A desktop CD player to use w/ Grado SR-125 (about $150) headphones or ? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 07:44 AM
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As I said, the new compression schemes can't be any better sonically since what I have is indistinguishable from red book. They are perhaps more elegant or better for some other reason. But not for sonics. What I am suggesting to you is a learning experience, probably the most important one an audiophile can ever learn. Since we claim to be experts at sound quality, how is not important to understand exactly what is and what is not audible?

As an example, you bring up more modern compression schemes assuming they will sound better than high bit rate MP3. I already know they can't sound better. There is no need to test them. The best you can do is being indistinguishable from red book and I already have that. I can read the comments about how good Apple lossless sounds with amusement because I already know it sounds exactly like a high bit rate MP3 or a 16/44 CD.

I know a lot of audiophiles and I understand the lure of equipment and technology. I know, for instance, that you aren't going to pursue my suggestion because you really don't want to learn the truth. You are likely afraid that it will diminish your hobby. I've encountered it over and over and I've been there myself. Best of luck to you.
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post #92 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 08:10 AM
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Arnie I'm glad we agreed at least on something even if it was only SH forum just in case you're curious Longest JOB was 30 yrs I'll be picking up nice
deferred retirement and stock options in a couple of months from that one. Stock has doubled in the last 2 yrs,tripled since I left so that's all good. and I'm all vested . I left there in 2003 Voluntarily BTW and I took another management job for a few years and have recently retired

Even in commercial music and content creation and especially content distribution it's still all about the money .
I agree lots of good open source code out there lot of Linux distributions ,Audacity,LAME ,Foobar 2000 lots of stuff so now thats two things we can agree on.

All of those assumptions I made about you may be totaly untrue and also likewise in the other direction so if you feel the need to have the last word then by all means
you should do that . As I stated before I'm not adverse at all to learning more about lossy compression I may have incorrect pre conceived beliefs there I might even read something you wrote at wikipedia I have no doubt you know the subject so any way let's try to cool it with the flames.

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #93 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post

Ofc . subjective bias and uncontrolled listening comparisons? I stated something similar to that earlier
I never claimed to have done any scientific tests only subjective sighted casual comparisons

like I said *imo* The key words being once again * IMO* mp3 @320kbps is close but no cigar . ofc we are both entitled our opinions whether based on pseudo science, psychoacoustics, things that we read and believe to be true or whatever, or even personal experience and or preference How many times must I repeat the SAME answer to the SAME question or maybe you can't remember ?
Once again I would would just Like to add lossey is lossy OTOH lossless is lossless choose your preference , many claim to be able to hear the difference on resolving systems with certain music I believe I fall into that group as I stated previously .
So you wanted to help the OP. Ok. Does it work by giving misleading information, especially when others have pointed it out?
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like I said *imo* The key words being once again * IMO*
Just to refresh your memory, you should go back to page 1 of this thread and read your own posts because you were posting with a different tone.
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post #94 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Quote:
like I said *imo* The key words being once again * IMO*
Just to refresh your memory, you should go back to page 1 of this thread and read your own posts because you were posting with a different tone.

Yes, case in point would be post #16

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489386/a-desktop-cd-player-to-use-w-grado-sr-125-about-150-headphones-or#post_23721342

"I will have to admit that mp3 murders music"

No IMO, no IME just a flat statement of fact. AFAIK the author has never really changed his story or corrected that statement.
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post #95 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 12:50 PM
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Arny

I never said that my statement being discussed "I will have to admit that mp3 murders music" was in need of correction at this time and you are in fact correct in that I never changed my story.

Arny,
You are correct Just for the sake of argument in that I never said I was totally convinced otherwise from what I stated originally. I did say in a later post that I am at least willing to learn more about lossy compression and re visit my admittedly limited knowledge of the subject and with further evaluation possibly my opinion would change at least for high bit rate (if you want to call it that ) mp3 playback in some situations.

