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Audiophile quality download files please

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Showing 226-250 of 723 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2010 14:36:53 GMT
I agree, the whole thing is about music. I have at least 2000 LPs, 2000+ CDs and well over 1000 singles plus I am now on no.133 compilation home-made CD and in the old days I did about 300 compilation home-made cassettes. I think that although i love my HiFi, i think it can be said that I love my music better. It ranges from Rock n' roll, motown, 60's soul to rock in all forms and especially prog. I do have quite a lot of classical but I don't play it very much i have to admit.

Posted on 13 Dec 2010 13:16:09 GMT
I like flac and I don't mind buying my music as cds. It isn't necessary to offer flac as an option. The majority are more than happy with mp3.

Posted on 13 Dec 2010 16:08:03 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
Simon, For me, you have hit the nail on the head: "It isn't necessary to offer flac as an option. The majority are more than happy with mp3".
Why should we go for the lowest quality just because the average Joe couldn't care less? That way you end up with inferior products everywhere you look. Look at the pitiful mess that is DAB radio. DRM (digital radio mondial) is the far superior service. It's cheaper, near CD quality and covers a vast broadcast range. In fact it's everything DAB isn't. Too many people these days will accept rubbish and pay through the nose for it.
It says a lot about society when we no longer push for or insist on excellence in all matters not just our music.

Posted on 13 Dec 2010 16:53:49 GMT
MCW: 'Why should we go for the lowest quality just because the average Joe couldn't care less?'

Unfortunately, the answer is contained within your question. I know that you take an interest in classical music and I am sure you know that Chandos, passionato and others supply classical downloads as flac. The sellers of rock/pop etc clearly don't think it worthwhile; they can make money just by selling to the average Joe. As I have said before, the contributors to this thread are a small minority in wanting high quality downloads.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Dec 2010 16:54:47 GMT
C. Spark says:
Probably the main reason they dont offer flac and other large stuff is the bandwidth involved which would put a strain on the crappy isp service you get round where i live not to mention that their servers would get a bit bogged down and additional hard drive space required etc

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2010 12:05:17 GMT
Red says:
Hi Mr Williams
This sounds interesting
How do you access DRM?
Do you mind me asking what equipment you use for your music listening generally?
Thanks very much

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2010 12:14:19 GMT
C. Spark says:
I found the DRM interesting heres a link...

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2010 18:52:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Dec 2010 18:55:30 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
Red, call me MC.
As C. Spark has mentioned if you go to it will tell you all about it and let you listen to samples for range and quality. It is the way forward, BBCworldservice use it and it is growing in popularity across the globe.
As for my equipment: Arcam cd & amp, Yamaha HDD/CD player-recorder, moodlab DAC or CA dacmagic, Technics FM receiver, CA DAB/FM receiver, B&W speakers, B&K subwoofer, Decent quality wiring. Oh and a uniwave portable DRM radio. As soon as a dedicated DRM separate receiver comes onto the market I'm in, so much better than DAB.

Posted on 16 Dec 2010 12:58:58 GMT
Wil Mohr says:
Average Joe here - I'm not an audio/computer noob by any stretch but it didn't even cross my mind that I'd be paying marginally below CD price for significantly lossy files (even though I had to listen to my Dad moan about the quality loss vs Vinyl all those years ago) Looks like I have to go back to buying and recording my CDs :(

I just want to say thanks all, for such a sensible and informative thread!

Posted on 19 Dec 2010 16:49:48 GMT
Mark L says:
FACT: Most self-appointed "audiophiles" can't tell the difference between a 128k MP3 file (encoded with a decent encoder - LAME) and the original CD source, let alone a 256k MP3. If you tell yourself differently you are just kidding yourself. Try a double-blind test and come back here when you have the proof to back up your big talk. Plenty of audiophiles on HydrogenAudio have tried and failed.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2010 18:02:55 GMT
Mark Lawson. Thats probably because most audiophiles are men. We women have better hearing, can hear higher frequencies but sadly, there aren't too many of us female audiophiles. I can certainly hear the difference between MP3 and Cd or lossless files

Posted on 20 Dec 2010 17:30:33 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
One thing to keep in mind FLAC downloads should keep your music future-proof, with the advent of greater memory in pc's, portables and cloud files I should think Mp3 files will be extinct within a decade.


