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Jon L

High Rollers
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Everything posted by Jon L

  1. Would love to try Gilmore Lite Mk2 and compare, but year-end shopping has lightened my pockets, especially the Abyss. I WILL say the little SMSL SP200 is driving the Abyss 1266 Phi TC with authority and clarity. AbyssSMSL by drjlo2, on Flickr
  2. Looks like the Clear is $1500 nowadays. Looking back 10 years ago, when the reasonable best dynamics available were Sennheiser HD580/600 with the occasional crazy person who splurged on Sony R10 behind their wife's back, I suppose it's better there are so many choices now. I tend to avoid audio/headphone shows these days, but somewhere somehow Hifiman and Audeze seem to have taken over the world, and the price of TOTL headphones have reached speaker levels. I wouldn't mind sitting down to compare Raal SR1a, Mysphere, Susvara, Utopia, Abyss, and maybe a ZMF thrown in for fun. Where does Clear fit into that scheme of things, I wonder?
  3. Jon L

    Abyss Phi TC

    There was the original Abyss, then Abyss Phi, then Phi CC, and now Abyss Phi TC... I don't know what came over me, but the 10% Black Friday sale didn't help. 1208191031_HDR by drjlo2, on Flickr
  4. Huh... I guess this THX technology business is not ALL hype after all. In my Holiday shopping binge, I couldn't resist buying the SMSL SP200 THX tech amp for measly $260 +tax. Boy, cheap headphone amps have come a long way since I was last into dynamic headphones years ago... Sennheiser HD600 with ALO cable sounding mighty fine burning in the amp.
  5. Anybody have any idea on price? ?
  6. My speakers are custom jobs at measured honest 95dB/7 Ohm, with bass offloaded to another amp, so even 3 watts are usually enough. But just for fun, I have the infamous Klipsch RP-600M on their way. It's usually a bad idea to rely too much on reviewers, but at the Klipsch's reasonable price, what the heck... Herb Reichert of Stereophile: "The EleKit and Klipsch RP-600Ms together cost only $2600, but musically and sonically satisfied me as much as if they cost $26,000. To my complete surprise, this pairing exceeded the Orangutan+SIT-3 combo in apparent speed, tightness of bass, and boogie PRaT fun factor. The TU-8600R powering the RP-600Ms, sourced by the Chord Qutest DAC ($1895), created a complete under-$6k system, including cables and stands, that I'd be hard-pressed to improve on."
  7. Don't have any DD amps on hand to directly compare, but I bought the Elekit to triple as speaker amp, stat amp via transformer, and to power Abyss 1266 Phi TC planars. And it does have Lundahl's and Mundorf silver/gold/oil caps. (below photo from Stereophile) ElekitTx by drjlo2, on Flickr
  8. Made an impulse buy for this intriguing 300B SET, which is turning out to have great resolution and bass definition for a 300B SET, through speakers, headphone amp, AND driving electrostats via Stax transformer! https://www.stereophile.com/content/gramophone-dreams-27-elekit-tu-8600r-amplifier-kit 1126191526a by drjlo2, on Flickr
  9. Jon L

    Speaker Porn

    Promising-looking Neo Open baffles from Danny Richie...
  10. It was near impossible to find one of these in CA... But well worth the effort. ? 0605191629 by drjlo2, on Flickr
  11. Canon RF 85 f/1.2L looks like a great lens, but $2700 ?! ☹️
  12. CCA C16 8 armature/side IEM can be bought for around $90, and with good copper cabling, it 'should' be good enough, bass included, out of a phone. 0401191533 by drjlo2, on Flickr
  13. Jon L

