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Goot equipment for huge FLAC files?
kylegreer1996
post Jul 25 2012, 12:19
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Hello all, I'm new to hydrogen audio and all biggrin.gif
I was wondering, I'm not the best expert on audio, but I do like as high quality as I can get, recently I've been really occupied with a certain artist and managed to get one of his recent albums from vinyl, first time I've listened to 24 bit - 4608kbps - 96khz, can't fault the audio quality either, but I don't really have anything along the lines of audiophile grade listing equipment.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good headphones? Also, does it make a difference that I'm using a stock basic sound card? I care more about processing power and gpu power than sound cards.

Thanks for any help!

-Kyle
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GeSomeone
post Jul 25 2012, 12:44
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QUOTE (kylegreer1996 @ Jul 25 2012, 13:19) *
[..] managed to get one of his recent albums from vinyl, first time I've listened to 24 bit - 4608kbps - 96khz, can't fault the audio quality [..]
does it make a difference that I'm using a stock basic sound card? I care more about processing power and gpu power than sound cards.

I think you should check whether your sound card supports 24bit and 96kHz and is set to use those values while playing this.
To find out if it makes a difference to you, you could compare that with setting the output to 48kHz or 44.1kHz. (To do this scientifically you should go a step further, if you really want, and find out about resampling correctly and use a double blind test like ABX).

A simple answer is that vinyl doesn't have as much dynamic range as digital and in this case a lot of those bits are probably used to reproduce the surface noise as accurately as possible. However you may like it more anyway.

This post has been edited by GeSomeone: Jul 25 2012, 12:45
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db1989
post Jul 25 2012, 13:06
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QUOTE (kylegreer1996 @ Jul 25 2012, 13:19) *
I do like as high quality as I can get [Ö] managed to get one of his recent albums from vinyl, first time I've listened to 24 bit - 4608kbps - 96khz, can't fault the audio quality
QUOTE (GeSomeone @ Jul 25 2012, 12:44) *
I think you should check whether your sound card supports 24bit and 96kHz and is set to use those values while playing this.
To find out if it makes a difference to you, you could compare that with setting the output to 48kHz or 44.1kHz. (To do this scientifically you should go a step further, if you really want, and find out about resampling correctly and use a double blind test like ABX).

Iím going to adjust a few things there, GeSomeone:
QUOTE
To do this scientifically make your claims about audio quality acceptable on Hydrogenaudio, you should must go a step further, if you really want, and find out about resampling correctly and use a double blind test like ABX

kylegreer1996: #8 of the Terms of Service, to which you agreed upon registering, makes this abundantly clear. I understand that you might not be categorically claiming that the high-res tracks sound superior to lower, and perfectly adequate, settings such as 44.1 kHz and 16 bits; but this is a heads-up in any case, and it also might save you chasing after inflated resolutions that in reality offer you nothing physiologically.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jul 25 2012, 13:06
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slks
post Jul 29 2012, 06:58
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First off, as has already been mentioned - 24/96 audio is overkill except in specific situations (such as in a recording studio). The consensus here is that you're unlikely to hear a difference between 24/96 and 16/44.1, barring outside factors (like bad resampling).

That said, I don't think vinyl rips are useless. Vinyl does introduce slight distortions to the sound - surface noise, altered frequency response, etc - that have a certain appeal. I've done a few 24/48 vinyl rips myself, and have no problem listening to these, or dithering to 16-bit then burning a CD of it.

Now on to your question itself! Many (should I say most?) basic sound cards from the past 5 years support 24/96. However it's possible yours only supports 16/48. So first you have to determine what model your sound card is, and then look up which modes it supports.

But the sound card isn't really the first place to look. Sound cards today are, for the most part, adequate. This is why you, I, and lots of other people just use the built-in sound. The #1 thing you're looking at to improve sound, is what actually produces the sound - the speakers or headphones. The single most effective thing you can do is to upgrade those.

Unfortunately I don't know much about which specific models to buy. I've always bought cheap (under $50) headphones, focusing more on my full-size speakers. But I can say with confidence to avoid heavily branded/promoted expensive products! Like Skullcandy headphones, or Beats by Dre. These tend to be way overpriced and not very good otherwise. Run faaaar away from these. Now someone else who knows headphones needs to step in, to tell you what is good!


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jul 29 2012, 10:51
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QUOTE (kylegreer1996 @ Jul 25 2012, 07:19) *
Does anyone have any recommendations for good headphones? Also, does it make a difference that I'm using a stock basic sound card? I care more about processing power and gpu power than sound cards.


Good transducers (headphones and speakers) generally more important then differences between good computer audio interfaces.

The cheapest headphones that I would recommend for critical listening are Sennheiser HD 280s. If they were the last headphones you ever bought, you would probably die pretty happy with them.

There are now 100s of headphones, many that sound very good. The sky is the limit for price. If price were no object I would buy a pair of Sennheiser HD 600s, to replace the very similar HD 580s that were stolen from me some years back.
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kylegreer1996
post Jul 29 2012, 14:00
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Quite interesting reading what people have to say!
I have to admit, comparing a vinyl rip 24/96 to a CD rip at 16/44.1, the only difference I could make out was some crackles and 'hissing' from the vinyl, I guess cd rips are good enough, and each track isn't 700mb in size!
My sound card actually supports 24/192, I was just concerned that being a pretty basic one it might have, if anything, effected the output.

I'll defiantly have a look at Sennheiser, got to admit I've been tempted to get a pair of beats, probably makes me look like a 10 year old saying that, but, they look pretty good non the less.

Thanks guys!
-Kyle
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Roseval
post Jul 29 2012, 17:38
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The Monster Beats might appeal to you but you better check the frequency response first as it is Monsterous bass heavy
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/monst...ats-dr-dre-solo


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