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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:13 pm

Really don't know. Haven't subscribed to the Plus version, yet. There's a lot on the free version to keep us entertained for a while. We also don't have Netflix, cable, or anything else that bills monthly. Just the free digital channels, and I buy used DVDs at Blockbuster or Amazon, eBay, etc. and rip them to disc. Can get moves and TV Shows this way for very cheap ($4 per film, $10 per TV season). I think it works because we aren't dedicated TV watchers, so we're just now enjoying seasons that are 3-4 years old.

Once I get PLEX going, we might try some of the monthly services. I'll let you know.

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:59 pm

Netflix is an amazing deal for people who don't watch tv often. $8.00 a month is very good for the ability to instantly watch whatever when you feel like it. happy

Setup looks great though, AA.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:46 pm

The main thing I don't like about Netflix is... you don't actually own anything. It's like renting music and movies. Renting isn't my thing, but it works for a lot of people. It all depends on why you buy media.

I grew up in the world of physical media, where you actually bought a copy of a movie, or an album. When Beastie Boys released License to Ill in 1986, I was one of those 9 million people who bought it. The fans in effect played a part in the success of the artist, albeit the record label as well. To this day, when I go to music shows, I still buy CDs after the show to support the artist.

I also believe in media sharing. Back in the day there was this thing called a mixed tape, that you could make yourself and give to a friend. It was like a playlist of sorts, and it was special because it involved a little bit of effort and thought. When CDs came along, it worked about the same way. Even with MP3s, there is an electronic "item" than can be shared. I don't care what the medium is, I just like having something that's mine, that I can copy and give to others, put on all of my devices, and I know it's there - forever.

Movies and TV are a little bit different. I like to watch movies more than once, so I like to keep them on hand, at the ready. I know NetFlix makes every movie in the world available whenever you want, but I don't aim to see every movie in the world, just certain ones. And I'll watch really good movies a dozen times in my life. MP4 files work really well for that. Usually I buy used DVDs from Amazon and rip them to my drive. I found the entire 1st season of Madmen on DVD still in the box for $8.99 on ebay, and it took almost a month to watch them all. Someone else I know watched the same season on Netflix, but they also watched a lot of other stuff on Netflix, which brings me to the other reason it's not for me...

Having an unlimited source of media available means I might be tempted to use it a lot, and I really don't like the idea of being tied to the TV every day. I'm not into video games, either, for that same reason. For my wife and I it's something we do a couple times per week after work, and that's it. We just don't need the amount of media NetFlix provides. We'd never use it, and we don't want to start using it! Too much other stuff to do, you know?



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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Makes complete sense. Netflix can be very anti-productive for the same reason that having a 55 inch HD TV in my room on all the time can be, but I usually have Discovery Channel on in the background. It's really easy to want to waste time on things like that, but it just takes a different mindset happy

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:39 pm

Nice thread! Some great looking home systems here! Here is a video of mine, the camera mic distorts so sound quality is poor.



I have 2 Aiwa AV-DV75 amp/receivers and 4 MTX AAL 212s, the Aiwa amps put out 170 watts rms per channel at 2 channels each, that's why I have 2 amps, to keep it at 170 per channel and still be able to have 4 speakers, hooking more speakers up to the amp brings it down to 120 rms per channel if you just have one amp. 1 MTX AAL212 is rated at 300 watts rms. I also have a Sony 400 disc DVD player(sucks). System is a little old, but sounds really great, I like lots of bass and these speakers have no problem producing it, they are also very loud on the highs and mid-ranges, I listen to metal and mostly dubstep. There have been several times when the cops got called or the neighbors beat on the door, I can't hear knocking, but I have been lucky enough to see the door bouncing in to know someone is knocking. lol
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:18 pm

Nice to see someone else using the M-Audio speakers. I absolutely love mine at my desktop. Dont even have a sound card and they sound better than anything else ive come across.



Been considering getting a second set to go in the living room with the t.v., too bad M-audio doesnt make sound bars frown

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:45 am

Are those the bx4a I think, 4 inch kevlar drivers?

By the way for stereo use, a USB DAC would greatly increase your sound quality from on board audio. I'm guessing your motherboard has something like ALC889 audio which sucks.

