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What stereo(s) do you listen to? What do you want? - Page 127

post #1891 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post

It's not clear that the Sonos's DAC is limiting it. If it is, hook it up to one of your Marantz's digital inputs, and then see what you think about it. I think you are on the right track with getting new speakers: they are the limiting factors in your system, along perhaps with the amps in the receiver should you get an especially difficult speaker to drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

A DAC wont significantly improve the sound quality right now with your current equipment. Your amp and speakers are very limited in their potential for improvement, and a new DAC, while it will improve the sonos alot, wont help in general.
Better to spend your $ upgrading the speakers first, then an amp/preamp, THEN a DAC.
You can get a DAC, but your money is better invested in speakers at the moment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post

At around $1K
Benchmark DAC1 (I have one)
Grace m903
Musical Fidelity M1, possibly the new V-DAC mk 2.
Below $1k it gets dicey although the V-DAC and DacMagic are worth a shot.
But I agree with the above post that better speakers would help.

Thanks guys... this sets me in the right direction!
post #1892 of 2378
I helped my father set up his Magico Q5 speakers over the weekend. They sound great.
post #1893 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post

I helped my father set up his Magico Q5 speakers over the weekend. They sound great.

I should hope so. What's the rest of his system?
post #1894 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post

I should hope so. What's the rest of his system?

As of three years ago, it was this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post

I'm a bit of a stereo novice, but my father has quite a nice system that I get to listen to when I visit the folks. Digital front end: DCS stack; Verdi transport, 972 DSD upconvertor, Elgar+ DAC, Verona clockAnalog front end: DPS III turntable, Schroeder reference tonearm, Allaerts MC2 Finish Gold cartridgeMartensen phonostageSpectral DMC 30 SS preampSpectral DMA 360 monoblock ampsMIT cablesDunlavy VI speakersSurround sound processor: Theta Casablanca III

In the past year, he's made these changes:

1. New Speakers, as noted.
2. New digital front end: computer music server (Music Vault), dCS Scarlatti Upsampler, Clock,
and DAC.
3. New phono cartridge: Allaerts Formula 1

There could be some other changes, but I just don't know enough to understand everything.
post #1895 of 2378
Dynaudio Audience 82
Rotel RSX-1057
Self built HTPC
post #1896 of 2378
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post

As of three years ago, it was this:
In the past year, he's made these changes:
1. New Speakers, as noted.
2. New digital front end: computer music server (Music Vault), dCS Scarlatti Upsampler, Clock,
and DAC.
3. New phono cartridge: Allaerts Formula 1
There could be some other changes, but I just don't know enough to understand everything.

Good system. I talked to Alon Wolf of Magico at the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Good guy with nice sounding speakers.

Alon still recommends the Odyssey Khartago amps for $800+ if anyone is looking for more reasonable priced gear.

The Allaerts cart is at my friend's house. I've been impressed so far. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

P.S.

I now have my Mac Mini feeding a Benchmark DAC1 Pre and am using the Decibel music player software. Alison Krauss' Paper Airplane in 24/96 FLAC sounds amazing.
post #1897 of 2378
Thread Starter 
I should also note that in my experience the upper level Benchmark DACs (Pre, HDR) sound a bit better. I have both the DAC1 and the DAC1 Pre. Great sound on both but the latter is a little more refined on top.
post #1898 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post

Alison Krauss' Paper Airplane in 24/96 FLAC sounds amazing.

Do we have a thread on 'what digital music sounds really GOOD?'

Now that I've got my Naim system up and running, I can easily tell the difference between good sounding recordings and . . . not. CD's that suffer from the 'loudness wars' compression, otherwise poor engineering or whatever, etc, really stand out as not nearly so pleasant to listen to. While my old iTunes library contained hundreds of albums, many of those simply do not sound good enough to be enjoyable to listen to on my Naim / Devore system.

