Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Jodo Kast Oct 29, 2009

Here it is:

http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_642C … tml?tp=197

I've never owned anything specifically called 'audiophile' until I got the headphone system, and now I have an 'audiophile' source. It produces better sound than my PC. While it solves certain problems, it creates others. I was going to use replay gain on my music collection, but I don't have to worry about that anymore. In fact, I've changed my listening habit that had been developed over the last 7 years, which was one of abandoning traditional components and using a PC. I noticed that I'd spend more time filling in information and organizing the files, and not much time really listening. The computer compels one to treat things differently, since it makes a lot of information available all at once. A single disc CD player does not provide one with the option to view their entire music collection (unless they're pitiful) and thus allows one to focus, since that's really the only allowed action. I've also read that the new way we listen to music helps to damage the ears, since we can listen for hours, even years, if we wanted to.

My new listening habit is to burn single discs and use those. This comes with a level of convenience I had forgotten about - it's much faster to turn on a CD player than to turn on a computer. Plus, the computer is distracting if I just want to listen to music. I've always found myself doing something else.

What were my first two burns? Konami Shooting Battle I & II. (The first CD I tried out was Muscle Spark, by Dangerous Mezashi Cat, since it was sitting out. I immediately could tell the difference between a Marantz and a PC.)

Next up will be the Orchestral Game Concerts.

Angela Oct 29, 2009

Nice.  Marantz makes terrific audio equipment.  I've went through a number of receivers in the past, but Marantz always manages to be one of the best in terms of sound quality and durability.

Daniel K Oct 29, 2009

Its all about habits and the amount of self-discipline put in. Some people find listening to music on a computer hard because there are so many things that can distract, others aren't bothered/affected by it.

Jodo Kast wrote:

I've also read that the new way we listen to music helps to damage the ears, since we can listen for hours, even years, if we wanted to.

Don't believe everything you read, my impressionable friend. That claim sounds like BS to me, you can listen to a CD on a stereo system for hours (even years) if you wanted to, just put it on repeat, both computers and stereos run on electricity after all, so the only thing you need to worry about is the electricity bill (and our civilization and energy infrastructure collapsing, I guess).

I used to listen to music hours on end back when I used a CD-player, just the same as I do now, whether I had the music in the background while doing something else, or just listened to the music. Helps damage the ears? ROFL, don't listen to it then (hint: turn down the volume).

But anyways, its good that you're getting some new friends, Jodo. You always seemed like a bit of a loner to me.

Amazingu Oct 29, 2009

Daniel K wrote:

But anyways, its good that you're getting some new friends, Jodo. You always seemed like a bit of a loner to me.

Um. Wasn't he talking about the machine?
I don't think that counts...

Daniel K Oct 29, 2009

Amazingu wrote:
Daniel K wrote:

But anyways, its good that you're getting some new friends, Jodo. You always seemed like a bit of a loner to me.

Um. Wasn't he talking about the machine?
I don't think that counts...

Ever heard of this?

Jodo Kast Oct 29, 2009

Amazingu wrote:
Daniel K wrote:

But anyways, its good that you're getting some new friends, Jodo. You always seemed like a bit of a loner to me.

Um. Wasn't he talking about the machine?
I don't think that counts...

Machines are rather friendly life forms. While some speculate that silicon based life may exist on other planets, they're forgetting we've already made it! Don't believe me? My cd player has a name. He told me. It's Crankenheimer. He feels that his purpose in life is to crank out tunes all day, so it seemed fitting.

GoldfishX Apr 20, 2013

*4-Year BUMP!*

Only because this post got me curious about high-end audio and is my own personal starting point for looking into it. Today, after extensive research and much deliberation, I finally took the plunge:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-6JSuWMhLik … A8004.html

I was able to find it at a brick and mortar store and I was able to sample it against several others in the same price range. It doesn't have the best soundstage that I found, but musically, it is the best. I am running it through a vintage amp and some low end speakers and it does sound amazing still, so it is good to know I have the perfect starting points.

Thank you Jodo, for piquing my interest.

And the VGM I used on my reference CD:

Double Dragon II Arrange - Charging Towards the Morning Glow
Legend of Heroes IV - Riding the Ocean on the Wind
Mother 1 and 2 Arrange - Twoson
Phantasy Star Sound Collection - Dungeon Medley
Ys IV Perfect Collection Vol. 1 - Battle #58
Ys III Redbook - Be Careful

(but the track I used the most for comparisons was Van Halen's Eruption).

Jodo Kast May 12, 2013

You're welcome. I still have (and use) the same Marantz player I bought 4 years ago.

GoldfishX May 12, 2013

Just one question...Did you notice a "break-in" period with yours? Mine essentially opened a bit after about 30 hours of use and it still seems to be loosening up (the tracks are becoming nice and smooth, losing a bit of edginess to them). I thought it was the speakers, but this seems to be the case through headphones as well. In any case, it has been great so far.

I'm reaching the point where I'm content with the amount of music I have and just more interested in getting it to sound good. The guy was trying to give me a hard sell on an Oppo player (which also did Blu-Ray/DVD), but the Marantz is music-only, which made it more appealing for my purposes. And it sounded better by a smidge.

