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  • Hey Folks!

    So, FLAC music. Im intrigued. People rave about it, and i've always wanted to listen to music i love in FLAC format but i've not got the foggiest at where i start. I have some music albums in FLAC format, but i have no idea where to start in regards to listening to them.

    Can anyone out there advise on a good pair of headphones and possibly a player too?

    Thanks :)
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  • Funny thing.  I just bought a really nice new amplifier.  Nothing over the top, like Macintosh or anything, but a respectable amplifier.  I already have these Klipsch Heresy speakers.  I was still exploring how to get the sound right when I read your post.

    I really started to notice these crummy highs.  I can get pretty restless when I can't find a solution that works.  There was no way I could justify going and repurchasing all of the thousands of mp3's I have.  So, I fiddled, instead.

    The first thing that was bugging me was that the bass caused a rumble depending on where I was standing in the house.  I thought and thought and finally decided to flip the speakers upside down.  It was weird because everything about a Heresy tells you the bass speaker should go on the bottom, even the label on the speaker.  It made a big improvement, but I still had some bass rumbling and the high's were still crackling and grinding.  

    I've got more memory foam around the house than one can easily imagine.  So, I decided that maybe sticking some foam under each speaker might help with the bass but really couldn't possibly predict what it would do to the highs.  The highs are now crisp and clear and the bass rumble is completely gone.  I am baffled but pleased.

    So, anyways, the point is that rather than go pay a lot of money for FLAC files, you might try flipping your speakers and cushioning them.

    By the way, you realize that converting mp3's to flac files wouldn't really help, right?  You would just translate in any crunches from the mp3 file.  If I were a LOT younger, I'd probably start replacing my mp3's.  

    Apple does a translation before adding any song to its library.  You can set it for a lossless recording (Apple Lossless, for instance).  It doesn't help unless the original file is lossless.
  • When I was a much younger guy, & fiddled endlessly with Hi-Fi, we found that isolating things from vibration had a big impact. Particularly with vinyl, the movements of the stylus are infinitesimal, in the nanometre range, so vibrations that can move things in the opposite direction are important, so we learnt never to have the turntable where the pressure wave from the speaker could hit it.
    The same with speaker cones. Also very tiny movements, especially in the highs/treble, so always best to mount them on a solid surface if possible and if a suspended floor is unavoidable, mount them on spikes which penetrate the carpet. We also found that placing a weight on top of the speaker cabinet helped focus the sound. Probably because it helped stop the speaker cabinet moving under Newton’s 3rd law of motion, which would negate to some small degree the tiny movements of the speaker cone in moving the air to make the pressure wave. Think of trying to push a car along when the ground is icy. You push, the feet slip reducing your effort to some degree. 
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • any one got any recommendations for good headphones for playing FLAC files?
  • So, back to your original post, cookie.  Errr, funny, I was just about to post as your latest post came up.  I'm not sure why you think headphones are related to FLAC files?  Are you just looking for high quality headphones?  If so, you may want to suggest a price range.  They can get ridiculously expensive.  Sennheiser are very good but cost a few thousand dollars.  Bose is awful good for a midrange price.

    Also, are you looking for ones that lock out all other sound or let outside sounds in (there's a term for it somewhere).  I'm not talking about noise cancellation, just open ear or closed ear to muffle outside noise.
    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2020-10-26 17:21:53
  • Does that mean you found a player?
    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2020-10-26 07:38:21
  • you know... i think i may be totally confused with this.

    I was under the impression that when playing flac files via a digital music player you can hear a helluva lot more stuff due to less compression?

    like with electronic music (very much with black cherry) you can hear a lot more pops and fizzles and plinky plonks that you may not really hear when listening to an mp3.

    or do i have this totally wrong?
  • I’m always surprised just how much information is lost in compressing down to MP3.
    Before spending a lot of money Cookie, I would suggest you listen to the difference between the same piece of music in MP3 format and Wave format (which is what music is recorded in digitally - sorry if I’m ‘mansplaining)
    If I want to listen to music on a computer or an MP3 player, I try to rip it off of a CD in Wave format. The file is 10 times the size (so a full CD is around 450Mb instead of about 45Mb as an MP3 (for further info, a minute of stereo recording at 44.1 Khz is 10Mb of data in a wave file) and as with all compression, you really notice the difference on a good system. MP3’s work because they are meant to be listened to on the move, not for serious, audiophile listening sessions.
    Of course, best advice is buy vinyl (uncompressed format) and a decent turntable. Not as convenient obviously but life was not meant to be and I always find analogue listening more engaging & less wearing over longer periods.
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • you know... i think i may be totally confused with this.

    I was under the impression that when playing flac files via a digital music player you can hear a helluva lot more stuff due to less compression?

    like with electronic music (very much with black cherry) you can hear a lot more pops and fizzles and plinky plonks that you may not really hear when listening to an mp3.

    or do i have this totally wrong?


    That sounds right, Cookie.  I'm not sure that means you need high-end headphones, though.  If you're going for pristine sound, jeez, you probably need a Macintosh, Sennheiser high end headphones, and, maybe, a 24-bit ditial to analog converter (I'm not sure that would work with FLAC files).
  • you know... i think i may be totally confused with this.

    I was under the impression that when playing flac files via a digital music player you can hear a helluva lot more stuff due to less compression?

    like with electronic music (very much with black cherry) you can hear a lot more pops and fizzles and plinky plonks that you may not really hear when listening to an mp3.

    or do i have this totally wrong?


