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catscratch last won the day on April 12 2012

catscratch had the most liked content!

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About catscratch

  • Rank
    High Roller

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling


  • Interests
    Like a rat in a maze, minus the cheese.
  • Occupation
    Where's my cheese?
  • Headphones
    Stax SR-007, SR-003/001, Koss ESP950, Taket Fuglyphones, AKG K1000, K340, Sennheiser HD600, HD650, countless IEMs of all descriptions
  • Headphone Amps
    Headamp Blue Hawaii; Stax SRM-717, SRM-313; lots of scrap metal that used to be amps (and some that were only pretending)
  • Sources
    Resolution Audio Opus 21; Neko D100 Mk2; Rega Planet 2000; DAPs and PCDPs in various stages of disrepair

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  1. catscratch

    HeadAmp Gilmore Lite mk2 Headphone Amp

    Is there any word on a linear power supply straight from Headamp? I heard rumors that there might be one in the works after the GS-X Mini release.
  2. catscratch

    Focal Clear Headphone

    There was talk about the Clear in the Utopia thread. The Clear is what got me to buy the Utopia in the first place - it has fantastic tonal balance, excellent punch and dynamics, and a very airy and open sound overall. What eventually made me move on are the annoying peaks at 6 and 11khz which made the treble a bit shrill, and the fact that I'm used to Stax and the Clear just didn't quite have the resolution, whereas the Utopia does. It's not a huge difference though, and the Clear does get you most of the Utopia, with better tonal balance, for less. I think $1k is the right price for them, I wouldn't pay $1500 especially seeing how used Utopias can be had for under $2k these days. Even though there are things that annoy me about the Clear and the Utopia both, they're actually quite close to my ideal sounding headphones. They just need more linear, less metallic highs, and maybe a bit more soundstage width. That's about it honestly. Having said that, I still use the HD650 way more than either.
  3. catscratch

    Get your game on!

    I'd help if I knew anything about it, but I don't. PC only. I'm guessing Nintendo Switch might have the most flexibility for how it's used given that it doubles as a portable but I don't know what it has for kid-friendly games. Speaking of games, I've been on Grim Dawn kick lately. It's a Diablo-style action RPG (and it has some former Blizzard North people behind it), and it does capture the dark post-apocalyptic fantasy feel of Diablo very nicely. However, whereas Blizzard has been doing its best to streamline and simplify all of its games lately, Grim Dawn... sort of goes in the other direction. It's a huge game with an incredible amount of variety in character creation and layers upon layers of mechanics. It's got lots of depth to geek out over and is a great game overall. And no annoying microtransactions or AAA bullshit anywhere.
  4. catscratch

    Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver

    Yes, the dynamics are exceptional, as is the midrange resolution and just the openness and transparency of the midrange in general. The problem for me is not so much the soundstage but the peaks in the highs and the slight bit of metallic coloration to the sound. A few years ago I had a flu that permanently damaged my inner ear and left me far more sensitive to treble peaks at certain frequencies, and it's become an issue of outright usability just as much as preference. But the Utopia is far from the worst offender in that regard, and with just a touch of EQ in places it's very usable. More so than the Clear was. I'm looking for Sennheiser HD6X0 tuning with Stax-like technicalities, and this is honestly not that far off. Hopefully with some tweaks I'll get there.
  5. catscratch

    The Headcase Stax thread

    I always use EQ. With a well implemented EQ there's very little reason not to. The degradation in sound quality is minimal, and the improvement from having a more linear FR is very noticeable. For instance, I always hear a resonance around 7.5khz in full-size over-ear headphones (probably some outer ear resonance, it isn't there in measurements) and EQ lets me minimize it, making things much smoother. There are obviously limits to what EQ can correct, and it's not going to turn a turd into something listenable, but it can definitely take an already good headphone to the next level for very little cost. I'm still learning how to use it properly, but using a sine sweep or a test tone generator with a frequency slider to hear where the peaks and dips are, and then correcting based off of that has worked pretty well so far.
  6. catscratch

    Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver

    That's more or less the plan. A DHSA-3F is probably next once I find the funds. But I do need to decide if I want to keep going with the Utopia. It does some things brilliantly but other things annoy me, but I don't know if what I'm looking for in a headphone exists in the first place, so this may be as close as it gets.
  7. catscratch

    Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver

    Is the GS-1 anything like the Gilmore Lite Mk2 voicing-wise? I find the GL2 to be dead neutral, with excellent technicalities, but the Utopia leans a bit to the bright side, and could really use a warm and lush signal path. In my system right now (with M51 as source) it sounds very clear, punchy, spacious, and detailed, but also a bit dry and a bit analytical.
  8. catscratch

    Happy Birthday Spritzer!

    Have a good one!
  9. catscratch

    Get your game on!

    Funny you should say that, since I'm also also playing through BL2 with a friend and I'm also playing a 30-something Gunzerker. Though with no mods. On top of that I'm also playing solo, with a 60-something Zero trying to get to the endgame. UVHM is actually pretty damn hard at times. BL2 has aged well. It still looks fresh thanks to the stylized graphics, the gunplay's solid, and the slick writing and voice acting just polishes it all off. The timed exclusive deal is BS, but I wonder how the game will be monetized, especially if Take 2 is publishing. There's just so much potential for abuse... loot boxes, nerfed xp gain and xp boosters sold for cash, content cut out and sold as overpriced dlc, etc etc. Maybe the failure of Anthem and the rocky launch of D2 will make them think twice about some of this, but never underestimate the predictability of stupidity, as the wise man said. Or, as said another, greed is eternal.
  10. catscratch

    The Headcase Stax thread

    They did improve them. The original had straight yokes, the result of which was that the earcups couldn't swivel outwards enough and the clamping force was applied to the top of the earpad more than the bottom, causing comfort issues and bad seal. It looks like the shape of the yokes is different on the new one, which should remedy this. Though it looks like it might also increase clamping force a bit, unless they enlarge the headband. Either way, comfort issues, shitty bass, and a top end that was just a little bit too peaky are my main complaints with the L700. Seems like they're trying to address 2 out of 3 at least, and it should end up a better headphone.
  11. catscratch

    Alternatives for Stax SR-l 700

    Out of Stax brand amps, I've used the 313, 007t, and 717, and preferred the 717 by a good margin. Considering the similarities between that and the KGSS, the suggestion is a very good one, if you can swing it. The L700 does tend to be a touch bright though and you may need a bit of EQ to get the highs to behave. It's not bad however, I don't use more than 4db anywhere. JimL's suggestion is the most cost effective solution for a good amp by far. I would say that they're not too amp picky and even very basic amps sound decent... as long as they're good amps.
  12. catscratch

    Hifiman Jade II

    Sounds like they're trying to steer customers to stuff that doesn't sell to clear out inventory... Anyway, never heard the Jade 2 so I can't judge, but having lived with the L700 for a couple of years, I think you'll be happy. Maybe not the last word in technicality or accuracy but a very engaging, vivid, and musical sounding headphone that I've enjoyed about as much as anything I've had over the years. Very punchy and dynamic sounding too.
  13. catscratch

    Kaldas Research

    If this works out and is good, I'll most likely get a pair too. Definitely appreciate the transparency from the manufacturer. My only concern at this point is the detachable cable. I'm not sure if high voltage bias lines, detachable cables, and aftermarket cable manufacturers that have no clue what they're doing are a good mix. Otherwise looks very promising.
  14. DIY Audio Heaven tested a M&J headphone with this design including frequency response for each driver. https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/mitchell-johnson-jp1-dj/ There appears to be no crossover. The dynamic driver contributes most of the sound while the electret pretty much plays in the background. The FR is a mess. At least the cheapo version I can understand, but for hundreds of dollars? Thanks for the teardown.
  15. catscratch

    The Headcase Stax thread

    Thanks for the offer, but no, I don't have them anymore. I had like 3 or 4 pairs at one point.