Sigh...I have so much to write, just not enough time recently. Below is just a truncated version of what I wanted to write.
Whenever I upgrade my audio gear, I do it after a good gap of years in between purchases, and after a tremendous amount of research about the products. I also make sure that the upgrades are nether too extreme to my previous purchases, but are also a good upgrade sonically and gear-wise to what I own.
My last upgrades were in Dec 2011/Jan 2012, in which I bought the (now Logitech branded) Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro's at about £99.99, the JDS Labs c421 (AD8620 op-amp) headphone amp (pre-release, 1st batch PCB, with early silver face plates and black enclosure), FiiO RC-UE1 recable for the TF10's, and a FiiO L9 LOD.
(My last upgrade before 2011/2012 was back in 2008!).
That said, Dec '12 and Jan '13 have been the most expensive, concentrated amount of finances I have spent on audio related stuff ever in my life.
What did I buy? See below:
- Heir Audio 4.Ai's IEM's (Christmas discount),
- CEntrance HiFi-M8 amp/DAC/iDevice with tone shaping controls and two 3-pin XLR/TRS output connections (pre-ordered, and cost more than the IEM's above),
- Final Symphony at the Barbican Center on May 30th (to see the London Symphony Orchestra and composer Nobuo Uematsu, composer and arranger Masashi Hamauzu, producer Thomas Böcker, and conductor Eckehard Stier play symphony pieces from Square Enix's Final Fantasy VI, VII & X games in new compositions. Seriously, this will be an awesome event!). :D
- Two albums from Warp Records/Bleep.com: '100 Tracks / 2012' in FLAC, and a pre-ordered copy of 'Autechre - Exai' in vinyl and 24 bit/44.1kHz WAV files,
- Pre-ordered 'Bonobo - The Northern Borders' Deluxe 10" Boxset from Ninja Tune, and finally
- A new Seagate 3Tb HDD.
Total cost? Not checking (ignorance is bliss and my friend ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!).
Oh, I am also not including the cost of shipping to get my JDS Labs c421 serviced, nor the allocation of funds to obtain a new thin headphone amplifier (watch this space), nor the next few games on my February list (Alien's: Colonial Marines Collector's Edition, Crysis 3 Hunter's Edition, and possibly Metal Gear Rising: Revengence). Might have to cancel the last two games...
Right, so now that I am organise my new audio around the CEntrance HiFi-M8 (thought that is still a while away) and my c421 (until I get my other new mysterious amp), I am also looking at my Feb pay check. Here's the thing:
I want a balanced audio cable for my Heir Audio 4.Ai's. My choice of maker is Moon-Audio.com. I have chosen the Moon Audio Silver Dragon V1 IEM Headphone Cable. The truth is that the 4-pin XLR is the sensible choice, and I should have chosen the 4-pin XLR HiFi-M8, which makes sense for portable use.
Instead, I actually want to get this cable terminated in, wait for it...Furutech Rhodium Plated Dual 3-Pin XLR's (FP-601). FOR PORTABLE (and desktop) USE! :O
Yes, this is not sensible. AT ALL. But I am not sensible either.
In fact, I want to ask Moon Audio if they can terminate the cable using the Furutech Carbon Body Rhodium Plated Dual 3-Pin XLR's (CF-601MR), but until I get the HiFi-M8 in my hands, I will leave these options out.
Yes, I am sure many of you will be aghast by the above cable termination choices, and will shout "WHAT ABOUT PORTABILITY!?!?!", but I am mad.
I also blame the hobby.
And Head-Fi.org (as well as almost every other audiophile news/magazine outlet that I frequent).
Ok, now on to the fun part.
Which rubber band to choose?
Well, in truth, to just shave off a few millimeters, the recessed bands would be better, but looking at the current girth of the HiFi-M8 and the stack overall, I would go for the RAISED rubber bands.
Actually, I won't be using the bands too much anyway, as I will be using my 6th iPod Classic 160GB (2007) side-by-side with the HiFi-M8 in my coat pocket or my shoulder bag, or my Samsung Galaxy Note II (using the Neutron App, though I have yet to root my Android phone as it is still too new).
Also, I am interested in how the DAC will be used for desktop duties (how can the user know at which bit rate and frequency the DAC is receiving the audio in, and is it bit-perfect). This is my main area of interest, followed by the amplifier power for my single ended AKG K 701 headphones (will get new pads next month too).
I want the new AKG K 702 ANV version, but that is way too expensive...
Anyway, enough waffling, time to use Netflix before bed.
Edited by TheOneInYellow - 1/31/13 at 3:44pm