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View Full Version : Zune is not audiophile quality!




princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 09:31 AM
I doubt that I would have any interest in the Zune after seeing what file formats it plays. Wav files? Geewhiz, at least the iPod can play the Apple Lossless tracks (and nano too). Those are wonderful quality for uncompressed tracks.

It's too bad that M$ didn't take in consideration to have the audiophiles on board with this Zuney loony idea. It looks interesting but the limitations are growing more and more apparent.

Hello, new iPod + audiophile (KLF)



MacBoobsPro
Nov 14, 2006, 09:32 AM
I doubt that I would have any interest in the Zune after seeing what file formats it plays. Wav files? Geewhiz, at least the iPod can play the Apple Lossless tracks (and nano too). Those are wonderful quality for uncompressed tracks.

It's too bad that M$ didn't take in consideration to have the audiophiles on board with this Zuney loony idea. It looks interesting but the limitations are growing more and more apparent.

Hello, new iPod + audiophile (KLF)

Is that all it plays? Arent WAVs about ten times larger than MP3s?

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 09:34 AM
it plays for audio files: mp3, wma (and not all of them), and wav files... that's about it. :(

Blue Velvet
Nov 14, 2006, 09:35 AM
it plays for audio files: mp3, wma (and not all of them), and wav files... that's about it. :(


Let's see the ogg and flac lot get shirty about that. They've been moaning about that for ages not being on the iPod.

iMeowbot
Nov 14, 2006, 09:41 AM
it plays for audio files: mp3, wma (and not all of them), and wav files... that's about it. :(
And AAC. And for audio, that is about that. Nothing lossless with compression.

agentmouthwash
Nov 14, 2006, 09:50 AM
WAV files are the PC version of AIFFS. CD Quality, uncompressed.

Either way, the zune stinks.

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 10:00 AM
I tried being a portable audiophile for a while but it's too much hard work. Portable players bog down with FLAC / Apple Lossless and it's not worth the hassle. And I think this is less about audiophilia but nerdism regardless of your hearing abilities. Regardless of what people say, most people - even those with trained ears - have a very hard time making out the difference between CD and 256K MP3 when mobile if they're honest with themselves. Most wouldn't be able to tell at 160K I bet.

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 10:26 AM
I tried being a portable audiophile for a while but it's too much hard work. Portable players bog down with FLAC / Apple Lossless and it's not worth the hassle. And I think this is less about audiophilia but nerdism regardless of your hearing abilities. Regardless of what people say, most people - even those with trained ears - have a very hard time making out the difference between CD and 256K MP3 when mobile if they're honest with themselves. Most wouldn't be able to tell at 160K I bet.

Huh? I can certainly tell the difference. Perhaps too much Chemical Romance eh? :D

Actually if you encode Miles Davis you can most certainly tell the difference.

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 10:26 AM
WAV files are the PC version of AIFFS. CD Quality, uncompressed.

Either way, the zune stinks.

True but wav files are way too big!

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 12:50 PM
Huh? I can certainly tell the difference. Perhaps too much Chemical Romance eh? :D

Actually if you encode Miles Davis you can most certainly tell the difference.

Of course you can, of course you can ;)

I'm not saying it's impossible to tell the difference while stationary in a domestic setting with quality speakers / headphones, but I am saying it's impossible to tell the difference in an anywhere near mobile situation.

gekko513
Nov 14, 2006, 12:53 PM
Of course you can, of course you can ;)

I'm not saying it's impossible to tell the difference while stationary in a domestic setting with quality speakers / headphones, but I am saying it's impossible to tell the difference in an anywhere near mobile situation.
For once, I'm with Sesshi. ;)

balamw
Nov 14, 2006, 12:54 PM
And AAC. And for audio, that is about that. Nothing lossless with compression.

Isn't there a lossless codec that's part of WMA9?

EDIT: Yup. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_Audio_9_Lossless

B

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 01:03 PM
Yes but I doubt the Zune supports.

I like Sony's method of Lossless compression, which they refer to as Scalable Compression. They compress to Lossless, extract a lossy copy from it and store the single music file as a [lossy + additional information needed to make it lossless].

This way you have Lossless for home and lossy for portable without additional transcoding overheads later. Nice. Shame that apart from that nice feature, Sonicstage doesn't even begin to match up with iTunes.

Flowbee
Nov 14, 2006, 01:13 PM
Portable players bog down with FLAC / Apple Lossless and it's not worth the hassle.

