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The diary entries of a little girl in her 30s! ~ Part 2 - Page 273  

post #4081 of 21760
Being able to remember dreams is a recently acquired skill for me. I do not know why but after 11 years of luscious dreams I went about 7 years in dream drought. Then suddenly my dreams became very detailed and easy to remember again. So much that I lucid dream without purposefully inducing it at least once a month.

Meanwhile I'm trying to find an image that I feel represents me well that I can use on all the online identities I have. It's tough.
Edited by compoopers - 12/25/12 at 5:19pm
post #4082 of 21760

I almost gave up the head-fi hobby in 2012. I wasn't very impressed with the sound I was getting from my headphones, and vastly preferred the sound of my full-size speakers. On a lark, I tried some uber-premium tubes in my Lyr. The results were enthralling, and combined with the purchase of some HE500's, helped drag me back into the hobby. I was surprised by how much difference tube-rolling made on the quality of the sound. Then, I upgraded my DAC to a Gungnir, which opened up things even more. Now, with the addition of the Zana Deux to my setup, I almost never listen to my big speakers anymore. I did make one significant change to the ZD, though, I replaced the standard driver tube on it with a Sophia Electric tube. That made a very good amp even better. The only changes I see happening to my headphone collection in 2013, is the building of a second setup that will be used in my office. Nothing fancy, just some DT990 Pro's to replace the pair that died. Maybe a cool tube amp to drive them.

post #4083 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

By the way, if anyone feels like sharing their thoughts / opinions about their head-fi experience in 2012, please do.

 

2012 has been a sleepy year for me, where I think my thoughts about this hobby really settled down a little. After more chances to listen to other high end gear, I stopped chasing it. I decided that I only wanted to own things that were comfortable and competent, because those are the things that I would use.

 

The FXD80-Z and MA900 demonstrated to me the wonderful beauty of having something just easy to live with. Not without flaws, but comfortable and convenient. Together with the 7550, they form a trio of items that I think are sorely overlooked on Head Fi. I guess its partially a product of their price tag in an environment when the flagships are most talked about, but it puzzles me that these all rounders just aren't more popular. This was the same puzzle I found with the CK90Pro. I guess inoffensiveness becomes obscurity.

 

Despite trying not to buy anything new for the year, I was overcome with buylust and ended up having a bit of an exclamation point at the end of the year. I was super impressed by the UE6000, Momentum and MDR-1R. If there was one thing I was optimistic about, its that new competition has really made some old names and new faces really get into the ring. 

 

I think there is a trend towards darker sounds in this year as the demographics skews all kinds of music rather than the traditional stuffy picture of tweed jacket audiophiles listening to 'proper' music. I guess this is something that is probably happens every year, but I think its telling when both B&W and Sennheiser released their lifestyle headphones and signaled that warm is the new black.

 

I think this is a great trend; I'm really optimistic about a world where people care about their headphones. A great highlight of the year is of course Apple releasing their new earpods and I think pretty much raising the standard for the bottom tier of the market. I'm excited to see where the in-ear market goes in 2013 when a new baseline has been established.

 

I think my goals for next year are to listen to more music and once again try not to get any new gear without auditioning it, or having a chance to sell it. That said, there is one jewel that I am slavering over: the AD1000x / AD2000x. Oh how it beckons.

post #4084 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

By the way, if anyone feels like sharing their thoughts / opinions about their head-fi experience in 2012, please do. For instance:

 

1. What were the highlights for you? Your favorite experiences? Best gear? Worst gear?

 

2. Thoughts on trends this year? Predictions for next year?

 

3. Plans for next year; what would you like to audition? What are you most looking forward to being released? Any goals?

The best gear: I tried this year was the DT880 pro and the KRK KNS8400 that I got as an present ^^ 

The worst gear: I got this year was the beats tour that I got after my Jamz broke as an "upgrade", it broke after I used it 3 times :/

Trends: Cheaper gear would get better sounding.

post #4085 of 21760

2012 has been a crazy year for me. Last year, I was rocking some DT990 600ohms, a HD600, and a Bottlehead Crack. Now I have some KSC75's, waiting on my Tzar 90's, a Studio V 3rdANV and have a Schiit Modi/Magni on the way. Some may say I've downgraded, but I've been mighty happy with my journey so far. I feel I enjoy IEM's more, and there are more defined sound classes amongst them. I feel I've also got to enjoy my music more.

