The All Purpose Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by purr1n, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. barbz

    barbz Rando

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    Hi all,

    I am looking for a recommendation/s for a new sub US$2,000 DAC that is somewhere in the middle between Musical and Neutral that still offers good detail/resolution/soundstage.

    The plan is to replace the Audio GD R27 that I have with a good DAC to pair with my Elekit 8200R and in future add a solid state amplifier.

    The 8200R is only used with headphones been the Empyrean and Verite Closed.

    Due to this im looking for a DAC that doesn't preference XLR or RCA outputs over another.

    Some useful history
    • Gielser Klien 3 (akm 4493) - my first decent dac, I loved it but lacked a detail and soundstage (owned 2 years)
    • Bifrost 2 - owned for 2 months but felt like something was missing - gut feeling is I was used the DS sound of having a flat wall of detail rather than the more natural BF2.
    • Giseler Fein 2 (akm 4493) - step up on the Klien 3 (owned 9 months)
    • Ares 2 - purchased after reading reviews but sounded too mushy/slow/bloated for my taste (owned 2 months)
    • Audio-GD R27 - Ive always been interested in their products and figured it was a good time to try; soundwise I find it a good mix between the AKM dacs Ive owned and the Ares 2.
    • Benchmark Dac3L - Initial thoughts were great detail/bass but after a while Ive realized the mids are recessed and the levels just feel off. Instruments sound as if they are been cut short (drums/guitars etc)

    Thinking about this for myself the BF2 would probably be a good starting point or the Gungnir multibit (except the SE outputs arent on par with the XLR from reading around).

    Open to any and all suggestions/thoughts/comments.

    Thankyou
     
  2. Cooper32

    Cooper32 Facebook Friend

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    I think a few members here have used Jensen XLR-to-RCA transformers for connecting to use a DAC's balanced output into a single ended amp without any/minimal sound quality loss. With your budget you could get a Gungnir MB and a Jensen box.
     
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  3. barbz

    barbz Rando

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    Thankyou
     
  4. sheldaze

    sheldaze Friend

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    Each time I sit down to start listening to my Modi3+, I need to “wake it up” before it will play. A little background:

    Modi3+ is both powered and sourced from a USB transport (Allo USBridge w/ an upgraded external power supply). Additionally, I have disc transport connected to COAX and a MacBook Pro connected from the combination headphone jack on the laptop computer to Toslink.

    Modi3+ stays powered on 24/7. MacBook floats around the house for other purposes. Generally, Toslink is the last input used. So I just plug in my MacBook and start playing music. No sound. I switch the Modi3+ input to USB. Start the USB transport. No sound. I grab a CD, switch the input to COAX. Start the disc transport. Sound! Switch back to USB. Sound! Switch back to Toslink. Sound!

    I'm used to the occasional reboot of a Yggdrasil or Gungnir, but this has become my standard startup procedure. Any clues? This is more of a technical curiosity for me vs. a real issue.
     
  5. Tekker

    Tekker Acquaintance

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    Looking for headphone with boosted bass and lower-mids, smooth upper-mids and treble. Soft, rounded note edge and soft timbre for the upper-mids. Budget around $200
     
  6. Noodlz

    Noodlz Facebook Friend

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    Hm not sure where to post this. Need some advice on what to do with this extra LPS thing i got.

    I ordered a LPS intended for my MCTH, it was marked as made for the music fidelity V90 but the ebay seller assured me he can set it up so that i can use it with the MCTH. to quote, he said "the DC 28V and the current is about 1A". Being kinda dumb i took his word for it, and after months of waiting with the 1st one being DOA, i finally got the 2nd one that powers on normally. Unfortunately i come to find out that with it plugged in the MCTH doesnt power on... so i think i really do need 30V and 1.25A in order to get enough juice for this.

    (this is the unit i bought)
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/124481734547?ul_noapp=true

    So now i tried to get a refund and the seller wont respond back and i'm kinda left with this functional LPS that i dont know what to do with lol. At this point im out like $140 bucks or something like that (had to ship him the first unit back), so im gonna just chuck it up to a loss (my fault for being stupid and its always a risk to buy from ebay / overseas)

    Now, im wondering if i could use this unit with something else? Any ideas on what i could do with this? I dont currently own any other DACs or Amps that could use an LPS, but maybe i can buiild/buy one for funzies? I'm a little fuzzy on the whole LPS power thing, would this unit work on say like a Magni 3+ or a Vali 2? Since schiit has really great stock power wallwarts, are there any other dac or amp units that are worth trying this LPS on?
     
  7. sheldaze

    sheldaze Friend

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  8. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    What you need for the MCTH is something with 28V and greater than 1.25A, to be safe greater than 1.5A. The issue is the startup inrush current, which is likely tube-dependent but which the stock power supply seems to limit with some sort of soft-start mechanism, is greater than 1A. @atomicbob measured it here after others had reported the same issue.

    As for the one you have now - it'd work great as a single supply for a Pi2AES + RPi streamer.

    Edit: ^ Presuming it's really 28V and not 12V, that is. And don't try it on Vali or Magni, they need AC not DC.
     
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    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  9. Noodlz

    Noodlz Facebook Friend

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    ah actually i asked for a custom one that was rated at 28v 1a instead.

    thanks!! hm i do have a pi2aes inbound so this might actually work great for that. will try this out on it when it gets here. will also try the mcth with a 6922 instead of the 5670 i have on it to see if the lps would run. thanks for the tips!
     
