I use mp3 audio: are any of my components worth upgrading?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Braun, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. Jeff Braun

    Jeff Braun Auditioning

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    Hi guys, I had a question about upgrading, and whether or not it's worth it for me. Right now, I have Klipsch RF-3 mains, an RF-3 center, RS-3 surrounds, and an SVS 20-39PC sub. I'm using a Denon AVR-3801 as an amp and a preamp. Clearly, these are not the world's best components, and upgrading some of them might be worth it, in most circumstances. However, my audio source is all mp3 audio from my computer, for which I have a sound card that outputs the signal optically to the receiver. Now, given that I'm not using the best sound source, will upgrading my speakers/amp/preamp make a difference in audio quality for me? I don't think I'm willing to give up the convenience and low price of the audio format. Given that, would it be worth upgrading my system components, or is my audio source going to be such a bottleneck that I won't appreciate the benefits?
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Depends how well the mp3's are encoded. Upgrading speakers will always improve sound quality (diminishing returns above ~$2000). What do you feel is lacking in your system?
     
  3. GabrielC

    GabrielC Stunt Coordinator

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    The other problem is that if you have speakers that are too good, you start hearing how badmp3s can really sound....
     
  4. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    what you have can be considered overkill for just listening to mp3 so I would get a nice dvd-audio or sacd player. This allows you explore some more formats and show you how good your system already is.
     
  5. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    Jeff, I would say you have a very nice system right now. I have pretty much the same setup as you for speakers and I love my klipsch's. MP3's can come in a variety of qualities, and more often than not they sound way worse than cd's. With the Klipsch's they will be able to play all the bad little things on those MP3's, whereas you wouldn't hear the bad stuff on some cheaper speakers.
     
  6. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    It took me a little while after moving to a real stereo system but more and more I realize how utterly distorted, muddy and fatiguing MP3s are. You will start to realize there is something seriously wrong with the sound and it has nothing to do with any of your components.

    Try playing CDs through your computer using a 'direct digital bypass' plugin in Winamp or Windows Media Player. This will turn your computer in to a decent CD transport. You may not think the difference is big at first, but it will grow on you. Did for me.

    The rest of your system is excellent. You may want to try getting a CD, DVD-A or SACD player. Have fun.
     
  7. Mikey B

    Mikey B Stunt Coordinator

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    My thoughts:

    1. You already have a very good (if not really good) system. You would have to pay much much more AND do lots of research to significantly hear differences between your system and a newer much more expensive system. There are plenty of ways to upgrade your system, but most improvements the average music lover can here are pretty small. Only if you think you are becoming very critical of reproduced sound (like an audiophile...and I suspect not due to your tolerance for MP3's), then you may want to start thinking about a bigger budget system AND start buying CD's.

    2. Well recorded MP3's can sound very good. A DVD or CD player that can also play MP3's is pretty inexpensive. Why not invest in one of these players (and a CD-burner for getting your MP3's on CD)? This might improve your sound by itself. It also gives you better convenience for playing MP3's, and you get a CD (or DVD/CD) player out of it.
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  9. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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