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tyjohnson16
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Joined: Oct 16 2006 - 10:48am
A Beginning

Hi, I'm hoping in the future to have enough cash to do something serious with my equipment, but in the meantime
can anyone advise me on whether/how I can get good sound for a headphone setup? My music library is CD and high quality MP3 (PC) based. I have been reading about DAC units and high quality CD players but I'm not sure what makes the most sense or how to drive the headphones adequately. In short I have PC and CD based music and I can choose good headphones, it's what goes in between that I'm unsure about (and would the results be decent?). Thanks for any advice.

Ariel Bitran
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Re: A Beginning

hi greywolf
thanks for posting
what is your budget?
maybe a headphone amp could be just the ticket to driving your cans.

tyjohnson16
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Re: A Beginning

I don't have a set budget, but let's say I can come up with ~$1,000. I don't like the sound from my PC on board audio at all. Do I need to play the original CD's to get good sound, or is there a way to get good sound from the MP3 files (@192k). Do I need a better CD player? A standalone DAC? A headphone amp? I *love* quality sound.

Ariel Bitran
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Re: A Beginning

First thing, I'd recommend that you start ripping in a lossless codec.

Read JA's article here that lays down the line: http://www.stereophile.com/content/mp3-vs-aac-vs-flac-vs-cd

MP3 is inherently lossy.

Be interested to hear if you notice a significant difference between your 192k mp3s and a lossless format (Apple Lossless, AIFF, etc).

Listener
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need details

Some questions:

What CD player are you using now?

What kind of PC are you using? laptop or desktop? how old? Does it have a digital output (Coax or optical)? Does it have a USB port you could use to connect to a DAC?

Are you currently listening via headphones? If so, what brand and model? If not, what kind of preamp-amp and speakers are you using?

----
Some comments:

You said that you didn't like the audio quality from onboard sound. There are two separate issues here: 1. audio quality to an amp or low power phones. 2. adequate power to drive power hungry phones.

Some people find lossy files at 192 Kbps to be listenable. Others don't. You need to find out what you think.

If your MP3 files came from CDs you ripped (and you still have the CDs), you can rip them again to lossless files. If you bought them on iTunes or some other store, your stuck with the quality level of the lossy files. If you got the files from friends, you may be stuck.

If you rip your CDs to lossless files, you may not need an expensive CD player. Your $ 1000 will go much farther if you need only good phones and a DAC/headphone amp. You can rip your CDs for little or no money if you are willing to learn a bit and put in some time.

Bill

Welshsox
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Hi What type of speakers are

Hi

What type of speakers are they ?

Im not an expert but if you have had damaged tweeters why not damaged mid range units ? also what about the crossover's amd sign of damage there ?

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