mention the room? Then again I've spoken to 2 audiophiles
Guess you didn't speak to the right audiophiles. I'm an audiophile as well as several of my friends. We've spent over $100k on just our rooms...
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #107
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by orpheus_ ➡️

I've spoken to Audiophiles about their $200k of equipment, but I've never heard them mention the room? Then again I've spoken to 2 audiophiles
The advent of music playback over computer has led to a new age in audiophilia. Not only have acoustic measurements become much easier through cheap and user- friendly computer programs, on top of that many audiophiles have access to massive amounts of EQing through computer programs, audiophile boxes such as the DEQX, or pro equipment like the Metric Halo LIO or ULNs.

WAF, or Wife Acceptance Factor still looms, though, and most audiophiles that I know have only limited chances to treat their (living) rooms as if it were a studio.

yours
Old 24th September 2012
  #108
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aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSD_Mastering ➡️
Guess you didn't speak to the right audiophiles. I'm an audiophile as well as several of my friends. We've spent over $100k on just our rooms...
I agree that the clear majority of Audiophile's have a properly treated listening environment. Typically, the degree of treatment is a corollary of the amount invested in their system.

The notion that audiophile's whom, mostly, are not audio professionals, would spend a minimum of $150,000 -$300,000+ on equipment alone and not have have a proper listening environment is incongruent to logic.

People whom argue passionately about weather interconnects running in an upward direction to their components effect their sound in a negative way, presumably have heard of and invested in properly a treated room.

My personal experience from having lived with a quite intense audiophile father, has been similar to what was mentioned above - Two fully purpose built room (one for audio the other a surround viewing room).

Both were major constructions, floating floors "sub-walls" (essentially a room within a room) with completely independent power from the rest of the house etc.

The utmost attention was given to not only the finest treatment(s) possible, and speaker placement - But all the way down to the level of the size, the fabrics, and materials used in the seating, and so forth.

I would venture to guess, some of these rooms may, at the least, equal if not better some world-class Studios and Mastering houses.

Best,
Alexa
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #109
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elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
There's a photo circulating of a rather unimpressive looking system built by a guy who's spent a million bucks on his McIntosh-based rack (he even runs an appalling little forum meant to cater to the hi-fi crowds but it's little more than a gathering place for his worshipers), but if you look closely at the items it's one of the more ridiculous collections you'll find, designed with little regard for overall system synergy and without proper attention toward a suitably tailored room. So although money increases your audiophile horsepower, it doesn't guarantee a smart end result. True, some home listening environments might surpass those of popular mastering studios, but money alone isn't responsible. It's wise planning and execution. I'm stating the obvious here.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #110
Gear Maniac
 
orpheus_'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSD_Mastering ➡️
I'm an audiophile as well as several of my friends.
I'm sorry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSD_Mastering ➡️
Guess you didn't speak to the right audiophiles. I'm an audiophile as well as several of my friends. We've spent over $100k on just our rooms...
Wow! Okay, that changes my perspective a lot. I'd really love to stand in that room (and play music..)
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #111
Gear Maniac
 
orpheus_'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aTelecine-Lex ➡️
My personal experience from having lived with a quite intense audiophile father, has been similar to what was mentioned above - Two fully purpose built room (one for audio the other a surround viewing room).
I remember my parents had a room with a JVC record player amp and speakers, amidst a massive wall of records ... and a switch on the roof light to change from a white bulb to a red one. It was a cornucopia of music .. so good.

(my Dad was a jazz pianist ... now that I'm older I understand why the red light

Omg so off topic. Sorry OP!!
Old 25th September 2012
  #112
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Whatever happened to record players : (
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #113
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico2600 ➡️
Whatever happened to record players : (
They`re still around.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/nyregion/07vinyl.html

yours
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #114
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico2600 ➡️
Whatever happened to record players : (
Mine gets used everyday over here, spinning it right now, as I type this post

think'n bout having a tech build me some 4 watt mono block tube amps,
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #115
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico2600 ➡️
Whatever happened to record players : (
There wouldn't be this type of gouging if they didn't still exist: Donald Fagen PRE-ORDER Sunken Condos  | PRE-ORDER Donald Fagen Sunken Condos 2-LP Set Pressed on Clear Vinyl | Shop the Donald Fagen Official Store
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #116
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitrax ➡️

There's a lot of truth to this. While it's true that a "better" system will generally sound "better" all-'round, there are particular technologies that benefit particular types of music*

Here are some general truths I've observed (assuming no budget constraints):

Classical/opera aficionados tend toward single-ended triode amplifiers for their "sense of space" (imaging) and midrange accuracy.