 

One big change has been I've been trying to collect CD's. Last year I felt that CD's were a waste and that either buying or pirating digitally was the only good way. Now I feel that CD's are part of the sitting down and enjoying experience, and it also gives me an excuse to build a cool PS1 CD player ;)

 

Another difference is I just got some speakers. Last year I was against them, this year I felt they would be nice for some tasks. I'll keep my budget down to the $40 Partsexpress ones for now; I feel this could be a very nasty, very expensive route. 

 

 

Goals for next year:

 

  • Obtain more albums. Once I finish my PS1 (should be in the next couple weeks, just need $35 for the power umbilical parts) this will become even more enjoyable.
  • Start a music blog. I've been a longtime member of a few music blogs and have posted under a few different aliases. Once I get my PS1 done (and maybe get another pair of full-sizers) I plan on reviewing albums. I feel after years of taking, it's finally time to give back and maybe help people pick albums. 
  • Get an Ikea Poang chair. The closest IKEA to me is around 6 hours away. My friends live in Orlando, and I'll be visiting them in January. I'll have one then, just can't decide if I need the ottoman or not.
  • Care more about school. I don't want to be an eternal college student, and I'm damn tired of never having money for things I want. I need to finish soon.
  • Try some ATH over ears. I've been wanting to for a while, and the AD900X is at a nice price. 
  • Try some ER4's. If anyone has a spare pair I can demo for a week, I'll love you eternally and have my girlfriend bake a dozen cookies for you.
  • If money permits, i would love to start a music server. I've been a Linux fan for years, and have ran various small file servers for different purposes. I want to make a cheap MPD server with at least 2TB.
post #4086 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

By the way, if anyone feels like sharing their thoughts / opinions about their head-fi experience in 2012, please do. For instance:

 

1. What were the highlights for you? Your favorite experiences? Best gear? Worst gear?

 

2. Thoughts on trends this year? Predictions for next year?

 

3. Plans for next year; what would you like to audition? What are you most looking forward to being released? Any goals?


I was pretty much all over the place this year. I started it off with a master list of IEM's only to throw it out and just go with my gut feeling. Overall the year was a very good year for me.

 

Universal IEM

This year marked the beginning of me moving into universal flagship IEM's such as the Turbine Copper Klipish X10 and Ortofon e-Q7. Even so my favorite IEM still remains the Sony MDR EX600 from the year before which is only eclipsed by the j phonic K2 sp which I acquired early on during this year. For 2012 the j phonic K2 sp hands down was the IEM that knocked my socks off and I still can't decide which of the two I consider my top universal IEM. The biggest disappointment for me in IEM's would be the Klipish X10 which I bought on the 2011 Boxing Day special. The sound was pretty decent but I would not call it a flagship product in the audio department. I also eventually sold it off due to a high microphonic cable and what I began to suspect was mediocre build quality. It's form factor just did not work for me and I thought Klipsch could have done a far better job in those two departments.

 

Mobile Amp

This year was also a busy year for me in amps and I was able to acquire the ALO RX MKII (Itoru) the Leckerton UHA-4 (Sally) and UHA-6S MKII (Eva). I very much like all these amps but the standout of 2012 for me is the UHA-6S MKII with the OPA209AID op amp. It's safe to say that until something else noteworthy comes along Eva is my reference amp of choice. Eva proved to me that a high price tag doesn't necessarily equate to a better musical experience. For the money spent Eva was a gem of a steal when you consider I paid more for Itoru which is also a fine amp but isn't the apple of my eye like Eva is.

 

The Surprise Of 2012 (There's 2 Of Them)

First, this year I finally decided to test the waters in the boutique DAP market by purchasing the Studio V 3rd Anniversary Edition. I made the purchase with a lot of trepidation due to what I read about it's UI. When I first got the DAP and started playing around with it I shook my head and couldn't believe how flawed the UI of this little player was. The shocking part about it all, it's become my favorite DAP. Although half the UI is fatally flawed it's still by far the best sounding DAP I've ever owned and I can't see myself parting with it anytime soon. As of now it's on my keep list and I'm holding out hope that HiSound will finally get their act together and put out a firmware update and make this DAP the jewel it has the potential to be.

 

Secondly, I finally got the guts up to take my very first steps towards exploring the CIEM market and ordered a Heir Audio 4A. Whether it works out or not still remains to be seen but lets be honest when I first started hanging out on the diary thread I was mid fi at best. It's safe to say this leap of faith into the CIEM market is a milestone for me in that I've finally left the noob crib behind and have started to explore bigger better things in mobile hi-fi.

