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An audiophile and petrolhead's journal: Buckle up! - Page 10

post #136 of 7368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

And when they come back home..their first reaction would be ಠ▃ಠ

That's why you turn their old bedroom into a hobby room or library.
post #137 of 7368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

[after hearing about my Woo GES order]
"You paid $400 for an extra headphone jack and a better volume knob?"
"Yeah."
"Really?" *raises one eyebrow*
"...."
Don't neglect the things she wants, otherwise your life will become a living hell.

 

Similarly:

"You spent $200 on headphones?"

In my mind, "you spent $200 on jeans"

Thankfully there haven't been problems because she likes my headphones.

 

 

 

 

And I like her jeans...

post #138 of 7368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post


That's why you turn their old bedroom into a hobby room or library.

Except one that will be filled with speakers and a couch and sound absorbing foam.....and a small sleeping bag tucked in the closet.......

post #139 of 7368
Thread Starter 
Some things I've discovered:

1. These Wilsons are so resolving that it's almost scary. Headphones only wish they had resolution like this. On many familiar tracks I've found faint noises I've not heard before. I can hear clothing rustle, stifled coughs, sniffling, guitar tuning pegs being tightened, etc.. Just about any kind of extraneous noise you can imagine that could happen during a recording. It's neat.

2. Their bass is serious business. Subs? Who needs subs? While true, my sub goes lower (dual 15" Titanic MkIII EBS aligned monster tuned to 12Hz), it isn't nearly as fast or clean. Thank god for an adjustable crossover that can go down to 40Hz.

3. Movies? Damn... I've got things breaking through the wall, dialog that actually sounds like real conversation (the Watch Center is hardcore), and a new desperate need for better surrounds.

4. The DAC in my Integra processor is still one of the best I've ever heard, besting my Benchmark and new Onkyo P-3000R (by just a little). Not bad for an 8 y/o piece of equipment.

5. You'd think with that resolution the Watt/Puppies would be picky... and you'd be right, almost. After getting them properly setup, which took me and a real honest-to-god PhD audio engineer 8 hours to do, they did something truly remarkable, they vanished... poof, disappeared. I love my N802s, I really do. They're great, if flawed, monitors. I've always been a fan of their mid-centric and sometimes shrieky tone. It was their "sound" and I'd grown accustomed to it. These Wilsons, well, they have no "sound". They really are what they eat, what goes in is what comes out. So, my point? Okay, if you take that brilliant resolution and colorless tone, then mix it with their seamless and near-tactile imaging, they somehow develop the ability to fix recording and mixing screw-ups all by themselves. I know! Damned if I can figure out how it works either. It's like, "hey man, this track sucks, but I'll buff it up for ya, cool?" Then, when you do give them a beautifully recorded and mastered gem, the results are breathtaking and unnerving. Stevie, Lindsey, and the gang were over and played at my house last night and they performed all of Rumours. Seriously.

After this time with the W/Ps I can say that I would pay full retail for them. They're worth every nickle. The only question I have is, what would the MAXX system sound like in here? wink.gif
Edited by Magick Man - 7/20/12 at 5:25am
post #140 of 7368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

Some things I've discovered:

5. You'd think with that resolution the Watt/Puppies would be picky... and you'd be right, almost. After getting them properly setup, which took me and a real honest-to-god PhD audio engineer 8 hours to do...

Aren't Watt/Puppies heavy? It doesn't matter what your degree is, it doesn't move the speaker! smily_headphones1.gif
post #141 of 7368

Magic Man, I will live vicariously through you, and in return, I give you my highest Bro honor...

 

The Vulcan Salute!

 

1000

post #142 of 7368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Planar_head View Post

Aren't Watt/Puppies heavy? It doesn't matter what your degree is, it doesn't move the speaker! smily_headphones1.gif

That's what Frank is for, he can deadlift 750lbs raw. In a sense, he's a friend/bodyguard/personal forklift. Some days I'm doing well to lift my butt out of a chair, having MS and rheumatoid arthritis can be annoying.
post #143 of 7368

There was a line in the first Muppet Movie when they needed to change a tire on a car, and one guy says "let me get my Jack", then the big monster Muppet "Sweetums" comes out, lifts the back of the car and says: "Jack not name, Jack job!"

post #144 of 7368
Thread Starter 
So, finally got around to damping my Yamaha YH-100s this weekend and they sound great. I'm very impressed and would stack them up against most headphones built today. Nice tight bass, slightly forward and seductive mids, with moderate sparkle in the highs. Headstage is good too, better than you'd suspect. Overall it's hard to believe these are 28 years old. Got them for $75 and can't believe what a bargain they are. Then...

Wife: What are those? They look old.
Me: Well, they're special Yamaha headphones, they aren't made anymore so they're collectors' items. These are actually the same age as you are.
Wife: Seriously?
Me: From what I can tell.
Wife: Wow, these sound good, vocals are really clear and the bass is great.

After that I run to the store to grab a few things. I come back and... the Yamahas are gone. I check and, sure enough, she has them at her desk listening to them.

Wife: I like these, they sound amazing. They have a cool retro look too.
Me: [sigh]
Wife: You want them back? *small pout*
Me: Nope. Just don't break `em. *kiss her on the head*

I always seem to lose the cool toys. rolleyes.gif
Edited by Magick Man - 8/5/12 at 8:03pm
post #145 of 7368

This thread is a great read.  There is a lot of useful knowledge in it.

post #146 of 7368
Thread Starter 
On an unrelated note. She has two semesters left to finish her PhD in Lit but she's now saying she's burnt out and doesn't want to go back, geez... 8 years of college and she wants to stop now. confused.gif
post #147 of 7368
Thread Starter 
I found an Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold with Voltikus for $3200, used 9/10 condition, and bought it. Will I be killed? I'm just going to keep it under wraps, it's kinda small maybe she won't notice? wink.gif I'll likely sell off my Benchmark DAC1 PRE to fund part of it anyway.

