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Old Jun 30, 2013, 09:57 PM   #76
Arfdog
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I don't know, my friend has Audioengine A5's I think, and they just don't sound right. Muddy bass AND treble??

I'm coming from very strong treble in my own planar Monsoon speakers. My dad has electrostatics (component system) called the AMT ESS, paired to Macintoshes. Those things have incredible treble and very clean, clear bass.

I've never heard anything as good as electrostatics or planars and the A5 didn't impress me except with volume and connectivity like Airplay.

Or am I speaking out of my ass? Just tell me I'm wrong after you've listened to good planars.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 06:14 AM   #77
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Hi all,

so as the title suggests, i'm in the market for some external speakers for a 27" that are preferably not gigantic ugly things. Just decent sound and as good looking as possible, i just thought those of you that have bought external speakers could give me some advice?

theres nothing wrong with the standard speakers i just watch a lot of films and i'm always listening to music at my desk

Note: They are for a 27" cinema display, but as it is similar to the iMac in the question i'm asking and a lot of you have 27" apple displays, i figured this is the best forum to post in hope i don't get in trouble with the powers that be.
Did you mention your budget anywhere in the thread?

If you feel like treating yourself, you would be over the moon with a pair of Genelec 8020's. Stunning on their own, but you can add a sub later if you wish. Really stunning.



http://www.trustedreviews.com/genele...-System_review

"phenomenal, room filling audio available at prices below vastly less impressive consumer-focused alternatives."
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 06:31 AM   #78
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@ stan

I was curious. Are records really superior to CD's.
No. Quite the opposite. Technically they are very poor. But can have a particular sonic signature that some people find appealing and others are fooled into thinking is better. A bit like valve amps in that regard.

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And I know mp3's compress. But at the highest setting for mp3's, is there really a big difference in their quality?
Also no. High bit rate MP3 is actually pretty good. Is there a difference (between this and uncompressed)? Yes. A big difference? No.

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I'm curious because I don't know why record companies don't start producing their music in a high def format like the home movie industry did.
The market for it is limited, most people listen on a Bose sounddock or worse and couldn't tell the difference, and actually 24/96 and 24/192 is of very very marginal benefit if any benefit at all as a distribution format. In the studio where you are copying copies of copies and you need maximum headroom, yes. But for a final mix and for distribution, 16/44.1 is more than good enough. I do wish more companies would offer lossless downloads at 16/44.1 though (instead of just lossy MP3 or AAC or whatever).

Perceived differences between 24/96 and 16/44.1 are due entirely to the mix, not the format. So called "audiophile" recordings have usually been mixed with a bit more care so they sound better. But take a 24/96 or 24/192 track and downsample it to 16/44 and you cannot tell the difference.

<Having lit the blue touchpaper, stands back and awaits the inevitable flames of abuse>

Last edited by Chippy99; Jul 1, 2013 at 06:51 AM.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 06:38 AM   #79
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I can't believe some people have suggested BOSE! (I have a BOSE system, and I think they are over-hyped!).


Personally, if you're after a pair of portable speakers, I'd suggest the Sound Science QSB speakers. They're solely USB powered, but they also won What-HiFi portable speaker of the year. I used to just use them for when I was out of town, but now I also have them permanently connected to my office computer.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/SoundScience.../dp/B004W269X4

Apple also used to sell the premium model, the Frankenspiel FS1, but that was a couple of years ago.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 07:40 AM   #80
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I can't believe some people have suggested BOSE! (I have a BOSE system, and I think they are over-hyped!).
The trouble is Bose do get a lot of hype and lots of people fall for it. The sound can be pleasant enough though, if not remotely audiophile. We can get a bit too sensitive about all this imho. If it sounds good to someone and they enjoy it, then great.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 11:32 AM   #81
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I've had mine for seven years. Couldn't be happier with them. If/when these ever bite the dust, I'll definitely get another pair.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 02:19 PM   #82
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ive got the harmon kardon sticks II for my 24, and bose companion 5's for my 21.5. the bose speakers win handsdown, but are more expensive, and they wont date, fade, or wear out particularly easy so i think theyre a good bet
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 06:57 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by yakkowarner epi View Post
@ stan

I was curious. Are records really superior to CD's.
And I know mp3's compress. But at the highest setting for mp3's, is there really a big difference in their quality?

I'm curious because I don't know why record companies don't start producing their music in a high def format like the home movie industry did.
Are CDs or Vinyl better is a debate that may go on for a long time. The simple answer it depends on the quality of the recordings and the quality of the playback gear. Way back in the early days of CDs I had a high quality vinyl pressing and a CD of the same album. The vinyl sounded better, even though the CD was mastered decently. Since relatively few albums get high quality vinyl pressings, the CDs tended to sound better if they weren't mucked up when they were mastered.

