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Manni

Manni's Audio and Computer Thread - The Can Man of ED.

29 posts in this topic

Hello EcchiDreams and welcome to Manni's Audio and Computer Thread, where I'll be putting some of the miscellaneous stuff I've acquired over the years. Obviously with the title of this thread, it'll mostly consist of audio goods and computer stuff. While I have been interested in computers for a few years more than audio equipment (2-3 years for audio equipment), it has mostly come out of my love for video games. The interest in computers was stirred from my love of video games, which began in childhood. First console I had was an original Nintendo...during the last hurrahs of the 16 bit era. Next console was a Super Nintendo during the early Playstation years. For most of my life, I've been behind the curve in terms of the latest games and consoles due to lack of funds and understanding. That's not something to pity so much as something to note. Only recently have I managed to get on the ball and, in PC terms, get better equipment than average. 

 

Music is a more recent discovery, just in the last 2-3 years when I got my first decent pair of headphones/cans and a soundcard. Up to that point, I was stuck with cheap computer speakers and sometimes going out to try a headphone. It wasn't until I went to a popular Australian computer forum's computer audio section that I discovered what was out there. And it wasn't until I tried it, that I discovered what I was missing.

Edited by Manni
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Headphone Inventory: Past and Present

 

AKG K242HD - This headphone, I think, is quite a dark one in that seems to have a tendency to emphasise the lower frequencies more often than not. The midrange to high frequencies are, to my mind, covered by the shadow of its dark orientation. Being dark, its bass is a bit exaggerated with more perhaps more impact and lingering than what's in the music, though not so much to ruin it. Its semi-open design does certainly increase its ability to isolate outside noise as well as make the lower frequencies seem more powerful WHILE not sounding unnatural and having more soundstage than closed phones. Music with deep bass instruments or hard hitting percussion seems to be suited to this as well as movies with lots of loud and deep noises. Probably will need to re-test due to poor amp pairing.

 
AKG Q701 - The revised and 'special' edition of the popular AKG K701, this headphone has been classified as a studio monitor for music production uses. While able to be used for other uses, its relatively neutral sound signature and rather flat response (for its price) seems to suggest that its main market is for critical listeners or those looking for a phone that's of reasonable price and is quite revealing. This headphone is not coloured in the sense that it adds much to the music, if anything at all. In fact, it does make things sound a bit sterile and boring. This headphone WILL make badly recorded/ripped or encoded music sound as terrible as it is. However, that is to be expected for a headphone that is marketed as a monitor. The main job of such phones is to find flaws in music as well as determine the effect of modifying sound artificially. This headphone has a rather wide soundstage, perhaps even more so than the AD900. Has reasonable tonal balance in that nothing is overpowered. This phone is known as being an amp-picky phone, not being easy to power for those on a budget.
 
Alessandro MS1 - An entry level quality headphone, this small looking phone does punch above its weight and cost. Based off the Grado SR80 and SR125 with some modifications, this over-ear phone is meant for a more energetic presentation of music. Easy to run in that it doesn't require a lot of power, it can be used successfully on a number of different devices. While having a 'smoother' sound than traditional Grados, this phone does surprise with the sound it makes. Very much suited for rock and metal , with its aggressively forward mids and decent bass punch, this phone will sound like there's a concert going on right in your head. The lack of wide soundstage is a disadvantage for gaming, where decent positional sound is necessary. Also, its over-ear design may be uncomfortable for some. Recommended for people with flatter ears or perhaps at least people who don't wear glasses.
 
Alessandro MS-Pro - The first high end phone I've ever possessed. The MS-Pro can be considered a high end phone due to its price. Costing quite a bit, it's not exactly the first phone one would think of buying. Definitely does not sound like a traditional Grado as it has a balanced sound that's less forward and aggressive than Grados. For me, it is certainly more palatable than a Grado due to its less forward presentation and more rounded treble.   Having a rather neutral and refined sound that does not have too much of any part of the sound spectrum, this phone is does have the high end quality sound. A very polite phone that doesn't get in your face. However, the comfort and build quality of its cable (due to its old school design) still leaves much work to be done. Does not require amping but scales well with DACs/sources.
 