 

2013

I seriously need to concentrate more on gear for at home listening and get myself some headphones that are worthy of the name headphone. I see a Paradox looming on the near horizon. Headphones aside I'm still at a serious loss as to what I should invest in for a home rig. Only time will tell I guess


Edited by DigitalFreak - 12/26/12 at 8:39am
post #4087 of 21760

This year has been quite an expensive one for me as well. I think I've spent the most money this year than I have ever regarding audio purchases. But then again my standards have really grown a lot as well....
 

post #4088 of 21760

I'll have to remember to post my highlights of the year after I receive my T50RP Mad Dogs (probably the saddest name I've ever heard of for a pair of headphones) and see if the hype is well-deserved or not. I'm interested to find out how I'll like them when I compare them to my HD600. Hopefully I'll like them at least as much and be able to justify the purchase for my parents (this year's Christmas gift).

post #4089 of 21760

The amazing thing about this hobby is that no matter how "expensive" this hobby is, it's not really that much money compared to what we spend on other stuff. 

 

I think I've spent more on fast food this year than audio gear...a lot more, especially as a professional student whose campus is right around the corner from a starbucks and a bunch of friggin amazing mom and pop restaurants. 

 

Yep, I think I'm here for the long haul. I can't wait until I can buy something like the Sony R10 without batting an eyelid.

post #4090 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

Yep, I think I'm here for the long haul. I can't wait until I can buy something like the Sony R10 without batting an eyelid.

 

 

This. This hobby isn't too friendly to student budgets :|

post #4091 of 21760

I got like 75% of my stuff in 2012, but, if I have to talk about it all in retrospect... (just generally talking about things I received during the year rather than things that were released in 2012)

 

Best Sound - TH900's.  I love these things.

 

Worst Sound - DT1350's. Meh.  I'd give this award to the Grado GR10's, but I technically got them in November of 2011.  I didn't even think the Beyers were bad per se and the friend I sold them to certainly enjoys them, but there was nothing particularly great or interesting about them.  I can usually find something I like about a pair of headphones, hell even the ESW11's are engaging in some way I'm having trouble articulating atm <- that's more than I could ever say about the DT1350's.  

 

Best Investment - Tie between the ES5's and ECBA.  The Westone ES5's are the most versatile headphones I own along with the best behaved.  They're not the best at anything among my other IEMs and headphones, but they're not far behind in any regard.  I still feel like they get the most right and they are the second least expensive IEMs I regularly use (Flat-4 being the least).

 

The ECBA killed a good deal of my upgraditis, so hey.

 

Worst Investment - WA22.  This thing, meanwhile, gave me upgraditis within a month of getting it.  It has pretty great synergy with the HD800's and was decent with orthos but the overall sound of the thing just wasn't to my liking and I'm at a loss as to why I dumped nearly $3k on it (tube rolling and such).  I should have just bought the ECBA sooner; it's a lot better.  In many ways the Conductor's better too and that one's quite a bit cheaper.

 

Grew on Me the Most - FI-BA-SS.  For whatever reason I was really underwhelmed with these during my first few days of owning them but they've since become favorites of mine and probably my 3rd most used headphones (in any category) after the ES5's and 334's.

 

Grew on Me the Least - RxMK3-B.  I'm not going outside with my LCD-3's.  I'm sure this is a really great amp but I find it hard as hell to use in any real portable application.  The HP-P1, meanwhile, is more than adequate.  So is a vanilla iPod much of the time (especially with the FI-BA-SS).

 

Biggest Surprise - Burson Conductor.  I knew with would be a decent all-in-one and a step up from the HA160D in my "whatever" rig, but I didn't expect it to be this good.  Right now the only desktop source combo I'd take over it is my ECBA setup, but I actually think the Conductor is better in a couple of contexts and is probably my best solid state source component atm.

 

Will be missed - Shure SRH940's and the HD650's.  The 940's just sort of fell apart on my roommate after what we assumed to be a trivial crack in the headband adjustment thing.  It was always my intent to return them but I was being lazy about it and now I doubt Shure would take them back.  They actually broke on me in October of 2011 too, but I was better about sending them back.  Seriously, that headband sucks. 

 

The 650's aren't really broken, but I noticed an indent in the left driver and they're long out of warranty (these were my first serious headphones).  They don't seem to sound any different, but the fact that the driver's technically defective bugs the ******* hell out of me.  Also, the right ear cup won't accept pads anymore, like, nothing snaps in as it's supposed to.  I guess I could just carefully glue one in, though.

 

You Know What's Still Pretty Good? - The PA2V2, and it's only, like, $60.  I took it back out a few months ago thinking I had heard too much good **** to appreciate it, but nope!  It's still as awesome as ever.  Although you probably won't find me using it much because it's awkward.  Still, though, good job Gary!

