Help? Easiest way to a higher quality sound in my setup. - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 02-04-2012, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Mpls_Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mpls
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I need some purchasing advice. I'm on way way to a good 2.1 music system, but I'd like some advice on what I can do to push it into "Great" territory. I'm 75% music 25% movies and games. After reading tons of AVS and head-fi posts I am spinning. I have about 450 dollars i can drop to add something to my system and I'm just so confused. I would greatly appreciate your expertise. Thank you,

My gear:
ps3 > new but cheap Yamaha rx-v367 receiver > Paradigm Mini Monitors and delivering at the end of the month- Outlaw LFM-1 Ex sub!:
separate room: ipod classic 80gb and imac / er4p headphones

Gear I'm considering after reading post after post:
Apple TV - I've heard that the sound quality isn't great because it downsamples but is it really that noticable? only 100 bucks.
Squeezebox Touch - Better sound if i go to FLAC / worse interface?
Dedicated CD Player - H/K HD990, BDP-93, CA 650c
Schiit Bifrost, or another DAC?- I've heard that maybe i don't need a DAC because my reciever/ ps3 might handle it? this doesn't make sense to me because they are both cheaper than the bifrost or another recommended DAC.
Mpls_Ben is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 02-05-2012, 07:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
WilliamZX11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Out of those choices I'd go with the Squeezbox. Nothing more convenient than having all your music available from a single source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpls_Ben View Post

Schiit Bifrost, or another DAC?- I've heard that maybe i don't need a DAC because my reciever/ ps3 might handle it? this doesn't make sense to me because they are both cheaper than the bifrost or another recommended DAC.

Why doesn't it make sense? Large companies can make thing a lot cheaper due to economies of scale. If Sony or Yamaha were to build that dac it wouldn't be anywhere near $350, probably closer to $50, there's really not much to it. The case probably cost as much as the electronics.
LL
WilliamZX11 is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 02-05-2012, 07:35 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 260
Quote:


Apple TV - I've heard that the sound quality isn't great because it downsamples but is it really that noticable? only 100 bucks

Unless you've got something higher resolution than CDS, it does not downsample.

Quote:


Squeezebox Touch - Better sound if i go to FLAC / worse interface?

Nope. Same sound quality as Apple Lossless (or WAV or AIFF) on the Apple TV. Interface is a matter of taste.

Quote:


Dedicated CD Player - H/K HD990, BDP-93, CA 650c

Way, way down the priority list. Little to no bang for the buck.

Quote:


Schiit Bifrost, or another DAC?- I've heard that maybe i don't need a DAC because my reciever/ ps3 might handle it? this doesn't make sense to me because they are both cheaper than the bifrost or another recommended DAC.

Ditto.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 02-05-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Mpls_Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mpls
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the feedback William/mcnarus. Interesting note about the DAC's since it seems to be an obsession on these forums.

I bought the ps3 thinking it would solve many of my problems:
wireless music from my imac: I feel like I'm losing a lot on sound quality from ps3.
bluray, sacd, dvd, cd player: I now realize I only need cd and dvd. access to bluray and sacd just isn't there for me.
Now I'm starting to think it was a dumb decision.

Just looked through craigslist at a mac mini 2009 w/ 8gb ram for $400. Could be a good option to start the music server i feel that i need. i have an ipad so it could be more useful than the squeezebox touch.

From previous posts I was under the impression that appletv was not as good as cd quality. I've read that most audiophiles in this case try to go Pure Music > Mac Mini > spdif- DAC > reciever. If an appletv is really that good then it's well worth the $300 I'd save. Thoughts?
Mpls_Ben is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 02-05-2012, 06:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Martycool007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked: 135
The two biggest things I would be looking into if I were you would be, a) new speakers, and b) a new receiver. That would make a huge difference in your system. Much more than any of those other things you listed. You can purchase a pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 bookshelves for around $600 to $700 used. That would be a night and day difference, compared to what you have now. Next, I would be looking into a better receiver.
Martycool007 is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 02-05-2012, 07:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
WilliamZX11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

You can purchase a pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 bookshelves for around $600 to $700 used. That would be a night and day difference, compared to what you have now.

How does he do that with $450?
WilliamZX11 is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 02-06-2012, 05:59 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Martycool007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

How does he do that with $450?


He doesn't. He would need to save up some more cash.
Martycool007 is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 02-06-2012, 06:06 AM
Moderator
 
PooperScooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Leominster MA
Posts: 19,748
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Before spending more money you should probably maximize what you have now, or will have once the sub comes in. Speaker placement and room acoustics offer the biggest possible change in sound. Properly integrating your sub into room and your 2 main speakers should be done before buying new equipment - except maybe a sound meter.

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
PooperScooper is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 02-06-2012, 10:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Jinjuku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 2,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 95
The first thing to do is EASILY speakers. Period.

Having heard the TriTrix, well they are going to be hard to beat for less than $600 commercially.

$259 for the pair and you assemble. You could vinyl veneer them:

Black Ash

Cherry

Oak

etc....

An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.

A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.

Jinjuku is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 02-07-2012, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Mpls_Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mpls
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I guess I really wasn't prepared to hear that my speakers aren't worth getting a nicer player/DAC (if ever necessary)/amp. My next purchase would likely be a new pair of speakers then. I was always of the mind that great speakers can make a huge difference, but not if you have poor source/equipment paired with it. Could you elaborate on the sound meter? Thanks everyone for your input.
Mpls_Ben is offline  
post #11 of 14 Old 02-07-2012, 08:30 AM
Advanced Member
 
Dr_Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 40
I live in Minneapolis too and several of us are working on that very issue. I don't like the Apple TV, nor the TVIX box. The sound and picture quality are not that good compared to other solutions. The Apply TV sounds and looks like a soda left open for a week, dull and flat. The TVIX is better but not there.
I am using a Mac Mini linked to a server with video and audio files. The software I am using is XBMC, will do it all music and video. Looks great and sounds great too, will to 24/96 files. A couple of people are working on PC solutions and they sound good.

Life is enjoyable with good quality
Dr_Mark is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 02-07-2012, 08:33 AM
AVS Special Member
 
defdog99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

Before spending more money you should probably maximize what you have now, or will have once the sub comes in. Speaker placement and room acoustics offer the biggest possible change in sound. Properly integrating your sub into room and your 2 main speakers should be done before buying new equipment - except maybe a sound meter.

Ohhhh... the Rx-367 doesn't have YPAO. Good catch.

Yeah I'd track down a better receiver.
The brick-and-mortar stores around me are clearing out last years models.

You should be able to get an 867 or 1067 for $450 if you catch an online sale.
defdog99 is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 02-07-2012, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Mpls_Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mpls
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The Outlaw sub isn't supposed to ship until the 27th. I'm seriously considering cancelling the order and saving for some good tower speakers and a better reciever.
Mpls_Ben is offline  
post #14 of 14 Old 02-08-2012, 04:55 AM
Advanced Member
 
mpenton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 533
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Use what you have, YPAO is pretty useless for sub-crawling two channel music. For an increase in convenience the Apple TV will let you access the music you have on the iMac in iTunes using the iPad as a remote. Sonically I have problems telling the difference between that and the Mac Mini I use as an HTPC, perhaps it's because I have both wired to the home network instead of going wireless. The hardware on the Mini will do 24/96 but AFAIK XBMC won't play those files properly (I'm not running the betas just the last general release of 10). Spend your money on extra storage space & music until you have identified the best upgrade for you. Borrow a friends amp, speakers, CD and see if that gives you the boost, otherwise it's going to be a crapshoot.
mpenton is offline  
Reply CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off