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Yea because the electrons care about the tiny difference the gold plating would make over the feet of copper both inside the amp and the cabling, there is no difference, none. Double blind testing proves that people cannot tell between different types of cabling regardless of its type or purity, its all snake oil, if it makes you feel better and enjoy it more then good for you, but don't be fooled. Also I wonder, and I don't mean to refer to anyone here, but how many people are buying headphones worth hundreds of dollars and then listening to low bite rate mp3's with them? That is one epic failure, it's more for fashion for a lot of people you see with them.

Glad to see my one-liner elicited such a good technical response! I am an engineer and I work with a guy who's an audiophile. You wouldn't believe the garbage some people believe and fall for when buying equipment. And they pay big, big money! But no matter what you say, you can't convince them.

That's why I usually don't say anything, just smile...

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Make sure you get the gold plated connector plugs, it makes a big difference

Apparently some couldn't tell you were pulling their leg. For some reason I knew you were just kidding.

For headphones I wanted the noise cancelling variety, and ended up with Bose QC15. They are pretty good at silencing the noise on an airliner, and the sound quality is pretty decent.

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Glad to hear you like your new cans, I looked at a selection of Grado's myself before buying the ones I use. After carefull consideration I bought the Shure SHR 840 Studio Monitors, at $240 they are'nt an expensive set but punch way above their price range as far as sound quality goes. For myself, headphones are a needed commodity. When the wife has to work and I dont then I need the cans so she can sleep. Of course I prefer to listen to my system as no cans made can come close to the sound quality of my system. Still, the shures do perform very well and I have come to appreciate them for their merits. There are plenty of revues out their about them for those who are interested.

As for the Dr. Dre Beats, well I've listened to them and all I can say is what an apalling pile of garbage they are. Honestly they sound like crap, unless you think that coloured bass heavy sound is the ideal, not to mention terrible imaging and sound stage.Of course if the primary source is based on MP3 then a lot of the sound debate becomes moot anyway.

As for high end wires, well I'm in the "they dont make any appreciable difference" camp. Having said that I will admit that my system is wired with good quality stuff. The reason being that my guy gives me a great price on it. I can get QED speaker wire from him for less than I'd pay for Monster crap. So why not? I also like my interconnects to have locking plugs, a feature generally not found on low end products

Of course, in the end all that really matters is what sounds good to the individual.

Oh yes, Audiophile? I dont know if I'd call myself that, but I have been into high end audio for about 32 or 33 years now and have listened to and owned quite a bit of good stuff over the years.

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Of course, in the end all that really matters is what sounds good to the individual.

True that. And there's a lot of psychology involved in what one perceives as "good" including media hype, branding and packaging.

Meanwhile although it may seem harmless my buddy is proud of his $600 dollar line cord. We're talking AC power here! For some it's almost a mental illness.

Edited by Manny

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Most people cannot hear the difference between 128kbps and 320 kbps. Although the 160kbps does not sound as good as all the others.

FLAC is the lossless format from Apple and can have the same fidelity as a good analog signal.

You also have to consider how the recording was made. I have some CDs that were terribly produced and mastered, so no matter what you rip it at, it will still sound quite crappy. One of my all time fave CDs was from the Pursuit of Happiness called Love Junk. Great music through the CD but terribly mastered as you can hear many anomolies in the original recording.

Some of the best mastered/produced stuff sounds great at any bitrate you rip it at, while the crappy mastered/produced stuff sounds like garbage no matter what you rip it at.

I have to disagree, the difference between 128 and 320 kbps is night and day, I can pick it out a mile away. It's one of my big gripes about satellite radio, it's obvious that it's all 128 mbps bitrate music. The high frequencies sound like a 1980's vintage video game half the time. I used to compose a bit of music for a buddy who designed websites, I had really good success with variable bitrate compressors, nice small file size with a minimal degradation of high frequencies.

Edited by Spiderfish

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I just picked up a pair of Roland RH-5 reference headphones. For the price, they are pretty good, nice flat response through most frequencies. I'm using them mainly for digital recording and playback monitoring.

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I have $5 earbuds and $10 headphones, listen to low quality mp3s, and proudly can't tell or care about the difference. :)

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Meanwhile although it may seem harmless my buddy is proud of his $600 dollar line cord. We're talking AC power here! For some it's almost a mental illness.

My guy is always extolling the virtues of Gutwire power cords, telling me what a great deal they are at $280 a piece and how I should use them on all my gear. I just dont buy it (no pun intended). At that price three or four of these cords could buy me a nice CD Player or a new TT, maybe a new DAC. These would produce a much more noticeable improvement in sound than power cords, in my opinion anyway.

Yep, there's a lot of snake oil being pedaled in high end audio. For instance special funky little supports to elevate speaker wires off the floor, at quite an expense mind you. Or cryo treating cables to align the atoms. Anyone remember the green magic markers they were selling for $35/45 each in the late eighties? If you used them to colour in the outer edges and inside of the CD they were said to dramatically improve the sound, pure bunk of course, still, people did buy them.

All in all audio can be a lot of fun and provide great pleasure though. Yes, it can be very addicting as well. I'm fortunate in that my woman does not object to me spending on my hobbies.

