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Evshrug
2338
Jan 19, 2019
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Hey Duncan, I’m sure you’re starting to realize, you asked a loaded yet common series of questions! So common, in fact, I’ve been outlining chapters of a small book based on what I’ve learned in the past 10 years of “getting serious” about this hobby! Here’s some short(ish) answers: •The HD 58X Jubilee is a GREAT starting point, totally approved for taking your “ear-ginity!” 😉 •Streaming on Spotify Premium, which is streaming 320 kbps encoded MP3’s, is like the middle ground. That level of compression should allow you to hear most details, and the full range of frequencies audible to the human ear, BUT the soundstage will seem smaller and flatter, and there will be some artifacts from the compression making some things sound like “sounds” rather than something emitting from an instrument. Many people are perfectly happy hearing this level of music and getting on with their lives. •TIDAL has a standard tier that costs the same and has the same level of compression as Spotify Premium, but TIDAL HiFi lets you stream at CD quality or better. High amplitude things will sound better and more dynamic, more realistic Cymbals and high frequency instruments 🎻 📯 (less fatiguing for my spoiled ears!), and generally you will notice less compression artifacts.💱 •What else defines a good source of music? Well, hopefully the above gives you some idea already, but also the mastering and the skill of the engineer can make a huge difference. Seminal albums like “Graceland” by Paul Simon, “Aja” by Steely Dan, “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd, “Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk, and many more take on whole new life on a HiFi headphone or speaker setup compared to earbuds. Chesky Records has a whole series of “Binaural” albums that were recorded with headphones specifically in mind, and they will blow you away. We’re talking albums that will take you from “something in the background and then getting on with my life” and into something that can hold your whole attention by itself! •Can you truly get the most out of HiFi music with “standard” equipment? 🔊Well, if your goal is to make working at a desk a little more pleasant, or to (mostly) hear the lyrics, then yeah almost anything will do. On the other side, where the music starts to affect you emotionally💃🏻, transport you to the performance and feel realistic, take you to the artist’s intended experience 👩‍🎤👨🏻‍🎨, and put you into an almost hypnotic high 🕴🏻, then honestly nothing is ever quite the holy grail (though the Sennheiser HE-1 can convince you that you’ve heard it sometimes, ha!). Smartphones WITH headphone jacks usually are better sounding than headphone jacks in laptops and desktop computers; an Apple iPhone SE is about equal to an amp/DAC setup in the $150-$250 range, unless you’re looking purely for something with more power (which the HD 58X Jubilee doesn’t need so much). Go ahead and DEMO cheap gear, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying something cheap because you won’t hear much difference compared to a smartphone. I do recommend borrowing stuff from around the office, or coming to NAMM next week and a CanJam SoCal later on. An SDAC + Cavalli Tube Hybrid from Massdrop, for example, would give you tons of pleasure. •Something I’ve noticed: people that just buy stuff recommended to them because someone told them they “should,” usually they just try it out for awhile and then it loses its luster. Having friends, especially an “audio daddy” who guides you with experience and “audio brothers” who share discoveries and excitement with you, that will enrich the experience and keep you from burning out. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Now, the HD 660 S is more refined than the HD 58X Jubilee, better performance but a similar flavor; here’s a playlist of songs that sound great with that flavor (and it looks like someone else added some discoveries they liked too, feel free to add your own discoveries too!): https://open.spotify.com/user/evshrug/playlist/5O08XPTiO7qgw4wVsBhmMr?si=ZcJVSnUSQ7CJ2lFlmzqj1Q 🍻🎼📀🎧🌝🥁🎸
(Edited)
Jan 19, 2019
Evshrug
2338
Jan 19, 2019
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Another post I made recently about gear for another guy just starting out “the Journey”: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/3034/talk/2308234?utm_source=linkshare&referer=Z2JXCA
Jan 19, 2019
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