I guess there's no convincing you to not get it then.
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I guess there's no convincing you to not get it then.
Spent a few hours at the local hifi exhibition "Klangbilder" yesterday and it was well worth the €10 admission fee.
I'm going to post some impressions later on, but for now here's the stuff that (for various reasons) impressed me most:
I can relate and agree with that. Sometimes it's just too much of a hassle to really get what they mean, yet somehow despite that, some artists can deliver their message with such a punch that not really understanding everything really doesn't matter all that much. Can Ox is one of those bands. HJowever, I've fallen in love with their Cold Vein so much, that I actually want to try to decipher their motifs and points -- but, except for urban dictionary and songmening.com, I really don't know where to start. I didn't grow in a poor New Yorkian ghetto, nor do I really get all of the american references. As said, it doesn't really matter, but since I lovethat album so much, it'd be a fun project to decipher it.
In my opinion, El-P's greatest strength is producing and making things happen, rather than being behind the mic. I like some of his songs, but I love some of his productions (such as Can Ox).
Speaking of which, I gave my first really real listen to Madvillain's Madvillainy yesterday, and my, oh my, is that also a great, great album. I have big respect for the productions of Madlib and the MC skills of MF Doom, so it could've gone two ways: either really bad or really good. I'm happy to say it was the latter. Today I've listened closely to Jaylib Champion Sound. Madlib and J Dilla co-working there, and wow, also a great album. I'm not saying they're better than The Cold Vein, but Can Ox's place as the best underground hiphop group isn't all that secure anymore.
I don't know whether this is new or old news either.
Deafheaven's Sunbather is something I've been listening to frequently.
According to the liner notes there are lyrics but to my ears it's mostly "Fyaaa! Fa ya fa FLAAAAAAAAAAAA!!"
It works, though. On the album, the singer becomes a counterpart in the audio texture. Almost like how the teakettle and turntable scratching was used in the Bomb Squad's work for Public Enemy.
On another board I frequent there was debate whether this was black metal, post-rock, or even emo. It's got some not particularly subtle shoegazing going on as well... though at some point when you're talking about heavily fuzzed guitars and looping chord changes, you're at the center of the Venn diagram of those styles.
They first won me over with a credible cover of Mogwai's "Punk Rock/Cody".
That's apparently William Faulkner standing in for Iggy Pop.
A close friend once told me:
The very reason behind Foucault's theories, is that he did it for teh lulz.
Sometimes I think these subgenres are stupid, because they're making music so granular and silly. Then you have these bands that seem to want to transcend between subgenres, sometimes also for teh lulz. Just like Foucault.
What does "Clang Builder" mean? And what are those portablephones? The logo looks familiar.
iPhone 5S (vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2)
These are supposed to be my impressions of the new iPhone 5S. Before I start, I probably should mention that I have no previous experience with iPhones what so ever, so I can’t really compare it to former Apple smartphones at all. I have however, of course, had friends with iPhones so I’ve got to know some good things about iPhones in general before buying mine, as well as some bad things. I do however have some previous experience with Android phones, both ZTE Blade and Note 2, as I’ve been an Android “fanboy” (for being, or having been, a fanboy I was rather balanced though).
Let’s talk about the outside. There are mainly two things I want to highlight here: size and “look and feel”. When it comes to the size the iPhone is significantly smaller than the Note 2, and when I say significantly smaller, I mean it. The first sensation when holding it was that it felt like a small toy, and I immediately became worried that I would drop this piece of jewellery, and to be honest, I still do (although I have already dropped it once, not a scratch!). Which brings me to my next point: it feels like a piece of jewellery. I don’t mean that it looks luxurious (it does) but it feels like a luxury product. The choice of materials, the glass, and the weight feels very different coming from a rather plasticky Note 2, and I have to say, I like it. I like it a lot. In comparison, the Samsung feels like a work horse - not especially luxurious or gracious, but it will get the job done. The iPhone on the other hand feels like that gracious ballet dancer you always wish you could approach, but never had the nerves to.
Once you do get close though, you get to know her and you get accustomed to being close. Once you get to know that ballet dancer you’ll find that she’s either a bitch or a saint, and in this case, in my experience, she was that nice, petite, humble saint that will not only get the job done, but gracefully so, and thank you for being helpful to you.
When it comes to the internals, I don’t have a lot to say because I admittedly don’t know a lot about Apples SoC, but having read Anands article on the A7 chip, it seems like a fine piece of machinery. And it is: rarely do I experience stutter, or lags, even with most useful/useless functions turned on. When doing things that I think my iPad, of the 4th generation (people died smithing mine), does a bit stuttery, the iPhone on the other hand does buttery smooth. Keep in mind that the iPad has a hell of a lot more pixels to push, and considering that fact, paired with the A7 being twice as fast, I think that iOS 7 is either much more efficient than it’s being given respect for. However, this is about my iPhone, and there’s really no problems there. My Note 2 on the other hand is laggy, stuttery and I’m baffled at how Samsung is mistreating Android OS with it’s bloatware and ugliness to it. Now, I was to a gaming convention yesterday with a close friend of mine, and he’s just recently gone from an iPhone 4S to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition (vanilla Android) and I still found it to be rather stuttery in it’s animations and such.