Finding reviews of good SOUNDING recordings is not always so easy.
post #1899 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

Most remastering doesnt do that. Generally they boost the bass, thats the biggest change since bass recording in the past was dead awful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post

Remastering does all sorts of things - better converters can mean more resolution, better tape sources can mean more clarity and better high frequencies, better care can mean more judicious use of EQ so one hears the album as intended.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post

Do we have a thread on 'what digital music sounds really GOOD?'
Now that I've got my Naim system up and running, I can easily tell the difference between good sounding recordings and . . . not. CD's that suffer from the 'loudness wars' compression, otherwise poor engineering or whatever, etc, really stand out as not nearly so pleasant to listen to. While my old iTunes library contained hundreds of albums, many of those simply do not sound good enough to be enjoyable to listen to on my Naim / Devore system.
Finding reviews of good SOUNDING recordings is not always so easy.

This loudness war is exactly what I was asking about initially with compression:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ


I have found that finding good sounding recordings has a lot to do with the producer and the type of music it is. If it is top 40 pop stuff it generally sounds horrible, but they are engineering it to sound "good" when people are listening to it streaming, and really crappy bitrates. They want to make it as loud as possible to stand out. Generally albums made by *ahem* real musicians, even new music (mostly jazz, indie, blues etc.) sound ok. I still think nothing compares to old rock records from the 50's-70's.
post #1900 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post

Do we have a thread on 'what digital music sounds really GOOD?'
Now that I've got my Naim system up and running, I can easily tell the difference between good sounding recordings and . . . not. CD's that suffer from the 'loudness wars' compression, otherwise poor engineering or whatever, etc, really stand out as not nearly so pleasant to listen to. While my old iTunes library contained hundreds of albums, many of those simply do not sound good enough to be enjoyable to listen to on my Naim / Devore system.
Finding reviews of good SOUNDING recordings is not always so easy.

One place to go is to subscribe to Stereophile. They are regularly reviewing recordings and also mentioning recordings during equipment review tests.
post #1901 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post

Do we have a thread on 'what digital music sounds really GOOD?'
Now that I've got my Naim system up and running, I can easily tell the difference between good sounding recordings and . . . not. CD's that suffer from the 'loudness wars' compression, otherwise poor engineering or whatever, etc, really stand out as not nearly so pleasant to listen to. While my old iTunes library contained hundreds of albums, many of those simply do not sound good enough to be enjoyable to listen to on my Naim / Devore system.
Finding reviews of good SOUNDING recordings is not always so easy.



And that's the danger of owning high quality components, very unforgiving to poor/compressed recording that dominate the music market place. Because of this, I've been using my secondary office system more and more (Arcam int amp with tone controls, Dali Suite 1.7 speakers with a Dali sub, QED wires and a cheap OPPO DVD)
post #1902 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhurit View Post

And that's the danger of owning high quality components, very unforgiving to poor/compressed recording that dominate the music market place. Because of this, I've been using my secondary office system more and more (Arcam int amp with tone controls, Dali Suite 1.7 speakers with a Dali sub, QED wires and a cheap OPPO DVD)

Oh, sounds terrible! smile.gif
post #1903 of 2378
^^^ ...the key phrase here is tone controls, an anathema for a true-blue audiophile. My ears like them though when I stream music from my Droid phone
post #1904 of 2378
Quote:
Originally Posted by uhurit View Post

^^^ ...the key phrase here is tone controls, an anathema for a true-blue audiophile. My ears like them though when I stream music from my Droid phone

Yeah my Naim Nait XS integrated amp seems to be missing tone controls!!!

Owning this equipment really has changed the mix of what we listen to at home, especially in the context of sitting on the couch and really LISTENING.
post #1905 of 2378
Thread Starter 
Bartolo,

This link has a quide to some good music as recommended by the editors of Absolute Sound, the other big US magazine besides Stereophile.

http://www.avguide.com/buyers-guide/the-absolute-soundhi-fi-guide-cables-power-products-accessories-and-music

I also recommend a great e-zine: http://www.positive-feedback.com/
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