Kef q550 "upgrade" woes

slim01

Active Member
It's got nothing to do with numbers LMAO. you're literally using 20 year old audio technology and wondering why you're "back to square one" lol


If there's no benefit to higher bit rates, why do you have a separate blu-ray player? Why not just use your PC as a HTPC and download blu-ray rips and listen to the lossy Dolby Digital soundtracks instead of the lossless TrueHD, DTS-HD, Atmos etc?

LMAO STUMPED
Lmao!! An interesting comparison...

Because...
A) because downloaded rips (1080p or 4k or not) ACTUALLY look (and often sound) noticeably (often considerably/massively) worse, even 2 different 4k versions might be much darker than one another. Likely because they've compressed a 160gb file into 20g odd using dodgy software.
B) is there often missing subtitles of features
C) it's stealing and well.
D) its nice to own it.
E) no download time.

HOWEVER I'm basically on minimum wage after covid took my job, and as noted in sub thread I don't know why i bother as Netflix and Disney+ look and sound so close and better (somehow) in some movies, £25 odd for a film is a LOT of cash to me, maybe not you and many audiophiles with £3000 arcams etc.
 
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famasfilms

Banned
. Likely because they've compressed a 160gb file into 20g odd using dodgy software

You're so close to figuring it out.

So compression for bluray discs matters and getting as high a bit rate, feeding your tv as high a quality signal is important?

Does that just apply to video or the audio as well?

See where I'm going with this?

"
HOWEVER I'm basically on minimum wage after covid took my job, and as noted in sub thread I don't know why i bother as Netflix and Disney+ look and sound so close and better (somehow) in some movies"

Which is why buying stuff on credit and stubbornly refusing to change your source habits or accept that your twenty year old audio technology might be at fault is even more stupid than if you could actually afford your recent upgrades


https://www.avforums.com/posts/30102347/react?reaction_id=1

Do you accept that:

Dolby Digital has been superceded by True HD, Atmos and other lossless codecs?

That optical/coaxial spdif has been superceded by HDMI? (I mean Jesus, what version hdmi are we up to now)

How is your blu ray player connected to amp and TV?

Exactly
 
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ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
My suggestion then is one of these for stereo playback as it seems the sound card is causing the headaches


The reason behind this is that it will remove the sound card factor when playing music (ensure you use a USB from the PC to the DAC. Yes the OP will have to select the correct audio output option once the PC has started. But for music, this is genuinely the way I’d go (In fact I use a DAC (mines a Teac UD-501) via a multi boot at home and for music, I’ve never heard music sound better).

With Movies, just use the HDMI into the amp then you have two ways of outputting audio. One which will allow HDCP for film and the other for music which will all the DAC to become the sound card and then you would use the RCA outputs to the Onkyo

I know it means spending more, but with our 30 day money back guarantee, what have you to loose apart from having the benefit of a home trial

Cheers, Shane
 

slim01

Active Member
You're so close to figuring it out.

So compression for bluray discs matters and getting as high a bit rate, feeding your tv as high a quality signal is important?

Does that just apply to video or the audio as well?

See where I'm going with this?

"
HOWEVER I'm basically on minimum wage after covid took my job, and as noted in sub thread I don't know why i bother as Netflix and Disney+ look and sound so close and better (somehow) in some movies"

Which is why buying stuff on credit and stubbornly refusing to change your source habits or accept that your twenty year old audio technology might be at fault is even more stupid than if you could actually afford your recent upgrades


https://www.avforums.com/posts/30102347/react?reaction_id=1

Do you accept that:

Dolby Digital has been superceded by True HD, Atmos and other lossless codecs?

That optical/coaxial spdif has been superceded by HDMI? (I mean Jesus, what version hdmi are we up to now)

How is your blu ray player connected to amp and TV?

Exactly

LOL... Almost getting it. Backfired a bit your last question much? Still you refuse to accept the fact this issue has nothing to do with bit rate or offer anything useful like everyone else.
I've already said SEVERAL times, I've tried your method (idea sounded great but questionably too good to be true), tried anyway), FLAC, true WAVs, proven there is no issue with bit rate, DD live or windows settings (lmao).

Of course compression matters, but only to the point where NOTICEABLE quality is lost or distortion introduced.
A ridiculously 2gb photo compressed to 1mb will look NO different on my phone, pc or projector maybe not even on my 55" oled.
It appears you're trying to force upon me a theory (a well debated and contested theory) that higher bit rate means better. Undoubtedly it does in some recordings.

What you're talking about is like AMAZING/STUNNING/NEAR PERFECT AUDIO QUALITY to... Even closer to perfect audio quality. Surely you understand that?


Most of the human population would fail a blind test between 256kbps and 320kbps, or 128kbps to 256kbps on aac, let alone 320kbps to over 700, even some of the audiophiles here would agree with that.