What exactly do you mean by this? My iPod has never 'bogged down' with Apple lossless files.

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 01:15 PM
What exactly do you mean by this? My iPod has never 'bogged down' with Apple lossless files.

Me too... APL files play perfectly on my blue iPod mini.

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 01:17 PM
It's slower in response in track playing. You get less battery life. The storage thing isn't such a big deal due to the flexibility of iTunes but it's still an issue for lower-capacity models. Given that you're not going to hear a difference, unless you're loading AL's on your iPod because your home library is lossless and you don't want to transcode, doesn't make sense.

iMeowbot
Nov 14, 2006, 01:21 PM
Isn't there a lossless codec that's part of WMA9?
The current offering doesn't claim to play anything close to all Windows Media formats, that's why they are disclaiming support for things like Media Center and PlaysForSureUnlessIt'sZune content.

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 02:08 PM
The current offering doesn't claim to play anything close to all Windows Media formats, that's why they are disclaiming support for things like Media Center and PlaysForSureUnlessIt'sZune content.

Why was this choice made?

iMeowbot
Nov 14, 2006, 02:22 PM
Why was this choice made?

Maybe they hate their customers, all of them, OEMs and consumers alike. Maybe their existing framework had some fatal flaw that they want to bury. Maybe Microsoft secretly loathe themselves for past dirty tricks and really want to fail. Maybe J Allard was abducted by Apple and replaced by an evil replicant (he certainly doesn't look quite human). Maybe they were in a hurry to get something out on the market and hoped that no one would notice until they lost their sales slips. Maybe Ballmer set up the entire Zune project as an elaborate gag.

Or not.

balamw
Nov 14, 2006, 02:25 PM
The current offering doesn't claim to play anything close to all Windows Media formats, that's why they are disclaiming support for things like Media Center and PlaysForSureUnlessIt'sZune content.
Somehow I find it more than just a bit ironic that the Zune is designed to do a better job of playing most songs ripped with iTunes (AAC/MP3 standard) than those from WMP version whatever. :rolleyes:

B

milo
Nov 14, 2006, 02:52 PM
Huh? I can certainly tell the difference.

I doubt you could hear the difference at 256 in a blind listening test. And Apple Lossless IS compressed, it's just not lossy compression.

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 03:34 PM
Just curious but princealfie, are you going the whole hog with external amplification? What're you listening with?

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 04:19 PM
I use my test Grado SR-60's in the meantime. I plan to upgrade to the Grado SR-1 whenever I get a chance.

No kidding I would like portable external amplification if I could figure out which one to get for my iPod.

There is a serious difference. Most people don't care if they aren't looking for it but people that analyze their music like I do will note the differences accordingly.

Sennheiser HD-650's anyone?

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 04:22 PM
Interesting. How do you near anything (let alone the difference between lossy and lossless) while walking around with the wide-open SR-60?

There's only a major difference with external portable amps if you use headphones which were never designed to be powered from a portable. I was just curious to know whether you'd bought into that whole thing of portable amp + big phones for the 'must run Lossless' thing.

princealfie
Nov 14, 2006, 04:32 PM
I didn't allude to must have lossless but I found it be to be more engaging in the music I hear.

Semi-open headphones are awesome. You ought to try them for yourself :D

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 04:48 PM
Thanks, I have ;)

And the Grado is about as open as a headphone gets. I'm amazed at people who use them with iPods on the street.

Counterfit
Nov 14, 2006, 05:24 PM
Actually if you encode Miles Davis you can most certainly tell the difference.
I'm too busy cringing from all the notes he cracks. I hate that sound, but love his music. :(

Someone here once said "Music fans use their system to listen to music. Audiophiles use music to listen their system."
Or something like that.
Anyone remember who said it?

xUKHCx
Nov 14, 2006, 05:35 PM
I tried out my Dt880 on the street with a protaphile v2^2 maxed out but the bulk of the headphones themseleves are way to large to be dealing with in the street. Just use ksc75 and my new nano black, very portable and pretty decent for walking to and from uni. Would like to get some better portable but i just bought a nano (so sexy couldnt resist). At home lossless (plan on getting me some k1000s and some omega II's when i get a proper job) for future peace of mind, but i have converted all my music down to 224 for portable.


