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You who have several sound systems, what do you listen to the most?

DavidEdwinAston

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Regarding music, not home cinema.

I see this in front of me. A system consisting of a vintage amp, maybe vintage speakers and turntables VS modern with well performing class D amp, modern speakers and lossless streaming. If you have these two solutions, what do you listen to the most?

Of course, it doesn't have to be exactly that combination, the question applies generally. It may even be that you mostly listen to the car stereo (you may be out on the road a lot in connection with your job therefore car stereo), or with headphones paired with your mobile phone, or...and so on.:)

I have a friend who listens mostly to his crappy "HiFi" solution he has in the basement because it's his free time when he's tinkering with his projects. Otherwise, he spends most of his time with his family and then there is not much listening to music. So there are of course different variations on how to listen to music.:)

Edit:
Here for example.

I see a tape recorder in the picture, but I'm almost 100% sure that that person also uses some lossless streaming provider (Qobuz if I remember correctly).
Clue about whose HiFi solution it is: That person usually tests and measures a lot of HiFi related stuff ::)
View attachment 245523
You are naughty Daniel, even I know that's Amir's rig!
In answer to your question. One plus 5, Moondrop Chu, Qobuz, Part Chimp being the music!
 

Ifrit

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Most of recreational listening is on main stereo setup, high res files, CDs, Youtube, vinyl, Spotify.
Next one is headphones with USB dongle. Then headphones with AoIP interface, speakers for the digital piano and bedroom speaker set, which gets turned on pretty rare.
 

MacCali

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Source wise in my experience I see that nothing can beat a legit streamer. My first streamer was an apple airport express 2nd gen, which is generally a poor quality source but definitely did notice improvement over using my PC to a Schiit Eitr DDC or whatever it is. The Eitr is known for having low jitter which is what computers tend to have high amounts of to my understanding.

I will say I am very new to audio, I just passed my second year anniversary, and I began my journey during the pandemic.

I have a lot of audio systems in my house, all for different purposes. I have a theater room, where I have my PC, 7 channel home theater 5.x.2. As well as my main stereo system which is the most expensive set up I have.

I made a Pi2AES streamer which is the best streamer I have heard thus far and it's basically unbeatable and has provided a massive improvement to my system. Probably the biggest jump in performance from anything I have changed out.

Pi2AES > Topping D70s > Topping Pre 90 > 2 Parasound HCA-1500's running bi-amping to my 6 ohm Elac Adante's.
Secondary setup currently
Volumio Primo Streamer > Cayin MT-12N or Parasound HCA 1000/1200 MK2 or NAD 326 BEE > Pioneer Elite's Andrew Jones Speakers.

But I do have a lot of speakers, Elac Adantes, Elac Uni-fi 2.0[HT], Both Pioneer Andrew Jones tower speakers[Elite and Regular]. JBL A190/A170. Jamo C97 Concerto MKII and S 809. And the Legendary Infinity RC262 Tower Speakers, most recent purchase

Amps wise I have my first amp Marantz 7013, NAD 326BEE, Allo Volt+ D, Paraound HCA-1000, 1200mk2, 2x 1500, Denon POA-8300[HT], Cayin MT-12N, and just purchased a NAD M23 which will be mixed into my main system. I also have an Onkyo flagship receiver I purchased for my living room HT, a 2007 flaghship model, which has HDMI inputs but this was for 50 dollars from a thrift store and in immaculate condition.

I interchange speakers based on types of recordings and albums and what I am going for. Personally I have about maybe 40 cd's but so far have not found any CD players which sound better than my steamer. So I will just stick to my streamers. No room for vinyl, or I may have considered it. However I would only buy a cheap vinyl setup and not going for absolute "digital" vinyl performance.

I have 2 stereo, and 2 HT setups and honestly I can even put another stereo setup in my bedroom if I wanted. It's a little over the top really and I have spend way too much money, but honestly I really love music and this passion has driven me to flood my life with a full immersive audio experience.

I had plans for my next flagship speakers, which were going to be Magico, but currently I am assuming measurements wise the Infinity RC262 is actually near or equal to the magico speakers I had in mind via Spinorama database and speaker ranking.
 

Chromatischism

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7.2.4 home theater with very good speakers, subs, room correction.

PC with Topping EX5 and either iLoud MTMs or IEMs equalized to almost perfection.

In both cases audio comes from my NAS or from Deezer (or YouTube videos).

I listen to the IEMs more because I'm often working or researching at the computer.

I listen to the big system when I want to relax in the comfy recliner. Sometimes you're just in that kind of mood. That's really what it comes down to.
 