Dolby hd, atmos, whatever the next thing is, like 22,500kbps from hdmi/wifi, whatever... no audible difference = wasted 0's and 1's unless you've got
A) the equipment to reproduce it.
B) the human biology to notice it.
Atmos makes sense, even that's making use of ancient tech (ceiling speakers)... But HDMI is also about 2 decades old you do realise that?
 

famasfilms

Banned
Few people on here recommended me to get a more powerful amp instead of upgrading the q55 before and it sounded identical (to my ears) and was a monster in size, so sent it back. IIRC was 140w Thx certified onkyo 708, like £1200 worth.

Meh... Don't wanna open up the age old discussion but I certainly noticed a clarity difference (albeit small) changing from cheapy gale copper wire like amazon stuff to the silver stuff which I think was £4 pm (£8pm for biwire). Best £24 I've ever spent.

QED professional cable for sub has done sod all though, and it's not even plugged into both Jacks (should you use a y cable or splitter with subs when they have l and r phono Jacks?).



dolby digital, pure, dts hd master, all sounds the same to me.


not notice much if any difference in my FLACs vs mp3s

So to clarify:

1. You can't tell any difference between a cheap, older amp and a more expensive older amp.

2. You can tell the difference between cheap speaker wire and more expensive speaker wire.

3. You can't tell the difference between audio codecs, lossy+compressed (DD) vs lossless (TrueHD etc)

4. You can't tell the difference between FLACs and MP3s.

LOL

Ive listened to your glorious "New" tech, been there mate got the t-shirt, SACD +FLAC from when I was in school so like 1999??

I never ate cauliflower until this year when I bought an air fryer. Tried it when I was a kid, didn't like it and literally never touched it again for 35 years.

Are you really comparing listening to lossless audio as an uncultured kid, to today? lol?

I'm picking flaws in a LOT of my old tracks, hearing things I couldn't before. Maybe that's a testament to their clarity, BUT it's never a pleasant addition, is more like a flaw is the only way I can describe, "what is that weird noise"???

That's exactly what should be happening with better speakers. I've just upgraded my AVR by several tiers and gone from Kef Q3s that are 20 years old to Monitor Audio Silver 500s, and whilst I'm not noticing flaws, I am hearing things that I didn't hear before - like more audible backing instruments and generally more "detail"
 
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famasfilms

Banned
I've already said SEVERAL times, I've tried your method (idea sounded great but questionably too good to be true), tried anyway), FLAC, true WAVs, proven there is no issue with bit rate, DD live or windows settings (lmao).

If you think my "method" was just "use hdmi" then I suggest you go back and read it again.

Honestly, yes it comes down to the fact you are feeding your speakers dogsh*t, literal dogsh*t.

If it doesn't make any difference then what is the damn harm in signing up for a free 3 month trial of Amazon Music or Tidal and listening to the same tracks?

Dolby hd, atmos, whatever the next thing is, like 22,500kbps from hdmi/wifi, whatever... no audible difference = wasted 0's and 1's unless you've got

Then what is your bluray connected to the AVR with and what soundtracks do you listen to? The TrueHD ones or the regular DD ones (because you get both on the same disc right?)

Most of the human population would fail a blind test between 256kbps and 320kbps, or 128kbps to 256kbps on aac, let alone 320kbps to over 700, even some of the audiophiles here would agree with that.

You're on AVforums - not fking Mumsnet, pal

And that's utter b0llocks - if you asked me to go back to 128, 256k mp3s then it's massively noticeable

Dolby hd, atmos, whatever the next thing is, like 22,500kbps from hdmi/wifi, whatever...

A) why are you so insistent you need DD Live then if it doesn't make a difference?

B) When DVDs first came out, a lot of home theatre in a box systems didn't decode DTS as standard. The whole selling point of DTS was higher bitrate and some discs eg Saving Private Ryan you had to import the DTS version - and yes, it was massively noticeable then the jump in quality.


I CBA with this - I'm guessing you weren't joking about the autism, because that's explaining a lot
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’ll add that using a PC for archiving movies/music. Many people do this and yes you need a minimum PC spec, but for 1080p which is all the OP is using as the AVR is only 1.4 certified. Old

For a graphics card, an Nvida Geforce 6600 GT with some basic software will suffice. The chipsets needs to be reasonable but can be from the same era which today should be pennies (even think I’ve got some in the shed). Memory wise, I think you can get away with about 4Gb as a minimum and this will outperform most Blu-Ray players showing 1080p and I’ve even heard MP3 sound quite good to from this spec of product (running windows 7) as this is a similar spec to what was inside the early UVems when matched the Denon DVD-A1

At home I use an i5, have 32Gb of memory plus a GTX950 Strix for mine and it’s awesome for film. As audio is more important to me, so, I’ve also installed a tx-usbexp and fired the USB cable to the DAC from there

So, using a HTPC doesn’t mean you have to compromise if you have the right components around it. Again I’d like to have a mess with the system to see what’s going on
 

slim01

Active Member
My suggestion then is one of these for stereo playback as it seems the sound card is causing the headaches


The reason behind this is that it will remove the sound card factor when playing music (ensure you use a USB from the PC to the DAC. Yes the OP will have to select the correct audio output option once the PC has started. But for music, this is genuinely the way I’d go (In fact I use a DAC (mines a Teac UD-501) via a multi boot at home and for music, I’ve never heard music sound better).