Audio Technica AD700 - One of the stalwart price/performance recommendations on PC forums for gaming purposes, the AD700 can be considered one of the 'budget fi' options who should start off with on one's audio journey. Other budget phones include Samson SR850, RH600, Superlux 668B, Fischer Audio FA-03  and so on. The Audio Technica AD700 is considered one of the first go-to phones for PC gaming, especially FPS, is due to the massive soundstage it has. As a function of its open design and its angled drivers, it gives the user an advantage by being able to pinpoint sound around them. Its relatively strong midrange and clarity in the price range it habits is its strongest asset. Main downfalls include weaker bass, as the midrange takes over and that it won't people with small heads. Treble/high may be a bit piercing for some. Its 3D wing support system and velour pads make them very comfortable UNLESS your ears touch the drivers.
 
Audio Technica AD900 - Ah, the first proper headphone I ever had. This phone is pretty much the headphone that I used as a benchmark to compare all other phones too. Considered a mid-range phone (price wise), it's the bigger brother of the Audio Technica AD700. It does everything that the AD700 does but better, with more refinement and accuracy. It does have more bass, though not enough for the bass-inclined. The mids of the phone are lush and a pleasure to hear. Female vocals on this phone sound great, as do the highs which have an airy and sparkly feel to them. Being SLIGHTLY less easy to run than its little brother, it's a phone that scales with the source rather than the amp. Again, the 3D wing support system rocks.
 
Audio Technica AD2000 - 
 
Audio Technica M50 - I consider this phone a fun, energetic phone for DJs as it has swiveling cups, good build quality and rather punchy bass. As a kind of DJ phone, it is not exactly the most comfortable. The headband is a bit hard despite padding and it doesn't exactly accommodate larger heads like mine. Clamp force is a bit much. Said to have a V shaped sound signature, meaning that the treble and bass are more forward or present relative to the mids. The mids on this can is not its strong point, a bit recessed and sometimes the bass gets boomy and overtakes them. 
 
Beyerdynamic DT250 - 
 
Beyerdynamic DT770 80ohm -
 
Beyerdynamic DT880 250ohm -
 
Beyerdynamic T70 - Ah, the higher end DT880. The Telsa drivers in this can is said to be high efficiency, meaning that it is easier to power (more dB per mW) at the same ohms. Sound similar to the DT880, with even more sparkly treble. I found it a bit piercing to speak honestly, this can is quite bright. I preferred the DT880. The detail was excellent BUT it comes at the cost of a more sibilant sound. Coming from something with more bass but less mids like the Ultrasone Pro 900 was something I shouldn't have done. Those two cans are radically different and it's not easy to adjust.  
 
Fischer FA-011 - 
 
Grado SR225i - 
 
HiFiMan HE400 - 
 
HiFiMan HE500 - My god, what can I say about this phone? Not exactly the most glamorous looking phone, due to its rather austere and utilitarian design. It's heavier than the average phone as well, weighing around 500g. It requires its cable to be screwed into ports on each ear piece to work, which can lead to creating a nasty-LOOKING twist in the cable. To power it requires a separate amp that can cost a fair bit. It also might justify buying a good source. So why do people like it so much and rate it so highly? Because of the sound it makes. This is one of the best phones I've ever heard. This is my holy grail of headphones, what I've been looking for in a headphone. This headphone has an excellent balance of sound, everything sounds natural and in its place. Precise without sounding boring or sterile but brings out the quality of the music...assuming it is a decent recording. Capable of playing any genre of music and it makes it sound as good as it can. Soundstage is of decent size but not as wide or deep as other phones. I should note that the sound signature of the HE500 does tilt towards the darker end of the spectrum, where treble is not very sparkly. However, a Corda Classic does render this a bit differently.
 
Mr Speaker's Mad Dogs Version 3.0 - The modded Fostex T50RP made by Mr Speaker and I do mean modified. Precedes the Alpha Dog, the world's first headphone made via 3D printing. This is one of the few closed phones that I actually liked that sound of, as I seem to tend to favour open phones. This phone, including its more recent versions, sound like what a Sennheiser HD650 would sound like on favourable terms. One would think that, since I didn't like the Sennheiser HD650, that I wouldn't like this phone. The funny thing is that I actually did like the phone, over the HD650, for reasons beyond me. Perhaps the presentation of the music was more dynamic and lively than the HD650 was or perhaps I was underpowering the HD650. It didn't really excel in anything BUT it didn't obviously fail at anything either. 
 
Philips Fidelo X1 - 
 
Sennheiser HD595 - Can't really say much about this headphone because I HATED it. It was dark and neutral to the point of dullness. It's not a very exciting phone, being too laid back for my tastes. It's supposed to be an easy listening phone but it doesn't make the music come alive. Its delivery is not very vibrant or aggressive. I find them similar to the Sennheiser HD650.
 
