Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

High Quality Music Listening


Recommended Posts

Hey guys.


I'm planning on buying a stereo system for pretty much the sole purpose of listening to music in high sound quality. Now, looking on the internet I've found that there are a lot of options, and as I don't know the first thing about what I'm doing, and since I know a lot of you guys are music fanatics and sound guys, I was wondering if you guys could help me find what I need. As I understand it, if it's solely for listening to music I only need stereo playback as music for the most part isn't mixed in 5.1 or higher (though some people say that 5.1 enhances the listening experience despite this - if you could explain that it'd be nice). I'm looking for a price range of 200-400 (if this is expecting too much for too little money then say so), preferably something relatively small (since its going in my room which is pretty small) and something that accepts CDs and also if possible inputs to connect to my iPod. I'm basically looking for something with excellent sound quality that'll show me what I've always been missing listening to music through earbuds.


If you have any specific product recommendations those would also be welcome. Thanks in advance. [biggrin]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

High quality music and Ipods don't really work in the same sentence as IPOD's by design use lossy formats and destroy the audio quality. That said a good set of headphones works wonders than you can go into a higher end amp and speakers for room sound. Two great systems for IPOD's are NuForce for solid state or if you like the warmth of tubes try Fatman tube amps made for Ipod they both will also allow CD's to be played through and will make a huge difference on the quality of sound from your IPOD.


I love MY Fatman tube IPOD system


EDIT - Make sure you save and burn your IPOD music in higher quality or lossless format if possible you can't really do much to improve MP3's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
High quality music and Ipods don't really work in the same sentence as IPOD's by design use lossy formats and destroy the audio quality.


Only if you tell it to. You can use Apple Lossless (bit for bit identical to CD quality), and connect the Ipod to a quality DAC via a digital connection and this will yield sound quality equal to the very best CD players. This is what I do.


To the OP - you're not going to find anything high quality in the 200-400$ range. For a serious stereo amplifier (new) you're looking at $1k or higher. Then budget another $1k for a CD player, or Ipod/DAC combo (this can come later if you already have a CD or DVD player). Solid state is the way to go, forget about tubes. Also forget about 5.1, stereo is the way to go.


I recommend saving some more so you have a better budget to work with.


Tell us what your absolute maximum budget is and I'll have a look to see what's available. Do you already have a CD player?


Will this be a headphone rig or speakers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing beats vinyl records. As cd players go' date=' my BOSS is really great ^^V[/quote']



The advantage of digital music is bang for the buck, but if you have an infinite amount of money to spend, vinyl will sound better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing beats vinyl records...


+1 Get a decent amplifier, turntable and speakers and start listening to music the way your supposed to. If you want to get lot's of component information go to www.crutchfield.com. You can get better prices if you shop around, but the site has some good info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got one of those Bose Wave radio/CD players last year and that thing sounds great IMO. And it's very small. I didn't get the Ipod hookup, but they are available.


Some audiophiles don't like it because there's no tone controls, but I don't mess too much with EQ and it sounds great to my ears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I knew there was some sort of a reason I liked you and your comments. Yup to vinyl.


You've gotta take care of it, though. I've still got a batch of 'em I've gotta put onto the computer for general portability and hopefully a greater degree of longevity, though. I'd give anything to have a batch of 'em "back" after losing them to a fire in around '69 or so.


On the other hand...


As one who simply ran a decent turntable through a Deluxe Reverb back in the olden days, and who listened to a lotta Grandma's early 78s on a console windup "record player," I guess I've always figured that "hi fi" was largely a matter of personal preference and one's own body.


We tend to forget that the final stage of any music recording is attached to the sides of our heads. There's a built-in eq that will allow me to hear rather differently than what you hear from the same source putting sound waves into the air. I can diddle with expensive equipment but - is it really a reproduction of a performance or is it a matter of engineering so that I am pleased with the sound?


So I guess other than stuff to protect the source of the sound, the vinyl or whatever, I've got mixed emotions as to what constitutes "quality sound." Remember the "is it live or is it Memorex?" I guess I've never heard recorded music that truly reflected what I've heard in concert circumstances.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think spending 1000+ is not needed. Go find deals for vintage gear.


My stereo setup:

Early 70's Kenwood KR-2120 Stereo Receiver.

2 Mid-late 70's Akai towers

2 Early 90's Bose speakers.

All of it is in stereo, Sounds great. Running it with my computer with an RCA/3mm Jack. The speakers are the classic "Wire" connection.

I'm going to say I spent less than a tank of gas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I'm not sure about IPOD connectivity (most probably current models do offer that) my suggestion is as follows:


1. Get a solid state 2 channel amp. Tubes will skyrocket the price you will pay and for home use, especially bedroom, I don't think it's justified.


2. Get 2 floor-based speakers. The old-way, tall ones. They come with built-in subwoofers and hi-quality twitters, so no frequencies will be lost / squashed in the process.


I have gone almost the same way 5 years ago, but I wanted something for the living-room to watch movies as well, so I went with 5.1 surround system (the prices actually are about the same).


However, if you don't care about films, don't let them sell you a 5.1 surround system. CDs come with a 2-channel stereo recorded sound and as far as music is concerned (especially current music - blues, rock. metal pop - I'm not referring to orchestral music or classical here) is better enjoyed through a stereo 2 channel - 2 speaker system, It gives you the feeling that the band is right in front of you and plays for you alone.


Brands to consider: Denon, Marantz, Harman-Kardon for amps. Speakers: JBL, Waferdale, B&W


Do you also want to enjoy home-theater experience:


1. If yes, 5.1 channel amp, 5 speakers and a subwoofer

2. If no, 2 channel amp, 2 tall floor speakers will get you there.


Start thinking tubes, only if you have money to spend...


Good luck man! (Jamaican pronunciation here... [biggrin] )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Atlantic Technology and a Bag-End Sub woofer.

If you are going to use a I-pod dock, Universal Remote PSX-2, it has the ability to

display metadata, so you can view album art and will also stream Pandora on your TV

Universal Remote also has a MX 6000 and there is two way feedback so you can browse

metadata through the remote.

Sorry to babble but its what my company does.

www.universalremote.com/ Look in the Pro product line





Atlantic Technology



You did say you wanted good sound,


But if your looking for a nice small budget system

Onkyo/Interga receiver

Polk Sub/Sat speakers

Onkyo I-pod dock


Oh and I am avaliable for installation in your area

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some audiophiles don't like it because there's no tone controls' date=' but I don't mess too much with EQ and it sounds great to my ears. [/quote']


A killer set of speakers will negate the need for EQ. Too many people mid scoop their EQ anyway.


For a receiver, I would go with a Marantz. Earlier this year I bought an SR4023 and love it. If you cannot sport for a solid set of speakers, spend the cash on a solid pair of headphones, like AKG k240 studios.


Fidelity wise, vinyl records are the best. CDs are second closely followed by lossless format audio files. What you have to watch out for with any digital format is how the songs were mastered. Far too many, especially major label releases, have so much damn compression you lose dynamics which leads to ear fatigue and headaches. Don't torture yourself with this crap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...