    It has less compression than an MP3 Cookie, but it is still compressed. It was intended to give better results than an MP3, which it does, but not use as much memory as a Wav file. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the standard for digital recording is 44.1 Khz and this is what Wav files are and if you record digitally in a studio, in stereo, that is what you do, record into a Wav format. High end masters can be up at 98 Khz or even 120 Khz but what you hear on commercial releases, such as CD’s, is stored and played back at 44.1 Khz. 
    Seriously, try ripping your recordings into your chosen digital playback device in the Wav format, which is uncompressed. No special equipment needed, you can do it on a laptop. Don’t do it through ITunes, just straight into a folder on the hard drive and Then download it into your playback device & listen to it from there. It may be an MP3 player, but it will still playback Wav files. I don’t use headphones a lot, mainly listen via a set of Mission speakers but I do own a pair of AKG wired headphones which are pretty good.
    Worth a try before you spend a lot of money on other gear because you probably have most of it already.
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • Thanks for the help folks! :D
  • Actually, if you really want high end digital audio, that would be HD audio.  Honestly, I'm not sure I can tell the difference between any of them.  I'm just so amazed at the sound I have now that I fixed issues with the speaker and amplifier and that's with just plain old mp3 sound.  It has as much to do with the quality of the audio put in (just like Hi-res TV - buying a 4k version of The Wizard of Oz makes no sense) and the sound engineering performed as it has to do with the quality of the end means of recording. It drives me crazy that there can't be some sort of standard, at least for volume, not to mention equalization.  In the ear of the beholder, I guess.  That's another thing I've always loved about Goldfrapp.  They have always been maniacs with quality sound.  Even their concerts sound like they came out of a studio.  I've never seen any other band do that.

    If you ever find a significant difference between any of the various sounds, I'd love to hear about it.  Funny thing about "sound quality", in fact, is that vinyl is definitely an inferior form of recording and, yet, some people will swear by it.  The article below gets into this a bit.  It's a pretty good article and it get into the different formats, including FLAC  and HD.

  • The thing about vinyl is that it retains the sound originally created as an analogue waveform. By breaking up the waveform into bits to digitally encode it, and then reassembling it to reform the analogue waveform so that you can hear it (as this is how sound reaches your ear). It’s like a circle being made of tiny straight lines instead of an infinitely flowing curve, if you look at it under a microscope then you will see it is tiny straight lines the thing is, as you allude to at the start of your last post Whick, is if you can actually hear the difference.
    I long ago concluded that the reason I like vinyl (as do many others) is that vinyl actually adds something to the sound; that imperceptible Rumble as the stylus follows the groove in the vinyl. It adds a bed of sound behind the thing you are listening to making it more realistic, just like when you normally listen to anything, there is always a background of something. Digital recordings don’t have this obviously, and by it’s omission, they sound very clinical and it is that that makes long term digital listening more wearing on the listener (in my opinion).
    I think this is why a lot of music radio shows use beds of music behind the presenter when they are talking.
    You are right about something else as well. People always thought that the loudspeaker was the most important part of an audiophile system but Linn, a high end manufacturer of Turntables expounded that if you put rubbish in you could only get rubbish out and so the correct hierarchy of equipment is Turntable then cartridge, amplifier then finally loud speakers, preserving the purity of the signal as it moves through the system. Linn now make high end CD players & streaming equipment as well interestingly, moving with the times no doubt.
    Post edited by Urban_Tribesman at 2020-10-29 06:28:58
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • The variance in recording from artist to artist is really starting to drive me batshit.  Apple's come up with a pretty cool solution.  You can set the equalizer for each individual song.  Or, as I just discovered, you can set them for a particular set of songs, like an album or all of an artist's songs.  Thank goodness.  Song by song was always too intimidating to even start.  Grouping songs before setting the equalizer makes it almost workable.

    Still, I think some kind of a standard for musical recordings would be nice.  I can't be the only one that this bothers a lot.  It's more important now than ever before since anyone can easily make their own playlists.  It could be by genre or, maybe, by music group (e.g. Universal Music Group).  I mean, do people record very tinny sounding tracks on purpose?  The thing is that having a standard seems like it would work for all listeners as well as artists.  If a listener likes it sounding tinny, fine!  He can set a lot of treble once and be done with it!  I'm guessing it's a godawful mess to consider, though.  Just like HD tv, it probably takes a lot of very expensive equipment to make a good recording and, well, I haven't a clue how to standardize music recording but it would be nice.

    I'm really glad I figured out that I can set the equalizer for a whole set of songs.  That'll make it surmountable.

    Whickwithy goes stream-of-consciousness once again!  Must be the pot legalization.
    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2020-10-29 08:15:53
  • OK, so i have another request to sling out there.

    I have a pretty large music collection, both digital and via CD's & Vinyl. most of the CD's i have in digital format.

    Years and years ago i brought all my digital music via Itunes. then for some reason i decided to move over to amazon music instead. a few years ago, amazon had an option where if you payed a monthly subscription you were able to upload your own music onto your music account which was great, i finally had all my music in one place. that is until about a year ago when amazon decided to cease this service so you could no longer upload any of your own music. All music you had previously uploaded would be kept. But as i've found out, if you try to label it differently or change it in anyway, it gets removed...

    So, is there a service out there that's able to store all your music? I thought about purchasing a 128GB iPod touch and just putting it all onto that. But then there's a capacity issue. You've always got that stopping point so no more music can go on. Amazon music was good once upon a time, but i just find it SOOOOO buggy now. things take forever to load and if i want to actually purchase music it always has errors/issues during that process too...
  • Well, if you’ve got the pockets Cookie, Brennan have a product for you, right up to 2 terabytes of storage. Enough for anyone!

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.