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High Rollers
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Posts posted by catscratch

  1. I thought linking stuff from here was grounds for gulag time over there? Or are they making a special exception?

    This all reminds me of when Audio-GD first appeared and the shilling pretty much took over the entire amp section on HF. I wonder if that hurt or helped AGD in the long run, but I certainly hesitate now when I consider buying something from them, even though by all accounts the products themselves are quite good.

    It's too bad, we need more quality electrostatics on the market and preferably not very expensive ones, but we don't need con jobs masquerading as legitimate products.

  2. Leaving aside any dubious benefits of this passing, about 80% or so of America doesn't actually want this (iirc). Correct me if I'm wrong, but willfully passing regulation that most of your voter base doesn't want you to pass sounds awfully like governing without the consent of the governed. At this point I consider the FCC a rogue organization operating against the will and well-being of the people, though the same can be said about an awful lot of the US government lately.

    I'll give our government one thing though, it sure has increased transparency. As in, its mean-spirited, money-grabbing, lobbyist-pleasing motives have never been more transparent. They're setting themselves up for a reckoning... I think. Or I hope?

    • Like 3
  3. All this Ayre talk prompted me to pick up a used QB-9 DSD. Now, I have to hijack the thread with a question: while it seems to work fine, and sounds good, there is an audible buzz coming from the transformer. It's not loud enough to really hear over my PC fans when the computer's on, but when it's off, and the DAC is on standby, the buzz is audible. It's also audible if I put my ear close to it. Is this something I should worry about? I've yet to open it up and take a poke around, but given that I know nothing it'll be about as useful as dissecting myself to figure out why my stomach hurts. However there are 2 screws in the center of the base plate that are missing, I guess I'll see what they should be holding down and if that might be contributing to this.

  4. Well as a manufacturer it makes more sense to target the luxury buyer rather than the enthusiast buyer, so specialty hobbies like this one have an incentive to become luxury hobbies over time. The luxury buyer doesn't always know what's good - though sometimes they do - but they're mainly after something that makes them feel special. Meanwhile, the enthusiast usually knows performance but often doesn't have deep pockets, so they're after value, and creating well-engineered, high-performance products that also offer a good value is not something everybody can do and certainly not something everybody wants to do. So if you want to make money, you tell the enthusiast "sorry" and then you leave them in the dust as prices get sky high.

    • Like 1
  5. ... and this is why I don't buy the whole "if it's overpriced, just don't buy it" argument. If one manufacturer does it and gets away with it, it sets a precedent, and soon enough everybody's doing it. Letting market forces decide isn't always good for the enthusiast.

    On the other hand, don't Stax have a history of setting ridiculous initial prices only to lower them somewhat years down the line? I recall them quoting well over $5k for the 009 initially in the States.

    FWIW I quite like the 717, but I paid $800 for it. It has a nice warm sound but there is a slight metallic edge to the highs, and if a $6k amp had similar problems, I probably wouldn't find that acceptable.

  6. 3 hours ago, grawk said:

    headphones interact more directly with your ears than speakers, so headphones that interact in a way that is accurate for one person might interact with another person in a way that is less accurate.  And different people value different aspects of sound when they're determining what is a reference headphone for them.


    The way I understand it - and I understand nothing - is that your brain is used to compensating for the shape of your head (your HRTFs) but is designed to compensate for a single-point source of sound somewhere well outside of your head. Speakers aren't a single-point source but for HRTF purposes they aren't that different, so when listening to speakers, people hear similar things. Headphones are very far from a single point source, the sound originates from drivers just outside your ears and enclosed by earcups besides, so a lot of your head isn't a factor, and the same compensation curve now leads you astray into hearing a different sound, from person to person. And with IEMs, where the sound basically originates inside the ear canal, the differences are more pronounced.

    Now what I wonder is if the brain adjusts to the fact that the sound originates not from a single point source and comes up with some new means of compensation.

