The All Purpose Advice Thread

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

  1. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

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    I use the Lynx AES16e and it gives the Convert 2 a little more air up top. I have ordered the PI2AES so will let you know when that comes.
     
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  2. RobS

    RobS treboR (Psalmanazar Groupie)

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    Awesome, thanks Koth. I plan on getting the Pi2AES as well right after purr1n posts up a guide. USB is still great, but I preferred how good it sounded with my failing CD transport. Hopefully the Pi2AES delivers the same kind of experience or more.
     
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  3. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    yep... I'm a lazy ass I guess...
     
  4. nickwin

    nickwin Facebook Friend

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    Happy New Year! Im looking for advice on where to go from Hifiman HE500s. Ive been using a pair of HE500s with focus-a pads for 6 years now. Depending on what the rest of my set up consisted of at the time I either liked them or absolutely loved them. Currently pairing them with a LP (w/ balanced cable) and RDAC and Im just not 100% happy with it (I also have/tried Modi 3 and Modi MB).

    General listening habits: Im a big speaker guy also, so when I use my headphone setup its usually because I'm working at my desk. Because of that I like a fairly laid back (non distracting) sound from my headphones and they absolutely need to be non fatiguing. I often use them for several hours in a row. I may be particularly sensitive to treble nasties too. Beyond that, I tend to like a fairly neutral response with maybe a little downward tilt. I don't put a ton a weight on micro detail or plankton. Honestly, the HE500s got the tonality almost perfect for my tastes. At this point Im leaning towards orthos only because I've never found a dynamic I liked as much as the HE500s, that said I haven't heard many (I never liked the rounded mid-bass emphases with early roll off you get from HD650 for example). I listen to all kinds of music, but mostly (decent quality) electronic, indy and rock. Four Tet, Radiohead, Detroit techno... But also some vocal driven and acoustic music (who doesn't like a great vocal recording...).

    Specific things I like about the HE500s:
    • tonality
    • bass response and extension
    • midrange clarity
    • Treble presentation in general (transients/resolution)
    • ability to handle everything from bass heavy electronic to acoustic/vocal music.
    Areas I would like to improve upon the HE500s
    • physical weight/comfort
    • bass resolution/clarity/transients (its a little soft/muddy)
    • treble harshness (not sure if its the little 1k bump or the 10k bump or something else that bothers me but It sound like its the 1k region to me). This is probably my biggest issue with the HE500s.
    • Could use a bit more clarity across the whole spectrum.
    Basically I'd like to jack up the clarity and resolution across the board and add a little refinement to the treble response without changing the overall tonality of the HE500s.

    I try to find something I really like and hold onto it for a while, Im not into FOTM. With that in mind, my budget is fairly open, lets say under $1200 new or used. Some headphones that have caught my attention in recent years: Focal Elex, Koss ESP, HifiMan XX and Mr speakers Ether, but I'm not sure any of those meet my criteria. Does what I'm describing even exist?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  5. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    Looking for a recommendation for a BT headphone for use with my Samsung Q80R TV. Given recent changes in the household, I am going to have to use headphones exclusively when watching TV after hours when the rest of the household is asleep. I could use wired headphones through the AVR as I have done in the past, but would prefer to be wireless and just reserve my wired headphones when playing music through my normal headphone setup.
     
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  6. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    What is your budget? I have some Taotronics that I got for $40 that are quite well rounded and comfy for the price (even has moderate noise cancellation). Or the Sony WH-1000XM3 which are significantly more, but definitely better. One thing I don't know about is range, as I only used them paired with my phone which was always withing a few feet. Alternatively, you can get something like an ES100 and plug regular headphones into, though managing or shortening a cable might not make it worth it.
     
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  7. StefanAC

    StefanAC Acquaintance

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    Funny, I've got a question regarding the same TV as @Colgin - the Samsung Q80. Our old Samsung TV had a headphone out that went to our active Raumfeld Speaker L loudspeakers. The new one only has a TOSLINK optical out - therefore, I need a new DAC.

    For various reasons, I'm torn between the Schiit Modi 3 and Modi MB - but which one would be better in that application? Which one can convey better the space of the venue, which one is better at reproducing human speech?

