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High Rollers
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Everything posted by CarlSeibert

  1. I don't know if they've set a new date. It WAS supposed to be April 15.
  2. Meanwhile, an update.... I've been trying the X3 with a Pico. First off, this PIco is one with the built-in DAC. The DAC in the Pico is way better than the one in the X3 (up to its sample rate limit, of course). My phone > Pico> NAD HP50s sounded marvelous. It would be really nice to use the X3 as a digital source into the Pico or whatever amp/DAC suits my fancy. But alas, the X3 has only S/PDF out and the Pico and pretty much every other amp/DAC I know of has only USB in. That said - The Pico as an amp on the X3 is really interesting. The sound of the Pico is very different from the tubey-sounding Tomahawk. It's kind of like a really powerful modern solid state amp vs a vintage Conrad Johnson. Sound-wise the Pico is better at a lot of things, I think, but it's all a matter of taste, and taste varies (from day to day, sometimes). What's more concrete is that the Pico does a much better job of driving a variety of headphones. Here, it gets a little strange. The NADs sounded (to me) great driven by the Pico, driven by its own DAC. But driven by the Pico, driven by the DAC (and line stage) in the X3 sounded blanched and amusical to me. ETW-9s on this combination were much better. RS-2s were much, much better. And - to my amazement - HD-650s are superb. Resolving, detailed, nuanced, colorful, well controlled bass - all that stuff. That's good, because I tend to use my portable in odd places around my house. So, I actually have a use for big, open-backed headphones on my portable. So, win. The Pico seems to play to the strengths of the Shure HD840s, as well. The odd results with the HP-50s are troubling. It was a 'headphone-sized' perceived difference between two DACs, all of which measure similarly-ish and generally just don't sound all that much different to me. They sound different in very important ways, but I've always had the notion that the 'amount' of difference was of a smaller order. I suspect that different recordings (huge delta 'amount') interact with gear in ways we underestimate. I used three albums (all artists whose names began with "B") to compare. Maybe artists with names beginning in "S" would drive a different conclusion. Mileage varies: I gave my friend Jim a listen. He liked the X3 - Pico combination a lot. He proclaimed it better sound than his three-piece A&K and iBasso portable rig. Of my closed-back headphones, his favorite on the X3 rig was ........ yup... the NADs. He just loved that combination. So there. I feel like there's a consensus forming that the Fiios are really interesting because they don't cost a fortune and they can sound engaging. But they can't drive headphones very well (Tyler's impression of the X5 suggests so, too). The whole mixing and matching with amps thing makes great hobby fun, particularly if the individual pieces don't cost and arm and a leg. But geez, can't somebody just make a DAP with great sound on a reasonable selection of headphones, good storage capacity, good battery life, and the flippy album cover interface of my iPod? Good news is - we can get all obsessive and frustrated over portables that can sound much more satisfying than a few years ago. Bad news is that they all still seem to suck in some way.
  3. Oh trust me, in this case you do want more of her and less of him. Word.
  4. Does anybody remember that demo where they plugged the Accoustats directly into a mains receptacle? Brings back old times.
  5. I didn't recognize any of the names in that thread at the other place.
  6. Actually, the ID of that collar on the headphone is 6.9 mm, not 6.5. And it's 2.66 mm deep. Also, with a multimeter and my existing short NAD cable (which is three conductor at the amp end and four at the headphone end) I can see that counting from the tip back, the first three contacts match. So a three-pole plug would ground both the last ring and the shaft connections. It seems logical that NAD would use the shaft as ground, which would suggest that a three-pole should be OK, assuming it clears the collar. But assumption is the mother of all fuck ups. So the question stands ) Update: I found a planform photo with some dimensions in the eBay description of one of the plugs. Using the fine old method of holding a ruler against the screen of my tablet and doing a little arithmetic, it looks like there's three or four tenths of millimeter to spare on the critical depth of the "collar". So, armed with that and the notion that I can just use a 4-pole plug and make a pin for pin copy of the NAD cable, my immediate problem is solved. Or close enough to solved to risk four bucks and a couple weeks to get a plug from China. Still, it would be nice to know if there's a standard of some sort for 'phone case friendly' mini plugs and what the four-pole pinout for cables with microphones actually is...
