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HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

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tikunetih
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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#357108

Postby tikunetih » November 16th, 2020, 5:53 pm

Infrasonic wrote:Recent review of Tidal here, comparing the various tiers/quality against the major competitors equivalent offerings...
https://www.whathifi.com/tidal/review
...Whether you’re listening to 320kbps, CD-quality or hi-res streams, Tidal sounds great compared to its rivals. We’d wholeheartedly recommend signing up for Tidal HiFi if you can.

While the 320kbps streams just pip their Spotify and Deezer equivalents with a slightly richer, fuller-bodied sound, tracks streamed in lossless offer much more detail, a better sense of space and a tighter handle on timing than their 320kbps counterparts...
Cont.


I personally believe virtually no subjective hi-fi mag reviews! I'd bet good money that in proper blind testing none of their reviewers could reliably distinguish between Spotify at 320kbps and Tidal lossless.

By all means folks should spend their money on what makes them happy - it makes the world's economy go round - but I believe they'll be paying for something that "feels good", not perceivably "sounds better". Each to their own etc.

Itsallaguess
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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#357911

Postby Itsallaguess » November 18th, 2020, 8:29 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
I've never been one for subscribing to any of these fee-based content providers, but I'm beginning to think that I'll get so much good use out of Spotify, and the HEOS 'Spotify Connect' source-quality really is that good, that I might well have to treat myself a little during this very strange period that we're living in at the moment, where personal comforts seem to mean much more right now than they might have done in previous times in my life.

With that in mind, and given that we can all get a free 'trial month' of the advert-free Spotify Premium accounts anyway, I've also found this morning that PayPal offer a '12-months for the price of 10' Premium account voucher for Spotify too, which means that I could treat myself to 13 months of Spotify Premium for just £99 -

With the 12 Months Spotify Gift Card, get 12 months for the price of 10 months (and save £20) -

https://www.paypal.com/uk/gifts/brands/spotify-uk-99

I note that the above page says that this discounted offer only applies to personal, single Spotify accounts, and cannot be applied to Family or Student plans, but as I've no need for those types of accounts at the moment, and a discounted Spotify personal account would be a great personal treat for me, then I'm beginning to think I've got something good to put on my Christmas List already...


Just as an update to the above mention of the PayPal offer, I see that Spotify themselves are now offering 3 months free Premium Individual access, with £9.99 per month from there on, so an option of simply cancelling after the free 3-month period has expired, or continue at £9.99 per month, which for a years use under that proposal, would be £99.90 for a full years worth of Premium Individual access, which is more or less the same as the above PayPal offer, but of course doesn't require an up-front payment of the full £100 cost, as from month 4 to month 12, there is just the monthly payments of £9.99....

https://www.spotify.com/uk/premium/#PLANS

I'm still undecided at the moment, and am getting along fine with my Free account, but I thought I'd post in case the offers interest anyone else, and it's also a good bookmark for me too, if I change my mind nearer to Christmas...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#357925

Postby Infrasonic » November 18th, 2020, 9:24 pm

https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/spotify.com
Lists the above 3 month direct deal with spotify, but if you fancy playing chicken you could wait for one of the six month free Premium affiliate deals to come up.
Mine was a Sony purchase through Currys PC World. They have a pretty long redemption window after purchase.

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#357994

Postby Gerry557 » November 19th, 2020, 9:43 am

Op

Panasonic SA-PMX82 at RIcher Sounds for £250. Would that suit???


As for all these streaming recommendations, I'm waiting to try some atmos music.

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358070

Postby stevensfo » November 19th, 2020, 12:29 pm

tikunetih wrote:
Infrasonic wrote:Recent review of Tidal here, comparing the various tiers/quality against the major competitors equivalent offerings...
https://www.whathifi.com/tidal/review
...Whether you’re listening to 320kbps, CD-quality or hi-res streams, Tidal sounds great compared to its rivals. We’d wholeheartedly recommend signing up for Tidal HiFi if you can.

While the 320kbps streams just pip their Spotify and Deezer equivalents with a slightly richer, fuller-bodied sound, tracks streamed in lossless offer much more detail, a better sense of space and a tighter handle on timing than their 320kbps counterparts...
Cont.