    Kaldas Research

    Wow, I didn't realize it's been more than 10 years! since I took a chance and ordered HE Audio EH 1.2B electrostats. Dare I order another new 'stat?
  14. I still need a real amp for my Stax OII and SR09, so if anybody is willing to commision an extra one for me, let me know. No timeline pressure, and I am in SoCal. TIA?
  15. Lucky to have found a localish shop that carries this at decent price!
  16. Barrell Whisky Batch #5 What an interesting Whisky! Barrell's each batch is completely different blending effort, and Batch 5 mixes 4 different whiskies, each finished in Bourbon, Brandy, Cognac, and Amaro barrels. Sounds like recipe for disaster, but the result is one-of-a-kind palate with lots of raisins, sweet grapes, and some other unidentifiable spices, all without oakiness, bitterness, or other oddities, presented at healthy 118 proof cask strength.
  17. Got lucky today at a small local shop ?
  18. Well, mostly into custom speakers these days with Mivera Audio Icepower 1200AS2 Amp. Occasionally Stax SR009/007. 7K2speakers by drjlo1, on Flickr 0124180848b by drjlo1, on Flickr
  19. Wanted to see what the hoopla is and bought Hal (aka Chord Qutest DAC). Breaking it in, but I WILL say the included wallwart has very cheap build quality, e.g. contact quality where universal AC plugs click in. Not fitting for a $1900 product IMHO. 1130180858 by drjlo2, on Flickr
  20. I could not find these locally, at least not at decent prices, and the shipment came in. I sure hope Highland Park 18 lives up to its name..
  21. Having neglected bourbons due to tons of new Scotch lately, I finally gave up on finding Elijah Craig barrel proof anywhere near MSRP and bought one locally. I hate limited-release bourbons that are hard to find and/or command huge premiums ? Will EC BP be worth the money I paid? Nose leads with mounds of melted caramel and mouth-watering sweetness. One sip and dark oak hits the palate very briefly followed by intense caramel, then some more caramel, followed by less intense levels of dark fruits with salty, oaky, mildly sweet, medium finish. It's 131 proof but easier to drink with less burn than say.. Booker's 128 proof. Good stuff! Although I ended up paying more than the readily-available Booker's or Forester 1920, this is a must-have barrel proof for my collection. I like the regular EC small batch, which is great bargain at $25, but compared to barrel proof, the intense melted caramel never comes, with more muted oak and moderate caramel persisting evenly without the same complexity or dark fruit notes in mid-palate. I wish I could find it near MSRP, but I will probably end up buying more in the future anyway... *Edit. One really bad thing about EC BP is that it is soooo sweet and caramelly that I cannot enjoy ANY of my peated Scotch after drinking the EC BP. The sweetness in peated Scotch that balances the peat gets completely overwhelmed by EC, even after water, making my beloved Islay drams taste extremely unbalanced without balancing sweetness ?
  22. I am sure this is true. Any examples of lower proof goodies to try in future? In the meanwhile, darn Bevmo sent me a $15 coupon, so I just picked up these, which happen to be 116 proof and 96 proof ? I think I am going to have to stop buying any more whisky this year. *Edit Lagavulin 8 Peat and smoke forward, more so than Laga 16, smoke more obvious with less complex but more exciting, fresh approach with more tongue-tingling than Laga 16. Not sweet compared to Ardbeg 10 or Laphroiag QC, drier and more precise, surgical. Not sure I like that... In fact Laga 16 is on the dry, focused side also. I may not be a Laga person after all.. Laphroiag 10 Cask Strength Love this Islay intense peat bomb. I never loved Laphroiag 10 due to kind of burnt plastic/rubber aftertaste, the low 40% ABV not helping to bring other flavors forward IMO. Cask Strength is another beast altogether, with much more of everything is framed boldly, with much less of funky aftertaste and enough sweetness to balance out the peat. My favorite Ardbegs have met their match!
  23. Aberlour A'bunadh Yup, the moment I opened the cork and the aroma filled the room, I broke out laughing even before tasting it. Candied orange peel filled the room, followed by dense, creamy, oily, warm fruits and caramel on palate, with incredibly long finish. Loved it with or without water added. So, how does Aberlour 16 compare?? I think I am definitely cask strength type of drinker, so I have to wonder about Auchentoshan Valinch, Kilchoman cask strength, etc, although they are hard to find around here, and I guess people can't ship alcohol to Caly from out of state. Thinking about trying Highland Park Valkyrie with my BevMo coupon. Should I skip it and just get HP 18?
  24. Hmm. I am (?used to be, before whisky) red wine drinker, and I don't know how I missed the whole sherry thing. No idea what sherry bomb might taste like...yet. I am tasting the bottles in order of increasing alcohol content. First Impressions first. Balvenie 14. It's good, but I think I have to come back to this to make up my mind. I guess some are calling it Scotch for bourbon lovers due to a bit extra sweetness. Well, I AM a bourbon lover, and I'd rather just reach for my Booker's or Old Forester 1920 for my bourbon fix. Perhaps the 43% ABV is not enough for me.. Addendum. Balvenie 14 does much better for me when I am not in analyzing mode and just kick back with it. Very balanced, smooth with bit of bourbon sweetness and rum tropics. The only thing is Aberlour A'bunadh only costs $5 more at Total Wine, so this might be my last Balvenie 14... Compass Box The Peat Monster. I knew I would like this, as it is made of "40% Laphroaig, 20% Ledaig, 13% Caol Ila, 26% Ardmore, 1% “Highland Malt” (60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine, 20% Teaninich)" It's like spreading smoked honey over smoked bacon, without going over to yucky greasy mess. There's surprising amount of complexity, organization, and clarity. Good Stuff. *Edit* Ha! I guess I do know what sherry finish is like since I have an open bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail! Just to check myself, I tried the Peat Monster then Oogie, and I don't know how Ardbeg managed to make 54.2% ABV taste so smooth. Wow, I guess all those little extra notes of various dark fruits in Oogie come from Sherry, and Oogie's peat can almost be called subtle compared to the truckload of unabashed peat from Compass box! *Edit* Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Comparing Oogie and Corry side by side is a futile exercise methinks. Such smoky peat and high ABV tending to overshadow subtle differences, which come out more as I add a bit of water. But a part of me kind of prefer things at Cask Strength, as the pour punches my face ?
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