    I generally agree with others on how speakers sound like. When it comes to headphones, stuff like the HD650 and SR-007 actually sounds closer to a speaker system that's tuned to be flat 20-20, for me, than a lot of other things people call neutral. When it comes to IEMs, I have no clue what others are smoking, but if my crackpot theory has merit it's to be expected. People with whom I've listened to and compared IEMs have heard rather different things with regards to FR, but similar things with regards to detail, speed, dynamics, etc.

    From time spent on forums I've learned more or less how to compare myself to others, i.e. compared to Tyll, I gravitate towards a sound that is slightly, but not significantly warmer. Given those differences, I can kind-of extrapolate how things sound based on what I read but it's never easy or reliable, and even less so with IEMs.

    Of course, acclimatization is a powerful force, too. Listening to the L700 after the 007, it sounds bright. Listening to the 007 after the L700, it sounds dark. And over time, both start to sound more or less normal, though the actual relative shapes of their FR - like the L700's midbass hump and small treble spikes - are always audible.

    • Like 2
  7. Yup. To reiterate my post from moths ago, I have to wonder why they chose a technology that's designed to cut costs for a high-end driver. Obviously it underperforms. The DSP portion of the system looks good, and I have to wonder how it will do with a more competent pair of headphones.

    Also, I don't get the idea of selling an all-in-one solution at $5k. Surely people looking to spend that much already own a decent source and maybe an amp or two, and taking advantage of the ecosystem already in place would be better than trying to sidestep it entirely with a high-priced product. Yes, when you consider the total costs of what this system replaces the pricetag isn't that crazy, but when you consider that the customer has probably already invested a lot into other systems, it is.

    I don't get this one, but the idea of good DSPs fixing FR problems in high-end headphones is promising.

  8. The NDA is now lifted on Quake Champions, so I can finally say I've been playing it since early closed beta. It's looking good if they can get the tech issues sorted out, which ATM aren't big. Some long load times for menus, long connect times for servers, a few customization options they need to add, and what feels like some occasional input lag, which doesn't happen all the time. In terms of gameplay, I think they nailed it. It's not quite the same old quake, but it feels good and it plays well. If you're looking to get into Quake but are turned off by the idea of trying to catch up on 15 years' head start that the OG players have, now's a good time. It's a brand new game. Sign up and get your key!

    Also, Immortal Redneck is pretty good if you're looking for a procedurally generated FPS rogue-lite thingy. The shooting isn't the greatest around but the weapons are varied, the movement feels fluid, and the environments are downright fantastic at times.

    • Like 1
  9. Honestly, at $4k you'd better be bloody happy with your purchase and if you're not, then you don't need to apologize for not liking them. Also, while Tyll's measurements are a great data point and an invaluable resource they don't completely summarize how something sounds, and dismissing something based on those measurements only (and the RS1 doesn't measure that terribly) is a mistake.

    You like what you like and there's nothing wrong with that.

  10. The Stax amp thing really pisses me off. This is the sort of shit that can kill a business. You have an anti-consumer practice (their pricing structure in this case), and when customers find ways to get around it, you restrict them more with another, even more anti-consumer practice. What's the end result of this going to be if not less sales? I'm more hesitant now to buy Stax amps. Remind me why this is a good thing for your business again?

    How do we get it through to them that they need to 1) knock it off and 2) equalize pricing all around?

  11. Got somewhere between 6" and a foot. Shoveled for 6 and a half hours because I'm small and weak. But we can use the driveway now. Did I mention that I just love shoveling snow for hours? Somebody kill me it's my favorite!

    Guess I probably should have fixed the snowblower. Hindsight and all that.

    • Like 1
  12. Signed up but haven't heard anything from them yet. Cautiously optimistic about Quake - they've put together about as good a team as they can at this point in terms of who knows what Quake actually is, but I don't know if the market will support a real old-school shooter with no skill compression or concessions to modernity, or how much they'll water the game down to make it more accessible. Recent Quake-style games have failed (Reflex, Warsow) and frankly I'm surprised they managed to put together enough of a business case to the suits to risk a Quake-style game right now. Maybe the suits thought that if they threw in some moba elements the success of Overwatch will carry them through, but ask anybody that has ever tried to compete with Blizzard about how well that went for them. Though an alternative theory is that Syncerror used an old CPM CTF mod that had classes for inspiration rather than drawing from Overwatch.

