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  #1  
Old 01-25-2010, 03:31 PM
aki aki is offline
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Default Why am I not hearing difference in SQ with different files, with my new setup?

When I was going to buy my new gear, I thought I'd be blown away by unimaginable great sound my new set, consisting of a Denon X1700 (with 32 bit floating point DAC, 24/96 usb audio, digital inputs, seperate power circuitry for analog/digital parts), Denon S3700's with 24 bit TI/BB DAC's, and KRK Rokit RP6 speakers, would offer. I don't mind the sound really, but it disappoints me a bit: While it isn't bad, I am not blown away with it, not the divine sound I hoped for. (My old set was a creative t6100 connected to Creative x-fi xtreme gamer)

I know that Studio monitors are not supposed to deliver warm, astonishing sound, but flat, honest sound, however, for this reason and what I read in the review, it would be very easy to make a difference between shitty audio files (192kbit mp3) and 1411 WAV sound. I am not sure but I thought I could differentiate between 192 kbit and 320 kbit mp3 on my old setup.

What makes it worse, is that I don't hear any difference between ASIO via usb, Creative X-Fi xtreme gamer, and Realtek onboard audio How is this possible? I tried using different eq settings, killing anything except treble, etc.

My ears are pretty good so I think that can be ruled out. But what is happening?

here is a picture by the way:
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Last edited by aki; 01-25-2010 at 03:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2010, 04:06 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by aki View Post
What makes it worse, is that I don't hear any difference between ASIO via usb, Creative X-Fi xtreme gamer, and Realtek onboard audio How is this possible?
Thats normal. There shouldn't be a difference between any of those things. Thats why hardly anyone buys sound cards anymore.

Basically you've gone from a pretty good set of creative gaming speakers to a pretty good set of studio speakers. The sound should be a little better, and probably a little more accurate. It sounds like thats what you've got.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2010, 05:29 PM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aki View Post
I know that Studio monitors are not supposed to deliver warm, astonishing sound, but flat, honest sound, however, for this reason and what I read in the review, it would be very easy to make a difference between shitty audio files (192kbit mp3) and 1411 WAV sound.
A high-quality MP3 encoder—like LAME 3.98.2—is capable of producing transparent rips even at c. 175 kbps--http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....uiet_listening.
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I am not sure but I thought I could differentiate between 192 kbit and 320 kbit mp3 on my old setup.
Rip a track at –V0 and ABX it against its uncompressed WAV. If you cannot hear a difference after ABXing, rip a track at –V1 and ABX it against its uncompressed WAV. If you cannot hear a difference after ABXing, rip a track at –V2 and ABX it against its uncompressed WAV. Keep ABXing at lower and lower quality settings until you can hear a difference. Then you will be sure and not have to guess anymore.
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But what is happening?
There are many audio myths.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2010, 09:37 PM
Xinz Xinz is offline
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THERE is actually quite a audible difference when you bypass the windows kernel via ASIO or WASAPI, easily audible with a number of instruments. Of course, your soundcard/DAC has to be able to process it probably. I am using WASAPI through X-Fi though
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2010, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Xinz View Post
THERE is actually quite a audible difference when you bypass the windows kernel via ASIO or WASAPI, easily audible with a number of instruments. Of course, your soundcard/DAC has to be able to process it probably. I am using WASAPI through X-Fi though
If I remember correctly, this only applies to Windows XP. Vista and 7 should not suffer from the same degradation. And quite honestly the difference is really not that great.

Also to note, something that sounds better to one person might not be to taste of another. Changing the speakers should have at least improved the sound somewhat...fuller mids - low mids, less bass bloat. Well, by the looks of it anyways.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2010, 03:51 AM
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Jack4L Jack4L is offline
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Also depends on the tracks your listening to. Most modern day tracks that you get on CD´s really dont blow you away, due to the whole loudness wars, people using synthetic sounds more and more and generally people having really bad taste these days.
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2010, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for your responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Thats normal. There shouldn't be a difference between any of those things. Thats why hardly anyone buys sound cards anymore.

Basically you've gone from a pretty good set of creative gaming speakers to a pretty good set of studio speakers. The sound should be a little better, and probably a little more accurate. It sounds like thats what you've got.
Well I bought the creative speaker set, consisting of 5 speakers and a subwoofer, for 60 euro's. that means less than 10 euro per speaker, while the new speakers are 200 euro. I expected a somewhat more noticeable difference.