When talking to him about Android vs iOS, it was interesting since we come from the opposing camp, and joined the dark side of the force. I told him that even though some Android phones are supposed to have much better screens (higher pixel density, better colors, and so on) I still prefer my iPhone screen over them. My wife has the new Nexus 7 2013 Edition with a ridiculous pixel density, and it still looks like a mess to me. The colors aren’t popping, there are still some banding issues, and let’s just put it this way: my iProducts makes me want to look at them, while the Android products makes me want to use them and then put them away. My friend admitted that he felt something similar when he used his phone to surf the web on the subway, and that he had also experienced banding. Don’t get me wrong, he seemed pleased with his phone, however, he hadn’t become best friends with it yet. Not how I have with my iProducts.
Now, for the interesting part for most of you guys: the sound quality. Having owned a few Android smartphones, and a Cowon DAP (J3) and a Sony DAP (A828), I can tell what I prefer and what I don’t prefer. The Sony DAP and the Cowon DAP sounds great -- they really, really do. The smartphones however, no. Just no. No smartphone has ever sounded good enough to make me happy. Until I met the iPhone 5S. The sound quality is really comparable to my experience with DAPs rather than my experience with smartphones. Now, I would probably not put my phone in the same league as some more expensive DAPs -- of course not. Keep in mind though, that this is a smartphone -- a sort of do-it-all device -- and for a smartphone, the sound quality is really impressive. The sound is clean, no hissing, the bass hits where it’s supposed to, the mids are put out lush and smooth, and when I’m trying to think of an analogous image to describe the sound quality, I’d go with a clean sky at night, with the stars and darkness symbolizing the openness, cleanness and the sparkle of the sound. My Note 2 sounds rather muddy in comparison.
Speaking of clean skies, the camera really is good on this phone. I was telling both my wife (a renowned Apple hater) and her uncle (a renowned Apple fanboy) that it's both awesome and tragic, that my iPhone probably does take better pictures than my Nikon D200. Now, I shouldn't compare Apples to oranges (or Nikon DSLRs, in this case), but it's hard not to. Not when the camera really is that good. It's awesome because now I get to walk with a superb camera in my pocket, and leave my D200 at home, but it's tragic that ... you do the math: an almost $2000 DSLR against a $899 smartphone a few years later. Technology does move fast, and maybe sometimes a little too fast. Then again, with DSLRs I have full manual control and superior lenses, and so on and so forth. They really shouldn't be compared -- the purpose of the respective camera is totally different. However, as said, it's hard not to. I can also happily report that the slow-motion functionality really does work great. In fact, it works so great, that with only one single slow-motion shot of my son, I convinced my wife's uncle to upgrade to a 5S.
I do however think that my iProducts, hardware wise, is only half of the story when it comes to my love for my tablet and my phone. The other half is the OS itself. Android phones and iPhones are leapfrogging each other when it comes to internals, and comparing their hardware is, while useful at times in one way (cameras?), still completely useless at most times. The experience from the OS is so much more different than the hardware will ever be, so what’s left to compare is basically iOS vs Android OS rather iPhone vs what-ever-Android-flagship. With that said, let me just confess that I love how the iOS operates.
As previously mentioned, I used to be an Android fanboy. I love Open Sourcing, I love the openness of the Android OS, and I love how customizable it really is. That’s where it stops, and that’s where it always stopped for me. My Android devices became old fast, and while useful and smart, I never really longed for using them and my opinions of them always went from “Ahh Nice!” to a necessary evil to be able to keep up in times. Don’t get me wrong, I still used them 24/7 for surfing the web, instagramming, tweeting and so on - but it was because I felt the need to invite myself rather than my devices inviting me in. There are so many features with my Note 2, that are supposed to be really good -- the S-pen being an example -- that I avoid because I just don’t want to mess with it anymore. The last time I used my S-pen was about a month after the Note 2 was released, and I think that is symbolic for most of the features and apps that I have for the Note 2.
This is however not the case with iOS. With iOS I feel compelled to use everything I install, and sometimes uninstall, but not because I don’t like the apps themselves, but because I think the native apps do it better. A prime example is the calendar app. I’ve gone through about 5-10 of them, in order to find the perfect calendar app, but I still find myself going back to the native iOS calendar. Now, I could praise some of the things iOS does right [for me] all day long -- yes, that’s how much I love it -- but it won’t change the fact that there are things I would like to have changed.
Siri, which I actually prefer over Google Now, does not have the same integration into Sweden as Google Now has. For instance, I could ask Google when’s the next bus to the grocery store and it wouldn’t even take a second for it to answer me. Siri on the other hand, won’t tell me because, well, Siri doesn’t know. Siri should get better integration with Sweden for it to be more useful for me. That being said, I still love Siri and the ability to book meetings through my Klipsch X10 while walking down the street, or not having to pick my phone up when I want to message my wife that I'll be home late for dinner. It's a shame it's not as functional as Google Now, because what siri does, Siri does really well and what Google Now does, it does it half-assed in my opinion.