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Mr. Widget

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I have two main systems.
Mark Levinson Roon endpoint in the two channel room and Lyngdorf MP40 as a Roon endpoint in my media room/office.

In terms of hours/day I use my office system much more, but for pure enjoyment and deep listening I use the dedicated two-channel room which also has vinyl playback and potentially R to R playback as well... need to get the Otari serviced.

The Sennheisers get used about 0.001% of the time... just don't get headphone listening.
 

DMill

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The Sennheisers get used about 0.001% of the time... just don't get headphone listening.
Headphones are tough for me too. They make me feel a bit claustrophobic for lack of a better description. I like them when I have to go into the office at work. Wish I liked them better as it would solve for my girl complaining the music is too loud at home. Maybe I just need to give them more of a chance.
 

MacCali

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Headphones are tough for me too. They make me feel a bit claustrophobic for lack of a better description. I like them when I have to go into the office at work. Wish I liked them better as it would solve for my girl complaining the music is too loud at home. Maybe I just need to give them more of a chance.
Honestly my journey started with home theater, and then headphones. The reason I went with headphones was most my time awake is during the night hours like 10 pm to 5 am. I live in an apartment and making noise at those hours is annoying and illegal. Also, my room used to be located directly adjacent to the next door neighbors. I love playing music at decent volumes so headphones were great because there's absolutely no limit to how loud you can play minus the fact you can go deaf lol. Movies and music were my thing

I had a roommate who moved out and then I took over that room which was isolated from everyone which allowed me to listen to speakers 24 hours a day, and honestly prior to that I still preferred speakers over headphones even though my first amp was an AVR which clearly isn't going to provide high fidelity sound.

I still own all the headphones I purchased and the accompanying equipment. I can say one of my headphones I really enjoy but it's the most hassle to set up, it's not easy so it's been a while that I actually give them time.

Second to that, I noticed from audio shows that really it's about pairing or synergy with headphones. What ever way you wish to see it as, cause I can listen to the same headphone on different devices and I do not enjoy it at all. Than all of sudden with a different pairing the headphones really wow me and that's odd, clearly the headphone is not changing but the experience is completely different. It's almost like the headphone got certain attributes completely enhanced and it's easily palable. Therefore I feel headphones are equally as tricky as speakers, but I guess with all the other factors of room interactions etc give way to a somewhat easier change.

The only thing I noticed is that with headphones the only thing that does bring it closer to stereo listening is the crossfeed setting. I have a integrated headphone amp that has this built in and that is where I get the best results with crossfeed vs roon for example. It's not a huge difference[amp vs software] but it's definitely better with crossfeed, however I guess some people consider roon or crossfeed in general a DSP function which will deteriorate sound quality. However that's the only way I can really enjoy listening to music on headphones at this time and give it a clear pass regardless of which headphones I use. *Not sure if the amp itself is using software or another feather to incorporate crossfeed

Otherwise almost all headphones sound the same to me, I feel soundstage can vary but generally the sound is the same regardless. I actually did not like the 800s which I believe is the soundstage king, I maybe mistaken. But on an actual speaker you get a full 180 degrees of sound stage and additional depth if your speakers and system is capable. Also imaging is far more superior where you can literally pin point things far more clearly to where on headphones the sound stage feels like 30, 40, 50, maybe 60 degrees at best which limits how much imaging your ears can process. This is why I feel at least with crossfeed it seems or replicates a possible 70 or 80 degrees of sound and it makes it more like stereo.

I will say headphones are definitely the cheaper route for the most part, but honestly for me with my systems[stereo] it may have been purely luck that I landed on exactly what I wanted.
 

DavidMcRoy

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I have a basement system, a living room system and a guest room system, all full of vintage gear. The first one gets the most use, by far. It's a Dolby Atmos system with c. 1990s Acoustat Spectra 1100s driven by Hafler P3000 TransNovas up front, and the one in the living room is based on DCM Time Windows. The guest room has DCM CX-17s. In all rooms, it's TV, local NPR (on a Sangean HDT-20 HDRadio Tuner) and Apple Music (via that exotic, highend DAC/Streamer, the Apple TV 4K) that generally top the playlist, in order. I use Etymotic IEMs on aircraft when traveling. The Sony Bravia XR-65X90J TV does all the signal routing. (Sorry for any purists who fainted at the thought.)
 

