View Full Version : Please brag about your music system :)

June 20th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Trying to choose a new amp for my FLAC collection and it's a lot of research we need not all do so I am starting this : http://internet.wikia.com/wiki/Amplifier_Comparison

join in and brag about your system :)

I am using an my ubuntu as a transport audigy2 optical out.
I have a custom web playlist interface to manage the collection.
But my amp just went to amp heaven! Time for a new one:)

June 20th, 2008, 05:31 PM
I don't have anything particularly special.

Some 1970s Celestion monitors driven by a Kenwood receiver. I'm probably going to swap the amp out for a Samson servo and possibly later move to some Tannoy Reveals?

I go more for studio equipment seeing as I do some studio mixes on my PC. I can't see why anyone would spend thousands on an amp when for like 150 you can get one which a decent studio would be happy driving their main nearfields.

Anyway, I use a firewire audio interface which outputs at 192khz/24bit - not realy worth it considering CDs are 44khz/16bit and you really can't notice the difference. I record at 192khz though for the 'headroom' in case I need to do time stretches, in which case mega oversampling is a god.

I also only have some of my collection in lossless; most is in lossy. Why? Because I honestly can't hear the difference between a well encoded 256kbps MP3 and a FLAC file - why go higher than what's transparent to you, apart from for archiving?

You can dispute that, but I'd challenge you to a properly conducted ABX double-blind test and match them correctly. Even if you could hear a difference, you'd have to listen really hard to notice it... isn't the idea that you listen to and enjoy the music, not the slight variations in reproduction?

"Oh but lossy codecs through away so much!"

I hate to say that your FLAC files are lossy too. There is no such thing as lossless. At some time you have to sample the sound wave and break it down into 1s and 0s.

As said, your FLAC files are probably 44.1khz, 16bit. Studios nowadays record at 192khz, 24bit or even 32bit (float). That's quite a big difference if you really worry a lot about counting your bits.

My bottom line...
If you're really worried about exact reproduction of the original recording, why not buy decent but fairly-priced studio equipment instead of stuff marketed at consumers with deep pockets?

June 20th, 2008, 05:43 PM
~ most is in lossy. Why? Because I honestly can't hear the difference between a well encoded 256kbps MP3 and a FLAC file ~

I agree 100% I can't even tell the difference between a good mp3 and the original CD.

I have an old Dell Optiplex SFF PC used as a standalone jukebox with an Audiotrak Optoplay USB sound adapter connected to an old Rotel RA-930AX amplifier and a pair of Mordaunt Short MS25i floorstanders.

The mp3 playback sounds just as good to my ears as the Technics CD player that the PC replaced.

June 20th, 2008, 06:20 PM
CD's I buy and a portable CD player.

June 20th, 2008, 06:29 PM
...Kenwood, Samson servo, and Tannoy Reveals...

Yep I'm with you on all of your points :)
and I'll look into Samson as I've never looked at that brand before.

June 20th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Is the spec sheet of one of Samson amps I mean. Samson are actually a fairly cheap brand, yet as you can see that amp has a higher SNR and lower THD than the two amps in your comparison table (but is a fair amount cheaper :D)!

It does exactly what it says on the tin - amplify the signal :p

June 20th, 2008, 07:07 PM
Currently, My workshop system consists of a P3 out of a skip running fluxbuntu, feeding an old technics amp, through a pair of Quadral floorstanders.

At the moment I'm using an old Soundblaster card, so sound quality is somewhat lacking. I'm hoping to get hold of a decent m-audio soon, although linux compatibility does look somewhat sketchy from my readings here.

I know plenty of people who claim to be able to tell even the highest bitrate mp3 from lossless, but until I see it proven in blind testing, or I can hear the difference, LAME VBR @225 - 250kbps is good enough for me.

June 20th, 2008, 07:26 PM
I'm hoping to get hold of a decent m-audio soon.

I have an Edirol FA-101 and got it working perfectly using freebob and jack. If you don't need all the inputs (I use it for recording) then the FA-66 would be an option.

Check out the FFADO/freebob website to see what's supported.

If you want an internal soundcard then EMU (http://www.emu.com/) do some very good ones. Note that they are made by Creative (not that that's a bad thing), and I'm not too sure about their driver support.

June 20th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Excellent - thanks for those recommendations, I'll take a look. Anything able to match my previous source for SQ will do (Technics CD player separate - on it's last legs). You can really hear the difference at the moment!