Electric guitar (Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, etc.) buffs love push-pull pentodes (like KT88 amps) 'cause that's how electric guitar is usually reproduced to begin with (in a guitar amp).

House/techno/drum'n'bass guys (and gals) have to have solid state (with a fair amount of NFB for damping factor) to "get the bass right".

Sparse acoustic arrangements (think Indigo Girls rock, or late 60's jazz recordings) seem to do very well on no-negative-feedback Class A MOSFET stuff (a la Krell, Pass, etc.)

Hard rock likes a stiff power supply and (preferably) bipolar outs (early Adcom, G.A.S., old Crown D.C. series etc.)

...and that's just amplification - don't get me started on speakers!

*(I'm basing this on two things: the fact that I design "audiophile" equipment for a living, and the fact that I used to sell a good amount of gear at a high end audio store).
that's very cool man, would you mind to do the same for speakers?
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #117
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitrax ➡️
[SIZE="2"]
There's a lot of truth to this. While it's true that a "better" system will generally sound "better" all-'round, there are particular technologies that benefit particular types of music*

Here are some general truths I've observed (assuming no budget constraints):

Classical/opera aficionados tend toward single-ended triode amplifiers for their "sense of space" (imaging) and midrange accuracy.

Electric guitar (Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, etc.) buffs love push-pull pentodes (like KT88 amps) 'cause that's how electric guitar is usually reproduced to begin with (in a guitar amp).

House/techno/drum'n'bass guys (and gals) have to have solid state (with a fair amount of NFB for damping factor) to "get the bass right".

Sparse acoustic arrangements (think Indigo Girls rock, or late 60's jazz recordings) seem to do very well on no-negative-feedback Class A MOSFET stuff (a la Krell, Pass, etc.)

Hard rock likes a stiff power supply and (preferably) bipolar outs (early Adcom, G.A.S., old Crown D.C. series etc.)
I agree with this.
Not sure if off-topic, but this A-D converter piqued my attention. It's in the New Product Alert section:
https://gearspace.com/board/new-prod...light=qes+labs

They'll be showing it at the AES Convention in San Francisco this October, so worth investigating.

It can do tube/solid state, and above all, is based on the Sabre Reference chip.

I've had the pleasure to test a DAC using the sabre reference d-a chip.
I was blown away from the musicality they can achieve.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #118
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kraku's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nnajar ➡️
That stuff scares me. You don't ever really know what you're getting into, it almost seems as if the "audiophile" folks just price stuff based on marketing....

At least with pro audio gear you can more easily gauge the quality of what you're looking into.
Really?
Old 25th September 2012
  #119
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remote337's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm sorry I just don't get the whole audiophile thing.

The vast majority of music is recorded on near or mid field monitors costing £2000 - £5000. How can a £100k system sound better than the system that it was recorded on??

I get that it may sound more pleasing but more accurate?? How??

So I record a track on £20k worth of kit and some numpty spends £100k and then tries to tell me my track sounds more accurate on his system!?!? More accurate than what. I wrote the bloody thing and know what I intended it to sound like.


Er bollocks
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #120
Quote:
Originally Posted by remote337 ➡️
I'm sorry I just don't get the whole audiophile thing.

The vast majority of music is recorded on near or mid field monitors costing £2000 - £5000. How can a £100k system sound better than the system that it was recorded on??

I get that it may sound more pleasing but more accurate?? How??

So I record a track on £20k worth of kit and some numpty spends £100k and then tries to tell me my track sounds more accurate on his system!?!? More accurate than what. I wrote the bloody thing and know what I intended it to sound like.


Er bollocks
Who said audiophile systems can sound more accurate? And "better" does not necessarily mean more accurate.
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