I'm doubting you wanna mess with getting a $250 sound card for the best possible analogue pre outs. Sound Card is the most expensive part in my gaming computer lol.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003Y5LY1C/ref=mw_dp_mpd?pd=1&qid=1364470220&sr=8-74

Something like that is very high quality for pre outs to active studio monitors. You can find cheaper ones floating around that are good. Fiio makes really good DACs for cheap, but don't bother with any plastic cheap looking ones under 50 bucks. I got my Fiio e10 on craigslist for like 40 bucks happy

Anyway, a DAC(digital to analog converter) is so important because it's what decodes the digital signal from your computer or a cd player into constant variable regulated AC current that then gets amplified by the amplifier which then goes into the speakers which creates an electromagnetic field and reacts with the inductance of the permanent earth magnet in the driver, moving the diaphragm which vibrates air molecules and reaches your ears to create sound. Speakers are only as good as their weakest link, and a bad DAC cripples speakers before anything else. If the signal isn't clean to begin with, even the best amplifier will only make things worse and amplify the flaws, cause clipping and possibly burn voice coils because of a bad DAC. Also a good DAC will bring out the best in your studio monitors. With my auzentech x-fi home theater hd sound card hooked up to my bx5a and Velodyne ULD 18, the quality is as good as my friends audiophile cd player which costs a grand hooked up to his PSB towers and his Velodyne DD12 subwoofer, and his speakers cost much more. This is just because of the DAC in my sound card surpasses his musical fidelity cd player DAC which is still extremely good, and the fact silk dome tweeters are more transient than his titanium dome tweeters.

Anyway, just giving a bit of advice. I'm glad you're liking those little monitors smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:35 pm

Quote :
Anyway, a DAC(digital to analog converter) is so important because it's what decodes the digital signal from your computer or a cd player into constant variable regulated AC current that then gets amplified by the amplifier which then goes into the speakers which creates an electromagnetic field and reacts with the inductance of the permanent earth magnet in the driver, moving the diaphragm which vibrates air molecules and reaches your ears to create sound. Speakers are only as good as their weakest link, and a bad DAC cripples speakers before anything else. If the signal isn't clean to begin with, even the best amplifier will only make things worse and amplify the flaws, cause clipping and possibly burn voice coils because of a bad DAC. Also a good DAC will bring out the best in your studio monitors. With my auzentech x-fi home theater hd sound card hooked up to my bx5a and Velodyne ULD 18, the quality is as good as my friends audiophile cd player which costs a grand hooked up to his PSB towers and his Velodyne DD12 subwoofer, and his speakers cost much more. This is just because of the DAC in my sound card surpasses his musical fidelity cd player DAC which is still extremely good, and the fact silk dome tweeters are more transient than his titanium dome tweeters.
Trying to say this as nicely as possible. I disagree with everything above. Firstly, using the term "bad" or "sucks" to describe someone's DAC is just pure assumption unless you've personally heard his system yourself. You don't really know it sounds bad. His set-up could sound awesome, and if he told you his DAC was a primo unit, you might very well believe it. Even if it is "bad" by your standard (whatever that is), it doesn't mean the music will sound bad as a whole, because there are so many other factors that contribute to the sound quality. There are people all over the web who claim switching DACs will improve the sound, then they'll take the output and feed into a single-ended triode tube amp, destroying any appreciable gains. That says a lot about the type of gains achieved by switching DACs: small at best, and mostly dreamed up by those who should know better.

Okay, so your friend has a great system that costs all kinds of money, but you mentioned an important detail: his speakers cost a lot. If you've ever experimented with audio systems, you know that good speakers are 9x out of 10 the biggest improvement to can be made. The DAC matters, but it's a subtle improvement compared to upgrading the drivers. Modern DACs are pretty good, or good enough that most listeners don't complain. It doesn't mean people have low standards - it means DACs don't make as much difference as you're suggesting in most systems. You'd need a $50k system and a perfect set of ears to hear the difference of replacing a good DAC with a great DAC costing hundreds or thousands. But swapping speakers is always noticeable, even to the untrained ear, and it's affordable. Point is, you can have a very good sounding system by investing in speakers, and not need to spend money on a DAC. I believe Matthew's new set-up sounds noticeably better than the old one, and NO WORSE than other systems with "better" DACs.

Also, the idea that an average DAC can destroy speakers by admitting distortion simply isn't true. Distortion doesn't kill speakers; power is what destroys speakers. If you are blowing speakers, you're using more than the rated power levels. Properly powered, a speaker can play any wave form: sine, square, triangle, clipped, and never be damaged. In fact, there's distortion programmed into most of recorded music. Just because it's introduced before the DAC, the speaker doesn't know the difference.

So Matthew, I hope you're enjoying your new system. I bet it sounds great - better even than a lot of systems that cost much more. You could buy a new DAC, but if it sounds good now, why invest the money?

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:23 pm

It is a matter of opinion. If hes got studio monitors which are great l,then their quality surpasses onboard audio. I know this for a fact because i have m audio studio monitors and ive heard the difference between Realtek ALC889 which is the most common onboard audio chipnas of date,and a usb DAC, and a high end sound card, mid grade sound card all on the same computer. Theres a big difference between onboard audio and a better pre amp on m audio studio monitors, so basically i was just letting him know that he could improve quality further if he wanted, helping him out with a possible option.