I personally believe virtually no subjective hi-fi mag reviews! I'd bet good money that in proper blind testing none of their reviewers could reliably distinguish between Spotify at 320kbps and Tidal lossless.

By all means folks should spend their money on what makes them happy - it makes the world's economy go round - but I believe they'll be paying for something that "feels good", not perceivably "sounds better". Each to their own etc.


Does anyone know a way of actually measuring the kbps? I only ask because free Spotify sounds perfectly acceptable to me, but depending on where I search, it could be 96, 128 or 160kbps. No idea what it really is.

Agree totally about subjectivity of testing. Many years ago near Grenoble, the organisation of an annual wine competition was changed back from double blind tasting because so many foreign wines were winning! Also confirmation bias. To its owner, a beautiful old valve amplifier is always going to sound best. I should know. I shared an apartment with the owner for a year!

Steve

Itsallaguess
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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358074

Postby Itsallaguess » November 19th, 2020, 12:47 pm

stevensfo wrote:
Does anyone know a way of actually measuring the kbps?

I only ask because free Spotify sounds perfectly acceptable to me, but depending on where I search, it could be 96, 128 or 160kbps. No idea what it really is.


It depends on both the type of Spotify account and how you're playing the music -

Image

Source - https://support.spotify.com/us/article/high-quality-streaming/

I think any process that uses the hardware-based 'Spotify Connect' route, which isn't specifically mentioned in the above table, will play at 320kbps.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358085

Postby stevensfo » November 19th, 2020, 1:31 pm

Forget everything I said about Free Spotify without adverts when used abroad etc!!!

I opened my Spotify app just now and was greeted with a 30-second italian video ad for something, with a message saying that if I watched the ad, I'd have 30 more minutes without interruption etc.

Also, I can no longer choose individual tracks. :o This is actually worse than the ads.

When I'd finished my tantrum, put my toys back in the pram and dried my tears, I looked closely and saw another message informing me that my 14-day trial was now finished.

The buggers never said anything about this before.

But at least they're advertising the 3-month free Premium period.

Honestly, what's the world coming to when they won't let an honest person have free access to their service providing millions of songs? I despair! ;)

Steve

PS This being Italy, I don't dare complain, or they may send the boys up from Sicily to do terrible things to me. Like force me to listen to a selection of Gorecki string quartets. Or even worse, Haircut One Hundred's Greatest Hits! 8-)

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358136

Postby Itsallaguess » November 19th, 2020, 5:05 pm

stevensfo wrote:
Also, I can no longer choose individual tracks. :o This is actually worse than the ads.


Been there - bought the t-shirt!

But then kiloran saved the day and encouraged me to hunt around in the settings, and all is now well...

If you start any track playing in the Spotify app, and then click on the track artwork on the left hand side when it's playing, the song should then show 'full screen', and you might see the icon below coloured in green, which means it's in 'Shuffle' mode - you can click that off, and then you should be able to play individual tracks.

Image

Note that the above is only on my Android tablet - if I use my mobile phone, I can only play in 'Shuffle' mode, as we don't get the chance to view the above icon - apologies if that's the mode you're having to play them in...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358150

Postby stevensfo » November 19th, 2020, 5:23 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
stevensfo wrote:
Also, I can no longer choose individual tracks. :o This is actually worse than the ads.


Been there - bought the t-shirt!

But then kiloran saved the day and encouraged me to hunt around in the settings, and all is now well...

If you start any track playing in the Spotify app, and then click on the track artwork on the left hand side when it's playing, the song should then show 'full screen', and you might see the icon below coloured in green, which means it's in 'Shuffle' mode - you can click that off, and then you should be able to play individual tracks.

Image

Note that the above is only on my Android tablet - if I use my mobile phone, I can only play in 'Shuffle' mode, as we don't get the chance to view the above icon - apologies if that's the mode you're having to play them in...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess


Nope, I'm using the app on my phone. Now the shuffle icon has disappeared.

Not worth losing sleep over. I'll probably start the free trial and subscription just before Christmas.