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Putter

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I thought this was a survey question, like where do you listen to music most often; desktop, specific listening room or your home theater system? My best stuff has migrated onto my desktop system which is a 5.1 system. For the record I have systems of varying quality in virtually every room in the house; kitchen, basement, living room bedrooms and even the bathroom. As far as sources while mostly CD and DVD based, I has gotten in the habit of using Amazon Prime for stuff I have, but didn't feel like finding. There recent move to shuffle mode for EVERYTHING has me in a bit of a quandary. I don't want to reward them for eliminating the ability to find specific songs and albums. It might be OK for a given artist, but for classical?!? Imagine listening to movements from 9 different Beethoven symphonies in shuffle order, the first movement of the Pastorale followed by the Ode to Joy final movement of the ninth symphony or as I just found having Mozart Violin Concerto separating the symphonic parts.
 

DavidMcRoy

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I thought this was a survey question, like where do you listen to music most often; desktop, specific listening room or your home theater system? My best stuff has migrated onto my desktop system which is a 5.1 system. For the record I have systems of varying quality in virtually every room in the house; kitchen, basement, living room bedrooms and even the bathroom. As far as sources while mostly CD and DVD based, I has gotten in the habit of using Amazon Prime for stuff I have, but didn't feel like finding. There recent move to shuffle mode for EVERYTHING has me in a bit of a quandary. I don't want to reward them for eliminating the ability to find specific songs and albums. It might be OK for a given artist, but for classical?!? Imagine listening to movements from 9 different Beethoven symphonies in shuffle order, the first movement of the Pastorale followed by the Ode to Joy final movement of the ninth symphony or as I just found having Mozart Violin Concerto separating the symphonic parts.
Yes: "shuffling" vs. "programming."

Signed, Former Local Public Radio Host
 

JSmith

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Amir uses the reel to reel on occasion... measured it too;
I sort of assumed SINAD would land in 40s and it did. I didn't expect the rest of the garbage this deck produces, nor the one bad channel. Need to find the time to tear it open and see what could be done to improve it. I have not listened to it in months. When I did, my favorite second generation master tape from rock music of 1970s is superb. It easily outperforms the digital ones which have been remastered to death. It is eye and ear popping how much nicer they sound than digital. I often play that tape when people come over first and their jaw drops on the floor in how good it sounds. Tape hiss is there during gaps between tracks and the highs sound a bit distorted to me but neither takes away from enjoyment of that tape. It makes me grin thinking about it as I type this!
I prefer to listen to music on my main system, however I will still listen to music at any time of day using whatever means... PC speakers, basic earbuds with a phone etc.


JSmith
 
OP
DanielT

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Fun and interesting with so many different ways you listen to music. Variety pleases as they say. It would have been sad if everyone had more or less the same setup and HiFi stuff. But that is not the case.:)

In addition, you can get tips and ideas via others. For my part, this prompted me to check the status of Spotify lossless...again...and it is....actually unchanged. The only thing that has happened is that Spotify has apparently carried out some small test survey to see if the potential exists to charge $19.99 for lossless. But of course that doesn't say anything about whether they will offer lossless in the future. AND if there is no interest in lossless, if they base their decision on some small surveys (which they most likely do not do, but what was seen via Reddit is only test balloons and nothing Spotify makes a decision on) then lossless will not be introduced. You can also think about what the other new functions mean (if they come, that is):
Screenshot_2022-11-24_085412.jpg

Destop solutions have been mentioned in the thread. That might be something to think about. Advantage, little power is enough with the speakers so close. Reflections from side walls might be reduced and increase of the direct sound occur (at best). But putting speakers on a table, hm the first bounce of the sound goes on the table and then to the ears. It mixed with the direct sound. I wonder if it is optimal?
-Maybe if you have some broadband element that is placed directly on the table (element as close to the table as possible) to remove that table reflection?
-Maybe put some thick blankets under the speakers if they are on the table?
-Maybe then have speakers with waveguided speaker elements with narrow vertical and horizontal dispersion?
The bounced sound from the ceiling, I don't know if it is something to worry about with speakers placed close but that can be taken up in another thread, some other time.:)

In any case, it gave me ideas.:)
 
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DanielT

DanielT

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I thought this was a survey question, like where do you listen to music most often; desktop, specific listening room or your home theater system?
I thought about it but I suspected that there were so many different combinations of solutions that it would have been difficult to put together sensible questions to vote on.:)
 

sarumbear

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I thought this was a survey question, like where do you listen to music most often; desktop, specific listening room or your home theater system?
You may try to vote here.

 
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DanielT

DanielT

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I thought this was a survey question, like where do you listen to music most often; desktop, specific listening room or your home theater system? My best stuff has migrated onto my desktop system which is a 5.1 system. For the record I have systems of varying quality in virtually every room in the house; kitchen, basement, living room bedrooms and even the bathroom. As far as sources while mostly CD and DVD based, I has gotten in the habit of using Amazon Prime for stuff I have, but didn't feel like finding. There recent move to shuffle mode for EVERYTHING has me in a bit of a quandary. I don't want to reward them for eliminating the ability to find specific songs and albums. It might be OK for a given artist, but for classical?!? Imagine listening to movements from 9 different Beethoven symphonies in shuffle order, the first movement of the Pastorale followed by the Ode to Joy final movement of the ninth symphony or as I just found having Mozart Violin Concerto separating the symphonic parts.