Rich

Sesshi
Nov 14, 2006, 08:43 PM
For once, I'm with Sesshi. ;)

Yes - I've noticed many people on this board have occasional outbursts of sense. :D :p

princealfie
Nov 15, 2006, 08:00 AM
Sounds delicious but perhaps you can try the bang and olufsen then? :rolleyes:

aricher
Nov 15, 2006, 09:29 AM
I love Grados (80s) but the Shure E4c buds I just got are FANTASTIC. Great bass response as well as crisp highs. No sound leakage like the Grados. I got them new on ebay for $180 shipped. Much better than the $299 retail price.

Sesshi
Nov 15, 2006, 10:39 AM
Sounds delicious but perhaps you can try the bang and olufsen then? :rolleyes:

Never tried them, I've heard both good and bad things about them.

I'm happy enough with the Ultimate Ears UE-10 (unamped).
E4's are nice.

princealfie
Nov 15, 2006, 04:17 PM
Check out the form 2 headphones then. Sharp and clear sound. Crisp to the touch. Much better than the questionable triports.

Sesshi
Nov 15, 2006, 04:36 PM
I quite like the Triport. More for the fit than sound (which is meh... ok) it has to be said, but that's kind of important to me as well. I don't really have any interest in nonisolated headphones for portable use beyond cheapos like the PX100 and the KSC75.

princealfie
Nov 16, 2006, 09:29 AM
I quite like the Triport. More for the fit than sound (which is meh... ok) it has to be said, but that's kind of important to me as well. I don't really have any interest in nonisolated headphones for portable use beyond cheapos like the PX100 and the KSC75.

The fit is comfortable with the Triport but the sound is so artificial that I really didn't care for it. The Grado's are wonderful but the heavy cord makes it hard to drag around.

B and O I guess.

Fuchal
Nov 16, 2006, 11:05 AM
In my experience, Bang + Olufsen make high-priced high-fashion audio equipment with sound quality as an afterthought.

benpatient
Nov 16, 2006, 11:53 AM
um...there is no way you can tell a difference between a 256 or 320 mp3 and ALAC when you're listening through ANY kind of speakers that are connected directly to the iPod's amplified headphone jack.

Unless the mp3s were made by a sub-standard encoder, the difference will be so tiny that the low quality of the ipod's output will more than absorb the difference.

This is a VERY easy thing to A/B test. Just put an mp3 and ALAC version of the same track on your ipod twice and play through back and forth. Let someone else control the ipod so that you don't know which is which, and you won't be able to tell which is which.

All of my music is in ALAC, and I'm one of those people who won't buy from the iTMS until they offer ALAC versions of the songs for sale, and I listen to my music over digital optical to a 1000 dollar amp and nearly 4,000 dollars in speakers, but even I convert to 128 AAC when I put stuff on my ipod, because I can tell that there is no noticeable difference between the two, and I'd rather have the unit be more responsive than have it store ALAC files, and fewer of them.

the Zune isn't "audiophile"???

the iPod isn't either. Good grief.

princealfie
Nov 16, 2006, 12:03 PM
All of my music is in ALAC, and I'm one of those people who won't buy from the iTMS until they offer ALAC versions of the songs for sale, and I listen to my music over digital optical to a 1000 dollar amp and nearly 4,000 dollars in speakers, but even I convert to 128 AAC when I put stuff on my ipod, because I can tell that there is no noticeable difference between the two, and I'd rather have the unit be more responsive than have it store ALAC files, and fewer of them.

the Zune isn't "audiophile"???

the iPod isn't either. Good grief.

Well, the last statement is incorrect. The iPod can be jacked into the full stereo setup for playback and play lossless audio whereas the Zune cannot.

What type of amp and speakers are you using? Well I'm headed to collect on some B and W speakers. You can't argue with the 800 series there.

And yes those are better than B and O (maybe not looks...)

pearsonownz
Dec 4, 2006, 04:43 PM
I quite like the Triport. More for the fit than sound (which is meh... ok) it has to be said, but that's kind of important to me as well. I don't really have any interest in nonisolated headphones for portable use beyond cheapos like the PX100 and the KSC75.

Agreed. Triport are more for style and the way they fit. Sound is alright.

Sharewaredemon
Dec 4, 2006, 06:58 PM
Maybe start a new thread about headphones? I was hoping to read more flaming on the Zune, not headphone talk...

;) :D :cool:

ChrisA
Dec 4, 2006, 07:30 PM
Huh? I can certainly tell the difference. Perhaps too much Chemical Romance eh? :D

Actually if you encode Miles Davis you can most certainly tell the difference.

