Next Step In "Audiophiling"

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Hey guys! I am new to this platform. I'll keep it simple. I transitioned into using good headphones about 2 years ago ( Audio Technica M50X). I used mostly in-ear headphones prior to switching to over the ears (sennheiser, klipsch; 10-20 USD ones). I truly enjoy the depth and minute details in the music that keeps me going. I come across DACs and AMPS when using headphones in articles and I don't truly understand it. Is it something that sound engineers use, or its the next step in elevating and introducing myself into a different world of music appreciation. I also understand the bit rate makes a huge difference, but to what extend streaming music(spotify prem) varies from, CD for example? Questions may sound too simple for some of you all over here, but for a newbie I could use some hints/pointers/guide. For those who take their time to give me an idea, truly appreciate it. Stay safe out there fellas! Cheers.
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rastus
1236
Sep 5, 2020
There is a whole new world for you to explore, and re-explore songs, you thought you knew. Todays access to studio quality files is key. Streaming is great for cruising, and to explore beyond your normal shores. Hirez streaming such as Qobuz is bucks, but very nice. For nirvana listening, get the actual best from places like: https://store.acousticsounds.com/cat/365/Digital_Download Set a budget and let us know what your listening pleasures are, folks will provide great advice for a dac/amp rig. A great paper, so I don’t have to go long here, but it is confusing, truly, so questions welcomed: https://www.us.marantz.com/-/media/Files/DocumentMaster/MarantzNA/US/Marantz_DAC_White_Paper_4_5_2016.pdf
(Edited)
rastus
1236
Sep 6, 2020
I was schlepping bags at the AD home show years ago, when I heard some music and stopped..... turned around and there was no vinyl in evidence, in the booth... but it wasn’t sounding vinyl anyway,, so... I went back and asked what I was listening to? I was told a Linn studio recording in 24/96 FLAC... Take me to the water, we finally got access to some actual recordings, not the “hand-me-down” transfer formats we have been subject to. Now that some before very, very expensive hardware to fully utilize these files has become normalized, you are now virtually enter the studio, and hearing what the artists and the studio crew were experiencing. I am now re-listening to a new release of music, that I once again - though I knew, now released in DSD mastered from the original tapes. https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/133316/Pink_Floyd-Wish_You_Were_Here-Hybrid_Multichannel_SACD Your quest quickly becomes sourcing these studio level versions of your favorites. Some new studio recordings are going direct to DSD, stuff is amazing, my hardware now lags here, a bit, but happy as a pig in soup listening now.
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The future of music events will be including the option of direct streaming and I would guess an option on future ownership of the release, if made. So here investment is the future.
(Edited)
Haven't picked up the SACD version... yet... but the Wish You Were Here Immersion Box set is a nice set for a diehard fan with stereo, Quad and 5.1 mixes of the album.