In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2010 19:39:31 GMT
Mark L says:
Miss Sherwin - have you ever actually tested whether you can tell the difference between MP3 and lossless? Most people who convince themselves that they can, actually fail when they do a proper double blind test. Try doing T Hutt's test on page 6 of this discussion - download the sample files on this link
and post your results here.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2010 20:32:39 GMT
Basil Hush says:
Spot on. I'm a recording musician and engineer. I have some very expensive studio monitors and work on pretty gorgeous sounding electronic music. I can tell the difference between the 128kbps MP3 and the original audio, but at 256kbps I can't.

This aligns with results of tests all over the net, do a search for double blind mp3 listening in google if you're interested.

Still, people seem happy to believe some very strange things about what's needed for high quality audio and there's little dissuading them.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2010 21:23:04 GMT
Red says:
Hello Basil,

Thanks for that useful posting about the point where sonic differences become undiscernable. It reminds me of digital cameras and Megapixels.

I have a Creative Audigy 2 ZS soundcard in my PC and use Videologic Sirrocco desktop speakers.

The sound is unimpressive.

I have an M-Audio Audiophile 192 (Do you happen to know if this sounds better than the Audiophile 2496?) soundcard ready to fit.

Can you suggest some speakers to do this soundcard justice? Or would you reccommend a different soundcard to the Audiophile 192 anyway?

Thanks Basil

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 00:53:42 GMT
Hi Red,

The 192 is based upon the core design of the (unbelievably popular) 2496 card, except it has added improvements such as superior 192kHz internal samplerate, PCI 2.2 and 64bit driver support.

I wouldn't buy the 2496 if you can easily get the 192, there's just no point.

Sirocco Pros are probably better speakers than 90% of the population use on their PCs anyway, but if you want to go a step up, try some prosumer studio-oriented M-Audio, Digidesign or Mackie nearfield setups. Or better yet, you could buy some small KRK Rockit RP5 G2 speakers and some decent Mopads (or other dense foam pads) to put them on - they make excellent nearfield monitors, as do most other nearfields in the price range, if paired with a decent audio interface. Or how about some Alesis M1 Actives? They're incredibly cheap at the moment, and not bad SQ wise.

If you want a closed box monitoring setup, try the Acoustic Energy AE22s... We can easily get into a "piece of string" suggestion cycle, I could recommend studio monitors way past the £10,000 *each* price point, but I'm assuming you'd like a nice setup for less than £200 which'll knock the socks off your current equipment.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 01:21:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Dec 2010 01:23:14 GMT
Basil Hush says:
Red - what Chris says! ;) The M-Audio stuff all sounds good to me.

Though I couldn't tell the difference with or without MoPads when I tried some. An Auralex consultant sales dude came around the studio and was desperate to try and talk me into a pair.

Second hand Mackie HR824s must be the speaker bargain of the moment. We picked a pair up for 500 pounds second hand recently, I've had them sat on top of the Genelec 1032As while someone switched between them, with my eyes closed, I could tell which were which, but it was pretty close.

Personally I didn't like the Alesis speakers, but the KRKs are good. Staring at a pair with 6" drivers right now and they sound nice, but for not much more tracking down some Mackies would be my top tip and I think takes you into a new league.

Bear in mind as well, once you've got something half decent you get the best return for your money by sound treating the room properly. Two hundred points worth of sound absorption makes more difference than five hundred of speakers.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 10:54:51 GMT
Red says:
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your reply

The Sirocco's are Spirit's. Were Pro's better than Spirit's?

Do you think I will find a huge leap in performance over the Creative Audigy 2ZS when I fit the Audiophile 192?

Yes I would say up to £250 for PC monitors. That is, unless I sell my 'conventional' Musical Fidelity/AVI hi fi to finance replacing the Spirit's with AVI ADM9.1T's using the PC as my new hi fi. What are your thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 10:57:15 GMT
Red says:
Incidentally I'm running Windows 7 32 Bit. Will the 192 will be compatible with this OS?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 11:22:10 GMT
The Audigy 2ZS is a decent card and runs well when paired with the excellent kX Project drivers. I'm still using my original Audigy 1 with said drivers and it's an amply capable card for what I need (if you don't want your 2ZS, I'll gladly accept donations of equipment - I'm quite serious! ;)

I don't see why you should have any problems with W7x86, although take this with a pinch of salt and definitely consult M-Audio users & owners fora to research any potential pitfalls.

