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Rate my audio chain!, (Where to improve first?)
eamon123
post Oct 18 2012, 11:06
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Foobar2000
SoX resampler
WASAPI bit-perfect output
FiiO E7
NAD Stereo Integrated Amplifier 310
Mission 731 2-way reflex 25-75 W 8 Ohm speaker pair

http://foobar2000.org
http://sox.sourceforge.net/SoX/Resampling
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/wi...5(v=vs.85).aspx
http://nwavguy.blogspot.ie/2011/05/fiio-e7-usb-dac-amp.html
http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplificati...11_2717crx.aspx
http://www.audioreview.com/cat/speakers/fl...59_1594crx.aspx

My desk is solid oak so bass and mids resonate through it beautifully. Especially since the speakers sit directly on it and they are heavy (3.5 kg). The problem with this is that my monitor sits directly between the speakers and it's in the middle of the oak so there are sound waves coming from left and right and up through the stand resulting in boomy resonance.



Here is how I have overcome this.





The pillow does two jobs - it deadens vibrations in the monitor and, because the monitors and speakers are arranged like a box against the wall, it helps to dampen resonances / amplification there too:

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DVDdoug
post Oct 18 2012, 19:01
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So the problem isn't so much "boomy one-note bass", it's monitor vibration? Maybe buzzing or rattling?

I'll just throw-out some random suggestions...

- They make foam speaker/monitor isolators. Now in general, I think these things are over-hyped and over-priced, and I'll bet in most situations there's no audible difference (in a blind test). But if you have a vibration problem, they might be helpful. You can try making your own (hopefully you can find some black foam), and you can try putting some foam rubber under the video monitor too.

- Maybe some stick-on rubber feet on the video monitor & speakers would help (if there are no rubber feet already).

- Maybe a just different video monitor that's not so prone to vibration.

- You can attach a shelf to the wall, and put the speakers on the shelf. Or, you can get some speaker stands, but this will take-up space in the room.

- You can get a TV/Monitor wall-mount bracket and get the monitor off the desk.

QUOTE
Foobar2000
SoX resampler
WASAPI bit-perfect output
FiiO E7
NAD Stereo Integrated Amplifier 310
Mission 731 2-way reflex 25-75 W 8 Ohm speaker pair
The speakers (and speaker placement) are almost always the weak point, as well as the biggest effect on the character/quality of the sound. Adding a good subwoofer might help. (You probably don't want a cheap "one-note boomy" sub... You want an accurate subwoofer. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with your speakers... It's all relative and I don't know anything about those speakers, but I'm just saying that some Wilson Audio speakers (which I've never heard) would probably be a BIG improvement! biggrin.gif

Otherwise, there are probably no audible defects in your chain. You may hear some noise from your amplifier, since you are so close to the speakers. But, being so close to the speakers also makes it very unlikely that you are "running out of power" and driving your amp into distortion.

The SoX resampler & "bit-perfect" setting is probably having no audible effect either (in a proper blind listening test). Are trying to bypass the Windows resampler? Why are you resampling? I assume you realize that when you resample, the data-stream is no longer bit-perfect?

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Oct 18 2012, 19:04
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 18 2012, 19:59
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QUOTE (eamon123 @ Oct 18 2012, 06:06) *
Rate my system


Where is the subwoofer? ;-)
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DVDdoug
post Oct 18 2012, 21:24
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Oct 18 2012, 11:01) *
The speakers (and speaker placement) are almost always the weak point, as well as the biggest effect on the character/quality of the sound...
P.S.
I forgot to mention room acoustics!!!!!
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AiZ
post Oct 18 2012, 23:39
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The white keyboard surrounded by black computer, black monitor, black joystick, black mouse, black speakers, black DAC, black mouse mat and black armchair is odd.


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J.Philippe
post Oct 18 2012, 23:58
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Music taste could use a little improvement... wink.gif
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A_Man_Eating_Duc...
post Oct 19 2012, 00:19
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You could make some wedges\stands so you can angle the speakers towards your ears.

Are those speakers ported? front or back? maybe make a bung to block the porthole.


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I'm a locksmith, I'm a locksmith.
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markanini
post Oct 19 2012, 00:56
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Ideally you'd place the speakers facing rather than along the long side of the room. Either way the speakers should be atleast 10" from the front wall.
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Nessuno
post Oct 19 2012, 08:16
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Oct 18 2012, 20:01) *
- You can get a TV/Monitor wall-mount bracket and get the monitor off the desk.

Thus you'll gain also enough room to place your wirsts upon while tiping and using the mouse: your back will thanks you a lot! wink.gif

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Oct 19 2012, 08:21


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2Bdecided
post Oct 19 2012, 10:12
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Oct 18 2012, 19:59) *
QUOTE (eamon123 @ Oct 18 2012, 06:06) *
Rate my system


Where is the subwoofer? ;-)
You didn't need a smiley. It takes "lucky" placement to get reasonable bass out of small speakers, and it's rarely the placement that optimises the sound quality of the rest of the frequency range. Having a well placed sub to take care of bass frequencies frees you to place the small speakers in a better location. However, sometimes the room is just too small for this to work, and a sub is overwhelming, or bad value for money for the difference it makes. Often the biggest audible difference is outside the room, which can be a bigger problem!

The best sounding speakers don't sit at the back of a desk near the wall of a room. Ideally you need the sound to hit your ears before it hits anything else - or at least, any reflections need to reach your ears as long as possible after the direct sound, not all merged in with it.