  10. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I purchased one on the bay a few years ago for my mCTH. Sold off the mCTH and have used it for one of my pi2AES boxes ever since. (although, I will admit I can't hear much difference between the LPS and meanwell powered pi2AES's that I have)
     
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  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I’m thinking my parents would like something like this. My mother has good ears she’s a classically trained violinist (as am I though neither of us play anymore).

    can anyone comment on the sound of this monoprice unit? Is this the wireless speaker to buy as far as SQ goes? Links to reviews would be useful too. Thank you

    She has heard an Ultimate Ears Mega Boom 3 and likes it and wants something at least as good.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  12. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    I've thought about suggesting a Single Channel or Mono thread. There are definitely situations where one good speaker is the best solution, even more useful if they have a battery and Bluetooth. I have a Riva Turbo X I'd volunteer for a loaner tour. It works properly (a lot of them didn't), although I don't think you can buy them anymore
     
  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Bam! Dedicated Thread

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/wireless-portable-speaker-discussion.10946/
     
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  14. shuto

    shuto Rando

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    Hello, friends. I'm considering finally upgrading my speaker amp and looking for some advice.

    Update: I use a Modius SE to my speaker amp. I suppose I could upgrade it, but I suspect it's not the weakest link in the chain

    Quick-ish backstory: Last year I bought a bought a refurbished (but actually new from what I can tell) pair of Kef Q150s for my desktop setup. From what I gather, these speakers are less popular here than anywhere else. Based on my research, it was down to these or the JBL 530. I went with the KEFs because I read they are pretty good for near-field use. Compared to my other bookshelf speakers (the Klipsch RP-160M), I found this was true. And they sound okay on lower volume as well, which is important because I use them at night. I bought them for a a mix of gaming, music (mostly heavy) and general YouTube/podcasts/ audiobook kind of stuff. I probably use them 50% of the time compared to headphones so I didn't want to spend a ton on them, so $300 sounded like the sweet spot.

    But ultimately, I'm not thrilled with them for music. And am looking to improve in the areas of dynamics and transients. For metal and rock.

    I know if I improve the amp (Vidar, Aegir, something else?) , the speakers will improve in those areas, but I'm not sure to what extent. I'm currently using a Denon Avr-486 in direct or stereo mode (and usually without my sub) from 2006 to drive them.

    Also, I'm about to move the speakers to a slightly less optimal space, and the speakers will now fire at a wall that is just 5-6 feet away, while I will be 2-4 feet away, depending on how bad my posture is that day.

    From what I can see, I have four options.

    1) upgrade the amp to something that works for a range of speakers in case I want to upgrade them in the future.

    2) Swap out the speakers for another pair of passive speakers (maybe the 530s? Something else), upgrade amp based on synergy of new speakers down the line.

    3) Swap out passive Kefs with something powered that's decent. Not sure about what, since a lot of the options are bad.

    4) Do nothing. The speakers are decent and the position is bad, so maybe it's not worth upgrading until I can improve the placement.

    Thanks, as always!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    i don’t know much about passive speakers or speaker amps but I do know that my active monitors are extremely versatile in regards to room acoustics (I’ve owned the same model for 16 years and heard them moving all over San Francisco in at least 15 different rooms and they’ve always sounded excellent even in my current worst acoustic room which has one speaker up against a glass sliding door window (they’ve sounded better but they still sound good and true with the right acoustic setting on the back). They’re Mackie HR624 mk1’s (with the wooden cabinet) not to be confused with the HR824 or mk2 of either model which don’t seem to be as good from what I’ve read. You can get them for under 350$ used in great condition on Craigslist. I love mine. I think it would take a lot of money to best them. I’m probably keeping them until I can get Maggies (plus a house or large room)
     
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  16. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Rock / metal + small KEF = shit. This no matter the amp. Moar power does help, but it's still shit. Add a sub, it's still shit because those KEFs can't even do midbass well. Recordings that sound good on those small (or tall) KEFs is stuff like Jewel's Pieces of Shit album. Basically girl + guitar stuff which was popular 23 years ago.

    For value, you could do OK with the larger (6"+ woofer) Mackies, JBLs, Yahamas with built-in amps. The Adams are a step up in cost, if only you are OK with HD800 kind of highs. The Neumann monitors are $$$ and will put you to sleep. Better nearfields will be significantly more expensive - from ATC or Dynaudio e.g., BM15 passive - and only from the earlier era because Dynaudio's new woofer tech sucks balls and sounds spongy. Summoning @Psalmanazar for additional insights.
     
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  17. shuto

    shuto Rando

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    Thanks, @purr1n and @rhythmdevils. I'll check out those Mackies and see what other recs are out there.

    This is what I was expecting to hear, LOL. Good news is that I believe I can sell these for not too much of a loss and replace them with something better.

    It's taken me a year to admit my mistake and move on. Finally ready.
     
  18. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    buy Vanatoos. transparent ones or zeroes depending on if you want a metal or dome tweeter. zeroes need a sub for standmount use, ones not so much. forget about component matching amps, DACs, cables, etc. and just listen to music.

    buy from Amazon so you can return if you don't like them. JBL 530s are fine but need a sub and ideally something a little better than an AVR to drive them. you need not crap speakers before anything else though.
     
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  19. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    If you're checking out Mackies, look for the older Mackie HR624 or HR824 models.
     
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  20. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    how bad are the new mk2 ones? I’m also suspicious that the 824 isn’t as neutral as the 624 because I’ve read a lot of comments about “scooped” midrange on the 824 which the 624 absolutely doesn’t have. I think the 624 may be a hidden gem. Everyone assumes the 824 is better and it also came out first so all the “serious” people have only heard the 824.

    the 624 mk1 has vastly better tonality and FR in any room than any commercial headphone I’ve ever heard.
     

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