With Movies, just use the HDMI into the amp then you have two ways of outputting audio. One which will allow HDCP for film and the other for music which will all the DAC to become the sound card and then you would use the RCA outputs to the Onkyo

I know it means spending more, but with our 30 day money back guarantee, what have you to loose apart from having the benefit of a home trial

Cheers, Shane

That's something I hadn't considered, heard of them though.
I don't watch movies through the pc, TV apps much nicer to use.

The speakers make these noises/bottom out when the the HTPC isn't even in the loop though? Do we just ignore that? And not on the q55.

Eg same file from laptop via hmdi.
CD from blu ray player via its own hdmi for audio.
Alexa to amp via 3.5mm jack to phono.

Yeah looks like it needs more money spent anyway 😂 😂 😂.
What do you think the idea of a separate stereo amp vs a new receiver? how much would you need to spend to power these (and for future) q550 /q750 /q950??

I have no idea where I'd put it... Could prob sell the 4k player to fund it actually.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If the speakers are making a noise when out of the loop, then you need to find out where they are picking the information up from

Speaker just make noise and the noise they make is from the information they receive. So, with that in mind, what you have just said tells me something is interfering with the output to the speakers and until that is sorted, you may find you never get the sound right

I hadn’t seen that comment before about the noise

So, I’d suggest unplugging everything and starting again and then one by one reconnecting parts until you find the culprit (do remember to power everything down before reconnecting)

As to why you cannot hear this on the 55’s. That’s quite easy, they’re not as clear or capable as the 550’s
 

gibbsy

Moderator
OK guys, time to have a break I think. I'll re-open this thread in 24 hours as it's going nowhere at the moment.
 

slim01

Active Member
If the speakers are making a noise when out of the loop, then you need to find out where they are picking the information up from

Speaker just make noise and the noise they make is from the information they receive. So, with that in mind, what you have just said tells me something is interfering with the output to the speakers and until that is sorted, you may find you never get the sound right

I hadn’t seen that comment before about the noise

So, I’d suggest unplugging everything and starting again and then one by one reconnecting parts until you find the culprit (do remember to power everything down before reconnecting)

As to why you cannot hear this on the 55’s. That’s quite easy, they’re not as clear or capable as the 550’s

Hi Shane.

Done as you've said and everything seems to be working OK for now thanks (with the sub doing heavy lifting for them anyway).
Also got some new speaker wire on there, spoke to my mate (a music producer / audio engineer of sorts) and like you, he said unplug and try everything as well as
1) reinstall sound card (driver and physical).
2) try diff optical cable as they do get damaged sometimes.
3) do stock settings on amp/windows/iTunes.
4) wiggle eq settings as they can screw things up.

And loads of other stuff I've already done.

He's coming down with a DAC and a few stereo amps to try (a NAD and a weak Cambridge audio) next week as he feels the issue is electrical but can't tell on the phone, started talking about stuff waaaaaaaay over my head (wats at variable dipped ohm ratings and resistances??? Thermal limits?) and said they were "bottoming out" but can't figure out how/why at low volumes as they aren't garbage speakers and optical/toslink is just as good if not better than hdmi for my usage.

I am a bit confused a bit about the q550 being more than capable than the q55 though, sorry if I wasn't clear but this appears to be an issue with bass (bass from the uni-q mid woofer not the bass woofer).
Are you saying that the q550 will also be producing bass frequencies that the q55 cannot play if they're more capable there also? It was my understanding the q55 is far far far more capable in terms of bass, but yeah it's nowhere near as nice and tight sounding.
I am deffo hoping they DO give a wider range of bass tones though, that's exiting! :)
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’m so glad you are getting somewhere now with your setup and you’ve managed to get someone who can take the time to come and visit you to show you the final hurdle

With Kef’s Uni-Q improvements, they just deliver more detail and until your mate has come round and had a play, you still might not be able to hear everything as yet that they can produce. But as an analogy, you drop some glass and your in the same room, you should hear all the broken glass as you haven’t got anything to stop the sound from getting to your ears other than the reflection of the room. With the older Uni-Q, as an analogy, it’s like being in the other room with the door closed, you can still hear the broken glass, but it’s just not as defined. Hope that clears that up for you. This also could explain why you haven’t heard the issue before as those trusty old 55’s couldn’t reproduce the sound you was hearing which hopefully is now resolved

As for the bass, yeah, the 55’s will have more depth, although the 550’s should be more accurate with one of them being an ABR for stop start performance levels. Once the woofer is married up correctly, you should be smitten as the woofer will also have an equal and opposite effect on the 550’s as it just being more depth to the entire sound stage

Once your mate as been round, I’d love to hear how you’ve got on. Remember you need to get some hours on those speakers now to open them up :smashin:
 
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famasfilms

Banned
optical/toslink is just as good if not better than hdmi for my usage.