Sennheiser HD598 -
 
Sennheiser HD600 - Sennheiser's old high end, before the coming of the HD650, HD800 and HD700. This can is said to be one of more neutral cans on the market, with a rather 'flat' frequency response. In fact, at one point, Headroom had it as one of its phones of reference. Kind of like a benchmark, a point of comparison. A much loved classic phone that still rates highly this day. It tends to do most genres well but excels in classical and acoustic music. Very well balanced sound, though people who like the HD650s don't tend to like this phone as others. Said to be mid-centric by some though what I think is that it does have weaker than average bass (especially sub bass) and its treble response could be better according to some.
 
Sennheiser HD650 - 
 
Shure 940 - 
 
Shure 1440 -
 
Shure 1840 -
 
Sony MDR-MA900 - 
 
SoundMAGIC HP100 - 
 
Superlux 668B -
 
Ultrasone Pro 750 -
 
Ultrasone Pro 900 -
Edited by Manni
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Manni's Computer

 

CPU: Intel I5 4670K @ stock = ~3.5Ghz

CPU Cooler: Corsair H100

RAM: 16GB G-Skill Trident 2400Mhz DDR3 

Motherboard: AsRock Z87 Fatality Professional

Graphics Card: 2X MSI GTX680 Lightnings @ stock

Monitor: Samsung S27A950 27 inch 120Hz Monitor

Mouse: Razer BF3 Edition Imperator 

Keyboard: Corsair M60 Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry Red.

Case: NZXT Switch 810

Soundcard: Creative Soundblaster ZXR

 

CUE 2014 Alterations!

 

CPU: Intel I5 4670K @ stock = ~3.5Ghz

CPU Cooler: Corsair H100

RAM: 16GB G-Skill Trident 2400Mhz DDR3 

 

Motherboard: AsRock Z87 Fatality Professional

GPU: ASUS GTX 780 DCUII OC. Will be 2 of them shortly

Monitor: QNIX Q2710

Mouse: Logitech G500

Keyboard: Corsair M60 Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry Red.

Case: Coolermaster COSMOS II

Soundcard: ASUS ESSENCE STX II

PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1000W

Edited by Manni
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Headphone Amps and Sources, Past and Present

 

Meier Audio Corda Classic + Daccord - Meier Stack -

 

Matrix M-Stage DAC and separate Amp

 

Cambridge Audio DacMagic and Plus - 

 

Matrix Quattro DAC/Amp

 

Benchmark DAC1

 

Asus Xonar Essence One - 

 

Meier Audio StageDAC

 

Talisman T33H - 

 

Audiolab M-DAC - ESS Sabre 9018 Goodness in an 'affordable' package (compared to other ESS Sabre based DACs). One of the best value/performance DACs on the British HiFi market. Was made in UK by Audiolab who was once based in Huntingdon, UK. Before being bought out by IAG. Made by Czech/British man, John Westlake, who was the mastermind behind the Cambridge DacMagic (Which I have heard).

 

Audioquest Dragonfly - 

 

JDS Labs ODAC and O2 amp - 

 

Schiit Magni Amp and Modi DAC aka. The Schiit Stack -  

Edited by Manni
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Would anyone like to ask me any question about headphones or want any recommendations? LOL.

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Do you have knowledge about actual audiosystems?

 

I wanted to add a real cool audio network in my new home, but I don´t know much about this topic :(

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How do you mean? Like how to stream music between multiple devices? Or something else?

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I have 3 rooms and a corridor where I want to put speakers in.

 

A Control panel on the corridor, a alarmer(electronic, can be linked with this System) in my bed room a stereo in my living room and all that things should be connected and linked with a NAS.

 

I want be able to control wich room should play music (default should be all rooms).

 

And I want the posibility to choose music from my NAS.

 

 

So I hope its understandable cause I don´t know much of the posibilitys of HiFi  ^_^

Edited by HakiMike

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All I can offer you is a Network Player or Music Streamer that will allow you to play music from your NAS or PC to your speakers, controllable by your phone. However, I can't think of a way to get music playing in different rooms in the house when the speakers are not connected to a unit.

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I meant the speakers should be connected to one central device (like stereo).

 

But i wanted to connect a alarmer, a control panel and my NAS with it :)

Don´t know how or if this works.

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For Music Streamers and Network Players, any device that connects to it via Bluetooth or Wifi can do so via UPnP...like a PC or NAS.

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Ouh nice don´t know there a good wireless options :O

 

I hope I can get a good solution for my wishes, and if get one I send you the result hehe

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They are not that cheap though. Like the Cambridge Stream Magic 6 which is about 1000Euro.

