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Thread: Where can I get music (contemporary) CDs at good prices?

  1. #41

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    Originally posted by ckiang


    Now it's time to move on to DVD-Audio, especially when I will soon be able to play it on a PC with an Audigy 2.

    Regards
    CK
    so can get one for mi ......
    hehhehheheee................

  2. #42
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    Originally posted by Bluestrike

    so can get one for mi ......
    hehhehheheee................
    Reserving for myself. hehehheheh.

    Regards
    CK

  3. #43
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    Is DVD-Audio really that good? Only heard once on a higher end system and sounded quite good... Is it that it now has 5 channels? dunno whether budget system DAC be up to the task. Anyway, yups, i listen to the music first, the recording second... So if they don't have my fave album, i'll still stick to CDs...

  4. #44
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    Originally posted by Gunjack
    Is DVD-Audio really that good? Only heard once on a higher end system and sounded quite good... Is it that it now has 5 channels? dunno whether budget system DAC be up to the task. Anyway, yups, i listen to the music first, the recording second... So if they don't have my fave album, i'll still stick to CDs...
    I have not really heard DVD-Audio (only SACD on a high end system), but I think it should sound good. DVD-A can be 2 channel stereo at 24-bit 96 or 192kHz, or 5.1 channels at 24-bit/96kHz. But I never liked the gimmicky type of multi-channel music where you have e.g. 1 musician per channel (e.g. trumpeter on left, singer centre, bassist right, drummer rear etc). I feel a good multi-channel recording should reproduce the ambience of the original scene in your listening room.

    And now, the most economical way to get DVD-Audio is via the PC, if you have a good enough speakers, and a DVD-ROM drive.

    Yeah, music should come first. I do have a couple of audiophile CDs and HDCDs which I don't quite like the music (bought it just because it's marked HDCD at the time when I am quite 'siao' about such things).

    Regards
    CK

  5. #45
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    Originally posted by ckiang


    I have not really heard DVD-Audio (only SACD on a high end system), but I think it should sound good. DVD-A can be 2 channel stereo at 24-bit 96 or 192kHz, or 5.1 channels at 24-bit/96kHz. But I never liked the gimmicky type of multi-channel music where you have e.g. 1 musician per channel (e.g. trumpeter on left, singer centre, bassist right, drummer rear etc). I feel a good multi-channel recording should reproduce the ambience of the original scene in your listening room.

    And now, the most economical way to get DVD-Audio is via the PC, if you have a good enough speakers, and a DVD-ROM drive.

    Yeah, music should come first. I do have a couple of audiophile CDs and HDCDs which I don't quite like the music (bought it just because it's marked HDCD at the time when I am quite 'siao' about such things).

    Regards
    CK
    The 5.1 channel channel I heard was very well set-up in the demo room, so the integration of the 5 speakers were flawless... Good, but I don't have that kinda money to spend. Somehow I am sceptical that the economical way of getting DVD-A through a DVD-ROM drive will be any improvement over normal CDs though... I don't doubt the DVD-A transport section but I think the DAC stage will be very weak...

  6. #46

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    You guys might want to check out overseas stores too:

    http://www.ezydvd.com.au/mech/search...+Audio&x=3&y=9

    Cheaper than $50, shipping is >=AU$3.50 each.

  7. #47
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    Thanks Zoomer!

  8. #48
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    Originally posted by Gunjack


    The 5.1 channel channel I heard was very well set-up in the demo room, so the integration of the 5 speakers were flawless... Good, but I don't have that kinda money to spend. Somehow I am sceptical that the economical way of getting DVD-A through a DVD-ROM drive will be any improvement over normal CDs though... I don't doubt the DVD-A transport section but I think the DAC stage will be very weak...
    Try the Audigy 2. As good as PC Audio can get. The DAC is actually very good.

    Regards
    CK

  9. #49
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    Thanks ckiang for updating me! Will try it out when funds permit... But I find it rather strange listening to music on my PC, hehe... Coz I have yet to hear any PC audio anywhere near a decent Hifi standard, since this is a topic on listening to DVD-A... their bass control effectively suck big time... But do tell me from your experience how it is when u get your DVD-A.
    Last edited by Gunjack; 17th October 2002 at 12:13 PM.