And, in our experience, compared to optical, a coaxial connection does tend to sound better. That's because it has greater bandwidth available, meaning it can support higher quality audio up to 24-bit/192kHz. Optical is usually restricted to 96kHz.

If it’s a straight choice between coaxial and optical, we’d go for the former. In our experience, a coaxial connection tends to produce better audio quality than optical, allowing for a higher level of detail and greater dynamics.


Even coaxial is preferred over optical so I would love to know why a 125mb cable is preferred over one with 40gb of bandwidth.

This isn't a fringe opinion, this is mainstream audio knowledge and basic common sense in the same way that a wired network connection of 100mb will always be slower than a gigabit connection

Sure, your isp might not go that fast but why wouldn't you use the best cable/port to be CERTAIN that the cable/port wasn't a potential bottleneck

The irony is, by using the optical out, you're even bypassing the circuitry of the separate sound card you purchased. If the sound card has analogue outs then you'd be better off using those over DDL/optical
 

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slim01

Active Member
By all means feel free to explain how a cable with 125 Mbit/s bandwidth is better than one with 40gb of bandwidth lol.

The irony is, if your soundcard has analogue out, you'd be better off using the sound cards DAC/chipset, which after all is the reason you bought it, but instead you're not even using that functionality LOL

But it's fine, rack up more stuff you don't need on your credit card, hopefully you've got a decent interest rate 💯
Here he is. I've just looked at your old setup and my oh my... you must be a troll...
Talking about modern tech with your absolute tonal miss-match of speakers (not a single pair match (some say essential for your usage 95% movies was it?) including a, what 1995? q95c Centre (I had one), which you even had on the floor for god knows how many decades 😂, and barely entry level floorstanders (I heard them and chose the q55 as they had poor bass) so your only form of low bass? a questionable sub (again I had one), any of which I doubt very highly would reproduce the best frequencies from FLAC/atmos signals... Let alone your Spotify (lol) or pirated movie downloads.

Although if you could tell me any way I can find out the exact bitrate my amp gets from sound card in either pcm or DD live that would be great. DD live sounds better than uncompressed pcm for some reason? You're saying it should sound worse though as muddled into DD live right?
I'll try the DAC thing when mate comes down... Way over my head for now. Too noob.

Your new setup looks sick though fairplay. My advice - if you like all that rgb lighting, get a Philips oled with ambilight, it's stunning and looks right up your street.
But do go careful, my 55OLED706 is a nightmare as a monitor and in general tbh.

And get a 4k player... Again given your usage, RIGHT up your street, and EXACTLY what your new gear wants no?
I'll see you mine if you want, help me pay off this finance you keep taking about 😂 (not sure where that's come from they're paid now). ;)
 

slim01

Active Member



Even coaxial is preferred over optical so I would love to know why a 125mb cable is preferred over one with 40gb of bandwidth.

This isn't a fringe opinion, this is mainstream audio knowledge and basic common sense in the same way that a wired network connection of 100mb will always be slower than a gigabit connection

Sure, your isp might not go that fast but why wouldn't you use the best cable/port to be CERTAIN that the cable/port wasn't a potential bottleneck

The irony is, by using the optical out, you're even bypassing the circuitry of the separate sound card you purchased. If the sound card has analogue outs then you'd be better off using those over DDL/optical

A agree with removing bottleneck on Internet cable, that's a bit simpler though.

Not wanting to argue sorry. If you read the rest of that page you'll see nobody really says it sound bad. Or if you google "hdmi vs optical which has best sound quality".
IIRC I tried coax a few times very very long time ago and it was buzzing, as they say on that very forum post.
Again not gonna argue about that though. Everyone but you is saying it's OK for my usage sorry.

Bypass is OK - I got the sound card for gaming, not audio quality, to make all the EAX (IIRC) and pc only surround sound coded games go to dolby. Some don't seem to work in 5.1 in pcm. Any idea why?