 

And after all this I still haven't heard - a pair of ATH M50's.  I'm sick of them solely on account of all the YouTube TechKid456's out there who unanimously upgraded to them from Beats because I have issues and actually watch these videos on a regular basis.  I wish I didn't!  Also, a FiiO amp for similar reasons. 

 


 

I guess I lied when I said that the TH600's were the only things interesting me in the coming year.  The FAD headphones and talk I've read of an Eddie Current SS amp are on my mind.  I'd also like to try a few more custom IEM's sometime but am in no way sure which ones I'd go for besides the UERM and those freaqphased JH's.

 

I was curious, like, a year ago about the Cardas things, but meh...  It sounds like the new JH's are addressing similar concerns except it's coming from someone who I'm more inclined to trust.

 


 

I feel like a lot of stuff that could be practical to a regular person came out this year.  In the past when people at work and such have asked for headphone recommendations I've always struggled somewhat and typically ended up having to say "well _____ is good if you don't mind..." because no one wants an open headphone, a long cord, something uncomfortable, anything they have to amp, something expensive, etc.  Now, though, with all this Apple Store stuff coming out, I can unabashedly recommend something like the UE6000's.  And thanks to Beats those don't even seem expensive anymore.  A lot of cheap(er) and practical source components have come out this year too, like the Schiit stack, the Pan Am, and that Woo all-in-one.  So yeah, that's all pretty cool.


Edited by driver 8 - 12/26/12 at 3:55am
post #4092 of 21760
I spent part of this year trying out iems I'd been reading about and downsizing my collection. I think I'm down to the basic core now. What I need to work on is a better setup to stream music off my computer to the rest of the house. I was about to get a Squeezebox, but now they've discontinued it.

It's sort of odd to be in this place where I'm not actively thinking about what next in Head-fi. I think I'm going to spend 2013, listening to and collecting more music. I needed to do a computer reorganization and looking at my library, there are CDs I've bought and maybe listened to once or twice. I need to dive more deeply.
post #4093 of 21760
Thread Starter 

I'm really enjoying the year-end reflections from you guys. I know I've said this a lot, but part of what I enjoy about this hobby the most is discussing the relationship between folks and their gear.

 

When driver 8 says "I just really, really like headphones" or a_recording says "I'm optimistic about a world where people care about their headphones" I totally get that. Meanwhile, I also get just wanting something that lets the music come through and gets out of the way. I guess I reside in both modes of operation: headphones for me are art, tools, and toys. Cultural artifacts. They can be enjoyed on different levels that aren't mutually exclusive. There's even a lot of overlap: an art to functionality, a pleasure in utility, and a utility in finding pleasure.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

2013

I seriously need to concentrate more on gear for at home listening and get myself some headphones that are worthy of the name headphone. I see a Paradox looming on the near horizon. Headphones aside I'm still at a serious loss as to what I should invest in for a home rig. Only time will tell I guess

 

Random suggestion: keep an eye out on eBay and the sales forum for used electrostatic gear. They offer incredible value for money IMHO, assuming you can find a set that isn't being flipped for a ridiculous profit. Earlier this year for instance I got a set of Koss ESP/10 headphones and an E/10 energizer circa 1978-1984 for about 250 USD. Even hooked up to a simple T-amp (~ 30 USD) using literal scraps of leftover speaker wire, the combo trounces just about anything else I've heard in the same price bracket. Kinda makes sense: this gear was flagship-level stuff in its day and sold for a lot (like four figures), and really headphones haven't advanced that much sonically in the last 30 years or so. Similarly, keep an eye out for used Stax gear, though unfortunately this is more likely to be subject to ridiculous asking prices given the name. However you could probably score an SR-Lambda and energizer for under $300 if you're patient, and it too will walk all over most fullsized headphones you could buy with that money today.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

The amazing thing about this hobby is that no matter how "expensive" this hobby is, it's not really that much money compared to what we spend on other stuff. 

 

I think I've spent more on fast food this year than audio gear...a lot more, especially as a professional student whose campus is right around the corner from a starbucks and a bunch of friggin amazing mom and pop restaurants. 

 

Yep, I think I'm here for the long haul. I can't wait until I can buy something like the Sony R10 without batting an eyelid.

 

One of the amazing things about this hobby for me is the vast range which exists in how much one can spend. You've got $30 earphones and $100 portable amps, all the way up $150,000 turntables and $300,000 speakers.

 

I kinda don't want to know how much I've spent this year in regards to this hobby alone. I have a rough idea, though. My second biggest expense tends to be books believe it or not, and my library is getting pretty ridiculous. Having to haul it with me when I move is a daunting prospect, so I'm thinking about selling some of my rarer volumes and donating others to the campus and public libraries.

