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Instruments missing from songs - advice required!


Standard Member
What part of a hi-fi set up is most likely to be responsible for missing instruments or vocals out of a song whilst continuing to play the rest of it?

I have identified a few songs in the last few months where little bits and pieces, maybe a backing vocal, maybe a piece of guitar etc, are missed out when I play the songs via my hi-fi, even though they are perfectly clear when played on the headphones via my mobile phone! The rest of the music continues, but those bits are either ignored or play so quietly that I can't hear them. Obviously I have tried fiddling with the treble / bass / superbass knobs (all I have on my hi-fi), and a few options on my PC (lots of graphic sliders here though...) but nothing seems to work.

The music in question is played in MP3 format on my PC by I-Tunes, feeds from the PC to the hi-fi amp and out through the hi-fi speakers. The exact hi-fi model is probably not that important, as it's about 16 years old, but it was a fairly good quality set of components when I bought it, all Technics, amp is called 'SU-X301' if that means anything to anyone.

Unfortunately I can't answer the obvious question - I don't know if it has always done this with these songs, as I hadn't heard them at home for a while when I noticed, so it could either be a new problem or a problem that has always existed.

Is it likely that continuing to fiddle with the graphic on the PC might solve this?

Many thanks in advance (I always seem to be asking for advice on here - I look forward to someone asking something that I can help with - god knows what though! :))


have moved to Hi Fi setion of the forum as it may be more suitably placed here.

deaf cat

Established Member
scarletjim, Oh:eek: could be anything in the hifi line, sounds as if the bits you are missing, you are loosing somewhere:rolleyes: thing is finding where.

Do you convert from digital to analogue in your pc or in your hifi amp?

If it is a standard pc sound card it's probably just a basic thing that could be improved upon...

With your phone you have the data, dac, amp, all in one little box, short cables to your headphones, you have a lot more cabling and distance for the signal to travel in your home set up, and get affected by rf, and other electrical noise, loose some power (some info) in cables and pcbs, due to resistance......etc etc

Have you tried plugging the output of your phone into your amp, maybe you can then compare pc to phone output.

The bit rate your mp3's are ripped at may have an effect on your hifi, something like 320kbps should be pretty good. Personally I prefer lossless.

Many other areas you could test too:rolleyes:


Prominent Member
What the Cat said: it could be one or more of many things in your setup. However I would probably point the blame at the Technics hifi. They are well-known for being warm-sounding, rounding off the top-end and probably making it difficult to hear some backing vocals, etc. :(

Your phone and headphones OTOH are both probably brighter sounding, allowing more thorough for each record, but also lacking in much realism as well.

Your p.c. is probably not the best source either.

A good neutral hifi setup should allow you to hear what is really going on in each song and allow you to enjoy the music more. :thumbsup:

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