I will try the dac thing when I figure that out soon with a mate.
 

slim01

Active Member
I’m so glad you are getting somewhere now with your setup and you’ve managed to get someone who can take the time to come and visit you to show you the final hurdle

With Kef’s Uni-Q improvements, they just deliver more detail and until your mate has come round and had a play, you still might not be able to hear everything as yet that they can produce. But as an analogy, you drop some glass and your in the same room, you should hear all the broken glass as you haven’t got anything to stop the sound from getting to your ears other than the reflection of the room. With the older Uni-Q, as an analogy, it’s like being in the other room with the door closed, you can still hear the broken glass, but it’s just not as defined. Hope that clears that up for you. This also could explain why you haven’t heard the issue before as those trusty old 55’s couldn’t reproduce the sound you was hearing which hopefully is now resolved

As for the bass, yeah, the 55’s will have more depth, although the 550’s should be more accurate with one of them being an ABR for stop start performance levels. Once the woofer is married up correctly, you should be smitten as the woofer will also have an equal and opposite effect on the 550’s as it just being more depth to the entire sound stage

Once your mate as been round, I’d love to hear how you’ve got on. Remember you need to get some hours on those speakers now to open them up :smashin:

Oh yes they are getting some hours this weekend! The more I listen the more I like. Think I'll keep q55 if Mrs will let me, maybe I'll have a kid one day! 😂 😂

Honestly Shane you've been a great help, are all at av.com so helpful? Will deffo bookmark you guys. I get a big bonus in April as work for government kind of). Maybe dac / amp is in order. Maybe q750 god I don't know. Just wanna enjoy for now.

As mentioned I'm getting annoyed easily and quickly, perhaps autism, perhaps because I've spent most of the money I have expecting a nice simple easy upgrade. My tv purchase (another £1000k hasn't gone so well either but that's another story). Subs, dacs, hell even Crossover settings are new to me. Q55 used to do everything. I hope you're right about the sub! It's been exiting for movie explosions, the cat doesn't like it if sat on it though hahaha.
 

slim01

Active Member
This is what's I'm reading BTW famas, note their occupations lol

Is it possible to explain in what/how the DD live, or even pcm uncompressed signal, or toslink is damaging/roughing/muddling /worsening the quality of my already lower than 750kbps music is?
 

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famasfilms

Banned
Here he is. I've just looked at your old setup and my oh my... you must be a troll...
Talking about modern tech with your absolute tonal miss-match of speakers (not a single pair match (some say essential for your usage 95% movies was it?) including a, what 1995? q95c Centre (I had one), which you even had on the floor for god knows how many decades 😂, and barely entry level floorstanders (I heard them and chose the q55 as they had poor bass) so your only form of low bass? a questionable sub (again I had one), any of which I doubt very highly would reproduce the best frequencies from FLAC/atmos signals... Let alone your Spotify (lol) or pirated movie downloads.

Although if you could tell me any way I can find out the exact bitrate my amp gets from sound card in either pcm or DD live that would be great. DD live sounds better than uncompressed pcm for some reason? You're saying it should sound worse though as muddled into DD live right?
I'll try the DAC thing when mate comes down... Way over my head for now. Too noob.

Your new setup looks sick though fairplay. My advice - if you like all that rgb lighting, get a Philips oled with ambilight, it's stunning and looks right up your street.
But do go careful, my 55OLED706 is a nightmare as a monitor and in general tbh.

And get a 4k player... Again given your usage, RIGHT up your street, and EXACTLY what your new gear wants no?
I'll see you mine if you want, help me pay off this finance you keep taking about 😂 (not sure where that's come from they're paid now). ;)

IIRC I tried coax a few times very very long time ago and it was buzzing, as they say on that very forum post.

I've not said that you should use coaxial over optical. Never once have I said that - I'm just telling you what conventional audiophile consensus is

HDMI > Coaxial > Optical

All I've done is try and educate you based on gaps in your knowledge like:

I know YouTube doesn't support 5.1 but was under the (idiotic perhaps) assumption that basically all music was 2.1, when in fact then I assume basically none of it is.

And also the aforementioned inconsistencies, like being able to hear the difference in speaker wire, but not in higher bitrates (although you've since admitted you CAN hear a difference - and really if you're admitting that then my work here is done)

My position hasn't changed and will not change. There's no reason to stick to optical and there's no reason not to source higher quality source material not in the age of high speed internet and freely available lossless audio via streaming services.

Heck, even if you used the free months trials and started paying for Amazon / Tidal that would still be less of an upfront expense than an additional piece of hardware.



Although if you could tell me any way I can find out the exact bitrate my amp gets from sound card in either pcm or DD live that would be great. DD live sounds better than uncompressed pcm for some reason? You're saying it should sound worse though as muddled into DD live right?

I've already told you and all we've done is go round in circles whilst you plot out spending more money and tell me I'm wrong

If you're genuinely willing to listen and take on board the technical information you're receiving AND read it with an open mind and OPEN to change, then sure we can keep discussing but it really comes down to how much longer I can keep repeating myself and how much simpler I can make it.

