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High Rollers
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Everything posted by episiarch

  1. My full impressions (and everybody else's) are over at that other place, but here are my short takeaways, in case anyone's interested. Mr Speakers Ether C is great. Different people rate it differently compared to HD800, Ether (open), etc., etc., but I didn't speak to anyone who wasn't impressed by it. Personally I could have spent all weekend listening on these (at the Schiit table with their multibit DACs and Mjolnir 2)Chord Hugo is a real winner. It's not just another semiportable DAC/amp (there's very different stuff going on inside), and the difference is really audible. There is a tabletop Hugo now too, but I didn't listen to it (there's a higher end one in the pipeline, named Dave). The Questyle DAP is really good. I'm not an AK owner, but it seemed like the people with lots of AK experience were really impressed by the Questyle's sound.Pendulumic Stance S1+ (I think that's the model name) Bluetooth full-sized closed headphone sounds great (obviously with the caveat it's Bluetooth). Has a nifty little twistable volume knob, and weighs noticeably less than my AKG K845BT. A winner if you want a Bluetooth headphone of this kind.Those super thin Linum cables for IEMs are for realz and they sounded great to me.ACS' new lineup (Evoke < Evolve < Encore) sounds fantastic, ships with Linum cables, comes universal or custom, and is really nicely priced. Evoke is supposedly really close to the old T2 (which I never heard), and it goes up from there.Audioquest Nighthawk sounded good to me but I didn't hear anything special distinguishing it from other higher-end dynamics. (Admittedly I was pretty listened-out by the time I got to these on Sunday afternoon.)None of you will be surprised to hear that the HE-1000 was at several stations at the show and that everyone I spoke to loved them best out of the GS-X (seriously, I heard that a lot). BHSE + 007 and 009 got the expected raves as well.I'm pretty sure that the museum-quality Orpheus I spent a little time on is the one that was stolen in Berlin yesterday. Fuck.
  2. Another Steelcase Leap user here. I like it about as much as I've liked my various Aerons at offices, but it's a different experience so YMMV. I don't have experience to compare it to any of the other current ergonomic chairs.
  3. OStewart, I'll look for you there. (I'll be the guy in the profile picture, just with greyer hair and hiding behind headphones instead of a toddler in a strawberry hat.)
  4. I'll be there. Not bringing gear, as I don't have anything particularly distinctive.
  5. I have one of those original Apple watches. May need to lend it to the better half (an Apple employee) so she has something to wear on launch day.
  6. I now have one, for the "minimal rig to toss in the backpack with the laptop" use case. I am very pleased with the sound. I find it sweet, involving, detailed, with no particular tonal emphasis or gaps across the mids and highs. The low end feels fairly thin to me, and it really doesn't deliver slam. I don't mind this, but I imagine many of you might. My target phones for this are ER-4S and AGK K55x, and it drives both very satisfactorily, for my musical tastes (more cello or jazz than techno) It's pretty but I hate those sharp edges which are just begging to scratch the finish on a headphone or laptop. I'm going to try putting a protective bead of silicone sealant along those edges, but FFS I wanted a DAC/amp and not a fine-motor-skills crafts project. I hate the included USB cable which is so stiff it's hard to get the Fulla to lay flat. I hate that it uses a mini-B connector, because these days it's easy to buy nice supple micro-USB cables while mini-USB has been left behind with crappy stiff thick-jacketed cables (at least in the shorter lengths). Yes, I'll probably try a micro-mini adaptor but it's still a fix for a problem I shouldn't have to start with. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'd rather have had USB volume control than a pot (at least a pot on a flyweight device that I have to fumble for because it doesn't stay where I put it). So unless I find a software solution I will probably start looking for something else. Which is too bad because I really like the Fulla's sound. Purchased new in March 2015 so I imagine it lacks the early manufacturing issues. No noise on output, even when adjusting pot, runs very slightly warm to the touch but not hot. Label on the end says SCH-19A 190101883, FWIW.
  7. Closed headphones that don't actually seal (I'm thinking Denons for example) are also good for this. "Whaddya mean the music's bothering you? They're CLOSED HEADPHONES. Ahhhh, you're just oversensitive."
  8. Thanks. It's really good to know that about the P5S2, and I'm grateful for the info on used P5S1s too. I might pick up one or the other during the next trip back to the US. (Yes, prices are actually lower in the US than the UK for this British-branded headphone.)
