6: Resolution Demystified, Oppo Sonica DAC/Streamer Review, What is The WAF?

On today’s Beginner Audiophile, we start by explaining the WAF, audio file resolution, and Michael gives an aptX update.  Then we jump into the review of the OPPO Sonica DAC and what made a huge difference while we tested it. Finally, we dig into your questions.

Gear Guide, Topics & Highlights:

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5: When Things Go Terribly Wrong…

…or at least, when things don’t go the way you expect them to.
Today’s episode is about patience.  I received a piece of gear that I couldn’t get to connect to the interwebs, and Paul and I fiddled for hours with the Oppo Sonica DAC until we got files loaded from our hard drive. Now, the latter was not OPPO’s fault at all.  Paul just has a complicated system at home.  At my house, it integrated easily, and I’ve loved the sound.  But we both agree there’s some breaking in to do.
When experimenting with new gear, in the quest for perfect sound…not everything is going to play together.  So, this episode is about a bit of patience.

Gear Guide, Topics & Highlights:

  • 03:03 – OPPO Sonica DAC
  • 03:17 – Anthem MRX 1120
  • 03:42 – Roon software
  • 04:21 – Audirvana
  • 04:46 – TIDAL
  • 07:15 – Matt Rockwell and proprietary box
  • 10:40 – Anthem MRX 1120
  • 14:50 – Computer to DAC Connection, USB COAX Optical, jitter and timing issue, wifi and bluetooth connection
  • 16:40 – Different types of home audio setups
  • 18:40 – What you can do with the OPPO Sonica DAC
  • 20:41 – Redbook (CD) quality vs. sound quality with DSD and PCM formats
  • 23:00 – Ear Overlap and considerations for finding your reviewers and sound
  • 29:10 – Why you need to break in your gear
  • 31:10 – How to break in your gear
  • 32:15 – Listener questions
  • 35:10 – How to quiet a tile floor room, how to treat your room for audio
  • 38:03 – The importance of speaker placement in room treatment.
  • 40:12 – How to find your setup for getting audio from a CD/DVD player and how to approach for synergy between your devices
  • 43:14 – How to get TIDAL to play from your ONKYO system with the best results
  • 46:11 – Check out our power tip for TIDAL and getting high-quality audio to stream to your offline device
  • 50:30 – Stay tuned for more sweet setup tips in a future episode!

 

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4: The Great Subwoofer Bake-Off, and Nicholas Brown of SVS

On today’s show, Paul and I test out various ways to integrate a subwoofer into your 2-channel and multichannel system, including doing the infamous “subwoofer crawl”.  We also check in with Nicholas Brown from SVS live from CES, and have a special announcement about winning a great pair of 1moreUSA earbuds!

Gear Guide:

Highlights & Topics of Discussion:

  • 02:40 – Bass, sub and room pressure
  • 09:13 – The LFE effects channel, movies and Hollywood
  • 11:35 – Blending and matching your subwoofer(s) with your speakers
  • 12:20 – Setup for home theater vs. setup for listening to music & audio
  • 19:18 – The concept of phase
  • 23:30 – The subwoofer crawl!
  • 32:09 – Interview with Nicholas Brown from SVS
  • 39:30 – SVS version of the subwoofer crawl
  • 50:00 – Discussion on the Prime Elevation Speaker & Dolby Atmos®
  • 55:05 – The SB16-Ultra Subwoofer 

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3: A Deep Dive Interview with Andrew Jones, The Speaker Designer Who's Breaking The Rules of the Audiophile Industry

Today’s show is a real treat.  We got to sit down with Andrew Jones (Of TAD / Pioneer Fame) of ELAC.  We’d first heard of Andrew a couple years ago when he made these insanely affordable Elac Debut B6 Speakers (See Episode 1 for A Review of these $250 marvels) and he continues to break new ground with the new Elac Adante ($2500, available mid-2017).  Andrew’s attention to detail and unwillingness to compromise much in the way of sound, despite low cost, is what has propelled him to “guru” status in the Audiophile world.

Gear Guide:

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2: Michael's System, and The Great Headphone Bake-Off, Starring 1MoreUSA, Audio-Technica, & Mr. Speaker

Today Michael tells the story of how he fell down the rabbit whole of audiophilia and walks us through his reference system.  Then, we do the Great Headphone Bake-Off, volume 1, testing $100 vs $150 vs $1800 headphones.  A pretty fascinating…and unexpected result from that test!

Gear Guide:

Educational Moments/Power Tips:

  • 09:28 – Apple TV; For audio it’s bad. Because Apple TV is designed for video which is 16bit/48hz. So it changes whatever you send it.
  • 19:20 – Tidal tip: on portable devices you can download hi-res files/playlists.
  • 24:43 – When you start spending a considerable amount of money on high end headphones you generally need an amp to go with them.
  • 32:40 – To consider when selecting your headphones:
    • Are they comfortable?
    • Do they fit your head?
    • Can you wear them for a long period of time?
  • 36:20 – Try to find sound designers who you like, find out how their ear works and what gear they use when creating

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1: Origin of Beginner Audiophile, Paul's System Walkthrough, Testing PS Audio Sprout/ELAC System

Origin of Beginner Audiophile.  Our audiophile stories. What IS an audiophile.  Tour of Paul’s system.  We test the ELAC B6 and Sprout.

Gear Guide:

Topics of discussion:

  • Audiophilia
  • Home theater setup
  • Hi definition audio
  • File types: FLAC, MP3
  • Timbre
  • Where to start
  • Radio history quickie
  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Headphones
  • Synergy
  • Closed back vs open back headphones
  • Room setup, acoustics, speaker placement
  • DAC – digital audio converter
  • Types of cables/connections

Quotables:

  • ”If you’ve never heard of it it’s probably pretty good”
  • “Your music should sound like…”
  • ”You don’t listen to speakers you listen to rooms”

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