Maybe this picture explains it better? (and if I'm wrong about anything I'm always open to learning, there's plenty about audio I don't know or understand)

speakers.jpg




Like I said, it's about every link in the chain.

You're not happy with the quality of your new speakers.

You have changed the speaker cable.

You are considering buying even "better" speakers.

You are considering buying additional hardware.


All I'm pointing out is that there are two obvious weak links in the chain, which are more likely to be a bottleneck than "bad" or "faulty" speakers.

Those weak links are the choice of connection to the AVR and your choice of source material


It's not about how much difference you can hear - it's about: if you're going to spend considerable amounts of money on audiophile level equipment then why wouldn't you feed that equipment the best possible source material you can find

I'll also remind you that you're an audiophile forum (and that you've claimed you can hear a difference between speaker cables). If you want people to agree that there's no audible benefit with higher bitrates, less compressed audio etc etc then you're on the wrong forum.

Metaphor:


When I lived with other people they never understood why I always used wired ethernet connection and not wi-fi. Because I wanted to be sure that I was getting the fastest possible internet connection and that the wi-fi wasn't a bottleneck.

Conclusion

I am not saying you MUST pay for Tidal. I get Spotify free with my mobile contract, so until that expires I won't pay for an additional service.

I am saying, there's trials available for all premium audio services, so there's no harm in signing up for trials to make sure you're feeding your AVR and Speakers with the best possible source material - especially as you're already doing that with your bluray player

PS

There's zero need for me to respond to your comments about my system, all my previous speakers were acquired second hand and if you've gone through my post history you'll see that the advice from this forum was that my budget could only give me a sidegrade. Fortunately I got stupidly lucky winning the latest MA Silver top model at just over half RRP and so I decided to increase my budget to make sure there were no weak links in the system. The Kef Q3s are now the sides and the only reason to replace those and the Missions would be aesthetics/room space

EDIT:

Changed pic to reflect there's alternative ways of getting music from Tidal etc to the AVR and bypass the PC altogether. eg via the TV app or streaming stick etc I'm not sure how that affects the quality but I know that when using the apps I can see "ultra HD" "hifi" "atmos" etc. The Tidal PC app doesn't playback in atmos I believe

EDIT 2

Optical vs HDMI - it really comes down to "is there a compelling reason to use optical over HDMI?"

"I can't hear any difference" is not a compelling reason.

The national speed limit is 70mph, but most cars can go faster. And many people happily spend more money on faster cars, better fuel that are capable of going faster
even if they rarely get to "push" the engine
 

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slim01

Active Member
I've not said that you should use coaxial over optical. Never once have I said that - I'm just telling you what conventional audiophile consensus is

HDMI > Coaxial > Optical

All I've done is try and educate you based on gaps in your knowledge like:



And also the aforementioned inconsistencies, like being able to hear the difference in speaker wire, but not in higher bitrates (although you've since admitted you CAN hear a difference - and really if you're admitting that then my work here is done)

My position hasn't changed and will not change. There's no reason to stick to optical and there's no reason not to source higher quality source material not in the age of high speed internet and freely available lossless audio via streaming services.

Heck, even if you used the free months trials and started paying for Amazon / Tidal that would still be less of an upfront expense than an additional piece of hardware.





I've already told you and all we've done is go round in circles whilst you plot out spending more money and tell me I'm wrong

If you're genuinely willing to listen and take on board the technical information you're receiving AND read it with an open mind and OPEN to change, then sure we can keep discussing but it really comes down to how much longer I can keep repeating myself and how much simpler I can make it.

Maybe this picture explains it better? (and if I'm wrong about anything I'm always open to learning, there's plenty about audio I don't know or understand)

View attachment 1649631



Like I said, it's about every link in the chain.

You're not happy with the quality of your new speakers.

You have changed the speaker cable.

You are considering buying even "better" speakers.

You are considering buying additional hardware.


All I'm pointing out is that there are two obvious weak links in the chain, which are more likely to be a bottleneck than "bad" or "faulty" speakers.

Those weak links are the choice of connection to the AVR and your choice of source material


It's not about how much difference you can hear - it's about: if you're going to spend considerable amounts of money on audiophile level equipment then why wouldn't you feed that equipment the best possible source material you can find

I'll also remind you that you're an audiophile forum (and that you've claimed you can hear a difference between speaker cables). If you want people to agree that there's no audible benefit with higher bitrates, less compressed audio etc etc then you're on the wrong forum.

Metaphor:


When I lived with other people they never understood why I always used wired ethernet connection and not wi-fi. Because I wanted to be sure that I was getting the fastest possible internet connection and that the wi-fi wasn't a bottleneck.

Conclusion

I am not saying you MUST pay for Tidal. I get Spotify free with my mobile contract, so until that expires I won't pay for an additional service.