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Originally Posted by Orange View Post
If I remember correctly, this only applies to Windows XP. Vista and 7 should not suffer from the same degradation. And quite honestly the difference is really not that great.

Also to note, something that sounds better to one person might not be to taste of another. Changing the speakers should have at least improved the sound somewhat...fuller mids - low mids, less bass bloat. Well, by the looks of it anyways.
I have windows xp (MCE).. raises my concern xD

I think there is a difference, but like I said, it is not very noticeable. Plus, my other problem is that it doesn't differentiate between different bitrates/lossy/lossless, etc. In the ABI review (search for KRK) it says literally: 'One concern to voice to a prospective buyer is in no way are these speakers “polite”, they do not smooth out bad source audio. If you feed them trash you will get trash out in the end. You feed them a good recording and that’s when they shine.'

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Originally Posted by Jack4L View Post
Also depends on the tracks your listening to. Most modern day tracks that you get on CD´s really dont blow you away, due to the whole loudness wars, people using synthetic sounds more and more and generally people having really bad taste these days.
I listen to EDM mainly, more specific trance. but even on the phil collins - hits CD, more classical(not mozart but not EDM lol) and a few years older so suffering less from loudness poop, I don't hear a difference.
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Last edited by aki; 01-26-2010 at 02:04 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2010, 02:17 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aki View Post
Well I bought the creative speaker set, consisting of 5 speakers and a subwoofer, for 60 euro's. that means less than 10 euro per speaker, while the new speakers are 200 euro. I expected a somewhat more noticeable difference.
Yes but performance increases very, very slowly with cost for speakers. Thats not all that big a difference.


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Originally Posted by aki View Post
I have windows xp (MCE).. raises my concern xD
I really doubt you'll hear a difference. Its mostly a theoretical problem, not something that matters for real world audio.

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Originally Posted by aki View Post
Plus, my other problem is that it doesn't differentiate between different bitrates/lossy/lossless, etc. In the ABI review (search for KRK) it says literally: 'One concern to voice to a prospective buyer is in no way are these speakers “polite”, they do not smooth out bad source audio. If you feed them trash you will get trash out in the end. You feed them a good recording and that’s when they shine.'
I don't think thats true for all but the worst encoded files. Spotting the difference between well encoded audio files on speakers is exceptionally hard. I would not except to be able to ABX the difference of > ~150kbps LAME on any speakers ever made except with a handful of very carefully chosen test samples. For typical audio, the acoustic response of your room alone is way more pronounced then the difference between LAME -V2 and and lossless . . .

Presumably you're not testing 64kbps real audio on this thing right? I would expect that if you've got such equipment you're probably feeding it good quality compressed audio.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2010, 03:50 PM
aki aki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post


Presumably you're not testing 64kbps real audio on this thing right? I would expect that if you've got such equipment you're probably feeding it good quality compressed audio.
I thought 192k mp3 was bad, Most of my newer compressed tracks are 320kbps. And Maybe I'm just spoiled with those and my FLAC/WAV files, never listened to 64 kbps, 96kbit mp3 is the least I heard.. RA must have bad or worse quality/bit ratio than mp3?
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2010, 09:29 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aki View Post
I thought 192k mp3 was bad, Most of my newer compressed tracks are 320kbps. And Maybe I'm just spoiled with those and my FLAC/WAV files, never listened to 64 kbps, 96kbit mp3 is the least I heard.. RA must have bad or worse quality/bit ratio than mp3?
Depends how its encoded. Properly encoded ~192kbps lame files are basically about as good as 320k, and probably good enough that you can't tell them apart from lossless.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2010, 09:48 AM
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First off the KRK’s should produce audio that’s quite stellar in comparison to a standard set of pc speakers.

From the picture I see a number of issues that will be contributing to an issue with sound quality. The speakers are way to spread out to work well in a near field setup; you want to have them spread out the same distance as you sit from them… Example, if you sit 1 meter from the speaker, they should be 1 meter apart, toed in slightly to create a virtual equal lateral triangle. In the picture you have the speaker toed way to steep of an angle to convey a proper sound field correctly. Even though the KRK’s are front ported it is still important to be at least 1 meter away from a wall and be sure not to be in a room corner if at all possible. The tweeter should also be at ear level. All the stuff that is in front of the speakers porting should also be removed.

