post #16 of 16
<Blabla-alert: Lini is in story-teller's mood! >

<Additional information alert: This reply will tell quite a lot about me and what I'm currently pondering! )

From work I rarely ever visit Head-Fi: I usually have lots of articles to edit (enrich, debug... ), and then there are quite a few conferences to take part in (or sleep through...) - I work as chief of hardware for CHIP Online (www.chip.de - if anybody is interested; or www.chip-online.com - if you prefer English (but it's not exactly the same, and still heavily under construction and extension...)), by the way.

So I hardly find time to visit Head-Fi from work - and even less for Headwize (Jude: Look&feel- as well as usage-wise Head-Fi is superior - good work, good man! Keep on it! ). I usually don't even check my private email from the office - if there's any time left, I prefer chatting with the other editors or the lab-staff or our visitors at the coffee bar.

But I'm on vacation now for a fortnight, so I only have to fight my bad conscience as long as I haven't filled in those long due tax declarations and tidied up my appartment.

By the other way: I went to Saturn (Munich/Theresienhoehe) again, yesterday, because they still have the beyerdynamic DT531 for 179 DM (/1.16 (VAT) = 154.31 -> /2.2 (DM->US$) = ~70), which is a very nice price. Thus I bought another two units, because my good friend Juergen will celebrate his birthday on Saturday - and I need a spare one, anyway, as I want to have one for my journey to California in August/September: I feel the urge to spread knowledge about this great headphone! No, really, I want to bring it along, so we might be able to compare it to Sony's MDR-V6, which I couldn't find over here, yet. I'm curious...

While I strolled through Saturn, I also had a look at their portable stuff, which is mostly overpriced - and I agree: The newer Panasonic cdps look and feel not very solid. I also wanted to take a look at some Philips portable cdps, but I couldn't find any. So I strolled through the hi-fi department, instead, where I found Yamaha's new RX-V420 and RX-V620 surround receivers.

I had a look inside the 420, and I can only say it's nicely made: no active cooling, proper layout (few cables inside) and a trustworthy look&feel. Both have silent cinema - but I want the 620, as it also has a phono input, component inputs and an optical digital output. It was already tested and found great value for the price on the German surround site www.areadvd.de and has very positive comments on www.audioreview.com, too - and as long as Yamaha won't send the test sample I had ordered for the office, I will (or have to) rely on these reviews and my first impressions.

Another choice could have been the Harman Kardon AVR-5000, but I want some headphone surround technology as well as a phono input built in. Most other competitiors are out because of active cooling: I don't want a fan in my consumer electronics stuff. It's bad enough that I have to tolerate the fans in my computer(s) - with the exception of my C64s, my SX64, my C128, my Sinclair-ZX81-compatible and my Atari Portfolio. (Which reminds me, that I still have to exchange the rechargeable battery in my Amiga 2000. I'm not ungrateful, because it lasted for more than ten years, but the replacement requires that I have to remove the motherboard in order to properly desolder the old cell, and that's an awful lot of work - even without all the additional cables for switchable custom tweaks (bios 1.2/1.3, floppy #2, sound high cut filter, 512k/1MB chip memory...) and quite a few boards (68030-turbo, SCSI, PC-AT, genlock interface...) - keeping old computers in good condition is a challenge... And keeping all of my old computers is madness, I guess. )

The Yamaha will be the replacement for my old Marantz integrated amp, because I'm too lazy to repair the pot and I want some surround solution for my computer rig, anyway. The computer itself will also see an upgrade... oh, well... replacement, that is: I'm planning to switch from desktop to notebook pc - Dell's Inspiron-8000e/8100-series has all I need in a nice mobile bundle (including GeForce2Go 32MB DDR, S/P-DIF- & TV-Out, 30 GByte hard drive, DVD/CD-R/RW-combo-drive/burner, modem & ethernet and a nice 1600x1200-display - I just wonder whether they also supply a magnifying lens ). But I've got to wait for the outcome of these tax declarations: Hopefully, I can still afford the notebook after I paid everything. I already prepaid a decent amount, but you never know... <sigh> And then I've still got plenty of parts left to build up a new desktop for the hi-fi & video rig, because I'd like to have a digital vcr or pvr. Till then, though, it's probably xmas time.

Oh, well, I think that's enough for now. I wrote all this, because maybe you are as curious as I am - and usually the replies only contain small fragments of personal information. I wanted to put at least my fragments into some context, that will tell you a little more about me. Maybe that helps you to determine whether my replies on several topics here are helpful and valuable for you or not (...because you might be in a similar or totally different situation).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: And I hope you don't find my clumsy and long-winded English too boring.