Have to get all those old carols just to annoy the kids! ;)

Steve

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358703

Postby Howard » November 21st, 2020, 12:18 pm

If you are a real Hi Fi buff and appreciate Beethoven, Spotify isn't good enough.

You should be able to look at the grooves on an LP and identify the symphony without bothering with the label. And if you are very good, you can have a stab at the conductor. To the cognoscenti the grooves on a Karajan have a completely different appearance to a Rattle.

Arthur Lintgen is a leading proponent of this art.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Lintgen

Difficult to do while driving, I admit. :)

regards

Howard

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358711

Postby tikunetih » November 21st, 2020, 12:38 pm

stevensfo wrote:Nope, I'm using the app on my phone. Now the shuffle icon has disappeared.


The Spotify UI design is a bit 5h!t because of lack of consistency...

Depending on "some criteria" (type of Playlist etc), the track playing screen may have the Like button/icon displayed either to the right of the track name or to the left of the Skip Backwards button.

In the latter case, then the Like button/icon displaces the Shuffle button which would otherwise have appeared in this position, such that it's not displayed as in Itsallaguess's sreenshot but instead gets moved to the "overflow" menu, accessed via the 3-Dot button in the top right of the screen.

Completely mental!

So take a look there, Steve.

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358771

Postby stevensfo » November 21st, 2020, 2:45 pm

Howard wrote:If you are a real Hi Fi buff and appreciate Beethoven, Spotify isn't good enough.

You should be able to look at the grooves on an LP and identify the symphony without bothering with the label. And if you are very good, you can have a stab at the conductor. To the cognoscenti the grooves on a Karajan have a completely different appearance to a Rattle.

Arthur Lintgen is a leading proponent of this art.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Lintgen

Difficult to do while driving, I admit. :)

regards

Howard


Well, I certainly agree about recognising some music from the pattern on the record. The loud bits are quite easy, so I guess you can soon learn to recognise the symphony.

Sometime in the 70s, I still remember putting a sewing needle through a piece of cardboard and resting it on the record while turning it to show my parents that you could still listen to it without any electricity. With some corrugated cardboard, it actually sounded quite good.

Of course, as all true HiFi buffs know, the type of needle and type and dimensions of cardboard are vital. ;)

Steve

PS Always ask permission before attempting this demonstration with someone's record! 8-)

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358897

Postby Longtermyieldman » November 21st, 2020, 8:05 pm

Two thoughts for getting excellent sound quality from streaming services:

1. Spotify Premium (set to very high quality (320k), any phone supporting LDAC Bluetooth codec, Sony WH-1000xm4 headphones, DSEE Extreme upscaling enabled

2. Amazon Music HD, either high-end wired headphones or Amazon Echo Studio HD

I've owned high end HiFi in the past but find these solutions more convenient and at least their equal for audio quality.

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358920

Postby dspp » November 21st, 2020, 10:33 pm

As a result of this thread I am considering buying my GF a Brennan B2 for Christmas. Ill probably her a couple of bookcase speakers as well as an interim solution because that will provide a pathway independent of her 15-yr old TV that she currently listens to music through. The TV itself will likely be consigned to the dustbin in a few years time, certainly it is never used as a TV. Internet out here is iffy and not great.

To put things in perspective, she has a couple of grand pianos in her pile which she plays quite well as well as various other instruments, so she is quite musical. We host a lot of concerts and have built up a collection of CDs from the various musicians over the years. I on my side have a mixture of old kit (Tannoy/Dennon/Marantz/Nakamichi). Quite relevant is that I have an old yacht and the solution must be capable of going off-grid/off-net which kills the streaming services even if I were that way inclined (which I am not).

So .... we are thinking of using the Brennan to rip our mingled collection to FLAC based at my GF's. Maybe we will one day end up with three Brennan or equivalents spread around my little house, her big pile, or my old decrepit yacht.

>>>> So .... question/advice welcome from any Brennan owners. In particular:

1) Any advice on managing multiple Brennans;
2) I wish I'd known that .....
3) Using Brennans in old piles with a rabbit warren of rooms and etc ...