All in all, it’s a great, great phone with very few flaws, in my most humble opinion, but so is the Note 2. Where the iPhone 5S lacks, ironically the Note 2 has loads -- for instance battery life. My iphone will last me a day and a half with moderate usage, and my Note 2 can last for days between charges. The difference is noticable. Then again, these two smartphones probably are the weirdest phones to compare, since they are so fundamentally different; Apple is all about the experience (and everything that goes with it, iOS, app quality, sound quality, camera, and so on) while the Note 2 is one of the biggest Android phones out there, being all about performance and features (of which some of them shouldn't have been included as they were probably in beta stage). That being said, the iPhone 5S is faster, more responsive and what really wins this comparison for me, is iOS being better than Android. I have to give it to Apple, they really have something going here with iOS. Using my iPhone in tandem with my iPad is not only a breeze with all the syncing and whatnot, but also that enjoyable experience I truly long for. Not the necessary evil experience I, unfortunately, always felt with Android.
For those interested in photography, some sample images from the iPhone camera:
Note that some are taken with the Olloclip lens, some in low-light conditions and some with live filters on! (Click to show)
Literally translated, Klangbilder means "sound pictures". I'd say it roughly equals the term "soundscapes".
These are the Pro-ject "Hear It Two". Pro-ject are well regarded for great bang/buck turntables. Actually, Tyll talked to their CEO at CES and he was told pretty much the same about their headphones as I heard yesterday, so I'm just linking his video here:
Here's a short rundown of some gear I heard and how I felt about it. Note that I have far less experience with full-sized phones than IEMs.
Hear It One (€100): Comfy phone with clean and clear mids/highs, but overall a tad too warm and bassy for my taste.
Hear It Two (€50): Tiny and somewhat flimsy, but surprisingly comfy (good cushions!) and decent sounding. Lack bass extension below 100Hz, but the rest sounds simply stellar for the price. Preferred them over the Hear It One.
My first ever Stax audition, all phones driven by Stax amps. All I knew beforehand was that rectangular ones are the cheapos and round ones are the wallet killers.
SR-207: Superb phone. Lacks only the last 5% or so in sound quality compared to their top models, but bests them in openness and soundstage. Would buy these in a heartbeat, if I had use for full-sized phones.
SR-007 Mk 2: By themselves, wonderful headphones. But after the SR-207, a bit underwhelming. I thought they'd walk all over the entry-level model, but they didn't, at least not to my ears.
SR-009: See above. There are subtle differences between the 007 and 009, but not enough to rank one above the other. Compared to the SR-207, both have more low end presence and sound slightly more refined, however also a tad more closed-in. Diminishing returns seem to be staggering with Stax phones.
MDR-1R: Meh (after the Staxes)
NWZ-F886: Tried it with my K3003 and it sounded excellent, cleaner than my A845. Liked the overall design and the usability of tactile buttons in addition to the touch screen.
InEar / Vision Ears:
StageDiver 2 and 3, Vision Ears 2 and 4: Heard all four IEMs side by side and while the SD2/3 sounded great, the VEs sounded even better, slightly less dry and more refined. The VE4 had ultimately too much bass for my taste, but the VE2 reminded me a lot of the UERM (though I didn't have those with me to compare). Seamless driver integration, good extension and very linear sound signature, I'll definitely follow up on these.
HD800: Driven from a solid state amp (don't remember which one). Loved their overall balance, detail resolution and soundstage, but treble was a tiny bit sharp for my taste. Would rate them about on par with the SR-207, but not higher.
Orpheus: What can I say, these effortlessly bested everything else I had heard before. They had Beethoven's piano sonatas on and I must have stood there for at least half an hour, lost in the music and deeply impressed by how eerily REAL this amp/phone combo sounded.
The Senn rep watched me smilingly and after I handed him the Orpheus back, he told me they were working on two successors, one that (once again) will sell for the equivalent of a middle class car and another one that will be more affordable for ordinary people, about €1500 or so. I know that's nothing more than mere speculation, but going by how close that low end Stax sounded to their 009 flagship, these new "budget" Senn electrostats should be really something to watch out for. I might even find some use for full-sized phones then.
That was a very nicely written comparison!
I'm happy with Android at this point, but I wouldn't rule out iOS next time around...assuming funds permit it. I inquired about iPhone 5 when I got my current phone and it would have cost me 3 times as much up front for half the storage capacity, so I couldn't do it. But I'm sure I would like the device if I actually had it to use.
Since finding the program AnyTrans I've warmed up to my iphone4 again. I haven't updated it since iOS5. See no reason to update it and everything works just fine so I'll be sticking to that OS. Not sure if I'll upgrade to an iphone5 anytime soon but apple is a viable options again if I can easily load my music and videos via this program without deleting my data :). Honestly apple should just cut out the **** and get with the program. They are only pushing people away with such practices. Simply being able to add music or any media for that matter without having to re-sync everything is not rocket science.