As for MP3s or AAC compression, you do lose something from the CD. The question is, are you capable of hearing the difference? Especially on the equipment you have. In general between 128K and 256K AAC or MP3 I can hear a difference on the equipment I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychj0e View Post
I can't believe some people have suggested BOSE! (I have a BOSE system, and I think they are over-hyped!).
...
Over hyped and over priced.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 10:56 PM   #84
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The trouble is Bose do get a lot of hype and lots of people fall for it. The sound can be pleasant enough though, if not remotely audiophile. We can get a bit too sensitive about all this imho. If it sounds good to someone and they enjoy it, then great.
I don't think it's just the hype, because simple hype is transparent.

Bose's do have an outstanding quality, they have very strong, loud bass and treble. That's it. But it tickles the regular person's ears so that's what sells. It's like a Michael Bay movie or Krispy Kreme bacon mint donut with cheese or something.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 02:30 AM   #85
Chippy99
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I don't think it's just the hype, because simple hype is transparent.

Bose's do have an outstanding quality, they have very strong, loud bass and treble. That's it. But it tickles the regular person's ears so that's what sells. It's like a Michael Bay movie or Krispy Kreme bacon mint donut with cheese or something.
Yes I think you are right. They play on what people superficially "like", at the expense of fidelity. A bit like when young kids just whack the bass (and maybe the treble) up on full on their stereos, and yet most quality hifi doesn't even have tone control.

As a massive segway though...

The above opens up a very interesting debate about why people like certain hifi components and spend countless thousands on them. Is it because they produce the highest possible fidelity - the most accurate reproduction of the original event? Or is it because they sound nice? The two are not the same thing. And perhaps more importantly, does fidelity matter? Surely pleasure is what matters? I think many stereotypically bearded 50 year olds spending thousands on a turntable understand the latter, but wrongly mistake it for being the former.

Anyway, that's a topic for another thread and another board.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 06:07 PM   #86
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Yes I think you are right. They play on what people superficially "like", at the expense of fidelity. A bit like when young kids just whack the bass (and maybe the treble) up on full on their stereos, and yet most quality hifi doesn't even have tone control.

As a massive segway though...

The above opens up a very interesting debate about why people like certain hifi components and spend countless thousands on them. Is it because they produce the highest possible fidelity - the most accurate reproduction of the original event? Or is it because they sound nice? The two are not the same thing. And perhaps more importantly, does fidelity matter? Surely pleasure is what matters? I think many stereotypically bearded 50 year olds spending thousands on a turntable understand the latter, but wrongly mistake it for being the former.

Anyway, that's a topic for another thread and another board.
Yes an interesting discussion. Ultimately it has to be "sound nice", ie enjoyment right? The trick that's hard to distinguish is high fidelity of a boring piece or low fidelity of an exciting piece. In the end, it's both. They both have to be maximized for maximum "sounding nice".

To me, it's a discredit to the industry that they haven't figured out how to make very high fidelity for a cheap price. "You get what you pay for" is bullcrap. If they mass-produced their best, highest-fidelity designs, they'd drive prices lower. But does that mean it's "cheap"? No.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 11:00 PM   #87
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I personally use an old Yamaha AV receiver, connected to a floorstand stereo speaker.

All connected through SPDIF cable to my iMac so I wouldn't have to worry about noise interference or degrade in quality since it's a PCM or bitstream output through the optical.

And for an idea you can also attach Airport Express to your audio receiver, preferably using another SPDIF cable so you can enjoy lossless Airplay stream to your stereo. Nice, huh?

If you have the time and space to spare. Consider using your AVR or stereo amp plugged into a nice speaker instead buying another computer speaker, it's worth it, and guess what? It's not that expensive to do. Not as expensive as something like B&W Zeppelin or any high-end iPod dock speakers while sonically much better too, that's for sure
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 11:05 PM   #88
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I have a pair of old JBL Duet speakers on my desk. They reverberate a surprising amount of bass off the wall behind them, take up little space, and have a clean sound. Also, they are cheap.

They aren't made anymore, but I think there is a successor, the JBL Duet 2.0.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 11:59 AM   #89
Chippy99
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Originally Posted by Arfdog View Post
To me, it's a discredit to the industry that they haven't figured out how to make very high fidelity for a cheap price. "You get what you pay for" is bullcrap. If they mass-produced their best, highest-fidelity designs, they'd drive prices lower. But does that mean it's "cheap"? No.
I agree and I think the media play a large part in this con. Take USB cables for example. Personally I am of the opinion that they all sound the same, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded or kidding themselves. But let's park that for a moment and assume they do sound different. There is no conceivable reason why a 200 USB cable should sound better than a 100 one, and yet if you look at all the reviews you will find their ratings pretty much in line with their retail prices. The higher the price, the better the review. To me this is more or less conclusive proof that the whole system - the way hifi is reviewed, marketed and sold by dealers is at best seriously flawed, or more likely corrupt.

