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Going below 75db with mp3gain?
zeitfliesst
post Jun 21 2012, 00:42
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I've recently bought an amp for my IEM's, which are the most sensitive ones I've used so far. In order to get comfortable volume levels, I've brought down my entire mp3 collection to a volume level of ~72db, which I found is 3db lower than the minimum "allowed" by mp3gain (when you enter anything below that it resets to 75db). Is this going to affect my mp3 files in any way that will degrade its sound quality? I've listened to the files and they don't sound different, but just wanted to make sure if this is a safe thing to do...
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Canar
post Jun 21 2012, 00:45
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You had: Device -> Headphones
You now have: Device -> Amp -> Headphones

Was the amp really necessary? You're gaining no audio quality from it. Amping IEMs might even damage them or your ears. They're designed to run with very little electricity, as you'd expect for something that is inserted into the ear canal.


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zeitfliesst
post Jun 21 2012, 00:48
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Well, I think that is really a subjective thing, and not the point of this thread. I've seen plenty of people on head-fi using IEM's with portable amps, and I don't want to argue about whether there's a benefit in doing that or not. If others could try and answer my original question that would be great. Thanks.

QUOTE (Canar @ Jun 20 2012, 17:45) *
You had: Device -> Headphones
You now have: Device -> Amp -> Headphones

Was the amp really necessary? You're gaining no audio quality from it. Amping IEMs might even damage them or your ears. They're designed to run with very little electricity, as you'd expect for something that is inserted into the ear canal.

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Canar
post Jun 21 2012, 15:09
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QUOTE (zeitfliesst @ Jun 20 2012, 16:48) *
Well, I think that is really a subjective thing
Not in the slightest.

QUOTE
and not the point of this thread.
It's absolutely the point of the thread; without it there's no problem.

QUOTE (zeitfliesst @ Jun 20 2012, 16:48) *
I've seen plenty of people on head-fi using IEM's with portable amps, and I don't want to argue about whether there's a benefit in doing that or not.
So go back to Head-fi and ask this. We're going to call you out on the problems you're facing. Just because there are idiots doesn't magically make idiots right.

There is no point to this additional amplification. The amp provides nothing more than additional distortion and non-linearity. It's not like it can wave a magic wand and magically restore fidelity from your original source. It does nothing whatsoever except decrease overall fidelity and increase gain. Expecting people to pass over obvious, glaring, objective faults in your setup, especially when over-amplification is your whole problem is asinine.

Instead of using iPod line out, why not just use your iPod headphone out? It's pretty high-powered, has its own gain control, and is not an intermediate step causing further loss of fidelity.

What's more, as the whole damn thing is a portable audio setup, this restores actual portability, instead of carrying some half-baked headphone amp around that does nothing but give you problems. Don't be a stupid hipster.

This post has been edited by Canar: Jun 21 2012, 15:16


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zeitfliesst
post Jun 22 2012, 00:07
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Canar:

Well, a little bit more polite and I would have actually thanked you for that. It's crazy how people get so aggressive over nothing.

All I wanted help with was the question about mp3gain. You can call me a stupid hipster all day long, but you still haven't addressed my question about mp3gain.

probedb:

Well, I had no problems over volume control with my RSA Mustang amp before, but the new one I just bought (JDS c421) has a slightly higher gain than I thought. Maybe I will ditch it, maybe I will not, but I'd still like clarification on whether reducing gain with mp3gain will damage the quality of files (as 2Bdecided mentioned, does it reduce sample size and why? Is it reversible?)

This post has been edited by db1989: Jun 22 2012, 00:18
Reason for edit: merging posts and replacing both unneeded full quotes with names (and please do not bottom-quote when you have to)
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db1989
post Jun 22 2012, 09:30
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QUOTE (zeitfliesst @ Jun 22 2012, 00:07) *
I'd still like clarification on whether reducing gain with mp3gain will damage the quality of files (as 2Bdecided mentioned, does it reduce sample size and why?[Ö])
Not of files. It will reduce the effective bit-depth of the audio that is output Ė but, as 2Bdecided mentioned, this may well be inaudible. Still, thatís another good, if perhaps theoretical, reason not to add unnecessary amplification when you donít have to.

QUOTE
Is it reversible?
Yes. All MP3gain does is to add a field to the MP3 file that instructs the player to scale it by ReplayGainís computed gain reduction/increase, rounded to the nearest 1.5 dB. This can be reversed simply by reverting the scale-factor to zero.
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