    At the end of the day, if the game has proper Quake movement, solid netcode, and matchmaking I'll probably be happy. We'll see.

  13. Yay. But in addition to having a company that actually knows how to run a business, they (meaning Stax) also need to fix the price disparity between US/Japan, and make sure that US stocks are up to date with the latest Japanese releases. Which, I guess, is hard to do when you don't shift the stock you have because of price fixing. I'll be honest, the shitty outdated distribution system has kept me from buying a lot of headphones I otherwise would have very much liked to try. Well, that and the whole not having any money thing.

    • Like 2
  14. Of course my snowblower broke within the first 6 feet. Why wouldn't it? I paid good money for it, and now it's out of warranty. As the Donald would say: Smart!

    At least, 4 hours later, I can leave my house. Got a good workout, too.

  15. Learning mouse aiming can be problematic for people that didn't grow up in the PC shooter era. If you're only going to play casually, then controllers are fine. If you intend to play competitively then you'll have to learn to aim with a mouse eventually, but it is a lot of work. On a controller, ergonomics are fixed and how to aim is more or less obvious. On a KB+M setup the ergonomics are up to you, and there are many different ways to aim, or even hold the mouse, so the situation's way more complicated. I'll echo the advice to use whatever you feel comfortable with, and if you start getting into the game enough to feel like you want to invest actual time into it, then learn to use a mouse. I've posted some resources to that end before, but I can relink stuff like this (not entirely accurate but gets the point across) or this or this. FPS games do take a lot of execution unfortunately, and learning it is not so much a function of age as a matter of effort and time, and not having said time when you're older.

  16. Yup, the ESS phones definitely raised a "hmmm this could be cool" flag for me. And right on about wualta, he was the man. Hope he's ok. But then it's not just the ortho thread, it was HF as a whole. HF's sad evolution is pretty typical for a successful board that doesn't quite manage its transition into success right. The board becomes the place to be, all the techies and kids that want to be cool join up, and sooner or later the old farts look around and say "wait a minute, who are all these people and what are they talking about" and then they leave, helped along by management that values sponsorship over content.

    When you find a good community, value it while it lasts, because it won't.

    Bummer about those Sigmas...

    • Like 4
  17. Looks like Fang finally crossed the line, and a lot of the negativity surrounding headphone pricing in general has been heaped onto him, and his attempts to defuse the situation only made things worse. Certainly his awkward English didn't help. I almost feel sorry for the guy - almost, since he's undoubtedly guilty of price gouging, but then so is the whole bloody industry.

    I think the worse step for the industry would be intentionally compromising their less expensive models so that they don't undercut the performance of their higher-end models. I'm sure manufacturers would like a world in which all product niches are stratified and all good-sounding headphones are really expensive (kind of what the German car industry does). If that happens, and price/performance anomalies like the HD600/650 or KSC75 are discontinued, the hobby will truly be dead to a lot of enthusiasts. Quite frankly, it is that scenario that scares me, not the idea that somewhere out there somebody's making underengineered, underperforming $6k headphones.

    Maybe it's pointless worrying. This market isn't an oligarchy like the car industry and if somebody discontinues outstanding value headphones, somebody else will see an opportunity. Maybe this current Fang thing is just the market normalizing its concept of value. Maybe these headphones will fail, and so will he. But then I look at some of my posts from 2007 warning of exactly this and think "who the fuck is this idiot I don't want to say I told you so... but I did."

    In other news, I rather like the L700.

    • Like 4
  18. There are pros and cons to both. The Mk2.9 has better dynamics and more treble energy but its midrange tonality isn't quite as spot on as the Mk1. But make sure that your amp is up to par, cause if it's not, you'd be better off with something easier to drive.

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