No idea about the Pros vs Spirits, I've not owned nor heard either, I was commenting based on photos, specs and prices I found. Still look like better monitoring setups than what most people currently use (including my housemate, with his 3" Logitech MDF sub and tiny satellites)

You can get yourself some mean nearfields & stands for £250 or thereabouts. Don't start selling things you like and enjoy listening to (unless you're a true gearslut) - they'll come in useful as a benchmark for comparison, or maybe even the rears in a quad/5.1 setup?.... But buy now to avoid the VAT increase ;-)

Unless my options included components from people like B&W, Kef, PMC, Quested or Naim (and your budge precludes these) I would almost always prefer reference monitors over almost all hifi speakers. I prefer 'unsweetened' sound versus the treated sonics that floorstanders produce. And in this kind of price range, it's my very humble opinion that one can get a more refined and broadly *accurate* result from nearfields than you would from equivalently priced floorstanders - but of course they're almost never quite as aesthetically pleasing unless you make a thing of their very obvious design statement!

I would personally be quite happy with two KRKs on Quickloks in my living room, my bedroom doubles as my current listening, film and gaming room and the nearfields & (accurately placed) sub do a marvellous job for all of them.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 11:44:03 GMT
Red says:
Hi Basil,

Thanks for your reply

I remember during my hi fi 'journey' rushing home, substituting bits of kit and 'upgrading'; feeling frustrated by 'better' equipment being unexciting with lack of detail at low listening levels. Upon turning up the volume to get the excitement and detail I would also set the room off with unwanted room boom.

The larger the enclosures the worse it would get (eg Linn AV5140's in a terrace living room). So, given that you actually have the amplification to control the spkrs, the room would limit enjoyable listening because walls and floors would not be substantial enough, get excited, and ruin the sound.

Over and above all of this, playing loud is not what I would want anyway, as not only will it annoy neighbours, others in the house would not be able to make themselves heard.

I suppose my ideal home would be open plan with enough space so that the listening zone say in the centre would not be audible by a neighbour and the people in the house can move nearer or further from the misic depending on whether they want to speak to each other or listen intently to the music.

I remember those auditions when I would have to keep asking the salesman to reduce the volume to a realistic listening level, realistic in the sense of what you'd actually be able to play it back at home for fear of disturbing the house (in every sense) and also bass would be audible to next door.

Yes I know a dedicated strengthened, damped, soundproof listening room with some kind communicator with a red flashing light (a la Commissioner Gordon) would be possible but not exactly practical. So what would make a good comprimise then I wonder?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 12:05:10 GMT
C. Rigby says:
Sorry. It's an opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 13:12:27 GMT
Basil Hush says:
I don't think the room acoustics only become a problem at louder volumes. I nearly always work quietly in the studio, but it'd be impossible to work at all without a bit of sound treatment. Usually a bit of absorbent material on the ceiling, back wall and the sides. Sit where you'll be listening. Get another person to hold the mirror on the wall/ceiling and where you can see the speakers in the mirror from your listening position stick a square metre or two of sound absorber. If you space the absorber by a couple of inches from the surface you get far better results too, see: Master Handbook of Acoustics Chris speaks sense on the monitor speaker options so I won't comment further on that.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 15:38:07 GMT
Red says:
Thanks very much Basil,

Can you recommend a supplier of this material of which you speak?

My room is long (8M) and narrow (3M). Imagine ground floor terrace front room knocked through into one long room. My speakers fire across the width, the floor is suspended, one wall is of brick construction (adjacent to next door), the other wall is lightweight dividing the room off from the kitchen.

Have you consolidated your hi fi and PC/Mac or are they kept separate?

How do you feel about interconnects, spkr cables and equipment supports? Do you find they have differing effects?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2010 18:01:58 GMT
WA couple of points though: I virtually no MP3s at 128kbps as all Apple downloads are now 256kbps and I had all my old ones converted by Apple. Seconly, the difference probably isn't noticable until you really turn the wick up. Everything sound much of a muchness at quiet volumes but when it goes to'realistic levels, thats when the hardness and nasties step in. I mean, CDs are much improved from the early days. Thhey used to sound quite dreadful when they first became available but do sound much better now. I imagine the engineers and mixers have learnt lessons and bias them towards sounding good on most systems. You still don't acknowledge that woman have better hearing which is a biological fact.
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Discussion in:  mp3 discussion forum
Participants:  175
Total posts:  723
Initial post:  5 Oct 2009
Latest post:  2 Apr 2014

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