Never did I say that my opinion right or (wrong as some have stated) has already changed it has not only that it may. . In any event you are correct on both counts in that I haven't changed my story but I have changed my tone.

FWIW I read this at wiki audacity team.org regarding Mp3
Quote:
In addition to the degrading of sound quality, MP3 files also have a short silence at the beginning. This is not a bug in Audacity or in Lame but is a limitation of the MP3 format. If this is an important issue (for example when making audio loops) you will need to use a format that does not have this limitation, such as WAV, Flac or Ogg. http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/MP3

In all fairness as you stated mostly correct earlier about mp3 as I understand it presently , I found this at wiki.audacityteam.org also.
Quote:
MP3 is a size-compressed, lossy audio format. This means that it uses less disc space to store audio than uncompressed formats like WAV, but loses some of the original sound quality in doing so. To reduce the quality loss, the audio removed is mainly outside the adult range of hearing, and the artefacts it introduces are chosen so they are largely masked by louder or more prominent sounds. The actual quality achieved depends on the bit rate you encode at, higher bit rates giving better quality but resulting in larger files.
Other compressed lossy formats exist that work in a broadly similar way, such as MP2 and the more modern and arguably superior OGG and M4A formats. http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/MP3
As I presently understand it OTOH with lossless digital file conversion sound quality should at least remain perfect to the original source file without degradation no matter how many times it is looped between lossless file formats especially if the codecs allow error checking .
Additionally the statement from wiki audacity team.org was speaking of mp3 use in general and not limiting it only to the scenario (or example if you will ) that they outlined.


Keeping in mind that Lame is widely recognized as a preeminent mp3 encoder/file converter I would interpret this to be a caution with regards to mp3 in general being faithful in sound quality to the original file and more specifically not limited in their own words to Audacity or Lame or only when making audio loops .

Not being an expert or formally educated in the subject at hand as I understand it I can transcode and loop a file from lets say .flac to .wave and back and forth or using any number of lossless formats without degradation or loss o of the original sound quality. As I understand it that is not possible with mp3. On the surface at least that would in fact seem to re enforce my original argument at least in part to this point.

Further with that in mind as I presently understand the above the lossy characteristics of mp3 may severely may limit the value of mp3 format as an archive file format if one is trying to remain faithful to the original production.
That is all the more reason for me to retain a lossless copy faithful to the original and only copy lossless to mp3 on the fly if you will for mobile or limited storage devices for personal use.

All of my original files created and produced here in lossless formats for commercial redistribution are archived in lossless formats in order to remain faithful to the original production some are copied to mp3 or AAC for commercial distribution as needed and also are distributed in lossles as well specifically CD's .

Obviously this does not apply to everyone in simple typical playback usage as mp3 and more recently AAC both are as you know widely used .

I prefer to purchase original lossless physical commercial media (CD or SACD) or high resolution lossless downloads for personal use and store and use it as is .

Ofc I am not and expert on the subject of mp3 all I can say is at this moment I see no reason to change my opinion At least specifically but not limited to archiving and playback of music files .

best regards

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #96 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Further with that in mind as I presently understand it that may severely may limit the value of mp3 format as an archive file format.
You absolutely don't want to use MP3 as an archival format.

As a consumer playback format, however, at least at higher bitrates, it is very, very good. You would be hard-pressed to find a conventional music file (i.e., music made with what we typically think of as musical instruments) that would allow you to distinguish between CD and 256 kbps MP3 in a blind comparison.

"Blind" is key here. If you know which one's the MP3, that knowledge will affect how it sounds to you. It's hard to believe our hearing perception could be that suggestible, but it is. And there's no way around it.

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

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post #97 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 02:52 PM
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Double post incomplete data please remove , Must have been that darn Mp3 again I hate when it does that biggrin.gif

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #98 of 107 Old 09-14-2013, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

You absolutely don't want to use MP3 as an archival format.

