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Discussion Starter #1
Well since its now December and snow is falling the reality that the bike will be dormant for quite a long time has definitely settled in.

So to keep my mind off that unfortunate reality I was wondering if anyone home brews or is into nicer home audio?

I have been home brewing for almost 5 years now and have been interest in home audio since I was in high school.

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Yes. Both.

Been into audio much longer (~30 years) than brewing though (~3 months). Bottled my second batch of brew from a specialty grain extract kit (with my own addition/tweak of a week's worth of Citra dry hopping), an APA, just over a week ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes. Both.

Been into audio much longer (~30 years) than brewing though (~3 months). Bottled my second batch of brew from a specialty grain extract kit (with my own addition/tweak of a week's worth of Citra dry hopping), an APA, just over a week ago.
Cool. I started with extract kits and bottles, its the best way to start out. Now I have a 2 tap kegerator and I brew all grain with a fairly simple batch sparge set up.

What do you have for audio equipment?

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I have quite a bit of audio equipment ranging from inexpensive and lightweight (but I think good) Panasonic SA-XR55 "digital" receiver, to a custom 6L6-based tube amp and Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid tube preamp, to stuff like early 80s M-series Yamaha pre amps and power amps, Marantz and Anthem pre/pros for my HT setup, and some higher end stuff like Forte and Proceed preamps, Audio Research and Mark Levinson power amps, a PassDIY B1 buffer preamp,, MSB Link DAC, Emotiva DAC-1...then on to several different kinds of pro audio amps from Crown and QSC ranging to 700 WPC or more.

Speakers...range from some Altec Bolero 890C, several Definitive Tech models, Paradigm Studio 100s, Thiel CS 3.6, some DIY speakers from a good builder, Jim Holtz, with guidance from Rick Craig of Selah Audio (Focal woofers, Morel mids, Hiquphon tweeters), big JBL pro audio speakers and subs...and a few others in between.
 

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You certainly have more audio equipment than I do. Currently I have a pair of Martin Logan Vistas, which I love. Driving them is a Cambridge Audio integrated amp. The combo is quite good. For sources, which I have never spent alk tgat muvh money on, I have a sony 400 disc changer and a Pioneer Elite DVD player that I bought becaus ed it also played SACD's and DVD Audio discs which unfortunately never reallt caught on though I do have a few of each. Also there is a Project turntable with a Cambridge Audio phono amp.

In my basement I have a pair of Klipsch kg's with a Pioneer Elite hometheater receiver with an older Duel turnrable as the only source, strange I know. Someday there may be a full blown home theater set up there.

The Martin Logans replaced a pair of Magnepans, yes I have a thing for planer speakers. Though when I was in high school I had a pair of Klipsch LaScalas in my bedroom, which was pretty crazy since they took up so much of my room. Those were some pretty "exciting" sounding speakers and I certainly blame them for some of my hearing damage.

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Living room system: Entry level OPPO CD Player, off the shelf HP computer into a Peachtree Nova integrated amp with onboard DAC pushing a pair of PSB Image T6 speakers. Basement system: Old ADC CD player, Really old Pioneer PL115 turntable, Marantz SR4000 pushing a pair of Polk Audio RT800i's. Other stuff including a pair of Optimus T120's, Sony Receiver, BSR EQ3000 Non of which is being used now. Wish I was super rich because I'd have a lot more audio stuff.
 

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I used to home brew. Haven't done it in years.

I'm pretty into music. I have three AppleTV's in different rooms that I can stream music and video to. Ripped my entire CD collection onto the computer long ago, just makes everything easier -- not to mention guests can queue up music on the iPad to play throughout the house.

My favorite thing though is these speakers I picked up at Best Buy. Mirage, I think is the brand. They're small. I mean, really small. But wow, do they ever put out some volume...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I really need to find a way to turn my cd's in to audio files. I have about 600 though so its a bit of a commitment. The other issue is that the Martin Logans really show off any issues with the source, so mp3's usually sound fairly poor. With a good recoding though the speakers are stunning. I am thinking about finding another large cd changer though so j can have them all together and easily playable.

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MP3 will forever be a lossy compression codec, that's what it is. Some MP3 codecs are much better than others as are high bitrates. With a good codec, like LAME, and a bitrate of 192 or higher, you have to have pretty good ears and a pretty good system to tell the difference.

That said, FLAC is a lossless compression format so what comes out is just the same as what went in. The only problem with FLAC is that it may not be compatible with some portable devices and the file sized, while smaller than WAV format (the full size, uncompressed rips from CD) are still fairly good size. Not a problem for home computer setup, but could be if you have a portable device with not so much storage.

If you have 600 CD's yeah, that would be quite a bit of work, but ripping a few here and there you'll get through the racks.

I'd recommend a program called EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and using the FLAC format if you want the smaller files. If you have the space you could rip to WAV format and have uncompressed, lossless files. WAV files from CDs take about 10.5MB per minute of music. FLAC would cut that by 50%, give or take, on average.
 

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You certainly have more audio equipment than I do. Currently I have a pair of Martin Logan Vistas, which I love. Driving them is a Cambridge Audio integrated amp. The combo is quite good. For sources, which I have never spent alk tgat muvh money on, I have a sony 400 disc changer and a Pioneer Elite DVD player that I bought becaus ed it also played SACD's and DVD Audio discs which unfortunately never reallt caught on though I do have a few of each. Also there is a Project turntable with a Cambridge Audio phono amp.

