Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1676
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Wow, I ordered the UDP-205 yesterday, and it arrived today. Now to figure out how to hook everything up.
    I'd strongly recommend taking the time to go through all the settings in OPPO's detailed manual. I learned some things that have made a substantive difference.

    And congrats on joining the OPPO fam! They really are great, and speaking for Solutions AV here in Canada - the only authorized Canadian OPPO dealer - they've been tremendously helpful, even from a distance, in ensuring that I've really maximized the benefit of upgrading.

    Enjoy!!
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  2. #1677
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    7,040
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    the OPPO fam
    Band name

  3. #1678
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    I know some of you audiophile types get all testy when talking about the performance differences in gear. It does seem clear that the DAC in your phone is of lesser quality than the one in a stock CD/DVD/BluRay player. That's probably because the size/specs of the chip has to be compromised to fit into the phone. I don't doubt that some of you audiophiles can here the differences in gear that costs many times that of consumer hi-fi gear. I'm just wondering whether, once you go beyond portable digital devices, that the differences in a DAC are noticeable to most non-audiophiles like me!
    Before I bought the first high end system in my life 3 yrs ago, I'd hardly have called myself an audiophile...still don't. But after years spent working in good studios with, in a couple cases, great producers, I know what makes for good sound.

    All can tell you is my experience...more importantly, that of my wife. As with every technology I buy, her first response was "I'm happy for you but doubt I'll notice any difference."

    I put on the first disc with the new rig...and her jaw dropped.

    So you do t have to be an audiophile to notice good sound...or a significant improvement.

    As for portable devices like iPhones, iPads, etc? I've gotten so used to the great sound at home that it drove me to do the same for portable listening. So, I now have a FiiO x5ii, which allows me to play high res files on the go and has a far better DAC than goes in phones, tablets, etc. But what to do about my iPhone and iPad? I bought an OPPO HA-2 headphone amp/portable DAC, which I now run my iPad, iPhone...and Mac (which, for all its $$, has a very average DAC) through, along with a decent set of phones (Westone for in-ear, OPPO PM for over the ear).

    The reason most DACs in portable devices isn't optimal isn't size ... it's cost. I was told by Best Buy and Solutions AV that the DAC in my 55" Samsung curved 4K TV is probably worth about $5...which is why I run that tv through to my OPPO and out to my amp, so that I can use its DAC. And, again, when I made the switch, the difference was quite staggering...like going from a cheap radio to, well, what I was used to with the rest of my system.

    So, again, you don't have to be an audiophile to hear the difference between an ok DAVPC and a kick-ass one; YMMV, of course, but if your hearing is anywhere near halfway decent, I've no doubt you'll notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    I imagine that there aren't many DAC chips out there and that most manufacturers of audio gear use the same ones from a rather small group of what's available. The development and marketing of DAC chips can't be that lucrative of a business, can it? Certainly not in the league of processor chips.
    I'm not so sure about that. Any device that allows you to play digital audio to analogue devices (speakers, headphones...anything where music is translated from bits and bytes to sound) has to have a DAC somewhere. In the case of phones, tablets and TVs - a substantial market, no? - any of these devices (well, I can't say with total certainty; how about "the lion's share"?) made in the past decade (maybe more, but certainly that) has to have a DAC, because not everybody puts their TVs through a sound system, ditto for using portable DACs to improve sound of phones/tabs. So they all have to have DACs, which means likely a bigger market than you might think.

    And then when you get into audio gear, again I am no expert, but suspect that the DAC is one of the selling points of many pieces of gear, whether it's amplifiers or media players like the OPPO. So I'd suspect, again, that it's a bigger market than you might think. Apple has been pushing newer phones and tablets as having better audio; I recently upgraded my iPad Air 2 to the 10.5" Pro, and I think there's been some marginal improvement...but it still sounds way better when I put my HA-2 into the mix.

    Just some thoughts from my admittedly recent and minimal experience.
    Last edited by jkelman; 11-28-2017 at 10:29 PM.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  4. #1679
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Planet Lovetron
    Posts
    11,221
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I'd strongly recommend taking the time to go through all the settings in OPPO's detailed manual. I learned some things that have made a substantive difference.

    And congrats on joining the OPPO fam! They really are great, and speaking for Solutions AV here in Canada - the only authorized Canadian OPPO dealer - they've been tremendously helpful, even from a distance, in ensuring that I've really maximized the benefit of upgrading.

    Enjoy!!
    Thanks! I hope I can PM you if I have questions?

  5. #1680
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northeast Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    988
    Thanks, John. Yes, there do appear be a bunch of DAC chip manufacturers out there. I have no idea about the price/performance characteristics. It would seem that the chips themselves aren’t the cost drivers in the various DAC’s. I mean even full-blown microprocessor chips don’t cost very much.