Miles Davis is not the best example. Those old analog tape decks were not nearly as good as today's studio gear and were not "CD quality". Iv'e got as much of Diavis' recording as I can find and they are great to listen to but don't make good examples technical audio quallty. On the other hand almost anything made in the last decade by Deutsche Grammophon or Telarc are technically very good.

How many bits per second you need to match CD quality depends on what is being encoded. and it's surprising Things like trumpets encode easy The really hard to encode stuff is some "eletronicia" I've had a heard time with a few Bjork tracks and even the intentionally "lo-hi" Portishead. The electronic sounds are un-natural. Thinks like triangle waves can't be encoded using the methods used in MP3. Some drum sounds on an Eric Clapton CD just would not work until I went to 320Kbps too.

Buit for the most part if you use itunes with setting at 256Kbps and variable bit rate with "highest quality" it works fine except for the few odd cases above.

One way to prove if you can hear the difference is to encode a CD to MP3 and then re-encode the MP3 file back to .wav and then subtract to that wav file from the CD track. Idealy you'd get a long stream of zeroes that not even your dog could hear but if the MP3 was not perfect you get some rubish that may or may not be audible

Greenjeens
Dec 7, 2006, 12:38 PM
I record all CD originated tracks to Apple Lossless, just to be ready when I upgrade my Mac to one with a better soundcard.
I keep most of 200 GB of music in Apples Lossless with doubles in mp3 for ipod use. Having a pristine lossless version is for later making any other types of AAC or MP3 files for mobile use.
Allthough it might be unwise to pick Apple's proprietary codec for archival storage, it still seem like the best choice for the ease of a large music library organized with the ease of iTunes, saving some space over .aiff files and still having bit perfect sound files sonic reproduction.

In a noisy car and to maximize storage space, I think compressing music files is acceptable and have chosen to use 192 VBR MP3 for iPod use, which may be overkill.

A Seagate 400 GB ATA (or SATA) HD kit for internal installation was just on sale for $129, so the only reason to record at lower bit rates these days is to enable more iPod capacity or to reduce clutter from keeping multiple copies of a song. I make mp3 as added to the ipod and intend to look further into keeping a seperate library of mp3 only songs, for ease in creating song lists for burning or downloading. Apparently own way to create a seperte library for MP3s is to make another user name and stock his library with only MP3 songs, but I'm still working on keeping a backup of all my itunes without having problems when backing up to a clone drive.

It's unlikely that nearly all the old analog music from the 60's- or 70's which was a either recorded on low resolution analog equipment or the masters were stored improperly and have started to breakdown (or both) gets any benefits at all, from Apple Lossless encoding. At least it won't be losing more quality, but it' still a shame to realize, even the best stored copies are more like a shell left from original live sessions. What a shame:(

What would be really useful... is a disc of selected timed tracks of obvious examples of flaws in Mp3 encoding at several bit rates and then a lossless version.
Sometimes I her (or think I hear) an Mp3 song as a whole just sounds closed in and dull with lossy coding, without one specific example to point out. That would be easy to miss on something like lower resolution speakers that don't sound "open" and natural to begin with.

I'd imagine using as high quality as is affordable, closed back (high sound isolation) headphones, would be the easiest and cheapest transducers to be trained to listen critically for to pick up for the average listener.

Identifying specific instruments and the exact locations containing coding errors, would be a first great step in training others to hear the differences between audio coders.

I'm convinced that most casual listeners are unable to hear differences between lower-mid rate coders and full rate music because no-one ever showed them which songs and especially which instraments are most difficult for lossy coders to accurately reproduce, a description of what to listen for and then played A/B listening tests until they could identify relltale sings over agin it's a combination of where to look for possible coding failures and what to listen for. Sometimes each much easier to hear a pattern (or find Waldo) once another person points it out.

Who's wondering if it might be better not to know how to bring the flaws in our coders to attention and then .

I imagine a simple tutorial/training tool for the budding audiophile, or for an itunes library owner who is willing test the belief that mp3's and lossless files are indistinguishable, and recording at higher bit rates over, (128kbs or so) makes little or no difference or cannot be heard in blind testing.

I'd just be happy to find a list of tracks that hopefully would not require too much time to amass from CD purchases, along with a time code with a short description on what to listen for would work. Does anyone else have a list of test tracks? Time coordinates would be helpful and exactly what to listen for.