  7. I want to make a cable for my HP-50s. Does anybody know the pinout for the 4-pole mini connector? For headphone-only use, that is. Could it be as simple as you can use a 3-pole plug if you don't need the microphone? Then there's the matter of the 6.5mm "collar" around the jack. I see some plugs that are necked down, presumably so they'll clear the openings in phone cases. Like this one: or this one: (both of these happen to be 3-pole. There are plenty of 4-poles ones on fleabay.) Does anybody know if these are standardized and will all fit the NAD's collared jack? I have a cable with the second example and it does seem to seat OK, but I can only find the plug on a Thai site that doesn't look like it's set up for international business.
  8. Not even kidding here. Straight Wire had to delete a model of speaker cable early in their business because it was gray. Turns out it's considered the color of death in some countries. Nobody would buy a gray cable.
  9. Absolutely amazing line at Radio Active. It was a block and a half long waiting to get INTO the store. it's always been a long wait to get out of the store. JP and I scored a few records at Record Rack, but neither JP nor David nor I had the time to brave the line at RA. (I was ditching the morning session of a training thing to go to RSD) An interesting note: the t shirt guy was basically out of X large shirts, but he had some black ones. The RSD design in white on black was not an option because his silk screen was loaded with black ink. So he did black on black for me. It turned out cooler than the other side of the pillow. It's a mirage-like image on a black shirt. None blacker. )
  10. I like my WA6SE s lot. That it is finicky about rectifier tubes doesn't say anything fabulous about the PS design, though.
  11. Pinouts.ru must be busy invading or something.
  12. I thought she was making a secret recording device out of a bunny. The nail polish has got to go.
  13. Our taxes came out almost even this year. I guess that's perfect, given that at today's interest rates I wouldn't have made anything on the money. But I kind of miss that refund check.
  14. It's said to be warmer, but not in a good way ;-) [sound of approaching fire engines]
  15. I've got a little amp that was improved by a big fat power cable, completely contrary to expectations. I'm about 99% convinced it's because the bulk of the thing provides some vibration damping to the chassis. You never know. That said, I've heard power cables matter and not matter. I figure if it's less than fifty bucks in materials and it looks the business, it's worth a shot. I just suppress my psychological need for a simple explanation that I would find rational and go with it. I'm not going to know the "how". (And I'm perfectly OK if the mechanism turns out to be psychological. Whatever works. )
  16. And if it's a phone we're talking about -and especially an Apple phone - the last thing anybody needs is as dead phone because they were playing music. I used to think that Apple was being stupid about this. Now I just want a really great-sounding, reasonably priced DAC/amp/ charger thingie for my Android devices.
  17. Hmmm. Sounds like there are advantages to our itty bitty screech owls. Non aggressive, they don't require much habitat, and they're fun to watch. Fuel efficient compact models.
  18. Shelly - That app-on-the-desktop-that-syncs-deletions thing has always scared me. I do use it on Dropbox, although more and more I'm thinking of turning it off and just using the web interface and the apps on my mobile devices. Never have installed the equivalent thing on Box.com. Really large owls would reduce the need for longer lenses. ) Although I'm not sure what one would do with an 80 pound owl. Our owls are super tiny. You need a 400mm AND to be within 15 feet.
  19. It doesn't look like he got any traction on the internet with it. That must be ego-crushing. But it's lucky for him, really. If he had moved a stock price I can assure from experience that the consequences could be really, really bad. Forget the SEC flapping its gums. We're talking being perma-banned by the Google bots! That'd suck, ego-wise. (It almost happened to our entire company over something that was a complete accident on our part. That would have been considerably worse than a blow to the ego.) I did find one hip-hop blogger who, a couple months ago, cited an unnamed source who claimed that there were negotiations.
  20. Could well be. Google comes up with stories about Apple wanting a streaming on demand service, but nothing about any deal. The bullshit portion of that Lefsetz post is a little thicker than normal.
  21. Apple Buys Beats The streaming music service, not the headphones. I just noticed that in the first post in this thread I mourn the demise of Lala at Apple's hands. Now this weirdness. Lefsetz has the story, with his usual mix of brilliance and bullshit on display: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
  22. Happy Birthday Doug!!! And what John said.
  23. Today I got an email that said they were going to slip the shut down date for MOG. Didn't say by how long. Very odd/interesting.
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