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Why would you be proud of that?

Means I get to save money on audio equipment while still enjoying it to the full extent that it is possible for me to enjoy said audio.

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Means I get to save money on audio equipment while still enjoying it to the full extent that it is possible for me to enjoy said audio.

I get where you're coming from.

About 15 years ago I auditioned some Dunlavey speakers with some Krell components. Whole system was on sale for around $25,000 or so.

Some classical music was playing and I could hear some of the sheet music ruffle a bit as a player was flipping the page.

I decided then that I would save my money and spend it on my preferred hobbies of travel and attending such concerts live and I am very happy for making this choice.

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Means I get to save money on audio equipment while still enjoying it to the full extent that it is possible for me to enjoy said audio.

I get where you're coming from...

I decided then that I would save my money and spend it on my preferred hobbies of travel and attending such concerts live and I am very happy for making this choice.

One of my preferred hobbies is composing and recording...considering the cost of hiring a live orchestra, the headphones and a bit of computer software was a bargain. I too am happy for making this choice.

Edited by Spiderfish

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For several months we have been hunting for a proper comfortable headphone - our kid is always complaining that we take too long to reconcile our mistakes when making fun music and it is stressful. We currently have pairs of sony, roland, samsung all sitting here - useless - it's not until you are using them for long periods you have an experience of what you really need and what you don't want.

However, for about a month now we have been using Bose headphones - it is really good, and even the sensitive one in my household uses the BOSE headphones without complaints.

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I get where you're coming from.

About 15 years ago I auditioned some Dunlavey speakers with some Krell components. Whole system was on sale for around $25,000 or so.

Some classical music was playing and I could hear some of the sheet music ruffle a bit as a player was flipping the page.

I decided then that I would save my money and spend it on my preferred hobbies of travel and attending such concerts live and I am very happy for making this choice.

These days for about 3000 you can get 93-95% of that sound quality, but with less volume(watts). There are a lot of internet direct audio companies which have made great strides in what can be had for cheap. You can have your cake and eat it too.

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Yeah, technology is great in that prices have come down and anyone can pickup a nice system for a few thousand.

Even spending a few hundred bucks in my car has made a huge improvement in sound quality.

But I still prefer to hear the ruffling pages for myself live in the concert hall.

This morning I am buying some tickets to see Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in May and the anticipation is 100 levels higher compared to playing it on a sound system at home.

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I have to disagree, the difference between 128 and 320 kbps is night and day, I can pick it out a mile away. It's one of my big gripes about satellite radio, it's obvious that it's all 128 mbps bitrate music. The high frequencies sound like a 1980's vintage video game half the time. I used to compose a bit of music for a buddy who designed websites, I had really good success with variable bitrate compressors, nice small file size with a minimal degradation of high frequencies.

I said most people cannot tell the difference. I am not sure I can. but some can. And I guess if you want 320kps sat stream, then you need to upgrade the sats and power output to handle the bandwidth.

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Some of Rush's stuff sounds bland and some sounds great.

True story and it's all in the mastering. They adjusted the audio because they knew that people would be playing it on record players with crappy needles. They enhanced the low end to make it warmer. If you play it on better equipment, the sound is just not going to be right. Hence, they went through the entire catalogue recently and re-mastered it. Sounds amazing on the Grado's for the record. :D

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Oh yes, Audiophile? I dont know if I'd call myself that, but I have been into high end audio for about 32 or 33 years now and have listened to and owned quite a bit of good stuff over the years.

If hi-fidelity stereo stuff is your "hobby" then yeah.. you're an audiophile. :)

------

All of you guys into the technical aspects of producing and whatnot really need to read those Ars Technica articles on Mastered for iTunes that I posted. I'm kidding you not that I have ripped Pink Floyd's The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon CDs to iTunes+ format (256 AAC) and the Mastered for iTunes versions have much more clarity and depth. I was truly surprised. The Ars Technica articles explain well exactly what the format is and why a 256bit AAC file can sound every bit as good as a CD.

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These days for about 3000 you can get 93-95% of that sound quality, but with less volume(watts). There are a lot of internet direct audio companies which have made great strides in what can be had for cheap. You can have your cake and eat it too.

Also depending on the acoustics of the environment you are using to listen to music. I've had to arrange things in a way with the opposing wall for some sound dampening so I would not get bounce back interference while mastering. But that is all temporary until I buy a house and dedicate a room for the studio.

But you are right on the price. I've spent about that much.... so far. Taking into account all the other gear/software and I am running close to 10 Gs I think.

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Now that the rumour mill is going again about Apple "forcing " people to buy new headphones with the new iPhone 7 supposedly not having the 3.5 mm jack thought I would throw this out there: I gots me a pair of BT headphones.

Yes, they are the Bose ones.

Didn't have much choice as they are for running and this was the only pair that still allows me to easily hear vehicles etc which is my first criteria.

They do not play very loud and if you like bass these are not for you.

I mostly listen to audio books and podcasts anyway so loudness and audiophile sound quality are not relevant (and even then, my days of reading Sterophile and giving a f^ck about sound quality are long over - I'm firmly in the convenience camp).

Battery only lasts about 6 hours which is okay.

Freedom from wires but tyranny of battery life.

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