Also I was able to upgrade my home headphones as well. A friend gave me a nice deal on a used pair of these:

http://www.amazon.com/audio-technica-Di … ds=ad2000x

When I was shopping for the player, I also got to sample some of the mid-high end headphones they had. I use a pair of Grado SR-80's at home, so I was surprised I didn't care so much for the upper models. One model (PS500) was essentially the SR-80 with more bass...Not a $600 upgrade! And two other models (RS2, GS1000) were different and honestly, kind of a letdown. Nothing wrong with them, but they were kind of boring. I'm favoring analytical headphones with large soundstages now anyway (I liked the AKG Q701, which is pretty popular), so I was happy to score a deal on the AD2000X Technicas. If I don't like them either, I can always sell them and go back for the Q701.

Crash May 12, 2013

I've found that headphones are dependent on the source and amplification as well.  I had two reference-level headphone sets a few years ago: an Audio-Technica W5000 with matching HA-5000 amp and a Stax Omega 2 (both Mk I and Mk II) with a Stax SR-727 Mk II amp.  Everyone raved about how great the Stax was, but in my systems, I always preferred the Audio-Technicas.  Whenever I would listen to the Stax system with any of my equipment (Wadia 781i CD player, Electrocompaniet ECD-2 DAC, MBL 1621A/1611F combo), I would get physically uncomfortable after thirty minutes of listening, but the ATs always sounded great.

Eventually, I decided to sell the Stax system.  I sold it to someone local and went over to his place so he could try it out with his equipment.  He was using a computer as source and a Stello DA100 DAC.  I was astonished at how great the Stax system sounded on his setup (which cost less than 5% of my setup).  There was such a sense of realism and presence on some of his music that I was blown away.  I almost decided to keep them after that audition, but I knew they just didn't work with my equipment.

GoldfishX May 12, 2013 (edited May 12, 2013)

Yeah, I'm starting on the whole trial and error bit right now. That is why I decided to get the source component -the Marantz- out of the way and spent a little extra on it (it has extra USB ports, so I can link my computer or a hard drive at some point, I'm just using the CD player for now. I didn't get it for the SACD capabilities. tongue). For headphones, I need something that works on both the home stereo and my portable set-up (I have a Leckerton portable amp for driving larger headphones). I've resigned myself to trial and error now, but thankfully, anything I don't like can be resold.

I did "sample" a pair of the Sennheiser Momentums at Best Buy, but I returned them. They initially impressed at the demo station, but didn't recreate it when I took them home, even after break-in and they were just kind of a wash. I've kind of learned I want more attack in my headphones for the mids/highs and excess bass just annoys me (I think a lot of issues with amplification stem from mid-bass bloat). I don't know too much about Stax, but Sennheisers are infamous for their lazy, laid back sound and I actually found them fatiguing. So far, I've gathered that AKG and Audio Technica are two of the better makers of more analytical/good soundstage headphones. The W5000 appears to be exceptionally bass-lite, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I'm hoping for similar results from the AD2000x.

http://www.headphone.com/buildAGraph.php?graphID[0]=123&graphID[1]=2931&graphID[2]=&graphID[3]=&scale=30&graphType=0&buttonSelection=Update+Graph

And sounds to me like the Stax headphones are similar to the Sennheiser issue. This was the same article that got me interested in Audio Technica headphones:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle- … r_SR007MKI

"AMP PICKY: In order to sound its best, the SR-007 (both MkI and MkII versions) needs to be driven by an amp which offers a hefty amount of voltage swing. From my experience, the amplifiers which Stax currently offers do not offer enough voltage swing to power the SR-007 optimally. When I finally heard the SR-007 paired with HeadAmp's Blue Hawaii Special Edition, I was happily surprised by the results. Prior to acquiring the BHSE, I considered the SR-007 to be a clouded (and sometimes) inauthentic sounding headphone. The BHSE certainly controls the bass and brings out the transparency of the SR-007 better than any amp I've paired it with. I have not heard the SR-007 paired with the Woo Audio WES, but I have read good things regarding this pairing as well."

My amp is a vintage Kenwood receiver (KR-9400) with a ton of power to it. I'm trying to go vintage for the amplification. KR-9400 was a top of the line model in the mid-70's and is popular with audiophiles, just not as highly regarded as Pioneer or Yamaha or even Marantz or Sansui.

Edit: Damn, that guy is NOT a fan of the W5000.

"SOUND: Normally, I would evaluate several distinct attributes of the sound in order to determine which are successful and which are in need improvement. In this case, I find that the sound is simply poor all around. It is a nasal, congested, non-transparent, bass-less, unnatural tone."

"POWERING: Audio-Technica produced an amp specifically designed to power the W5000. It is known as the HA-5000. I am told by some owners of this pairing that the sonic results are stunning. I have never heard this pairing, so I do not know. In my experience, I have found that the W5000 never loses its nasal, unnatural character despite which amp I choose to pair it with. Of the amps I've used, I have found that it sounds best with the TTVJ Millett 307a, but it still does not sound particularly good."

PerfectZer0 May 18, 2013 (edited May 18, 2013)

The original post in this topic was back in 2009.....

Same year I bought my Onkyo DX-7555 single disc CD player, it cost me $500.

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