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Wild Burro Audio DIY full range speakers from Wild Burro Audio Labs

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Old 25th December 2009, 02:49 AM   #11
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Friends don't let friends listen to MP3s...

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Old 25th December 2009, 04:51 AM   #12
mattmcl is offline mattmcl  United States
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Quote:
except for some high frequency noise that my sound card is picking up from something
What you are likely hearing is distortion from iTunes-ripped files. I have a few files from different people ripped to 320 on iTunes, and there's always some noise in the upper ranges. You wouldn't hear it on junky speakers, but it shows up on my Thors. IME iTunes does a rotten job of ripping mp3, but is pretty good for lossless. I'll confess up front to being a Mac hater though.
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Old 25th December 2009, 05:26 AM   #13
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Mp3 can sound mighty fine , thing is there are many encoders, some are cheap and cheerful (and quick) others are better. cheap ones excell in phasey crappy sounding cymbals etc, but better encoding which takes much longer and nobody has the time for, can sound quite decent.

topt spec mp3 can sound worse than medeum spec with cheap encoding.

once you get to really high spec you may as well use flac and have lossless, since the file will be almost as big anyways.
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Old 25th December 2009, 06:47 AM   #14
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My experience:

1. (For PC) A decent cd-drive, clean cd's, exact audio copy, LamedropXP with the latest Lame encoder build in, at 320kb constant bitrate (joint stereo is enabled by default), highest (also slowest) encoder quality, then the result is really good! I think that in more than 80% one can't tell the difference to the original wav file. And even if one can tell a difference, it's just a difference. If the mp3 or the wav sounds better depends on the source. Some older recordings might become even more listenable through mp3 conversion because of the slight treble cut off, which makes the sound a bit less harsh in the highs and the upper midrange.

2. The source matters the most! I myself use flac, just to be on the safe side. (I also converted all my cd's into mp3 for the use with mp3 players and in my car.) But when I turn on a decent internet radio stream (e.g., blastfm from swiss), I can assure you: Most of the stuff these guys are streaming with 128kb mp3 sounds WAY better than most of my so carefully converted flac files! Why? Because the more modern electronic music is far better recorded than all the old stuff. It's more dynamic, more fluid, more punshing and more exciting to listen to well recorded music, no matter what file-type it is.

3. I never discovered any problems with high frequency hiss, artefacts or similar with my mp3's. But as mentioned in #1, you need a good computer with a professional, reliable setup of both, hardware and software. If you stress the cpu or mess around with a thousand other tasks when converting music files, you will get into trouble. But with a decent hard- and software configuartion and very well tested codecs, mp3's can be a small (literally) wonder!


BTW: Hey Paul,
just yesterday I saw (incidentally) your webpage with the Wild Burro speakers. Nice stuff! Unfortunately my room isn't large enough to fit in open baffle speakers... :-(

Martin

Last edited by martinbls; 25th December 2009 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 25th December 2009, 07:44 AM   #15
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Re: Bitrate - see my post above, the codec is important. 192kbits/sec AAC is very much sufficient for listening on most systems.

Re: Encoders - LAME is awesome, to me it sounds as least as good as the Fraunhofer reference encoder.
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Old 25th December 2009, 02:42 PM   #16
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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I deleted all the MP3s I had years ago, went FLAC...haven't looked back since
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Old 25th December 2009, 03:45 PM   #17
tresch is offline tresch  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinbls View Post
3. I never discovered any problems with high frequency hiss, artefacts or similar with my mp3's. But as mentioned in #1, you need a good computer with a professional, reliable setup of both, hardware and software. If you stress the cpu or mess around with a thousand other tasks when converting music files, you will get into trouble. But with a decent hard- and software configuartion and very well tested codecs, mp3's can be a small (literally) wonder!
Actually, thanks to the wonder of digital computing, for the purposes of encoding mp3s we don't really have to worry about things like this anymore, particularly now that operating systems securely manage memory for applications and everything is threaded and pipelined.

CPU load won't affect your encoding in the slightest bit, it will just make it take longer. It's all about the particular software that you're using to encode and the algorithms and settings it uses. The "culprit" mp3 from the original post was probably an old mp3 back when people still gave a hoot about hard drive space and slow internet connections and people encoded things at 64kbps and such. The software wasn't as good back then, either. Modern MP3s have come a very long way!
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Old 25th December 2009, 03:48 PM   #18
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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I didn't expect such a big response! It's nice actually, because I am now drifted in at my Dad's farm. I just hope the power holds out. I don't think I'll be allowed to use the computer if we have to fire up the generator. Powering the well is usually a higher priority. . . We'll be lucky to have power at all. The 1965 Case (diesel) won't fire, and the 1953 Ford barely pulls the generator (big old PTO driven unit. I wonder what the AC waveform looks like?).

I should qualify my position a bit. I don't know that much about computer sources. I thoroughly accept that high bit rate MP3's ripped and played in a well thought out manner probably sound great. IME, most newbies do not rip at a high bit rate or think much about software. So, they are looking at copying them again anyway. And given the prices storage has fallen to, I'm not sure why you'd choose a compressed format.

Interestingly, the HF of MP3's sounds, to me, stragely like many multiway speakers with soft dome tweeters. The cymbals sound overly splashy and indistinct: more of a cymbal like hazey noise than wood and metal. I know that comment will get a bunch of folks fired up!

But, I'm not here to bash anyone's choosen playback method, and I've never heard fancier implementations of compressed digital. If you are new to DIYaudio and fancy a computer source, my advice is to seek out folks like many of those who have commented here. Get your source in order prior to blowing a bunch of $$ on fancy DAC's or amps.

Paul
Wild Burro Audio Labs - DIY Full Range Speakers
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Old 25th December 2009, 03:50 PM   #19
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinbls View Post
My experience:

BTW: Hey Paul,
just yesterday I saw (incidentally) your webpage with the Wild Burro speakers. Nice stuff! Unfortunately my room isn't large enough to fit in open baffle speakers... :-(

Martin
Martin,

The BetsyK will fit in all sorts of reasonably sized boxes. You can go as small as 1 cu ft sealed, maybe even smaller if you are willing to really stuff it. I'm currently using them in floorstanding TL/TQWT cabients that are 12"Wx13"Dx44"H. I am thinking about a big OB setup though.

Paul
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Old 25th December 2009, 07:50 PM   #20
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Hi Paul!

Thanks for the advice! But you see, if I would go for a nice fullrange setup with such nice and well designed drivers as you offer, then I wouldn't like the idea of making such compromises like a sealed box or something. And, most important, on your project-page is a picture of the Betsy in open baffle, and I LOVE this design for it's simplicity! Simple and elegant, this is the way things should be.

Sorry for my lazyness, but I'm not familiar with ft and inch measurements. Could you tell me the length and width of the front baffle and the side wings in cm? The driver is centered in the middle between top and bottom, right?

And one more question, even if this is really off topic now:
The frequency response graph shows a peak in the range of 3kHz. Isn't this audible? I found no hint about crossovers or filter networks on your webpage.

Thanks!
Martin

Last edited by martinbls; 25th December 2009 at 07:53 PM.
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