    For music, I strongly prefer the vintage R2R sound. In my loudspeaker system, I use an Audiomat Tango 2 (PCM63) and Tango 2.5 (PCM1704) as well as Philips CDPs with TDA1540 and TDA1541 DAC chips. With headphones, I think the RDAC is miles ahead of the build in SDAC of the MCTH.

    Currently, the RDAC is used with the TV and performs very well. But I want it back for my headphones. The Metrum Octave I originally bought for TV use gets to warm for my liking as the space it sits in isn't vented - will the Schiit DACs (Modi MB especially) get hot in 24/7 use?
     
  8. fastfwd

    fastfwd Almost "Made"

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    I'm looking for a DAC to go in front of a Night Blues Mini + HD800 SDR. Budget is like $800 (and I don't mind spending it on used gear).

    I'm currently feeding the NBM from the built-in DAC of a Squeezebox Touch. It sounds fine on some material -- like acoustic girl-with-a-guitar -- but it gets overwhelmed with more complex recordings. And it seems to give some male vocals a nasal quality that I don't hear when I replace the Squeezebox with an actual CD playing through an Oppo BDP-103's built-in DAC.

    Anyway, I haven't heard any modern DACs, but I've read a fair amount here. So I'm definitely going to audition the Bifrost 2.

    Is anyone else using Bifrost 2 with an NBM (or ZDT Jr.) and HD800 SDR?

    What other DACs would you recommend for that amp and headphone?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  9. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    I had not considered simply getting a Bluetooth DAC/receiver. That might be a better option as I can then use my CA Andros as well as other headphones. I assume the ES 100 and any other similar models would work fine with a TV.
     
  10. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Latency can be an issue with Bluetooth (sound lagging behind the image, e.g. lip syncing). There is an aptX LL (Low Latency) codec but both the TV and receiver would have to support it (the ES100 doesn't).
     
  11. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Im considering making an offer on an amp located in Canada.

    Does anyone know current customs \ duties rate on a stereo amplifier shipped from Quebec to the US ?
     
  12. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    To the US? I'm pretty sure you won't have to pay duties. The other way around duties will be collected in Canada 99% of the time.

    But importing to the US I think you're in the clear. Maybe someone else can confirm?
     
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  13. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Correct, would be buying from a Quebec seller, importing into the US.
     
  14. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    @ogodei
    It's rare, but it does happen. It's nearly universal coming from the US up to Canada, but in all my years selling stuff going down to the US, I can probably count on my hand how many times it's been hit with duties going the other way.
     
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  15. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Any idea what the rate is? With all the trade deal crap I could see US customs agents getting snippy.

    I've done several contracting jobs in CA under NAFTA, I'm always amazed at how much leeway agents on both side of the line have in randomly imposing their will on people\goods crossing the line.
     
  16. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    @ogodei
    Doing really crappy napkin math... I would estimate I've probably done 200 or so buy/sell/trade thingies over the years, at least half of which would be to the US. Of those that said they had to pay duties... maybe 3 or 4?
     
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  17. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    It also depends on the value of item. Item upto certain $$ is duty free anyways.
     
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  18. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    What about brokerage fees (to be paid by the US receiver)? I know in this case they'd be a small % of the total, but I'm wondering more generally.
     
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  19. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    This is UPS from Canada -> USA
    https://www.ups.com/us/en/shipping/zones-and-rates/us-customs-brokerage-fees.page

    It makes me angry seeing how much higher it is going from USA -> Canada
    https://discsunlimited.net/ups-brokerage-fees
    plus taxes, plus "handling", plus customs, etc... In a couple rare cases I wound up paying more in fees/taxes than what the item was actually worth
     
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  20. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I shipped a number of items with Canada Post to the US no one paid any brokerage fees.

    One thing you need to be very careful about shipping from Canada to the US these days is anything "Made in China".
    That triggers entirely different process, very cumbersome, and %25 duty on most items.
    I got Fedex shipment from the UK just few days ago, no brokerage fees, and stuff below $1k is duty free.
    But.. the UK guys screwed up and sent the DAC made in Germany with "made in China" Fedex invoice. All hell broke loose, it took me 5 days talking to the seller, Fedex support etc to sort it out.
     
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