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post #1 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear readers,

I recently bought a new stereo system which haven't been living up to my expectation. Can you help me find the weakest link? This is the setup:

Speakers: PSB T65
Amp: Outlaw RR2150
Speaker Cables: Blue Jeans Belden 5T00UP 10 AWG Speaker Cable, Terminated
Device: iPod (connected to the RR2150 with a normal 3.5mm to RCA cable)

The sound is not full and engaging.

I am going to send back the outlaw and try the NAD C372 integrated amp instead. Perhaps that will warm up the sound a bit.

Do you think switching the "3.5mm to RCA" with a cable from the iPod dock port to RCA, will make a large impact?

Thanks for your input!

M
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post #2 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 04:43 PM
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I read your other thread on this. have you checked your speaker wiring polarity yet?

Edit - if you are not sure what polarity is, try this. Switch the wires on the back of one speaker (move red to black, and black to read) Do it only on the back of one speaker - no where else. Does that make it better or worse?

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #3 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinnan@online.no View Post

Dear readers,

I recently bought a new stereo system which haven't been living up to my expectation. Can you help me find the weakest link? This is the setup:

Speakers: PSB T65
Amp: Outlaw RR2150
Speaker Cables: Blue Jeans Belden 5T00UP 10 AWG Speaker Cable, Terminated
Device: iPod (connected to the RR2150 with a normal 3.5mm to RCA cable)

The sound is not full and engaging.

I am going to send back the outlaw and try the NAD C372 integrated amp instead. Perhaps that will warm up the sound a bit.

Do you think switching the "3.5mm to RCA" with a cable from the iPod dock port to RCA, will make a large impact?

Thanks for your input!

M

iPod? Try SACD/DVD-A/BD-Audio to see if there is a difference.
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post #4 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 04:48 PM
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The I-Pod is probably the weak link.

What bit-rate did you
use when you loaded the I-POD? Was it from a CD collection
OR on-line music service? Are any of the I-POD graphic
equalizers in use?

Did you check the sub setting on the back of the outlaw? It should be in the "BP" setting. I Read that these rcvr's are Sometimes shipped with
the 80 or 100 switch selected.This will cause low freqs to be "missing"
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post #5 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 04:52 PM
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My man, if this isn't a joke...you may have heard that an iPod's digital stream offers plenty of fidelity to feed your rig, but not if you're using that 3.5mm to RCA cable. Do understand the idea behind DACs?

If you use the iPod to just feed a digital stream to a decent DAC, you'll be fine. But I'm afraid the weak link here is almost certainly the source. I don't know much about getting a digital stream from the iPod (except for this http://www.amazon.com/Wadia-170iTran...5436251&sr=8-1, which is probably more than you're looking to spend) but maybe there's a way to go 3.5mm to s/pdif? Does your Outlaw have a digital input?

CD

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post #6 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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dknightd, i will try what you say asap when i get home.

Following the general thoughts here I will probably not get the NAD.

Instead I will return the Outlaw, and get this equipment:

1. "Beresford TC-7520" DAC/pre-amp
2. Apple AirPort Express
3. Two Emotiva UPA Monoblock amplifiers.

This will resolve the iPod issue (it will provide a digital stream to the DAC) if hooked up like describe here:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10297427-1.html.

Additionally, the monoblock setup might improve the sound quality.

Does this sound like a good solution in case dknightd's advice does not work?


Thanks a lot for your input!

M
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post #7 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 07:14 PM
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Uncle!
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post #8 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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It is actually only 400 usd more, so it is not that bad If it makes the sound a lot better it is worth it to me. Sucks to spend this much and being dissatisfied every time you turn on your system, so I want to try to fix it.

M

NB: I checked the outlaw settings, which looks fine (the bass switch is on BP, and speaker cables are right). The ipod has mp3 files.
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post #9 of 70 Old 06-01-2010, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinnan@online.no View Post

The ipod has mp3 files.

Uhggggg.

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post #10 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 04:25 AM
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Well the Mp3 files are the first thing you should change. I think you can use Apply lossless with a ipod but im not sure. If you can thats what you want to go with.

Other than that you didnt mention whether or not your room has been treated. If you havnt treated it yet I think thats the next thing you should look into. Itll bring the world out of that setup and really show the bucks youve put into it.
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post #11 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I know it is true that mp3's are not optimal, but my other system, the Klipsch mentioned in the other thread i started (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1252871), plays them with depth and energy. So I don't think that's the reason unfortunately.

I hope that switching out the receiver might solve it, but...
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post #12 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 06:07 AM
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imo...

if the sound isn't full and engaging, it's not the ipod, dac, or amplifier that is the issue...

hint: it was full and engaging before, and it's not now. only 1 thing has changed...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #13 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinnan@online.no View Post

I know it is true that mp3's are not optimal, but my other system, the Klipsch mentioned in the other thread i started (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1252871), plays them with depth and energy. So I don't think that's the reason unfortunately.

I hope that switching out the receiver might solve it, but...

Switching out speakers has more merits than source or any electronic component.
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post #14 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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ap1: That is true, but the T65 is not supposed to sound bright and flat. If anything, most listeners have said the opposite.

