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Jon L

High Rollers
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Posts posted by Jon L

  1. 16 hours ago, sbelyo said:

    At day one I couldn't really hear any difference.  The second day I left it on all day then listened at night and there was a positive difference.  It's subtle but seems to get better a little each day.  It was worth the experiment per se.

    Which "PC" are you powering?  I've tried quite a few different power supplies for my PC/server, and the largest difference in SQ seems to occur when better power is given to the very end of the PC signal chain.   For example, if using USB out, giving decent power to the USB card.  Giving good power to an outboard usb-to-spdif converter makes a large difference also.  

  2. On 7/31/2021 at 2:31 AM, Torpedo said:

    I think this is interesting, inspiring and beautiful



    3 hours ago, Torpedo said:

    Not exactly a video about making music, but about how to make music sounding your own. I'm amazed that some people have such grasp on music


    I noticed both Nahre Sol and Jimindorothy are Korean musicians.  K-Pop is not all there is...

    • Like 1
  3. I had a similar quandary in the past in a tube amp trying to bypass the "evil(?)" Alps Blue velvet.  Used the amp with the pot just bypassed completely.  Later, Alps was changed to better-reputed TKD for sources that needed volume control.  These days, I mostly use the TKD with volume open all the way to "effectively" bypass it. 

    To be honest, I wouldn't want to bet any amount of money I could consistently identify sound quality differences in blind testing, in any mode above. 😥 

  4. 20 hours ago, tkam said:

    I have a pair of the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC now as well and they are the best headphones I've heard.  I'm using them with a Headamp GS-X Mini and it drives them very well.

    I think people go way overboard thinking these need crazy amounts of power as 88db/mW isn't that inefficient.

    The well-heeled Phi TC owners seem to eventually declare the Woo WA33 (10 watts at 32 ohms) their favorite, but this is probably not because of the power output but the flavor.  

  5. On 11/8/2020 at 4:59 AM, manueljenkin said:

    How to approach a design that can operate properly with such low impedance loads? Or in other words, what is it in the design of Opa 541 that makes it capable of driving the raal?

    I have been listening more and more to Raal SR1a, and it really is a beautiful thing.  

    I do have to wonder about how this little Jotunheim R's balanced, differential "Nexus" gain stage is claimed to deliver "up to 13 amps"  into Raal's low impedance, and how this cheap raal direct-drive amp will compare.  

    • Like 1
  6. 6 hours ago, jamesmking said:

    no details of the voltage swing for the stax... just the bias voltage

    At the other side, LTA rep posted this info:

    "Frequency response (8-ohm load): 6Hz to 60kHz, +0, -.5dB
    Input impedance: 47k
    Electrostatic Headphone Output: 5 pin Stax interface, 580V bias

    One additional bit of info that's not on the page is the output voltage, which is limited to 410Vrms on the Z10e. STAX themselves recommends that "maximum output with 470 Vr.m.s. or below for any amplifier driving STAX headphone in order to avoid damages to sound elements."

    "there are no transformers. The electrostatic signal comes straight off the tube, and due to ZOTL's unique topology, the tubes run natively at 750V, for a 1500V peak to peak (each channel has two tubes, one is for the bottom half of the signal and one for the top half, so the full voltage swing is both added together). The ectrostatic headphone output is live all the time, because we didn't want to degrade the audio signal with a switch."

  7. 1 hour ago, WHO23 said:

    It's surprising how a -2dB EQ can affect the fidelity of this headphone and it's a testament to how sensitive our hearing is in this region. As with any headphone and IEM, there is some sibilance with the ES-1α but the EQ for that is dependent on the length of your own ear canal.

    Glad to see people other than myself who are quite sensitive to EQ.  Like you found, manipulating EQ by as little as 2-3 dB in midrange seems to really reduce that "you are there" transparency and realness for me, to the point I will not own headphones or speakers that require this type of adjustment..

    • Like 2
  8. 12 hours ago, Pars said:

    What Von Schweikerts do you have? I've owned a pair of VR4 Gen IIs for a number of years now; still happy with them.

    I first met Albert (RIP!) when he was introducing his original VR4 for the first time in public.  I thought they were incredible value for performance, which was true of VR4 Jr that came later.  