  9. $150 for the S1 is an awesome deal. Where are you finding that? I see "recertified" B&Ws on Amazon but I'm not finding a P5 at a price anywhere near $150.
  10. Ric, fair enough if you don't love the K550. I know it's not for everyone. I've auditioned the B&W P5 and P7 - the P5 more extensively, I think I had it for two or three days – and I really like them both. The P5 made everything sound good to me. It was as if every part of the music was emphasized, but not in a way that was annoying or fatiguing. I can't really give you a more specific tonal description than that; I just liked them a lot. They were also all-day comfortable, and isolated a whole lot more than I thought they would. I'd happily have bought a pair except I didn't have a job for them to do that wasn't already being done. I heard the P7 several months later under meet conditions, so my comparison's obviously not reliable, but my reaction on hearing them was "oh, this is the same kind of sound as the P5, only more so." Apple lists both in the online store and you can probably audition them in suitably large Apple retail stores. I see that what Apple's listing is a "P5 Series 2" and I'm guessing what I heard (could be as much as 2 years ago now) was a series 1.
  11. Ric, FWIW my closed can for the office is the K550. - I like the sound a lot (but I'm an Etyhead so YMMdefinitelyV) - it's dependably non-leaky (unlike say a D2000). Isolation from outside noise is not super high – but it doesn't leak outward - I find it comfortable (again opinions vary), - it's not so expensive or rare that I'll be crushed if Something Happens and I need to replace it - its single-sided/non-stiff/non-microphonic cable works better for me in office use cases than dual or stiffer ones IMO it pairs beautifully with a Schiit Vali, so there's my nice little office stack sorted. What're you running your HD580 (and presumably your next office can) from? Edit: I owned a K271 for a while but I never grew to really enoy it. Which is too bad, because the automatic muting when you take it off was great for an office environment. But I found it really sonically limited and un-resolving, which is odd for a studio can, but that's how it was. Once I got the K550 the K271 got zero head time and I wound up trading it and a spare amp to an office-mate for a bike he'd replaced with something better; a nicely symmetrical trade in a sense.
  12. Nice photo, and nice colors. Which generation RX100 is it? Mine's a 1st generation one, and I really envy the viewfinder the III has. I do much worse composing on a rear screen.
  13. Works fine for me too. For lack of anything else to suggest: perhaps try going to Sound Preferences, uncheck "Show volume in menu bar" (speaker icon disappears), and then checking it again (speaker icon reappears). Then try alt-clicking the icon again. Probably won't help, but (probably) can't hurt...
  14. I really think it's going to be OK. When they first introduced Lightning, Apple was careful to describe it as a multi-protocol digital interface. I take that to mean that on the phone end, the interface chip can be software-driven to emulate things other than USB (and that what people call a "DRM chip" in Lightning cables is more importantly a handshake chip, that tells the phone "I'm a USB cable, so use that emulation mode"). So, if the interface doesn't have to act USB-like, and if Apple still wants to bundle cheap-to-build iBuds with phones and iPods (and sell other earwear too with the best possible margins), what are they going to do? I figure they will supply at least one audio mode that is very cheap to build for. It seems to me that would be PWM, plus the chip for handshake and the control signals (play/pause, volume up/down). It seems to me that in that case a minimal adaptor could be small and cheap, either sold as an Apple accessory or provided by headphone manufacturers in the "designed for iPhone!" editions of their products. And none of this precludes higher-fidelity DACs and pro-level digital audio protocols for them. I think Apple gets a certain amount of mileage from showing people using iPads for mixdowns and performance and DJ-ing and the like, so I think they will make sure there are pro-level Lightning audio protocols as well as an audio protocol optimized for inexpensive iBuds and the like. Just my speculation.