Regards, dspp

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358924

Postby fisher » November 21st, 2020, 10:51 pm

With the caveat that my father's Brennan is probably 20 years old, I do know that on that model you can back up its entire contents to a Usb hard drive. I presume you can also restore this onto a 2nd machine. Keeping 2 or more in sync with ongoing updates may be more tricky.

I would contact them and ask questions. I have done this in the past and got speedy responses from Martin Brennan himself. Again, this was over a decade ago. They will have some good suggestions for your circumstances though I'm sure.

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#358928

Postby servodude » November 21st, 2020, 11:28 pm

dspp wrote:Quite relevant is that I have an old yacht and the solution must be capable of going off-grid/off-net which kills the streaming services even if I were that way inclined (which I am not).


I know you're not inclined... but with Spotify you can download and store music locally in your library for just these circumstances
- it's got us through some very long car trips outside of data coverage

-sd

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#359038

Postby Grumpsimus » November 22nd, 2020, 4:39 pm

[quote="dspp"]As a result of this thread I am considering buying my GF a Brennan B2 for Christmas. Ill probably her a couple of bookcase speakers as well as an interim solution because that will provide a pathway independent of her 15-yr old TV that she currently listens to music through. The TV itself will likely be consigned to the dustbin in a few years time, certainly it is never used as a TV. Internet out here is iffy and not great.

To put things in perspective, she has a couple of grand pianos in her pile which she plays quite well as well as various other instruments, so she is quite musical. We host a lot of concerts and have built up a collection of CDs from the various musicians over the years. I on my side have a mixture of old kit (Tannoy/Dennon/Marantz/Nakamichi). Quite relevant is that I have an old yacht and the solution must be capable of going off-grid/off-net which kills the streaming services even if I were that way inclined (which I am not).

So .... we are thinking of using the Brennan to rip our mingled collection to FLAC based at my GF's. Maybe we will one day end up with three Brennan or equivalents spread around my little house, her big pile, or my old decrepit yacht.

>>>> So .... question/advice welcome from any Brennan owners. In particular:

1) Any advice on managing multiple Brennans;
2) I wish I'd known that .....
3) Using Brennans in old piles with a rabbit warren of rooms and etc ...

Regards, dspp[/quote

The Brennan B2 will work on 12V DC power supply, if you have this on your yacht. The display will be dimmer and the power output lower, but I doubt this is important unless it is a very large yacht.

The B2 is good for ripping CDs to Flac. However, the built-in drive is slow and if you are going to rip of a lot of CDs it is worth getting a faster external drive. I certainly found worthwhile and have now ripped hundreds of CDs.

I would suggest powered speakers with B2 for the best sound and value for money.

It has already been suggested that a USB drive can be used to move file between B2s. This works but can be a bit tedious if you keep having to do it. It can also be used as a backup.

The B2 is not really intended to be a multi-room system, however it does integrate well with Sonos which was designed for this purpose.

I like the B2 very much and find it works well. The worst thing about it is the indexing system it uses to store music, the well known Artist/Album/Track model. This is fine for popular music, but not so good for classical. Ther kludges to try to work round this, but it is not ideal. I take from the description above that your tastes are more towards classical than the top ten. So I thought you ought to be aware of it. Unfortunately, I do not know of any ready built systems that cater properly for classical music.

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#359050

Postby dspp » November 22nd, 2020, 5:42 pm

Grumpsimus wrote:
dspp wrote:As a result of this thread I am considering buying my GF a Brennan B2 for Christmas. Ill probably her a couple of bookcase speakers as well as an interim solution because that will provide a pathway independent of her 15-yr old TV that she currently listens to music through. The TV itself will likely be consigned to the dustbin in a few years time, certainly it is never used as a TV. Internet out here is iffy and not great.

To put things in perspective, she has a couple of grand pianos in her pile which she plays quite well as well as various other instruments, so she is quite musical. We host a lot of concerts and have built up a collection of CDs from the various musicians over the years. I on my side have a mixture of old kit (Tannoy/Dennon/Marantz/Nakamichi). Quite relevant is that I have an old yacht and the solution must be capable of going off-grid/off-net which kills the streaming services even if I were that way inclined (which I am not).