I thought about it but I suspected that there were so many different combinations of solutions that it would have been difficult to put together sensible questions to vote on.:)
In addition, you can change things so it is not static.:)

I got inspiration and put a couple of small speakers together with a sub at the table in front of the sofa to test close listening. Various fluff and blankets to dampen reflexes.I can guess that one point source, speakers with coax or broadband elements/ drivers might be better when you have the speakers as close as I do now. It might be something to build on, I'll see how it goes. In any case, it's fun to test.:)

Source for this test: CD player, SELA Power amp (it's really nice) and small JPW mini monitors, not "High End" speakers but they are good for testing. Subwoofer SVS SB12-NSD, which has an HP filter so the speakers don't have to deal with frequencies below 80 Hz (12 dB slope).:)

My SELA::)
 

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Elkerton

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I have 5 systems set up around our 4 level side split. My wife occupies the main level where there are systems, in the living room and family room, that almost never get used because she doesn't listen to music unless we go to a concert. If I turn on the system in the painting studio, I listen instead of paint. The computer in the office is where I stream if at all on wee Infinity P-series speakers and a sub. They sound just fine. The recreation room is my man cave where I set up a 5.0 system (I have 2 passive subs at mid points on opposite walls connected to the LR Revel M105s). My Threshold CAS 400A got mothballed when I 'experimented' with a used Denon AVR for surround sound (I listen almost entirely to CDs and SACDs) and never returned to strictly 2 channel. Why would I when surround sound offers an immersive experience unrivalled by 2 channel?
 

anotherhobby

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Destop solutions have been mentioned in the thread. That might be something to think about. Advantage, little power is enough with the speakers so close. Reflections from side walls might be reduced and increase of the direct sound occur (at best). But putting speakers on a table, hm the first bounce of the sound goes on the table and then to the ears. It mixed with the direct sound. I wonder if it is optimal?
-Maybe if you have some broadband element that is placed directly on the table (element as close to the table as possible) to remove that table reflection?
-Maybe put some thick blankets under the speakers if they are on the table?
I use cat beds (see pic below). They work great, and when cats are in them, even better. I highly recommend doing something if you can, as the desk bounce is real and measurable. As for directly under the speakers, I use IsoAcoustics stands. If you don't decouple the speakers from the desk with something, resonances can be quite noticeable.
The bounced sound from the ceiling, I don't know if it is something to worry about with speakers placed close but that can be taken up in another thread, some other time.:)
I didn't know if ceiling bounce was a problem, because I didn't know how to pick it out of the sound. I didn't know what it sounded like. Less than 2 weeks ago I put some 2" absorber diffusors over my desk and the difference was huge. Unfortunately now I know the negative effect it's been having on the sound, so I ended up ordering thick 6" versions to put up there permanently.

IMG_1814.jpeg
 

JayGilb

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I’d be curious about your impressions of the Plex? I don’t know many who use it as a solution.
I personally like it, I tried a few other DLNA server solutions, but did not have good luck, so I installed it and bought a license after a 1 month trial.
I run it on a Windows 10 quad core i5 pc and have accounts setup for all of my family members. My children use it to stream movies to their houses.
Audio is mostly a mix of mp3, wav and flac. Video is all of my DVDs I ripped.

The user interface has matured in the last few releases and I rarely have any glitches on playback. It does a good job of searching for song or movie information, just copy a movie or song to the hard drive and a while later it has downloaded the proper thumbnail album art or movie poster.

Yea, it's not a popular solution compared to other streaming media servers, but works well for myself and my family members.
 

AdamG247

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I use cat beds (see pic below). They work great, and when cats are in them, even better. I highly recommend doing something if you can, as the desk bounce is real and measurable. As for directly under the speakers, I use IsoAcoustics stands. If you don't decouple the speakers from the desk with something, resonances can be quite noticeable.

I didn't know if ceiling bounce was a problem, because I didn't know how to pick it out of the sound. I didn't know what it sounded like. Less than 2 weeks ago I put some 2" absorber diffusors over my desk and the difference was huge. Unfortunately now I know the negative effect it's been having on the sound, so I ended up ordering thick 6" versions to put up there permanently.

View attachment 245725
Well we know what room your cats prefer to listen to music from! I don’t blame them. It looks like a great room.
 
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