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Aspirant Audiophile

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Everything posted by Aspirant Audiophile

  1. ...thank you for the now-bookmarked links... One trip to YouTube saved=approx. one nap earned...
  2. 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:)
  3. 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 CaƱa. 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.
  4. See how you've publicly shamed me? DO YOU SEE??
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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...
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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...
  14. 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.
  15. If I understand correctly, this is what I'm doing. I'm not sure what I'm hearing with my temporary x9000s/353x setup, but it's not great. I hope to have a Carbon in a month, then explore other models with the Carbon as reference.
  16. I had the D-50 at my home for about two days and agree that the dynamics or lack thereof are mediocre. I returned the D-50 because my wife and I thought the sound from a D-50/L700 was actually worse than a 252/L500. Apparently it's something to do with an outdated DAC in the D-50, along with the amp itself being an old design compensated by a stylish chassis? I'm using a 353x now for my x9000s while I wait for a Carbon, and something is definitely off--very few music choices have any crispness, to the point that I am using aggressive EQ to take out the thick fuzz in anything that isn't classical. But now all vocalists sound like they're on helium. Interesting in any event to get to understand more about audiophilia (real word?) with a mismatched setup that will improve through experience.
  17. I loved the L500MK2s but didn't trust my ears because they were the second set of Stax I'd ever heard. Four weeks, continued mistrust, and ten trades with the hifi shop later, I wound up getting the x9000s. Fucking hell. Considering getting the L500s for a point of comparison.
  18. As I wrote before, I'm here to learn, and I'm grateful for the patience of several experts. The responses helped me understand how to make the most of my Stax, and hopefully be a better contributor down the line. I'm sorry if I didn't manage myself appropriately. -uncertain newcomer
  19. This is interesting. Do the build problems you point out affect the lifespan of the amp? Is the amp set up for functioning problems of use, from the start? If I do wind up traveling to Graz to try the Paltauf, at this point much of my interest is just in talking to the owner--I might bring your and KG's comments on an index card. Not to challenge anyone, just to understand.
  20. For the record, I was in contact with Eddie Current staff yesterday. But they definitely didn't impress... They didn't seem aware of an x9000s. (Is it a dumb question to ask) why does one want a balanced versus imbalanced amp? I swear I read somewhere that imbalanced is objectively preferable in subjective moments... Or something like that.* *Two months in, and I'm THIS close to being able to impress people in a bar with my sourced audio knowledge!
  21. What I find truly mind-blowing at this point of the...debate(?) between Spritzer, KG, and Dynavit (and others) is that both sides are pretty convinced that they're in the right. The invective is less useful, but the technical commentary remains helpful. This debate wouldn't be mind-blowing if Dynavit were a Paltauf employee. I hope I'm right when I say I don't think that's the case, though--I made an account at open-air-music to find out for myself, and there are swarms of people with the exact same opinion as Dynavit, who is an active, consistent, respected member of the forum. Are they talking specs on the same level as Spritzer and KG? No. But I'm kind of wondering how the Paltauf can manage to get universal praise from seasoned, non-idiot audiophiles in the German language, while it's a poorly made, poorly conceived money grab in English. I'm not sure why anyone is using the resale market for a point of reference, though--Austria and to a lesser extent Germany has a very different culture and economy than the rest of the Western world. Quality is saved for, bought--and kept forever.
  22. In fact I had an excellent phone call with Kerry about the Areas yesterday--I'm very hopeful that I can listen to it in person soon!
  23. Thank you Kevin and Spritzer for these detailed responses. Definitely a red thread through the amps that you're pointing out, and which I wouldn't have noticed until well after purchase, if ever. Incidentally, I've been in touch with Eddie Current, Malvalve, and Paltauf builders in the last week. No, we didn't discuss inductors or capacitators, but I wish we had! I'm also in touch with folks who specifically build Kevin Gilmore designs...and basically every builder who uses KG designs and who has been recommended on Head-Case...sounds like that's the only direction to go...
  24. ...just for the record, I have no opinion--I'm happy to learn. The exchange here is helpful and instructive. Spritzer, I'm really curious because I'm planning a trip to try out the Paltauf in person--and I've read very, very little about Paltauf, while German sites say essentially what Dynavit says. Can you spell out (for me, an audio idiot) why a speaker amp with the electrostatic signal taken off the plates through capacitors is (for lack of a better term) "bad"? I get that this forum is specifically for people who know what they're talking about. So, I don't want to annoy anybody. I just want to make smart decisions. Commentary, however detailed or blunt (I see both above!), is welcome.
  25. I'm almost motivated enough to travel to England in order to test and purchase that amp! But I have four kids and a wife who is quickly losing patience with my new "hobby." So I need something shipped to the Netherlands. Likely I will need to contact a builder...I have searched online for ways to contact many of the builders recommended here, such as Soren, Kerry, Dukei, and a few others, but apparently I can only contact them via PM on this forum? Recommended builders aside from Spritzer (who I have already been in contact with), and their contact information, would be warmly appreciated.
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