  15. episiarch


    Logitech UE 4000 headphones for $30 or so depending on color. "episiarch you moron, why is this even worth mentioning on Head-Case?" - Because this is the ONE headphone that I have succeeded in getting more than one coworker to upgrade to from whatever crappy POS junk headphone they were using before, that's why. IIRC I think I've converted about six people, and they're all really happy with it. And I have therefore raised the general musical enjoyment and headphone taste level of the office by some useful amount. "so you're saying it's actually good, or semi-good, or something?" - Yeah. It's a basic compact (but nonfolding) on-ear design, built to sell for around $100 I think, and IMO it's really enjoyable: a little warmly colored, not bassy/boomy, just a nicely voiced musicality. Runs fine unamped from portable sources. Mic and Apple-compatible volume & play/pause buttons on the cord. Cord is detachable and terminates to a mini at the headphone end, so one of the guys at work stuck a Bluetooth gizmo in the jack and now it's his wireless headphone. "so what's it good for?" - For getting people who won't spend the money for a proper Head-case headphone to buy something that isn't a complete embarrassment. Or if you or your kids need a basic but decent beater headphone. Or if you need a $30 miniplug cable with a mic and Apple vol/play/pause controls on it. http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-982-000072-4000-Headphones-Discontinued/dp/B0094S360U
  16. I'm supposed to have mine next week. I don't think I have any low-impedance cans around ATM though. Oh, wait, the K271's are 55 ohms. So I do have low-impedance cans in the house, just not ones I particularly trust to tell me a lot about amp SQ.
  17. I'm possibly moving in to an iMac-based work situation soon. Any of you using reasonably modern (let's say 2010 or 2011) iMacs, how good is the stock audio out (used as a line-out into an amp)? Or to put the question more concretely, how might one complete the sentence, "to audibly improve on the iMac's audio/line-out you'd need to spend at least $[X] to get DAC [Y]"? Thanks for any thoughts/info.
  18. I've put my deposit in with a builder in England. He estimates end of November for completion. Basically taking a flyer on it and will see where it fits in my stable. All my tests will be subjective. Test #1 is just plug it in and try it: "Do I like it? Is it a good amp, for the cost?" Test #2 is some A/B against a Mini3, since NWAvGuy found Mini3 so bashworthy. I personally love Mini3 - at least with IEMs and small non-greedy headphones, which is all I ever use it with - so O2 has its work cut out for it here. Test #3 is A/B against a Gilmore Lite V2, since that's what I have and since it sort of fit the "any amp under $450" challenge back when Justin was making them. Again, I'll only have subjective impressions, so it wouldn't be a real answer to NWAvGuy's challenge anyway, but I'll be interested in how it turns out. And of course there will be the obligatory internals photo pr0n.
  19. Back to the laptop stands discussion, if that's not too disrespectful and too soon, as I think I mentioned, we have both the Rain stand and one of those Griffin stands. The Rain gets used all the time, the Griffin much less. Functionally, either one will do if you are using an external keyboard. But I put a (17") MBP on the Griffin the other day, and typing on the laptop keyboard was uncomfortably bouncy. Typing on a laptop that's on the Rain stand is just about like typing on it on a desk, except of course for elevation and angle. The Rain is solid, much more so than the Griffin.
  20. Oh, and to tie the 'bud discussion back to honoring Steve, this tweet from Merlin Mann: hotdogsladiesLady on the train: iPhone–earbuds in–talking REAL loud into the Sleep/Wake switch. No, Steve's work is not done. It's up to us now.
  21. The iBuds (headset version) that I use came with my iPhone 4, so they're pretty recent . . . and, yeah, they're really remarkably good. I had been an iBud-hater for so long that all of them were just getting thrown into a drawer unopened and unheard when I'd get a new iGizmo, but I did set aside the iPhone 4 ones in case I needed a spare headset one day. When I finally fished them out, I was amazed at how much I liked them. Now it's all the other stuff in my "non-isolating, in-ear" fleet that's unused in a drawer . . . a couple models of Denons, a couple models of V-modas, assorted other stuff of that ilk. With the exception of the Yuins. I have 2 pairs of PK1 and one PK3, all from a few years ago (circa, roughly, San Jose national meet), and no faults on any of them. Sorry to hear the Yuins don't seem to be built like that any more. I would say the PK3 is simply trounced by the current iBuds (so it too languishes in a drawer), but the PK1 is still worlds ahead . . . if it is properly amped. If it's not amped, I find it relatively limp and lifeless, so in that respect I don't think it's a competitor to iBuds or the other ones in Tyll's bake-off.
  22. We used to have that Griffin stand (or maybe still do), and the Rain stand is a good deal more secure. A lot more metal to lower its center of gravity, and better retention so the laptop doesn't just slide off. Very much agreed, RIP Steve. A friend reminded me this morning of Christopher Wren's epitaph in London: Reader, if you seek his memorial, look about you.
  23. We have a couple of those Rain stands, and keep 17" MBPs on them. Perfectly stable, never feels the least bit like they're going to tip over. Not even a wobble. The weight is distributed in such a way that they don't feel the least bit risky at all. And this is with a 3-year-old in the house.
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