As a consumer playback format, however, at least at higher bitrates, it is very, very good. You would be hard-pressed to find a conventional music file (i.e., music made with what we typically think of as musical instruments) that would allow you to distinguish between CD and 256 kbps MP3 in a blind comparison.

"Blind" is key here. If you know which one's the MP3, that knowledge will affect how it sounds to you. It's hard to believe our hearing perception could be that suggestible, but it is. And there's no way around it.

I believe (thanks to
Your efforts and those of *some others ) I may need to learn quite a bit about lossless encoding before I can make blanket statements regarding that subject at least for now. I may continue to try to learn what I can time permitting with the resources available to me specifically the web and using my modest (by most standards) studio equipment .

Truthfully I archive in lossless and copy to AAC,or 256/320kbps mp3 sometimes for personal use so I have both lossy and lossless available anyway. I would never archive a lossless file in mp3 or AAC *only* for my purposes at least so it is not a pressing issue for me . + big metal drives are cheap also now.

That being said I did learn some things in this thread and from some recent reading so no problem.
Seems this thread has generated a remarkable 99 posts most unrelated to original topic perhaps now it will mercifully die as it should have long ago.
Best regards

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post #99 of 107 Old 09-17-2013, 05:10 AM
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Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
"The wireless music box has no commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
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post #100 of 107 Old 09-19-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the advice. The laptop came in, appears use a Realtek ACL280 sound chip, couldn't find a datasheet for it, but the audio is okay to descent. However the winning answer was get a Fiio E10. Spent $50 at Buydig for it. Sounds just like the solution I was looking for, pun intended. Thanks again.
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post #101 of 107 Old 09-19-2013, 10:21 PM
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Glad to be of help we could have stopped at post 22 which I should have put in post 4 or 5 ! . heard a lot about the Fiio products over at Head fi forums that's where anybody that wants to know about headphones goes btw.
Not so many egotistical posers over there ! just good advice .They know their phones over there and what does and does not work well.


Seems like like *some* ( a couple )of these folks in this thread just wanted to argue although there were some good posts The rest of the threads here at AVS aren't usually so bad some are very good ,but having as many members as AVS does the posers and trolls are bound gravitate or camp out here just because of it's size . The mods at the smaller forums will or have kick them off and members usually keep things on topic
or make each other stay to topic .

This thread was unusually vitriolic mainly due to one maybe two posters, there was one funny member that cracked me up though. (the guy with the big ear avatar) he had sensible advise as well. Enjoy the Fiio it should smoke the on board Realtek !
All that being said try .wav, .flac,AAC and .mp3** and see what you like best each has it's legitimate use .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #102 of 107 Old 09-20-2013, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyA View Post

Thank you all for the advice. The laptop came in, appears use a Realtek ACL280 sound chip, couldn't find a datasheet for it,

The name doesn't sound right. Realtek's web site has no listings for that chip and it does not follow their usual naming convention. First off their audio chip names start out "ALC" not "ACL", and secondly their chip numbers start out in the 800's, not the 200's.
Quote:
but the audio is okay to descent. However the winning answer was get a Fiio E10. Spent $50 at Buydig for it. Sounds just like the solution I was looking for, pun intended. Thanks again.

Here's a good review of it:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2012/01/fiio-e10-dac.html
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post #103 of 107 Old 09-20-2013, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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@arnyk

Sorry I wasn't careful enough typing and didn't consider someone might try to help with finding data on the chip.
Here is the full number ALC280Q-GR as I have seen it used with the laptop's description, but I have not disassembled it to look for myself.

It appears they do make some in the 200 series, although it is really hard to get overview information from their website.
They have datasheets and/or reference designs for 200, 201, 202, 203, 250. I think they are just slack and didn't post all of them.
Or have an arrangement where they customize a version for a mfg and don't sell it to others for some period of time if ever.

