Ok, here are my two cents regarding the WhipMOD.
But first I wanted to say that Craig and Mike are really the best guys to deal with. They are very easygoing, very attentive and very enthusiastic. It’s always a great pleasure to chat with them a little bit, though sometimes it might be difficult to reach them through e-mail.
Mine is perhaps the first WhipMOD СF 32gb.
The CF-card was installed by Craig after I said him that I didn’t really need the 80gb hard-drive. After using the WhipMOD for a couple of months I can say that the CF-mod brings in two major advantages in the whole construction.
1) The player is much lighter. To my mind the weight really matters here since you’ll also need a portable amp to use the WhipMOD. So, eliminating the hard-drive will allow you to lighten the entire weight of your rig significantly. As for me, I surely prefer to go around light-handed, so any extra weight is a disadvantage that can create discomfort.
2) I used to have an iPod Video 80gb and the hard-drive there was rather noisy and produced interference every time when being accessed (like changing a song or an album). With the CF-card all these inconveniences are gone and you are left alone with the music. In fact, it's really great when nothing botheres you while you're are listening to your favourite band and navigating in the menu in the same time.
As to the SQ, it is absolutely stunning. The sound is clean and detailed, but not grainy or harsh. The bass is there, always present, but it doesn’t attract too much attention. The highs are not extremely bright, and the mids are very clear. As you can imagine, a lot here will depend on what headphones or IEMs you use. I listened to the WhipMOD with Westone 3, Westone 4, Shure SE535 and Earsonics SM3. The amp was an RSA SR-71A. Westone 3 were too boomy, Earsonics SM3 too veiled, Shure SE535 sounded nice, though the sub-bass was kind of lacking. But Westone 4 resulted to be a perfect match.
Of course, even with a slim amp the WhipMOD probably won’t fit your pocket, but I doubt that here on head-fi it is really a problem for anybody. And although the popularity of modded iPods is not as big as it used to be a couple of years ago, be sure that the WhipMOD sounds great. Rockbox it (or not, as you wish), put inside a CF 32gb or 64gb (if you don’t need too much space), relax and start listening to music - you won't be disappointed.
Edited by kayser - 7/22/11 at 1:48pm