Also to clarify , I said nothing about encoding in my review for these speakers, it has to do with the original recording I was talking about , if it’s a bad recording you should be able to tell its flaws with properly setup monitors in this case.

Another word of caution , if you are using windows vista or 7 then set the control panel sample rate to the same as the source you are trying to play back. Vista and 7 will re sample all direct sound and wave mapper audio to the bit rate setup at the sound control panel. Example if you are playing a file that is from a cd in mp3 format you will need to set the audio to 44.1 khz as if you have the control panel set to 48 or higher then core audio will software re sample it...

Last edited by yuki; 02-02-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:44 PM
aki aki is offline
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Thanks for the replies,

@ Saratoga

Would this be different in a club/festival setting, with very large, high quality speakers? Or is buying music in WAV completely useless?

@ Yuki

Thanks for the tips about room acoustics (thats what its called right?) I am not sure what you mean by toed in do you mean the angle the ports are directed at (v shape-ish?), but I changed it around a bit, I think they form an equilateral triangle now. I am sort of in the corner of my room, but one of the edges is glass, not wall, that would decrease the negative effect I think? 1 meter from the wall is not possible with my current desk/room, because the desk is about 1 meter long, and my dj deck needs to fit on it as well (it does now.. barely), so I can't really solve the space problem as well. Tweeters are around ear level.

In short:
angle of speakers should be good now
X they are still pretty close to the wall
X desk is in a corner
Equilateral triangle
X Stuff in front of the speakers
Tweeters to earlevel

What difference would I hear if I fix the things with an X in front?

(p.s. I am using xp, and I am also using other input devices than my pc, and the original mastering/encoding makes sense )
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:48 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Where do you even buy music in WAV from?
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:02 PM
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Putting things in front of you speakers(books, trash, camera case, anything) will make a HUGE different. Even simply holding your hand up to one of the drivers/tweeters will completely distort the sound.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:20 AM
aki aki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Where do you even buy music in WAV from?
Trackitdown and Juno download, sometimes if a track isn't to be found on the first 2 beatport but that site is too expensive.

Quote:
Putting things in front of you speakers(books, trash, camera case, anything) will make a HUGE different. Even simply holding your hand up to one of the drivers/tweeters will completely distort the sound.
The stuff on my desk is mostly in the path of the bass port and the lower part of the woofer, does that also make a big difference?
It is not that I have distorted sound, I would like to know in what way I will hear the difference?
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2010, 07:49 PM
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Yes, I had my amp partcially in the way of my port with my Wharfedale Evo2-10's and I was losing entire frequency ranges. I didn't think it would effect it because it wasn't fully in the way. But once I moved my amp it sounded normal again.
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2010, 02:44 PM
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Hmmm.. Is it a good Idea to put a few Guiness Record Books(I have quite some hehe, there might be a very slight different in thickness, don't know if that matters?) under each speaker to make the speakerports less blocked, and the tweeters more around earlevel (I now have to lower my chair to achieve that)
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2010, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aki View Post
Trackitdown and Juno download, sometimes if a track isn't to be found on the first 2 beatport but that site is too expensive.
That's kind of stupid, WAV downloads. FLAC (or any other lossless codec) would not only save a huge amount of bandwidth on both ends, it would also be possible to embed tags/comments and album art.

But I guess they offer WAV for direct use with CDJ players, which don't support anything better than CDDA and MP3. And they probably don't expect people being able to unpack FLACs to WAV.
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2010, 05:09 PM
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Yes, it also helps the sound to get them up off the desk a bit.
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2010, 05:31 PM
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Ahhhhh, one of the things that distinguishes an Audiophile from the rest of us: An Audiophile will fuss and fret over exact angles, distances, materials, air temperature, and a million other details; spend insane amounts of money on cables and stuff that reformulates the electron; and will yet never, ever be satisfied. Meanwhile, the rest of us plop a couple of speakers where they'll fit; wire them to the system with lamp cord; then just sit back and enjoy the music.



*runs away before someone goes after her with a Monster cable*
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