As for the E10, IMHO Chris Isaak's Wicked Games should be the demo piece for it. Wow.
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post #104 of 107 Old 09-20-2013, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyA View Post

@arnyk

Sorry I wasn't careful enough typing and didn't consider someone might try to help with finding data on the chip.
Here is the full number ALC280Q-GR as I have seen it used with the laptop's description, but I have not disassembled it to look for myself.

It appears they do make some in the 200 series, although it is really hard to get overview information from their website.
They have datasheets and/or reference designs for 200, 201, 202, 203, 250. I think they are just slack and didn't post all of them.
Or have an arrangement where they customize a version for a mfg and don't sell it to others for some period of time if ever.

As for the E10, IMHO Chris Isaak's Wicked Games should be the demo piece for it. Wow.

The ALC280Q-GR seems to be a proper number, but it almost seems that it only ever saw the light of day in some Toshiba laptops. It may have been a semi-custom design.

At any rate USB audio interfaces are a bit of a hassle, but I've been there and done that to overcome a bad-sounding (activity-related noise) interface in a laptop. The one I usually use is the Behringer UCA 202, but the 202 does not have a good headphone amp - too high of a source impedance. So if you want first rate headphone performance you have to stack a headphone amp on top of it. Of course the FIIO E5 does the trick for about a dime but all that gear can be pretty awkward for a laptop that gets toted around a lot.
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post #105 of 107 Old 09-20-2013, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I've sent a request to the US office for Realtek requesting a softcopy of the datasheet
Be interesting to see if they send it.
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post #106 of 107 Old 09-20-2013, 12:41 PM
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Nice to see this thread continuing and providing valuable pertinent information aside from my (what I felt was necessary anyway) reply in my last post .
Interesting that NwAvGuy mentioned the HRT - MUSIC STREAMER II STD at $179.00 as
a good step up option from the Fiio E10 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier at $61.99
that would at least on the surface indicate the Fiio E10 is a decent low price budget product.
I've never heard the HRT - MUSIC STREAMER II STD but FWIHR in the past
it is supposed to be very good at that price.

Very good review from NwAvGuy best I've seen yet of the E10 kudos to Arnie for finding that I'm sure it will
be of value to the OP and others . I bookmarked NwAvGuy looks like an informative site
even though some of the technical information may be above my understanding .

it Will be interesting to see how the op likes the E10 as compared to his on board realtek.

I have on board Realtek in 3 PC's only use it in one . IMO the Realtec chips were OK not great.
for SPDIF pass through 5.1 or 2.0 they were IMO mostly lacking in clear headphone and line level output
Not unusable but just not suited IMO for critical music listening but Ok for 5.1 pass through for AVR/ HT use
for movie soundtracks at least for me .

I did notice however that on the 2 newer computers they have improved a fair amount.
in that respect but still weren't sufficient for *my needs with music, looks like an interesting discussion is starting.
there are certainly a number of valid observations in Arnolds post #105 .

best regards

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
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post #107 of 107 Old 09-22-2013, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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In case any is interested. Trivia for the day on the laptops Realtek chip. Though not as useful as a datasheet, this came from a copy of the laptop maintenance manual:

REALTEK ALC280Q integrated audio controller supports multimedia. The sound system features contain the following:
y
4-channel DAC supports 16/20/24-bit PCM format for independent two stereo channel playback
y
4-channel ADC supports 16/20/24-bit PCM format for independent two stereo channel recording
y
All DACs support 44.1k/48k/96k/192kHz sample rate
y
All ADCs support 44.1k/48k/96k/192kHz sample rate
y
3.3V digital core power, 1.5V~3.3V digital IO power for HDA link; 4.75V~5.25V analog power for Codec, 4.75V~5.25V power stage voltage for Class D amplifier
y
Class D amplifier output with slew rate and spread spectrum control to improve EMI performance
y
AGC (Auto Gain Control) limit power without distortion to protect speaker and fit varies speaker, and enhance mini speaker sound pressure
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