Grateful Dead

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marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

By suggestion. Digital? Analog? Old school? New school? Etc.


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boblopes's picture
Joined: Jan 13 2009
looking for headphone setup

I just bought a pair or refurbished Audeze EL-8 Open Backs. I listen to them directly to my iphone and they sound good, but lacking in the low end. When I hook them up to my old stereo headphone jack, they sound much much better.

I can't wait for Audeze to release the cipher cable that plugs directly into the lightning connector and bypassed the analog of the iphone.

I'm also giving some serious consideration to a Schiit stack - the Vali2 tube amp and the Multi Modi DAC.

As for a DAP, heard positive reviews from Jim and Vince for the fiio players - the X3 or X5 sound intriguing, but do they have enought power to not need a separate amp to power the el-8s???

Pono has good reviews from the user community (Phil, etc.) I don't think I'd want to repurchase all of my music to get the better format, but would check it out. The only thing with that player is the form-factor - is that a toblerone or are you just happy to see me ;)

The majority of the music I would listen to with this set up would be good ole' Grateful Dead - Vault releases from both multi track and 2 track along with an occassional distraction towards JGB, Bob Marley, Jam Bands, Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, Fusion Jazz, Radiohead, Steely Dan, etc. But the rig should play live Grateful Dead music the best - first and foremost - the rest is gravy.

Thanks for reading - since this is such an active thread, please pm me if you write something...

Joined: Apr 12 2011
Ouch. I couln't understand

Ouch. I couln't understand nearly anything about your sound systems... and don't dare to tell how is the one I have :(.

laser's picture
Joined: Oct 11 2007
OK, Sound Systems, HDCD

So, maybe I've been asleep or just busy, probably busy. And now with E72 and noticing that everything from the Dead Movie sound track on seems to be in HDCD, what is it?

Wikipedia has some good info, and Tim from Audio Art in Richmond, VA helped point me to it; HDCD has been around for over 15 years. One of Audio Art's house brands seems to be Music Hall, and their MH CD 35.2 includes an HDCD decoder circuit.

But first, how does everyone get their music from CD to iPod, for example? And what about just onto an 8, 16 or 32GB MicroSD chip to plug into that Logitech mouse Nano USB port that the installers plugged into the back of your Alpine XM head unit and stuck to your dashboard?

And MicroSD chips can plug into a USB reader so small its got to have a little pod to keep it in so you don't lose it. Radio Shack has one that's not quite that small but still can fit into any USB port, whether attached to an auto audio system or your computer, or one of the component systems that have come along with USB ports in the front.

Orvis, the clothing and fly fishing compnay has a small fly case and a groved rubber liner that can hold MicroSD chips, and only 32 x 32GB or 16 x 64GB chips = 1TB, so you can see how much of a library could be stored in a nice case in a glove compartment.

Check out EAC: "He's" subscribed to PayPal if you'd like to contribute (and BTW so has The Rex Foundation) but he used to dig getting post cards from around the world.

So, does the chewing gum lose it flavor, one bed post over night? Or, rather, does the 20 bits of HDCD go back to 16 when you rip it with EAC to your hard drive? Still looking at a technical answer for that one, but according to WikiPedia, you can use a 24-bit sound card and any version of Windows Media Player past v9 (up to v11 now) to decode HDCD. I'll check out Macs with HDCD next.

So my computer should be able to decode and play HDCD from the resulting .wav files if the 20-bit code is still there. These files do sound pretty good, even with this little set of computer speakers: for example.

I'm still searching past the Music Hall 35.2 [ ] because I have a small office room with a bookshelf system in the recessed window, and that space is a little shallow. The MH 35.2 is over 14" deep, and although Straight Wire can make angled power and interconnects, that's too deep to put in the windows, even if I cut into the backing that keeps the place soundproofed (2" of insulating foam).

But, what's already there seems to fill the room with sound, and looks really cool in its tiny component footprints. I'd been looking for something to replace the Sony QBrick I'd had there forever —the big Sony ES pieces were in a different room— and got steered to the Sumiko (in Berkeley) site to consider Pro-ject boxes for components. They litterally are the size of decks of cards:

The FM Box is incredible for amount of info it packs into a postage stamp-sized display. Together with two mono amp boxes, a switch box and a pre-amp box and Straight Wire interconnects (Kimbers are too stiff for these short runs), I'm ready to put it down into a pair of Rega RS1s, made entirely in England, including the drivers:

So, in case you see a great HDCD CD player that's only 8" deep, please let me know!

