Quote from: saratoga on 14 December, 2010, 11:23:28 AMIMO talking about how loud music sounds over headphones without replaygain is pretty useless, so hopefully thats what people are talking about.Why?
IMO talking about how loud music sounds over headphones without replaygain is pretty useless, so hopefully thats what people are talking about.
There are plenty of music playback devices (e.g. cell phones) that do not support replaygain.
Because if you play music with an unknown gain then you don't know if it sounded loud because it was loud or because the amp was powerful. You're basically just twisting the volume dial some random direction dictated by the mastering. Thats not very useful.
Suppose a classical recording with a gain of -15db. Wouldn't applying +25db of gain leave it with the same perceived loudness as that of a heavily compressed mastering, with +10db, while not necessarily ruining the dynamics? The gain could be applied either in a hard fashion, through software like mp3gain, or simply through the addition of replaygain info in the tags, as the clip+ apparently supports this.
Why not just buy a commodity Hi-Fi stereo amplifier with headphone jack and connect the Clip through a jack-to-chinch cable? You could attach speakers to it later, if you wanted. Do you have any reason to think that a dedicated headphone amp will be better than a standard headhone amp IC inside a stereo amplifier?
There's also a distrust in portable amps which I could only overcome with extensive measurements, but these are usually unavailable (I had the same distrust of portable players). If you search in these very forums you'll find people saying stuff like "it's ok for a portable" or "the headphone jack of the Ipod is pretty decent". Comments like these seem to indicate a belief, and a pretty reasonable belief, that if you're walking around with earbuds in noisy enviroments you don't really need a high sound quality. But I'm considering using the clip+ as my home source, instead of the quiet pc which I was planning to build.
I think with the added cost for the amp I'd be better off investing on the pc
Since I'm looking for a source for home listening only, I'd want an amp with a AC connection.
3) If you have a cell phone and *choose* not to use replaygain, then its even MORE important to know how much voltage your headphones will need since you'll require even more gain from your device's headphone amp
Wouldn't a full stereo amplifier always cost more than a dedicated headphone amp of the same level? I can't use speakers due to considerations for family members and neighbours.
One problem is that, while it's quite easy to find a "good enough" stereo amp to drive speakers, some quite decent amps have really lousy headphone outputs. If you can't check first, you could easily end up with something that's useless for you.
Quote from: saratoga on 14 December, 2010, 11:41:52 AM3) If you have a cell phone and *choose* not to use replaygain, then its even MORE important to know how much voltage your headphones will need since you'll require even more gain from your device's headphone ampI don't know what music you listen to, or what target level you use for WavGain/mp3Gain (or similarly what pre-amp setting you use for ReplayGain), but in general, on average, ReplayGain makes most tracks quieter. So using ReplayGain = needing more amplification = more likely to run into problems with a weak amplifier with more tracks.
You can, of course, increase the target level or increase the pre-amp setting to compensate, but that has its own issues.
No one has mentioned the sampling rate error - the original Clip with original firmware plays 0.15% too fast. That's undetectable for most people, but some folks with perfect pitch claimed to detect it. Not sure what the Clip+ and/or rockboxed firmware does.
Quote from: 2Bdecided on 15 December, 2010, 02:31:41 PMOne problem is that, while it's quite easy to find a "good enough" stereo amp to drive speakers, some quite decent amps have really lousy headphone outputs. If you can't check first, you could easily end up with something that's useless for you.Over the years I've read this claim a lot. A few years ago (2?) I contacted a lot of amplifier manufacturers and asked them about the circuits used for the headphone amps. I also looked for schematics for a lot of amps.
Re the original benchmark: A good soundcard. I've had all sorts of hissing from (internal) sound cards, and an explanation was stated in this reply to me:http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=690732 I don't know the details here, but I'd guess that offboard sound is safer.
I suspect that the number of separate power rails in your notebook is low and that the sound codec's supply hasn't been a high priority objective. So it shares its rail with a lot of other components and gets a much dirtier mix than what the manufacturer's standard recommendation for decoupling capacitors had been meant for.Sound cards aiming at >100 dB signal-to-noise ratios usually filter input power sufficiently to reach that goal even on dirty power. For properly designed and sufficiently powered mainboards that shouldn't be an issue anyway.A couple of years ago I also had very loud distortions (saw tooth like dropouts) on a mainboard with VIA chipset. It turned out to be flawed chipset drivers, an an update could fix the issue. But in my experience driver related distortion issues have become much rarer since then.In your case going external was probably the best thing you could do.
BTW, ROCKBOX on Clip+, I just installed it: is it normal to have a rather short track change noise when manually changing tracks (Vorbis files)?
In case of classical music, say, orchestral music, I'd apply vlevel.sf.net (available for fb2k for instance) on the audio material to flatten the very high dynamics, which aren't "useful" in a noisy or headphone environment.
With in-ear-speakers, e.g. I don't want to have the full power of the Mahler Sym. 6 hammer on my ears.