Golden Portable Rig
Finally I decided to post my golden portable rig pictures. As you see it is golden in terms of money spent and in terms of color too. Please let me know what you think. I wanted to go with imod first, but after reading favorable reviews of ipod touch line-out decided to go with it instead, no regrets so far.
Quite old but still loved Westone UM2 are to be replaced by Livewires (provided they fit from the first attempt) in a couple of weeks (hopefully, as Livewires does not reply to my e-mails at all). Perhaps after that I would be set for a few years ahead (though touch 64G would be nice). I was also thinking about portable v-mod, but finally decided to settle down with this, as an addition of a "portable" v-mod makes the whole rig barely transportable and obviously not portable by any means.
Predator is still undergoing though burn-in (so is the golden frame), but it already sounds very nice, especially I love the bass it produces and the instruments separation. Before this rig, I was quite happy with my Keenwood HD30GB9, which I had been using for about two years. I should say that Kenwood sounds closer to my current rig than anything else I tried. So, if you are not a portable amp kind of guy, then Kenwood is a no brainer. The only problem was Kenwood Media Keg, which I replaced with Monkey Audio and of course Keenwood lossless is not a format you would like to stick with for life.
And of course I tried to listen to touch out of its headphone out. It sounds too metallic, artificial and just flat boring. The other problem I found with it was the bass, which was kinda bass-boost type of bass, rather than a real deep and controlled one I get with predator.
The current rig is the best balance between portability and sound quality (and I should add aesthetics) I could think of. I thought customs would improve the sound and comfort a bit, so I ordered lifewires. As soon as I receive them I would let you know what I think (or should I say what I hear), especially in comparison with UM2, Etys 4s, Senns 580 and AT 900, which I have.
P.S. I don't think I would hear any difference between ALO Cryo, Jumbo Cryo, Jumbo Cryo Silver or Au/Ag, but I just chose SCD Au/Ag based on color match