Cheers, Laser

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007

I recently managed to grab a little-used Denon DVD2910 player on ebay France for a very good price and so can finally listen to my GD collection in HDCD. I am really pleased with it. I can really hear the difference in the sound from my old CD player. Brighter, clearer and much more precise at low volumes (much to the delight of Mrs Badger). It is especially good at making the best of the two track recordings that feature on so many releases. Now relistening to all the Road Trips releases.

I wish it had made the switch ages ago, but HDCD never really caught on in Europe and compatible players are very hard to find. So thanks to all those who have made the effort to offer us HDCD i get it :-)

Dead Ahead's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2007
Digital? Analog? Old school? New school? Etc.

In practical terms, the analog vs. digital debate is largely irrelevant to me. Why? Because I like both in their own special circumstances. How fortunate we are to have this. I still have in my possession stereo equipment I have owned since 1969 and enjoy listening to vinyl with tube amps on occasion. But when it comes to digitally re-mastered material on HDCD, SACD or Dvd-A, I go solid-state high tech all the way baby, no matter what.

Did the Dead ever use tube amps? I don't remember. They always worked to advance the technology though.

There is one expection for my stereo systems, however (ed.: exception?). The main speakers are always old technology, and we know that the sound they produce has held up well over the test of time... just as the music has. Thank you.

buddy plant's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2007
We like our euphemisms...

... here in the good old U.S. of A. Although a term usually reserved for cars, some salesmen will state "previously owned", or sometimes ya hear "gently owned". Either way it tends to make "used" supposedly sound nicer.
That Krell amp WAS a very good bye, any piece of equipment lasting that long is a reflection on the Quality of the material, as well as the workmanship. Congratulations on such a wise purchase.
Let's not get started on patch cords: "The Nordost Heimdall speaker cable sells for $1500 per 2m pair, vs $7040 for the same amount of Valhalla; the Heimdall interconnect is $600/1m pair, the Valhalla version going for $4000." Anyway, I just use Monster cables, they sound OK to me :))
And finally, I guess MP3's are sufficient for an Ipod type of device, but the compression is too much for a large home Hi-Fi system... YMMV

Joined: Mar 2 2008
Dead on iPod

ten hours train rides every month and you will appreciate the Dead on iPod....some bands come out nicely..just like with Bill Frisell or Keith Jarrett..the same can't be said for Sonic Youth or NIN!

lamagonzo (not verified)
only as good as your speakers

I have a home theater system by Samsung: Fair to middlin'.
For my desk top I have some kickin' Altec Lansings - very, very nice (& unique) sound reproduction in my warm, comfortable home office.

~Let there be songs to fill the air.~

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

Now you know why I am not a big fan of MP3's! I hereby confess that my Krell was purchased second hand (or pre-used as I understand it is called in America). A new Krell is also way beyond my means. That it was used when I got it makes me all the happier that it has given me 25 years of 100% trouble free use. Spread over that long, it begins to look quite affordable. Also, when I purchased it, I was single and therefore did not have to face divorce proceedings as a result of my extravagance. Still I consider the money was better spent on a good system than on a flash car which would have been on the scrap heap years ago. All a question of priorities. Indeed, when thinking of "sagging cones" Madonna is the first thing that comes to mind. LOL.

buddy plant's picture
Joined: Jul 7 2007
I guess we're ALL searching for the sound!

TC, I'm sorry to hear that your wife has a problem with migraine headaches, that is just plain sad. Rock music is meant to be played loud, and that's obviously the last thing someone with a headache needs. I hope she can find a course of treatment that eventually leads to a cure, meanwhile I'm sending vibes out to her...
Badger, you should not have been surprised at the price of the Acoustic Energy Reference Series AE1 MkIII speakers that simonrob recommended. Did you read his post describing his system? His Krell amp alone is over 5K USD, and that's just the tip of his iceberg! I'd love to hear some sweet GD tunes on your rig simonrob, I'm thinking of a rockin' Let It Grow, or maybe an Uncle John's... not to mention the power chords of Truckin', my mind is blown! Whoooo Hoooooo!!!
Finally, for now anyway, simonrob said "My Gale speakers (see above) are getting past their best (sagging cones I think)." I wonder if Madonna has this problem too?


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My Sound System