I am not sure if the Beresford can output directly to the UPA-1's, but it does look like it.
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post #15 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 08:41 AM
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Congrats on your new system. This new system is likely not coloring the music the way your old system did, therefore you are hearing the true mp3 and ipod quality. A poor quality.

a. NEVER, ever, ever use a headphone 3.5mm output from an ipod/mp3 player into a serious audio system. That 3.5mm output is amplified by the ipod to power your headphones-with low quality amplification. So you end up double amplifying the source, when connecting the ipod to your integrated amp.

b. If you must use your ipod, YES, put it in a dock. use the 3.5mm out on the dock, that bypasses the ipods internal amp.

c. you must have some other player, CD player, a dvd player, portable CD player, something to compare an actual CD to the mp3s from the ipod

d. if you are getting a airport express, you must have a computer already. directly connect your computer, playing a CD, to the integrated am. It is not great to to use a 3.5mm to stereo cable from computer but it's better than using the headphone out from an ipod.

e. a CD's native bit rate is 1411 kilobits per second, MP3s max out at 320kbps. Apple itunes current offers 256kbps, originally only 128kbps. It's obvious that you are losing information with MP3. In some cases a lot. Result...flat sound. Apple lossless/Flac are much better quality. AIFF/WAV obviously the best for quality. not the best for storage space in the ipod but really not an issue for a computer source. Hard drive space is cheap!

f. consider an external DAC connected to your computer. The sound improvement will be obvious. There are hundreds of threads on DACs on AVS and elsewhere to learn the differences and best values.

Good luck
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post #16 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 05:13 PM
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Before you spend another penny on audio equipment you need to research mp3, bitrate and lossy audio. Next audition a nice quality well thought out system with CD or the such as a source then plug your ipod into said system.

I cannot even fathom using my ipod Touch as a main source. It is passable with a dock for background music. I know that sound quality improves if I load the ipod with lossless files but then it would hold but a few CDs.

Think about using a computer with a 500 Gig outboard drive load it up with WAV format music and send your music through a USB capable DAC to your audio system and you will be doing pretty good.
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post #17 of 70 Old 06-02-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will go and listen to a system using both CD and iPod as source to hear the difference. Edbay, i think you are right with the coloring. What i which to try is these 3 set ups:

1) Computer --> USB --> Beresfrod DAC preamp --> 2x Emotiva UPA-1 power amps--> T65 speakers

2) Computer --> USB --> Marantz SR6004 --> Speakers

3) Computer --> USB --> Outlaw RR2150 --> Speakers (this is the system i currently have)

I will compare at least 2) and 3) this weekend. All setups cost under $1100, so that is within my budget.

I actually think the Marantz might come out very well, due to the Audessey room correction features and such (i have a less than optimal listening space), but it will be exciting to try.

You guys think a particular one of these is a certain winner?


Thanks again. M
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post #18 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Switching out speakers has more merits than source or any electronic component.

at least there's one other person here who has caught on to what the op's issue is...

if anyone would care to disabuse themselves of some of their notions about perceptual codecs, some time spent browsing this forum might well be worth their time...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #19 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 07:45 AM
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Rinnan, what do you mean by a less than optimal listening area? Any chance you can give some dimensions and throw in some pictures?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #20 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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http://img155.imageshack.us/i/14435216.jpg/

http://img155.imageshack.us/i/14435216.jpg/

http://img268.imageshack.us/i/86660702.jpg/

http://img268.imageshack.us/i/21758474.jpg/


These are just some pics of the speakers. The rest of the room is about 500 sqf., with high church ceilings. The $150 klipsch computer speakers that sounded stronger and fuller are very small and angled slightly upwards. I placed them on top of these speakers when i compared.

I listened to it again last night, and it is to the extent that it irritates me when i play it. I am looking forward to trying the other setups this weekend.

If anyone lives in NYC, and wants to come and check it out, it would be fantastic. My girlfriend who knows nothing about audio except from what a normal person hears in clubs/resturants and so on, also think they sound flat and bright.

I also tried to switch the cabling (in case the cables were incorrectly made) like dk suggested, but it did not make a difference.


Thanks,

M
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post #21 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

at least there's one other person here who has caught on to what the op's issue is...

if anyone would care to disabuse themselves of some of their notions about perceptual codecs, some time spent browsing this forum might well be worth their time...

Just because speakers have the biggest impact on sound...and we can all likely agree on that...doesn't mean that a sh*t source should be ignored. How do you think $20k Dyn C4s would sound with an 8-track?

The point is...for the OP...the PSB T65s might sound fine, given the right set-up. Sure..."better" speakers might sound "better", but I defy you to make the output from an iPod's headphone jack sound great. Therefore, in this case, it is the weak link.

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #22 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 01:59 PM
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Change the source. Treat the room.
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post #23 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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If the room or the source was the problem then the cheap THX Klipsch system should not sound good (better than the floor standing system). Perhaps the cheaper system colored the sound more and made it a lot fuller and deeper than the floor standing one, like edbayarea suggested. /Sigh, it is strange indeed.
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post #24 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 02:39 PM
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Rinnan, browse through this thread, How good is the ipod's DAC? and tell me what you think about the unit's capability?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #25 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinnan@online.no View Post

Dear readers,

I recently bought a new stereo system which haven't been living up to my expectation. Can you help me find the weakest link? This is the setup:

1. Speaker/listener placement.
2. Speakers/room

Provided that the engineers have done their job everything else is irrelevant.
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post #26 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 02:52 PM
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two more wise men...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #27 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 03:03 PM
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Let me know when there's a star in the Eas visible during the day.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #28 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 03:04 PM
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note i did not add: "bearing gifts"...

edit: dunno chu... there's a star visible in the east where i live every day... it's just not visible in the east all day...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #29 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Rinnan, browse through this thread, How good is the ipod's DAC? and tell me what you think about the unit's capability?

Yeah, i actually stumbled over that last week, and read through it. It seems the iPod's DAC isn't so bad after all, and that the headphone out is worse than dock out, but not by a tremendous amount (unless u extract the digital signal with Wadia 170i dock).
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post #30 of 70 Old 06-03-2010, 03:30 PM
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That means you're the chosen one, Chris. I don't have any frankinsence but I'll send you some Frankenberries.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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