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The real expensive i heard will be the control panel, but I just want a Solution and then I bought things one by one or take other devices as workaround :)

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I´ve another question Master, this time about tablets.

 

Do you know a good tablet at the moment?

 

I will use this for watching videos, internet surfing, using Office-programs (Word and Excel) and run diashows.

Accessoires I need:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Able to connect with another monitor (not crucial)
  • USB 2-3 input (can be 1 input)
  • Storage doesn´t really matter because I have my stuff on external HD or NAS-Storage
  • W-Lan
Edited by HakiMike

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I´ve another question Master, this time about tablets.

 

Do you know a good tablet at the moment?

 

I will use this for watching videos, internet surfing, using Office-programs (Word and Excel) and run diashows.

Accessoires I need:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Able to connect with another monitor (not crucial)
  • USB 2-3 input (can be 1 input)
  • Storage doesn´t really matter because I have my stuff on external HD or NAS-Storage
  • W-Lan

 

I know you were asking Manni but I feel I can answer this; I really like the Google Nexus 10 at the moment. It can be used with a HDMI cable to a TV or monitor (MicroHDMI to FullHDMI) the cables are cheap. As for USB storage, with an app and a USB OTG cable you can indeed to that too. I haven't really experimented with USB hubs but I did plug my Keyboard and Mouse wireless reciever into the USBOTG cable and it worked perfectly (I had a mouse pointer and everything).

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I bought the Galaxy tab 4 and it´s awesome. Not least because the office and project planing is that easy but very powerful *.*

And its compatible to all devices and networks I have tried ^_^

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And my poor Talisman T35HP has broke. Will need to fix.

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you seem pretty knowledgable on this topic, so i am wondering if you can give me some advice. i have a pair of headphones, a cheap crappy set but i am looking at getting something new. i want some kickass headphones because i really love listening to music. thing is, a lot of the ones i have seen look really heavy and beefy. i get a headache from wearing heavy headphones. what would you recommend? something that is good but won't cause me to be unable to lift my head lol

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you seem pretty knowledgable on this topic, so i am wondering if you can give me some advice. i have a pair of headphones, a cheap crappy set but i am looking at getting something new. i want some kickass headphones because i really love listening to music. thing is, a lot of the ones i have seen look really heavy and beefy. i get a headache from wearing heavy headphones. what would you recommend? something that is good but won't cause me to be unable to lift my head lol

Beats by Dre*.

*lolno xP

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Apparently the Solo2's aren't that bad. Certainly an improvement over the Pros and the Studio 2.0s. Mind you, I found listening the both the Pros and the Studios headache-inducing and as if I was listening to music while being drowned.

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Will update thread when I receive the new speakers in a month or so!

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Good gravy, did I forget to update this thread?!

Passive Speakers: Pair of Woodfox 612TRTL from a speaker manufacturer in Adelaide, in Australia. Powered by a Redgum SG5500 integrated amplifier.

New Headphones: Audio Technica R70x, AKG K712 Pro.

New DACs and amp: Heard the NAD M51, Geiseler Klein DAC and the Violectric V200 and the Lake People G109P

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Updating List again!

 

Passive Speakers:

Pair of Ascension 'Woodfox' 612TRTL from Adelaide Speaker Designs powered by a 40w 'Quasimodo' Power Amplifier made by Richard MacDonald.

Pair of Ascension  'Summoner' 1093GRTL from Adelaide Speaker Designs powered by 35w Redgum REi35ENR (Actually about 60W) amplifier.

 

Headphones:

Modded HiFiMAN HE500

Stock Sennheiser HD800

Stock HiFIMAN HE560

 

DACs:

Ifi Audio Ifi DAC2

Ifi Micro iDSD

Geiseler Klein DAC

 

Amps:

Corda Classic

Ifi Micro iDSD

Ifi ICan SE

 

Computer:

 

CPU - Intel  i7 6700K

RAM: 64GB Corsair LPX 2666Mhz DDR4

CPU Cooler: Noctua D15

GPUs: 2x Gigabyte GTX 980ti

Mobo: Gigabyte Z170x SOC-Force 

Hard Drives - 3x WD 4TB Blacks

                   1x Samsung 1TB 850 Pro SSD

Case: Coolermaster COSMOS II

Monitor: Samsung 28'' 4K (EOL)

 

 

Edited by Manni

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Now I have Audio GD NFB 1 DAC and a modded Audio GD C2!

Now with Fostex THX00!

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