Also the problem with people thinking onboard audio and a sound card isn't much difference, is that you need to be listening to FLAC files, a CD or a blu ray movie to really take advantage of it. Mp3 files are just another limitation in the chain.

Also, ive seen a bad dac destroy tweeters from distortion. My pioneer head unit did that in my car with its garbage dac. Thats why i ended up using my nexus 7 tablet with my fiio e10 uwb dac/headphone amp hooked into my amps instead which sounded much better even playing an mp3 than my pioneer head unit did playing a cd. Flac files made my pioneer soundblike a joke. I thought it was all the amps being bad quality at first but i learned that that was only half the problem. Distortion from my pioneer deck and a not so great amp driving that distortion indeed did kill a set of nice swivel mount silk dome tweeters from Alpine in my Riv. Sure my MBquart RA 4200 wouodnt have blown the tweeters but its broken,and a higher quality class AB design. I couod have put twice the power into my Alpine front components with the mbquart and they wouldnt have blown anything. Distortion can very easily blow tweeters. Woofers not as much, but tweeters are much more sensitive to clipping hecause their voice coils are thinner than a human hair, and they dont have the same venting capabilities a woofer does to get rid of heat. Thats why high end tweeters are liquid ferocooled with basically liquid ferite material to both increase inductance of t he air gap, and to help cool the voice coil.

I bet his system sounds great, even with onboard audio but there is always room for improvement. Its a lot cheaper for a USB dac than a high end cd player. I was just suggesting a thought for a cheaper upgrade in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:18 am

They are AV40 speakers and i am satisfied with the way they sound currently. Dont think i would notice much difference with an on board card since the majority of their use is playing compressed audio files, pandora, or the occasional compresses video.

For me i just like that they have good build quality, are plenty loud at half volume and produce clean appealing sound, even if the source isnt a .flac file.

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:37 pm

Ahh i forgot the av40 wasnt under the bx name

Too bad i don't live close or id let you borrow my Fiio for a couple weeks :p

Its kinda useless with my Riv being down right now anyway lol

I'm probably going to get a cheap sub $500 windows 8 tablet in the near future to be a dockable car computer since im fed up of my crappy nexus tablet bugging out on me though. USB audio was never intended to work with android,but people ended up hacking the kernel and OS to force it to work bit its still a ghetto band aid lol
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:36 pm

Don't laugh; I'm a child of the '80s. I'm going to talk about cassette players now.

In the '80s, music came one of 3 ways: FM radio, vinyl LP, or cassette tape. Each format had its advantages, but only cassettes offered (relatively) decent sound, let you choose the song (and create playlists), AND were extremely portable. Plus, most tape decks had built in-FM stereo.

Sony dominated the portable electronics market in the '80s. It was a great time for tiny music players, following the age of the '70s boom box, which although was portable, wasn't personal. People wanted to carry their music in the smallest package possible, and so the Walkman was born.

I know, cassettes are dead. MP3s players are so much smaller and more reliable. Digital music sounds cleaner. I know, I know, and I don't disagree. But cassettes were kinda fun, easy to use, and they just worked. Just push play - and the feeling of actually pushing a mechanical control is so foreign to the younger generation, who are used to touch screens and soft membrane switches. You could pick up a Walkman, insert a tape, and play in 5 seconds without even looking at the device. It was that good. Bonus: cassettes are dirt cheap today, and millions are still out there, many for sale.

Some of us never experienced the Walkman at its peak, myself included. The best models were far too expensive for kids to buy, and most adults I knew didn't listen to music through headphones. It was a very unique market aimed at college students, yuppies and wealthy parents. Oh, and the Japanese of course, who went ga-ga over hi-tech devices.

In 1984, Sony introduced the WM-10 and WM-F10 (+FM radio). Not the first Walkmans, but definately the smallest. They made the case out of thin metal with brushed surfaces, and actually designed the unit to be smaller than the cassette itself when not playing one. To insert a tape, you opened the door and extended one side of the case to "grow" in size. When listening to FM, the WM-F10 was the smallest portable cassette player ever. It wasn't much bigger than an iPhone 4. Sony continued to design very innovative Walkmans though the '80s and '90s, but they never made one smaller than the WM-10 and WM-F10. This little object was an icon representing a part of my childhood you could say.