A fairly short CD containing a tutorial about how and where to identify coding errors, with examples bit perfect encoding and a few encoding errors using A/B music clips, containing a number of instruments that are more difficult to compress accuratly, at lower bit rate settings.

Any links to the method of subtracking one track from another?

Doubt if I can hear a lot of difference in mp3's over a certain minimum around 160 or so. I do think there are some instraments that are difficult to encode accurately at even higher bit rates. Cymbals seem to suffer from encoding errors when given too little space problems with too little encoding space,. and will have an unnatural "warble".

-
Dave



Miles Davis is not the best example. Those old analog tape decks were not nearly as good as today's studio gear and were not "CD quality". Iv'e got as much of Diavis' recording as I can find and they are great to listen to but don't make good examples technical audio quallty. On the other hand almost anything made in the last decade by Deutsche Grammophon or Telarc are technically very good.

How many bits per second you need to match CD quality depends on what is being encoded. and it's surprising Things like trumpets encode easy The really hard to encode stuff is some "eletronicia" I've had a heard time with a few Bjork tracks and even the intentionally "lo-hi" Portishead. The electronic sounds are un-natural. Thinks like triangle waves can't be encoded using the methods used in MP3. Some drum sounds on an Eric Clapton CD just would not work until I went to 320Kbps too.

But for the most part if you use itunes with setting at 196kbps and variable bit rate with "highest quality" it works fine except for the few odd cases above.

One way to prove if you can hear the difference is to encode a CD to MP3 and then re-encode the MP3 file back to .wav and then subtract to that wav file from the CD track. Idealy you'd get a long stream of zeroes that not even your dog could hear but if the MP3 was not perfect you get some rubish that may or may not be audible

Sesshi
Dec 7, 2006, 01:21 PM
ChrisA makes interesting points. Many audiophiles seem to take test tracks that are passed on by some word of mouth maybe? Back in '03 Norah Jones was to be found at every Hi-Fi show but it's a terrible recording. But it's the sort of safe, recognisable music that the image-conscious audiophile wouldn't feel too ashamed at saying they like. Similarly many people point to Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool (and other albums, but this being an oft-mentioned one) as a reference source but I can't find a single thing about it that makes it a suitable reference for testing current equipment or to give your ears in audiophile mode a workout - the latest disposable album from Mariah Carey might as well be a more suitable reference for the level of mastering and the actual technical quality of the recorded / mastered-onto-CD music.

The oft-mentioned choice seems more about which music is cool for the 'audiophile in the know' to like.

princealfie
Dec 7, 2006, 03:40 PM
ChrisA makes interesting points. Many audiophiles seem to take test tracks that are passed on by some word of mouth maybe? Back in '03 Norah Jones was to be found at every Hi-Fi show but it's a terrible recording. But it's the sort of safe, recognisable music that the image-conscious audiophile wouldn't feel too ashamed at saying they like. Similarly many people point to Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool (and other albums, but this being an oft-mentioned one) as a reference source but I can't find a single thing about it that makes it a suitable reference for testing current equipment or to give your ears in audiophile mode a workout - the latest disposable album from Mariah Carey might as well be a more suitable reference for the level of mastering and the actual technical quality of the recorded / mastered-onto-CD music.

The oft-mentioned choice seems more about which music is cool for the 'audiophile in the know' to like.

I use Public Enemy to test my audiophile capability. So there...

nsbio
Dec 7, 2006, 07:10 PM
What the heck is the "400 Pimso Powerbook G3"? :p

ChrisA
Dec 8, 2006, 12:03 PM
Any links to the method of subtracking one track from another?

Dave

Any decent sound editing is mixer app. should allow this. If you have two tracks and invert one then mix them together the result is the difference between the tracks. So if you duplicate a track then invert on copy (180 degree phase change) and add it back the result should be zero.

princealfie
Dec 8, 2006, 01:34 PM
What the heck is the "400 Pimso Powerbook G3"? :p

Pismo :eek:

ChrisBrightwell
Dec 8, 2006, 01:43 PM
Hello, new iPod + audiophile (KLF)Most audiophile forums agree that the DAC in the iPod is crap (excl. the shuffle).

Killyp
Dec 8, 2006, 01:56 PM
Well, the last statement is incorrect. The iPod can be jacked into the full stereo setup for playback and play lossless audio whereas the Zune cannot.

What type of amp and speakers are you using? Well I'm headed to collect on some B and W speakers. You can't argue with the 800 series there.