Nowadays there are some staggeringly good class-d power amps that deliver incredible performance and sound and which have just a few relatively cheap components. They should be available very cheaply. Yet most designs are outrageous rip offs considering how little is in them. Take Bel Canto for example. They take bog standard B&O Icepower amps costing a hundred dollars or two, "tweak" them, to try to justify some added value, put then in some $50 metal boxes and charge several thousand dollars each for them! Jeff Rowland do the same only even more so. It's outrageous really.

The B&O modules are not sold to end users but other class D designs are. You could buy yourself a couple of Hypex ncore class D amps and power supplies, put them is a box and for less than $1,000 you would have a power amp better IMHO than anything on the market sub $10,000. Maybe better than anything, period.

And the $1,000 number is itself a rip off and only costing this much because Hypex can get away with it. From a pure component and manufacturing cost it should be $100 or less.

Last edited by Chippy99; Jul 4, 2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 06:47 PM   #90
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I'm really happy with my Audyssey Media Speakers. The MSRP is $249 but you can routinely find them on Amazon, woot!, or eBay for much less. And no subwoofer needed!
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 07:57 PM   #91
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I still use the Heathkit AA-32 tube amplifier I built back in 1965. I've only had to replace some electrolytics in it about a decade ago, but it still produces nothing but clean clear impressive sound with strong smooth bass. It drives a pair of Smaller Advent Speakers from the 70's.

From the iMac, the digital out is connected to an Audioengine 24 bit DAC. I've found this quite suitable for my needs.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 04:17 AM   #92
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http://store.apple.com/us/product/H9...s?fnode=4b&p=2

i think these are cool
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 04:37 AM   #93
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I think the OP really needs to give more details of what he/she is after if this thread is to be helpful.

Otherwise, it's a bit like saying "I want to buy a car - what would you recommend".

The speakers I suggested would cost 600 or 700 which might be WAY too much. On the other hand some of the ones other people are suggesting, personally I would classify as a joke, not suitable for starting a bonfire, let alone playing music on.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 01:13 PM   #94
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I think the OP really needs to give more details of what he/she is after if this thread is to be helpful.

Otherwise, it's a bit like saying "I want to buy a car - what would you recommend....
Since this thread started over two years ago... I would think the OP has long ago bought the speakers he/she wanted. Still a good discussion, though.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 05:08 PM   #95
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Since this thread started over two years ago... I would think the OP has long ago bought the speakers he/she wanted. Still a good discussion, though.
Wow - I hadn't noticed that. What a complete waste of time then.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 12:27 AM   #96
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Wow - I hadn't noticed that. What a complete waste of time then.
That's ok. Most of MR is a complete waste of time, except for the epic geek fights. Those keep me laughing all through my tedious workdays.
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Old Jul 9, 2013, 12:35 PM   #97
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That's ok. Most of MR is a complete waste of time, except for the epic geek fights. Those keep me laughing all through my tedious workdays.
This is something I think we can all agree on. lmao.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippy99 View Post
I agree and I think the media play a large part in this con. Take USB cables for example. Personally I am of the opinion that they all sound the same, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded or kidding themselves. But let's park that for a moment and assume they do sound different. There is no conceivable reason why a 200 USB cable should sound better than a 100 one, and yet if you look at all the reviews you will find their ratings pretty much in line with their retail prices. The higher the price, the better the review. To me this is more or less conclusive proof that the whole system - the way hifi is reviewed, marketed and sold by dealers is at best seriously flawed, or more likely corrupt.

Nowadays there are some staggeringly good class-d power amps that deliver incredible performance and sound and which have just a few relatively cheap components. They should be available very cheaply. Yet most designs are outrageous rip offs considering how little is in them. Take Bel Canto for example. They take bog standard B&O Icepower amps costing a hundred dollars or two, "tweak" them, to try to justify some added value, put then in some $50 metal boxes and charge several thousand dollars each for them! Jeff Rowland do the same only even more so. It's outrageous really.

The B&O modules are not sold to end users but other class D designs are. You could buy yourself a couple of Hypex ncore class D amps and power supplies, put them is a box and for less than $1,000 you would have a power amp better IMHO than anything on the market sub $10,000. Maybe better than anything, period.

And the $1,000 number is itself a rip off and only costing this much because Hypex can get away with it. From a pure component and manufacturing cost it should be $100 or less.
Very good point. In other industries, the Asians/Mexicans have swooped in and basically called BS on that $10,000 price, made components for 1/20th the price with equal quality and unfortunately drove the old-boys' clubs out of business or forced them to move to China as well.

The audiophile industry is yet another old-boys club and its costing consumers great sound. Unfortunately for us, great sound is both subjective and not that big a deal to 99 of consumers, lol. Although I contend that if you demo'ed blow-away sound on your mainstream products, they couldn't go back.
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