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Aspirant Audiophile

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About Aspirant Audiophile

  • Birthday 12/27/1978

Profile Information

  • Interests
    Fatherhood, cultural things
  • Location
    The Netherlands
  • Gender


  • Location
    Den Haag
  • Occupation
    Editor and translator
  • Headphones
  • Headphone Amps
    Carbon, Megatron
  • Sources
  • Other Audio Gear
    Node, RME ADI DAC

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  1. I received a Megatron built by Søren Brix two days ago. Simply based on who had a Carbon available in stock at the time, I also bought Søren's Carbon. I understand that head-case isn't really the place for 'listening impressions'. And, my grasp of audio engineering leaves much to be, uh, grasped. So I'll only note this: I really, really like the Carbon, to the point that I'm now looking for a 007mki specifically to pair with the Carbon. Before receiving the Megatron, I was pretty down on my x9000s, and I was buying into the negative reviews. The Carbon does not fit the x9000s, in my opinion. I am no longer down about the x9000s, not one bit, because Megatron. I don't dispute any of the negative opinions of x9000s--I don't have enough experience to agree or disagree--but I do believe I found the right amp to pair with x9000. Perhaps most relevant for head-case is my 'listening impressions' of Soren. Soren has been, in a word, delightful. I'm not an easy person to deal with--Soren was patient, thoughtful, fair, and he gave low-bias recommendations (when begged). Soren prefers to use stock, non-boutique components. I have no idea whether that professional stance does or doesn't make a difference. I do know that Soren has a clear philosophy of work, and I grew to admire his reasons. Thank you Kevin Gilmore for your design, and thank you Soren for bringing it into fruition.
  2. ...thank you for the now-bookmarked links... One trip to YouTube saved=approx. one nap earned...
  3. I opted out of both, i.e. no volume control on the amp, to use the volume control on my DAC instead and therefore have a cleaner signal path on my amp. I'm very curious about whether this is (as) smart (as I like to think it is). I almost went for a RK50, but I haven't read much that indicates the difference between an rk27 and RK50 is so vast. Happy to be corrected if correction is due:)
  4. I used to live in Central America and had many blurry nights, some that stretched into the following week; hands down the best rum I've tasted is a surprisingly affordable Ron Zacapa 23, trailed (not very closely imo) by Flor de Caña. Rum, unlike say Scotch, gets into diminishing returns very quickly up the price ladder, unless you consider sugar cane to be its own food group. To keep in line with the thread: coffee with rum is the ideal way to ruin your life without care.
  5. See how you've publicly shamed me? DO YOU SEE??
  6. Is there even a point to getting a DAP, given that the cost of a 'good' one is (at least) the price of a higher-end smartphone, and given that a DAP's OS will be obsolete very quickly in comparison with a phone that receives regular updates? I can maybe understand it if I'm lugging around a $2k set of IEMs, but otherwise I don't see a lot of convenience in buying a brick running on an old OS. Besides, is SQ really going to be a great leap forward versus getting a 'good noise-filtering dongle-DAC/headphone jack connector' (surely there is a more concise name: 'thingy'?) and downloading hi-res files onto the phone?
  7. I think I was (volunteering) in an addiction shelter upon first hear..."Scar Tissue" was my morning song on repeat! "Get On Top" in a Chevy Blazer sounds like a pretty perfect setup.
  8. Does the ultra-compression and supposed lack of dynamics on Californication bug you at all? I remember loving that album, then I got startled when I read about it as a case study in a book about loss of detail in modern recording, Perfecting Sound Forever if memory serves.
  9. Very happy to come across this thread--last month I picked up something from a builder in my town who imports espresso machines from Italy then soups up the internals and sells them to rube...I mean, to afficionados like me. No, he does not also build amps. Limitless variation and plenty of ruined shots equals big fun. My favourite part of the learning process is how different the results are with a bottomless versus a standard filter. In fact, I prefer bottomless by a country mile--more crema and far more coffee extraction per gram. I'm surprised they aren't more commonly used.
  10. I demo'd Holo May and Spring KTEs with a two-box streamer made by my country's Holo distributor. I did not get to do proper A/B testing, but I heard almost none or no difference compared my Node and RME DAC. With the May, definitely a difference, but nowhere near the price difference--I left the demo feeling much much more confident about my setup as-is. Disclosures: I have almost zero experience, zero engineering or audio knowledge, and my opinions should not be taken without salt. My setup (Node, RME, balanced Mogami interconnects, a powerstrip with Faraday cage enclosures, and a Carbon) may or may not induce cackles--they are welcome if they are wrapping for advice. And...I use ALL the tinkering features the RME provides, and I get a sound that is pretty close to what I imagine is my hearing ceiling. I use a Soren Brix-build Carbon. I was looking at the Chord Dave and TT2 as well...until I stumbled upon the thread here about Chord Dave...
  11. At risk of stating the obvious (again), I'll pose the question: does anyone else notice their music tastes change as their audio gear improves? I used to think Sonic Youth was my favorite band. But my audio setup just reveals noise, not nuance. Maybe there's another setup out there that provides separation for all those guitars... I'm listening to Loretta Lynn all day today, starting with her Hymns, Don't Come Home a Drinkin', and the massive Honky Tonk Girl collection. My wife is Dutch and thought it was Dolly Parton...I quickly corrected her that she's listening to maybe the best country/folk singer America has produced.
  12. I would guess/expect a high-amp.de amp to be in the same league as a midrange Mjolnir amp, but I only base that opinion on the recommendations of others who know that high-amp.de builder personally. I have never owned products by either person. I hope to visit high-amp's workshop myself this summer. I have a 353x now, and I am getting a Carbon built because the 353x is good for an affordable amp, but not powerful enough--the Carbon I'm getting is not by Spritzer, but that says nothing about Spritzer's reputation as a builder, which is unquestionably impeccable--I mean, I doubt there is anything on the internet that mentions problems with a Mjolnir product. That should tell you something. One thing I am curious about is what kind of pot/attenuator/misc. is used in an official Stax amp, as I am currently trying to decide on whether to have my Carbon build upgraded from an rk27 to a Goldpoint47. As I sit in front of my 353x, I'm wondering what Stax itself uses. I understand that Spritzer uses the best components he can find in all his products, though.
  13. I should have led with sincerity, without giving the impression of sarcasm. My comment is about why gun control efforts are consistently unsuccessful. I'm a retired teacher. I taught in urban high risk schools as well as boutique private schools. Both communities live with the same fear in the background. But, the production of weapons is "good" for economics. So, guns stick around. I apologize if my comment implied that I'm in support of such a system. I quit my last teaching position--then permanently migrated from the USA--in part because I don't want my own children to grow up with any thought about their school as a non-safe space. I also don't want to teach anyone in an environment where any of us could have a gun. I lost my 401k in the process and I miss teaching, but I don't regret leaving. I hope this clarifies my remark.
  14. Well... Not trying to be cheeky, moreso honest...but there's a whole lot of teachers in America--letting them all carry guns would be great for business and most 401k plans...
  15. I am neither young or affluent. I have no interest in sports--with or without quotation marks that attempt irony--and while my wisdom and tact (or lack thereof) are certainly subject to question, I rely on real-life measurements, not name-calling on the internet. I have no opinion about your technical skills and I wish you the best.
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