And yes those are better than B and O (maybe not looks...)


Wrong there my friend! I'm guessing you haven't heard the BeoLab 5s?

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about some of B&O's products, but of late, they have been making some outstanding equipment. Don't get me wrong, I'm a B&W fan and I'm listening to B&Ws right now (entry level DM303s), and I have a pair of ex-top of the range DM7 mk2s, (equivalent to the Prestige model nowadays) and they are stunning speakers. The 801Ds are fantastic too, as are the absolute top of the range Prestige speakers, but they aren't in quite the same league as these B&Os, there is nothing like them...

EDIT: I'm also a B&O headphone fan, got myself the A8s after I heard the BeoLab 5s, and I couldn't be more pleased with them...

Sesshi
Dec 9, 2006, 01:30 AM
Most audiophile forums agree that the DAC in the iPod is crap (excl. the shuffle).

No, most anti-iPod fanboys agree that the DAC in the iPod is crap.

The Wolfson codec in the iPod is used by many other MP3 players, and is better than some which are better rated by 'audiophiles' (most of whom don't have a clue). The iPod does have room for improvement however but nowadays all MP3 players sound very similar because they're increasingly based on very similar codecs.

princealfie
Dec 9, 2006, 01:31 AM
Wrong there my friend! I'm guessing you haven't heard the BeoLab 5s?

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about some of B&O's products, but of late, they have been making some outstanding equipment. Don't get me wrong, I'm a B&W fan and I'm listening to B&Ws right now (entry level DM303s), and I have a pair of ex-top of the range DM7 mk2s, (equivalent to the Prestige model nowadays) and they are stunning speakers. The 801Ds are fantastic too, as are the absolute top of the range Prestige speakers, but they aren't in quite the same league as these B&Os, there is nothing like them...

EDIT: I'm also a B&O headphone fan, got myself the A8s after I heard the BeoLab 5s, and I couldn't be more pleased with them...

I will have to check out the BeoLab 5. Thanks!

amd4me
Dec 9, 2006, 02:32 AM
I doubt that I would have any interest in the Zune after seeing what file formats it plays. Wav files? Geewhiz, at least the iPod can play the Apple Lossless tracks (and nano too). Those are wonderful quality for uncompressed tracks.

It's too bad that M$ didn't take in consideration to have the audiophiles on board with this Zuney loony idea. It looks interesting but the limitations are growing more and more apparent.

Hello, new iPod + audiophile (KLF)
The Zune is HUGE as well.

Cygnus311
Dec 10, 2006, 10:05 AM
Audiophiles make me laugh.

Killyp
Dec 10, 2006, 03:15 PM
Audiophiles make me laugh.

Why? :confused:

Sesshi
Dec 10, 2006, 04:48 PM
People who call themselves audiophiles who are really just equipment nerds with more placebo than hearing ability make me laugh.

It's fairly often that I buy shiny A/V stuff which performs barely (if not at all) better than some considerably cheaper equipment because I appreciate it as functional ornamental furniture than for its absolute sound quality.

Then hearing people talk of its sonic superiority - which having paid ten times what is normally 'high end' to the Great Unwashed, they seem to believe makes an automatic difference - when what they're saying so deviates from how the equipment actually behaves does amuse me.

A lot of audiophilia is like someone who buys one of these (http://suissacomputers.com/images/galleryJunna/galleryJunna.htm) saying that this computer goes a Ghz faster than a PC with the same processor in a cheap steel case. THAT definitely makes me laugh.

geese
Dec 10, 2006, 05:01 PM
People who call themselves audiophiles who are really just equipment nerds with more placebo than hearing ability make me laugh.

It's fairly often that I buy shiny A/V stuff which performs barely (if not at all) better than some considerably cheaper equipment because I appreciate it as functional ornamental furniture than for its absolute sound quality.

Then hearing people talk of its sonic superiority - which having paid ten times what is normally 'high end' to the Great Unwashed, they seem to believe makes an automatic difference - when what they're saying so deviates from how the equipment actually behaves does amuse me.

A lot of audiophilia is like someone who buys one of these (http://suissacomputers.com/images/galleryJunna/galleryJunna.htm) saying that this computer goes a Ghz faster than a PC with the same processor in a cheap steel case. THAT definitely makes me laugh.