  6. #1681
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Thanks! I hope I can PM you if I have questions?
    Of course! Just remember I have CFS so am not here more than a couple times a week. Better, perhaps, to email jkelman.aaj@gmail.com ...

    I don't check email as often as I used to before I became ill, but I do check it more than I do boards and social media.

    Oh, and I'm no expert on everything to do with the OPPO. But I've been using them for three years now, so I'll be happy to help if I can...just to be clear so you don't set expectations too high on me!
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  7. #1682
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Thanks, John. Yes, there do appear be a bunch of DAC chip manufacturers out there. I have no idea about the price/performance characteristics. It would seem that the chips themselves arenít the cost drivers in the various DACís. I mean even full-blown microprocessor chips donít cost very much.
    Well, the cost of the chip I don't know, but research and development has to be recouped somewhere, right?
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  8. #1683
    I'm a happy BDP105 Oppo owner as well. I stream all my music through it.
    Coming September 1st - "Dean Watson Revisited"!

  9. #1684
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Planet Lovetron
    Posts
    11,221
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Of course! Just remember I have CFS so am not here more than a couple times a week. Better, perhaps, to email jkelman.aaj@gmail.com ...

    I don't check email as often as I used to before I became ill, but I do check it more than I do boards and social media.

    Oh, and I'm no expert on everything to do with the OPPO. But I've been using them for three years now, so I'll be happy to help if I can...just to be clear so you don't set expectations too high on me!
    Thanks, John! I won't bug you unless it's absolutely necessary. I want to make sure that I take full advantage of the audio capabilities of the unit, though. I'll be integrating with a preamp, but I should get it sorted.

  10. #1685
    Member Firth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Severn, MD
    Posts
    7,673

    The Audiophile Thread

    Iíve looked at the specs for this Oppo 205 and the functionality, or lack of functionality from the single HDMI input to the outputs is not described well. Other than taking an external HDMI and then converting its audio to analog, what would the unit do to the video? Ok there is the claim it will re-clock digital signals including HDMI, but I seriously doubt that makes much difference if the external digital box phase locks to it. My receiver has a very stable reference, and tests which locked an external player to it, both subjective and objective, show insignificant difference. Itís a difference that can barely be heard. Only when switching it in and off, can it be barely heard.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  11. #1686
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Before I bought the first high end system in my life 3 yrs ago, I'd hardly have called myself an audiophile...still don't.

    I have never quite understood the aversion people have for using the term "audiophile" to describe themselves?

    It is just the love of audio equipment as a tool to allow one to get closer (emotionally) to the music.

    I guess it must come from not wanting to be associated with the minority of people in the hobby that are more into the gear than the music. Or the very small minority into magic blocks or stones (or other equally ridiculous snake oil) to improve their systems.

    I proudly own the label "audiophile" with regards to my audio hobby.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  12. #1687
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    7,040
    "Audiophile" unfortunately usually implies somebody who spent stupid money to get magic stones and 101%-pure cooling water for their cables. Those of us who have built great-sounding stereos "to get closer to the music" are music lovers rather than audiophiles. We don't buy gear as a compensation for something else.

  13. #1688
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42į09′30″N 71į08′43″W
    Posts
    5,211
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    spent stupid money to get magic stones
    What was that product that you linked a year or two back the was basically a little metal button with adhesive on it that was supposed to make your room sound better if you stuck it on the wall? That would be hard to top.

  14. #1689
    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post

    I proudly own the label "audiophile" with regards to my audio hobby.
    The term "audiophile" does denote a certain amount of money being spent on gear, though; or at least that's how I've always interpreted it. High end equipment objectively costs a lot more.

    Thus, caring about sound quality while maximizing a budget and being an audiophile can be different things, IMO - "aspiring audiophile" and an actual one, I guess.

    I've spent decent money on equipment over the years, but I don't consider myself an audiophile, simply because people who actually are audiophiles would probably not consider my equipment to be quite on the level of "audiophile grade."

  15. #1690
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    7,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    The term "audiophile" does denote a certain amount of money being spent on gear, though; or at least that's how I've always interpreted it. High end equipment objectively costs a lot more.
    It always seemed to me there were three categories:
    • Consumer: good stuff that has gotten exponentially better in the past 20 years
    • High end: Expensive stuff, some of which has gotten incrementally better in the past 20 years. The price is roughly 10x consumer gear.
    • Audiophile: Has not advanced at all in 20 years. The price is roughly 100x consumer gear.


    And incidentally the above has been true for at least twenty years.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 12-06-2017 at 09:08 PM.

  16. #1691
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    NH, USA
    Posts
    260
    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    I have never quite understood the aversion people have for using the term "audiophile" to describe themselves?

    It is just the love of audio equipment as a tool to allow one to get closer (emotionally) to the music.

    I guess it must come from not wanting to be associated with the minority of people in the hobby that are more into the gear than the music. Or the very small minority into magic blocks or stones (or other equally ridiculous snake oil) to improve their systems.

