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What do you play your John Williams on...


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1982 - 1991

E.T., Gremlins, Batman, Ghostbusters (all LPs, and my only scores) were played on a turntable, which I still have.

1991 - August 2005

CDs, played on a JVC boombox; I still have it, but the remote is basically dead, and given the following point...

since August 2005

CDs, played on a 5.1 SACD/DVD player

I can also play these on the 5.1 DVD writer system since December-- I watched several tracks of the RoTS SW music DVD yesterday, and it was wonderful

I have also been using my computers, especially my year-old laptop, on which I have copied several hundred tracks-- and it came with 2 good speakers.

Oh, and my Sennheiser headphones has needeed changing (the cable got caught in my swivel chair one time too many, despite my cautiousness) for several months.

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I have this old set of components:

CD player DENON 1050

Amplif. AudioLab 8000LX

Speakers Shan Aztec 300

And I listen to mp3's albums in my SE K750i on Senheiser HD 407 headphones.

Arcam AVR100, Arcam DV88 and a complete set of Tannoy Mercury speakers.

I don't think we can beat Marian's set!

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I got given some Rega R3's for doing a recording for Rega - and the guy there said dont bother thing any cable over £5p/m - the cables used in high end speakers are no better than that and to use cables costing £50-200 a meter is insane.

BTW my hifi I hardly ever listen to JW on is Technics High end CD player, Marantz KI sig amp and Rega R3 floorstanders

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I've got a nice set of Altec Lansing THX 5.1 Speakers on my computer, they are fairly good for PC speakers. Very surprising.

At work I have a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro, it's where I listen to most of my music in a day. Oh and outside I commute to work, I've got a nice metal Panasonic discman (SL-CT820) and Audiotechnica headphones. I can't affort audiophile systems (yet) so I gladly take these alternative for sound quality.

Someday I'll have the time to rip my 1500 CDs to hard drive in FLAC, but until then there's no way I'll degrade my sound by buying an MP3 player. Orchestral music suffers so much with compression.

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mp3 @ 320 kpbs is NOT fine, why would I degrade my music by any kind? Any audiophile would understand that. We are talking about soundtracks here, vinyl is irrelevant.

And FLACing your disc is fine, I would do that, but hey on an Ipod 30GB, you could only put about 100 discs until it's filled up. I have 1500 CD's, it's a waste of money to buy an Ipod that's that small.

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Have you used LAME encoded mp3's? I think you would have to have amazing ears to notice too much diffance with your PC speakers and headphones, unless you got good hifi set up you cant hear too much diffance between mp3 and CD at that bit rate!

Can you tell me what MP3 players you have used?

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Listen to 320kbps MP3's versus lossless recordings (like, the CD itself eh) on an audiophile system and you'll see the degredation. It's still apparent. Heck on an average headphone system (with an amp) it's apparent. I'm not talking about cheap ear buds or that. Why would I care about that. Or cheap PC speakers.

There is NO way I will degrade the quality of music to simply what... save 20% of hard drive space between 320kbps mp3 and lossless compresion? But ipod Hard Drives just aren't big enough so that I can keep a good portion of my CD collection while keeping it lossless.

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Well I only got a 1gig mp3 player - and use Westone UM2 IEMs - which possible are the best in-ear headphones you can get. I listen between 192-320 LAME - if I encode on other mp3 encoders or WMA I can hear more degradion.

As I say CD undergoes compression like mp3s - anyone at recording studios will tell you. I made a CD recently and it was released on both vinal and CD - the recording company had to do some remixing of CD version because of the compression.

For me the biggie when it comes to portable players is hardware...

iPods sound poor full stop. iRivers sound a lot better but its a soft sound - deffo feels compressed and shut in. My iPaq pocket PC sounds fantastic - accually sounds better than my Marantz KI sig hifi - if that possible hehe - Sometimes its not about detail you hear but the full sound - is it enjoyable to listen? do you forget that you are listing to a hifi? A lot of audiophile systems have got it wrong in my opinion - they try to screeze every ounce of detail out of the music - so much so its becomes painful to listen too.

I just want to enjoy the music I listen to - and yes I put on bass boost! Because I enjoy sound more :nod:

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As I say CD undergoes compression like mp3s

Wrong. CD "compression" is very different. You only use quality because the signal has to be digitised. Once that's done, you can copy it onto CDs or other digital media with no loss whatsoever. Doing MP3 encoding of any (already digitised!) source always adds compression and reduces quality.

Marian - who could throw SACDs and DSD into the mix as well. :nod:

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Well I dissagree ;)

You just got to remember all the CD is, is memory - doesnt mater if its a Harddisk, flash memory etc. The DAC does the hard job! The average CD is 650mb in size. So you have 650mb of data for music - could be 2 gig drive or 256mb flash Depending on the bit rate used in the compression determines how much memory you will use. For a 75min album 256bps 44khz the file size will be about 100mb - but if set to 1200bps the file size is about 650mb - 1200bps 44khz is not the highest ratio - DAT players use 48khz - so any CD made from a DAT tape has to be down sampled to fit on a CD. In a recording studio its common for one track of a song to be many Gigabytes in size!

So in the end CDs are no different from MP3s - just not compressed so much.

Ive seen CDs with 160 mins of music on it that play on normal CD players!

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I can't tell the difference between a c.d. and a 320 kbps MP3.I'm not sure I can hear a difference at 192k.I can definately tell the difference at 128k.

I guess I'd need very high end audio equipement to tell the difference at the higher bitrates.My new soundcard (Creative X-Fi,which I can't recommend enough to anyone listening to music on a PC)upsamples MP3's at 24 bit anyways,that's the most drastic improvement in sound quality I've heard in a while,regardless of the source.

K.M.

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veggie: I agree that different sampling frequencies are bound to make a difference, particularly for instruments which play at high frequencies. Also, re-sampling the analogue master should give better quality than resampling an already digitised signal. But it's still different from MP3s-type compression.

Mark: How can it sound better when it's just padded with additional redundant bits?

Marian - :?

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Mark: 24bit is just the DAC used not the bit rate as 24bps would sound truely terrible lol - there are many types of DAC's such as 1bit, 18bit and 24bit. In the end its all numbers a good DAC is a good DAC. its like a digi camera - u can get el cheepo 7million pixel camara, but a more expensive 2 million pixel cam will always look much much better.

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Mark: How can it sound better when it's just padded with additional redundant bits?

Marian - :?

I don't know why it sounds a zillion times better than the previous soundcard I had(Audigy 2),but it does anyways.

k.m.

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Thats prob because the audio stage is better on new card.

You can buy a £300 CD player that uses the same cd transport and DAC as a £1300 CD player - but the final audio analog stage is much better.

This one reason ipods sound so bad using headphone out - the headphone amp is not very good - if you go to a forum like www.headfi.org you will find people bypassing the the headphone amp and using a portable amp and line out with their ipods.

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I don't know why it sounds a zillion times better than the previous soundcard I had(Audigy 2),but it does anyways.

Well I don't know about the quality of current Creative cards. I know their DACs and ADCs (?) used to be pretty sucky in the 16 bit days.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't trust soundcards. Especially will all the interference going on inside a PC tower.

Marian - who used to *hear* his joystick when playing TIE Fighter. LOL

;) Dinosaur (James Newton Howard)

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You can't hear interferances anymore.

Hey I'm not saying this is better than expensive audiophile equipment,but If you like to listen to music on your PC browsing through your itunes or WMP library this is a most excellent choice,much much better than last years top of the line model.

K.M.

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