 

As for other expenses this year, I've been spending more on clothes and fashion than last year. I've been accruing shoes and jackets in particular. Also I've developed a somewhat bizarre fascination with buying myself exotic lingerie.

 

I'm tempted to start buying up old NeoGeo stuff again next year and build up my collection of games. Also maybe get a consolized MVS system.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by driver 8 View Post

Worst Investment - WA22.  This thing, meanwhile, gave me upgraditis within a month of getting it.  It has pretty great synergy with the HD800's and was decent with orthos but the overall sound of the thing just wasn't to my liking and I'm at a loss as to why I dumped nearly $3k on it (tube rolling and such).  I should have just bought the ECBA sooner; it's a lot better.  In many ways the Conductor's better too and that one's quite a bit cheaper.

 

 

The WA22 was pretty disappointing for me as well, and I too spent a lot on tubes. It's understandable: tubes can make a big difference in the way something sounds, so rolling them is often a way for people to try to salvage an amp they don't like the sound of, though really no amount of experimentation can change an amp that is itself not that great. It's just when something is so heavily touted and praised 'round here, there's this feeling like it should be better, so you keep trying. Same thing happened to me with the Leben (which, granted, is still far and away better than the WA22 IMHO).

 

That was before I realized I really dislike stereotypically "tube-y" sounding amps and vastly prefer the way Eddie Current uses tubes. As a newcomer however I looked to the reviews of certain members which were considered the gold standard. Eventually I realized those individuals happen to like the type of sound I don't and that our tastes in sources and amps were pretty much day and night.

post #4094 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

One of the amazing things about this hobby for me is the vast range which exists in how much one can spend. You've got $30 earphones and $100 portable amps, all the way up $150,000 turntables and $300,000 speakers.

 

I kinda don't want to know how much I've spent this year in regards to this hobby alone. I have a rough idea, though. My second biggest expense tends to be books believe it or not, and my library is getting pretty ridiculous. Having to haul it with me when I move is a daunting prospect, so I'm thinking about selling some of my rarer volumes and donating others to the campus and public libraries.

 

 

 

 

That's just revolting. I just don't see how good a speaker/turntable could be to warrant that much money. With the way houses are priced in the South, you could get damn near a mansion for that much. Then again, I never thought I'd spend $300 on a pair of ear speakers.

 

As for books, you wouldn't happen to have a copy of Don Quixote, would you? I had one of the first mass printed volumes when I was younger, and I used to read it all the time and ignore my chores and responsibilities. One day my mom rage quit and ripped the book to shreds....when I was 90% through the story. I've been too traumatized to hunt down another copy since.

post #4095 of 21760
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

I'm really enjoying the year-end reflections from you guys. I know I've said this a lot, but part of what I enjoy about this hobby the most is discussing the relationship between folks and their gear.

 

When driver 8 says "I just really, really like headphones" or a_recording says "I'm optimistic about a world where people care about their headphones" I totally get that. Meanwhile, I also get just wanting something that lets the music come through and gets out of the way. I guess I reside in both modes of operation: headphones for me are art, tools, and toys. Cultural artifacts. They can be enjoyed on different levels that aren't mutually exclusive. There's even a lot of overlap: an art to functionality, a pleasure in utility, and a utility in finding pleasure.

 

 

 

Random suggestion: keep an eye out on eBay and the sales forum for used electrostatic gear. They offer incredible value for money IMHO, assuming you can find a set that isn't being flipped for a ridiculous profit. Earlier this year for instance I got a set of Koss ESP/10 headphones and an E/10 energizer circa 1978-1984 for about 250 USD. Even hooked up to a simple T-amp (~ 30 USD) using literal scraps of leftover speaker wire, the combo trounces just about anything else I've heard in the same price bracket. Kinda makes sense: this gear was flagship-level stuff in its day and sold for a lot (like four figures), and really headphones haven't advanced that much sonically in the last 30 years or so. Similarly, keep an eye out for used Stax gear, though unfortunately this is more likely to be subject to ridiculous asking prices given the name. However you could probably score an SR-Lambda and energizer for under $300 if you're patient, and it too will walk all over most fullsized headphones you could buy with that money today.

 

Thank you Romy, paragraph saved in notepad and I'll be keeping an eye open. I'm still very curious to hear for myself what the STAX house sound is like so I'm really open to the Lambda suggestion. Oh yeah, since you bought up STAX for the last few weeks I'm finding myself on headamp constantly drooling over the STAX SRS-002. (Must resist temptation and concentrate on headphones)


Edited by DigitalFreak - 12/26/12 at 8:56am
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