I am saying, there's trials available for all premium audio services, so there's no harm in signing up for trials to make sure you're feeding your AVR and Speakers with the best possible source material - especially as you're already doing that with your bluray player

PS

There's zero need for me to respond to your comments about my system, all my previous speakers were acquired second hand and if you've gone through my post history you'll see that the advice from this forum was that my budget could only give me a sidegrade. Fortunately I got stupidly lucky winning the latest MA Silver top model at just over half RRP and so I decided to increase my budget to make sure there were no weak links in the system. The Kef Q3s are now the sides and the only reason to replace those and the Missions would be aesthetics/room space

EDIT:

Changed pic to reflect there's alternative ways of getting music from Tidal etc to the AVR and bypass the PC altogether. eg via the TV app or streaming stick etc I'm not sure how that affects the quality but I know that when using the apps I can see "ultra HD" "hifi" "atmos" etc. The Tidal PC app doesn't playback in atmos I believe

EDIT 2

Optical vs HDMI - it really comes down to "is there a compelling reason to use optical over HDMI?"

"I can't hear any difference" is not a compelling reason.

The national speed limit is 70mph, but most cars can go faster. And many people happily spend more money on faster cars, better fuel that are capable of going faster
even if they rarely get to "push" the engine


Let me try and explain where I'm at...

I went from a ferrari f50 to an Enzo. but I'm not using the hi-octane petrol. I get it. I'm using good old unleaded '95.

Why...
For hi octane I have to
A) go out of my way, spend time to search for a hi octane vendor
B) pay more money for it (yeah or steal it 😂)
C) fit 5 times less of it in the tank
D) figure and and adapt my system settings (slightly) to use it
E) spend time treating it before going in my tank (iTunes won't let you import FLAC, I must convert to ALAC).

The main issue is, I don't really think the hi-octane petrol makes me enjoy that ferrari any more... I know its the future, but do the negatives outweigh the positives;
A) it should/may make it perform better.

I'll take a free trial though yeah!

Should I be using it? Yeah perhaps. That's what they all use at the ferrari club right? They say I'm mad! Some others say who cares! It's snake oil!

Perhaps your work was done before we even started...
I think there is a difference there, but it's so tiny is it worth it?
It's like my ferrari goes 203mph but with hi-octane it could go 208mph. But in your opinion this is more like 254mph, you're saying drive it faster!

Yeah I moaned a few times about the ferrari performance when I got it, because I had it alllll set up wrong. Twice.

Problems now sorted... I'm happy with the ferrari, YET, I know I could (perhaps SHOULD, to sate my indecisive nature) have got the X+ model, which DOES guarantee more low end power if I ever need it.



The thing is, we're all different. Jesus, my Mrs listens to movies from her laptop speaker. If I turn music up, she listens louder (it is NASTY). Why doesn't she use the BOSE I got her XMAS?
Convenience. Lazyness. She doesn't care. Still asked for the bose for Xmas though 😂.
My mate claims ONLY headphones can recreate sounds perfectly. 😂 He claims he doesn't like the "better" sound of hi fi, at all. I say he hasn't heard my kefs. You say he hasn't heard YOUR kefs/ma.



I get EXACTLY what you're saying - don't complain about quality if you're not feeding it quality.
But where is the >356kbps proof lol. Where's the blind test results. Its like cable snake oil: No evidence, but thousands of people, Inc experts swear by it.


Its easy for you it seems, all this talk of dac, diff codecs cables amplifiers and settings, mate, I spend 2 hours on amazon debating the best cheese grater. And guess what, I've spent several hours today with uncompressed lossless amaaaaaaaazing hi octane pcm over the latest and greatest hdmi 2.1... and
1) cannot get games working in 5.1
2) its quiet
3) doesn't seem any better (yet).

What benefits?
1) none... As of yet. Although I accept what I'm doing is likely wrong, so I'm happy to learn.

But you've already got me intrigued/questioning am I missing potential benefits?

So I need to hear the benefits...ok...
-DAC on the way.
-Will try analogue out.
-Will try lossless streaming.

And get rid of those negatives.
 

slim01

Active Member
Edit - Thanks for the tidal by the way I was wondering the best way to get it it to amp without any trickery on signal.

Why are you interested in the display with "atmos" or "HD" though, if you can tell the difference, you don't need that indicator?

Maybe I'll blind test my mate next week lol, he says he can tell (with some tracks lossless). Then get him to do the same with me. He makes music, I feel he's a good testee haha.

I don't want atmos for sure (that seemed to be most people's complaints with it on Facebook - it sounds weird... And personally I cannot stand music in full surround sound.... Even when I had 5 tonally matched speakers (q55, and q15, q95c - no sub).
 
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slim01

Active Member
Optical vs HDMI - it really comes down to "is there a compelling reason to use optical over HDMI?"

"I can't hear any difference" is not a compelling reason.