I wouldn't change any of the equipment. I'm not sure about the fb2k resampler settings, but I wouldn't worry about them too much for now.

What I'd do is try the speakers in different positions around the room. If you don't have stands, try cardboard boxes or piles of books to support them at ear height (just for testing - you need proper stands if you find a good sounding position away from the desk). If you have friends around and they already think you're mad, get them to hold the speakers while you listen. You might find a location that works really well.

If you primarily listen at your desk, then you may have the best location already. You could try raising them, and/or bringing everything a little away from the wall, but it may sound worse.

Some people do some funky things... (just used Google Image Search with the terms ikea expedit record dj because I knew I'd seen some "interesting" speaker mounting techniques there)...
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?...&p=66810254 (second pic)
http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/10/16/how-...rom-ikea-parts/
...but I don't know what they sound like.

Cheers,
David.
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J.Philippe
post Oct 19 2012, 18:13
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Is there any particular reason why you didn't go with near-field studio monitors?
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eamon123
post Oct 20 2012, 12:16
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Oct 18 2012, 19:01) *
So the problem isn't so much "boomy one-note bass"
No it's definately one-note resonance
QUOTE
- They make foam speaker/monitor isolators. Now in general, I think these things are over-hyped and over-priced, and I'll bet in most situations there's no audible difference (in a blind test). But if you have a vibration problem, they might be helpful. You can try making your own (hopefully you can find some black foam), and you can try putting some foam rubber under the video monitor too.
I made my own! Raising them off the oak makes a massive difference! The only problem is I only had green foam from a gardening kneeling pad.
QUOTE
- You can get a TV/Monitor wall-mount bracket and get the monitor off the desk.
Good idea, I'm gonna do this.

QUOTE
The SoX resampler & "bit-perfect" setting is probably having no audible effect either (in a proper blind listening test). Are trying to bypass the Windows resampler? Why are you resampling? I assume you realize that when you resample, the data-stream is no longer bit-perfect?

Are trying to bypass the Windows resampler? (yes, WASAPI does that)

Why are you resampling? My DAC doesn't support high sampling rates. USB limitation or something, because the DAC chip supports 8 - 192 kHz. The DAC chip itself is high quality so the output is as good as it would be with hi-res input.

QUOTE (nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/05/fiio-e7-usb-dac-amp.html)
At the heart of the E7 is the well respected Wolfson WM8740 DAC. That’s a relatively high-end part to find in a $99 portable product. The WM8740 lacks USB support so another relatively expensive chip is required for the USB interface—the ubiquitous TI PCM2706 which, in this application, only converts USB to I2S and its analog DAC output is unused. The E7’s analog section is reportedly from another boutique chip company--the low noise 0.0006% THD Analog Devices AD8692. Output duties are handled by the TI TPA6130 which also handles the electronic volume function. When you factor in the expensive Apple-like industrial design, high build quality, graphical display, battery, accessories, etc, it’s hard to imagine selling it for much of a profit at $99.

www.wolfsonmicro.com/products/dacs/WM8740 wrote:
Sampling frequency : 8kHz - 192kHz
Input data word : 16 to 24-bit
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Oct 18 2012, 19:59) *
Where is the subwoofer? ;-)
I don't know about subwoofers... A special "2.1" amp is needed, isn't it? Can you recommend one and a sub that is good for a 3.37 m X 2.76 m room? The walls are concrete so noise pollution shouldn't be too much of a problem as was brought up by 2Bdecided.


QUOTE (AiZ @ Oct 18 2012, 23:39) *
The white keyboard surrounded by black computer, black monitor, black joystick, black mouse, black speakers, black DAC, black mouse mat and black armchair is odd.


Agreed. This colour scheme happened by chance, it's just a cheap chinese keyboard that was lying around the house. I will replace it with this soon. http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/keyboar...ckfirerapidred/

QUOTE (A_Man_Eating_Duck @ Oct 19 2012, 00:19) *
You could make some wedges\stands so you can angle the speakers towards your ears.

Are those speakers ported? front or back? maybe make a bung to block the porthole.

Em, both? I don't know anything about speakers.


QUOTE (markanini @ Oct 19 2012, 00:56) *
Ideally you'd place the speakers facing rather than along the long side of the room. Either way the speakers should be atleast 10" from the front wall.


I don't know about facing them away from me! But I have moved them further from the wall. Combine that with moving the monitor back and the stereo imaging has been much improved.


QUOTE (Nessuno @ Oct 19 2012, 08:16) *
Thus you'll gain also enough room to place your wirsts upon while tiping and using the mouse: your back will thanks you a lot! wink.gif


My chair is like 5-10 cm too low for this! I need a better one...


----2Bdecided wrote:
CODE
Some people do some funky things... (just used Google Image Search with the terms ikea expedit record dj because I knew I'd seen some "interesting" speaker mounting techniques there)...
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?...&p=66810254 (second pic)
http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/10/16/how-...rom-ikea-parts/
...but I don't know what they sound like.

Cheers,
David.

Haha, that's brilliant. I'm sure they sound good!

----J.Philippe wrote:
CODE
Is there any particular reason why you didn't go with near-field studio monitors?

These speakers were hand-me-downs, same with the amp! I might upgrade, but monitors are damn expensive.





Thank you all for your suggestions, They were all very good!

This post has been edited by eamon123: Oct 20 2012, 12:56
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