  10. #50

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    Originally posted by Gunjack
    Thanks ckiang for updating me! Will try it out when funds permit... But I find it rather strange listening to music on my PC, hehe... Coz I have yet to hear any PC audio anywhere near a decent Hifi standard, since this is a topic on listening to DVD-A... their bass control effectively suck big time... But do tell me from your experience how it is when u get your DVD-A.
    Whether one listens to digital audio/music on a PC or a Hifi, the quality of the DAC (then of course your amp and your speakers too) usually makes a huge difference. Since most PC soundcards are made of cheap parts and are usually placed close to harddisk, CPU etc., one would hardly hear high quality audio from them.

    But Audigy 2 looks promising, and it doesn't come at a high price. You'd still need a super quiet HDD and cooling fans (or go passive cooling) to really get a really decent PC Hifi setup though. An alternative is to use long cables and place the noisy PC in an isolated room.

  11. #51
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    Originally posted by Acieed

    Whether one listens to digital audio/music on a PC or a Hifi, the quality of the DAC (then of course your amp and your speakers too) usually makes a huge difference. Since most PC soundcards are made of cheap parts and are usually placed close to harddisk, CPU etc., one would hardly hear high quality audio from them.

    But Audigy 2 looks promising, and it doesn't come at a high price. You'd still need a super quiet HDD and cooling fans (or go passive cooling) to really get a really decent PC Hifi setup though. An alternative is to use long cables and place the noisy PC in an isolated room.
    What you need is the Creative SLiX PC. Or yeah, put the noisy PC into an isolated room.

    Regards
    CK

  12. #52

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    Originally posted by Gunjack
    If you have the equipment to reveal a wonderful recording, and if you like the particular album very much, take the plunge and get the audiophile version, it is definitely worth it... Faye Wong's "Tian Kong" album in XRCD sounds incredible. The only Chesky album I like in my limited listening exposure with that recording company is by Rebecca Pidgeon, the Raven... Dick Hyman(Hahaha!) plays Duke Ellington on HDCD(Reference Recording) also sounds superb and entertaining... In fact, I think Reference Recording is my favourite "normal price" audiophile CD recording company. Verve churns out lotsa "vinyl" sounding jazzy good stuff too... I also like the only RCA "Living Stereo" recording I have. Sounds top notch.

    You may think I am mad, but I also think most of the harder hitting bands/dance acts like Metallica/Pantera/Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Prodigy/those underground and drum and bass dance music have superb recordings and great music too... I do use them to test it along with the usual audiophile reference CDs when I or my friends went to buy a new system. My belief is that a system should sound good in simple, complex music, acoustic and electric instruments, since that is what we usually listen to. I have heard some high end music system simply stutter and fall playing those harder hitting electronic music even though they sound great with simple acoustics.
    Oh yes!
    How could we forget the XRCDs?
    I like Hiroko Kokubu's "Pure Heart" album... easy listening music.

    Agree with you on the quality of those more mainstream albums...
    Some of them are quite good, but some are really *bleah*...

    IMO, I prefer a more dynamic system compared to a more "vocal" system, but that's just me, that's why I don't really like tube amps...

  13. #53

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    Just something I would want to ask...
    If you are going to use the PC for listening purposes.. there are quite a lot of considerations...

    the transport... that would be a DVD drive right?
    But are there variants of different drives...

    And the speakers must also be DVD-A/SACD compatible right?
    I read that the speakers must be able to reproduce those 192khz /96khz frequencies... even though you can't hear them right?

    They said that the 192khz gives some "nuance" to the music or what..

    So the $1,000,000 question is that will the PC be able to reproduce the full fidelity of DVD-A?
    That's my question...

  14. #54
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    Originally posted by SNAG
    Just something I would want to ask...
    If you are going to use the PC for listening purposes.. there are quite a lot of considerations...

    the transport... that would be a DVD drive right?
    But are there variants of different drives...

    And the speakers must also be DVD-A/SACD compatible right?
    I read that the speakers must be able to reproduce those 192khz /96khz frequencies... even though you can't hear them right?

    They said that the 192khz gives some "nuance" to the music or what..

    So the $1,000,000 question is that will the PC be able to reproduce the full fidelity of DVD-A?
    That's my question...

    The main thing to worry abt the transport is that it should be free from vibration... the more expensive hifi system have more complicated suspension to tackle this important problem...

    The DAC to me is what really makes the difference in the CD sound and detail. I was shocked when a guy in adephi demo to me using a Philips LD player as transport with his more expensive DAC, and the high end system sounded like magic!