I can't help but geek out over it, it's flippin' beautiful.





Ultimately, I want to get down to 3 excellent DACs: the Zodiac, Onkyo P-3000R, and the Little Dot DAC_I. Kind of like a high end, middle-high, and mid range selection. The CUBE will go to my wife's system and the Fostex HP-P1 will be for mobile use. The O2/ODAC? I'll hang on to it for reviews and such, since so many people have an O2. I like the way this is fleshing out.

Zodiac Gold > GES/SRM-717 = electrostats and low impedance `phones
Onkyo P-3000R > Cary SLI-80/Kenwood M2A = high impedance and hard to drive `phones (and also for desktop speakers)
Little Dot DAC_I > HiFiMan EF-5/Little Dot I+ = solid budget/hybrid rig

Sources: Linn Unidisk 2.1, Asus Xonar Essence ST, Denon DP-62L w/ MS Phonomena II preamp, and Cambridge iD100 iPod/iPad dock

*whistles Crazy Train*
post #148 of 7368
Thread Starter 
Price: $3200 (used)

Appearance/Build Quality:

The Zodiac Gold with Voltikus is gorgeous, there's no denying it, and its flawless satin finish is just the start. Even the small remote murmurs "High Quality", because it feels like solid aluminum. You could knock someone out if you threw it at them. The ZG isn't just a pretty face either, the nobs and buttons all have a wonderfully smooth feel. The whole time you use it you're thinking, "this is an impressive chunk of gear". For me the icing on the cake is the .05dB stepped attenuator, the fine control is amazingly accurate.

Sound:

Quite frankly, I've not found a fault in its performance yet; it's perfectly transparent and stunningly detailed. It has no coloration at all, it's dead neutral, and all the headphones I've tried with it have benefited from this. It completely steps out of the way and, for good or ill, lets the material and transducers perform the way they're intended. Oh, and the Ultra-Linear, dual stage headphone amp is the real deal, and it's all about damping factor. My Fostex TH900s are fussy about this, and with the wrong amp the bass bloat can be unsightly. No worries about that with the Gold. Select 0Ω output mode, and like Ms. Jackson, the key word is Control. It has lots of it. Imaging? Like no other amp I've tested. It's so remarkably vivid that I actually fiddled around to see if any 3D effects were somehow enabled. No joke.

As you'd expect, then, the dynamics are out of this world, I've not heard the ZG place a hoof out of line... That is, except when driving my HE-6s, the fact is, it doesn't have enough juice for them. The mids and highs are amazing but bass performance just isn't... quite... there... I expected this. In fact, I would have been stunned senseless if it had pulled it off, so I'm not disappointed in the least. Otherwise, everything I tossed its way it caught with ease and elegance. Given the designer's roots in high-end production and mastering hardware, it's not hard to suss out why.

Now it's time for numbers and maths, courtesy of the Antelope site:

Dynamic Range: 129 dB
THD + N: 0.0004 %
USB: 2.0 Hi-Speed. Data stream up to 480Mbits/384kHz, Type B
Clocking System: 4th Generation Acoustically Focused Clocking 64 bit DDS Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator
Clock Stability: < +/- 0.02 PPM, oven controlled at 64.5 C
Clock Aging: < 1 ppm per year
Sample Rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, (352.8kHz, 384kHz through USB only)

Design:

To completely take advantage of its features, I now have all my head-fi gear attached to the Zodiac, and it pulls duty as a DAC, amp, or DAC filter. Yeah, it actually re-clocks and de-jitters all digital signals coming in (they call it Acoustically Focused Clocking) and outputs the "cleaned up" product via AES or a pair of S/PDIF connections. I'm not really sure if it makes that much of a difference, but it seems cool none-the-less. So far my only gripe is with the USB, twice when I've switched from a different source I had to disconnect and reconnect the USB before it worked properly. It doesn't drive me nuts, but if it becomes a habit it could get annoying. I hear Antelope's working on a firmware patch to fix this, so that may be a non-issue soon.

Conclusion:

The short and sweet. Am I keeping it? There's no need to even ask. Benchmark is no longer the true benchmark around here, that honor belongs to the Zodiac. This Antelope really whips the llama's ass.

PS. Oh, and when they fix the USB issue I'll give them their fifth point in design, not a second before. wink.gif



Edit: Oh, and my wife's opinion: "That looks neat, but why is it in two separate pieces?"
Edited by Magick Man - 8/15/12 at 1:27pm
post #149 of 7368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

Edit: Oh, and my wife's opinion: "That looks neat, but why is it in two separate pieces?"

 

And the answer is..."Because it makes it twice as good dear".

 

The Zodiac does look rather cute, so a real bonus that it sounds great too.

post #150 of 7368

just stumbled across this thread... had these kind of problems with hi-fi with an ex-gf... I got round the problem with regular shopping-trips for shoes... women go nuts for shoes & handbags.... strange hobbies they have.

 

ps... get a Chord Red-Reference MK111 CD-Player... I'd love to be a fly on the wall if you got one of those

 

 

http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/products-info.asp?id=49


Edited by OK-Guy - 8/21/12 at 2:45am
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