Its easy for you to say that, but you try an buy a Hallograph
Soundfield Optimizer (http://www.shakti-innovations.com/hallograph.htm)for $1000 and not hear the improvement :)

Sesshi
Dec 10, 2006, 05:17 PM
You've tried it, right? Because the only thing dumber than someone who talks about non-existent improvements is someone who trashes or praises something, no matter how unlikely, without trying it first.

It seems unlikely to me to work, but if I see it somewhere I will surely give it a try as I'm a curious soul.

Blue Velvet
Dec 10, 2006, 05:31 PM
Its easy for you to say that, but you try an buy a Hallograph
Soundfield Optimizer (http://www.shakti-innovations.com/hallograph.htm)for $1000 and not hear the improvement :)

Thanks for the laugh. Even me with my A-level physics wonders how something so small can have an effect on longer wavelengths for anything below 1000hz or so. I mean, have you seen some of the dampening and large-scale room shaping they do in recording studios and monitoring booths to reduce standing waves and reflections?

aquajet
Dec 10, 2006, 05:39 PM
People who call themselves audiophiles who are really just equipment nerds with more placebo than hearing ability make me laugh...

I agree a lot of it's snake oil. On the other hand, I've heard some pretty amazing sound out of some amazingly expensive equipment. Good sound is subjective, but often there's no debate over great sound.

geese
Dec 10, 2006, 06:04 PM
You've tried it, right? Because the only thing dumber than someone who talks about non-existent improvements is someone who trashes or praises something, no matter how unlikely, without trying it first.

It seems unlikely to me to work, but if I see it somewhere I will surely give it a try as I'm a curious soul.

No i havnt tried it - but if i told you that I've invented a square bicycle wheel that cost $1000 dollors a set and made you go 50% faster down hills, would you beleive me?

Call me a sceptic, but i doubt a pair of upturned wooden garden rakes would make a dramatic difference to the overall sound quality.

princealfie
Dec 10, 2006, 10:54 PM
No i havnt tried it - but if i told you that I've invented a square bicycle wheel that cost $1000 dollors a set and made you go 50% faster down hills, would you beleive me?

Call me a sceptic, but i doubt a pair of upturned wooden garden rakes would make a dramatic difference to the overall sound quality.

I have sensitive ears so I notice the difference.
I guess that tone deafness, the average person wouldn't care.
That's why being audiophiles is like mac users, something special.

geese
Dec 11, 2006, 10:43 AM
I have sensitive ears so I notice the difference.
I guess that tone deafness, the average person wouldn't care.
That's why being audiophiles is like mac users, something special.

Oi! I hope you're not implying that i'm tone deaf just 'cos i'm skeptical that a pair of overpriced coatstands would make any difference to the sound.

If you spent $1000 on an amp, then surely thats going to make a far bigger difference - a beleivable one certainly.

FWIW - although i'm not an obsessed audiophile, i do think its imperitive to have a decent hi-fi set-up - I've got an Cambridge Audio Amp, Dual Turntable, and a Rotel CD player, and JPW speakers (dont ask me for model numbers, they all about 8 years and i cant remeber, it cost about 500 back then though and they still sound great). I refuse to be drawn into elitist audiophile zealotry, however. I've instructed my brother to shoot me if i ever buy a set of cable raisers.

milo
Dec 11, 2006, 02:42 PM
Well, the last statement is incorrect. The iPod can be jacked into the full stereo setup for playback and play lossless audio whereas the Zune cannot.

This thread annoys me every time I even see the title. The zune CAN play lossless audio, it just can't play lossless COMPRESSED audio. If you really want "lossless" audio, you can always just play wav files on it.

And I completely agree with the placebo effect in audio, it's incredibly easy to believe that a more expensive gadget sounds better if you're not doing blind comparisons.

princealfie
Dec 11, 2006, 02:48 PM
This thread annoys me every time I even see the title. The zune CAN play lossless audio, it just can't play lossless COMPRESSED audio. If you really want "lossless" audio, you can always just play wav files on it.

And I completely agree with the placebo effect in audio, it's incredibly easy to believe that a more expensive gadget sounds better if you're not doing blind comparisons.

Nope, my zune doesn't play wav files at all either.

woodenturkey
Dec 11, 2006, 03:27 PM
the zune feels cheap and the colors are so flat. the pink looks like it is dirty

princealfie
Dec 11, 2006, 03:59 PM
the zune feels cheap and the colors are so flat. the pink looks like it is dirty

But isn't the dirty look popular nowadays?