So .... we are thinking of using the Brennan to rip our mingled collection to FLAC based at my GF's. Maybe we will one day end up with three Brennan or equivalents spread around my little house, her big pile, or my old decrepit yacht.

>>>> So .... question/advice welcome from any Brennan owners. In particular:

1) Any advice on managing multiple Brennans;
2) I wish I'd known that .....
3) Using Brennans in old piles with a rabbit warren of rooms and etc ...

Regards, dspp


The Brennan B2 will work on 12V DC power supply, if you have this on your yacht. The display will be dimmer and the power output lower, but I doubt this is important unless it is a very large yacht.

The B2 is good for ripping CDs to Flac. However, the built-in drive is slow and if you are going to rip of a lot of CDs it is worth getting a faster external drive. I certainly found worthwhile and have now ripped hundreds of CDs.

I would suggest powered speakers with B2 for the best sound and value for money.

It has already been suggested that a USB drive can be used to move file between B2s. This works but can be a bit tedious if you keep having to do it. It can also be used as a backup.

The B2 is not really intended to be a multi-room system, however it does integrate well with Sonos which was designed for this purpose.

I like the B2 very much and find it works well. The worst thing about it is the indexing system it uses to store music, the well known Artist/Album/Track model. This is fine for popular music, but not so good for classical. Ther kludges to try to work round this, but it is not ideal. I take from the description above that your tastes are more towards classical than the top ten. So I thought you ought to be aware of it. Unfortunately, I do not know of any ready built systems that cater properly for classical music.


Grumpisimus, Servodude, fisher,

Thank you all for those pieces of info.

Rest assured my yacht is small, old, and pleading for TLC (which I am giving her), but 12V is possible. Putting music into her is in the future, but I am trying to think ahead. For the size of our combined collection USB drives will probably be OK.

Regarding multiroom, again I'll leave that for the future, but the hints are nice to know to think about in advance.

Regarding speakers, again good to know. I think we'll take one step at a time.

Regarding contacting Brennan, thanks, we may do that in due course.

Regarding Spotify, thank you, but we really are trying to avoid subscription stuff.

Our tastes vary from modern pop through jazz to classical. I must admit I'd never really given any thought to the importance of the indexing system (Artist/Album/Track ) when it comes to handling classical but now you mention it I can see the problem. What are the pros and cons of the different kludges and is there an article about this issue I can read somewhere.

Once again thank you all.

regards, dspp

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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#359356

Postby Grumpsimus » November 23rd, 2020, 4:58 pm

dspp

The kludges for the B2 are discussed on the Brennan website. I would put them all into the category of trying to make the best of a bad job, rather than pros and cons. There is also a brennan forum where this has been discussed, but it is difficult to find information on this quickly.

This a very widespread problem which is not just confined to Classical music, but also causes problems with other genres i.e. Jazz and Hip Hop where it is common for different artists to appear on different tracks. It all goes back to the inadequate metadata tags that came in with the first MP3s.

You might like to have a look at the website for MinimSever which is one of the few products designed with Classical Music in mind. On the features page it discusses problems with tagging and in particular Classical music.

dspp
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Re: HiFi buffs? A small but good HiFi system?

#359391

Postby dspp » November 23rd, 2020, 6:34 pm

Grumpsimus wrote:dspp

The kludges for the B2 are discussed on the Brennan website. I would put them all into the category of trying to make the best of a bad job, rather than pros and cons. There is also a brennan forum where this has been discussed, but it is difficult to find information on this quickly.

This a very widespread problem which is not just confined to Classical music, but also causes problems with other genres i.e. Jazz and Hip Hop where it is common for different artists to appear on different tracks. It all goes back to the inadequate metadata tags that came in with the first MP3s.

You might like to have a look at the website for MinimSever which is one of the few products designed with Classical Music in mind. On the features page it discusses problems with tagging and in particular Classical music.


Thank you, for others' benefit:

https://minimserver.com/features.html
https://www.blisshq.com/music-library-m ... -out-upnp/
https://www.brennan.co.uk/itemcontent.p ... gYourMusic

regards, dspp


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