    Seems like many pioneers in audio are passing away one by one...😰

    • Like 1
  9. 1 hour ago, Knuckledragger said:



    "I'm running a 3-way active crossover (DBX 234XS) which gives me so much control over my speakers. I can really fine tune the sound I want in the room"

    Seeking opinions on DBX 234XS 3-way stereo analogue active crossover.  I'm trying to avoid digital crossovers that necessitate A->D->A conversion, but $260 for 3-way stereo analogue crossover seems too good be true in terms of loss of signal fidelity and introduction of noise/artifacts? 

  10. 2 hours ago, Aura said:

    your go-to's are not yet much increased at least for California and Illinois. There are exceptions - Springbank bottles which were already expensive are now catastrophically so (Springbank 10 is now $100 msrp... get the fuck outta here with that shit).

    In panic, I just checked and Springbank 10 is still $65-83 range in SoCal local stores (BevMo, Total Wine).  Still, I have noticed the price increases for Macallan, which is hard to say if due to tariff or just because Macallan is a huge ahole about price in general.  

    I am taking this tariff/covid as an opportunity to cut back on whiskey consumption, which must be a good thing...🤔

  11. 12 hours ago, Mach3 said:

    This compared to the LCD-4?

    I haven't really heard of any driver failure much with Abyss headphone. Any truth to this?

    I've only tried LCD-4Z and LCD-2 which certainly sound unique and enjoyable, although the often-reported driver failures and unit-to-unit sound variability means I'd rather buy something else or only buy if I find extremely good prices.  Then there is Hifiman...

    Holding the Abyss or the Raal SR1a in hand, they are built extremely well but in opposite design approaches.  Abyss employs extremely solid, thick, ceramic-coated aluminum frame to position the earpads barely touching the face.  Raal uses very thin, flexible, self-contracting frame to let the whole headphone shrink down on the head, with user adjusting the driver angle like AKG K1000.  

    As an aside, the Schiit Jotunheim R amp purpose-built to drive Raal SR1a's extremely low impedance (0.4 Ohm) CAN drive the Abyss 1266 wonderfully via DIY 4-pin female XLR to 4-pin female XLR adapter (non-standard pinout).  Quite surprising, but the combo sounds great. and I suspect whatever they did to increase current-delivery into low impedance is working well for low impedance planars by accident 😄

    49759275962_6777a2a850_c.jpg0408201821 by drjlo2, on Flickr

    • Like 2
  12. Well, no regrets in spending the money.  With TOTL headphones in these price brackets, it comes down to personal tastes.  I'm waiting to try the new kid RAAL SR1A ribbon 'phones next, but I already know that for certain music genre, Abyss will always be unbeatable.  The incredible dynamics, bass power with definition are always admired as SOTA, but the other parts such as musicality, resolution, enjoyability are pretty awesome, too.  

  13. Headphone section is just adding resistors, the number of which is determined by Jumpers on top of the board (first photo is showing top of circuit board).  

    The bottom of board shows Jupiter Copper Foil caps I rolled in place of (upgraded) Mundorf Silver/gold, and bottom right of photo shows resistor arrays for headphone output.

    It's too bad the headphone jack cannot deliver enough power for my Abyss because it would have been so much more convenient to keep my speakers hooked up to speaker posts and Abyss to front headphone jack, which automatically cuts off speaker outputs  😞




    • Thanks 1
  14. 58 minutes ago, dsavitsk said:

     3F is high current, low voltage and is DC coupled. (The 3 - as opposed to the 3F - uses an output transformer, but no DC blocking cap.)

    The T4 has a single ended input with a tube LTP stage for gain and splitting. The 3F has an input transformer for gain and splitting.

    3F is generally the better Focal option, but it is for balanced phones only.

    So the 3F (or 3) should be better if one happened to connect a planar to it? say Impedance in 40's sensitivity 90ish

  15. 3 hours ago, Scgorg said:

    Currently this costs about the same as L700mk2 and between those 2 picking this one (with dark pads) is a no-brainer to me.

    Hmm.  How would you compare L700 MkII vs. ES-1a?

    I've been looking for a used L700 MkI, meaning to do the BlueTak mod, since several reviews keep saying L700 is "better" than SR007 and SR009, with brightness level between the two, which would be about right for my tastes..

    • Like 1
  16. Which earpads were they ordered with?  I read the "regular" (stiff?) pads make them sound very bright and shouty.

    Per ES Lab website:

    "The memory foam pads gives a more organic tonality and a larger bass extension while the stiff pads take the tranparency of sound to the next level. Please consult us before purchase."

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