The national speed limit is 70mph, but most cars can go faster. And many people happily spend more money on faster cars, better fuel that are capable of going faster even if they rarely get to "push" the engine

---
Yeah this makes sense, to have the power there just in case you need it. Agreed.

Again for you though there is no hassle, I see a fair amount.
One I forgot, what app would you use to change the gpu eq settings? (I've only ever used sound card).

Just to be clear, if I rip a cd I will rip it in ALAC is that's relatively hassle free.
I still don't think it's worth paying extra for it though, due to the small difference.
-checked my beat port downloads and amazon and they're like 256kbps... Fml... Do you just get your FLACs on pirate Bay or something? And you find they are actually their rated bitrate?
 

famasfilms

Banned
1) cannot get games working in 5.1

I'm not a gamer anymore but I would at least check your windows speaker setup

speakerswindows.jpg


it should be as simple as setting Windows to 5.1, setting the speakers to small (just like on AVR) and selecting 5.1 in the game

Why are you interested in the display with "atmos" or "HD" though, if you can tell the difference, you don't need that indicator?

It's not about being able to tell the difference - the point is that Atmos isn't available if I'm listening through the Tidal Windows desktop app. Just like how I can't get 4k/HDR from the Netflix windows app but can get Atmos, and can't get Atmos from Netflix on Chrome but can get 4k HDR and Atmos from my Chromecast. Not every device has every format available to it
 

famasfilms

Banned
I just installed Amazon Music windows app and clicking on the quality icon got this - be interesting to see if setting your audio device as optical vs HDMI changes the "device capability"

The motivation for doing so was to compare youtube vs Amazon music, my sample track was "Goodbye Horses" by Q Lazzarus.

What is interesting to me is AM has several versions and it's as if they're "mixed" differently. The "ultra HD" version opens with a booming bass tone, almost like the THX effect, whereas the HD version opens differently



amazonm.jpg



And Pink Floyd DSOTM says this, which suggests something in my chain is a bottleneck at 48 khz

PF.jpg


EDIT: going into Denon HDMI properties and adjusting some settings "fixed" it

pf2.jpg
 
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ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Honestly Shane you've been a great help, are all at av.com so helpful? Will deffo bookmark you guys. I get a big bonus in April as work for government kind of). Maybe dac / amp is in order. Maybe q750 god I don't know. Just wanna enjoy for now.
We're all a good bunch (although some haven't been around the block as much as me for problem finding and that takes many years of playing with many different systems to be able to knuckle down with unusual problems like yours)

In reality, the Q750's are really more in line with the 55's you have and those should have been the ones purchased over the Q550. I feel though that the smaller Kef's are so much more musical and once the woofer is nailed, you shouldn't need to look back. I'd put that money towards a new av receiver and then you'll be up to date. Please also try and have a listen first as what one person thinks is fantastic is another person's worst nightmare

P.S. Thanks for the kind words and just enjoy your toys now and try not to get sucked into the details and digits as the system has to please your ears and no one else and that's all that really matters :smashin:
 

slim01

Active Member
I'm not a gamer anymore but I would at least check your windows speaker setup

View attachment 1649742

it should be as simple as setting Windows to 5.1, setting the speakers to small (just like on AVR) and selecting 5.1 in the game



It's not about being able to tell the difference - the point is that Atmos isn't available if I'm listening through the Tidal Windows desktop app. Just like how I can't get 4k/HDR from the Netflix windows app but can get Atmos, and can't get Atmos from Netflix on Chrome but can get 4k HDR and Atmos from my Chromecast. Not every device has every format available to it

Yeah that makes sense, the Disney+ app on windows doesn't even have dolby digital or even 4k or hdr it's ridiculous. The app on my Philips oled does 4k hdr atmos but might be going back to my old led, where you can't install Disney+... Very annoying.

Yeah I've got it set up 5.1.
I've got windows settings set to 24bit 48000hz, (of course the same on the sound card settings).
It will go higher, never really played around with that though, is 48khz correct? Is too high gonna introduce brightness or it'll just depend on the source and not change the sound?
Is THIS why I can't notice much difference for lossless on pc at least?

It might be to do with the fact the audio is going out from gpu hdmi, to TV, then back into amp? My onkyo doesn't have 4k passthrough see.

But I don't get surround sound going from sound card output (toslink) with pcm either... Very odd. I'll continue to experiment.

Can't remember if said already but
One thing to note as well is when I go from DD live to pcm its considerably quieter, and was looking into this DD live muddying up the sound or something I think you said and it's not often noticeable BUT I was playing some ludovico Einaudi and some of the mid piano tones DEFFO sound a bit, wobbly? Almost like under water? Will play around further if I'm not gonna be using hdmi out of gpu... I'm guessing pcm should be preferred if that's lossless - at least to the limitations of the optical cable 750mbps or whatever.
 
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