So I finally went and bought one on eBay. It works, and is in near mint condition. I might dig up some old tapes and use it once in a while, just to remind myself what it's like to operate one of the most hi-tech gadgets from 30 years ago. Obsolete for sure, but great design lasts forever. This is one of my favs:












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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:51 pm

YOu're so trendy, AA!
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:56 pm

Haven't seen anyone rocking Walkmans around here. Is it a Toledo thing?

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:02 pm

no, but im sure you can find a hipster being cool with one. I aint about that life.

I do like mixed tapes though. those will never die.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:52 pm


I had, and still have, a Sanyo that my grandmother bought for me in Japan before the walkman really caught on here. I know she paid a mint for it. It had AM/FM and altough it wasn't auto-reverse, it had pitch(speed) control and an option for an external battery pack.

It had a very cool "hip countoured" belt bracket that I can attest would hold up to jumping and landing hard bike jumps.

I used to tape my LPs and carry a couple cassettes in my tube-socks while riding my bike.

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:33 pm

That is a thing of beauty! Light years better than the bulky plastic Emerson knock-off I had to carry around. I've got a real soft spot for old tech too, but it's mainly expressed in the form of old video game equipment.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:58 pm

That walkman is awesome! Now I know why those are so badass. Thanks AA.

I'm thinking back to the middle 2000's now when I was in high school and in my earlier years (freshman-sophomore) the majority of kids had cd players, then later, maybe more ipods. At least I can say we had tangible media at one point. lol
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:05 pm

Hey AA, I remember growing up my dad had that exact same one!

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:20 pm

Yoss wrote:
That is a thing of beauty! Light years better than the bulky plastic Emerson knock-off I had to carry around. I've got a real soft spot for old tech too, but it's mainly expressed in the form of old video game equipment.
I hear you. I had to use a cheap, bulky tape player too, until in high school when I bought my first Sony Walkman with digital tuning. It was also a thing of beauty, albeit 10 years later than the WM-10. Cost me $109 dollars around 1993. Here's a pic:



I was so proud of that thing, saved up my money so long to buy it. Don't know where it ended up.

PS - Yoss, there's a new bar opening up in my town. The theme for this tavern is unlimited, free video games from the classic arcade era (Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, etc.) + good beer and food. Haven't been there yet, but I'm thinking it's going to be a popular place.

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:31 pm

I never had a real Walkman. My big musical purchase around the time I entered high school in '93 was a Sony boom box like this one. I believe it cost $120. That was one of the first things I bought with paychecks from my summer job doing grunt work at a local machine shop. Mom could tell I was dejected that I didn't have quite enough cash left over to buy my first CD so she gave me a few dollars.




That new tavern/arcade sounds pretty sweet. I started out collecting Atari 2600 games because that's what I had as a kid and I could find them so cheap. Of course other systems and games started following me home too and now I've got most of the systems released from the late 70s up to the mid-90s. Once I get the basement finished I want to get them out of boxes and all hooked up. I'd like to eventually put a modest home theater sound set up down there too so I'll have to keep tabs on this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:35 pm

Here's the boombox I had in the 80s, although mine was more silver than this dark gray.

When I wasn't using my uber-cool Sanyo "walkman" I was carting this Magnavox around via a cordurouy guitar strap over my shoulder razz

http://vintagevolts.com/?p=328


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-v-Wol7jyQ



Last edited by al_roethlisberger on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:37 pm

ohh yes i remember all'o those
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:08 pm

Funny thing happened at Chipotle today. I was rocking the new Walkman (with Apple ear buds) and the cashier, who was maybe 20, looks down and spots it in my hand. Then he asks, "Hey, where did you get that phone case?" I showed the unit. The look on his face was priceless. I can see how he made the assumption, though. It's almost the same size as an iPhone 4.



So far, the WM-F10's radio is its strong point. Great reception, and the sound quality is just as good as my iPod's. Battery life is amazing for running on a single AA cell. The tape player works, but sound quality isn't as good as I remember my old players sounding. I think it's the tape I have - need to find some sealed NOS cassettes and try them out.

First time surfing the FM, it's 80s night, kicking off this gem by Peter Schilling. I checked the release date - Major Tom was released in late '83, and by '84 was #1 in most continents. Enjoy:

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t8466p360-what-song-are-you-listening-to-nws#159210

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:13 pm

I'm guessing I have the Walkman to thank for the development of audiophile headphones?

It's kind of hilarious that they have some vintage headphones from the 80's and 90's that completely destroy the garbage that kids these days put on their ears (I'm talking about the Dr Dre beats and skullcandy crap ofcourse)

speaker technology hasn't changed much at all in the past 30 years..mainly only motor stength and diaphragm materials, going from stamped steel baskets to very high end forged aluminum baskets, using ferofluids now in tweeters, going from foam to thick santoprene rubber surrounds, and that's about it.
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