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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

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  • Gender
    Not Telling


  • Interests
    Like a rat in a maze, minus the cheese.
  • Occupation
    Where's my cheese?
  • Headphones
    Focal Utopia, Clear, Elex; Stax SR-007 Mk1, Mk2, L700 & more; Sennheiser HD650, HD600; ok, look, I have a lot of headphones - why are you still reading this?
  • Headphone Amps
    Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2, Schiit Lyr 2, Stax SRM-717 & 007t, and a few more that will be amps once they resume function
  • Sources
    Ayre QB-9 DSD, NAD M51

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  1. The market is probably football players and execs that want something shiny on their desk. I wonder if it uses the same underperforming driver tech that the Sonoma Model 1 used? I'd like to see distortion measurements at 100db.
  2. Been following this one closely. Right now there are reports of the headband lacking enough extension for us coneheads so I'm waiting for them to update it, which they said they would. There also have been some reviews of them with preliminary measurements, worth a look though as always, well salted. The question, of course, is do I actually need them, and are they any better than what I have already.
  3. Thanks! Yes, MiniDSP Ears is notoriously unreliable in the highs, and HPN comp doesn't really line up with what I hear either. But they're still useful as a comparative tool. Is the dip at 5khz really there or just a measurement artifact?
  4. There's no way the L700 is better than the 007, at least in my experience. The L700 sounds more artificial and "off" at least in terms of midrange tone, whereas the 007 sounds more natural and is better in nearly every technical aspect. The issue with the 007 is that it's one of the least user-friendly headphones out there, hard to amp, very fit dependent, self-adjusting headband system that's awkward and keeps pulling the headphones out of position, modding required for the Mk2 models, etc etc. The 007 has the potential to sound really bad in the wrong system whereas the L700 generally sounds similar from system to system. But the 007 will scale and leave the L700 well behind. In regards to the 007 being too dark or too laid-back - just EQ 2-6khz up a little bit and problem solved. You need an amp with plenty of headroom though. There are reasons to fix the L700 Mk1. My broken yoke on one side is one. It's a good thing the new ones are metal. Also, the earcups have little tabs on them that prevent the top of the earcup from swiveling outwards far enough, putting too much pressure on the top of the earpad, and not enough on the bottom. It's an asinine design, and I'm guessing the extra bend in the yokes in the Mk2 is there for that reason. It would have been smarter still to delete the tabs entirely. Granted, the L700 is still rather good. Very punchy and dynamic, with a very 3D and holographic stage. The latter is probably the best aspect of it, that and the general forwardness of the presentation. But the 007 it ain't. RE: ES1a - interesting, and I'll put it on my radar. Maybe if impressions keep being positive (and I want to see some more comparative measurements) I might pick one up later down the line. Lots of other things to get to first.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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