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Vital hi Fi accessories that don't cost all that much?

Discussion in 'audio' started by colasblue, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. whatsnext

    whatsnext Naimless

    I bought a bog standard "kettle lead" (£6) and replaced the MCRU job that I had used my open mind on to investigate the huge benefit that product was reviewed as providing. The kettle lead also puts far less stress on the IEC socket.

    I accept that some HiFi users experience massive improvements with MCRU mains cables in their systems. Thankfully 0 difference in mine. Savings
  2. gassor

    gassor There may be more posts after this.

    When you tell someone that
    This to someone who has, no doubt, taken considerable time and thought to setting up their equipment make you come across as arrogant and pompous. In addition you inferred my hearing was deficient and you wonder why you are not taken seriously.
  3. Mike42

    Mike42 Heard it all before...

    Print this page off, fold it 4 times, then place it under the rear right foot of your CD player. You wont believe the improvement!
  4. whatsnext

    whatsnext Naimless

    I don't usually prejudge the benefits based on others postings. Forums have taught me to be highly sceptical.

    I am however eagery awaiting a IQ-Audio DAC+ becoming in stock. At a modest $45 (£30?) it is said by many to offer levels of transparency (due to I2S interface to Raspberry Pi) the equal of radamel's system. It's secret is the simplicity or lack of circuitry twixt the sound file and the DAC.

    It may be mass hysteria but if it does what others assure then I can overtake ramadel's carefully thought out system by the end of the month (with the high res files I have not the aweful Spotify of course)

    And if it is terrible for example making only certain sources sound pleasant I will be able to sell it an eager market.
  5. Bradders

    Bradders The Pork Chop Express

    I had forgotten all about these!

  6. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    Great.Look forward to it. I have a very modest system but it is resolving enough for me to hear differences between the same tracks on Qobuz and Spotify, though album provenance may be an issue. Some differences are more obvious than others. I've also downloaded lossless files in the past and compared them. Some were obvious, some weren't.
  7. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    One quick question:

    It is often said that mastering is the most important thing, and that comparing, say Spotify against hi-res FLAC is meaningless unless the mastering is the same for each. This may be true, but in reality, how often is the low-res Spotify file a differently mastered version to the CD file, or even the Hi-res FLAC.

    It seems to me, given the acknowledged cynicism of the music industry, that most of the time, the same source file will be supplied to whichever customer is asking for it. It seems unlikely that a label would remaster a file to work better via a compressed streaming service, when it could just as easily hand over the 16/44 CD file and let Spotify compress it how it chooses.

    So, would it not be reasonable to assume that the 320Kbps Spotify file is the same mastering as the FLAC (particularly if the FLAC is the red book CD file), unless it can be shown to be different?
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator


    I've hoofed a few pages worth of the more pointless, trolling or ad hominem based posts and removed one of the worst offenders for a while.
  9. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    OK what's wrong with Servisol?;) It's cheap, it really works, you can hear the benefit and it smells good erm...
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Many popular titles have been remastered multiple times and often sound radically different. Take Kind Of Blue as one example, there are at least four CD masterings: 1984 Japanese CBS (non-pitch-corrected, rare, collectable and apparently very good indeed - I'd like to find this one), 1986 Columbia Masterworks (non-corrected, rather rolled-off in the treble), 1997 (speed-corrected, rather bright), 2009 50th anniversary/current (speed-corrected, warmer than 1997). These differences in mastering are more significant than any difference in bit-rate (though obviously one would choose lossless every time if possible). As such it is essential to know one is comparing like with like, and fairly complex if not as in this example none of the examples are bad as such.

    A similar story with say Pink Floyd, depending on the title there are three, four or more different masterings, some are superb, none are actually bad. Some artists are less lucky, e.g. Genesis, the first issue Virgin/Charisma CDs with the covers with a grey border are pretty respectable, everything later is just horrible. Similar story with Blue Note, the original 1987 issues are lovely, as is the Connoisseur Edition, whereas the RVG Edition varies from a bit odd to absolutely hideous. It's a minefield, and mastering is where many of us here start our system from, I'm certainly OCD in the extreme about it and often spend an evening comparing several different issues deciding which to keep. It's fascinating just how much difference this aspect makes, and it surprises me just how little thought many who spend huge amounts on turntables, DACs etc give the subject. It is *way* more important IMO. It's also astonishing just how many masters exist for many titles, some have been done ten or fifteen times, and it is most unwise to assume newer is better!

    PS Spotify is interesting as there are often multiple issues of some titles, i.e. it often has multiple masterings available, though identifying them is often very hard unless any bonus tracks are a clue. It's confused further by holding many pirate issues of many jazz titles etc which could be taken from anything and screwed about by anyone. I'm no longer a subscriber, but this was certainly the case a couple of years back.
  11. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    I sort of lot the plot when it got on to dogs!

    Can't quite see how they're either inexpensive or useful accessories.
  12. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    You have no imagination.:D
  13. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Thanks Tony, that makes all kinds of sense. I would assume, however, that much mainstream, current pop and chart music hasn't had the, er, benefit of such remastering either because it is too recent, or not yet deemed worthy of a reissue and remaster. The Gregory Porter album discussed up-thread would be the sort of thing I have in mind. I like the album, and it may get the treatment at some point, but surely it's too early for multiple masters to be extant at the moment. In which case, is it not reasonable to assume that the lossless and the compressed file start from the same source data?
  14. bownose

    bownose pfm Member

    Streaming wise I noted to my great satisfaction that both cd resolution qobuz and 320kbps Spotify of prince's lovesexy is just one 45minute track. I like that approach when there isn't a duff track on that album.

    Not really relevant but I was listening to it while mods were moderating and thinking if any y'll had your plus sign today.
  15. Mike42

    Mike42 Heard it all before...

    Yep, I always avoid the Collectors/Special/Anniversary/Whatever Edition and hunt for the original unmolested album, usually at the bottom of the list!
  16. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    Yes, this annoys me too; it can be quite hard to work-out which is the 'real' track. On top of which, stuff like the Beatles LPs are not there.
    On the other hand, you can find some quite rare stuff, and the range will improve.
    My 'bugbear' is quality...I pay for premium, 320kps, and it's audibly inferior, with a kind of slightly 'muffled' quality, which robs good records of vitality and life. I'm baffled by people who say Spotify sounds good; to my ears it just doesn't. Maybe I'l try Tidal, when it has more tracks.
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'd still not be prepared to form opinions on downloaded MP3s, Spotify etc as I'm far from convinced the mastering is the same even on recent titles (e.g. the Mastered For iTunes initiative etc). I was never convinced by Spotify sound quality at all to be honest, it was good enough for investigating music prior to buying and for background use, but I'd not want to listen to it full time. I was always happy with the CD when it eventually fell through the letterbox. If you want to compare formats, lossless, MP3, AAC etc and bitrates etc, then I'd strongly advise ripping your own test samples from a nice sounding CD. You know where you are then.
  18. whatsnext

    whatsnext Naimless

    Dear baffled of PFM.

    Have you considered that a) you listen to different music to others and have never compared specific examples with others here to my knowledge (have you?)
    b) you have such high standards virtually anything will disappoint you
    c) you have a negative state of mind and love to share it with others

    I just enjoy the good music instead of moaning about the less good. It is only £9.99 after all - less than 1 or 2 CDs or 1/2 a vinyl.
  19. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor pfm Member

    Is there any chance we could instead talk about "Vital hi Fi accessories that don't cost all that much"? I found it an interesting and useful topic...

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