    I proudly own the label "audiophile" with regards to my audio hobby.
    I mostly agree with you. I guess I consider myself an "audiophile" although there is certainly a stigma involved with the term. I have a nice sound system and it's taken me years to build to my personal satisfaction. Is it a 100,000 system? No. Do I begrudge the people who can afford such a system? No. Do I think there is a lot of silly stuff involved with "audiophilia"? Absolutely. Would I ever buy a speaker cable or an interconnect costing thousands? Not in my universe. I've tried some of the more expensive cables and couldn't hear a difference at all. But if others do, good for them. These kinds of cable arguments are lots of fun to watch on the Hoffman site though... I've saved myself a lot of money in that sense. For me, I'm pretty much set for life as far as my system is concerned.

  17. #1692
    Member proggy_jazzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Waterloo, IA, USA
    Posts
    1,248
    Love this thread! A buddy of mine with a relatively high-end tube system recently lent me a set of the Mapleshade brass "heavyfeet" brass footers to try. I have a decent solid state system, and tried them first under the amp, thinking it would affect everything else in the signal chain. Little if any effect to my ears. Then placed them under the CD player, and heard a definite difference, mostly in the depth and clarity of the soundstage. I did a search but couldn't find any other mention of them in this thread. Anyone else here have experience with the company or any of their products?
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  18. #1693
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Consumer: good stuff that has gotten exponentially better in the past 20 years
    Ya think? Did you mean to write exponentially "CHEAPER" in the past 20 years? I dunno, but the vintage gear I have (maybe older than 20 years) still kicks ass, or at the minimum holds its own with what's available today.

    But I will say that over hte last 20 years - after the advent of the computer/digital music - there's been a new breed of "consumer" components that provide value and great sound.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  19. #1694
    Member Firth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Severn, MD
    Posts
    7,673
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    The term "audiophile" does denote a certain amount of money being spent on gear, though; or at least that's how I've always interpreted it. High end equipment objectively costs a lot more.

    Thus, caring about sound quality while maximizing a budget and being an audiophile can be different things, IMO - "aspiring audiophile" and an actual one, I guess.

    I've spent decent money on equipment over the years, but I don't consider myself an audiophile, simply because people who actually are audiophiles would probably not consider my equipment to be quite on the level of "audiophile grade."
    Defining ďhigh endĒ as objectively expensive is asinine. This whole freaking business is subjective. Elac speakers are proof that very good equipment can cost one tenth itís rivals, based on subjective reviews. Audiophiles are very passionate about sound and that causes them to spare no cost, but because of this passion and liberty with money, there is actually less competition than there would be if they were not so ready to dump cash.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  20. #1695
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Defining “high end” as objectively expensive is asinine. This whole freaking business is subjective. Elac speakers are proof that very good equipment can cost one tenth it’s rivals, based on subjective reviews.
    "very good" is not high end or audiophile grade.

    Also, I did not say "objectively expensive" ("expensive" is a subjective term anyway). I said "objectively costs more."

    You can find an excellent speaker for $1000, but just about any well-made speaker costing $10,000 is better. Most are a lot better.

    Are there diminishing returns at some point? Sure, and many audiophiles will pursue those returns no matter how diminished (or imaginary).

  21. #1696
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    7,040
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Audiophiles are very passionate about sound and that causes them to spare no cost, but because of this passion and liberty with money, there is actually less competition than there would be if they were not so ready to dump cash.
    Probably the opposite is true.

    Because audiophiles are so free with their money, there is a PLETHORA of contenders for their business -- many of whom offer woo not high fidelity. Because many of the "true believers" believe in a sort of magic that they say “cannot be measured by instruments,” they are thus easily tricked by woo.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 12-07-2017 at 07:23 PM.

  22. #1697
    Member Firth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Severn, MD
    Posts
    7,673
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    "very good" is not high end or audiophile grade.

    Also, I did not say "objectively expensive" ("expensive" is a subjective term anyway). I said "objectively costs more."

    You can find an excellent speaker for $1000, but just about any well-made speaker costing $10,000 is better. Most are a lot better.

    Are there diminishing returns at some point? Sure, and many audiophiles will pursue those returns no matter how diminished (or imaginary).
    OK argue semantics all you want, but apparently you do not know much about specific speakers today.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  23. #1698
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    small town in ND
    Posts
    5,877
    There's plenty of "audiophiles" who forego speakers entirely - listening only through headphones and those little headphone amps.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  24. #1699
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    OK argue semantics all you want, but apparently you do not know much about specific speakers today.
    Well, I know that a pair of $400 Elac speakers is not audiophile equipment.

  25. #1700
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,427
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    There's plenty of "audiophiles" who forego speakers entirely - listening only through headphones and those little headphone amps.
    Wife ?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •