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#27386 - 27/02/2001 15:44 sound quality
abzolute
new poster

Registered: 27/02/2001
Posts: 1
How are the sound quality on these guys if you hooked it up with a HIGH END car audio system?? I was trying to search through the threads, but i think it's easier to get new feedback here. THanks.

soon to be owner



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#27387 - 27/02/2001 15:56 Re: sound quality [Re: abzolute]
synergy
enthusiast

Registered: 20/02/2001
Posts: 345
Well, I replaced my Alpine 7949 head unit and optical cd changer for the empeg unit. With the exception of not having a subwoofer output, I'd say that it easily equals the 7949. (grumble)... Having to add additional components (active crossovers) for my sub wasn't fun. Especially making room for it under the false floor in my Acura.(/grumble)

Subjectively, it's not quite as hot (voltage wise) as the Alpine, so I had to boost my gains a bit, but at the same time, the noise floor is soo low it didn't bother me in the least.

For reference, I'm running BA separates up front, BA rear fill speakers off of 100W/channel Hifonic's amp, with a HSU 12" sub in the back, 400W from a Hifonic. Adding the crossover is the only difference from my Alpine setup.

And the funny thing is... I thought I had a pretty good soundstage with the alpine. I was mistaken. Again, subjectively, but I'm just feeling like it's crisper. Of course, I'm also using pretty big MP3 files (Var. bitrate, quality 1).

And since I JUST finished replacing the alpine with the EMPEG last week, I've still got a pretty good feeling for the difference in sq.

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#27388 - 27/02/2001 16:30 Re: sound quality [Re: abzolute]
loren
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/08/2000
Posts: 3824
Loc: SLC, UT, USA
I've got mine hooked up to a reasonably high end audio system. Not the best of the best, but some damn good components.

Amps: MTX 204 (250 Watts) and MTX 302 (425 Watts)
Subs: two 10" JL Subwoofers in a sealed box.
Front Speakers: MB Quarts PSC216 6.5's and 1inch tweets
Rear Speakers: 6x9 Stocks
All Monster cabled up

... and it sounds fairly amazing. I generally use a mid/high quality VBR encoding on the MP3's and they are completely undiscernable from the CD head unit i took out. Generally the stereo imaging is still intact and clean, and the lows hit good and hard and i haven't noticed any loss in the tweeters. I'd say the empeg is up there in the HIGH END spectrum...


|| loren.cox || 080000446 ||
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#27389 - 28/02/2001 08:59 Re: sound quality [Re: abzolute]
SuperQ
addict

Registered: 13/06/2000
Posts: 429
Loc: Berlin, DE
I'd say it's up in the high end of the spectrum of equipment out there. as long as you're rips, and encoding is good.. you can really hear how bad 128kbit sounds, even when driving.

my setup:

Xtant 403a amp
JL audio 12" sub (12W6, 3 ohm wired)
VW monsoon mains. (1" tweets, 6" mids)
monster cable RCA's

12gig red mk2 -- 080000125
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80gig red mk2 -- 080000125
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#27390 - 12/12/2001 06:57 Re: sound quality [Re: abzolute]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2089
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
I swapped out a fairly middle of the road Sony set for the Empeg and a 700W MacAudio amp but kept my standard Subaru Impreza speakers. At LAME VBR level 7 (2nd from worst quality) it is distinctly better than the CD player in terms of noise floor and crispness. I have some tracks at 320kbs fixed (due to a mistake in my ripping settings:) and they are very big files but without any discernible quality improvements over my small VBR files. Of course the sound environment in the Impreza isn't ideal for audio so if I ever get something other than an Impreza (doubt it) then I may need to re-rip at higher quality.
It is just so good/fast/easy!
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MkIIa, blue lit buttons, memory upgrade, 1Tb in Subaru Forester STi
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#27391 - 18/12/2001 07:13 Re: sound quality [Re: abzolute]
thinfourth2
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 13/04/2001
Posts: 1742
Loc: The land of the pale blue peop...
My mate had a very old alpine i think called a 7909 it was antique no frills what so ever no rds no graphics no EQ nothing but the sound was incredable it far outclassed the empeg but it did cost almost as much as an empeg second hand it was thought to be about the best Burr Brown DAC you could buy at the time.
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#27392 - 19/12/2001 15:59 Re: sound quality [Re: synergy]
svferris
addict

Registered: 06/11/2001
Posts: 700
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
Synergy, what do you think of the HSU sub? I came across his subs while looking for one for my Home Theater system. He gets UNBELIEVEABLE raves about his subs. His high end one can be had for like $1000, and supposedly sounds as good or better than $3000 subs. He also has a boxed sub that is only like $350, and supposedly sounds as good as $1000 subs. The old model had a couple of complaints, but I hear the new model is even better.

For those who don't know of Hsu subs, check out: http://www.hsuresearch.com
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#27393 - 19/12/2001 17:47 Re: sound quality [Re: svferris]
synergy
enthusiast

Registered: 20/02/2001
Posts: 345

Synergy, what do you think of the HSU sub? I came across his subs while looking for one for my Home Theater system. He gets UNBELIEVEABLE raves about his subs. His high end one can be had for like $1000, and supposedly sounds as good or better than $3000 subs. He also has a boxed sub that is only like $350, and supposedly sounds as good as $1000 subs. The old model had a couple of complaints, but I hear the new model is even better.




It's really VERY good for the cost. Actually, let me re-state that. It's really very good period. For the cost, it's unbelievable. SQ IS Hsu's thing. SPL is his other thing. I've got mine in a (now disconnected) box of my own construction. As long as you give it the space it wants, and some clean power and signal, it's going to sound good. However, it's not for show, and it doesn't have a "name" like JL. It's black, and there are no markings on it. The frame is functional, not flashy. So... If you are going to compete, it's probably not for you. If you like music, I highly recommend them. Given the price I paid for mine, I REALLY REALLY recommend them.

In my Integra, it performed better than anything else I had heard. My ex-roommate spent 3-4 times as much on his dual 12 setup, and after comparing the two cars... Well, he eventually shook it off, after his ride was jacked. In three+ years, I pounded the hell out of that sub, and it was still going strong and accurate when I pulled it from the 'Teg. Now, the hatchback design definitely helped the sub out, but I'd still highly recommend it, IF you can give it the air it needs for a box.

I'm currently trying to decide if I want to redo the box, get a dedicated sub amp, and put it in the house, replacing my existing sub in the home theatre... I'm thinking yes.

If HSU says that his home sub at 250 is as good as someone else's $1000 sub, I personally think he's being a bit modest. He doesn't advertise (that I know of), and his overhead is really quite low. When I ordered mine over the phone, I had extreme doubts of it's being delivered, based on the call. Unfounded worry, but he really does spend just about everything on design. There isn't any fluff that I could see.
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Synergy [orange]mk2, 42G: [blue] mk2a, 10G[/blue][/green] I tried Patience, but it took too long.

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#27394 - 19/12/2001 18:08 Re: sound quality [Re: synergy]
svferris
addict

Registered: 06/11/2001
Posts: 700
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
Yeah, definitely no fluff. The only complaint I hear about the subs is that they're not the prettiest things in the world. The TN subs are like 4 or 5 feet tall. People note that it's not easy to hide something that big.

The box sub is $499 on his site now (I think it went up a little). Last I talked to a place near me, the guy told me he could get it for $350, so who knows. Thing is I don't really need a sub right now. I live in a condo, and my Tannoy speakers have plenty of punch in them. I shake the walls as it is. But, I did do a demo with the VTF sub, and let me tell you, it sounded great. I threw in some Jazz, and that little sub kept right up. Hsu's subs are definitely musical. They're not just booming/punching subs. I had two JLs (12", I think) in my Camry's trunk, and they shook my bones. It was a little too much. But, I might consider trying the Hsu one.
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#27395 - 20/12/2001 05:11 Re: sound quality [Re: thinfourth2]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3449
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Yes, you have to remember that unlike $1000 CD-head units, a lot of our $1000 (original price!) goes towards HDDs and powerful CPUs as opposed to just the DACs :)

Hugo

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#27396 - 20/12/2001 05:20 Re: sound quality [Re: altman]
thinfourth2
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 13/04/2001
Posts: 1742
Loc: The land of the pale blue peop...
And i couldn't think of a better way to spend it on a head unit :)
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#27397 - 20/12/2001 11:08 Re: sound quality [Re: altman]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Hugo, on a $1000 CD head unit, most of the money goes into the pockets of the people selling the unit. It is certainly not priced as a sum of its parts. In that respect, the empeg is a far better "deal"

Bruno

Oh, and for measure:

empeg, to Clarion DXZ615
JL Audio VR600 components in front, coaxials in rear, Microsub 8.2 in trunk of hatchback (Integra GSR).
JL Audio 300/4 for in-cabin drivers and 250/1 for sub.



Edited by hybrid8 (20/12/2001 11:10)
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#27398 - 25/12/2001 20:05 Re: sound quality [Re: hybrid8]
reggie
member

Registered: 24/06/1999
Posts: 118
Loc: Chile
Now that's very interesting, the microsub.. I went to JL Audio's site and read about it. As I'm planning to get a far more practical install for my new car (changed my Golf IV for a brand new Peugeot 307), that means getting rid of my double-driver Blaupunkt case and opting for something radically smaller. As there's no Stealthbox designed for my car, I wonder if the Microsub is an option... So, my question, how does it sound? does it provide the necessary punch? did you have another type of sub prior to the microsub? Was its sound "better"? Thank you .
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[orange] Reggie [/orange] - 030102316 - First EMPEG in Latin America (right? )

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#27399 - 25/12/2001 20:30 Re: sound quality [Re: reggie]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I'll tell you tomorrow how it sounds. :)

I'm just finishing up my amp rack and making all connections and presets on the amps. I bought the Microsub based solely on research, without having actually listened to one. In a hatchback, such as mine, it should provide enough bass for me. There's also the 8.3 which is a bit bigger because of a third driver, but also a lot more power, because of W3 drivers instead of W0.

My testing tomorrow won't be final yet, because I'll still be missing some of the car's interior and won't have the rear speakers connected yet.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#27400 - 26/12/2001 09:22 Re: sound quality [Re: hybrid8]
reggie
member

Registered: 24/06/1999
Posts: 118
Loc: Chile
Thanks, I'll be waiting. The idea of not loosing all my trunk space is starting to stick on me...
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[orange] Reggie [/orange] - 030102316 - First EMPEG in Latin America (right? )

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#27401 - 26/12/2001 14:56 Re: sound quality [Re: reggie]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Ok, I don't know what kind of music you listen to, so your mileage may vary.

I just got through first sub tests. I would have done a lot more, but I can barely even type right now - it was SO cold out today. I hate working in the cold. Next weekend I'll borrow a heater for the garage.

Listening to Altern 8 and Aphex Twin the sub went very (very) low and was enough to rattle the entire car (since I was only testing, my interior panels and trunk panels aren't secured. The subwoofer wasn't bolted down either. I still have to make adjustments to the cut-off frequencies and gains for both amplifiers. With some Altern 8 tracks I was still getting too low frequencies to the front woofers that my doors vibrated like hell (and they're now well insulated and pretty well dampened).

So in short, I think the 8.2 will be more than enough bass for my needs. Now I just have to find a balance so I get acceptable bass on regular pop/rock music without completely devastating bass on techno and ambient.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#27402 - 26/12/2001 19:16 Re: sound quality [Re: hybrid8]
reggie
member

Registered: 24/06/1999
Posts: 118
Loc: Chile
Thank you very much, I know those tunes, some friends are very much into Aphex Twin. Me, I'm more the jazz-rock guy, although I enjoy stuff like Utah Saints and Crystal Method. From your post I would say that's more than enough for me. Sometimes I get bass-thirsty, but it usually happens after a ride on a friend's monster bass truck.
I listen to lots of classic stuff too. Love my Karajan Gold series encoded at 256 kbps. Can't wait for my Rio Car to arrive.
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[orange] Reggie [/orange] - 030102316 - First EMPEG in Latin America (right? )

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#27403 - 26/12/2001 19:51 Re: sound quality [Re: reggie]
svferris
addict

Registered: 06/11/2001
Posts: 700
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
So, I know bringing this up is like beating a dead horse...but...

I decided to conduct some listening tests with a few songs in both my car and on my home system. I encoded 4 songs at 128, 160, 192, 256, VBR 1%, VBR 51%, and VBR 100%. The songs were:

1) Bodyrock by Moby
2) Hell by Squirrel Nut Zippers
3) Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd
4) Silent All These Years by Tori Amos

I tried to get a wide range of sounds. Maybe you guys have better suggestions for songs?

Anyways, I think I have a pretty good system in my car, and I know I have a good system at home. In the car, I couldn't tell the difference between any of the bitrates. They all sounded good. I thought the Tori song would be the best test, but the 128 sounded as good as the 256. In my home system, they all sounded the same too, although much more crappy in general.

So, I think I'm going to end up choosing 192 as a happy medium...but I wanted to find out what you guys think on the subject.
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#27404 - 26/12/2001 20:25 Re: sound quality [Re: svferris]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Bitrate isn't the be-all and end-all. I also don't know what the percentages on your VBR examples mean.

What encoder were you using? And other tweak options, filters, etc?

I've personally done my entire collection with LAME 3.90 alpha 7 and r3mix settings minus the normalizing and a minimum bitrate of 112kbit (instead of 96). The average bitrate per song goes anywhere from 160kbit to 240kbit. This is my accepted best all-around compromise for space and quality, without spending the time to make optimal settings on a per-track basis.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#27405 - 26/12/2001 21:50 Re: sound quality [Re: hybrid8]
svferris
addict

Registered: 06/11/2001
Posts: 700
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
I'm not too familiar with LAME. I use MusicMatch for my encoding, which uses the Fraunhoffer encoder. MusicMatch has a 1%-100% "Quality" setting for it's VBR encoding. I assume it varies the range of bitrates it uses, or perhaps the ceiling bitrate? Not too familiar with that. Problem is that the empeg has a problem interpreting the total time of a VBR file that was encoded by Fraunhoffer. We've been discussing that in a different thread.

I suppose I could put together a Linux box (been meaning to) and set it up with LAME to do all my encoding. I'd actually be curious to do comparisons between a Fraunhoffer encoded file and a LAME encoded file at the same bitrates.

How do your VBR file sizes compare to a fixed bitrate file (on average)? Is file size around 128, 160, 192, etc?
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#27406 - 27/12/2001 00:07 Re: sound quality [Re: svferris]
shawn
stranger

Registered: 15/11/2001
Posts: 47
Loc: Silicon Valley
Not to turn a person away from Linux, but you can get LAME running on Win32. Both EAC and CDex support LAME dlls, as well as many other rippers, MM probably included.

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#27407 - 27/12/2001 08:36 Re: sound quality [Re: shawn]
Fastrack
member

Registered: 29/10/2001
Posts: 137
Loc: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I use CDex myself, it's a great ripper and LAME is one of the many encoders it comes with.

Available from:
http://www.cdex.n3.net/

It's also freeware I might add!


Edited by Fastrack (27/12/2001 08:37)
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#27408 - 27/12/2001 09:13 Re: sound quality [Re: Fastrack]
rtundo
addict

Registered: 27/02/2001
Posts: 569
Loc: Albany, NY
Also, LAME 3.90 stable was just recently released. Here are the suggested VBR settings from www.hydrogenaudio.org:
-------------------------------------------------

Highest Quality (Slower):
--alt-preset extreme
(bitrates 220-270 kbit/s -- usually averages around 256kbps)

Faster (Very Slightly Lower Quality):
--alt-preset fast extreme
(bitrates roughly the same as above)

High Quality (Slower):
--alt-preset standard
(bitrates 180-220 kbit/s -- usually averages around 192 kbps)

Faster (Very Slightly Lower Quality):
--alt-preset fast standard
(bitrates roughly the same as above)

I use the latter and it works great!

Bob

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#27409 - 19/01/2002 01:21 Re: sound quality [Re: rtundo]
thrasher
enthusiast

Registered: 10/01/2002
Posts: 362
Im hoking my rio up to a 1500bd fogate for my two 10"solarbarics and a 1000hpfosgate for my highs do you guys think im gonna need a seperate cap for my rio, I have a alumpro for my amps. thanks for any imput.
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#27410 - 19/01/2002 01:50 Re: sound quality [Re: thrasher]
mtempsch
pooh-bah

Registered: 02/06/2000
Posts: 1986
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
The player doesn't draw much current, but if your cars voltage still dips at big bass hits, then it might benefit from a bit of capacitance (close as possible to the player) Take a look at this old thread.

/Michael
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