    To me the 96/192khz is a figure I can only see only after I listen. Many speakers no where near that kinda specs still sound very live like. The balance/involvement factor of the speaker is more important to me.

    I don't doubt the ability of DVD-A. It's just that i think PC audio will have too much compromises for serious listening... But then again, i haven't listened to the higher end PC audio systems...

  15. #55
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    Originally posted by Gunjack



    The main thing to worry abt the transport is that it should be free from vibration... the more expensive hifi system have more complicated suspension to tackle this important problem...

    The DAC to me is what really makes the difference in the CD sound and detail. I was shocked when a guy in adephi demo to me using a Philips LD player as transport with his more expensive DAC, and the high end system sounded like magic!

    To me the 96/192khz is a figure I can only see only after I listen. Many speakers no where near that kinda specs still sound very live like. The balance/involvement factor of the speaker is more important to me.

    I don't doubt the ability of DVD-A. It's just that i think PC audio will have too much compromises for serious listening... But then again, i haven't listened to the higher end PC audio systems...
    There's several things that specs alone can't describe, like the musicality of the system, etc. And as you know by now, high specs like 192/24 is not the only factor to get good sound. "Noisy" LPs and 16/44 CDs can sound good. 24/192 DVD-A can sound bad, etc. Of coz, the other way round is possible too.

    PC Audio has come a long, long way. They just need to get the fan noise, HDD noise, etc fixed. Of coz, if you listen to MP3s, then it's not quite there lar. And now, if you have Windows Media Player 9, you can decode HDCD on your PC. You get the full 20/24-bit resolution that HDCD encoding provide on your PC, by just playing it with MP9. And the difference is audible if your card/speakers are up to it. So now, you no longer need to spend money on a HDCD-capable DAC, which costs > $1000 for the good ones.

    Regards
    CK

  16. #56

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    i've got a pretty decent pair of computer speakers, the altec lansing acs48 ($100++). Can't tell the different between high rate mp3 and CD....

    i would guess that with only hi-fi amp + speaker will one be able to tell the diff between formats....

  17. #57
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    Originally posted by erwinx
    i've got a pretty decent pair of computer speakers, the altec lansing acs48 ($100++). Can't tell the different between high rate mp3 and CD....

    i would guess that with only hi-fi amp + speaker will one be able to tell the diff between formats....
    There was a time when a colleague and I needed to evaluate MP3 encoders. That was few years back, before we have SBLive! and Audigy/Audigy2, etc. And we had to use an audiolab amp driving Rogers LS3/5a to hear any difference between different encoders.

    Regards
    CK

  18. #58
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    Wah... i remember my friend's frighteningly revealing audiolab amp with his Triangle speakers... the amp cost abt $1k by itself right? Its a pity they discontinued it, but now u have Tag Maclaren...

    After visiting the website abt the Audigy2, am pretty impressed. How do u hook up the sound card to the amp RCA inputs??? Do u have to improvise a plug? Sorry, dunno much abt computer peripherals!

  19. #59

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    Originally posted by Gunjack
    Wah... i remember my friend's frighteningly revealing audiolab amp with his Triangle speakers... the amp cost abt $1k by itself right? Its a pity they discontinued it, but now u have Tag Maclaren...

    After visiting the website abt the Audigy2, am pretty impressed. How do u hook up the sound card to the amp RCA inputs??? Do u have to improvise a plug? Sorry, dunno much abt computer peripherals!
    Arghh...
    I got cheated (supposingly) when I traded in my Audiolab 8000A with a Bose 2 pcs system for only $500!! Can't believe that I'm so dumb.

    Just for your info, what MP3 decoders you guys are using?
    I'm using LAME decoder..

  20. #60
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    Originally posted by Gunjack
    Wah... i remember my friend's frighteningly revealing audiolab amp with his Triangle speakers... the amp cost abt $1k by itself right? Its a pity they discontinued it, but now u have Tag Maclaren...

    After visiting the website abt the Audigy2, am pretty impressed. How do u hook up the sound card to the amp RCA inputs??? Do u have to improvise a plug? Sorry, dunno much abt computer peripherals!
    AudioLab was around $1k before Tag McLaren bought them over (and became much more expensive). Doesn't match well with my cheap Mordaunt-Short speakers (too harsh, but it drives the Rogers well). I am now using a Musical Fidelity A220.

    You can hook up the sound card to any amp using a standard 3.5" stereo to RCA cable. Simple as that.

    Regards
    CK

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