In my basement I have a pair of Klipsch kg's with a Pioneer Elite hometheater receiver with an older Duel turnrable as the only source, strange I know. Someday there may be a full blown home theater set up there.

The Martin Logans replaced a pair of Magnepans, yes I have a thing for planer speakers. Though when I was in high school I had a pair of Klipsch LaScalas in my bedroom, which was pretty crazy since they took up so much of my room. Those were some pretty "exciting" sounding speakers and I certainly blame them for some of my hearing damage.

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Living room system: Entry level OPPO CD Player, off the shelf HP computer into a Peachtree Nova integrated amp with onboard DAC pushing a pair of PSB Image T6 speakers. Basement system: Old ADC CD player, Really old Pioneer PL115 turntable, Marantz SR4000 pushing a pair of Polk Audio RT800i's. Other stuff including a pair of Optimus T120's, Sony Receiver, BSR EQ3000 Non of which is being used now. Wish I was super rich because I'd have a lot more audio stuff.
I used to home brew. Haven't done it in years.

I'm pretty into music. I have three AppleTV's in different rooms that I can stream music and video to. Ripped my entire CD collection onto the computer long ago, just makes everything easier -- not to mention guests can queue up music on the iPad to play throughout the house.

My favorite thing though is these speakers I picked up at Best Buy. Mirage, I think is the brand. They're small. I mean, really small. But wow, do they ever put out some volume...
Y'all have some nice gear there. Cambridge, Oppo, Martin Logan, PSB, Peachtree, Project, Pioneer Elite, Marantz, Klipsch, Mirage...nice stuff!
 

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I really need to find a way to turn my cd's in to audio files.
I used iTunes, but I'm sure there's plenty of free CD Ripping software out there.

It was fairly easy. When I had nothing to do or was watching TV or something I'd just stick a disk in the drive, it would rip the CD, identify the album and track names automatically, and beep when it's done. I just had to wake up long enough to put in the next CD.

Saves space too, because now I can just put these boxes of CD's in the attic. Like you, I have quite a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I used iTunes, but I'm sure there's plenty of free CD Ripping software out there.

It was fairly easy. When I had nothing to do or was watching TV or something I'd just stick a disk in the drive, it would rip the CD, identify the album and track names automatically, and beep when it's done. I just had to wake up long enough to put in the next CD.

Saves space too, because now I can just put these boxes of CD's in the attic. Like you, I have quite a lot.
The issue with that is the sound quality. Though in this day and age I could probably just copy the entire WAV file since storage now is so cheap. Unfortunately I dont really have a computer other than a cheap netbook.

I think it might just be easier to track down another mega changer and fill it up. I have had a 400 disc one for a bit over 10 years and its been flawless.

I also have 300 or 400 vinyl albums as well.

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The latter, yes. I absolutely love quality audio. Not blown out lows or screechy highs, but nice, warm, flawless music. Nothing like listening to classical music recorded in a surround sound FLAC format!

I've been incredibly surprised with a set of sherwood sattelites I have right now on my surround sound setup (being driven by a Pioneer home theater unit). They are in a dark oak cabinet, one woofer and one tweeter except for the center channel which has two of each. Truly fantastic sound. Coupled with a 10" Powered subwoofer (also sherwood), just awesome sound!
 

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The issue with that is the sound quality. Though in this day and age I could probably just copy the entire WAV file since storage now is so cheap. Unfortunately I dont really have a computer other than a cheap netbook.

I think it might just be easier to track down another mega changer and fill it up. I have had a 400 disc one for a bit over 10 years and its been flawless.

I also have 300 or 400 vinyl albums as well.

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Actually, there is a great AND cheap solution to that. Rip the audio with iTunes, all of it, then turn on iTunes Match. It's a $25/year service. Once you've enabled it, and it has 'completed' matching, DELETE all of the music off of your computer. THEN, re-download it all. iTunes will have uploaded any rips you have that they don't have, but if they DO have it, rather than sending you back your rip, they'll send you their 256kbps lossless file!
 

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If you have the CDs/originals to rip there is no point to using the iTunes Match service because if you have the original you can rip to any format you want...lossless or lossy, uncompressed or squished like fly under a swatter.

As I understand it, iTunes Match will return a 256kbps AAC file and while certainly much better than some low bitrate MP3 of questionable origin, AAC is not a lossless format therefore I wouldn't recommend it for masters or archival purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I ended up tracking down another 400 disc sony changer identical to the one I have. Actually the guy sold me 2 of them for $50 for both of them. Im not quite sure what to do with the other one. I may just keep it as a spare.

The players are quite nice and connect to each other.

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a fair amount of music on the computer from back when I was illegally downloading entire discographies. I just never intergrated my audio systems with a computer.

Any time I have tried the result has been awful. Electrostatic speakers dont play well with poor sources.

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I'd agree, in general, but a lot is contingent on how it's done. If you just take analog line out from an inexpensive sound card yeah, it can be not so good. However, with the relative plethora of outboard DACs these days it's not too expensive to get some high quality sound from a computer.
 
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